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Meeting Details

Executive Scrutiny Committee
8 Jan 2018 - 18:30 to 18:37
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Officers in Attendance
  • Declarations of Interests



1. Welcome and Introductions
The Chair to welcome Councillors and officer colleagues to the meeting and introduce those present.
2. Apologies
To receive any apologies of absence.
3. pdf Minutes (267Kb)
To approve, and the Chair to sign, as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting of the Executive Scrutiny Committee held on 29 March 2017 (Item 3 [a]) (Pages 7 to 14) and 17 May 2017 (Item 3 [b])(Page 15).
4. Disclosures of Interest

Councillors to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests, or personal interests (including other pecuniary interests) they may have in the business to be transacted, and officers to disclose any interests they may have in any contract to be considered.

The Chair to outline the Procedure to be followed at the meeting.


On 12 December 2017 the responsible Cabinet member for Children and Families made decisions, which included the following, in respect short breaks provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and their families


"1.    That the current Short Breaks Voucher Scheme be closed from the end of March 2020.


2.     That, from September 2018 to March 2020, the eligibility criteria be changed to target those families on a low income (determined by entitlement to Free School Meals).


4.     That funding be set aside for two years, from April 2018, to work with key stakeholders, including (the Parent & Carers Alliance, to develop more sustainable, mainstream access to services and activities.


5.     That the commencement of a single stage tender process for the procurement of Short Breaks play schemes/holiday schemes and activities be approved.”


The decisions have been Called In by 20 residents of the borough for the following reasons:



“We are calling in the Decisions 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5 from the Delegated Decision on 12 December 2017 - Short Breaks for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their families.


1.     We do not agree that the current scheme will be closed at the end of March 2020 because we have no knowledge of what the new scheme will actually be. The users of the current scheme are gravely concerned that the new scheme will not meet the needs of those currently entitled to the Short Breaks Voucher Scheme, which includes many of the most vulnerable families in Milton Keynes. The consultation about the proposed changes was badly timed at the end of the summer term 2017 so many of the families who will be affected are unaware of the proposed changes, which will have a significant detrimental effect on their lives.


2.     We do not agree that a new scheme with the eligibility criteria determined by entitlement to Free School Meals is fair, equitable, inclusive or legal.  It would exclude and discriminate many current users and their families for whom the scheme is a lifeline and a stepping stone to more independent living for their young people with SEND.


3.     We believe that this proposal is a cost cutting exercise targeted at very vulnerable families.  It removes 25% of their allocation in 2018/2019 and 50% in 2019/2020. This move is short-sighted and shows a lack of understanding of the struggles these families have to endure on a day to day basis. We do not believe that families should bear the £30k cost of developing "more sustainable, longer term solutions", whatever these might be.


4.     We do not agree with the proposal to "a recommissioned service provides the opportunity to ensure better coordination across the various providers, including special schools and provision for different needs and age groups.", as children at Special Schools need to personally know the adult working with them. This is essential with regards to medically challenging and vulnerable young people, who need and require familiar trained staff to work with them. Many of these children's parents would be uncomfortable for their child's care at their special school's summer play scheme, to be recommissioned and outsourced to a third party.”


A copy of the report, annex considered by the Cabinet Member is attached at Item 5(a) and an extract from the decision notice is attached at Item 5(b)


The Committee is requested to consider the reasons set out in the call-in request and, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution, either:


(a)     refer the item back to the Cabinet, setting out the nature of the Committee’s concerns;


(b)     not refer the item back; or


(c)     refer its views to the Council.

Additional Meeting Documents


No other member attendance information has been recorded for the meeting.
NameReason for Sending ApologySubstituted By
Councillor Margaret Burke  
Councillor Matthew Clifton  
Councillor Catriona Morris Councillor Edith Bald
Councillor Alex Walker  
NameReason for AbsenceSubstituted By
No absentee information has been recorded for the meeting.

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Officers in Attendance

Visitor Information is not yet available for this meeting

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