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: Council Chamber, 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

38.

Public Question Time

A period of up to 30 minutes during which any resident of the Borough or representative of organisations operating within the Borough (other than members of the Council) may ask questions on matters relevant to the Committee.  (Please see Welcome Information sheet overleaf.)

 

Questions must be submitted in writing to democratic services@kingston.gov.uk

by 10am on the working day prior to the meeting (Wednesday 29 January 2020)

Minutes:

There were no questions submitted for the Public Question Time.

39.

Apologies for Absence and Attendance of Substitute Members

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Dave Ryder-Mills for whom Councillor Sam Foulder-Hughes attended as a substitute member.

40.

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:

Councillor Diane White declared a pecuniary interest in Minute item 46 below (‘Voluntary Sector Contract Extensions’), withdrew from the Chair and from the meeting during its consideration, and took no part in the deliberations on that item.

Reason: Councillor White is the CEO of Kingston Carers Network - one of the voluntary sector organisations to which the report relates.

 

Councillor Christine Stuart declared a personal interest in Minute item 46 below (‘Voluntary Sector Contract Extensions’).

Reason: Councillor Stuart is a supporter of Kingston Centre for Independent Living - one of the voluntary sector organisations to which the report relates.

41.

Petitions

To receive petitions submitted by Councillors or members of the public who live, work or study in the Borough.  The petition must contain at least 20 signatures *, and notice of the intention to submit the petition must be given in writing to democratic.services@kingston.gov.uk by 10am the day before the meeting.

*The Chair may waive the 20 signature threshold where the petition relates to a community or geographical area with a limited number of residents.'

 

 

Minutes:

There were no petitions submitted for this item.

42.

Minutes

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings held on:

 

(a)  12 November 2019 and

(b)  10 December 2019 (additional meeting)

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the following meetings be confirmed as a correct record:

 

(a)  12 November 2019; and

(b)  10 December 2019 (additional meeting).

43.

Annual Determination of Admission Arrangements for Community Schools pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To fulfil the statutory duty of the local authority to approve school admissions arrangements.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved that the proposed school admission arrangements as set out in Annexes 1 to 4 to the report are agreed.

Minutes:

 

The Committee considered a report with proposed schools admission arrangements for the 2021-22 academic year which had been submitted in accordance with the statutory duty of the local authority to approve school admissions arrangements.  The proposed arrangements for 2021-22 were set out in Annexes 1 to 4 of the report.

 

The Committee noted that there were no changes proposed for the admissions criteria for community schools for 2021-22 from those agreed for 2020-2021 and that the only significant change to the admission schemes is to the dates in the Pan London timetables for the co-ordinated primary and secondary schemes for the academic year 2021- 2022. The local authority had carried out a consultation between Friday 25 October and Friday 13 December to give parents, schools, Diocesan Boards and the wider community an opportunity to comment on the proposed arrangements and no responses were received to the consultation.

 

Resolved that the proposed school admission arrangements as set out in Annexes 1 to 4to the report are agreed.

 

Voting - unanimous

44.

Voluntary Sector Contract Extensions pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To approve extension of contracts for services provided by Voluntary Sector organisations,

specifically:

·         Active and Supportive Communities Outcome 2 - delivered by the Active and Supportive Communities Network;

·         Kingston Centre for Independent Living

·         Kingston Carers Network.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved that the following contracts be extended, as permitted within the terms of the contract, for a further year until 31 March 2021:

(i) Active and Supportive Communities Outcome 2 - delivered by the Active and Supportive Communities Network

(ii) Kingston Centre for Independent Living

(iii) Kingston Carers Network.

Minutes:

The Committee agreed to bring this item forward on the agenda because a representative of one of the voluntary organisations was attending the meeting specifically for this item.

The Committee considered a report which recommended approval of the extension of contracts for a further year for services provided by the following voluntary sector organisations:

·                Active and Supportive Communities Outcome 2 - delivered by the Active and Supportive Communities Network.

·                Kingston Centre for Independent Living.

·                Kingston Carers Network.

The services delivered under these contracts support a diverse range of vulnerable people living in the borough to maintain their independence and resilience through access to social activities, with a focus on ageing well, counselling post bereavement or a traumatic event, support with mental health needs, information and guidance across a range of issues including Direct Payments and Personal Health Budgets, carers’ support including assessment, and refugee and immigration services including support to learn English and access the community.  These services support the delivery of the Council’s ambition as articulated in the Corporate Plan for ‘Healthy, independent and resilient residents with effective support to those who need it most.’

The Council is undertaking a Strategic Transformation Review of how it engages with and commissions services delivered by the voluntary sector in order to establish a process that is equitable for all organisations, easy to access and proportionate to the requirements and value of the services delivered.  The outcome of this review, and any new processes to be introduced in relation to funding and commissioning of services from the voluntary sector, will be known by April 2020.  These processes will be implemented from April 2021.

Extending the existing contracts until 2021 will facilitate the commissioning of new services to be in line with the recommendations of the review.  It will also allow for a period of engagement about future service design and planning between the providers and the Council, to determine how best to continue to meet people’s needs post March 2021, to meet emerging themes and trends in demand; with minimum possible disruption to service users’ lives, and to ensure resources are used to meet the changing demographics of the borough.

The cost of the contract extensions is £1,465,434 and is within the original value of the contract when awarded.

Resolved that the following contracts be extended, as permitted within the terms of the contract, for a further year until 31 March 2021:

(i) Active and Supportive Communities Outcome 2 - delivered by the Active and Supportive Communities Network

(ii) Kingston Centre for Independent Living

(iii) Kingston Carers Network.

 

Voting - unanimous

 

[Councillor Diane White, having declared a pecuniary interest in this item, withdrew from the Chair and from the meeting during its consideration, and took no part in the deliberations on the item.

Reason: Councillor White is the CEO of Kingston Carers Network - one of the voluntary sector organisations to which the report relates.

 

Councillor Kim Bailey took the Chair for this item.]

 

45.

Revenue and Capital Budget 2020/21 and Medium Term Financial Strategy to 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To set out the proposed budget for 2020/21 to 2023/24 and the detailed information required to enable this Committee to make recommendations to inform the Finance and Partnerships Committee’s recommendations to Budget Council on 27 February 2020.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved that:

 

1.            the general fund proposals in the budget report regarding the 2020/21 budget for AfC Commissioning, Education and Skills, Schools and School Place Planning, Special Educational Needs, Children’s Centres, Pupil Referral Units, Youth Service, Safeguarding, Looked After Children, Adult Social Care, Public Health, Leisure Services, Mental Health, Equalities and Adult Education be RECOMMENDED to the Finance and Partnerships Committee; and

2.            that the following be RECOMMENDED to Finance and Partnerships Committee to RECOMMEND to full Council:

(i)            the Schools Budget for 2020-21 be approved in line with paragraph 17 and Enclosure 1 of Annex 14 to the Budget Pack;

(ii)          the proposals outlined for the Central School Services Block be approved, including the transfer of £16k to the High Needs Block (ref. paras 26-28 of Annex 14 to the Budget Pack);

(iii)         the proposals outlined for the Early Years Block be approved including the transfer of £121k to the High Needs Block (ref. paras. 29 - 34 of Annex 14 to the Budget Pack);

(iv)         the proposals for the High Needs Block be approved (outlined in paras. 35-38 of Annex 14 to the Budget Pack); and

(v)          the proposals outlined for the Schools Block (ref. paras 20-25 of Annex 14) and the Schools Funding Formula outlined in Enclosure 2and the Schools Allocations in Enclosure 3of Annex 14 be approved, including a Minimum Funding Guarantee of +0.5% per pupil (ref. paras 22-23 of Annex 14 of the Budget Pack).

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report which set out information required to enable the Committee to make recommendations to inform the Finance and Partnerships Committee’s recommendations to Budget Council on 27 February 2020 where the formal decisions on the budget and Council Tax level for 2020/21 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy to 2023/24 would be taken.  The Committee also considered a document which had been published and circulated separately to which the report and the references below refer, entitled ‘Budget Report 2020/21 to 2023/24’, which comprises the budget proposals for all service areas.

This Committee was asked to consider the budget proposals relating to AfC Commissioning, 0-19 Education including Schools and School Place Planning, Special Educational Needs, Children’s Centres, Alternative Education Provision, Youth Service, Safeguarding, Looked After Children, Adult Social Care, Public Health, Mental Health, and Equalities, being the services within its remit.  In relation to the remit of the Committee, Members were asked to note in particular the following items:

·                Annex 5 (items 1 – 11) setting out budgetary growth provided for Adults and Children’s Social Care and special educational needs, as well as for the commissioning role for Children’s services;

·                Budget reductions shown in Annex 6 of the report, including items 1, 34 to 43, 74 to 75, and 82 to 87 (relating to Adult Social Care), items 8, 9, and 78 to 80 (relating to public health) and items 15, 45 to 50, 76, 81 and 90 to 96 (relating to Children’s Services);

·                the Capital Strategy set out in Annex 11 with the detailed programme provided in Enclosure 1 including items 1 to 4 (relating to schools projects), and items 6, 7, 10, 18, 20, 31 and 47 (relating to children’s and adults social care assets); and

·                the Schools Budget at Annex 14 of the Budget Pack.

 

The Committee noted that the structural overspend and shortfall of funding within the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) for children with special educational needs or disabilities gives rise to the most significant financial challenge in the budget.  This challenge is not unique to Kingston, but the scale of the deficit requires the Council to tackle it with rigour and speed.  The cumulative deficit is estimated to be over £20million by 31 March 2020 which places a considerable strain on the Council’s balance sheet.  There is a clear national intention that the schools budget is ring-fenced and the Council has therefore not ‘topped up’ the DSG from general fund resources.  However, the budget proposals include establishing a new reserve with a £1.270m per year contribution, relating to the costs of supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, in order to be able to demonstrate financial sustainability.

 

The Committee’s growth items include provision of £3.8m in 2020/21 to meet the Corporate Plan objective for ‘healthy, independent and resilient residents with effective support to those who need it most’, including provision for: increased demographic demand for home care, young people with learning disabilities transitioning into Adult Services, young people’s mental  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Progress Update on the Action Plan arising from the Education Commission pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To update the Committee on the progress of the action plan on the Education Commission recommendations approved on 13 June 2019.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved that -

1.            the progress on the action plan of the Education Commission recommendations be noted; and

2.            future monitoring of the Education Commission action plan, including all uncompleted recommendations, is included in the six-monthly report to Committee on progress in implementing the SEND Transformation Plan.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report which provided updates on the progress of the action plan which had been approved in June 2019 to respond to the recommendations of the Education Commission.  The independent Education Commission had been engaged in June 2018, under the leadership of Tony McArdle, to consider the reasons for Kingston’s significant cumulative overspend in the Dedicated Schools Grant.  The recommendations of the Education Commission were received by the Committee at its meeting on 13 June 2019 when it approved an action plan relating to all 34 recommendations - the recommendations were in four sections relating to: the Council; Achieving for Children; the Schools Forum; and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).  The report summarised progress on each of those sections and provided an updated version of the action plan as an attachment at Annex 1.

The Committee meeting was attended by Tonia Michaelides, Chief Executive of Kingston and Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) who provided a verbal update on the response by the CCG to the joint therapies review (a key project within the SEND Transformation Plan).  Ms Michaelides and confirmed that (subject to the CCG Governing Body approval in February) the CCG will contribute £250k in the 2020/21 financial year to jointly fund a new model of therapy provision (which will allow more pupils with special educational needs and disabilities to be educated locally, thus reducing reliance on more expensive independent sector, out of borough provision, enabling funding to be re-routed back into the local education system). 

It was noted that the Schools Forum, however, had not supported a transfer from the Schools Block to the High Needs Block to contribute funding to this new therapies model, and so other options might be discussed with the Forum at forthcoming meetings, such as whether it would be feasible for schools to buy into the new therapy service via SLA arrangements.

Given the level of challenge and potentially conflicting priorities reflected in the SEND Transformation Plan, there was a request to RAG rate the progress updates in relation to achievement against the anticipated outcomes of the Education Commission.

The relationship with parents and families was acknowledged to be a core issue for success of the Plan, for which the development of the Parent Carer Forum to focus discussions on desired outcomes will be a key project.

Resolved that -

1.            the progress on the action plan of the Education Commission recommendations be noted; and

2.            future monitoring of the Education Commission action plan, including all uncompleted recommendations, is included in the six-monthly report to Committee on progress in implementing the SEND Transformation Plan.

Voting –

For: 9 members of the Committee (the Co Chairs, Councillors Kim Bailey and Diane White, and Councillors Fiona Boult, Sam Foulder-Hughes, Alison Holt, Caroline Kerr, Anita Schaper, Chris Stuart, and Annette Wookey.

Abstaining: 2 members of the Committee (Councillors Ed Fram and Maria Netley)

47.

SEND Transformation Plan Update pdf icon PDF 327 KB

To provide an update to the Committee on progress with the implementation of the SEND Transformation Plan, including the Written Statement of Action resulting from Kingston’s Local Area SEND inspection

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

Resolved that:

1.            the progress of the SEND Transformation Plan and Written Statement of Action is noted;

2.            feedback from the Committee is considered for incorporation in the next iteration of the Plan (the Committee requested a focus on Workforce Development in the next report); and

3.            future updates to this Committee on the SEND Transformation Plan will be on a six monthly basis. [An advance draft of the combined report format will be provided for consultation to the Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, the Opposition Spokesperson for Children’s Services and a further Liberal Democrat Member of the Committee (to be nominated by that Group) so that Member comments can shape the final version to be submitted to the Committee in six months’ time.]

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Committee received a progress report on the Kingston SEND Transformation Plan (conditionally approved by the Committee at its meeting on 7 February 2019) which is a partnership approach to deliver major changes in the local system for providing education health and care services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND); the changes are required in order to address the significant deficit between the expenditure on those services and the funding provided by central Government in the High Needs Block (HNB) of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG).

In Kingston, expenditure on services funded by the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) has exceeded government grant allocation since 2014/5.  The accumulated overspend since then is forecast to be £20.7m by the end of 2019/20.  Without significant changes, the accumulated overspend is forecast to be £40m by the end of financial year 2022/3. 

In 2019 the Department for Education (DfE) required all local authorities with a cumulative DSG deficit of 1% or more at the end of the 2018/19 financial year to submit a recovery plan showing how they will bring the deficit into balance over three years.  As a three year timeframe was not considered realistic for Kingston, a five year plan was discussed with Schools Forum and submitted to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

The report summarised progress on this Plan’s five Workstreams (Strategy and Governance, Commercial Thinking, Local Provision, Early Intervention & Planning, and Assessment & Planning) and included detailed information in its Annexes as follows:

·           Annex 1: SEND Partnership Board Update reports (May, July, Sept. and Nov)

·           Annex 2: SEND Partnership Board performance dashboard (latest version)

·           Annex 3: Joint review of therapeutic support for children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities in Richmond and Kingston

Progress with implementation of the Transformation Plan has been mixed, with some areas performing strongly and others not yet realising the intended benefits.  Areas of strength included:

·         establishment of the SEND Partnership Board from which Minutes are considered by the Health and Wellbeing Board.

·         establishment of an active Parent Consortium, eight members of whom formed a steering group for the establishment of an official Parent Carer Forum planned for Q1 2020.

·         increase in the number of Kingston Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) issued within the 20 week statutory period (from 76.6% in 2018 to 97% in 2019, compared with an England average of 60.1%).

·         systematising of the approach to quality assurance of the EHCP process, including obtaining feedback from parents and carers.  (In Q4 2019, 100% of parents and carers who responded to the post issuance survey indicated confidence in the quality of their child’s final EHCP).

·         appointment of a Designated Clinical Officer by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to work on more integration of health, education and care services.

·         expansion of specialist education places within Kingston at specialist resource provisions (SRP) in mainstream schools and at special schools, including 35 new special school and SRP places created in academic year 2018/9, with a further 49 opening  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.

48.

Urgent Items authorised by the Chair

Minutes:

There were no urgent items authorised by the Chair.