Cllr Val Gibson, Cabinet Member Children and
Young People, introduced the report and explained that a report
detailing budget reduction and income generation amounting to
£13.5 million was presented to Cabinet for approval. The
panel were invited to comment on the proposals that fall within its
remit as part of the formal consultation process.
Alison Shannon, Finance Business Partner, gave
a brief outline of the proposals in Appendix B and C.
A summary of the panel discussion and comments
on the proposals are shown below:
The panel discussed the implications for
children of the proposal to decommission the contract with
Spurgeons (a voluntary organisation).
Emma Bennett, Service Director Children, commented that as a result
of the reduction in demand for the service that a decision had
already been made to de-commission the service. The Service
Director reassured the panel that if there was a change in level of
demand for supervised contact that the service could be
Transformation Inclusion Support Income Generation
The panel discussed the proposals for
delivering traded services to schools.
Youth Offending Team
The panel queried the decision to delete the
vacant posts and the implications for the Youth Offending Team
service which had rated as being high performing following an
inspection. The panel queried the nature of the roles that will be
deleted. The Service Director advised
the panel that the vacancies had been held for some time and was
confident that by changing working practices that effects of the
decision could be mitigated.
The panel expressed concern about the decision
as evidence suggested that that there had been no change in the
demand for services provided by Youth Offending Team; which had
been rated as being an exemplar in a previous report presented to
the panel. The panel requested a report be presented to a future
panel meeting to show if the proposed changes have had an impact on
the services provided by YOT.
Cllr Gibson explained that the reasons for the
reduction in the number of looked after children and the range of
work done to build on previous progress aimed at reduced demand on
Cllr Gibson explained the reduction in the
number of looked after children from a total of 800 (2014) to
current figure of 627, supported by detailed financial modelling
work gave her confidence that the service could achieve the budget
target of £2.5 million. The panel was advised that it costs
the Council approximately £40,000 a week when a child is
placed into care - this figure is based on the modelling work and
comparisons with other local authorities.
The Service Director commented on the range of
work being done to ensure that the right children are placed into
care and other forms of targeted interventions used to support
other children to remain with their families, where appropiate, as
part of the transformation programme. The Service Director
commented that a more targeted approach by the service will lead to
view the full minutes text for item 5.