Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Oxford, OX11ND

Contact: Sue Whitehead  Tel: (01865) 810262; E-Mail:  sue.whitehead@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

39/10

Cabinet Membership

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council welcomed Councillors Fatemian and Mallon to the Cabinet in their roles as Cabinet Member for Adult Services and for Police  & Policy Coordination respectively and welcomed Councillor Jim Couchman in his changed role as Cabinet Member for Finance & Property.

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Minutes pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 16 March 2010 (CA3) and to receive for information any matters arising therefrom.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 16 March 2010 were approved and signed.

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Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Any county councillor may, by giving notice to the Proper Officer by 9 am on the working day before the meeting, ask a question on any matter in respect of the Cabinet’s delegated powers.

 

The number of questions which may be asked by any councillor at any one meeting is limited to two (or one question with notice and a supplementary question at the meeting) and the time for questions will be limited to 30 minutes in total. As with questions at Council, any questions which remain unanswered at the end of this item will receive a written response.

 

Questions submitted prior to the agenda being despatched are shown below and will be the subject of a response from the appropriate Cabinet Member or such other councillor or officer as is determined by the Cabinet Member, and shall not be the subject of further debate at this meeting. Questions received after the despatch of the agenda, but before the deadline, will be shown on the Schedule of Addenda circulated at the meeting, together with any written response which is available at that time.

Minutes:

Councillor John Goddard had given notice of the following question to the Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities

 

“When does the Cabinet Member expect to receive the delayed business plan from the new Cogges Manor Farm Trust and how will its independently assessed viability be assured?”

Councillor Judith Heathcoat:

“The business plan was not delayed. We are expecting it next month. This will be subject to careful scrutiny by all the relevant officers including finance. Their advice will be taken account of and reflected in the public report that will come forward for consideration by members.”

 

Councillor Janet Godden had given notice of the following question to the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families:

“The Virtual School (referred to at Item 7, para 5 bullet point 2 & para 9, 2nd bullet point from end) must now have been in existence for about five years, unless it was disbanded and restarted. It would be interesting to know how it has performed during that time, and how many pupils it has currently (school year 09-10)?”

Councillor Louise Chapman:

  • “Specific support for Children Looked After began in 2003 with the appointment of one member of staff and has grown over time. The full Virtual School has been in operation for six terms with the appointment of a Head in September 2008.

 

  • On 19 April 2010 there were 380 students on the school roll.  Due to the nature of the Looked after population this is subject to significant in year fluctuation. For example 235 young people have entered and another 211 have exited care between March 2009 and 2010. 

 

  • The educational achievement remains a challenge at key stage 2 and 4 with attendance being an issue - we are currently performing around our statistical neighbour at key stage 4 average and below at key stage 2, although again this is subject to change. 
  • The attendance issues have been caused in part by lack of education provision and by late entries to care of young people with very troubled histories.
  • There are a range of strategies in place to increase the amount of provision for CYP with special educational needs and training programmes in place for designated teachers, social workers and foster carers to support re-engagement and regular school attendance. Structural changes to the Virtual school and inclusion teams will also mean a more local focus on Children Looked After within areas which should also increase the support to CYP and their networks. .  
  • The cohorts are small between key stage 2 and 4. At key stage 2 varying between 11 and 16 and at Key stage 4 between 40 and 50 and therefore results as a percentage are subject to wide variation.  
  • In recent years (since 2005) the percentage of the cohort attaining 1 GCSE or GNVQ has been consistently high and in line with the national average.  The exception to this being in 2008.
  • 5A*-G peaked in 2007 at 63% and 2009 it was 46% which represented an increase of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41/10

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Petitions and Public Address pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Minutes:

The following requests to address the meeting had been agreed:

 

Speaker

Item

Councillor Zoé Patrick

8. Appointments to Outside Bodies

 

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Financial Monitoring - April 2010 pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Cabinet Member:

Leader

Forward Plan Ref:

2009/249

Contact:

Kathy Wilcox, Principal Financial Manager Tel: (01865) 323981    

 

Report By:

Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer (CA6)

 

This is the eleventh financial monitoring report for the 2009/10 financial year and covers the period up to the end of February 2010.  It includes projections for revenue, balances, reserves and capital monitoring.The report sets out explanations where the forecast revenue outturn is significantly different from the budget along with proposals to recover the position where appropriate.

 

The in – year Directorate forecast is an overspend of +£3.619m.  After taking account of  calls on balances (pending or to be approved) it is expected that the overspend reported this month will reduce to +£0.884m or +0.24% of the budget by year end.  

 

The current position for general balances is set out in Annex 5 and shows a forecast of £10.578m after taking account of agreed and proposed requests for supplementary estimates.  After taking into account the forecast Directorate overspend adjusted for supplementary estimates requested to date the consolidated revenue balances forecast is £9.321m.

 

The capital monitoring position set out in the report shows forecast expenditure for 2009/10 of £86.1m (excluding schools), a decrease of £3.7m compared to the latest capital programme.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)                           note the report;

 

(b)                          approve the supplementary estimate request of £0.060m in relation to legal fees over £0.025m in Annex 2f and paragraph 68;

 

(c)                           note the increase of £1.081m in the provisional allocation for thePersonal Care at Home Grant for 2010/11 as set out in paragraph 97;

 

(d)                          note the removal of £0.6m Green Book pay inflation from 2010/11 budgets as shown in Annex 8 and paragraph 98 & 99;

 

(e)                           note the addition to Council budgets of £0.1m Teachers’ pay inflation as set out in paragraph 100; and

 

(f)                             agree the virements to Children, Young People & Families budgets for 2010/11 as set out in Annex 9 and paragraph 101.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the eleventh financial monitoring report for the 2009/10 financial year covering the period up to the end of February 2010.  It included projections for revenue, balances, reserves and capital monitoring.

 

The in – year Directorate forecast was an overspend of +£3.619m.  After taking account of calls on balances (pending or to be approved) it was expected that the overspend reported this month would reduce to +£0.884m or +0.24% of the budget by year end.  

 

The current position for general balances showed a forecast of £10.578m after taking account of agreed and proposed requests for supplementary estimates.  After taking into account the forecast Directorate overspend adjusted for supplementary estimates requested to date the consolidated revenue balances forecast was £9.321m.

 

Cabinet noted an amended annex 8, and considered annex 9, which was marked to follow on the original agenda.

Cabinet also considered a supplementary report and recommendations relating to adjustments to the 2010/11 budget concerning Personal Care at Home Grant for 2010/11 and the write off of a bad debt.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance & Property highlighted three areas that continued as pressure points. Children’s placements were still rising; young unaccompanied asylum seekers was beginning to see a resolution but the underlying problem of lack of proper resourcing by central government remained; and ICT was a known difficulty where action was being taken. He also referred to pooled budgets that were likely to end up close to budget following the funding from the PCT. However he continued to be concerned about some of the underlying structure, and would continue to monitor closely seeking additional information.

 

The Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families confirmed that the issues around young unaccompanied asylum seekers were a national problem and Councils had lobbied government with some limited success. Children’s placements were demand led and social worker’s made decisions based on the best interests of the County’s vulnerable youngsters. A successful bid had been made with regard to foster caring initiatives and she would be discussing this with the Chief finance officer to explore options to invest to save.

 

The Cabinet Member for Schools Improvement referred to steps being taken around the schools repairs and maintenance budgets.

 

The Deputy Leader confirmed that steps were being taken to address the ICT overspend but that the budget would remain pretty tight.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

 

(a)                           note the report;

 

(b)                           approve the supplementary estimate request of £0.060m in relation to legal fees over £0.025m in Annex 2f and paragraph 68;

 

(c)                           note the latest position relating to the Personal Care at Home bill;

 

(d)                           agree the write off of a bad debt of £16,456 as set out in paragraph 73 and 74;

 

(e)                           note the increase of £1.081m in the provisional allocation for the Personal Care at Home Grant for 2010/11 as set out in paragraph 97;

 

(f)                             note the removal of £0.6m Green Book pay inflation from 2010/11 budgets as shown in Annex 8 and paragraph 98 & 99;

 

(g)                           note the addition to Council budgets of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43/10

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Progress Report on Children Looked After and Leaving Care pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Cabinet Member:

Children, Young People & Families

Forward Plan Ref:

2009/232

Contact:

Fran Fonseca, Strategic Lead CLA Tel: (01865) 323098

 

 

Report By:

Director for Children, Young People & Families (CA7)

 

This is one of a number of regular reports to Cabinet and Council on its role as legal "Corporate Parent" to the Children and Young People Looked After by the Council, and those Leaving Care to live independently.

 

The report addresses Council-wide improvements in Corporate Parenting, including enhanced accountability for this highly vulnerable group. It also reports on the progress and challenges posed in caring for the County's most vulnerable young people.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)                           continue to support  the Corporate Parenting Strategy;

 

(b)                          note the information on outcomes for our Looked After Children, and the service performance measures; and

 

(c)                           take note that a revised placement strategy is expected to return to Cabinet in June 2010.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered one of regular reports that came to Cabinet on its role as legal "Corporate Parent" to the Children and Young People Looked After by the Council, and those Leaving Care to live independently.

 

The Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families in introducing the report highlighted the work of the Children in Care Council who were holding their own Conference in June 2010. She also referred to the work of the Corporate Parenting Panel in carrying out inspections of Children’s Homes which had led to a number of issues being addressed. She thanked members for their involvement. The Pledge made by Cabinet had had positive results with computers being provided to youngsters who were very positive about the benefits gained. She paid tribute to the virtual school who did an outstanding job.

 

The Cabinet Member also referred to the challenge in relation to childrens’ placements and steps taken to ensure that the service provided was better than good.

 

The Cabinet Member for Schools Improvement added that schools and governors were reminded of their corporate parenting responsibilities. Schools had a specific staff member, there were individual education plans and schools worked successfully through and with others in the virtual school.

 

RESOLVED:                        to:

 

(a)                           continue to support  the Corporate Parenting Strategy;

 

(b)                           note the information on outcomes for our Looked After Children, and the service performance measures; and

 

(c)                           take note that a revised placement strategy is expected to return to Cabinet in June 2010.

 

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Appointments to Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Cabinet Member: Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/037

Contact: Tony Cloke, Assistant Head of Legal & Democratic Services Tel (01865) 815314; Sue Whitehead, Committee Services Manager Tel (01865) 810262

 

Report by Assistant Head of Legal & Democratic Services (CA8).

 

To consider an appointment to the Learning Disability Partnership Board. .

 

Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to agree the appointment of a member to be the co-chairman of the Learning Disability Partnership on the same basis as other appointments to Standing Advisory Bodies.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on an appointment to the Learning Disability Partnership Board.

 

Councillor Zoe Patrick, Leader of the Opposition, suggested Councillor Janet Godden for the role, noting that she had at one time been Co-Chairman and that she had all the necessary skills and experience for the post.

 

The Leader thanked Councillor Patrick for her suggestion and commented that he did not doubt Councillor Godden’s skills. However he was proposing Councillor Neil Owen who also had the necessary skills and would represent the administration .

 

The Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families suggested that if it were possible she would have no objection to Councillor Godden deputising for Councillor Owen.

 

RESOLVED:                         to agree the appointment of Councillor Neil Owen to be the co-chairman of the Learning Disability Partnership on the same basis as other appointments to Standing Advisory Bodies.

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Forward Plan and Future Business pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Cabinet Member: All

Contact Officer: Sue Whitehead, Committee Services Manager (01865 810262)

 

The Cabinet Procedure Rules provide that the business of each meeting at the Cabinet is to include “updating of the Forward Plan and proposals for business to be conducted at the following meeting”.   Items from the Forward Plan for the immediately forthcoming meetings of the Cabinet appear in the Schedule at CA9.  This includes any updated information relating to the business for those meetings that has already been identified for inclusion in the next Forward Plan update.

 

The Schedule is for noting, but Cabinet Members may also wish to take this opportunity to identify any further changes they would wish to be incorporated in the next Forward Plan update.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to note the items currently identified for forthcoming meetings.

 

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a list of items (CA9) for the immediately forthcoming meetings of the Cabinet together with changes and additions set out in the schedule of addenda.

 

RESOLVED:            to note the items currently identified for forthcoming meetings.

 

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Delegated Powers of the Chief Executive pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Cabinet Member:Leader

Forward Plan Ref:2009/250

Contact: Sue Whitehead, Committee Services Manager, Tel: (01865) 810262

 

Schedule attached (CA10) reporting on a quarterly basis any executive decisions taken by the Chief Executive under the specific powers and functions delegated to her under the terms of Part 7.4 of the Council's Constitution.

 

Item not for scrutiny call in.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:                        to note the details of the executive decisions taken by the Chief Executive under the specific powers and functions delegated to her under the terms of Part 7.4 of the Council's Constitution and set out on the schedule to the agenda item.