Venue: Ashburton Hall, EII Court, Winchester
Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillors Prad Bains, Zoe Huggins, Andy Tree and Bill Withers. Councillor Lesley Meenaghan was in attendance as the Conservative Substitute Member.
Apologies were also received from Gareth Davis, the co-opted parent governor member for primary schools.
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 at this point in the meeting
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting on the 13 January 2021.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 13 January 2021 were agreed by the Committee as a correct record of the meeting.
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 commenced her announcements by highlighting the informal briefing which the Committee received on the 7 July which was webcast. Members received updates on Governance, Overview of Children’s Services, Department for Education (DfE) Holiday Activities and Food Programme and Autism Services Commissioning for Children and Young People, which were all very informative.
The Chairman also announced that regretfully this was Ian Brewerton’s last meeting as the co-opted parent governor representative for Secondary Schools, due to his four year term of office ending at the beginning of November. The Chairman extended her sincere thanks to Ian for his contribution to the work of the Committee over the last four years. At the invitation of the Chairman, Ian thanked the Chairman and the Committee, and also highlighted the outstanding work of the Director of Children’s Services and his officers. It was heard that nominations would be sought for a Secondary School co-opted parent governor, and this will be put forward for formal appointment at the future Council meeting.
To receive a further update on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) - (presentation to follow).
The Committee received their annual update on Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) (Item 6 in the Minute Book). This further update was at the request of the Committee at their 11 November 2020 meeting.
Representatives from Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provided Members with a joint presentation which set out a CAMHS development update. The first part of the presentation highlighted key issues which included the impact of Covid-19 on mental health and emotional wellbeing, and that early intervention was critical. Joint working in this area with partners was also highlighted. Key areas of service development were explained which included the launch of the new Kooth digital service, community counselling and the development and rolling out of psychiatric liaison services. The securement of funding for the roll out of 5 new mental health in schools teams across Hampshire was also highlighted. Officers highlighted the significant investment into the service this year and the plans for service development, as well as working in partnership to focus on early intervention.
The second part of the presentation highlighted the work of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust who provide Hampshire CAMHS. Members were led through the slides and it was heard that there were currently an average open caseload of 7,517. The impact of Covid was noted with the CAMHS website receiving 43,000 hits, and there was specific support available on the website in relation to return to school and developing confidence. It was also heard that in November 2020, there was a re-modelling of the forecast based on the latest available tools and research as a result of Covid.
Slide 11 of the presentation slides detailed the investment decisions, and the overall investment from 2021/22 onwards of £6.5 million per annum was highlighted. Areas such as the Clinical Model, Early Help Service, Digital Team, Crisis Care and the Eating Disorder Service were also explained to Members. In relation to the Eating Disorder Service, it was heard that there had been an 150% increase in demand, and a significant number of children and young people were now presenting at a very low weight. The impact of Covid in relation to this was explained, and it was noted that school closures had impacted the ability for eating disorders to be noticed earlier.
In conclusion, it was highlighted that one of the main focuses of the service was on recruitment, and it was heard that the service were looking to recruit 103 additional Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) posts. The challenges going forward were explained which included the length of waiting times. Members also noted that the increase in demand for the service was an issue nationally.
In response to questions, Members heard:
· That officers were confident that with new investment and the new clinical model, waiting times for CAMHS treatment will decrease, and will be in a better position next year.
· That it was difficult for the service to predict the long term impact ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
For the Select Committee to scrutinise the revenue savings proposals for Children’s Services that have been developed as part of the Savings Programme to 2023.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of Children’s Services and Director of Corporate Operations regarding the detailed savings proposals for the Children’s Services Department that had been developed as part of the Savings Programme to 2023 (SP2023) Programme (Item 7 in the Minute Book).
Officers led Members through the accompanying presentation and it was reported that the last government spending review was for one year as a result of economic and fiscal uncertainty due to Covid. Forecasting indicated that government funding would not fully meet the financial pressures the County Council faced, therefore there would be a funding gap in April 2023 and the Council would need to make savings of £80 million to balance the budget. This was in addition to £45 million in savings from previous transformation programmes that were yet to be delivered.
It was noted that the savings requirement for the Children’s Services Department under this SP23 savings programme was £21.3 million. Officers highlighted the pie chart on page 8 of the presentation slides which detailed the breakdown of spending for the 2021/22 children’s services budget, and the pie chart on page 9 detailed the proposed SP23 savings in these areas.
An overarching ‘balancing the budget’ consultation had been undertaken in the summer of 2021 and further consultation would be undertaken where appropriate on the savings workstreams which were explained in detail to the Committee. The risks and challenges of the savings proposals were also highlighted, as well as the equality impacts.
In response to questions, Members heard:
· That the department has considered the savings proposals against the key principles adhered to by the department as set out at presentation slide 6 and paragraph 23 of the decision report.
· That there was more spending now in the department than in 2010 because of demand and price, and work was ongoing by the County Council Network to examine factors for increase in spend, which was primarily due to the increased unit cost per child.
· That in relation to the proposed savings for the Youth Offending Service by way of reduced staffing levels, it was heard that there was good evidence that early intervention was now reducing youth crime, resulting in reducing caseloads and demand on the service.
· That the biggest challenge to the department was unknown risks.
· That in relation to foster care, there was a need to recruit new foster carers, and to look at the support that foster carers are offered, as well as competition with the private sector in this area.
· That short break activities would be aligned with the holiday activity and food programme to ensure efficient use of public funds and reduce duplication.
The Chairman moved to debate where it was heard that there was uncertainty as to what the impact of the savings would be, and it would not be easy to measure deliverability of these. The unknown as to the long term cost of Covid was also highlighted.
The Chairman put the recommendation to the vote and confirmed ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
For the Select Committee to receive an update on Hampshire County Council’s Fostering Service.
The Committee received the Fostering Annual Report 2020/21 (Item 8 in the Minute Book). The report was introduced and key headlines were highlighted.
It was noted that Hampshire’s Fostering Service had a target to provide 187 additional fostering placements by 31 March 2023, and the marketing strategy around this was explained. Officers presented further information around the recruitment of foster carers, and it was heard that because of Covid, there had been more focus on targeted digital marketing, as well as an increase in on-line and virtual activity. Members noted that Hampshire has also seen an increase in the conversion rate from enquiry to approval.
Details around fostering support was set out in paragraphs 21 – 31 of the report, and the results of the annual foster carer survey of June 2021 were highlighted. Members attention was also drawn to the increase in foster carer satisfaction with the recruitment process, as well as an increase in satisfaction with the work of the Placements Commissioning Service. Officers also highlighted the work of the six Hampshire fostering panels and it was heard that some training would continue to be held virtually in 2021/22. Statistics relating to timeliness of household reviews, DBS checks and foster carer medicals were explained, and it was heard that there had been some delays with medicals during 2020/21 due to the pandemic.
In conclusion, Members also heard details of the Modernising Placements Programme (MPP) and the development of the Hampshire Hive which was seen as an important development. Details of the new psychological service were also explained, and it was noted that recruitment for the role of clinical psychologist for this service was underway.
In response to questions, Members heard:
· That the assessment process for prospective foster carers is governed nationally.
Cllr Ann Briggs left at this point in proceedings
· That some children in care have been educated at home during lockdown, and the effect of lockdown on children in care could be looked at further by the Committee.
· That officers do actively seek to recruit from Black, Minority and Ethnic groups.
That the contents of the report were noted by the Children and Young People Select Committee.
To receive a regular information update (written only) on Autism Services Commissioning for Children and Young People in Hampshire, from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups.
The Committee received a written update report on Autism Services Commissioning for Children and Young People in Hampshire (Item 9 in the Minute Book). At their 28 September 2020 meeting, the Committee resolved to receive a written report for every meeting until the Committee were satisfied that the service had caught up and was providing a timely service for children, parents and schools and proof that the service was making progress. The Chairman highlighted that the Committee would receive a presentation from officers on this item at their 10 November Committee meeting.
The Chairman requested that any questions be either emailed to the Chairman, or the Democratic Services Officer, to be forwarded on for a response, which would be circulated to the Committee.
That the Children and Young People Select Committee noted the update.
To consider and approve the Children and Young People Select Committee Work Programme.
The Director of Transformation and Governance presented the Committee’s work programme (see Item 10 in the Minute Book).
There were no additions made to the work programme.
That the Committee considered and approved the work programme.