Venue: Hybrid meeting
Contact: Samantha Schanzer Scrutiny Adviser
Councillors L James and B Davies, S Jenkins (Strategic Director for Social Services).
Declarations of Interest
Minutes of the Previous Meeting
Minutes to follow.
A committee member raised the issue of naming the committee member whose absence was incorrectly recorded.
A committee member noted that a recommendation was not recorded correctly and stated that the fortnightly community meetings with the Police should include other members of the community so that there is better integration. This is in reference to the meeting that took place on 23rd September 2022. When considering the Strategic Equalities Plan Annual Report 2021-22, the committee member referenced a previous concern, raised at a meeting of the committee in September 2021 when considering the Strategic Equalities Plan. The concern raised in the 2021 meeting was that community cohesion work taking place at that time between police and ethnic minority communities should include white people. The committee member would like this query reflected in the minutes when they raise the issue. As the report reflected the engagement work taking place in 2021, an up to date summary of current engagement work involving communities in Newport has been shared with the Committee.
A committee member noted that their request for a precise definition for “net zero by 2030” was not recorded in the minutes.
- The Chair confirmed that since it being a request that the answer will be given outside of the Committee once the Officer responsible has looked into it.
The minutes of the previous meeting held 23rd September 2022 were accepted as a true and accurate record.
Draft Corporate Plan Wellbeing Themes 2022-27 PDF 178 KB
Beverly Owen – Chief Executive Officer
Paul Jones – Strategic Director for Environment and Sustainability
Rhys Cornwall – Strategic Director for Transformation and Corporate
The Chief Executive Officer gave an overview of the report and explained its purpose. The Chief Executive Officer, Strategic Directors and Head of Adult Services gave summaries of relevant area’s challenges and achievements.
The committee noted that consultation feedback presented to committee should show both the positive and negative feedback and questioned the wording of the feedback survey to include as many public opinions as possible.
The committee noted a theme in the committee’s work regarding survey feedback, and requested alternative forms of securing feedback from residents, other than the surveys conveyed through wi-fi on buses and in public buildings in Newport.
A committee member felt that other cities were stimulating the economy more effectively than Newport and noted Newport had more work to do in this area. The committee member felt that they had not seen much in the way of impactful investment within Newport. The committee member noted the need for a focus on jobs.
• The Chief Executive Officer highlighted that all town centres were facing a contraction, and that Newport has a higher level of inward migration than others. The Chief Executive Officer also highlighted that a major focus is on how people access jobs, but they are aware of the challenges.
• The committee member expressed the hope for improvement in the next five years.
The committee welcomed the report and noted that Newport had a lot to offer as a gateway into Wales, such as the Transporter Bridge, the Newport Ship and Caerleon’s Roman site, which is a significant Roman site within Europe. The committee hoped that this would be included in the heritage offer.
• The Chief Executive agreed with the committee that Newport’s heritage is an asset, and noted in the plan that heritage has been looked at, with the economic strategy and cultural strategy picking up the heritage theme.
A committee member noted that there wasn’t one specific way to improve the economy and felt that the focus should be on the 1% improvements and building on them. The committee member noted the difficult climate but felt that Council needed to pursue further opportunities.
• The Chief Executive Officer agreed that seeking creative channels to address these issues is key, and highlighted the partnership working with One Newport as an example of this.
• The Chair noted the question may be better suited for a different Performance Scrutiny Committee and asked for this to be taken forward.
The committee agreed that heritage needed more focus and suggested that bio-diversity could be increased by using spaces under bridges.
• The Strategic Director for Environment and Sustainability highlighted that work has been done on bio-diversity with an update provided. The Strategic Director noted the requirement to make creative use of space to encourage bio-diversity across the city.
The committee highlighted the importance of maintaining the running of ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Corporate Safeguarding Annual Report 2021-22 PDF 135 KB
Finn Madell – Head of Corporate Safeguarding
Mary Ryan – Head of Adult Services
Natalie Poyner – Head of Children Services
The Head of Corporate Safeguarding gave an overview of the report.
The committee asked how training was delivered.
• The Head of Corporate Safeguarding explained that the training is done primarily through E-Learning, with some school staff having completed face-to-face training sessions. The desire to reintroduce face to face training was noted, however they highlighted the focus should be on what the individual learners need.
• The Head of Adult Services also mentioned the difficulty in getting staff away to go to all day training conferences.
The committee was pleased to see that the Service Area had made significant progress which reflected previous comments and recommendations. The committee noted that the number of referrals had gone up by 14% in 3 years.
• The Head of Adult Services explained that while that number was true, 50% of referrals were sent to early intervention, and the number used to be higher. The Head of Adult Services then explained that in Adult Services there was an 80/20 split that were sent to early intervention and noted that carer needs are much higher.
The committee asked whether funding has been received from the Welsh Government for children leaving care.
• The Head of Children’s Services advised that funding was received in July 2022, and advised that that Citizens Advice also sit within the office to support the Young Person Adviser to make sure that money is being spent as it should be.
The committee felt that more specific data was needed throughout the report to contextualise information given, such as percentages, so members could have a clearer picture of comparison. The committee also asked if it would be possible to find out from within the percentages how much of the figures are the same child being safeguarded multiple times, and how many are single incidents for children.
The committee asked whether a question that had been raised previously regarding objective training was addressed, and whether this was satisfactory focusing on how many hours they have completed, and whether it is enough. The committee member also noted that the number of those who have done the security training was given but not the percentage.
• The Head of Adult Services advised that every 3 years registered staff must reregister, however unregistered staff are encouraged to do the training.
• The committee member also asked whether staff training was up to date regardless of high turnover.
• The Head of Adult Services confirmed that they were.
The committee wished to thank the service areas for their work and noted that this specific area of work is extremely difficult.
The Chair thanked the officers for their attendance.
• The Committee welcomed the report and thanked Officers for their hard work. Members wanted it recognised that they appreciate that this specific area of work is extremely difficult.
• The Committee were pleased to ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Conclusion of Committee Reports
The committee asked that the minutes be changed so that conclusions be included at the end of each relevant agenda item.
Scrutiny Adviser Reports PDF 140 KB
a) Actions Arising (Appendix 1)
b) Forward Work Programme Update (Appendix 2)
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:
Friday 21 October 2022 at 10am, the agenda items; -
- Annual Compliments, Comments and Complaints Report 2021-22
- Annual Corporate Wellbeing Self-Assessment Report
Friday 2 December 2022 at 10am, the agenda item; -
- Planning and Performance Risk Management Framework
b) Action Sheet
The Committee were advised that recommendations and comments from the previous meeting have been sent to Officers. The Committee were advised of the actions that are waiting to be completed, so the Scrutiny Adviser will chase information from officers.