Care and Independence Overview and Scrutiny Committee

4 March 2021


Work Programme Report


1.0          Purpose of Report

1.1          The committee has agreed the attached work programme (Appendix 1).


1.2          The report gives members the opportunity to be updated on work programme items and review the shape of the work ahead.


2.0          Background

2.1          The scope of this committee is defined as ‘The needs of vulnerable adults and older people and people whose independence needs to be supported by intervention from the public or voluntary sector”.


3.0          Scheduled Committee dates/Mid-Cycle Briefing dates

Committee meetings

·       Thursday 24 June 2021 at 10am

·       Thursday 20 September 2021 at 10am

·       Thursday 2 December 2021 at 10am

·       Thursday 10 March 2022 at 10am

Mid cycle briefing dates

·       Thursday 12 May 2021

·       Thursday 22 July 2021

·       Thursday 28 October 2021

·       Thursday 10 February 2022

4.0          VCS Resilience Survey

4.1          Care and Independence Overview and Scrutiny members joined with members of the Young Peoples Overview and Scrutiny Committee to review the results of the second survey into CVS resilience undertaken by Community First.


4.2          Caroline O’Neil and Mark Hopley from Community First talked about what is happening on the ground with voluntary sector provision. This was a follow up to a briefing held back in July on the VCS Resilience Survey.


4.3          Voluntary groups and charity organisations are playing a critical role in the Covid-19 pandemic response, working in different ways, more flexibly and, in many instances, under real financial pressure.


4.4          Partners providing infrastructure support to VCSE organisations across Yorkshire and Humberside, have worked together to gather information using a common survey, co-ordinated by Voluntary Action Leeds. Fieldwork took place between 4 September and 9 October and follows on from a similar survey undertaken in April 2020.


4.5          Members noted that the changes since reporting in April, at the time of the first lockdown, have continued, with a mix of closures and increasing proportion of service modifications to maintain delivery. Some reopening of services took place over the summer, for many reopening is in 2021 or they are unsure about when they will reopen.


4.6          The results suggest that organisations are broadly responding in at least one, if not a combination, of ways to the current situation:


·       Reframing, repurposing or modifying their services and delivery methods to retain income and meet local community needs

·       Reducing overheads (e.g. reducing staff costs/hours and using the furlough scheme where eligible; turning off heating) to maintain some form of core/partial service

·       ‘Plugging the gap’- use of reserves

·       Short-term mind-set - looking at the immediate crisis of shortfalls in income by using reserves (where available) and/or seeking grants and funding from other government/foundation sources (as well as self-initiated Crowdfunding and Easy Fundraising activities) and /or trying insurance claims

·       Medium –term mind-set – for those able to sustain for at least 6 months are looking for solutions that support current cash-flow but especially help to aid recovery around 6 months from now, framed in the form of needing a ‘business recovery plan’ or equivalent

·       Delaying/deferring and or altering a pre-existing project, service, contract schedules in agreement with a flexible funder and meantime keep the organisation running with existing reserves and contract income

·       Volunteers - some volunteers will not return for reasons of health, getting older and concerns, and with a proportion not re-engaging, bringing in new volunteers is increasingly important

·       Marketing – by maintaining contact with clients/members/constituents to continue a sense of community and encourage them to ‘come back’ once lock down measures are eased i.e. to mitigate any longer term loss of trade, participation or patronage

·       Supporting the local community in other (non-financially oriented) ways

4.7          The Chairs of the two committees agreed to bring up at an upcoming scrutiny board meeting the key recommendations in the report - especially those directed towards grant funders and key public sector partners like the county council.


·       Flexibility has been acknowledged and is necessary to continue.

·       Investing in core costs has emerged as increasingly important for core costs, IT investment, management and embedding new ways of working.

·       Jointly plan investment for short, medium and longer terms – with an immediate 6-month horizon, to maintain groups and activities, until other sources of income are on a more sustainable platform.

·       Grant funders and public sector funders to join up investment frameworks and have some common fields and phrasing for funding applications.

·       Co-design services, recognising that service delivery has been modified and some of the changes need to be reflected in new service specifications.

·       Work with Community First Yorkshire and other partners and make use of locality VCSE structures to identify and agree joint plans to extend the reach and engagement in support services by VCSEs and the engagement of people in support services and activities.

5.0          Mid Cycle Briefing: Work Programme matters

5.1          At a recent mid cycle briefing, group spokespersons have agreed that at the June meeting, members will:


·       Review how the directorate has worked  with user groups during the pandemic and hear from representatives of user groups about their experiences during lockdown and the pandemic generally

·       Look again at  how NYCC is ensuring that Direct Payments enable more choice and control over the support people receive and how their social care needs are met

·       Receive the Annual Report of the Older Peoples Champion


5.2          Other items to be scheduled for future meetings include:

·       Advocacy Services - meeting providers

·       Transitions pathway update – progress

·       Social Prescribing Update on Progress

5.3          At the May mid cycle briefing group spokespersons have asked for an update on:

·       Reablement Review

·       Transforming Care

6.0          Recommendations

6.1          The committee is recommended to consider the attached work programme and determine whether any further amendments should be made at this stage.




County Hall,



Author and Presenter of Report: Ray Busby

Contact Details: Tel: 01609 532655 E-mail:


23 February 2021