Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - Monday, 1st April, 2019 5.30 pm

Venue: Room 10

Contact: Mrs KM Howard  01744 676106

Media

Items
No. Item

39.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

*           Apologies were received from Councillors Bond, Fulham, J Johnson, Lynch, McQuade, C Preston, L Preston and Haw and Mr D Thorpe.

40.

Minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

*           Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2019, be approved and signed.

41.

Declaration of Interest from Members

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No Declarations of Interest from Members were made.

42.

Public Notice of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was submitted which updated the Overview and Scrutiny Commission on Key Decisions that the Cabinet expected to make.

A brief description of the Key Decision had been included in the report for Members to consider and identify any issues of particular relevance to be taken into account in the key policy/strategy reviews.

A Public Notice of Key Decisions published on 19 March 2019 was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

*           Resolved that the report be noted.

43.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) Update

·         Council Leader, Councillor D Long has been invited to attend the meeting

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council Leader, Councillor D Long was present at the meeting to give a verbal update on developments within the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA).

 

The Leader advised the Commission that the LCRCA had made good progress over the last 18 months. Headlines included £183mil additional funding attracted by the LCRCA on top of the Devolution deal and the development of 9,000 jobs and 5,500 apprenticeships.

The following proposed schemes of works that were underway or in development by the LCRCA were highlighted:

·         Merseyside Tidal Power;

·         Ultra-Superfast Broadband;

·         Proposed Regulation of the Bus Networks;

·         Review to improve the integration of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) into the City Region;

·         Glass Futures: Future of Glass Manufacturing;

·         Development of a Single Portal for Apprenticeships;

·         Merseypride: Celebration of Diversity;

·         Submission of bid for £1mil of funding to support Town Centres; and

·         Investment in Transforming Cities ‘Housing First’ approach to tackle homelessness.

 

It was reported that Council Tax now included a Liverpool City Region Mayor Precept at an average of £14 per household. Although this precept would cost St Helens households on average an additional 28p per week, it would attract £500 per household of additional funding though the LCRCA into St Helens.

 

Members noted the reported work, that establishment of the LCRCA remained in development and questioned how long it was envisioned this would take. It was advised that the first phase should be concluded within the next 12 months.

 

Members questioned if there were any tangible outcomes for St Helens residents from the LCRCA and were advised the following developments within the borough had been part funded by the City Region: Windle Island improvement works, Newton-le-Willows Interchange, A570 improvements and St Helens College building upgrade. It was reported that there was also work underway regarding a feasibility study with Department of Transport on Junction 23 of the M6 and on Parkside land and link road.

 

The Commission requested the Leader’s view on the effectiveness of scrutiny of the LCRCA. The Leader advised he believed the scrutiny process was holding the City Region to account and that there were good sessions being held however, he reported issues with regards to quoracy. The Instrument of Governance required quorum of two thirds (or 66%) and this was hampering scrutiny’s potential.

 

Questions were raised regarding the reported College shortfall, the Housing First homelessness initiative, the Crime Commissioner becoming part of the City Region structure and on developments towards the Mersey tidal power initiative.

The Commission was advised that the Housing First initiative sought to place an individual in a property then wrap needed services around them to support them, previously it had been usual to focus primarily on the individuals service needs. This would be a piloted process with the potential to upscale if found to be successful.

 

Members were advised with regards to the Crime Commissioner becoming part of the City Region structure, a letter had been sent on behalf of all the City Region Leaders to the Home Office endorsing their support for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.

44.

Budget Scrutiny 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was submitted which informed the Overview and Scrutiny Commission of the Scrutiny Review of Portfolio Budget Strategy Statements. It was noted that the comments contained within this report had been included with the Budget report consider at Cabinet held on 20 February 2019 and Council on the 27 February 2019.

 

At meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held in July 2018 and February 2019, Members had considered the Budget Strategy update, the Provisional Portfolio Spending Plans for 2019/2020 and the Budget Report.  The Strategic Director of Corporate Resources had attended both meetings and answered all questions raised.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Commission had agreed in order to undertake scrutiny of the budget within the necessary timescales that Overview and Scrutiny Chairmen would take the lead in reviewing the budget reports in relation to their particular portfolio areas. 

All Overview and Scrutiny Panel Members were asked to further consider the reports and highlight any areas they wished to question in further detail.  It was agreed that should any issues on the proposed budget be posed, meetings would be arranged with the appropriate Cabinet Member and Chief Officer.  Subsequently several meetings were held and findings from these meetings shared.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Commission recognised the increasingly difficult financial climate against which the spending plans had been developed and acknowledged the detailed work and hard decisions that had been undertaken in this time of continuing Central Government cuts. The Overview and Scrutiny Commission, at its meetings had welcomed the opportunity to discuss the spending plans with the Cabinet Members and Officers.

 

The Commission highlighted that the Developing Young People Portfolio had continued to overspend for several years and that it could be argued that the allocated budget was not fit for purpose to deliver the service required. It was accepted that it hadn’t been funded to the level needed as monies had continued to be drawn from reserves and that this was an unsustainable situation. 

The Commission commended senior Councillors and the People’s Services Department for managing and mitigating the negative impact of funding cuts and urged Central Government to urgently provide the necessary support for these essential services.

The report proposed that a sufficiently funded five-year strategy was required in order to ensure the Council could properly look after children in its care in a financially sustainable way, that budget planning going forward must be decided of the basis of identified Council priorities and growth regeneration and attraction of investment must remain a key priority of the Council.

The Chairman thanked everyone involved in the review for their hard work.

 

*           Resolved that the report be noted.

45.

Update on Scrutiny Work Programme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was submitted which updated the Overview and Scrutiny Commission on the Scrutiny Work Programme 2019/2020.  The report detailed the progress made on the reviews undertaken by the individual Overview and Scrutiny Panels and each of their respective Task and Finish Groups.

*           Resolved that the report be noted.

 

46.

Scrutiny Review of Home Care Visits pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A draft report was submitted and outlined by Councillor D Banks, Chairman of the Task and Finish Group which informed the Overview and Scrutiny Commission of the Scrutiny Review of Home Care Visits.

 

The report detailed the background and context, findings, conclusion and recommendations of the review.

As a result of the review the Task and Finish Group proposed that the following recommendations be made to the Cabinet:

1.       that the Quality Monitoring Team continue to work with commissioners to understand the challenges around late calls and travel times and find solutions. It is crucial to ensure home care visits are long enough for home care workers to complete their work without compromising the quality of their work or the dignity of the person, including scheduling sufficient travel time between visits;

2.       the staff at the day-care centres be fully trained and risk assessed to enable maximum use of all facilities (include showers) for those attending;

3.       that Council liaise with St Helens/ Edge Hill around the possibility of devising a suitable bespoke course encompassing the skills needed to undertake a quality monitoring role and that the possibility of utilising the Apprenticeship Levy for this be explored;

4.       that the Team explore further collaborative working with partners and the sharing of good practice within the city region; and

5.       that those service users living alone with no one to speak on their behalf be made a priority.

 

The Chairman commented that it was an excellent Scrutiny Review and thanked everyone involved in the review for their hard work.

 

*           Resolved that:

(1)        the report be noted; and

 

            (2)        the final report be submitted to Cabinet.

47.

Scrutiny Review of Hate Crime pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A draft report was submitted which informed the Overview and Scrutiny Commission of the Scrutiny Review of Hate Crime.

 

The report detailed the background and context, findings, conclusion and recommendations of the review.

As a result of the review the Task and Finish Group proposed that the following recommendations be made to the Cabinet:

1.         that the Hate Crime Partnership Board continue to meet on a quarterly basis to ensure data and good practice be continuously shared amongst a wider group, and that greater effort to broadcast its work be made;

2.         that the membership of the Hate Crime Partnership Board be extended to include representatives from the Primary and Secondary Headteachers Groups, the local Faith sectors and victims of Hate Crime;

3.         that the work currently being undertaken by Merseyside Police to establish more third-party reporting centres in local community centres, sports centres, libraries and other suitable places be supported by the Council;

4.         Members be given training by Merseyside Police to assist them in becoming third party reporting ambassadors for Hate Crime within their wards; and

5.         that an easy to use online, Hate Crime awareness training resource be identified and communicated across partners.

The Chairman commented that it was an excellent Scrutiny Review and thanked everyone involved in the review for their hard work.

 

*           Resolved that:

(1)        the report be noted; and

 

            (2)        the final report be submitted to Cabinet.

 

48.

Site Visit to Kershaw Day Support Centre pdf icon PDF 728 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A draft report was submitted and outlined by Councillor D Banks, Chairman of the Task and Finish Group which informed the Overview and Scrutiny Commission

on the site visit to the Councils Kershaw Day Support Centre in Newton-Le-Willows.

 

The report detailed the background and site visit findings and made the following recommendations:

1.         that the signage on the outside of the building be altered to read’ Kershaw

Day Support Centre’;

2.         that the feasibility of the centre being opened at weekends be investigated; and

3.         that the panel be kept up to date on the pilot scheme for young people

visiting the centre.

 

The Chairman thanked everyone involved in the review for their hard work.

 

*           Resolved that:

(1)        the report be noted; and

 

            (2)        the final report be submitted to Cabinet.

 

The Chair reported to Members that this was Joanne Heron, Scrutiny Managers last meeting. He took the opportunity to thank her for all her support to scrutiny over the years and wished her well for the future.

 

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