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Paper 14 - 23 March  2001


23 March 2001


Report-back by Councillor Maureen Robinson (New Forest District Council)

The Executive has agreed a Public Health Statement that lays out our policy for enhancing the effectiveness of the local authority contribution in this area. However, it is recognised that more work needs to be carried out on the regional and regeneration dimensions of the policy and we will consider this at a later date.

We have been receiving briefings on the progress of the Health and Social Care Bill as it continues its speedy progress through the parliamentary system. The LGA has been lobbying hard on various elements of the Bill, including

* The principles of establishing Care Trusts, particularly in relation to their governance.

* Suggesting that Best Value be applied in the event of the establishment of Compulsory Care Trusts.

* Broadly welcoming the progress that has been made relating to the new scrutiny powers.

A task group on the Health and Social Care interface is being established. This group will focus primarily on the Health and Social Care Bill, but will also be asked to consider important linked policy developments such as the anticipated Non Statutory Forum on Older People. Overall the group will aim to maintain the LGA’s lead policy of creating opportunity for contribution to the provision of integrated care, whist protecting the contribution of local government in this area. (I have been asked to be a member of the group.)

The results of a survey of spending in local authorities with social services responsibilities have been presented. In summary the average projected overspend at year end is 2.13% over original budget. This represents a national figure of £205 million. The average for Unitary Councils is 2.46% and 1.32% for County Councils. Expenditure in the current year on Children’s services is Unitary Councils +37.0% and County Councils +50.2%.

The LGA is making representations to the Government and proposing that the deficiency should be funded through a specific grant.

Finally, following the circumstances surrounding the death of Victoria Climbie and the significant implications which these could have for local authorities, the Executive will devote time in the future to considering the recommendations of the Laming Inquiry. Discussion has so far focussed on the importance of good integrated working both within and between statutory authorities.

The LGA will be drawing authorities’ attention to the new child protection measures, as well as urging better training on councillors’ role in children’s safeguards.

New Forest District Council

Date: 5 March 2001
Annex: 0
Contact: Councillor Maureen Robinson - 023 8028 5478

Last update: 14/03/2001
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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