Agenda and minutes

Social Services Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 17th March, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: virtually via Microsoft Teams - if you would like to attend this meeting live via Microsoft Teams please contact committee.services@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk

Contact: Democratic Services  5100

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Simultaneous Translation

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.

Minutes:

It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.

2.

Apologies

To receive.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors

G. Collier, M. Moore and B. Summers.

3.

Declarations of Interests and Dispensation

To consider any declarations of interests and dispensations made.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

4.

Social Services Scrutiny Committee Minutes pdf icon PDF 231 KB

To receive the Minutes of the Social Services Scrutiny Committee held on 21st January, 2021.

 

(Please note the Minutes are submitted for points of accuracy only)

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Social Services Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on 21st January, 2021 were submitted.

 

The Committee AGREED that the Minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.

5.

Revised Safe Reduction of Children Looked After Strategy 2020- 2025 pdf icon PDF 725 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Children's Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Children’s Services which was to present the refreshed Safe Reduction of Children Looked After Strategy 2020-2025.

 

 

 

The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report be accepted and endorse Option 2; namely that the report as provided be accepted.

6.

Update on Progress of the My Support Team pdf icon PDF 678 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Children's Services.

Minutes:

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 for the period January 2020 - January 2021.

 

 

 

The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report be accepted and endorse Option 1; namely that Scrutiny Members acknowledge the positive work MyST has undertaken in demonstrating good outcomes for our children looked after and the positive impact the work of the team has had on the Children’s Services budget.

7.

Children’s Services response to vulnerable children during the COVID-19 pandemic pdf icon PDF 526 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Children's Services.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Children’s Services which was presented to provide Members with information on how Children’s Social Services supported vulnerable children since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020.

 

 

 

The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report be accepted and endorse Option 2; namely that the report as provided be accepted.

8.

Forward Work Programme: 22nd April 2021 pdf icon PDF 398 KB

To receive the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Chair of the Social Services Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

 

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 22nd April, 2021 be approved.

9.

Update on Legal costs associated with Children’s Services

To consider the report of the Head of Children's Services.

Minutes:

Having regard to the views expressed by the Proper Officer regarding the public interest test, that on balance the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information and that the report should be exempt.

 

RESOLVED that the public be excluded whilst this item of business is transacted as it is likely there would be a disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 14, Part 1, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972 (as amended).

 

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Children’s Services which was presented to provide information in relation to the Children’s Social Services legal budget, the areas of activity this covers and the complex nature of this work which impacts on the volatility of the budget.

 

 

 

The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report which contained information relation to the financial/business affairs of persons other than the Authority be accepted and Members endorse Option 1; and recommend that:-

 

        the Social Services Scrutiny Committee understanding the difficulties in finding a solution to the issue of legal support, recommend that the Executive Committee prioritise discussions with neighbouring local authorities in an effort to seek a wider solution regarding the collaboration in relation to providing legal services for Children’s Services; and also that senior politicians continue to highlight the position in Blaenau Gwent with the WLGA and other relevant bodies.