Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall

No. Item


Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest

Members of the Cabinet are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary and/or any other relevant interest, in connection with any of the items on this agenda and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the interest.




Councillor Stuart Whittingham declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Item No 4 on the agenda – Approval of Liverpool City Region Tenancy Strategy (Minute No. 45 refers) by virtue of him being a Board Member of Magenta Living.


Councillor Bernie Mooney declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Item No 4 on the agenda – Approval of Liverpool City Region Tenancy Strategy (Minute No. 45 refers) by virtue of her being a Member of Leasowe Community Homes Management Board.



The minutes of the last meeting have been printed and published. Any matters called in will be reported at the meeting.


RECOMMENDATION: That the minutes be approved and adopted.





That the Minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 5 September 2016 be confirmed as a correct record.


Children's Residential Care Fee Increase pdf icon PDF 129 KB



Councillor Tony Smith, Cabinet Member - Children and Family Services, said:


“Making sure our most vulnerable young are people are safe, protected and enabled to reach their full potential is our most enduring responsibility. We have important, and rapid, improvements to make to areas of our services and we are committed to achieving them.


We are proud of our high numbers of dedicated foster carers who do an outstanding job with some of our most vulnerable children, but we recognise that for a small number of children and young people residential care best meets their needs.  We want Wirral children to be placed in Wirral.  We will work with our partners and the residential care provider market to develop more locally-based places for children with more complex needs, including brothers and sisters who need to stay together, teenagers with challenging behaviour and children and young people who may be at risk of sexual exploitation.  By placing these children in Wirral we will be able to wrap services around them more effectively, responding to changes and so keeping them safe.  We will keep a sharp focus on these children through crisper, outcome-focused care planning, listening to children’s voices and encouraging their ambition.


This report helps us to maintain the quality of our residential care services and develop this more specialist provision in the borough.  This is vitally important for those young people who are in the care of the Council.”



Councillor Tony Smith introduced a report by the Interim Strategic Commissioning Manager.  It informed that the Local Authority had a duty to provide or procure placements for Children Looked After (CLA) which was explicit in the Children Act 1989.  This had since been strengthened by the introduction of Sufficiency Statutory Guidance (2010) and the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations (April 2011). 


There was also a duty of ‘sufficiency’ that required Local Authorities and Children’s Trust partners to ensure that, through provision or commissioning, a range of placements sufficient to meet the needs of all CLA were available locally or that there was a plan in place to move towards that position. 


Residential fees had remained static over recent years, due in part to the framework agreements negotiated and agreed by Placements North West (PNW), a regional consortium of 22 local authorities. However, the implementation of the National Living Wage (NLW) had seen wages rise from £6.50 in 2016-16 to £7.20 in 2016-17 with expected increases to over £9.00 by 2020.  Other factors driving fees increases included:


·  The EU Working Time Directive (sleeping nights)

·  Wage increases across the sector to maintain career structures and pay differentials

·  Inflation

·  Pension costs


The Cabinet was informed that Wirral’s use of external placements was low compared to other local authorities. 13% of Children Looked After were placed externally compared to the North West (29%) and England (34%) averages. (This measure included residential care and independent foster carers).  In addition there was a higher fostering to residential ratio  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.


Approval of Liverpool City Region Tenancy Strategy pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Additional documents:



CouncillorGeorge Davies, Cabinet Member - Housing and Community Safety (and Deputy Leader of the Council), said:


“A key pledge in our Wirral Plan is to ensure ‘good quality housing’ for Wirral residents. A fundamental element of this is doing all we can to enable people to access affordable, high-quality social housing.


“This Liverpool City Region Tenancy Strategy helps us towards our goal, working in partnership with our neighbours throughout the region to create a social housing market which meets the needs of our communities.”


Councillor George Davies introduced a report that reminded the Cabinet that the Localism Act 2011 had given new flexibilities and powers to Registered Providers of social housing, including the option to use flexible tenancies. Registered Providers had been given the ability to offer different kinds of tenancies to respond to the particular needs of their communities, ensuring social housing was focused on those who were in genuine need. The Localism Act had also placed a duty on all Local Authorities to publish a Tenancy Strategy setting out how they would like Registered Providers to make use of these flexibilities.


In 2013 the Council had produced a Tenancy Strategy which had been approved by the Cabinet. As all Liverpool City Region local authorities were due to review their Strategies in 2016 and many Registered Providers operated across more than one local authority, it had been agreed to produce a single Strategy for the whole sub-region.


The draft Liverpool City Region Tenancy Strategy 2016-19 was attached to the report for approval.


Councillor Phil Davies reported that all six Merseyside Councils would adopt the Strategy which would ensure a consistent set of standards across the region.




(1)  the Liverpool City Region Tenancy Strategy 2016-2019 set out at Appendix One to the report be approved, subject to the unanimous agreement of each Liverpool City Region Local Authority through their corresponding approval processes; and


(2)  should any minor amendments be required to the Strategy as a result of these approval processes, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety be given delegated authority to approve these amendments on behalf of the Council.  It is intended, subject to approval, that the Liverpool City Region Tenancy Strategy 2016-2019 will replace the existing Tenancy Strategy for Wirral.


Councillors Bernie Mooney and Stuart Whittingham returned to the meeting.


Hoylake Golf Resort pdf icon PDF 121 KB




That this item of business and its exempt appendix be deferred for further information and be considered by the Cabinet at its next meeting scheduled for 7 November 2016.


Transforming Wirral - DASS Business cases pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Phil Davies introduced a report and appendices that set out the scrutiny response to two outline business cases relating to proposed new service delivery models within the Council Transformation Programme, specifically:


·  Creating a commissioning hub to jointly commission services with Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)


·  Creating integrated community care teams with Wirral Community NHS Trust to deliver services to older people.


The scrutiny response was included in the report to the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 8 September 2016 and was appended to the report. This approach had been adopted to enable Elected Members to be engaged in reviewing transformation proposals as they were being developed.


The Cabinet noted that the report supported the enabling work being undertaken to support delivery of the Wirral Plan. 


New business models were being developed for Council Services to deliver Wirral’s 20 pledges, respond to stakeholder views and support the delivery of the financial savings required.


A briefing session on alternative delivery models and the Council’s emerging transformation programme had been provided for Members on 20 July 2016.


The Cabinet Member for Transformation, Leisure and Culture was keen to ensure there was pre-decision scrutiny of the proposed new delivery arrangements. This was to enable Members to engage in reviewing transformation proposals in line with the need for Council to radically change the way services were delivered to secure better outcomes for residents.


The Cabinet was asked to review the comments of Elected Members in respect of the two outline business cases and include these considerations when reviewing the progress of the proposals to the stage of full business case.


Councillor Phil Davies invited Councillor Moira McLaughlin, Chair of the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee, who was in attendance at the meeting, to present her Committee’s report on Transforming Wirral – DASS Business cases.


Councillor Moira McLaughlin informed that the report was the result of the first of, what would be a serious of workshops which gave Overview and Scrutiny Members the opportunity to examine, in some detail, the business cases for changing the way some services were currently provided, to work with partners and to deliver on the pledges of the Wirral Plan.


In this case the proposal was to take another step towards integrating health and social care by bringing together community nurses and social workers into integrated teams based in four hubs, one located in each constituency.


At the Workshop, the Director of Adult Social Services had explained the rationale for the proposal and the mechanics of implementing it.  Then Members had asked questions and comments which were incorporated into the report that had first been considered and approved by the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


Councillor Moira McLaughlin informed that she was pleased that the session had been well attended and Members had participated in the discussion, asking questions and making comments on a range of issues, including staffing and HR matters, finance, governance and risk, user experience and quality assurance, as well as performance monitoring and Officers had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.


Avoiding Admissions Scrutiny Review pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:


The Cabinet considered the Avoiding Admissions Scrutiny Review report that informed that Wirral had made really good progress in avoiding Hospital admissions. Key commissioning activity in relation to the Better Care Fund had enabled the development of schemes that were evidencing real impact and progress in establishing a sustainable seven day community offer. The 3.5% target for non-elective admission reduction had been overachieved for 2015/16, but there was still more to be done to ensure the quality, consistency and sustainability of these services.


A task and finish group had been established by Members of the former Families and Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee to undertake a scrutiny review of the actions being taken to strengthen community based services which were intended to reduce the demand for acute services and thereby reduce hospital admissions. The report documented the findings of the Members and the conclusions which had been drawn.


The review looked in detail at demand drivers and the responses that had been put in place to strengthen the urgent care system.  This was a comprehensive approach that had led to nine important recommendations being made across the four strategic themes. The report also included a summary of the evidence base on which those recommendations were based, for consideration by the Cabinet.


The Cabinet noted that the recommendations made by the task and finish group were welcomed by Adult Social Care and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).


Councillor Moira McLaughlin, the Chair of the former Families and Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee introduced the report of the task and finish group.  She informed that this work was in response to the impact an increasing ageing population with greater health and care needs was having on local services and concerns over whether the service currently on offer were the right ones to avoid increased strain on the acute health service by helping to reduce demand there and provide alternative community based services.


Councillor Moira McLaughlin reported that it had been a lengthy study which had involved evidence gathering from a very wide range of service providers and in a number of different settings.  Councillor McLaughlin put on record her thanks to all those who had given the task and finish group the benefit of their knowledge and experience.  She also thanked Alan Veitch, the Scrutiny Support Officer and her colleagues Councillors Bruce Berry, Alan Brighouse, Treena Johnson and Denise Roberts, along with Karen Prior, Chief Executive of Healthwatch who had joined the task and finish group, for the work they had put in to producing the report.


Councillor Moira McLaughlin referred to page 3 of the report which set out the key issues to be addressed in the review and drew attention to the concentration of the review on understanding the demand and reasons for the increases in it.  Members had considered how funding was currently allocated, whether the services in place were the right ones and whether or not they could be rapidly changed or adapted to meet a changing situation.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


Urgent Business - The Great Wirral Door Knock

To consider any other business that the Chair accepts as being urgent.



Councillor Phil Davies informed that he had agreed that the Cabinet would receive a report on an initiative led by Age UK Wirral working in partnership with Wirral Citizen Advice Bureau, the Council, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, Merseyside Police and Merseytravel.  Staff and volunteers from all the organisations, along with a number of Wirral Councillors had spent three days working within the Mill Park Estate in Eastham.


Councillor Chris Jones reported that this had been a fantastic three days where staff and volunteers from all of the organisations involved had knocked on every single door on the estate, and talked to residents about their hopes, needs and aspirations. They had identified many issues that people were experiencing, and through their partnership presence, many of these issues had been dealt with on the doorstep. Some of these interventions had literally been life-changing for people.


Over the three days staff and volunteers had knocked on 1,100 doors, left 800 leaflets, had conversations with 300 people and made 64 referrals to the various partner organisations involved. They had reached many hundreds of people week that, without the Great Wirral Door Knock, they simply would not have otherwise engaged with.


Councillor Chris Jones thanked everyone who had been involved in this very worthwhile project.


Councillor Janette Williamson informed that the feedback from Mill Park residents, partner organisations and stakeholders had been brilliant, and they were now planning on visiting a different part of Wirral for three days every month.




That the report on the Great Wirral Door Knock initiative be noted.