Venue: Sparkenhoe Committee Room, County Hall, Glenfield
Contact: Mrs J Twomey (Tel: 0116 305 2583) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A webcast of the meeting can be viewed here.
The minutes of the meeting held on 15 March 2023 were taken as read, confirmed and signed.
The Chief Executive reported that no questions had been received under Standing Order 34.
Questions asked by members under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).
The Chief Executive reported that no questions had been received under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).
There were no urgent items for consideration.
Declarations of interest in respect of items on the agenda.
The Chairman invited members who wished to do so to declare any interest in respect of items on the agenda for the meeting.
No declarations were made.
Declarations of the Party Whip in accordance with Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 16.
There were no declarations of the party whip.
Presentation of Petitions under Standing Order 35.
The Chief Executive reported that no petitions had been received under Standing Order 35.
Mrs D. Taylor CC, Lead Member for Children and Family Services, has been invited to attend for this item.
The Commission considered a report of the Director of Children and Family Services which presented the draft Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2023 – 2026 for comment prior to it being presented to Cabinet and thereafter full Council for approval in May. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 8’ is filed with these minutes.
Arising from discussion, the following points were raised:
The Plan which clearly set out the strategic
direction of the County Council for youth justice services was welcomed. Members also welcomed the resources invested
into the Service which were not entirely financial but involved the sharing of
personnel amongst partner agencies which supported a more joined up approach.
Members raised concerns regarding the impact on
the Service of supporting children in private children’s homes located in the
area and the limits on the Council’s ability to plan for and manage this at a
strategic level, there being no requirement for the County Council to be
notified when a new children’s home was being established in the area. It was noted that the Service had regular contact
with those homes it commissioned which included quality assurance visits and
providing support around managing child exploitation.
Members were pleased to see the continued
emphasis on prevention, but it was questioned how this had been affected given
the reduction in a range of youth support services over the last decade. It was noted that the change in approach by
the Council to bring together early help and children’s social care services
had meant resources could be better targeted.
A triage process had been adopted which meant all support options could
be considered in a more co-ordinated and consolidated way. Support might be provided by the County
Council’s Youth Justice Services (YJS), or by a partner or within the
community. This provided for a more
creative and individual approach to meet a young person’s needs. Merging these services had also meant a wider
approach could be taken to not only supporting young offenders or those at risk
of offending but their families too.
There had been a national increase in serious youth
violent crime and the National Audit Office had predicted a doubling of the
number of young people in custody as a result.
Members were pleased to note that numbers in Leicestershire remained low
with 3 young offenders now being in custody in the area, but that this was the
highest it had been in several years.
Members noted that much work was being done through the violence
reduction network to tackle the issue, particularly around knife crime, and to
ensure the safety of staff. The Lead Member emphasised that the Service not
only worked with young offenders and their families, but also reached out to
work with families across neighbourhoods to take preventative action and reduce
the risk of wider escalation across communities.
A Member commented that the extent of support
available to young offenders and the preventative work taking place was to be
commended but suggested there was a need to improve the focus given to victims
to ensure though the process their voice was still heard, as the impact of youth
crime could still be severe.
(vi) A Member suggested that it would be helpful for the YJS to share more information about the work it undertook in practice to deliver the Plans objectives. It was recognised that communities often saw the immediate response of the police to incidents (for example in response to cases of anti-social behaviour), but work taking place with those young people and their families behind the scenes ... view the full minutes text for item 76.
Mr P. Bedford CC, Lead Member for Recovery and Transformation, has been invited to attend for this item.
The Commission considered a report of the Director of Corporate Resources which provided an update on the delivery of the Council’s Ways of Working programme following a request made by the Commission at its meeting in November 2022. The report set out progress made against the recommendations of the informal scrutiny task and finish group which reported to the Commission in March 2022, and the impact of the Programme on the Council’s property assets.
Arising from discussion the following points were made:
commented on the benefits of the Ways of Working (WOW) Programme which provided
greater flexibility for staff and which it was recognised would be beneficial
in addressing recruitment and retention pressures across all service
areas. Many organisations were now
adopting a hybrid approach to where people work and a Member commented that it
would no longer be possible, or desirable, to return to a full time office
response to questions raised, Members noted that the floor space calculated as
being necessary for County Hall staff within the original WOW business case had
been between 5,000 and 7,500 square metres.
A Member commented that this was significantly less than what the
current County Hall campus provided and queried what was taken into account in
making this assessment. The Director
undertook to provide more information after the meeting.
was noted that floor space requirements were evolving and being reviewed as the
programme was rolled out service area by service area. Members acknowledged that time was needed to
allow staff to adapt and determine what space was necessary to support future
working practices. Some teams were being
brought into new collaborative work space for the first time and they would
require a period of adjustment.
Lead Member commented that a balance needed to be struck between letting parts
of County Hall that had been identified as not being needed and ensuring some
space was retained to meet future requirements.
He also emphasised the need to allow managers time to work with their
teams to ensure the best service delivery model was adopted.
Member suggested that entrance numbers to the County Hall campus did not help
in determining the extent to which the building was still being used by County
Council staff, given that large sections had now been let to external
partners. A Member requested that the
entrance numbers be broken down to provide a clearer picture of how the
Council’s staff were working.
response to a question regarding the retention of space to accommodate the
collections hub, Members noted that a holistic approach had been taken
regarding the use of County Hall when developing the WOW programme. Other projects, including the collections
hub, had therefore been taken into account when considering campus
requirements. This would continue as the
programme was rolled out as, whilst separate projects that needed to assessed
individually, there were obvious overlaps and every effort would be made to
ensure future need as well as current need for Council business would be
accommodated. The Director undertook to
re-circulate the slides from a presentation provided to all Members in December
2022 on the MTFS and the Council’s Property Assets which included details of
the County Hall Campus Strategy linked to the WOW programme.
(vii) In response to questions raised, the Director confirmed that generic office space was being let (with no tailoring to meeting particular organisations’ needs), and that this was generally on a 3 to 5 year lease and so there was flexibility for long term changes to meet future Council requirements if ... view the full minutes text for item 77.
Date of next meeting.
The next meeting of the Commission is scheduled to take place on 12th June 2023 at 10.00am.
It was noted that the next meeting of the Commission would be held on 12th June 2023 at 10.00 am.