Agenda item

Annual Safeguarding Report


The Deputy Leader presented the interim Annual Report for Safeguarding. This report was the evaluation of 2021/22 performance for the Local Authority by the Head of Corporate Safeguarding.


This was an interim report because of changes in Welsh Government guidance. A full report would be presented to Cabinet early next year in line with the new guidance.


Safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults was of the highest priority for Newport City Council.


The Corporate Safeguarding Policy set out the Council’s duty and commitment to safeguard and promote the health, wellbeing and human rights of adults and children at risk.


This report assessed the Council’s proactive actions and responses to safeguarding,it was presented to Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee on 30 September 2022. There was a constructive and helpful discussion of the content.


The report noted the challenges across the Council in respect of safeguarding due to the pressures brought about by Covid and the restrictions of the pandemic.


The Safeguarding Hub for Children’s Services saw a 13.9% increase in referrals during 2021/22. This reflected the issues arising in schools, early years and youth settings and for partner agencies. For children and their families an effective and robust safeguarding approach was vital and could be life changing.


Despite the pressures the outcome of the safeguarding self-assessment for all areas of the Council demonstrated a very high level of compliance with statutory requirements and a determination to continue to place the highest priority on safeguarding for all our citizens.


It was pleasing to note that the new Welsh Government Guidance for Corporate Safeguarding (March 2022) included Newport’s Safeguarding Self-Assessment tool as a model of good practice. The guidance was published was based on similar themes coming from external audit and encouraged standardising some of the performance data to enable better measuring distance travelled as to benchmark with other Local Authorities.


The challenges of ensuring all staff, volunteers and Members were accessing and engaged with training for all areas of safeguarding were noted in the report. This was an area which would continue to require a focus and keen prioritisation over the coming year.


The Council was working to ensure safeguarding is maintained in all areas of service and would in the coming year work with the revised Guidance for Corporate Safeguarding to ensure continued compliance.


Councillor Marshall seconded the report.


Councillor Comments:


§  Councillor Cockeram considered that it was important for colleagues to note that Newport City Council’s Annual Safeguarding Report was considered as a matter of good practice throughout Wales and thanked the officers involved for all their work.


§  Councillor Marshall reiterated that this was an issue that was considered to be one of the highest priorities for Newport.  The report highlighted the efforts that the Council was undertaking as part of a duty to protect children and responsibility for their health and wellbeing.  It was also positive that the Welsh Government was also using Newport City Council’s self-referral tool.  Moving forward, there were challenges to address.  Members had a duty to report safeguarding concerns and were the eyes and ears of the community.  Even if it was a question that may sound trivial, a situation could build up to a greater concern, therefore reporting small incidences could be saving lives. On this basis, Councillor Marshall therefore commended the report.



Council received the Annual Safeguarding Report (interim) by the Head of Corporate Safeguarding.

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