«Service Improvement & Finance Scrutiny Performance Panel Date: 12 November 2014 Time: 1.30-3.30pm Venue: Chamber Meeting Room, Civic Centre Members ...»
Service Improvement & Finance
Scrutiny Performance Panel
Date: 12 November 2014 Time: 1.30-3.30pm
Venue: Chamber Meeting Room, Civic Centre
Members of the Panel:
Councillor Tony Colburn
Councillor Mary Jones (Panel Convener)
Councillor Lynda James
Councillor Paxton Hood-Williams
Councillor Joe Hale
Councillor Chris Holley
Councillor David Cole
Councillor Jeff Jones
Councillor Keith Marsh
Councillor Phil Downing
Councillor Des Thomas
Copy of agenda for information to:
Mike Hawes (Head of Finance & Performance) Richard Rowlands (Corporate Performance Manager) Dean Taylor (Corporate Director) Lee Wenham (Head of Communications & Customer Engagement) AGENDA No. Item
2. Declarations of interests
3. Notes from meeting held on 15 October 2014 and matters arising Cabinet Members Questions – Cllr Jennifer Raynor, Cabinet Member for 4.
Education Mid-Term Budget Statement – Mike Hawes, Head of Finance & Delivery 5.
Items for information
6. Convener’s letters:
a) Letters Log
b) Convener’s letter from meeting held on 17 September
c) Leader’s response to letter from meeting held on 17 September
d) Head of Finance response to letter from meeting held on 17 September
e) Convener’s letter from meeting held on 15 October – Leader
f) Convener’s letter from meeting held on 15 October – Cabinet Member for Services to Children & Young People
7. Swansea Voices Results - Sustainable Swansea: Fit for the Future Final Report
a) Swansea Voices Results
b) List of consultation events
8. Work Plan ***Please note members should declare personal and prejudicial interests and party whipping in the usual manner*** Contact: Rosie Jackson, Scrutiny Officer 01792 636292 Email: email@example.com Service Improvement and Finance Performance Panel Meeting Notes – 15 October 2014 In attendance
Mary Jones - Convener Jeff Jones Chris Holley Joe Hale Tony Colburn Des Thomas
Richard Rowlands – Corporate Improvement Manager Sian Bingham – Prevention and Early Intervention Strategic Manager Yvonne Surgay – FS Health Visitor Sharon Llewellyn – Flying Start Co-ordinator Diane Drew – Parenting Team Leader Bridget Ruggiero –Operational Lead, Flying Start Health Rosie Jackson – Scrutiny Officer
2. Disclosure of Members’ personal interests:
3 Matters arising from 17 September meeting notes None.
4. Flying Start briefing Sian Bingham and Sharon Llewellyn presented a detailed briefing on the Flying Start Programme.
The following key points were noted:
Swansea Flying Start is recognised at a national level as good practice by the Welsh Government. It is also cited as good practice by experts in the field and its approach has been duplicated by other authorities in Wales.
It follows an integrated model between health and the Local Authority.
A key strength has been to draw in additional funding on top of Welsh Government Flying Start money, such as Families First, which has enabled some key services to be available across Swansea, such as the Parenting Partnership Team.
Data collection is central to the management of the programme.
Regular termly visits are carried out by the management team to each Flying Start setting where they meet with staff and analyse the data from the previous term.
The programme tracks children across Flying Start and
The following questions were raised by the Panel:
What is the interaction between Flying Start and Child & Family Services? For example, can the recent reduction in children on the at risk register be partly attributed to Flying Start?
Yes, Flying Start is felt to have had an impact on this. It is implemented in areas of chronic need. It provides an alternative to referral to Social Services, and can stop escalation of issues by providing additional support and services that are not available outside of Flying Start areas. The “step up” into Child & Family Services in Flying Start areas is less than 2%.
Flying Start is resource intensive, has its implementation had a detrimental impact on non-Flying Start areas?
As Flying Start areas increase they provide funding for additional health visitors, which in turn reduces the caseload for Health Visitors in non-Flying Start (/generic) areas. There has always been a dearth of the type of support provided by Flying Start; therefore its implementation has increased what is available. Were mindful of the general lack of support across Swansea at the set up stage, therefore commissioned some services to cover all of Swansea by bringing in funding from additional sources such as Families First (as WG funding is purely for Flying Start areas). For example the Family Partnership Service (which provides parenting support) is available across Swansea, the midwifery groups for new parents, whilst held in various Flying Start locations, are open for anyone to attend.
Is the additional Flying Start funding carried on when children go to school?
No, once children enter the maintained sector they are part of the mainstream education system. Flying Start focus is on school readiness and on the 0-3 age group. The idea of this early intervention is that it reduces the need for more costly interventions later on and results in less additional funding required. However, a Team Around the Family approach remains in place and school staff in the Flying Start areas are up-skilled to be able to continue with support, so momentum is not lost.
What is meant by 2nd and 3rd phase of Flying Start?
Phase 1 – refers to the 2006 launch of the programme. This targeted school catchment areas in the most deprived areas.
Phase 2 – took place 2/3 years ago and was an expansion in the programme and also involved a move away from catchment areas to LSOAs (lower super output areas) which are determined by income/benefit levels.
Phase 3 – currently underway and has involved a slight expansion of the areas covered by Flying Start.
Currently 2073 children aged 0-3 are within Flying Start areas. This is 25% of the population of that age range in Swansea.
Are all the Flying Start areas contained within Target Areas?
No. SB agreed to provide breakdown of areas.
Does Flying Start find itself in competition with other similar programmes, for example Faith in Families in Portmead?
Flying Start works together with other projects/programmes. For example the Faith in Families project in Portmead was given the contract to run the Flying Start service for that areas – one of the few locations where Flying Start not run through a school Are there problems with staff recruitment?
There has been a national shortage of health visitors for several years – this has had an effect on recruitment in generic and Flying Start areas. In order to address this over the past 3 years Welsh Universities have increased their intake onto the health visitor degree course to twice a year, effectively doubling the numbers that are trained.
What is the relationship like with Health?
There is a good working relationship with Health. The Flying Start
Has Flying Start had a detrimental effect on schools outside FS areas?
Haven’t had notification of any issues. It is not a school based programme or based on catchment areas – postcode based. As far as we are aware children continue to go onto the schools they were expected to. Flying Start has actually improved take up in schools that were previously flagging – it is supporting schools to be viable in their communities.
Is there a cap on the number of children that can be included in the Programme, if so how close are we to the limit?
Yes and this is one of the major challenges facing the programme.
Factors such as the growing birth rate, and increasing demand due to families requested to be housed in Flying Start areas specifically to access the additional support available have increased pressure on numbers. We are very close to the cap and are likely to reach it before the end of stage 3.
5. Annual Review of Performance Richard Rowlands, Corporate Improvement Manager, provided the Panel with a presentation covering the Annual Review of Performance Report (presentation attached separately). The Panel noted the report. Specific performance issues were picked up in the Panel’s discussion of Quarter 1 performance.
STS006 – % of fly tipping cleared within 5 working days. Panel noted that performance in this indicator is above target but that it is in the bottom quartile of performance in Wales (as per the Annual Review of Performance (agenda item 5). Panel wish to explore further the reasons why Swansea has a higher number of fly tipping incidents (as advised by the service). Discussed issues such as lack of publicity for fly tipping prosecutions in Swansea. Agreed that these issues would be raised with the Cabinet Member. Cabinet Member for Environment & Transportation to attend the next Panel RJ to invite
Panel agreed to monitor the highlighted indicators in Quarter 2.
7. Local Authority Performance Bulletin (Local Government Data Unit Report) The Panel were provided with the 9th Annual Review of Performance, produced by the Local Government Data Unit (LGDU). This compares key performance indicators across welsh local authorities and is useful to put Swansea’s performance into context. The Panel noted the report.
RJ advised that a development session has been arranged with the LGDU to provide scrutiny councillors with advice and information on using performance data in their work. It will take place on 25 November at 3pm in the Grand Theatre (Circle Bar). An email with further details will be sent out in due course. All scrutiny councillors will be invited to attend.
8. Letters log The Panel noted the letters log and that there are no outstanding responses.
9. Work Plan Panel agreed to invite the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transportation to attend the next meeting to discuss the Annual Recycling and Landfill Performance information and to also discuss fly-tipping issues.
1.1 One of the most important roles that scrutiny carries out is holding the council’s cabinet to account. By acting as a ‘critical friend’ scrutiny has the opportunity to challenge the cabinet and individual cabinet members on their actions and monitor performance in relation to their areas of responsibilities. The Scrutiny Programme Committee has requested that the Service Improvement and Finance Scrutiny Performance Panel make time in its work plan to hold question sessions with a range of cabinet members to monitor the implementation and impact of budget decisions within their portfolios.
1.2 Councillor Jennifer Raynor has been invited to attend this meeting to enable the panel to discuss the implementation of budget decisions, implications, and progress against achieving intended changes / outcomes within her Education portfolio.
2. Education Portfolio
2.1 The revised Education portfolio includes the following areas of
3. Approach to Questions
3.1 The cabinet member will be invited to make introductory remarks, including a general up-date on progress towards achieving savings targets within the Education portfolio and her views on whether there are any areas of concern or any significant issues in relation to the education budget, before taking questions from the panel. Following the session the convener will write the cabinet member in order to capture the main issues discussed, views expressed by the Panel, and any actions for the cabinet member to consider.
3.2 The panel also previously indentified a specific area of concern that they wished to discuss with the cabinet member, namely issues around school transport and whether reductions in public transport subsidies are affecting school attendance and attainment
3.3 If the panel believes that more detailed scrutiny of any of the issues raised during this item is required, then this should be agreed through the normal work planning process. This will also allow proper time for preparation.
1.1 As part of the budget scrutiny process the panel has the opportunity to discuss the Mid-Term Budget Statement, which sets out the latest position with regard to the 2014/15 Revenue and Capital Budgets together with an initial assessment of the 2015/16 Revenue and Capital Funding positions and updates the Medium Term Financial Plan (see appendix 1)
1.2 This will assist the panel in its deliberations when it considers the draft budget for 2015/16.
2. Cabinet Member attendance
2.1 Cllr Rob Stewart, the Leader, was invited to attend to discuss the report with the panel as Cabinet Member for Finance and Strategy. However he is unable to attend due to annual leave commitments. Therefore, following the session the convener will write the Leader in order to capture the main issues discussed, views expressed by the Panel, and any actions for the Leader to consider.
2.2 Mike Hawes, Head of Service for Finance and Delivery, is attending to present the report to the panel and answer any questions.
Appendix A: Mid Term Budget Statement – Council Report
Policy Framework: Sustainable Swansea – Fit for the Future Reason for decision: This report is presented to Council for Information purposes in order to fully explain the background to the current budget issues facing the Council.
Consultation: Legal Services, Access to Services and Executive Board Recommendations: It is recommended that:
1. Introduction and Background