Venue: Committee Room (B6) - Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton, London, SW2 1RW. View directions
Contact: Henry Langford, Senior Democratic Services Officer, Tel: 020 7926 1065 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Declarations of Pecuniary Interest
Under Cabinet Rule 1.5.2, where any Cabinet Member has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (as defined in the Members’ Code of Conduct (para. 4)) in any matter to be considered at a meeting of the Council, a committee, sub-committee or joint committee, they must withdraw from the meeting room during the whole of the consideration of that matter and must not participate in any vote on that matter unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Monitoring Officer.
There were none.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 19 March 2018.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the previous meeting held on Monday 19 March 2018 be approved and signed by the Chair as a correct record of the proceedings.
Non key decision
Cabinet Member for Children and Young People: Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite
Report Authorised by: Strategic Director for Children’s Services: Annie Hudson
Contact for enquiries: Nigel Denning, Improvement Team, Children’s Social Care, email@example.com, 07809295004
The Deputy Leader of the Council (Children and Young People), Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, introduced the report and noted the significant investment in Lambeth’s Children’s Services since the ‘inadequate’ Ofsted judgement in 2015. A re-inspection in early 2018 had concluded that Children’s Services now ‘required improvement to be good’. Councillor Brathwaite said it was positive that Ofsted had recognised the improvement but that much work to be done, particularly on permanency and adoption which remained inadequate. The Council was committed to lift all aspects of Children’s Services to ‘Good’ and the improvement priorities set out in the Children at the Heart of Practice Next Steps Plan were welcomed. Members and officers were commended for their ongoing efforts towards the improvement of services.
The Strategic Director for Children’s Services, Annie Hudson, said it had been a demanding period but significant improvements had been made. The service now had greater workforce stability with more permanent managers and less reliance on agency staff. Ofsted had also observed that staff morale was good, caseloads were manageable and partnership working was a particular strength. Despite this, focus needed to be maintained on adoption and permanency, as well as other areas including care leavers and substance misuse. Annie Hudson said she expected significant improvements on each of Ofsted’s twelve recommendations by the end of the year and noted the forthcoming interactions scheduled between Ofsted and the Council in 2018. Lambeth was no longer subject to an improvement notice from the Department of Education (DfE).
Nigel Denning from the Council’s Improvement Team explained the principles that underpinned the Next Steps plan which was under development and would be submitted to Ofsted by the end of July.
Councillor Rebecca Thackray, Green Party, then addressed the committee and queried a reference to timing in the report that she felt required further consideration. She also said it was encouraging that young people valued their personal advisors and that Ofsted had recognised good partnership working in the borough. Building on this, Councillor Thackray questioned whether bringing more services in-house could provide solutions to underperforming areas, including adoption. Finally she requested that consideration of mental health and disabilities be included in the report to be submitted to Ofsted in July.
Annie Hudson provided the following information in response to Councillor Thackray’s comments:
· Ofsted had said the processing of adoption assessments needed to be quicker. The Council had commissioned expert advice to undertake a full diagnostic of services for children that had not yet achieved permanence, including adoption. Some national performance indicators had seen some minor improvements but the area remained a cause for concern.
· External advisors Coram had been commissioned to provide consultancy reports but not social work services, which would continue to be provided internally.
· Mental health was a key issue for the Children in Care Council. It would feature in the Next Steps plan and also be considered at the forthcoming meeting of Corporate Parenting Board.
Cabinet members then made observations and asked a number of questions:
· Officers ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Councillor Matthew Bennett, Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and New Homes
Sue Foster, Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods and Growth
Contact: Matt Blades, Head of Business, Culture and Investment
firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 7926 3343
The Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and New Homes, Councillor Matthew Bennett, introduced the report and noted that the creative and digital industries (CDI) accounted for over 22,000 jobs in Lambeth. Despite this the percentage of jobs in Lambeth in the CDI sectors was lower than the London average and the CDI Strategy had been developed to address this. The Strategy celebrated Lambeth’s unique diversity and sought to tackle inequality by delivering inclusive growth. Councillor Bennett explained the five key objectives and actions before thanking the Head of Business, Culture and Investment, Matt Blades, for his work on the Strategy.
Cabinet Members then made the following comments:
· The Strategy would help to deliver economic growth across Lambeth and was welcomed by councillors in both the north and south of the borough. It was commendable that inclusive growth, as recommended by the Equality Commission, was an integral pillar of the Strategy.
· The CDI Strategy fitted into many other Council agendas and clearly demonstrated that Lambeth was a destination to do business.
· Members asked how the Council was working to provide enough office space in the borough to support growing businesses. In response, Matt Blades explained the ties between the CDI Strategy and the Local Plan. Lambeth had recently introduced two Article 4 directions that helped to protect office space and the Strategy provided evidence that could be utilised by the Planning Policy team to consider further Article 4 directions. Officers were also looking to develop affordable workspace policies to support clustering. It was also noted that ward level engagement had taken place to ensure all parts of the borough were referenced in terms of opportunity for growth.
The Chair praised the cross-departmental working demonstrated in the CDI Strategy and thanked officers for their work.
It was RESOLVED:
1. To approve the Lambeth Creative and Digital Industries Strategy for Growth.
2. To agree that, where relevant, service areas across the Council take account of the Strategy in the production of new policy and strategy.
3. To agree that the Council should continue to work collaboratively with our communities and business partners in delivering our priorities and achieving inclusive economic growth that benefits Lambeth’s residents and businesses.
Deputy Leader of the Council (Jobs, Skills and Performance), Councillor Jack Hopkins
Sue Foster: Strategic Director Neighbourhoods and Growth
Contact: Sandra Roebuck, Director Growth, Planning and Employment, email@example.com, 020 7926 2594
Councillor Mary Atkins, Labour, introduced the report as a member of the Jobs for All Scrutiny Commission that had been chaired by Councillor Matt Parr. Lambeth had high levels of employment but a significant amount of people continued to find it difficult to access the jobs market. The Commission had assessed existing Council policy that helped people into work and met with a range of charities and social enterprises that demonstrated good practice in this field. She noted that people with multiple barriers to working often needed one-to-one support to help them into employment. She also said that the Action Plan was positive but could be more specific about dates and targets.
The Deputy Leader of the Council (Jobs, Skills and Performance), Councillor Jack Hopkins, said he would work alongside Councillor Atkins and other cabinet members to refine and implement the Commission’s recommendations. The issue of access to the jobs market was multi-faceted and impacted on all parts of the Council. Lambeth Council already had a strong record with assisting people into work and operated a successful shared programme with Southwark and Lewisham Councils. It would continue to learn from good practice in other authorities where businesses had positively engaged with charities and social organisations. The ultimate goal was to enable people to be independent and self-supporting; in turn improving their quality of life.
The Lead Commissioner for Welfare, Employment and Skills, John Bennett, said the recommendations provided a helpful framework and that further detail would follow when the issue returned to Overview and Scrutiny. He then noted the extent of assistance already available in Lambeth. The Council needed to identify any gaps in the current provision and decide which charities or enterprises could produce the best results for the borough.
Councillor Becca Thackray, Green Party, addressed the committee and said the issue centred on supporting the long-term unemployed into work. She noted high rates of young people leaving care who were not in education, employment or training before questioning whether an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) had been carried out in relation to the closure of Brixton Job Centre. She then welcomed Recommendation 28 to extend and support internet access in libraries and community centres but said the ‘mystery shopper’ element of the proposal was inadequate.
Cabinet members then made the following observations and directed questions to officers:
· The EIA should be picked up and monitored by officers. However work conducted with Lewisham and Southwark had recently asserted that job centres were not necessarily the best vehicle for helping long-term unemployed into work. Charities and social enterprises had often proved more effective at providing an end-to-end advisory service.
· The Council’s procurement process currently required the consideration of social value, however the Commission’s report provided a good opportunity to extend this to include the evaluation of social value.
· Lambeth had a strong record assisting people into work and was delivering clear results through the tri-borough programme with Southwark and Lewisham. Lambeth had one of the best employment rates in London, ... view the full minutes text for item 5.