Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny & Overview Committee - Monday, 8th July, 2024 5.00 pm

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

Contact: Simon Trevaskis  Email: simon.trevaskis@croydon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

38/24

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 121 KB

To approve the minutes of the meetings held on 22 April and 22 May 2024 as an accurate record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 22 April and 22 May 2024 were agreed as an accurate record.

 

39/24

Disclosure of Interests

Members are invited to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and other registrable and non-registrable interests they may have in relation to any item(s) of business on today’s agenda.

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest made at the meeting.

 

40/24

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.

 

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business for the consideration of the Scrutiny & Overview Committee at this meeting.

 

41/24

Pre-Decision Scrutiny: Future Options for Maintained Nursery Schools pdf icon PDF 83 KB

The Scrutiny & Overview Committee will be presented with a Cabinet report on the ‘Future Options for Maintained Nursery Schools’. The Committee is asked to -

1.   Review and note the Cabinet report ‘Future Options for Maintained Nursery Schools’, and

2.   Consider whether it wishes to make any comments or recommendations to be taken account of by the Executive Mayor when making the final decision on the report at the Cabinet meeting on 15 July 2024.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report setting out a decision on future options for the maintained nursery schools in the borough, which was due to be considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 15 July 2024.  This report was included on the agenda to give the Committee the opportunity to scrutinise the proposals and decide whether they had any conclusions or recommendations to flag to the Cabinet when taking the decision.

In attendance for this item were the following: -

  • Cllr Maria Gatland – Cabinet Member for Children & Young People
  • Debbie Jones – Corporate Director for Children, Young People & Education
  • Shelley Davies – Director of Education
  • Denise Bushay – Head of Early Years, School Place Planning & Admissions

The Chair began the meeting by formally thanking the headteachers from the five maintained nursery schools (MNS) in the borough who had taken the time to meet with them earlier in the day to provide feedback on the review process and the recommended way forward. Recognition was given by all attendees at the meeting for the excellent services provided by the nurseries for young children in the borough.

The Chair explained that the report to be scrutinised proposed a new operating model recommending that each MNS establish, at least, a ‘soft’ federation with the governing body of either a primary school, special school, or academy trust through a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Three of the five MNS in the borough (Thornton Heath, Tunstall & Purley) had already adopted this model. It was recommended that the other two MNS (Crosfield and Selhurst) also accept and start the process of adopting this model.

During the introduction to the report, the Cabinet Member gave her thanks to given to the nurseries for their engagement throughout the long review process, which had resulted in the identification of a sustainable option, which was presented in the report.

Following the introduction, the Committee proceeded to ask questions about the information provided. Firstly, they questioned why the nurseries had been consulted as a group rather than individually. In response, it was advised that the process for the review had been set out before it began, and it was agreed that discussing the issues raised as a group would help identify and share best practice. However, all nurseries were offered the opportunity to meet individually with the consultant undertaking the review; two nurseries took up this offer. Additionally, regular monthly meetings with the nurseries in deficit continued.

It was questioned whether the Council would be able to impose the proposed new operating model on the maintained nursery schools. It was advised that local authorities did not have the power to impose soft federation upon nurseries, the power lies with the governing body, but the model could be strongly recommended. If the Council thought that a nursery was not aligning to the proposed model and its deficit budget continued to increase or was not reducing within a set timeframe it could also apply to the Secretary of State for Education for a Warning Notice.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41/24

42/24

Request to the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care to call-in the decision of NHS England on the future location of very specialist cancer treatment services for children in south London and much of south east England pdf icon PDF 91 KB

The Scrutiny & Overview Committee is asked to consider whether it wishes to submit a request to the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care to call-in the decision by NHS England on the future location of very specialist cancer treatment services for children in south London and much of south east England.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report set out on pages 23 to 38 of the agenda, which provided an update on NHS England’s decision regarding the future of very specialist cancer services for children in South London and much of South East England. The Chair recapped for the Committee that NHS England had been formally consulting on two options for the future location of these specialist services: St George’s Hospital in Tooting and Evelina Hospital, located near Waterloo in central London.

The South West London and Surrey Joint Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee (JHOSC) were formally consulted on these proposals. Councillors Eunice O’Dame and Richard Chatterjee, representing Croydon, presented Croydon’s preference for the St George’s option. Their rationale was that moving away from St George’s would result in significantly longer travel times for children in Croydon who required regular cancer treatment, as well as their families. Other local authorities in the JHOSC shared this view.

Despite these objections, NHS England announced in March 2024 that Evelina Hospital was its preferred location. Since the announcement, the leaders of the councils represented in the JHOSC agreed that each local authority would exercise its option to request the Secretary of State for Health to call-in the decision for review. The report presented at the meeting sought the Committee’s agreement to submit the request.

Following a discussion of the grounds for submitting a request for call-in, the Committee supported the views of the JHOSC, favouring St George’s Hospital as the preferred option.

Resolved: The Scrutiny & Overview Committee agreed to: -

  1. Make a request to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to call in the decision NHS England on the reconfiguration of the future location of very specialist cancer treatment services for children in South London and much of South East England.
  2. Delegate authority to Chair of the Scrutiny & Overview Committee, in consultation with the Chair of the Health & Social Care Sub-Committee to sign-off the completed referral form, once drafted by officers, for submission to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

43/24

Scrutiny Work Programme 2024-25 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

The Scrutiny & Overview Committee is asked to: -

1.     Agree the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2024-25 (as set out in Appendix 1),

2.     Consider whether there are any other items that should be provisionally added to the work programme as a result of the discussions held during the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report set out on pages 39 to 62 of the agenda which set out the draft Scrutiny Work Programme for sign-off by the Committee.

The Vice-Chair highlighted that since the publication of the agenda, the items to be considered at 22 July 2024 meeting of the Streets & Environment Sub-Committee had changed and an amended version would be provided at the next Committee meeting.

Resolved: The Scrutiny & Overview Committee agreed the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2024-25.

 

44/24

Membership of the Scrutiny Sub-Committees pdf icon PDF 97 KB

The Scrutiny & Overview Committee is asked to agree the changes to the membership of its Health & Social Care Sub-Committee, as proposed by the Conservative Group.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report set out on pages 63 to 64 of the agenda which presented for agreement changes to the membership of the Health & Social Care Sub-Committee. 

Resolved: That the changes to the membership of scrutiny sub-committee are agreed as set out in the report.

 

45/24

Scrutiny Recommendations pdf icon PDF 89 KB

The Scrutiny & Overview Committee is asked to:

1.     Approve the recommendations made by its Sub-Committee’s for submission to the Executive Mayor for his consideration.

2.     Review the response provided by Mayor to recommendations made by the Scrutiny & Overview Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report set out on pages 65 to 72 of the agenda which presented recommendations proposed by the Homes Sub-Committees for sign-off ahead of submission to the Executive Mayor. Also provided was the Mayor’s response to recommendations previously submitted by the Committee earlier in the year.

Resolved: The Scrutiny & Overview Committee agreed to approve the recommendations made by Homes Sub-Committee’s for submission to the Executive Mayor for his consideration.

 

46/24

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.”

 

 

Minutes:

This motion was not required.