Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: by video conference


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No. Item



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Councillors Geraint Lloyd-Williams and David Williams




Members to declare any personal or prejudicial interests in any business identified to be considered at this meeting.

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The following members declared a personal interest in agenda item 5 –


Councillor Arwel Roberts – Chair of the Rhuddlan Dementia Group


Councillor Paul Penlington – Trustee and Volunteer for Young Carer’s Charity and wife worked for Young Carer’s Charity which provided services to the Council




Notice of items which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency pursuant to Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

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No urgent matters had been raised.




To receive the minutes of the Performance Scrutiny Committee held on 10 June 2021 (copy attached).


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The minutes of the Performance Scrutiny Committee held on 10 June 2021 were submitted.


Matters Arising –


Item 7 – Additional Learning needs Transformation Update (page 10, fourth bullet point) – it was confirmed that the issue of fewer resources available to undertake assessments through the medium of Welsh was a national issue which was raised regularly with the Welsh Government and had also been referenced in the next Welsh in Education Strategic Plan for consultation in the next few months


Item 8 – Annual Performance Review 2020 to 2021 (page 13, second bullet point) – Councillor Paul Penlington confirmed that he had been provided with the relevant links to access the information he requested at the last meeting regarding cost breakdowns relating to Highways, Facilities  and Environmental Services and Education and Children’s Services.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 10 June 2021 be received and approved as a correct record.



DRAFT DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES ANNUAL REPORTS 2019 - 2020 & 2020 - 2021 pdf icon PDF 246 KB

To consider a report by the Principal Manager, Community Support Services (copy attached) presenting the draft annual reports for scrutiny prior to their submission to the Care Inspectorate Wales.


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The Chair welcomed the Corporate Director Communities and Councillors Bobby Feeley, Lead Member for Well-being and Independence and Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Lead Member for Education, Children’s Services and Public Engagement.


Councillor Bobby Feeley introduced the report (previously circulated) which presented the draft annual reports for 2019 – 2020 and 2020 – 21 to the Committee for scrutiny prior to their submission to the Care Inspectorate Wales.  The reasoning behind the presentation of both reports was explained given that the Welsh Government had suspended the requirement to produce an annual report in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Councillor Feeley reported upon the leading role undertaken by the Corporate Director during the pandemic at a local, regional and national level whilst continuing with business as usual to a large extent against a backdrop of financial pressures.  The reports demonstrated much had been achieved in extremely difficult circumstances with progression and improvement in many areas.  Although Councillor Feeley’s main responsibility was Community Support Services she was aware that the blended Education and Children’s Services had also achieved the same good quality services for vulnerable children.  She had been pleased to step in for the launch of the new innovative children’s centre Bwthyn y Ddol.  The annual reports reflected well on the teams working across social care in Denbighshire and tribute was paid to the excellent and dedicated staff working tirelessly to deliver the best possible services.  In closing Councillor Feeley stated she was confident that Denbighshire’s Social Services would continue to adapt and improve and provide the care necessary for residents.


The Corporate Director Communities thanked all councillors for their ongoing support for Children and Adult Social Care.  Although the Welsh Government had waived the requirement to produce a report for 2019 – 20 it was felt appropriate to catch up and produce that report and also to show what had been achieved during a most difficult and unprecedented time. The Corporate Director paid tribute to the workforce including informal carers, foster carers and those that provided services on the Council’s behalf in the independent and voluntary sectors, and to all who had stepped in to assist.  Not everyone could be redeployed onto the front line but people from across the authority and communities had taken opportunities to assist in other ways and stepped forward into roles to deliver for the most vulnerable.  The Corporate Director was pleased to present the reports to members highlighting how much had been achieved over the last two years and provided assurances that those areas of work which had not progressed as expected would be taken forward.  It was prudent to note that staff were currently dealing with increased cases and transmission of Covid-19 both in communities and care settings.  The Corporate Director welcomed members’ scrutiny of the reports and advised that Principal Managers Ann Lloyd and James Wood were also present to answer questions.


During a lengthy debate the Committee paid tribute to the commitment and dedication of all those involved within social care who had worked tirelessly during extremely difficult circumstances and also to those who continued to do so, going above and beyond what was expected in order to provide for those most in need.  The Committee took the opportunity to raise questions and discuss various aspects of the reports with the Corporate Director, Lead Members and officers present.


Main discussion points focused on the following –


·         the report followed the format suggested by the Welsh Government and whilst it was accepted that the report did not provide a high level of detail there were a vast number of services across Children and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.



To consider a report by the Scrutiny Coordinator (copy enclosed) presenting the committee’s forward work programme for review and updating members on relevant issues.


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The Scrutiny Coordinator submitted a report (previously circulated) seeking members’ review of the committee’s work programme and providing an update on relevant issues.


Discussion focused on the following –


·         reports scheduled relating to Provisional External Examinations and Teachers Assessments (September) and Verified External Examinations (January) would not be forthcoming given the lack of comparative and benchmarking data.  In response to questions Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts confirmed that Denbighshire’s provisional examination data could be circulated to members but there was no comparative data from other local authorities due to Welsh Government edict.  However there were a number of education related matters forthcoming which would benefit from scrutiny later in the year

·         it was agreed that the September meeting proceed with the item relating to Cefndy Healthcare and if possible to bring forward the report on the Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) System to that meeting which had been scheduled for November.  Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts felt it would also be useful for members if the report illustrated how each individual service fed into the CRM system and the importance and benefits for each individual and service to follow the correct procedures.  It was agreed that the Scrutiny Coordinator ascertain whether the service was in a position to bring the report forward to September and also to include the issues raised by Councillor Hilditch-Roberts

·         members were asked to submit any proposal forms regarding topics for scrutiny (including any topics arising from the Director of Social Services Annual Reports considered earlier in the meeting) prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Scrutiny Chairs and Vice Chairs Group on 9 September.


RESOLVED that, subject to the amendments agreed above, the Committee’s forward work programme as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report be approved.




To receive any updates from Committee representatives on various Council Boards and Groups

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Councillor Hugh Irving advised members he was the Committee’s representative at the following groups/forums –


·         Communities and Customers Services (Service Challenge) – unfortunately he had been unable the attend the service challenge meeting held on 14 June

·         Business Improvement and Modernisation Services (Service Challenge) – the meeting held on 30 June involved much discussion on Covid-19 and recovery and it was agreed that the minutes of that meeting be circulated to members

·         Queen’s Building Project Board – the Board was currently meeting every two weeks in order to keep the project under close review and much discussion was confidential and could not be shared in a public meeting.  Whilst the project was not without its challenges assurances were provided that everyone was working to bring the project to a successful conclusion.  In considering the best way forward and how to appropriately report back to members it was suggested that the project could be a topic for future scrutiny and that the Scrutiny Coordinator take up the issue and timescales for scrutiny if considered appropriate.


Councillor Peter Scott reminded members that a special meeting of the Communities Scrutiny Committee would be held on 26 July to consider the Task and Finish Group’s work on the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment.


Councillor Ellie Chard confirmed she would be representing the Committee at the Service Challenge for Education and Children’s Services on 19 July and the Chair confirmed he would be representing the Committee at the Service Challenge for Community Support Services on 19 July.


RESOLVED that the verbal reports be received and noted.


At the close of the meeting the Chair thanked all present for their attendance and contributions to debate.


The meeting concluded at 12.05 pm.