|There were no declarations of interest.|
|Consideration was given to the minutes of the Stockton Home Safety Association meeting which was held on 22nd December 2020.|
|The Senior Trading Standards Officer Presented a report which detailed the legal window for firework sales.|
The legal dates were currently 15th October to 10th November and the 20th December to 31st December. Sales were also allowed 3 days before the Diwali festival and Chinese New Year.
In terms of Trading Standards enforcement in the regulation of the sale of fireworks, this was limited to the safety of the fireworks offered for sale and also underage sales of fireworks, for which no complaints had been received since 2019.
Most complaints received were for unlicensed sales usually from private dwellings. Whilst Trading Standards assisted with these types of complaints, carrying out joint visits and sharing intelligence, the responsibility for enforcement rested with the Councils Licensing Service.
The Licensing Officer explained that premises were inspected using a risk based system. Some retailers would receive annual checks, some biannual checks.
During last year 16 checks had been undertaken including one to an importer of fireworks. In the main retailers were operating to good standards. Six cease and desist letters had been served in Stockton to stop selling fireworks.
The Licensing Service relied on intelligence from partner agencies such as the Fire Authority, Civic Enforcement and Trading Standards to act.
It was highlighted that Facebook was a common place where fireworks were offered for sale, however Facebook had helped stop this and currently there had not been any illegal sales of fireworks detected, there had however been a move to sales using Instagram which the Licensing Service were focusing on this year.
Brief discussion was had around the issuing of the cease and desist letters and how these were followed up to ensure retailers had stopped selling fireworks. The Licensing Officer explained that if further complaints were received then intelligence would be passed on to relevant partners such as Police, Fire Authority and Civic Enforcement etc and visits would be arranged initially by the Licensing Service. Although the Licensing Service did not have the power to seize fireworks, they would ask retailers to hand fireworks over voluntarily. Ultimately the seller could face prosecution from the Fire Authority.
The Fire Authorities representative Darren Lane explained they were involved with any enforcement action in terms of where fireworks were stored and would follow up any complaints. The Fire Authority did not however recover or confiscate fireworks.
It was highlighted that the Police worked with Facebook, trying to make sure young people did not get hold of Fireworks. Police would ultimately act under the misuse of fireworks act.
The Community Protection Operations Manager highlighted that they had seen a significant drop in issues surrounding fireworks around core dates when fireworks would be used.
|The Senior Trading Standards Officer highlighted that there were no significant safety complaints to bring to the attention of the Committee, however due to an increase in online shopping activity due to the pandemic she would look at trends in terms of issues around scams when shopping online and bring data back to the next meeting of the Stockton Home safety Association. |
|Members were given a brief overview by the Fire Authorities representative Darren Lane.|
The main topics of discussion were as follows:
Due to a spate of several deliberate fires, which included refuse and wheelie bin fires, the Fire Authority had recently embarked on various media campaigns aimed at residents keeping neighbourhoods clean and safe, improving the environment, and removing debris that could be ignited. It was also highlighted that a there was a trend that these fires were being deliberately started at around 4.00pm to 8.00 pm.
The Fire Authority were also looking at encouraging residents to cut back hedges and trees, pick up litter when on daily walks and report fly tipping / burnt waste etc. by using the Fix My Street App. Residents could also visit there local fire stations which had a stock of bin bags as well as litter picking equipment encouraging people to come and use them to litter pick.
Main message was, remove the fuel source, pick up litter and report fly tipping.
Fire Authority would also report fly tipping to local authorities Care for Your Area teams who would remove reported debris.
Members raised questions in terms of fires being started in and around recycle centres. There had also been incidents reported that children had taken cardboard from recycle sites and had set this alight in nearby wooded areas. The Fire Officer confirmed that this had been happening and the Fire Authority and Care for Your Area team had worked together to tackle the issue. The Fire Authority were also carrying out fire intervention work with individual perpetrators through education and working with families.
The Community Protection Operations Manager informed the Committee that in terms of fly tipping, Care for Your Area would close the loop in terms of enforcement, undertaking formal investigations and prosecuting where possible.
The Chair requested that the Fire Authority share the electronic campaigns with Democratic Services to enable this to be shared with Ward Councillors so they could help promote the campaigns on their web pages.
|Members were given a brief overview by the Home Safety Officer from Childrens Services.|
The main topics discussed were as follows:
Family hubs in Stockton were still running and open to professionals but not to the public due to lockdown, however one hour virtual home safety sessions were being held for families ensuring parents and carers could still access relevant safety information. There were also social media pages containing relevant contact information for families to access advice on home safety.
Brief discussion was had around whether the service had seen an increase in children having accidents within the home during the pandemic. The Home Safety Officer informed the Committee that this information would come from hospital reports which were only available on an annual basis.
The Home Safety Officer also explained that a meeting had been scheduled with North Tees Hospital to discuss child accidents and hospital admissions, however this had to be postponed due to the pandemic.
The Home Safety Officer agreed to bring information back to the Stockton Home Safety Association as soon as it was available.
|The OneCall Officer was not in attendance at the meeting however had provided Members with an update prior to the meeting. |
The main topics discussed were as follows:
The OnceCall Service continued to work through the pandemic responding to their service users, maintaining high standards of attending emergency call outs within 30 minutes.
From 1st January to 21st February the service had handled a total of 16,796 calls, 16,573 of which were answered within 60 seconds. Also, during this period 342 falls had been responded to, 91 ambulances contacted and there had been 19 hospital admissions.
Prior to the meeting, Members had been provided with a link to watch a video of how the services Rizer chair worked. The chair was able to be built around a person who may be lying on the floor and then was able to put that person in a seated position with the help of an officer without the person having to stand up.
The Community Protection Operations Manager explained that the OneCall service had a variety of effective equipment were always on the lookout for initiatives to help the most vulnerable.
The Community Protection Operations Manager gave a verbal update from the annual report (1st January 2020 to 31st December 2020) of the OneCall Service.
The main topics discussed were as follows:
128,966 calls were handled over the last year, of which 127208 were answered within 60 seconds.
OneCall was one of the few Community Alarm providers that had a response service. The service responded to 5756 alerts of which 5489 came into the centre as Urgent, on average 105 urgent responses a week.
OneCall attended 2236 clients that needed lifting and assistance after a fall and with 111 of these leading to a hospital admission.
The Community Protection Operations Manager agreed to circulate the annual report once finalised to the Chair.
The Chair acknowledged the response to calls was outstanding.
The Chair thanked the One Call Officer for providing the update and asked that if possible, demonstrations of any other pieces of equipment the service had be shared at future meetings of Stockton Home Safety Association.
|There was no report of the Adults Health Officer.|
|Due to the current situation with the Pandemic and being unable to hold outside events as previously done, a suggestion was made that a competition be held for local children to design a home safety calendar with prizes for the winners.|
The Governance Officer agreed to take he suggestion back to Democratic Services for further investigation.
It was also suggested that a safety campaign be looked into in terms of safety in the garden, identifying those plants which were and were not safe. The Trading Standards Officer and Home Safety Officer agreed to investigate further and report back at the next Stockton Home Safety Association meeting.
In terms of holding future outside events, discussions would need to be postponed and looked into at a later date when the restrictions surrounding the pandemic were eased and events could be held safely within local communities.
|The next meeting of the Stockton Home Safety Association would be held 20th April 2021. |