Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
1. Introduction and background
1.1 The purpose of this decision report is to allocate MOPAC’s contribution to the central London Safeguarding Children Board, which is the multiagency initiative supported by London Councils, all local authorities in the capital, NHS England London, other statutory and voluntary sector partners. It is also to allocate MOPAC’s financial contributions to London Boroughs’ local safeguarding children and adults boards.
1.2 Historically the MPS made an annual grant contribution to London Councils to support the central and local London Safeguarding Children Boards. At a discussion at Joint Investment Board on 22 October 2013 it was agreed that arrangements for the provision of grants from both MOPAC and the MPS should be streamlined in order to operate more strategically and to maximise the impact of the payments. From financial year 2014/15 onwards MOPAC has, therefore, provided this funding.
1.3 Since 2014/15 MOPAC has provided £80,000 funding to London Councils annually to host the London Safeguarding Children Board, to fund the board manager post and contribute to the administrative support for the board. In 2016/17 the funding was awarded to cover ongoing improvement, development and co-ordination of safeguarding matters on a pan-London level.
1.4 Since 2014/15 MOPAC has provided an annual contribution per London borough of £5,000 to local safeguarding children boards and £5,000 to adult safeguarding boards on behalf of MOPAC and the MPS. In 2014/15 and 2015/16 this was provided to London Councils to disburse to the local boroughs; however from 2016/17 the decision was taken for MOPAC to provide the funding directly to the boards via the 32 local authorities.
1.5 This decision is for:
o £80,000 to be made available to London Councils for the financial year 2017/18 to host the London Safeguarding Children Board, supporting the overall coordination and prioritisation of safeguarding matters at a London level.
o £10,000 to be made available to each of the 32 London boroughs for the financial year 2017/18, to support local safeguarding boards.
2. Issues for consideration
2.1 The Police and Crime Plan commits MOPAC to protecting and safeguarding young Londoners and particularly supporting them when they are victims of crime. It recognises the need for partnership working in order to safeguard children and commits MOPAC to continuing to fund the London Safeguarding Children Board and work with London Boroughs’ local safeguarding children and adults boards.
2.2 MOPAC has statutory duties to ensure its functions, and any services that they contract out to others, are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and to hold the MPS Commissioner to account for the exercise of duties in relation to the safeguarding of children and the promotion of child welfare.
2.3 MOPAC is a member of the London Safeguarding Children Board. The London Safeguarding Children Board seeks to enhance the safety and wellbeing of children in London by:
• Supporting organisations working with children in London to meet their statutory responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children,
• Supporting London’s Local Safeguarding Children Boards to meet their statutory obligations to:
o Coordinate the work to safeguarding children
o Promote the welfare of children, and
o Make sure this work is effective in improving outcomes for children.
2.4 The London Board is currently chaired by Mike Cooke (Chief Executive, LB Camden), and its membership is made up of representatives from the London boroughs, the police, health, and probation; and London independent, voluntary and community agencies.
2.5 Local safeguarding adult and children boards are statutory requirements of local authorities. Section 13 of the Children Act 2004 requires each local authority to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board for their area, to undertake a number of roles and statutory functions including developing local safeguarding policy and procedures and scrutinising local arrangements. Section 43 of the Care Act 2014 requires each local authority to establish a Safeguarding Adults Board for its area, to help and protect adults who have care and support needs or who are experiencing, or are at risk of, abuse or neglect.
3. Financial Comments
3.1 The total proposed 2017/18 allocation is of £400,000. This will be allocated as follows: £80,000 to London Councils and £320,000 to London Boroughs, where each borough will receive £10,000.
3.2 The funding has been incorporated within the 2017/18 Budget with £232,000 coming from a set budget from London Safeguarding Children Board and balance of £168,000 being funded from New Priorities budget.
4. Legal Comments
4.1 MOPAC’s general powers are set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (the 2011 Act). Section 3(6) of the 2011 Act provides that MOPAC must “secure the maintenance of the metropolitan police service and secure that the metropolitan police service is efficient and effective.” Under Schedule 3, paragraph 7 MOPAC has wide incidental powers to “do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of the functions of the Office.” Paragraph 7(2) (a) provides that this includes entering into contracts and other agreements.
4.2 Section 143 (1) (b) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides an express power for MOPAC, as a local policing body, to provide or commission services “intended by the local policing body to help victims or witnesses of, or other persons affected by, offences and anti-social behaviour.” Section 143(3) specifically allows MOPAC to make grants in connection with such arrangements and any grant may be made subject to any conditions that MOPAC thinks appropriate.
4.3 Under MOPAC’s Scheme of Delegation, approval of the strategy for the award of individual grants and the award of all individual grants (for crime reduction or other purposes) is a matter generally reserved to the DMPC (paragraph 5.6). The release of funding in accordance with the proposals set out in this decision form is accordingly to be approved by the DMPC. The delegation of responsibility for the finalisation of planning and contractual/grant arrangements, including relevant terms and the signing of agreements, to the Chief Operating Officer is in accordance with the general power of delegation in paragraph 1.7.
5. Equality Comments
5.1 MOPAC is required to comply with the public sector equality duty set out in section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010. This requires MOPAC to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations by reference to people with protected characteristics. The protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.