Agenda and minutes

Venue: Guildhall

Contact: Committee Administration 01905 722027, 722006, 722085 

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Substitutes

To receive details of any Members appointed to attend the meeting instead of a Member of the Committee.

Minutes:

Councillor Lewing for Councilor Bisset.

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

Councillor Riaz declared an interest in item 5 (Community Safety Scrutiny Exercise) as a member of a local community group.

3.

Public Participation

To receive details of any Members appointed to attend the meeting instead of a Member of the Committee.

 

Minutes:

None.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Of the meeting held on 17th March 2021 to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 17th March 2021 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

5.

Community Safety Scrutiny Exercise pdf icon PDF 499 KB

That the Committee:

1.     Notes the contents of the report and in particular the requirement for the Council to hold a Committee Meeting at least once every 12 months to review and scrutinise decisions and actions in respect of the discharge of crime and disorder functions by ‘responsible’ authorities; and

2.     Consider the information contained in the report covering the 2020/2021 period and make any recommendations to the Corporate Director (Homes & Communities) for consideration.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report in pursuance of the duty under the Crime & Disorder Act 1998 for a meeting at least once in every 12 month period to review and scrutinise decisions and actions in respect of the discharge of crime and disorder functions by “responsible” authorities.

 

The Community Engagement Team Manager introduced the report, which presented information under the following headings to support the discussion:

 

        Strategic assessment and community need

        Governance arrangements

        West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner funding

        Projects and interventions

        Performance and impact

 

Chief Inspector Gareth Morgan of West Mercia Police attended the meeting and he spoke to the Committee in detail about the role of West Mercia Police and responded to questions.

 

In the discussion, the work undertaken at Horizon Community Centre to support young people and provide diversionary activities was highlighted as having a significant positive impact. The Police were keen to see this initiative rolled out more widely and Chief Inspector Morgan made reference to the role that Members can play in this respect. He emphasised that community representatives are well placed to share information with the Police and other key partners, to help in terms of gathering intelligence and in promoting community safety initiatives.

 

Issues raised by Members included establishing key crime priorities and local trends, the potential for criminal activities to be pushed out from the city centre to outlying areas, whether drug crime has increased during lockdown, the impact of mental health on crime and anti-social behaviour and ensuring CCTV remains effective.

 

Members welcomed the report and thanked Officers for the comprehensive level of information provided. Reference was made to the communications received by Members from the Police and Crime  Commissioner regarding policing priorities and raising local issues, and whether these can be given a wider audience.

 

A request was made for Members to be given a further opportunity to  feedback on the information contained in the report. The Chairman explained that some of issues highlighted in the discussion could come back to this Committee over the forthcoming year. The Corporate Director stated that he would look to make arrangements to feedback to him prior to the next meeting in order to be able to identify any recommendations from Members for further.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee agree to:

 

1. note the contents of the report, and in particular the requirement for the Council to hold a Committee Meeting at least once every 12 months to review and scrutinise decisions and actions in respect of the discharge of crime and disorder functions by ‘responsible’ authorities; and

 

2.  request the Corporate Director to make arrangements to provide feedback to him prior to the next meeting.

6.

Review Of The Caring For Communities (CCP) Worcestershire Homelessness Prevention Contract pdf icon PDF 250 KB

That the Committee:

 

1. Note the contents of this report and in particular the Contract Review (2021) Report attached at Appendix 1;

 

2. Approve the existing contractual option to enter into a 12-month extension of the Homelessness Prevention Contract covering the period 1st October 2021 – 30th September 2022; and

 

3. Note that the Worcester City Council funding contribution of £103,000 was provisionally budgeted for (via Affordable Housing Reserve) within the Medium-Term Financial Plan agreed by Council in February 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the Officer review of the Homelessness Prevention Contract which had been undertaken by the City Council as lead commissioner in partnership with its 5 neighbouring District Councils and Worcestershire County Council to assist with the decision required for the option of entering into a third year of the contract. The Corporate Director – Homes and Communities presented the report and highlighted the main findings and recommendations for the continuation of the contract. He responded to questions from Committee Members.

 

The Corporate Director advised that, subject to approval of this report, then the extension would need to include a minor variation to the contract regarding the No Second Night Out element, which was now being delivered locally in each District.

 

Furthermore, during the 12 months of the continued contract a new plan for delivering the homelessness prevention service for single and childless couples will be developed.  This plan and the budget implications will be brought back to the Committee in Spring 2022 for a decision.

 

Committee Members expressed support for a twelve-month contract extension, based on the outcome and findings of the contract review exercise. 

 

In response to a question about the 50% update of the No Second Night Out service, the Corporate Director stated that further analysis of the reasons behind this is required and will be undertaken in partnership with CCP. More information on this analysis can be provided to Members in writing.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.    note the contents of this report and in particular the Contract Review (2021) Report attached at Appendix 1;

 

2.    approve the existing contractual option to enter into a 12-month extension of the Homelessness Prevention Contract covering the period 1st October 2021 – 30th September 2022; and

 

3.    note that the Worcester City Council funding contribution of £103,000 was provisionally budgeted for (via Affordable Housing Reserve) within the Medium-Term Financial Plan agreed by Council in February 2021.

7.

Request for Worcester City Council Public Spaces Protection Order - Railway Level Crossings pdf icon PDF 348 KB

That the Committee:

 

1.       Note the contents of this report, and in particular the information submitted, and requests made by Network Rail and Worcestershire County Council, seeking the Council to utilise Public Space Protection Orders to close pedestrian crossings at two railway crossing points within the City;

 

2.       Approve the undertaking of a four-week public consultation exercise to enable further information to be gathered as to the suitability and appropriateness of utilising a PSPO at both these locations; and

 

3.       Note that the results of the public consultation exercise will be reported back to this Committee in July 2021, in order to determine whether the Committee wishes to progress with publicly consulting on a draft PSPO with a view to implementation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on a request from Network Rail to Worcestershire County Council for the closure of two footpaths that include railway crossings in Worcester City.  The two crossings were footpath WR858 linking Brickfields Park to Astwood Road, and WR-678 linking Bromyard Road to Laugherne Brook Nature Reserve, also known as the Kays crossing.

 

The Community Engagement Team Manager presented the report and explained that the County Council has asked the Council to consider using its powers to create Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) to prohibit the use of the two railway crossings in response to anti-social behaviour. He responded to questions from Committee Members.

 

Committee Members expressed support for the proposals for both locations. Members were satisfied that, based on the information submitted, the anti-social behaviour identified and experienced by Network Rail met the criteria for a PSPO.

 

In response to a question about the potential for a bridge to be provided at Brickfields Park, Officers explained that it was understood it would be necessary to buy the adjoining property in order to achieve this. However, Officers will raise this point again with the County Council and Network Rail. Formal closure of the footpaths could not be justified as there was no identifiable alternative.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1. note the contents of this report, and in particular the information submitted, and requests made by Network Rail and Worcestershire County Council, seeking the Council to utilise Public Space Protection Orders to close pedestrian crossings at two railway crossing points within the City;

 

2.  approve the undertaking of a four-week public consultation exercise to enable further information to be gathered as to the suitability and appropriateness of utilising a PSPO at both these locations; and

 

3. note that the results of the public consultation exercise will be reported back to this Committee in July 2021, in order to determine whether the Committee wishes to progress with publicly consulting on a draft PSPO with a view to implementation.

8.

Alcohol Public Spaces Protection Order pdf icon PDF 326 KB

Report to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the outcome of the consultation on the review of the Public Spaces Protection Order (Alcohol). The Committee had agreed at its meeting on 27th January 2021 that a public consultation exercise to be carried out to determine what impact that the existing Alcohol PSPO had delivered. The Community Engagement Team Manager presented the report and summarised the findings. He responded to questions from Committee Members.

 

Officers concluded that there is considered sufficient evidence to consider extending the existing PSPO for a further period of three years, in support of Safer Neighbourhood Policing teams to manage and reduce alcohol related anti-social behaviour.

 

Committee Members spoke in support of the extension of the existing PSPO, based on the information provided in the report.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.  note the contents of this report and in particular, the consultation responses document contained at Appendix 1;

 

2.  approve an extension of the existing PSPO included at Appendix 2 (including conditions and restricted areas) to cover the period 13th August 2021 to 12th August 2024; and

 

3.  note that subject to approval, the impact and effectiveness of the PSPO will be kept under review.

9.

Annual / Quarter 4 Performance Report for 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 187 KB

That the Communities Committee notes the Council’s annual and quarter 4 performance for 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the annual and quarter 4 performance report. There were no questions from Members on the report.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the Council’s annual and quarter 4 performance for Communities for 2020/21.

10.

Any Other Business

Which in the opinion of the Chairman is of sufficient urgency as to warrant consideration.

Minutes:

Members took the opportunity to express thanks to all City Council employees who had worked with NHS and Primary Care Staff to set up the local Covid vaccination clinic at the King George V Community Hub. This 'pop-up clinic' had been put in place for one week until 28 May.