Agenda and minutes

Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 31st August 2017 6.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room, Grafton House

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors, Chisholm, Grant and C Smart.  Councillor O Holmes was also unable to attend the meeting.


Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 July 2017 pdf icon PDF 83 KB




that the minutes of the meeting held on 6 July 2017, be signed as a true record.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business




that the Order of Business be as printed on the agenda.


Annual Review of the Health Scrutiny Committee


15.1    Suffolk County Councillor Michael Ladd, the Chair of the Suffolk Health Scrutiny Committee provided an update about what the Committee had dealt with during the last 4 meetings.  The Committee comprised of 7 representatives from the District and Borough Councils and 5 members of Suffolk County Council.


15.2    At the 12 October 2016 meeting, discussion had taken place about the provision of GP services at Hopton and Stanton following a decision made, at short notice to close a GP and dispensary service at Hopton surgery.  There had been concern about the lack of engagement with the local community, lack of clarity about responsibility and accountability for patient engagement and uncertainty about future primary care provision for patients of the practice.  Following this the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) were putting together a guidance pack for all GP practices on engaging local communities in discussion about service change, with input from Healthwatch Suffolk.  The CCG’s had submitted a report about how £13m efficiency savings were to be found in the current financial year and it had been detailed that this would mainly be through internal service delivery changes. 


15.3    Ipswich and Colchester Hospital’s NHS Trusts had agreed to form a partnership with the joint Chief Executive being Mr Nick Hulme.  The business case looked at the integration of clinical services and discussion with stakeholders was taking place about any changes which might impact on the residents of Suffolk.  To counter public perception about changes to services at Ipswich Hospital it had been agreed to establish a Joint Health Overview & Scrutiny Board on a task and finish basis to respond quickly to any NHS consultations arising from the Suffolk and North East Essex Sustainability & Transformation Strategic Partnership Plan which might cross local authority boundaries.


15.4    At the 19 January 2017 meeting, the provision of Emotional Wellbeing Services to Children and Young People from January 2016 had been reviewed.  A joint education scrutiny meeting had been held to discuss a 2 year plan and the concerns about the points of access, both of which would be reviewed again in January 2018.  Written evidence from the Suffolk Health Scrutiny Committee had been included in a report to Parliament’s Education and Health Select Committee about mental health training and it was available by following this link:


15.5    A Task & Finish Group had been formed to consider the winter pressures on health care although it was recognised that these pressures also now occurred at times during the year. 


15.6    At the 14 March 2017 meeting, it had been reported how the CCG’s were working together to ensure that the appropriate primary care infrastructure enable communities in new developments to be sustainable and to encourage more integrated working. 


15.7    At the meeting held on 12 July 2017, following elections, several new members had joined the Committee and there had been a presentation by Public Health Suffolk and all three CCG’s about the Sustainable Transformation Plan.  Representatives had been appointed to attend joint scrutiny committees and to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Annual Portfolio Holder Update - Housing & Health


16.1    Councillor MacDonald as Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health presented an update to the Committee and introduced Ian Blofield as the Head of Housing and Community Services.  Funding had been made available which enabled a Health & Wellbeing Project Officer (Ms Chantelle Roberts) to deliver the Dementia Friendly Council initiative.  The IBC Dementia objectives are to improve staff awareness, buildings and services and to improve supporting materials and a list was circulated of 12 buildings to initially make dementia friendly improvements to.  The key milestones were circulated with the focus on completion being by the end of March 2018.


16.2    Councillor Leeder asked how a council building became dementia friendly?  Councillor MacDonald said that it would be in the decoration, with colours and wall hangings.  Councillor Whittall added that it was how a building was perceived with signage and contrast but the improvements schedule, although a large project in terms of costs and timings would be completed in a timely manner.  The first building audits, at the Customer Service Centre and Fore Street Pool had been completed and these were very differing environments in terms of requirement.


16.3    Mr Blofield reported that some work had already taken place in four of the sheltered home schemes in Ipswich so some core experience in a domestic setting was known and this would also be applied in other settings.


16.4    In respect of the Portfolio Holders remit for housing, the Council’s Housing Strategy had been published which was currently out to consultation and incorporated the prevention of homelessness and rough sleeping.  The four priorities within the Strategy were; enabling building of houses of all tenures, improving the quality of existing housing, especially private rental, meeting the housing needs of all communities and meeting the challenges of an aging population and prevention of homelessness and rough sleeping.


16.5    There were many challenges to be faced locally over the five year period of the Housing Strategy and in relation to a question by Councillor Pope about Tiffers the Bus Shelter it was reported that it was IBC’s statutory duty to be responsible to house people however, many rough sleepers declined any offer of help and this was not part of the Council’s duty as yet.  Councillor MacDonald confirmed that he was the Chair of the Ipswich Locality Homelessness Partnership and projects like Tiffers the Bus Shelter, the Chapman Centre and the winter Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) were available to help.  There were 430 hostel places for the homeless across Ipswich and although these helped for people not on any established pathway there was never much movement within these hostel places.    


16.6    Councillor Pope asked about the challenge to make the private rented sector more financially accessible and viable for people of all household sizes and Councillor MacDonald said that there was no easy answer to this challenge as private rents were not capped.  Mr Blofield said however, that help was available about access to benefits and financial advice and IBC were able to check  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.


OS/17/04 Task & Finish Group - Mental Health Awareness pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:


17.1    The Chair expressed her thanks to Councillor Hopgood (in her absence) for the submission of the proposal form which had commissioned the Task and Finish Group.   Councillor Pope presented the notes of the meetings and said that guests from both the public and voluntary sectors had been invited to speak to the Group and Councillor Grant’s input from the Constabulary Control Room perspective had been most useful.  The main conclusion had been that there was a need for more signposting and training to be made available and Suffolk MIND had confirmed that they would be giving a presentation to Councillors prior to Council on 20 September 2017.     


17.2    In relation to IBC the promotion of LifeWorks and another ‘Time to Talk’ day for staff should be implemented by Officers for employees and Wellbeing ‘Champions’ should be considered.  A matrix flow chart of how services linked together had been requested but the evolution of an Emotional Wellbeing Hub which was being set up at Landmark House as a single point of contact would be more helpful.  When referral was made a professional would ‘triage’ to the most appropriate service and Councillors had agreed that IBC should support and promote this service when it was available.


17.3    An article had recently appeared in the Ipswich Star about measures introduced at IBC to help signpost to mental health services, including links which had been added on the IBC website by the Communications Team, to suggest self-referral agencies.  It had been confirmed by Janine Last, Operations Manager for Customer Services that a planned awareness raising/signposting session would take place alongside a comprehensive training programme for staff at the Customer Services Centre and in Housing Services which would be completed by December 2017.


17.4    Councillor Darwin asked if front line training would be available for Councillors and it was confirmed that Quay Place offered free training which several Councillors had attended.  Mr Blofield confirmed that there has been a shared mental health post worker within housing and there was a dedicated mental health outreach worker.


17.5    Councillor Gage asked for timescales to be set for the completion of the actions recommended by the Task & Finish Group and the Chief Executive agreed to refer the actions to the Corporate Management Team after Suffolk MIND had given their presentation to Council in September and report back to the Committee in October.                    


OS/17/05 Work Programme 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Additional documents:


18.1    Councillor Debman reported that a Task & Finish Group for the Orwell Bridge Closures had met to discuss a letter that had been received from Highways England in response to a stakeholders meeting earlier in the year.  He thanked Councillor Gage for her input to the Group and it had been agreed that the notes of the meeting and some questions raised would be submitted to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 26 October 2017 and that Highways England, the SCC Cabinet Member for Highways and a representative from the Suffolk Policing Unit be invited to attend.


18.2    The Chief Executive had been asked to confirm, at Minute No 7.4, that an agreement existed between Suffolk Leaders and other authorities to contribute to support the housing services offered by IBC and he confirmed that in the case of the Syrian refugees a collective agreement existed about securing the right accommodation.


18.3    The Chief Executive confirmed that at Minute No 10.2, he had responded to SCC and First Buses to draw attention to the issues raised by the Committee and that a review of the Ipswich Park & Ride would be considered at the 26 October 2017 meeting.