Contact: Jane Lythgow
DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST
(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)
To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.
An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.
(1) Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct. Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.
(2) Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them. A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.
(3) Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.
(4) Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.
No disclosures of interest in matters under consideration were received.
INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS
(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)
Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item. Certain reports and background papers may be restricted.
Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report.
If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting.
Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal.
(Jane Lythgow - 01274 432270)
There were no appeals submitted by the public to review decisions to restrict documents.
REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Any referrals that have been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda will be reported at the meeting.
There were no referrals made to the Committee.
The report of the Strategic Director, Corporate Services, (Document “J”) outlines the current commissioned welfare advice services across Bradford District, the delivery of services during the last year, including as affected by COVID-19 and plans for future service delivery.
Members are requested to discuss and provide comment on the issues outlined in Document “J”.
(Sarah Possingham – 01274 431319 or 07582 100244)
The Strategic Director, Corporate Services, presented a report, (Document “J”) which outlined the current commissioned welfare advice services across Bradford District, the delivery of services during the last year, including as affected by COVID-19 and plans for future service delivery.
The background to Document “J” revealed that Bradford Council ran a commissioning programme for the delivery of professional welfare advice services in 2016-17-18. This resulted in five separate contracts let across 4 different lead providers for a term of four years plus one.
The report explained that four of the five contracted services were area/constituency based delivering in Bradford East, West, South and Airedale (a combination of Shipley and Keighley). The last one operated district wide and was aimed at a client group who have complex and/or long term health conditions.
Officers from the lead providers were in attendance at the meeting and were representing Family Action: a local organisation that had expanded nationally with a regionally accountable governance structure; St Vincent Du Paul/CHAS, a local organisation affiliated with a national provider with a locally accountable governance structure; Equality Together, a local organisation with a locally accountable governance structure and Bradford and Airedale Citizens Advice Bureau and Law Centre: national affiliated organisation with a locally accountable governance structure. It was explained that Lead providers had partners and sub-contracting arrangements with more locally based organisations to ensure that the needs of all the communities in the district were met. A table of providers; their partners, costs and contacts was appended to the report.
The Strategic Director, Corporate Services, reported the services delivered; what had happened during the COVID-19 pandemic; the impacts on access to services and recovery planning for all welfare services.
Member were advised that the needs of those presenting to services during the pandemic had changed. The abeyance of courts, tribunals, evictions proceedings, immigration appeals, late payment notices etc. had meant that many existing complex cases and/or appeals had not proceeded and the numbers of new cases asking for that type of help had reduced. Instead, people were asking for support with Government schemes; furlough and access to welfare benefits as well as personal support around COVID-19, particularly initially those in ‘shielded groups and people with underlying health conditions. Welfare advice services were also playing a key role in food distribution for households in food poverty.
Individual service experiences were reported together with outcome and performance data and customer profiles
It was explained that, in recognition of the impact of the pandemic on individuals, particularly concerns relating to household income as a result of furlough, possible redundancy and job losses, there were plans to link up welfare advice services, the Credit Union and advocacy.
A financial and resource appraisal contained in the report, and appended in detail, outlined the cost and budget available for welfare services. It was reported that in Summer 2020 the Council, recognising the importance of welfare services, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, had agreed a new, short term, investment of £350,000 ... view the full minutes text for item 32.
The joint report of the Director of Public Health and the NHS Director of Keeping Well (Document “K”) informs Members of a recent review undertaken to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the local population.
Members are requested to note the report, to highlight areas for consideration and attention and continue to support the work undertaken.
(Sasha Batt – 01274 237537).
The joint report of the Director of Public Health and the NHS Director of Keeping Well (Document “K”) informed Members of a recent review undertaken to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the local population.
Members received a detailed presentation on the Mental Health Needs Assessment – COVID-19 (May – July 2020). The Head of Mental Wellbeing, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning; a Bradford Council Consultant in Public Health; the Chief Executive Officer from MIND in Bradford and Assistant General Manager, Bradford District Care Foundation Trust were in attendance at the meeting.
Following a very detailed presentation the Chair expressed concern about the rising number of people whose mental health had deteriorated during the pandemic but were not known to mental health services or aware of how to access their support. She requested that details of the number of people accessing services as a result of the pandemic be provided.
The Public Health Consultant reported that, in October 2020, the Centre for Mental Health had devised a forecasting tool and, whilst accurate figures were not yet available for Bradford, it was believed that the figure in the district was approximately 4,000. It was explained that nationally approximately one in four people presented with some form of mental health issue each year. Financial issues and social isolation experienced during the pandemic would exacerbate those issues and it was agreed that the forecasting tool should be used, as a matter of priority, to accurately predict demand. Members would be provided with those figures when they were produced.
Instances of people being unable to visit relatives and the resulting rapid deterioration in patients’ mental health were raised by Members. It was believed that those incidents were replicated across the District. It was suggested that there was much more which could be done address those worries and it was questioned what measures were being taken to ensure that meaningful family visits were permitted.
In response assurances were provided that risk management measures were in place to ensure visits to care homes were facilitated whilst mitigating risk. The importance of human contact was acknowledged and examples of garden visits which had been arranged were reported.
The significant impact on people who were unable to visit friends and relatives in in-patient settings was also raised and a Member questioned what action was being taken to allow in patient visits; provide support to friends and families of patients to deal with the emotional trauma and to facilitate a better understanding of mental health issues in nursing and hospital settings.
The Chief Executive Officer, MIND in Bradford, explained that national advice and local guidelines had dictated that visits to in patients must cease during the lockdown. That situation had now been reviewed and risk assessments were conducted to allow visits to take place in safe environments. Training and support was also provided by the Grief and Loss team to the Care Trust and Voluntary Sector to provide an understanding of ... view the full minutes text for item 33.
The report of the Overview and Scrutiny Lead, Document “L” presents the Work Programme 2020-2021.
1. That the Committee comments on the information in Appendix 1 and 2 to Document “L”.
2. That the Work Programme 2020/21 continues to be regularly reviewed and updated on a rolling three month basis up to March 2021.
(Caroline Coombes - 01274 432313)
The report of the Overview and Scrutiny Lead, Document “L” presented the Committee’s Work Programme 2020-2021.
The report revealed that items for discussion on 17 November 2020 included the Impact on Carers and an update on the Carers Strategy and a Public Health update including testing and test and trace, outbreak management work and latest developments.
Members were asked to contact the Overview and Scrutiny Lead with any additions, or reallocated priority of issues. to the Work Programme.
That the Work Programme 2020/21 continues to be regularly reviewed and updated on a rolling three month basis up to March 2021.
ACTION: Overview and Scrutiny Lead