Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments


There were no apologies.



Declarations of Interest - Guidance note on back page of the agenda


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 221 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 6 September 2018 and to receive information arising from them.


The minutes of the meeting on 6 September 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.



Establishing a Joint Sub-Committee for the Fit For The Future Programme pdf icon PDF 250 KB



In October 2018, Cabinet agreed an implementation strategy for the Council’s new Operating Model that had itself been previously endorsed at the September Cabinet meeting.


The Performance Scrutiny and Audit and Governance Committees have taken an active role in the development of the Fit for the Future programme as the programme’s implementation and the functionality of the new Operating Model will have significant implications across the areas of responsibilities of both committees. Both committees are therefore expected to continue their roles of monitoring and of challenging performance, delivery, reporting and control. The October Cabinet report noted that the Committees may wish to consider how they are organised through the life-time of the programme, including the potential establishment of individual or joint sub-committees as the business of the Committees demands.


This report considers the requirements for new arrangements and proposes the establishment of a Joint Sub-Committee. This same report is being considered by the Performance Scrutiny on 8 November and Audit and Governance Committee on 14 November.


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to:


a)                  Agree to the establishment of a joint Sub-Committee of the Performance Scrutiny and Audit & Governance Committees as set out in paragraphs 18-20.


b)                 Agree to the terms of reference set out in Annex 1.


Glenn Watson introduced the report.  The proposal is that this Committee and the Audit & Governance Committee delegate their remits to the Sub-Committee to deal with the Fit For the Future transformation programme and the operating model in order to be able to do more detailed work and avoid duplication.


Members raised issues on the proposal and Glenn Watson responded as follows:


·         The diagram on Agenda Page 12 was not a route map but outlined the roles of the various groups in the transformation programme.

·         The Sub-Committee will decide the required frequency of meetings.  It should be more flexible than the main committees and be able to discuss issues before they go to Cabinet.  Its meetings will be held in public.

·         It can refer matters back to the parent committees and the Performance Scrutiny Committee retains the right of Call-In.

·         The law requires that a Chairman and Deputy Chairman be appointed but the Terms of Reference state that the roles will rotate at successive meetings where possible.

·         There will be 4 members from each committee.  The usual formula for political balance has been applied.  It is up to the political groups who to appoint to their positions.


It was agreed that there will be a standing item on the Committee’s agenda to receive a report from the Sub-Committee.




a)              Agree to the establishment of a joint Sub-Committee of the Performance Scrutiny and Audit & Governance Committees as set out in paragraphs 18-20.


b)              Agree to the terms of reference set out in Annex 1.



Commissioning Mental Health Social Work Services



The Committee will receive a verbal update on the new partnership arrangements with the provider of mental health assessments.




Karen Fuller gave the Committee a verbal update on the new partnership arrangements with the provider of mental health assessments.  The social welfare aspects of the service were taken back within the Council at the beginning of September.


Eleven staff were taken across and there are currently a couple of vacancies to be filled.  They are based in Knights Court with some staff in Banbury and Abingdon.


The Oxford Health and County Council lists of Section 117 cases have been checked against each other for disparities.  There is now an up to date list which is being reviewed.  There was no disruption to users during the transfer period.


Karen Fuller responded to Members’ questions:


·         There had been concerns over the last 18 months that cases were becoming medicalised.  Actions were identified to improve this but the Council did not get the desired outcomes so it was brought back in-house.

·         About 50 cases were taken back.

·         Terms and Conditions for staff have not changed and the feedback from staff has been positive.

·         Cases that have been presented for mental health issues can change so that physical need outweighs the original issue.  Some people have been charged when they should not have been.


The Chairman asked for an update in a year which should focus on the Section 117 funding issues.



Community Safety and Risk Management pdf icon PDF 120 KB



The Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 requires the Secretary of State to prepare a Fire and Rescue National Framework to which Fire Authorities must have regard when discharging their functions. The 2018 Framework requires each Fire and Rescue Authority to produce a publicly available Intergrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP). Within Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (OFRS) we have called this our Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) to make it more meaningful to the public. This report proposes a number of projects to be included within the Fire Authority’s CRMP for the fiscal year 2019-20.


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to approve the CRMP action plan.

Additional documents:


Simon Furlong and Paul Bremble summarised the report and noted that the recommendation should be to approve the CRMP action plan to be published for consultation.


The main changes in this third iteration of the action plan are that there is a new national framework and the interim results of reports on Grenfell and the Manchester Arena bomb have been taken on board.


Feedback on the plan will be sought from the community at large as well as Parish Councils, locality meetings, voluntary organisations, staff and partner organisations.


Officers responded to Members’ questions as follows:


·         Project 4 on standards in rented housing is a joint project with Trading Standards who have more powers.  They are seeking to engage with landlords and all other stakeholders.

·         High-risk tenants will be identified with the help of the adult social care database.  Problems can be flagged by other agencies visiting properties.

·         In regard to landlords retaining deposits, the officers did not have information to hand but will get a response from Trading Standards.

·         Local officers are already attending Parish Council and other local meetings to engage with the public.

·         Metrics will be developed after the plan’s consultation phase and the Committee will see them in future reports.

·         Project 6 to increase diversity has shown improvement in terms of gender but more work needs to be done with the BME community.  A full report will be completed to assess the impact.

·         The Fire Service is happy to emphasise its integration with the County Council more in reports and the recent inspection found this to be a very positive factor.

·         Hoarding in private homes is a complex issue – usually a safeguarding and mental health issue.  The Fire Service can flag incidences on their system.  It takes time to bring people around.


RESOLVED: The Committee is RECOMMENDED to approve the publication and public consultation of this Community Risk Management Action Plan.



Safeguarding Adults pdf icon PDF 123 KB



The Oxfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board is required to report annually on the work of the Board and of its partners, assessing the position of the partnerships in relation to the safeguarding adults at risk within Oxfordshire.


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to


a)            Note that the adult safeguarding partnership is working across Oxfordshire and that work undertaken by the Board and its partners has resulted in a 9% decrease in safeguarding concerns being referred into the Local Authority, reversing a six-year trend of an annual 30% increase in concerns year-on-year; and


b)           Note the priorities for 2018-19.

Additional documents:


Pamela Marsden, Independent Chair of the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board, introduced the report.  There was more public engagement involved in this year’s report and it was intended to be more accessible.  They would welcome feedback on this.


Members raised issues and Pamela Marsden and council officers responded as follows:


·         It was noted that the City and District Councils are not listed as partners of the Adult Safeguarding Board report -  agreed that this needs to be amended.

·         Hoarding is a complex issue but if there is a danger to others then action has to be taken.  This issues form part of the safeguarding training being delivered to all which includes safeguarding housing leads so that they are aware of self-neglect to address hoarding.

·         The format of the threshold document for accessing safeguarding services has been reviewed and co-produced with provider agencies to make the language more user-friendly.

·         There may be a number of reasons why an outcome of an enquiry is unknown, it may be because the person has passed away or moved to another area.

·         There is a good relationship with commissioning colleagues to ensure that new Extra Care facilities are fit for purpose.

·         The two priorities in the area of housing are ensuring affordability for people moving into the area and the provision of extra-care housing required by the aging population.

·         It was agreed that councillors could have a role to play on issues such as call blocking which come to their attention from their constituents.

·         With regard toLasting Power of Attorney when Councillors visit the public they can encourage people to ensure they have made appropriate formal arrangement for managing their finances in place.



a)               Note that the adult safeguarding partnership is working across Oxfordshire and that work undertaken by the Board and its partners has resulted in a 9% decrease in safeguarding concerns being referred into the Local Authority, reversing a six-year trend of an annual 30% increase in concerns year-on-year; and


b)               Note the priorities for 2018-19.



Safeguarding Children - Annual Reports pdf icon PDF 295 KB



Local Safeguarding Children Boards were set up under the Children Act 2004 to co-operate with each other in order to safeguard children and promote their welfare.  The  Oxfordshire Board is led by an independent chair and includes representation from all six local authorities in Oxfordshire, as well as the National Probation service, the Community Rehabilitation Company, Police, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, schools and Further Education colleges, the military, the voluntary sector and lay members.


This paper highlights findings from the Board's annual report on the effectiveness of local arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in Oxfordshire. It also includes themes from two of the Board's multi-agency subgroups: the the Case Review and Governance subgroup and The Performance, Audit and Quality Assurance subgroup.


The OSCB annual report will be considered at Cabinet, the Health and Wellbeing Board and the full Council.


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note these annual reports and provide any comments.

Additional documents:


The three annual reports were introduced by Richard Simpson, Independent Chairman of Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board, Tan Lea and Lara Patel.


Members raised issues on the report and Richard Simpson and the officers responded as follows:


·         Academisation of schools has made it more challenging to deal with exclusions, students on part-time timetables and home schooling.  All schools are required to return data and reports which help to identify where additional support is needed.

·         The suggestion that a model reporting system is required to ensure that all data is captured consistently will be taken to the Deputy Director for Education.

·         The independent chair is keen to meet with Be Free Young Carers soon.  New terms of reference are being developed for the Corporate Parenting Panel and should be ready by the end of November.

·         Independent fostering agencies are monitored for quality of placements and outcomes for children through a review process.

·         CAMHS waiting times had improved but have fallen off again.  Those regarded as high risk are prioritised.  A new service model has been introduced involving close partnerships with voluntary organisations and schools.  The outcomes should be reviewed by the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

·         They are working with other learning providers i.e. colleges as well as schools.

·         Austerity had an impact not just because of cuts to services but due to reductions in income.  However, new issues have contributed to pressures, for example cyber bullying.

·         It was clarified that in the table on Agenda Page 96 the second column details the actual spend for the year and the figures for the City and District Councils are just their contributions towards the running of the Board and are negotiated every year.


RESOLVED to note these annual reports and provide any comments.



Children Missing from Home or Care in Oxfordshire pdf icon PDF 416 KB

To be taken with Item 9.


This report provides a strategic update on the number of children reported as missing from home, care and school in Oxfordshire, including children looked after by Oxfordshire County Council. It covers the period between 01st January 2018 and 31st June 2018.


The report focuses on the main patterns, trends and concerns across the county which will be of note to the strategic leads. It covers best practice in line with the agreed ‘joint protocol' and current risks or shortfalls and how these are being managed to ensure compliance with the relevant guidance issued by the Department for Education (DfE) and the College of Policing. 


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report.



Daniel Ruaux presented the report and responded to Members’ questions as follows:


·         Overall number of children reported missing has reduced across this reporting period. The response to children who go missing from home or care is robust. A dedicated multi-agency missing panel tracks and cross-references all children missing from home, care and education. Return home interviews are focused and detailed, but need to be recorded in a more timely manner and a new strategy has been implemented to address this. Information derived from interviews is used effectively to analyse patterns and trends. The help provided is effectively reducing the risk and number of missing episodes for children.

·         There used to be separate processes for UASCs and indigenous children but the two strands have been brought together which has led to a better response with UASCs less scared to tell their story.

·         The new procedure has been effected as evidenced in the report, which showed a reduction in the number of Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASCs) reported missing.  However we are currently seeing an increase in the presentation of UASCs coming to the local authority so missing reports may increase.

·         There are currently no children recorded as long term missing and when this dose occur they have been in relation to UASCs having returned to their country or origin or because they were at risk of deportation as they were actually older people.  When this occurs their details remain on the system until all agencies have agreed to remove them.

·         Children are “missing” if they are not where they are supposed to be and there is an immediate concern for their safety.




Cabinet Response to the Young Carers Deep Dive recommendations



Cabinet reviewed the recommendations from the young carers scrutiny deep dive on 16 October and deferred a decision on these, pending further work by the Committee and a further report back to Cabinet. In particular, Cabinet was keen for the deep dive group to gather the views of young carers and ensure these are reflected in the report.


The Chairman of the deep dive group will outline the proposed next steps for this work.



Councillor Nick Carter updated the Committee on the work on Young Carers since the Cabinet response was received.  The group had an excellent meeting with Officers.  Councillor Glynis Phillips will attend the annual meeting of Be Free Young Carers and the group will meet representatives in the near future.  A final report will be ready for the January meeting of the Committee.


The matter of appointing a Young Carers Champion was discussed and it was agreed that a young age should not be a requirement.





Committee work programme pdf icon PDF 239 KB



To agree the committee’s work programme for future meetings based on key priorities and discussion in the meeting.


The decision by Council to refer the Annual Partnerships Report to the relevant scrutiny committees was discussed.  It was noted that some of the partnerships had recently been scrutinised anyway.


The report of the Fire and Rescue Service inspection will be available by May.