Full County Council

Committee Questions

Thu Feb 16 2012

Related Documents:
agenda for these questions
minutes for these questions

1. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR HANNON

Re: ADVA Funding

Can the Leader please say how much funding was provided to ADVA in 2011/12 and what funding is included in the budget for 2012/13 for ADVA?

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR HART

The funding for domestic violence support services in 2011/12 was a grant of 300,000. For 2012/13 the County Council is budgeting 500,000 to provide support services for Domestic and Sexual Violence as a targeted support service.

The County Council and its partners recently launched consultation on a new joint domestic and sexual violence strategy. This was received positively by all partners involved.

The valuable work of the support services for Domestic and Sexual Violence victims has been recognised and as such they are now integrated in our front line services. This means it will now be a commissioned service and, in common with all support services, the budget process doesn t specify the organisations who will receive the funding because it is a matter for procurement and subsequent contracts when the budget is approved. The new commissioning arrangements, and the potential for other funding sources, will maximise efficiency, target the impact of these important front-line services more effectively and allow the service to include support for both domestic and sexual violence.

2. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR NEWCOMBE

Re: Youth Service

With the current structure of the Youth Service we have heard how significant numbers of youth work sessions have had to close, due to staff shortages, and sickness absence. With the proposed loss of yet another experienced Youth Work Team Leader, does the Leader believe that the number of closures will increase in communities?

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR HART

Youth Services are now within a wider Young People's Service within the County Council. The restructure from four youth service teams to three will see a reduction in management and administration but no reduction in the number of Area Youth Workers or Youth Support Workers. It is not envisaged that this will impact on front line delivery.

3. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR HOOK

Re: Fly Tipping

Can the Leader please say how income is expected from the "tip tax" in 2012/13 and does he not agree that the imposition of this tax has led to an increase in fly tipping?

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR HART

The County Council does not receive income directly from the charges that were implemented from the start of the current financial year. Income is collected by the site operators and the County Council makes a reduced payment to the operators as a consequence. In 2011/12 the budgeted reduced payment was 920,000 and this has been included within the budget for 2012/13. There is no evidence that significantly increased fly-tipping has occurred as a result of the introduction of charges for items which are not defined as household waste.

4. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR HOOK

Re: Bus Services

Can the Leader say how many DCC supported bus services have been withdrawn or reduced as a result of cuts to bus subsidies in 2011/12 and what are the likely level of cuts for 2012/13?

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR HART

No communities have had their service withdrawn completely. Most changes were a reduction in frequency, some service numbers were changed or some services were replaced by commercial services. The main areas of change took place within school routes. Members were provided with details of the changes in February 2011 and this schedule can be made available again to any Member who requires it. For 2012/13, Devon County Council is planning no budget-led reductions, however in the event of decisions by bus operators to reduce their commercial services, further adjustments may need to be considered.

5. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR SPENCE

Re: Housing Initiatives

Will the 3,836,000 set aside for housing initiatives for the vulnerable mean that the county council will provide extra funding for supported housing for homeless young people at risk of coming into care and prevent any recurrence of young people in care being placed in totally unsuitable premises such as pubs, and for homeless adults suffering from mental health problems and drug and alcohol dependence?

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR BARKER

The amount referred to by Councillor Spence relates to a resolution at Cabinet on 8th February to make budget provision of 3.836m for Housing Initiatives for the Vulnerable. This money is to invest in our care homes and is not related to provision for young people or homelessness. If the budget is agreed then further information will be available in a report that will be considered by Cabinet in March.

6. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR SPENCE

Re: Social Fund Money

What are the Leader s plans for the use of the Social Fund money now available to provide necessities for people in desperate need when this money is transferred to the county council? Will it be ring fenced for this purpose and if not, how will it be used?

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR HART

The Welfare Reform Bill has not yet completed its passage through Parliament. As it does so, the County Council will want to consider its full implications with our partners and to carefully study any guidance which is issued with it once it becomes law and before it takes effect from April 2013. It is too early to make a decision on the specific provision with regard to changes to Social Fund Loans but active consideration will be given to this issue during the coming months.

7. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR PENNINGTON

Re: Highway Lengthsman

Can the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation give further information on how the addition of 260,000 for highway lengthsmen involves the employment of more lengthsmen and the estimated increase in their number and especially in the Ivybridge team.

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR S HUGHES

The effect of the increased funding directed at the Lengthsman service will be to generally increase the numbers deployed in the County and increase the regularity of visits to parishes. In relation to the Ivybridge Neighbourhood this will be a general increase of approximately one lengthsman, increasing the complement to 3.5, with regular visits to parishes 3 to 4 times per annum.

8. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR SPENCE

Re: Value Added Tables

Would Councillor Channon comment on the recently published value added table for Devon secondary schools and in particular St. James High School outstanding performance, and what conclusions does she draw from these results?

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR CHANNON

St James achieved the highest value added score for all Devon schools. This means that the students at St James made better than average progress between KS2-KS4. Whilst the overall % A*-C [including English and Maths] was 46% in 2011, this reflects steady improvement since 2008 when only 31% of students achieved A*-C. The EBACC results were 18% which is above the Devon average of 15.6% and national average of 15.4%.

9. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR SPENCE

Re: Free Schools and Academy Status

Would Councillor Channon update the Council on the current position regarding the establishment of free schools in Devon and the latest position regarding:

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR CHANNON

Free Schools

In respect of those Devon has had specific contact with we believe the following are likely to submit a bid to the DfE by the February deadline are:

In addition, we have not had specific contact but are aware of proposals at:

Academy Schools

47 Devon schools have so far converted to Academy status or sharing an Academy Trust latest update attached as an appendix to these questions. We have to await information from the DfE regarding pupil data in Academies. This usually takes up to 2 months after the January census date. However Academy data received from the DfE for the Autumn term shows a total of 2,829 [5.7%] pupils in primary and 22,114 (52.5%] pupils in secondary.

West Exe and St Peter s

Awaiting conversion pending resolution of outstanding issues regarding PFI.

Schools being required by the DfE to become Academies

200 schools nationally identified by DfE as persistently underperforming 3 schools in Devon on this list [2 primary and 1 secondary].

10. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR HANNAFORD

Re: Expansion of Exwick Heights

Could Councillor Channon please give the Council an update on plans to expand Exwick Heights Primary School?

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR CHANNON

A proposal to purchase a site adjacent to the Exwick Heights School has been approved and terms have been agreed. A development plan to incrementally increase the school has been commissioned.


DEVON ACADEMIES

ACADEMIES CONFIRMED BY DfE

1 September 2010

Broadclyst Primary

Uffculme

Dartmouth All Through (EACT Sponsor)

1 November 2010

Ivybridge

1 January 2011

Colyton

Kingsbridge

1 March 2011

Bradworthy Primary

Teign School

Teignmouth with Inverteign Primary

1 April 2011

QECC

South Dartmoor CC (with Ashburton, Buckfastleigh, Widecombe)** + Ilsington in July

Yealmpton

Exmouth CC

The King s School

Clyst Vale

1 July 2011

Ilsington Primary ** part of South Dartmoor Chain

Honiton CC

Pilton CC

1 August 2011

Chulmleigh CC

Chulmleigh Primary

Burrington Primary

East Worlington Primary

Newport Community School

Coombeshead College

Great Torrington Community School Sports College

Newton Abbot College

1 September 2011

Stockland CofE Primary

1 October 2011

Kingsteignton, Rydon Primary

1 November 2011

First Federation:

Blackpool Primary

Chudleigh Knighton Primary

Lady Seaward s Primary

Newton Ferrers Primary

Salcombe Primary

Children First Federation: Sharing one Academy Trust

Hemyock Primary

Sampford Peverell Primary

Wilcombe Primary

Sidbury Primary

South Brent Primary

Orchard Vale Community School

1 December 2011

Honiton, Littletown Primary

1 January 2012

Bickleigh-on-Exe CofE Primary

Lapford Primary [with Chulmleigh group]

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

Thursday 16 February 2012

1. QUESTION FROM ALDERMAN TURNER (EXMOUTH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION)

Re: Exmouth Library

Exmouth has waited almost thirty years for a new library, including many years at the top of the needs list. To avoid another long wait will the County Council agree to explore, with some urgency, the possibilities of providing a library suited to the 21st Century for Devon's largest town?

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR CROAD

The replacement of the existing Exmouth Library with a modern 21st century library remains a priority for the County Council. As yet, no appropriate town centre site has been identified; however, the library service continues to keep abreast of ongoing discussions and masterplanning activities within the town to ensure the replacement of the library continues to be highlighted as an important need within the town. The existing library is shortly to introduce new self-service and wi-fi facilities to support more modern ways of working and improved customer service. The new facilities could easily be transferred to any new building as they are not integrated into the fabric of the building.

Date Published: Thu Feb 16 2012