Agenda item - Chair's Communications
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69.1 The Chair gave the following communication:
I would like to begin by thanking Councillor Bewick for his time Chairing the committee, and all the work he undertook for this Committee. I am proud to have now been appointed Chair, and look forward to working with you all.
I would like to welcome Josh Cliff, as the new Youth Council representative to the Committee.
Members of the committee will be aware that there were initial proposals to reduce the overall funding for youth provision next year by £800,000. Questions were asked about this at the last meeting of the committee and young people also asked questions at other committee meetings and a petition was presented at Full Council. Following the initial proposal the level of savings were reduced by £205,000 (of which £100,000 was for one year only). At the recent Budget Council the savings were reduced by a further £440,000 of which £250,000 is funded via the Housing Revenue Account. Officers are looking at a redesign of the provision that both reflects the new level of funding, but which also includes engagement with council housing residents. Once these have been developed we will share this with young people and the sector.
LGA Peer Review of Safeguarding
In September 2016 the Families, Children & Learning Directorate invited the LGA to the city to carry out an independent review of our safeguarding services. We wanted an external view to check on the progress we had made since our Ofsted inspection in 2015. The report has now been published and their key findings were:
- Social workers and support staff at every level were impressive
- Improvement actions set by Ofsted are being addressed and are integrated into ongoing service planning
- The new model of practice in social work is helping to promote a learning culture where staff at all levels have confidence and are motivated to improve
- Among those that received praise are our legal services team, the performance officers and system plus the range of bespoke provision in place to support our most vulnerable residents.
There is still work to be done, however this process helped give us assurance that our improvement plans are taking us in the right direction. I would like to thank everyone who was involved in meeting with the LGA team.
Ofsted Inspection of the Friends Centre
Ofsted have recently inspected the Friend’s Centre, a provider of adult learning in the city, and their provision has been rated as good. Brighton & Hove City Council works in close partnership with the Friends Centre which delivers some of the key priorities for the City Employment and Skills Plan. Officers talked to the Ofsted Inspectors about the focus on developing skills for those learners who have significant barriers to learning and employment, and how this partnership supports those in the areas of highest deprivation in the city. The positive outcome from the recent inspection reinforces the significance of the Friends Centre in the delivery of adult learning locally.