Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board - Wednesday 20 April 2022 11.00 a.m.

Venue: Council Chamber - Rotherham Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S60 2TH. View directions

Contact: Caroline Webb, Senior Governance Adviser Tel: 01709 822765 email:  caroline.webb@rotherham.gov.uk  The webcast can be viewed at http://www.rotherham.public-i.tv

Items
No. Item

14.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 23 March pdf icon PDF 179 KB

To consider the minutes of the previous meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 23 March 2022 and to approve them as a true and correct record of the proceedings.

Minutes:

Resolved: - That the Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 23 March 2022 be approved as a true record.

15.

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.

16.

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.

Minutes:

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

17.

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:

There were no items that required the exclusion of the press or public.

18.

Operation Linden - Learning and Recommendations: Update from South Yorkshire Police pdf icon PDF 269 KB

To consider South Yorkshire Police’s progress against recommendations made by the Independent Office of  Police Conduct in its report: Operation Linden – Learning and Recommendations (November 2021).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At the meeting held on 12 January 2022, Council considered a motion regarding the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) report Operation Linden - Learning and Recommendations. It resolved that the progress of South Yorkshire Police against IOPC recommendations published in November 2021 be regularly monitored, with scrutiny arrangements to be determined by the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board. 

 

The Chair welcomed Deputy Chief Constable Tim Forber and Chief Superintendent Steve Chapman from South Yorkshire Police who had been invited to the meeting to give an update. 

 

A report from the Deputy Chief Constable outlining South Yorkshire Police’s response to the IOPC recommendations for improvement was considered with a formal record of actions. The IOPC report was also submitted as background information to this item.

 

The Deputy Chief Constable introduced the report highlighting that the IOPC recommendations had been accepted in totality by SYP. In order to address the issues raised in its report, the approach that South Yorkshire Police had adopted in relation to child sexual exploitation (CSE) and other areas of offending, was to focus on continuous improvement. This ensured that learning was embedded, and consideration could be given to the capacity of the force to respond.

 

The Deputy Chief Constable gave an overview of its thematic response to the recommendations:

 

·       VICTIMS – the provision of quality victim care, informed by a trauma-led approach in line with the rights of victims laid down in the Victim Code.

·       COMMUNITIES - trust and confidence built with local communities.

·       PARTNERS – continuous improvements to partner collaboration and effective information sharing.

·       OUR PEOPLE - ensure SYP staff have regular training and their skills were up to date.

·       PROCESSES – compliance with Home Office Counting Rules when recording crimes related to CSE  

 

The importance of engaging with communities to ‘spot the signs’ to ensure that children and young people were protected was stressed. This activity was supported through an ongoing cycle of campaigns working with professionals, businesses and the wider public. An example was given of work in hotels to raise awareness of the signs of abuse.

 

Examples of work with partners were outlined. Independent Sexual Violence Advisors have provided training to specialist frontline officers and further work was planned with first responders to enable them to work with victims sensitively. The Child Exploitation Tactical Group was a co-located multi agency partnership which was able to deal effectively with evidence and intelligence relating to CSE. It was noted that the Independent Chair of Rotherham Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (the Myers review) had cited its work as an exemplar of good practice. An invitation was extended to Council Members to see the work of the Evolve Team.

 

SYP had reviewed the capability and capacity of the force and undertaken a training needs analysis to ensure that more officers were trained to respond to serious sexual assault at a specialist level. It was also noted that all SYP officers would attend its “Child Matters” training which focussed on wider  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Rotherham Climate Emergency Annual Report pdf icon PDF 888 KB

To note the progress made during 2021/22 against the Climate Change Action Plan.

 

Cabinet Portfolio: Jobs and the Local Economy

 

Strategic Directorate: Regeneration and Environment Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed the Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment as sponsor for this programme and other officers in attendance. The apology of the Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy who was unable to attend the meeting was noted.

 

Consideration was given to a report that was submitted for pre-decision scrutiny ahead of the Cabinet Meeting to be held on 25 April 2022. At its meeting on 30 October 2019, the Council declared a climate emergency and produced a policy and action plan “Responding to the Climate Emergency”. This set out key policy themes of Energy; Housing; Transport; Waste; Built and Natural Environment; Influence and Engagement.

 

At its meeting on 23 March 2020, Cabinet resolved to establish the targets of:

·       The Council’s carbon emissions to be at net zero by 2030 (NZ30)

·       Borough-wide carbon emissions to be at net zero by 2040 (NZ40)

 

The report provided an update on progress against actions outlined in the 2021/22 Action Plan, with particular attention paid to baselining work, which was important factor in the continuing strategic development of the Council’s response to the climate emergency. The Board was referred to the baseline information outlined in the report.

 

The following themes were highlighted as a framework for action:

·       Energy.

·       Transport.

·       Housing.

·       Waste.

·       Built & Natural Environment.

·       Influence & Engagement.

 

The Strategic Director drew attention to the £6.4m of additional investment to support initiatives to improve energy efficiency in Council buildings and carbon reduction in Council housing stock. Reference was made to the cycling strategy and associated improvements to infrastructure. The report also cited the tree strategy which had recently been considered by Improving Places Select Commission. The Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge was cited as a key part of this year’s influence and engagement activity. The Vice-Chair reiterated the value of this event and looked forward to working with the Youth Cabinet on their recommendations.

 

It was noted that the Council had set an ambitious target of net zero by 2030. It was felt that this was achievable within timescales although its success would be dependent on factors outside the authority’s direct control such as technological developments.

 

Baseline information had been supported by the appointment of a data analyst who was a specialist in their field. The first phase had been to focus on emissions in the direct control of the Council. There was growing confidence in the accuracy of this information and this would be supplemented by national statistics, links with other councils, regional bodies and government. Information was sought on the contribution of the tree strategy to carbon dioxide capture. Questions were asked if there had been any comparison with other industries on how this information could be gathered.

 

Details were requested about the contribution that the cycling strategy would make to reducing carbon emissions. It was recognised that there was likely to be a small reduction of 2% to the transport element.

 

In respect of commercial waste recycling, information was sought how this would be rolled out and businesses incentivised to use  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Dedicated Schools Grant High Needs Block Safety Valve Programme pdf icon PDF 591 KB

To report the outcomes from the Government’s National Safety Valve Programme.

 

Cabinet Portfolio: Children and Young People

 

Strategic Directorate: Children and Young People’s Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report that was submitted for pre-decision scrutiny ahead of the Cabinet Meeting to be held on 25 April 2022. As part of the Department of Education work to address long term challenges in the High Needs funding within the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), a small number of identified local authorities including Rotherham had been invited to have a financial agreement known as a ‘Safety Valve.’ The key emphasis for Rotherham’s involvement in this programme was ensuring that more children with special needs can be supported to stay in mainstream education in the borough. Rotherham involvement also allowed appropriate Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provision mapping in the borough to be developed and improve SEND outcomes.  The finalised agreement set out an investment of £20.528m from the Department for Education across the lifetime of the agreement (2021/22 to 2025/26). This would remove the DSG deficit based on the Council’s revenue assumptions.

 

It was highlighted that the Council was not unique, and a significant number of local authorities were facing challenges in respect high needs funding and DSG deficits. As part of the safety valve programme, capital bids had been submitted to support plans as significant investment was required to deliver the plan as outlined in the report. The financial targets as detailed had been met and it was anticipated that the position in future years would be on track.

 

Invitation to participate in the programme was dependent on local authorities having developed strategic plans to tackle the deficit and being able to demonstrate a positive trajectory in its financial position. Through the additional investment released, more children with additional needs could be educated and supported within the borough. Stakeholders, including school leaders had been fully engaged in the developments.

 

The work undertaken by Children and Young People’s Services and stakeholders to reduce the deficit, map provision and transform services was warmly welcomed.

 

Clarification was sought on the development of alternative education provision and the impact this would have on supporting children with challenging behavioural needs in mainstream provision. It was noted that a Green Paper on SEND and alternative provision had been recently published, and the mapping of future provision in Rotherham is closely aligned with the aspirations set out by Government. It was highlighted that there would be a continuum of support to ensure appropriate input would be offered on a timely basis at the right level. This would include primary outreach service for social and emotional mental health needs (SEMH) and a similar service in secondary schools would come on-line from September 2022. Pupil referral unit provision would be shorter term to support those who could be reintegrated into a mainstream setting or identify if other provision was required. For pupils with more complex or specialist needs, a SEMH Free School would come onstream shortly.

 

The funding elements of the safety valve programme were expanded upon. In respect of Rotherham’s bid, the DfE had released funds to reduce the historic revenue deficit and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 396 KB

To consider the Board’s Work Programme.

Minutes:

The Board considered its Work Programme.

 

Resolved: - That the Work Programme be approved.

22.

Work in Progress - Select Commissions pdf icon PDF 396 KB

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

 

Minutes:

Discussion of this item was deferred to the next meeting of the Board.

23.

Forward Plan of Key Decisions - April 1, 2022 - June 30, 2022 pdf icon PDF 384 KB

To review and identify items for pre-decision scrutiny from the Forward Plan of Key Decisions covering the period from April 1, 2022 to June 30, 2022.

Minutes:

The Board considered the Forward Plan of Key Decisions 1 April 2022 to 30 June 2022.

 

Resolved: - That the Forward Plan be noted.

24.

Call-in Issues

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

Minutes:

There were no call-in issues.

25.

Urgent Business

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

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

26.

Date and time of next meeting

The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held on Wednesday 11 May 2022 at 11.00am at Rotherham Town Hall.

Minutes:

Resolved: - That the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held at 11am on Wednesday 11 May 2022 at Rotherham Town Hall.