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Website URL : http://www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=619

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3A, Guildhall, Swansea. View directions

Contact: Liz Jordan 01792 637314 

No. Item


Disclosure of Personal and Prejudicial Interests.


Disclosures of interest – Chris Holley.


Prohibition of Whipped Votes and Declaration of Party Whips


No declarations were made.


Appoint/Confirm Convener of the Panel and Confirm Co-optees


Peter Black was confirmed as Convener of the Panel.

Katrina Guntrip and Tony Beddow were confirmed as co-optees on the Panel.


Notes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 279 KB

To receive the notes of the previous meeting and agree as an accurate record.


The Panel received the notes of the meeting on 16 April 2019 and agreed as an accurate record.


Public Question Time

Questions must relate to matters on the Agenda and will be dealt with in a 10 minute period.


One question was asked by a member of the public:


·         Are you aware of the latest position regarding the Council’s contract with RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind people)?



It was agreed that this question be dealt with under item 9 on the agenda. 



Wales Audit Office Report on Housing Adaptations pdf icon PDF 256 KB

Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy

Mark Wade, Head of Housing and Public Health

Darren Williams, Programme Planning and Delivery Manager, Housing Renewals and Adaptations

Additional documents:


Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy, Mark Wade, Head of Housing and Public Health and Darren Williams, Programme Planning and Delivery Manager, Housing Renewals and Adaptations attended to brief the Panel on the WAO review of Housing Adaptations.  This included the background to the review, recommendations on improvement and progress made both nationally and locally in implementing the recommendations.


Discussion points:


·         Very negative report nationally with the same things having been recommended in three reports over the last 10 years.  Council does not think this applies to Swansea. 

·         Council’s indicator for delivering Disabled Facilities Grants has improved from 340 days in 2015-16 to 235 days in 2018-19. The target for this year is 255 days.  This is still above the national average waiting time.

·         PIs are not a perfect measure of performance as Authorities look at it in different ways.

·         Occupational Therapy service has been brought in house.  There should be a unified assessment as duplication with Occupational Therapists from Health and Social Services.

·         Difficult to do anything on unified adaptations process between Housing Associations and Council as they are funded differently.  There is currently a problem of inconsistency.  Welsh Government needs to sort this out and undertake a national review. 

·         Council has fed back to Welsh Government that there is a need to ensure All Wales Categorisation is categorised properly. 

·         Council made decision in last budget round not to cut housing adaptations budget in terms of leaving it at the current level, given that demand had increased.  This will need to be reviewed year-on-year.  If demand exceeds budget, waiting times will go up.   

·         ‘Adapt’ has been very successful.  It has helped not to waste capital monies by leaving equipment in properties and matching new tenants to adapted homes.

·         Panel would like to see more equitable level of waiting days for adaptations between private and council properties.

·         Panel concerned whether the Council is doing the right thing by adapting certain properties that are difficult or expensive to adapt and queried whether it would be more cost effective for the Council to move tenants to more easily adapted properties.  Informed there is a process for evaluating if an adaptation is value for money.  

·         £36,000 is the maximum that can be received for a Disabled Facilities Grant.  Council currently tops this up if needed but may need to look at this in the future.

·         Anyone can make an application for housing adaptations – individuals and professionals on behalf of an individual.

·         Council manages a Framework of Contractors.  If a contractor is employed within the framework, the Council is obliged to resolve any performance issues.  If people employ contractors themselves there are limited sanctions the Council can take if any issues arise. 

·         There is a performance evaluation assessment for every scheme of adaptations completed using the Council’s Framework of Contractors, scored under various performance headings.



·         Send letter to Andrea Lewis from Convener on behalf of the Panel.

·         Andrea Lewis to provide Panel with proposals to achieve better delivery times for council tenants.


Panel Review of the Year 2018/19 and draft Work Programme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Additional documents:


Panel members reviewed their year on the Adult Services Panel and completed 4 questions:


1. What has gone well?


·         The level of quality of debate has been good

·         Level of support from staff has been good

·         There has been real challenge to Cabinet Members and officers from Council and Health Board

·         Some progress in respect of changing thinking on budget

·         Update on policy commitments item was good

·         Commissioning reviews and how we assess contracts.  Level of commitment and debate – very good. 

·         Performance data – getting better understanding of this, more focus and more detailed

·         Scrutiny of Health Board.  Getting them in front of us managed to unblock some of the issues.


2. What has not gone so well?


·         Visits – not gone too well so far as only two people turned up for first visit.  This does not give a good impression.

·         Scrutiny of the budget - Not happy with amount of time Panel has to do this.  The Panel needs to use this process to understand what the Council is trying to do with the money.  Need papers to be available sooner so have time to go through it properly before the scrutiny meeting.  Also officers on the front line appear to have no link to the budget.

·         Scrutiny of Western Bay did not go well.  Need to rethink how we interact with them. 


3. Has the Panels work programme been focussed on the right things?


·         May help to look at morale of staff locally particularly sickness of staff in Adult Services

·         Not talking to users of service enough.  Invite some users to tell us their experiences.  Third Sector organisation could arrange a round table event for some service user groups on their home ground, to get their views on a certain subject (Carers Centre, service user forums).


4. What have we learned that will help us with future Adult Services scrutiny?


·         The Panel has been persistent and brought things out into the open.



Panel Members agreed the Work Programme for 2019/20.



·         Add ‘Sickness of staff in Adult Services’ to work programme.

·         Panel Members to let Scrutiny Officer know if a topic comes up in work programme that it would be useful to hold a round table event with service users for. Could speak to them before speaking to officers at the Panel meeting. 

·         Scrutiny Officer to look into possibility of round table event with service users for item ‘Supported Living Developments for Mental Health and Learning Disability Services’ scheduled for 24 September Panel meeting.  



Correspondence received by Convener of the Panel pdf icon PDF 404 KB


Mark Child, Cabinet Member for Care, Health and Ageing Well and Dave Howes, Director of Social Services attended to brief the Panel on this issue. 

Correspondence had been received by the Convener of the Panel concerning termination of the Council’s contract with RNIB.   


Discussion Points:


·       Panel informed officers are reviewing all contracts with providers.  This is Council policy based on budget. 

·       Regarding Council’s contract with RNIB.  Council’s view and RNIB’s view of what contract is, is different.  Council has made decision to postpone the notice of termination of this contract for time being until it has been reviewed, including speaking to RNIB.  They will then feed back. 

·       Council did not have alternative provision to put in place when it came to decision to cancel contract with RNIB as there was no intention to replace it with another service as thought it was commissioning something different, which was being provided elsewhere. 



·       Cabinet Member to provide update at next meeting. 

·       Panel to receive list of grants awarded and now ceased. 




Letters pdf icon PDF 173 KB

a)    Letter to Cabinet Member (16 April 2019 meeting)

b)    Response from Cabinet Member (16 April 2019 meeting)

Additional documents:


Letters received and considered by the Panel.



·         Convener to write back to Cabinet Member about Local Area Coordination – Report provided with response from CM has already been seen by the Panel.  Panel would like to see more on performance data and will wait until this is available to bring back to the Panel.  Panel is looking for progress towards PIs.


Letter to Cabinet Member - Homes & Energy pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Letter to Cabinet Member - Care, Health & Ageing Well pdf icon PDF 197 KB

Response from Cabinet Member Mark Child (20 June 2019 Meeting) pdf icon PDF 428 KB

Additional documents:

Response from Cabinet Member Andrea Lewis (20 June 2019 meeting) pdf icon PDF 250 KB


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