To consider the following Notice of Motion which has been submitted in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 4 (b) on 8 January 2020.
Proposed: Councillor Fenella Bowden
Seconded: Councillor Joel Williams
Councillors: McEvoy, Ford, Keith Parry, Gibson and Robson
Cardiff Council is a Member-led authority and therefore from time to time it is appropriate for Members of the Council to raise legitimate concerns in a public setting, namely a Full Council meeting.
Cardiff Councillors are Corporate Parents to Looked After Children in the care of the Council. In recent times a number of Councillors from different political parties have raised concerns regarding the Children’s Services Department. These concerns include, but are not limited to; accountability, scrutiny, transparency and liability.
We acknowledge and wish to put on record the significant work and commitment undertaken by the many staff and officers in Children’s Services and all they do to safeguard and protect children in our City. The purpose of this motion is to confirm and ensure that the processes and procedures we have in place are appropriate, lawful, robust and reviewed regularly.
Therefore, it is proposed in the first instance an independent review of Children’s Services takes place and considers the following:
1. Review the existing terms of reference and operation of the Council’s corporate advisory committee and make recommendations on how the role of the committee can be strengthened..
2. Consider the existing arrangements for how and where Councillors report concerns regarding Looked After Children and whether these arrangements are sufficiently robust and suitable and if not how they can be improved.
3. Consider the existing arrangements on how councillors are updated on concerns and queries regarding Looked After Children and Children’s Services they have raised and make recommendations on how these arrangements can be improved to ensure Councillors can discharge their Corporate Parent duties.
4. Review the existing training in place for Councillors and make recommendations on how the existing arrangements can be enhanced.
5. Review the current policies and procedures in place and make recommendations if it is considered these policies and/or procedures should be amended and reviewed.
6. Meet with Councillors to consider any concerns or recommendations they may have regarding existing policies and procedures in Children’s Services and consider their concerns and/or recommendations.
7. Consider the existing scrutiny arrangements for Children’s Services and make any recommendations if it is considered these should improve.
The individual(s) undertaking the Independent Review into Children’s Services should report to the Chief Executive in his capacity as Head of Paid Service. All Councillors should be sent an un-redacted copy of the review and the Chief Executive will report to Full Council with an update on implementing the recommendations of the Independent Review.