Agenda and minutes

Adults and Safer City Scrutiny Panel
Tuesday, 10th April, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Training Room - Civic Centre. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from the following:

 

Cllr Pat Patten

 

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest recorded for the meeting.

3.

Minutes of previous meetings pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Minutes:

That the minutes of the meeting be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

4.

Matters arising

Minutes:

There were no matters arising from the minutes.

 

 

5.

Adults and Safer City Scrutiny Panel - work programme pdf icon PDF 58 KB

[Earl Piggott-Smith, Scrutiny Officer, to present report]

Minutes:

Earl Piggott-Smith, Scrutiny Officer, presented the work programme report and invited panel comments. Cllr Leach, Chair, advised the panel that David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, had accepted an invitation to attend a future meeting of the panel. A date will be confirmed asap.

 

The panel were advised to submit questions to the Scrutiny Officer in advance of the meeting and these will then to be collated and sent to Police and Crime Commissioner.

 

The panel discussed the idea of having a public meeting to get the views of issues of concern and these will help inform possible lines of enquiry in preparation for the meeting with the Police and Crime Commissioner.

 

The Chair invited panel members to contact the Scrutiny Officer if they would be interested in arranging a visit to talk to members of the Adult Safeguarding Team.

 

Julia Cleary, Scrutiny and Systems Manager, outlined new plans to deal with the issue of delayed reports and explained that she will be meeting with senior management team regularly to update them on the work programme. In addition, all reports will have to be submitted to modern.gov which will create dates for completing each stage of process for approving draft reports. The Scrutiny and Systems Manager explained the importance of member led scrutiny in suggesting agenda topics and in shaping the content of reports and encouraged panel members to support this work.

 

The Scrutiny and Systems Manager explained changes to the annual scrutiny work planning event. A council wide briefing session will be held in 18 June 2018 for Directors to brief Councillors on the key priorities of the Council. A separate event will be held with only non-executive Councillors to discuss possible agenda topics for each of their panels. The Scrutiny and Systems Manager commented on the positive responses to reviews completed during the year and set out ideas for further raising the profile of scrutiny work across the Council. The Scrutiny and Systems Manager commented on the importance of scrutiny in supporting the work of the Council and the expectation that the plans will lead to reports being submitted on time in the future.

 

The panel discussed the importance of having the time to read reports before panel meetings.  The Scrutiny and Systems Manager commented on the role of panel members in helping to shape the content of report so that they provide answers to their questions. This could include panel members commenting on draft reports. The Scrutiny and Systems Manager commented on work planned to change the culture so that scrutiny in Wolverhampton can move forward. 

 

The panel discussed the need for training and support to newly elected councillors on developing their questioning skills. The panel commented that during induction sessions that it is important that members are clear about the role of scrutiny and advice on how to prepare for scrutiny meetings.

 

The panel discussed a request for the date of panel meeting on 25 September 2018 to be changed. The Scrutiny Officer  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Black Country Reducing Reoffending Strategy pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Lynsey Kelly, Community Safety Manager, introduced the report and welcomed representatives from Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Company who were involved in drafting the strategy document to the meeting.  The Community Safety Manager outlined the background to the drafting of the consultation document and the overarching priorities of the organisations involved in working together to develop a joint strategy to reduce re-offending rates across the Black Country region.

 

The Community Safety Manager explained that a separate action plan for each Black Country area involved will be drafted to meet local needs. The local plans while allowing for variations will be expected to support the delivery of the overarching priorities detailed draft consultation document. The public consultation is due to end on 8 May 2018.

 

The Community Safety Manager outlined the work done to consult with different community groups about the plans. The Community Safety Manager explained that a full equalities assessment will be completed before a final draft is published.

 

The panel discussed the identified outcomes listed in para 3.3 of the report and whether they should more Wolverhampton specific so that the public can assess the progress made and also the inclusion of key milestones. The Community Safety Manager explained that there would be a separate local action plan for Wolverhampton but agreed to discuss the issue with Board about making the suggested change to the outcomes. Any changes to the draft strategy would however need to be agreed by representatives of the other local authorities involved in the partnership.

 

The panel queried whether the plan was compliant with the Council’s public sector equality duty and the groups consulted about the draft strategy. The panel suggested a wide range of groups should be encouraged to respond to the consultation. The Community Safety Manager explained that WVSC had been invited to share the draft consultation document with organisations on its distribution database to get wider range of views on the plans.

 

The panel suggested that the reference to a ‘whole family’ approach in the strategy document should be changed to a whole community approach to reflect important work of other agencies and people that can have on reducing the risk of a person re-offending following their release from prison by offering different kinds of support. The Community Safety Manager agreed to propose this change to Board when they next meet to discuss responses to the public consultation.

 

The panel discussed the issues detailed in Appendix A of the report which list the risk factors that leads to young people getting involved in crime has been extensively researched and documented and the solutions are knows – it was important to accept the need for organisations to be properly funded so that the necessary services are provided otherwise only limited progress would be made in achieving the desired outcomes of the strategy. 

The panel commented on the impact of national policy changes following major changes in the structure of the probation responsibilities and there was concern this had contributed to the increase  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.