Havering People Overview and Scrutiny Committee, 6th December, 2022

This meeting was ‘technical’ and gave an interesting insight into the new Overview and Scrutiny committee structure. Committees have always had the ability to create Topic groups but usually didn’t. These are important issues and the committee has formed working parties. These will scrutinize the principal issues and produce a report for the committee. If additional resources are needed the Overview and Scrutiny Board will vet the proposition before transferring it to Council.

Darren Wise, lead member, will investigate social care for adults (see Addendum One). A much bigger topic than he was unaware of and he massively underestimated the time implications. He believed the Topic could be done in about three meetings. Jason Frost, the chair, (8 minutes) hinted this might be inadequate. Darren will be on a sharp learning curve.

The second topic (see Addendum Two) is investigating school readiness. Frankie Walker, lead member, gave an impassioned introduction (14 minutes) complete with a blizzard of statistics. Frankie is principally concerned with the impact of poverty. The key indicator is Free School Meals but there are other elements. She’s driven by the notion that current resources might not be used effectively. Jason was helpful pointing out there are both very poor wards and wards with significant pockets of poverty (26 minutes). Frankie insisted that the first point of call would be very poor wards so that best practice could be developed.

At last, ‘backbenchers,’ are taken seriously.

 

Addendum One: Social care for adults

  • To understand the current SEND and social care provisions for adults to assess their strengths and weaknesses · Regulate and create a local authority quality assurance process and written framework for current and future SEND adult provisions to meet · Signposting for current 16-25 provisions and employment opportunities · Investigate current provisions for 25+ and explore the areas to improve employability opportunities · Scrutinise Havering borough’s own delivery to modernise/update the current service model in place.

Source (Public Pack)Agenda Document for People Overview & Scrutiny Sub Committee, 06/12/2022 19:00 (havering.gov.uk) p11

Addendum Two: School Readiness

  • Defining what school readiness is in accordance to the Government guidelines and Havering’s framework · To understand and explore the inequalities within Early Years children’s school readiness and the effect of this on individual’s long-term development · Reviewing how non-English speaking, ethnic minority parents access Havering’s resources

Source (Public Pack)Supplementary Agenda Agenda Supplement for People Overview & Scrutiny Sub Committee, 06/12/2022 19:00 (havering.gov.uk) p1

Note

1 Annotator Player (sonicfoundry.com)

Havering’s Health and Wellbeing Board: 28th April, 2021

Jason Frost is an effective chair. He’d clearly read the agenda1, understood it and engaged so that he could lead the discussions. Given the importance of the business, an effective chair is vital.

Almost immediately the issue of sharing data came up. This was to be a recurring theme as suspension of data protection was implied. There are special procedures in place for the period of the pandemic about data sharing.

Jason immediately understood that the current emergency Covid strategies are expensive – but underwritten by the government- and likely to become permanent. He hoped that they could become part of the environmental officers’ brief, presumably to save money, but that was shown to be an improbable suggestion.

The challenges of Covid extend to Long Covid. The scale isn’t known but it’s a certainty. As there’s no cure, provision will have to be made to protect those suffering from it. Havering and the NHS will have to work closely together to meet this challenge.

A gloomy note was hit when the director of public health pointed out that Covid will be here for an extended period. Any surge would have to be met by stringent local actions, or, at worst, further lockdowns.

Addendum: Falsified Minutes

Damian White didn’t attend, yet again. In the minutes2 it says that he and two other councillors offered apologies. Viewing the webcast3 you’ll see they didn’t apologise for their absence. This pathetic falsification is childish corruption and deeply worrying in this critical period in Havering’s history. Let’s not forget the entire agenda was discussing the ramifications of a pandemic, which has killed 921 Havering citizens.

Notes

1 For the Agenda see (Public Pack)Agenda Document for Health & Wellbeing Board, 28/04/2021 13:00 (havering.gov.uk)

2 For enquiries on this agenda please contact (havering.gov.uk)

3 Annotator Player (sonicfoundry.com) Go to start point 2 minutes 55 seconds for announcement of apologies beginning with the chair and then the clerk: about 10 seconds altogether.