Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 9th June, 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Peel Room - Elizabethan Suite - Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Leigh Webb  Democratic Services

No. Item



Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee are asked to consider whether they have an interest in any matters on the agenda and, if so, to formally declare that interest.


Councillor Cassidy and Councillor Holt declared personal interests in respect of Minute.69 below, Children’s Centres – Implementation Update, as Co-Chairs of the Bury East Hub.



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Minutes of the last meeting, held on 24 March 2015, are attached.


It was agreed:


That the Minutes of the meeting, held on 24 March 2015, be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



A period of 30 minutes has been set aside for members of the public to ask questions on matters considered at the last meeting and set out in the minutes or on the agenda for tonight’s meeting.


Sian Crosby raised the issue of the provision of health services within Children’s Centres with specific reference to Midwife Clinics in the Prestwich area. It was reported that the Council and Pennine Acute had failed to reach agreement over the issue and services were being withdrawn from the Children’s Centres to be provided within GP practices.


Julie Keogh and Nadine Armitage, representing Pennine Acute, attended the meeting to respond to the issues raised and highlighted the cost implications of providing the service within Children’s Centres.


Councillor Heneghan, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Culture, and Councillor Simpson, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing explained the Council’s position and referred to a series of communications with Pennine Acute aimed at resolving the issue


Councillor Heneghan reported that the Council were asking for a modest contribution towards the cost of running the buildings and stated that agreement in other areas of the Borough had been reached with Bolton Hospital Trust and Pennine Care. As a gesture of goodwill Councillor Heneghan gave an undertaking that no charges would be imposed whilst negotiations were ongoing.


The Chair, Councillor Gartside, urged representatives of the Council and Pennine Care to meet as soon as possible to ensure an early resolution to the problem.



A report from Sue Reynolds, Head of Early Years and Early Help, is attached.


The Cabinet Member for Communities submitted a report presenting a strategy for a direction of travel for the Council’s adult learning service that is more aligned to the Team Bury priorities and the Council’s Visions and Values. The strategy has a strong focus on actions that increase basic skill levels and reduce other barriers to employment. The role of learning in promoting community cohesion and reducing inequalities is also recognised.


The strategy forms part of the evidence considered by Ofsted when the service is inspected and will support future bids to the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and other funding sources.


Questions and comments were invited from Members of the Committee and the following issues were raised:


·         In response to a question from Councillor Hankey, the Cabinet Member explained acknowledged the social value of adult learning but stressed the importance of the core skills subjects.


·         With regard to the issue of external funding streams, Julie Kenrick, Head of Service, referred to the Brighter Futures Big Lottery initiative and a pilot project being undertaken with learners with mental health needs. It was also highlighted that efforts were made to sell bespoke services to businesses.


·         In response to a question from Councillor Parnell concerning cuts to funding it was reported that potential cuts of £150k in 2015/16 were being managed across all aspects of the Adult Learning budget.


The Chair, Councillor Gartside, suggested that the issue of corporate sponsorship be explored as a potential means of increasing revenue.


It was agreed:


That the report be noted.



Report from Julie Kenrick, Head of Service, is attached.

Additional documents:


The Deputy Leader of the Council presented a report from the Leader setting out a plan for Bury to meet its obligations in view of the significant challenges that the Council faces in the coming years. These include staying within budget and managing the expectations of a growing (and ageing) population.


A draft “plan on a page” was circulated to Cabinet members presenting a new look plan focussing on the actions needed in each aspect of work to transform the Council’s approach to public services by 2020.


During discussion of this item Members of the Committee welcomed the concise nature of the document and highlighted a number of challenges and opportunities for the Council in the coming years including re-designing how services are delivered; potential increased revenue from business rates; and devolution across Greater Manchester.


In response to a question from Councillor Bailey, it was reported that associated performance indicators were being developed which would be publicised and monitored. 


It was agreed:


That the report be noted.





Report from the Leader of the Council is attached.

Additional documents:


Further to Minute OSC.852 of this Committee, held on 24 March 2015, Sue Reynolds, Head of Early Years and Early Help, submitted a report providing an update on the implementation of a new delivery model for Children’s Centres in the Borough.


The report set out details of the background to the consultation and subsequent recommendations agreed by Cabinet in January 2015 which focussed on the following key areas:


·                     Improving the health of U5’s

·                     Improving U’5’s school readiness

·                     Reducing the risk of poor parenting and mistreatment

·                     Promoting the economic prospects of families 

It was reported that and Implementation Plan had been drafted. The report set out details of progress to date against the following key sections of the Plan:


·                     Agree and implement staffing structures fit for new purpose

·                     To increase number of 2 year olds

·                     To agree Hub/Spoke delivery specification

·                     To establish an Early Help Outreach Service

·                     To ensure all Children Centre buildings are safe, clean and well maintained, and ensuring safe handover where necessary of 2 year old provision

·                    To review Governance arrangements for new Hubs and Spokes

·                    To review  Redvales Children Centre  building, in the light of the new spoke arrangements


Questions and comments were invited from Members of the Committee and the following issues were raised:


·         In response to a question from Councillor Cassidy concerning the development of additional 2 year old places, Sue Reynolds explained that provision in some schools would be from September 2015 with others being January 2016 depending on the level of support required.


·         With regard to the review of the Redvales building it was explained that options would be collated by the end October 2015, due to the different nature of the centre in respect of funding streams, partnership work and size.


·         Councillor Parnell sought reassurances about the funding of Children’s Centres going forward. Ian Chambers, Assistant Director (Learning), explained that the reduction in the number of physical buildings means the service is more sustainable. The Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Culture highlighted the value and impact of the work of Children’s Centres.


·         With regard to the provision of outreach work in the north of the Borough, Sue Reynolds explained that the number of venues was growing as a result of the development of partnership venues at local churches and libraries.



WORK PROGRAMME 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

A report from Leigh Webb, Principal Democratic Services Officer, is attached.


Leigh Webb, Principal Democratic Services Officer, submitted a report setting out the terms of reference for the Committee along with a Work Programme Prioritisation Protocol to assist members in the development of a Work

          Programme for 2015/2016. The report included a brief summary of the Overview and Scrutiny structures along with the remit of the Committee, which allows for the setting up of task and finish Overview Project Groups to carry out in depth reviews into specific topics. 


The report also highlighted a number of issues/topics carried over from last years programme .


It was agreed:


1.   That the following Performance Monitoring items be included as part of this Committee’s Work Programme for 2015/16:


·         Corporate Financial Monitoring Reports  (Quarterly)

·         Corporate Performance Updates  (Quarterly)


2.   That the Children’s Safeguarding Scrutiny Overview Project Groups be carried over into 2015/16


3.   That the following additional issues be considered by the full Committee as part of the Work Programme for 2015/2016:


·               Welfare Reform

·               Children’s Centres

·               Civic Halls

·               Recycling