Agenda item

Council Plan 2020/21


That the Committee notes the developed themes of the Council Plan 2021/22 prior to approval by Cabinet. 


The Chief Officer (Social Services) introduced a report to consider the proposed Council Plan for 2020/21 with specific focus on the Committee’s respective portfolio.  He provided background information and gave a brief summary of the Plan.


The Chief Officer invited the Strategic Performance Advisor to  outline the contents of the draft plan and the process for  further development. The Strategic Performance Advisor informed the Committee that a number of elements within the plan had been revised.  He advised that the Wellbeing objectives were embedded  within the plan and further work had taken place on the development of themes.  He added that with regard to monitoring of the Plan, the aim was to be able to demonstrate impact as an authority in a strategic sense. He welcomed any comments and suggestions to be included which would be fed back to the Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee in February before being considered by Cabinet in March/April. Work on Part 2 of the Plan would commence shortly to  develop tasks, milestones, measures, and risks. He commented that the Council Plan  was ambitious but also realistic in view of current circumstances. 


Councillor  David Mackie welcomed the contents of the priority area: Personal and Community Well-being which he felt was comprehensive and well presented.  He requested further information on the following as outlined on page 25 of the Plan:


·         The Well Fed at Home service

·         Hospital to Home meals service

·         Mobile meals Service


Councillor Mackie drew attention to a duplication on page 27 (explore opportunities to develop a young person’s homeless hub) which appeared in two sections.  Referring to page 28 he questioned whether the fourth  bullet point (supporting our tenants to access technology and increase sustainable digital communities) should be in the digital communities section.  On page 30 he referred to the Circular Economy section and specifically to the fourth bullet point which he felt needed further clarification.   


The Chief Officer advised that further detailed  information on the above could be obtained from the Benefits Manager who was the lead officer for this area of work. 


The Strategic Performance Advisor explained the process for reviewing progress of the plan once adopted, and said a performance report on  the whole Plan would be presented to each Overview & Scrutiny Committee with the relevant areas highlighted for each specific committee.


The Chair referred to the earlier discussion around monitoring of home schooling and suggested this should be incorporated within the Plan.  Councillor  Gladys Healey concurred with the views expressed by the Chair that this area should be included in the Plan.  The Chief Officer suggested that the Education and Skills section of the report could be an area where the home schooling issue might be reflected.   Councillor Carol Ellis commented that this was an aspiration and suggested it could be included under child poverty in relation to having access to technology, equipment, and books for home schooling.


The Cabinet Member for Social Services agreed on the importance of keeping home schooling under review.  She gave an explanation of the difference  between children who were home-schooled due to Covid-19 and children who received home-schooling due to parental choice.  She added that children who usually attended school were monitored when home-schooled by their own school, however, there was no monitoring mechanism in place for children who were being home-schooled through parental choice and the Children’s Commissioner was concerned about this.  The Chair expressed her concerns that despite the arrangements made some children were not being suitably home-schooled as agreed.  .  


Councillor Cindy Hinds commented on the issues of domestic abuse and mental health and the potential impact on some children who were home-schooling.  Councillor Paul Cunningham suggested that the Education and Youth Overview & Scrutiny Committee be made aware of the Committee’s concerns.    


The Chief Officer referred to the comments made by Councillor Dave Mackie regarding the Personal and Community Wellbeing priority and asked the Committee to confirm that they approved the draft plan from a Social Services perspective. 


The recommendation in the report was moved by Councillor David Wisinger and seconded by Councillor Jean Davies.




That the Committee notes the developed themes of the Council Plan 2021/22 prior to approval by Cabinet. 

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