Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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

Date:
Thursday, 7th June, 2012
Time:
2.30pm
Place:
Jim Cooke Suite, Stockton Central Library, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1AU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Derrick Brown(Chair), Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Robert Gibson, Cllr Mohammed Javed, Cllr Andrew Sherris, Cllr David Wilburn
Officers:
Kerry Anderson, Ruth Hill, Ruby Poppleton(CESC), Mike Batty, Dave Kitching(DNS), Andy Bryson(Res), Peter Mennear, Sarah Whaley(L&D)
In Attendance:
DCI Rob Donaghy(Cleveland Police)from 3.00pm
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr Tina Large
Item Description Decision
Public
HCS
10/12
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
HCS
11/12
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
HCS
12/12
MINUTES - 16TH FEBRUARY 2012
AGREED that the minutes be signed.
HCS
13/12
DRAFT MINUTES - 26TH APRIL 2012
AGREED that the minutes be Approved.
HCS
14/12
REVIEW OF TOBACCO CONTROL (PHASE 1)
AGREED that the report be noted and further investigation be looked into as detailed above.
HCS
15/12
COMMUNITY PROTECTION - SERVICE OVERVIEW
AGREED the report be noted.
HCS
16/12
QUARTERLY UPDATE OF PREVIOUSLY AGREED RECOMMENDATIONS
AGREED that the Progress Updates be noted and the assessments for progress be confirmed.
HCS
17/12
WORK PROGRAMME
AGREED that the work programme be noted.
HCS
18/12
CHAIR'S UPDATE
 
2.30pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
HCS
10/12
The evacuation procedure was noted.
HCS
11/12
There were no declarations of interest.
HCS
12/12
Consideration was given to the minutes from the meeting which was held on the 16th February 2012 for signature.
HCS
13/12
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting which was held on the 26th April 2012 for approval.
HCS
14/12
Members received information in the form of a presentation for the Review of Tobacco Control(phase 1), Tobacco Control and Regulation from the Trading Standards and Licensing Manager and for phase 2 from the Assistant Director of Health Improvement.

The main issues discussed were as follows:

Background to smoking:

- approx. 290 deaths per year relating to smoking occurred in Stockton in the most vulnerable groups in adults over the age of 35.

Effects on health:

- a range of diseases associated with smoking were Cardiovascular Disease(CVD), respiratory diseases, and cancer.

- health risks associated with smoking in pregnancy.

Smoking prevalence across the Borough:

- 35000 people were reported to smoke in Stockton however the burden of smoking related illnesses across the borough were highest in Stockton Town Centre and lowest in Ingleby Barwick East.

- 18.4% of pregnant mothers in Stockton smoked however the national average was 13%.

- there was a high prevalence of smoking in those with mental health problems and also with those in the prison and probation services.

Local Tobacco Control Approach:

- multi agency approach was required to avoid young people starting smoking.

- using an evidence based approach FRESH North East provided regional support and coordination. As well as a support role FRESH had a role in lobbying. FRESH work also included the 7 steps to quitting campaign and marketing and coordination of licensing arrangements in the North East.

Achievements to date:

- the smoking average in Stockton was at its lowest

- people were encouraged to stop at all key points in their lives such as during pregnancy and people undergoing operations etc.

-the local Stockton and Hartlepool Stop Smoking Service was highlighted as being good at identifying and supporting those who wanted to quit, including good training given to midwives which was not necessarily apparent in other areas. It was felt by Members that full commitment to the anti-smoking agenda should be secured from all midwives and GPS as a non-negotiable element of their work.

Future Developments:

- examples were shown to the committee of plain standardised cigarette packaging.

- the continuation of the promotion and discouragement of smoking in the young and the second hand smoke in car campaign.

- the involvement of ANEC as Public Health funding switches to Local Authority budgets.

In relation to the presentation on Tobacco Control:

- a definition was given using the 6 strands of tobacco control.

Regulation at point of sale:

- a standard packet of cigarettes would have 1 of 10 agreed pictorial warnings.

- children had indicated that plain packaging was ‘uncool' and although it was easier to counterfeit there was technology available to detect counterfeit cigarettes.

- branding in shops was no longer allowed.

- larger stores were not allowed to display cigarettes openly however by 2015 all tobacco retailers would have to hide all tobacco from view.

Age restrictions and controls:

- Stockton Trading Standards had their own 'WE DON'T OVERLOOK UNDERAGE' campaign.

- cigarettes were not licensed like alcohol, therefore shops could not be closed under licensing legislation. It was illegal to sell to underage, but it was not illegal for children to possess or smoke cigarettes. Civil Action could be pursued however 3 illegal sales must have occurred before this could be pursued. The average fine for those convicted was approximately 150-200.

- successful past convictions relating to cigarette sales had been held against retailers who had been seeking an alcohol licence from Stockton Borough Council Licensing.

- the Viewpoint survey 32 highlighted that young people were also obtaining cigarettes from friends and family which was not an offence.

- traders were encouraged to have a 'Challenge 21' policy similar to alcohol campaigns. Some traders were threatened by groups of youths.

Illicit Tobacco:

- HM Revenue & Customs had reported that tobacco fraud cost the tax payer 2 billion per year.

- ‘cheap whites', recognised as Stockton's biggest problem were mainly imported from Russia and Eastern Europe and often linked to bigger crime gangs. Profits were just as big as the drug trade with less severe penalties.

- dealers were often reported to prey on vulnerable people in debt to carry illicit cigarettes.

- Co Durham had encountered a major problem with some car boot sellers dealing in illegal cigarettes.

The Committee discussed and requested the following be looked into further:

- to explore tougher court action for those retailers selling to the young, and for those convicted that cameras be installed at the retailer's cost to ensure no repeat incidents or worst case scenario to close the shop.

- more to be done where smokers were smoking outside, but close to hospitals and schools.
HCS
15/12
Consideration was given to the Overview of Community Protection Service, April 2011 - March 2012.

A representative from the Head of Community Protection indicated to the Committee that recorded crime figures were disappointing in the early part of 2011/2012 as there had been an increase compared to the previous year. This was largely due to bad weather conditions in December 2010 where crime saw a large reduction.

The start of the year for 2012 started positively. April and May had seen a 7% reduction compared to the same months in 2011 and the beginning of June was also looking positive.

Positives highlighted:

-Anti Social Behaviour was down 7%

-Viewpoint 32 survey indicated that over 90% of residents rated the service as very important.

Negatives highlighted:

-65% of residents were not aware of the out of hours noise service.

The Head of Community Protection informed members of the challenges for the coming year as detailed below:

- further review of the Concierge Security Service which was now fully funded by Tristar Homes.

- preparation for the election of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cleveland.

- leadership of Stockton's response to the Government's 'Troubled Families' programme.
HCS
16/12
Consideration was given to progress of the implementation of previously agreed recommendations for the Efficiency Improvement and Transformation Review of Housing Benefits, Taxi Licensing and Choice Based Lettings.

HCS
18/12
There was no chairs update.

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