Venue: Virtual Meeting/ Remote - Please use links on the Agenda Front Sheet to join the virtual meeting
Contact: Susan O'Connell - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WELCOME & APOLOGIES
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. Apologies had been received from Cllrs Demiral, Hockney & Calliskan.
Members commented that they were disappointed that no Cabinet Members were in attendance and felt that their attendance is important for the scrutiny function.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members of the Committee are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest.
To agree the minutes of the meetings 18 January 2021 and 3 February 2021.
The minutes of the meeting 18 January 2021 were agreed. Members requested that the recommendations from the exclusions item were referred to OSC.
The minutes of the meeting 3 February were agreed subject to a minor amendment to the final paragraph of agenda item 4 as detailed below:
OSC are asked to recommend to Cabinet that the Council should produce an
action orientated mental health charter and policy and provide the resources
to make changes that will support young people and staff on matters such
as information, uncertainty and staff wellbeing. In producing this the Council
is asked to work with the various stakeholders including the unions and
the Youth Parliament and with the involvement of the Children Young
People and Education Scrutiny Panel.
To receive the following reports:
· Update on Enfield Poverty & Inequality Commission
· Update from the police on Safer Schools (recommendation 10).
Shaun Rogan, Head of Corporate Strategy and Harriet Potemkin, Head of Strategy & Policy introduced the report:
1. The Poverty & Inequality Commission report was published in January 2020 with 27 recommendations. The report in the agenda pack focuses on the 10 recommendations relating to children and young people.
2. Since the report was published, the pandemic has occurred which has had a huge impact.
3. A lot of the data used to measure deprivation has a time lag. There were small increases in the % of children from low income families from 2018 and 2019.
4. Since the report was published; levels of serious youth violence; fixed term and permanent exclusions numbers and the numbers of young people who are NEET have all reduced. This is the case across London, and it is acknowledged the role of the pandemic in these figures.
5. The responses to the recommendations 7-17 from the Commission are detailed in items 15-53 in the report. There is also a further agenda report from the police on recommendation 10.
6. The budget is detailed under items 54-56 in the report.
7. It was clarified that EVA is an independent voluntary sector group and part of their remit is to bring funding into the borough of the council.
8. The work of the Commission has assisted the local authority in taking a holistic view allowing more joined up and inclusive working.
Comments, queries and questions:
· Observations were made that there are no deadlines in the report. Are there going to be key performance indicators (KPIs) for all the recommendations in the report? The report today focuses on children and young people, members were not aware whether any other scrutiny panel were looking at the other recommendations or whether Cabinet was reviewing the recommendations. Officers confirmed that there will be a first-year report published on all the recommendations and the progress made. Officers are reviewing KPIs for the recommendations that are linked to the Council Plan. It was highlighted that the issues raised in the report are long standing.
· Recommendation 7, on the Food Action Plan it was felt that more detail is needed, given the experience and the problems accessing food over the October half term.
· Following a query on which partners the Council had worked with on Enfield Stands Together and Food Alliance programme. Officers confirmed that a list of community organisation will be provided including those from Public Health. This will include details of the organisations which received grants totalling £30k.
· The report details that in 2021 the council will increase support and extend access to food and utilities. Further details on this would be helpful. Who are the families and how will this be done? Officers confirmed that this will be a mixture of initiatives for families on free school meals (FSM) and further developing how the council can support families who are not eligible for FSM but are struggling.
· Following a query from a youth parliament member on those struggling with loneliness. Officers ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To receive a report from Ivana Price, Head of Young People and Community Safety.
Ivana Price, Head of Young People & Community Safety introduced the report.
1. There is a statutory duty for the local authority to ensure sufficient provision for young people aged 13-19. There have been challenges on the interpretation of what is sufficient.
2. The Youth offer in Enfield is delivered through a mixed economic model including the council’s dedicated Youth service Provision, and a range of targeted youth service provision in partnership with a range of third sector providers.
3. Table 1 in the report details the resourcing funding of youth services. It was highlighted that the funding level was significantly decreased after 2016/17 and has been slowly rebuilding since 2019. Additional funding is detailed within the report and there has been a significant investment in rebuilding, regenerating buildings.
4. Table 2 in the report details funding timeframes and provides a flavour of the diversity of youth provision.
5. A map is included on page 5 of the report of where youth centres are placed in the borough. This shows that these are, in general, in areas of high levels of deprivation and areas that are most impacted by serious youth violence. Clarification was provided on the index; the numbers are; the numbers of victims within a given timeframe, and the figures in brackets are the number of wards.
6. Table 3 provides an illustration of usage and attendance of the centres. These are pre Covid figures, in response to a query as to whether these numbers are good or bad, members were advised that based on the level of funding these are good.
Comments, queries and questions:
· Youth parliament members felt that the communication could be improved on what is available, including better promotion to attract and reach out to more young people.
· Following a query on table 3 it was confirmed that these figures relate to individual attendance. Members were disappointed at the number of young people attending.
· An observation was made that some physical facilities such as the Alan Pullinger Centre need to be improved and would like to see investment in redevelopment or relocation of facilities, in the case of Southgate there is no community hub. Perhaps mixed-use development could use section 106 monies be used holistic developments. Officers advised that the Youth Offer needs to be in safe, good quality facilities. Ponders End and Craig Park are very good modern facilities, others it was acknowledged need an uplift.
REOPENING OF SCHOOLS
A verbal update will be provided.
Peter Nathan, Director of Education provided a verbal update advising that this has been going well. There was a very well attended briefing with Head teachers on Friday.
Primary schools have been delighted to go back. Secondary schools need to undertake 3 tests in 2 weeks, so this is a phased return. Some schools started their testing early. A further briefing with Secondary Heads will take place tomorrow and with all Heads on Friday. Two issues have come out so far; concerns from parents on testing and the website the results needed to be loaded onto had crashed.
Members raised concern on parents outside school gates, not social distancing and standing in larger groups. Officers advised that schools have limited powers outside of the school gates, but this issue will be fed back to schools and to public health
Concern was also raised that Easter follows only a few weeks after schools going back which may not help the settling in process at schools. Officers advised that schools will be taking into consideration reintroducing children to normal lessons and normal discipline. They will also take into account that some children may have experienced bereavement or be anxious about returning to school.
DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
To note that future meeting dates will be confirmed at Annual Council in May.
It was noted that future dates will be agreed at annual council.
This was the last meeting of this Panel thanks were given to the officers, young people attended and the members of the Panel for their contributions and participation throughout the year.
The Chair advised that Cllr Lappage was standing down from her role very shortly and expressed his thanks to her personally and acknowledged her work and commitment during her time both at the council and across London. Other members also recorded their thanks to Cllr Lappage.