Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 22nd July, 2021 7.00 pm - Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Remote meeting - please find the live link below

Contact: Administrator, Adele Taylor  Tel. (01252) 398831, Email.  adele.taylor@rushmoor.gov.uk

Link: Click here for live stream

Items
No. Item

8.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 17th June, 2021 (copy attached).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17th June, 2021 were AGREED as a correct record.

9.

Community Safety and Policing - Update

To receive an update from Inspector Kirsten Troman, Hampshire Police, and David Lipscombe, Senior Community Safety Officer, on the current position and to highlight the following issues raised by the Committee:

 

·         Impacts of COVID-19 crime issues

·         Drug and alcohol issues in the Borough

·         Crime in the Borough

·         Fear of crime

·         Work of the Community Safety Team

·         Future plans

·         Update on the Joint Scrutiny Committee

The Portfolio Holder for Operations has been invited to the meeting for this item.

Minutes:

The Committee welcomed Police Inspector Kirsten Troman, Hampshire Police, and David Lipscombe, Senior Community Safety Officer, who were in attendance to provide an update on policing and community safety matters in the Borough. Members had raised a number of issues in advance of the meeting and these were covered in the update provided.

 

Inspector Troman reported on a number of policing matters, these included:

 

·         Domestic Abuse (DA) – It was noted that DA had been set as a district priority for the past two months in Rushmoor and Hart. Numbers had risen since 2019/20 from 423 DA crimes to 549, showing a 30% increase over two years. However, repeat DA crimes had reduced to 27% below the County average of 36% repeats. Police Constables and Community Support Officers, alongside a Police Sergeant, had been utilised as DA Champions in four neighbourhood hubs in Hart and Rushmoor, and scrutiny and attention in this area would continue.

 

It was noted that when the consumption of alcohol increased during the European Football Championships and when COVID restrictions had been lifted, DA crime rates had spiked.

 

·         Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) – Inspector Troman highlighted concerns  around young people and the loss of support/diversion through virtual engagement with key workers etc. during the pandemic. The impacts couldn’t be quantified, but there was concern around the impacts on those at risk of criminal and sexual exploitation and those with diverse childhood experiences that could likely lead to them becoming involved in crime in the medium term. Links between the police and relevant organisations were in place to understand the gaps in the provision of support for young people and to determine how additional support could be provided by the police, where appropriate.

 

·         Black Lives Matter (BLM) – since the movement began, data had shown an increase in peer on peer racially aggravated hate crimes. However, reporting had increased, which showed an increase in confidence that black peoples’ voices were being heard. In response, the Police were carrying out a number of initiatives to engage with schools’ charter work on a range of topics, including hate, cyber bulling, sexting, DA, gangs and child exploitation. Other work included engagement with the Rushmoor Secondary Head Teachers’ Group to collaborate and try to influence the work around the peer on peer aspects of the issue.

 

·         Violence against women – It was noted that some incidents of sexualised and demeaning behaviour towards women and girls in the work place had been reported. Robust investigation and media engagement to encourage reporting and advice/guidance on identifying such behaviours by both managers/employers and individuals was being implemented.

 

 

·         Drug and Alcohol Abuse – It was noted that very few most serious violent crimes were associated with licensed premises and overall the night time economy position in the Borough was positive. With regard to the individuals that were street attached, some tactical options were in place to combat ASB. However, none of them would combat the social discomfort that existed in the population when encountering those under  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 312 KB

At the last Council meeting on 24th June, a report was considered setting out the details of the Pay Policy Statement. Whilst the Council approved the Statement it was agreed that the Committee would be asked to undertake a review of the structure and application of the Council’s pay policies to ensure that the policies meet the requirement of council taxpayers.

 

A copy of the Pay Policy Statement is attached.

Minutes:

Corporate Director, Karen Edwards was in attendance to introduce the item on the Pay Policy Statement, which had been approved at the Council meeting on 24th June, 2021. The Committee had been asked to undertake a review of the structure and application of the Council’s pay policies to ensure that the policies met the requirement of council taxpayers.

 

The Committee discussed the policy and structure and raised some questions on how the pay policy was implemented. Queries had included:

 

·         Use of contractors/consultant - justification of use and cost, in particular for the first half of the calendar year (2021):

o   How many?

o   Hourly/daily rate?

o   Why consultants and not full time employees? - Is it more cost effective for a short period?

o   What is the procurement process for engaging consultants?

o   How the Council compare to other local authorities on the number of consultants/contractors employed and remuneration levels?

 

·         Data on equalities within the workforce in light of the Equalities and Diversity Review and other employment data. In particular:

o   General work force data to include; gender/age/ethnicity/disability, compared to other local authorities and government requirements

o   Numbers of officers in lower, mid and upper (executive) roles

o   Percentage difference between highest and lowest paid roles?

o   Are lower grades employed or recruited through agencies on a temporary basis?

o   How benefits such as, pensions, company cars/car allowances, loans are included and how they affect the structure?

 

It was also suggested that the Council’s major contractors (SERCO/ Places Leisure) wage structures could also be considered in the future.

 

It was AGREED that a Working Group would be established to look at the data requested. Appointments for the Group would be made at the next Progress Group and a date confirmed for an initial meeting in September, 2021.

11.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 173 KB

To consider the Work Plan for the 2021/22 Municipal Year (copy attached).

Minutes:

The Committee NOTED the current Work Plan.

 

The next meeting of the Committee would be moved to 24th August, 2021 to accommodate the item requested on the Communication and Education Plan on the new Food Waste Service.

 

It was proposed that at the December, 2021 meeting a report back on Supporting Communities Strategy and Action Plan would be made, this would involve officer and partner feedback.