Agenda and minutes

Performance Scrutiny Committee - People - Tuesday, 2nd March, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Neil Barnett  Scrutiny Adviser

No. Item






Declarations of Interest




Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 19 January 2021 pdf icon PDF 114 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 9th January 2021 were approved as a true and accurate record.  A query was raised regarding the extra IT equipment mentioned in the minutes. The Scrutiny Officer agreed to check if it had been delivered yet and would report back.



Youth Justice Service - Covid-19 Report pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Additional documents:



            Sally Jenkins – Head of Children and Young Peoples Services

Caroline Ryan Phillips - Service Manager Integrated Family Support




The Head of Children and Young Peoples Services introduced the report on the Youth Justice Service and how they had been operating during the pandemic period. The Recovery Plan Report detailed the approach adopted by the Youth Justice Service from the start of the pandemic, including information on how all the key areas of the service had continued to be delivered throughout. It had been a difficult and challenging year and the staff had gone to great lengths to provide continuity and also develop the service and move things forward.


Members asked the following:


·         What actions had been taken in the area of restorative justice?


The Head of Children and Young Peoples Service responded that unfortunately a lot of the activities pursued a year ago had been unable to continue during the pandemic. However, the old days of punitive measures such as litter picking were not used by Newport City Council. Any activity was meaningful and had an educational element to it. An example was given of a youth convicted of a case of arson and part of her reparation work was utilising her art skills to make a poster highlighting the dangers. The ideal was to educate the young offenders so that they learnt from their term of restorative justice.



·         A member commented that the report highlighted how adjustments made during the pandemic had appeared to work so effectively that they were intended to continue post pandemic. She also queried what the negative effect was due to the various partners using different IT systems.


The Service Manager- Integrated Family Support responded that there had initially been issues caused by the use of different IT systems but they had been resolved to a certain degree. The virtual platform used by the Police service we now had the ability to access. In an ideal world we would all be on compatible systems but we had managed to overcome most obstacles in a timely manner. We had all benefited from virtual meetings. Post-court orders now had more attendance at the virtual meetings than previously and going forward we would continue to have some form of virtual meeting. It was clear that blended meetings were going to be the way forward in the future.



·         A member asked why we had not yet embraced face to face contact with young people and their families. He expressed concern that using only virtual engagement methods it was difficult to fully assess a family dynamic and there could well be safeguarding issues.


The Head of Children and Young Peoples Services clarified that we had continued to carry out face to face visits during the pandemic. All visits were pre planned and risk assessed beforehand to ensure staff had the necessary PPE and able to manage any risks involved. We were in the same position as neighbouring authorities and used a shared approach and continued to attend face  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Conclusions of Committee Reports

Following the completion of the Committee reports, the Committee will be asked to formalise its conclusions, recommendations and comments on previous items for actioning.



·       The Committee commended the amount of information about the service area’s staff and their way of working. They noted the number of positive changes coming from the new way of working. Comment was raised that there was not much information about the children and the number of children and young adults currently in the system and the various stages they were at. It is hoped that more information could be included in future reports.


·       The Committee were pleased to hear that the service area know what the majority of the challenges are and how they are working through them. The Committee also praised the strength of the relationship amongst the teams and the upward direction of travel their work is following.


·       The Committee raised concerns regarding ongoing IT issues with partners, especially with the Police. It was hoped that this would soon be resolved.



Forward Work Programme Update



- Neil Barnett (Scrutiny Adviser)


a)    Forward Work Programme Update


The Scrutiny Adviser presented the Forward Work Programme, and informed the

Committee of the topics due to be discussed at the next committee meeting:


Tuesday 8 June 2021 at 10am

2020/21 Service Plan End of Year Review

-        Children and Young People Services

-        Adult and Community Services


Tuesday 22 June 2021 at 10am

2020/21 Service Plan End of Year Review

-        Education


Members asked the following:


·       Query was raised about the Bridge Achievement Centre (BAC). It was asked if the Committee could receive an update on how the BAC has been operating and the wider recovery aims. The Scrutiny Adviser told the Committee that this request would be passed onto the Education Team for information to be passed to Members.