Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Bryony Gibbs, Governance Officer  Tel: 020 8937 1355; Email:  bryony.gibbs@brent.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Chair's Opening Remarks

Minutes:

The Chair opened the meeting, welcomed those present and outlined the protocol to be followed for the meeting.   

2.

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.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Stephens and co-opted members Mr Simon Goulden, Reverend Helen Askwith and Mr Aloysius Frederick.

3.

Declarations of interests

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, the nature and existence of any relevant disclosable pecuniary or personal interests in the items on this agenda and to specify the item(s) to which they relate.

Minutes:

The following interests were declared for transparency:

 

·         Councillor Ketan Sheth – Director of Daniel’s Den Ltd

·         Councillor Colwill – Governor of St Gregory’s RC Science College

·         Councillors Hector and Chan –Councillors for Kensal Green Ward  

4.

Deputations (if any)

To hear any deputations received from members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 67.

Minutes:

Deputations were considered under the item ‘Call-In of Executive Decision - Approval to Establish an Alternative Provision Free School with Integrated Youth Offer from the Roundwood Youth Centre’

5.

Call-In of Executive Decision - Approval to Establish an Alternative Provision Free School with Integrated Youth Offer from the Roundwood Youth Centre pdf icon PDF 101 KB

A decision made by the Cabinet on 15 April 2019 in respect of the “Approval to Establish an Alternative Provision Free School with Integrated Youth Offer from the Roundwood Youth Centre” report from the Council’s Strategic Director Children and Young People, has been called-in for consideration by the Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee, in accordance with Standing Order 14.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Having received the report from the Director of Performance, Policy & Partnerships detailing the background to the call-in referred to the Scrutiny Committee for consideration, the Chair began by inviting Councillor Chan to outline the reasons for the call-in and alternative action being sought as a result.

 

Councillor Chan advised that the call-in detailed a number of concerns regarding the Cabinet decision to establish an alternative provision free school with integrated youth offer from the Roundwood Youth Centre. Councillor Chan asserted that the decision lacked policy imagination and failed to fully address alternative options to establishing a free school. The Cabinet had not provided sufficient evidence that local authority schools in the area had been approached to discuss delivering the alternative provision under their management.

 

Addressing aspects of the Cabinet decision in further detail, Councillor Chan advised that the call-in also highlighted concerns regarding a potential lack of accountability and strategic oversight in the intended arrangements. With reference to paragraph 6.2 of the Cabinet report (attached as Appendix B to the papers before the committee), Councillor Chan noted the financial implications of commissioning places at the proposed new alternative provision free school and highlighted that no detail had been provided of how this financial relationship would be overseen. Members’ attention was further drawn to resolution iii) of the Cabinet decision which delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Children and Young People, in consultation with the Lead Member for Children’s Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care, to identify the Council’s preferred provider of the Alternative Provision Free School with integrated youth provision. Councillor Chan asserted that this decision should sit with the appropriate Lead Member(s) to ensure accountability. It was further noted that there was an expectation that the governance arrangements include a senior council officer acting as a trustee of the new alternative provision. Councillor Chan emphasised that with this amounting to just less than 20 per cent of the trustees, there lacked assurance that there would be sufficient strategic oversight of the new arrangements. In concluding his introduction to the call-in, Councillor Chan expressed agreement with the intention to provide more youth services at Roundwood Youth Centre but stated that he was wary about how the council had characterised the lack of provision at the venue.

 

The Committee then moved on to consider representations from members of the public and other stakeholders who had requested to speak in relation to the call-in.  Comments made were as follows:

 

GherieWeldeyesus (Brent National Education Union) expressed his concern that, under the new arrangements the youth club at Roundwood Youth Centre would be discontinued, despite reassurances to the contrary. He stated that the council should fully fund the youth centre to ensure that children and young people had somewhere to go after school and in the holidays.

 

Mary Adossides (Chair, Brent Trades Councils and former Head Teacher of Manor School) emphasised that there was a crisis in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provision due to cuts in government funding. Therefore, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.