#ThrowBackThursday – County Council Elections 2017

It doesn’t seem possible but it is 6 months since the Warwickshire County Council Elections. The number of Councillors reduced to 57 from 62 following a boundary review and the results saw 21 new Councillors join Warwickshire County Council.

We asked new and returning Councillors to let us know how they were feeling 6 months in.

Councillor John Holland was re-elected and has enjoyed watching plans he made before the election being put into practice and move forward.

Councillor Judy Falp is one of the new, independent members of the Council and says –

“What an interesting six months. Many new faces to get to know, lots of training opportunities and my first over five hours meeting! I am pleased with the results I have been able to achieve for the residents of my division. I am yet to make my maiden speech at full council but I am almost certain that will soon be rectified. Thanks to many for making me feel welcome but especially democratic services for all their help.”

The Democratic Services team has enjoyed working with new and returning members and is looking forward to what the next 6 months brings.


Chief Constable Confirmation Hearing

On Friday 19 December, the Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel has the important task of considering the proposed candidate for the position of Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police.

After a rigorous recruitment process, the Police and Crime Commissioner has recommended a candidate to the position, which has to be approved by the Panel, at what is known as a ‘Confirmation Hearing’. This is a statutory duty for the Panel to fulfil and members will be looking for the candidate to demonstrate how they meet the criteria for the position of Chief Constable. The Panel will ask the candidate a series of questions focusing on professional competence and occupational independence – this part of the meeting is open to the public.

Further details about the meeting, the recruitment process and the Commissioner’s recommended candidate can be found here.

Children and Young People OSC – 2 September

The Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee has a busy meeting ahead on Tuesday 2 September, when members will be focusing on a number of important topics.

New contractors for the delivery of Children’s Centres

Barnardo’s and The Parenting Group will presenting short presentation on their vision for children’s centres in Warwickshire, their key priorities, target groups and areas of focus.  Changes to the delivery of Children’s Centres has been a key focus of the Committee over the past 12 months, following its Select Committee review of the consultation proposals in August 2013. The Committee will be looking for reassurance that the new providers can effectively deliver the Early Years service in the new ‘group and collaboration’ model and achieve each of the five outcomes that aim to improve the health and well-being of parents and their children.

Super Priority Areas – School Admissions

The Committee will be considering the outcome of its review of the principle and feasibility of implementing SPAs across the urban areas of Warwickshire, with the initial focus on Warwick and Leamington. The Committee first considered the SPA proposal in January 2014 as a potential solution to address the issue of siblings not been granted places at the same school. A Task and Finish Group was set up to examine the proposal in more depth and its findings and recommendations will be presented to the Committee at the meeting.

Shaping draft strategies

At the meeting, the Committee will also be asked to give its views on two draft strategies: a) Vulnerable Learners Strategy; and b) Schools Places Sufficiency Strategy. Considering the draft documents at an earlier stage gives scrutiny members a valuable opportunity to share their views and make recommendations regarding the draft content, before the documents are signed-off by Cabinet.

Other areas for consideration at the meeting include a) the annual performance in respect of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET); b) an update on the Committee’s previous requirements in regarding Academies and Free Schools; and c) a verbal update on the planned consultation in respect of Home to School Transport.

Do you want to know more?

The meeting will commence at 10am at Northgate House, Warwick – a copy of the agenda and the reports can be found here. If you have a question that you wish to ask at the meeting, please contact Georgina Atkinson at least 3 working days before the meeting. Otherwise, please arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the meeting and ensure that the Chair is aware of the matter on which you wish to speak.

Police and Crime Panel – 18 July

Reviewing the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner

At its next meeting on Friday 18 July, the Police and Crime Panel has an importance role in reviewing the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner – Ron Ball – over the past 12 months. The Panel will examine and question the Commissioner in respect of his Annual Report 2014, which outlines his activities and achievements throughout the year including the development of the Stratgic Alliance with West Mercia, progress against his Police and Crime Plan and management of the policing budget.

Get Involved

The meeting starts at 10am in the Council Chamber at Rugby Town Hall and is open to the public (click here for the agenda and reports). If you wish to ask either the Commissioner or the Panel a question at the meeting, please visit here for further information.

Review of Victims’ Services

Have you been a victim of crime, or know someone who has?

Do you work with and provide support services to victims of crime?

The Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel has set up a dedicated group to review existing support services for victims of crime, which will focus specifically on the successes and gaps in supporting victims and provide an assessment of local need. A key part of the review is to listen to the views of the people who have first-hand experience of those support services – either the victims of crime, or those that support them.

This is a crucial piece of work that will help the Police and Crime Commissioner in his ongoing work to commission victim services in the future and it is important that those services reflect victim needs and priorities. National research of best practice support to victims demonstrates that it should:

  • Be equally accessible across the county;
  • Have an approach that puts the needs of the victim at the heart of the system;
  • Be multi-agency, where appropriate;
  • Provide support to victims of anti-social behaviour and hate crime;
  • Have consistent, specialised provision for victims of domestic and sexual violence; and
  • Provide specialised support for children and young people. (‘Listening and learning: Improving support for victims in Warwickshire’, VSA project)

If you wish to share your experiences and views, or make suggestions about how existing services could be improved, please contact the Panel by 25 July using the contact details below:

Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel
Warwickshire County Council
PO Box 9, Shire Hall
Warwick, CV34 4RR

Tel: (01926) 413747
Email: democraticservices@warwickshire.gov.uk

For more information on the role and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Panel, please visit: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/policeandcrimepanel

Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2013/14 – now published!

I’m pleased to announce that we’ve just published our Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report for 2013/14.

The report brings together all the major pieces of scrutiny we’ve done over the past year, including in-depth reviews of Council and local health services, the performance of individual departments, and the ongoing improvement of services.

These are summarised as ‘Key Outcomes’ which provides a snapshot of each Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s key achievements over the past 12 months. The report is available here: Annual Report 2013/14

Thank you to all of the members, officers, partners and members of the public who have contributed to and participated in Overview and Scrutiny during the year.

O&S Report front page

The Annual Report will be considered at Annual Council on 20 May – this meeting is open to the public and details are available here.

Get Involved

Councillors are about to start discussing ideas about what key topics and issues should be scrutinised over the next 12 months. If you have any suggestions, please either leave us a comment below or email us at democraticservices@warwickshire.gov.uk

Busy meeting ahead for the Children and Young People OSC!

The Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee has a busy meeting ahead on Wednesday 2 April, when members will be focusing on a number of important topics.

The development of a new Special Educational Needs school at the Manor Park site

A new school will be developed on the former Manor Park School site in Nuneaton specifically for pupils with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD) and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) . The new school will be expected to accommodate 60 – 80 pupils and additional units will follow in later stages closer to mainstream schools. At the meeting , the Committee will consider the latest position and timescales for completion.

The impact of changes to the Integrated Disability Service

In February 2013, Council agreed to a £1.76m savings plan for the Integrated Disability Service. This required a redesign of the service to ensure that it was:

  • modern and fit for purpose;
  • compliant with legislation supporting independence and personalisation so that families are actively involved in the decisions made about how to best support their children; and
  • achieved value for money and cost effective, with a level of investment that is more in line with  statistical neighbours.

Members will review progress achieved in managing the savings programme and preperation for the new “Local Offer” defined care packages.

The Committee is aslo due to receive two important verbal updates on a) the changes to Children’s Centres and the delivery of Early Years services, and b) the proposal to merge Warwick’s school admissions priority areas into a single scheme for the town, which will give members the latest position on these two significant policy changes.

There will also be reports on:

  • The important work undertaken by Inclusion Support Groups at Primarly Schools;
  • The impact of Government changes to the adoption process and the introduction of adoption service scorecards; and
  • The transition of Public Health into the County Council.
Do you want to know more?

The meeting will commence at 10am at Shire Hall, Warwick – a copy of the agenda and the reports can be found here. If you have a question that you wish to ask at the meeting, please contact Georgina Atkinson at least 3 working days before the meeting. Otherwise, please arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the meeting and ensure that the Chair is aware of the matter on which you wish to speak.


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