Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny & Overview Committee
Tuesday, 25th February, 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX. View directions

Contact: Simon Trevaskis
0208 7266000  Email: simon.trevaskis@croydon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

15/20

Disclosure of Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to register disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and gifts and hospitality to the value of which exceeds £50 or multiple gifts and/or instances of hospitality with a cumulative value of £50 or more when received from a single donor within a rolling twelve month period. In addition, Members and co-opted Members are reminded that unless their disclosable pecuniary interest is registered on the register of interests or is the subject of a pending notification to the Monitoring Officer, they are required to disclose those disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting. This should be done by completing the Disclosure of Interest form and handing it to the Democratic Services representative at the start of the meeting. The Chair will then invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3. Completed disclosure forms will be provided to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion on the Register of Members’ Interests.

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest made at the meeting.

 

16/20

Urgent Business (if any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.

 

Minutes:

The Chair advised the Committee that a vacancy had arisen on the Streets, Environment & Homes Sub Committee. It was proposed that Councillor Caragh Skipper would fill the vacancy.

The Committee resolved that Councillor Caragh Skipper be appointed as a member of the Streets, Environment & Homes Sub Committee.

17/20

Question Time: Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon and Communities pdf icon PDF 368 KB

Question time with the Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon and Communities, Councillor Hamida Ali.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report together with a presentation delivered at the meeting from the Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon & Communities, Councillor Hamida Ali, which provided an overview of the key activities within the Safer Croydon & Communities portfolio over the past year.

A copy of the presentation can be found at the following link:-

https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/documents/s21167/Cabinet%20Member%20for%20Safer%20Croydon%20Communities%20-%20Presentation.pdf

Following the presentation the Committee was given the opportunity to question the Cabinet Member. The first question concerned the grants awarded to community and voluntary groups and whether they were audited to ensure that the proposed benefits were being delivered. It was confirmed that the performance and delivery of schemes in receipt of Council funding were monitored. The level of monitoring would be proportionate to the size of the grant awarded, with those awarded larger grants subject to more rigorous monitoring.

It was noted that the Resilience team had an excellent reputation for responding to emergencies. Given the current risk presented by the Corona Virus, it was questioned whether there were plans in place for responding to a pandemic. It was advised that at present the Director of Public Health was the lead for the virus and was responsible for providing public advice. The Resilience team had a supporting role and had updated the Council’s pandemic plan, but it had not yet been activated at this stage.

It was confirmed that out of the £8,000,000 allocated over three years through the Community Grants Fund, 10% was being held back for the Emerging Needs Fund and £100,000 per annum for the Small Grants Fund.

The Cabinet Member confirmed that she worked closely with the Community Safety leads at neighbouring boroughs to provide support for each other and share ideas. The Council also worked closely with other boroughs on a day to day basis on operational matters such as domestic homicide reviews and was in the process of launching a domestic violence scheme with Sutton and Bromley.

In regard to the funding allocated for youth engagement, it was questioned how this was split between delivering current activities and setting up the structure to deliver the long term vision. It was confirmed that it was important to have a balance of both. Funds were being invested into setting up the long term vision, but there were immediate issues that needed a response. A key aim was to influence practice both across the Council and of others in the partnership to support a more preventative approach.

In response to a question about the availability of grassroots funding it was advised that some of the changes made to the Community Fund had been made to improve access for grassroots organisations. As a result the main challenge was now having to adjudicate the many worthy applications due to oversubscription to the fund.

The Committee welcomed the confirmation that a social worker was in post specifically to deal with the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM). It was noted that there was a wide range of understanding of the issue and questioned  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17/20

18/20

Review of Safer Croydon Partnership & Violence Reduction Network pdf icon PDF 155 KB

The Committee is asked to review the Safer Croydon Partnership and the Violence Reduction Network.

 

Information on the performance of both the Partnership and the Network is contained in the prior report from the Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon & Communities.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a presentation delivered at the meeting from the Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon & Communities, Councillor Hamida Ali, along with information provided in the report for the prior item, on the Safer Croydon Partnership (SCP) and the Violence Reduction Network (VRN). The Committee was asked to review the information provided and question the representatives in attendance with a view to reaching conclusions on the performance of both the SCP and VRN. In addition to the Cabinet Member the following representatives were also in attendance at the meeting:-

  • Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer – Metropolitan Police
  • Superintendent Andy Britton – Metropolitan Police
  • Andrew Brown – BME Forum
  • Sarah Haywood – Director of the Violence Reduction Network
  • Christopher Rowney – Head of the Violence Reduction Network
  • Gavin Handford – Director of Policy and Partnerships
  • Velvet Dibley – National Management Trainee

The presentations delivered by the Cabinet Member can be viewed on the following links:-

Safer Croydon Partnership

https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/documents/s21168/Safer%20Croydon%20Partnership%20-%20Presentation.pdf

Violence Reduction Network

https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/documents/s21169/Violence%20Reduction%20Network%20-%20Presentation.pdf

Following the presentations the representatives from the Police and the BME Forum were given an opportunity to provide their own insight into the work of SCP and VRN. During the introduction by the Police the following was noted:-

  • The SCP was considered to be a strong partnership with representation from both statutory agencies and the local communities. Many of the problems being encountered were long terms ones, such as the willingness to carry weapons, the congregation of young people in the town centre and the changing night time economy.
  • The Police Commissioner defined how the Metropolitan Police approached law enforcement on violence.
  • Croydon was fortunate that it had one of the lowest levels of knife crime in London, but other pressures still remained, with the theft of mobile phones in particular being a critical issue.
  • The Police sat at both the acute and long term end of the public health approach to violent crime reduction, working closely with partners such as the youth offending team and others to prevent reoffending.
  • The Government had committed to delivering an uplift in police numbers. In the first year this would be focussed towards tackling violence and the drugs market, which would result in increased visibility in the town centre. There would be an emphasis on having a friendly but firm presence to ensure people felt safe.
  • In the longer term the Police were investing in schools to ensure pupils in Croydon felt safe, with a meeting due to be held with head teachers to discuss the issue.

The BME Forum highlighted to the Committee that it was good to have the Director of the Violence Reduction Network in place. It was also good from a community perspective that everyone was working together and it was their view that the partnership was working.

Following the presentation the Committee questioned the representatives on the performance of the SCP and VRN. The first question related to the trauma informed approach and what could be done to persuade schools to adopt this approach. In response it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18/20

19/20

Scrutiny Work Programme 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 191 KB

The Committee is provided with a copy of the Scrutiny Work Programme 2019-20 for its information.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report for its approval setting out its work programme for those for the three Scrutiny Sub-Committees namely:-

  • Children and Young People
  • Health and Social Care
  • Streets, Environment and Homes

It was noted that Equalities Strategy coming to the next meeting of the Scrutiny and Overview Committee on 7 April 2020. The work programme for the Children and Young People Sub-Committee had changed with the safeguarding item moving to their April meeting.  It was also still to be confirmed whether a climate change item would be included on the Streets, Environment and Homes Sub-Committee agenda for their meeting in April or later in the year.

The Committee resolved to note the work programme.

 

20/20

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:

 

“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”

 

 

Minutes:

This motion was not required.