Venue: Council Chamber - Rotherham Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S60 2TH
To consider the minutes of the previous meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on February 8, 2023 and March 15, 2023 and to approve them as a true and correct record of the proceedings.
Resolved: - That the Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on February 8, 2023 and March 15, 2023 be approved as a true record.
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest.
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.
There were no exempt items.
To consider a report which focused on the progress made on the activities in the Year Ahead Delivery Plan and Council Plan performance measure data for Quarter 3.
Cabinet Portfolio: The Leader
Strategic Directorate: Assistant Chief Executive
The Vice-Chair welcomed the Leader of the Council, the Chief Executive and the Head of Policy, Performance and Intelligence to the meeting. Also in attendance was the Assistant Director of Streetpride and Community Safety.
The Board considered a report providing an update of progress made on the activities in the Year Ahead Delivery Plan and Council Plan performance measure data for Quarter 3 (October – December 2022).
The Council Plan 2022-25 was a key document which outlined the Council’s vision for the Borough and priorities for serving residents and communities and was informed by public consultation. The Plan provided the medium-term basis for targeting resources, informing the budget-setting process and planning cycles, and ensuring that residents could hold the Council to account for delivery.
To enable the Council to work towards the Council Plan outcomes and achieve the commitments, the Council Plan performance measure targets were reviewed annually, and the Year Ahead Delivery Plan was also updated. These were attached as appendices to the report.
The Vice-Chair invited the Leader to introduce the report. The Leader highlighted that 87% of actions were on track or completed, with examples given of initiatives such as use of the Towns and Villages fund; additional universal youth work and development of social supermarkets. Of the delayed actions, seven would be completed before the end of the performance year, with five moved to the next year. The delays and mitigations in respect of Thurcroft library and housing growth programmes had been discussed at previous meetings. In respect of the Early Help strategy, it was noted this had been paused in light of the Government’s Family Hub initiative but would be reviewed in due course. It was noted that further work was being undertaken in respect of local labour agreements.
With regards to performance measures that had declined, the Leader provided clarification about how engagement with domestic abuse services was to be improved. It was noted that in respect of the measure to process new housing benefit claims, changes would be made to the way data was collected to ensure that the measure focussed on the areas of Council responsibility. Changes would also be made to the apprenticeship measure to ensure that this captures new starters.
The Vice-Chair invited questions from the Board and a discussion on the following points ensued:
Clarification was sought regarding the target for issuing Community Protection Orders. It was outlined that the intention was to intervene early to prevent the necessity of issuing enforcement notices. The Assistant Director highlighted that a high proportion of issues were resolved at the warning stage and the service was considering how this type of activity could be captured in future performance measures. It was noted that the service had introduced more qualitative measures to assess street cleanliness.
Clarification was sought if staffing changes had affected enforcement activity in respect of litter, fly-tipping and untidy gardens, with examples given to illustrate the concerns raised at a ward level and perceptions that that residents were not seeing ... view the full minutes text for item 176.
To consider the findings and recommendations of the Health Select Commission spotlight review into access to primary care.
The Senior Governance Advisor introduced the report,
It was also highlighted that recent changes to the GP contract to offer same-day appointments may increase additional pressures on primary care.
The Chief Executive outlined in her role as co-chair of the Place Board, that it was recognised that national change was required and this would be raised through this forum and the Integrated Care Board. However, it was reiterated that unless change was affected at a national policy level, there was limited influence that could be exercised locally.
1. Cabinet notes the following recommendations and considers its response.
2. Cabinet approves the submission of the recommendations to NHS South Yorkshire / ... view the full minutes text for item 177.
To consider the findings and recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board’s spotlight review into modern slavery.
The Vice-Chair welcomed the Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Finance and Customer Services to the meeting.
In the absence of the Chair of OSMB, Cllr Browne introduced the report. The review was prompted following the Council’s adoption of the Charter against Modern Slavery, to examine the effectiveness of partnership interventions which aim to tackle modern slavery in Rotherham.
The report details the lines of inquiry; invited witnesses and background information; a summary of its discussions and key findings. By its very nature, this spotlight review was an overview rather than in-depth analysis of the effectiveness of partnership arrangements in place to address modern slavery in Rotherham. In the course of the review, there was an opportunity to discuss with partners the key challenges faced in dealing this issue, explore what was working well and exchange ideas on areas for improvement.
The Cabinet Member, officers and partners were thanked for their openness in responding to enquiries. The review group were assured by the commitment across the South Yorkshire Modern Slavery Partnership to tackle exploitation. The examples given showed the complexity and sensitivity of this work and the part each agency plays.
The Vice-Chair invited the Cabinet Member and Assistant Director to comment on the review. The Cabinet Member welcomed its findings, commenting on the positive partnership working and areas for improvements. The Assistant Director noted that officers had found this work valuable. It was outlined that training and awareness raising was being delivered and a network of champions were in place.
It was noted that the recommendations reference good practice in other authorities. Clarification was sought on if the Council benchmarked itself against other authorities and implemented relevant learning. It was confirmed that the Council was an active member of a sub-regional forum and worked with third sector organisations.
i. That the Safer Rotherham Partnership (SRP) gives consideration to rolling out a targeted learning and development offer/campaign to raise awareness of modern slavery, how to spot the signs, risks and how to raise concerns and make referrals:
a) to front-line staff across key agencies;
b) to elected members;
c) to the general public and targeted business such as letting agencies (commercial and residential).
ii. That the SRP gives consideration to mapping the local modern slavery landscape to identify high risk industries and hot spots (using the example of Bristol City Council).
iii. That consideration is given to establishing an RMBC Internal Governance Group including representation from services who may encounter modern slavery (for example, Procurement, Licensing, Environmental Health, Training Standards, Neighbourhood teams, Social Care and Housing).
iv. That consideration is given to how young adults at risk or experiencing modern slavery are safeguarded during the transition from children to adult services and are age assessed appropriately.
v. That consideration is given to developing referral pathways to ensure that modern slavery victims (both adult and child) have access to appropriate support (housing, advocacy, mental health support) on a ... view the full minutes text for item 178.
To consider the Board’s Work Programme.
The Board considered its Work Programme.
Resolved: - That the Work Programme be approved.
Work in Progress - Select Commissions
To receive updates from the Chairs of the Select Commission on work undertaken and planned for the future.
The Chair of Improving Lives Select Commission outlined that consideration was being given to the work programme for the 2023-24 municipal year.
The Vice-Chair of Improving Places Select Commission gave a summary of the work of the Tenants Scrutiny Panel and its focus on communications and repairs. A briefing on the Environment Bill was planned.
Resolved: That the updates be noted.
To review and identify items for pre-decision scrutiny from the Forward Plan of Key Decisions covering the period from 1 April 2023 to 30 June 2023.
Resolved: That the Forward Plan of Key Decisions be noted.
To consider any issues referred for call-in from recent Cabinet meetings.
There were no call-in issues.
To determine any item which the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.
There were no urgent items.
Date and time of next meeting
The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held on Wednesday 10 May 2023 at 10am at Rotherham Town Hall.
Resolved: - That the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held at 10am on Wednesday 10 May, 2023 at Rotherham Town Hall.