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Apologies for Absence
To note any apologies for absence from Members.
Apologies were received from Councillors S Adams, J Clowes and A Kolker. Councillors P Coan, T Dean and K Parkinson attended as substitutes.
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.
In relation to agenda item 6 (Universal Information and Advice Service Commissioning) in the interests of openness and transparency Councillor S Gardiner declared that he was a member of Knutsford Town Council who provided funding for the Citizens Advice Bureau.
In the interests of openness and transparency, in relation to agenda item 7 (Commissioning Children and Young People’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service) Councillor L Wardlaw declared that she occasionally worked for the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
In the interests of openness and transparency, in relation to agenda item 5 (Building Based Day Services – proposal to decommission the service provision at the Stanley Centre) Councillor J Place declared that he was a member of the Together Trust in Cheadle.
The Committee received legal advice in relation to potential declarations of interest in relation to agenda item 5 (Building Based Day Services – proposal to decommission the service provision at the Stanley Centre). Councillor S Gardiner requested that the Director of Governance and Compliance provide a written response, to all Elected Members, to outline when it would be inappropriate for a Ward Member to sit on a Committee and raise issues on matters relating to their ward.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 24 July 2023.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 24 July 2023 be approved as a correct record.
Public Speaking/Open Session
In accordance with paragraph 2.24 of the Council’s Committee Procedure Rules and Appendix on Public Speaking, set out in the Constitution, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to put questions to the committee on any matter relating to this agenda. Each member of the public will be allowed up to two minutes each to speak, and the Chair will have discretion to vary this where they consider it appropriate.
Members of the public wishing to speak are required to provide notice of this at least three clear working days’ in advance of the meeting.
During this item in the interest of openness and transparency Councillor S Gardiner declared that he knew Councillor Forrest. Councillor P Coan declared that he knew Councillor Forrest and Ms Peters-Rock.
Mr Giles Millerchip attended the Committee meeting to speak in relation to item 5 (Building Based Day Services – proposal to decommission the service provision at the Stanley Centre). Mr Millerchip addressed the Committee as a carer and also on behalf of his brother who attended the Stanley Centre. Mr Millerchip stated that the Stanley Centre formed an important part of the social network for local residents and service users and further highlighted that alternative provision would not provide the same access to facilities that were accessible within close proximity of the Stanley Centre (cafes, cinema, bus network etc). Mr Millerchip requested that the Committee defer the item to allow further information to be provided in a clearer and more comprehensive manner.
Councillor Jennifer Forrest, Knutsford Town Councillor, addressed the Committee on behalf of Knutsford Town Council in relation to item 5 (Building Based Day Services – proposal to decommission the service provision at the Stanley Centre). Councillor Forrest stated that the Town Council recognised the financial difficulties facing Cheshire East Council however highlighted the invaluable service that the Stanley Centre provided to some of the most vulnerable residents. Councillor Forrest stated that the Stanley Centre was a lifeline and integral part of wellbeing for vulnerable adults with learning disabilities. Councillor Forrest queried the use of the building, should the Committee approve the recommendations to decommission services at the Stanley Centre, and if consideration had been given to letting out Stanley House and Bexton Court.
Ms Charlotte Peters-Rock addressed the Committee in relation to item 5 (Building Based Day Services – proposal to decommission the service provision at the Stanley Centre). Ms Peters-Rock stated that there were no other suitable facilities for service users and that moving individuals away from the local community would impact on friendships and place a burden on those who needed to travel. Ms Peters-Rock asked the Committee to liaise with colleagues in Cheshire West and Chester Council to seek opportunities to increase numbers at the Stanley Centre. Ms Peters-Rocks asked that the Committee did not support the recommendations outlined within the report.
To consider a report seeking approval to decommission the day service at the Stanley Centre with alternative service provision to be provided within other Care4CE day services and independent sector provision.
The Committee considered a report which detailed the findings from the consultation undertaken on the proposal around the potential decommissioning of the existing provision at the Stanley Centre in Knutsford. This formed part of the review of the Learning Disability service offer, and was consistent with the Cheshire East Day Opportunities Strategy which had been agreed previously, to move away from buildings-based care.
Although members appreciated the difficult financial position that Cheshire East Council was in they raised significant concerns in respect of the following issues
- Asking people with disabilities to travel to alternative venues and splitting up friendship groups, even if transport were to be provided would be detrimental to their mental and physical wellbeing.
- It was felt that the financial options outlined in the report were not clear and that there had been no other options or alternatives properly considered. Concerns were raised that this would leave the Council open to legal challenge and as the MTFS had been approved in February 2023 there was concern that the decision had been predetermined due to the consultation process taking place after that date.
- Some members felt that they had not got enough information to make an informed decision and asked for the item to be deferred so that other alternatives and costings could be properly considered.
In response to members concerns and questions officers reported that alternative options had been considered such as using the building differently. However due to the ongoing pressures on the budget, having to mitigate the forecast overspend and the expectation of the actions that would need to be taken next year, some of these alternative options were already having to be actioned in this financial year.
There were six providers which would be able to deliver services in Knutsford and transport would be provided for those people who currently used the Stanley Centre.
Should the decision be made to close the Stanley Centre a separate consultation process would begin with staff.
Consideration would be given to those friendship groups formed at the Stanley Centre and support given to keep those together.
Following the recommendations being proposed and seconded a recorded vote was requested with the following results:
Councillors A Burton, D Clark, D Edwardes, M Edwards, A Moran, J Place, J Rhodes.
Councillors P Coan, T Dean, S Gardiner,K Parkinson, L Wardlaw.
Councillor N Cook
The motion was declared carried with 7 votes for, 5 against and 1 not voting.
That the Adults and Health Committee approve the decommissioning of the day service at the Stanley Centre with alternative service provision to be provided within other Care4CE day services and independent sector provision.
The Committee Adjourned for a short break.
Councillor P Coan left the meeting and did not return.
To consider a report seeking approval to recommission the Universal Information and Advice service.
The Committee considered a report in respect of the recommission of the Universal Information and Advice (UIA) Service.
The service provided financial information and advice to all residents of Cheshire East which then enabled improved choice and control, improved mental health and wellbeing and led to reduced demand on statutory services.
In response to members questions officers reported that
- Any recommissioning of the service would look boroughwide to maximise coverage across the borough.
- Consideration would be given to the family centre hubs being used.
- Members would be provided with a briefing prior to the new contract going live.
- Engagement with residents would be undertaken so they could have an influence on the name of the service.
Members all agreed that it was a valuable service to residents.
RESOLVED: (Unanimously) The Adults and Health Committee
1. Approve the recommissioning of the Universal Information and Advice service.
2. Delegate authority to the Director of Commissioning and Integration to award the contract(s).
To consider a report seeking approval to recommission the Emotionally Healthy Children and Young People Service.
The Committee considered a report which detailed the engagement and coproduction that underpinned commissioning intentions and provided evidence to demonstrate the need to invest in early help emotional wellbeing support services for children and young people (CYP).
The report had previously been to the Children and Families Committee and was being brought to the Adults and Health Committee as the service was funded from the public health budget which came under the remit of the Adults & Health Committee.
Members agreed that the consultation process had demonstrated the voice of the child coming through and the report demonstrated a full understanding and the importance of the need for equality and diversity.
In respect of a question in relation to why the numbers were so low in the uptake by schools of KiVa, the anti-bullying programme, it was agreed that a written response would be provided outside the meeting.
RESOLVED: (Unanimously) That the Adults and Health Committee:-
1. Approve recommission the EHCYP programme with a focus on early help and prevention for children and young people, to ultimately reduce demand on statutory social care and mental health services
2. Delegate authority to the Director of Commissioning to award the contract(s).
To consider the performance of Adult Social Care services for quarter one and the finalised performance for the full reporting year.
Consideration was given to a report that outlined the performance data and measures related to services that fell within the responsibility of the Adults and Health Committee, from Quarter 1 of 2023/24.
The committee scrutinised the performance of adult social care services for quarter one.
Members requested that in future they would like to see some comparative date with other local authorities and that it would be useful to see a full year rather than a rolling year.Although it was noted that most comparative data is only available annually, retrospectively.
It was noted that there although the number of safeguarding concerns had increased, the number which included domestic abuse had decreased. Officers reported that this was a recording issue on the system and this would be reviewed.
That the report be noted.
To receive the minutes of the following sub-committee of the Adults and Health Committee
Cheshire East Health and Wellbeing Board - 27 June 2023.
That the minutes of the Cheshire East Health and Wellbeing Board be received and noted.
To consider the Work Programme and determine any required amendments.
Consideration was given to the committee’s work programme.
As November was looking to be a heavy agenda Members asked that they be given prior warning should it be felt that the meeting would need to be extended.
A request was made for an update report on the Domestic Homicide review which had been presented at a previous committee to be added to the work programme.
A request was made for a joint briefing for the Economy & Growth Committee and Adults and Health Committee in respect of the item on the work programme on Extra Care.
Officers would look at a timetable for informal briefings which would include:-
- Better Care Fund – to inform members of where money is being spent
- An update on progress of working with individuals around the Stanley Centre.
That the work programme be noted.