Agenda and minutes

Adults and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 23 January 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Sparkenhoe Committee Room, County Hall, Glenfield. View directions

Contact: Mrs. A. Smith (0116 305 2583)  Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 137 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 7 November 2022 were taken as read, confirmed and signed.


Question Time.


The Chief Executive reported that no questions had been received under Standing Order 34.


Questions asked by members under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).


The Chief Executive reported that no questions had been received under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).


To advise of any other items which the Chairman has decided to take as urgent elsewhere on the agenda.


There were no urgent items for consideration.


The Chairman stated he would make an announcement at the end of the meeting regarding the Reid and Sigrist (R S) Desford plane.


Declarations of interest in respect of items on the agenda.


The Chairman invited members who wished to do so to declare any interest in respect of items on the agenda for the meeting.


No declarations were made.


Declarations of the Party Whip in accordance with Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 16.


There were no declarations of the party whip.


Presentation of Petitions under Standing Order 35.


The Chief Executive reported that no petitions had been received under Standing Order 35.


Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023/24 - 2026/27. pdf icon PDF 610 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a joint report of the Director of Adults and Communities and Director of Corporate Resources which provided information on the proposed 2023/24 to 2026/27 Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) as it related to the Adults and Communities Department. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 8’ is filed with these minutes.


The Chairman welcomed Mrs. C. M. Radford, Cabinet Lead Member to the meeting for this item.


In introducing the report, the Director advised Members the report outlined the strategic priorities and how they related to growth requirements of the Department moving forward over the next twelve months, and detailed savings and efficiencies put forward as part of the MTFS round.


The Director continued that in general terms the Council remained, as did most councils, in a difficult position in terms of the funding of social care, which had over the past two years become heightened in terms of increased demand post pandemic and added pressure to the budget.


Arising from the comments and questions raised, the Committee was advised as follows:


Service Transformation


Members noted the information provided at paragraphs five to nine in the report and made no comment.


Proposed Revenue Budget


(i)        The table at paragraph 10 in the report provided information as to the starting point for the budget 2023/24 for the Department, which showed a proposed net budget of £186million.


(ii)       Members were asked to note that the revenue budget had been compiled on the basis of no pay or price inflation. A contingency for pay and inflation was held centrally and allocated in year when the position became clearer. Therefore, the growth highlighted was only for demographic, service pressure growth and some in-year price increases. It was noted the budget transfer and adjustment for 2022/23 was £15.2million, which included £10million for price inflation. It was explained that the Council used the contingency approach, as to put a notional flat percentage rate across all departments would be difficult due to the different levels of staffing and salaries. Members were advised to focus on the year 2023/24 and that the following three-year proposed budgets were for information and indicative at this point in time.


(iii)      The table at paragraph 12 outlined net budget breakdown in broad terms, with 87% of the budget going directly into services commissioned for local residents. Members requested a glossary of terms describing the different services be developed as a living document for Members, to be updated on a regular basis and to be attached to the agenda for each meeting.


(iv)     It was noted that the Better Care Fund (BCF) had been scrutinised and agreed by the Health and Wellbeing Board.




(v)      Members queried the large increases in growth figures over the four years and asked how the increase was calculated. It was reported that this was based on the number of people receiving a service in November of the year and the cost of providing the service. That figure was then extrapolated forwarded using national models ‘POPPI’ and ‘PANSI’ (one for older adults and one for younger adults working age) which provided an estimated figure over a four-year period. It was, however, noted the figure was subject to change based on differing circumstances, such as people leaving long term care, or people developing a long-term illness as well as changes to costs arising from wage and contract settlements.


(vi)     It was difficult to predict how many people would develop mental health conditions or physical disabilities, therefore forecast was based on previous years’ figures. The Department was confident about the forecast for the next  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.


National Performance Benchmarking 2021/22 and Performance Report 2022/23 - Position at November 2022. pdf icon PDF 406 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a joint report of the Chief Executive and Director of Adults and Communities, the purpose of which was to firstly highlight the comparative performance position in 2021/22 through national benchmarking, and secondly to present to the Committee an update of the Adults and Communities Department’s performance at the end of November 2022. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 9’ is filed with these minutes.


Arising from discussion the following points arose:


(i)        Regarding the two statutory surveys, a survey of people in receipt of social care services and a similar survey of carers, 1,500 surveys were sent out and approximately 300 responses were received (25% to 30%), which met the target that NHS Digital had set for authorities to achieve. The Director agreed to include statistical detail in future reports alongside percentage figures.


(ii)       With regard to enabling more people to access information online, particularly through libraries and the Records Office, officers advised that the authority was digitising more and more records, individually as a council, but also working with partners who sponsored some of the work, for example, family tree organisations sponsored the council to digitise records as it was in their interest to do so. It was noted, however, that the original physical copy of a record had to be kept and stored. In addition, there were digital downloads of information available from libraries, such as books, magazines and newspapers, which people were encouraged to access online.


(iii)      Concern was raised over safeguarding alerts where figures were 40% above the average for the East Midlands when compared with the Northeast, and the rates of conversion of alerts into enquiries with differing criteria across authorities. It was explained that an alert would only become an enquiry if it were determined that a safeguarding investigation was required., It was noted different authorities operated different thresholds for determining alerts and enquiries.


Members asked that a detailed report on safeguarding be submitted to a future meeting of the Committee setting out how the authority was fulfilling its safeguarding responsibilities and threshold criteria used and that the Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Board be invited to that meeting.




(a)          That the Adults and Communities Department’s performance position in 2021/22, and update of the Department’s performance as at the end of November 2022 be noted.


(b)          That the Director be requested to bring a report to provide more detail on the difference between safeguarding alerts and enquiries, the application of safeguarding thresholds and the requirement for investigations to be brought to a future meeting of the Committee and that the new Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Board be invited to that meeting.



Outcome of Consultation on Eligibility for Care Technology Services. pdf icon PDF 872 KB


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Adults and Communities, the purpose of which was to advise the Committee on the outcome of the consultation on the eligibility of residents for care technology services and to seek its view on the proposed approach prior to Cabinet approval being sought on 1 April 2023. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 10’ is filed with these minutes.


Arising from discussion, the following points arose:


(i)    During consultation a number of methods were used to seek feedback, including social media, writing to people and organisations that supported deaf and hard of hearing people. Those who had previously used the CT service for legacy equipment were directly targeted via letter.


(ii)  People were asked to respond to the proposed approach. There were mixed responses received, mainly from individuals, along with organisations one of which was from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) who were concerned about the impact on the ability for people to remain independent at home.


(iii) In response to a question as to whether the 49 respondents (4%) were a representative sample to extrapolate information on the service the Director responded although a low response, it might be indicative that people understood that the change would provide fairness and equity to the service, and those people who had received those services historically would be subject to a care and support review.


(iv) It was reported that the County Council had a strategic partnership with Hampshire, and as part of the strategic partnership approach had built into contracts a requirement to look at how to deliver health and social care needs to maximise independence. It was also noted that the County Council worked with the NHS and district councils to deliver care technology.


(v)  Each Integrated Care Board (ICB) was required to develop a three-year plan, which involved the connecting of care homes to ensure they could access health records safely and securely. Two elements of the bid were around care technology, one of which was floor sensors, the other around innovative care technology, such as the use of Cobots for assisted lifting.


Members considered the different options presented in the report and overall were supportive of the preferred approach (Option Four). Whilst the concern was raised about the cost implications for those currently using the service was noted Members were of the view that there should be a level playing field in terms of eligibility, which would provide a fairer service to all.




(a)          That the report on the outcome of consultation on eligibility of care technology services be noted.


(b)          That the proposed Option four as the preferred approach be agreed.


(c)          That the comments now made be forwarded to the Cabinet for consideration at its meeting on 10 February 2023.



Date of next meeting.

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on Monday 6 March 2023 at 2pm.



It was noted that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on Monday, 6 March 2023 at 2pm.



Any other items which the Chairman has decided to take as urgent.


Whilst there were no items of an urgent nature to consider, the Chairman informed the Committee of the successful relocation of the Reid and Sigrist (R. S.) Desford aircraft to Newarke Air Museum in August 2022.