Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel – 15 December 2008

PRESENT: Councillor Wilson in the chair.

Councillors Mrs Bromby (vice-chair), Cawsey, C Sherwood, Sidell, Simpson and Whiteley.

Statutory Co-opted Members: Mrs A Dunkerley (Parent Governor Representative), Mr W Egan and Mrs W Witter (Church Representatives)

Councillor Gosling attended the meeting in accordance with Procedure 37(b)

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

56 DECLARATIONS – OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests.

No whip was declared.

57 PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK – There were no requests received

58 FORWARD PLAN ITEMS – (i) Youth Justice Plan 2008/2009 – Discussions with the Team Manager Youth Support Services – Jayne McGregor, Team Manager Youth Support Service was welcomed to the meeting. The Chair explained that members of the panel had requested an overview of the Youth Justice Plan and the relevant background information.

Jayne McGregor advised the panel that the Youth Justice Board required each Youth Offending Service to produce an annual Capacity and Capability Plan. The current plan would exist until March 2009, at which point it would be necessary to produce a subsequent plan for the following year. It was envisaged that there would be little change between these two.

The purpose of the Youth Justice Plan was to provide an overview of delivery plans and set out the basis for performance review and improvement. The plan set out how the Youth Offending Service would deliver against the Youth Justice Board’s performance measures and how the service would maintain its performance and quality of practice.

Members engaged in further discussion over the validation of the information, how this was assessed by the Youth Justice Board, financial planning and partnership working arrangements.

Resolved – (a) That the position be noted, and (b) that Jayne McGregor be thanked for her attendance at the meeting.

59 (ii) Entitlement to Early Learning and Care for Three to Four Year Olds – Discussions with the Head of Early Years – Sandra Simmons, Head of Early Years was welcomed to the meeting. The panel was advised that funding for part time nursery places had been made available to ensure that all children received early education.

It was explained that at present the entitlement was twelve and a half hours per week, this would soon be increased to fifteen hours per week. Members were advised of the financial and also planning implications, the pressures that this presented to some areas, especially within the rural parts of North Lincolnshire where choice selection was not as prevalent as in urban areas.

Sandra Simmons advised that changes had been made to the funding system, and that this would be paid on a take up basis rather than on the places that were available.

Members engaged in further discussions.

Resolved – (a) That the position be noted, and (b) that Sandra Simmons be thanked for her attendance at the meeting.

60 POLICY REVIEW – PLAY AREAS AND OPEN SPACES IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – (i) Presentation and discussions with Maureen Moore, Sport, Play and Community Development Manager and Tom Coburn, Head of Sports Facilities – The Chair welcomed Maureen and Tom to the meeting and explained that the panel had asked for an overview on how play was being developed and promoted within North Lincolnshire.

Tom explained that a visual presentation had been brought for members showing the current position of the Council’s Play Strategy, and also where it aimed to be in the future.

The presentation gave details on how the Play Strategy Implementation Group (PSIG) aimed to address the six specific areas identified within the strategy. These being how to develop a coordinated approach to play, how to raise the profile of play within North Lincolnshire, how it aimed to develop a play service that would be accessible to all children, how to develop existing and also new play provision, how to develop the quality of play opportunities for children and how to develop a service that was properly resourced and supported.

A list of actions had been agreed which were discussed in depth by members of the panel and officers in attendance.

Maureen and Tom provided an insight into future developments and how this would be incorporated into the new strategy that would be in place as from April 2010.

Concerns were expressed over the development of new housing areas and what was perceived to be the obligatory pocket park. Maureen Moore explained that theStrategic Steering group would address the loophole within planning applications and the section 106 agreements. It was suggested that the panel speak to Craig Fotheringham, Senior Planning Officer who was believed to be reviewing relevant planning policies and also the details of section 106 agreements.

Resolved – (a) That the position be noted, and (b) that Maureen Moore and Tom Coburn be thanked for their attendance and informative presentation at the meeting.

61 (ii) (5) Town and Parish Council Consultation – The Service Director Legal and Democratic explained that the results from the town and parish council consultation exercise had been received and had been circulated for information.

Members engaged in discussion over the results, which gave a clear indication that play facilities for teenagers were needed throughout North Lincolnshire.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

62 (iii) To discuss the site visits so far – Members engaged in discussions over the site visits that had already been held, and provided accounts of what had been found at each.

The Service Director Legal and Democratic explained that two visits had been postponed due to the severe weather on those particular days and these would be rescheduled for early 2009.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

63 (iv) Next Stages – The Service Director Legal and Democratic reaffirmed that the two remaining site visits would be rearranged and details would be circulated to members accordingly.

Members were also advised that there had been a good response from the school consultation. Information was still being received and this would be formatted and circulated in due course.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

64 (6) LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S FORWARD PLAN -DECEMBER 2008 TO MARCH 2009 – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council’s Forward Plan for December 2008 to March 2009.

The plan contained details of all matters and issues likely to be the subject of key decisions for a period of the next four months, updated on a monthly basis. Members discussed various items on the Forward Plan.

Resolved – That the position be noted.