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Disclosures of Interest and Whipping Declarations
In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, councillors are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.
Councillors must also declare if they are subject to their party group whip in relation to any items under consideration.
The following disclosures were made:
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 21 November 2022.
The minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 21 November 2022 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Public Question Time
To answer any questions or hear brief statements from the public which are relevant to the items on this agenda. The period will end after 15 minutes or later at the Chair’s discretion.
No questions from the public were asked.
Safer Crawley Partnership Annual Review and Forthcoming Priorities
To receive the annual performance update of the Safer Crawley Partnership along with the future priorities.
The Commission received an update from Chief Inspector Ben Starns, Public Protection & Enforcement Manager and the Community Safety Officer, together with the Head of Community Services and Councillor S Mullins on the annual performance report of the Safer Crawley Partnership along with the future priorities. During the discussion, the following points were expressed:
The purpose of the Safer Crawley Partnership was to reduce re-offending, tackle crime and disorder, anti-social behaviour, alcohol and substance misuse and any other behaviour which had a negative effect on the local community so that people in Crawley were safer and felt safer.
Statutory partners included: WSCC, Sussex Police, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Probation Service and Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group together with other partners including OSPCC, Crawley Open House, Crawley & Gatwick Business Watch, CGL, Audio Active, CCYS and schools.
The Four priorities:
· Serious and Organised Crime (Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking)
· Street Community
· Protecting Vulnerable Individuals
· Business Crime
· Violence Against Women & Girls
2021-2022 funding included:
· Funding allocation from Sussex PCC - £51,362,87
· Project funded in 2021-2022
Ø £25,000 mobile CCTV/ANPR cameras. Two CCTV cameras deployed in Church Walk
Ø £10,000 Crawley & Gatwick Business Watch. Support following reduction in membership fees due to impact of COVID and lockdown, provided the BCRP manager with the opportunity to re-engage with members
Ø £1,500 Joint Action Group. Small scale initiatives such as ‘no motor vehicle’ signage in Broadfield to tackle issue of motorbikes and quadbikes being used on footpaths causing a nuisance to local residents
Ø £9,580 Safer Schools Event. Presentation from St Giles Trust to all Year 8 and Year 9 students on county lines, drugs, gangs and exploitation, followed by a market place of positive activity providers and supports services
Ø £9,312 AudioActive Cyphers Schools project. Cypher/Beats and Bars sessions delivered in schools to vulnerable young people identified by teachers/pastoral care team who are at risk of exploitation or who they may have concerns about.
Ø £50,000 Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP). Funding for AudioActive to run the SHIFT programme targeting young people aged 11 to 18 years old, who are involved in, or at risk of being involved in antisocial behaviour, crime and or violence.
2022-2023 funding included:
Ø Crawley Open House Outreach and Day Centre – towards staffing costs for drop-in services and for Outreach Team.
Ø Youth Advice Centre – CSE Prevention Initiative – preventative workshops in schools for young women identified as being at risk of exploitation and 1:1 mentoring.
Ø AudioActive - provide music recording/production equipment and pump prime 4 additional AudioActive projects and taster sessions for 11-25 year olds.
Ø Junior Citizens - contribution to multi-agency 2 week event for all year 6 students educating young people on ASB and increasing awareness on how to keep themselves safe on the streets and online etc.
Ø Bike marking kits - bike marking pop up sessions to be held early 2023.
In terms of crime data, crimes with a weapon figure had increased, however this could be attributed to better reporting of offences. Acting ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Councillor Sue Mullins has been invited to attend the Commission for a general discussion on the Public Protection and Community Engagement Portfolio and their duties. A copy of the Cabinet Member’s responsibilities, as set out in the Council’s Constitution is attached.
The Commission noted the update given by Councillor S Mullins and questioned her on a variety of issues relating to the portfolio. The following topics were discussed:
· Junior Citizen had proven to be extremely successful for young people to gain experience and advice, particularly on ASB and increasing awareness on how to keep themselves safe on the streets and online etc. All councillors were encouraged to be involved in this event.
· Youth Council elections could now take place post-Covid and it had been interesting to see young people engaged and involved with the process.
· It was recognised that there were opportunities for councillors to become more involved, particularly with events such as Junior Citizen. The life skills being offered enhance the lives of young people and councillors could make a positive contribution.
· It was suggested that through the Social Inclusion work there was a chance to rebuild the engagement following the pandemic and reach out to communities. It was important to build links with the community, experience events and activities. It was hoped with the new town hall that community engagement would increase.
· Clarification sought and obtained in relation to the Community Wardens’ role and cross-portfolio working, community safety and ASB. Recognition that the role was wide-ranging and well-respected by the community and businesses but had struggled to recruit recently. It was important that resources were targeted in specific areas and a review would commence shortly over the different models of working.
· Confirmation that the methods of policing had changed and more work was carried out covertly.
· The Community Grants process was discussed in relation to the cost of living crisis and it was acknowledged it was a ‘balancing act’ to support groups as well as provide information for alternative funding.
· Recognition that the 50-year anniversary of Town Twinning was approaching and ideas were welcomed from councillors as to how to celebrate as it was important to maintain connections.
That the Overview and Scrutiny Commission thanked Councillor S Mullins for attending and for the informative discussion that had ensued.
Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee (HASC)
To receive a brief update on the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee (HASC).
An update was provided from the most recent HASC meeting. It was noted that the previous meeting had focused on the following items:
· NSH Winter Preparedness
· Access to NHS Primary Care
· South East Coast Ambulance Service Update
· Quarter 2 Quarterly Performance and Resources Report.
The minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2022 were published on the WSCC website.
The next meeting was scheduled for 11 January 2023 and would focus on the following:
· West Sussex Stroke Programme
· Delivery of the Adult Social Care Strategy 2022-2025 ‘The life you want to lead’
· Adults’ Services Quality Assurance Update
Forthcoming Decision List - and Provisional List of Reports for the Commission's following Meetings
To consider any requests for future items. Those highlighted items have been referred to the Commission.
OSC 30 Jan Cabinet 1 Feb 2023
1. Crawley Borough Local Plan Review – PFD
2. 2023/2024 Budget and Council Tax - PFD
3. Treasury Management Strategy 2023-2024 - PFD
4. 2022/2023 Budget Monitoring - Quarter 3
5. Corporate Plan 2023-2027 - PFD
6. Tenancy Policy (Crawley Homes)
7. Corporate Debt Policy
8. Irrecoverable Debts 2022-2023
The Commission confirmed the following reports:
30 January 2023
1. Crawley Borough Local Plan Review
2. 2023/2024 Budget and Council Tax
3. Treasury Management Strategy 2023-2024
4. 2022/2023 Budget Monitoring - Quarter 3
5. Corporate Plan 2023-2027
6. Corporate Debt Policy - PROV REFERRAL
7. Tenancy Policy (Crawley Homes) – PROV REFERRAL