Overview and Scrutiny Board Minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board Minutes

Date:
Tuesday 5 June 2018
Time:
4:00 p.m.
Place:
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillors J Sharrocks (Chair), E Dryden, T Higgins, L Lewis, T Mawston, L McGloin, M Saunders, M Storey, J A Walker
Officers:
S Bonner
Apologies for absence:
Councillors D P Coupe, A Hellaoui, J McGee, P Purvis
Declarations of interest:

None were declared

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
18/1 APPOINTMENT OF VICE CHAIR FOR 2018-2019

The Overview and Scrutiny Board appointed Councillor Matthew Storey as Vice Chair.

18/2 MINUTES - OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY BOARD - 10 APRIL AND 11 MAY 2018

The Minutes were agreed as a true record.

 

It was queried if the Director for Education would be invited to OSB to discuss the issues of underspend identified during the meeting of OSB on the 10th April. The Chair of OSB confirmed that the Director of Education would be invted to the next meeting of OSB.  

18/3 FINAL REPORT OF THE AD HOC SCRUTINY PANEL - COUNCIL BUDGET 2018-2019 AND PROPOSED SAVINGS

The conclusions and recommendations of the Ad Hoc Scrutiny Panel were outlined following a scrutiny investigation of the topic of the Council's Budget Consultation Process.


The Ad Hoc Scrutiny Panel recommended to the Executive:

 

1. To engage more residents in future budget consultation activities:

  • The Council should utilise contemporary social media applications, where viable;
  • Youth Participation Officers should develop a consultation plan linked to relevant budget proposals;
  • All community buildings, particularly Community Hubs, must be used to their full potential. For example: hosting of roadshow events (which have previously been undertaken successfully across Middlesbrough), with relevant Ward Councillor(s) and Councillors from surrounding Wards in attendance;
  • Consideration should be given to monitoring stakeholder engagement e.g. adding e-mail read-receipts onto electronic invitations;
  • Councillors should be provided with posters, business cards and other publicity materials for distribution, as appropriate, which could include Ward/Street Surgery sessions and Community Council meetings; and
  • Contact be made with local media outlets to engage them in promoting budget consultation activity

2. That an update be provided to the Overview and Scrutiny Board in October 2018 in respect of the 2019/2020 budget consultation arrangements.

 

The Chair adivsed OSB that the final report reflected the inclusion of Roadshows that should be taken into consideration for any future Budget Consultation process.

 

ORDERED: that the findings and recommendations of the Ad Hoc Scrutiny Panel be endorsed and referred to the Executive.

18/4 FINAL REPORT OF THE SOCIAL CARE AND ADULT SERVICES SCRUTINY PANEL - REDUCING LONELINESS AND/OR SOCIAL ISOLATION IN LATER LIFE

The conclusions and recommendations of the Social Care and Adult Services Scrutiny Panel were outlined following a scrutiny investigation of the topic of Reducing Loneliness and/ or Social Isolation in Later Life.


It was noted that while distinct, lonliness and social isoloation were related concepts. For their investigation the panel focussed on the issues in the context of later life, but remained mindful they were intergenerational.

 

It was commented that an array of external activities had taking place during the course of the investigation and, as paragrpah 11 of the report stipulated, the panel heard from a number of external bodies which empahsised partnership working regarding this issue.  

 

It was noted that work being undertaken was trying to reach as many "hard to reach" individuals as possible.

 

The Social Care and Adult Services Scrutiny Panel recommended to the Executive:

 

  1. That the Local Authority engages with as many different agencies and businesses as possible in order to play an active role in further developing and promoting support initiatives for those experiencing loneliness and/or social isolation. An example of such an initiative is Marks and Spencer’s Community Transformation Programme, developed as part of the organisation’s "Plan A 2025".
  2. That the Local Authority works in partnership with MVDA and other appropriate voluntary sector organisations to further develop befriending support provision in Middlesbrough.
  3. That an awareness-raising campaign for members of the public be developed in conjunction with the Marketing and Communications Team, in order to improve access to support services and/or referral routes. Publicity methods could include: Local media/radio such as Community Voice FM; Physical stalls in the Town Centre and at public events; The Council’s website and 'Love Middlesbrough' magazine; Public service/utility vehicles; Community Hubs; Voluntary organisations; Private sector businesses, etc.
  4. That training and awareness sessions dedicated to the issues of loneliness and social isolation be implemented for all staff. These could include:
    1. Online training via "Middlesbrough Learns";
    2. Face-to-face briefings; and
    3. Advice and information on the intranet.
  5. That an awareness-raising briefing be scheduled for all Elected Members in respect of the issues surrounding loneliness and social isolation.
  6. That, to facilitate engagement in support activities, the Local Authority works with partners to improve transport provision for Service Users, including bus and taxi operators.
  7. That a wider piece of work be undertaken to encompass other demographics, such as young people, when discussing loneliness and/or social isolation. For example: further Scrutiny investigation by the Ad Hoc Scrutiny Panel.
  8. That the early evaluation reports of ABM be submitted to the SCASSP, for information.
  9. That each service directorate considers how support can be provided to the reducing loneliness and/or social isolation agenda.

The Chair advised that recommendation G would be considered by the Ad Hoc Scrutiny Panel as soon as possible.

 

A member commnented that further work needs to be underttaken to adress this issue.

 

A member also commented that community based activities could be extremely helpful in this regard, it just needed an individual, or small group of individuals, to initiate them.

 

It was also commented there had been cross over work carried out between the Social Care and Adult Services scurinty panel and the Economic Development and Infrastructure scrutiny panel regarding a more community centric bus services that may assist with this issue.

 

ORDERED: that the findings and recommendations of the Soical Care and Adult Services Scrutiny Panel be endorsed and referred to the Executive.
 

18/5 FINAL REPORT OF THE CHILDREN AND LEARNING SCRUTINY PANEL - LISTENING TO THE VOICE OF THE CHILD

The conclusions and recommendations of the Children and Learning Scrutiny Panel were outlined following a scrutiny investigation of the topic of Listening to the Voice of the Child.
 

The Children and Learning Scrutiny Panel recommended to the Executive:

 

  1. The Panel feels that a "Top Tips" for Working with Children/Young People should be developed in conjunction with children/young people. This should then be embedded in all departments that work with children and young people.
  2. An e-learning module on the importance of child participation is developed or alternatively a conference is held for staff to attend to ensure that all relevant Council staff understand the importance of child participation.
  3. Young people should be involved in the recruitment process of staff who will be working with children and young people. This will ensure that the views of young people are taken into account on what qualities and skills they feel individuals should possess.
  4. The number of forums in Middlesbrough for children/young people who are not currently engaged in statutory services to express their views is limited. The Panel recommends that an annual conference is held for all youth groups to come together to discuss current issues and express their views.
  5. The Panel recommends that the Member of Youth Parliament is supported to develop a Youth Council. All schools and academies should be invited to become active members on the Youth Council. The Panel also strongly agreed that once the Youth Council is established it should be provided with its own budget to be used to support campaigns, training, activities and participation and is to be used at the sole discretion of the Youth Council. The Panel also recommended that the Voice of the Child Participation Coordinator be awarded a budget to support the work around child participation.
  6. Once a Youth Council is established, its Chair or Vice Chair should be invited to attend Full Council. The Panel recommended that the Youth Council have a standing item on its agenda to provide updates on its work that can be fed back to Middlesbrough Council.
  7. To ensure that all children and young people in Middlesbrough are aware of their rights, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (child friendly) poster is displayed in all Council buildings that are accessed by children/young people. All schools in Middlesbrough should also be encouraged to display the poster. It was recommended that a mapping exercise is carried out as to where information can be accessed on children’s rights and emailed to all schools and academies.
  8. As well as displaying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child poster it is also recommended that a child friendly leaflet "Do you know your rights?" is produced and given to all children/young people accessing Middlesbrough Council services.
  9. A young person should become a co-opted member on the Children and Young People’s Trust to ensure that the voice of the child is embedded into the aims and values of the Trust and that it Is reflected in plans and strategies developed by the Children and Young People’s Trust.
  10. That a child friendly version of the Scrutiny Report on Listening to the Voice of the Child is produced and posted on the Children’s Services section of the Middlesbrough Council website.
  11. The use of Social Media to engage with children/young people should be explored.

 

ORDERED: that the findings and recommendations of the Children and Learning Scrutiny Panel be endorsed and referred to the Executive.


 

18/6 FINAL REPORT OF THE CULTURE AND COMMUNITIES SCRUTINY PANEL - SELECTIVE LANDLORD LICENSING

The conclusions and recommendations of the Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel were outlined following a scrutiny investigation of the topic of Selective Landlord Licensing.

 

The Chair of the panel commented that the panel were keen to investigate the issue as, in some cases, private rented properties were seen as a contributory factor to Anti Social Behaviour. The model of Selective Landlord Licensing adopted in North Ormesby was the focus of the panel's investigation.

 

It was noted that a wide range of external and internal witnesses were used during the course of the investigation and that the use of Selective Landlord Licensing supports the Mayors vision of creating a Safer and Strong Middlesbrough and leads to the Council's core priority of social regeneration.

 

The Chair also commented that North Omresby was unique in its approach to Slective Licensing and the residents should be applauded for their efforts and partnership working. The model in North Ormesby was excellent and should be rolled out to the next area.  

 

The Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel recommended to the Executive:

 

  1. The Panel are passionate and extremely complimentary of the Selective Licensing model in North Ormesby. The Panel recommends that the next roll-out of the scheme mirrors this model to ensure its success.
  2. That the Panel be updated on a six monthly basis on the scheme, and informed once a decision is made on the next area for Selective Licensing.
  3. That a "step by step" guide on Selective Licensing be developed in conjunction with the Ward Councillor(s), tenants, landlords and community of North Ormesby . This should include practical information, timescales of Selective Licensing and benefits of the scheme. Once produced, this should be shared with new licensees/ tenants, the BIG Local, North Ormesby Community Council and included on Middlesbrough Council’s website and displayed within North Ormesby Community Hub.
  4. That the Panel receives a full evaluation of the scheme towards the end of 2020. Dependant on the outcome and need, the Panel recommends that the Council reapplies for North Ormesby to be designed for a second time. The Panel is aware that is it difficult to comment at this stage until a full evaluation has been completed. If North Ormesby does not fit the criteria set out by the Housing Act 2004 for re-designation, the Panel would like to be consulted regarding the exit strategy and future plans for North Ormesby.
  5. That a standard set of license conditions be developed by the Selective License Forum and adopted and utilised in the second roll out (proviso to include additional conditions to fit the demand and problems within a specific area.)
  6. That a voluntary accreditation scheme be developed for Middlesbrough Landlords. This would be rolled-out town-wide.
  7. That the services offered by the Public Protection Team in relation to Regulation of Housing Standards and Enforcement be publicised in the Love Middlesbrough Magazine.
  8. That during the second roll-out of Selective Licensing, funding be allocated from existing resources to employ additional staff (as required) to carry out inspections.
  9. That the Panel be updated in six months’ time in relation to community safety.
     

A member queried when the next roll out was likely to happen and if there was anything that was preventing this.

 

The Chair of the Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel agreed to provide the Board with the requested information.

 

A member queried if, given limited funds available for Selective Licensing, the Chairs of OSB and Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel could write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government highlighting the best practice experienced locally, recommend the scheme be rolled out nationally and that sufficient funds be made available for this.

 

ORDERED:

1. That the findings and recommendations of the Social Care and Adult Services Scrutiny Panel be endorsed and referred to the Executive.

2. The date of the next roll out of Selective Landlord Licensing be circulated to OSB.

3. That the Chairs of OSB and Culture and Communities write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government recommending the scheme be rolled out nationally.  

18/7 EXECUTIVE FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME

The Chief Executive submitted a report which identified the forthcoming issues to be considered by the Executive as outlined in Appendix A to the report.


The report provided the Overview and Scrutiny Board with the opportunity to consider whether any item contained within the Executive Forward Work Programme should be considered by the Board or referred to a Scrutiny Panel.

 

NOTED

18/8 SCRUTINY PANEL PROGRESS REPORTS

The Chair of the Children and Young People's Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel advised they had met with the relevant Head of Service and that the first meeting of the panel would be taking place soon. The Chair also advised they had met, and worked closely, with the Chair of the Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel as there was potential for topics to overlap. 

 

The Chair of OSB commented that closer working relationships between Chairs was to be encouraged and this would be facilitated in the future.

 

The Chair of the Cultre and Communities Scrutiny Panel advised they had not yet met and a meeting between the Chair and Head of Service had been arranged.

 

The Chair of the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastucture Scrutiny Panel advised the new panel had not yet met and meeting with the Head of Service in Regeneration had taken place but not yet with Environment. Potential topics included climate change, including Middlesbrough's carbon footprint, and an integrated transport system. The panel was currently discussing Middlesbrough's Housing Delivery Vehicle.

 

The Chair of Health Scrutiny advised that an initial meeting of the panel had taken place and it was decided a referral to the Secretary of State for Health should be made regarding the closure of respite services at Bankfields and Aysgarth. Both the CCGs had been informed of the panel's intention and the Chair of Health Scrutiny hoped to make the submission by the 29th June. The next meeting of Health Scutiny Panel would look at the panel's workplan which included breast radioology's potential return to James Cook Hospital. The Tees Valley Health Scrutiny Panel would be examining the issue of Roseberry Park.

 

It was commented that the Social Care and Adult Services panel had yet to meet and at that meeting potential topics would be discussed, including mental health services.  

 

The Chair of OSB reported that the Ad Hoc Scrutiny Panel conutinued to examine Council Tax processes and will examine the issue of loniliness in younger people as per the recommendations of the Social Care and Adult Services Scrutiny Panel.

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