Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre
Contact: Democratic Services 5100
You are welcome to use Welsh at the meeting, a minimum notice period of 3 working days is required should you wish to do so. A simultaneous translation will be provided if requested.
It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors G.A. Davies, L. Elias and G. Paulsen.
Declarations of Interests and Dispensation
To consider any declarations of interests and dispensations made.
There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.
To receive the Minutes of the Social Services Scrutiny Committee held on 13th January, 2020.
(Please note the Minutes are submitted for points of accuracy only)
The Minutes of the Social Services Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on 13th January, 2020 were submitted.
The Committee AGREED that the Minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.
To receive the action sheet.
The action sheet arising from the meeting of the Social Services Scrutiny Committee held on 13th January, 2020 was submitted, whereupon:-
Item 7 - Corporate Parenting Progress Report
The Head of Children’s Services gave a verbal update on the Corporate Traineeship programme on what the 8 young people who had left the programme were doing now:-
• 3 – completed and gained apprenticeship and/or employment.
• 1 – still in training
• 1 – decided to find own pathway into employment
• 1 – unable to continue due to health issues
• 1 – due to start
The Committee AGREED that the action sheet be noted.
To consider the report of the Head of Adult
Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Adult Services which was presented to provide an overview on the ‘Living Independently in Blaenau Gwent in the 21st Century’ Strategy.
The Head of Adult Services spoke to the report and gave a detailed progress update on the 8 priorities of the Strategy over the previous 12 months.
Priority 1 Long term care:
A Member commented on the 24 vacant beds in the Authority’s commissioned Care Homes and enquired regarding the new care home operating in Tredegar. The Head of Adult Services informed Members that this was not a registered Nursing Home but was a supported living setting.
A Member raised concerns regarding Care Home closures due to the number of vacant beds. The Head of Adult Services assured Members that even though there were a number of vacant beds there were no imminent Care Home closures, however, this situation would be monitored. In relation to closure of private Care Homes, the Authority had a contract with a six month notification period of any closure and in the event of an incident such as bankruptcy, residents would still be supported. The Officer clarified that the Authority had a contract with the Health Board and not the Care Home for citizens with more complex needs.
Priority 2 Reablement/Enabling Services:
Members raised no comments on Priority 2.
Priority 3 Day Opportunities/Community Options:
With regard to the Community Options Green Shoots project at Bryn Bach Parc, Members reported that some members of the public had been unable to purchase items e.g. flower baskets etc. as no staff member was on site. A Member suggested promoting the project via Town Centre Street Markets. The Head of Adult Services said that staff worked 9.00am to 5.00pm and not at weekends. With regard to selling products the Officer felt that perhaps a social enterprise project could be established.
A Member commented on the partnership with Growing Space, the third sector Mental Health Group, and enquired if school visits could be arranged to develop an outdoor classroom project. The Head of Adult Services commented that Growing Space was keen to work with schools and would provide a contact link for the Member to liaise with the Head of Growing Space.
Priority 4 Assistive Technology:
A Member enquired regarding the cost of Assistive Technology for residents. The Head of Adult Services said that there was a flat rate cost of approximately £5.20 for pendants.
With regard to dementia therapy and the use of dolls, cats and dogs there was no charge as they were loaned out to residents, however, a report on charging regimes may be prepared next year. Some everyday technologies such as the amazon echo and google home hubs operated from telephone landlines so it was not always necessary to have an expensive internet connection. A Member commented that internet connection had been requested at Ty Parc for residents use and felt that this could be considered and incorporated into rents etc.
The Director ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To consider the report of the Head of
Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Children’s Services which was presented to provide an update on the work of the My Support Team since it became operational in May 2019.
The Head of Children’s Services spoke to the report and highlighted the main points contained therein.
A Member enquired if consideration had been given to setting up a Local Authority Children’s Care Home. The Head of Children’s Services said this was probably not an option for consideration, children’s care homes were difficult to manage due to the complexity of issues affecting some children and young people. There were four private residential care homes for children and young people in Blaenau Gwent and currently only two children were placed in these homes. It was sometimes necessary for some children to be placed outside the area due to safeguarding issues.
The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report be accepted and endorse Option 1; namely that the positive work My Support Team had undertaken in demonstrating good outcomes for our children looked after and the positive impact the work of the team had on the Children’s Services budget be acknowledged.
To receive the report.
Consideration was given to the report of the Chair of the Social Services Scrutiny Committee.
The Director of Social Services advised that the report on Preventative Model of Service to meet future social care demand would not be available until the new cycle.
The Committee AGREED that the report be accepted and endorse Option 2; namely that the Social Services Scrutiny Committee Forward Work Programme for the meeting on 2nd April, 2020 be approved.