Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells

Contact: Jenny Wilkinson  Tel: 01835 825004 Email:

No. Item




In the absence of the Chairman (Councillor Parker), Councillor Brown chaired the meeting.  Councillor Brown welcomed Mr David Farries, the new Local Senior Officer for Midlothian, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service) to his first meeting of the Board.  There followed a round of introductions.



Minute pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Approve Minute of Meeting of Community Planning Strategic Board held on 26 November 2015.  (Copy attached.)


There had been circulated copies of the Minute of the Meeting held on 26 November 2015. 



APPROVED the Minute for signature by the Chairman.



Action Tracker pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Consider Action Tracker for Strategic Board decisions.  (Copy attached.)


3.1       There had been circulated copies of the Action Tracker for Strategic Board decisions.  With reference to the decision at paragraph 10(c) of the Minute of Meeting of 8 March 2015, that the Chief Financial Officer carry out localized costing of the impact of the Community Empowerment Bill on the Scottish Borders and feed this information into the work being carried out by COSLA, there were circulated at the meeting copies of the information received from partners.  Mr Rennie advised that Scottish Enterprise had not been included in the analysis as it would be very difficult to disaggregate national budgets to this level.  Counciller Bell asked about resources provided by Forest Enterprise Scotland, SNH, SEPA, Historic Environment Scotland, as these were also public organisations and reference needed to be made to them even if figures were unavailable.  Clarification was also sought on what was included in the ‘other services’ heading.



AGREED that the SBC Communities and Partnership Manager would liaise with the Chief Financial Officer to find out further information and send this out to the Board Members.


3.2       With reference to the decision at paragraph 15(d) of the Minute of Meeting of 11 June 2015, that an amended Scottish Borders Third Sector Interface Pilot Community Planning Improvement Plan be considered at this meeting of the Strategic Board, Mrs Hume confirmed that a verbal update on the status of the Plan had been provided to the Community Planning Joint Delivery Team the previous week, but an updated Plan had only just been received.  The updated Plan would be available for consideration at the next meeting of the Strategic Board.  Mrs Hume then advised the Board of the current Scottish Government review of Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs).  Eleven TSIs across Scotland had been identified to participate in the review, including the Scottish Borders TSI, and details should be available shortly.  One part of the review would consider where TSIs fitted in to Community Planning so partners may be approached for information.



NOTED that:

(a)     the Scottish Borders Third Sector Interface Pilot Community Planning Improvement Plan would be presented to the Strategic Board at its next meeting; and


(b)    the Scottish Borders Third Sector Interface was one of eleven Third Sector Interfaces included in a Scottish Government review. 




Presentation on adaptations through Border Care and Repair Service.


4.1       Mr Nile Istephan (Chief Executive) and Mr Michael Patterson (Property Officer) of Eildon Housing gave a presentation on the operation of the Care and Repair Service run by Eildon Housing.  Borders Care and Repair had been set up in late 2004 and opened to the public in January 2005.  The Service was a partnership between Eildon Housing Association and Scottish Borders Council.  Since its inception the Service had been continually developing and in 2010 had started to manage local Registered Social Landlords (RSL) adaptations to housing stock where a client had been identified as needing work on their house to allow them to remain in their home.  This service was also provided to home owners and applied to any type of property.  In 2015 the RSLs had agreed to a joint funding bid to Scottish Government for provision of a Stage 3 Adaptation Service which allowed funding to be spread across the 4 main local RSLs through the one Service.  Care and Repair also provided a Handyperson service.  Services were available for homeowners or tenants over the age of 60 or for disabled owners or tenants of any age.  An Occupational Therapist was employed as part of the Adaptations Service to assess a client for their physical needs within their own home.  Following this assessment, works were arranged and help provided for the client to apply for grant funding for the works (minimum grant award 80%).  Having an Occupational Therapist assigned to the Service allowed a degree of specialism, with the Occupational Therapist working with the team to design and source the most effective aids, which in turn gave a more consistent approach.  Adaptations ranged from level access showers, stair lifts, ramp access to a house, to minor items such as grab rails, banister rails or lever taps.  These latter items could be fitted free and were mainly put in place to prevent falls or accidents. 


4.2       Further details were given about Stage 3 RSL adaptations and the funding of the Service.  Mr Istephan explained that if any of the RSLs had, for example, a replacement bathroom project for houses, the opportunity could be taken to replace traditional bathrooms with wet-floor shower rooms, if properties were more likely to be rented to elderly tenants.  If a tenant moved, then RSLs would look firstly for a new tenant with similar requirements so adaptations were not removed.  Adaptations helped older and disabled people to remain at home, and the aim was to avoid inappropriate admissions to care settings such as hospitals or residential/nursing homes.   The Handyperson Service carried out safety and security work, such as changing light bulbs, installing door chains/viewers and window locks, home safety checks, and arranging for the Fire and Rescue Service to carry out fire safety checks and fit free smoke alarms.  The Service also carried out “comfort” low-level interventions to prevent accidents, such as fitting draught excluders and curtain rails; hanging curtains and pictures; replacing tap washers and unblocking sinks; moving furniture within the house; plus  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Governance of Community Planning Partnership pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Consider discussion paper by SBC Chief Executive on proposed future governance arrangements for the Community Planning Partnership.  (Copy attached.)


5.1       With reference to paragraph 2.2 of the Minute of 26 November 2015, there had been circulated copies of a discussion paper by the SBC Chief Executive presenting a draft proposal to enhance the governance arrangements for the Scottish Borders Community Planning Partnership.  The proposal would also support the delivery of its priorities, the management of future business and the new arrangements required under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.  As part of the review of governance arrangements for the Community Planning Partnership (CPP), the SBC Director of Strategy and Policy and the Communities and Partnership Manager had met with each of the Community Planning partners at the end of 2014 and had discussed various aspects of the CPP.  The CPP Joint Delivery Team had met on 15 December 2015 to consider the findings of the CPP governance review and the implications of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.  A number of issues were raised in the discussions including concern about the size of the Strategic Board once the Act was fully enacted; a lack of guidance for CPP members, their role and how they could be involved in active contribution; the level of CPP engagement with the communities of the Scottish Borders; concern regarding over reliance on SBC to lead and contribute; how partners were held to account, challenged and scrutinised; how decision making was an inclusive process; and lack of clarity around roles and discussion with CPP. 


5.2       The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 had made a number of significant changes covering community planning, giving it a statutory purpose focused on improving outcomes.  Specific duties had now been placed on CPPs to act with a view to tackling inequalities of outcome across communities; the Single Outcome Agreement was to be replaced with an overarching Locality Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP), supported by a subset of locality plans; and the number of public sector bodies subject to these duties was expanded.  Running the CPP and making sure it worked effectively was now a shared enterprise with names governance partners:  NHS Board, Scottish Enterprise, Police Scotland, and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service; while participation with communities lay at the heart of community planning.  It was proposed that the core membership of the Strategic Board be reduced to the named governance partners in the main, with the Board scrutinising the progress of the LOIP, the 5 locality plans, and considering reports from each organisation on how they were contributing to the agreed priorities.  A performance management framework would be developed to allow monitoring and evaluation of the LOIP and locality plans.  An annual planning and development day would be held for all CPP partners which would be used to set the strategic direction and priorities for the LOIP, based on an annual strategic assessment, national priorities and other key strategic documents.  The CPP Joint Delivery Team would continue to be accountable to the Strategic Board and would oversee the development and delivery of the LOIP and the locality plans, which would happen  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Reducing Inequalities for Young People

Presentation by Children and Young People’s Leadership partners.


6.1       SBC Depute Chief Executive – People advised the Board that the Scottish Borders contained 5 areas of deprivation which were within the most deprived in Scotland, affecting 3.5% of the population.  Household income in the Borders was below the national average.  Working was ongoing in Hawick, both in the High School and across the town.  In the High School there were programmes looking at raising ambition (48% increase in pupils from the most deprived areas staying on to S5 and S6); mentoring for girls; maternal and ante-natal. Early years centres across the Borders were increasing opportunities for Services to interact with the more vulnerable.  An additional £920k of welfare benefits had been accessed through the Maximisation of Income Officer.  Help was being provided for women who smoked during pregnancy (23% compared to a national average of 20%) including an offer of carbon monoxide monitoring.  176 pregnant women had been referred to smoking cessation classes and that was followed up with smoke free for babies awareness.  There was targeted work in Burnfoot to increase the numbers of mothers who were breastfeeding.  Examples were also given of improvements in speech and language, as well as maths development, as part of 27 30 month assessments.  In 2013/14, 78.7% of primary school children had no obvious signs of dental decay and by 2015 84% of P7 children were caries free (national level, 75%).   


6.2       The Service Director Children & Young People advised that all of this work was done in partnership, with the whole child now being considered so outcomes on successes and achievements were not just academic but social and health, including mental health.  Head Teachers now wanted to accept that at one point every child would have a vulnerability and they needed to be ready to deal with this.  There was a 5 year trend of improving attainment, including the % of leavers attaining literacy and numeracy.  Examples were given of the types of analyses available to Head teachers on a weekly basis, not just for their own school, but for others, which allowed Head teachers to learn from and support each other.  Other areas with improved outcomes included positive destinations; reduction in exclusions; youth unemployment – with the 16 – 24 year old group improving by 52% over the previous year.  Work was ongoing to ensure that trends for attainment were going up across all Deciles and the gap between Deciles 1 and 10 was not widening.      






Chief Superintendent G. Imery left the meeting during the above item of business.  Mr D. Rennie left the meeting at the end of the item of business.




Integrated Children & Young People's Plan 2015 - 2018 pdf icon PDF 1011 KB

Note Plan and receive an update from SBC Depute Chief Executive (People) on Children & Young People’s inspection;  (Plan attached.)


With reference to paragraph 11 of the Minute of 26 November 2015, there had been circulated copies of the final version Integrated Children & Young People’s Plan 2015 – 2018.  SBC Depute Chief Executive – People advised the Board that an action plan was being developed to put the Integrated Plan into effect.  The draft Integrated Plan had gone out to consultation before Christmas, with feedback leading to the production of two easy read versions (one for adults and one for children) as well as the inclusion of additional photographs of children with disabilities, including complex needs. 



NOTED the Integrated Children & Young People’s Plan 2015 – 2018. 



Commissioning Services for Children & Young People pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Consider report by SBC Depute Chief Executive (People) on review of Commissioning Services for Children & Young People.  (Copy attached.)


There had been circulated copies of a report by the SBC Depute Chief Executive – People advising the Board of the work of the Children and Young People’s Leadership Group on a Commissioning Review of Children and Young People’s services.  Within the Scottish Borders, the Children and Young People’s Leadership Group (CYPLG) set the strategic direction for the integrated planning and delivery of services for children and young people.  The CYPLG had produced an Integrated Children & Young People’s Plan 2015-2018 which identified key priorities.  In order to plan and deliver on these key priorities, it had been agreed to undertake work to understand the totality of current spend on children and young people’s services.  Analysis of this budget spend would then lead on to the development of a streamlined delivery of children and young people’s services; improved responses to, and outcomes for, children and young people; greater assurance that resources are targeted towards the areas of greatest need within the Strategic Plan; budget savings from increased efficiency and avoidance of duplication; and improved partnership working and the ability to level in additional resources.  Stakeholder involvement, including work with young people, was planned as part of the project and a detailed communications plan was being developed to this effect.  In order to commence any new services from April 2017 this work would need to be completed by September 2016.  Contracts with services currently commissioned by the CYPLG had therefore been extended to March 2017 to allow for completion of the review.  The overall aim of the review was to prevent duplication and ensure that spend was being channelled to deliver the priorities in the Integrated Plan.  In response to a question about transitioning arrangements, the Depute Chief Executive confirmed that she had met with the Principal of Borders College recently and work was being taken forward on that. 



AGREED to receive a further report on the outcome of the review of Commissioning Services for Children & Young People in Autumn 2016. 



Councillor Bhatia and Mr A. Jakimciw left the meeting. 



The meeting was inquorate from this point onwards, but continued on an informal basis.



Alcohol and Drugs Partnership Annual Report pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Consider report by Joint Director of Public Health on the Borders Alcohol and Drugs Partnership Annual Report for 2014 – 15.  (Copy attached.)

Additional documents:


There had been circulated copies of a report by the Interim Director of Public Health on the Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (ADP) Annual Report 2014 – 15.  The Borders ADP was a partnership of agencies and services involved with drugs and alcohol and provided strategic direction to reduce the impact of problematic alcohol and drug use.  The ADP was required to produce an annual report on its 2012 - 2015 Delivery Plan.  This Annual Report was prepared according to Scottish Government Guidance and provided information relating to a self-assessment of ADP processes and structures and resulting actions for the ADP; core outcomes, core indicators and local indicators; and an update on work to progress Ministerial Priorities for 2014 - 15 and address priorities for 2015 -16. 



NOTED the Alcohol and Drugs Partnership Annual Report 2014-15.



Health and Social Care Integration

Update on progress by Chief Officer Health and Social Care.


With reference to paragraph 6 of the Minute of 26 November 2015, the SBC Depute Chief Executive People advised the Board that the Health and Social Care Integrated Joint Board was due to become a legal entity on 1 April 2016.  The Strategic Plan for Health and Social Care Services was due to be presented to the Integrated Joint Board the following week and would come back to the Community Planning Partnership in due course.  Input and feedback from the public had helped shape the final version of the Strategic Plan, which would be delivered with funding from NHS Borders, the Council and the Integrated Care Fund.






Dates of Next Meetings

·         9 June 2016 – 2.00 p.m.

Proposed dates:

·         8 September 2016 – 2.00 p.m.

·         24 November 2016 – 2.00 p.m.

·         2 March 2017 – 2.00 p.m.

·         8 June 2017 – 2.00 p.m.


There had been detailed on the agenda the dates for the meetings of the Strategic Board for 2016/17.






Any Other Items which the Chairman Decides are Urgent.


Accounts Commission Update Report on Community Planning

The SBC Communities and Partnership Manager advised that the Accounts Commission had published that day an update report on Community Planning.  A copy of this report would be circulated to members by email.  Appendix 1 to the report gave a summary of progress against previous recommendations.







Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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