Venue: Ashburton Hall, Elizabeth II Court, The Castle, Winchester
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Apologies for absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillors Branson, Donnelly, Huggins & Meenaghan. Councillor Pankhurst was in attendance as the Conservative Group Deputy. Councillor Burgess sent apologies as the second Conservative Group Deputy.
Apologies were also received from Councillor Porter, with Councillor Irish in attendance as the Liberal Democrat Group Deputy, and from Councillor Bains, with Councillor Tree in attendance as the Independent Group Deputy.
Declarations of interest
All Members who believe they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter to be considered at the meeting must declare that interest and, having regard to Part 3 Paragraph 1.5 of the County Council's Members’ Code of Conduct, leave the meeting while the matter is discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with Paragraph 1.6 of the Code. Furthermore all Members with a Personal Interest in a matter being considered at the meeting should consider, having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 4 of the Code, whether such interest should be declared, and having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 5 of the Code, consider whether it is appropriate to leave the meeting while the matter is discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with the Code.
Members were mindful that where they believed they had a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter considered at the meeting they must declare that interest at the time of the relevant debate and, having regard to the circumstances described in Part 3, Paragraph 1.5 of the County Council's Members' Code of Conduct, leave the meeting while the matter was discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with Paragraph 1.6 of the Code. Furthermore Members were mindful that where they believed they had a Personal interest in a matter being considered at the meeting they considered whether such interest should be declared, and having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 5 of the Code, considered whether it was appropriate to leave the meeting whilst the matter was discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with the Code.
No declarations were made.
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting
The Minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2022 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
It was noted that an update on the Home to School Transport Policy Public Consultation Outcomes item had been requested after a year, and that the work programme had been updated to reflect that.
To receive any deputations notified under Standing Order 12.
The Committee did not receive any deputations.
To receive any announcements the Chairman may wish to make.
The Chairman did not make any announcements to the meeting.
To consider a report from the Head of Law and Governance and Monitoring Officer, which asks the Children and Young People (Overview and Scrutiny) Committee to consider whether it should exercise its powers under Section 9F of Part 1A of the Local Government Act 2000, referred to in the County Council’s Constitution as ‘Call-in’.
The Select Committee received a report from the Monitoring Officer (item 6 in the minute book), which asked the committee to consider whether or not it should exercise its powers under Section 9F of Part 1A of the Local Government Act 2000 (‘the 2000 Act’), referred to in the County Council’s Constitution as ‘Call-in’.
Members of the committee who supported the request for the committee to exercise the above powers provided their reasons for doing so. These centred around their views on the effect of the decision on Hampshire families experiencing vulnerabilities and the education of their young people.
In a presentation by officers, the committee heard that the department had a statutory duty to ensure that the needs of each child was considered when planning transport, and all cases would therefore be assessed against a number of criteria. Additionally, it was noted that the policy would be introduced incrementally to allow for these assessments to be completed and it was not expected that the changes would affect any but a small percentage of young people.
During debate it was established that the savings projected were an estimate based on the methodology shared in the report, but that efficiencies were the purpose of the changes, as demonstrated by other authorities which had already made similar alterations. It was also noted that an appeals process was in place, if families felt that a decision was not in line with the policy.
The Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services thanked members of the committee for the interesting discussion on the policy.
Following this, each recommendation was proposed and voted on with the following outcome:
In Favour 5
In Against 8
In Favour 8
In Against 5
That Members of the Children and Young People Select Committee agreed that they should not recommend that the Executive Lead Member for Children Services re-considers their decisions as set out in the Decision Record attached at Appendix 1.