Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Mark Durnford  Email: 01225 394458


No. Item



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The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.




The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 5.


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The Chair drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.




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Councillor Lesley Mansell had sent her apologies to the Panel. Councillor Robin Moss was present as her substitute for the duration of the meeting.



At this point in the meeting declarations of interest are received from Members in any of the agenda items under consideration at the meeting. Members are asked to indicate:


(a) The agenda item number in which they have an interest to declare.

(b) The nature of their interest.

(c) Whether their interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other interest, (as defined in Part 4.4 Appendix B of the Code of Conduct and Rules for Registration of Interests)


Any Member who needs to clarify any matters relating to the declaration of interests is recommended to seek advice from the Council’s Monitoring Officeror a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.


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There were none.



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There was none.



Councillor Eleanor Jackson has registered to make a statement to the Panel.

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Councillor Eleanor Jackson addressed the Panel, a summary of her statement is set out below.


She informed them that Youth Connect South West were seeking an increase in their grant from Westfield Parish Council to provide services for the Westfield Youth Club. She added that she was also seeking to escalate a matter with Property Services on their behalf to enable them to establish a lease agreement for the Youth Centre in Radstock that they use.


She explained that a previous Liberal Democrat administration in 2014 had promised to carry out renovations on the premises and that she now wanted to attempt to progress this issue.


She said that she felt there was also a B&NES wide problem of parents parking their vehicles too near to schools and across the driveways of local residents. She said that she would welcome any plans for local walking to school programmes.


She stated that she was also concerned about the incoming parking charges within Radstock and the Somer Valley.


The Chair asked for the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services to respond to the matter relating to Property Services.


Councillor Robin Moss commented that the Corporate Scrutiny Panel were assessing the Council’s Commercial Estate and getting value for money from their premises, including support for use by the not-for-profit sector.


Councillor Liz Hardman asked how much local businesses will be affected by the new parking charges in Radstock & Midsomer Norton.


Councillor Jackson replied that she had been told that it was likely to have an adverse impact on a number of them and the Susan Hill School of Dance in particular.


The Chair suggested discussing the issue of walking routes to school with Councillor Jess David as she was aware that she had worked on a similar matter with Widcombe School.


Jeremy Palmer addressed the Panel and made a statement in support of Burlington Street Supported Housing and Detox. A copy of the statement will be appended to these minutes as an online appendix, a summary is set out below.


Before I found DHI, I spent a lifetime battling addiction to class-A drugs, struggling with alcohol problems, in and out of prison, and by the time I was released, I was homeless as well.


In 2012, I decided enough was enough. I was bailed on license after a three-year prison sentence, and I wanted to get clean. As part of my bail and license conditions, I had to engage with DHI’s criminal justice team, and the sessions I had there really turned my life around.


DHI helped me become more independent. After completing my detox, I moved into Barton Buildings, which DHI also ran. They provided drop-in visits to make sure I was doing well but gave me the freedom to ensure I was prepared for an independent future. I took cooking classes, started the HAP – or Home Achievement Programme – which significantly contributed to my long-term recovery and became ready to re-enter society as a new, better man and a productive  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.

Jeremy Palmer - Statement on behalf of the residents of Burlington St pdf icon PDF 39 KB

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Development of Draft Budget 2024/25 - Proposals within Public Consultation (relevant to the Panel remit) pdf icon PDF 358 KB

The Panel will be looking at the proposed savings and income proposals within its remit. The full Draft Budget Proposals 2024/2025 will be considered by the Corporate PDS Panel on 23rd January.

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Councillor Paul May, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services introduced this report to the Panel. He said that he had listened carefully to the statements that had been made and that the Council does value the work carried out by the 3rd sector.


He explained that the timing of any changes would be key and that the public consultation on these proposals closes today prior to further discussion at meetings of the Cabinet (8th February) and Council (20th February).


He stated that B&NES had, in his view, been given a poor local government settlement and that the Council is still required to provide a balanced budget.


He said that significant growth was planned across the services; £5.6m within Children’s Services and £2.3m within Adult Social Care.


He added that there is a proposal to use £200,000 from the ring-fenced Public Health Grant across other services providing Public Health activities.


He stated that £9.4m of Capital Schemes are being proposed across both Children and Adult Services with £4m outlined for a SEND Residential School and £5m service supported borrowing for further Supported Living for Adults.


Councillor Alison Born, Cabinet Member for Adult Services addressed the Panel. She said that she believed that the Council has a good track record for enabling savings to be made.


She stated that demand for services across the Council has increased substantially, particularly within Home to School Transport.


She explained that they had not yet had confirmation of the Public Health Grant, but that in previous years this had been around £10m.


She said that the proposed reduction in non-statutory spend was likely to impact our local 3rd sector partners and the area of housing support the most. She added that the Council values the work of the 3rd sector immensely and that it will listen and engage with those that are likely to be affected.


The Director of Children & Education addressed the Panel. She echoed the comments made by the Cabinet Members about a significant increase in demand for their services.


She explained that there has been a 30% increase in children and young people that have SEND and this has required a proposal for additional staff at a cost of £90,000.


She stated that continued pressure is being seen in the area of Home to School Transport and that due to increased demand in routes, inflation costs and a lack of suppliers they are seeking a further £1.76m within the budget.


She said that contractual inflation from our residential and specialist providers has resulted in a proposal for a further £941,000 in this regard.


She said that an increase in demand across Children in Care, Child Protection, Looked After Children, Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children and other service users has led to a proposal for an additional £2.786m.


She stated that the overall total growth within Children’s Services was expected to be £6.879m.


The Director of Adult Services addressed the Panel. She explained that the savings required across the service were £2.1m,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.


MINUTES: 11th December 2023 pdf icon PDF 158 KB

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Councillor Dave Harding referred to questions raised at previous meetings that he had not yet received a response to.


He asked about the Holiday Activity Programme that was held at the Chew Valley Rugby Club and asked how many young people had attended it.


He subsequently asked if any children had to pay to attend these sessions and if so, how many and what were the overall numbers of children who attended the Holiday Activity Programme sessions across the Council?


He had also asked if any information was available as to the gap in time between a young person beginning to provide care and them being formally identified as a Young Carer.


Councillor Liz Hardman asked if any response could be given to her question relating to the £90m savings required from the ICB and if the bank rate would be affected.


Laura Ambler, Director of Place, B&NES, BSW ICB replied that as mentioned previously this was a historical figure and there is an intention to bring a further report to the Panel regarding this and any implications. She added that colleagues within HR were assessing whether a standardised bank rate would be possible as this would have to be balanced with maintaining services.


Alex Beaumont informed the Panel that he had himself established the location of the Community Pharmacy in Keynsham and asked that more work be done to advertise this and other locations.


The Panel, with these comments in mind, confirmed the minutes of the previous meeting as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chair.


Cabinet Member Update

The Cabinet Member will update the Panel on any relevant issues. Panel members may ask questions on the update provided.


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Councillor Paul May, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services addressed the Panel, a summary of his update is set out below and will be attached as an online appendix to these minutes.


Home-to-School Transport


Education and Transport teams are drafting a new HTST policy. This policy is in response to the Department for Education's consultation on changes to the statutory Home to School Transport guidance issued by the DFE in 2014. In July this year, the DFE concluded this consultation and issued updated guidance for all local authorities. All LAs are expected to update their HTST policies per this guidance by September 2024.


As part of the development of the policy, we will go through a consultation process with parents and carers and our solicitors to examine our policy to ensure we comply with the new DFE guidance. I plan to ask officers to bring the draft policy to scrutiny in May 2024. We aim to implement the new policy in time for the new academic year in September 2024.


Corporate Parenting


A Corporate Parenting meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, the 17th of January. I reported to the last full Council that I am seeking protected status for care leavers (care experienced). At this meeting, I will discuss the reasons behind this recommendation and the need for a Council joint motion to promote and adopt this status. I have also spoken to Curo, seeking their similar support, though, of course, we will need the Council to adopt the proposal first.


Faulty concrete in schools (RACC)


So far, no RAAC has been identified in B&NES schools. However, the DFE have commissioned and instructed LAs and Trusts to conduct more intrusive RAAC examinations of school buildings. When findings of these reports become available, we will report anything that detrimentally affects education provision in B&NES.


DFE Safety Valve scheme


In previous Panel reports, you will have read about the DFE's Safety Valve programme and the work officers are doing to improve our placements and services for children with SEND. Whilst this programme has challenging expectations from the DFE, there are many positive developments that the programme will deliver. I will ask officers to bring a full report to scrutiny to bring a spotlight on this work.


Councillor Alex Beaumont asked if there was a timescale for the RACC examinations to be completed.


Councillor May replied that he would inform the Panel as soon as any new information had been obtained.


Councillor Joanna Wright asked why the decision was taken to stop accepting Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC) within B&NES.


Councillor May replied that the costs and performance of the service were being adversely affected. He added that during recent budget discussions it had become apparent that not all Councils within the South West were accepting their share of these young people.


The Director of Children & Education added that no formal request had been made to stop receiving referrals of UASC. She said that the Chief Executive had asked the Home Office for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.

Cllr May - Lead Member Report Jan 24 pdf icon PDF 48 KB

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The Panel will receive an update from the B&NES, Swindon & Wiltshire Integrated Care Board (BSW ICB) on current issues.

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A copy of the update will be attached as an online appendix to these minutes.


Councillor Liz Hardman said that she was pleased to read about the launch of the Paediatric Urgent Service Hub (PUSH) which will run until the end of March 2024, but asked how widely this had been publicised.


She also referred to the Women’s Health Hubs and asked how many would be within B&NES, where they were to be located and when would they be open.


Laura Ambler, Director of Place, B&NES, BSW ICB replied that the PUSH clinics have so far been very successful with over 200 children having been seen within them. She added that a significant campaign to advertise them had taken place and that they were willing to see what more could be done.


She stated that along with all other ICBs across England, BSW ICB has received over £600,000 in funding until 2025 to expand or establish a Women’s Health Hub that focuses on delivering more intermediate care in the community and that plans regarding this were at a relatively early stage.


She added that the Women’s Health Hub will be developed by partners across BSW including the NHS, public health teams, the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector and engagement with local people. She said that they will bring further information to the Panel when it is available.


Councillor Joanna Wright commented that an issue had been raised with her about women receiving health visitor support after giving birth. She asked if all mothers should expect to have this support offered to them whether it be their first child or a subsequent child.


The Director of Public Health & Prevention replied that she felt sure that all women would be offered the service of a health visitor regardless of it was their first child or not.


The text below has been supplied following the closure of the meeting.


  • In terms of service offer, all subsequent babies / children are offered the same visits and support from the Health Visiting service as their first baby/child.
  • Although families may be more confident in parenting subsequent children, each child is unique and will have their own needs which could require greater support from the service.
  • The parents/carers may choose to not access / decline reviews, but the service is always offered.


If a parent/carer has a question or is unhappy about the contact they receive from their Health Visitor, we’d encourage them to email into so that the HV professional lead can register the issue as a concern if appropriate, and then investigate and speak to the family involved and offer further support as needed.


Kevin Burnett asked if further information was available on the Hospital Improvement Programme (HIP).


Laura Ambler replied there was none at this present time, but would update the Panel when any does become available.


Kevin Burnett asked if it could be explained what was meant by the term in the report ‘restoring access to dental  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.

BSW ICB Report for Children Adults Health and Wellbeing Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel - January 2024 pdf icon PDF 295 KB

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Dental Services Provision pdf icon PDF 1 MB

The Panel will receive a presentation relating to this agenda item.

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Victoria Stanley, Programme Lead, BSW Community Pharmacy, Optometry and Dentistry introduced this item to the Panel. She began by referring to the point raised previously by Councillor Harding regarding dental extractions and said that she had made a request to be supplied that information and would share that with the Panel when it has been received.


She added that the advertising of the Community Pharmacies will be taking place and that a decision was taken not to do this over the Christmas / New Year period to avoid any potential uncertainty.


Councillor Liz Hardman asked what could be done in terms of the current capacity being insufficient to meet demand as only 60% of children and 33% of adults had seen a dentist within the last 12 months.


She added that she believed that issues relating to dental care were responsible for a substantial increase in hospital admissions for children.


Victoria Stanley replied that 39 dental contracts are commissioned across B&NES accounting for 213,032 Units of Dental Activity (UDA). She added that they were looking at plans to be able to utilise the flexible commissioning guidance and provide a service to those most in need; children, vulnerable people and looked after children.


She said that a conversation with one particular B&NES provider was due to take place very soon.


Kevin Burnett asked for an explanation for what the public can expect with regard to having access to dental care.


Victoria Stanley replied that the NHS measures access in terms of patient contacts and the utilisation of Units of Dental Activity. She added that each band of treatment equals a particular UDA. She said that they are working to try to increase the ability for the public to be able to access an NHS dentist and stated that as part of their current contracts they should be publicising when any such places do become available.


Kevin Burnett asked if the dental underspend mentioned within the report could be used to address these issues.


Victoria Stanley replied that this would be used to develop the flexible commissioning plans.


Kevin Burnett referred to page 33 of the agenda and asked if the complaints shown were to be expected and how are they addressed.


Victoria Stanley replied that this element had only transferred to the ICB in July 2023 and they did not have access to the previous data. She added that access to an NHS dentist was the main are of concern and that they were working alongside HealthWatch colleagues to gain an understanding of the feedback that is being given.


Councillor Joanna Wright asked what is meant by ‘All proper and necessary dental care and treatment’ within mandatory services and how can it be accessed if not in receipt of regular dental care.


Victoria Stanley replied that a dental triage service is available through calling 111.


Councillor Wright asked how many adults within B&NES had not received any recent dental care or were not registered with a dentist.


Victoria  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.


Schools Organisational Plan pdf icon PDF 103 KB

The School Organisation Plan 2023 – 2029 outlines the current level of mainstream and Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) school provision in the Authority and projected pupil numbers up to admissions in September 2023 for primary age and 2025 for secondary age pupils.

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Councillor Paul May, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services introduced the report to the Panel. He said that demand for places within Secondary and Primary education had reduced, but that there has been an increase identified within provision for children and young people with SEND.


The School Organisation Manager added that birth figures had currently levelled off within B&NES, but the need for additional SEND provision has increased.


Councillor Paul Crossley said that he was concerned over the lack of use of the former Culverhay site and believed that young people within its locality have a poor deal in terms of accessing educational provision close to their homes. He stated that potential educational land should not be sold unnecessarily.


Councillor May replied that a meeting had been held recently to discuss the site in terms of education and other purposes and what could be achieved if additional housing was put in place as part of the Local Plan.


The Director of Education added that they were looking to maintain some form of education provision from the site, but that additional Secondary and Primary places are not needed at this time.


He added that more vocational offers would be welcome within Bath for those pupils in Year 10 & 11 and that they are providing support to Bath College to attempt to find somewhere to achieve this.


Kevin Burnett asked if Academies or Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) were able to apply for additional buildings to be built or to increase their Planned Admission Number (PAN).


The School Organisation Manager replied that they are able to apply for funding to expand, but that this was rare at the current time. She added that they do work closely with all MATs and felt that they would share any such intentions with the Council.


Kevin Burnett asked if it was felt that sufficient provision would be in place if the additional SEND Free School, Alternative Provision and any initiatives through the Safety Valve programme come to fruition.


The Director of Education replied that he believed that a good level of sufficiency would be in place if all of those elements work out as planned.


Councillor Liz Hardman asked if the 203 children & young people with SEND that are placed out of county for their provision would be invited back into B&NES if new facilities were established.


The Director of Education replied that this would be the case for a number of them, but for others they would still need to access services out of area that could not be provided by us. He added it was possible that around 120 of these young people could be invited back for provision within B&NES and this could lead to cost savings.


Councillor Hardman referred to Paulton Infant School and its PAN of 90 and asked if pupil numbers were reducing in that area.


The School Organisation Manager replied that this was a bit of a challenge as numbers have decreased to an average of around  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.


Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 117 KB

This report presents the latest workplan for the Panel. Any suggestions for further items or amendments to the current programme will be logged and scheduled in consultation with the Panel’s Chair and supporting officers.


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The Chair introduced this item to the Panel. She said that through the course of the meeting they had identified the following items that could be considered to be added to their workplan.


·  Further dentistry update

·  Home to School Transport

·  Safety Valve programme

·  Covid – Deaths from hospital admissions

·  Modern Day Slavery