To receive a report from the Director of Children and Families which presents an overview of the planned refresh process relating to the Children and Young People’s Plan and invites the Scrutiny Board to review the existing plan and discuss areas that may be changed during the current refresh process.
The Director of Children and Families submitted a report which provided an overview of the planned refresh process linked to the Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP), which is the shared vision for everyone working with children and young people in Leeds.
In introducing the item, the Chair welcomed this opportunity for the Scrutiny Board to review the existing plan and to discuss areas that may be changed in the early planning stages of the refresh process.
The following were in attendance for this item:
· Councillor Fiona Venner, Executive Member for Adult and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships
· Julie Longworth, Deputy Director of Children and Families
· Shaheen Myers, Deputy Director of Learning
· Ruth Terry, Chief Officer for Social Work
· Chris Hudson, Policy, Planning and Procedures Leader
· Hannah Lamplugh, Voice and Influence Lead
The Planning and Procedures Leader gave a brief introduction to the report, primarily setting out the timetable for the refresh process. The Voice and Influence Lead then gave an overview of the consultation work that was undertaken with children and young people to refresh the 12 Wishes (a copy of the refreshed 12 Wishes was circulated to Board Members for information) and highlighted the intention of ensuring that these are reflected as part of the refresh of the CYPP.
The following issues were raised during the Board’s discussion:
Ø Transport – The Board felt that transport should remain a priority within the CYPP in recognition that transport issues would have an impact on delivering on a number of the 12 Wishes. Linked to this, particular reference was made to cost of bus travel and while acknowledging that bus companies are offering concessions to young people through the new Fair Deal scheme, it was highlighted that this concessionary price was only accessible using a digital App. Those unable to access this App would therefore be disadvantaged. Linked to this, the Chair agreed to write to the West Yorkshire Mayor to share the views of the Scrutiny Board on this issue.
Ø Mentoring opportunities with local businesses – The Board encouraged stronger links with local businesses to explore mentoring opportunities, particularly linked to the Wish around young people accessing a wide range of work experience opportunities.
Ø Including a focus around travel – It was recognised that by encouraging active travel opportunities, particularly in relation to traveling to and from school, then this would have a positive impact on protecting the environment as well as improving mental health and emotional well-being, which are already key priority areas identified by young people.
Ø Recognising the importance of play - The Board supported the inclusion of both creative and construction play as a priority within the refreshed CYPP and felt that the value of play also needs to receive greater recognition by regulators such as Ofsted.
Ø Opportunities to enable different cultural experiences – The Board recognised the valuable opportunity available through the Leeds 2023 year of culture to enable children, young people and their families to access different cultural experiences.
Ø The use of meaningful language – As well as reflecting the need for children and young people to feel safe, a suggestion was made for the words ‘nurtured’ and ‘loved’ to also be reflected into the refreshed CYPP linked to being a compassionate city.
Ø Ownership of the CYPP across all directorates – linked to the Board’s earlier inquiry work around Child Friendly Leeds, the Board emphasised the importance of all directorates having ownership of the CYPP in terms of successful delivery.
Ø Working with other Scrutiny Boards – The Board acknowledged the importance of other scrutiny boards having access to views raised by children and young people to inform the areas within their remits too.
Ø Consultation process and online questionnaire – The Board emphasised the importance of ensuring that a wide range of views are gathered by children, young people and their families, with particular efforts made in targeting particularly hard to reach groups. Members also recognised the importance of using meaningful language as part of the consultation process.
In conclusion, the Chair thanked everyone for their contributions and requested that the Board is given the opportunity to consider the consultation questions in advance of the consultation being launched, and to also consider the consultation feedback and draft Plan prior to approval.
(a) That the report and comments raised by the Board be noted.
(b) That the Chair writes to the West Yorkshire Mayor to relay the views of the Scrutiny Board in relation to the Fair Deal scheme for young people travelling by bus.
(c) That the Board is given an opportunity to consider the consultation questions in advance of the consultation being launched, and to also consider the consultation feedback and draft Plan prior to approval.