Agenda and minutes

Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 25th November, 2019 1.30 pm

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

Contact: Joel Hammond-Gant  Scrutiny Officer

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors P Butterill and S Handley.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 23 September 2019.





That the minutes of the previous meeting be agreed 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.


No declarations of interest were received.


Whipping Declarations

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


No whipping declarations were received.


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.



The committee welcomed Mr Plant and the school choir of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Crewe who, as part of November Children’s Rights Month were invited to perform two songs to the committee.


The children performed their song ‘Every Child Has Rights’ which was written for the school’s children’s rights awards programmed and had been published by UNICEF as a learning resource.




The committee thanked the children and teachers of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School for attending the meeting and performing their songs.


Local Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 192 KB

To consider the annual report for 2018/19.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the 2018/19 annual report of the Local Safeguarding Children Board …


Members asked questions and put comments in relation to;


·         why the council’s assessment timescales had been lower than its statistical neighbours;

·         the reason for the 51% increase in reported incidences of child sexual exploitation; and

·         receiving clarity on Appendix 2 to the annual report and why there had been lower representation from primary school heads at Board meetings.


Gill Frame, Independent Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children Board, responded to members’ questions and gave reassurance that the increased reports of child sexual exploitation had arisen from there being greater awareness of the issue and that authorities had changed the way in which it is reported.




1          That the report be received and noted.


2          That any additional written responses to members’ questions be circulated to the committee via email.


Pre-Budget 2020/21 Consultation pdf icon PDF 363 KB

To consider the areas within the Pre-Budget 2020/21 Consultation related to the remit of this committee, and to provide feedback on this to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee prior to its next meeting on 9 January 2020.


Consideration was given to the Pre-Budget 2020/21 Consultation proposals that fell within the committee’s remit.


Members asked questions and put comments in relation to;


·         the proposed reduction in funding for community transport services for SEND and other children and families services, and that these planned savings seemed unrealistic;

·         concern as to how the funding reduction to community transport services would impact on how children were dropped off and picked up, particularly those that are more sensitive to changed environments and situations;

·         the proposal to reduce funding for early help services and the wider impacts that this would have on service connectivity as well as the overall effectiveness of other key service areas.




That the comments and feedback raised by the committee be collated alongside those of the other overview and scrutiny committees, to be presented to Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 9 January 2020.




Cheshire East All-Age Autism Strategy pdf icon PDF 438 KB

To consider the strategy.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the new All Age Autism Strategy – coproduced by the council, local NHS bodies and the partners – that helped the council to meet its statutory requirement to produce such a strategy, as outlined in the Autism Act 2009.


Members asked questions and put comments in relation to;


·         whether the 82 survey responses were from individuals, or whether some were received from larger groups or agencies that reflected the views of a greater number of people;

·         whether the views of parents and carers were captured during the undertaking of the survey;

·         that the council would benefit from using different survey methods to improve response rates from different groups;

·         whether the reference in the report to a new team would create additional costs or resources to the council; and

·         that more examples of how the council compared to benchmarks or statistically neighbouring authorities, would have helped to contextualise the council’s current position and its ambition for this strategy.




That the All Age Autism Strategy be endorsed.



Performance Scorecard - Quarter 2 (2019/20) pdf icon PDF 270 KB

To consider the performance information related to the Children’s and Family portfolio, from quarter 2 of the 2019/20 municipal year.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the performance data relating to services within the committee’s remit, from quarter two of the 2019/20 municipal year.




That the update on performance be noted.


SEND Local Offer for 16 to 25 Year Olds pdf icon PDF 293 KB

To consider the final report of the task and finish group.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the final report of the SEND Task and Finish Group on the local offer of SEND services for 16 to 25 year olds in Cheshire East.




The committee supported and endorsed the report, and noted that it would be presented to Cabinet on 3 December 2019 for consideration of the findings and recommendations of group.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 184 KB

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


Consideration was given to the council’s forward plan of key decisions.




That the forward plan be noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To give consideration to the work programme

Additional documents:


The committee reviewed its work programme.




That the work programme be agreed.