Agenda and minutes

People Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 19th September, 2019 10.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Lewes. View directions

Contact: Stuart McKeown, Senior Democratic Services Adviser  01273 481583

No. Item


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 105 KB


41.1     RESOLVED: to agree the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.


Apologies for absence


42.1     Apologies for absence were received from Councillors John Ungar, Trevor Webb, Francis Whetstone, Nicola Boulter (Parent Governor Representative) and Trevor Cristin (Diocese of Chichester Representative).


Disclosures of interests

Disclosures by all members present of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the member regards the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.



43.1     There were none.


Urgent items

Notification of items which the Chair considers to be urgent and proposes to take at the appropriate part of the agenda. Any members who wish to raise urgent items are asked, wherever possible, to notify the Chair before the start of the meeting. In so doing, they must state the special circumstances which they consider justify the matter being considered urgent.



44.1     There were none.



Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) Annual Report pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Report by the Independent Chair of the East Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board

Additional documents:


45.1     Graham Bartlett, Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Adults Board introduced the Annual Report and highlighted a number of key developments, including:


·         A Quality Assurance and Learning Development Officer has been appointed to work with both East Sussex County Council and Brighton and Hove City Council in support of developing an improved multi-agency audit process.  This development means the Board will have access to a comprehensive data set which enables it to have a better understanding of safeguarding risks;

·         New policies and procedures such as the Sussex Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures; revised self-neglect procedures; and the Multi-Agency Mental Capacity Act Policy and Procedures were published in 2018-19; and

·         In 2018-19 two new Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SAR) commenced.  These are ongoing and the findings will be reported to the People Scrutiny Committee in next year’s annual report.  The SAB also contributed to a SAR which was led by the Local Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB), with the resultant report being published in June 2019.


45.2The Committee then discussed a range of issues.  These included:

·         Reporting safeguarding concerns. In response to a query about the public’s awareness of adult safeguarding issues and when and how individuals should raise a safeguarding concern, Members heard about of a range of initiatives that both the SAB and the Adult Social Care and Health department have developed.  These include, for example, work undertaken to promote reporting through the SAB’s website and leaflets which contain the Health and Social Care Connect contact number.  A further example is a safeguarding video produced by the Safeguarding Community Network (a sub-group of the SAB).   The video focuses on the safeguarding experiences of Ben and how he overcame abuse.   Members were encouraged to view the video.  Members were also informed that this is an area which is kept under constant review by the SAB and the Department, with the aim being to always ensure members of the public have a clear and simple route to report any concerns. 

·         Cross-border working. Members asked for clarification about the extent of cross-border working and were informed about a number of PAN Sussex policies, procedures and protocols which are supportive of this approach.  Members were also informed about networks such as the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) which provide opportunities to share good practice and develop policy.

·         Operation Signature.  Operation Signature is the operational response of Sussex Police to scam mail fraud.  Members welcomed this initiative but asked whether the differing levels of crime presented in the report are representative of a trend (regarding the graph on page 41 of the agenda).  In response, Members were informed that it is not clear whether the variability relates to changes in levels of reporting of crime or is instead reflective of actual rates of offending.  A longer-term analysis would therefore be needed to establish the nature of any trend.

45.3      RESOLVED:   to receive the Annual Report of the Safeguarding Adults Board.



Scrutiny Review of the Changing Care Market: Adult Social Care Workforce - to follow. pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Report by the Chair of the Review Board

Additional documents:


46.1     The People Scrutiny Committee agreed at its meeting on 7 March 2019 to establish a Scrutiny Review Board to undertake a review of issues relating to the workforce challenges facing the adult social care sector (this being the second review in a series of four planned scrutiny reviews relating to the ongoing changes within the local adult social care market).   The Board consisted of Councillors Charles Clark, Michael Ensor, John Ungar and Trevor Webb.  Councillor Webb was elected as the Chair of the Review Board. 

46.2     Councillor Davies introduced the report by discussing the context of the review.  This included highlighting the report’s focus on the recruitment and retention challenges facing the independent care sector.   Councillor Ensor, speaking on behalf of the Chair of the Board who was unable to attend the meeting, highlighted the Board’s keen awareness of the stark nature of the challenges facing the sector and discussed some of the Board’s key findings.

46.3     The report was welcomed by both the Committee and the Department.

46.4     RESOLVED:

to agree the report of the Review Board and to submit the report to Cabinet on 12 November 2019 for comment and to Full Council for approval on 3 December 2019.



Reconciling Policy, Performance and Resources (RPPR) 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Report by the Chief Executive

Additional documents:


47.1     Keith Hinkley, Director of Adult Social Care and Health introduced the report by providing an overview of the context within which the current RPPR process is taking place.  Mr Hinkley also highlighted to the Committee that a key aim of the report is to ensure Members have all the information they need to support them with their contributions to the RPPR process.   

47.2     In response to a query about the impact of the Government’s announcement in September of a one-year spending round, Mr Hinkley commented that the additional funding would have a positive short-term impact.  The funding was therefore welcomed by the Council given the financial pressures it is currently working under.   However, and given its short-term nature, the additional funding was not likely to have a significant impact on the Council’s Medium-Term Financial Plan.  

47.3     Members of the Committee also discussed the targets contained within the Children’s Services Portfolio Plan.  In response to a specific query about a target relating to school exclusions, Stuart Gallimore, Director of Children’s Services, advised Members that the target in question had been developed in response to a range of factors, some of which are specific to East Sussex.  For example, East Sussex is an outlier in terms of the numbers of students who are excluded.  Whilst the Department are working to understand the reasons for this high rate of exclusion, it does mean any target it sets now has to be formulated with a clear picture of the current situation in mind (so the resultant target is set at a realistic, but still challenging level).  Furthermore, the savings the Department have had to implement in recent years mean that the level of support it can offer to schools has been greatly reduced.  This reduced capacity to provide support has come at the same time as schools and academies have gained a greater degree of autonomy.  Nonetheless the Department remain ambitious and within the resources available to it, it is working on initiatives which are aimed at helping to reduce the rate of school exclusion in the county.   This includes, for example, a focus on bringing school leaders together to discuss what can be done to positively impact on the issue.  

47.4     It was confirmed that the RPPR 2020-21 Savings Board will meet on Monday 16 December 2019.

47.5     RESOLVED: to establish a RPPR Scrutiny Review Board to meet on Monday 16 December 2019 to consider the developing Portfolio Plans, the Core Offer and savings proposals as they emerge.  






Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Report by the Assistance Chief Executive

Additional documents:


48.1     The Committee discussed its Work Programme which is comprised of a number of ongoing scrutiny reviews, reference groups and planned reports.

Initial Scoping Reviews

Developing Care Markets/Bedded Care Strategy.

48.2     At its meeting on the 20 June 2019 the Committee agreed to conduct an initial scoping exercise into issues relating to the Adult Social Care and Health Department’s bedded care strategy for older people.  Membership of the Initial Scoping Board was agreed as: Councillor Davies, Ensor, Webb and Whetstone.

48.3     The Committee RESOLVED to:

Consider the findings of the initial scoping board at its meeting on 14 November 2019. 


School Exclusions.


48.4     At its meeting on the 20 June 2019 the Committee also agreed to conduct an initial scoping exercise into issues relating to the numbers of pupils who are excluded from school. Membership of the Board was agreed as: Councillors Field, Loe, Liddiard and Matthew Jones (Parent Governor Representative).  

48.5     The Committee RESOLVED to:

Consider the findings of the initial scoping board at the next suitable meeting of the Committee. 


Reference groups


Educational Attainment and Performance Scrutiny Reference Group


48.6     The Educational Attainment and Performance Scrutiny Reference Group is scheduled to meet in January 2020 to discuss the education attainment data for 2019.  The Committee also requested that the Reference Group receive a briefing on the work of the recently implemented School Improvement Boards.


48.7     The Committee RESOLVED to:


agree to meet in January 2020 and receive a briefing on developments relating to the work of the School Improvement Boards.


Health and Social Care Integration Programme Reference Group


48.8    The Director of Adult Social Care and Health informed the Committee that Cabinet will be provided with a progress report regarding the development of a Joint Health and Social Care Plan for East Sussex, as required by the NHS Long Term Plan.   In relation to this the Director proposed that Members of the Health and Social Care Integration Programme Reference Group are provided with a separate briefing on progress with the development of the Joint Plan.


48.9     The Committee RESOLVED to:


agree that a meeting of the Health and Social Care Integration Programme Reference Group be arranged so that Members could be provided with a briefing about progress with the development of a Joint Health and Social Care Plan for East Sussex.




Future Committee Agenda Items


The Committee noted the items listed for its future committee meetings.



East Sussex Local Safeguarding Children's Board Annual Report pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Report by the Director or Children Services

Additional documents:


49.1     Reg Hooke, Independent Chair of the East Sussex LSCB, introduced the annual report and highlighted some of the Board’s key activities during 2018/19, including:


  • Operation Encompass. Following a pilot in Hastings, the Police are now required to inform a school immediately where a child has been exposed to domestic abuse so that schools can give appropriate support to the child in question;
  • Contextual safeguarding. With the support of the University of Sussex the LSCB has taken a lead on ‘contextual safeguarding’. This is a multi-agency approach to understanding and responding to safeguarding risks outside of a child’s family life. It recognises the risks which can occur in different relationships that children and young people form in schools, neighbourhoods and online and works to intervene at that level;
  • Lay Member activity. Lay Members form a critical part of the LSCB by providing additional challenge and scrutiny and the Committee were informed about some of the activities of these Members.  For example, during 2018/19 Lay Members met with young people from the Eastbourne Youth Forum to consider their priorities and attended the annual safeguarding in school conference;
  • Serious Case Reviews. Members were advised that there had been no serious case reviews during 2018/19; and
  • Pan Sussex Conference. In 2018 the PAN Sussex Conference was delivered with a focus on safeguarding adolescents. Over 100 delegates attended from a wide range of agencies. Topics included: contextual safeguarding approach to adolescents; understanding adolescent neglect; and transitioning from child to adult services.


49.2     Mr Hooke also drew the Committee’s attention to the revised version of the Department for Education’s guidance document, ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018’.  Key developments set out within the revised guidance include the replacement of Local Safeguarding Children's Boards with Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships, as well as significant changes to the child death review process.   With the requirements of the revised guidance in mind, the Committee were informed that new East Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership arrangements were published in June 2019 and would take effect from 1 October 2019. 


49.3     The Committee then discussed:

  • Operation Encompass.  Members recognised how important it is for schools to be made aware of what their pupils are experiencing in their home life so that extra provision can be put in place to support these vulnerable children;
  • Promotion of child safety. Members discussed the importance of promoting safety to children, particularly in terms of the risks young people can expose themselves to.  The department agreed that it is important to promote safety within schools and other social settings.  Mr Hooke advised the Committee that the LSCB monitors any rise in specific types of accidents.  This includes, for example, accidents within the home.
  • Regulated placements. Members discussed the use of unregulated placements for young people aged 18 and above.  The Committee were advised that young people in this group are normally placed in regulated care facilities, such as a foster home or supported lodgings.  In very specific circumstances though  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.


Scrutiny Review of Support for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Report by the Chair of the Review Board

Additional documents:


50.1     In November 2018 the People Scrutiny Committee agreed to appoint a Scrutiny Review Board to explore issues relating to support for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC) in East Sussex. The Board consisted of: Councillors Kathryn Field, Francis Whetstone and Trevor Webb. Councillor Field was appointed Chair of the Board.


50.2     Councillor Field introduced the report and highlighted Board’s keenness to develop

practical recommendations that would help UASC build their confidence and skills as they adapt

to life in the United Kingdom.   

50.3     The report was welcomed by both the Committee and the Department.

50.4     RESOLVED:

to agree the report of the Review Board and to submit the report to Cabinet on 12 November 2019 for comment and to Full Council for approval on 3 December 2019.