Venue: Committee Room - Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1SE. View directions
Contact: Ian Ford Email: email@example.com or Telephone 01255 686584
In the absence of the Leader of the Council (Councillor Stock OBE), the Chair was occupied by the Deputy Leader of the Council (Councillor G V Guglielmi).
Apologies for Absence
The Cabinet is asked to note any apologies for absence received from Members.
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors I J Henderson (Leader of the Labour Group), A O J Porter (Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Tourism) and N R Stock OBE (Leader of the Council).
It was RESOLVED that the minutes and the exempt minute of the meeting of the Cabinet, held on Friday 25 March 2022, be approved as correct records and be signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Personal Interest, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest made by Members on this occasion.
Announcements by the Leader of the Council
The Cabinet is asked to note any announcements made by the Leader of the Council.
PPMA National Awards – TDC Success
The Deputy Leader of the Council (Councillor G V Guglielmi) was pleased to announce that Tendring District Council and its partners had been Highly Commended at the PPMA National Awards for an innovative health initiative namely the setting up of a well-being hub at Great Bentley School.
Meeting with the Chairmen of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committees
The Deputy Leader of the Council (Councillor G V Guglielmi) informed Cabinet that the Leader of the Council and himself, together with senior Officers, had held the first meeting under the auspices of the Council’s adopted Cabinet and Overview & Scrutiny Protocol with the Chairmen of the Council’s two overview & scrutiny committees. He stated that the meeting had gone extremely well and had been very useful and productive for all concerned.
Councillor M E Stephenson, speaking in the capacity of Chairman of the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee, endorsed Councillor Guglielmi’s comments.
Announcements by Cabinet Members
The Cabinet is asked to note any announcements made by Members of the Cabinet.
Tendring Community Fund
The Partnerships Portfolio Holder (Councillor McWilliams) reminded Members that cash grants were available to support organisations working in their local community. Those grants would be awarded from the Tendring Community Fund to help groups deliver initiatives, with both capital and revenue projects eligible. The Tendring Community Fund had a total pot of £356,000 available.
She stated that such schemes should particularly look to tackle issues such as social isolation and unemployment, or improve education or health outcomes or the environment, and support Tendring District Council’s key priorities. Such applications would receive more support if they had matched funding from other partners, such as charities, businesses or public sector bodies.
Councillor McWilliams further reminded Members that applications for the first round of funding had to be submitted by 5pm on Monday, 13 June 2022 and she was pleased to inform Members that three such applications had already been submitted.
The Deputy Leader of the Council (Councillor G V Guglielmi) welcomed Councillor Bray to this his first meeting of the Cabinet since his recent appointment thereto by the Leader of the Council as the Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Planning.
Councillor Bray informed Cabinet that he had already had meetings with senior Officers on many planning issues and especially the issue of enforcement. He stated that he intended to introduce, as a first step, a dedicated generic email address for planning enforcement, which would ensure a much faster response by Officers to Members’ emails on such matters.
Matters Referred to the Cabinet by the Council
There are none on this occasion.
There were no matters referred to the Cabinet by the Council on this occasion.
To enable the Cabinet to consider its response to recommendations made by the Community Leadership Overview & Scrutiny Committee following that Committee’s enquiry into the subject matter of Children Missing Education.
RESOLVED that the recommendations made by the Community Leadership Overview & Scrutiny Committee be endorsed and that the response of the Partnerships Portfolio Holder thereto be approved.
Cabinet was aware that, at its meeting held on 21 March 2022 (Minute 53 referred), the Community Leadership Overview & Scrutiny Committee (“the Committee”) had undertaken an enquiry into the safeguarding and education position concerning those persons of school age not attending mainstream schools.
Officers from Essex County Council had attended that meeting and Members had been advised of the potential impacts, suggested by research, of children missing school, such as:
- Slower progress in learning
- Worse Prospects for future employment
- Poorer mental health and emotional well-being
- Restricted social and emotional development and
- Increased vulnerability to safeguarding issues and criminal exploitation
The Committee had also been informed which children were at risk of missing education, namely:
- Children at risk of harm/neglect
- Children of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families
- Families of Armed Forces
- Missing Children/runaways
- Children and young people supervised by the Youth Justice System
- Children who cease to attend a school
The Essex County Council officers had also advised Members of figures within Essex and specifically in Tendring of children who were Electively Home Educated (EHE) and that a rise was being seen nationally. The Committee was shown figures of the following:
- Children Missing from Education (CME) broke down by quadrants
- EHE broke down by quadrants
- A breakdown of school aged CME by district
- A breakdown of school aged EHE by district
Members of the Committee had been further informed at that meeting that, currently, parents who removed their child from school were not required to tell their Upper Tier Local Authority; they were not required to provide the school with a reason for de-registering their child from a school; they did not have to have their EHE plans documented at the time of de-registering their child; and they were not required to let an inspector into their home to observe their EHE system.
The Committee was also advised that in the admissions process for schools, the Education Compliance Team of the County Council offered support for parents to navigate the appeals process in order to reduce their perception of alienation from the process. Where there were schools with unusually high numbers of children being de-registered, the Education Compliance Team would work with that school in order to address any issues leading to those de-registrations.
That meeting was also informed that schools across Essex were signed up to support young carers who otherwise could lose out on mainstream education. It was also the case that a Fair Access Protocol was in place for secondary school age children to facilitate them returning to mainstream schooling if a home schooling experience was not successful following a child being de-registered.
After a discussion the Committee had RECOMMENDED to Cabinet:-
“That Cabinet agrees to:-
(1) Send a letter of support to the Secretary of State for Education for the introduction of the following powers/measure to safeguard the position of those de-registering from mainstream schools and opting for Elective Home Education ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
Leader of the Council's Items
There are none on this occasion.
There were no such items to consider on this occasion.
To provide an update and seek Cabinet’s endorsement for a number of community projects that contribute to the organisation’s Community Leadership role.
a) Cabinet endorses the projects listed within the Portfolio Holder’s report as those which will continue to be supported in 2022/2023 in alignment with the Council’s Corporate Plan priorities; and
b) the Community Leadership Overview & Scrutiny Committee be requested to continue to scrutinise this work programme.
Cabinet considered a detailed report of the Partnerships Portfolio Holder (A.2) which provide it with an update on community projects and which also sought Cabinet’s endorsement for a number of community projects that contributed to the Council’s Community Leadership role.
Members were aware that this Council’s Corporate Plan 2020-2024 placed Community Leadership at the forefront of everything the authority did through the delivery of high quality, affordable services and working positively with others. To deliver that aspiration, a number of community projects had been formed under the following themes:
§ Health and Wellbeing
§ Community Safety
§ Economic Growth & Leisure
Officers had been instrumental in the sourcing of, and applications for external funding, for the delivery of a number of those projects. To date this had secured £4.4 million of funding for those initiatives.
The Portfolio Holder’s report provided an overview of the projects which had been identified in accordance with the role of the Council, as a Community Leader. The Council was not the statutory provider for Education, Health and Wellbeing. However, through influence, bringing stakeholders and partners together to share and improve practices, there were a number of areas where the Council could offer support to Education and Health providers, and ultimately children, learners, patients and residents across the District.
An overview of each of the projects was provided under the following headings:-
(i) Tendring Education Strategic Board;
(ii) Teach First;
(iv) Well-being Hub – rollout of model; and
(v) Tendring Health & Care Academy.
(i) Local Delivery Pilot;
(ii) Ben Clyne: Sheltered Housing Fitness;
(iii) Jodie Milne: Inclusive Dance;
(iv) Tendring District Youth Football Club;
(v) Jaywick Sands Boxing Club;
(vi) Essex Pedal Power;
(vii) Disability Cycling;
(viii) ‘Beat the Street’;
(ix) Suicide Prevention; and
(x) North East Essex Health & Well-being Alliance.
Community Safety Projects
(i) The Essex Violence & Vulnerability Unit;
(ii) Youth Impact – Uturn Project;
(iii) Dot Com and Watch Over Me programmes;
(iv) SOS Bus Project;
(v) Crucial Crew;
(vi) Street Action Days;
(vii) The Youth Project;
(viii) CUFITC – Unite our Communities Programme;
(ix) CUFITC – Mental Health Awareness Projects; and
(x) CUFITC – 1-2-1 & Small Group Mentoring.
Economic Growth & Leisure Projects
(i) Tendring Local Cultural Education Partnership;
(ii) Clacton 150;
(iii) Green Day;
(iv) Tendring Junior Ambassadors;
(v) Theatre Temoin FLOOD project;
(vi) ‘Snapping the Stiletto’;
(vii) Grand Theatre of Lemmings;
(viii) Essex Children’s University – Essex Book Festival Poetry Slam;
(ix) Hunt & Dalton: Kids’ Business;
(x) Dig4Jaywick Community Garden;
(xi) Jaywick Sands Beach Clean events; and
(xii) Jaywick Sands Networking Group.
The Leader of the Tendring Independents Group (Councillor M E Stephenson), in his capacity as the Chairman of the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee, raised his concern that the Council might “be setting itself up for a fall” regarding these budgets should the monies be suddenly withdrawn by the external funders. He suggested that his Committee should regularly scrutinise those budgets.
The Deputy Leader of the Council (Councillor G V Guglielmi) and ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
To agree an updated Service Level Agreement with Citizens Advice Tendring for 2022/23.
RESOLVED that -
a) Tendring District Council enters into a Service Level Agreement with Citizens Advice Tendring for a further year from 1st April 2022 on the terms and conditions, as set out in the updated agreement shown in Appendix C to item A.3 of the Report of the Partnerships Portfolio Holder; and
b) the Assistant Director (Partnerships) be authorised to sign that Agreement on the Council’s behalf.
Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Partnerships Portfolio Holder (A.3) which sought its agreement for an updated Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Citizens Advice Tendring (CAT) for 2022/23.
Members were aware that Tendring District Council (TDC) had provided grant funding to CAT backed by an annually agreed SLA, for a number of years. That arrangement supported the provision of free, confidential and impartial advice to residents across a wide range of issues. Since 2013/14, the core grant awarded each year had been £144,000, payable in two instalments of £72,000.
It was reported that the SLA had been thoroughly reviewed in 2017/18 following substantial changes in the governance, management and service delivery of CAT. The revised SLA for 2017/18 had been agreed by Cabinet at its meeting held on 17 March 2017. All subsequent SLA’s had remained largely the same as the 2017/18 SLA with minor changes only, and all had been agreed by the relevant Portfolio Holder.
Cabinet was informed that Schedule 2 (2.8) of the SLA provided for reductions in CAT core services beyond their control. On 31 March 2020, CAT had reported that they had been operating a reduced service since 16 March 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown. This had involved a temporary cessation of all face-to-face advice. CAT staff had been deployed to remote home working, providing advice via email, telephone and in writing. The CAT‘s office closure and suspension of services at their outreach sites had remained in force until recently. A number of key paid employees and volunteer staff had been lost during the pandemic but numbers were now nearly back to pre-Covid levels, however, some were still undertaking the intensive training that they needed before they were able to give advice. A new, streamlined, training programme had been introduced so that new officers could be fast-tracked. A hybrid service would be in operation where there was a choice for residents - they could either ‘drop-in’ to surgeries and/or also get advice over the telephone or by email. Eventually, a community team would also be created this year (CAT were seeking funding) as the Families Advisor had proven very successful and there was a real need for that service.
In addition, and in order to ensure efficiencies and improve on last year’s performance there had been a review of the telephone service. One solution was to implement a ‘triage team’ which would free up advisers and supervisors who could better use their skills elsewhere. The pandemic had seen CAT move their support from mostly in person drop-in during 2019/20, to mostly via email during 2020/21, and for 2021/22 had delivered most support via the telephone. The local telephone number for CAT had been publicised more widely rather than the Essex-wide contact number. The CAT team also now included a Warm Homes Adviser. This was a 2 year funded post to assist clients with income generation, accessing energy grants, switching suppliers and insulation advice which would end in ... view the full minutes text for item 11.
Management Team Items
There are none on this occasion.
There were no such items to consider on this occasion.