Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Executive Scrutiny Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018
Time:
9:30am
Place:
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Evaline Cunningham (Sub Cllr Sonia Bailey), Cllr Louise Baldock, Cllr Derrick Brown, Cllr Carol Clark, Cllr Chris Clough, Cllr Gillian Corr, Cllr Lisa Grainge, Cllr Tony Hampton, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Norma Stephenson O.B.E, Cllr Laura Tunney, Cllr Matthew Vickers, Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Barry Woodhouse,
Officers:
Julie Danks, Peter Mennear, Judith Trainer, Sarah Whaley (DCE)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Sonia Bailey, Cllr Lynn Hall, Cllr David Harrington, Katie Slack, Peter Snowden,
Item Description Decision
Public
ESC
27/18
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
ESC
28/18
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
ESC
29/18
MINUTES OF THE MEETING WHICH WAS HELD ON 18TH SEPTEMBER 2018
RESOLVED that the minutes be signed as a correct record.
ESC
30/18
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF GAMBLING
AGREED that the report be noted.
ESC
31/18
SCRUTINY WORK PROGRAMME - MID-YEAR UPDATE
AGREED that the information be noted.
ESC
32/18
STATUTORY FORWARD PLAN
AGREED that the Statutory Forward Plan be noted.
ESC
33/18
SELECT COMMITTEE CHAIRS' UPDATES
AGREED the updates be noted.
ESC
34/18
CHAIR'S UPDATE AND EXECUTIVE SCRUTINY WORK PROGRAMME
AGREED the information be noted.
ESC
35/18
SCRUTINY DEVELOPMENTS
AGREED the information be noted.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
ESC
27/18
The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
ESC
28/18
There were no declarations of interest.
ESC
29/18
Consideration was given to the minutes of the Executive Scrutiny Committee which was held on the 18th September 2018 for approval and signature.
ESC
30/18
The Chairman of Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee presented Members and Officers with the final report for the Scrutiny Review of Gambling.

The review was instigated in order to assess how gambling and gambling related harms affected the residents of Stockton-On-Tees. A wide range of national and local organisations had provided evidence and guidance to inform the Committees work.

The main topics discussed were as follows;

- The main focus was ‘at risk gambling' which described those gamblers that showed some signs of gambling but remained below the threshold of problem gambling, and ‘problem gambling' which was typically defined as gambling to a degree that compromised, disrupted or damaged family, personal or recreational pursuits.

- A significant amount of funds were available in relation to providing services to screen and treat those suffering with drug and alcohol related problems in the borough, however no screening was undertaken into problem gambling. Following the review Citizen's Advice Bureau(CAB) had introduced a screening tool for gambling and were also receiving relevant training from Newport CAB and working with partner agencies.

- During the review the issue of gambling was referred to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland. The Committee was informed of the new Cleveland Divert Programme which was being introduced to divert individuals from the criminal justice system by addressing the causes of their re offending. Although the focus was initially aimed at those who had entered the justice system due to shoplifting, an assessment process was being designed which would include reference to debt and gambling.

- The Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee had taken evidence via video link from organisations based in London and Edinburgh and was the first Committee within the authority to do so.

- The Committees attention was brought to the eight recommendations the Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee had arrived at following the review, details of which were contained within the report.

- Questions were raised in relation to risk assessments undertaken by gambling establishments and at what level they were carried out i.e. by the local applicant or the head organisation. The Committee heard that during the Scrutiny Review of Gambling, a visit to a local casino had taken place where the measures taken to ensure responsible gambling at that particular establishment was taken as evidence and which indicated that vigorous training was given to staff members.

- Reference was made to recommendation 3 of the report which recommended that ‘A Local Area profile should be introduced to identify areas of greater or specific risks of gambling-related harm within the Borough'.

- Discussion took place around on line gambling sites. Officers confirmed that those sites were blocked on the Council's public accessible computers.

- This was the first time the local authority had looked at the impact of gambling on resident's health.

- Due to the comprehensive work undertaken and its findings, other local authorities, agencies and organisations had shown interest and requests had been made that the information be shared. It was agreed that the final report would be shared with all interested parties.

- The report was to be presented to Cabinet at the November meeting.

The Chair of Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee Cllr Lisa Grainge thanked public health, licensing and scrutiny officers for their hard work during the review.

The Vice Chairman of the Executive Scrutiny Committee Cllr Sylvia Walmsley thanked the Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee for the report and a very well done Scrutiny Review.
ESC
31/18
The Scrutiny Team Leader presented the Committee with the Mid-Year Update of the Scrutiny Work Programme.

The programme of in-depth topics was set out within the report and all reviews would report to February 2019 Cabinet at the latest.

The Chairman of the Place Select Committee Cllr Derrick Brown highlighted that the Consolidation of Thirteen Housing Group review had slipped due to an issue around Choice Based Lettings. There was to be a further meeting with Thirteen Group which would be scheduled within the next fortnight prior to presenting to Cabinet.
ESC
32/18
Members considered the Council's Statutory Forward Plan for 1st October 2018 - 31 January 2019.
ESC
33/18
Members considered the Select Committee Chairs' Updates.

The main topics discussed were as follows:

Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee.

The Chairman of Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee informed members that the next review they would be looking at was the Scrutiny Review of ‘Homelessness in Vulnerable Groups'.

The Children and Young Peoples Select Committee updates were noted.

Crime and Disorder select Committee

The Chairman of the Crime and Disorder Select Committee Cllr David Wilburn highlighted the vast and various number of agencies and organisations the committee had collated evidence from for the Scrutiny Review of Hate Crime. Cllr Wilburn thanked the Scrutiny Team Leader for the work she had put in by contacting all of those partners and agencies.

Discussion took place around the initiative ‘show racism the red card'. It was highlighted that professional footballers would attend local schools and engage with school children by playing football with them whilst promoting the values of the initiative. The Scrutiny Team Leader agreed to investigate this further as part of the review.

People Select Committee

The Chairman of People Select Committee Cllr Jean O'Donnell informed the Committee that the Action Plan for the Scrutiny Review - Mental Health and Wellbeing including Suicide and Self-Harm was presented to Committee in September 2018 and was agreed by Members.

Regards Digital Optimisation it was highlighted that particular attention was paid to looking at those services within the Authority that received highest number of enquiries from residents.

Brief discussion took place in relation to the new in-house digital group.

There was to be two site visits to customer services to enable Members to observe assisted customer self-serve.


In relation to the Scrutiny Review - Under representation of BME Communities in the SBC Workforce the scope and plan had already been issued to Members.

Place Select Committee

The next Scrutiny review to be considered for Place was the ‘Parking on Grass Verges (Task & Finish) review. Cllr Louise Baldock was leading on this and gave the Committee an update as follows;

- The report had been drafted and was ready to go to the next Place Select Committee as well as Cabinet.

- A vast amount of photographic evidence had been provided by many of the Councils Members.

- Various ways to prevent or facilitate verge parking were discussed, such as using different materials or obstructions, and the costs involved and funding available to achieve this.

- In relation to an initiative run by Cleveland Police called ‘Park Smart', the Place Select Committee had reviewed publicity material from previous campaigns and were recommending that all Councillors be provided with text and images to use in their wards. Councillor Baldock undertook to extend this to include leaflets also.

- Some of the issues surrounding parking on verges were down to historical narrow residential roads which hadn't originally been designed to have as many cars per home as they had today.

- Cllr Baldock highlighted that there had been some excellent information sharing with Middlesbrough Borough Council in relation to how they were tackling the problem. This included writing to persistent offenders and requesting they pay for damage to grass verges.
ESC
34/18
The Vice Chairman of the Executive Scrutiny Committee Cllr Sylvia Walmsley acknowledged how hard all the Scrutiny Committees were working against a very tight deadline. Thanks was also expressed to the Scrutiny Team for all of the hard work they had undertaken for each review.
ESC
35/18
The Scrutiny Team Leader informed the Committee that the Government planned to publish new scrutiny guidance in Dec 2018. This was the first new guidance since 2006. Further information would be provided when available.

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