Councillors and committees

Agenda, decisions and minutes

In light of recent events and following the latest Government advice on the Coronavirus, the Council has cancelled all its scheduled council and committee meetings until 11th May 2020. At present the law does not permit local authorities to hold 'virtual' Committee meetings but the Council is committed to maintaining full transparency in the decision making process during this period and an update on how its governance will work will be provided shortly.

The Council will keep its arrangements under continual review, having regard to guidance as it emerges.

You can view the individual reports for this meeting by selecting the headings from the numbered list of items at the bottom of this page. Alternatively you can view the entire agenda by selecting 'Agenda Reports Pack' below.

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Venue: Guildhall, High Street, Kingston, KT1 1EU

Contact: Jean Cousens, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 0208 547 5023/email  jean.cousens@kingston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

10.

Public Question Time

A period of up to 30 minutes for public questions on matters relevant to the Committee’s remit which are not related to items featuring on the agenda.  Advance notice of questions is preferred but not essential.

Minutes:

The Committee dealt with questions and other matters raised by residents. A summary of the questions and answers is attached as an Annex but does not form part of the Minutes of the meeting.

 

11.

Apologies for Absence and Attendance of Substitute Members

Minutes:

Apologies were received on behalf of Councillors Ed Fram, Dave Ryder-Mills and Malcolm Self,   for whom Councillors Kevin Davis, Mark Beynon and John Sweeney (respectively) attended as substitute members.  Apologies were also received on behalf of Dr Naz Jivani, GP advisory member.

12.

Declarations of interest

Members are invited to declare any pecuniary interests and any non-pecuniary interests (personal interests) relevant to items on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

13.

Petitions

Minutes:

There were no petitions submitted.

14.

Minutes

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 June 2019

Minutes:

Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 13 June 2019 were confirmed as a correct record.

15.

SW London Clinical Commissioning Groups Configuration pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To note information about draft proposals to reconfigure Clinical Commissioning Groups in

South West London, under the ‘Moving Forward Together’ programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation (reproduced in the agenda at Appendix A) by Tonia Michaelides (Managing Director, Kingston and Richmond CCGs) about draft proposals to reconfigure NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in South West London, under the ‘Moving Forward Together’ programme. 

 

There is an expectation in the NHS Long Term Plan that there will be a re-configuration of the 6 CCGs across SW London (Croydon, Kingston, Richmond, Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth) into one CCG and that a 20% reduction in management costs will be achieved.  The current six membership organisations which comprise the CCGs will vote during the Autumn as to whether they wish to proceed down the route of merger, or retain their current structure.  If the vote is successful, then the plan would be for the new structure to be implemented from 1 April 2020, with a shadow arrangement prior to this to ensure a smooth transition.  If a ‘one CCG’ proposal is not accepted by the membership, then the management saving cost for Kingston CCG alone is in the order of £900,000.  Overall there is the need to make £7m savings.

 

The “moving forward together” programme:

·           is led by GP Clinical Chairs in partnership with the SWL NHS senior management team.

·           is supported by a programme structure with 5 clear work streams - each work stream has a clinical and managerial lead.

·           ensures place-based development is being led locally

·           builds on the engagement already undertaken on local health and care plans, to continue to effectively engage with partners

 

The programme aims:

·         for the NHS to work in a more collaborative way, both between NHS commissioners and providers, and with local government, the voluntary sector and with patients

·         that savings arising from working in a more streamlined way and sharing back office and governance functions, will mean more money can be directed to transform direct patient services and direct more funding to personalisation, prevention and early intervention

·         to have successful place-based local systems, with development of the primary care networks, strengthening of local health and care partnerships, development of the six local health and care plans and of a system split (rather than commissioning / provider split) – with the focus being on the person rather than the organisations.

 

Place Committees (sub committees of the CCG) will be established for each Local Authority Area so, for example, there will be a Kingston (borough) Place Committee.  The Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board will have a role in setting strategic priorities for the Place Committee.   A diagrammatic representation of the proposed governance arrangements was set out on page A17 in the agenda papers.

 

A similar presentation was provided to the meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board on 3 September and an all Councillor briefing event was held on 1 July 2019.  Engagement with staff is currently underway as part of the development process.  Future updates on the reconfiguration will be provided for councillors.

 

In response to a question as to how the shape of the combined CCG had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Adults Safeguarding Annual Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 109 KB

To formally receive the Kingston Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report for 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved that the Annual Report of the Kingston Safeguarding Adults Board for 2018/19 is received and any comments of the Committee are reported back to the Chair of the

Board.

Minutes:

The Committee formally received the Kingston Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report for 2018/19 which outlines progress made during the year in safeguarding adults at risk and is produced by the Chair in consultation with key stakeholder partners on the Safeguarding Adults Board. There is a requirement for the Annual Report to be presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board each year. It has also been agreed to present this report to the Children’s and Adults’ Care and Education Committee.  The Annual Report covers the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 and had been produced by the Chair of the Board for this period, Sian Walker, who has now stepped down. (The interim Independent Chair of the Kingston Safeguarding Adults Board will be Richard Neville.) The report was presented by the newly appointed Corporate Head of Safeguarding, Gemma Blunt.

 

Each year the Board has been able to consider and report on the development of work carried out by the Council and its partners to safeguard vulnerable adults with care and support needs from abuse.  The Annual Report includes contributions from partner agencies: (RBK Adult Social Care,  Metropolitan Police Service,  Your Healthcare,

 London Community Rehabilitation company (CRC),  London Fire Brigade (Kingston),

 South West London & St. George’s Mental Health NHS Trust,. Kingston Healthwatch,

 National Probation Service (NPS),  Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust,

 Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group)   Reports were not received from RBK Public Health or the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (which will report to the trust they are commissioned by which is Brent Safeguarding Adults Board.)

 

The Board’s Business Plan priorities during the 2018/19 year were:

·         wider strategic engagement across all partners

·         continuation of the successful Peer Audit process to seek assurance on partners’ approaches to safeguarding

·         improve cooperation cross across the SW London Boards

·         set up a Community Reference Group and wider participation of the voluntary and community sector  with the Board

·         deliver on Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs) and share learning

·         review delivery of Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) and identify gaps

·         improve and analyse data across a number of boroughs

·         continue work with GP’s to improve understanding

·         ensure that we check the impact of financial challenges on safeguarding

·         improving the numbers of Best Interest Assessors

·         improving practice and compliance on the Mental Capacity Act

·         assurance of well-trained frontline staff in partner organisations

·         more work on Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking & Suicide and Self Harm

·         improved links with Housing

 

The Safeguarding webpage on the Council’s website has been developed during the year and contains wide ranging information about safeguarding to which new information is added to frequently.

 

The Chair asked that the Committee’s thanks be conveyed back to the Board for a very informative and accessible annual report, which reflected positive progress and included an interesting case study.

 

Resolved that the Annual Report of the Kingston Safeguarding Adults Board for 2018/19 is received and any comments of the Committee are reported back to the Chair of the

Board.

 

Voting - unanimous

17.

Commissioning of Children's Services - Outcomes and Intentions pdf icon PDF 115 KB

The period of the Council’s initial contract with Achieving for Children ends on 31 March 2021. This paper sets out the proposed process, timescales and approach to the commissioning of Children’s Services. The report seeks to obtain authority to progress the commissioning process which will lead to further reports with options and  recommendations before the end of the year.

Decision:

Resolved that

 

1.            the proposed timescale and process as set out in paragraphs 13-14 of the report is agreed to enable decision making;

2.            an appraisal of the recommissioning options is presented to the Committee in November 2019 in order to refine the option in scope; and

3.            an extra CACE Committee is scheduled for 10 December at which a recommendation of the preferred option will be presented.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report which set out the proposed process, timescales and approach to the commissioning of Children’s Services.  The Council’s initial contract with Achieving for Children to deliver services for children and young people covering early help, social care and education (Children’s Services) ends on 31 March 2021.  The report sought authority to progress the commissioning process which will lead to further reports with options and recommendations before the end of the calendar year.

Achieving for Children (AfC) is a community interest company co-owned by the Royal Borough of Kingston - 40% (Kingston), the London Borough of Richmond - 40% (Richmond) and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead - 20% (Windsor and Maidenhead). The company was established in 2014 with Windsor and Maidenhead joining as a member in 2017. The governance of the company is overseen by the AfC Joint Committee and Owners Board, comprised of three elected Members from each of the owning Councils.

Children’s Services include early help, social care and education services and are delivered by AfC on behalf of the owning Councils. Richmond and Kingston have a joint commissioning arrangement and contract.  The initial term of the contract between LB Richmond and RB Kingston, and AfC is for seven years from 1 April 2014 until 31 March 2021.  There is provision within the current arrangement for the contract term to be extended for five years to 31 March 2026.  Windsor and Maidenhead have a separate commissioning arrangement and contract with AfC.

To ensure business continuity in the delivery of children’s services in Kingston a recommissioning exercise has commenced to ensure a decision is made well in advance of the formal notice period date of March 2020.   It is proposed that the decision on the delivery arrangements for children’s services in Kingston beyond April 2021 are based on the following principles:

      ensuring the best outcomes for children and young people in Kingston.

      ensuring the Council can fulfil its statutory duties to children and young people.

      the options proposed provide value for money

      the political ambitions of each Council are respected.

The report recommended that a decision on the future delivery of Kingston’s Children’s Services is reached in December 2019.  This allows for a 16-month period to accommodate any changes to the service specification and/or delivery model prior to the expiry of the initial contract term.  . The proposed timescale and process is outlined below:

Stage 1: June - September 2019 - Kingston and Richmond Councils agree process of separate decision making

Stage 2: August - October 2019 - In parallel, separate and joint borough options appraisalsRichmond and Kingston conduct options appraisal activity

Stage 3: October - December 2019 - Separate and joint borough decision making.(A collaboratively written Committee report to each Council - Richmond Children’s Committee - 10 October 19 and Kingston’s CACE Committee - 12 November)

This will include:

      the range of options for each Council

      an evaluation of outcomes achieved,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Achieving for Children Annual Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To receive the Annual Report and Statement of Accounts of Achieving for Children for 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved that Achieving for Children’s Annual Report and Statement of Accounts for 2018/19 are received and any comments made by the Committee are referred to the Council’s Lead Commissioner for Children’s Services.

Minutes:

Achieving for Children is a community interest company that is wholly-owned by three local authorities.  The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames owns a 40% share of the guarantee in Achieving for Children and commissions the company to deliver its children’s services.

Achieving for Children’s Annual Report and Statement of Accounts for 2018/19 have been prepared to meet the requirements of the Companies Act 2006.  They have been approved by the company’s Board of Directors and audited by Grant Thornton LLP.  In line with the Council’s reporting schedule, the report is presented to the Committee to provide an update on the company’s performance and inform future commissioning decisions.  The audited Annual Report and Statement of Accounts for 2018/19 are attached as Annex 1 to the report and the associated independent audit report from Grant Thornton LLP is attached as Annex 2 to the report.

The Annual Report and Statement of Accounts covers the period from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 and, in line with the requirements of the Companies Act, reports on the activities of the whole company, rather than the individual perspectives of the three local authorities that own the company and commission services from it.  The report, therefore, does not focus on specific issues related to children’s services in Kingston; these will be the subject of more detailed reports to this Committee at its meeting on 12 November 2019, when there will be updates on progress with the SEND transformation plan and the action plan in response to the Kingston Education Commission report.

 

Members asked questions about:

·         ref. page D28: the Board membership appears to show that the number of Council-appointed Directors has halved [while there has been a reduction from 6 to 3 (one per authority), the Council-appointed Directors, if they vote together,  can overrule proposals of the non-executive directors]

·         ref page D40: the £6m loss shown on the Accounts [this mainly relates to how the Pension Fund ‘deficit’ has to be  shown on the Accounts]

·         on page D70: there has been a significant increase in short term benefits of directors and senior directors between 2017/18 and 2018/19 [the figure for 2018/19 includes the retirement costs of the Chief Executive, the transfer of some senior managers into AfC,  and the full year cost of the Windsor & Maidenhead management - and there is an  ‘Agency’ cost which relates to the Director of Children’s Services]

·         on page D27: the £10m threshold for Council owners’ oversight of contract revenue expenditure seemed high [this relates to the whole-life costs of a contract eg to a 12 year contract of £1m per eg Schools Meals contract over a 12 year period and management of residential care in Moor Lane – the majority of contracts are over the threshold so need to be reported to the Joint Committee] – by report to the Joint Committee

·         ref. page D24: how systematic family therapy is delivered [there is strong collaboration between two teams – there is a group of therapists who work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Urgent Items authorised by the Chair

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

Annex 1 - Public Questions

Annex 1

Public Questions

 

1.            5G Roll Out

Ms Louise Tassell asked the following question:

 

Are the Committee aware that:

-Babies and children are extremely sensitive to radio frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) from masts, emitters and devices: phones, ipads, laptops, wifi baby monitors

-There is vast independent research proving biological harm from non-thermal effects of current EMF exposures including cancer, depression and dementia, breakdown of cell structure and there are no safety guidelines in place for non-thermal effects.

-Glastonbury, Frome, Totnes, Brussels and many other areas have halted the new 5G technology rollout which increases exposure to microwave radiation due to public health reasons and duty of care for their constituents

Do the Committee agree that we always have to put public health above technology, especially children’s health, and that the Council subsequently need to activate the precautionary principle now in order to obtain and provide valid independent safety assurances before they authorise the 5G rollout and any frequency emissions (2G, 3G, 4G or 5G) from 5G cells or from the new LED lampposts in the Kingston Borough?

 

The reply which had been sent by the Director of Public Health to Ms Tassell, after Ms Tassell had raised a similar question at the Health and Wellbeing Board on 3 September was read out at the meeting as a response:

 

Dear Ms Tassell,

 

Thank you for your email and follow-up information following the Health & Wellbeing Board on Tuesday evening.

 

As agreed at the meeting, I will liaise with Public Health England to get feedback and triangulation of published data sources between the references you cite and those used in their review of literature and the guidance they have produced.  This may take a little time, but I will share the feedback via the report I will write for the Health & Wellbeing Board and send to you.  The next Board meeting is on 19th November and I would hope it will be ready in time for this, but I can't promise this turn-around time.

 

Thank you for your interest in this important issue.

 

 

Written Reply from Mark Lumley Head of IT

 

Regarding 5G implementation in The Royal Borough of Kingston (RBK):  RBK is not aware of any plans to deploy 5G infrastructure in the borough at present.

 

RBK has a wireless concession in place with Arqiva which controls the deployment of any 4G or future 5G small cells on our street furniture/street lighting columns. As part of this concession, there are currently 38 4G small cells sites which have been deployed in Kingston to support 4G capacity and coverage over the last six months. Please note that we need to differentiate between these small cell sites which support 4G and not 5G.

 

Further information is available in the following press releases: RBK press release

Arqiva press release

No 5G small cell sites have been deployed in the Royal Borough as of yet; however, the long term plan is to introduce the new technology and improve connectivity. By 2025 there will probably be one per every three lamp columns in high footfall areas and one per street in the more residential areas for 5G services.

 

5G and health

As you know, 5G stands for “fifth generation”, the latest of many stepping stones in the evolution of mobile networks since the first ones were introduced over thirty years ago. Like all previous generations, 5G uses radio transmissions.

 

As with all other radio systems, 5G installations will comply with the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection ( ICNIRP) guidelines in all areas legitimately accessible to the public. The ICNIRP guidelines are based on decades of published research and are accepted by the UK government, Public Health England, the EU and the World Health Organisation as the appropriate safeguard for people of all ages and all states of health. The guidelines were first published in 1998. The science has been under continuous review since then and ICNIRP has recently published draft revised guidelines. It is reassuring to note that after 20 years of research, the revised draft guidelines leave the recommended safety levels substantially unchanged.

 

It is important to emphasise that Arqiva’s transmitter sites emit nothing other than ordinary radio waves that have been ubiquitous in our environment since the 1920s (and in their natural form since the birth of the universe). Radio waves occur at frequencies well below visible light in the electromagnetic spectrum. They are non-ionising and should not be confused with ionising radiation such as X rays and gamma rays, which are of course known to be harmful.  Arqiva’s responsibility is to ensure that all our infrastructure complies with the guidelines and we can confirm that it does.

 

Further information is available in the following press releases: EE 5g press release

Vodafone 5G press release

 

RBK works closely with companies operating in the digital infrastructure space like Arqiva and Regional Network Solutions. They have advised us that, even though EE and Vodafone have already announced the launch of 5G, this is slightly misleading as most of the coverage and speed will be delivered through the existing 4G LTE network and this mostly about marketing 5G and building the brand. This can be demonstrated by the fact that currently there are no 5G phones on the market; these phones are expected to come to market at the end of 2019, and importantly the 5G spectrum bands have not yet been finalised by OFCOM either.

 

The Council’s digital strategy can be found here . This document outlines the Council’s vision for the use of technology across the borough.

 

 

2.         Shopmobility

 

Mr James Giles asked about an item on the Let’s Talk pages on the website about Shopmobility (‘tell us what you think’).  Mr Giles asked whether users of Shopmobility would be alerted to this consultation, and noted that it wasn’t featured on the Home page of the website.  He also considered that the nature of the questions in the consultation (‘how often do you use Shopmobility?’) might deter those who didn’t actually use the service but might value it for older family members, for example, from giving their views on the service.  He also commented that an online consultation might not be the best method for obtaining the views of the very elderly and disabled for whom the service would be particularly targeted.  Mr Giles also asked whether partners could be encouraged to advertise the service, for example, Kingston First, the Chamber of Commerce or the Federation of Small Businesses.

 

The Co Chair, Councillor Diane White, commented that, as a member of the Carers’ Network, she was aware that carers had been consulted on this survey.

 

Stephen Taylor, Director of Adult Services, replied that the Council is committed to finding a financially sustainable model for the Shopmobility service and is working with the voluntary sector to try to develop an accessibility model and draw up service specifications for a tender.  He was interested to hear Mr Giles’ suggestions for approaches to advertise the service; some traditional methods for consultation such as focus groups were not appropriate as so few people use the service.

 

Councillor Christine Stuart (Disability Champion) confirmed that voluntary sector organisations such as Staywell and KCIL had both been contacted on this consultation, and encouraged Mr Giles to spread the word about the consultation through organisations with which he was in contact.  Councillor Stuart confirmed that paper copies of the consultation would be provided and she was looking into whether comments could be telephoned in. The hope is for a location for the service which will be more user-friendly such as a drop-in centre, or café, or link with RAKAT (accessible transport minibus service) but the plans are at a very early stage still.

 

 

 

3.         Burlington Junior School Expansion

 

Mr Giles asked whether it is intended to report to the Committee’s next meeting on the proposal to expand Burlington Junior School and whether there would be any consultation with the wider community for example with paper copies of the consultation.  (He was aware that the Infant School had unanimously voted against expansion but the Junior School wished to expand).  Pauline Maddison, Interim Director of Children’s Services, confirmed that a report would be submitted to the 12 November Committee meeting and this would be added to the Forward Plan.  She would let Mr Giles know about the methodology of the consultation.

20.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following resolution is included as a standard item which will only be relevant if any exempt matter is to be considered at the meeting for which the Committee wish to resolve to exclude the press and public:

 

To exclude the public from the meeting under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that it is likely that exempt information, as defined in paragraph x of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act, would be disclosed and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

In the event of exclusion being agreed, members of the public and press are to withdraw to the Reception on the ground floor of the Guildhall to await re-admission to the Chamber.