Executive Scrutiny Committee Minutes

Tuesday, 25th February, 2020
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, 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 Sylvia Walmsley(Chairman), Cllr Chris Barlow, Cllr Pauline Beall, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Luke Frost (Sub Cllr Ian Dalgarno), Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr Lynn Hall, Cllr Tony Hampton, Cllr Paul Kirton, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Norma Stephenson O.B.E, Cllr Laura Tunney, Cllr Tony Riordan (Sub Cllr Matthew Vickers)
Ian Caley (CS), Rebecca Saunders-Thompson, Judith Trainer, Sarah Whaley (MD)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Chris Clough, Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr Carol Clark, Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell,
Item Description Decision
AGREED that the report be noted.
AGREED that the reports be noted.


The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
There were no declarations of interest.
The Scrutiny Team Leader presented the Committee with the Draft Final Report of the Children and Young Peoples Select Committee Scrutiny Review of Careers Provision.

Ian Caley from Youth Direction was also in attendance to answer any questions the Committee may have had.

The main topics discussed were as follows:

Reference was made to the Gatsby Benchmarks which were the result of international study to find best practice in career guidance worldwide for school children; eight benchmarks defined the essentials of good career guidance. Stockton schools were at various stages in meeting the benchmarks and there was good examples of good practice. Egglescliffe was the first school in Stockton to meet all eight benchmarks.

It was highlighted that one of the recommendations to come out of this review was to encourage schools to work towards achieving all Gatsby Benchmarks for all students as it was recognised that a strong career programme led to better outcomes for young people with added benefits for the economy.

Brief discussion took place around the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) which provided centrally funded support to schools for Benchmarks 4, 5 and 6,and hosted the Compass Self Evaluation Tool for the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Ian Caley of Youth Direction explained that the Tees Valley was well ahead of the national trend being placed second in the country in progress towards achieving the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Members went on to discuss the lack of work experience available for pupils whilst at school. Historically all pupils were given the chance to undertake work experience which was seen as great way to give students an insight into working life. It was noted that several schools had brought back work experience weeks.

Suggestions were made in terms of holding a jobs fair with employers exhibiting from multiple industries, although there had been a recent trip to an engineering event in Newcastle.

Officers informed the Committee that work experience across the Tees Valley coud be making a comeback in schools in a much more coordinated way, which would benefit schools and employers. There had been issues however in the past with calendar clashes, where the same week was requested for work experience from different schools which employers couldn't always accommodate.

It was identified that employers needed to make clear when they had work experience available to schools and when.

Some Members expressed disappointment in the careers advice their children had received in Year 9 when taking their options. It was explained that it was the schools responsibility to provide careers advice to those students in years 8 and 9, however this was not funded centrally and was expensive to do so and therefore usual focus was on students in year 11, which was acknowledged as too late for some students.

The Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) were undertaking a number of roles with links to CEC who were government funded, promoting employer links into education, hosting a new Careers Hub and which had launched the www.teesvalleycareers.com. and was now making it more pupil friendly. There were high hopes for that and a good foundation with the TVCA so far with more opportunities hopefully being available to young people going forward.
Members considered the Select Committee Chairs' Updates.

Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee;

The Chair of the Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee, gave members a brief update highlighting the following;

The final report for the Scrutiny Review of Care Homes for Older People would be presented to Cabinet at its February meeting.

In terms of the Scrutiny Review of Hospital Discharge, the Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee’s first evidence gathering session would take place in February 2020.

Brief discussion was had in relation to the monitoring of the Gambling Review. The Committee heard that due to the excellent piece of work, the report was to be recommended to all councils. Members also briefly discussed changes to the way people were allowed to bet which included not being able to open gambling accounts using a credit card and only use a debit card. There would also be an account limit set with each individual operator.

The Chair of the Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee thanked all those that had contributed to the report.

Crime and Disorder Select Committee;

The Chair of the Crime and Disorder Select Committee, gave members a brief update highlighting the following;

The Scrutiny Review of Fly Grazed Horses was picking up momentum. The Crime and Disorder Committee were engaging with some neighbouring authorities and the Police, with the RSPCA attending the next Crime and Disorder Committee meeting.

In terms of the Councillor Call for Action: Obstructive and Illegal Parking around Whitehouse Primary School - Members felt that it was disappointing that the Councillor who submitted the Call for Action was not in attendance to give her feedback of the process undertaken & the recommendations made and endorsed by Cabinet. Future feedback was to be sought.

Children and Young People Select Committee;

In the absence of the Chair the Scrutiny Team Leader, gave members a brief update highlighting the following;

The final report of the Scrutiny Review of Careers Provision would be presented to Cabinet at its February meeting.

A brief discussion took place in terms of a better understanding of links between children attending school in none school uniform and domestic abuse.

People Select Committee;

In the absence of the Chair of People Select Committee, the Scrutiny Team Leader gave members a brief update highlighting the following;

The Committee was currently in-between reviews and the Public Consultation Scrutiny Review was about to commence.

Place Scrutiny Committee;

The Chair of the Place Select Committee, gave members a brief update highlighting the following;

The final report of the Area Transport Strategy Review had been agreed at Cabinet in January where all recommendations were endorsed.

First evidence gathering of the Scrutiny Review of Business Support and Engagement had taken place in January.

Members heard that overseas sales were up to £33.4 million for the Tees Valley, £21 Million of which, was generated from Stockton based businesses.

In terms of the Disabled Parking (Task & Finish) there was a plan in place for each of the town centres for disabled parking spaces. The information would be circulated to Members in due course.

In relation to the Planters in Residential Streets Task & Finish Review, Members were informed there would be a site visit planned soon.

Members briefly discussed the Consolidation of Thirteen Housing Group. Thirteen were due to meet with the Committee in the summer, however contact would be made prior to this to discuss members serious concerns regarding lack of consultation and the withdrawal of service from Customer Contact Centres at both Billingham and Thornaby.

The updates were noted.
The New Scrutiny Officer Rebecca Saunders-Thompson was introduced and welcomed. Rebecca’s role would focus on being the lead Scrutiny Officer for the People and Place Select Committees.

The next Executive Scrutiny Committee meeting would select the scrutiny topics for consideration during the forthcoming year. Members were reminded of the importance of recommending topics for consideration by their relevant committee and a reminder would be sent out to all council members following this meeting.

Can't find it

Can't find what you're looking for? Let us know and we'll do our best to point you in the right direction