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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Waltham Forest Town Hall. View directions

Contact: John Williams  020 8496 4344 Email: democraticservices@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

20.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Shumon Ali-Rahman.

21.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members are required to declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they or their spouse/partner may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.  Interests are defined in the inside cover of this agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor Sweden declared a non-pecuniary interest as he was managed but not employed North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT). 

 

Councillor Sweden also declared a non-pecuniary interest in connection with agenda item 6 as he was part of the bank reserve staff at Redbridge Council. 

22.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 November 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair. 

23.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Members of the public are welcome to participate in scrutiny meetings.  You may speak for three minutes on a topic related to the Committee’s work, and fifteen minutes in total is allowed for public speaking, at the discretion of the Chair.  If you would like to speak, please contact Democratic Services (details above) by 12 noon on the day before the meeting.

 

Minutes:

There was no public participation.

24.

COMMITTEE ACTION TRACKER, ACTION UPDATE AND FORWARD PLAN pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Scrutiny Officer. 

 

Ms Cabral confirmed that some action updates would be provided to the Committee at a later date.  She also confirmed that the Committee would receive an update on GP referrals in due course. 

 

Decision

 

The Committee noted the Action Tracker, Action Update and the Forward Plan. 

25.

THEMED REVIEW: THREE CONVERSATIONS - BENCHMARKING WITH OTHER LOCAL AUTHORITIES & OUTLINE PROGRAMME PLAN pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Minutes:

Ms Scholefield introduced the report which summarised the feedback from three Councils in assessing the Three Conversation model of practice development and delivery. 

 

Councillor James described the report as very optimistic and the feedback as being positive however expressed interest in negative feedback to assist in learning and developing.  Ms Scholefield said she would provide details of the negative feedback, in relation to the new model, to the Committee.

 

The Chair referred to the fact that the report indicated that the new model had improved working practices across services and agencies.  Ms Scholefield said that each of the three authorities had all said that the new way of working had helped to reduce bureaucracy and had ultimately been a benefit to residents.  Ms Scholefield stated that relevant officers could circulate a link to a video which showed the positive impact of the new conversation model produced by Redbridge Council.

 

Councillor Saumarez pointed out that the London Borough of Waltham Forest was a very different borough to the ones in the case studies.  She asked whether officers anticipated any issues in that regard.  Ms Scholefield confirmed that, fundamentally, the model was right for Waltham Forest however said there would always be elements that required tweaking.  She added that there was the advantage of being able to learn from the other boroughs in the case study and that she hoped the new model would enable access to some residents who had been harder to reach in the past. 

 

The Chair referred to the importance of utilising Local Area Coordinators and other relevant agencies which could provide knowledge of potential referrals.  Ms Scholefield said that it was important to build on the Waltham Forest directory as the Council moved to the new operating model as staff and residents needed to be aware of local issues. 

 

Decision

 

The Committee recommended:

 

(a)  that officers circulate information from colleagues in other local authorities, regarding the negative aspects of the new conversation model, to the Committee;

 

(b)  Officers to circulate video regarding positive impact of the new conversation model produced by Redbridge Council.

 

26.

SAFEGUARDING ADULTS BOARD ANNUAL REPORT 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair varied the order of business and took agenda item 7 ‘Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 2017-18’ immediately after agenda item 5 ‘Committee Action Tracker, Action Update and Forward Plan’.

 

Ms Helen Taylor, Independent Chair for the Safeguarding Adults Board, introduced the report which set out the achievements of the Waltham Forest Safeguarding Adults Board (WFSAB).  She explained that this was the first full year that lay members had contributed to the Safeguarding Adults Board.  Ms Taylor described this as a positive development. 

 

Councillor Mahmud referred to the fact that there was a campaign last year to raise awareness around the issue of modern slavery.  She said that the report indicated that there would be an audit on the issue however pointed out that the Section 42 enquiries on types of abuse indicated that there were no enquiries around modern slavery.  Ms Suzanne Elwick, Head of Strategic Partnerships, explained that there could be aspects of modern slavery that were not being identified.  She expressed the importance at looking at an individual’s issue and identifying it as modern slavery even if the individual concerned did not.   Ms Elwick confirmed that such individuals were already receiving support. 

 

Councillor Mahmud then referred to the wider local profile that mapped the prevalence of modern slavery by using data estimates which used key risk factors such as car washes and brothels, as detailed in the annual report and officers’ intentions to visit such premises.  She asked whether officers had the capacity to undertake this intention.  Ms Elwick confirmed that it would be a challenge.  She went on to explain that a number of local authorities and other partner organisations would be signing up to an agreement including clauses in relation to modern slavery.  Ms Elwick stated that it was hoped that signing up to such a pledge would help in raising awareness on the issue. 

 

The Chair asked whether relevant officers had a satisfactory working relationship with licensing and planning teams in the Council. Ms Elwick confirmed that officers from these teams were part of the Modern Slavery task and finish group and were actively engaged in work to raise awareness. 

 

Councillor Saumarez pointed out that the Council’s intentions tied in with the National Strategy on Modern Slavery.  She asked if there were any learning points from the national body.  Ms Elwick confirmed that relevant officers had been engaging with the Modern Slavery Unit with the intention of cross cutting safeguarding issues including modern slavery.  Ms Elwick added that officers were looking at the work being undertaken in partnership with Central Government.  She went on to say that Central Government had recognised the positive steps and work undertaken at Waltham Forest and, as a result, were very engaged and had agreed to attend the pledge signing event later this year. 

 

Councillor James gave the scenario that if an inspection was to take place of the safeguarding work carried out by LBWF, what rating officers would expect to receive.  Ms Taylor stated that she would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

DRAFT CARERS STRATEGY 2019-2022 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Newman introduced the report which provided an overview of the draft Carers Strategy that had been developed by the Council in consultation with stakeholders and carers.

 

The Committee acknowledged the particular offer to young carers present in the Carers Strategy in relation to the thematic priorities within the report and asked officers to circulate a breakdown of age and ethnicity of carers in the borough.

 

Councillor Saumarez asked how officers intended to make facilities easier for elderly carers to access.  Ms Heather Flinders, Director of Children and Families, firstly stated that one particular challenge being faced was to get certain people to recognise that they were in fact a carer.  She stated that once an individual realised that was the case, then it shifted their thinking and encouraged the individual to be more willing to undertake additional support.  Ms Flinders went on to say that all the Council’s services and facilities around being a carer should be accessible and online. 

 

Councillor Saumarez then asked what the Council did to support young carers in education.  Ms Flinders explained that young carers were not always identified and said that schools/colleges should be providing support.  She went on to explain that the issue with identifying young carers was a national issue and referred to the importance of undertaking further work in establishments such as schools and other places where young carers may be found.  Ms Scholefield added that when schools had concerns in relation to young carers, teachers could contact Early Help officers that were able to offer a range of care. 

 

Councillor Wheeler pointed out that teachers were not trained or equipped to identify issues with young carers and asked what consideration was being given to providing support to teachers and other relevant professionals.  Ms Scholefield explained that Early Help coordinators were available to provide support to teachers and other professionals that might require help. 

 

Councillor Wheeler stated that many carers had to deal with a great deal of bureaucracy and asked what support would be provided in this area.  Ms Scholefield stated that it was recognised that access needed to be improved and confirmed that work was ongoing to address the issue.  She added that the Council’s telephone ‘front door’ approach was also being refined.  Councillor Wheeler went on to refer to the importance of putting the user/resident first.  He asked for assurances that people who contacted the Council either with language difficulties or who were fearful for any reason, that they were dealt with appropriately at the ‘front door’.  Ms Scholefield confirmed that work had been undertaken with officers in the Council’s Business Support section to ensure that calls were dealt with appropriately.  She explained that the plan was to make carers part of the governance of the Strategy going forward – with carers testing the Council’s systems and feeding back. 

 

The Chair referred to the transformation work undertaken to review and revise the care offer, particularly the removal of the ‘Take a Break’ offer, referred to in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.