Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Lyndzay Roberts
MEMBER CODE OF CONDUCT - DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST/ PARTY WHIP
Members are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.
Members are reminded that they should also declare 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.
Councillor Rowlands declared a personal interest by virtue of his wife’s employment within the education department.
Councillor Norbury declared a personal interest by virtue of his sister employment at a childrens centre.
To approve the accuracy of the minutes of the last meeting of the Families and Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee held on 9 September 2014
That the Minutes of the Families and Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee held on 9 September 2014 be approved.
That the Minutes of the meeting of the Attainment Sub-Committee held on 1 September 2014 be noted.
FUTURE COUNCIL CONSULTATION FINDINGS
To receive a verbal presentation.
The Committee received a presentation from the Corporate Marketing Officer, Neighbourhoods and Engagement, on the process of the Budget Options consultation. The consultation was launched on 8 September with an extensive online promotion and finished on 31 October, 2014. A total of 7,874 responses had been received with a breakdown as follows:
· Residents 6,872
· Members of Staff 1,079
· Voluntary, Community, Faith sector 260
· Partner Organisations 62
· Local Businesses 176
He also provided details of the demographic and geographic breakdown of the responses and of a number of petitions which had been received in respect of the Budget Options.
For 2015/16 £18 million savings were required, the Future Council project had been able to identify potential savings and efficiencies of £15.5 million. If implemented, these savings would potentially reduce the budget gap to £2.5 million in 2015/2016. Options had been proposed by the Chief Executive which would achieve a combined saving of just under £4million for 2015/2016.
The Corporate Marketing Officer then provided a breakdown of the responses in respect of the four budget option proposals relevant to this Committee:
· West Kirby Marine Lake
· All Age Disability Service
· Youth and Play
· Girtrell Court
That the report be noted.
Report to follow
The Committee received the findings of the Scrutiny Review into the four budget options which fell under its remit.
The Chair thanked all those Members who had sat on the Scrutiny Reviews, the officers for all their time and work on the review, in particular Alan Veitch, Scrutiny Support Officer who had facilitated the report.
The Chair commented upon the review and the positive way in which the review was conducted with a great level of detail provided by officers. The conclusions were a fair representation of what the Panel had decided.
The Committee considered each of the options as follows;-
Youth and Play
The Head of Targeted Services introduced the review on the Youth and Play option to the Committee.
A Member commented that, with regard to the Wirral Civic Award and Duke of Edinburgh Award Schemes, although the financial contribution from the Council was relatively small (£6,500 and £16,600 respectively) the numbers of young people impacted was significant (approximately 400 and 470 respectively).
Members acknowledged the importance of outreach work as part of the youth and play service provision. The role of Kontactabus in delivering the outreach service was, in particularly, noted. Members raised concerned that the proposals would reduce the operating hours of the bus.
Members drew attention to the strength of public feeling which had become apparent during the recent Future Council public consultation exercise in opposition to the youth and play option. This view was evidenced by the percentage of the consultation respondents who either disagreed (29%) or strongly disagreed (35.7%) with the proposal. Representations in the form of letters and petitions had also been received by the Council as well as representations received by individual members of the Families and Wellbeing Policy & Performance Committee.
In response to Members comments, the Head of Targeted Services explained that in relation to the proposal on play schemes, the £22,000 contribution to be allocated to each of the Constituency Committees could be used, not just for play schemes but also to enable young people to access services for e.g. travelling to youth clubs.
On a motion by the Chair, duly seconded, it was –
RESOLVED – That the Scrutiny Review be referred to Cabinet and that this Committee endorses the conclusion of the Panel as follows:
1. Members recognised that the youth service was a much needed preventative service relevant to young people’s health, safety and personal development. The contribution of the service’s work in tackling issues such as anti social behaviour, sex education and teenage pregnancy, drugs and alcohol, and so on was recognised. Youth and play services helped to prevent young people going into more costly social care or restorative justice systems. There was concern that a consequence of a reduction in the budget for this form of early intervention and preventative work could be a later increase in demand for more costly specialist services.
2. Members recognised that the broader strategy for youth provision was to move away from a universal service offer towards a ... view the full minutes text for item 27.