Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny & Overview Committee
Tuesday, 31st October, 2017 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX. View directions

Contact: Michelle Gerning Tel: (020) 8239 4246  Email:

No. Item


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2017 as an accurate record.



The minutes of the meeting held on 5th September 2017 were agreed as an accurate record.



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.



Fairfield Halls Update Report pdf icon PDF 102 KB

An update on the refurbishment of Fairfield Halls

Additional documents:


Officers updated the Committee on the development of Croydon’s Fairfield Halls. The Committee learned that progress of the main contract work had completed which was accomplished in Fairfield Halls in June 2017. The main contractor, Vinci Construction Ltd, was on site undertaking construction work including removal of Asbestos and demolition work was underway. The Committee was shown a video evidencing the work completed to date.


Future plans outlined that during February to July 2018 the external work of the building, the roof top work fit in and commission would begin. Vinci Construction Ltd proposed to complete the work in November 2018. The Council was also within the original budget that they had set with Vinci Construction Ltd.


The Committee was impressed with the progress of the site and the plans for Fairfield Halls. In a discussion of the achievability and timing of the completion of Fairfield Halls, officers highlighted that the challenges had all been uncovered. The officer felt confident that the main challenges would be removed within the contingency budget. There had been ongoing discussion with the contractor following consideration of the technical challenges seen on site that included the condition of the concrete.


The Committee further learned that the potential forthcoming risks included the condition of the ground, the removal of concrete and the foundations in parts of the building that had been there for such a long time.

Planning permission allowed changes in getting equipment in to deliver the entertainment scheme. The team was working closely with BH Live to deliver a practical approach to the main concert hall and the Ashcroft Theatre, and to add an additional hoist to get on stage quicker, all of which would be cost effective. This major change mitigated the risk and lowered cost in the entire scheme. The BH Live team was to begin work on the fitting i.e. furniture, kitchen, IT equipment for the functioning of the building; and the operational work such as employment, marketing and communications, community engagement and hospitality. The Committee commended the update on timescale and budget.


The Committee was pleased to hear that there was disability access included in the planning to all areas in Fairfield Halls. The access included disability access to lifts, lobbies and doors with double access and all other amenities area. 


The Committee was informed that Fairfield Halls was scheduled to be completed in November 2018 where the local community would see the opening in accordance to the operational plan. A full calendar for events in 2019 would be available as Fairfield Halls started its phased opening towards the end of 2018.


The BH Live presentation illustrated the vision of Fairfield Halls to which the new opening of the Halls would see better engagement with the community. The Halls would be good for the consumer and for business. Customer Service would also be delivered by means of a contact centre setting to convey better communication and quality with the community. 


Officers from BH Live shared with the Committee that their  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52/17


Update on the Response to the OFSTED Inspection of Children's Services pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:


The report considered by the Committee provided an update on the actions taken by Children’s Services following Ofsted’s Inspection Report in September 2017 and an update on all key performances and practice improvements.


The Committee learned that post-Ofsted a new Commissioner had been appointed. The Transitional Action Plan was created and this followed and included the appointment of the Independent Chair. There had been a reduction of the executive director’s span of control for six months to allow greater focus in implementing the improvement recommendations that had come from the Ofsted Report and for Children’s Services to be reshaped overall. There had been managerial changes in Children’s Services as a new director had been appointed to the position of Early Help and Children’s Social Care.  An Independent Chair had also been appointed for the Local Children’s Safeguarding Board, and a number of workforce actions had been taken including providing an additional social work team and a surge team to better ensure all children were safe.


The Draft Improvement Plan had been presented to the Committee to review and comment before it would be sent to the Improvement Board for ratification, and also to Cabinet for sign off, before it was presented to Ofsted in December.

The Committee was informed that appendix three in the agenda highlighted the top key indicators of improvement and the Improvement Board may add more to it. The list in appendix three set out the journey of a child, therefore the key indicators would be what was expected to be seen throughout a child’s journey.


In detail, the Committee was to become aware of the plan which was focused on immediate action to ensure the safety of children. The Committee learned that significant pressure had been put on the service in particular the front door service, and as Children’s Services were bringing more children into child protection, additional investment had been secured. Considerable investment to the Children With Disability Team and management had been highlighted and an additional social work team had been placed within the Care Planning and Assessment Service. The Committee learned that recruiting a new social work team had relieved pressure off other social work teams across the service. The Committee heard that two additional children’s reviewing officers had been brought into the service, and due to the significant rise in legal proceedings, the service had requested for two additional lawyers.


The Committee heard that following the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Sub-Committee recommendation of the deep dive review on missing children and Returned Home Interviews, additional resources had been agreed to support the work. The business support staffing had also been resourced to reduce the administrative workload for social workers to focus more of their time on children and families.


In light of the Draft Improvement Plan, the Committee learned that this plan was a three year journey for Children’s Services to move towards “Good” from where the Service sat currently. With a range of demands and challenges in Croydon, Children’s Services  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53/17


Cabinet Responses to Recommendations pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee NOTED the Cabinet responses to recommendations made by the Committee relating to the Community Safety Strategy, at its meeting held on the 7 March 2017; and relating to the implementation of 20mph limit zones at its meeting held on 24 May 2017.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To consider and approve the Committee's work programme for the municipal year 2017/18.


Additional documents:


The Head of Democratic Services and Scrutiny guided the Committee through the proposed work programme for the municipal year. It was noted that the schedule would be subject to change in light of the Ofsted report.


The Committee NOTED the work programme.


Exclusion of the Press and Public

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.”




Not required.