Home > Council and Democracy > Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a progress report on individual risks identified in the Council’s Strategic Risk Register.


The Committee considered a progress report outlining the individual risks identified within the Strategic Risk – ‘Failure to Keep People Safe’, from the Council’s Strategic Risk Register.


Mr Steve Thompson, Director of Resources provided an overview of the sub-risk ‘Death or Injury to a Member of Staff’, outlining the Health and Safety systems and procedures in place. In relation to the monitoring of staff sickness levels, a question was raised on whether illness caused specifically by mental health issues was monitored and supported. Mr Thompson confirmed that sickness levels were monitored and that absences attributable to mental health issues were identified where possible, explaining that the underlying causes of illness were not always evident. Mr Neil Jack, Chief Executive further clarified that mental health awareness was addressed departmentally as well as by a Council as a whole and that early referral to Occupational Health Services was an important part of the process.


Assurance was sought that the maintenance of buildings under the control of the Council’s Wholly Owned Companies was as vigorously monitored as all other Council buildings. Mr Thompson verified this to be the case, explaining that property compliance audits were being implemented across all of the companies.


Mrs Diane Booth, Director of Children’s Services addressed the sub-risk ‘Death, Serious Injury or Harm of a Vulnerable Child’. She explained that a robust improvement plan was in place within Children’s Services which was supported by the Council’s partners. The Committee was informed that the Commissioner was satisfied with current progress and that co-working with key partners was improving. She highlighted the key risks to the effective delivery of the improvement plan as recruitment and financial limitations. The difficulties experienced nationally in the recruitment and retention of suitably experienced social care staff was discussed, with Mrs Booth outlining a number of provisions being implemented to try and address this hurdle. She added further assurance that due to the high level of scrutiny from outside bodies and the improvements being implemented across the service, the gross risk scores had decreased.


Mr Neil Jack, Chief Executive answered Members’ questions on the sub-risk ‘Death, Serious Injury or Harm of a Vulnerable Adult’. Mr Jack emphasised the strong links with health providers and explained that the Council’s Principal Social Worker for adults was undertaking deep dive reviews of a number of service provisions. Members were informed that examples of good practice were examined in order to assess what worked well in order that such examples could be shared and learnt from in a positive way. In response to a question on how samples were selected for the in-depth audit of three or four cases per quarter, Mr Jack explained that due to the complexity of the cases, the focus would be on the identification of areas where improvements would be beneficial or where a particular issue had been raised by providers or service-users.


In relation to the sub-risk ‘Death or Injury to a Member of the Public’ Mr John Blackledge, Director of Community and Environmental Services provided additional information on the controls in place. Discussion was held around the need to consult with affected residents in cases where the removal of trees may cause concern, with Mr Blackledge agreeing that clear communication with residents would be beneficial. The implementation of improved electronic monitoring of playgrounds was highlighted, with a target date for introduction cited as March 2020.


Mr Alan Cavill, Director of Communications and Regeneration informed Members of the measures in place to address identified risks associated with beach access. The Committee was informed that a beach patrol team was employed all year round and was supplemented by additional staffing in the summer season where risks increased. North and South look out points were in place, with plans being considered to introduce a look out point in the central area. The beach patrol team was equipped with a range of equipment, including quad bikes, to help them respond quickly and lifesaving equipment was subject to a regular and frequent inspection regime by the team. Assurance was sought that the safety signs on the promenade provided the correct information to help maintain the safety of members of the public. Mr Cavill confirmed that the required safety notices were in place at each entry point to the beach and that these underwent regular checks.


Mr John Blackledge responded to Members’ questions in relation to the sub-risk ‘Residents Do Not Feel Safe in Their Communities.’ He explained that responsibility for the Council’s Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) had now transferred to his directorate and as such he would be entering into discussions with partner agencies about funding and improved function of the CCTV network. In order to further inform any decisions regarding the feasibility of modernising the current system, an internal audit of the Council’s CCTV would be completed sooner than previously planned to ensure that a thorough and robust overview of the system was completed.


Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health informed the Committee that new Drug and Alcohol Strategies were in the process of being prepared. Support for the pursuit of a minimum unit pricing scheme for alcohol was expressed, with Dr Rajpura stressing the beneficial impact such a scheme would bring.


The Committee noted the end date of funding for the Fulfilling Lives project as April 2021 and questioned whether another provision would be replacing its valuable contribution. Dr Rajpura advised that work was ongoing with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to identify a health care model for the group, with the aim of securing funding from the CCG to continue the work started by Fulfilling Lives. In conjunction with the introduction of an app aimed at enabling those in need of support for alcohol use to access help themselves, as well as the potential remodelling of the service, Dr Rajpura anticipated positive improvements to be evident within the next 12 months.


Supporting documents: