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Paper 11 - 2 June 2000 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

2 June 2000

SOCIAL AFFAIRS AND HEALTH EXECUTIVE MEETING 18 APRIL 2000

Report from Councillor Mrs Maureen Robinson (New Forest District Council)

WATERHOUSE REPORT. 'LOST IN CARE'

1. A table which showed the key recommendations from the report and which indicated those actions already being actioned either by local government or others was discussed.

2. The priority areas are the appointment of a children's rights commissioner for Wales, the future role of residential care and its relationship to fostering and adoption, improving the complaints system and addressing human resources issues.

3. Other important area are, the role of members as corporate parents, support for care leavers, regulation and the care Standards Commission and meeting care needs of children in residential schools.

4. The report and several of the priority areas were the topics of a meeting held later the same day between some members of the Executive and the Minister for Social Services. An additional item, which was raised with the Minister, concerned concern about the length of time it takes for some Police forces to carry out checks prior to adoption and fostering.

LGA DRUGS STRATEGY

5. The SA&H Executive have agreed to form a joint task group along with the Social Exclusion Executive in order to develop policies to support the activities of Drug Action Teams.

6. The Government has recently announced that DATs will become co-terminous with local authorities with LEA functions from April 2001. I took the opportunity to voice the concern felt in the south western part of Hampshire about this proposal. The need to retain what works and recognising the differences in situations throughout the country was recognised by those present at the meeting.

NATIONAL BEDS INQUIRY

7. The Government published its consultation document on the National Beds Inquiry earlier this year in order to assist the long term planning for hospital care and related services. As much of this impacts on social services, it is relevant for consideration by the LGA. We have resolved to support the option of providing more intermediate care.

YOUTH OFFENDING TEAMS

8. There is concern over the resourcing of YOTs as the bulk of the partner agency contributions (63%) appear to be being met from social services departments, with the police (13%) and the probation service (11%) being next. The contributions from health and education total 13% together.

9. The Youth Justice Board will be urged to identify the resources needed to reach the National Standards for Youth Justice as a matter of urgency.

MODERNISING THE NHS

10. The implications of the NHS modernisation agenda for social services were discussed. The LGA will draw up a local government position statement to submit to the national plan for the new NHS and will lobby Government on the importance of the local government contribution to the preventive health agenda. There will be an emphasis on the contribution of social services.

11. Information about the amount of partnerships already in progress will be welcomed.

12. A meeting between the spokespeople of the Executive and the Secretary of State for Health is being planned and a circular will be sent to all LA's setting out the importance of the NHS modernising agenda.

ASYLUM SEEKERS

13. We received a comprehensive position statement on Asylum seekers.

14. Members shared areas of concern where the system is apparently not coping at the moment. In particular if asylum seekers are arriving from other local authorities without notification (as is apparently happening from London Boroughs to East Sussex.)

15. It was generally agreed that we should all seek to avoid the national 'hype' on the subject and work towards getting the system to work properly.

16. Authorities who have evidence to show where notification is not working are asked to notify the LGA as soon as possible in order for this to be feed back.

ALSO DISCUSSED

The future agenda for Sure Start (feedback from the survey).
The forthcoming policy forum on Public Health
Arrangements for the unitary authority and regional meetings.
An update on Task Groups.

COUNCILLOR MRS MAUREEN ROBINSON 
New Forest District Council

Date: 2 May 2000
Annex: 0
Contact: Councillor Mrs Maureen Robinson - 023 8028 5477

Last update: 00/00/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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