People Scrutiny Committee


MINUTES of a meeting of the People Scrutiny Committee held at  on 16 September 2021.



PRESENT:                 Councillors Sam Adeniji, Charles Clark, Penny di Cara, Chris Dowling, Kathryn Field, Nuala Geary, Johanna Howell (Chair), Wendy Maples, Stephen Shing and John Ungar (Vice Chair)


LEAD MEMBERS      Councillor Bob Bowdler, Lead Member for Children and Families

                                    Councillor Carl Maynard, Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Health

                                    Councillor Bob Standley, Lead Member for Education and Inclusion,                                  Special Educational Needs and Disability  



  Philip Baker, Assistant Chief Executive
  Mark Stainton, Director of Adult Social Care
  Alison Jeffrey, Director of Children’s Services

  Ian Gutsell, Chief Finance Officer
  Mark Whiffin, Head of Finance

  Louise Carter, Assistant Director (Communication, Planning and

  Debbie Endersby, Head of Strategic Commissioning

  Sophie Permain, Supply Development Manager

  Michaela Richards, Head of Safer Communities

  George Kouridis, Head of Service for Adult Safeguarding

  Lindsay Adams, Strategic Commissioner – Domestic Sexual Abuse and
  Violence against Women and Girls
  Kaveri Sharma, Equality and Engagement Manager
  Caz Kearton-Evans Strategic Commissioning Manager – Substance
  Graham Bartlett, Independent Chair of the East Sussex Safeguarding
  Adults Board
  Stuart McKeown, Interim Member Services Manager    



8.            Minutes of the previous meeting 17 June 2021

8.1       The Committee RESOLVED to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 17 June 2021 as a correct record and agree the recommendations made at the meeting.




9.            Apologies for absence

9.1       Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Trevor Webb, Nicola Boulter (Parent Governor Representative) and Simon Parr (Catholic Diocese Representative).




10.          Disclosures of interests

10.1     There were no disclosures of interests.




11.          Urgent items

11.1     There were no urgent items.




12.          Reconciling Policy, Performance and Resources (RPPR)

12.1     The report was introduced by Philip Baker (Assistant Chief Executive).  He outlined that  this is the start of scrutiny’s engagement in the budget setting process for 2022/23 and beyond. The State of the County report considered by Cabinet in July set out the detailed financial planning context for rest of the year and beyond.  However, the financial and policy position remains one of uncertainty and there have been a number of developments since July which will be covered in a RPPR report to Cabinet in September 2021.   There have also been a number of significant Government announcements which include:





12.2     The Committee discussed the report and a summary of the key points discussed is set out below.



12.3     The Committee RESOLVED to establish an RPPR scrutiny review board to consider the developing Portfolio Plans and Medium Term Financial Plan and to submit Scrutiny’s final comments on them to Cabinet in January 2022.




13.          Work programme

13.1     The Committee discussed its Work Programme which is comprised of a number of ongoing scrutiny reviews, reference groups and planned reports.   In particular, Members noted the arrangements for an Away Day and the opportunity this would provide to the Committee to discuss its priorities for scrutiny activity in the coming months.


13.2     The Committee RESOLVED to note the contents of its work programme.




14.          Annual Review of Safer Communities


14.1     Michaela Richards, Joint Strategic Commissioner for Domestic and Sexual Violence Abuse Services, introduced the report and responded to a number of questions asked by the Committee.  A summary of the key issues discussed is set out below:



14.2     The Committee RESOLVED to note the report.




15.          Developing Care Markets Bedded Care Strategy

15.1     Debbie Endersby (Head of Strategic Commissioning) and Sophie Permain (Supply Development Manager) provided the Committee with a presentation which included a summary of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated care services in East Sussex and an overview of current demands and service challenges.  Set out below is a summary of the key points discussed by the Committee:




·         Homecare referrals: The Committee discussed the increase in the rate of homecare referrals and asked for clarification as to what factors were behind the trend.  In response Members were informed that over 25% of the population in East Sussex is over 65 years of age and therefore there has been and continues to be a general increase in demand for support with care.  In the short term the Covid-19 pandemic may have contributed to a rise in demand for Homecare as many clients wished to avoid using a care home.  The increase in the rate of homecare referrals is also being driven by an increased recognition at the national level of the benefits of helping clients to live independently and in their own homes for as long as possible. 



15.2     The Committee RESOLVED to note the report and request an update report in six months.




16.          Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report

16.1     Graham Bartlett, Independent Chair of the East Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board introduced the report and responded to a number of questions from the Committee. The key issues discussed included:





16.2     The Committee RESOLVED – to note the report and to thank Graham Bartlett for his commitment and contributions as Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Adults Board.




Councillor Johanna Howell (Chair)