Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board
Monday, 20th April, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Skype meeting

Contact: Claire Johnston - 01202 454627  Email: claire.johnston@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

148.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

None were received.

149.

Substitute Members

To receive information on any changes in the membership of the Committee.

 

Note – When a member of a Committee is unable to attend a meeting of a Committee or Sub-Committee, the relevant Political Group Leader (or their nominated representative) may, by notice to the Monitoring Officer (or their nominated representative) prior to the meeting, appoint a substitute member from within the same Political Group. The contact details on the front of this agenda should be used for notifications. 

 

Minutes:

None

150.

Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

Cllr M Brook declared a local interest in agenda item 7, Capital Investment to Increase Special Educational Needs Capacity as he was a Member of the Castlemain Academies Trust.

Cllr S Bartlett declared a local interest in agenda item 7, Capital Investment to Increase Special Educational Needs Capacity as he was a Member of the Bournemouth Septenary Trust.

151.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 321 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meetings held at 2.00 pm and 6.00 pm on 10 February and 16 March.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held at 2.00 pm and 6.00 pm on 10 February and 16 March were confirmed as a correct record subject to the inclusion of Cllr C Rigby in the list of apologies for the 2.00pm meeting on 16 March.

152.

Action Sheet pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To note and comment on the Baord’s Action Sheet as required.

Minutes:

The action sheet was noted.

153.

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these is available to view at the following link:-

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/documents/s2305/Public%20Items%20-%20Meeting%20Procedure%20Rules.pdf 

The deadline for the submission of public questions is Thursday 9 April 2020.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is 12.00 noon, Friday 17 April 2020.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 12.00 noon, Friday 17 April 2020.

Minutes:

There were no public questions, statements or petitions received for this meeting.

154.

Chairman's Update

For the Board to consider any issues raised by the Chairman which are not dealt with elsewhere on the agenda.

Minutes:

The Chairman informed the Board that this was one of the first Scrutiny meetings taking place across the country following the new Covid-19 legislation governing local authority meetings. It was noted that the Council was observing the guidance issued by the Centre for Public Scrutiny at this time and it was acknowledged that scrutiny would need to take on new and innovative forms during this period. The Chairman advised that he was working with the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee, the Chairman of which were in attendance at the Board in accordance with the newly adopted article 16 of the Council’s constitution.

 

The Chairman advised that the order of business would be revised to take agenda item 8 first to ensure all those required to respond to the Covid-19 item could be present on the call.

155.

Scrutiny of Capital Investment to Increase Special Educational Needs Capacity

The O&S Board is asked to scrutinise the report outlined above and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.

 

Cabinet member invited to attend for this item: Councillor Sandra Moore, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families.

 

The Cabinet report will be published on Tuesday 14 April 2020 and available to view at the following link: https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=285&MId=3729&Ver=4

Minutes:

The Chairman invited the Portfolio Holder for Children and Families to introduce the Cabinet report, a copy of which had been circulated and appears as Appendix B to the Cabinet minutes of 22 April 2020 in the Minute Book. During the course of discussion, the following points were raised:

 

The High Needs Grant Block of the Dedicated Schools Grant was currently underfunded by the government and there was an accrued and increasing overspend. There was a need for an increase in provision locally due to a lack of sufficiency in special schools. Budget pressures means the situation needed to move quickly and it was hoped that the work could be completed by the September term which would save a total of £4million pounds per annum.

A Councillor from the Children’s Services O&S Committee submitted a question in advance which was how long the investment would take to pay back. The Portfolio Holder responded that based on financial modelling undertaken payback period was one year from when the spaces came online and factored in a level of risk due to Covid-19.

The Chairman of the Children’s Services O&S Committee asked what the current shortfall in spaces was and if the 135 places would cover or what the shortfall would be. The Portfolio Holder commented that this was no where near covering the number of spaces needed but these were mostly in secondary provision and work was ongoing to address these issues.

Whether the savings calculated included those which would come through reduced school transport costs. It was confirmed that this was not included within the report. It was believed that there would be some revenue savings but this would need to be followed up.

A Board member asked if children who were already in place in independent schools could be moved to the new additional places. It was noted that children would only be moved as an outcome of the normal review process for EHCP plans.

A Councillor commented on the substantial savings to be made and questioned why this had not been done previously. It was noted that Poole and Bournemouth had done some work in the past in putting additional spaces in place but that it was a significant challenge. Preceding councils had created a combined total of 241 places previously.

A Councillor commented that this was a welcome initiative but highlighted that parents must be given support and that EHCPs would only be reviewed in the normal way and moves not put in place just due to cost avoidance.  The Portfolio Holder fully supported this.

It was noted that demand would outstrip supply, but the Council was continuing to pursue opportunities for additional school places. A Councillor commented that schools had been very supportive over this.

In response to a query about the impact that this would have on the overall capital programme within Children’s Services the Director confirmed that this was ringfenced for creating additional spaces, but a paper would be coming back to Cabinet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 155.

156.

Council's Response to the Covid-19 Corona Virus Epidemic

To consider an update from the Chief Executive and relevant Portfolio Holders on the Council’s actions in relation to the Corona Virus.  Along with verbal updates at the meeting, a Cabinet paper provided by the Chief Executive on this matter will inform this discussion. 

 

This will be will be published on Tuesday 14 April 2020 and available to view at the following link:

 

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=285&MId=3729&Ver=4

 

The purpose of this scrutiny is to seek assurance that the Council is taking all appropriate actions and to take into account any particular concerns from councillors acting in their community role, in line with the Board’s role as enabler of the voice and concerns of the public.  The following councillors are invited, along with relevant officers, to attend for this item and provide updates in relation to their service areas:

 

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of the Council

Councillor Sandra Moore, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families

Councillor Lesley Dedman, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health

Councillor Dr Felicity Rice, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Climate Change

Councillor David Brown, Portfolio Holder for Finance

 

The Chairmen of the other Overview and Scrutiny Committees of the Council are also invited to attend and participate in this item.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the item and explained that the Board would receive an update and ask questions from different aspects of the Council’s and Public Health’s response in turn. The Board were also asked to consider the Cabinet report which was circulated to the Board and is attached as Appendix A to the Cabinet minutes of 22 April 2020. It was noted that all Councillors were asked to submit questions in advance of the meeting which could be addressed at the Board meeting, this did not preclude additional questions from the Board at the meeting.

 

Overview: The Leader and Chief Executive provided the initial overview of the Council’s response to the Covid-19 epidemic. The Leader explained that she had had a significant lobbying role through the various networks she was involved with including the LGA, Key Cities group, Council Leaders groups, Local Enterprise Partnership and lobbying of the local MPs. The Chief Executive had performed a similar role within his groups and there had been a number of successes. The Leader also explained her community engagement role and communications of changes and issues such as anti-social behaviour and social distancing. The Leader also outlined the work which had taken place in setting up the community resilience hub, which took place over a couple of days and gave credit to the officers involved in this. There were over 2000 volunteers registered over 900 volunteers had been matched to households who required support and other volunteers were involved in a number of other roles including befriending and social engagement. Approximately 30,000 postcards had been distributed to targeted homes who may require assistance but who may have not got the message. Those required to shield were also being contacted to ensure they are safe and well.

 

The Chief Executive explained that the statistics within the associated report were probably out of date at this point as the situation is constantly moving. He outlined to the Board the emergency response procedures which had been put into place but noted that this was vastly different to other emergency situations which usually focused on a single point in time and there would normally be an expectation of assistance from other authorities. However, in this case the Council was still in the response phase to the issue. The Chief Executive explained the current pressures on the senior leadership team as well as colleagues, in particular those in the Adult Social Care team. The local resilience forum was meeting three times per week and the regional group was meeting twice per week. It was noted that there were some positives arising including embracing new ways of working including electronic meetings. Another issue highlighted was the number of different iterations of guidance being issued which the Council need to address. Most Council staff who could now had the ability and equipment to work from home. The Council had taken action to ensure that rough sleepers had been found accommodation and following this an additional wave of homeless persons were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 156.

157.

Future Meeting Dates 2020/21

To consider the following meeting dates and locations for the 2020/21 municipal year. Meetings are scheduled for 2.00pm and 6.00pm each day.

 

·      18 May 2020 - Christchurch

·      22 June 2020 - Bournemouth

·      20 July 2020 - Christchurch

·      24 August 2020 - Poole

·      21 September 2020 - Bournemouth

·      19 October 2020 - Christchurch

·      16 November 2020 - Poole

·      7 December 2020 - Bournemouth

·      4 January 2021 - Christchurch

·      1 February 2021 - Poole

·      1 March 2021 - Bournemouth

·      1 April 2021 – Christchurch

 

Venues or video conferencing are to be confirmed.

 

 

Minutes:

The dates of future meeting were included on the agenda. The Board discussed the possibility of an additional meeting. It was suggested that an additional meeting prior to the next meeting would be required to keep up to date with the developing situation. The Chairman advised that the Chairman of the other committees supported this, but it would need to be done in agreement with officers following the meeting. In response to comments made by officers and members it was agreed that this would be kept under review but that the next scheduled meeting of the O&S Board would remain as scheduled on Monday 18 May at 2.00pm.

 

The decision on items to be discussed at the next meeting would be delegated to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman in discussion with the Chairman of the other Committees and circulated to O&S Members.

The Chairman asked that any member of the Board make contact with him if there is an item of business on the Cabinet Forward Plan that they would like scrutinised.