Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Ruthin and by Video Conference
Webcast: View the webcast
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Bobby Feeley.
Apologies were also received from the Corporate Director: Social Services and Education, Nicola Stubbins. Gary Williams, Corporate Director: Governance and Business was therefore in attendance in the role of Corporate Executive Team’s (CET) advisor to the Committee.
The Committee was notified that Councillor Peter Scott had resigned his position on the Committee to fulfil his role as Vice-Chair of County Council, following the untimely passing of the Council’s elected Chair, the late Councillor Peter Prendergast. The Conservative Group had appointed Councillor Brian Jones to replace Councillor Scott as one of its representatives on the Committee. As a consequence of Councillor Scott’s resignation, the office of Committee Vice-Chair was vacant. However, as the notification of the change in membership had been received after the publication of the meeting’s business agenda, an item of business to appoint a new Vice-Chair would therefore be included on the Committee’s December 2023 business agenda.
The Committee Chair thanked Councillor Peter Scott for his diligent work as Vice-Chair and for all his support to her as Chair. She also extended a warm welcome to Councillor Jones as a member of the Committee.
Members to declare any personal or prejudicial interests in any business identified to be considered at this meeting.
No interests of a personal or personal and prejudicial interest were declared.
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.
No matters of an urgent nature had been raised with the Chair or the Scrutiny Coordinator prior to the commencement of the meeting.
10.05 am - 10.10 am
The minutes of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting held on Thursday, 14 September 2023 were submitted. The Committee:
that the minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2023 be received and
approved as a true and correct record of the proceedings.
Page 9, Business item 5, ‘North Denbighshire Community Hospital Project’ – the Scrutiny Coordinator confirmed that enquiries had been made with the Monitoring Officer on whether any statutory rules existed compelling Welsh Government Ministers to respond to business cases or funding requests within a specific timeframe. The Monitoring Officer had advised that he was not aware of the existence of any statutory timeframes relating to such matters.
Prior to proceeding with the next items of business the
Scrutiny Coordinator advised members that:
The Committee would be discussing business items 5 &
6 in its capacity as the Council’s designated Crime & Disorder Scrutiny
Committee in accordance with the requirements of sections 19 and 20 of the
Police & Justice Act 2006.
To consider the annual Community Safety Partnership update
report for 2022/23 (copy enclosed) which provides details of the Partnership’s
achievement in delivering its 2022/23 action plan and outlines its progress to
date in delivering its action plan for 2023/24.
10.10 am – 10.50 am
The Chair welcomed
the Lead Member and officers to the meeting. The Scrutiny Co-ordinator
introduced each officer present at the meeting.
The Lead Member for
Housing and Communities, Councillor Rhys Thomas introduced the annual Community
Safety Partnership’s (CSP) Annual Report for 2022/23. He welcomed the North
Wales Police representative, District Inspector Kevin Smith, to the meeting who
was in attendance at the request of the Committee. He reminded Members it was a statutory
requirement that an annual report be presented to the Committee.
The Head of
Corporate Support Service: Performance, Digital & Assets thanked the Lead
Member for the introduction and expanded by saying that the report fell under
Section 6 of the Crime Disorder Act for an annual report to be prepared, to
demonstrate the achievements of the Local Community Safety Partnership.
She introduced Sian
Taylor, the Community Safety Partnership Manager to the Committee. Sian worked
for Denbighshire County Council and Conwy County Borough Council.
Three elements were
included within the report. Those were:
at the previous year, to provide a performance update and crime statistics.
provide information for the current year 2023/24.
provide information on the finance and funding of the Conwy and Denbighshire
Community Safety Partnership.
It was highlighted
to Members the resources for the CSP were very limited. The Head of Service
offered her thanks to Sian and the officers for the work done under the
constraints of limited resources.
The Community Safety Partnership Manager
thanked the Committee for inviting her to present the paper. She guided members
to appendix 1 which detailed the performance report for April 2022- March 2023 for Denbighshire. Members were reminded
that there were 3 priority areas that were monitored. With specific targets to
achieve. Of the three main
priority areas of work for the Community Safety Partnership at the end of March
2023 two were acceptable and the third was good. The reason two had been set as
acceptable had been due to an increase in the number of theft and handling,
vehicle crime, sexual offences and the youth reoffending rate. It was noted a
reduction in all other types of crimes had been recorded.
A brief summary of
each priority was provided. The first
priority had been to work collectively as a partnership to reduce crime and
disorder. Work on victim based crime and community based issues had taken
place. Representatives from partners from those areas met to discuss concerns
and agree actions. Officers encouraged
participation in the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) that
discussed the high level domestic abuse in order to put in place mitigating
actions to safeguard individuals.
The second priority
focused on working collectively to reduce the level of reoffending. Partnership
working with the Police and Probation Service was vital for this priority to
progress. Members were informed of a cross county organised crime group (OCG)
which was a partnership group that met monthly to discuss issues such as County
Lines crime and ways of combating organised crime in the area.
The third priority
looked at the local and regional priorities. Collective working took place when
there was a need to manage anti-social behaviour. Often the CSP brought teams
together to discuss any joint working that would benefit partners and
to raise domestic abuse and sexual abuse awareness continued. Including press
releases and initiatives like lighting up local landmarks in white to provide a
visual to engage with individuals and raise awareness. Third sector colleagues often attended sports
clubs to encourage white ribbon day to gain support for domestic violence not
Members were provided with further ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
At this juncture (11.40 am) the meeting paused for a 5 minute comfort
reconvened at 11.45 am.
WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH NORTH WALES POLICE IN DENBIGHSHIRE'S COMMUNITIES
To receive a verbal presentation outlining the partnership working arrangements and practices in Denbighshire and to discuss the effectiveness of these arrangements.
10.50 am – 11.30 am
Police’s representative, Kevin Smith provided members with a verbal update on
partnership working with North Wales police within Denbighshire communities.
He provided Members
with information on some of the key changes that had taken place in North Wales
Police recently. Since the new Chief Constable had taken up position she had
been keen to have a restructure of the organisation in relation to how officers
worked with partners and engagement with the public. She instigated a review of
positions and responsibilities individuals held. He informed members his new
role would fall under the title of Neighbourhood Partnerships Inspector. The Chief inspectors had also had a
restructure from being County Chief Inspectors to a Patrol Chief Inspector and
Neighbourhood and Partnership Chief Inspector.
The focus and drive for the team was to demonstrate a commitment to
neighbourhood policing and partnership working. It was hoped the new structure
would add benefit to the community.
neighbourhood policing team which consisted of a number of officers working in
rural areas of the authority and more urban areas. Police Community Support
Officers (PCSOs) played a large role in supporting community policing and
partnership working. Community police officers could perform any action that
any member of the public was permitted to but would act as a professional
witness. They also had professional detention powers and their role included
work in a wide range of areas.
The Chair thanked
the District Inspector for the verbal report. On behalf of Councillor Feeley
who was unable to attend the meeting, the Chair asked would the structuring
improve the continuity of the officers out in the community. The District
Inspector confirmed there was always succession planning for future changes.
With the current national operational uplift to increase the number of police
officers, an impact had been noted on the police community schemes. A number of
community officers had joined the police organisation to pursue a police
career. He stressed the importance of recruiting individuals to replace those
that move on. Thanks were given to the long standing community officers who
acted as a support for new officers joining.
Members heard North
Wales Police had a policy in place with unauthorised encampments. It was
stressed procedures had to be followed in the correct timely manner. The police
were reliant on the joint working with partners such as Denbighshire County
Council to assist with supporting the individuals on the site. It was stressed the importance of having a
designated area for travellers to accommodate them when moving through North
Wales to reduce the number of unauthorised encampments. Members appreciated the
complexity of the issues and the sensitivity around the subject.
successfully together to address neighbourhood crime. There were always areas
that could be improved but on the whole agencies worked well in the community.
Dysfunctional families were sometimes difficult to manage as they require a
wide range of support from a number of different teams. Communication with
agencies and families was vital to ascertain an outcome for families. Numerous
meetings took place between teams in the police to work in partnership to
support families in the community.
The Public Space Protection Order in Rhyl High Street, was due for renewal. The police were working in partnership with Denbighshire County Council Officers to collate the evidence to re-establish the order in Rhyl. That evidence would be sent to the authority as soon as possible. The reason it had ceased had been due to a misunderstanding on the timing around resubmitting evidence to have it renewed. The order had been in place in Rhyl for 6 years, alongside ... 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.
11.30 am – 11.50 am
The Scrutiny Co-ordinator introduced the
report and appendices (previously circulated) seeking Members’ review of the
Committee’s work programme which provided and update on relevant issues.
The next Partnerships Scrutiny Committee
meeting was scheduled for the 14 December. There was one item listed for the
of Affordable Rent Levels – Members were informed the item had been deferred
due to a delay in receiving guidance from Welsh Government.
The Scrutiny Chair’s and Vice Chair’s Group
next meeting was scheduled to be held on 28 November 2023 and Members were
encouraged to complete the relevant form attached (appendix 2) if there were
any items Members wanted to be considered at the meeting. No items had been
added to the Committee’s work programme at the previous Scrutiny Chair’s and
Vice Chair’s Group meeting.
Appendix 3 was the Cabinet’s Forward Work
Programme for Members reference.
Appendix 4 provided the Committee with
further information regarding
recommendations from the previous meeting.
The Scrutiny Co-ordinator highlighted
following the resignation of Councillor Peter Scott, the Committee was required
to nominate a replacement on two Service Challenge groups and the
representative on the Capital Scrutiny Group.
The Chair Councillor Joan Butterfield agreed to attend the Capital
Scrutiny Group on behalf of the Committee.
The two Service Challenge Groups that required a representative were:
Public Protection and Countryside Services
Support Service: People
Members heard the Service Challenge Group
meetings were held virtually, once a year. She encouraged Members who had an
interest in a particular area put their names forward as representatives. Councillor Jeanette Chamberlain-Jones agreed
to represent the Committee on the Corporate Support Service: People and
Councillor Brian Jones was nominated to attend the Planning, Public Protection
and Countryside Services Service Challenge Group.
Chamberlain-Jones enquired on the outcome of her proposal for a report on tree
maintenance. She enquired if a decision on the subject had been reached. The
Scrutiny Co-ordinator confirmed the proposal had been discussed and a report
had been included on the Communities Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme for
its meeting in May 2024. The Committee:
confirm its forward work programme as set out in Appendix 1 to the
(ii) appoint the following representatives to
serve on the Groups detailed below –
Scrutiny Group – Councillor Joan Butterfield
Public Protection & Countryside Services – Councillor Brian Jones
Support Services: People – Councillor
FEEDBACK FROM COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES
To receive any
updates from Committee representatives on various Council Boards and Groups.
11.50 am – 12.00 noon.
The Chair informed the Committee that she had recently attend the Housing and Communities Service Challenge Group meeting and would be reporting on its proceedings to the Committee at its next meeting in December.
Councillor Bobby Feeley had recently attended a meeting of the Bwthyn y Ddôl, Sub-Regional Children’s Residential Assessment Unit Project Board. In her absence Councillor Feeley had provided the Scrutiny Coordinator with the main points stemming from the meeting. These included:
· that building work had started on the site and was progressing well, with an expected completion date of late August 2024
· until the new building was available a temporary residential centre, recently approved by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), had opened with a full complement of staff
· staff were also undertaking outreach work with families referred to the Service; and
· some vacant health posts were currently undergoing a recruitment process.
Meeting concluded at 12.25pm