Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board (Children and Families) - Wednesday, 8th March, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Contact: Angela Brogden (0113 37 88661)  Email:

Link: to View Meeting Recording

No. Item


Mr E A Britten - Church Representative (Catholic)

Mr A Graham – Church Representative (Church of England)

Ms J Ward – Parent Governor Representative (Secondary)



Mr N Tones – School Staff Representative

Mrs K Blacker


Appeals Against Refusal of Inspection of Documents

To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 25* of the Access to Information Procedure Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded).


(* In accordance with Procedure Rule 25, notice of an appeal must be received in writing by the Head of Governance Services at least 24 hours before the meeting).


There were no appeals against refusal of inspection of documents.



Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of the Press and Public

1.  To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.


2.  To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.


3.  If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-


RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:


No exempt items have been identified.


There was no exempt information.



Late Items

To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration.


(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes.)


The Chair highlighted that a request had been made by Councillor Stephenson for a late item of business to be added to the agenda for today’s meeting.


RESOLVED: To note that the request for an additional late item of business to be added to the agenda had been declined by the Chair. 



Declaration of Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.


There were no declarations of interest.



Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.


The Board received the following apologies and notification of substitutes.


Councillor Bithell (Cllr J Lennox attending as substitute)

Councillor Ragan (Cllr Tudor attending as a substitute)

Councillor Richards (Cllr Amanda Carter attending as substitute)

Councillor Senior

Councillor Howley

Councillor Forsaith

Helen Bellamy- Co-opted School Staff Representative



Minutes - 25 January 2023 pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 25 January 2023


The Board noted that the minutes had incorrectly referenced Kate Blacker as a parent governor co-opted member, which had been her previous role, and therefore needed to be amended.



That subject to the amendment outlined above, the minutes of the meeting held on 25th January 2023 be agreed as an accurate record.


Matters arising


Minute No. 57 - Initial Budget Proposals for 2023/24


The Chair confirmed that the Board’s deliberations on the relevant budget savings proposals did inform a composite report from Scrutiny which was acknowledged by the Executive Board during its meeting held on 8th February 2023 and also formed part of the agenda papers for consideration at Full Council on 22nd February 2023.



Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership - Update pdf icon PDF 332 KB

To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services which provides an update on recent Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) activity. This includes progress following the review of the notification process commissioned by the LSCP Executive and key cross cutting themes identified through LSCP review processes including: rapid reviews, child safeguarding practice reviews, local review processes and auditing work.

Additional documents:


The Board received the report from the Head of Democratic Services which presented updates on recent Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) activity.


The following were in attendance for this item:


·  Councillor Fiona Venner, Executive Member for Adult and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships

·  Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Executive Member for Economy, Culture and Education

·  Julie Longworth, Director of Children and Families

·  Ruth Terry, Chief Officer for Social Work

·  Farrah Khan, Chief Officer Family Help

·  Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, Independent Chair of the Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership

·  Chief Superintendent Steve Dodds, West Yorkshire Police District Commander for Leeds

·  Karen Shinn, Business Manager of Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership

·  Phil Coneron, Manager of Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership

·  Rebecca Roberts, Section Head of Social Care Legal and legal adviser to the Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership

·  Gill Marchant – Head of Safeguarding / Designated Nurse Safeguarding, Children and Adults, Leeds Health and Care Partnership


The Chair explained that the meeting was being dedicated to the important issue of safeguarding children and follows the work that was undertaken by the Scrutiny Board last year. It was noted that the LSCP Executive had provided three separate update reports as follows:


·  Appendix 1 – Report of the Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership Executive on the LSCP Notifications Process

·  Appendix 2 – Report of the Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership Executive on Cross Cutting Themes from Review Processes

·  Appendix 3 – LSCP Annual Report Overview


The Chair highlighted that the date of the LSCP report at Appendix 1 had been entered incorrectly and should read 8th March 2023.


It was agreed that the Board would consider each of the reports in turn.


LSCP Notification Process

The Independent Chair of the LSCP introduced the update report set out in Appendix 1 and highlighted the following key points:


Ø  The Board was reminded of the background context that led the LSCP Executive to undertake a review of its notification process and decision making in relation to Serious Child Safeguarding Incidents (SCSI).

Ø  It was acknowledged that the current legal framework places a duty on the Local Authority to consider and decide whether a case meets the criteria for notification to the National Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, even if there are differences of opinion amongst partners. However, it was highlighted that the review of the notification process has now led to an enhanced process of open, honest and robust discussions amongst all partners, along with appropriate challenge, and resulted in a more equitable approach to decision-making.

Ø  In addition to the area of decision-making, it was noted that the review had identified further areas of learning and enhancements, particularly around enhancing the dissemination of learning and monitoring the implementation and monitoring from all local learning.  Linked to this, it was highlighted that a work plan is being developed and will be implemented and monitored through the Leeds Children and Young People Partnership.

Ø  Reference was also made to the anticipated update of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 Guidance and the benefits of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.


Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2022/23 municipal year.

Additional documents:


The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report that presented the Board’s latest work schedule for the forthcoming municipal year.


The Principal Scrutiny Adviser made specific reference to the proposal that the Board defers receiving an update report on the Youth Justice Plan and the Future In Mind Strategy until the new municipal year, with the specific reasons set out in paragraph 6 of the report.



a.  That the work schedule, as presented, be agreed

b.  That update reports on the Youth Justice Plan and the Future in Mind Strategy be deferred to the new municipal year.



Date and Time of Next Meeting

Wednesday, 29th March 2023 at 10.00 am (pre-meeting for all Board Members at 9.45 am)



Wednesday, 29th March 2023 at 10.00 am (pre-meeting for Board Members at 9.45 am).