Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Worcester

Contact: Samantha Morris/Alyson Grice  Overview and Scrutiny Officers


No. Item


Apologies and Welcome

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Apologies were received from Bryan Allbut.


Declaration of Interest and of any Party Whip

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Public Participation

Members of the public wishing to take part should notify the Head of Legal and Democratic Services in writing or by e-mail indicating the nature and content of their proposed participation no later than 9.00am on the working day before the meeting (in this case 28 January 2020).  Enquiries can be made through the telephone number/e-mail address below.


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Confirmation of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting

(previously circulated)


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The Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 December 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Budget Scrutiny: 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 82 KB

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The Leader of the Council and the Chief Finance Officer were in attendance for the discussion.


The Board was asked to consider the feedback from the Overview and Scrutiny Panels' discussions of the draft 2020/21 Budget, which had been circulated as part of the Agenda and an updated version tabled at the meeting.  In addition, draft comments from the Board were tabled. Following its consideration of the comments, the Board was asked to agree final comments for consideration by Cabinet on 30 January 2020.


Throughout January, the Scrutiny Panels and the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) had considered the Council’s draft Budget approved by Cabinet for consultation on 20 December 2019.  The Chairman of each scrutiny body was invited to summarise the key points from these meetings.


The final Budget would be agreed by County Council on 13 February 2020.


Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Panel (Cllr Fran Oborski)


·       The Panel was content with the budget proposals for 2020/21.

·       Concern was expressed about the budget for Home to School Transport.  Given the budget overspend in 2019/20, Members urged careful monitoring of the 2020/21 budget and welcomed the setting up of a Corporate Working Group to look at levels of demand, transport routes and better ways of commissioning.

·       In relation to the High Needs Block of the Dedicated Schools Grant, the Panel recognised that the budget deficit reflected pressures being experienced by all Local Authorities and encouraged further lobbying of Central Government on the level of future funding.

·       Members noted that the Social Care Directorate was forecast to be within 0.2% of budget overall for 2019/20 and wished to congratulate the Directorate on this.

·       The Panel wished to express its thanks to Worcestershire Children First (WCF), and in particular the Director of Resources, on continuing to provide a good level of information to the Panel in relation to budget and performance.  Members had been concerned that the move to WCF would disrupt the flow of information to the Scrutiny Panel but were reassured that this had not proved to be the case.

·       It was noted that Positive Activities was transferring to the People Directorate. The Chairman of the Panel would discuss with the Chief Executive of WCF, the services which could be provided if an additional £100k was allocated to this from the discretionary element of the Public Health Ring-Fenced Grant (PHRFG).


The Leader acknowledged and welcomed the comments. He explained that the final amount for the PHRFG was still awaited and that each request for funding from the discretionary element of the PHRFG would be considered on a case by case basis.


The Lead Member for Crime and Disorder reiterated the likely increased demand for diversionary and positive activities as work progressed in areas such as Get Safe and the impending Gateway Drugs and Young People Scrutiny.


Adult Care and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Panel (Cllr Juliet Brunner)


·       In general terms, the Panel was very pleased with the settlement from Central Government for 2020/21, in particular the additional  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1138.


Update Report: Care Work as a Career Scrutiny Task Group pdf icon PDF 87 KB

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The Board was asked to consider and approve the update report of the Care Work as a Career Scrutiny Task Group and the proposed recommendations.


Cllr Tucker, Lead Member of the Task Group attended the meeting and explained that the work of the Task Group was nearing completion and that it had met with the Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care and the Interim Strategic Director for People to share its emerging themes. Owing to the timings of the Council’s budgetary process, the Task Group wished to make two recommendations for consideration in advance of its final report.  The recommendations were:


Recommendation 1: Promotion of Care Worker role.

The Task Group urges the Cabinet Member with Responsibility (CMR) for Adult Social Care to identify additional financial resources to facilitate a publicity campaign aimed at promoting the work of Care Workers and increasing public understanding of the crucial and valuable role that they carry out.


Recommendation 2: Apprenticeship Programme

The Task Group is aware that a Council-wide Apprenticeship Strategy is currently being developed and, as part of that process, the Task Group urges the CMR to support the development of a structured route for care worker apprentices to flow into adult social care. This would be of considerable benefit to social care teams by providing a regular source of newly qualified apprentices and would also help to make effective use of the Apprenticeship Levy.


The Leader thanked Cllr Tucker for flagging up the recommendations and confirmed that he was supportive of the sentiment of the recommendations and if accepted by the CMR, given that the financial amounts involved weren’t significant enough to affect the budget policy, they could be dealt with in-year.


Member Update, Work Programme and Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 95 KB

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It was agreed that the Member Update and Work Programme would be deferred for discussion at the next meeting.


No items from the Cabinet Forward Plan were agreed for consideration.


It was agreed that the membership of the Gateway Drugs and Young People Scrutiny Task Group would be established, whilst the priority of scrutiny task groups was being determined by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board in consultation with the Scrutiny Officers.