Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board
Tuesday, 18th July, 2017 6.00 pm

Venue: Crompton Suite, Civic Centre, Oldham, West Street, Oldham, OL1 1NL. View directions

Contact: Lori Hughes 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies For Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Williamson and Councillor Harkness.

2.

Declarations of Interest

To Receive Declarations of Interest in any Contract or matter to be discussed at the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

3.

Urgent Business

Urgent business, if any, introduced by the Chair

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business received.

4.

Public Question Time

To receive Questions from the Public, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.

Minutes:

There were no public questions received.

5.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 172 KB

The Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 13th June 2017 are attached for approval.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 13th June 2017 be approved as a correct record.

6.

Minutes of the Health Scrutiny Sub-Committee Meeting pdf icon PDF 204 KB

The minutes of the Health Scrutiny Sub-Committee held on 28th March 2017 are attached.  The Board is requested to note the minutes.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Health Scrutiny Sub-Committee meeting held on 28th March 2017 be noted.

 

7.

Minutes of the Performance and Value for Money Select Committee pdf icon PDF 186 KB

The minutes of the Performance and Value for Money Select Committee held on 9th March 2017 are attached.  The Board is requested to note the minutes.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Performance and Value for Money Select Committee held on 9th March 2017 be noted.

 

8.

Overview and Scrutiny Board Work Programme for 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 159 KB

The Board is requested to note the Overview and Scrutiny Board Work Programme for 2017/18.

Minutes:

The Board gave consideration to the Overview and Scrutiny Board Work Programme.  The following was highlighted to the Board:

 

1.       Inclusion Review – through early engagement it had become clear that co-ordination was needed with a wide range of services who worked toward the same outcomes.  Advice had been taken and the timeline had been slipped in order for a coordinated development session to take place as well as meetings with individuals and heads of service. 

 

2.       Education Task and Finish Group – The Chair informed members that the scope of the group had been widened from Pupil Premium to Disadvantage in its entirety would now be addressed.  A meeting would be arranged for the group to meet with head teachers and a strategy would be developed.  Members expressed concern about the representation of headteachers as a cross section would be needed to represent the different sections of Oldham.  Members were informed it was intended to review what schools would be visited and that all schools would be sent a questionnaire for views to be sought and for best practice to be identified and shared.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.       The Overview and Scrutiny Board Work Programme be noted.

2.       The update on the Inclusion Review be noted.

3.       The update on the Education Task and Finish Group be noted.

 

9.

Universal Credit Update pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Minutes:

The Board gave consideration to information on the roll out of Universal Credit in Oldham which included details of sanctions applied to Universal Credit claimants, early observations on the roll out in the borough and the ongoing work for the mitigation of impact for residents.  Universal credit replaced six legacy benefits.  The total transfer would not be completed until 2022.   Additional support was provided to claimants.  The Department for Work and Pensions had resourcing issues and were recruiting additional staff.  There were concerns for those residents who were in short-term accommodation and as well as those with language barrier issues.  The DWP recognised the problems with short term residentials and were looking to change the rules but this required ministerial approval. Members were advised of transfer times of five to six weeks.  The DWP had been asked for statistics, but officers had been advised that these were not published.  From early observations, deductions could be high.  The Citizen’s Advice Bureau had informed the Council of an increase of universal credit claimants accessing their service.  Members were also briefed on the use of sanctions and provided with case studies.  The Council was working with stakeholders and partners to maximise the use of the council tax reduction scheme and the take up of free school meals entitlement.  The Council’s Welfare Rights Team were also offering support to applicants.

 

Member queried the 5 – 6 week delay and who it affected.  It was confirmed that all applicants would be affected by the migration and had to apply through the digital channel.  Members asked about those with special needs who may have trouble with digital access and were informed that help was available through Access Oldham.  Members queried the application and severity of sanctions and were informed the DWP determined the sanction and that process applied was unclear.

 

Members expressed concern on the number of residents who were under extreme pressure and had no money which caused distress.  The number of foodbank certificates issued to residents had grown.  Concerns were also raised on the impact on landlords as direct payments had given confidence.  Concerns were also raised on the most vulnerable, especially children and young people.

 

Members sought and received clarification on the rent arrears and were advised that this information was not available.  Research would be undertaken to assess the impact on social landlords.  A free school meals portal would be launched and updated in real time.  Schools had been positive and in the new academic year awareness would be raised on eligibility.  Work coaches would also raise awareness of free school meals.

 

Members sought and received clarification on the appeals process and were informed that these could take a long time and there were appeals at a local and regional level.

 

Members were informed that there were regular meetings with Registered Social Landlords and the DWP.  Members asked about private landlords and were informed that it would be part of a communications plan with the selective licensing scheme. 

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.       The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Oldham Work and Skills Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Minutes:

The Board gave consideration to an update on the progress related to key components of the Work and Skills Strategy.  The strategy sought to improve population skills which supported Oldham’s goals. The four strategic goals were:

 

  • Create Jobs which included targets for Phase 2 of Get Oldham Working
  • Social Regeneration and In-Work Progression which included the new pilot Career Advancement Services
  • Deliver the OESC and improve the colleges, which included a commitment to support the sustainability of the post-Area Based Review settlement for Oldham.
  • Support a thriving private sector, which included better representation of the six priority employment sectors in the partnership framework.

 

The report outlined the current position on the 12 outcome areas which included:

 

·       Population Skills Outcomes;

·       Provider Performance;

·       Apprenticeships;

·       Schools;

·       GM Area Based Review of Colleges;

·       Sectoral priorities;

·       Get Oldham Working;

·       Progression Strategy;

·       Advanced Learning Loans Strategy;

·       Higher Level Skills and HE Strategy;

·       Community Learning and Lifelong Learning Provision; and

·       DWP Commissioned National employment Support Programmes.

 

It was highlighted to the Board that Oldham College had seen an improvement and the Area Based Review was no longer feasible.  The Council were supporting the College in retaining its status as a single college.  Members were informed of the change in the allocation of adult education budgets. 

 

Members asked about the Area Based Review and core structure required in Oldham to meet the needs of local employers.  There was a dialogue with local businesses and six network champions.  Members sought and received clarification on the advanced learning loans for residents learning at Level 3 and Level 4 with providers in the borough being targeted.  The loans were an opportunity for the resident to take control.  Learning could be undertaken through online services such as the Open University.

 

Members sought clarification on careers guidance and were informed that OESC would be looking to support this.  Members sought and received clarification on the targets set and the targets would be revised.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.       The update on the Work and Skills Strategy be noted.

2.       A further meeting be arranged with the Principal of Oldham College for an update on the Area Based Review.

3.       An update on the Work and Skills Strategy be received by the Board in 12 month’s time.

 

Notes: 

 

1.       Cllr Dean left the meeting during this item.

2.       Cllr A. Hussain left the meeting at the end of this item.

 

11.

Sustainable Cities Food Network Update pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Minutes:

Members were provided with an update on the action points raised by Board Members

 

RESOLVED that the update on the Sustainable Cities Food Network be noted.

 

12.

General Exceptions and Urgent Decisions pdf icon PDF 98 KB

The Board is requested to note the decisions that have been taken under Rule 16 or 17 of the Council’s Constitution since the last meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 13th June 2017.

 

If a detailed explanation is required and an officer is to attend the meeting to provide further information, please contact Constitutional Services by 12:00 noon on Thursday, 13th July 2017.

Minutes:

The Board gave consideration to two decisions authorised under Rule 17 of the Council’s Constitution.

 

RESOLVED that the General Exception and Urgency Decisions related to Additional Funding Allocation to Oasis Academy, Oldham to place Additional Pupil Numbers on their Roll from September 2017 and the Proposed Upgrade to the UTC to meet the Demand for Pupil Places in Oldham in September 2017 be noted.

 

13.

Key Decision Document pdf icon PDF 167 KB

The Board is requested to note the Council’s Key Decision Document.

Minutes:

The Board gave consideration to the Council’s Key Decision Document.

 

Members raised the issue of the Royton Town Centre Master Plan.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.       The Key Decision Document be noted.

2.       An update be requested on the Royton Town Centre Master Plan.

 

14.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Minutes:

The Board gave consideration to the Forward Plan of Strategic Decisions for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

 

RESOLVED that the Forward Plan of Strategic Decisions for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority be noted.

 

15.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

The date and time of the next Overview and Scrutiny Board will be Tuesday, 5th September 2017 at 6.00 p.m.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the date and time of the next Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting to be held on Tuesday, 5th September 2017 at 6.00 p.m. be noted.