Overview and Scrutiny Panel Chairs to provide a verbal progress updates 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.
Each Panel Chair provided a verbal update on work programme progress.
Wellbeing and Finance
Work had begun with stakeholders to agree what would be in scope for a review of mental health services as it was recognised this was a vast topic. There was a suggestion the review could focus on how easily customers navigate referral pathways; success rate and self-help as customers move up the chain of support across all providers including statutory, third sector, primary and secondary health settings. It was queried whether Panel members had considered a separate review into the effect of lockdown on residents and the Chair of the Wellbeing and Finance Panel explained the focus on mental health was due to several factors, including looking at the rise in need for mental health support for residents since the pandemic began. It was agreed the final scope would be brought to a future Commission meeting.
Education, Skills and Growth
On 14 June 2021 Panel members held a meeting with lead officers, the Executive Member: Children, Young People and Learning and Care Leavers to review the implementation of recommendations which came out of the Care Leavers scrutiny review. Panel members were pleased to note five of the six recommendations had been implemented in full and significant progress had been made against the final recommendation, which had already led to a positive impact on outcomes for Care Leavers in the borough. As this was the first time any Panel had formally held key personnel to account on the implementation of recommendations arising from a scrutiny review the final report template was currently being devised. The final review of recommendations report would be available at the next meeting.
Several meetings had already taken place as part of the Panel’s current review into Community Infrastructure Levy and a survey to Parish/Town Councils had been circulated. The next meeting would take place on 13 July with parish council representatives attending. Commission members asked if there could be an issue with Parish/Town Councils receiving funding which the borough could allocate to different projects and were informed the review was looking at joint working between the two organisations and if Parish/Town Councils were working together to deliver projects and make best use of resources.
County Lines and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities were topics the Panel were considering as future reviews. The Chair of the Education, Skills and Growth Overview and Scrutiny Panel had attended a County Lines workshop on 6 June and a SEND workshop on 29 June and been able to identify good practice and expert witnesses in preparation for the reviews. Members queried if Panel members had considered looking at how schools had coped with remote learning since the pandemic began. It was noted this was not on the review programme but was an issue that had arisen at the School Improvement Accountability Board, of which the Panel Chair was a member, and could be considered for the future.
Environment and Communities
The Food Waste in Flats and Houses of Multiple Occupation scrutiny review had been completed and was awaiting officer responses and completion of risk assessments. The final report would be presented at the next Commission meeting and, if supported, to the Executive in September.
The Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Commission reflected the Commission work programme was continuously being reviewed and considered so requested it would be a separate agenda item at the meeting on 9 September 2021.