Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 13th July, 2022 4.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Contact: Jill Bell/Kanwal Amrez 

No. Item



(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 declarations were received for matters under consideration.



(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. 


(Jill Bell/Kanwal Amrez – 07970413716/07929070288)



No requests were received to inspect any restricted documents.



To consider referrals that have been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda.


The Committee is asked to note the referrals listed above and decide how it wishes to proceed, for example by incorporating the item into the work programme, requesting that it be subject to more detailed examination, or refer it to an appropriate Working Group/Committee.



There were no referrals to the Committee.



The report of the Director of Finance & IT(Document “C”) attaches as an appendix a report that was considered by the June Executive on 7 June 2022 9which contains a Not for Publication appendix).

The progress on establishing the Children’s Trust is comprehensive and the report outlines key issues and progress to date.




Recommendations were made to the 7 June Executive (report appended).


Overview & Scrutiny may wish to refer to those recommendations and seek clarity or further information.


                                                                        (Chris Chapman – 01274 433656)




Additional documents:


The report of the Director of Finance and IT (Document “C”) was submitted to the Committee to provide Members with details of the progress made towards establishing the Children’s Trust and outlined the key issues and progress to date.  The report had previously been submitted to the Executive Committee in June 2022.


Following the Commissioner’s report in January 2022, operational control of some of the Council’s Children’s Services were to be removed to an alternative delivery model to support improvements in the services and outcomes.  To this end, the Council had agreed to establish a Local Authority controlled Children’s Trust and discharge its Social Care functions under a service agreement.


A statutory direction was issued by the Secretary of State that required the Council to establish the trust under the supervision of the Commissioner and Department for Education (DfE).  These measures had come about as a result of an inadequate rating for the delivery of the Council’s responsibilities to children since 2018.  The capacity and capability of the Council to rapidly improve services sufficiently was reviewed by the duly appointed Children’s Commissioner and following the report published by the Commissioner and the recommendations therein, the Secretary of State determined that a new model of service delivery was required.  The Council accepted the decision and agreed to support the formation of the Children’s Trust to make the necessary improvements and deliver excellent social work effectively and sustainably.


The Director of Finance and IT stated that the report contained the risks, key issues and challenges and that the timescale was shorter than that involving other local authorities.  The Council would still remain the statutory accountable body for Children’s Social Care with the Trust being operationally responsible.


The Council would need to set specific standards and agree how services and functions would continue.  The Trust would take ownership of the improvement journey with the Council taking the necessary steps to enable them to do it.


The services and budgets were a complicated part of the process but traded services would be bought for up to the first 12 months to allow the Trust to focus on service delivery.


The Trust needed to be operationally independent with the likelihood of engaging their own Directors and teams for HR, Finance and other services (these could be existing employees who TUPE across). 


The final offering from the Trust was still to be negotiated but engagement with staff and partners was already underway.  A Chair of the Trust had already been appointed along with a number of interim posts.


It was confirmed that all interim postholders were external to the Council but joint discussions between the Trust, DfE and LA were taking place on a weekly basis.  Should there be an impasse, the SoS could issue a statutory direction if agreement could not be reached.


A company called PWC had been engaged for Bradford and had been so for other trusts, A Member asked about what the key learning points were from their experiences and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.



The report of the Children’s Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Document “D”) includes the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2022/23.


  Recommended -


(1)       That members consider and comment on the areas of work included in the work programme.


(2)       That members consider any detailed scrutiny reviews that they may wish to conduct.


                                                                                                                                    (Mustansir Butt – 01274 432547)


Additional documents:


The report of the Chair of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Document “D”) was submitted to Members for comment and review of the 2022/23 Work Programme.  There was a brief discussion in relation to the SEND Inspection report being submitted at the September meeting and the possibility of another meeting to discuss the Children’s Trust as Members had numerous questions to raise and wanted more information.


Resolved –


 That Members discussed and amended the work programme.


ACTION: Overview & Scrutiny Lead