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                                                                                    December 2007

                  Sentinel                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              December 2007

                         Wakefield Metropolitan District Council Overview and Scrutiny Newsletter

                                                                                                                The Social Care & Health       The government’s Respect campaign encourages us all to
                         Liveability committee host climate
                                                                                                                Committee has now              work together to create a society in which we can respect
                         change seminar 28th November 2007

                         tackling youth worklessness
                                                                                   WELCOME! … to the
                                                                                   eleventh issue of The
                                                                                                                concluded its inquiry into     one another and live in peace together. The respect drive
                                                                                   Sentinel - Wakefield

                                                                                                                Children’s Oral Health.

                                                                                                                                               is a cross-governmental and wide-ranging response to
                                                                                   Council’s Overview and
                                                                                   Scrutiny Newsletter.
                                                                                   Thank you for following

                                                                                                                This follows several
                                                                                   our progress in assisting

                                                                                                                                               anti-social behaviour and its causes. It is about central
                                                                                   the Council and its
                                                                                   partners in making
                                                                                   improvements to your

                                                                                   If you want to know
                                                                                                                months of work, hearing        government, local agencies, local communities and
                                                                                                                from various experts and
                                                                                   more about our work
                                                                                   please visit our website

                                                                                                                                               ultimately every citizen working together to build a
                                                                                   uk or call us on 01924

                                                                                                                members of the public.
                                                                                   305957 or e-mail:

                                                                                                                                               society in which we can respect one another – where
                                                                                                                West Yorkshire has the         anti-social behaviour is rare and tackled effectively, and    Wakefield Metropolitan District Council Overview and Scrutiny Newsletter
                                                                                                                highest average decayed,       communities can live in peace together.
                                                                                                                missing and filled teeth for
                                                                                                                                               In September, the Crime and Community Safety
                                                                                                                five year old children in
                                                                                                                England and in Wakefield       Committee set up a Respect Task Group to consider the
                                                                                                                tooth decay among five-        Respect programme and how it is being implemented in
                                                                                                                year olds is significantly     Wakefield. From its initial work the Group believe there is
                                                                                                                worse than the average.        already a lot of good work taking place across the council
                                                                                                                                               that links into the aims of the Respect programme, but
                                                                                                                Chair of the Committee,        there is a need to increase awareness of the breadth
                                                                                                                Cllr Betty Rhodes said “A
                                                                                                                                               of this activity and to develop a more co-ordinated
                                                                                                                healthy pain free smile
                                                                                                                is something that most
                                                                                                                                               approach. It is therefore in the process of mapping the       Liveability Committee host
                                                                                                                people take for granted.
                                                                                                                                               current level of activity around Respect and identifying      Climate Change Seminar
                                                                                                                For many though, a lack        services that possibly need to work more closely together     28th November 2007                                        WELCOME! … to the
                                                                                                                of access to such basics       or gaps that need to be filled.                                                                                         eleventh issue of The
                                                                                                                as fluoride toothpaste and
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Tackling Youth Worklessness
                                                                                                                                               Committee Chair Cllr Mollie Wright said, “Wakefield is                                                                  Sentinel - Wakefield
                                                                                                                a toothbrush mean they
                                                                                                                face a future of decay,
                                                                                                                                               one of 40 Respect Areas and must operate within this          Smile!                                                    Council’s Overview and
                                                                                                                                               framework to develop an effective response to anti-                                                                     Scrutiny Newsletter.
                                                                                                                disease, pain and, in
                                                                                                                some cases, having teeth       social behaviour in the district. A task group has been
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Thank you for following
                                                                                                                extracted. Yet much of         established and it has begun the process of finding out
                                                                                                                                               how much progress is being made on this initiative. The                                                                 our progress in assisting
                                                                                                                this could be prevented.
                                                                                                                Parents encouraging their      Respect programme is also about improving the response                                                                  the Council and its
                                                                                                                children to brush their        to issues that matter most to the public. Most areas are                                                                partners in making
                                                                                                                teeth twice a day and          good places to live, but evidence shows that anti-social                                                                improvements to your
                                                                                                                reducing the amount of         behaviour - such as vandalism, intimidating groups
                                                                                                                sugar they consume could       hanging around and rowdy behaviour - is a major concern
Ref 63248 Designed by Promotional Services, Design and Print 12/07

                                                                                                                cut this high level.”          for communities”.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       If you want to know
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       more about our work
                                                                                                               Hello and Goodbye....                                                                                                                                   please visit our website
The Sentinel is published by Overview & Scrutiny

                                                                                                               It’s all change in the Scrutiny Team as we say farewell to Paul Jones, Scrutiny                                                               
                                                                                                               Manager, and Kate Bearder, Scrutiny Researcher as they take up new posts in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       uk or call us on 01924
                                                                                                               Blackburn and Kirklees respectively. We are delighted to welcome Jeanne Baxter our
                                                                                                               new researcher to the team.                                                                                                                             305957 or e-mail:

                                                                                                               Overview & Scrutiny                                                                                                                           
Liveability Committee Host Climate                                   Tackling Youth Worklessness - Update
                                                                                                                                                        Stakeholder Survey
Change Seminar 28th November 2007
The Liveability Committee succesfully launched the first of
                                                                     During 2006/07, the Local Economy Committee carried out an
                                                                     inquiry into youth worklessness (young people aged between 16
                                                                     - 24 who do not participate in education, employment or training),                  Every autumn we undertake a Stakeholder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Challenge Day
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6th December
                                                                     which had been identified as a particular problem within the                         Survey with Members of the Committees,
its three seminars informing Wakefield Councillors, Co-opted                                                                                           Cabinet and witnesses who have participated
Members of Overview and Scrutiny Committees and Councillor           Wakefield District.
                                                                                                                                                        in the Overview and Scrutiny process during
colleagues from other West Yorkshire Authorities about climate       The Committee concluded that there is no one cause of youth
                                                                                                                                                       the last 12 months. The purpose of the survey
change.                                                              worklessness within the District, but that young people face a wide
                                                                                                                                                        is to assess levels of satisfaction and identify                The next Comprehensive Performance Assessment
The aim of the seminar was to consider the consequences of           range of barriers to education, employment and training, and many
                                                                                                                                                       areas for improvement during the coming year.
climate change for Wakefield and West Yorkshire and the vital        of these areas are outside of their control. Members welcomed the                                                                                  (CPA) of Wakefield is due towards the end of 2008. On
                                                                                                                                                       The results are currently being analysed and a
contribution that local government can make towards reducing         different approaches from a large number of agencies to tackle                                                                                     6th December members of all the Overview & Scrutiny
                                                                                                                                                          report will be published by the New Year.
carbon emissions and ultimately improving its carbon footprint.      youth worklessness but identified a clear need for coordination of                                                                                 Committees met to reflect on how Scrutiny is operating
In June, Wakefield became one of 45 councils that signed up to       these services in order to ensure maximum benefit.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        in the light of the type of questions the CPA Inspectors
cut carbon emissions and reduce energy bills by joining forces       Cabinet welcomed the Committee’s report at their October
                                                                                                                                               Teenage Pregnancy - Update
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        will ask. It was an ideal time for members to reflect on
with the Carbon Trust’s Local Authority Carbon Management            meeting and have formally agreed all of the recommendations. An
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        current arrangements and look at what changes may be
(LACM) Programme. With WMDC and the Liveability Committee            Action Plan will now be prepared by the relevant Cabinet Member
making climate change a priority, the council can set an             setting out how the Council will implement the Committee’s                                                                                         necessary to continue with the effectiveness of Scrutiny
                                                                                                                                               Members of the Lifelong Learning Committee recently met with the
example and actively encourage other organisations and               recommendations.                                                          Primary Care Trust’s Teenage Pregnancy Co-ordinator to further           in challenging performance and service outcomes.
individuals to look at their own carbon footprint and how they       Chair, Cllr Laurie Harrison said, “Youth worklessness is not only         review the efforts to prevent teenage pregnancies, including issues
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The day also looked at how the proposal for scrutiny
could reduce it.                                                     detrimental to individuals but also has implications for the economic     and evidence based interventions into teenage conceptions and
Chair Cllr Ron Halliday said “Today was the first of our seminars    and social well-being of the District. It is therefore essential that     support for teenage parents.                                             contained in the Police and Justice Act 2006 and the
to raise awareness of the greatest environmental challenge           young people are supported and encouraged to undertake further                                                                                     Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act
                                                                                                                                               Members were informed that it was most unlikely that the
facing the world today. We have had excellent keynote speakers       education and training or enter employment and the Committee                                                                                       2007 might be implemented in the Wakefield District.
                                                                                                                                               Government’s target of a 50% reduction of under the age of 18
and workshops that ensured we all went away and considered           welcome Cabinet’s support of their recommendations”.                      conception by 2010 would be achieved, however a great deal of
the consequences of our actions”.                                                                                                                                                                                       The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health
                                                                                                                                               activity was being undertaken to reduce conception rates across
Forthcoming seminars:-                                                                                                                                                                                                  Act 2007 requires other public agencies involved in the
                                                                                                                                               the district. Additional funding for sex and relationship education
Seminar 2: 24th January 2008
This seminar will examine climate change from a partnership
                                                                     Turning Point -                                                           had been made available from the Local Area Agreement and a
                                                                                                                                               Teenage Parent Midwife had also been appointed and work was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Local Area Agreement to support Scrutiny. Overview and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Scrutiny will have a duty to engage with all the partners
perspective. It aims to bring the district’s partner organisations
together to share experience and good practice so as to work
                                                                     & Homeless Young People                                                   currently being undertaken by the Youth Offending Team and Young
                                                                                                                                               People’s Service.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        that Local Area Agreements (LAA) bring together.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Under provisions in the Act, the Secretary of State will
                                                                     A recent study by the Local Economy Committee established that
together for the benefit of the district’s environment.                                                                                        Chair, Cllr Bryan Denson said, “Being a parent is a demanding job.       issue regulations defining the information that partner
                                                                     homelessness amongst young people was one of a number of factors
Seminar 3: 6 March 2008                                              behind Non-participation in Education, Employment and Training            It requires emotional maturity, financial security and the support of    authorities will have to disclose to scrutiny committees,
The final seminar will consider what has been learned from           (NEET) and that there was a shortage of accommodation and support         partners, family and friends. Teenagers who become parents are           as well as information that may not be disclosed. Partner
the previous seminars, the positive action required and the          services particularly for 16/17 year olds. The Liveability Committee,     less likely to be in this position and consequently are at higher risk   agencies will be required to attend meetings and provide
recommendations needed in order to tackle climate change in          whose remit includes housing and homelessness issues, is following        of long-term social exclusion.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        information in respect of their action to address the LAA
Wakefield. The keynote speaker on this day will be Paul Hudson,      on from this work by launching its own inquiry into Homeless Young        We know also that children born to teenage mothers generally face
BBC Look North weatherman.                                           People.                                                                                                                                            targets.
                                                                                                                                               disadvantage too: they are more likely to die in infancy; have poor
Please note attendance at these seminars is by invitation only.      The Committee’s October meeting was devoted to this particular issue      health; do badly at school. Daughters of teenage mothers are more        Alongside this, the Police and Justice Act 2006 brings
                                                                     and members learnt about the action being taken by the council to         likely to become teenage mothers themselves, continuing the cycle        new powers to scrutinise Crime and Disorder Reduction
                                                                     both prevent homelessness and remove the barriers that prevent            of early pregnancy and social exclusion.
      For further information please contact:                                                                                                                                                                           Partnerships and crime and disorder issues.
                                                                     young people from accessing accommodation.
Lynne Gascoigne, Overview and Scrutiny Officer on                                                                                              That’s why scrutiny of the teenage pregnancy strategy is crucial to
                                                                     Members of the committee are also planning to visit a number of           the wider drive to tackle social exclusion and poverty”.                 The Acts also introduce a new mechanism entitled
 01924 306736 or email                   facilities run by the charity Turning Point to find out more about the                                                                             Councillor Call For Action. This makes it possible for
                                                                     support they give to homeless young people. Turning Point is a social     Members will consider how best to support and challenge the
                                                                                                                                               effective delivery of local strategies in reducing teenage conception    Councillors and members of the public to prompt action
                                                                     care organisation offering counselling, advice, information and support
                                                                                                                                               rates and the underlying factors, such as poverty, poor education        on particular issues of community safety or local concern
                                                                     to people with complex needs and aims to co-ordinate whatever
                                                                     support they need whether housing, education, employment or other         attainment and low aspirations within the District.                      that have not been adequately addressed by public
                                                                     forms of assistance.                                                      Cllr Denson concluded, “Both prevention of teenage conceptions,          bodies, especially those that require a multi-agency
                                                                     Chair Cllr Ron Halliday said “The challenge of reducing homelessness      and support for young parents are critically important. This             response.
                                                                     and worklessness is a priority that we as an authority are determined     Committee is focused on ensuring that we work closely with all key
                                                                                                                                               partners who have a role in reducing teenage pregnancies ensuring        Members identified several key areas to challenge during
                                                                     to tackle. Work is already taking place to create opportunities for
                                                                     young people and we hope by undertaking this inquiry further              that we make certain that young people get the support, education,       2008 and requested the Scrutiny Team to undertake
                                                                     improvements can be achieved.”                                            employment and quality of life they deserve”.                            additional work on the new legislation.

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