Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel – 8 March 2010

PRESENT:  Councillor Wilson in the chair.

Councillors C Sherwood (vice-chairman), Mrs Bromby, Cawsey, Simpson, P Vickers and Whiteley.

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

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

112  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.

113  PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK There were no requests received.

114  ADDED ITEM – REVIEW OF THE YOUTH SERVICE IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – ACTION PLAN UPDATEDiscussions with Lynne Goodall, Head of Integrated Youth Support and Gill Brown, Connexions Area Manager – The Chair welcomed Lynne and Gill to the meeting and asked if they would provide the panel with an update on the recommendations that had been made within the scrutiny panels report November 2007.

Lynne explained that a huge amount of work had been necessary to address the overspend that had been occurring each year, that no further budget had been made available for the Youth Service and therefore a radical change had been needed to the structure.

Members received information on changes that had been introduced by the youth service to address the lack of support and activities that had been found on Friday and Saturday nights.  The knock on effect of this had been a noticeable reduction in the number of youths attending the youth court on Saturdays.  The panel was advised that over the last 27 weeks there had been no youth court appearances.

Further discussions focused around the innovative schemes such as PLINGS (places & things) that was being tried in 20 authorities, the nearest being Doncaster.  Close working relationships with Safer Neighbourhoods, Humberside Police and other voluntary groups ensured a targeted response, and further development of locality youth workers with the assistance of some young people resulted in a more effective use of resources.

Lynne and Gill confirmed that a review of the youth service buildings had been undertaken, which had since been superseded with the Worksmart initiative.  Further to this, local hubs had been introduced in Riddings and some of the more rural areas.  The hubs provided a one stop shop for youngsters, which gave youth service facilities and also the benefits of the Connexions facilities for training and also job prospects.

Members engaged in further discussions with Lynne and Gill.

Resolved – (a) That Lynne Goodall and Gill Brown be thanked for their attendance at the meeting and for the progress that had been made, (b) that they be invited to attend a future meeting to update the panel on the Youth Service, and (c) that the position be noted.

115  ADDED ITEM – REVIEW OF THE CHILD AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE (CAMHS) – ACTION PLAN UPDATE – Discussions with Gail Hebdon, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health Service (RDaSH) – The Chair welcomed Gail to the meeting, and it was acknowledged that she had only been in post a short period of time and had not been involved with the original review in 2009.

Gail provided Members with an overview of the work that had been achieved so far.  The panel was advised that a single access point had been introduced to address the lengthy waiting lists within North Lincolnshire’s CaMHS service.  This involved a group of clinicians meeting on a weekly basis, an assessment being made of the applications and consideration of all factors.  For those applications that fell within the low/medium category, these were being addressed with an on call clinician who would provide advice over the telephone.

Gail confirmed that training had been delivered recently within schools to raise awareness and also to highlight to staff and Head Teachers the signs/signature behaviours and symptoms that needed to be identified, what pathways were available and also at what stage a child should be referred to the CaMHS service.  The panel was advised that at present 2 primary mental health workers were involved with delivering the training and it was anticipated that a third person would be in post in the near future.

The panel was advised that a Tier2/3 service provision was being made available within North Lincolnshire and that the location would be confirmed at the next scheduled meeting of the panel.

The findings from the review into CaMHS had highlighted the lack of out of hour services.  Gail confirmed that this was being developed and that the panel would be provided with a copy of the consultation document that had been produced and asked that the panel provide any feedback resulting from the aforementioned document.

Members engaged in further discussion.

Resolved – (a)  That Gail Hebdon be thanked for her attendance at the meeting, (b) that copies of the consultation document for out of hours services and also the draft service plan for pathways be circulated to all members of the panel upon receipt, and (c) that the position be noted.

116  (14)  CORPORATE PARENTING REVIEW – To discuss and approve the scrutiny brief and to receive a copy of the LGiU – A Councillors guide to being a good corporate parent – The Service Director Legal and Democratic submitted the proposed scrutiny brief for this review and the above Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) guide.  Members engaged in discussions over certain aspects of the scrutiny brief and also the LGiU document.

The Service Director Legal and Democratic confirmed that arrangements were being made for members of the panel to visit a children’s home within North Lincolnshire.  Dates were being discussed with the staff involved and Members would be advised of precise details in due course.

The panel was reminded of the Corporate Parenting training that had been arranged, and asked if they would confirm which training session they would be attending.

Resolved – That the information be noted

117  (15) LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S FORWARD PLAN – MARCH TO JUNE 2010 – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council’s Forward Plan for March to June 2010.

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.

Angela Dunkerley, Parent Governor representative provided the panel with an update on the ‘entitlement to early learning and care for three and four year olds’ and outlined the progress that had been made within the 5 pilot schools.

Resolved – That the position be noted