Agenda item

Thurrock New Multi-Agency Safeguarding Arrangements

This item is reserved to discuss any issues raised by the Thurrock Local Safeguarding Children Partnership.


The report was presented by Alan Cotgrove, Local Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (LSCP) Business Manager. As mentioned at the last Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 12 February 2019, Alan Cotgrove reminded the Committee that the previous safeguarding arrangements that was known as Local Safeguarding Children’s Board had ceased to exist. It was replaced by the LSCP and there was no longer a requirement for an independent Chair. Regular workshops were held with partner agencies.


Alan Cotgrove guided the Committee through the presentation of the new arrangements attached in appendix 1.


Regarding previous safeguarding arrangements, the Chair understood there had been regular board meetings before. She questioned what the procedures were for the new arrangements. Referring to page 30 of the agenda, Alan Cotgrove indicated how the new structure was set out and explained that different partner agencies were invited to relevant meetings and core partners were invited to all meetings.


Councillor Anderson asked if there was feedback given from the workshops for partner agencies. Alan Cotgrove confirmed that feedback was given from agencies that attended the workshops and some of these included suggestions on other agencies to include. The feedback from workshops was incorporated into the LSCP’s delivery plan and was adapted when needed.


Referring to recommendation 1.4 of the report, Lynda Pritchard questioned how the Committee would be able to analyse the effectiveness of the LSCP’s plan if the Committee did not have sight of it yet. Alan Cotgrove explained that the delivery plan would be signed off by partners tomorrow and the plan would be brought to the next Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee to be shared. The Committee would analyse the plan against the LSCP’s set criteria. Lynda Pritchard went on to ask how the Committee could analyse the plan impartially if it was to be analysed against the LSCP’s set criteria. Alan Cotgrove explained that the set of criteria was a result of the partnership’s work and if the Committee felt the plan did not meet the requirements, the LSCP would review their delivery plan.


Youth Cabinet Representative, Joshua Aldwinckle-Povey, asked if the LSCP was satisfied with the structure of the partnership and whether it was clear enough for the Committee to understand. In response, Alan Cotgrove said the structure was clear and it had been published on the LSCP’s website before it was brought to the Committee. The structure follow LSCP processes and the Council’s Constitution and would test any questions raised. He was confident the structure was right and welcomed feedback from all relevant parties.


Regarding the 3 partners in the LSCP, the Chair queried if they were inspected by the relevant body. Alan Cotgrove stated that the new partnership would not be inspected by Ofsted and was looking to the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee to support the scrutiny of the LSCP to ensure it was running efficiently. As a safeguarding agency, the LSCP supported Ofsted in their inspections of the Council’s Children’s Services but the LSCP themselves were not part of the inspection. Adding to this, Sheila Murphy, Assistant Director of Children’s Services, said that Ofsted would not inspect the LSCP but would expect the service’s front line staff to understand the purpose of the LSCP. The Corporate Director of Adults, Housing and Health, Roger Harris, also added that the partner agencies would be inspected by their relevant bodies such as Care Quality Commission and safeguarding was a part of that inspection.


On knife crime, Councillor Akinbohun asked if there was guidance or a prevention programme from the LSCP for young people. Alan Cotgrove answered that the LSCP was reviewing statistics to obtain the required information. There were strategic and support groups in place to train young people on the dangers of knives and prevent knife crimes. The LSCP had also included this in their recent Walk Online roadshow events for years 5 and 6 to raise awareness. Councillor Akinbohun commented that the problem was the use of drugs for some young people and questioned how this could be tackled in Thurrock. Alan Cotgrove explained that this issue was within the remit of Thurrock’s Community Safety Partnership (TCSP) and that drug abuse was high on the agenda for TCSP. The police was also working on the issue and worked with the TCSP on a strategy.


The Chair thanked Councillor Akinbohun for bringing up the issue of drug abuse and said it was disheartening to hear about the knife crimes that had been happening in London.




1.1         That the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the changes to multi agency safeguarding children arrangements in Thurrock. From 7 May 2019.


1.2         That the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee receive a quarterly report from the Thurrock LSCP.


1.3         That the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee receive an Annual report from the Thurrock LSCP.


1.4         That the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered and provided comment on the new safeguarding arrangements effectiveness.

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