Full Cabinet – 12 July 2011
PRESENT: Councillor Mrs Redfern in the chair.
Councillors Briggs (vice chairman), Poole, C Sherwood, N Sherwood and Waltham.
Councillors Ali, Barker, Mrs Bromby, Carlile, Eckhardt, England, L Foster, T Foster, Gosling, Grant, Kirk, Marper, O’Sullivan, Swift, Whiteley and Wilson also attended the meeting.
Simon Driver, Tim Allen, Dave Basker, Will Bell, Frances Cunning, Keith Ford, Sarah Howe, Denise Hyde, Paul Savage, Chris Skinner, Mike Wedgewood, Peter Williams and Mel Holmes also attended the meeting.
The meeting was held at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.
925 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests.
926 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 2 February, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chairman.
927 (1) OUTSTANDING ACTION FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS – The Director of Corporate and Community Services submitted a report which contained a schedule of outstanding issues on which cabinet had requested reports to future meetings.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
928 (2) LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIPS (LEPs) – The Head of Regeneration and Planning submitted a report seeking approval to support the Humber Chamber proposal to develop a Humber Local Enterprise Partnership to become a key partner and a full member of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
In June 2010, the government had sought interest from local councils and businesses to develop LEPs to provide strategic leadership and set local economic priorities across their local areas. It was seen as essential that business and civic leaders work together to become effective partnerships. A LEP had to be focussed on a particular geographical area where there was an economic rationale and it would determine the economic priorities of that area and undertake activities that would drive economic growth and create new jobs.
The council had originally submitted a proposal for a Humber-wide LEP in September 2010 which had been supported by the business sector. However, there had also been a LEP proposal focussed on a north bank geographical area and both proposals had been rejected. A revised proposal has now been developed for a Humber-wide LEP led by the Humber Chamber and supported by the four Humber local authorities as well as the private sector. The Humber LEP would provide strategic leadership for the Humber economy and partners would work together to attract inward investment, business growth and ensure that resources were focussed for maximum impact. Further details of the areas to be focussed on were set out in paragraph 3.2 of the report.
The Greater Lincolnshire LEP had different priorities to the Humber LEP and these were set out in paragraph 3.3. That LEP was based on the administrative area covered by Lincolnshire County Council. North East Lincolnshire Council was already a full member of that LEP which also worked closely with the Nottinghamshire and Greater Peterborough areas. Further details were contained within the report.
Resolved – (a) That the council support the Humber Chamber proposal to develop a Humber-wide LEP and become a key partner, and (b) that the council also join the Greater Lincolnshire LEP as a full member.
929 (3) IMPROVING HEALTH AND WELL-BEING IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – ESTABLISHING A SHADOW HEALTH AND WELL-BEING BOARD – The Director of Adult Social Services, the Director of Children and Young People’s Services and the Director of Public Health submitted a joint report informing cabinet of the major reforms proposed for the National Health Service and their implications for the council which included taking on new powers and duties. The report also considered how the council, in its civic leadership role, could help to achieve the very best in health and well-being for the people of North Lincolnshire and to propose a shadow health and well-being board to develop effective and appropriate arrangements to meet statutory requirements in 2012 within the new health agenda.
A recent government review of the NHS had made proposals to transform the whole system to make it more efficient and bring it closer to local people. The White Paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS and its accompanying document Local Democratic Legitimacy in Health sketched out how the transformation would work over a period of three years. Paragraph 2.1 of the report set out the key areas for reform and the proposed timetable to implement most of the reforms by April 2012 so that the funding transfers could take place during the 2012/13 financial year. In April 2011, the government had decided upon a “pause” to the Health and Social Care Bill to initiate a listening exercise. The government had now responded to the Future Forum recommendations. The key implications for health and well-being boards were set out in paragraph 2.1 and these proposals would add up to significant change at national and local level.
One of the key proposals within the Health and Social Care Bill was that local authorities should play a lead role in shaping the health and well being of the communities. This would be done by the establishment of local health and well-being boards with responsibilities for ensuring that the present and future needs of the local population were understood and best served by Health and Social Care Commissioners and Providers. An outline of the proposed function and form of a health and well being board was set out in appendix 1 to the report. Officers and members from the council had been in discussion with NHS North Lincolnshire, local GPs and the local involvement network “Who Cares” and there was a strong commitment from all parties to work together and develop a new set of relationships through an effective North Lincolnshire Health and Well-Being Board that would deliver a number of key issues as detailed in paragraph 3.
Although each organisation had its own internal changes to make, the council had to give a civic lead on behalf of the community and to begin the work to put in place an effective Health and Well-Being Board. It was proposed that a shadow board be set up in North Lincolnshire with the aim to pave the way to a fully constituted Health and Well-Being Board prepared to effectively discharge all of its roles and responsibilities which will be contained in the Health and Social Care Bill when it is enacted. Appendix 2 to the report set out proposed terms of reference for the shadow board and appendix 3 outlined a proposed development plan for it. There were a number of reasons why the development of a Health and Well-Being Board should be initiated now rather than later in 2011/2012 and these were contained in paragraph 4 of the report. The report also indicated that the council had been accepted as a Department of Health early implementer for Health and Well-Being Boards and would benefit from the opportunity to share learning with other councils at this early stage.
The report contained further detailed information including a reference to the resource implications and to the fact that the government had announced that the Department of Health would provide £1m to cover the start up costs of council based Health and Well-Being Boards. It was anticipated that the proportion payable to North Lincolnshire Council would be sufficient to cover the costs of setting up the North Lincolnshire Shadow Board.
Resolved – (a) That cabinet agrees to the establishment of a Shadow Health and Well-Being Board as proposed in the report and its appendices, and (b) that further reports be submitted to cabinet and the shadow board with a view to establishing a full statutory board by April 2012.
930 (4) CORPORATE PARENTING FOR LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – The Director of Children and Young People’s Services submitted a report which outlined the council’s responsibilities as a corporate parent and proposed that the Corporate Parenting Group refocuses its work to continue to ensure that looked after children are at the centre of all that the council does.
Children “looked after” by the council must expect to be cared for as any good parent would do. The Children Act 1989 made it clear that this was a responsibility of the whole council and not just the directorate or service area that delivers services for children and young people. This was known as “corporate parenting”.
Locally the council had made a commitment to ensure that children were central to the development of services to improve their outcomes and the council wanted children to be looked after within a stable family home, had support to do well in school, in further training and in employment. An effective and well established corporate parenting group had been establishing consisting of senior representation from all the council’s service areas as well as from other key agencies such as health. A full account of the work of the Corporate Parenting Group was detailed in the Children and Young People in Care Strategy 2011/2013.
Elected members also had a responsibility to ensure that services for children and young people were good and to ensure that there were sufficient resources and accommodation choice. Members also take part in visiting children’s homes, scrutinising services and had an overview of performance measures to ensure children were safe and services are effective. In addition, all elected members were expected to undertaken training to ensure they had the knowledge to fulfil their safeguarding and corporate parenting responsibilities. The council’s overall commitment to looked after children was contained within the North Lincolnshire Corporate Parenting pledge. This is regularly reviewed.
The report contained a number of options for further enhancing the council’s corporate parenting responsibilities and these were detailed in paragraphs 3.1 to 3.5. Managing the corporate parenting agenda in line with these proposals would enable children and young people to have an increased role and be at the centre of the process. The Cabinet Member for Adults and Children would facilitate the new approach to the corporate parenting role whilst ensuring performance and outcomes were overseen through the cabinet member process. Improved outcomes would mean that children and young people in care were central to the council’s work as detailed in paragraph 4.2.
Resolved – That cabinet endorses the proposals regarding the re-shaping of the Corporate Parenting Group which places children and young people at the centre of activity.
931 (5) LOCAL SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN’S BOARD (LSCB) – ANNUAL REVIEW 2010 – A report was submitted by the Director of Children and Young People’s Services informing cabinet of the publication of the LSCB Annual Review January to December 2010 and the Annual Review highlights and achievements of the LSCB in that year.
The Local Safeguarding Children’s Board is the statutory body to ensure relevant organisations co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in North Lincolnshire. It was established under Section 13 of the Children Act 2004 and its core functions are set out in the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board Regulations and described in chapter 3 of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010. Section 11 of the Act placed a duty on named agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and these are defined as protecting children from mal treatment, preventing impairment of children’s health and development and ensuring that they are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care. The primary goal of the North Lincolnshire LSCB is:
To co-ordinate the work that is done by agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in North Lincolnshire
To ensure the effectiveness of that work
The LSCB is chaired by an independent person and is made up of senior officers from statutory partners and those who wish to take a proactive role in the work of the board. There are also three lay members who are the key links into the community within North Lincolnshire. The board had a statutory responsibility to produce an annual report and submit this to the Children’s Trust Board which was done in April 2011.
The report contained further information about the board and the annual review and attached as an appendix was a copy of the full annual review.
Resolved – That the report and its contents and the appendix be noted.
932 (6) FOSTERING FORTNIGHT ACTIVITIES 16 – 29 MAY 2011 – The Director of Children and Young People’s Services submitted a report informing cabinet of the North Lincolnshire Activities and Outcomes of Fostering Fortnight which had taken place between 16 and 29 May 2011.
The report indicated that North Lincolnshire actively participated in the Annual National Awareness Campaign aimed at raising the profile of fostering and to recruit more foster carers. The strap line for 2011 was “Time to Care”. The fostering network estimated that there was a need for 10,000 more foster carers in the UK and this council had an ambitious target to secure 30 new foster placements by 2013 based on the premise that where possible children are cared for within a family setting. Within this recruitment drive the council had committed a further £25,000 in 2011 which would support the assessment, approval and support process for new foster carers.
To promote Fostering Fortnight the North Lincolnshire Fostering Team had developed a local programme of promotional activities which covered the widest aspect of the foster carer roles. All recruitment activities included materials regarding fostering including mainstream foster carers, the Butterflies Short Break Scheme for disabled children, supported lodgings for children and young people over 16 and awareness raising about private fostering. Events during the fortnight had been supported by corporate parents from across the council and included the use of various council facilities etc. The report detailed many of the activities undertaken during the fortnight including details of road shows at Epworth Leisure Centre, 20/21 Visual Arts Centre, Waters Edge Centre in Barton, Brigg Farmers Market, the Armed Forces Day, at Scunthorpe Market and at the Water Rescue Day at Seven Lakes, Crowle. Following on from the fostering fortnight the Director updated cabinet about the response received in relation to the work undertaken which included some 20 enquiries.
Resolved – That the report and its contents be noted.
933 (7) GREENING THE WORKPLACE (RE-VISIT) – ACTION PLAN – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report which considered an action plan in response to the Economic Development and Corporate Issues Scrutiny Panel report on Greening the Workplace – Re-visit. In response to the 13 recommendations contained in the re-visit report an action plan had been prepared and was attached as an appendix to the report.
Resolved – (a) That cabinet approves the action plan attached as an appendix to the report, and (b) that the cabinet member for Highways and Neighbourhoods monitor the action plan via regular updates from appropriate officers.