Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham.
Contact: Debbie Pons, Principal Democratic Services Officer.
Resolved:- That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 2nd September, 2016, be approved as a correct record for signature by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest
There were no Declarations of Interest made at the meeting.
Questions from Members of the Public
There were no members of the public present at the meeting.
Youth Cabinet/Young People's Issues
No issues had been raised.
Councillor Alam, Cabinet Member Corporate Services and Budgeting, introduced the Quarter 1 performance report of the 2016/17 Corporate Plan.
The performance report and scorecard (Appendix A and B) provided an analysis of the Council’s current performance against 14 key delivery outcomes and 102 measures (the Corporate Plan included 86 measures however a number included different elements). The report was based on the current position of available data along with an overview of progress on key projects and activities which also contributed towards the delivery of the Corporate Plan.
At the end of the first quarter (April-June, 2016), 19 measures were progressing above or in line with the target set. Although this represented 18.6% of the total number of measures, performance showed that 43.2% of measures which had data available for the first quarter were on target. 27.3% (12) of the performance measures measured had not progressed in accordance with the target set (11.8% overall).
Discussion ensued on the report with the following issues raised/highlighted:-
- Divided opinion on the use of the different symbols. It was suggested that attention be drawn in the summary report as to whether there had been improvement or not
- There had been a significant amount of additional money put into Children’s Services but improvement did not appear to be as quick as would have been liked – this would be fed back to the relevant Cabinet Member and Strategic Director
- The Older People’s Service was facing a crisis situation but there was low performance – this would be fed back to the relevant Cabinet Member and Strategic Director
- Examples of other local authorities report formats had been used. It was difficult when some indicators were now measured on a monthly basis. Consideration would be given to alternative means of displaying the information
- Emergency Planning was 1 of the Corporate priorities and, whilst most fitted within a Directorate it was not always the case. It was believed that Emergency Planning was part of the Council’s corporate governance arrangements so the overarching lead was the Strategic Director for Finance and Customer Services
- What happened if performance was not improving? It was the role of the Improvement Board and Select Commission to ensure that the Chief Executive and Chief Officers held their managers to account
- Would the next and future reports have an additional column indicating the previous quarter’s position? There would be a clear indication of travel from the previous quarter. As well as submission to the Board, performance was reported on a monthly basis to Cabinet Members and the Strategic Leadership Team
- Was performance tracked against other authorities and nationally? The Cabinet Member had asked to ensure benchmarking took place with other similar authorities to enable Elected Members to ascertain how the Authority was performing
- How were sickness levels monitored? Clearly there was a concern with regard to levels of sickness absence. The Health and Safety Panel had set up a sub-group specifically to look at sickness absences, ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
Councillor Alam, Cabinet Member Corporate Services and Budgeting, introduced the July financial monitoring report 2016/17.
The report set out the financial position as at the end of July, 2016, and was based on actual costs and income for the first 4 months of the financial year and forecast costs and income for the remaining 8 months of 2016/17.
The current position showed a forecast revenue overspend of £8.272M after currently identified management actions totalling £4.664M.
The forecast overspend was set against a backdrop of the Council successfully delivering savings of £117M over the last 5 years and having to save a further £21M in 2016/17. The majority of the savings in 2016/17 were being achieved and the position also assumed that the savings from the review of staff terms and conditions of employment agreed at the 2nd March Council meeting for 2016/17 (£2M full year effect) would be delivered.
The key pressures contributing to the current forecast overspend were:-
- The continuing service demand and agency staffing cost pressures for safeguarding vulnerable children across the Borough and the strengthening of Social Work and management capacity
- Demand pressures for Direct Payments and Managed Accounts, Residential and Domiciliary Care across all Adult client groups
The report also drew attention to the significant forecast overspend on the Dedicated Schools Grant High Needs Block (£3.9M) and the need to reduce the Council’s net spending by over £40M over the next 3 years with at least £13M falling in the 2017/18 financial year.
Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/highlighted:-
· Concern regarding investing in CYPS at the same time as cutting services. There needed to be a thorough review of how the money was being spent and where the wastage was i.e. use of agency staff e waste is.
· The issues of Direct Payments and Complex Needs were sensitive subjects as they were services of direct impact on people’s lives. From a Council’s budget perspective it was believed that the areas of identified overspending could be addressed in terms, in terms of spend, through improved practice and process; it was not about the direct impact on the individuals
· Was the Authority’s performance on Direct Payments in alignment with that nationally? Rotherham had some specific issues and problems in relation to Direct Payments. The new Strategic Director Adult Social Services was undertaking work on this issue
· Was the Authority on target to meet 2015/16 cuts when it was anticipating a £8M overspend? How do we monitor these targets? The actual savings that were provided by the Council in March were in the main on track to be delivered apart form a small number. The areas of overspend were not related to areas of savings but to other aspects within Service areas and which required to be the focus of attention. The November report to Cabinet would set out the proposed way forward
· In terms of the overspend in areas such as CYPS was that a result of general poor budgeting or was it the ... view the full minutes text for item 11.
Councillor Alam, Cabinet Member Corporate Services and Budgeting, introduced the annual complaint report for 2015/16.
The report set out information about complaints made to the Council between 1st April, 2015 and 31st March, 2016, under the Corporate Complaints Procedure, Housing Complaint Procedure and the Adult and Children’s Services Complaint Regulations.
It provided analysis in the particular trends in the complaints received, by Service area, and in terms of the timescales in which responses were provided as well as the escalation of complaints.
The key headlines were:-
- The number of complaints received by all services remained fairly static at 695 (692 last year)
- Significant increase in the number of Children and Young People’s Service complaints (204 – increase of 45) and a reduction in Housing complaints (268 – down by 60)
- 80% of complaints responded to within the required timescales – decrease in performance (82%)
- Performance excluding CYPS (decrease from 55% to 50%) was 92%
- Fewer complaints overall were upheld (152 (or 21%) compared to 220 (31%) and less were escalated to further stages (45 (6%) compared to 47 (7%)
- Reduction in the number of referrals to the Ombudsman and external complaint investigation costs (in CYPS) were also reduced (from £21,000 to £12,300)
- Whilst there were fewer Ombudsman cases, more were upheld (10 of 32) and an increase in the amount of financial remediation (up to £12,000 from £2,400) most of which related to reimbursed overpayments or incorrect fees/charges
Discussion ensued on the report with the following issues raised/highlighted:-
· The complaints were assigned generic headings to provide an overview of what complaints were received
· There were a number of complaints about the behaviour of staff and sometimes inappropriate behaviour. These were thoroughly investigated and lessons learnt
Resolved:- That the report be noted.
Safer Rotherham Partnership Annual Report
Councillor Hoddinott, Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety introduced the Safer Rotherham Partnership annual report. The Partnership had a statutory responsibility and involved a number of partners e.g. South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Council. It had been heavily criticised in the Casey report in terms of how it operated, the lack of challenge and not tackling issues. The previous Cabinet Member, former Councillor Sims, who had responsibility for the Partnership, had spent a lot of time restructuring and reinvigorating the Partnership and had started the work on the plan that was included in the report submitted.
Councillor Hoddinott introduced Superintended Scott Green, Operational Superintendent for Rotherham, Chair of the Performance and Delivery Group of the Safer Rotherham Partnership. It was noted that the Partnership had agreed to employ an analyst who would bring the data together and give a better picture of what was happening in Rotherham.
Superintendent Green gave the following powerpoint presentation:-
- Reduce the threat and harm to victims of CSE
- Reducing the threat and harm to victims of domestic abuse, stalking and harassment, honour based abuse and forced marriage
- Reducing and managing anti-social behaviour and criminal damage
- Reducing the risk of becoming a victim of serious acquisitive crime
- Improve confidence and trust
- Improve the feeling of safety
Priority 1 – Reduce the threat and harm to victims of CSE
- Rotherham had a significant higher number of referrals than the rest of the county. It showed correct recording and the confidence of victims and survivors to come forward
- Over 300 CSE referrals between August, 2015-July, 2016
Priority 2 – reducing the threat and harm to victims of domestic abuse, stalking and harassment, honour based violence and forced marriage
- No forced marriage offences reported
- 2 Honour based violence offences report
- Increase in the number of reported harassment offences
- 12 offences of stalking
- Almost 75% of domestic related offences involved violence either with or without in injury
- 83% of victims of domestic abuse were wholly satisfied with the service that they received from the Police and partners
- 59% felt safer because of the interventions of the Police and partners
Priority 3 – Reducing and managing anti-social behaviour and criminal damage
- The number of PCSOs in Rotherham had been maintained
- An increase of anti-social behaviour incidents which was a result of the Summer and longer days – it increased across the country at this time of the year
- Areas of anti-social behaviour covered a number of areas - rowdy and nuisance behaviour was down by 6%
- The largest increase (18%) was vehicle nuisance e.g. off-road motorcycles and abandoned vehicles
- 30% of people in Rotherham believed that anti-social behaviour was a very big problem – high perception when compared to the data
- Criminal damage – fairly stable position – levels relatively low compared with similar areas
Priority 4 – Reducing the risk of becoming ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
Caroline Webb, Senior Adviser (Scrutiny and Member Development), presented an outline work programme for the Board. This followed an informal work planning sessions held on 8th July, 2016, and subsequent sessions held with individual Select Commissions.
The report set out the work programme for the Board, Health, Improving Places and Improving Lives Select Commissions.
In addition, the Cabinet had requested that Improving Lives undertake a review to explore the effectiveness of alternative delivery models of Social Care and how this impacted upon accountability, improvement and the delivery of the Authority’s statutory Social Care duties. A more detailed specific programme for this inquiry would be prepared with the aim to produce a final report by March, 2017.
Resolved:- (1) That the prioritised items within the Board’s work programme 2016/17 be approved.
(2) That the prioritised items in the respective work programme of each Select Commission be approved.
(3) That the Forward Plan of Key Decisions be noted.
(4) That the request from the Cabinet for the Improving Lives Select Commission to undertake a review to explore the effectiveness of alternative delivery models of Children’s Social Care and how this impacted upon accountability, improvement and the delivery of the Authority’s statutory Social Care duties be noted.
Work in Progress
Improving Places Select Commission
Councillor Mallinder, Chair, reported that the last meeting had discussed:-
- Emergency Planning – A Task and Finish Group, Chaired by Councillor Wyatt, was to visit Teeside
- Enforcement in relation to Parking Tickets – the Authority now had powers to seize vehicles of those who persistently did not pay their fines
- Selective Licensing of Landlords – the report of the Working Group to be submitted in January, 2017
- Waste Review, HRA and amendments to the Housing Allocation Policy to be considered at the October meeting
- Members of the Health Select Commission had been invited to the last meeting due to crosscutting themes
Health Select Commission
Councillor Short, Vice-Chair, had nothing to report
Councillor Wyatt, Chair, reported that included on the agenda for next week’s meeting were:-
- Annual Governance Statement
- The newly appointed Head of Audit would be commencing employment in October
- Ongoing work on risk management across the Authority
Improving Lives Select Commission
Councillor Clark, Chair, reported that the next meeting would discuss:-
- The annual report of the Local Safeguarding Children Board
- Adult Safeguarding would be discussed at the December meeting
Date and time of next meeting
Friday 30 September 2016 at 9.00a.m.
Resolved:- That a further meeting be held on Friday, 30th September, commencing at 9.00 a.m.