Venue: by video conference
Webcast: View the webcast
Apologies were received from Councillor Kelly Clewett.
Members to declare any personal or prejudicial interests in any business identified to be considered at this meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
URGENT MATTERS AS AGREED BY THE CHAIR
Notice of items which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency pursuant to Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.
To receive the minutes of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee held on 27 October 2022 (copy enclosed).
The minutes of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 27 October 2022 were submitted.
Environmental Enforcement Services Contract Provision (recommendation ii page 8) – The Chair asked whether the recommendation had been implemented? The Scrutiny Coordinator advised that the Service had confirmed that the Communications Team had been contacted with a view to drawing up a communication plan to inform residents, businesses, city, town and community councils of the proposed changes.
Resolved: that the minutes of the meeting held on 27 October 2022 be received and approved as a true and correct record of the proceedings.
Prior to the commencement of the following item of business the Chair informed members that the Committee would be discussing business item number 5, in its capacity as the Council’s designated Crime & Disorder Scrutiny Committee in accordance with the Police & Justice Act 2006 ss. 19 and 20.
To consider a report by the Community Safety Partnership Manager (copy enclosed), detailing the Partnership’s achievement in delivering its 2021/22 action plan and its progress to date in delivering its action plan for 2022/23.
The Lead Member for Housing and Communities introduced the report (previously circulated). He reminded the Committee that it was the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) annual report - April 2021 to March 2022.
Interim Head of Business Improvement & Modernisation explained that Community Safety was managed within the Business Improvement & Modernisation Service but there were many other departments with whom they worked closely, including Youth Services, Planning & Public Protection and Safeguarding etc.
The Conwy and Denbighshire CSP’s action plan was part of a regional plan developed across North Wales led by the Police and Crime Commissioner. The plan was formulated from an analysis undertaken on an annual basis. Locally the plan was managed by a Conwy and Denbighshire Community Safety Partnership.
The Community Safety Manager referred to the Performance Summary Report (appendix 1) highlighting:
Priority 1: Reduce Crime and Disorder in Denbighshire by working in Partnership - performance status at the end of 2021/22 was acceptable;
Priority 2: Reducing reoffending - performance status at the end of 2021/22 was acceptable; and
Priority 3: Local Priorities – performance status at the end of 2021/22 was good.
The change from the previous reporting period was due to youth offending and domestic abuse/stalking increasing.
Priority 1 involved working collectively with partners e.g. North Wales Fire & Rescue Authority, Police, Probation, Health with the aim of:
· reducing victim based crime;
· reducing Antisocial Behaviour (ASB);
· reducing domestic abuse and sexual violence and
· working with colleagues on multi agency risk assessments and conferences to manage repeat offenders.
Priority 2 – the aim was to reduce reoffending by working with:
· Probation Service (on adult reoffending);
· Children and Young People’s Service / Youth Services; and
· collectively to prevent organised crime.
Priority 3 - Local and Regional priorities which were often highlighted by elected members or North Wales Police where they received numerous calls e.g. linked to licensed premises, anti-social behaviour etc.
Priority 1- Reduce Crime and Disorder in Denbighshire by working in
Overall, the performance for the Partnership was acceptable due to the continued increased numbers of victims of domestic abuse and stalking and harassment that came forward to report such incidents. Whilst the percentage increase seemed high, the actual numbers were small. Examples of working in partnership to deal with this priority included the following measures undertaken:
· Raising awareness of victim based crimes via social media, attending events ensuring information was available on partner websites.
· Home and business surveys carried out by crime reduction advisors and Police Community Support Officers to help prevent burglaries.
· Provision of target hardening equipment and crime prevention advice (Locks/door bars etc.).
· Participation in the monthly online Multiagency Risk Assessment Conference meetings (MARACs) reviewing cases of victims of domestic abuse and implementing action plans.
· Denbighshire sent out numerous press releases on domestic abuse throughout the year and changed the colour of the Pont y Ddraig Bridge to signify the support of the Local Authority on White Ribbon day on the 25th of November 2021. A vigil was held with partners in the events arena in Rhyl to show support in the prevention of violence.
· Promoted the ‘Live fear free All Wales helpline’ which received 192 calls from Denbighshire residents.
Project activity meetings with partnership agencies covered:
· Modern day slavery;
· County Lines;
· Integrated Offender Management;
· Domestic Abuse; and
· Drink Aware campaigns.
Priority 2 – Reducing re-offending.
There had been a decrease in re-offending in the over 18’s but an increase in youth offending. The focus of the partnership had been to:
· Participate in local offender management programmes;
· Promote community resolutions and restorative justice when solving minor issues;
· Attend restorative justice conferences as a critical friend; ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
DENBIGHSHIRE VOLUNTARY SERVICES COUNCIL (DVSC)
To update the Committee on the progress achieved to date in delivering the DVSC’s vision, enhancing its working relationship with the Council and voluntary organisations within Denbighshire.
The Lead Member for Corporate Strategy, Policy and Equalities introduced Tom Barham, Chief Officer of Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC), commenting on the importance of the working relationship and support with Third Sector partners to achieve mutual objectives.
The Chief Officers presented an update report on the work of the DVSC over the previous 12 months as it moved on from the challenges of the Covid Pandemic to the Cost of Living Crisis.
The DVSC had recently produced a purpose statement to clarify the purpose of voluntary councils:
‘DVSC enables charities and community groups (Third Sector) to be more effective and more connected, working together to build a strong and vibrant Denbighshire’.
He advised The DVSC were an independent charity that worked best in partnership with the Third Sector and Denbighshire County Council (DCC), to improve the communities in Denbighshire as enablers that advise, facilitate, fund and champion the voluntary sector.
The residents of Denbighshire had a range of needs met in part by the activities of the Third Sector. The DVSC supported community-based groups who had needs around:
· setting up,
· good Governance,
· networking and influence,
· recruitment of staff and volunteers,
· access to funding,
· skills and
· ability to respond effectively to change.
The DVSC was part of Third Sector Support Wales, a network funded by Welsh Government, with a range of online resources that encouraged work across 4 pillars: volunteering, good governance, sustainable funding and engagement & influencing. There would be a renewed focus on volunteering over the coming months.
The DVSC also managed the assessment and distribution of grant programmes with DCC, Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Welsh Government and Health Board. Last year almost 0.25 million pounds of funding, 87 grants had been distributed within Denbighshire.
Governance was an important aspect of DVSC’s role, it continued to provide training, consultancy and direct advice to Third Sector groups, helping to form 18 new social enterprises over the previous year.
With the aid of DCC funding the DVSC undertook a project in 2022 to ascertain the resilience of Third Sector organisations in the wake of Covid.
The Third Sector Research Report April 2022 highlighted:
· that there were 2450 Third sector organisations in Denbighshire
· that 10% of all jobs in Denbighshire were in the Third Sector
· that volunteering levels in Denbighshire were the 3rd highest in Wales representing 4,700,000 volunteer hours
· that these organisations had been resilient during Covid but were now under threat from increased demand, ongoing uncertainty, short term funding and increased operating costs
· that there were issues around recruitment, skills gaps, technology and data. 52% thought their organisation would grow, with only 54% thinking they were sustainable.
The DVSC worked with a range of organisations (approximately 250), mostly small, start-up and growing organisations. Provision of support could be face to face or by being signposted to national resources on funding etc..
The DVSC was working with DCC under the Shared Prosperity Fund to improve how local authorities commissioned and procured services from the Third Sector, and attempting to lower barriers to procurement that many of the smaller organisations feared, focussing on the social value aspect.
The DVSC research showed:
· potential in improving working relationship with Denbighshire County Council and a
· shared desire for partnership, networking and bridging the gap, particularly around the cost of living crisis.
Practical examples of DVSC working with DCC included:
· Setting up a new 3rd Sector Liaison Group.
· Croeso Cynnes / Warm Welcome Initiative and
· Working together on the Shared Prosperity Fund / 3rd Sector Opportunities, creating networks of peer support.
Responding to members’ questions the DVSC’s Chief Officer encouraged members ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To consider a report by the Scrutiny Coordinator (copy enclosed) seeking a review of the committee’s forward work programme and updating members on relevant issues.
The Scrutiny Coordinator submitted a report (previously circulated) seeking members’ review of the Committee’s work programme. Members were informed that the purpose of the report was to review the Committee’s future work to ensure it included all items requested by members.
The Committee was reminded that the next Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting was scheduled for 9th February 2023. There were two substantial items tabled with the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board:
I. Partnership Working in Relation to Mental Health and
II. North Denbighshire Community Hospital Project.
The Scrutiny Chairs and Vice-Chairs Group (SC&VCG) were next scheduled to meet on 19th January 2023. Members were reminded to complete the Scrutiny Proposal Form (appendix 2) if they had any items they would like submitting to the SC&VCG for review and/or allocation to scrutiny committee’s forward work programme.
The Committee asked for a reminder to be circulated to members on how to propose a scrutiny item.
Resolved: subject to the above comments to
(i) confirm its forward work programme as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report; and
(ii) request that all councillors be reminded of the process to be followed in order to propose an item for future scrutiny.
FEEDBACK FROM COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES
To receive any updates from Committee representatives on various Council Boards and Groups
Councillor Bobby Feeley had attended the first meeting of the Bwthyn y Ddôl Project Board, a flagship children’s assessment centre venture in partnership with DCC, Conwy County Borough Council and BCUHB.
Unfortunately, the project was being run from temporary accommodation in Colwyn Bay owing to the originally appointed contractor going into administration. Following a lengthy tender process a trusted contractor had been identified, it was anticipated that they would be appointed, pending conclusion of a successful evaluation, at the end of that week and building would commence in the new year.
Resolved: to receive the verbal report given by Councillor Bobby Feeley on the discussions that had taken place at a recent meeting of the Bwthyn y Ddôl Project Board.
Meeting concluded at 12.15pm