Agenda for Children & Young People's Overview & Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, 17th June, 2009, 5.00pm
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Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Hove Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Sharmini Williams, Scrutiny Support Officer
1.1 Declaration of Substitutes
Councillor Dawn Barnett was substituting for Councillor Lynda Hyde. Councillor Pat Drake sent her apologies.
1.2 Declarations of Interest
Councillor Ben Duncan declared a personal but non-prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 5a, on the grounds that he has a son who is currently required to pay for school meals.
1.3 Declaration of Party Whip
There were none.
1.4 Exclusion of the Press and Public
In accordance with section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, it was considered whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of any items contained in the agenda, having regard to the nature of the business to be transacted and the nature of the proceedings and the likelihood as to whether, if members of the press and public were present, there would be disclosure to them of confidential or exempt information as defined in section 100I (1) of the said Act.
1.5 RESOLVED- That the press and public not be excluded from the meeting.
Minutes of the previous meeting held on the 25 March 2009. (Copy attached).
2.1 The Committee approved the Minutes of the meeting on the 25 March 2009.
3.1 The Chairman welcomed David Sanders from the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton, Statutory Co-optee, from the Catholic Diocese.
3.2 The Chairman welcomed 2 further Youth Council representatives - Sarah Khaddar and Azdean Boulaich and further representatives who were in the public gallery Kenya Simpson- Martin, Rohan Lowe and Alex Qiu.
3.3 The Chairman informed the Committee that Rachel Travers had replaced Jonathan Stearn as the Community Voluntary Sector Forum (CVSF) representative.
3.4 At the Chairman’s discretion the Agenda items were altered with items being tabled in the following order:
5,8,6,7,9 and 10.
4.1 There were none.
Universal Free School Meals – Letter from Councillor Fryer
St. Mary’s Hall School Closure - Letter from Councillor Duncan
School Exclusions – Letter from Councillor Carden
5.1 Members discussed 3 scrutiny proposals which were:
· Universal Free Schools Meal – Councillor Rachel Fryer
· St. Mary’s Hall School – Councillor Ben Duncan
· School Exclusions – Councillor Bob Carden
5.2 RESOLVED –
(1) Members agreed to receive a detailed report on the Universal Free School Meals at the next CYPOSC meeting, to decide whether any future action needs to be taken.
(2) Members agreed to receive a detailed report on the questions asked about the closure of St. Mary’s School at the next CYPOSC meeting.
(3) Members agreed that School Exclusions was an important issue and to set up an Ad-hoc Panel. Rachel Travers (Co-optee) put herself forward to sit on the Panel.
Update on the Falmer Academy
Lorraine O’Reilly verbal report - 10 minutes
6.1 This item was taken after Agenda Item 8.
6.2 Rod Derbyshire the new Project Manager for the Falmer Academy updated the Committee on the progress of the Academy which included the:
· Project Procurement Status Report
· Appointment of the new Principal
· Planning Submission
· Project timeline and progress status report
· Consultation activities
6.3 In response to a question on staff morale and how many staff vacancies there were, the Project Manager advised from his experience to date, that the Staff appeared to be very supportive and enthused by the project and he understood that there are no abnormal issues regarding staffing for the coming academic year.
6.4 In answer to a question on examination performance, this information required further clarification and Officers would e-mail Members with the information.
6.5 The Chairman asked Members to contact the Project Manager directly with any further queries that they may have.
(1) Further clarification to be provided on the targets for examination results.
(2) It was agreed to have an update on the Falmer Academy at the 18 November 2009 meeting.
Report of the Director of Children’s Services
7.1 Caroline Parker, Head of Service, City Early Years and Childcare presented the report to Members and answered questions.
7.2 In answer to a question on the lack of background evidence for the grading of the Sure Start Children’s Centres performance, Members were informed that the gradings were based on an assessment of performance against the national Children’s Centres Standards matrix which includes grade descriptors for each outcome. Each of the eight full Self Evaluation Framework (SEF) reports contained a more detailed analysis with the reasons for the grades. CYPOSC had received a précis of these reports.
7.3 In answer to a question on whether further information on disabled children was available, Members were told that there were issues regarding IT systems and therefore it was difficult to provide monitoring information on the take up of services by particular groups. This was recognised as a weakness and a priority for future action in the report. Members commented that specialised needs were being unsupported and requested that further information on these IT issues be e-mailed to them.
7.4 In response to a question on high levels of obesity and low levels of breastfeeding in Hangleton, Members were told that there is a link between the two and the Children’s Centre team were working with families in the area to promote breast-feeding and reduce obesity.
7.5 Azdean Boulaich (Youth Council Representative) questioned why the performance for the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile in the Roundabout Children’s Centre area had reduced between 2007 and 2008. Members were informed that improving performance here was a key priority for the children’s centre working together with Whitehawk Primary School. Action includes additional support for Whitehawk Primary School from the Early Years Consultants, additional support for children attending Roundabout Nursery and support for families in their own homes.
7.6 Further information on Breastfeeding was requested by Councillor Juliet McCaffrey.
(1) Members noted the report and requested further information on :
(i) Data collection IT issues.
(ii) Councillor Juliet McCaffrey is to receive further information on Breastfeeding.
Report of the Acting Director of Strategy & Governance to follow.
8.1 This item was taken after Agenda Item 5c.
8.2 Councillor Ann Norman, Chairman of the Children and Alcohol Ad-hoc Panel presented the report and answered questions with the other two Panel Members Councillors Ben Duncan and Juliet McCaffrey.
8.3 Councillor Ann Norman congratulated Overview and Scrutiny Officers on the report and thanked Sussex Police, partners within the NHS, alcohol retailers, school head teacher, and the Council’s Licensing, Trading Standards, Public Health, Children’s Alcohol Services and School Services for their assistance in under taking the study.
8.4 The Youth Council were also thanked for their input and a Youth Council representative, Kenya Simpson-Martin for meeting up separately and providing valuable evidence which was used in the report.
8.5 AzdeanBoulaich (Youth Council representative) questioned whether the council did have more powers and whether a reduction in the number of outlets that young people could buy cheap alcohol from, wouldn’t that might create a black market type environment which could be more dangerous for young people. The Panel Members responded that there was no evidence to back this and that parents have a responsibility to prevent their children getting alcohol from other means.
8.6 Sarah Khaddar (Youth Council representative), asked what types of alternative activities the Panel had in mind and whether there was funding available. The Panel Members responded that it could be somewhere that young people could go to arrange other activities for example like team sports, youth clubs and that this recommendations needed to be supported within the Youth Alcohol Strategy.
A further question was asked by Sarah, as to whether private funding would be accepted and Panel Members agreed that this could be potentially a good idea.
A further comment from Sarah was that the dangers of making alcohol harder to obtain, may just make it more attractive for young people.
8.7 It was commented that Youth Outreach Workers were already engaging with young people in parks and this was a valuable service that the Children’s Trust provided.
8.8 Sarah commented that there was lack of education in schools on the health issues relating to drinking alcohol at a young age as necessary.
8.9 RESOLVED- The Committee endorsed the report Reducing Alcohol related harm to Children and Young People report and agreed to refer the report to the Council’s Executive, Licensing Committee, partner organisations and the Children and Young People’s Trust (CYPT) Board as necessary.
Report of the Director of Children’s Services
9.1 Steve Barton, Assistant Director- Strategic Commissioning and Governance told the committee that this pre-decision scrutiny workshop would be their opportunity to consider and comment of the draft Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP).
(1) Members agreed to the one off workshop.
(2) The potential date and time is to be arranged via e-mail.
10.1 It was noted that a Work Planning meeting took place on the 1 June 2009 with Councillors Averil Older, Juliet McCaffrey and Vicky Wakefield-Jarrett.
10.2 It was also noted that the work programme was a live document and would change accordingly.
10.3 For the 16 September, 2009 Committee, the Exclusions report is to be taken off; the Committee have agreed to have an Ad-hoc Panel instead.
Universal Free School Meals and the Closure of St. Mary’s School are two additional reports that would be received at the next meeting.
10.4 A Member requested to receive a report on the Chailey Heritage for 20 January, 2010.
10.5 It was commented on the important work that CYPOSC were doing and that limited resources and the number of meetings resulted in full Agenda’s.
10.6 RESOLVED –
(1) The Work Programme was agreed.
(2) Universal Free School Meals and the Closure of St. Mary’s School to be heard at the next CYPOSC meeting.
(3) A report on the Chailey Heritage to be received at the 20 January, 2010 meeting.