Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board - Tuesday, 9th March, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: To Be Confirmed

Contact: Julia Cleary  Email:

Note: Scrutiny Board Live Event Tuesday 9 March 2021 - Recording will be uploaded shortly 

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Rupinderjit Kaur.


Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 314 KB

[To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.]



That the minutes of the previous meeting be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Matters arising


There were no matters arising.


Policing Through the Pandemic and Community Safety Update

[To receive a presentation from Superintendent Simon Inglis, Wolverhampton NPU and Hannah Pawley, Community Safety Manager.]


The Chair welcomed Superintendent Simon Inglis and The Community Safety Manager, Hannah Pawley to the meeting.


Superintendent Inglis provided a presentation and an overview of the work that he and his team had been carrying out including how they had dealt with the following four areas:

·       Covid over the last 12 months and policing in Wolverhampton and what this has meant

·       Performance over the last 12 months

·       Digital opportunities

·       Challenges moving forward coming out of the pandemic and future expectations.


Superintendent Inglis stated that policing had been second at the table with the Covid journey after Public Health and the NHS and the reality was that this was a medical and clinical incident in the first instance. During the initial phase the police had to adapt quickly to understand their role and what they could bring to the table. The main role at the start appeared to be compliance, where people were interacting with each other and that the police had a really strong role to place in this instance. It then became clear that the police would be getting involved in many areas that they had not encountered before under the new legislation and as the pandemic evolved. The police had attended events such as funerals and in some cases had to ask those in attendance to leave as the numbers were too large, this was a battle of the conscience in some instances, but care was taken to ensure that these situations were handled delicately and with great care. There was very little in police training to prepare staff for these types of events. As new legislation was introduced there was little extra resource and the police had to police in parallel with normal calls for service and new Covid related incidents. There were up to 200 calls each night with people not adhering to Covid rules and these had to be responded to as well as the normal business as usual.


Superintendent Inglis explained that as the updates were provided by the Prime Minister they were heard by the public at the same time as the police so there was no advance notice in changes of legislation which required very quick adaptation. Priorities would then have to be put in place and resources allocated to ensure the new legislation could be enforced. There was a fine line that had to be taken as policing had to be by consent and public trust and support was very important.


There were four key elements in relation to compliance and enforcement in partnership:


·       Covid 19 Joint Enforcement Team

·       Enhanced Patrol Strategy

·       Triage Car

·       Enforcement Days


Superintendent Inglis explained that it was also important to support and protect his own staff and to keep them safe so that they could serve the public. This included the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from the very start and wearing masks in cars and offices all of the time. Data was received each day to understand what was taking place with staff and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Adult Education Strategy, Offer and Outcomes pdf icon PDF 302 KB

[To receive a report on the Adult Education Strategy from the Head of Adult Education.]


The Chair welcomed Joanne Keatley, Head of Adult Education to the meeting to present a report on the Adult Education Strategy, Offer and Outcomes. The Chair invited Cllr Dr Mike Hardacre, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills to introduce the report.


Cllr Dr Hardacre explained that the report came to the Board after what had been a very challenging year for adult education which was very much community based. Adult education worked extremely hard with it’s partners to seek to upskill the population which would be especially important as we sought to recover from the pandemic. The report made it clear that there had been difficulties and highlighted the hard work put in by the team to overcome these difficulties. The pandemic had exacerbated the digital divide and issues such as access to a device, access to the internet and digital skills had become more apparent. Many students were now being provided with the internet connectivity that they needed to complete their studies and reach their goals.


The Head of Adult Education provided a presentation to the board that highlighted the main points in the report and a short video that showed learners actually speaking about their learning, what it had enabled them to achieve and how it had impacted their lives.


The pandemic had now impacted on two educational years and the report showed that locally and nationally there were issues in participation in learning itself and in relation to a student’s ability to achieve a qualification if they had started their learning prior to lockdown and had to have a break in learning for any reason (including access to equipment). The Head of Adult Education stated that she was immensely proud of her team and their resilience and the amazing job that they had done throughout an extremely difficult time.


It was also explained that in relation to strategy, the aims were aligned with the Council Plan and the aims of the Combined Authority Plan. This included a focus on inclusive growth which lead the team to focus on those residents with little or no qualifications or low literacy, numeracy skills or digital skills and those not in work or in work but on a low wage. The report sought to provide some contextual statistics to show how the Wolverhampton statistics had improved but perhaps not as quickly as the national rates. It was stated that the key was to provide the right curriculum to help improve the levels and in ensuring that learners had the means to access that curriculum. The core offer and strengths had to be made available on many levels and there had to be multiple pathways to allow people to join at different levels and work their way through to a qualification in a way that suited them best and was inclusive.


Issues facing residents included large numbers not going online at all, a lack of basic digital skills, a lack of devices and connectivity, not being able to take advantage of offers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Quarter 2 Social Care, Public Health and Corporate Complaints Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 154 KB

[To receive a report from the Customer Engagement Manager.]

Additional documents:


The Chair welcomed the Sarah Campbell, Customer Engagement Manager to the meeting to provide an overview of the Quarter Two Social Care, Public Health and Corporate Complaints report for the following areas:

·       Corporate

·       Children’s

·       Adults and Public Health

·       Ombudsman enquiries


The Council had received 73 stage one corporate complaints; an increase of 38 cases in comparison to 2019/20. These were outlined in Appendix 2. Out of the 73 cases received, 25 were upheld (at fault). The highest figure of 50 complaints received referred to Waste Management and out of 50 received, 22 were upheld which was in comparison to 7 stage one complaints received during quarter two 2019/20. Waste management complaints and service requests had increased during the Covid 19 pandemic restrictions and revised working procedures had impacted on service delivery. The Complaints Team had worked closely with the service to ensure responses were issued in a timely manner and appropriate remedies were put in place to achieve the best outcomes for customers


If a customer remained dissatisfied they were able to escalate to a stage two complaint. In this period the council had received 5 stage two cases and out of the 5 cases received, two cases had been upheld (at fault) and three cases were not upheld (not at fault).


The Council had received 8 stage one children’s services complaints which was a decrease of three cases in comparison to quarter two in 2019/20. Details of these were outlined in Appendix 1and showed a consistency in numbers to quarter one 2020/21. No stage two or three complaints had been received during this period, 7 cases were closed and resolved during this period, no cases were upheld (at fault), 4 cases were partially upheld (partially at fault) and three cases not upheld (not at fault).


The Council had received 6 stage one adult services complaints and one case for public health. This was a decrease of 5 cases in comparison to quarter two in 2019/20 and details were outlined in Appendix 1. The Council had received one public health complaint for this period in relation to a WV Active Membership fee. It was stated that 6 cases were closed and resolved during this period; two cases were upheld; two cases were partially upheld, and two cases were not upheld.


In relation to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) and Housing Ombudsman (HO), the Council had received one assessment enquiry from the LGSCO and two assessment enquiries from the HO. The council had received two LGSCO enquiries; one case for Children’s Services and one case for Regeneration. In relation to the Children’s complaint the outcome had not been upheld and no maladministration was found. In relation to the Regeneration complaint, the Council was still awaiting the outcome and the final report. The council had also received three enquiries from the HO for Wolverhampton Homes.

During this period the Ombudsman (LGSCO) had resumed existing casework as they had paused all casework previously which needed input from councils and care  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.