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 27 September 2023.

Additional documents:


The Chair noted that she had been recorded as absent in the minutes and asked that this be amended.


RSOLVED: That, following the above amendment, the minutes of the meeting held 27 September 2023 be agreed as an accurate record.



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

Additional documents:


The Director of Early Help and Children's Social Care and the Director Education Standards, Quality and Performance went over the highlights of the presentation circulated within the agenda pack. The presentation covered what family help was, what the Greater Manchester (GM) early help principles were, and the main elements of the Family Hubs including a brief description of what they were, the principles they were based upon, and Trafford’s ambitions for Family Hubs.


[Note Councillor Zhi joined the meeting at 18:45.]


The Committee’s attention was then drawn to implementation timeline for the Trafford Team Together (TTT) programme which included a pilot scheme, a design phase, leading to a full scale roll out. The Committee were then provided with an overview of the TTT programme and the role it would play within Trafford’s approach to family support. The overview covered the intended outcomes of the TTT, feedback received from the pilot schemes, and details of how the work had already impacted service delivery. The Committee were informed that the family hubs and TTT would be key elements of the Council’s future family support offer.


Following the presentation Councillor Acton asked how the family hubs would develop going forward. The Director Education Standards, Quality and Performance responded that Trafford had two family hubs so far and that an appointment would be made for an officer to drive the work forward, especially with regards to the digital offer.


Councillor Acton noted that family hubs were similar to children’s centres but with a greater amount of collaboration and expressed his interest in seeing how the hubs developed. In response to Councillor Acton the Corporate Director of Children’s Services spoke of the unique approach Trafford was taking to delivering the work. The support received from schools and third sector providers had helped the service to move forward with family hubs in the area, but the complexity of delivering the work collaboratively presented a large challenge.


Councillor Procter noted the presentation did not include information about formal evaluation for the family hubs or TTT. The Councillor raised concerns that if the programme did not have evaluation data from the start as well as the end of the programme the service would not be able to measure the impact of the work they had done. Councillor Procter welcomed the positive feedback the programme had received but stated that it needed to be backed up by formal evaluation. The Corporate Director of Children’s Services assured Councillor Procter that there were evaluation tools being used as part of the TTT and work was underway to appoint a Department for Education (DfE) evaluator to review the programme. As part of the continued evaluation of the programme the Council were co-creating assessment tools with partners to ensure they were suitable. The Committee were asked to note that the Council did have a range of measures for early years and school readiness of young people in place including the Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQs). Some of the data sat with health services  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.



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

Additional documents:


The Director of Early Help and Children's Social Care introduced the Presentation, went over the request from Scrutiny which was around placement stability and sufficiency.


The Specialist Commissioner then went over what sufficiency meant within the Children’s and young people’s environment. The Committee were asked to not that a summary of the Sufficiency strategy was available on the website and the Specialist Commissioner went over a few of the areas the strategy covered.

The Committee were informed of the national context which included that an increased complexity of need being seen across the country and the regional context mirrored the national picture. The difficulties the region faced were exacerbated by the large number of placements by Councils from outside of the northwest in the area. The Committee were then shown comparison with other GM authorities and statistical neighbours for the local context.


The Specialist Commissioner handed over to the Head of Service for Provider Services who went over Trafford’s position for cared for children. The Committee were told of the progress that had been made in reducing the number of children in care and it was hoped it would continue. The level of reduction was slowing down as the service had reached a point where the children who were in care needed that support. The services’ sufficiency goal was to increase the number of children who received care within a family setting. Among the older young people in care the focus was upon ensuring that they were placed within suitable accommodation. Of all the children in care 57% were placed within Trafford and it a goal of the service to increase level as wanted children in care to be close to their family, friends, and community. 87% of Children in care were placed within GM and the service also hoped to increase that position further.


The Committee were asked to note the benefits of placement stability and were informed of the plans being implemented to improve placement stability within Trafford.  The Head of Service for Provider Services then went through the case studies listed within the presentation. The first case study was of a young person who had had 8 different placements by the age of 10. The Committee were told of the impact the large number of placements had on the young person and the associated costs to the Council. The Committee were informed of the exit plan for the young person which involved placing them with experienced foster carers and having strong wrap around support in place. The second case study was another high-cost placement of a young person who required three members of staff to care for them at all times at a cost of £12,400 per week.


The Head of Service for Provider Services and the Specialist Commissioner then went through the next few slides which covered fostering placements. The Committee were informed of the internal fostering provision and the work the Council had been doing to reduce the number of connected person placements. The Specialist  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.



To receive a report from the Corporate Director of Children’s Services and the Deputy Director of Public Health.


This item was deferred to the next meeting of the Committee. The Chair aske that the report at the next meeting include information on how schools were dealing with the increased energy costs.



1)    That the item be deferred to the next meeting of the Committee.

2)    That the report is to contain information on the impact of increased energy costs on schools.



To consider the Committee’s work programme for the remainder of the 2022/23 municipal year.


The Chair then went through the other items and asked if Committee Members had anything else they wanted to add but no additional items were raised.


RESOLVED: That the work programme be noted.