Issue 120 Jan 2015 - Leeds City Council

Leeds City Council
Issue 120: January 2015
In January, Leeds hosted a joint meeting of West
Yorkshire Health Scrutiny Chairs to consider plans to
review specific NHS service areas on a West Yorkshire
footprint. The initial areas highlighted included Stroke
Services, Paediatrics, Cancer Services and Urgent Care. Proposals are in the
early stages of development and further updates will be provided as proposals start to
emerge and the joint arrangements are further developed.
Resources and Council Services - Chair Cllr P Grahame contact Peter Marrington (Tel: 0113 395 1151)
At this month’s meeting the Board considered and accepted a request to scrutinise the
circumstances around the transfer of the former Fir Tree Primary School. This will be
conducted at the Board’s February meeting. Also at the January meeting the Board
discussed the Council’s proposals to develop an integrated peoples commissioning
service and what this means in terms of better outcomes for service users and
increased efficiencies. A further report on the impact this will have on better contract
management will be taken in April. Finally the Board received an update on progress
to improve the way in which community lettings are made. A further follow up will
take place in March.
In addition to the Fir Tree issue the Board in February will take a report on the Advice
Consortium and Citizens Advice bureaus. This report will explain how decisions
have been taken in relation to the realignment of services and will also detail the
outreach services the CAB and the Council will be developing to replace the local
Bureaux offices.
Children and Families - Chair Cllr J Chapman contact Sandra Pentelow (Tel: 0113 2474792)
The Board visited four schools instead of holding its usual formal board meeting on the
29th of January. The purpose was to discuss Learning Improvement and the models
employed in each school to gain a greater understanding of the methods, partnerships
and commissioning arrangements that result in improved outcomes.
The next formal meeting will take place on the 26th of February when the Board will
continue the inquiry into Learning Improvement.
Health and Well-being and Adult Social Care - Chair Cllr D Coupar contact Steven Courtney (Tel: 0113 247
A busy January saw the Board hold two formal meetings. At its first meeting, the
Scrutiny Board considered a range of issues including, the outcome of the Care
Quality Commission (CQC) inspection of Leeds and York Partnership NHS
Foundation Trust; an update on the progress of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS
Trust against its CQC inspection action plan and the development of the Leeds
Maternity Services Strategy. The Board also considered the initial budget
proposals for 2015/16 relevant to its areas of responsibility (in terms of service
areas within the Council).
The second meeting was dedicated to considering the performance of Yorkshire
Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS), following allegations around patient safety
highlighted by Unite the Union. The Board heard from a range of stakeholders and
sought assurances from YAS, NHS commissioners and the NHS Trust Development
Authority about current performance, quality assurance processes and future
improvement activity.
In February, the Board will hold another mental health themed meeting, considering
further information relevant to its inquiry around mental health services to support
the emotional wellbeing of children and young people in Leeds. The Board will also
consider the further development of Leeds’ Mental Health Framework and
supporting draft action plans.
Safer and Stronger Communities- Chair Cllr B Anderson contact Angela Brogden (Tel: 0113 247 4553)
This month the Board held a number of working groups, including consideration of the
Executive’s initial budget proposals. This included detailed discussions with the
Director of Environment and Housing and Assistant Chief Executive (Citizens and
Members visited the Peckfield Landfill Site as part of the Board’s ongoing inquiry.
After the visit Members held a working group meeting with representatives from the
site operator, the Environment Agency and Council services. A further session will take
place in February with local representatives from the Liaison Committee, and will also
involve public health input.
At its February meeting the Board will consider two major items. Firstly it will continue
to track the progress made in implementing the recommendations arising from its
earlier inquiry into tackling domestic violence and abuse. Secondly it will commence
a piece of work to better understand safeguarding issues linked to migration.
Sustainable Economy and Culture - Chair Cllr K Groves contact Kate Arscott (Tel: 0113 2474189)
As with other Scrutiny Boards, this month the Board considered the Executive’s initial
budget proposals. Members agreed to carry out pre-decision Scrutiny in relation to
the Arts@Leeds grants through a working group meeting in February.
The Board also considered a progress report on the Tour de France Legacy. The
Board congratulated Peter Smith on the MBE he received in the New Year Honours.
Members were pleased to note the amount and range of activity reported and stressed
the need to maintain the momentum for the legacy to be successful. However the
Board was concerned that the Cycling Starts Here Programme Board had not yet been
established. Members have asked that this work be prioritised and that progress is
reported back to the next Scrutiny Board meeting.
In February the Board is due to continue its Employment and Skills Inquiry and will
also consider a further report on the potential European Capital of Culture bid and
one on how the council will seek to maximise the potential employment opportunities
associated with the development of District Heating in Leeds. Working group
meetings will take place to carry out pre-decision scrutiny on the Arts@Leeds
scheme and the Community Infrastructure Levy.
Housing and Regeneration - Chair Cllr J Procter contact Kate Arscott (Tel: 0113 2474189)
The Scrutiny Board considered the Executive’s initial budget proposals. Members
discussed the draft housing investment plan which was being reported to the March
Executive Board. Members asked that the plan be presented to the Scrutiny Board for
pre-decision scrutiny.
An overview of the Tenant Home Contents Insurance scheme was provided. The
Scrutiny Board considered ways to improve take-up of the scheme and the role of
Ward Members and the Tenant Scrutiny Board to help promote the scheme.
The Scrutiny Board received the new draft Foreword and Memoranda to the
‘Neighbourhoods for Living’ document. Members welcomed the contents of the
document, particularly in terms of making clear the Council’s expectations regarding
design standards.
The final report of the Leeds Student Accommodation Working Group was
presented to the Scrutiny Board. Key actions had been identified by the Working
Group which will be monitored by Leeds Housing Forum and the Inner North West
Community Committee Planning Sub-Group.
In February the Scrutiny Board will be considering the draft Housing Investment
Plan and discussing plans for improvements to high-rise blocks. The Board will also
commence its inquiry on Housing Mix.
Tenant Scrutiny Board – Chair John Gittos contact Peter Marrington (Tel: 0113 39 51151)
At its January meeting the Board finalised its evidence gathering for its inquiry into
Annual Tenancy Visits. Recommendations will now be drawn up and considered at
its February meeting.
Members also considered publicity material to raise awareness and support future
recruitment. A draft information pack describing the work of the Tenant Scrutiny
Board will be considered at the February Board meeting for final approval.
Also at the February meeting, Councillor Peter Gruen, Executive Member
(Neighbourhoods, Planning and Personnel) will be attending to discuss any potential
future areas for scrutiny. The Board will also receive its quarterly performance update
at this meeting, which may influence the Board’s work programme.
Scrutiny News is a monthly publication, which aims to keep Members, officers and other interested parties
informed of the work of the Council’s six Scrutiny Boards.
If you have any comments on the work of any of the Scrutiny Boards please get in touch with the individual
contacts for the Board, or for general enquiries please contact