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Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Solihull Partnership Board Meetings – May & 3rd June

(David Lane attended as deputy)

Key Points of Wider Interest Discussed:

Families First (aka troubled families)


Firstly there was significant debate and update around the changes within the “Families First” (troubled families) agenda and services. The main being the head had tendered their resignation and therefore the Council had appointed an interim manager. The main thrust was to ensure consistency and ensure the programme was getting off to a good start. Families First were considering how best to recruit to the Head post, and the partnership agreed that this should not be lost in the current interim arrangements.

The programme is central government funded and the funding mechanism was quite complicated with an element of pay by results. Solihull in general was not the best performer, but not the worst either.

Update in June

It was clear from the Partnership Assembly that central government were quite happy with how things were progressing from a Solihull point of view. Additional family support workers taken on. Interim arrangements to remain in place until September and recruitment of a new head of service is to be taken to cabinet shortly, but undoubtedly would be affected by the summer period.

Corporate Peer Challenge Plus May

The corporate peer challenge plus is a programme of review of council activities and services and during the May meeting partners were consulted on (by an independent consultant from Birmingham University) to understand from a partners perspective what the council should, feel like, look like and do in the future. The main discussion based itself around being an enabler rather than a doer.

June an update presented which is not as yet agreed by cabinet but early learning seems to be that the council should be:

  • Outcome rather than service focussed
  • Timely prevention and intervention (not early help, across all ages)
  • More enabling and less directional – co-creation was discussed a little
  • Concentrate on three core areas of Health; Growth; and Strong Communities (including identifying and building community capacity)

Some considerable discussion throughout the meeting at various points was around the changes that may be needed and the need to do things differently – significant review on LA structures/ committees etc. would be necessary, but would take time. Cllr Meeson also indicated that he intended to come off the chair of this board and that some changes would need to be agreed e.g. leader or a “nominated representative”

Suggestion on a strapline / theme of “from good to great” with an emphasis on “new great” whilst we don’t know what “new is yet”

June meeting only

Safeguarding Boards (both CYP and Adult) presented significant difficulties with the joint funding and much debate was around what the funding rationale and contributions should be from various statutory partners who have a responsibility for safeguarding e.g. health and police. SMBC at the moment was contributing the lions share and there was a need to consider the strategy to approach other statutory partners. Agreed that this needed to be addressed regionally and not locally. Safeguarding boards to draft a issues paper for further discussion with regional budget controller.

In addition there was some debate around where synergies across adult and childrens safeguarding boards could be achieved and those that could be regional too. No easy solution, progress report at next meeting.

Involved and inclusive communities

Report was not received and therefore came off the agenda, presumably to be picked up at the next one.

Clinical Commissioning Group

Dr Chitnis presented the thinking that had been undertaken by the Solihull CCG and indicated that they were focussing on the “big ticket” items mainly:

  • Reduction of smoking and therefore the on-going health issues smoking contributes to e.g. heart disease etc.
  • Dementia and metal health diagnosis to ensure people got the support as early as possible.
  • Improved sharing of data within health e.g. hospital/ doctors and even sharing between hospital depts. Which apparently is not the case at the moment.

The move in all other main areas is to be more preventative in nature which is quite a challenge, but Solihull felt that they are ahead of the rest i.e. not thinking about reducing the number of times they buy a printer, but again focussing on the big issues.

Other information items were:

  • Raising participation age – no discussion other than the schools are “getting their heads around it”
  • Riots recommendations – the majority of recommendations are now within mainstream and working in practice, this was therefore taken off the agenda for future updates
  • Youth unemployment update report highlighting what is being done info only

Potential Follow Up Action/Discussion/Feedback Required:

Partners to schedule and present at the meeting at appropriate times in their change management process.

None asked for but it is likely that safeguarding boards will come to the table again and may need ideas for reducing expenditure or increasing contributions- they would prefer the latter.

Date of Next Meeting: 15th July 2013