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DISCLOSURE OF PECUNIARY INTERESTS
Members are invited to disclose any pecuniary interest in any items on the agenda at this point in the meeting.
Members may still disclose any pecuniary interest in an item at any time prior to the consideration of the matter.
Councillor June Alexander declared that she had previously been an active member of HealthWatch Havering, but was now a support member of HealthWatch Havering.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 27 March 2014 and authorise the Chairman to sign them.
The minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 27 March 2014 was agreed and signed by the Chairman.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE
The Committee are asked to note the membership of the Committee.
The Committee noted its membership.
INTRODUCTION TO OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
The Committee will receive a presentation on the role of Overview and Scrutiny in Havering.
The Committee received a presentation giving an insight into how Overview and Scrutiny worked in Havering. It was important that the committee understood the difference between Executive decisions and those made by the Council. Members were informed that Council functions were explicitly the responsibility of the full Council and/or its Committees or staff on their behalf. Whereas Executive functions, were the responsibility of the Executive, meaning the Cabinet or individual Cabinet Members, or staff on their behalf. The principal interest of an OSC was the Executive decision making function.
Overview and Scrutiny was the function by which Council decisions, or indeed any actions taken in connection with Council functions, can be reviewed and/or scrutinised. Overview and Scrutiny Committees are able to make reports and/ or recommendations to each of full Council, Cabinet or any policy committee. These reports can be in connection with the discharge of any functions.
The Committee noted that the former local government minister, Nick Raynsford MP, once stated Scrutiny is a powerful tool to help identify weaknesses in existing policy and practice, as well as driving improvement”.
In Havering there were seven overview and scrutiny committees, five dealt with various aspects of Council services and were aligned with the overall goals of the Council. They were:
· Children and Learning
· Towns and Communities
The other two – Crime & Disorder and Health were principally outward looking and scrutinised local crime and disorder-related issues and local health services respectively.
The Committee noted that only non-Cabinet members may sit on an overview and scrutiny committee, however there was nothing to prevent a Committee meeting with or questioning a relevant Cabinet member in order to aid aspects of scrutiny. Overview and Scrutiny meetings are open to the public and anyone, including Cabinet Members, may attend.
Each overview and scrutiny committee consisted of between six and nine members. Under the political breakdown rules, the political breakdown of the seats reflected, as far as was practicable, the make-up of the Council as a whole.
The Committee were informed that a major part of their work would be undertaking Topic Groups, either as part of an agreed work plan, or because a specific issue arises that needs investigation. The Committee itself would approve the terms of reference and the scope of its Topic Groups and can set parameters within which they will work. A recent change is that Council has agreed that Topic Group may include – or indeed be wholly comprised of – members who are not actually members of the parent OSC. Therefore if a member not on a particular OSC has expertise or an interest in an area being investigated by a Topic Group, he or she can take part if the committee agreed to their inclusion as a member of the Topic Group.
The factors for successful scrutiny Topic Groups were outlined to the Committee. The more tightly and realistically framed that the recommendation are, the more likely they are to be adopted/ implemented. Members are ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
OVERVIEW OF ADULT SOCIAL CARE
The Committee will receive a presentation from the Head of Adult Social Care, explaining the remit of the Committee.
The Committee received a presentation from the Head of Adult Social Care setting out the services within Adult Social Care and Commissioning. A brief description of what each section was responsible for was explained.
A detailed presentation on the Care Act and Better Care Fund was also given, this included details of how the Care Act pulled together a number of legislation and law into one document. The Act brings together the duties and responsibilities or extends those already being used.
The Act aims to make care and support clearer and fairer by introducing a cap on the care costs that people will incur in their lifetime; provide a new universal deferred payment scheme so that people do not have to sell their homes; provide a single national threshold for eligibility to care and support; guarantee to ensure continuity of care when moving areas; include protections to ensure that no one goes without care if a provider fails and to ensure that young adults are not left without care and support during the transition to adult care and support.
The Committee found the presentation very interesting and lots of discussions where had as to how this would fit within its work programme.
It was agreed that the presentation on the Better Care Fund and Funding Reforms be deferred to the next meeting of the committee.
The Committee will receive a report and presentation from Healthwatch Havering on the findings of services for people who have dementia or a learning disability within Havering.
The Committee received a presentation from a representative of HealthWatch Havering setting out the findings of a review they had conducted into the services available for people who have dementia or a learning disability.
The Committee was informed that there were a series of workshops carried out in February and March 2014 to find out from carers, volunteers and users what services were available in Havering for people who had dementia or a learning disability and what needed to be done to secure improvements. The framework for each meeting and for both topics included the following questions
“What is missing?”
“What would make a difference?” and
“What have you experienced that is good?”
Over 100 people attended the workshops and a number of conclusions were reached. From these conclusions HealthWatch Havering agreed on a number of recommendations that they passed onto the relevant agency. A number of the recommendations were taken forward quickly by certain agencies.
The Committee found this very interesting and lots of discussions were had about issues that could be scrutinised during the coming municipal year.
The Committee will receive a report of the Impact of Services on the Elderly Topic Group.
The Committee are asked to agree and refer the report to Cabinet.
The Committee received a report of the Impact of Services on the Elderly Topic Group. This topic group had completed its scrutiny prior to the election, but it was necessary for the parent Overview and Scrutiny Committee to agree the report and refer it to Cabinet.
The Committee agreed the report and agreed to refer it to Cabinet.
COMMITTEE'S WORK PROGRAMME REPORT
The Committee will receive a report setting out details of the work programme for the next municipal year.
The Committee are asked to agree the work programme report.
The Committee received a report setting out details of its work programme for the next municipal year. A number of items were put forward and it was agreed that there were a number of areas that members wished to scrutinise as part of the Topic Group.