Agenda item

Public Forum

PLEASE NOTE:  The People Scrutiny Commission had been scheduled to meet on 12 September 2022.  The 12 September meeting was postponed as it fell in the public mourning period following the recent death of Her Majesty The Queen.  All questions and statements submitted to the 12 September meeting will be carried forward to this meeting on 26 September.

 

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item at the meeting.

 

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 scrutiny@bristol.gov.uk and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-

 

Questions - Written questions must be received at least 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 Tuesday 20 September 2022.

 

Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received at latest by 12 noon 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 Friday 23 September 2022.

 

Minutes:

Public statements:

It was noted that the following public statements had been received:

1. Mr S Smith - topic: Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

2. Jen Smith - topic: Fact-finding report - use of social media by council staff in respect of Bristol Parent Carer Forum / SEND

3. Hayley Hemming (on behalf of Bristol Parent Carer Forum) - topic: Fact-finding report - use of social media by council staff in respect of the Bristol Parent Carer Forum / SEND

4. Sally Kent and 89 other residents - topic: SEND

5. Hannah Summers and Amy Valenzia - topic: Secondary school admissions

6. Hayley Hemming - topic: Fact-finding report - use of social media by council staff in respect of the Bristol Parent Carer Forum / SEND

7. Sandra Thomas - topic: Fact-finding report - use of social media by council staff in respect of the Bristol Parent Carer Forum / SEND

8. Cllr Geoff Gollop - topic: Fact-finding report - use of social media by council staff in respect of the Bristol Parent Carer Forum / SEND

9. Rowena Hayward and Jeff Sutton, GMB - topic: Adult social care transformation update

 

Statements were presented by those in attendance.  Statement 5 was presented by Cllr Edwards on behalf of Hannah Summers and Amy Valenzia.  Statement 8 was presented by Cllr Weston on behalf of Cllr Gollop.

 

Public questions:

It was noted that the following public questions had been received (those in attendance asked supplementary questions as indicated below):

 

Q1. Jen Smith – topic: Fact finding report - use of social media by council staff in

respect of Bristol Parent Carer Forum

Supplementary question from Jen Smith regarding question 1 as submitted: ‘The report states that I was there as a BPCF member, but this is not true. To claim otherwise in an official report in this arena is defamation. Why has the council knowingly done this?’

In response, the Head of Legal Service advised that this point would need to be verified, and, if necessary, corrected.

 

Supplementary question from Jen Smith regarding question 3 as submitted:

‘Does the council only use its own social media account to view and collate data from social media or do individual staff members use their private accounts instead or as well?’

In response, the Interim Director - Education and Skills advised that information was  collated regularly by the Council’s communications team as part of their day to day work. This information would be collated via council accounts, not through individual accounts.

 

Supplementary question from Jen Smith regarding question 2 as submitted:

‘The response to the question says that tweet surveillance ‘did not involve any specific interaction with any of the individuals concerned.’ But that’s not true. Tweet surveillance continued all year as is shown in the bundle.  Why weren’t there Equality Act adjustments in a meeting where top council managers called my social media presence and council statements derogatory and aggressive?  They said that to my face with no reasonable adjustments.’

In response the Executive Director: People advised that reasonable adjustments applied primarily to ensuring council activity was accessible and that the council aimed to make reasonable adjustments to enable access, including communication. As indicated in the written response, whilst the term ‘reasonable adjustments’ was not applicable in this particular context, the department should still consider whether the questioner individually, or as part of a group, had any additional needs which should have been taken into account in communications with and responses from the department. Officers were happy to discuss this to ensure that future communications were conducted in a manner that was conducive to individual needs and preferences.

 

Q2. Jen Smith - topic: Progress update on Education, Health and Care performance

Q3. Lucy White - topic: Fact finding report - use of social media by council staff in

respect of Bristol Parent Carer Forum.

Q4. Suzanne Audrey - topic: Fact finding report - use of social media by council staff in respect of the Bristol Parent Carer Forum

Q5. Adele Green - topic: Fact finding report - use of social media by council staff in

respect of Bristol Parent Carer Forum

Q6. Charlotte Robertson - topic: Fact finding report - use of social media by council

staff in respect of Bristol Parent Carer Forum

Q7. Ian Hemming - topic: Fact finding report - use of social media by council staff in respect of Bristol Parent Carer Forum

Q8. Kay Galpin - topic: Fact finding report - use of social media by council staff in respect of Bristol Parent Carer Forum

Q9. Lotte Lane - topic: Fact finding report - use of social media by council staff in

respect of Bristol Parent Carer Forum

Q10. Lotte Lane – topic: Progress update on Education, Health and Care performance

 

Q 11. Hayley Hemming – topic: Fact finding report - use of social media by council staff in respect of Bristol Parent Carer Forum

At the invitation of the Chair, Hayley Hemming read out this question, as submitted:

‘On 1st September, BCC was informed that Data subject 1 had joined the forum “pending checks and references”. So that the public may understand any rules that data subject 1 was bound by regarding BPCF and DfE funding terms, please can BCC clarify on which date did data subject 1:

Sign their contract with BPC Forum following those references and checks

Join the forum steering group

Become an officer of the forum’.

In response, the Head of Legal Service advised that a written response would be sent to the questioner as soon as possible.

 

12. Councillor Kerry Bailes - topic: SEND partnership plan

13. Julie Wilson - topic: Education Health and Care plans

 

14. Hannah Summers and Amy Valenzia - topic: Secondary school admissions

Cllr Edwards, on behalf of Hannah Summers and Amy Valenzia, read out this question as submitted:

‘Will Bristol City Council’s education department be reviewing the catchments and admissions of Bristol’s secondary schools as matter of urgency, taking more ownership of administration and ensuring all academies are working together to ensure all postcodes and areas of the city are served by at least one school?’

In response, the Interim Director: Education and Skills advised that from October, there would be discussions starting with schools / academy trusts around their catchment areas. Any new arrangements would not take effect until 2024 due to the lead-in time involved in implementing any agreed changes. A written response would be sent to the questioner as soon as possible. 

 

15. Bristol Parent Carer Forum (BPFC) – topic: Progress update on Education Health and Care performance

Hayley Hemming referred to and summarised her written question, as submitted.

In response, the Head of Legal Service advised that a written response would be sent to the questioner as soon as possible.

 

16. Laura Drake - Agenda item 8 – Fact finding report – use of social media by council staff in respect of Bristol Parent Carer Forum

 

 

 

Supporting documents: