Agenda item

Cabinet Member Update

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



Councillor Rob Appleyard, Cabinet Member for Adult Services addressed the Panel, a summary of his update is set out below and will be attached as an online appendix to these minutes.


He commented that he recognised the growing need for further resources regarding Mental Health services.


He said that the Community Resource Centre and Extra Care facilities successfully transferred to the Council on the 1st October and that this had gone smoothly. He added that since transfer, Council teams have been working closely with the Services to support transition into the different ways of working and building key operational relationships. He said that the transition period was likely to continue throughout November in parallel with planning for and implementation of next phase of the project. He added that work is now in progress to look at the configuration of the Service in relation to local need.


He stated the new round of infection prevention and control funding is being managed by Council officers to ensure providers, including those in the voluntary and community sector have access. He added that the Council welcomes the second wave of this funding and the expansion of the scheme to support local provider.


He informed the Panel that a new Advocacy Provider had now started to operate in B&NES.  PoHWER (People of Hertfordshire Want Equal Rights) is a renowned national group.  He explained that they started out as two people with lived experience and have grown to be one the most respected advocacy providers in the country.  He added that the Council would like to extend our gratitude to the advocacy providers such as SWAN, YourSay and The Care Forum who provided the people of Bath and North East Somerset with an excellent service over the last 5 years or so.


Councillor Andy Wait asked if the funding received for infection control was enough.


Councillor Appleyard replied that they would always welcome more and that the funding would be targeted to where it is needed most.


Councillor Ruth Malloy asked if the funding would help to enable family members to visit relatives in Care Homes.


Councillor Appleyard replied that whilst mindful of the emotional effects, the care of individuals, staff and visitors was paramount. He said that in a recent video call with a resident that they were happy that measures were in place to keep everyone safe.


Councillor Kevin Guy, 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.


Covid-19 Update:

He informed the Panel that we have had cases in 12 individual schools in B&NES so far and that this number remains relatively low in comparison with national data. He added that the Local Authority Public Health team and LA Education staff have worked effectively to support schools when a case of CV19 has been confirmed in one of our schools.


He explained that whilst schools initially access support from a DFE helpline and Public Health England; all our schools are offered follow up support that provides detailed advice and help with communications. He said that feedback from schools indicates that they have appreciated this support.


He added that in addition to this, the LA is providing training to schools to help support pupil wellbeing. This support has started with virtual sessions from our CAMHS service and will continue with the rollout of the Education Wellbeing programme that will offer training and on-going support to all schools.


He said that following the Government’s decision to not fund Free School Meals during school holidays a crowdfunding project had raised £56,000 and work was ongoing with the St. John’s Trust to enable a scheme locally. He added that in addition to this the Council has decided to implement a voucher scheme from the holidays of Christmas 2020 to Easter 2021.


Councillor Paul May suggested that the Panel passes its view on their decision back to the Government.


Councillor Guy said that he welcomed the support of the Panel.


Councillor Liz Hardman said that the Labour Group has put a motion to Council on 12th November 2020 regarding Free School Meals. She asked if any liaison had taken place with schools yet.


Councillor Guy replied that officers were currently working on this matter and that details of the scheme were being drawn up.


The Chair asked that the Panel’s support of continuing Free School Meals within the holiday periods be passed back to the Government.


He also thanked the Cabinet Members for their updates on behalf of the Panel.