Agenda and minutes

People Scrutiny Commission - Monday, 18th July, 2016 10.00 am

Venue: A Committee Room - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR. View directions

Contact: Claudette Campbell  0117 92 22324

No. Item


Welcome, introduction and safety information


Cllr Brenda Massey (Chair of People Scrutiny Commission) welcomed everyone to the meeting and led introductions.


Apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Cllr Keen and Cllr Alexander.  Cllr Windows joined the meeting as Substitute for Cllr Alexander.


Election of Vice-Chair 2016-17

To elect the Vice-Chair of the commission for 2016-17.


Cllr Jos Clark was nominated by Cllr Mark Brain as Vice-Chair and Agreed by all present.


Declarations of interest

To note any declarations of interest from councillors.  They are asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.


Any declaration of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.







Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 237 KB

To agree the minutes of the last meeting as a correct record.




That the Minutes of the meeting of the commission held on the 18th February 2016 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Public forum

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.


Any member of the public or councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-


Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5 pm on 12 July 2016.


Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on 15 July 2016.



None for this meeting. 


The two items received on the subject of the independent reports and findings about the services in the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, to be taken to the Joint Health Scrutiny scheduled for 12th August 2016 @ 10am, City Hall Bristol.


Introductory presentation from the People Directorate Leadership Team pdf icon PDF 509 KB


John Readman, Strategic Director for People was joined by the following officers to provide the Commission Members with an overview of the service provision within the remit of the People Directorate.


The full presentation can be viewed as a supplementary document on in the Council Meetings section.


Management Team

·        Paul Jacobs – Service Director, Education & Skills (Directorate Lead for Scrutiny)

·        Hilary Brooks – Service Director, Care &Support – Children & Families

·        Michele Farmer – Service Director, Early Intervention & Targeted Support

·        Mike Hennessey - Service Director, Care & Support Adults, Statutory Director of Adult Social Services

·        Netta Meadows – Service Director, Strategic Commissioning & Commercial Relations

Joined by:

·        Rob Logan – Service Manager Contracts & Quality

·        Annette Jones – Interim Service Manager Additional Learning Needs

What the People Directorate cover:

·        Education and Skills

·        Care & Support - Children & Families

·        Early Intervention & Targeted Support

·        Care & Support - Adults

·        Strategic Commissioning & Commercial Relations

Developing the City Vision – Our Contribution

·        Learning City

·        Health and Wellbeing Strategy

·        Adult Social Care Strategic Plan

·        Children, Young People & Families Strategy 2016-2020 Led by the Children & Families Partnership (Information about the consultation shared via Members Bulletin 4)

·        Safeguarding Boards – Annual Report and Business Plan

·        Getting to Good: Children’s Services Improvement Plan – Led by Bristol City Council

The following comments were noted following the presentation:

a.      Members sought clarity on how the Commission commented and provided input on development issues relating to the Directorate. 

b.      Members were informed that previously development issues were reported to the commission at the start of the process for comment and input.  At the completion of the consultation and development process and prior to going to Cabinet for Decision, a final report would return to the commission for final sign off.

c.      The question of Budget and management of resources was central to how the service balances the ambition of the City with the increasing demand for the service. 

d.      The Chair requested that the online information about the Directorate be updated including the organisation chart.

·        Action: Karen Blong to provide copy of organisation Chart to Commission Members.

e.      Members informed that enquiries to Service Directors and Managers were welcome.



       i.          To note the presentation


Annual business report pdf icon PDF 178 KB

To consider the annual business report.


The commission received a report from Claudette Campbell Democratic Services officer, Clerk to the People Scrutiny Commission.  Members were asked to note the Terms of Reference and the areas of work that fell within the Commission remit.


  1. Members to note that Housing Solution now formed part of the Neighbourhood Directorate and therefore that Scrutiny Commission.
  2. Members agreed to continue with the addition of the following co-optees at times that their specialist input were required on reports, presented to formal Scrutiny meetings.
    • Judith Brown, Expert Witness for Bristol Older People’s Forum and Bristol Aging Better
    • John Swainston, Education representative from the Church of England Diocese
    • Roger White, Education representative as Parent Governor Representative
    • Education representative from the Roman Catholic Diocese vacant.  John Swainston explained that both church diocese worked with limited resources, attempting to manage partnership working amongst local authorities and other partners, with very small teams as a consequence not always able to cover all meetings.
  3. Future dates for Scrutiny meetings agreed, with one change in November, as follows:
    • 10am 12th August 2016 – Joint Health Scrutiny with South Gloucestershire
    • 10am 26th September 2016
    • 2pm 20th October 2016
    • 10am 21st  November 2016
    • 2pm 19th December 2016
    • 10am 23rd January 2016
    • 2pm 20th February 2016
    • 10am 27th March 2017
    • 10am 28th April 2017
    • 10am 5th June 2017




       i.          To note the Report



Introduction to Cabinet members

Introduction to Cabinet members:

Cllr Clare Campion-Smith – Cabinet member for People

Cllr Fi Hance – Cabinet member for City Health and Wellbeing

Cllr Claire Hiscott – Cabinet member for Education and Skills


Cabinet Member for People Cllr Clare Campion-Smith provided the Commission with a brief summary of her background including her work within Adult Social Care.  The following was shared:

·        Mayor Rees’ commitment to Children’s Centre and school Breakfast Clubs.  Acknowledged that there is no direct control over Breakfast Club provision but the vision is for them to be widely available to those who have a need.

·        The recently published cross party report titled ‘The 1001 Critical Days – The Importance of the Conception to Age Two Period’ report.  That illustrates the effect of adverse environments, such as domestic violence, on a child.  A copy available on line at

·        Services that support earlier years are viewed as critical and there delivery supported within the given resources.  There is an opportunity for new thinking to maintain services across the City.

·        Acknowledged the success of the Youth Mayor and Youth Council shadow board initiatives that had been ongoing for approximately 4yrs.  That this initiative would be encouraged and promoted amongst local authorities.

·        Child population in Bristol had increased by 10.8% , above the national average of 8% .  The budget, that support children services although held static would be impacted because of this growth.

Cabinet Member for Education and Skills Cllr Claire Hiscott introduced herself to the Commission.

·        A health professional and pharmacists with experience as a school governor.  Committed to reducing inequalities in education, to support opportunity for all. 

·        To ensure that as corporate parents we do all we can to support children in care and care leavers.

·        To promote the work of the Learning City Partnership, that links Schools with Business and the Universities in the City to ensure that every Bristol young person has a passport for employability.  Learning City Partnership had been recognised by UNESCO.



       i.          The Commission welcomed the contribution of the Cabinet Members.




Overview of the 2015-16 work programme pdf icon PDF 367 KB


The Commission received Cllr Lesley Alexander apologies and in her absence Karen Blong, Scrutiny Officer and John Readman provided Members with an overview of the work programme that ran 2015 to 2016.


  • The past Scrutiny Commission maximised various formats to allow feeding in of information
    • 6 Formal Scrutiny Commission Meetings – Public
    • Working Groups at which members were able to deep dive into specific issues, with invited guests
    • Workshops – to allow for development of a collective view
    • Briefing session – an opportunity for information to be provided to Members


  • Scrutiny were able to request updates on matters of interest/current affairs for example when Kids Company went into Administration, a request was made for an impact report on how the folding of the company reflected on Bristol children/young people service delivery.


  • The Commission received regular reports from:
    • Health and Wellbeing Board work programme – presented by the Chairs of the Health and Wellbeing Board (joint with Neighbourhoods)
    • Health Providers - Quality Account reports
    • Annual Education Performance – All Key Stages
    • Integrated Education & Capital Strategy – Place Councillors invited to attend
    • Recommendations of the Adult Safeguarding Board Including Annual Adults Safeguarding Report
    • Annual Safeguarding Children’s Report
    • Corporate Parenting Strategy and Pledge to Children in Care and Care Leavers


The comments that followed the presentation are noted in section 13: Scrutiny Priorities.




                           i.          To note the presentation.




Mental health working group report pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To consider the report of the Mental health working group.

Additional documents:


The Commission received a report on the recommendations of the People Scrutiny commission 2015/16 Mental Health Working Group.


The Commission requested to:

  1. Formally agree the report and the recommendations within.  Following formal ratification Officers to create an action plan to be monitored.
  2. To refer the report to the Health & Welling Board for discussion.
  3. To note that the report recommendations had been presented and accepted by Cabinet on the 4th July 2016.


The following was noted from the discussion that followed:


  1. The report made 13 recommendations.
  2. The Strategy was for the whole city and to enhance partnership working.
  3. Targeted quick wins to be undertaken by the City Council to raise the profile of mental health at local and national level.
  4. A Mental Health Summit is scheduled to take place on the 10th October 2016.
  5. The report concentrated on Adult needs but work to be done on the mental health in children.
  6. It was reported that the newly drafted Volunteer Prospectus failed to list Mental Health as a priority and work was underway to rectify this omission.



  1. That the report and recommendation noted.
  2. That the report would be submitted to the Health & Wellbeing Board.
  3. That the Action Plan would form a part of the report Work Programme for monitoring.



Performance report for 2015-16 - Quarter 4 pdf icon PDF 295 KB

To consider the Quarter 4 performance report.


The Commission was presented with the quarter 4 performance progress report that gave a summary on the main areas of progress towards delivery of the Corporate Plan 2014-17.


  • The report was presented to enable Members new to the Commission to obtain an overview of the service with its milestones and performance issues.
  • The People Directorate had a number of highly regulated service areas and a duty to respond to Government data returns.
  • The performance indicators monitored were based on the themes established over the past 3 years.  Target indicators were previously agreed  with Service Managers and Directors to support delivery within available resources.


The following noted from the discussion that followed:


  1. Members requested explanations of a number of figures and the RAG system.  There was some uncertainty how the percentage figures should be read, whether at a glance they are looking for percentage decrease/increase.


  1. To improve understanding a ‘crib sheet’ with simple sentence that explained what the indicators represented and the ultimate goal.
    1. Action: Mark Wakefied, Service Manager Performance & Infrastructure to provide. 


  1. Explanation was provided to Members on what was to be achieved by showing Direct Payments as an indicator and the meaning of Social prescribing. 


  1. The indicator for disabled people living independently was at amber, this was an unintended consequence of the discharge model, discharge to assess.  When service users are allocated a care home often they wish to continue their stay beyond the given period because of the support provided in that environment.


  1. The report indicators did not separate out those disabled by Dementia.


  1. Members noted that the report was set out in thematic bands that allowed for related issues to be viewed and considered together.


  1. Members raised a question on how the LA influenced education targets when many schools fell into the category of Academies.  The City Council continues to be accountable to Department for Education, for the provision of education throughout the City.  Work continues to broker good relationship amongst education providers which had proved successful in many areas particularly supporting improving outcomes for student in care.  The principles and practices of the school improvement board developed to encourage the sharing of good practices between schools.  Education authorities are working together in Bristol and this is having a positive impact on overall outcomes.


  1. Members considered a future presentation on the changes in key stage measurements.
    1. Action: Noted for Scrutiny Work Programme.


  1. Action: Mark Wakefield to email Members with the on link and instructions for accessing performance data and available to assist with navigating the system.




       i.          That the quarter 4 reported be noted.


Discussion on scrutiny priorities


The Chair, Brenda Massey and John Readman Strategic Director People, invited the Commission Members and invited Co-optees to provide suggestions on subjects for the work programme for discussion at the Overview and Scrutiny planning workshop session scheduled for the 9th September 2016.


The following was noted from the discussion that followed.


  1. The Commission covered a wide span of service areas and time was needed to properly examine areas of concern.


  1. Acknowledged the valuable input into the Housing Landlord letting Agreement policy and the re-commissioning of the Home Care services.


Work Programme Suggestions


·        School Admission Arrangements – how to address the inequalities that exist between certain areas in respect of access to excelling schools

·        Education

o   Explanation on the changes in measuring improvements in primary pupil outcomes

o   Strategy on the provision of a further secondary school to meet the population growth

o   Possible opportunities that the change in legislation that enables education authorities to establish Grammar schools

o   Local Authority working relationship with multi academy trusts

o   Youth Links – service provision

o   Opportunities for Care Leavers

o   Changes to SENCO responsibilities

o   Early Years Development

o   Disabled young people into work

·        Foster Care provision – changes

·        Health and Social Care – working with Health care providers and the discharge model

·        Better Aging Better – Update report on position following funding award

·        Bristol City of Sanctuary – update on position of Asylum Seekers

·        Young People –

o   input from the Youth Council

§  on area of work particularly how volunteering being used as a way into work

o   impact of Homelessness on young people

·        Voluntary sector and Volunteering – joint session

o   Contribution to social prescribing


       i.          That the suggestions provided considered for the work programme planning session


The next meeting on 12th August @ 10am City Hall – Meeting In Common with  South Gloucestershire Health Scrutiny Committee, to receive the Report of UHB Trust’s Response on the Independent Reviews of the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.


Next People Scrutiny Commission – 10am 26th September 2016 City Hall Committee Room.