Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Monday, 30th April, 2012 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite 1,2 & 3, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions

Contact: Cherry Foreman  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

143.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors D Brown and R Domleo.

144.

Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any personal and/or prejudicial interests in any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

145.

Public Speaking Time/Open Session

In accordance with Procedure Rules Nos.11 and 35 a total period of 10 minutes is allocated for members of the public to address the Committee on any matter relevant to the work of the Committee.

 

Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes but the Chairman will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned where there are a number of speakers.

 

In order for an informed answer to be given, where a member of the public wishes to ask a question of a Cabinet Member three clear working days notice must be given and the question must be submitted in writing at the time of notification.  It is not required to give notice of the intention to make use of public speaking provision but, as a matter of courtesy, a period of 24 hours notice is encouraged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Alex Scott, Diocese of Shrewsbury Education Service, spoke in respect of agenda item 5 (Home to School Transport – Response to Scrutiny Review) and posed a number of questions including whether or not the Authority intended to carry out a further equality impact assessment following adoption of the scheme, how had the sustainable transport grant been spent to date and how would it be allocated in the future, and the effect the introduction of the policy with effect from September 2012 would have upon families who had based their decision on the existing transport policy; he considered that there had been a failure to regard statutory guidance and that this could result in the potential for action being taken.

 

Rachel White, a parent of pupils at Sir Thomas Moore, Crewe, spoke on the same subject.  Referring to the report of the Scrutiny Task and Finish Group she said she was not aware of their consultations and also that she was very concerned at the effect on children of the changes that would result from the adoption of the revised policy.  In addition the alternative money saving measures mentioned in the minority Task and Finish Group report had not been fully investigated.

 

Charlotte Peters Rock, Knutsford Area for Knutsford Action (KAFKA), asked for a full review to be carried out regarding the current provision of social care for the elderly in Knutsford, particularly in the period since the temporary closure of Bexton Court.

 

 

 

 

146.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 2 April 2012.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 2 April 2012 be approved as a correct record.

147.

Key Decision - Home to School Transport - Response to Scrutiny Review pdf icon PDF 183 KB

To consider a response to the recommendations of the joint scrutiny Task and Finish Group following its review of the Council’s Home to School Transport Policy, and to the recommendations of the minority report.

Minutes:

In accordance with rule 13.1 of the Scrutiny Procedure Rules, the Chairman of the Children and Families Scrutiny Committee has been consulted and has agreed to waive the call-in provisions in relation to this decision on the grounds that any delay, caused by the call-in process, would be likely to seriously prejudice the Council’s or the public’s interest in this matter.

 

The Call In process would also significantly limit the Councils ability to support schools and colleges to find suitable alternatives for September 2012. Secondly, it would significantly prejudice the public’s ability to seek alternatives in terms of transport and alternative schools should they wish to change schools. Thirdly, taking into consideration thatthe savings resulting from the withdrawal of entitlement on the grounds of religion/faith in 2012/13 are being redirected to provide one-off funding to the affected educational establishments, any delay would prejudice the ability of those establishments to make the necessary alternative arrangements for September 2012. 

 

Consideration was given the recommendations of the joint scrutiny Task and Finish Group, and to the recommendations of the minority report, following a review of the home to school transport policy.  Following initial consideration of the matter by the Cabinet in July 2011 a joint Task and Finish Group had been established to review the potential impacts of changes on children with special educational needs, and for children currently entitled to support under the Council’s denominational and post 16 transport policies.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Children and Family Services gave a detailed resume of the position leading to the recommendations now being considered, including reference to the scrutiny review, the need to act equitably to the parents of pupils at both faith and non faith schools, and of the measures being put in place to provide support for young people wishing to remain in education beyond the statutory school age. 

 

Cabinet was informed that since the report had been circulated recommendation (2) had been amended to include the wording “this money is to be ringfenced accordingly” at the end of the first sentence.

 

A number of visiting Councillors spoke on the matter and there was a wide ranging debate during which the points covered included welcoming the arrangements to be made for post 16 transport, concern that the finance available for post 16 transport would not be enough to cover their costs for a whole year; concern at the introduction of the revised policy with effect from September 2012 and the effect this could have on any parents who had made a decision regarding their child’s school based on the terms of the existing transport policy, the reliability of the figures on which the calculations had been based, and that alternative money saving measures had not been fully investigated.

 

In considering the recommendations now made it was requested that the additional wording regarding ringfencing should be added to recommendation (3) as well as to (2); the Portfolio Holder agreed that this could be done.

 

The Chairman thanked all those members who  ...  view the full minutes text for item 147.

148.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The reports relating to the remaining items on the agenda have been withheld from public circulation and deposit pursuant to Section 100(B)(2) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that the matters may be determined with the press and public excluded.

 

The Committee may decide that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items pursuant to Section 100(A)4 of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and public interest would not be served in publishing the information.

 

 

PART 2 – MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED WITHOUT THE PUBLIC AND PRESS PRESENT

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item pursuant to Section 100(A)4 of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and public interest would not be served in publishing the information.

 

149.

Managing Workforce Change

To consider a report of the Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cabinet supports the decision of the Corporate Management Team to release the employees whose roles are listed as 1 to 28 in Appendix A under the arrangements agreed in relation to voluntary severance provisions for employees in the Council.