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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, ROTHERHAM. S60 2TH

Contact: Richard Bellamy  The webcast can be viewed at

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no Declarations of Interest made at the meeting.


Questions from members of the public and the press


There were no members of the public present at the meeting.  The Member of the press present did not wish to ask any questions.




Councillor Cusworth gave the following updates:-


Performance Sub-Group

The Performance Sub-Group had met with officers the previous week to discuss Safeguarding,  performance data and how it was captured, benchmarked and monitored.  A further meeting would be held to consider Early Help performance data. 


Corporate Parenting Panel

An update had been circulated to Select Commission Members. 


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 23rd January, 2018 pdf icon PDF 97 KB


Consideration was given to the minutes of the previous meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission, held on 23rd January, 2018, and matters arising from those minutes.


Further to Minute No. 109(2) (Adult Learning), it was noted that a spotlight review had taken place.  A report would be submitted to the April meeting.


Further to Minute No. 109(3) (MASH Visit), it was noted that not all Members of the Select Commission had been able to take part in the visit.  Consideration should be given to holding a further visit in the new Municipal Year.


Further to Minute No. 110(4) (Domestic Abuse Update), it was noted that the Chair had been interviewed as part of the Peer Review.


Resolved:-  That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission held on 23rd January, 2018, be approved for signature by the Chairman.


Child and Young Person Friendly Borough 2018-2025 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:


Shokat Lal, Assistant Chief Executive, gave the following powerpoint presentation:-


“For Rotherham to be a great place to grow up in; where children, young people and their families have fund and enjoy living, learning and working”


Why are we doing this?

-        Ambition to become a child friendly borough – result of CSE report and Council’s Fresh Start Improvement Plan

-        The Council wanting to improve the Borough for all children and young people – not just focusing on ‘Children’s Services’


Our Approach

-        Established a local Child Friendly Board providing governance and help steer the work.  This ensured:

Local leaders were engaged: Elected Members, Chief Executives and Senior Managers

Partners were engaged who already work with children and young people:

Voluntary and community sector

Health, Police and Education


Our Approach

-     Children and young people engaged from the start

-     Ensured it was not ‘adult-led’ but children and young people had their voices heard and acted on

-     Feeding this into everything we do in the Council

-     Influencing other partners


Who we spoke to

-          We spoke to around 4,000 children and young people using a range of methodologies:-

Attending meetings (Youth Cabinet/Youth Parliament)

Events and activities led by young people

Embassy for Reimagining Rotherham consultation and manifesto

Online survey

Lifestyle survey for schools

Rotherham Show


What children, young people and their families told us

-        Children and young people feel positive and proud of where they live

-        Enjoy opportunities to be with friends and family and celebrate their cultural diversity

-        Enjoy what was on offer – just wanted to have a bit more “fun”!

-        Adults much more likely to be negative, critical and concerned about diversity and lack of things to do


Reimagining Rotherham Project – The Reimagined Rotherham Town Plan

-        Park – everyone should be able to go to the park to relax or get active

-        Art – an arts centre would show off the town’s talent as well as how cultural Rotherham is

-        Museum – help people learn about things in an enjoyable way

-        Cinema – watching films helps you be more imaginative

-        Café – we would like a café where people can gain work experience


Four Themes for ‘Child Friendly Rotherham’

-        Analysis of all consultation and CF Board workshop highlighted 4 themes:-

A vibrant borough with age-appropriate, fun things to do

Places in Rotherham to be safe, clean and welcoming

All children and young people have a voice and are listened to

Opportunities to bring together and celebrate Rotherham’s diverse communities


‘Our Rotherham’: Achieving the ambition to be a Child and Young Person Friendly Borough 2017-2025

-        Using consultation responses and event the board and young people co-produced an action plan

-        Plan for 2018-2025 in line with other key strategies and plans

-        CF Board identified champions for each theme


‘Child Friendly Rotherham’ already in action

-        Young people influencing town centre masterplan

-        Influenced ambition to be Children’s Capital of Culture 2025

-  ...  view the full minutes text for item 120.


Alternative Management Arrangements for Children's Services pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Additional documents:


It was noted that the actions for the implementation of recommendations from the Select Commission’s cross-party review group on the range of Alternative Management Arrangements (AMAs) for Children’s Services had been considered by the Cabinet and Commissioners meeting held on 19th February, 2018 (Minute No. 109 refers) and also at the meeting of the Council held on 28th February, 2018 (Minute No. 161 refers).


Appendix A of the report provided detail in respect of whether the recommendations were agreed, not agreed or deferred and, where agreed, what action would be taken, by when and who would be responsible.


Councillor Watson, Deputy Leader, stated that was an excellent example of work where Elected Members had added a lot of value to the organisation and had been really useful to the Service.  He felt that the quality of the report and thought processes that had gone into it should be held up as an example to all Scrutiny work groups.


Councillor Steele endorsed the Deputy Leader’s comments.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the Cabinet’s response to the Scrutiny Review of Alternative Management Arrangements for Children and Young People’s Services in Rotherham be approved.


(2)  That the draft performance dashboard be submitted to the May meeting of the Select Commission. 


(3)  That the Select Commission request that the Performance Board consider submitting their reports to the Commission. 


Complex Abuse Processes pdf icon PDF 99 KB


Vicky Schofield, Head of Service for First Response, presented a report on the Complex Abuse procedures used within the Authority.


The procedures were used in cases where there were believed to be issues of connected, organised or multiple abuse of children.  Complex Abuse investigations were governed by the same legislative principals as all other investigations of Child Abuse (Section 47, Children Act 1989 and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015).  The local authority, therefore, had a duty to investigate where there were reasonable grounds to believe that children were suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, taking all necessary action to ensure their welfare as a result.


Currently there was one large scale ongoing Complex Abuse Inquiry in Rotherham using the multi-agency procedure in place under the Rotherham Safeguarding Board.  A bespoke Social Work Team had been established with connected Health, Police and Early Help colleagues.  During the recent OFSTED inspection Inspectors had been impressed with the “forensic” and “tenacious” approach in place specifically identifying the quality of assessments and the impact that Social Workers were having in very challenging circumstances.


Organisational learning arising from the current inquiry had been significant; a learning review had been undertaken in parallel to the operational work in children’s cases setting out specific developments in practice that go beyond the work on the particular cases.


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-


-          There had been learning and development from the current complex abuse work being carried out including historical complex abuse inquiries in Rotherham that was multi-faceted. This included:-

·           working together across the partnership to share information and challenging each other in terms of securing the right outcomes for children

·           how to articulate the information to the South Yorkshire Court, the way in which the Service advocated in individual cases and sometimes challenged within the Court process

·           learning around the way in which the Service understood information when people had been resident in other countries and developing the processes to ensure that information was shared effectively to gain histories/backgrounds

·           some specific learning about families that may be mobile and may move around the UK/across borders to understand where the families went and not lose touch with them/identify where they had moved to


-          Brexit – Social Work agencies across the world had to have at some level some sharing of information and protocols.  The assistance of Embassies would still be required as it was now to negotiate on the Authority’s behalf.  There was experience in the Social Care sector of working in non-EU countries and these principles would be applied once the UK had left the EU


-          The Service had been described by Ofsted as “tenacious” and “forensic”.  The current complex abuse work could be described in that way for the work done to understand the extent of the issue, using information within the Service and proactively seeking out information and continually pressing for the best outcome for the child.  A child would not be left in circumstances that the Service was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 122.


Date and time of the next meeting


Resolved:-  That a further meeting be held on Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, commencing at 5.30 p.m.