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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee rooms C, D & E - Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden SM4 5DX. View directions

Contact: This will be a virtual meeting and therefore will not take place in a physical location, in accordance with s78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. 

Link: View the meeting live here

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Saleem Sheikh (co-opted member).


Declarations of pecuniary interest


There were no declarations of pecuniary interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 53 KB


Minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true and accurate record.


COVID-19 Impact in Merton - Presentation to follow pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Additional documents:


The Director of Public Health provided an overview of the impact of Covid-19 in Merton date.  Overall the infection rate in Merton and other London boroughs continues to decline with the R value estimated to be below 1 with positive cases per 100,000 across London boroughs is on the decrease.

London boroughs were previously purple in colour during the peak of the pandemic.  A majority of London boroughs including Merton are now orange with some boroughs green in colour where the case numbers have dropped even more. Demand for tests was also at its peak however this has now fallen dramatically and the extended opening hours of the testing sites are back to normal. 

Covid-19 continues to put pressure on the NHS but is more manageable although the bed occupancy is still high the severity of cases continues declining.   Merton has the third highest rate of cases amongst the SWL borough.

Outbreak of cases have fallen significantly in care homes which shows good prevention infection control and all care homes residents have been vaccinated.  The number of registered deaths in Merton due Covid-19 appear to be descending with the most up to date number of deaths per week standing at 28 cases.  Since Jan 2020 the cumulative registered deaths in Merton were 376 cases with 44 of these deaths being from care homes, 288 from hospitals, 35 from home, 1 from hospice and 1 from elsewhere.  Note some of the hospital deaths may include care home residents.

The cases in both the east and west of the borough by age continues to fall and the number of cases in East Merton were higher than the West Merton in all age groups thus more testing centre in East Merton. 

At the beginning of Covid-19 there was a greater ethnic disparity between the BAME and white population but this seems to be on the decrease.


The Director of Public Health informed all of the above.  Merton is one of three London borough asked by the national programme to undertake enhanced testing in order to track the South African variant - though not more serious it is more infectious and the vaccines may be less affective against it.  The purpose of testing is to undertake a two week testing programme to better understand the geographical reach of the new variant within the Pollards Hill area of Merton in light of the case identified in the area.

The programme aims to offer around 10,000 track and trace kits to contain and control the variant.  All those who live, work and in the Pollards Hill area essentially will be offered a PCR test ranging from a mobile test, test at a centre and to a door to door home test.  Positive cases from the enhanced testing programme are requires to isolate for up to 10 days including neighbours (this applies to all new variants considered to be highly infectious).

Public Health urges all those warried or concerned to get  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Merton Safeguarding Adults Annual Report pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Additional documents:


The AD of Adult Social Care, Community and Housing gave an overview of the Safeguarding Adults activities of the MSAB for 2018/19 and performance.  The report presented outlines the board performance for 2018/19 published retrospectively thus reflecting on work undertaken in the previous year due to how the Department for Health and Social Care collate the national annual data returns.

The Merton Safeguarding Board is a statutory strategic function in Merton under the Care Act 2014 with responsibility for writing and publishing the annual safeguarding reports.  The board is chaired by Aileen Buckton who took over from Theresa Bell in 2020.  As of next year the new independent chair will be present on the annual report.

MSAB is made up of key partners from both statutory and non-statutory partners with the key function of providing a multi-agency response safeguarding and highlight areas to take action and safeguard vulnerable adults in Merton by all partners.

There have been improvements in safeguarding data across all areas of board and following the last annual report the board has been working to improve the recording of safeguarding database, literacy of staff across the partnership.  Improvements due to simplified safeguard processes, simplification of data recorded, simplified forms, better quality assurance processes and an auditing tool enabling managers to audit safeguarding cases on a case by case basis and ensure consistency.  The key focus is not only on the data but quality of safeguarding work in Merton.  Since the last report the board has recommissioned safeguarding and mental capacity training for staff and manager at all levels.  Key partners have also undertaken similar actions to improve safeguarding across the board / partnership.

The report is for all key partners in Merton and outlines the four subgroups the board is divided into and works.  Further details on the subgroups and Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SAR).  SAR is a legal requirement under the Care Act 2014 and is undertaken only if it is felt that agencies could have worked together more effectively to prevent the death.  The have been no SAR referrals for 2019/20 however there have been 4 reviews which have been on going due to Covid-19 and 2 are in the final stages and soon to be published.  Two cases have been considered for safeguarding review in 2020/21.

In 2019/20 there were 732 safeguarding concerns which is significantly higher than concerns from previous years and does not imply an increase in the number of safeguarding concerns but reflects on how we now record, capture and report the data.  The number of referrals are now in line with safeguarding numbers across London.  The data also shows an improvement in the number of section 42 enquiries (statutory safeguarding enquiries led by councils’ social work teams).  Note not all referrals result in enquiries, care management assessments or any further action.

The report also provides an update into the Learning Disability Mortality Review Programme (LeDeR) for Merton 2019/2020.  The LeDeR programme was established in 2015 with the aim of reducing early  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 92 KB


The work programme was noted.



Budget and Business Plan 2021-2025 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:


Following on from the previous meeting the Director of Corporate Services updated on the third round of the Budget and Business Plan 2020-21 and settlement.  There are no additional savings to be reviewed only savings for other panels with further meeting to be had.

The settlement was better than expected with an additional one off funding being available for a short period and an Adult Social Care precept of up to 3% phased over 2 years to be undertaken for 1 year.  The Council Tax referendum has been confirmed at 2% with a recommendation of a Council Tax increase of 1.99% before the GLA precept is disclosed.  TFL have been given additional dispensation in light of current issues they face with a further £15 precept to cover the cost of concessionary travel additional cost linked to the under 18 travel which TFL and London boroughs will pick up.

Council reserves have been used to balance the books as set out in para 6.2 page 29.  Between December 2020 and January 2021 there was a Covid and local tax support scheme grant resulting in the reduction in the amount collected by Council Tax due to more people claiming and a reduction in.  It is anticipated that a further council tax support in April 2021 when furlough comes to an end is likely unless extended.  National budget to be introduced from 3rd March 2021 with very little immediate change to local government but could impact on local businesses and resident.

New homes bonus and grants have been confirmed some of which are less than what was expected with new grants in particular for adult social care that can be used both across children and adults.  Confirmation of the Public Health grant is still pending.

A panel member asked whether the grants coming in will be enough to cover our spend.  The Director of Corporate Services informed all that details of grants known have been provided in the paper.  Some grants are one off grants and some are continuing and attempts to maximise grant usage have been made in order to protect services being delivered as set out in appendix 1 of the report.

The Chair asked whether there are any issues we should be focusing on following the last meeting.  The Director of Corporate Services said that the only issue to draw the members’ attention to was the savings put forward and if members had comments on the equality assessment or service plan then she’s happy to take them forward as the report is still in draft and subjects to change until proposals are implemented.