Venue: Zoom Meeting - Virtual (meeting joining details can be found on the agenda frontsheet or agenda reports pack)
Contact: Teresa Buckley
To receive apologies for absence, including notifications of any changes to the membership of the Board.
It was reported that, in accordance with the wishes of the Liberal Democrat Group, the membership of the Board had been amended to include Councillor Dudley in place of Councillor Doggett.
· To review how Covid-19 impacted on levels of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse in Torbay.
· To be briefed on how the Crime and Disorder Partnership (Safety Communities Torbay) has and continues to respond.
The Board received an update on the Community Safety Partnership’s response to domestic abuse and sexual violence since Covid-19. The Antisocial Behaviour and Vulnerability Manager and Director of Public Health responded to questions in relation to:
(i) expectations and evidence base which led to belief that there would be a rise in domestic abuse and sexual violence cases as a result of Covid-19 and lockdown;
(ii) impact on children now they are back to school; and
(iii) the nature of sexual violence tending to be historical as opposed to domestic abuse which was usually in the current or near recent times.
To consider the latest position in respect of the Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets for 2020/2021 and make any recommendations to the Cabinet.
The Board considered and noted the budget monitoring report which provided a high level budget summary of the Council’s forecasted revenue and capital income and expenditure for the financial year 2020/2021. The report was based on figures as at the end of July 2020 and took into account the financial impact of Covid-19.
The Board noted the particular pressures on the revenue budget due to shortfall of income in parking, beaches and the collection fund and the impact of Covid-19 and the continued lobbying to the Government to request that they fund the full impact of Covid-19.
Members acknowledged the positive improvement in Children’s Services and their anticipated underspend of over £2m for 2020/2021, this was as a result of an invest to save proposal of around £10m and the changes in working practices and reduction in children in residential places, ensuring wherever possible children were either returned to home or found foster care of other suitable safe placements.
Members also discussed issues in connection with SWISCo and the delay in new refuse vehicles as a result of the manufacturer being closed due to Covid-19 but received assurance that the fleet would be in place by the end of 2020 or early January 2021.
The Deputy Head of Finance was requested to include details on beach hut occupancy and historical investment in Children’s Services in the updated report to the Cabinet.
To consider the submitted report on the above Policy Framework document and make recommendations to the Cabinet.
The Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health outlined the draft Adult Care Strategic Agreement (ACSA) which set out the way in which Torbay Council and the Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) would commission Adult Social Care Services from the Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (The Trust). The current agreement covered a three year period from April 2020, which replaced the Annual Strategic Agreement and was in line with the Risk Share Agreement covering the same period and the Council’s Community and Corporate Plan. The Cabinet Member and Head of Integration and Development for Adult Social Care and Partnerships responded to questions.
Members noted that an improvement plan was in place and would be monitored and previously used performance indicators would be kept under review in light of Covid-19. The Board was informed of the governance arrangements that were in place to oversee delivery of the improvement plan and that it had been acknowledged that there would be a delay in achieving the savings in year 1 but that savings would occur in years 2 and 3. This was as a result of the recognition from all parties as to the need to focus on Covid-19 recovery.
That the Cabinet recommend to the Council:
(i) that the Adult Care Strategic Agreement between Torbay Council, Devon Clinical Commissioning Group and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust set out at Appendix 1 to the submitted report be approved; and
(ii) that in the event there are minor changes requested by the Board of the Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust which meets subsequent to the decision of the Council, the agreement or negotiation of the minor changes be delegated to the Director of Adult Social Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health.
To receive a verbal update from the Assistant Director for Housing, Transport and Climate Emergency on the Climate Emergency.
The Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Climate Emergency and Senior Planning and Public Health Officer provided a verbal update in respect of the climate emergency and development of a new Climate Change Strategy.
Prior to the meeting papers setting out the Devon Climate Change Declaration and Devon’s Timeline to Net-Zero Carbon were circulated.
The Board welcomed the appointment of a new Climate Change Officer and noted that work had been ongoing with the Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Climate Emergency serving on the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group and the Senior Planning and Public Health Officer serving on the Devon Climate Tactical Group in order to work at both a regional level and also take into account Torbay’s own requirements.
Members discussed the £25,000 budget set aside for climate change and noted that approximately £5,000 had been spent to date on two studies with the University of Exeter to gain baseline data required to develop the Climate Change Strategy. Clarification was given that this fund was intended to use in preparation for the review of the strategy and action plan and not to fund climate change initiatives such as planting more trees or encouraging more recycling.
The Board discussed how Members could work with their communities to make a difference to support climate change initiatives in the short term, whilst the Climate Change Strategy was being developed.
(i) that the Cabinet be recommended to work with the Group Leaders to explore how Ward Councillors can add value in the community by engaging with residents to raise awareness of climate change and encouraging increased take up of recycling; and
(ii) that the Overview and Scrutiny Board receive a further update on the progress of developing the revised Climate Change Strategy at its November or December meeting once the new Climate Change Officer is in post.
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