Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Housing & Community Safety Select Committee (ceased to operate 03/06/2015) Minutes

Date:
Wednesday, 22nd May, 2013
Time:
2.30pm
Place:
Conference Room 2, Municipal Buildings, Stockton Borough Council, Church Road, Stockton
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Julia Cherrett(Chairman), Cllr Derrick Brown(Vice Chairman), Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Robert Gibson
Officers:
Dave Kitching(DNS), Kerry Anderson, Peter Kelly(CESC), Graham Birtle, Sarah Whaley(LD)
In Attendance:
Cllr Jim Beall(Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Health).
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Tina Large, Cllr David Wilburn
Item Description Decision
Public
HCS
9/13
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
HCS
10/13
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
AGREED that the declarations of interest be noted.
HCS
11/13
MINUTES FROM THE MEETING WHICH WAS HELD ON THE 28TH FEBRUARY 2013 - FOR SIGNATURE
AGREED that the minutes be signed.
HCS
12/13
REVIEW OF TOBACCO CONTROL
AGREED that:

1) the information be noted.

2) the relevant information be included in the final recommendations as detailed above.
HCS
13/13
WORK PROGRAMME
AGREED that the information be noted.
HCS
14/13
CHAIR'S UPDATE
AGREED that the information be noted.
2.30pm - 3.50pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
HCS
9/13
The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
HCS
10/13
Cllr Beall, Brown and Clark declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in relation to item no. 4, 'Review of Tobacco Control', as they were members of the Teesside Pension Fund.

Cllr Cunningham declared a personal non prejudicial interest in relation to item no. 4, 'Review of Tobacco Control'. Cllr Cunningham was the wife of local MP Alex Cunningham who had put forward a bill to the House of Commons to stop smoking in vehicles where children were present. Reference was made to this during the discussion of this item.

Peter Kelly the Director of Health declared a personal non prejudicial interest in relation to item no. 4, 'Review of Tobacco Control', as he was a member of the 'Action on Smoking and Health'(ASH) board.
HCS
11/13
Consideration was given to the minutes from the meeting which was held on the 28th February 2013.
HCS
12/13
Members received evidence regarding the Review of Tobacco Control from Councillor Beall the Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Health for Stockton Borough Council(SBC). In particular the Committee received information surrounding issues raised in relation to investments made by Teesside Pension Fund within the tobacco industry.

The main issues discussed were as follows:

The Committee was informed that the Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Health was also Chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board and that reducing smoking was a major priority as part of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy. Due to local authorities now being responsible for public health, investments made in the tobacco industry could be considered to be a conflict of interest and unethical in relation to the strategy of the Health and Wellbeing Board.

Members heard that to tackle issues at a local level with Teesside Pension Fund, the Chief Executive and the Leader of Stockton Borough Council(SBC) had written to the other Tees Valley authorities requesting their views and support to meet and discuss the possibility of reviewing the pension funds ethical investment policy with the aim to disinvest.

The Committee discussed that FRESH North East had been commissioned to present a report in July 2013 to begin to address unethical investment issues at a regional level. To tackle the issues at a national level the Cabinet Member had made contact with Action on Smoking and Health(ASH) to influence a change of investing in tobacco. It was also suggested that to further influence investing in the tobacco industry on a national basis contact be made with the Association of north East Councils(ANEC) to gain support of the North East Members of Parliament.


The Committee was reminded that although Teesside Pension Fund was currently only investing 2.6% of its investment in the tobacco industry members of the Committee were keen to change attitudes towards unethical investment and the fiduciary duty to maximise funds. Members were however informed that Cancer Research and The British Heart Foundation were willing to broker a meeting with the Teesside Pension Fund Investment Panel, as they invested in ethical portfolios and received favourable returns.

Committee members went on to discuss other issues which had been highlighted previously including draft recommendations which were to be submitted within the final draft report.

The main areas highlighted were as follows:

- that SBC approach ANEC and the Northern Group of MPs to lobby for legislation requiring the positive licensing of wholesalers / retailers before they supply tobacco products, and that a licensing regime allow for the full recovery of costs for the licensing authority.

- Local Councils and MP's needed to continue to be lobbied for the introduction of plain packaging on cigarettes through ANEC and Health and Wellbeing Boards as this was recognised by health professionals as being extremely effective in the campaign to reduce smoking.

- that SBC introduce a voluntary code of smoke free practice in and around children's play areas, cars with child occupancy and council owned land.

- to make representation from local authorities to central government to re-introduce the attempted legislation to ban smoking in cars with child occupancy.

- to include Tristar Homes and the Vela Group when recommending opportunities for brief intervention training with Housing and SBC Social Care staff.

- that SBC aim to achieve the gold award for health at work.
HCS
13/13
The Committee were informed that the Overview of Community Safety and Police would be presented at the next Housing and Community Safety Select Committee meeting scheduled for the 6th June 2013. Representation would be made by the Head of Community Safety and a member of Cleveland Police.

The Scrutiny Officer informed the Committee that a draft final report with supporting recommendations would be presented for consideration at the tripartite meeting scheduled for the 6th June 2013. The final report would be presented at a Cabinet meeting scheduled for the 11th July 2013.
HCS
14/13
The Chair informed the Committee that the next review for the Housing and Community Safety Select Committee would be Welfare Reform which had been agreed at a previous meeting of Executive Scrutiny.

It was requested that the Head of Housing attend the next meeting scheduled for the 6th June 2013 to discuss further the expectation of the Welfare Reform review.

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