Agenda and minutes

General Purposes & Audit Committee - Wednesday, 24th February, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: This meeting is held remotely; to view the meeting, please click here.

Contact: Michelle Ossei-Gerning
020 8726 6000 x84246  Email:

No. Item


Disclosure of Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to register disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and gifts and hospitality to the value of which exceeds £50 or multiple gifts and/or instances of hospitality with a cumulative value of £50 or more when received from a single donor within a rolling twelve month period. In addition, Members and co-opted Members are reminded that unless their disclosable pecuniary interest is registered on the register of interests or is the subject of a pending notification to the Monitoring Officer, they are required to disclose those disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting. This should be done by completing the Disclosure of Interest form and handing it to the Democratic Services representative at the start of the meeting. The Chair will then invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3. Completed disclosure forms will be provided to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion on the Register of Members’ Interests.


There were none.


Urgent Business (if any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.


There were no items of urgent business.


Presentation on Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children pdf icon PDF 434 KB

[To follow]


Officers delivered a presentation on Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) and care leavers, the numbers of which had significantly increased over a period of time. The presentation highlighted that there was a number of mitigating factors and the engagement with the Department for Education, Home Office, HMCLG was looking at the funding imbalance, cost and how we support other borough in placing children within their local authority. They were also looking at undertaking the Human Rights Assessment for care leavers whose appeal rights have been exhausted and looking at the panel again with other local authority in placing children.


At 6:17pm Councillor Alisa Flemming arrived at the meeting.


The presentation covered in detail the risk register for UASC, the funding rates for UASC and former USAC care leavers, the 2019/2020 UASC expenditure and finance income, children looked after – both UASC and local children, the national benchmarking of overall CLA numbers (local and UASC), former UASC care leavers and the ongoing work with the Home Office


Officers advised that the Home Office funding arrangements had changed in April to a fixed higher rate for local authorities looking after UASC above the 0.07% expected intake for local authorities and the maximum proportion that authorities are expected to accommodate under the national transfer scheme.


The service received a flat rate of £143 per children per night until the young person reached 18 years old. This had increased from £137.50 for those under 16 years old and £114 for 16 to 17 year olds. The Council also received £240 per week for each former UASC care leaver who was within range for grant funding. Grant funding stopped if (i) the young person had declared appeals rights exhausted; (ii) the young person was over 21 years old and not in a recognised programme of educational training; (iii) if their asylum claim was declared as being valid; or (iv) or if they were in custody or subject to a long term hospital admission.


Officers highlighted that the numbers of children looked after had reduced month on month. Towards the end of January 2021 there was 699 children looked after, of that 485 were local children and 214 who were unaccompanied asylum seeking children.


The impact of the pandemic had reduced the number of incoming children needing to be looked after. Since March, Croydon had supported 108 young people who were aged over 16 to be transferred to other London partners. During this period the service had accommodated forty-six unaccompanied children under the age of 16, this was due to the direct restrictions in the UK and mainland Europe.


The service had a high proportion of 18 to 25 year olds in care, with a disproportionate number of UASC compared to the local young people. This was due to the high number of unaccompanied children who became care leavers, which created a budget strain within the service. Modelling indicated that should the number of children and young people being looked after by the Council remained at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64/21


Exclusion of Public and Press

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:


“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”



This was not required.