Agenda and minutes

Performance Scrutiny Committee - People - Tuesday, 8th June, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Neil Barnett  Scrutiny Adviser

No. Item




Councillors Tom Suller, Janet Cleverly and Carmel Townsend.


Declarations of Interest




Minutes of the previous meeting held on 2 March 2021 pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd March 2021 were approved as a true and accurate record.



2020/21 Service Plan End of Year Reviews pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Additional documents:


Adult and Community Services


-       Chris Humphrey – Head of Adult and Community Services

-       Councillor Paul Cockeram – Cabinet Member for Social Services


The Head of Adult and Community Services introduced the report and stated that the year had seen an increase in the number and complexity of referrals across all aspects of adult services but it was not yet clear how much of that was a temporary consequence of the Pandemic. The successful roll out of vaccinations was driving increased confidence for those who wished to return to services and the removal of restrictions meant that carers had less availability but we were still unable to predict the longer term impact on demand.

The year had ended in underspend which was mainly driven by the reduction in the overall number of people supported in residential care settings and in the community. This was sadly as a result of Covid related deaths early on in the pandemic and also due to the significant contributions from Welsh Government aimed at maintaining services during the pandemic. The additional funding made available by the Welsh Government was due to end in September 2021 and this would inevitably impact on the long term sustainability of some services.  Ongoing financial viability would depend on several issues including the need for Covid measures such as social distancing to remain in place and the preference of service users who may want to change the way their support was delivered

Planned work was impacted by the Pandemic and several strands were subject to delays.   However, some significant progress was made, particularly around the opening of the Grange Hospital and the work that was required to review existing hospital discharge pathways to incorporate systems on the new site.  Home First was now fully operational at the Grange as part of that discharge pathway. The Liberty Protection Safeguard was at risk as it was linked to a change in legislation which was due to be implemented this year, but now postponed to April 2022. This would change the legal framework needed to be in place for people without sufficient mental capacity, whether because of dementia or other mental health problems, such as a severe learning disability. The Council would have to put those legal protections in place to make sure those people's rights were protected

The Cabinet Member for Social Services told the Committee that the whole report showed how well the Service had coped during the pandemic and highlighted the commitment and dedication of all staff in ensuring continuity of service during this unprecedented year.


Members asked the following:


·         In the absence of day services, what methods of respite care were provided over the year?


The Head of Adult and Community Services stated that the Local Authority were still expected to take all reasonable steps to continue to meet people’s eligible care and support, and the support needs of carers. Following Welsh Government guidance the physical day service had to close because of the risks. Instead an  ...  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 noted the Year-end Service Plan Report and agreed to forward the minutes to the Cabinet as a summary of the issues raised.


The Committee wished to make the following comments to the Cabinet:


Adult and Community Services

·         The Committee were very pleased with the quality of the report, and wanted it to be known that all the officers and staff have every right to be proud of their work and ensuring that the services provided have been of good quality throughout one of the most difficult times in living memory.


·         The Committee wished for a briefing to be arranged in advance of the Mental Capacity Act to ensure Members are ahead of the curve and understand fully what the Act entails. Members also request if the link to the glossary of service contacts on the Council website to be sent.


Children and Young People Services

·         The Committee again praised the quality of the report and how easy it was to understand.  The Committee again wished to thank all the officers and staff for all of their hard throughout the pandemic, and continued high quality of service.


·         The Committee requested that once Windmill Farm opens to the public, would a site visit be able to be organised for Members to view the venue.



Draft 2021-22 Annual Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Additional documents:



-          Neil Barnett – Scrutiny Adviser

The Scrutiny Adviser presented the Draft Annual Forward Work Programme for 2021-22 and outlined the draft topics for the year. It was emphasised that the Committee has ownership of the Work Programme and would continue to have the opportunity at each meeting to adapt, reprioritise, add or replace items on its Work Programme. Members’ attention was drawn to the proposed schedule of meetings for the year.





The Committee approved the Annual Forward Work Programme, the schedule of meetings for 2021-22 and agreed the start time for Committee meetings of 10am.