Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 4th September, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

Contact: Stacey Gilmour 

Items
No. Item

188.

WELCOME & APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Councillor Achilleas Georgiou chaired the first part of the meeting when the call-in was considered.  Councillor Susan Erbil then chaired the remainder of the meeting.

 

Apologies had been received from Councillors Aydin and Aramaz and from Tony Murphy (Co-optee).  Councillor Gunawardena substituted for Councillor Aramaz, Councillor Bedekova substituted for Councillor Aydin. Councillor Bond substituted for Councillor Erbil for the first part of the meeting, during discussion of the call-in.

189.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

190.

CALL IN OF DECISION: APPROVAL OF CYCLE ENFIELD PROPOSALS FOR THE A1010 NORTH pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To receive and consider a report from the Director of Law and Governance

outlining details of a call-in received on the Portfolio Decision taken on

Approval of Cycle Enfield Proposals for the A1010 North (Report No.85).

 

The decision that has been called in was a Portfolio Decision taken on 8 August 2019 and included on the Publication of Decision List No: 22/19-20

(List Ref: 2/22/19-20) issued on 9 August 2019.

 

It is proposed that consideration of the call-in be structured as follows:

· Brief outline of the reasons for the call-in by representative (s) of the

members who have called in the decision

· Response to the reasons provided for the Call-in by the Cabinet Member

responsible for taking the decision

· Debate by Overview and Scrutiny Committee and agreement of action to be taken.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Director of Law and Governance outlining details of a call-in received on the portfolio decision taken by the Cabinet Member for Environment & Sustainability on-

‘Approval of Cycle Enfield Proposals for the A1010 North.

 

Councillor Georgiou invited Councillor Rawlings to give an outline of the reasons for call-in.

 

Councillor Rawlings stated that there were originally five reasons for call-in but of these only two had been allowed.  Although she had asked the Director of Law and Governance for information relating to this, she had not received a reply and felt she had been denied an opportunity for an additional reason to be accepted.   Councillor Georgiou stated that the Committee is only able to focus on the two reasons that had been allowed.    

 

NOTED

 

Councillor Rawlings set out the reasons for calling in the decision:

  1. The first reason relates to the safety of bus boarders.  A review was being carried out by Transport for London and a recent Parliamentary Inquiry had concluded that shared space had become a major issue for a number of disabled people.  Local Authorities who were designing new schemes involving shared space had been asked to pause such schemes to consider how they could be adapted to enhance accessibility.   Councillor Rawlings said when buses pull-in to a bus point they can lower exit to pavement level and therefore this constitutes a shared surface.
  2. Whilst a review is being carried out by Transport for London and their findings are expected to be given September/ October, any new cycle path works should be deferred.
  3. There is no information given in the report about ‘near misses’ in Enfield that have occurred relating to bus boarders at cycle lanes.
  4. Whilst local authorities must ensure that the public can walk safely on pavements, they also need to safeguard their access to public transport.  For visually impaired people who use guide dogs, problems can occur as training for dogs would involve them stopping at kerb sides - they are not trained to look out for cyclists at shared spaces.
  5. Cyclists are not always aware that they must give way to pedestrians alighting from buses and therefore this is a potential danger.
  6. The second reason for call-in concerns the contractor Ringway Jacobs who have been appointed to carry out the construction works.  Delays and cost overruns had occurred on the A105 cycle lane works under the same contractor.  She felt that a further tendering exercise should have taken place. Delays for previous work had meant that the work took twice the time it was expected to take and barriers in front of premises were in place longer than the two weeks expected.
  7. Councillor Rawlings understands that Ringway Jacobs have acquired a business that carry out modelling work for the cycling schemes as well as the construction works – this would seem to be a conflict of interest.

 

The proposed alternative action requested by the Councillors calling-in the decision was to refer the report back to the Cabinet member  ...  view the full minutes text for item 190.

191.

FOSTERING AND ADOPTION SERVICES IN ENFIELD- ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 232 KB

To receive a report from Debbie Michael, Service Manager Fostering Adoption and SG Service.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Shirley Gounder (Head of Service for Looked After and Vulnerable Young People) and Morris Linton (Team Manager Adoption & Special Guardianship Service) presented a report on the work of the Fostering and Adoption Services since September 2018.

 

Reports had been circulated with the agenda -

  • Annual Panel Report of the LB Enfield Adoption Service April 2018 – March 2019 and
  • LB Enfield Fostering Panel Annual Report April 2018 – March 2019

 

The comments from the March 2019 Ofsted report for Enfield’s fostering and adoption services, which were very positive, were noted.

 

The following points were highlighted:

  1. There are currently 15 children placed with prospective adopters awaiting Adoption Orders
  2. We have 134 foster families (including family and friends and Reg 24 (temporary approval carers) and 141 looked after children placed. 43.5% of all our looked after children are placed with in house foster carers
  3. The Fostering and Adoption services are based at Triangle House. Proximity to the Looked after Children’s Team is helpful in promoting good planning for children in care
  4. Enfield is part of the North London Adoption and Fostering Consortium (NLAFC) made up of Enfield, Barnet, Camden, Hackney Haringey and Islington. The boroughs work together in areas such as sharing of training and recruitment activities.
  5. The Adoption and Special Guardianship (SG) Service is situated in the same area as the Fostering Service. They recruit and assess prospective adopters, to family find and match suitable adopters and to support adoptive families.  The SG service has responsibility for assessing and supporting Special Guardian carers.
  6. The independent fostering and adoption panels consider and agree recommendations on the suitability of applicants wishing to foster or adopt.
  7. Regionalisation of Adoption Agencies (RAA) is going ahead throughout the country and the six boroughs, of which Enfield is part, in the current consortium have joined together to become the Regional Adoption Agency for North London. A structure for the RAA has now been put in place and will start from 1 October 2019. There will therefore no longer be an adoption service based in Enfield from that date although we will continue to have the Special Guardianship Service.
  8. There has been an increase in the number of SG Orders granted over the last 2 – 3 years.  In 2016-17, 42 SGOs were granted. In 2017-18, 32 SGO’s were granted and for this year up to August 21 SGO’s had already been granted and it is estimated that there would be 45 to 50 for the year. In 2018-19 13 Adoption Orders were granted. It is anticipated that there would be a similar number of Adoption Orders for 2019 -20.
  9. The aim is to increase the pool of foster carers and adopters to meet the demand of children in need of fostering and children where adoption is the plan.  The RAA will result in a larger pool of adopters. Marketing is continuing and recent adverts have been put on local buses. The aim is to recruit 15 or more foster carers for 2019/20 targeting older children and sibling  ...  view the full minutes text for item 191.

192.

ENFIELD ANNUAL INDEPENDENT REVIEWING OFFICERS (IRO'S) REPORT 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 176 KB

To receive a report from Maria Anastasi, Service Manager for Safeguarding & Quality Service

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Maria Anastasi (Head of Service Safeguarding & Quality Service) presented the Annual IRO Independent Reviewing Officers Report for the period April 2018 to March 2019.

 

The comments from the March 2019 Ofsted report about the Service, which were very positive, were noted.

 

The following points were highlighted:

·         The report updates OSC on the IROs during the 2018-19 period

·         The responsibility of the IRO is to offer overview, scrutiny and challenge about case management and regularly monitoring and following up between reviews. The IRO has a key role in relation to the improvement of Care Planning for Looked After Children (LAC).  In Enfield the IRO’s are also responsible for chairing Child Protection conferences and Disruption Meetings.  The LADO is a member of the service and the IROs support the LADO function.  This dual role of IORs, chairing reviews for Looked after Children and Child Protection Conferences provides a greater level of consistency and oversight for children and young people.

·         The number of Looked after Children (LAC) at end of March 2019 was 382, this is an increase of 10% from last year.

·         The number of remands increased from 20 last year to 39 this year. Young people in remand are deemed to be looked after by the local authority.

 

The following issues were raised:

·         At end of March 2019, 71 of the LAC were unaccompanied minors.  The current Enfield benchmark is 65 we continue to refer to the National Transfer Scheme but there have been significant delays in transferring cases.  We continue to raise this issue with the Home Office. Home office use a formula to decide the benchmark for each borough. It was confirmed that the unaccompanied minors are from overseas, children had often come from Albania, however this has changed with many young people coming from Eritrea.   

·         Members raised concerns about the criminal enterprise probably involved in the transportation of minors mentioned, into the country.

·         It was confirmed that demands on the team were increasing.

·         Maria confirmed that we do have a programme of mentoring for our vulnerable children. Work is progressing in schools with coaching and mentoring.

·         Members felt that apprenticeships within the council for our Looked After Children should be given priority and this is being taken forward.

193.

ENFIELD ANNUAL LOCAL AUTHORITY DESIGNATED OFFICER (LADO) REPORT 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To receive a report from Maria Anastasi, Service Manager for Safeguarding & Quality Service.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Maria Anastasi, (Head of Service Safeguarding & Quality Service) presented the report on the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) report for 2018/19. 

 

The following was highlighted:

·         Bruno Capela appointed LADO for Enfield. Role is to manage and oversee allegations against people who work with children

·         A new electronic system to record all allegations against Professionals and Volunteers is currently being implemented.

·         There were 66 allegations in the year. Also 92 recorded consultations, referrals to services to deal with issues.

·         LADO delivers training for example to foster carers.

 

Maria Anastasi was thanked for both reports.

194.

WORK PROGRAMME 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To review and agree the Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme for 2019/20.

Minutes:

NOTED

 

Members noted the Work Programme for 2019/20 and agreed that an additional business meeting would be included for 31 October 2019. The Work Programme would be submitted to the forthcoming Cabinet and Council meetings.

195.

MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS HELD ON 9 JULY 2019, 15 JULY 2019 AND 23 JULY 2019 pdf icon PDF 206 KB

To agree the minutes of the meetings held on:

·          9 July 2019

·         15 July 2019

·         23 July 2019

Additional documents:

Minutes:

AGREED

The minutes of the 9 July 2019, 15 July 2019 and 23 July 2019 were confirmed

 

Additional clarification was provided for the Minutes of OSC for the 23 July 2019 –

 

-Min182 – Work Programme –

Clarification was given that it had been agreed to use the Provisional Call-in date of 31 October 2019 as a business meeting.  At this meeting the committee wished to receive the ACM work programmes and invite the ACM’s to attend, they acknowledged that the ACM’s are not obliged to attend scrutiny.

 

196.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

To note the dates of future meetings as follows:

 

Business meetings of OSC

· Thursday 7 November 2019

· Wednesday 15 January 2020

· Thursday 13 February 2020

Thursday 19 December 2019 (Budget meeting)

· Thursday 2 April 2020

 

Provisional Call-In dates

· Thursday 19 September 2019

· Thursday 31 October 2019

· Thursday 28 November 2019·

· Thursday 30 January 2020

· Thursday 6 February 2020

· Wednesday 4 March 2020

· Thursday 26 March 2020

· Tuesday 28 April 2020

 

Minutes:

The dates of future meetings were noted:

 

Business meetings of OSC

·         Thursday 31 October 2019

·         Thursday 7 November 2019

·         Thursday 19 December 2019 (Budget meeting)

·         Thursday 13 February 2020

·         Thursday 2 April 2020

 

Provisional Call-In dates

· Thursday 19 September 2019

· Thursday 28 November 2019

· Thursday 30 January 2020

· Thursday 6 February 2020

· Wednesday 4 March 2020

· Thursday 26 March 2020

· Tuesday 28 April 2020