For debate and decision.
a) Scrutiny review
Cllr Brain Oosthuysen, Chairman Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee (OSMC), presented the Scrutiny Review report to council.A meeting of scrutiny chairs and vice-chairs had taken place on 28 February 2017 to undertake an ‘end of term’ review of overview and scrutiny at the Council. He drew member’s attention to the current inquiry by the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on Overview and Scrutiny, and that Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee had used the inquiry questions in this work.
Council noted the key messages within the report which outlined that feedback had been overwhelmingly positive and no changes proposed to the current scrutiny practices. There were some areas, particularly around working practices where improvements could be made.
b) Scrutiny update
Economic Growth Overview and Scrutiny
Cllr Joe Harris, Chairman of the Committee, took this opportunity to thank Jo Moore, Senior Democratic Services Adviser, for her help and support to him and the committee.
ii) Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee
Cllr Lunnon asked a question relating to recycling credits. She noted that this committee had discussed this matter before the release of the additional information in the Urbaser Balfour Beatty contract and suggested that the committee might wish to revisit this matter as recycling credits would now be a charge for this council and she questioned how this would be managed. She also indicated that following the release of the contract information she might have further questions. Noting that Cllr Lunnon was not standing in the upcoming election the Chairman of Council stated that council would no doubt see Cllr Lunnon in the public question lists in the next council. Cllr Theodoulou, Cabinet Member Finance and Change, stated that he would arrange for a response to this question.
iii) Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee
As agreed at the start of the meeting Cllr Binns, Cabinet Member Older People, gave a short update on the situation with regard to Cleeve Link. She assured members that arrangements with care agencies across the county to pick up the domiciliary care that was previously provided by Cleeve Link have now largely been agreed. In most of the county these were already up and running with the Human Support Group covering Gloucester and Stroud; Radis were covering the Forest of Dean and parts of Tewkesbury Borough; Live Well at Home were supporting Tewkesbury Town and Marina Court; and Careful Care were supporting the Cotswolds.
Comfort Care were the fifth care agency involved and they were working with the council to ensure a smooth transition in Cheltenham; with the largest group of service users and staff this area has been the most difficult part of the transfer arrangements but that we were expecting this to be concluded by the weekend. In the meantime, council officers with support from partners, particularly Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, were continuing to ensure people received the support that they needed. Cllr Binns stated that she was appreciative of the forbearance of service users and their families who have worked with the council to make these transitional arrangements work.
Cllr Binns repeated her appreciation of the Cleeve Link staff who had continued in their role and provided care, and could confirm, that all those who have stayed, were being kept on by the new providers. She also confirmed that the council had made good any missed pay in the interim and taken steps to ensure that the new providers would be able to pay all staff going forward.
Members agreed that this experience did raise questions and it was important to ensure that the lessons from this situation were identified. There was some feeling that the council should have been more aware of the risk; and that going forward people wanted certainty. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Health and Care Scrutiny Committee informed the meeting that this matter had been debated at the committee’s meeting on 7 March 2017, and that the outcome of the review into this situation would be received by the committee in the new council. A member also stated that it would be important to ensure that this work included adult safeguarding issues.
iv) Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Cllr Leppington took the opportunity to thank Jane Lloyd-Davies, Head of Education Performance and Inclusion, and Corey Pierce, National Graduate Development Programme, for their support to the Educational Attainment in Secondary Schools in the Forest of Dean Task Group.
Cllr Harman, Chair, thanked all the officers who have supported the committee in its work, and also those that work on the ‘front line’.
A member stated that the issues identified in the task group report were reflected in a school in her division in Cheltenham. She suggested that the issues raised in this report could be the same across the wider school structure in the county. Cllr Harman indicated that this point could be reflected in the committee’s work on this matter in the next council.
Council noted the Student Mental Health Task Group report which had been appended to the scrutiny report.
RESOLVED to note the report.