Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: James McLaughlin, Head of Democratic Services The webcast can be viewed at http://www.rotherham.public-i.tv
To consider the minutes of the previous meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 4, 12 and 18 March and 7 May 2020 and to approve them as a true and correct record of the proceedings.
That the minutes of the meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 4, 12 and 18 March and 7 May 2020 be approved as a true and correct record of the proceedings.
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.
Councillor Wyatt declared a personal interest in agenda item 6, Rotherham All Age Autism Strategy and Implementation Plan 2020 -2023, as he had a family member who accessed these services.
Questions from Members of the Public and the Press
To receive questions relating to items of business on the agenda from members of the public or press who are present at the meeting.
There were no questions.
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.
Cabinet Portfolio Adult Social Care and Health
Strategic Directorate Adult Care, Housing and Public Health
Consideration was given to a report that was submitted for pre-decision scrutiny ahead of the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 15 June 2020 in respect the proposed Rotherham All Age Autism Strategy and Implementation Plan 2020 -2023.
The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, the Joint Assistant Director Commissioning, Performance and Inclusion, the Assistant Director - Strategic Commissioning and the Service Manager - Commissioning attended the meeting to present the report and to answer members questions.
The Cabinet Member noted that the proposed strategy had been developed with reference to the vision expressed in the Council Plan and in the Rotherham’s Integrated Health and Social Care Place Plan, and that the proposed strategy would also support and progress the outcomes as detailed in the Integrated Health and Social Care Place Plan and in the Councils Housing Strategy.
It was noted that the proposed strategy had been developed with reference to and shared the ‘whole life approach’ with the Rotherham Health and Wellbeing Strategy and had been the subject of wide and varied consultation, including consultation with service users. The proposed strategy identified key activity, focused on five areas. There were:
· Starting Well: All Rotherham’s autistic children and young people are healthy and safe from harm
· Developing Well: All Rotherham’s autistic children and young people start school ready to learn for life
· Moving on well to independence: Rotherham’s autistic children and young people are provided with the same opportunities to thrive going into adulthood.
· Living well: Autistic adults living in Rotherham will get the right support when needed
· Ageing well: Autistic adults living in Rotherham will be better supported as they grow old.
The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health noted that the proposed All Age Autism Strategy and Implementation Plan would provide an overarching framework for the Council, NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group other delivery partners and would clearly identify priority areas based on both national requirements and on local findings. It was noted that the Strategy would build on work being carried out in Rotherham and South Yorkshire by individuals, groups and communities, as well as the Council and partners to improve the lives of people with autism and would make Rotherham an Autism friendly Borough.
The Cabinet Member advised that the strategy showed a commitment to personalised approach to the delivery of services and would encourage people to recognise their strengths in a way that would support choice and control over their lives.
It is proposed that both the Strategy and the accompanying Implementation Plan would be delivered over a period of three years, from 2020 to 2023.
The officer’s report also contained information on the consultation processes that had been conducted as part of the development of the strategy as well as information on the proposed timelines for the strategy’s implementation. The full draft of the All Age Autism Strategy and Implementation Plan 2020 -2023 were attached as an appendix to the report.
The Chair of the Health Select Commission noted with approval that ... view the full minutes text for item 180.
Cabinet Portfolio: Leader of the Council
Strategic Directorate: Children and Young People’s Services
Consideration was given to a report that was submitted for pre-decision scrutiny ahead of the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 15 June 2020 in respect a report on Support Services for Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Exploitation: Commissioning and Procurement Approach.
The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Neighbourhood Working and the Joint Assistant Director Commissioning, Performance and Inclusion attended the meeting to present the report and to answer members questions.
It was noted that the current contracts with providers to support adults who are survivors of child sexual exploitation would be coming to an end in December 2020 and that it was proposed that support services should be recommissioned for at least three more years in order to provide ongoing support to Rotherham residents who were vulnerable due to their historic experiences. It was noted that existing contracts that had been awarded in 2016 for the provision of services with the current providers of support services being Rotherham Rise, GROW and Rotherham Abuse Counselling Service (Rothacs) had been extended until 31 December 2020, so as to enable the procurement of new services in a way that did not leave any gaps in service provision.
The Joint Assistant Director advised that since 2016 there had been many changes to how the impact of historic child sexual exploitation was responded to in the Borough, most notably by the establishment of the NHS Stovewood Trauma and Resilience Service (TRS) in 2018. It was noted that since its establishment the TRS had established its role as a neutral hub that was available for consultation and support, and that the providers of CSE support commissioned by the Council were now fully aligned with the TRS and were benefiting from the level of cohesion and coordination that it provided.
The Joint Assistant Director noted that the role of the TRS had been fully taken account of in the drafting of the needs analysis that would define how CSE support services would look like in Rotherham in the future.
The Joint Assistant Director provided information on how the needs analysis, the key document that would inform the recommissioning of CSE support services had been created, noting that it had been prepared by drawing together a range of qualitative and quantitative information from a range of sources that had included:
· contract monitoring information for the lifetime of the contracts
· a service review undertaken in 2017 in response to concerns about waiting lists
· an independently commissioned pre-consultation report, provided by the All-Party Parliamentary Group report on Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
· working directly with service users who had been working with GROW, Rotherham RISE and Rothacs
· a benchmarking exercise with other local authorities who have similar service provision, led by a sub-group of the Improving Lives Select Commission
· a web-based public survey.
The full draft needs analysis was attached as an appendix to the officer’s report.
Members noted that it was very positive to see the wide ranging consultation that had taken place as well ... view the full minutes text for item 181.
Cabinet Portfolio: Corporate Services and Finance
Strategic Directorate Finance and Customer Services
Consideration was given to a report that was submitted for pre-decision scrutiny ahead of the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 15 June 2020 in respect of the latest Finance Update and Budget Monitoring Report.
The Leader, the Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Finance, the Strategic Director of Finance and Customer Services, the Assistant Director – Financial Services and the Head of Corporate Finance attended the meeting to present the report and to answer members questions.
The report provided an update on a number of financial matters, including those related to Covid-19. It was noted that the report provided an interim update following on from the approval of the Budget and Council Tax 2020/21 in February 2020 and in advance of the final Financial Outturn report for 2019/20 and Financial Monitoring 2020/21 reports that were scheduled to be submitted to Cabinet for consideration in July 2020.
The report noted that in common with other local authorities across the country the Council had and continued to face significant challenges both operationally and financially due to the Covid-19 pandemic and by the restrictions that had been put in place in order to manage it.
It was noted that the MHCLG had been collating monthly reports to monitor the financial impact of the pandemic on local authorities. The report stated that the latest figures that had been submitted to the MHCLG showed a total estimated financial impact of the pandemic to the Council of £40.1million due to a combination of additional costs incurred, the loss of sales, fees and charges and other income, the non-delivery of required budget savings, an increase in rent arrears and other costs for the Housing Revenue Account and a loss of business rates and council tax income.
It was noted that the majority of the increased costs had been incurred by Adult Social Care in dealing with issues directly linked to the pandemic including dealing with additional demand for services, supporting the local social care market to ensure its sustainability and providing personal protective equipment. The report stated that with regard to loss of income that the Regeneration and Environment Directorate had been most severely impacted due to a loss of sales, fees and charges and income, with the main areas of impact having been incurred by the Cultural and Related Services and Planning and Development services.
It was also noted that the council’s response to the pandemic had put at risk its ability to deliver on the £16.3million of savings and cost reductions that were needed to deliver a balanced budget for 2020/21 budget, and that with the majority of the required savings being within social care services there was a significant risk of the Council being unable to be deliver on these due to the impact of Covid-19.
The Strategic Director noted that the Council had received £16.239 million of emergency funding to date in order to deal with the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and that this funding would cover the vast majority of additional ... view the full minutes text for item 182.
Cabinet Portfolio: Corporate Services and Finance
Strategic Directorate: Finance and Customer Services
Consideration was given to a report that was submitted for pre-decision scrutiny ahead of the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 15 June 2020 in respect of the proposed Covid-19 Discretionary Business Grants Scheme.
The Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Finance, the Strategic Director of Finance and Customer Services and the Head of Corporate Finance attended the meeting to present the report and to answer members questions.
It was noted that on 1 May 2020 the Government had announced that a new discretionary grant fund scheme would be launched that had been designed to provide grant support to those businesses adversely affected by Covid-19 and who had not been eligible to receive any support under the business support grants that had been announced earlier during the pandemic.
The Cabinet Member advised that the grants that would be provided by the scheme were predominantly aimed at assisting small and micro businesses, businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs, businesses that could demonstrate that they had suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 pandemic and businesses that occupied property, or part of a property, that had a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000. It was noted that while the scheme offered some flexibility for each local authority to decide which business it should support; the Government had indicated the types of business that it expected the funding to be used in support of.
The officer’s report set out in detail the proposals for how the Discretionary Grant Fund would be utilised by the Council to support business in Rotherham and also the types of businesses that the Council aimed to support. The report also set out in detail the eligibility criteria and application processes. It was noted that there would be a clearly defined time period allowed for applications to be made for the financial support that was available that would enable the Council to assess the value of the payments needed to be made at an early stage. This approach would enable any surplus funds to be used to make further top-up grants to eligible small businesses in a timely manner.
Members welcomed the proposed scheme and the support that it would provide to business that had been ineligible for assistance from previous support schemes. Members noted their approval on how the scheme had been designed in such a way that both enabled businesses to be supported but also did not over commit the Council to providing support in excess of the funding that it had received.
That Cabinet be advised that the recommendations be supported.
To consider a report detailing the recommendations arising from the Children’s Commissioner Takeover Challenge in respect of Hate Crime.
Consideration was given to a report that had been submitted to advise the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board on the findings and recommendations that had come from the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge spotlight review undertaken by Rotherham Youth Cabinet in March 2020 on Hate Crime.
It was noted that The Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge (CCTOC) was a national initiative where children and young people took over an organisation or meeting and assumed management and leadership roles. As part of the Council’s commitment to the CCTOC, each year the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board supported the Rotherham Youth Cabinet in undertaking a focused piece of work on a topic chosen by the young people.
In 2020 the Rotherham Youth Cabinet had chosen Hate Crime as the theme for the year’s takeover challenge, as it was one of the key priorities in their manifesto for 2020.
The report advised that the spotlight review had shown that that good work was taking place in Rotherham in raising awareness about Hate Crime that challenged related attitudes and behaviour. The review also highlighted some areas of concern from members of the Rotherham Youth Cabinet. These areas of concern included:
· the under-reporting of Hate Crime incidents was still perceived to be an issue, in particular in relation for disability-related incidents.
· media coverage of Hate Crime incidents being perceived as often creating divisions and tensions within the local community. It was recognised that this was difficult to control, certainly at national level, although it was hoped that there may be scope for more liaison locally.
· the number of hate incidents experienced by taxi drivers and their families and how further measures could be introduced that would protect drivers.
In light of their findings, the Rotherham Youth Cabinet had developed a set of recommendations, these were detailed the appended report and focussed on:
· partners continuing to engage with young people and to consider having a dedicated young person’s seat on the Independent Hate Scrutiny Panel.
· liaison between primary and secondary schools to be undertaken to support preventative work on Hate Crime.
· encouraging all schools to invite the Hate Crime Co-ordinator to work with students, with a focus on work in smaller groups.
· involving young people in a peer educator initiative for Hate Crime awareness raising.
· partners working with the Rotherham Youth Cabinet on a campaign to raise awareness with young people about how and where to report hate incidents.
· sharing the concerns raised by RYC with regard to press coverage of issues that may impact more widely on communities with the local media.
The full report that detailed the findings and recommendations that had resulted from the review was attached as an appendix to the officer’s report.
The Head of Democratic Services in presenting the report noted that as the recommendations were cross cutting and involved organisations outside of the Council, a multi-agency response to the recommendations would be provided, and in due course reported back to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board.
The Chair and members noted ... view the full minutes text for item 184.
To determine any item which the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.
There were no urgent items of business.
Date and time of next meeting
The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held on Wednesday 8 July 2020 as a virtual Microsoft Teams Meeting.
That the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board be held on Wednesday 8 July 2020 commencing at 11.00 a.m. as a Microsoft Teams Virtual Meeting.