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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham.

Contact: James McLaughlin, Head of Democratic Services  The webcast can be viewed at http://www.rotherham.public-i.tv

Items
No. Item

185.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

 

To consider and approve the minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2019 as a true and correct record of the proceedings.

Minutes:

Resolved:-

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 13 February 2019 be approved as a true and correct record of the proceedings.

186.

Declarations of Interest

 

To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.

Minutes:

 

There were no declarations of interest from Members.

187.

Questions from Members of the Public and the Press

 

To receive questions from members of the public or press who are present at the meeting.

Minutes:

 

There were no questions from members of the public or press.

188.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

 

To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any part of the agenda.

Minutes:

 

The Chair reported that there were no items of business on the agenda that would require the exclusion of the press or public from the meeting.

189.

Council Plan 2018-2019 Quarter 3 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Cabinet Portfolio:-                All (Lead Portfolio – Corporate Services and Finance)

Strategic Directorate:           All (Lead Directorate – Assistant Chief Executive)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which detailed performance data in respect of progress made against the key measures detailed in the Council Plan for the period from October to December 2018 (Quarter 3).

 

Members highlighted the measures in respect of economic activity in the town centre and sought assurances from the Strategic Director of Regeneration who indicated that Rotherham was no different to any other town centre in the country due to change in the retail environment, competition from other places and the surge in online shopping. The Rotherham Town Centre Masterplan and other policies recognised that there needed to be a greater mix of leisure, residential and public open spaces in the town centre, however that would take time to be delivered. The Strategic Director anticipated that demand for floor space and retail would continue to be challenging and expected to see a shrinking footprint for retail within town centres.

 

Following on, Members sought assurances in respect of the steps that the Council was taking to encourage landlords to look at alternative usage for empty retail units. In response, the Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment explained that this work was underway and the authority was engaging with numerous landlords and cited the example of space at the Old Town Hall.

 

Reference was made to the delivery of new homes and that the authority had fallen behind target and sought assurances in respect of when Members could expect to see that measure back on target. In response, it was explained that a lot of work had been undertaken recently and planning permission had been granted for 500 residential properties, with another 500 in delivery. The Planning Service was working closely with colleagues in Housing Services to put together a programme for sites recently granted or stalled to establish what could be done to get some momentum into building on site.

 

Members sought assurances that the authority’s duties in respect of the housing repairs and maintenance contract would be met. In response, the Strategic Director for Adult Care, Housing and Public Health confirmed that robust contract arrangements were in place with partners. Furthermore, the process had begun to identify interested bidders for the new contract. Lessons continued to be learned with current partners and this would be used to influence the future approach to the management of the contract

 

Referring to the parliamentary impasse in respect of exiting the European Union, Members sought clarity in respect of alternative plans to continue the recent successes in business growth. In response, the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment explained that the authority had a good record for backing start-up businesses and was skilled in drawing down external funding to support economic growth. The position in respect of EU funding remained unclear in view of the parliamentary impasse, but the Strategic Director was confident that there was a strong platform to continue to leverage funding for economic development in future.

 

Members referred some recent scrutiny activity in respect of managing the transitions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 189.

190.

Adult Social Care - The Budget Forecast and Continued Improvement Plan Update pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Cabinet Portfolio:-                Adult Social Care and Health

Strategic Directorate:-          Adult Care, Housing and Public Health

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report submitted by the Strategic Director of Adult Care, Housing and Public Health which set out the position of the budget for Adult Social Care and provided an update on the improvement plan for the service. As the report was submitted immediately prior to the end of the financial year, it was noted that the overspend in the service had been brought down to £5.4m through a mixture of stopping or changing service provision and providing much more challenge on the activities of individual workers. This approach had led to a reduction of £3m over the course of the current financial year.

 

Members welcomed the update report and the level of detail provided on the change programme within Adult Social Care. It was recognised that the Target Operating Model would be key, but further information was dought on what the shape of that would be and how it would be different to current practices. In response, the Strategic Director confirmed that the major change would be largely cultural and a shift to using technology to aid conversations led by more skilled staff with service users. There would also be a move to a reablement approach, which health partners were open to supporting. Staff would have more autonomy within the system so that service users do not have to wait for anything else.

 

Following on the point in respect of cultural change in the service, Members recognised that there would need to be a tranche of social work staff who would require further training on how to apply strength based principles. In response, the Strategic Director confirmed that this was already happening and OSMB had previously heard from the Principal Social Worker about the specifics of her role, which was essentially about embedding good practice. The notion of cultural change revolved around getting people to think differently and focus on autonomy. Training was being provided on having difficult conversations and giving staff the confidence to deliver.

 

An update was sought on the progress made on the links between care homes, hospitals and social workers in respect of reducing pressures on hospital beds. In response, the Strategic Director explained that the hospital commissioned directly from winter beds and did so from homes that they choose to use. The approach to be adopted would focus on the principle of ‘Home First’, where people are kept out of hospital unless admission is absolutely necessary.

 

Assurances were sought from the Strategic Director in respect of the change in model and how managers would deliver the level of service anticipated and that residents deserved. In response, the Strategic Director advised that October 2019 would be a reasonable timescale for the implementation of the new structure, which formed part of the broader journey for adult social care which Members were familiar with. Managers would be absolutely key to the success of the new operating model and were the focus of a lot of development and support.

 

The Chair thanked the Strategic Director  ...  view the full minutes text for item 190.

191.

Implementing the recommendations from agency scrutiny review pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Cabinet Portfolio:-                Corporate Services and Finance

Strategic Directorate:-          Assistant Chief Executive

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report submitted by the Assistant Chief Executive which provided details of the progress made in implementing the recommendations from scrutiny review of the use of agency, interims and consultants, specific actions related to the recommendations and outcomes arising from them. In presenting the report, the Assistant Chief Executive explained that the current budget forecast for 2018-19 was that spend on agency and interim staff had reduced by £1.2m. He referred to the significant work that had been undertaken by the Workforce Management Board and across directorates to drive down spend and reiterated how seriously the authority had taken recommendations from the scrutiny review.

 

Clarification was sought by the Board as to whether the figures provided included the costs of the consultants brought in to the authority to assist with projects. In response, the Assistant Chief Executive confirmed that it did not.

 

Following, Members suggested that serious consideration should be given to the establishment of a bank of temporary staff for specific roles which could be called upon when required at a lower cost than those taken on through employment agencies.

 

The Board welcomed the progress that had been made in implementing the recommendations from the review, but wished to see greater progress made on the adoption of a bank of temporary employees. In addition, Members indicated that they wanted a report back detailing the breakdown in spend on consultants and assurance that funds were being spent in accordance with the budget agreed by the Council.

 

Resolved:-

 

1.    That the report be noted and improvements made be welcomed.

 

2.    That a further report be submitted to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board in the autumn of 2019 providing an update on the implementation of agreed recommendations from the review and specifically detailing the breakdown in spend on consultants.

 

 

192.

Seasonal and Agency Workers in Community Safety and Street Scene Services pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Cabinet Portfolio:-                Corporate Services and Finance

Strategic Directorate:-          Regeneration and Environment

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report submitted by the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment which outlined the work that had already been undertaken to reduce agency usage within Community Safety and Street Scene Services for the 2019/20 financial year. It outlined the ongoing resource demands within the service, both for cover, and for seasonal work, and presented options for further reductions in agency usage. In doing so, the report detailed the potential additional costs associated with these options.

 

In presenting the report, the Assistant Director of Community Safety and Streetscene explained that the service had projected to spend £880k on agency staff in the 2019/20 financial year, which was a reduction of 50% that would be deliverable as a result of changes in the waste management service, which had been resource intensive during the roll out of the changes to waste and recycling collections during 2018-19. In addition, the service had fully introduced seasonal working into the grounds maintenance team and a successful apprenticeship programme had been developed in the Highways team.

 

The Board referred to the use of relief staff to cover for staff who were absent through sickness, rather than using agency staff. Officers confirmed that the costings of such an approach would require some analysis and any relief arrangements would have associated administrative and management costs.

 

Members welcomed the update and recommended that the use of relief staff be further examined and be included in the update report in respect of the scrutiny review of the use of agency, interim and consultancy staff in the autumn of 2019.

 

Resolved:-

 

1.    That the report be noted.

 

2.    That a further report detailing the outcome of analysis of an approach using relief staff be incorporated into the next formal report on the implementation of recommendations arising from the scrutiny review of the use of agency, interim and consultancy staff in the autumn of 2019.

 

193.

Youth Cabinet/Young People's Issues

 

To receive an update on the activities of the Youth Cabinet and other Young People’s Issues.

Minutes:

The Chair advised that the members of the Rotherham Youth Cabinet would join Overview and Scrutiny Management Board for the Children’s Commissioner Takeover Challenge meeting on Tuesday 2 April 2019 at 5.00 p.m. The focus of the meeting would be on young carers and what could be done to better support them across public service providers and other sectors.

 

Resolved:-

 

That the update on Youth Cabinet and Young People’s issues be noted.

194.

Work in Progress - Select Commissions

 

To receive updates from the Chairs of the Select Commission on work undertaken and planned for the future.

 

Minutes:

The Chairs of the Select Commissions provided updates in respect of recent and planned work.

 

Health Select Commission

 

Councillor Short, Vice-Chair of Health Select Commission, reported that Members had visited the Drug and Alcohol Services at Carnston House on 30 January 2019 and had found positive progress being made and were impressed with the treatment facilities available. The quarterly briefing with health partners had taken place on 1 February 2019. In addition, the Performance Sub-Group had looked at the final Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework measures and benchmarking nationally and across Yorkshire and Humberside.

 

The Select Commission had met on 28 February 2019, where the main items had been:-

 

·         Briefing from The Rotherham Foundation Trust on the Care Quality Commission Re-inspection report with an in-depth discussion on the findings and actions to improve

·         Update on developments in general practice (including appointments in 3 hubs, Rotherham App, development of primary care networks)

 

A scrutiny workshop on the transition from children’s to adult services, jointly with Improving Lives Select Commission had been held recently which had provided reassurance on the approach and progress made.

 

Improving Lives Select Commission

 

Councillor Cusworth, Chair of Improving Lives Select Commission, reported that at the last meeting on 5 March 2019 there had been a busy agenda:-

 

·         Barnardo's ReachOut Service Update and Barnardo's ReachOut Final Evaluation Report – the Commission asked for more detail on how they’re engaging shools.

·         Phase 2 and 3 of Early Help Strategy.

·         Presentation on the Ofsted Annual Conversation Update

·         Presentation providing an update on the Looked After Children Sufficiency Strategy

·         Improvement Partner Peer Review of the Looked After Children Service

 

Improving Places Select Commission

 

Councillor Mallinder, Chair of Improving Places Select Commission, reported that the last meeting had taken place on 7 March where Members had received an update on the Rotherham Community Infrastructure Levy. Furthermore, an additional meeting had taken place with Dignity in respect of the bereavement services contract and Members were pleased that the company had taken on board the recommendations in respect of a trial extension of burial hours in cemeteries.

 

195.

Call-in Issues

 

To consider any issues referred for call-in from recent Cabinet meetings.

Minutes:

The Chair reported that there were no call-in issues for the Board to consider following recent Cabinet meetings.

196.

Urgent Business

 

To determine any item which the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

The Chair reported that there were no items of business requiring urgent consideration by the Board.

197.

Date and time of next meeting

 

The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held on Tuesday 2 April 2019 at 5.00 p.m. in Rotherham Town Hall.

Minutes:

Resolved:-

 

That the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board for the Children’s Commissioner Takeover Challenge be held on Tuesday 2 April 2019 commencing at 5.00 p.m. in Rotherham Town Hall.