Issue details

Council Response to Draft Further Report from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) Re: Mainstream Home to School Transport Decision and Policy

Summary

This exempt report will provide details of a draft further report on a complaint against the Council submitted by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) in response to the decisions of the Cabinet on 11 June 2019 to approve the continued use and application of the Council’s current Education Travel Assistance Policy.

 

The Cabinet will be asked to consider the draft further report and agree any comments to be submitted to the LGO by his deadline of 12 September 2019.

 

Access to Information

The report together with any other documents being considered (unless they contain exempt information) will be available for inspection 5 clear days before the decision is taken by the Cabinet. Copies are available on the Council's website or requested from Democratic Services Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR or email democratic.services@medway.gov.uk If you wish to submit information to the Cabinet about the item please also contact Democratic Services.

 

It is noted that the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements)(Meetings and Access to Information)(England) Regulations 2012 requires 28 clear days’ notice of the intention to make a key decision.

 

On this occasion it has not been practicable to provide this 28 clear days’ notice and therefore Section 10 (General exception) of the above regulations has been complied with. It was not possible to include this report on the Forward Plan with 28 days’ notice because the latest correspondence from the LGO, setting out his draft further report, was received by the Council on 14 August 2019 (which was after the publication of the Forward Plan on 5 August 2019).

 

Additionally, in line with rule 15.11 of Chapter 4, Part 5 of the Constitution, call-in can be waived where any delay likely to be caused by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the Council’s or the Public’s interests. The Chairman of the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee has agreed that the decisions proposed are reasonable in all the circumstances and to them being treated as a matter of urgency and to waive call-in.

 

Notice of Intention to Conduct Business in Private

This report will contain information which the Cabinet may decide to consider in private. As the LGO has instructed that his draft further report must be treated in confidence in accordance with Section 32 of the Local Government Act 1974, in the view of the Proper Officer, consideration of the information in public would give rise to the disclosure of exempt information as described in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 - information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

Should you wish to make any representation for the discussion of this item to be held in public, you should contact: Democratic Services, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR or email democratic.services@medway.gov.uk

 

It is noted that the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements)(Meetings and Access to Information)(England) Regulations 2012 requires 28 clear days’ notice of a Cabinet meeting to be held in private. On this occasion it has not been practicable to provide this 28 clear days’ notice and therefore Section 5 (Procedures prior to private meetings) of the above regulations has been complied with. The Chairman of the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee has agreed, in accordance with Section 5 of the 2012 Regulations, that this matter is both urgent and cannot be reasonably deferred until the next Cabinet meeting on 24 September 2019 to enable the Council’s response to be submitted to the LGO by 12 September 2019.

 

The Cabinet’s response to any representations will be published on 23 August 2019 within the Cabinet Agenda. A final decision on whether this item will be determined in private will be taken during the meeting.

Decision type: Key

Decision status: For Determination

Notice of proposed decision first published: 22/08/2019

Decision due: 3 Sep 2019 by Cabinet

Lead member: Councillor Mrs Josie Iles, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services – Lead Member (statutory responsibility) josie_iles@live.co.uk

Lead director: Ian Sutherland

Department: Children and Adults

Contact: David Watkins, Interim Assistant Director, Education and SEND Email: david.watkins@medway.gov.uk Tel: 01634 331282.

Relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee:: Children and Young People

Agenda items