Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - Wednesday, 11 November 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Online only

Contact: Kirsty Hunt  01344 353108

Link: This meeting will be held online


Note No. Item



Minutes pdf icon PDF 236 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 13 October 2020.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 13 October 2020 be approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chair.



Declarations of Interest and Party Whip

Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary or affected interests and the nature of that interest, including the existence and nature of the party whip, in respect of any matter to be considered at this meeting.


Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in a matter should withdraw from the meeting when the matter is under consideration and should notify the Democratic Services Officer in attendance that they are withdrawing as they have such an interest. If the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is not entered on the register of Members interests the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.


Any Member with an Affected Interest in a matter must disclose the interest to the meeting.  There is no requirement to withdraw from the meeting when the interest is only an affected interest, but the Monitoring Officer should be notified of the interest, if not previously notified of it, within 28 days of the meeting.


Councillor Mrs Birch asked for it to be recorded that she was the spouse of the Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing who was attending the meeting for the Council Plan Overview Report – budget scrutiny item.


There were no indications that members would be participating while under the party whip.



Urgent Items of Business

Any other items which, pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chairman decides are urgent.


There were no items of urgent business.


Public Participation

To receive submissions from members of the public which have been submitted in advance in accordance with the Council’s Public Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.


No submissions had been made by members of the public under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.


Council Plan Overview Report - budget scrutiny pdf icon PDF 6 MB

Council Plan Overview Report (CPOR) covering the first quarter of 2020/21 is attached.


Members of the Commission are asked to submit technical or detailed questions in advance of the meeting.


The Overview and Scrutiny Commission are aware from previous budget discussions that over 60% of the Council’s expenditure is for Children’s and Adult’s social services. The Commission are going to therefore focus their discussion on:

·       Understanding the current costs that make up this expenditure

·       Whether we are achieving value for money for residents

Additional documents:


The Chief Executive introduced the Council Plan Overview Report (CPOR) covering the first quarter of 2020/21.


In response to a members’ question the Chief Executive would update the Commission after the meeting as to whether the lease had been signed with South Hill Park.


The Overview and Scrutiny Commission was aware from previous budget discussions that over 60% of the Council’s expenditure was for Children’s and Adults’ social services. The Commission had invited the Interim Director: Adult Social Care and the Interim Director: Children’s Social Care to attend the meeting to help the Commission understand the current costs that made up this expenditure and explore whether the Council was achieving value for money for residents.


The briefing presentations were included in the agenda pack and Councillors had submitted questions prior to the meeting.


Arising from the discussion following the briefing on Adult Social Care:

·       it was explained that agency workers were typically employed for posts considered to be ‘hard to recruit’ nationally. Work was ongoing to develop multiple strategies to attract applicants including joint recruitment with health partners; how to make Bracknell Forest Council an attractive place to work; working with universities and where possible investing in existing committed employees to train them with the skills for such roles; 

·       work to support vulnerable residents had continued to provide that first conversation with assessments and reviews also continuing using full PPE throughout the pandemic period;

·       regular contact had been maintained with residents who would have received care while it was not available during the pandemic therefore there would not be a spike of unmanageable activity as lockdown eased;

·       care homes had been supported by the Council during the pandemic;

·       preference continued to be ‘home first’ e.g. supporting people to remain in their own homes for as long as possible;

·       as the population grows the service was developing a mixed economy of support;

·       the Council was unable to influence the charges made by care homes for their self-funded clients but worked with ‘My Care My Home’ to support people to choose a care home by helping them ask the right questions part of which was financial

·       the process was explained following the identification that someone required care including how assessments were costed then quality assured as well as a quality check being undertaken on the proposed care package;

·       it was explained that it was an option for individuals to use their resource allocation to make direct payments to their own personal assistant in their own home rather than go into a residential or nursing home. It was recognised that this could offer better value for money and was provided for a large proportion of people;

·       an iterative process of changing ways of working had occurred during the pandemic including use of technology which would complement the transformation programme in the long term which, though currently paused, was still required. It was noted however that the pandemic had shifted its focus; and

·       Adult Social Care was involved in conversations on adaptable properties for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.



Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 377 KB

Overview and Scrutiny Panel Chairs to provide a verbal progress update on the work programme.


The Commission to consider any proposed changes to the Overview and Scrutiny work programme such as scope, scheduling or duration and its potential impact on the delivery of the overall programme.

Additional documents:


Each Panel Chair provided a verbal update on work programme progress.


Education, Skills and Growth

The Care Leavers review had been considered by the Executive on 10 November, all recommendations were accepted and the report layout had been complemented.


An amendment to the Apprentices review scope was proposed, the evidence pack was being developed and three session dates had been arranged for:

o   Monday 23 November @ 2 - 5 pm

o   Thursday 26 November @ 2 - 5 pm

o   Tuesday 1 December @ 6 pm


Environment and Communities

The Strategic Housing: Registered Social Landlords review was in the process of being scheduled and the evidence pack was being developed with officers.


Wellbeing and Finance

The scope for the Isolation and Loneliness review was proposed to the meeting.


The Commission agreed that:


i)               the amendment to the scope for the Apprentices review be accepted; and


ii)             the proposed scope for the Isolation and Loneliness review be approved and the review commissioned.