Venue: Hybrid - Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron / remotely via video conference
Contact: Lisa Evans Dwynwen Jones
Welcome, Procedure and Apologies
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
The Chairman conveyed the Committee’s Best Wishes to Councillor John Roberts following his illness.
Councillor Ceris Jones and Elaine Evans apologised for being unable to attend the meeting.
It was agreed that agenda item 4 be considered prior to agenda item 3 shown on the agenda papers.
Disclosures of personal interest (including whipping declarations) Members are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct. In addition, Members must declare any prohibited party whip which the Member has been given in relation to the meeting as per the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011
Councillor Rhodri Evans disclosed a personal interest, and wishes to make the
Committee aware that he is on behalf of the Authority, a Board Member for
Hywel Dda University Health Board.
The Chair welcomed Hazel Lloyd Lubran, CAVO Chief Executive and Chair of the PSB, Councillor Bryan Davies, Leader of the Council, Alun Williams, Diana Davies and Timothy Bray, Officers, to the meeting to present the Minutes of the Public Services Board meeting held on the 4th of September 2023. Under Section 35 of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, Local Authorities are required to ensure their Overview and Scrutiny Committees have the power to scrutinise decisions made, or other action taken, by the Public Services Board for the Local Authority area in the exercise of its functions.
Committee Members were asked to consider the draft minutes of the Ceredigion PSB meeting dated 4 September 2023.
During discussion, the following was noted:
· Following the success of the Warm Welcome Spaces last year, a map of local centres has been updated for Winter 2023,
· Following a question regarding the availability of Food Banks, it is believed that there are food banks covering every area in Ceredigion. Mrs Lloyd-Lubran confirmed she would check that this is still the case with the relevant Officer.
Following discussion, Committee Members agreed to:
1. Agreed to receive the draft minutes of the Ceredigion PSB meeting held on the 4th of September 2023.
In order for the Overview and Scrutiny Coordinating Committee to carry out their role of taking an overview of the overall effectiveness of the PSB.
The Chair thanked the Officers and the Chair of the Public Services Board for attending and presenting the information at today’s meeting.
The Chair also took this opportunity to thank Carys Morgan, Welsh Language Officer, who has left the authority, for her excellent work during her time at Ceredigion County Council. He also wished her well in her future role.
Members considered the CYSUR/CWMPAS Combined Local Operational Group Safeguarding Report Quarter 1, between the period 01.04.2023 to 30.06.2023, 2023/2024.
The Chair welcomed Councillor Alun Williams, Cabinet Member and Elizabeth Upcott, Corporate Manager, to provide a summary of the key points, which were as follows:
Summary of Key points:
➢ In Quarter 1, there was a decrease in the number of contacts/reports received regarding children/young people compared to Quarter 4-with there being 888 contacts/reports received in Q1 compared to 1010 contacts/reports received in Q4.
➢ There was also a decrease in the overall number of contacts/reports which proceeded to actions needing to be taken under Child Protection Procedures, from 172 in Q1 compared with 200 in Q4. 2
➢ The percentage of reports that proceeded to a Strategy Discussion was 19.4% in Q1 compared to 19.8% in Q4. In Q 1, 8.8% of reports proceeded to a Section 47 Enquiry compared to 8.4% in Q4, and then 0.7% needed to proceed to an Initial Child Protection Conference compared to 1.6% in Q4.
➢ The total number of children subject to an Initial Child Protection Conference in this quarter has decreased where there being 10 in this quarter compared to 23 in quarter 4, and this compares to 35 in Q3.
➢ The total number of children placed on the Child Protection Register in this quarter following the Initial Child Protection Conference was 10 in this quarter compared to 20 in Q4
➢ The total number of children removed after Review Child Protection Conferences in this quarter were 8 compared to 15 in Quarter 4.
➢ The total number of Section 47 enquiries undertaken has decreased in this quarter also, with 78 undertaken in this quarter compared to 85 in Quarter 4, 65 of those enquiries were undertaken jointly with the Police and 13 were undertaken as a Social Services Single Agency.
➢ The main category of abuse which led to a Section 47 enquiry being undertaken in quarter 1 was Physical Abuse and sexual abuse and child exploitation.
➢ There were 52 children on the Child Protection Register as at the end of this quarter, and there was 52 as at the end of Quarter 4. 19 children were registered under the category of emotional/psychological abuse, in this quarter, 26 under the category of neglect and 7 under the category of both neglect and emotional/psychological abuse.
➢ The main Risk Factors for the 52 children who were on the Child Protection Register as of the 30/06/23 were domestic abuse, parental mental health, parental separation, and adult offences of violence.
➢ In terms of Adult Safeguarding, there has been a significant increase in the number of adults suspected of being at risk of abuse and/or neglect, with there being 217 adults at risk reported in this quarter compared to 190 in Q4 thus reflecting an increase in the reports over the last year, quarter by quarter.
➢ The most reported category of abuse this quarter was neglect (98) and then emotional/psychological abuse, with 91 reports of adults at risk where this was the main ... view the full minutes text for item 26.
The Chair welcomed the Leader of the Council, Councillor Bryan Davies, and Cabinet Member, Alun Williams, Diana Davies and Rob Starr, Officers, to present the report.
Part 6 of the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 introduced a new Self-Assessment based performance regime for Principal Councils.
The Self-Assessment Report for 2022/23 discharges the requirements of both: • The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 – to set and review progress against our Corporate Well-being Objectives • The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 – the duty to keep performance under review, consult on performance, report on performance, arrange a Panel Performance Assessment and respond to a Panel Performance Assessment.
It was reported that following positive feedback from Welsh Government peers, retained a similar format for this year to help in disseminating key messages and keeping it succinct, as requested by Welsh Government. Improvements made this year to strengthen the report are as follows:
• Providing further detail on the consultation and engagement undertaken during the year and how it is used.
• Providing details of the stakeholder consultation to support self-assessment.
• Providing further detail in the evaluation commentary of the Council’s overall performance.
• Updating the Self-Assessment Action Plan, adding the new actions identified along with a progress update.
• Expanding the benchmarking section (further work is ongoing to develop this in conjunction with Data Cymru).
• Added “Council Structure” section to provide details of how the Council is structured.
• Included links to other related reports and strategies, which is seen as best practice.
The Governance and Audit Committee has a statutory responsibility to consider the Self-Assessment Report and make recommendations on the findings and the actions that the Council proposes to take. The Report was considered at its meeting on 27 September 2023 and approved the report to proceed for approval at Cabinet and Council. No formal recommendations were made to the conclusions or the actions, although minor formatting amendments have been made to improve the quality of the report prior to Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Following approval by Governance and Audit Committee the process of producing the 2022/23 Self-Assessment Report is now complete and cannot be amended further.
The Self-Assessment Report is scheduled to proceed to Cabinet on 7 November and Council on 30 November, before being submitted to Ministers, Estyn and the Auditor General for Wales, as well as being published on the website. Panel Performance Assessment Update Part of the new Self-Assessment Performance Regime is the duty to undertake a Panel Performance Assessment once in every election cycle. Panel Assessments are intended to provide an independent and external perspective of the extent to which the Council is meeting the performance requirements of the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021. The aim is to support Councils to achieve their aspirations through developing and understanding how they are operating and how they can ensure they are able to deliver effective services long-term. The Council’s first Panel Performance Assessment is being organised for ... view the full minutes text for item 27.
The minutes of the Coordinating meeting held on the 11th of September 2023
were confirmed as a true record of proceedings and there were no matters
arising from those minutes.
Each Chair in turn gave an update on their respective Committee’s Forward
1. Coordinating Committee
The Chair provided an update in relation to the Coordinating Committee’s future work plan.
2. Corporate Resources
The Chair provided an update in relation to the Corporate Resources future work plan. The Chair mentioned that some Committee Members visited Cardigan Town on Friday, 3rd of November 2023. Councillor Clive Davies, Cabinet Member, arranged for Members to visit businesses and speak to several shops on the high street to learn more about the location analytics an internet of things technologies used. Members found this visit very interested and the Chair thanked Councillor Clive Davies for arranging this. He also thanked the businesses who gave their time to speak to the Committee Members. Councillor Gwyn Wigley Evans also attended as he is the Chairman of the Thriving Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
3. Thriving Communities
The Chair provided an update in relation to the Thriving Communities future work plan. Councillor Gwyn Wigley Evans, Committee Chair, also took this opportunity to thank Councillor Clive Davies for arranging the Cardigan Town visit and the businesses who also gave their time on the day.
A visit to Horeb Food Centre is scheduled in the coming weeks.
4. Healthier Communities
The Chair provided an update in relation to the Healthier Communities future work plan.
5. Learning Communities
Councillor Gwyn Wigley Evans, Chair of the Thriving Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee asked whether the Chairs/vice Chairs (Members of this Committee) could receive information/reasons/guidelines relating to when a meeting can be closed, when a break can be taken etc.