Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Room 1-16, Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1RWE

Contact: David Rose, Tel: 020 7926 1037, Email: drose@lambeth.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declaration of Pecuniary Interests

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 on that matter unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Monitoring Officer.

 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 14 November 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting dated 14 November 2019 be approved and signed as a correct record of proceedings.

 

The Committee noted that minutes required greater robustness, and better recording of deadlines and where deadlines had elapsed for greater accountability.

 

3.

Work Programme and Action Monitoring pdf icon PDF 96 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Fiona McDermott: Strategic Director for Finance &

    Investment

     

    Contact for enquiries: David Rose, Democratic Services, 0207 926 1037,

    drose@lambeth.gov.uk

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Members discussed the work programme and action monitoring log and it was noted:

    ·           Climate emergency risks were confirmed as top risks and would be added to the risk register and detailed in future reports.

    ·           An iCasework review update would be provided to Members and added to the action log.

    ·           The Homes for Lambeth (HfL) Challenge Session would be arranged in the New Year.

    ·           The action monitoring log would be dispatched to Members alongside the minutes for Members to confirm dates and timescales.  During discussion it was also noted that some dates were too far into the future and turnaround times needed further improvement.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.       To note the Corporate Committee’s work programme for 2019/20.

    2.       To note the Corporate Committee’s actions monitoring log.

     

4.

Annual HR and OD Metrics Workforce Report pdf icon PDF 708 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Fiona McDermott: Strategic Director for Finance &

    Investment

     

    Contact for enquiries: Rosalind Huish, Workforce Planning Manager, rhuish@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Dean Shoesmith, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development; introduced the report, and noted:

    ·           The report detailed workforce issues to 31 March 2019, and used equality data to improve workforce equality and diversity, and to develop strategic actions and plans.

    ·           Over 12 months, the BAME percentage of the top 5% of earners had increased from 23.4% to 31.7%; but still had some improvement to match the 59% across the entire workforce.  Additionally, there had been a 48.4% to 45.8% decrease in the top 5% of earners being female.

    ·           LGBT+ disclosure improved to 14%, but lower grades had lower levels of disclosure.  The difference between external and internal surveys suggested staff did not have confidence to declare internally.

    ·           A number of measures had been taken on BAME representation, racism and race equality, including: appointing an external independent adviser, Patrick Vernon, to identify issues; collective workshops; discussions with Trade Unions; diversity forums; and, directorate-led managers’ meetings to make improvements.  Lambeth and Trade Union colleagues were set to draft a common understanding to define terms in Lambeth, how institutional racism manifested, and identify necessary actions.

    ·           The average gender pay gap had improved from 4.8% to 2.1%; the disability pay gap was 4.8%; and, the race and ethnicity gap was 13.4%.  These gaps required elimination, and although it was not a statutory requirement to publish these figures (other than for gender), they were important to analyse and correct.

     

    Jocelyn Cruywagen, Lambeth Unison and Lambeth Black Workers Group, and Alex Owolade, community member, provided representations to Corporate Committee as follows:

    ·           It was felt that institutional racism was still no closer to ending in Lambeth and that there had been no real change, with staff still being discriminated against due to their race or ethnicity and workplace issues having an immediate effect on the community. The community and workers in Lambeth needed to be heard and be taken seriously, and the Committee needed to agree the recommendations listed below, and bring dignity to workers:

    o    All reports and recommendations of institutional racism should be public;

    o    Members’ appeals for grievances and disciplinary cases should be reinstated;

    o    Reinstatement of a race equalities unit/independent referral unit of staff facing discrimination;

    o    A scrutiny commission including representatives from the unions and senior management be established, and sufficiently separate from the Council, to meet within the month to:

    §   Combine the recommendations from the Black Workers Group, the Unions and Patrick Vernon’s interim report, and,

    §   Draw up an implementation plan and report regularly to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for full accountability.

    o    Reinstate independent function of Lambeth HR; and,

    o    All trade unions to be allocated two hours of paid time per month for all members covering the nine protected characteristics as internal self-organised groups.

    ·           A breakdown on disciplinary action and other key statistics would show that BAME staff were disproportionately affected, and needed to be supplied.  It was also queried why BAME staff comprised 67.2% of applicants, but only received 21.3% of interviews and 20.8% of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Future Lambeth Organisational Change pdf icon PDF 170 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Fiona McDermott: Strategic Director for Finance &

    Investment

     

    Contact for enquiries: Dean Shoesmith, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Finance and Investment, 0207 926 7761, DShoesmith@lambeth.gov.uk

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Dean Shoesmith, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development; noted this report for information following the implementation of the new senior management structure.

     

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.       To note the successful implementation of the new senior management structure arrangements and operating model for the Council, including the delivery of associated budget savings.

     

     

6.

Safeguarding Annual Report pdf icon PDF 171 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Fiona Connolly: Executive Director for Adults and Health

     

    Contact for enquiries: Richard Outram, Deputy Director, Adult Social Care, Adults and Health Directorate, 020 7926 7750, routram@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Fiona Connolly, Executive Director for Adults and Health; Richard Outram, Deputy Director for Adult Social Care; David Jennings, Head of Service for Older People; and, David Bello, Head of Service, Adult Social Care, introduced the report and in response to questions from Committee members noted:

    ·           An explanation of safeguarding adults was provided in the agenda pack (pages 30 and 32).

    ·           Lambeth’s safeguarding concerns activity was decreasing (agenda pack, page 34).

    ·           The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 was expected to be enacted next year, and a number of changes were needed to make the proposed Liberty Protection Safeguards Scheme work in practice, although statutory guidance had not yet been received.

    ·           Lambeth’s safeguarding was comparable to other boroughs, but officers would review including further information on benchmarking against other authorities and detailing resources in the next Annual Report.

    ·           The Adults Social Care performance and the Budget and Performance reports also contained benchmarking and resources information.

    ·           Deprivation of liberty Safeguards (DoLS) increased last year and staffing levels had been increased in response to meet demands.

    ·           The Safeguarding Adults Masterclass series (agenda pack, page 40) also included police officers, housing officers, registered social landlords, members of the public, the South East London Board, and hospital staff.  The six classes had good attendance.

    ·           The Adults Safeguarding team worked closely with Housing officers, who attended Board and sub-groups meetings, whilst contractors provided housing officers with requisite information.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To note the contents of the Annual Report of Lambeth Safeguarding Adults Board for 2018-19.

     

     

7.

Adult Social Care - Annual Complaints pdf icon PDF 102 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Fiona Connolly: Executive Director for Adults and Health

     

    Contact for enquiries: Richard Outram, Deputy Director, Adult Social Care, Adults and Health Directorate, 020 7926 7750, routram@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Fiona Connolly, Executive Director for Adults and Health; Richard Outram, Deputy Director for Adult Social Care; David Jennings, Head of Service for Older People; and, David Bello, Head of Service, Adult Social Care, introduced the report as follows:

    ·           Complaints rose from 89 to 122 from 2017/18 to 2018/19.  This was due to reduced staff levels; eligibility criteria increasing numbers of service users and demands (amalgamating older people’s services and that Adult Social Care (ASC) was now a 18 years old plus service); increasing complexity; and, declining community teams.  Measures were underway to mitigate this increase and the service was currently in a period of transformation, with a redesign of services into the community. 

    ·           Performance was monitored weekly by management and at the monthly Performance Board.

    ·           Complaints response times were improving, with 65% of complaints dealt with inside 30 days and a 7% increase in complaints not upheld.  Q1 and Q2 figures indicated a 3% decrease in figures from the same period last year (agenda pack, page 73) demonstrating that work to improve timeframes and complaints was effective.

    ·           The three key areas of lessons learnt were improving communications, providing clearer information on services, and improving internal systems.  For example, there was a Task and Finish Group for billing to improve how people received that information and to explain the revised assessment rules; and themed practice weeks and learning events. 

    ·           There remained inconsistencies in reporting complaints, which mandatory training would alleviate.

    ·           A log of common issues was kept for discussion at workshops, and training was decided by the Performance Board so that reports from the LGO, for instance, would be discussed in detail.

    ·           Only nine complaints for external providers were received over the past year, however this total did not include safeguarding issues which were resolved in 24 hours but not counted as a complaint. 

    ·           Officers would include a section on complaints and providers, in the next iteration of this report.

    ·           Officers would provide a breakdown of complaints received orally – Table 2 (agenda pack, page 61) – outside the meeting, with Members noting that constituents often found their complaints were not rectified until they wrote in.

    ·           Performance of complaints was improving, but the complexity of complaints was increasing, although Lambeth had low levels of complaint. 

    ·           Officers took complaints seriously and had high expectations of dealing with them in a joined-up manner across the Council’s functions.  There was room for improvement and the Council was now trying to be more public facing, such as having face-to-face or telephone meetings, instead of writing.

    ·           ASC were dealing with complaints arising from other business areas better now due to improved inter-departmental work practices and incorporate lessons learnt.

    ·           David Bello, Head of Service, Adult Social Care, had been instrumental in redesigning the Stage 2 complaints process (complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO)) and officers expected these figures to further decrease in future years. 

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To note the contents of the Adult Social Care Complaints & Member Enquiries Annual Report 2018-19.

     

     

     

8.

Adult Social Care - Risk Management pdf icon PDF 182 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Fiona Connolly: Executive Director for Adults and Health

     

    Contact for enquiries: Richard Outram, Deputy Director, Adult Social Care, Adults and Health Directorate, 020 7926 7750, routram@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Fiona Connolly, Executive Director for Adults and Health; and, Richard Outram, Deputy Director for Adult Social Care, provided an update on risk management in ASC, noting that:

    ·           The Action Plan was detailed in the agenda pack (pages 81-2).

    ·           Improvements had been made to the Health and Lambeth Together programmes which were under transformation; whilst the good relationships with commissioners and colleagues helped mitigate service disruption arising from increasing numbers of providers.

    ·           ASC were able to respond quickly to risks, for example mobilising a team to help manage St John’s Care Home closure.

    ·           Performance and data were detailed in the agenda pack (page 83), with officers noting the need to improve reviews and assessment timeframes through the two year Plan.

    ·           Care Act assessments response times and carers assessments were improving, and would allow the Council to support service users in the community alongside the improving reablement offer.

    ·           Additional occupational therapy (OT) officers were managing pressures in assessment and home adaptations, and the waiting list was now reducing.  There was also an additional Board with Housing and IT officers to simplify this process and monitor progress.

    ·           Future strategies and issues included commissioners monitoring care homes alongside current systems to target high risk homes and instigate improvement plans; social workers going into specific homes, sourcing new care homes; and working closely with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Guys and St Thomas Trust (GSTT) on the 2020 Care Home Support implementation and risk assessment process.  Additionally, monitoring the supply of care homes for residential and nursing care; renegotiating and redefining contracts; addressing the closure of properties; and on recruitment, training and retention of workers were all priorities over the coming year.

    ·           Whilst Lambeth held significant risks on providers, these were lower than many other local authorities.

    ·           Brexit planning over the last eight months reviewed the nationality of staff and mapped out responses to expected issues, alongside GSTT and national plans, and put mitigating actions in place.  Although, most of Lambeth’s adult social care workforce had lived in the borough for many years and the Council would support people applying for settled status, it remained a risk.

    ·           Lambeth had worked with commissioning colleagues, carers, and the Carers Hub, to mitigate risks from staffing levels, increasing demands and lower funding (agenda pack, pages 79-80). 

    ·           It was known that 14,000 carers in the borough were assessed and that there were others supporting themselves through family or community members, with the next iteration of the report to detail.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.       To note the contents of this report.

     

     

     


9.

Audit and Investigations Update pdf icon PDF 188 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Fiona McDermott: Strategic Director for Finance &

    Investment

     

    Contact for enquiries: Justin Martin, Head of Internal Audit, Finance & Investment, 07881 802336, Justin.f.martin@pwc.com

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    During the discussion of this item, the guillotine fell at 8.00pm.

     

    It was MOVED by the Chair, and,

     

    RESOLVED: That in accordance with Standing Order 9.5-9.7, the meeting continue for a further period of up to 30 minutes.

     

    Justin Martin, Head of Internal Audit, Finance & Investment, and Charlotte Bilsland, PwC; and Michael O’Reilly, Head of Counter Fraud, introduced this report which was an update from last year, and answered questions as follows:

    ·           Audit recommendations progress was significantly improved from previous years and stood at 56% as at December 2019.

    ·           Officers requested that managers be required to appear before the Corporate Committee for lack of progress on actions when requested, but all previous outstanding actions were now completed.

    ·           89% of the Internal Audit Plan had commenced and was ahead of schedule.

    ·           The Counter Fraud Plan was progressing, with some prosecutions outstanding and slow progress made on recoveries, but progress was expected to catch-up at year’s end.

    ·           Loughborough Estate would have a Lambeth-internal audit, pending their in-house version, as this work was not to the required standard, but could be utilised.

    ·           Officers would share the Loughborough Estate’s audit with Members.

    ·           Cottington Close concerned low-level funding and monitoring was via the Housing department. 

    ·           Tenancy Management Organisations’ (TMOs’) separation of duties made it difficult to audit to a similar level as Council functions.  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) controlled legislation over TMO’s management and organisation, although officers had tried to intervene through the MHCLG without success, but all TMOs were cyclically audited. 

    ·           Officers would report back by December/March on TMO audits and on help offered to Cotttington Close in future audit reports.

    ·           Associations that wanted to become TMOs took on a lot of autonomy, but did not have to follow their local authorities’ internal guidelines.  However they were still required to hold regular board meetings, resident ballots, and Lambeth expected them to provide sight of accounts; in most cases, full details were not provided and TMOs were not obliged to do so.

    ·           TMOs could be called to the Council on the basis of past audits to scrutinise responsibilities and how they were enacting duties or tasks, or offer support, via Finance and Housing teams, but the Council could not compel them to comply. 

    ·           The overall impact from TMOs was low risk, given their smaller size than historical examples. 

    ·           The Resident Services directorate had reviewed project delivery and management, and wanted to embed consultancy work prior to review.   This work would be commissioned via Management Board to another third party so that PwC was not auditing its own work.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To receive and consider the report which provides an update on matters relating to the Internal Audit and Counter Fraud service, its activities and outcomes.

     

     

     

10.

Assurance Mapping pdf icon PDF 242 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Fiona McDermott: Strategic Director for Finance &

    Investment

     

    Contact for enquiries: Justin Martin, Head of Internal Audit, Finance & Investment, 07881 802336, Justin.f.martin@pwc.com

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Justin Martin, Head of Internal Audit, Finance & Investment, and Charlotte Bilsland, PwC, answered questions as follows:

    ·           Officers were reviewing all assurance information across the Council, how this flowed into the Committee and other reporting bodies, and how assurance was analysed; and this report provided the results of this exercise. 

    ·           The four lines of assurance defence were detailed in the agenda pack (page 256).

    ·           The Council had numerous key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure control of processes.

    ·           Across 46 financial processes, only six had no active monitoring which represented a good position, and financial exposure was very small.  These gaps would be mitigated for next year’s report through Line 1 and 2 controls, and as improved technology enabled the position to become safer in future.

    ·           Officers would present this report on an annual basis in future years to inform future audit and assurance.

    ·           Lambeth had slightly different nuances from other local authorities, although the report was largely similar to what other authorities did and represented best practice.

    ·           The Chair noted that Mazars were in attendance, and in turn noted that the Statement of Accounts had been signed off.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         Members should note and consider the outcome of the assurance mapping exercise as the basis for informing the internal audit programme for 2020/21.