Updates from the chairs of the scrutiny panels
[To receive updates from the chairs of the scrutiny panels:
Adults and Safer City Scrutiny Panel
Cllr Val Evans stated that the Panel had received a talk around dementia and had been presented with evidence and information from social workers and commissioning officers. Cllr Evans stated that the report would be sent out to members of Scrutiny Board for information.
The Panel had also considered the Adult Social Care Annual Report: The Local Account 2018-2019. The Panel welcomed the report and agreed to receive a final version of the report when available.
The Panel had invited the relevant portfolio holders for Public Health and Wellbeing and Adults to attend the next meeting when the draft Community Safety and Harm Reduction Strategy would also be considered.
Children, Young People and Families Scrutiny Panel
Cllr Potter stated that the Panel had met on 27 November when the portfolio holder for Education and Skills had provided a briefing on current priorities. This was the first time the Panel had received a presentation from the portfolio holder and Cllr Potter looked forward to repeating this in the future as it enabled the Panel to provide effective challenge. The meeting had been very helpful, and it had been agreed to carry out a piece of pre-decision scrutiny on the All Age Travel Assistance Policy.
The Panel had also considered the Budget and comments had been submitted as part of consultation. The Head of Safeguarding had also provided a presentation of upcoming safeguarding changes which were supported by the Panel and progress of these changes would be reviewed at a later date.
An additional meeting of the Panel had been scheduled to consider the proposals for the Towers Outdoor Education Centre.
The next meeting of the Panel would be considering school exclusions and work to support children to remain in mainstream education where possible and to explore alternative options. The Youth Council would also be in attendance to update the Panel on the Take Over Day in March.
Health Scrutiny Panel
The Scrutiny Officer provided an update on behalf of Cllr Page.
Areas covered at last meeting had included the Draft Budget and Medium-Term Financial Plan and the Public Health Annual Report.
In relation to the Wolverhampton CCG Annual Report, the Panel sent a considerable amount of advanced questions to which the CCG then provided written responses. This was a good example of forensic detailed scrutiny and all the responses and discussions were available in the minutes.
The Panel had considered the Healthwatch Annual Report and suggested that Healthwatch had a drop-in session at the Civic Centre on the ground floor. They had been in touch and were going to have a stand on the 6 February 2020.
The Panel also received an update on the development of the medical examiner role and on-site registrar and the improvements that had resulted as a consequence.
Upcoming reports includedAccident and Emergency at New Cross Hospital (The Hospital had been having some Level 4’s recently – the highest level that can be declared) and the Sustainability and Transformation ... view the full minutes text for item 7
Updates from the chairs of the scrutiny panels
[To receive updates from the chairs of the Scrutiny Panels:
· Stronger City Economy Scrutiny Panel
· Vibrant and Sustainable City Scrutiny Panel
· Health Scrutiny Panel
· Our Council Scrutiny Panel
· Adults and Safer City Scrutiny Panel
· Children, Young People and Families Scrutiny Panel
The Board considered the updates from the Scrutiny Panel chairs.
1. Stronger City Economy Scrutiny Panel
The Scrutiny Officer read out the update from Cllr Sweetman in her absence.
At the meeting on the 16 July the Panel had considered an item tilted Public Realm, Transport and Linking the City. Members of the Vibrant and Sustainable City Scrutiny Panel had been invited to attend for this item and many of them did so. The Panel made a number of recommendations including that Cllr Martin Waite be invited to sit as a Member on the newly formed informal Member Reference Group on the Public Realm / Westside Link and that he report back into the Scrutiny process and that the Stronger City Economy Panel receive more information at their next meeting in September 2019 on the marketing plans for the Public Realm / Westside Link project.
The Panel at their meeting in July considered the Digital Infrastructure Strategy as a pre-decision item. The Panel resolved, that officers co-ordinate with the Council’s Communication team on an effective communication and engagement plan promoting the benefits that the successful implementation of the Digital Infrastructure Strategy will bring to the City. Concerns raised at this meeting regarding the Westside Link / Public Realm were re-visited at the September meeting. Members continued to raise a number of serious concerns about the project and agreed that answers be pursued. This will in part be through the new Member Reference Group, which the Portfolio Holder had established.
The Panel also considered the City Identity and Marketing for the City of Wolverhampton. It was clear that good work was ongoing in this area.
2. Vibrant and Sustainable City Scrutiny Panel
Cllr Singh stated that the Panel had considered burial places and capacity at Bushbury Crematorium and that this was the 16th busiest crematorium out of 219 in the UK. Cllr Singh stated that Cllr Leach and her team had been working hard over the past year to provide new burial spaces and that it was an example of good cross panel working that had been praised by the equalities team. The Panel had specifically requested that the bereavements team make sure that the service met with people’s expectations and ensured that all religious matters and faith matters were taken into consideration.
The Housing Strategy had been considered as an item of pre decision scrutiny and Cllr Singh stated that a number of good suggestions made by the Panel were noted.
The Panel had also considered Keep the Street Neat which included the issue of fly tipping and had a night visit to the casino and a number of night time economy retail establishments.
The Board praised the work of the Trading Standards and Enforcement Team and stated that it had been wonderful to see how they worked with the Police and the sniffer dog.
3. Health Scrutiny Panel
Cllr Page stated that the Health Scrutiny had held a very good public meeting at Linden House ... view the full minutes text for item 9