Agenda and minutes

People Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 15th November, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, The Rhadyr USK. View directions


No. Item


Election of Vice Chair


Councillor Powell and Councillor Crook were nominated as candidates for Vice-chair. Following a vote, Councillor Crook was elected as Vice Chair.



Declarations of Interest




Public Open Forum


No submissions were received.


Youth Offending Service

To scrutinise the findings of the Youth Offending Service Inspection Report

Additional documents:


Chesney Chick gave a brief overview of the inspection report and answered the members’ questions with Jane Rodgers.


There doesn’t seem to be a great emphasis in the report on preventative work and I know you receive a grant from Welsh Government of approximately £170k. Is there any information on how that is spent as I can’t see it in the report.

That wouldn’t have been included in this report which is statutory in nature, however, there has been a shift in the way the YOTS undertake their work and there has been a real shift towards prevention services rather than just the statutory responsibilities, so there is a large proportion of money given to us to be able to deliver this. We feel the quality of service we offer is very good, but there can always be improvements.

In relation to the inspection conducted over the two counties Torfaen and Monmouthshire, is the inspection work undertaken equal or more heavily focused on one area, not giving us a true picture?

There tends to be a 60:40 split, in favour of Torfaen, but we feel the inspection was undertaken well.

Governance and leadership was a concern in the report in relation to the induction process, the attendance of board members and the disconnect between board members and front line staff, with recommendations made. How long were there issues and is everything in hand now? 

There has been a transition of elected membership and a bit of a hangover from the covid period. There were times during the pandemic when the board members weren’t always able to make it but it will be prioritised going forward. The health colleagues have to attend multiple board and that was one of the contributing factors.  The new chair is very experienced and has a background in the service to reassure you. 

One of the other things related to governance that we have acknowledged is that we had a lot of documents and procedures in place but not an overall approach to bring it together, so that is something we are working on.

I am concerned that girls form 28% of the service caseload which is more than double the average figure for England and Wales. As 61% of the staff are female and two thirds of the volunteers are female, I found it odd that the inspection identifies the need to develop a strategy to meet the needs of girls supervised by the service.

In respect of the statistics on girls, we have much more information now than previously and this pattern has arisen over the last 6 months. Prior to the inspection, we didn’t have this data so we hadn’t really bottomed out the reasons, but it’s fair to say that these are not huge numbers of individuals, but often the picture is inflated by seeing it as a percentage.  We are noticing that some of the offences are more serious, so we aren’t able to do the preventative work, but we  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Chief Officer for Social Care - Annual Report pdf icon PDF 231 KB

Additional documents:


The chair asked the chief officer to answer outstanding questions that had been given in advance of the meeting following previous scrutiny.


How much are the most expensive placements costing?

We would consider most expensive placements as being from £1,000 per week to over £8,000 per week.

Are these bipartite or tripartite funded?

Currently 3 placements are bipartite funded, one is with health and one is with education.

How many are there in the top cost brackets?

Currently 33, but it varies.

Who is in them? Are they those with a diagnosis? Are they ordered by the Courts and/or known to the Youth Offending Service?

All except 2 in education placements are on statutory orders. The children’s needs are either complex disability or complex trauma presentation / attachment difficulties / high risk behaviours. A small minority are known to YOS, but no children are in placements where risk of offending / offending behaviour is the main reason for the child needing to be in care.

I’m concerned about the costs long term and what strategies you have in place in a difficult financial climate.

We will prioritise the recruitment of in-house foster carers, but it’s about making sure the foster carers we have develop their skills so maybe they can take on more complex children. It’s one of our main vehicles to avoiding costly placements and we’d like to see our children living in Monmouthshire. We have 4 homes that are being developed, but these take time. Regionally we are engaging with partners in Gwent to expand regional provision. At the heart of it, we really need more foster carers. Action: Jane to send information on foster carers to the Scrutiny Manager to distribute to members to raise awareness in the community.

Acknowledging that some of the cases are very complex, I’m concerned we would need to make sure they are equipped to deal with these cases.

Yes, we are very careful how we match children to foster carers and ultimately it is their choice and we will support them. 

Chair’s Summary:

Thank you for coming and answering our outstanding questions.



People Scrutiny Committee Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 377 KB


Agreed to defer the Corporate Parenting Strategy to the 28th February and liaise regarding the timing of the respite report.

The committee was advised that they had received a request from Chepstow Community Council for the scrutiny committee to review minor injuries services. The committee agreed to await a future discussion at full Council.

The committee agreed to programme County Lines and Child Exploitation for a future scrutiny workshop. Action: Scrutiny Manager to add to the work programme.



Cabinet and Council Work Plan pdf icon PDF 459 KB


The forward work plan was noted.



To approve the minutes of the meetings held on 27th September 2022 and the Joint Scrutiny Committee (Performance and Overview, People Scrutiny Committees) held on 11th October 2022 pdf icon PDF 490 KB

Additional documents:


The minutes were confirmed and signed as an accurate record, proposed by Councillor Butler and seconded by Councillor Rooke.



Next Meeting - 10th January 2023