Agenda and draft minutes
Special, Health and Well Being Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 28th March 2013 6.00 p.m.
Venue: Committee Room 3 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Lyndzay Roberts Principal Committee Officer
Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest / Party Whip
Members of the Committee are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non pecuniary interests, in connection with any items on the agenda and state the nature of the interest.
Members are reminded that they should also declare, pursuant to paragraph 18 of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules, whether they are subject to a party whip in connection with any item(s) to be considered and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.
Members of the Committee were asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, in connection with any item(s) on the agenda and state the nature of the interest.
Members were reminded that they should also declare, pursuant to paragraph 18 of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules, whether they were subject to a party whip in connection with any item(s) to be considered and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.
In relation to the items on the agenda, Members declared following interests.
Councillor Hornby declared a personal interest by virtue of his appointment as a trustee/Director of Voluntary and Community Action Wirral.
Councillor Roberts declared a personal interest by virtue of her appointment on the Management Committees of Arch Initiatives and Wirral Council for Voluntary Service.
Councillor Mooney declared a personal interest by virtue of her work with Age UK.
Councillor Norbury declared a personal interest by virtue of his employment at Merseytravel.
To allow Members to further consider the detail of the budget saving options.
The Committee considered the Budget Efficiency Proposals that were considered and agreed by Cabinet on 20 December 2012 and Budget Council on 5 March 2013.
Mr Graham Hodkinson, Director of Adult Social Services introduced the following proposals which formed the three year efficiency plan.
In relation to the grant payments to voluntary organisations as detailed within the report, Members raised concern regarding the high grant payments given to provide Advocacy Services, In response, Mrs Chris Beyga, Head of Delivery, Adult Social Services Department indicated that the Department had to acquire a lot of voluntary services to provide support for a whole range of disabilities. Mr Hodkinson indicated that advocacy services now came under a new contract which meant one overarching service for adults. A Member commented the role of advocacy needed to be looked into to ensure that they were fit for purpose and that currently there was a gap in the market for people that older people and vulnerable people could trust to assist them with day to day activities such as banking, collecting pensions etc. It was suggested that Committee could assist the Department to look at the role advocacy. In response to comments, Mr Hodkinson indicated that clarification was needed as to exactly what was needed to enable the right services to be commissioned to meet those needs.
Mr Hodkinson reported that the Department had negotiated and consulted with Age UK and all other organisations detailed within the report regarding the reduction in funding and that there would be renewed list of reduced funding payments made available for 2013/14. In relation to ARCH, the Council had a service level agreement for them to provide services in relation to drugs and alcohol and along with Age Concern had been served notice on the reduction in funding. Mr Hodkinson indicated that the Department had to look at all associated costs and had identified and challenged those services that were no longer needed.
In response to Members regarding the decision to close a large day centre with a small unit of cost, Mrs Beyga indicated that consultation was undertaken in 2011/12 and that the recommended closure was considered due its size and design of the building which was no longer fit for purpose, these factors were balanced against the savings, and the needs and wishes of the service users, the consultation document in relation to the proposal had also been circulated to MP’s, elected Members, service users, carers and staff affected.
Mr Hodkinson indicated that in response to the consultation, strong feedback had been received from the carers groups in relation to the neighbourhood link in Moreton which hadn’t been captured within the report; therefore the proposal to close Moreton was now under review to enable the proposal to be managed more effectively and build on the links already in ... view the full minutes text for item 69.