Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments


Apologies were received from Councillor Jenny Hannaby (Councillor Alison Rooke substituting).



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


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 238 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 4 July 2019 and to receive information arising from them.


The minutes of the meeting of 4 July 2019 were approved and signed.



Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner



A presentation from the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.  The Committee will scrutinise progress against the Police and Crime Plan 2017-2021 and consider the 2018-19 Annual Report.



Agenda Items 5 and 6 were taken together.  Matthew Barber, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner and John Campbell, Chief Constable Thames Valley Police gave their presentations.  They responded to Members’ questions as follows:


·         The Violence Reduction funding and surge allocation must be spent by the end of the year.  They are being used to put structures in place going into the future.  Police are working with social care services on a whole family approach.

·         The Early Intervention Youth Fund operates on a project basis.  This includes visiting schools to talk about issues such as County Lines and working with individuals in danger from gangs.

·         Community Speedwatch is very popular but it is not enforcement.  It is hoped to create an online link with the Road Unit.

·         The PCC has ensured that more attention is given to rural crime.  It is hoped the police presence can be improved from the first wave of new officers.

·         The Deputy PCC is not planning to seek governance of the Fire and Rescue Service.

·         The low proportion of convictions for modern slavery and child sex exploitation may be due to the complexity of cases.  Police are gearing up to respond better but this is still in the early stages.

·         TVP are acquiring more tasers.  Their level of use must have the support of the public.  Scrutiny of their use comes through publishing reports of operations where they are used and court outcomes.

·         It is expected that every officer will have an IT device soon.

·         Online reporting is available to the public via a national platform and is recommended if an immediate response is not needed.

·         The spike in poor response on the 101 line for May was due to staff leaving.


The Chairman thanked the Deputy PCC and Chief Constable for coming to the Committee to answer questions.  She hoped that more time could be devoted to this session next year.


Members expressed condolences on the recent death of Police Constable Andrew Harper.  The Chairman said that it was a reminder of the threat to health and life faced by police officers.



Thames Valley Police Delivery Plan 2019-20



A presentation from the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police.  The Committee will scrutinise the performance of the Thames Valley Police Service in 2018-19 and areas of focus for 2019-20.



Taken with Agenda Item 5.


Business Monitoring Report



Joint report by the Assistant Chief Executive and the Director for Finance.


This report sets out Oxfordshire County Council's (OCC's) progress towards Corporate Plan priorities and provides an update on the delivery of the Medium Term Financial Plan from 1 June to 31 July. Cabinet does not formally meet in August so information from June and July is covered in this report.  A summary of overall performance and description of change is contained within the report. Each month the business management report will address:


a)    Corporate performance (measured against the Thriving Oxfordshire Outcomes Framework)

b)    Risk (summary of strategic risk and other significant matters)

c)    Human Resources (summary of key data)

d)    Finance (summary including forecast outturn variance) 


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report and consider any matters for future attention by the Committee.

Additional documents:


Ben Threadgold introduced the report which he noted included two red ratings: Timeliness of completing Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and an increase in Delayed Transfers of Care (DTCs).  From September workforce data will be provided separately on a quarterly basis.


The Chairman welcomed Stephen Chandler to his first meeting as Corporate Director for Adult Services.  Officers responded to Members’ questions as follows:

·         Some of the increase in DTCs is seasonal but there is an ongoing difficulty obtaining sufficient home care in rural areas especially.  Oxford University Hospitals and Oxford Health will provide an action plan dealing with staff numbers, skills and training.

·         17% of home care staff are non-UK citizens and 8 to 9% are EU citizens.  These tend to be younger staff who can often be more flexible and work more hours.  There will be no change in recruitment challenges until the Brexit situation is decided.

·         It was agreed to bring a report on DTCs to a future meeting of the Committee to inform a discussion of the changes required.

·         The Council works with providers to help them improve their rating where necessary.  Any Council client placed with a provider with an inadequate rating would be asked if they want an alternative provider.


Safeguarding Children pdf icon PDF 410 KB



Report by the Director for Children’s Services.


Local Safeguarding Children Boards were set up under the Children Act 2004 in order that agencies co-operate with each other 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. In April 2019 these arrangements changed to reflect the requirements of the DfE guidance 'Working Together 2018' however these reports relate to the financial year 2018/19.


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 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:


Richard Simpson, independent chair, introduced the OSCB Annual Report and highlighted the following:


·         Comments that previous reports were too long have been taken on board.

·         A new Executive Group has been created headed up by OCC, Thames Valley Police and the Clinical Commissioning Group.

·         Scrutiny is provided not only by the Independent Chair and this Committee but Barnardos also review.

·         This year’s annual conference dealt with contextual safeguarding and next year it will focus on the voice of young people.

·         Concerns include increasing demand on the statutory system, CAMHS access rates and information sharing issues.


Tan Lea summarised the Performance, audit and quality assurance (PAQA) subgroup annual report:


·         There was an increase in numbers of Looked After Children especially those at risk of exploitation.

·         The main concerns were around organisational pressures, recruitment, housing and homelessness.

·         Four areas were escalated to the wider board to examine –

o   Domestic abuse

o   Safeguarding in education

o   Working together and case conferences

o   Sufficiency of placements for children with complex mental health needs.

·         Workloads are high and complex.

·         The main learning outcomes are think families and listen to children.


Lara Patel gave an overview of the Case Review and Governance (CRAG) subgroup annual report.  Themes that emerged from reviews included:

·         neglect

·         parental mental health

·         emotional wellbeing

·         attendance at education and

·         contextual safeguarding.


The positive impacts from reviews include:

·         The development of a single point of contact for CAMHS.

·         Information sharing through a multi-agency chronology is now compulsory.

·         Private fostering guidance has been updated and reissued.

·         The guidance on safeguarding record keeping for schools has been updated and training is available.


The Chairman asked for future reports to include a table showing learning and actions.  Members raised other issues with Richard Simpson and the officers who responded as follows:

·         The operations group is looking at how to improve the participation rate of fathers in case conferences.

·         Reviews show that communication is still a challenge even with all agencies present at meetings.  They have had feedback that the newsletter is too long and will try to do more pithy briefings.

·         There needs to be more strategic buy-in at operational level – this can get lost in the busy workload.



Safeguarding Adults Annual Report pdf icon PDF 91 KB



Report by the Deputy Director, Adult Social Care.


The OSAB 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 significant decrease in safeguarding concerns being referred into the Local Authority, building on the reduction on concerns started last year; and


b)           note the priorities for 2019/20.


Additional documents:


Karen Fuller presented the report and highlighted the strengths and challenges including:


·         Oxfordshire is recognised as a national leader on Making Safeguarding Personal.

·         Two lay members have been recruited to the Full Board and helped make the report more accessible.

·         There has been an increase in joint training opportunities with the children’s board.

·         The Engagement Group is supporting the Social Isolation & Loneliness Workshop being run in October 2019.

·         The 25% reduction in concerns since 16-17 is offset by an increase in consultation calls received by the service.  This increase is in line with referrals.


The Chairman invited Ansaf Azhar, the new Corporate Director for Public Health, to join the discussion.  Officers responded to Members’ questions as follows:


·         It was requested that future reports have more information in relation to the reasons for alerts. It was discussed that this is a strategic joint report so detail will be high level.

·         A breakdown by age group can also be provided separately to this report.

·         Social isolation is a big problem and local intelligence is important in tackling it.

·         The police have a representative on the executive subgroup.  They know to consider adult and children’s safeguarding issues in police operations.  There are big benefits where all agencies work together.



Local Government Association Corporate Peer Challenge Feedback Report pdf icon PDF 233 KB



Report by the Assistant Chief Executive


During March 2019, the Council commissioned the Local Government Association to carry out a Corporate Peer Challenge.


The feedback report from the LGA was received in July 2019 and is being shared with the Performance Scrutiny Committee at the earliest opportunity for feedback and comment ahead of Cabinet consideration in October 2019.


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to:


a)                  Note the LGA Corporate Peer Challenge Report


b)                 Consider and comment on the recommendations made within the report


c)                  Consider whether specific recommendations should be included in the Performance Scrutiny Committee forward plan for more detailed consideration


Additional documents:


The report was introduced by Ben Threadgold.  It will go to Cabinet in October with a recommendation from officers to accept the peer review recommendations.  This process is linked to the review of the Corporate Plan.


The following suggestions were made by Members:


·         The report to Cabinet should include responses to the recommendations and/or actions and timescales.

·         With regard to the involvement of district councils in locality meetings, Members were not in favour of all district councillors being invited but could consider having a representative from the district council.  There could be governance issues arising which the Audit & Governance Committee would need to consider.

·         Cabinet needs to be clear about what is already in train and what is new.

·         Other districts should be offered partnership options similar to those enjoyed by Cherwell District Council.  They may not all wish to participate but it should be offered.

·         Officers should consider the best way of keeping Members engaged in the process following the Cabinet decision.


Development of the Corporate Plan pdf icon PDF 230 KB



Report by the Assistant Chief Executive


The Corporate Plan will be reviewed for the business year 2020/21 to ensure that the document accurately reflects progress and priorities. The revised plan will be recommended to Council in February 2020 alongside Service and Resource Planning proposals. It is the intention to retain the existing vision and priorities, updated to incorporate new and emerging issues.


The Performance Scrutiny Committee is asked to note the development proposals for the plan and to comment on the new and prioritised issues which are being considered for inclusion or additional emphasis.


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to:


a)            note the proposals for updating the current Corporate Plan for the period 2020-23; and


b)           comment on the new and prioritised issues for consideration set out at paragraph 8.


Ben Threadgold introduced the report.  The Corporate Plan is being reviewed as part of the budget process.  There will not be changes at a high level but there could be different emphasis.  A draft of changes will be ready by December or January.  The Outcomes Framework will also be developed with a new version available in April 2020.  There will be a more detailed review next year which will include looking at the vision.


Councillor Glynis Phillips questioned why there was no review of the vision or priorities.  Ben Threadgold responded that some issues may just need greater emphasis since the plan was first adopted.  For example, Full Council passed a motion recognising the climate emergency.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 118 KB



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


It was noted that the dates of the January and March meetings in 2020 should be 9 January and 13 March and that it was agreed earlier to receive a report on Delayed Transfers of Care.


Members were reminded that an extra meeting will take place on 10 October 2019 with a 2.30pm start.


Impact of drug use on children and families



The Committee will receive a presentation about the impact of drug use on children and families and the work that the County Council does to address this particularly in relation to Child Drug Exploitation and County Lines work.


Hannah Farncombe gave a presentation which included statistics on Adverse Childhood Experiences and the prevalence of alcohol and drug misuse in these.  She outlined how Family Safeguarding Plus will help tackle the problem.


Officers responded to issues raised by Members as follows:


·         Aquarius has 8 staff in Children and Family Centres.

·         The treatments for alcohol and drug dependence are different.  There is a 40% recovery rate with alcohol but only 10% for opiates.

·         There is no problem with sharing information for children’s safeguarding or acute issues.  For Family Safeguarding one family record is needed but consent is usually forthcoming for that.

·         OCC Trailblazers results in more money for mental health in schools but the demand on CAMHS is massive.  It is hoped to reduce the waiting list to four weeks.

·         Turning Point provides training and all front line staff are actively encouraged to take it.  Health visitors consider alcohol and drug issues.



Transformation Subcommittee pdf icon PDF 235 KB

For information only – Draft Minutes from the Transformation Sub-Committee meeting held on 25 July 2019.


For information only.