Issue details

KD 5483 - Membership of the jointly owned Pan-London Vehicle for Commissioning

Between 2015 and 2021, the cost of children’s social care in London has increased by 28% and there has been a 50% increase in the proportion of children in residential care, with the cost per child increasing by 64%. A lack of provision in London results in high costs and placements at a great distance – on average 80 miles from home for children with complex needs and 192 miles for children needing secure welfare provision. The recent Competition and Markets Authority Market Study (March 2022) and Independent Review of Children’s Social Care (May 2022) have highlighted weak oversight of the market, poor planning, and lack of co-ordination between local authorities which leads to high costs and some profiteering by providers. There is an urgent need for greater influence over the market by bringing the scale of London’s purchasing power to stimulate new provision where required, achieve greater financial sustainability and improve outcomes for children.
This paper recommends the formation of a Pan-London Vehicle for Commissioning which will bring local authorities together in a new jointly owned legal vehicle to plan and commission provision for London children. The proposal has been endorsed by the Association of London Directors of Children’s Services and is being taken to every London Borough Cabinet for agreement.
The Pan-London Vehicle (PLV) for Commissioning will initially focus on Secure Welfare provision as there is currently no provision in London. The Secure Welfare provision will comprise 24 beds and step-down facilities for London children. DfE have provided funding to support this development. The PLV is proposed also to have the scope to work more broadly across children’s commissioning, firstly with a focus on high-cost low incidence provision and subsequently wider residential provision. All projects would be agreed through the jointly owned vehicle by the participating local authorities.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Significant Impact on 1 or more Wards;

Decision status: For Determination

Notice of proposed decision first published: 30/06/2022

Decision due: Not before 1st Nov 2022 by Cabinet

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Children's Services

Lead director: Executive Director - People

Department: People Department

Contact: Ramasasi Ramasubramanian, Head of Access to Resources Integrated Service Email: Tel: 020 8379 4064.

Part 1 & 2 (Para 3): Part 1