Agenda and minutes

Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday 1 February 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Boardrooms 7&8 - Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ. View directions

Contact: Nikolay Manov, Governance Officer  020 8937 1348 Email:

No. Item


Declarations of interests

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, any relevant disclosable pecuniary, personal or prejudicial interests in the items on this agenda.




Councillor Conneely declared a personal interest in respect of Agenda Item 6 (Scoping Paper for Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) Scrutiny Task Group) by virtue of the fact that she was a Mental Health and Liaison Officer at Brent Centre for Young People. 



Deputations (if any)


There were no deputations received.



Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 106 KB


RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 23 November 2016, be approved as an accurate record of the meeting.



Matters arising (if any)


There were no matters arising.



Signs of Safety Scrutiny Task Group Report pdf icon PDF 124 KB

A report from a task group which had been set up in order for scrutiny to evaluate the introduction of Signs of Safety by children’s services. The document summarises the results of the review undertaken by the task group in the period between October 2016 and January 2017.

Additional documents:


At the invitation of the Chair, Councillor Hoda-Benn, introduced the report on the implementation of Signs of Safety, which was a practice framework for working with children and families and child protection. She explained that the report had been produced a result of recommendations for scrutiny made by the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) in 2015 to give more consideration to child safety and the implementation of Signs of Safety. Cllr Hoda-Benn highlighted that the task group had made four recommendations and that these were detailed in page 22 to the Agenda. She summarised that Signs of Safety was a good model for social work in Brent and expressed her gratitude to all officers involved, including front-line staff who had given up their time to support the work of the Task Group.


The Chair invited Councillor Mili Patel (Cabinet Member for Children and Young People) and Gail Tolley (the Council’s Strategic Director of Children and Young People) to comment on the report. Councillor Patel thanked the Task Group and the former Cabinet Member for Children and Young people for their work and stated that she would be able to provide annual updates to the Committee about the progress in implementing Signs of Safety. Ms Tolley acknowledged that the work completed by the Task Group had been extremely helpful and said that the recommendations had already been incorporated. She informed the Committee that Dr Andrew Turnell and Professor Eileen Munro (Child Protection Consultants) had received the report and had sent very positive feedback. 


In response to a Member’s question regarding resources that would be available if Brent’s application to receive funding during stage three of the Innovation Programme was successful, Ms Tolley explained that if the bid was successful, the Children and Young People Department would be enabled to access more funding for implementing Signs of Safety and build on the progress that had been achieved so far. In response to a Member’s question as to whether the Council could generate income from offering training to other bodies once the potential additional funding had been received. Ms Tolley responded that Signs of Safety was a branded product which meant that it was unlikely for Brent to be able to conduct training. Nevertheless, she pointed out that two of the Council’s practice leaders had been coached to deliver elements of the training but they firstly had to be validated for quality and it would not be possible for them to train outside of the organisation. In response to a Member’s question about the future of the model if funding was stopped, Ms Tolley assured the Committee the model would still be used, with existing progress being embedded to become business as usual. Moreover, Brian Grady (the Council’s Operational Director of Safeguarding, Performance and Strategy) said that collaboration would be encouraged, forming a strong partnership with the other nine local authorities to share learning. However, he estimated that there would be a negative effect on staff  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Scoping paper for Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) Scrutiny Task Group pdf icon PDF 79 KB

The attached report presents the findings of a task group set up in order for scrutiny to review the effectiveness of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) in Brent. The document focuses on provision of support to young people in the Borough at present and discusses how the model could be adapted to better meet needs in the future.





Additional documents:



Councillor Shahzad presented the report and emphasised that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) were very important for Brent as one in ten school children in the Borough had experienced a mental health issue. He noted that a lot of change was needed in the area, which had to be implemented in accordance with the Local Transformation Plan which had been adopted across North London. He informed the Committee that the Task Group’s report had been agreed with the Brent Care Commissioning Group (CCG), the National Health Service (NHS) and the Leader of Brent Council. Councillor Shahzad reminded Members that as the issue had been examined in February 2016, it was time to revisit it. He explained that the scope of the Task Group had been detailed in paragraph 12 on page 47 to the Agenda Pack, where six key priorities had been listed. Councillor Shahzad summarised that the Task Group would evaluate the effectiveness of the existing model and how it could be adopted to better meet the needs of the local population. 


The Chair invited contributions from the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, the Director of Children and Young People and the Operational Director of Safeguarding, Performance and Strategy. Brian Grady (the Council’s Operational Director of Safeguarding, Performance and Strategy) welcomed the suggested focus areas as and said it was important to make a commitment to issues which were the subject of national conversation and debate. 


The Chair commented that the Task Group had been formed at a time when it had been necessary to examine how the existing arrangements had worked for Brent residents and said that he was looking forward to reading the report.


Councillor Nerva entered the meeting at 7:34 pm.

Councillor Mili Patel left the meeting at 7:35 pm.




(i)    The contents of the Scoping Paper for the CAMHS Scrutiny Task Group be noted; and


(ii)  Councillor Nerva and a named representative of the Brent Youth Parliament be added to the Task Group’s membership.




Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

The purpose of this report is for the Independent Chair to present the

Safeguarding Adults Board’s Annual Report for 2015-16.


The report provides a summary of safeguarding activity carried out by Brent Safeguarding Adults Board partners across social care, health and criminal justice sectors in Brent. It is divided into four sections covering prevalence of abuse, multi-agency response to safeguarding risks, Brent Safeguarding Adults Board’s strategic priorities, and learning from case reviews to improve practice.



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The Chair welcomed Councillor Hirani (Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing), Professor Michael Preston-Shoot (Independent Chair, BrentSafeguarding Adults’ Board (the Board)) and Phil Porter (the Council’s Strategic Director for Community Wellbeing) to the meeting. Professor Preston-Shoot introduced himself and talked about his experience in scrutiny and his engagement on the Board.


Professor Preston-Shoot introduced the annual report of the Board and clarified that it had been prepared under the supervision of the previous Independent Chair as his term had started in September 2016. The Committee was informed that according to the Care Act 2014, Brent was required to set up a Safeguarding Adults Board. The Committee heard that the Board issued an Annual Business Plan and an Annual Report, with briefing sessions conducted to inform members of the Board about their responsibilities under the Care Act.      


Professor Preston-Shoot informed Members that the Annual Report had provided a summary of safeguarding activity which had been carried out by the Board’s partners across the social care, health and criminal justice sectors in Brent. He pointed out that the report had been divided into the following four sections:


  • Prevalence of Abuse;

·        Multi-agency response to safeguarding risks;

·        The Board’s strategic priorities; and

·        Learning from case reviews to improve practice.


The report set the profile of abuse faced by those in need of care and support and examined how well agencies, including the Council’s Safeguarding Adults Team, were meeting the needs of those who were at risk or experiencing abuse and neglect, with the information being benchmarked against national comparators. Last but not least, Professor Preston-Shoot highlighted that the Board’s work would be coordinated with the Safer Brent Partnership and the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) in terms of scrutiny and at Lead Members, Chairs and business manager levels.   


Councillor Hirani emphasised that safeguarding had been a priority within adult social care since 2012 when a poster campaign had been launched to raise awareness of the issue and which had led to an increased number of safeguarding concerns reported. He added that reporting in Brent was currently higher than in other areas of the country and noted that expanding the Board’s membership had been discussed to include the voluntary sector and social care providers.


Members of the Committee enquired about why some types of adult abuse had been more prevalent than others and how the Independent Chair’s assessment of compliance with the Care Act had changed since his appointment. In response to the first question, Professor Preston-Shoot said that awareness had to be raised around the issues of modern slavery and self-neglect as these categories so far had been underreported. He noted that, in some cases, self-neglect could be a life choice by mentally capable individuals, while modern slavery could be associated with the circumstances in which people had been employed on low-paid jobs which meant that closer cooperation with Trading Standards could be required to address the issue. Professor Preston-Shoot said that people found it difficult to ask questions which related to institutional  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Update on scrutiny work programme (If any) pdf icon PDF 107 KB

This report updates members on the committee’s work programme for 2016/17 and captures scrutiny activity which has taken place outside of its meetings.

Additional documents:




(i)     The update on the Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Work Programme be noted; and


(ii)    An update on the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) be presented to a meeting of the Committee in March or May 2017.




Any other urgent business

Notice of items to be raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Head of Executive and Member Services or his representative before the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 64.




Date of next meeting

The next scheduled meeting of the Committee is on


The committee noted that the next meeting was scheduled for 29 March 2017.