Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Taru Jarozynski, Policy and Scrutiny Officer - 020 85832540 or email  Taru.Jarozynski@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and Introductions

Minutes:

The Chair, Cllr Chaudhary, opened the meeting and welcomed members of the Panel and guests to the meeting.

 

2.

Apologies for absence, declarations of interest or any other communications from Members

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllrs Lynch and Carey. Cllr Collins would be joining the meeting late as he was also attending Cabinet which was taking place at the same time.

 

Cllr Foote had been due to attend for Item 6 but had had to give his apologies at the last minute.

 

3.

Minutes of the meeting held on 20 July 2016 pdf icon PDF 9 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were agreed as an accurate record.

 

4.

Matters arising from the minutes

Minutes:

Under minute 4, Ian Duke had circulated a list of additional venues used by Children’s Centres. This was emailed to the Panel on 26 July.

 

5.

Task & Finish Group update: Improving Uptake of Physical activity Among Young People in Hounslow pdf icon PDF 214 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Taru Jaroszynski gave a presentation to the Panel summarising the report in the papers. This is an interim report of the work undertaken so far by the Task & Finish Group. A great deal of desk based research had been undertaken setting out levels of physical activity in the borough;  mapping current strategic direction, provision and quality in the borough; and understanding the reasons behind levels of activity including influences, challenges, barriers and discrepancies. The outcome of this was set out in the report and presentation.

 

This work had resulted in the development of four lines of enquiry:

 

1.     How can we improve the “physical activity pathway” from primary to secondary school especially for girls?

2.     What support could we provided at a secondary school level in order to promote physical activity?

3.     How to improve access to information for children and parents on available opportunities for physical activity?

4.     What current programmes, activities or interventions might increase physical activity at a population level?

 

Activity on these had commenced. The Task & Finish Group were undertaking a series of visits to schools looking at best practice. Further research and discussions were taking place to start to arrive at key findings and to develop recommendations. The aim was to bring these back to the meeting of the Panel on 7 December.

 

The Panel heard that review was taking place at an opportune time. The Government had recently launched its Obesity Strategy, Ofsted would soon be undertaking a review in this area during 2017, and the Council was setting up an Obesity Task Force that was very interested in the work being undertaken in this review. There was an opportunity to help shape this agenda in Hounslow.

 

The key points emerging from the questions and discussions that followed were:

 

  • The members of the Task & Finish Group praised the work undertaken to date by Taru. They also reflected on some of the good practice they had seen in the school visits undertaken so far, and the desire to share this with other schools
  • When reflecting on the dip in participation of girls at around 9 years of age, the Panel heard of work between Gumley House and St. Mary’s to ease the transition from primary to secondary, and this also seems to help with physical activity.
  • The importance of choice was highlighted along with the need to think of activity in its widest sense (for instance dance or yoga) rather than simply netball or hockey. The term PE itself was a barrier.
  • Youth Council representatives reflected on the academic pressures within secondary school and how this displaced time for activity time. Looking outside of school will be necessary in tackling physical activity, including the process of getting to school. However in reality the weekend was the biggest opportunity.
  • The role of parents was therefore important, and the Panel was keen to think about campaigns and how to involve parents. In particular the Panel considered perceptions of safety and how this might affect, for instance, cycle  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

London Borough of Hounslow Youth Service Review pdf icon PDF 246 KB

Minutes:

This item was taken ahead of Item 5.

 

In Cllr Foote’s absence, Sandra Morrison (Head of Early Intervention Service) provided the presentation. This was an early opportunity to consider and comment on emerging proposals following a review of youth services. The Cabinet will be considering the review at its meeting on 13 December to agree a period of consultation on the proposals.

 

The context of the review is a proposed reduction of funding for youth services of £650k from an existing budget of £862k. This saving is additional to a further saving of £259k that had been previously agreed, but not yet implemented awaiting the outcome of this review. This will leave a sum of £212k to provide a Youth Service. Ms Morrison pointed out that the Youth Service was a small part of a much wider youth offer provided by the Council and other partners.

 

The proposals emerging from the youth service review are guided by the following principles:

 

        We will prioritise services for vulnerable young people

        We will prioritise services that allow us to engage with hard to reach young people

        We will support arrangements that enable voluntary organisations to ‘lever in’ additional resources

        We will make arrangements that promote partnership working to meet the needs of our young people

        We will develop a model of service delivery that is not reliant on buildings

        We will develop systems that enable and encourage our users to access information about services by themselves

 

Applying these principles has resulted in the proposal that the Youth Service will retain the following services:

 

        Young Carers project – provides support to Young Carers who are able to share their experiences and have respite from their caring duties.

        Hounslow Youth Counselling project (HYCS) – provides counselling to young people who self refer the service provides as well as a school based service.

        Detached Youth Workers – these youth workers are peripatetic and work across our estates and local streets. They target young people who could be at risk of for example teenage pregnancy or anti-social behaviour. The young people are often Not in Education and Employment or Training (NEET).

        Duke of Edinburgh scheme – provides young people who are not in school with the opportunity to participate in a national scheme and achieve and award that is widely recognised

        Good Shepherd Project – supports the children and young people living in Barracks who are isolated from the local community

 

The impact will be the closure of youth centres and a reduction in staffing levels of 12 FTEs affecting 40 people. It will mean the cessation of Alluminae (a dance project); Support for the Youth Council; Holiday activities; Open access youth centres; and VOICE (arts projects).

 

Even with these reductions there will need to work differently in the future. Retained services will work differently and more widely it will mean working with other complementary services and providing better signposting to other youth activities including the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Welfare Reform: Consequences for Families, Children and Young People in Hounslow pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Presentation

Minutes:

Ian Duke gave a presentation that set out developments on welfare reform and the likely impact on families in Hounslow. The first round of reforms had been implemented in 2013 including the £26k Benefit Cap and the ‘Bedroom Tax’. A wide ranging set of support had been put in place to support those affected. This had largely worked to help households to adapt and to reduce impact on the Council’s bottom line if situations turned into crisis.

 

A new round of reforms are coming into effect, including the low Benefit Cap of £23k. This commenced on 7 November for those already affected by the £26k cap and will be capped a further £3k. The cap will apply to new households from late January,

 

Modelling that had been undertaken suggests 4-5 times as many households will be affect with more in the higher range of impacts. The number of children impacted is expected to quadruple. Work is underway to get an accurate number but this was being hampered by the move to Universal Credit, and the current inability to share data, something that was being worked upon.

 

Communication activity is already underway with an emphasis on encouraging people to engage in order to prevent later problems. Dedicated communication materials would also shortly be produced for front line staff, partners and the voluntary sector who have been working closely on this to date. One lesson from last time is to undertake communication as the impact was happening. A Task Force providing wrap around support for those facing the larger impacts had been established.

 

Resolved: The Panel requested that updates be provided by email as implementation progressed.

 

8.

Work Programme 2016-2017: Any Updates or Revisions pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

  • To add Youth Services Consultation Outcome to the agenda on

19 April 2017

·       Next meeting agreed as set out in the work programme

9.

Urgent Business

Any business which the Chair agrees to accept on grounds of urgency.

Minutes:

None.

 

10.

Date of next meeting

The next scheduled meeting is 7 December 2016 at 7pm in Committee Room 3, Civic Centre.

Minutes:

The next meeting date was confirmed as 7th December 2016