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Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Daksha Ghelani, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1881 E-mail:  daksha.ghelani@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

Order of Agenda

With the agreement of the Committee, the order of the agenda was varied by the Chair. Agenda item 9 ‘ Scrutiny review into Preventing Youth Violence’ was considered prior to item 7 ‘Community Safety, Violence, Vulnerability and Exploitation Strategy - Annual Refresh, Youth Offending Team (YOT) Plan, Knife Crime Action Plan’ as the two were interlinked and it was essential to take a decision in relation to item 9 prior to the consideration of item 7.

 

However, for clarity, the business at the meeting is recorded in the order set out on the agenda.

61.

Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.

 

Reserve Members may attend meetings:-

 

(i)                 to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;

(ii)               where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and

(iii)             the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;

(iv)              if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note the attendance at this meeting of the following duly appointed Reserve Members:-

 

Ordinary Member

 

Reserve Member

 

Councillor Jeff Anderson

Councillor Chloe Smith

Councillor Honey Jamie

Councillor Jerry Miles

 

The Committee was advised that if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend had been noted arrived after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member could only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.  Accordingly, Councillor Chloe Smith did not participate in agenda items 1-6 and 9.  (See also the note relating to the ‘Order to Agenda’ above.)

62.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:

 

(a)               all Members of the Committee;

(b)               all other Members present.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that the following interests were declared:

 

Agenda Items 7/9  - Community Safety, Violence, Vulnerability and Exploitation Strategy - Annual Refresh, Youth Offending Team (YOT) Plan, Knife Crime Action Plan/Scrutiny Review into Preventing Youth Violence

 

Councillor Sarah Butterworth, a member of the Committee, declared non-pecuniary interests in that she worked in a school that was mentioned in the reports.  She added that she had also been a member of the Review Group which had conducted a review into Preventing Youth Violence.  Councillor Butterworh added that she had been appointed as Portfolio Holder Assistant to the Portfolio Holder for Young people and Schools with the remit on 'Youth Initiatives' and would be briefed on this role in June 2019.  She would remain in the room whilst the matters were considered and voted upon.

 

Agenda Item 9 – Scrutiny Review into Preventing Youth Violence

 

Councillors Chris Mote and Sachin Shah, members of the Committee, declared non-pecuniary interests in that they had been members of the Review Group which had conducted a review into Preventing Youth Violence.  They would remain in the room whilst the matter was considered and voted upon.

63.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 147 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 9 April 2019 and of the special meeting held on 16 May 2019 (to follow) be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 9 April 2019 and the special meeting held on 16 May 2019, be taken as read and signed as correct records.

 

A Member stated that the following action from the meeting held on 9 April 2019 remained outstanding and requested that relevant officers respond or make contact with the Partner and forward this information to Members after the meeting:

 

Minute 55 – Community Safety Strategic Assessment 2019

 

Different communities were targeted by criminals for different reasons.  Was there any data regarding this available?

 

The Acting Borough Commander undertook to look into the matter and feedback to the Committee.

64.

Public Questions

To receive any public questions received in accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 17 (Part 4B of the Constitution).

 

Questions will be asked in the order in which they were received.  There will be a time limit of 15 minutes for the asking and answering of public questions.

 

[The deadline for receipt of public questions is 3.00 pm, 30 May 2019.  Questions should be sent to publicquestions@harrow.gov.uk   

No person may submit more than one question].

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that no public questions were received.

65.

Petitions

To receive petitions (if any) submitted by members of the public/Councillors under the provisions of Committee Procedure Rule 15 (Part 4B of the Constitution).

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that no petitions had been received.

66.

References from Council/Cabinet

(if any).

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were none.

RESOLVED ITEMS

67.

Community Safety, Violence, Vulnerability and Exploitation Strategy - Annual Refresh, Youth Offending Team (YOT) Plan, Knife Crime Action Plan pdf icon PDF 215 KB

Joint Report of the Director of Strategy and Corporate Director of People Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a joint report of the Corporate Director of People Services and Director of Strategy, which set out the strategic vision of Harrow’s Community Safety Partnership in the Annual Community Safety, Violence, Vulnerability and Exploitation (CSVVE) Strategy for 2019-2020 and the Council’s Youth Offending Team (YOT) Plan.  The report also included the Council’s Knife Crime Action Plan 2019-20, a requirement for every Borough arising from the London Knife Crime Strategy which was launched in June 2017.  Members were informed that both plans would be considered by Cabinet and Council in July 2019.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Community Cohesion and Crime introduced the Community Safety, Violence, Vulnerability and Exploitation Strategy and reported that the Council had worked closely with MOPAC (The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime) and the police in this regard.  He added that:

 

-               the previous seven major crimes targets had been replaced with a thematic approach which gave local areas greater control of local community safety priorities.  The focus of this approach was to concentrate on harm crime and to tackle high volume crime, details of which were set out in his ‘Foreword’ to the Strategy;

 

-               the Strategy covered a number of areas and it was important to have a clear focus in the following principal areas: burglaries, particularly aggravated burglaries, knife crime, young people being drawn into crime, domestic violence and hate crime.

 

The Portfolio Holder thanked the Director of Strategy and his team for the work undertaken.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Young People and Schools introduced the Youth Justice Plan which had been closely aligned with the Violence, Vulnerability and Exploitation (VVE) Strategy and the Safer Harrow Strategic Assessment with a view to working together on shared goals.  She also referred to her ‘Foreword’ which set out the strategic objectives within the Plan. The Portfolio Holder stated that:

 

-               early intervention was essential and should not start when children were 11/12 years old.  It was important to help and work with parents to help them understand their children;

 

-               data and information had been based on a small section of the community.  She highlighted the specific work carried out by the Youth Offending Team;

 

-               separate documents  of the Strategy and Plan had been produced as they were funded separately and there was a requirement to demonstrate achievements against specific outcomes.

 

The Portfolio Holder commended the work undertaken by the Corporate Director of People Services and his team under stringent financial situation.

The Director of Strategy explained that the Strategic Assessment had been undertaken earlier in 2019 and the report before the Overview and Scrutiny Committee would be submitted to both the July Cabinet and Council meetings.  He added that the Knife Crime Action Plan had also been produced as requested by MOPAC.  He referred to the template provided by MOPAC which had been completed and submitted in May 2019 and noted the minor amendment required.  The actions in the Action Plan would be progressed.

 

The Divisional Director of Children and Young  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

Final Report of the Scrutiny Review of Highways Maintenance pdf icon PDF 186 KB

Report of the Director of Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Director of Strategy, which set out the findings and recommendations of the Scrutiny Review of Highways Maintenance.

 

One of the co-Chairs of the Scrutiny Review Group, who was also a Member of the Committee, introduced the report of the Review Group and informed Members that the review had been undertaken as a result of the concerns expressed by residents in the 2017 Residents’ Survey.  The purpose of the review had been to better understand and influence how the work relating to the highways was prioritised in order to better inform, engage and consult residents.  She explained how the Review Group had arrived at the recommendations set out in the Review Report.  She highlighted the need for informed and effective communication with residents.

 

Members of the Committee made the following observations:

 

-               that communication with residents was a key issue and, in order to create an effective database, it was essential that all complaints were logged.  It was important that both residents and Councillors followed due processes, which would help with the RAG Status and identify hotspots in the borough.  She pointed out that the processes in place ought to be made easier to use.  She alluded on her own experiences with her constituents and highlighted the need to keep residents informed of the actions taken by officers in order to show that officers had listened to them and to improve perception of the Council;

 

-               frequent and open communication with residents was important.  He also suggested that the Scrutiny Lead Members ought to give consideration to the timings of review group meetings as it was not always possible for Members to attend daytime meetings;

 

-               it was important that residents did not feel disengaged. Communication with Councillors was also important.  For example, it was essential that Members were kept informed of any contract renewals so that they were aware of possible changes to services;

 

-               communication ought to be transparent and would help build trust.  It was important that priorities identified were implemented.  The Member cited an example of  roads in his Ward which had been prioritised for re-surfacing only to find roads with less priority being re-surfaced;

 

-               political input was important due to Councillor knowledge.  It was important that the use of the EE-members portal for reporting issues did not result in Councillors becoming a form of a ‘telephone exchange’.  The Member referred to how addressing of ‘little things made a big difference’.

 

The same co-Chair of the Scrutiny Review Group thanked members of the Review Group for their participation in the review process.  She also thanked officers for sharing the challenges they faced in delivering services and showcasing their skills with humour.

 

The same co-Chair of the Review Group also thanked Members of the Committee for their comments that evening and suggested that, based on their comments, a ‘wash-up’ of the work of the Review Group was essential in order to ‘home in’ on their experiences and suggestions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.

69.

Scrutiny Review into Preventing Youth Violence pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Report of the Director of Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Director of Strategy, which set out the final findings and recommendations of the Scrutiny Review into Preventing Youth Violence, which had been established to scrutinise the Council’s work into tackling youth violence.  The purpose of the review had been to investigate how the Council might use all of its policies and strategies to contribute to reducing youth crime and anti-social behaviour in a more ‘Public Health approach’ to Youth Crime.

The Chair of the Review Group introduced the report and made the following amendments to the report:

 

-               page 1 – to include ‘Councillors Camilla Bath and Maxine Henson’ who were had been Members of the Review Group;

 

-               page 20, first paragraph commencing ‘Officers said that they have lunch at the Helix ..’  – to delete reference to ‘those children were from the Helix’;

 

-               page 34, last paragraph commencing ‘In addition to this, last year,  The Helix …’ – to delete reference to ‘the Afro-Caribbean community, due to the statistics that supported that largely this sort of crime was perpetrated by the Afro-Caribbean community’ and replace it with ‘certain groups in the community’.

 

The Chair of the Review Group introduced the report from the Preventing Youth Violence Scrutiny Panel and referred to her ‘Foreword’.  She highlighted the following points:

 

-               recognition was needed that young people were individuals and ought to be treated as such;

 

-               the positive work into preventing youth violence in Harrow had exceeded her expectations and that, during the review, the message coming through from young people was that they wanted ‘something to do’ and it was therefore important that facilities were provided to allow them to engage in activities.  She cited the example of Wealdstone Centre which provided various facilities to help engage young people;

 

-               young people who had engaged in the review had been shocked to learn of the consequences of crime and how it could impact on their future.  It was important that information and consequences of crime were also conveyed to primary school children.  A strategy setting out information on where and how to get help and who young people could talk to was essential.  Children would face both good and bad choices and required guidance. 

 

The Chair of the Review Group responded to questions from Members of the Committee as follows:

 

-               it was important to engage with primary school children.  She was disappointed that a number of national initiatives to engage with young people had stopped, such as the Junior Olympics and the work that Claire Ginger from the police had done with young people.  Harrow Schools had stopped the latter as a result of pressures on funding.  She had asked the Safer Neighbourhood Harrow  Board to identify resources and provide material such as books that other boroughs had provided.  She referred to two books, one provided by Islington Council which had been sponsored by the Arsenal Football Club.  She outlined the contents of the book which had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.