Crime and Disorder Select Committee Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 15th October, 2015
Time:
2.30pm
Place:
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central library, Church Road, Stockton, TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Paul Baker(Chairman), Cllr David Wilburn(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Paul Rowling, Cllr Norma Stephenson O.B.E, Cllr Matthew Vickers, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley, Cllr Julia Whitehill, Cllr Barry Woodhouse
Officers:
Mike Chicken (Economic Growth and Development Services Division), Jimmy Jones (Principal Trading Standards Officer), Peter Kelly (Director of Public Health), Margaret Waggott (Head of Democratic Services), Graham Birtle (Scrutiny Officer), Jenna McDonald (Governance Officer)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Ken Dixon
Item Description Decision
Public
CD
19/15
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
The evacuation procedure was noted.
CD
20/15
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
CD
21/15
MINUTES FOR SIGNATURE - 30 JULY 2015
AGREED that the minutes were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
CD
22/15
DRAFT MINUTES - 17 SEPTEMBER 2015
AGREED that the minutes be approved.
CD
23/15
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF RIVER TEES CROSSING
INFRASTRUCTURE

AGREED that the information be noted.
CD
24/15
WORK PROGRAMME
AGREED that the work programme be noted.
CD
25/15
ANNUAL OVERVIEW OF THE TRADING STANDARDS & LICENSING SERVICE
AGREED that the information be noted.
CD
26/15
CHAIR'S UPDATE
AGREED that

1. Committee meeting dates remained as scheduled

2. Discussions would take place outside of the meeting to consider alternative venues across the Borough for future Committee meetings.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
CD
21/15
The minutes of the meeting held on 30 July 2015 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
CD
22/15
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 17 September 2015.
CD
23/15
Members were presented with a summary of the findings/discussions from the meeting held on 30 July 2015 relating to the Review of River Tees Crossing Infrastructure.

The following points were highlighted:

- The work carried out on Newport Bridge which resulted in its closure for a number of weeks had highlighted the vulnerability of the transport network in the borough. The need for another river crossing was demonstrated by this impact on the local economy..

- Work being carried out on the Teesside Park access was almost complete. It was highlighted that this was not a solution but a fix that would last for around ten years; , the life span of the traffic signal controls was extended as a result of the work carried out which would give better resilience for the future;

- The work carried out on the Teesside Park access caused a very low amount of issues for those accessing due to work being carried out during the night time;

- Discussions were taking place with British Land for work to be carried out on signals and controls on the Newmarket roundabout

- With regard to asset management, Members noted that work had taken place to consider the use of Ice Guard on bridges and structures. It was highlighted that while this could be an option, a range of machinery was required to apply Ice Guard which SBC did not currently own and would impact on revenue costs for Winter maintenance.

- Members were informed that in order to avoid corrosion, salt could be removed from bridges across the Borough by jet washing at the end of the winter period;

- It was highlighted that a review would take place on bridges and structures across the Borough that were redundant with a view of disposal if feasible and cost effective;

The following points/questions were raised by the Committee:

- Concerns were raised around the building of bridges on a sand foundation; Members suggested that an alternative underfill was considered.

- Members raised concerns that SBC would face many financial implications should the Teesside Park access sink due to the sand foundation. Members noted that an alternative access would be required in order to avoid financial impacts on Teesside Park shops and leisure facilities whilst works were being carried out.

- The Committee were keen to understand whether the Teesside Park access was entered onto the Corporate Risk Register and whether a budget was in place should a problem occur. It was highlighted that the Teesside Park access was included on the Corporate Management Register however finances were not in place, although the reserves available to the council have been used to tackle emergency repairs e.g. to Leven Bridge.

- It was noted that once works were finalised, annual monitoring would take place in order to assess how bridges and structures changed over time. It was highlighted that identifying conditions of bridges and structures played a vital role in preparing for funding and costs. The Committee suggested that the monitoring took place twice per year as opposed to annually.

- Members raised concerns around the growth of the Borough without infrastructure.
CD
24/15
The Committee gave consideration to the work programme 2015-16.

Members agreed that consideration be given to school site visits as part of the Review of School Parking.
CD
25/15
Members were provided with the Annual Overview of the Trading Standards and Licensing (TSL) Service.

The following points were highlighted:

- The TSL Service was responsible for undertaking activities such as; market surveillance work, consumer advice and support services, specialist business advice and information, responding to complaints from consumers and businesses, investigating breaches of consumer protection legislation and processing/issuing a range of licences.

- The Performance Report 2014/15 revealed that satisfaction levels remained high with users of the Consumer Advice Service. Members heard that 100% of users were fairly or very satisfied with the service they received and over £151,000 in redress had been obtained for local consumers with regard to faulty, misdescribed and unsafe items, and it was money which could be fed back into the local economy.

- The TSL Service covered a wide range of legislation, providing protection across the full range of personal and household goods and services. This had an impact not only on crime and disorder within the Borough, for example with regard to the underage sale of alcohol and but also on the health and wellbeing of the local community seen, for example, in work on food allergens and nutrition.

- The Committee was informed of the future challenges faced by the TSL Service, some of which included new legislation focused around Tobacco Control, the Consumer Rights Bill and additional Food Information Regulations.

Members raised the following points/questions:

- Were Facebook pages, for example those selling cigarettes, monitored by TSL? It was noted that Facebook pages were monitored and successful enforcement exercises have been carried out targeting specific sellers of counterfeit goods. It was heard that TSL experienced difficulties with the level of information which Facebook were willing to release on site owners and also legal hurdles with regard to the surveillance work required in dealing with Facebook pages.

- The Committee raised questions around the legalities of the sale of new/unused furniture in a charity shop. It was noted that there would be no problem with the shop selling this type of product as long as the furniture itself complied with all legal requirements.

- Members were keen to understand the legalities of advertising and selling vehicles from the grounds of a residential property. Officers highlighted that when selling a vehicle in this situation, the seller must make it clear if he is acting in the course of a trade or business. The Committee was informed that if the status of sale was declared and the car was fit for purpose, as described, safe and roadworthy, then any such sale would comply with Trading Standards and Licensing legislation. It was noted that if the mentioned vehicles were causing problems/obstructions on the public highway, then Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers may be able to take some action.
CD
26/15
Members were asked to consider a revised schedule of future meetings for the Committee.

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