Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board (Children and Families)
Wednesday, 6th March, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Contact: Angela Brogden (0113 37 88661)  Email:

No. Item



Mr E A Britten – Church Representative (Catholic)

Mr A Graham – Church Representative (Church of England)

Mrs K Blacker – Parent Governor Representative (Primary)

Ms J Ward – Parent Governor Representative (Secondary)




Ms C Foote – Teacher Representative

Ms H Bellamy – Teacher Representative

Mrs A Kearsley – Early Years Representative

Ms C Hopkins – Young Lives Leeds

Ms D Reilly – Looked After Children and Care Leavers



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.




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 were no exempt items.




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.)


There were no late items.




Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any disclosable pecuniary interests for the purposes of Section 31 of the Localism Act 2011 and paragraphs 13-16 of the Members’ Code of Conduct.


There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests.




Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.


Apologies were received from Councillors Kidger, Renshaw and Stephenson. Councillors Harrington and Brooks were in attendance as substitutes.




Minutes - 23rd January 2019 pdf icon PDF 325 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 23rd January 2019.


In consideration of the minutes, reference was made to Minute 64 and the Board’s discussion surrounding Special Guardianship Orders. It was noted that references made to the large legal costs associated with such Orders was made in the broader sense and not solely as a direct comparative with kinship caring arrangements. Following the meeting, the audio recording was checked and verified the point raised as above.


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 23rd January 2019 be approved as a correct record of the meeting.




Scrutiny Inquiry - Is Leeds a Child Friendly City? pdf icon PDF 238 KB

To consider key background information and supporting evidence from the Director of Children and Families linked to the third session of the Scrutiny Board’s Inquiry and agreed thematic approach based around the five Children and Young People’s Plan Outcomes.

Additional documents:


The Director of Children and Families submitted a report including key background information and supporting evidence linked to the third session of the Scrutiny Board’s Inquiry and agreed thematic approach based around the five Children and Young People’s Plan Outcomes.


The following were in attendance:


-  Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Executive Member for Children and Families

-  Steve Walker, Director of Children and Families

-  Ian Cameron, Director of Public Health

-  Janice Burberry, Head of Public Health, Children and Families

-  Heather Thomson, Head of Public Health (Healthy lifestyles)

-  Michelle Kane, Public Health Principal, Children and Families

-  Saira Mumtaz-Jones, Health and Wellbeing Lead, Children and Families

-  Hannah Lamplugh, Voice Influence and Change Lead, Children and Families

-  Kerry Swift, Health Improvement Specialist, Public Health


The Chair informed Members that the information would be discussed based on two main themes:


1)  Children and young people are safe from harm

2)  Children and young people enjoy healthy lifestyles


Children and young people are safe from harm


The Director of Children and Families introduced this theme, noting the need for the two clearly defined and measurable indicators set out in the report, to provide focus.


Members discussed a number of matters, including:


·  The child’s perspective. Members were keen to understand how the child’s point of view was integrated into strategies and intervention to support families. The Board heard that all forms of intervention use a restorative approach, working with children, rather than to or for. Additionally, in Family Group Conferences (FGCs) where the child is unable to be present, their views are contributed by the coordinator to ensure that their voice is heard.

·  Children’s Centres. Members sought clarity on the role of Children’s Centres in reducing the amount of looked after children, and were informed that 75% of looked after children are removed before the age of 5, which reinforces the role of early help through parenting support at Children’s Centres.

·  Time limit for care proceedings. Members sought clarity in regards to the value of the recently introduced 26 week time limit for care proceedings to take place. Members heard that this change was driven by research that evidenced a delay in outcomes, and the subsequent detrimental effect. However, research also suggested that the time limit can impede kinship care arrangements from coming to fruition later in the process. In Leeds, this was not felt to be an issue due to the inclusion of the wider extended family through FGCs taking place prior to the beginning of care proceedings.

·  Mental health. Concern was expressed regarding the growing need for child mental health services through the Cluster Partnerships, and the lack of resource available, leading to shorter and less thorough interventions. Additionally, as a result of the lengthy waiting lists and high criteria for CAMHS, Members reported that many children were not guaranteed to receive the support they need. Linked to this, it was noted that this year the Leeds Youth Council had also identified mental health provision as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.


Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2018/19 municipal year.

Additional documents:


The Head of Governance and Scrutiny Support submitted a report which invited Members to consider the Board’s Work Schedule for the remainder of the current municipal year.


The Board was particularly reminded of the forthcoming Youth Voice Summit Event on 13th March 2019 from 5pm.


The Principal Scrutiny Advisor also highlighted that whilst the work schedule indicated there would be an extraordinary meeting scheduled in May to finalise the Board’s Inquiry report, it was noted that an alternative option open to the Board was to finalise the report by email correspondence to Board Members and formally bring the report to the Board’s initial meeting in the new municipal year. The Chair recommended that the Board makes its decision during its April meeting.


RESOLVED – That the work schedule be approved.




Date and Time of Next Meeting

Wednesday, 24th April 2019 at 10.00 am (pre-meeting for all Board Members at 9.45 am)


Wednesday, 24th April 2019 at 10.00 am (pre-meeting for all Board Members at 9.45 am)


The meeting ended at 12:55pm.