Agenda and minutes

Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 15th January, 2018 10.30 am

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

Contact: Katie Small  Scrutiny Officer

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors M Deakin, G Merry and S Pochin.


Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2017



Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2017.



That the minutes be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.


There were no declarations of interest


Whipping Declarations

To provide an opportunity for Members to declare the existence of a party whip in relation to any item on the agenda


There were no whipping declarations


Public Speaking/Open Session

A total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to make a statement(s) on any matter that falls within the remit 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.


Note: In order for officers to undertake any background research, it would be helpful if members of the public contacted the Scrutiny officer listed at the foot of the agenda, at least one working day before the meeting to provide brief details of the matter to be covered.



There were no members of the public present wishing to speak


Children & Families Budget proposals 2018-21 pdf icon PDF 140 KB

To give consideration to the Children and Families budget proposals for 2018-21


The Committee considered the Pre-Budget Consultation 2018/21 relating to Children and Families, specifically outcome 3 (People have the life skills and education they need in order to thrive) and outcome 5 (People live and well for longer) of the Council’s Corporate Plan.


The relevant directors gave an overview of the key proposals in the budget book relating to the responsibilities covered by the Committee. Proposals to vary the budget focused on:


·         Transport – parental subsidy for Available walking Routes phase 2 (revenue investment)

·         Children and Families Transport Policy review (revenue saving)

·         Reduction in Children’s commissioned services (revenue saving)

·         Review of service provision for children with disabilities (revenue saving)

·         Care placements(revenue investment)

·         Revised interagency income budget (revenue investment)

·         Housing related accommodation and support facilities (revenue investment)

·         Children and families staffing gap (revenue budget)

·         Childcare Sufficiency programme (capital investment)

·         End of early intervention short term funding allocation (revenue saving)

·         Children and Families Transport (revenue investment)


In regard to care placements, it was noted that the provider had not delivered on the contract and therefore the contract would be going back out to market in due course.


In regard to the Care Sufficiency Programme, it was noted that there were some instances of problems  with placements for two year olds, it was agreed that this would be added to the work programme for a future meeting.


It was noted that the Prevention and Support Service was being redesigned to improve the offer and bring the service under one umbrella. Members agreed that an update on the restructure of the service would be brought back to the Committee.

In regard to the proposals to charge schools for non statutory activities carried out by the Safeguarding Children in Educational Settings Team, it was acknowledged that small schools did not have a large budget and that schools were already affected by the poor take up of pupil premium and changes to the benefits system. It was agreed that a fair system would need to be achieved, possibly by charging per pupil. The Committee agreed to receive a report back on this in due course.


Following detailed consideration of the Children and Families Budget proposals 2018-21, the Committee agreed that it had no formal comments to submit to Cabinet.




1.    That the Pre-Budget Consultation 2018/21 relating to Children and Families be received.

2.    That no formal comments be submitted to Cabinet.







Travel Update

To receive a presentation updating members on the implementation of transport reforms.



Further to the meeting held on 27 November 2017, the Committee received an update on the Children and Families Strategic Transport Review, which detailed the strategic priorities and workstreams, including:


·         An update on phase 1 and 2 of the available walking routes to school.

·         Education Travel Policies

·         Consultation summary and the 11 proposals

·         New proposals following the consultation

·         Discussion points


The proposals would now be submitted to Cabinet in March 2018 and a progress report would be brought back to the Committee later in the year




That a progress report be brought back to the Committee in due course.




Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To give consideration to the areas of the forward plan which fall within the remit of the Committee.


Consideration was given to the areas of the forward plan which fell within the remit of the Committee.




That the forward plan be received.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To give consideration to the work programme

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the work programme.




That the following items be added to the work programme:


·         Contract for beds in residential unit relating to respite care

·         Supported child care for 2 year olds

·         Restructure of family support service

·         Impact of redesign of benefits on pupil premium