Venue: Hybrid - Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron / remotely via video conference
i. Councillor Mark Strong apologised for his inability to attend the meeting.
ii. Councillor Matthew Vaux, Cabinet Member apologised for his inability to attend the meeting due to other Council commitments.
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.
There were no disclosures of Personal and Prejudicial Interests (including whipping declarations) from Committee Members.
Councillor Alun Williams (Cabinet Member for Through Age and Wellbeing) explained that the Regional Dementia Strategy had been developed by the West Wales Care Partnership (WWCP) Regional Dementia Steering Group. WWCP brings together organisations from the statutory, third and independent sectors with a remit of integrating and transforming health, care and support in the region. Funding provided by Welsh Government (WG) funding was managed through the Dementia Steering Group and would be instrumental in delivering agreed priorities within the Strategy. A Population Needs Assessment recently presented at Cabinet indicated an increase in the number of people aged 80+ due to the post-war baby boom reaching this age and so this strategy would be key in moving forward. An overview of the WWCP Dementia Strategy was provided to the committee, with reference to the current provision, best practices, feedback from structured interviews with stakeholders and carers and the approach to implementing the dementia wellbeing pathway.
Donna Pritchard referred to the Next Steps from a regional and county perspective. Regionally, 6 work streams had been identified which included Community Engagement, Hospitals and Training and Recruitment. There was representation from the local authority on all work streams. It was noted that well-being connectors would work in the community and would work closely with Porth Cymorth Cynnar. The local authority had secured funding from WG to commission consultants to support developing a plan to deliver the key outcomes noted in the strategy.
Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions which were answered by Donna Pritchard. The main points raised were as follows:
· Members welcomed the paper and noted that it was key to ensure members in the community received the best care.
· Given the current economic climate, concerns were raised about how the strategy would be implemented. It was noted that an in-depth mapping of services was crucial to understanding what provision was already in place in the county and whether they continued to be fit for purpose. There was a regional focus at present, but the local authority was in the process of developing a service specification, which would hopefully be completed by 31.03.23. Following this, the work would be able to progress at a county level.
· Members felt strongly that day centres which were severely impacted by Covid-19 were a lifeline for people who cared for loved ones. Work currently being undertaken at Canolfan Padarn, Canolfan Meugan and Hafod had been impacted by a lack of materials. At present, there was currently no timeframe to re-open the buildings. Reassurance was provided that everyone who received support from staff in the centres continued to receive support.
· In response to a question related to whether there were enough places in the county’s residential care homes for dementia care and respite care, it was noted that homes were managing people with far more complex needs than in the past. Wrap-around services were being developed to support people to live at home and a 6-bed wing dedicated to dementia care was in the process ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Councillor Alun Williams (Cabinet Member for Through Age and Wellbeing) presented the Independent Reviewing Service Report Quarter 4 2021/2022. Quarterly reports were taken to the Healthier Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee as part of an ongoing examination of the topic to ensure that the Local Authority fulfils its duties as the Corporate Parent. The report includes national and local standards and targets used to measure outcomes for looked-after children (LAC) and care leavers at the time of their review meeting and includes Welsh Government Performance Indicators. Based on the information available and the views expressed during the review meeting, the IRO makes a professional judgement about the effectiveness of a child/young person’s care plan in meeting their needs and may recommend changes to the care plan. During the review meeting, the IRO considers whether the child/young person requires assistance to identify relevant other people to obtain legal advice/take proceedings on their behalf. This action was not deemed necessary by the IRO for any child in the period. In addition, the IRO has regard as to whether the child/young person’s human rights are being breached in any way and, if so, might make a referral to CAFCASS Cymru. This action was not required at any of the review meetings in the period.
These reports are considered within Multi Agency LAC Quality Assurance Meetings which meet quarterly; these meetings provide an opportunity to identify and act upon performance and other issues with this area of work. The reports are also circulated and reviewed by the Local Authority’s Corporate Parenting Group, which takes place quarterly. Councillor Alun Williams proceeded to present a Summary of the Key Points noted on page 2 of the report.
Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions which were answered by Elizabeth Upcott and Councillor Alun Williams. The main points raised were as follows:
· There was no mother and baby residential provision in the county and therefore if an assessment was required, they had to go out of county. In addition, some placements were out of county due to the locations of foster carers whilst others were due to specialist placements which were not available in the county.
· There was a process to follow when the public expressed an interest in becoming foster carers which included assessments and interviews that could take up to six months. There were ongoing recruitment drives nationally due to the shortage of foster carers. Foster carers worked either for local authorities or for agencies.
· Reference was given to the placement language and the child’s first language needs noted on page 6 of the Independent Reviewing Service Performance Management Report.
· It was noted that the cost of out-of-county placements varied, dependent on the needs of children and young people. Out-of-county placements could be more costly than placing children and young people in a foster care setting.
· Work was ongoing to increase the range of in-county care, which was important for the children, their families and potentially financially.
· It was highlighted that GP ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Heddwyn Evans explained that the purpose of the report was to provide members with the findings of Ceredigion County Council’s 2022 Air Quality Progress Report, in fulfilment of Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 Local Air Quality Management. In terms of statutory monitoring duties placed on Ceredigion County Council, there was a requirement to report on both Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Particulate Matter (PM10) annually. Other pollutants contained in the regulations were exempt from mandatory reporting unless there was evidence of a local issue that needed to be addressed. Given Ceredigion’s rural location and lack of heavy industries, the authority was not subject to exceedances in relation to the pollutants exempt from mandatory reporting. By using diffusion tubes, 11 sites were currently monitored in Ceredigion for NO2. If levels of NO2 reached an annual mean objective of 40μg/m3, a Local Air Quality Management Area would be declared. In terms of PM10, it can cause adverse health issues however the monitoring of PM10 has been consistently good in Ceredigion.
Due to restrictions and different priorities during the Covid-19 pandemic, sampling was paused hence the 6 months of reporting in the report. From a Quality Assurance and Quality Control perspective, Diffusion Tube Bias Adjustment Factors were used on the spreadsheet provided by Defra to adjust measurements, to ensure results were consistent across the county. Reference was given to the trends in annual mean NO2 concentrations during the last 5 years of monitoring included in the report. It was highlighted there had been a reduction nationally last year due to less traffic during the pandemic. It was highlighted that air pollution in Ceredigion was the second lowest in Wales.
Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions which were answered by Heddwyn Evans, Elis Gwyn and Carwen Evans. The main points raised were as follows:
· It was noted there was no requirement for the local authority to monitor ammonia or methane.
· Questions were raised around whether monitoring should be done in all towns within the county; it was clarified that officers actively evaluated sites to ensure the most effective areas were measured.
· In terms of resources, it was noted that the diffusion tubes were not expensive, but the work involved was not always the best use of staff time. As all towns were smart towns, it was suggested that sensors could be considered to provide indicative monitoring in moving forward.
· In response to a member’s comments, it was noted that appropriate legislative steps were taken to deal with pollutants and as risks and understanding developed, adaptions were done to the legislation.
The Chair highlighted the importance of communicating the county’s success to the public in a press release.
Following questions by the Committee Members, it was agreed to note the content of the report and recommend to Cabinet that the report is published on the council website, and submitted to DEFRA, in line with statutory requirements.
It was agreed to note the contents of the Forward Work Programme presented subject to the following:
· A meeting would be held with the Chair/ Vice-Chair and relevant Corporate Lead Officers to discuss the Forward Work Plan on 09.11.22.
· Members agreed to arrange a Special meeting on 23.01.22. An update on Covid-19 would be provided and CAMHS have been invited to attend the meeting.
· An update on the ‘Through Age & Wellbeing Programme’
· A report on Inspection of Food Outlets (after April 2023)
· Update on Domiciliary Care (Dementia Services/ Residential Care Homes) (April 2023)
· Update on Day Services in the County (Interim report in January 2023/ full report April 2023)
· Occupational Therapy outsourcing work – costs and cost implications
The Chair explained that Learning Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee had invited members of the committee to their meeting on 08.12.22 to discuss a report on autism and the services around this.
It was agreed to confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 28 July 2022.
Matters arising: None.