Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 2&3, Trafford Town Hall, Talbot Road, Stretford, M32 0TH

Contact: Alexander Murray 

No. Item



Members to give notice of any interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.


No declarations were made.



To receive and, if so determined, to approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 24 January 2023.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held 24 January 2023 be agreed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.



A maximum of 15 minutes will be allocated to public questions submitted in writing to Democratic Services ( by 4 p.m. on the working day prior to the meeting. Questions must be relevant to items appearing on the agenda and will be submitted in the order in which they were received.


No questions were received.



To receive presentations from young people who study at Trafford College.


Anne Fernandes addressed the Committee and told them that the young people attending the meeting wanted to talk about the mind the skills gap campaign. Anne explained that the campaign looked to raise funds for colleges to provide high quality education to enable people to enter further education or to upskill to be able to enter the workforce. The aim was to develop a strategy which would result in fair and effective funding for courses in colleges across the country so people could access the education they needed. Anne stressed that under funding in post 16 education meant that there would be a lack of skills within the country to be able to do the jobs employers required of them.


Marry Anne O’Reilly provided the Committee with statistics on the number of students accessing college education and informed the Committee that the recent increase in enrolment had not been met with additional funding for colleges. Marry Anne asked the Committee to join the campaign for parity of esteem for colleges so that they aligned with Schools and Universities. Mary Anne spoke to the Committee about the value of a college education and how it allowed people to make mistakes and still be successful. Marry Anne informed the Committee of her own experience and how college education had helped her to find what she wanted to do.


Shami Ali Khan spoke to the Committee about the courses offered at Trafford college and how they could be utilised to help meet the skills gaps in the work force with social work qualifications being just one example. Shami informed the Committee how colleges focused upon the local community and helped young people gain the business and social skills needed for work. Shami told the Committee about the impacts of COVID and Brexit on the economy and how those events had changed the jobs that were available and needed within the economy. Shami spoke about how she was studying health but had also developed a wider set of skills around communication, teamwork, and project management through her studies.


[NOTE: Councillor Welton joined the meeting 18:45]


Ravi and Sam worked together to deliver their update to the Committee on social mobility. Ravi introduced the topic by speaking about social mobility and how young people gaining life skills helped them earn more and gain higher social status.


Sam added that studies had shown qualifications at level 2 gave people the chance to earn more money and the additional level of income increased further as a person went up to level 3. Sam then informed the Committee of what he had gained from completing a series of level two courses.


Ravi took over from Sam to speak about the advantages that further education gave to young people and how those from deprived areas who gained qualifications had the same skills as more advantaged young people.

Sam concluded their section by speaking about the reduction in college opportunities and how it was a disadvantage to young people and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.



To consider a report from the Corporate Director of Children’s Services.

Additional documents:


The Chair opened the item by noting how late the reports had been submitted for the meeting.


Councillor Procter added that she had not received the reports until the night before the meeting and that she would rather end the meeting and roll it over to a later meeting.


The Committee discussed the proposal to adjourn and meet at a later date or whether to continue with the meeting. The Chair noted the problems people raised and put the proposal to adjourn the meeting to a vote. Three Members voted to continue the meeting and two voted to adjourn so the meeting continued.


[Note Councillor Procter left the meeting at 19:38]


The Director of Early Help and Children's Social Care then introduced the item and went through the slides that had been circulate with the agenda. The Committee were informed that there was an amount of information on the national picture which had been added for context and would be skipped over in the meeting so they could focus upon the local picture. The Committee’s attention was then drawn to the numbers of people who had come into the borough and the Director of Early Help and Children's Social Care explained that there were several young people who had come in unaccompanied. There were fifteen 18 – 25year olds who had entered the care system as unaccompanied young people who were continuing to receive support from the Council. The Director of Early Help and Children's Social Care then described the situation with Ukrainian refugees who had come into the area for the Committee.


The Director Education Standards, Quality, and Performance covered the education side of Trafford’s approach towards new arrivals into the area. The Fair Access protocol was used to help young people who were new to the area to find schools and places for education. The Committee were informed of the work carried out by schools and the admissions team which ensured that no young people had a long gap in their education. When working with these young people additional support was provided to help their families to access other necessities. All of the work detailed to the Committee was delivered at pace and was a collaborative piece of work between the school admissions team, the Family information service, and Trafford Schools.


The Director of Early Help and Children's Social Care asked the Committee to note the information on slide 10 of the presentation on feedback received from the families.


The Director of Early Help and Children's Social Care then moved on to the section of the presentation which covered Safeguarding. The Committee were told that five children from Ukraine had arrived unaccompanied and the Council had been advised to treat them as privately fostered children. The Council had arranged for additional visits to those young people to ensure they were settling in. The Director of Early Help and Children's Social Care asked the Committee to note how the Britannia Hotel had been used. When arrangements for using the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.



To consider a report from the Corporate Director of Children’s Services.

Additional documents:


The Director of Early Help and Children's Social Care introduced the presentation which covered the budget of the children’s placements, the savings that had been achieved over previous years, and the challenges the service faced in delivering further savings. It was explained to the Committee that the budget for the year included a 12.5% increase for foster carers, which had been agreed by central government. The Committee’s attention was then drawn to the over £1M in spend that occurred in P8 of 2022/23 due to new children coming into the system, which demonstrated the pressures within the system. The Committee were informed that there were twelve children with very complex needs which required high staffing levels and residential care provision. Out of those twelve children the Council were looking to step two down into foster care.


The Head of Service for Provider Services drew the Committees attention to slide 5 of the presentation which showed the breakdown of costs for some placements. The Head of Service for Provider Services described the different options of support that were available and the costs of using external services such as Independent Fostering Agencies (IFAs). The Committee were told that when there was no fostering support available that met the young person’s needs, the Council had to move them into residential settings. The Council were currently supporting 19 children in external residential placements at a cost of around £3.6M per year. The Committee were asked to look at page 7 of the presentation which showed savings which could be realised by young people being able to step down into other services such as fostering.


The Head of Service for Provider Services informed the committee of the budget management controls which were in place with a high-cost placement clinic, external placement panel, and Budget Monitoring all focused on ensuring that Trafford achieved value for money while providing the right level of support.

The Committee were then shown a graph which depicted that the number of children in care in Trafford reached its peak of 410 in December 2020 and had reduced since then to the point where the Council’s current position of 345.


The Committee were informed that Trafford had a very high level of cared for young people placed with parents and the service had put a programme in place to address the issue. The programme had proven successful and reduced the percentage of children care for by parents to 14% from 20% which was still much higher than the national average (7%) and slightly higher than the regional average (12%).


Slide 14 of the presentation gave an overview of the Trafford Demand Management Strategy which was aimed at ensuring that the right placement was in place at the right time to ensure young people received the correct support and prevented them stepping up into care or higher cost placements. The Head of Service for Provider Services informed the Committee that as part of this work the council was looking to predict demand for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.



To receive a verbal update from the Chair of the Committee.


The Chair gave a brief overview of the work that the task and finish group had done to date. The Committee were informed that the meetings with providers had gone well and the group were looking to hold two or three more meetings before submitting a report to the Committee for approval.


RESOLVED: That the update be noted.




For Members to discuss any items they would like to suggest to be considered during the next municipal year.


The Chair informed the Committee that there was an item on SEND which would be deferred to the next year and asked if anyone had any other items to suggest for the following year’s work programme.


The Governance Officer suggested that the Committee contact the young people from Trafford College to ask them to put forward suggestions for topics for the next year and the Committee approved the suggestion.



1)    That SEND update be deferred to the next municipal year.

2)    That the Committee will contact the young people from Trafford College to suggest items for the next municipal year.