Agenda and draft 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 and Councillor Michelle O’Doherty had sent their apologies to the Panel. Councillor Robin Moss was present as a substitute for Councillor Mansell for the duration of the meeting.


Laura Ambler (BSW ICB) had sent her apologies to the Panel.



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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The Chair informed the meeting that Kevin Burnett had made the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and the Director of Education & Safeguarding aware of a statement from the Chair of the Multi Academy Trusts within the pre-meeting and that subsequent actions were anticipated to be taken.


The Chair explained that the Knife Crime Task Group had held meetings recently with the Public Health team and the Police and that further meetings were in the pipeline.



At the time of publication no notifications had been received.


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Councillor Joanna Wright addressed the Panel. She stated that she had received an email from a member of the public asking about the possibility of transferring the management of the Curo allotments to active local organisations to attempt to reduce the long waiting lists and therefore enable this provision to contribute to the wellbeing of adults and children within B&NES. She said that she was raising this matter with the Panel in the context of public health.


The Policy Development & Scrutiny Officer replied that the Local Food Growing Strategy Task Group were due to meet on 15th March and he could raise this with them on behalf of Councillor Wright. He added that he expected the Group’s report to be a public document by the May meeting of this Panel.


Councillor Robin Moss suggested that the member of the public could consider contacting Westfield Parish Council as they had successfully transferred responsibility for their allotments to the Westfield Allotments & Garden Society around ten years ago.


Councillor Wright asked whether the Panel could discuss at a future meeting the Local Plan and the potential loss of green spaces and how this will have an impact on public health.


The Policy Development & Scrutiny Officer replied that the Local Plan Options report was due to be discussed by the Climate Emergency PDS Panel on 21st March and that he was aware that comments had already been received on this matter and that he would brief the members of this point raised by Councillor Wright.


The Chair asked if the Public Health team could provide an update on this issue at the next meeting.


Councillor Wright asked for the matter of School Streets or the lack of them to be explored further to promote better public health.


The Policy Development & Scrutiny Officer replied that the Chair of this Panel and the Climate Emergency Panel were in discussions as to how this matter should be progressed.


MINUTES: 5th February 2024 pdf icon PDF 148 KB

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Councillor Dave Harding commented that he had referred to the loss of provision of dual-use leisure centre services at Chew Valley School and would like this to be added to the minutes of the meeting.


The Panel, with this amendment 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(s) 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. He offered to speak with Councillor Joanna Wright after the meeting to discuss the issue of School Streets which she had raised.


He said that he was pleased to hear that the DfE had made a decision regarding the Alternative Provision site and thanked the officers involved for their continued work on this matter. He added that this was linked to the Safety Valve project work and that he still intends to provide a detailed report on that to a future Panel meeting.


He highlighted the following areas from his update report.




The financial pressures still exist regarding the community sector, but any review will be carried out with them. The Children’s Services saving in addition to the committed saving of £1.3m was £300k around Early Help which is contrary to our requirement to invest in early intervention, so this means some careful work moving forward.


He said that the Cabinet Member for Resources had listened to the concerns raised by the Panel and has asked the Executive Director - Chief Operating Officer to work with the Cabinet Member for Adult Services and himself to provide fair and proper solutions, whilst also involving the Voluntary Sector in those discussions.


Care Experienced Young People


The next Council meeting will have an item on the agenda regarding the protected characteristics for Care Experienced Young People. He said that talks were ongoing between the political groups in order to agree the final wording.


Corporate Parenting


There is a reminder for the next Corporate Parent meeting going out to all members. This will be an early evening meeting in Bath. At this stage we are considering meetings going from daytime to early evening so young people can attend from school. We trialled working is small groups at the least meeting and will continue to do this in future. We are going to invite the national lead Mark Riddell later in the year to inspire new ways of working and commitment. He added that the Council is now separately judged on this area of work by Ofsted.


Community Summit


This was a comprehensive conference dedicated to exploring the critical issues surrounding children's well-being and poverty in our region, especially in the areas of mental health, education, justice and discrimination. This event was a call to action for academic researchers, educators, policymakers, community leaders, and concerned citizens to come together to share knowledge as well as professional, personal experiences to inform policies and practices towards a better future for the children in BANES.



Councillor Robin Moss commented that there was no issue with the principle of the Council item regarding the Care Experienced Young People, it was just a matter of firming up some of the wording. He asked what role B&NES played in the Community Summit and whether it had to input any resources.


Councillor Paul May replied that in terms of resources, to his knowledge, there was nothing additional provided by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 102.

Lead Member Report to CAHW March 24 pdf icon PDF 109 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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The Chair asked if the Panel had any comments or questions regarding the update that had been submitted and said that these would be passed onto the BSW ICB for a response.


Councillor Robin Moss referred to the Dental Recovery Plan and informed the Panel that he had recently heard that a Ukrainian refugee was unable to afford dental treatment in the UK and had therefore decided to travel to Poland instead to receive it. He stated that it was his view that this was a disgrace.


Kevin Burnett referred to Pharmacies and said that he was concerned about their role, how this has been communicated to the public and the need to retain key single points of contact so that patient information is recorded correctly.


He also asked if information could be shared with the Panel regarding the role of the SEND representative on the ICB.


The Director of Education & Safeguarding replied that across the BSW footprint the Directors of Children’s Services had all identified SEND as an area that should be given a priority and to collaborate on best practice.


Councillor Paul May commented that our representatives on the ICB should be seen as a positive.


The Chair asked if information could be provided on plans for joined up communications for differing parts of the health system to enable easier access to patient information.


Councillor Joanna Wright referred to the Dental Recovery Plan and asked what was meant by an underserved area and was B&NES deemed to be within one.


Councillor Dave Harding commented that a recent survey of 3,500 pharmacists had shown that almost half of them were concerned about having enough staff in place to deliver the Pharmacy First initiative. He asked how their safety and wellbeing would be monitored within B&NES.


The Chair added by asking how can more staff be found to support this initiative.


Councillor Liz Hardman said that she believed that a major communications exercise was required to make the public aware of this initiative. She added that she would like to know what measures have been put in place for members of the public who might not have access to using a device with apps with regard to the Prescription Ordering Direct service.


Councillor Ruth Malloy commented that she would welcome receiving further information from the RUH on their five-year sustainable travel strategy and suggested that the Climate Emergency PDS Panel should also be informed of this work.


The Chair thanked the Panel for their observations and questions and said that they would be shared with the BSW ICB for their response.





BSW ICB Report for Children Adults Health and Wellbeing Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel - March 2024 pdf icon PDF 459 KB

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Education Performance Update pdf icon PDF 110 KB

This report provides the Panel with an overview of early-years & school education performance in the academic year 2022-23, including information on school attendance and exclusions.

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Councillor Paul May, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services introduced the report to the Panel. He wished to draw their attention to two specific areas of results, Free School Meals and Key Stage 2, and the fact that B&NES was now seen as the worst in the country in these areas.


He said that it should be acknowledged that the overall performance of all schools is superb, but that this was an issue that we recognise that we continue to need to work on.


He stated that he welcomed the support that had been received from the St. John’s Foundation and that talks with the MATs and the Schools Standards Board were due to take place. He added that the DfE have developed an Area Plan in an attempt to promote greater engagement.


The Director for Education & Safeguarding addressed the Panel and said that it was important to understand the context of the education arrangements within B&NES and the role that the Local Authority can play now that 97% of our schools are academies.


He said that the Council still has a pivotal role to play and that officers would be taking part in the meeting with the Schools Standards Board tomorrow to discuss the DfE Area Plan. He added that their role was also to influence, challenge and support.


He encouraged Panel members to view the Strategic Evidence Base highlighted within the report to gain a further understanding of the demographic information.


He explained that officers from the Early Years team and Public Health were also present to help with any responses to questions.


He referred to the academic results for 2022/23 and said that they were broadly fantastic with only the Key Stage 2 results dropping below the national average. He added that results in Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 in terms of attainment and grades achieved were to be commended.


He stated that the quality of schools within B&NES was good and that this was reflected in the Ofsted ratings that have been achieved. He highlighted the following areas from the report to the Panel.


Early Years Foundation Stage


·  71% of children had a good level of development in B&NES. This is higher than both the South West (68%) and England (67%) values.


·  69% of children in B&NES were at the expected level for all 17 Early Learning Goals, higher than both the South West (67%) and England (66%) values.


Key Stage 1


·  63% of pupils in B&NES met the expected standard in Writing, higher than the South West (59%) and England (60%).


·  71% of pupils in B&NES met the expected standard in Reading, higher than the South West and England (both 68%).


·  74% of pupils in B&NES met the expected standard in Maths, higher than the South West (71%) and England (70%).


·  82% of pupils in B&NES met the expected standard in Science, higher than the South West (81%) and England (79%).


Key Stage 2


·  58%  ...  view the full minutes text for item 104.


Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCPs) Overview pdf icon PDF 88 KB

This report provides the Panel with an overview of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) in B&NES.


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Councillor Paul May introduced this item to the Panel and stated that the increase in demand for Education, Health & Care Plans over recent years had grown so much. He added that he did feel that they were now turning the corner and making progress in the time taken to carry out assessments and the increase in issued plans.


The Chair asked if it could be explained what has been done so far to enable these initial improvements to have occurred.


The Head of SEND replied that the number of SEND practitioners had been increased to be able to analyse requests for an assessment. She added that there is also now a robust improvement plan in place, looking at six key areas to improve, alongside ongoing changes to our systems to benefit the public and officers.


She said that the turnover of SENCOs within schools was high and that where possible these roles need to be retained.


Councillor Liz Hardman asked why 24% of assessment requests were denied.


The Head of SEND replied that the applications are put before a multi-agency panel to establish whether (i) the child has SEND and (ii) whether their needs are above the level of what the school can normally provide. She added that they need to see a robust record of the offer of what the school can do.


She said that if provision can be achieved from school resources that should occur without an EHCP.


Councillor Hardman asked if since the budget discussions, had there been any changes to the numbers of children (204) with complex needs who were in receipt of out of county provision.


The Head of SEND replied that far too many young people still do travel out of area for provision and that they were putting in place Resource Spaces within mainstream schools to assist with keeping pupils connected with their local community.


She added that they were working with the DfE to move forward with new SEND, AP and residential provision. She said that discussions will take place with schools as to whether their Planned Admission Number (PAN) can be increased, and they were also working collaboratively with other Local Authorities in terms of placements.


Kevin Burnett asked what support is offered if a needs assessment is turned down.


The Head of SEND replied that Senior Inclusion Officers would offer to hold a ‘way forward meeting’ with the parents / carers and the school to establish what can be done for the child in question. She added that the SEND / AP Advice Service will also play a key role in this process.


Kevin Burnett asked if the SEND / AP Advice Service replaces what has been removed in terms of support services to schools.


The Head of SEND replied that it did not and that its role was to signpost what services are available and be a place for where schools can go to find support.


Kevin Burnett asked if there was enough provision in place  ...  view the full minutes text for item 105.


Sufficiency Statement - Children Looked After, Placements pdf icon PDF 93 KB

The report sets out what B&NES has purchased for our Children Looked After and the needs in the coming years.  


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The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services introduced the report and said that it was important that the Council attempts to improve the lives of all children and young people, especially those within its care.


The Senior Commissioning Manager for Complex Care & Targeted Support addressed the Panel and gave a presentation, a summary of which is set out below.


The Sufficiency Duty: Requires Local Authorities to have ‘sufficient’ accommodation in terms of the number of beds provided, to secure a range of accommodation through several providers and have accommodation that meets the needs of its Children Looked After.


Pressures in the marketplace


  • Increased overall numbers of children in care locally, regionally and nationally which adds pressure.
  • Decrease in the number of fostering households.
  • ‘Staying Put’ legislation, allowing young people to stay in their foster placements until the age of 24.
  • UASC children, who are predominately 16 -17year-old males.




  • Foster placements in central Bath and within a reasonable travelling distance of B&NES schools.
  • Foster placements for children aged 14 – 17 years with complex and challenging needs, including mental health and self-harm.
  • Residential step-down placements
  • Residential children’s homes closer to B&NES
  • Appropriate placements for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC)
  • Solo/specialist foster and residential placements for our most complex children.
  • Parent and baby foster placements




Number of Children Looked After as at 31st March.

·  2017: 163

·  2023: 231


Number of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking children as at 31st March.

·  2018/19: 8

·  2022/23: 43


Number of Children Placed with Independent Foster Agencies (IFA’s) (Annual total).

·  2016/17: 90

·  2022/23: 105


Number of Children Placed in Residential Children’s Homes (Annual total).

·  2016/17: 4

·  2022/23: 31


Number of Children Placed in 16+ Accommodation and Support (Annual total).

·  2016/17: 8

·  2022/23: 14


16 + Accommodation and Support: This type of placement involves support and accommodation, but no care element.  Care entails ‘doing for’ rather than supporting.  e.g. cooking and administering medication.  This is a significantly different type of support from residential children’s homes.  Support can range from a few hours a week to 24/7; fees can therefore vary dramatically. This has been unregulated until very recently.


Moving Forward


·  Continue to provide a core service in supporting social care teams; searching for placements, appraising offers made, negotiating costs and monitoring contracts.

·  Tendering for new 16+ accommodation and support DPS

·  Continue to chair the Southwest Children’s Services ‘Placements, Contracts and Commissioning Group’ to increase our range of placements from external providers and opportunities to develop the provider markets.

·  Work with South West Sufficiency Project

·  Work with Regional Care Co-operatives to improve sufficiency if selected.


Councillor Robin Moss said that he had seen the pressures involved in this work area from taking part in the Council’s Fostering Panel. He added that the Council needs to look at the offer it is providing for foster caring families in comparison to its neighbouring Local Authorities as well as the private sector providers.


The Senior Commissioning Manager for Complex Care & Targeted Support replied that Independent Fostering Agencies began working in the market  ...  view the full minutes text for item 106.


Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 108 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. Following a brief discussion, the items below were identified as potential reports to be added to their workplan.


  Accommodation for Care Experienced Young People / Responsibility for Care Leavers / Reasons for the reduction in Foster Carers

  Under 5s Health Study

  Homelessness Health Update

  Dentistry Update

  Community Resource Centres – Implementation of Cabinet decisions

  Refugee Support Update / Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC)

  Safety Valve

  SEND Home to School Transport Consultation

  SACRE Annual Report

  Connecting Families

  St. John’s Foundation