Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for absence and clarification of alternate members

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.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Hector (Councillor Colacicco substituting), Shahzad (Councillor Ezeajughi substituting), Warren and appointed observers Ms Gouldbourne, Ms Robers and Ms Monteleone.


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.


There were no declarations of interests.



Deputations (if any)

To hear any deputations received from members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 69.


There were no deputations received.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.



RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 19 July 2017, be approved as an accurate record of the meeting.



Matters arising (if any)


There were no matters arising.



Order of Business


RESOLVED that the order of business be amended as set out below.


Local Safeguarding Children's Board Annual Report pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Section 13 of the Children Act 2004requires each local authority to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) for their area and specifies the organisations and individuals (other than the local authority) that should be represented on LSCBs. The Brent LSCB annual report summarises the work of Brent LSCB during 2016/17.


(report to follow)

Additional documents:


Mike Howard (the Chair of Brent’s Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB)) presented the report which outlined the activities of Brent LSCB’s in the period from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.


The Committee heard that the Ofsted Review of the effectiveness of Brent LSCB, which had been conducted in autumn 2015, and the subsequent action plan required the Board to address fundamental areas such as audit and performance management. Mr Howard spoke about two areas of work which the Board had been pursuing – the quantity and the quality of safeguarding. In relation to the first, Mr Howard paid attention to performance data received from various partners all of which contributed to safeguarding in Brent and he said that he was pleased that it had been possible to employ a Data Analyst until the end of the next financial year. As far as the quality of safeguarding was concerned, Mr Howard highlighted that the way the Section 11 Audit was carried out had changed – employees of organisations which sat on the Board were required to complete a questionnaire which measured their level of knowledge of safeguarding and allowed their managers to identify areas of concern where action had to be taken. Approximately 4,000 responses had been received, more than half of which came from the educational sector.


Mr Howard stressed the importance of reminding partner organisations that safeguarding children was everyone’s responsibility. He said that Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) review of the Metropolitan Police force had been critical of the way the Police dealt with safeguarding but praised police in Brent for their approach to keeping children safe and their collaboration with Brent LSCB. In relation to health providers, Mr Howard said that he had written a letter to the Chief Executive of the London North West Healthcare National Health Service Trust in December 2016 and, as a result, a dedicated Head of Safeguarding Children had been appointed. However, there had been issues related to community rehabilitation as the National Probation Service had refused to attend Board meetings and Community Rehabilitation Companies had received negative inspection reports.


As far the Government’s review of LSCBs was concerned, Mr Howard informed the Committee that the Children and Social Work Bill had gone through parliament in April 2017 and guidance was expected to be received soon. He suggested that joined-up safeguarding boards might be considered as some of the key partners sat on more than one board, but this would depend on the recommendations issued.  For instance, Brent LSCB and Harrow LSCB shared partners who represented the Northwick Park Hospital, the Police and probation services and there were common interests such as training and potential combining of resources for Child Death Overview Panels (CDOPs). However, Mr Howard emphasised that not all boroughs were the same so defining the level of integration would be a strategic decision. In relation to working with the local community, Mr Howard said that the recruitment of lay members to sit  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

The report provides a summary of safeguarding activity carried out by Brent Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) partners across social care, health and criminal justice sectors in Brent in 2016-2017.

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Michael Preston-Shoot (the Chair of Brent’s Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB)) introduced the report which provided a summary of safeguarding activity carried out by Brent SAB partners across social care, health and criminal justice. He said that the 2016-2017 report had been designed to increase accessibility by explaining acronyms, providing text box explanations, and including visual aids to improve understanding. The Committee heard that in 2016-2017 the Safeguarding Adults Team (SAT) had received 1,712 concerns compared to 1,678 referrals made in 2015-2016. 628 concerns had been investigated and completed as S42 enquiries.


Professor Preston-Shoot noted that until recently he had shared Mike Howard’s (the Chair of the Brent Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) concern about the Police as their engagement with adult safeguarding had been intermittent, but remained positive that with Detective Inspector Andy Grant joining the Brent Borough Command, this would improve. In relation to working with partner organisations, Professor Preston-Shoot commented that engagement had been good and this included the London North West Healthcare National Health Service (NHS) Trust which engaged better with the SAB than with the LSCB. Furthermore, he said that since the end of the 2016-2017 financial year, the SAB had commissioned one further safeguarding review. Speaking of home education, Professor Preston-Shoot mentioned that the Home Education (Duty of Local Authorities) Bill 2017-19 (a Private Members Bill) had been tabled by Baroness Morris of Yardley (on behalf of Lord Soley).  


The Committee heard that there had been a protocol to work effectively with adults who self-neglected themselves. In addition, the Board would turn its attention to standards in care homes because more safeguarding adult reviews had been commissioned at national level in relation to abuse in the latter, although no specific problems had been identified in Brent. Specific areas that would be scrutinised included standards of commissioning and contract management as well as training and support given to care staff.


The Board had spent time trying to create a performance management framework that was fit for purpose. It had been agreed what performance data would be collected from partners from the first quarter of 2017-2018 and the process of collating information had started.. Members were informed that regular meetings between the Chair of the SAB, Mr Howard, Carolyn Downs (the Council’s Chief Executive), Karina Wane (the Council’s Head of Community Protection), Meenara Islam (the Council’s Strategic Partnerships Manager) and business support officers took place to coordinate the actions of various partnerships and boards involved in children and adult safeguarding as there were clear overlapping issues between the two areas. For example, a coordinated approach had been taken towards the White Ribbon Day, Scams Week, Child Sexual Exploitation Week and other similar events. The overall aim had been to promote the ‘think child, think family’ approach where the whole family was looked at in the event of a safeguarding concern.


Measures had been taken to increase the engagement of user groups and they had been allowed to address the Board. However, progress had been slower than  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Identification of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Brent pdf icon PDF 682 KB

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in the UK. This report outlines Brent Clinical Commissioning Group’s in identifying cases of FGM in Brent and seeks the support of the Committee for the work done locally to address this.


Doctor Sarah Basham (Vice Chair and Co-Clinical Director at Brent Strategic Commissioning Group (CCG)) introduced the report which outlined Brent CCG’s work on identifying cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the Borough. Doctor Basham said that some of the data included in the report had been extracted from national reporting of FGM and stressed that FGM had been recognised as a problem in Brent. Doctor Arlene Boroda (Designated Doctor at Brent CCG) explained that work around FGM had been ongoing for a long period of time. She said that in addition to mandatory reporting, Brent CCG was trying to eradicate the practice by working with partners across the health economy, the Police, and the voluntary sector. Doctor Boroda noted that there had been a large number of reports of FGM in Brent and emphasised that women who had undergone the procedure experienced life-long complications. A key message that the Committee heard was that since 2015 it had been mandatory for hospitals, mental health trusts and General Practitioners to report cases of FGM and one of the main tasks of the CCG was to engage local communities and the voluntary sector and to support professionals to share information (‘Tell us once’). In relation to the latter, Doctor Boroda said that training had been provided to professionals for a number of years and refresher courses were available to ensure everyone understood their role in safeguarding women.   


A Member of the committee enquired about the Department of Health’s prevention programme and the Committee heard that the Department’s data provided information about the prevalence of FGM as it extracted data from the locations where FGM had been reported, which allowed the identification of hotspots. Dr Basham said that Brent was an area where there were both high prevalence and high risk of FGM. Doctor Boroda confirmed that partners worked effectively in Brent to address the issue and gave an example of a roundtable discussion in which representatives of the CCG, the Designated Nurse, children’s social care representatives and the Police participated. In relation to a question about the collaboration with the Police and immigration officers to monitor when children were taken out of the country, she said that safeguarding was everyone’s responsibility so if a parent requested to take a child out of school, this raised concern as the child could have been at risk. Dr Basham added that there had been a case in her practice where a concern had been raised and passports had been retained.


The Committee focused its attention on raising awareness of FGM in schools and a Member asked a question that related to the expectations from teachers. Gail Tolley (the Council’s Strategic Director for Children and Young People) explained that the report presented to the Committee had been prepared by Brent CCG and it was the responsibility of the school Governing Boards and Ofsted to assess the safeguarding mechanisms adopted by schools and the awareness of key members of staff about FGM. As far as risks associated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Scoping paper for Home Care Scrutiny Task Group pdf icon PDF 86 KB

The Community and Wellbeing Committee agreed in its work plan for 2017/18 to set up a number of task groups to review important matters of council policy. Members agreed that during 2016/17 they would set up a task group in order for scrutiny to review home care in the borough. The task group scoping document in Appendix A sets out the task group’s remit, methodology, research methods and its objectives.


Additional documents:


The Chair introduced the report and reminded Members that home care was a subject that had been judged by Members to have met the IMPACT criteria which scrutiny had developed in order to evaluate and filter whether a subject was appropriate to be included in its work programme. He drew the Committee’s attention to Appendix A which contained the task group scoping document. Councillor Hirani (the Council’s Cabinet Member for Community and Wellbeing) added that the context of the Task Group was to inform the Council’s commissioning work so a clear direction was established prior to the recommissioning of home care contracts.


James Diamond (Scrutiny Officer at Brent Council) said that Doctor Laura Cole, a researcher, and Professor Jill Manthorpe at the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London would act in an advisory capacity to the Task Group.




(i)    The contents of the Scoping paper for Home Care Scrutiny Task Group  report, be noted;


(ii)  A task group to review home care be set up; and


(iii)A report with recommendations to the Committee be produced by the Task Group.



Update on scrutiny work programme (If any) pdf icon PDF 105 KB

This report updates members on the Committee’s Work Programme for 2017/18 and captures scrutiny activity which has taken place outside of its meetings. 


Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the contents of the Update on the Committee’s Work Programme 2017-18 report, be noted.



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.