Agenda item - Home to School Transport: Response to the Recommendations from the Independent Review Report

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Agenda item

Home to School Transport: Response to the Recommendations from the Independent Review Report

Report of the Interim Executive Director for Families, Children & Learning (copy attached)

Decision:

RESOLVED-

 

1.    That the report be noted as an interim report that remains subject to change pending the deliberations and possible report of the Home to School Transport Policy Panel and other investigations by committee.

2.    That the report to Policy & Resources Committee on 27 May in Appendix B be noted by Committee.

3.    That the Use of Officer Urgency Powers in relation to supplier relief in Appendix C be noted by Committee.

4.    That the Terms of Reference for the Home to School Transport Policy Panel agreed by this Committee in November 2019 states it would conclude “early in the new year”, but as the panel had not yet made its conclusions then agreement to the extension of the Home to School Transport Policy Panel for a further 6 months for further investigations and deliberations be agreed by Committee.

Minutes:

8.1       The Committee considered a report of the Interim Executive Director for Families, Children & Learning which sought to set out the response of the Home to School Transport Service to the recommendations in the Independent Review Report, outlined progress made to date and further outlined issues for the service over the pandemic period. The report was provided by the Interim  Lead for Home to School Transport and Assistant Director – Education & Skills.

 

8.2       Councillor Clare proposed the Green & Conservative Joint Amendment. It was stated that the panel would complete work in 2020 however that the panel work was not yet complete.

 

8.3       Councillor Brown formally seconded the amendment and noted proposal to change recommendation 2.1 was minor however this allowed for the recommendations in the report to be modified when all circumstances and problems had been investigated. Further support was expressed for extending the panel by 6 months.

 

8.4       Councillor Simson referred to the management structure and enquired what would be put in place. Further reference was made to the grade structure, clarification was sought with regard to the reason for having previously been so much. Further enquiry was made as to the status of the interim head of service.

 

8.5       The Assistant Director – Education & Skills stated that efforts to work closely with HR was being undertaken and that what was needed was an improved service. It was stated that the figures in the report were in regard to having an interim post in place however this was for only a short amount of time.

 

8.6       Councillor O’Quinn referred to the changes in the amendment and enquired if the committee could be assured that a clear work plan would be provided in the 6 months. A further request for an advanced timetable was made.

 

8.7       Councillor Clare remarked that the hope was this would not take a full 6 months and that efforts to get through all work was being undertaken.

 

8.8       The Lead for Home to School Transport agreed to look at an action plan.

 

8.9       Councillor Hamilton expressed disappointment in the panel taking so long to come to a final conclusion.

 

8.10    Councillor Nield requested an update on plans in place to deal with Covid in September.

 

8.11    The Lead for Home to School Transport stated that the situation was in constant daily development, efforts were being undertaken to reorganise all transport and that BHCC would be going forward with the Government’s 2-meter rule. It was noted that extensive planning was in place with regard to the sourcing and running of vehicles. It was further stated that there was a lot of work with respect to trying to help with recruitment of staff as, due to age, health implications were having a negative effect on availability.

 

8.12    Councillor Knight expressed concern on the logistical, practical and emotional stress that officers were under. It was noted that the working hub was not on hold as the Chair recognised how important this was.

 

8.13    Councillor Simson noted that previous administrations had run scrutiny panels instead of a review. It was stated that Councillor scrutiny was paramount and expressed support for the extension until all works were completed as necessary.

 

8.14    Councillor Brown noted that it was important that the panel had to be present through till either August or the beginning of September.

 

8.15    The Managing Principle noted that there had been no scrutiny panels and clarified that this was a member policy panel. It was stated that as a matter of good practice it would be helpful to envisage some dates for reporting to parent committee.

 

8.16    The chair called a vote on the amendment which was carried.

 

8.17    A vote was held on the recommendations as amended which passed.

 

8.18    RESOLVED-

 

1.    That the report be noted as an interim report that remains subject to change pending the deliberations and possible report of the Home to School Transport Policy Panel and other investigations by committee.

2.    That the report to Policy & Resources Committee on 27 May in Appendix B be noted by Committee.

3.    That the Use of Officer Urgency Powers in relation to supplier relief in Appendix C be noted by Committee.

4.    That the Terms of Reference for the Home to School Transport Policy Panel agreed by this Committee in November 2019 states it would conclude “early in the new year”, but as the panel had not yet made its conclusions then agreement to the extension of the Home to School Transport Policy Panel for a further 6 months for further investigations and deliberations be agreed by Committee.

Supporting documents:

 


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