Arts Leisure & Culture Select Committee Minutes

Wednesday, 17th February, 2010
Lecture Theatre, Stockton Central Library, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 1TU
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell(Chairman), Cllr Hilary Aggio, Cllr Dick Cains, Cllr Aidan Cockerill (vice Cllr Andrew Sherris), Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr Alan Lewis, Cllr Mrs Kath Nelson, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley, Cllr Mick Womphrey
Hazel Grant, Sean McEneany(CESC), Peter Mennear, Sarah Whaley(L&D)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Andrew Sherris
Item Description Decision
CONCLUDED that the minutes of the meeting held on the 7th October 2009 were signed as a correct record.
CONCLUDED that the minutes of the meeting held on the 18th November 2009 were signed as a correct record.
CONCLUDED that the minutes of the meeting held on the 11th January 2010 be agreed as a true record.

CONCLUDED that the information be noted and the amendements be made to the report as detailed above, and further updates be received as appropriate.
CONCLUDED that the views of the Committee be taken into account in the submission of options to Cabinet on 11th March 2010, and that the consultation results in relation to users of Blenheim, Parkside and STEPS be provided to the Committee prior to their submission to Cabinet.
1.00pm - 3.00pm


There were no declarations of interest.
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 11th January 2010.
Members were asked to consider the assessments of progress contained within the attached Progress Updates on the implementation of previously agreed recommendations for the review of River Based Leisure Facilities.

The Scrutiny Officer presented the updates and Members made the following amendments:

1c) It was agreed that this recommendation could be signed off as being 1- Fully Achieved due to the establishment and ongoing operation of the River Users Group structure.

1g) Assessment of progress to be changed from 4- Not achieved to 3-Slipped. A further report would then be presented to the committee with an update on the future review of the Ingleby Barwick to Preston Park river taxi route that was due to take place later in 2010.

1h) The assessment of progress was agreed to be 3-Slipped in relation to a the production of school information packs, and future updates would concentrate on this issue.

2) This was signed off as 1 - Fully Achieved as consideration of the quality of riverside developments in future projects had become part of ongoing processes.

Members were pleased to learn that refurbishment of the white water course at Tees Barrage had commenced on 15th February 2010 and was scheduled to complete in October 2010. Members suggested that a photographic record be kept of the refurbishment to show how the project had progressed.

The Committee felt it would be useful to be provided with the meeting dates of the River Users Group and associated sub groups as they also examined relevant topics which would be of interest to Members in relation to this review.

The Scrutiny Officer confirmed that the Regeneration Project Officer would be invited to a meeting of Arts Leisure and Culture when the next rivers monitoring update would be received to update Members of any outstanding information for the River Based Leisure Facilities Review.

Members were asked to consider, comment and challenge the options report in relation to the EIT Gateway Review of Adult Operations prior to it's submission to Cabinet.

The Committee commented on the success of the site visit which included many of the centres detailed in the attached report which was held on the 6th January 2010. All members felt this was a vital part of the process when considering the recommendations in this review.

The Head of Adult Operations presented members with the above mentioned report highlighting the following areas.

1. In House Day Care Services

Members learned that Stockton Borough Council had a higher than national average of traditional, internally provided day care services however they provided this service at 28% cheaper than the national average.

The Committee discussed the services which were currently being provided at the Alma Centre, Parkside, Halcyon and STEPS at Tithebarn, and also current state of the buildings (fit for purpose) and how these impacted on future plans. Members were also informed that the Alma Centre site had already been identified as a preferred site by the NHS for Stockton’s future Integrated Care Centre and Stockton Borough Council had already entered into negotiations for the NHS to purchase the Alma Street site.

The Committee learned that Hartlepool Borough Council no longer offered Day Care facilities in the traditional manner and that each resident was in control of their own budget and service due to the personalisation scheme. Members and officers discussed the possible impact of personalisation in Stockton to the number of residents requiring traditional day care. Although it was difficult to predict how many people would opt for direct payments allowing them to purchase their own personalised care, and how clients would choose to spend their personal budgets, it was estimated that there would be a natural drop in the number of clients opting for traditional day care. The Head of Adult Operations confirmed that they had used detailed information provided by Hartlepool Borough Council in order to estimate what Stockton Borough Councils requirements would be.

Members and officers also discussed the impact of clients having to travel further a field, for example following the closure of Alma Centre and the relocation to the Halcyon Centre. It was noted that transport would still be provided for clients who were assessed as needing it to access the day care facilities. The Head of Adult Operations informed the Committee that the aim of the review was to give clients greater and more varied choice with the aid of the personalisation scheme.

The Committee also heard that there would be efforts made to stimulate the market place to provide more activities in the area based in local venues such as libraries etc.

The Adult Operations Project Manager highlighted that numbers of clients requiring day care services had dwindled a few years earlier and had only recently recovered to a stable number. Although exact reasons for this were not known there were no waiting lists for day care and the trend was seen to be that numbers would possibly fall again in the future with clients preferring to make their own choices.

Members asked if day care was available for clients who could afford to fund themselves as a means of going out and meeting people. The Adult Operations Manager confirmed to members that people in need of social contact were entitled to day care it was not restricted to the frail or less able and it could be self funded.

The Committee also discussed the possibility that if clients were in control of their own budgets they may opt for privately ran organisations or those working as partners with Stockton Borough Council to provide activities, clients would not necessarily be restricted to Council ran venues. For example, current and future extra care schemes often had facilities that were designed for wider community use.

Members queried how assessments would be made of clients wanting to receive direct payment and if this would be monitored to ensure monies were being used for the purpose it was meant. The Adult Operations Project Manager confirmed that clients would have to satisfy certain criteria and would be reviewed to make sure direct payments were being utilised correctly. Any under spends would come back to Stockton Borough Council.

Members agreed with the proposals to review the service provided by STEPS at Tithebarn, as it was not currently meeting the original aim of assisting clients enter further education or employment.

The committee requested that the results of the planned consultation with clients of STEPS and Parkside Day Centre be provided to the Committee prior to their submission to Cabinet.

2. In House Residential Care

The Head of Adult Operations gave a brief overview of Stockton Borough Councils In House Residential Care homes and confirmed to members that with regard to Blenheim it was agreed in 1996 that no further permanent placements would be taken. The home was formerly provided by Cleveland County Council for clients with profound physical disabilities, and current residents were made up of six residents placed by Stockton Council, six Middlesbrough residents, 2 Redcar residents and 1 Hartlepool resident. One long term resident funded by Middlesbrough and short term care resident from Stockton were progressing towards moving into independent living accommodation, and their own fully equipped house which would impact on a reduction to the number of residents at Blenheim. Members also learned that similar houses were scheduled to be built in the future to increase independent living which would again impact negatively on the number of clients requiring In House Residential Care. In addition to this there were no guarantees that the clients from the neighbouring authorities would remain within Stockton's care and could in fact be relocated back to their own Boroughs; this would incur a reduction in monies received from the neighbouring authorities for their care making it more difficult to keep Blenheim running.

Members and Officers also discussed that clients would also be reviewed in relation to personalisation and this could result in residents choosing alternative living. During a recent survey at Blenheim, 4 clients had been surveyed at Blenheim and had expressed a preference to live independently. It was also highlighted to members that once clients had chosen to move to independent living there would be a transition period and if needs be clients could revert back to residential care should independent living not suit ensuring residents were not left vulnerable.

Members agreed with the recommendation regards further consultation regarding the future of Blenheim however asked the findings were reported back to this Committee.

The Head of Adult Operations gave Members a brief overview of Rosedale Residential Home and the future plans to continue to develop Rosedale as an integrated Intermediate care Centre. Members and Officers discussed Rosedale’s many uses and also that it was part funded by the PCT. Rosedale was seen as a place for intermediate care helping to prevent people going into residential care maximising independent living, and reducing admissions to hospital.

3. In House Home Care Services

The Head of Adult Operations presented Members with the current position of In House Home Care Services which had seen the number of hours of service continually reduce for a number of years now and new referrals had ceased since 2006. Members and officers also discussed how the personalisation initiative could effect the numbers of hours provided to residents as clients could purchase what they felt they needed after prior assessment.

The proposals as part of the review would see the remaining in house home care service be refocused to concentrate on an enabling role, and specific groups of clients such as those with dementia, and those recently discharged from hospital.

The Head of Adult Operations informed members that a preferred list of external providers of Home Care Services had been established. These organisations would be subject to spot checks and robustly monitored and some training would be supplied by Stockton Borough Council to ensure quality was maintained. Any complaints received by Stockton Borough Council or by the Care Quality Commission would be acted upon as there were other providers who could come in and provide the same service.

Members were content for the recommendations to be presented at Cabinet as detailed within the report.

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