Agenda item

B&NES Community Safety & Safeguarding Partnership Annual Report

The B&NES Community Safety & Safeguarding Partnership (BCSSP) would like to set out the Annual Safeguarding Report for 2019-2020.


Sian Walker-McAllister, B&NES CSSP Independent Chair introduced this report to the Panel.


She explained that in June 2018, the government announced that all local authorities would need to make arrangements to replace their Local Safeguarding Children Board by September 2019. The government wanted each locality to have access to a team of Safeguarding Partners, who work collaboratively to strengthen the child protection and safeguarding system. The government specified that these Safeguarding Partners would be a team of key professionals from three sectors: the local authority, the Clinical Commissioning Group, and the Police.


In response to this, B&NES redefined its safeguarding arrangements to take a

holistic approach and combined its responsibilities for community safety and

safeguarding children and adults. B&NES replaced the Local Safeguarding

Children’s Board (LSCB), Local Safeguarding Adult’s Board (LSAB) and Responsible Authorities Group (RAG) with the B&NES Community Safety and Safeguarding Partnership (BCSSP), which meets the statutory requirements of the three Boards it replaced.


She stated that the Annual Report covers the transitional period as the BCSSP became operational in September 2019, up until that point the report only reflects on the work of the LSCB and LSAB.


She said that the Strategic Plans for the LSAB, LSCB and RAG run through to 2021 and their priorities have been taken up by the BCSSP as they are still relevant to mitigating risk and providing assurance. The delivery mechanisms have altered to align with the new BCSSP governance structure.


All members of the BCSSP have worked extremely hard to establish the groups and sub-groups within the partnership and transition from the previous three boards as smoothly as possible to reduce impacting on delivery. There have been complexities in this process, but as shown in the report, there have been substantial achievements and the dynamic of the Partnership has been positive.


She informed the Panel that Healthwatch had been consulted on the report and had given their approval to it. She added that the report had already been presented to the Health & Wellbeing Board.


She stated that the report details the achievements, plans and priorities of the Partnership and the work carried out by its Sub-Groups and partners.


Councillor Liz Hardman asked what the strengths and weaknesses of the new arrangements are and is the new way of working better at safeguarding children and adults in our area.


Sian Walker-McAllister replied that she felt that the new arrangements have led to a better dialogue between all agencies and had enabled the ‘Think Family’ approach to be at the forefront of everyone’s work. She added that the arrangements have highlighted that particular focus should be given to children in need and their transition into adulthood.


She acknowledged that the Partnership has a large agenda to cover and that the intention is to hone down the strategic plans to enable a better use of time for all partners.


Councillor Andy Wait, referring to the chart on page 24 of the report, commented that a substantial number of years are covered by the age range 18-64 and that he would like to see these figures broken down if possible.


Sian Walker-McAllister replied that this range is normally used as it covers adults of a working age. She said that she would look at how the range can be broken down for future reports with a particular reference to mental health.


The Director of Adult Social Care, Complex and Specialist Commissioning added that the format of the report is standard and that they could look to provide additional information on a local level.


Kevin Burnett asked if any of the Sub-Groups of the Partnership were involved with the work of Operation Encompass.


Sian Walker-McAllister replied that the Domestic Abuse Sub-Group was.


Kevin Burnett asked if the Partnership had worked on the issue of Food Poverty.


Sian Walker-McAllister replied that the Early Help Sub-Group had been involved on this issue and had worked on highlighting appropriate resources to those that need them.


Kevin Burnett asked if there was guidance within schools on how to escalate Child Protection concerns.


Sian Walker-McAllister replied that the Escalation Protocol was currently under review. She added that this had been raised at a recent meeting of the Child Protection Forum and that good feedback had been received from the Forum regarding the officers that addressed them. She said that following the review she anticipated that a much smoother process would follow.


Kevin Burnett asked if further comment could be given regarding Case Reviews and the matter of what to do when services are offered but not accepted.


Sian Walker-McAllister replied that this is an issue that cuts across both Children and Adults. She said that the Partnership were looking at ways of approaching families and whether use of the Mental Capacity Act should be considered. She added that this work will continue over the coming year.


Councillor Paul May asked why the funding received from the Police was of a lower level.


Sian Walker-McAllister replied that as a rule across Partnerships the Police do not input as much funding. She added that there was an underspend of their budget currently and that they were looking to generate more income where possible through training.


Councillor Paul May asked if the Partnership had to deal with any cross-boundary issues.


Sian Walker-McAllister replied that the Partnership has recognised links with both Swindon and Wiltshire and that she has a good relationship with all the Local Authority Directors for Children & Adult Services.


Councillor Jess David asked what the role of the B&NES Hate Crime Review Panel was.


Sian Walker-McAllister replied that the Panel is chaired by B&NES Council Community Safety Team and its role is to work on how incidents can be prevented and to look at incidents that have occurred. She added that SARI (Stand Against Racism & Inequality) addressed the recent Child Protection Forum and that they work closely with schools. She said it was important to report incidents if observed.


The Chairman asked how plans for training were progressing in the current climate.


Sian Walker-McAllister replied that income had been lost due to training being delivered virtually, but that resources had been targeted to where they were most appropriately required. She added that she expected training and income from it to pick up over the next year.


Councillor Paul May asked how we can ensure that the voice of the child is heard within schools.


Sian Walker-McAllister replied that this was absolutely crucial to the role of the Partnership and would be a focus point for the report next year.


Councillor Kevin Guy asked if there was a particular area of work that she would like the Panel to shine a light on.


Sian Walker-McAllister replied that she would give that proposition some thought and reply in due course.


Councillor Ruth Malloy commented on the very important work of two groups mentioned within the report - ‘Got Ya Back’ river safety campaign with

partners and students and the #NeverOK Campaign promoted in schools and colleges which conducted a survey on bullying. She asked if schools were also involved in the Got Ya Back campaign.


Sian Walker-McAllister replied that the local universities and colleges were and that it was a credit to have them involved. She added that she would reply in writing with more detail on this issue.


The Panel RESOLVED to note and endorse the Annual Report and Executive Summary for the BCSSP.

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