Agenda and minutes

Social Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday 17th January 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Campus East, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE. View directions

Contact: Gurdip Paddan 01707 357349 Email: democracy@welhat.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

27.

SUBSTITUTION OF MEMBERS

To note any substitution of Committee Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 19 – 22.

Minutes:

The following substitution of a Committee Member had been made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 19-22:

 

Councillor S.Elam for Councillor T.Bailey.

28.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors T.Bailey and L Brandon.

29.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 October 2017 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2017 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

30.

ACTIONS UPDATE pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the status of actions agreed at the last meeting.

Minutes:

The Committee noted the report of the Executive Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) giving an update on actions from the meeting held on 22 November 2017.

 

It was noted that the County Health Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 18 January 2018 would receive an update from the Acute Trust and the Care Quality Commission on the current flu outbreak and this information would be circulated to all Councillors.

31.

SAFEGUARDING ADULTS AT RISK AND SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN POLICIES pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Housing and Communities) seeking endorsement of proposed new policies.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Executive Director (Housing and Communities) seeking the endorsement of two new proposed draft safeguarding policies.

 

Following the re-integration of the Housing Service back into the Council in February 2017 a new Council-wide Safeguarding Steering Group had been created with the aim of reviewing current arrangements for managing safeguarding and developing a new standardised approach across the Council.

 

The Safeguarding Steering Group had developed two revised policies which would replace the previously published policies for the Community Housing Trust and the Council. The proposed new policies were fully compliant with legislative requirements.

 

The proposed new safeguarding policies provided a framework for ensuring that the Council’s commitment towards protecting vulnerable individuals was reflected in its interactions with customers and employees.

 

The policies explained how the Council would approach safeguarding issues and what measures would be taken where concerns had been identified. The policies each provided definitions of the various types of abuse and made reference to other linked strategies and policies which had previously been adopted by the Council.

 

It was confirmed that the Equality Impact Assessment had been completed and no negative impacts had been identified on groups under the equalities legislation.

 

In response to Members’ questions it was noted that a briefing would be arranged for Members.

 

The need for Members to be DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked would be picked up in Council human resources policies.

 

Matters reported would be responded to immediately.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Committee endorse the new safeguarding policies and recommend their approval to the Cabinet.

32.

COMMUNITY SAFETY PARTNERSHIPS ANNUAL REPORT 2017 pdf icon PDF 292 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Housing and Communities) on the partnership’s successful work in 2017.

Minutes:

Report of the Executive Director (Housing and Communities) and accompanying presentation on the partnership’s successful work in 2017 to plan and deliver measures to tackle crime, anti-social behaviour, substance misuse, to reduce offending and promote assurances to the public whilst working together with other statutory and non-statutory organisations.

 

(1)          Funding

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) introduced a competitive bidding process for funding to replace the previous annual grant that was made available to all Hertfordshire Community Safety Partnerships (CSP). Any bids for funding needed to demonstrate that they would meet the objectives set by the PCC and there was a greater emphasis on innovation and joint working across the county. The local CSP had been awarded funds this year for a project aimed at reducing youth anti-social behaviour. The previous grant was predominantly used to pay for a number of activities which provided public reassurance and were aimed at crime prevention. In order to maintain this activity the CSP could make bids to the Herts Community Foundation (HCF); the Council had made a small budget available in 2018/19 to support projects and other CSP partners had been asked to contribute funds directly. During 2017/18 a £5,000 grant was received by HCF and the University of Hertfordshire funded the Crucial Crew initiative.

 

(2)          Police – Anti-Social Behaviour

 

Following a spate of anti-social behaviour at Woodhall shopping parade, the CSP had been working collectively to tackle the issues. There was a need to talk to residents and businesses with a clear message about what the partnership was doing to tackle the issues. A Community Information Day on site was planned. Poor lighting was a problem and was being looked at, as well as other measures that could be taken to improve the physical environment. There was a good working relationship with schools and social workers working with families where appropriate.

 

The Police advised that youth anti-social behaviour was a large and challenging problem which was not easily solved, but the partners were working together to stop it.

 

The Neighbourhood Team had flooded the area for two months before Christmas after two serious incidents and 95 youths had been stopped during that time and were known to the Police with 50% of their families being visited and warnings given.  This was very resource intensive and a collaborative approach was required as this level of Police activity could not be permanently maintained.  Detection rates were good at 50% and some long prison sentences had been given for prolific offenders.

 

In response to Members’ questions about national publicity that the Police no longer responded to shoplifting incidents under a monetary value of £200, it was noted that this did not apply in Hertfordshire and it was agreed that it was important to reinforce this message.

 

It was also clarified that the “Ask for Angela” initiative for people feeling unsafe or vulnerable was real as on the Police website and information about this would be circulated to Members.

 

In reply to a question about incidents  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

PUBLIC SPACE PROTECTION ORDER pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Housing and Communities) providing an update following the consultation about an order in Hatfield Town Centre and seeking approval to a draft order.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Executive Director (Housing and Communities) informing the Committee of the outcome of the public consultation on proposals to implement a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which was designed to tackle anti-social behaviour in Hatfield Town Centre and seeking approval to a draft order. Public consultation took place between 12 and 26 November 2017.

 

The Committee noted that Hatfield Town Centre had a long standing issues with street drinking, rough sleeping and begging associated anti-social behaviour; with the people involved in such activity, urinating or defecating in public spaces. These specific behaviours caused harassment, alarm and distress to members of the public, but were particularly difficult to deal with through other legal channels due to the burden of evidence required to pursue them as a criminal act. In addition local residents who were affected by the behaviour were often unwilling to act as witnesses.

 

Rough sleeping was one of the issues of concern raised by consultees. The PSPO could be used against rough sleepers but only as a last resort, where the person persistently failed to engage with the Council.  Council Officers were committed to providing support to rough sleepers and signposting them to the other specialist agencies. The Council had introduced a new initiative ‘Housing First’ to reduce the number of rough sleepers in Welwyn Hatfield.

 

During discussion it was accepted that there was a risk of raising expectations by making an Order, but the Council had an excellent working relationship with its partners, supported by the Police who wanted to be able to use the Order.

 

There would be signage and the operation of the Order would be monitored and could be varied if felt to be appropriate.

 

Having considered the issues of anti-social behaviour in Hatfield Town Centre and the views of consultees the Committee fully supported making an Order.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the formal consultation responses received on the proposed PSPO for Hatfield Town Centre be acknowledged.

 

(2)     That the results of the consultation undertaken be noted and the Cabinet recommended to consider this proposal and agree to the implementation of a zoned PSPO for the designated areas within Hatfield, as recommended by the local Community Safety Partnership Joint Action Group.

 

(3)     That the Council be recommended to agree to discharge the current PSPO (automatically created by the legislation from the current Designated Public Place Order).

34.

COMMITTEE OVERVIEW WORK PROGRAMME 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

The pro-forma which sets out the Committee’s overview work programme has been updated since the last meeting to enable forward planning of items to be considered to take place. Items which the Committee agrees it would like to consider will be scheduled into the work programme.

Minutes:

The pro-forma setting out the Committee’s overview work programme had been updated since the last meeting to enable the forward planning of items to take place. Items which the Committee agreed it would like to consider would be scheduled into the work programme.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the work programme be noted.

35.

COMMITTEE SCRUTINY WORK PROGRAMME 2017/18

The pro-forma which sets out the Committee’s scrutiny work programme is attached to enable forward planning of items to be considered to take place as appropriate.

Minutes:

The pro-forma setting out the Committee’s scrutiny work programme was attached to enable the forward planning of items to take place as appropriate.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted