Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Patrick Sebastian 0151 691 8424
Members' 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.
Members were asked to consider whether they had 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 were reminded that they should also declare 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.
The following interests were declared:
To approve the accuracy of the minutes of the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 14 July 2016.
Resolved - That the Minutes of the last meeting of the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee, held on 14 July 2016, be confirmed as a true record.
The Committee received a presentation from Julie Webster, the Head of Public Health that provided summary detail of the Director of Public Health’s Annual Report for Wirral 2015/16 that focused on the Wirral Plan commitment to a pledge of zero tolerance to domestic abuse.
The Head of Public Health’s presentation informed that, in Wirral, strong multiagency working was taking place to both prevent domestic abuse and support victims to build a better future; this included the police, probation service, community and voluntary sector, advocacy, counselling, schools, family support and legal advice. Members heard that Wirral’s Domestic Abuse Alliance was leading the work to tackle domestic abuse with implementation of the cross agency domestic abuse strategy.
Members noted the content of the report that stated that there remained a strong perception that domestic abuse was mainly physical male on female violence. The report outlined, that this was only part of the picture and that domestic abuse manifested in many different ways for example, controlling behaviour and or emotional abuse. It affected any age, any race, any class and any gender, and can occur in all types of relationships and that it can happen in any area. While police recorded incidents are higher in our more deprived areas, domestic abuse as a proportion of all crime showed some of our more affluent areas had a greater prevalence than might be expected for localities with fewer social problems.
The Head of Public Health informed the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee that the impact of domestic abuse was far reaching as it affected individuals, families and society as a whole. She also explained that the impact on children was particularly worrying with 90% of domestic abuse being witnessed by children. Consequences included children becoming withdrawn, depressed and finding it difficult to communicate, and others may act out the aggression they have witnessed or blame themselves for the abuse. In adulthood children affected by domestic abuse have increased risk of poor mental health, substance misuse and behavioural problems, strengthening the argument to ensure that the Council and partners do all they can to intervene early and support families to deal with domestic abuse.
Members questioned the Head of Public Health on a variety of key points namely:
· The link between alcohol an domestic abuse;
· Concerns over the tracking or monitoring of repeat offenders;
· Addressing the issue of vulnerable persons;
· ‘Upstream’ work – to assist individuals in tackling problems to help avoid incidents of abuse;
· The impact on children;
· Links to deprivation;
· Access to pathways for those who use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism; and
· Concerns over a perceived lack of mechanisms to share data across partner organisations.
The Head of Public Health confirmed that the points raised by Members would be relayed back to the Pledge Group dealing with the above concerns.
The Committee noted that there was a strong economic case to tackling domestic abuse. In addition to the significant suffering to victims it was estimated to cost the UK public services ... view the full minutes text for item 15.
The Interim Head of Transformation, Jayne Marshall introduced the report of the Director of Adult Social Services that provided an update on the progression of housing for vulnerable people in Wirral. The report outlined the current challenges in relation to legislation and delivery and actions in relation to land. The report also summarised the current plan for the delivery of “Extra Care Housing” in Wirral and associated challenges.
Ms Marshall explained that within the Wirral Plan, the Council had a stated ambition to build and improve 7000 homes over the lifetime of the five year plan. This included building 3500 new homes, some of which will be to meet the need of vulnerable adults. Adult Social Care had targets set to reduce the amount of people placed in permanent residential care, and to increase the numbers of people maintained in their own home within a community setting.
The People Overview and Scrutiny Committee was apprised of the progress of pipeline schemes to provide additional units of Extra Care housing, located in Pensby, Heswall, Rock Ferry and Beechwood.
Members noted the financial implications and risks as detailed within the report that included:
· Following regular meetings held with developers and social landlords, although both are keen to progress the developments of housing for vulnerable adults they are unable to do so at present due the proposed restrictions planned in respect of rent caps etc.
Members questioned the Interim Head of Transformation on a number of matters that primarily referred to the Government’s reform of the Welfare Benefit System (WBS) specifically the capping of social housing rents at Local Housing Allowance levels and a required 1% rent reduction per year in social housing sector for the next four years.
The People Overview and Scrutiny Committee was apprised that much lobbying had been undertaken by Local Authorities across the country and a review of the Government’s WBS proposals was being undertaken. Members requested that Wirral engage in lobbying on this matter to ensure the impact on Wirral residents and the challenges faced by the Council as a result are clearly reported to the relevant decision makers.
Members questioned the Interim Head of Transformation on other matters detailed in the report seeking clarity on waiting lists, backlogs, involvement of the independent sector, rent levels, cost effectiveness and mixed tenure schemes. The Chair made reference to a primary question concerning the sustainability of any such system i.e. that would a person on the basic state pension be in a position to afford such accommodation?, highlighting that the answer would likely depend upon whether the accommodation was provided by a social landlord or the independent sector.
The Chair requested that an additional recommendation that she be requested to work with the ... view the full minutes text for item 16.
The Chair of the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee introduced her report that provided an update on the Senior Manager for Transformation & Improvement’s report relating to the involvement of scrutiny in reviewing new service models as they are developed. At its meeting 14 July 2016 the Committee agreed to the general proposals within that report and gave delegated authority to the Chair, Vice Chair and Spokespersons to agree arrangements for the scrutiny of specific transformation projects, as appropriate.
The Chair’s report informed that two business cases, both relevant to the remit of this Committee, were at a stage where review by scrutiny members was appropriate. The business cases relate to:
· 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 Committee was informed that as a result, a workshop was held on 10 August 2016 at which the approach to the outline business cases were explained and examined in further detail, the outcomes of which were detailed in the report. Comments from Elected Members included views on:
Councillor Wendy Clements requested that a further recommendation be added to those already contained in the Officer report i.e. to urge Cabinet to pay careful regard to the quality of service experienced by Wirral people. The request was supported unopposed by the Committee.
Resolved – That
1) the report be noted;
2) RECOMMENDATION to CABINET that the views of Scrutiny Members on the two business cases be considered, prior to relevant decisions being taken;
3) the operating model and contractual arrangements be developed to ensure that the key points made by Elected Members, as detailed in the report, are addressed;
4) further consideration be given to the optimal timing for the involvement of scrutiny in the development of future business cases; and
5) CABINET be urged to pay careful regard to the quality of service experienced by Wirral people.
The Chair of the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee introduced her report that set out the findings and recommendations arising from a Scrutiny Review completed in July 2016. The report informed that the Review had been commissioned by the former Policy and Performance Coordinating Committee and had been set up to explore the issue of cumulative impact in relation to the prevalence of off licences and fast food takeaways, and their impact on public health.
The Chair expressed her thanks to Mike Callon, Team Leader Performance and Scrutiny and Patrick Torpey, Scrutiny Officer for their assistance in progressing the review and the preparation of the summary report. She further expressed the Committee’s wishes to Patrick Torpey for a speedy recovery from a recent bout of ill health. The Chair additionally thanked Councillors Gilchrist, Hayes and Williamson for their involvement in the review, evidence gathering and preparation of the summary report.
At the invitation of the Chair, Janette Williamson, Cabinet Member Public Health addressed the Committee who also expressed thanks to those involved in the report, stating the importance of taking Public Health into account in all Council decisions, and the need to lobby Government in respect of licencing and planning matters identified in the report.
Members made reference to the targeting of town centre outlets, suggested supplementary planning guidance and update of existing planning and licencing policies, and requested (fully endorsed by the Chair) that a follow up report be timetabled to provide the Committee with an update on actions arising from the report recommendations.
The Committee noted the content and endorsed the recommendations within the Cumulative Impact on Public Health Scrutiny Review, namely that:
Recommendation 1: The Council’s Leadership is encouraged to lobby for a Public Health licencing objective in the Liverpool City Region and where possible at national level to ensure public health outcomes are given greater priority in licencing decisions.
Recommendation 2: The Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy is refreshed to accommodate the renewed priorities as set out in the Wirral Plan. It is also recommended that consideration be given to introducing a Cumulative Impact Policy in areas where there is strong evidence to suggest such a policy would address the negative impact of over-saturation of licenced or off-licenced premises.
Recommendation 3: The Panel recommends that a statutory Supplementary Planning Document is urgently developed and consulted upon (thus becoming a material consideration), in line with the approach taken in St Helens, as part of the preparation of the Council’s Core Strategy Local Plan.
Recommendation 4: The Panel encourages the planning and public health teams to work closely together to address the borough’s public health issues in relation to poor diet and obesity, as outlined in the 2020 pledge to support Wirral Residents to Live Healthier Lives.
Recommendation 5: The Panel acknowledges the wide ranging benefits of the voluntary participation of businesses in the Reduce the Strength campaign in promoting responsible selling of alcohol. It is recommended that priority be given to encouraging the take up of this ... view the full minutes text for item 18.
The Chair of the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee introduced the report of the Avoiding Admissions Task and Finish Group that set out the findings and recommendations arising from 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 Chair expressed her thanks to Alan Veitch, Scrutiny Officer for his dedicated support in progressing the review and the preparation of the summary report. She further expressed thanks to Councillors Berry, Brighouse, Johnson and Roberts, and Ms Karen Prior of Healthwatch Wirral for their involvement in the review, evidence gathering and preparation of the summary report.
Members involved in the review expressed their enjoyment in working on such a challenging and complex review, and highlighted a number of the issues involved in addressing the challenge of reducing admissions. They informed the Committee that they had met with witnesses throughout the course of the review, including representatives from a significant number of health and care provider organisations, including some care homes and carer and patient representative groups.
The Committee noted the content and endorsed the recommendations within the “Avoiding Admissions” Scrutiny Review, namely that:
Governance and funding
Recommendation 1 - Developing one system with shared governance
Wirral will move to be an Accountable Care System by 2020 in line with national requirements. Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, in conjunction with all partners are encouraged to continue to strengthen the culture of collaboration and partnership working which will lead to the ultimate development of a single health and care system for Wirral, the achievement of which will require a single pooled budget. This will require the establishment of appropriate governance arrangements with clear lines of responsibility and accountability and robust pathways minimising duplication. Opportunities should be taken to achieve incremental steps towards achieving an Accountable Care System by 2020 and report on progress to scrutiny on an annual basis.
In order to further develop services in the community, Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group and partners are requested to continue to explore the opportunities arising from commissioning within a cost envelope as an alternative to the Payment by Results tariff model.
Recommendation 3 – Service quality and a person-centred approach for community services
The Director of Adult Social Services and Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, as commissioners of community services, are requested to ensure that adequate system capacity, service quality and a person-centred approach are embedded within all such contracts. An effective monitoring measure of the integrated care system should continue to be developed, appropriate to the changing commissioning structures.
Developing the right services
Recommendation 4 – Admission prevention
Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group and Wirral Borough Council, as commissioners of services, will continue to further develop the concept of preventative services to reduce unplanned admissions through the improved outcomes of public health initiatives, the development of robust community services and the encouragement to promote self-care. Annual feedback ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
Healthy Wirral - Local Delivery Plan - PRESENTATION
Mr Jonathan Develing, Chief Officer Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) provided the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee with an oral presentation on the Development of Local Delivery Service Plans (LDSPs) and Sustainability & Transformational Plans (STPs) under the ‘Healthy Wirral’ banner.
Mr Develing stated that the Wirral CCG were responsible for commissioning health services for the residents of Wirral, and were pleased to be working with Wirral Council on its ‘2020 Plan’ approach to help deliver the Healthy Wirral Plan via the following three key areas:
· Better Health;
· Better Care; and
· Better Value.
The Committee heard that a high level plan had been developed and was working to deliver commissioning in such a way as to focus on three themes i.e. prevention, intervention, and efficiencies – and sought to continuously improve services and reduce inequalities, work with patients, carers and the public when making decisions and to partner with other health and social care bodies in the planning and delivery of services.
The Committee was informed that the CCG was supportive of the 2020 vision approach to improving the health outcomes of Wirral residents, given the challenges faced by the Council and the NHS as a result of an ageing population and rising demand on existing services. Mr Develing also informed of additional areas of priority i.e. better care – mental health, urgent care and the ongoing challenges faced by NHS Primary Care providers.
Mr Develing referred to the challenges faced in terms of better value, including the mechanisms of funding of the NHS, weighted formulae used by the CCG in commissioning services and how the services were currently not fully resourced to the tune of £11 million. Members noted that this would almost certainly result in a budget deficit at the end of this current financial year.
The Committee noted that plans were underway to develop the priority of Wirral residents living healthier lives, through a transformed primary and community care structure, resulting in better value via a reduction in unwarranted variation, and efficiencies in middle and back offices (via provider collaboration and different ways of working).
The Committee further noted how key planning areas within the LDSPs and STPs had specified priorities for each, with an identified lead officer to coordinate and drive forward individual strategies.
A Member questioned whether Mental Health, in particular younger people so diagnosed, was being managed within schools. Ms S Quinn, Cheshire and WIrral Partnership representative, informed that early intervention within a school or community setting rather than existing mental health facilities had been proven to be a most effective (and popular) method of dealing with treatment of younger people with mental health conditions.
The Chair thanked Mr Develing for his informative presentation.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
The Director Adult Social Services presented the report of the Strategic Director Families and Wellbeing, Wirral Plan Overview Report 2016-17, that described performance at Quarter 1 (April to June 2016), outlining the Wirral Plan 2020 Pledges (People Theme) measures and progress made towards making a difference to the lives of Wirral residents.
The report provided a summary of performance indicators and a detailed summary for each listed target assigned to specific people themed pledges contained in ‘the Plan’. The Director of Adult Social Services informed that although a quarterly report, the availability of recorded statistical information would result in different areas of performance being reported at different stages through the year. The pledge report also included information on the level of performance and a trend summary for each indicator.
The People Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted that each indicator had been colour coded to reflect performance against targets; Blue – above target, Green – within target, Amber – below target, and Red – significantly below target.
The Chair remarked that additional data was also available online, and requested feedback from Members with regard to the level of detail they might wish to see, given that so much information was available. A Member suggested that those indicators identified as showing Red for a prolonged period would be helpful, another Member proposed themed meetings. A short discussion took place with the Chair expressing concerns that some issues could be missed if themed meetings were introduced. A Member stated that the inclusion of numerical statistics was extremely helpful, and another Member stated it was good that over-performance was now being recognised (Blue category), but was concerned that due to the nature of a Wirral Plan Pledge focus, some areas previously monitored by the predecessor Policy and Performance Committees might not be carried forward, i.e. oversight of already identified challenges. A Member echoed the points mentioned and highlighted the absence of any information about looked-after children.
The Director of Adult Social Services informed that data existed for a number of the performance indicators that were also monitored nationally, but the information provided in the report was specific to the 2020 Plan.
The Chair thanked the Officers for the report, but was conscious that there was a message coming through from Members of ‘more but manageable’. She indicated that once all three of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees had met to review their first set of performance reports, the three Chairs, Vice-Chairs and respective Spokespersons would come together to discuss the format and presentation of the performance information.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
The People Overview and Scrutiny Committee received a report of the Acting Section 151 Officer that set out the financial monitoring information for this Committee. The report provided a basis for Members to scrutinise budget performance and set out the projected revenue and capital monitoring position for 2016/17, as at close of quarter 1 (30 June 2016) and as reported to Cabinet on 18 July 2016.
The People Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted that the quarter one revenue report had forecast an overspend of £1.1 million for the year and had sought approval from Cabinet for the allocation of £11.1 million from the Revenue Contingency Budget contingency to Directorates and similarly the use of £1.6 million of General Fund Balances. The report also updated on other budgetary movements which had arisen since the 2016/17budget was agreed.
The Committee further noted that the capital report had updated the capital programme to reflect re-profiling of schemes between years which produces a capital programme of £58.97 million for 2016/17 and that expenditure after the first quarter concluded was £2.7 million.
A Member stated his belief that given a handful of variations contained within the report, there could be room for improvement during the initial setting of the budget projections.
Another Member raised a question reqarding the level of outstanding Council Tax payments and whether this Council’s collection levels were similar to those of other local authorities. The Committee was informed that this Council’s current level of collection stood at 95.3% which was favourable, consistent with other local authorities nationally (average 95.4%), and broadly on target with the Council’s targets.
Resolved: That the report and appendices be noted.
The People Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered the September 2016 Policy Inform Briefing Paper that included an overview of ongoing and recent national legislation, potential implications for the Council, and emerging policies.
The Policy Inform Briefing Paper outlined the key features of the policies and legislation that had emerged from the Queens speech, which was delivered on 18 May 2016 and provided an update on the developments of recent legislation and highlights any emerging implications. The Policy Inform briefing also alluded to any potential implications for Wirral Council.
Resolved - That the contents of the September 2016 Policy Briefing papers be noted.
The People Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the report of the Chair that updated members on the current position regarding the Committee’s work programme as agreed for the 2016/17 municipal year.
The report informed on the process of developing and managing the scrutiny work programme for the municipal year. Members noted that the People Overview & Scrutiny Committee, in cooperation with the other two Overview & Scrutiny Committees, was responsible for proposing and delivering an annual work programme and that the work programme should align with the corporate priorities of the Council, in particular the delivery of the Wirral Plan pledges which fell within the remit of the Committee.
Members noted that the report provided an update regarding progress made since the last Committee meeting held on 14 July 2016 and that the current work programme was made up of a combination of scrutiny reviews, standing items and requested officer reports, providing the committee with an opportunity to plan and regularly review its work across the municipal year.
The Chair informed that a number of proposals had been discussed with the Chairs and Spokespersons and that the following had been agreed:
· A review into Looked After Children be commenced – led by Cllr W Clements, supported by Cllrs W Smith and A Brighouse.
· Pharmacies review – be undertaken via a one day evidence gathering session, to be repeated if successful.
· Transformation Programme – issue to be dealt with elsewhere, vacant slot to be utilised for additional work / review as required.
· Girtrell Court – work to be undertaken after the culmination of one-to-one interviews with service user families and alternate placement offers.
· Children Ready for School – placed on hold until the Oftsed Review (due out shortly) is available to the Committee.
· Local Welfare Assistance Scheme.
· Children Safeguarding Annual Report and Adults Safeguarding Annual Report – standard timetabled business for this Committee.
Resolved - That the People Overview & Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2016/17 as amended, be approved.