Adult & Children’s Services Cabinet Member – minute – 15 December 2011

44  (44) BLUE BADGE IMPROVEMENT SCHEME – IMPACT AND IMPLEMENTATION – The Director of Adult Social Services submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of the new Blue Badge Improvement Scheme as outlined by the Department for Transport, and seeking approval for the authorisation of the Access Agreement in order to implement the scheme, and to agree the level of charge relating to it. 

The Disabled Persons’ Parking Scheme (now the Blue Badge) was introduced in 1971.  The aim of the scheme was to help disabled people with severe mobility problems to access goods and services, by allowing them to park close to their destination.  The council continued to allow free parking for holders of Blue Badges, unlike some councils who had started to charge holders to park. 

The Department for Transport (DfT) was responsible for the legislation that set out the process and framework for the scheme.  The council had a statutory duty under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1971 to provide Blue Badges. 

In February 2011, the DfT announced that it was conducting a programme of reforms to improve operational efficiency and customer service and also prevent fraud and abuse of the scheme.  In May 2011, they appointed Northgate Public Services to deliver the Blue Badge Scheme, along with Payne Security, who would print and supply the new badge design. 

Blue Badges would not be available to councils through any other organisations.  Councils would be required to sign an Access Agreement with Northgate Public Services to enable them to purchase the badges.  

The report outlined that the administration and assessment costs currently borne by the council in order to purchase the badges equated to approximately £10. 

Resolved – (a) That the authorisation of the Access Agreement with Northgate Public Services be approved, and (b) that recommendation that the cost of the Blue Badge remain at a maximum fee of £3.50, as set out in the report at Option 2, be approved. 

45  (45) ADULT SOCIAL SERVICES STRATEGY – The Director Adult Social Services submitted a report seeking adoption of a new strategy which sought to help service users, carers, staff and partners improve services. 

The future for Adult Services was clear; People had choice and control over their lives.  In order for this to happen, the council had to work together with others to create strong communities that provided advice, information and guidance to enable people to manage their own needs.  This was to be supported by integrated health and social care teams based out in the localities that ensured a rapid response to enable people to regain any lost independence.

The council also had to ensure that if ongoing care or support was required, the service user was allocated a personal budget, and that the council continued to hold all services to account through intelligent commissioning, quality and performance management.

Adult Social Services had taken on board all the most recently policy guidance and created a one-page strategy to express the council’s direction and provide the public and partners with clarity of the council’s purpose and expected outcomes. 

Resolved – The Adult Social Services Strategy be approved and adopted.

46  (46) CONSULATION ON THE STRATEGIC REVIEW OF PRIMARY SCHOOL ORGANISATION: STRATEGY AND POLICIES – The Director of Children and Young People’s Services submitted a report seeking approval to consult on the draft Review of Primary School Organisation: Strategy and Policies. 

The council was responsible for the strategic commissioning of a diverse supply of strong schools and had a key role in ensuring that children, young people and families benefited from high educational standards locally. 

In order to achieve this, the council must strategically review, where appropriate, the organisation and provision of its schools and consider alternative structural and operational solutions. 

Through its statutory powers the council must promote educational excellence for all children and young people and be ambitious in tackling under performance.  

It was proposed that a Review of Primary School Organisation: Strategy and Policies be published to outline how changes could take place.  The Chair of the North Lincolnshire Schools Forum and Chair of North Lincolnshire Association of Governing Bodies had been consulted on this matter, and their comments noted.  

Resolved – (a) That the proposal that the Review of Primary School Organisation: Strategy and Policies be sent to Heads and Chairs of Governors for consultation be approved, and (b) that feedback from the consultation and any revision of the policies and plans be submitted to the Cabinet Member at a later date for approval.