Agenda and minutes

Venue: Room THB-06, Town Hall, Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, London SW2 1RW

Contact: Jacqueline Pennycook, Democratic Services Officer, Email: 020 7926 2167 

No. Item


Declarations of Pecuniary Interest

    Under Standing Order 4.4, where any councillor 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 of that matter unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Monitoring Officer.



    Councillor Malcolm Clark stated that, although not a pecuniary interest, he worked for Cancer Research UK on obesity policy and had advisory roles with Transport for London and the Mayor of London on the implementation of the ban on junk food advertising.



Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 136 KB

    To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 19 December 2018 as an accurate record of the proceedings.


    Councillor Nicole Griffiths requested that the minutes on Special Educational Needs and Disability be amended to include the number of children moving from Pupil Referral Units to mainstream education that was stated at the meeting.



    That, subject to Councillor Griffiths’ amendment, the minutes of the meeting held on 19 December 2018 be approved as a correct record of proceedings.



Children's Social Care Improvement update pdf icon PDF 349 KB

    (All wards)


    Contact for enquiries: Alex Kubeyinje, Director, Children’s Social Care 


    Special Circumstances Justifying Urgent Consideration


    The Chair is of the opinion that although this report had not been available for at least five clear days before the meeting, nonetheless it should be considered now as a matter of urgency because of the special circumstances that this report is substantive to the meeting’s business.


    Additional documents:


    Annie Hudson, Strategic Director for Children’s Services, and Alex Kubeyinje, Director of Children’s Social Care, introduced the report, stating that Children’s Services were no longer rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted but ‘requires improvement’.  Since the re-inspection, a ‘next steps plan’ had been developed and a number of changes had been made to the service.  The adoption service would become part of the pan-London regional adoption service.  A further Ofsted focus visit was expected in the coming months, and the Youth Offending Service (YOS) had recently been inspected.


    The Chair then opened up the debate to members of the Sub-Committee and in response to questions the Strategic Director for Children’s Services, Director for Children’s Social Care and the Deputy Cabinet Member for Youth and Play responded that:

    ·         The most recent YOS inspection had taken place over three weeks, two of which had been on-site.  Inspectors had found improvements on previous practice.

    ·         There were currently eight children, or 4% of children on a Child Protection Plan, who had been on a Child Protection Plan for over two years.  This number was stable but it was not acceptable for children to remain on a plan for an unduly long period of time, and all such cases were being reviewed to consider other options.

    ·         The Early Help pilot in Streatham had enabled strong relationships to develop between families and professionals, and had facilitated multi-agency working. 

    ·         The extension of the pilot to Tulse Hill would build on the work done in Streatham, but would focus on issues specific to the area.  Tulse Hill had been selected in part because of recent issues of serious youth violence.

    ·         The Serious Youth Violence Strategy was a whole-system approach, involving the council, police, health and community partners.  An additional £500,000 for two years to support the strategy had been agreed.

    ·         The quality of assessments was considered at the Ofsted inspection as there had previously been issues around the quality and timeliness of assessment report. 

    ·         Officers did not consider 100% of medical checks to be completed a reasonable target, as some young people did not want to have medical checks.  Older children were more likely to refuse medicals and officers considered 94% a more achievable target.

    ·         All children looked after whose immigration status was affected by Brexit had been contacted and officers were seeking to regularise their status.  If any child’s settled status application was refused, the Council would appeal the decision.

    ·         There was evidence from elsewhere that when Social Workers had large, unmanageable caseloads, the quality of work decreased and there were higher rates of staff turnover.  However, in Lambeth caseloads were generally manageable, and Ofsted had commented on this.  Part of the Improvement Strategy had included recruitment and support of staff, as well as reducing the number of agency staff.

    ·         Efforts to improve staff wellbeing had included information on career progression and improved communications.  Reduced staff turnover meant greater consistency for young people.

    ·         A campaign for foster carer recruitment was being developed in consultation with current foster carers.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Addressing Childhood Obesity and Promoting Healthy Weight in Lambeth pdf icon PDF 259 KB

    (All Wards)


    Contact for enquiries: Bimpe Oki, Consultant in Public Health, 020 7926 9678,


    Special Circumstances Justifying Urgent Consideration


    The Chair is of the opinion that although this report had not been available for at least five clear days before the meeting, nonetheless it should be considered now as a matter of urgency because of the special circumstances that this report is substantive to the meeting’s business.


    Additional documents:


    Bimpe Oki, Consultant in Public Health, introduced the item, stating that tackling obesity was complex and required working with individuals, families, communities and policymakers.  Lambeth had high levels of childhood obesity, but had seen improvements in recent years.  The greatest determinant for childhood obesity was poverty, and a holistic approach was needed.  The evidence-based work already done by the Council needed to be continued, a ‘health in all policies’ approach needed to be adopted and implemented and measures needed to be put into place to promote health and wellbeing.


    The Chair expressed her concern that one in five children were overweight or obese when starting primary school and that Lambeth’s rate of childhood obesity was higher than the London and England averages.


    The Committee next heard from Sarah Bishop, Sustainable Food Cities Co-ordinator, and Sue Sheehan, Lambeth Food Partnership, who noted that:

    ·         The Lambeth Food Partnership support a system-wide ‘health in all policies’ approach.  The Partnership supported the Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, but would like to be more involved with the Council.

    ·         The London Food Strategy had been published in late 2018, and would work towards the outcomes of the strategy.

    ·         Lambeth had signed up to efforts to reduce obesity rates, such as the Local Government declaration and the Food for Life pilot.  Other efforts such as a Sugar Smart campaign could also be adopted.

    ·         Sustainability should also be considered with the ‘health in all policies’ approach, such as by promoting cage-free hens and sustainable fishing.

    ·         One of the aims of the Lambeth Early Action Programme (LEAP) was to promote good nutrition.

    ·         Guys and St Thomas’ Charity had developed a report in 2018 with a number of principles for obesity reduction and health, and the Council should adopt them.  These principles included providing inspiration, making healthy choices easier and removing barriers.


    Councillor Ed Davie, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care (job-share) then stated the following:

    ·         Lambeth’s efforts to reduce obesity rates had been nationally and internationally recognised, but underlying issues of deprivation meant that children in Lambeth were more likely to be overweight or obese. 

    ·         Children living in poverty were twice as likely to be obese.  The Council had been London Living Wage (LLW) accredited since 2012, and was negotiating with the NHS bodies across the borough to achieve LLW accreditation.

    ·         The Healthier High Streets Commission had shown the impact that local options had on eating habits.  Some high streets had few options to buy healthy food and were often more expensive than unhealthy options. 

    ·         Other public sector bodies were making efforts to improve the environment, such as TfL’s ban on junk food advertising, and the ongoing consultation from the Department for Health on banning junk food advertisements before the 9.00pm watershed.

    ·         The Council was involved in the ‘Veg Power’ campaign to encourage children to eat more vegetables, and an event in Brixton Market was scheduled in April.


    In response to questions from Members, the Consultant in Public Health, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Lambeth Scrutiny Report pdf icon PDF 339 KB

    (All Wards)


    Contact for enquiries: Tony Parker, Director for Integrated Children’s Commissioning, NHS Lambeth CCG and LBL,


    Special Circumstances Justifying Urgent Consideration


    The Chair is of the opinion that although this report had not been available for at least five clear days before the meeting, nonetheless it should be considered now as a matter of urgency because of the special circumstances that this report is substantive to the meeting’s business.


    Additional documents:


    The Director for Children’s Commissioning and Community Safety and the Head of Commissioning introduced the report, stating that:

    ·         Improved emotional wellbeing linked to school attainment and reducing youth violence.

    ·         South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLaM) was currently redesigning the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) with the aim of increasing the flexibility and accessibility of the service. It was intended that increased access at an earlier stage would reduce the need for higher-level interventions.

    ·         Lambeth’s contributions to CAMHS were being maintained, and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) funding was increasing.

    ·         Long waiting times were an issue both in Lambeth and nationwide, and one of the aims of the service redesign was to reduce waiting times.

    During discussion of this item the guillotine fell at 9.00 pm.


    RESOLVED: That the meeting continue for a further period of up to 30 minutes.


    In response to questions from Members, the Director for Children’s Commissioning and Community Safety and representatives from SLaM stated the following:

    ·         CAMHS had previously operated with eight teams, each with different acceptance criteria. 

    ·         The new design would launch on 1 July 2019 and would have three key teams with a single point of access.  The three teams would include early help, treatment for those with a diagnosable condition and urgent care for people in a crisis.  Work with partners would ensure that there was continuity of care once service users were discharged from CAMHS.

    ·         Early intervention work focused on giving advice to at-risk young people, such as those exposed to abuse, neglect or domestic violence.  The new structure would create four Early Help Practitioners, who would be based in schools to help identify mental health needs at an early stage.  The success of these Practitioners could then be used to apply for Trailblazers funding in order to expand the offer.

    ·         Schools were informed if domestic abuse had been reported to the police.

    ·         Funding for CAMHS was increasing, and there were opportunities to bid for further funding.  Additional funding was often made available during the year, although this was unpredictable.

    ·         Academies and free schools were given the same access to CAMHS support as maintained schools.

    ·         There were some early findings in successes from the LEAP.

    ·         Kooth was a web-based advice service which had launched in February 2019, and in that time, 56 young people had registered to the service.  It could be accessed on any device, and most young people had smartphones.

    ·         Recommendations had not yet been received following the Grant Thornton review of transition to adult services, but processes were being reviewed.

    ·         One of the aims of the redesign of CAMHS was to improve waiting times.  Everyone on the waiting list was being contacted to ensure that they were on the list for the correct intervention.

    ·         Every person being referred to CAMHS was triaged on referral, and anyone in a crisis was seen immediately.

    ·         Some people who were on the waiting list for over a year were receiving treatment elsewhere.

    ·         There were national pressures to ensure the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


2018-19 Children's Services Scrutiny Sub-Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 303 KB

    (All wards)


    Contact for enquiries: Maria Burton, Democratic Services, Legal and Governance;, 020 7926 8703

    Additional documents:


    The Sub-Committee agreed to consider the YOS inspection at its next meeting, due to be confirmed at Council, and any other items would be added outside of the meeting.


    Sub-Committee Members thanked the Chair, Councillor Liz Atkins, for her work on the Sub-Committee, noting that it was her last meeting as Chair.



    1. That the Children’s Services Scrutiny Sub-Committee at its next meeting consider:

    i.              The outcome of the inspection of the Youth Offending Service.