Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 10th April, 2018
Time:
4:00 p.m.
Place:
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, The Square, Stockton-on-Tees
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Lisa Grainge (Chairman)

Cllr Lauriane Povey, Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr Lynn Hall, Cllr Mohammed Javed, Cllr Norma Stephenson (sub for Cllr Cunningham), Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley, Cllr Barry Woodhouse
Officers:
Simon Mills, Annette Sotheby, Peter Mennear (ADE), Mandy Mackinnon (AH)
In Attendance:
Rob Burkitt (Gambling Commission)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr John Gardner.
Item Description Decision
Public
ASH
1/18
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
The evacuation procedure was noted.
ASH
2/18
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
ASH
3/18
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF GAMBLING
RESOLVED that the information be noted.
ASH
4/18
QUEENSWAY DENTAL PRACTICE
RESOLVED that the feedback be noted.
ASH
5/18
CHAIR'S UPDATE
RESOLVED that the update be noted.
ASH
6/18
WORK PROGRAMME 2018-19
RESOLVED that programme be noted.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
ASH
3/18
Members received a presentation from the Gambling Commission in order to inform the review.

The presentation included:

- The tri-partite system of regulation, with the ultimate responsibility to uphold the regulations resting with the operator
- The size of the market in Great Britain
- Local authority powers
- Gambling Commission response
- Public Health approach
- Problem gambling and at-risk gambling

A summary of the discussion and questions from Members is as follows:

- The Stockton Statement of Gambling Policy was in the process of being updated. Local Risk Assessments will be included in the new version and these should consider staff numbers. The Authority was undertaking proactive inspections.

- Although the Gambling Act was permissive in nature, Local authorities should recognise the licensing powers that they have. For example, they have the power to continue to interrogate applicants for information and conditions, and refuse to grant an application until they were satisfied.

- Based on national statistics and the number of local betting shops, the Commission estimated that there would be a Gross Gambling Yield (effectively stakes minus prizes) of 13.2million per year in Stockton from betting shops alone.

- The Commission's view was that operators should be urged to do more to ensure fair and safe play. Fines had been issued to national operators where there had been failings in relation to their social responsibilities, including how well the operators had known their customers and questioning the origin of money spent in their operations.

- Sanctions for operators failing in their duties could include the removal of operating licenses and potential criminal sanctions, as well as the business and reputational impacts. Operating licenses have previously been removed by the Commission in some cases.

- The results of a Cheshire criminal justice pilot regarding problem gambling screening at the point of arrest were discussed. A larger study in Greater Manchester was taking place in 2018.

- Further funding for Research Education and Treatment should come from the industry, recognising the pressure on public health budgets.

- Gambling-linked crime was a recognised issue and would be of relevance to the review. The police are also able to advise on conditions to be attached to licenses, for example, requiring door security, CCTV. A successful BetWatch scheme had been developed in Birmingham.

- Problem gamblers use a variety of different products. The Gambling Commission had responded to the consultation on Fixed Odds Terminals with a recommendation that the stake on B2 machines should be reduced to no more than 30. The Commission also flagged up the issue of anonymised gambling and recommended that any high value games played in person should always be linked to an account.

- Introducing limits on an individual's total betting would be difficult to define due to different levels of affordability and personalities, however operators should be intervening to prevent harm where possible.

- Extensive gambling advertising was a recognised issue and work was underway to tackle the worst offenders. However powers in this regard rested primarily with other regulators including Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Agency. Aside from bingo and sports advertising, there was a voluntary agreement to prevent gambling advertising before 9pm on television.

- Games that are not technically gambling cannot be regulated by the Commission, despite the risk of normalising gambling-type activity. The Commission was however working with computer game developers, for example, to ensure they avoided including aspects of games that would require them to have a license.

- The results of the Leeds research study would be expected to be relevant to many urban areas including the Tees Valley.

- The overall knowledge base regarding the scope of gambling at the national level was much better than ten years ago.

- The latest national participation data was available online.

The Committee thanks Rob for his interesting and informative presentation
ASH
4/18
The notes of the visit to Queensway Practice were tabled and discussed.
ASH
5/18
There was no update.
ASH
6/18
The Committee was updated with the confirmed work programme for 2018-19.

The Committee would complete the remainder of the review of Gambling before undertaking an in-depth review of Homelessness in Vulnerable Groups, an officer-led review into Water Safety, and task and finish review into Food Hygiene.

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