Agenda and minutes

Adults and Safer City Scrutiny Panel - Tuesday, 19th September, 2017 6.00 pm

Venue: Training Room, Ground Floor, Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1SH

Contact: Earl Piggott Smith  01902 551251 email: earl.piggott-smith@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Elias Mattu and Patricia Patten.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interests were made.

3.

Minutes of previous meetings (13 June 2017) pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

          That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 June 2017 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

4.

Matters arising

Minutes:

With reference to Minute No. 5 (Draft People Directorate Commissioning Strategy), members of the Panel asked whether the issues they had raised on the draft Commissioning Strategy had been taken on board, and if so whether they would be receiving a copy of the finalised engagement documents prior to their circulation for the consultation exercise.  David Watts, Director of Adults Services confirmed that an easy read version of the draft Strategy was being developed. The Head of Commissioning was also redrafting the draft Strategy along the terms raised by the Panel.

 

The Director added that arrangements would be made for the Panel to receive the final version of the draft Strategy and the condensed version prior to its submission to Cabinet.

 

5.

Wolverhampton's Approach to Tackling Modern Slavery pdf icon PDF 151 KB

[Karen Samuels, Head of Community Safety, to provide an outline of partnership proposals to tackle modern slavery and the Council’s contributory plans.]

Minutes:

Pippa Thomas, Management Graduate Trainee, delivered a PowerPoint presentation on the Council’s approach to tacking modern day slavery. The Panel also received a detailed report on modern slavery and steps to develop the Council’s and partnership response to modern day slavery in Wolverhampton.

 

The Panel were invited to comment on the current draft modern slavery action plan delivered through the Wolverhampton Anti-Slavery Partnership (WASP) and the extent to which the Council was compliant with the provisions of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 . City of Wolverhampton Council leads on efforts to tackle the issue of modern slavery locally.

 

The Panel asked whether the Government would provide new funding to local authorities or partner agencies to tackle the problem.  Karen Samuels, Head of Community Safety, advised the panel that no extra funding was anticipated from Government to support the work. 

 

The Head of Community Safety reported that the Government was reviewing the National Framework around its approach to modern slavery.  The Council had fed into the Government consultation on proposed changes to national policy. The Council’s approach was that any abuse was a safeguarding issue and the response to the situation needed to be looked at in those terms. The Council’s corporate response was to therefore embed tackling modern slavery in its existing safeguarding procedures and to draw down on a national contract provided by the Salvation Army.  

 

Chief Inspector Beth Bridges, West Midlands Police, was in attendance for this item.  On the question of funding she added that WM Police was ready to deal with this issue.  A central structure was in place and everyone in WM Police had some level of responsibility for tackling modern slavery as part of their role.  WM Police could commit to this and would respond in terms of resources, as appropriate.

 

In response to other questions from the panel, the Chief Inspector reported on how the Police were alerted to the recently reported suspected cases of modern slavery at Ming Moons Chinese restaurant in Wolverhampton and the role local intelligence played in bringing the restaurant to their attention. Chief Inspector added that there was a need for the police to develop its intelligence networks in order respond to cases of this nature in the future. The Chief Inspector also confirmed that calling the police would be the easiest way to report a suspected case of slavery. The panel were assured that all calls on this issue would be taken seriously by the police.

 

The Chief Inspector advised the panel that an online reporting tool had been soft launched during the summer and was scheduled to be fully launched in October 2017.

 

 

 

The Chief Inspector also responded to a question about concerns about the level of police resources within Wolverhampton and explained that policy for allocating resources was based on an assessment of policing demand and priorities.

 

The panel made the following observations on the report and the WASP draft modern slavery action plan 2017 and the draft City of Wolverhampton Council modern slavery implementation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.