Agenda and minutes

Venue: online meeting

Contact: Sarah Buffrey 

Link: Watch this meeting live on the Herefordshire Council Youtube Channel

No. Item


Opening Remarks


The leader of the council opened the meeting with a statement regarding the recent high court judgement and forthcoming extraordinary council meeting. The leader had apologised on behalf of the council to the family affected by the failings identified. An extraordinary meeting of council had been called to agree actions to improve the service and papers for that meeting were available on the council website. The council would be working hard to ensure that the children of Herefordshire were protected and safeguarded.



To receive any apologies for absence.


There were no apologies from members of the cabinet.



To receive declarations of interests in respect of Schedule 1, Schedule 2 or Other Interests from members of the committee in respect of items on the agenda.




MINUTES pdf icon PDF 582 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 25 February 2021.


Resolved:       That the minutes of the meeting held on 25 February 2021 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairperson.



Cllr Davies abstained from the vote as she was absent from the previous meeting. The remaining cabinet members approved the minutes unanimously.




Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 221 KB

To receive questions from members of the public.


Additional documents:


Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 1 to the minutes.


Questions from councillors pdf icon PDF 181 KB

To receive questions from councillors.


Additional documents:


Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 2 to the minutes.


Herefordshire Capital Investment Strategy 2021-2030 For Specialist Settings Educating Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities SEND pdf icon PDF 266 KB

To approve the approach and recommendations within the ‘Herefordshire Capital Investment Strategy 2021-2030 for specialist settings educating children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)’, and for Herefordshire Council to support implementation of the proposed capital improvements to specialist SEND education accommodation therein.

Additional documents:


The cabinet member children and families introduced the report on the proposed strategy to improve the stock of SEND schools in the county.


The schools capital investment advisor and head of additional needs explained the background to the report and the next steps proposed, supported by the assistant director education development and skills.


The position of the council’s high needs budget was commended as Herefordshire was one of very few councils not to be in a deficit. The work of the strategic finance manager and support of the schools forum in achieving this was praised by cabinet members and others in attendance. The approach of special schools in the county in meeting the needs of pupils that other council’s might have placed in independent provision was also highlighted as contributing factor.


Cabinet members discussed the report and proposed strategy. It was noted that:

·         It was important that projections were as robust as possible and the right balance struck in the type and number of special school places provided;

·         The academic performance of special schools in the county was good;

·         Consultation on possible changes to provision should involve children and young people as well as parents/carers and school staff;

·         Documents needed to be in plain English wherever possible;

·         Transport for pupils with SEND sometimes involved long journeys, it was hoped that the strategy would reduce the numbers of these by increasing the number of pupils retained locally although the complexity of some pupils’ needs would still necessitate placements outside the county;

·         A review of all school transport was about to commence and transport for SEND pupils would be considered once the strategy was in place;

·         Development of additional provision for a particular group of pupils with autism, who were often placed outside the county, would reduce travel times and the cost of placements;

·         An equality impact assessment should be completed for the overall strategy, not just for each individual project within it.



The chair of the children and young people scrutiny committee gave feedback from the committee’s consideration of the strategy. The committee had generally welcomed the plan but had expressed concerns about the potential closure of the sixth form provision at Westfield School. It was recognised that the current buildings were in poor condition, did not meet the latest national guidelines and that expansion on the current site was not possible. However loss of the sixth form would increase travel times for pupils in the north of the county and it was important that proper consultation was carried out before a decision was taken.


Cabinet members were assured that feasibility work would look at both a 2-16 and a 2-19 option for the Westfield site and that the views of the headteacher and the community would be listened to.


Group leaders presented the views and queries of their respective groups. The strategy was generally supported and it was noted that:

·         The strategy should be incorporated into the overall schools capital investment strategy;

·         It was important to include pupils with SEND  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82.


To set out the councils preferred waste collection model and to agree the implementation plan for the new waste management service

This item has been withdrawn from this agenda.


This item was withdrawn from the meeting.


The cabinet member commissioning, procurement and assets approved the executive response to the Waste Management Strategic Task and Finish Group Review under a separate decision and this may be viewed at