Agenda and draft minutes

Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 6th August 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Pope. Councillor Phillips attended as substitute for Councillor Pope.



Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 229 KB




that the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 July 2020 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.



OS/20/03 Chairman’s Update on the Activity of the Suffolk Health Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 324 KB

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13.1    Councillor Fleming reported that since her last update to the Ipswich Borough Council Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee the Suffolk Health Scrutiny Committee had met twice. Topics scrutinised or considered included:


-       The delivery of Sexual Health and Reproductive Services, noting that a Suffolk Sexual Health and Reproductive Service Board has been established, although information on membership and functionality was still to be confirmed;

-       The Care Quality Commissions inspection of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust;

-       The Provision of Non-Emergency Patient Transport in Suffolk;

-       The current position of Health Services in Suffolk during COVID-19;

-       Health Scrutiny Arrangements for Wavenley;

-       An update from West Suffolk Hospital on plans for a new hospital being built;

-       A proposal to build a new centre for Elective Orthopaedic Surgery at Colchester Hospital;


13.2    Councillor Fleming noted that Winter Preparedness, NHS Dentistry, Voluntary and Community Sector Services, Children’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing Services, Proposals for improvements at Ipswich Hospital, the Primary Care Strategy and impact of COVID-19 were due to be considered at future meetings.


13.3    Councillor Handley noted that COVID-19 had affected the provision of health services and would be a subject for scrutiny. Councillor Fleming agreed THAT COVID-19 would be the subject of scrutiny for some time and that the committee would need ensure that patients were represented in shaping the ‘new normal’.


13.4    Councillor Gage noted that funding from Public Health for Sexual Health and Reproductive Services had stopped being ring fenced some time ago and Councillor Gage asked whether the Health Scrutiny Committee intended to consider scrutinising the impact of this on the service at a future meeting. Councillor Gage also asked, whether there was an opportunity to seek information on whether there was any joint work with staff working to tackle County Line and Public Health for Sexual and Reproductive Services to support those who were being exploited through County Lines. Councillor Fleming agreed to consider this further and would report back to the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


13.5    Councillor T Lockington asked whether the wording within minute 32 included in the report was correct: “There was also a national drive to separate medical from surgical procedures and the new centre would be in line with this direction of travel”. Councillor Fleming noted that these were draft minutes and agreed to discuss the wording of this minute before they were approved.


13.6    Councillor Allen noted that during the merger of Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals there had been issues related to the different computer systems used for patient records and that COVID-19 had impacted on health workers’ mental health and asked whether the Health Scrutiny Committee could consider this as part of its future work. Councillor Fleming explained that the Committee was aware of the different ICT systems used. Councillor Fleming agreed with Councillor Allen that the mental health of NHS workers was important and also noted that the Health Scrutiny Committee had planned future work on the sustainability of voluntary and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


OS/20/04 Annual Portfolio Holder Update - Housing and Health pdf icon PDF 310 KB

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14.1    Councillor MacDonald explained that his portfolio covered Housing and Health, which referred to Public Health. Councillor MacDonald explained that the Council’s Public Health budget was small and had focussed on supporting Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance (IDAA). The Council had been given a grant from the CCG which meant that more work might be able to be carried out around Public Health; further information would be available in the Autumn.


14.2    Councillor MacDonald explained that the delivery of the housing building programme had been contracted out to Handford Homes, but noted that the Housing department provided input to the types and size of properties that were needed and as a result the programme included disability adapted accommodation.


14.3    Councillor MacDonald explained that consultations were being carried out by Handford Homes on new proposals for the Ravenswood UVW site. Ipswich Borough Assets had bought the former BT Office on Bibb Way which was to be converted into flats whilst discussions were ongoing on the future of the data centre.


14.4    Councillor MacDonald noted that Council had agreed the Housing Asset Management Strategy, including the Ipswich Standard. Councillor MacDonald reported that the roofs of 1100 properties in the South West of Ipswich would be inspected and where needed roofs would be replaced; solar panels would be installed where possible. Much of the work of the Maintenance and Contracts team had stopped due to the lockdown caused by COVID-19, however, they were now in the process of recovering although it would take time to clear the backlog of repairs.


14.5    Councillor MacDonald noted that the main concern for Tenancy Services was that arrears had increased which could have long-term implications for the financial health of the Housing Revenue Account. Ipswich Borough Council had tenancy support service which would identify people who were in difficulty and had a financial advice service which was contracted out to Ipswich Housing Action Group (IHAG); Councillor MacDonald commented that this work would become more important as it was likely that there would be more job losses through the Autumn.


14.6    Councillor MacDonald explained that 660 households had been allocated properties; of these 440 had been placed into Council accommodation and 220 into Housing Association accommodation. Councillor MacDonald noted that the housing waiting list still had 1250 families in priority need.


14.7    Councillor MacDonald explained that Ipswich Borough Council had accommodation that could hold up to 80 households within East Villa, West Villa and Felixstowe Road. Around £2 million per year was spend on this accommodation each year, with around 30% funded from Government Grants and 70% from the Council’s General Fund. The Council provided a full range of services to help reduce rough sleeping. SELIG had taken a lease of 1 Civic Drive which would be turned into a winter night shelter and Ipswich Borough Council would provide funding  to assist them.


14.8    Councillor T Lockington asked whether there were any trends of people being placed into Ipswich from elsewhere. Councillor MacDonald noted that Ipswich had been used  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


OS/20/05 Work Programme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 236 KB

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15.1    The Chair noted that a draft Scope for review of the Council’s performance in responding to COVID-19 had been circulated.




that the draft scope for the review of the Council’s performance in responding to COVID-19 and the committee’s work programme be agreed.