Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Stockton Home Safety Association Minutes

Date:
Wednesday, 24th October, 2007
Time:
1.30pm
Place:
Lecture Theatre, Stockton Central Library, The Square, Stockton
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Mrs Ann Cains (Chair), Cllr Dick Cains (Vice Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell), D. Atkinson (Cleveland Fire Brigade), K. Jarvis (Public), A. Moriaty (SDAG), L. Provett (Sure Start), F. Russell (Trading Standards), M. Wetherall (SDAG)
Officers:
M. Jones (LD)
In Attendance:
J. Allport (Trading Standards), T. Redfern (RSVP), P. Smith (Strategic Commissioner)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Jackie Earl, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Julia Roberts, K. Harrison (Cleveland Fire Brigade)
Item Description Decision
Public
SHS
24/07
CHAIR'S WELCOME
 
SHS
25/07
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD 10TH JULY 2007
CONCLUDED that the minutes of the meeting held 10th July 2007 be agreed as a true record.
SHS
26/07
NOTES OF THE MEETING HELD 11TH SEPTEMBER 2007
RESOLVED that a letter would be sent to Graphics regarding the banner.
SHS
27/07
CRYSTAL METHS
CONCLUDED that the information be noted.
SHS
28/07
HEALTH, WELL BEING, AND FIRE SAFETY STRATEGY GROUP
RESOLVED that:

1. A visit to the Independent Living Centre be organised.

2. Minutes be forwarded to P. Smith.
SHS
29/07
DOORSTOPPERS
CONCLUDED that the information be noted.
SHS
30/07
NO COLD CALLING ZONES
CONCLUDED that the information be noted.
SHS
31/07
REPORT OF SECRETARY
RESOLVED that the Assoication would be included in SRCGA Information Directory.
SHS
32/07
REPORT OF TRADING STANDARDS OFFICER
CONCLUDED that the information be noted.
SHS
33/07
REPORT OF FIRE OFFICER
CONCLUDED that the information be noted.
SHS
34/07
REPORT OF POLICE OFFICER
 
SHS
35/07
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Concluded that:

1. A visit to the Trading Standards Test Centre be organised for Spring 2008.

2. Sure Start be a standing item on the agenda.
1.30pm/3.40pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
SHS
24/07
The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting. The change in meeting room was noted, and it was believed that that this would be more accessible for members.
SHS
26/07
The notes of the meeting held on 11th September 2007 were discussed. It was explained that the meeting was not quorate, however due to timescales a decision had to be made to purchase a banner for promotional use. The banner which was purchased cost 55 plus VAT, and was used at the 'Are You Being Served' event on 23rd October 2007. The Members agreed to send a letter to Graphic commenting on how well received the banner was.

'Sloppy Slippers' were discussed. P. Smith informed that he was working in partnership with Age Concern Teesside regarding a Sloppy Slippers campaign in the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees. The Secretary noted that she had been in contact with Middlesbrough Primary Care Trust (PCT) and discussed how they promoted their Sloppy Slipper campaign at any events held which were focussed towards Older People. T. Redfern stated he had been involved in Middlesbrough PCT's Sloppy Slippers campaign.
SHS
27/07
J. Allport gave a presentation on Crystal Methamphetamine (Crystal Meths).

It was explained that Crystal Meths was a highly addictive drug, first created in 1903, which could be made at home from everyday household products and over the counter pharmaceuticals. There was no substitute that could be taken by users as an aid to wean them off the addiction and the success rate for recovery was extremely low. Photographs were shown of the drug's effect on a user's teeth, face and hands. Members were informed that the effects on user's health ranged from nausea to permanent damage to brain cells.

Members were informed that there were a mass of websites on the internet which sold the ingredients needed to create the drug, explained how to create the drug, and illustrated how to use the drug. The ingredients of Crystal Meths were highly volatile and could also be linked to terrorism. The drug was also highly dangerous in that it could sink into skin, and therefore could affect family members and pets of those involved in producing or using the drug, those shutting down a laboratory, and any other person that came into contact with the drug.

The Officer explained that Crystal Meths drug use was a world wide problem and noted the differing classifications of the drug. Crystal Meths was reclassified to a Class A drug in the UK on 18th January 2007, following a campaign that was supported by Trading Standards. As part of this campaign a test purpose exercise was carried out when two volunteers purchased large quantities of the ingredients in local shops. The Trading Standards officer noted that limiting the purchasing of products used to make Crystal Meths to small quantities could help in tackling the problem.

The Association expressed their support to Trading Standards regarding Crystal Meths. The Fire Officer and Sure Start Officer requested the presentation to be shown to their organisations.
SHS
28/07
P. Smith discussed his role as a Strategic Commissioner for care services within the Stockton-on-Tees area. He noted the many different areas that his role covered which included Telecare, contracts with Blind Voice UK, and Stockton Independent Living Project, and how he was responsible for contracting and monitoring services to ensure that a high quality care service was provided.

P. Smith informed that he was asked by North Tees PCT to promote joint working with Cleveland Fire Brigade. He discovered that there was a South Tees Fire Safety Partnership which brought together the Local Authorities, PCT's and Fire Brigade in the Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland area to discuss relevant issues. The relevant authorities were approached to organise a similar group north of the Tees, and this group, named Health, Well Being, and Fire Safety Strategy Group, had been in operation for six months. The group were discussing co-operative and partnership working, was working with Stockton Safer Partnership, and were looking at the potential to link with other groups in the area.

The Trading Standards Officer noted his wish to present the 'Beat the Bogeyman' film to the George Hardwick Carers Centre, and noted the impact that bogus caller crime had on the health of the victims. P. Smith forwarded the contact details for the Carers Centre.

Members were advised to contact P. Smith if they had any projects that needed funding and if the project met the relevant criteria he would try to get it on the agenda. The Fire Officer noted that funding was sought from North Tees PCT to distribute fire resistant bed packs, and discussed the clash in Smoking Legislation for those in care homes or had care provided in their own home by a carer.

Telecare was discussed, and P. Smith informed that by 2nd November 2007 148 units had been distributed. There was positive evidence that the system alleviated the number of individuals being admitted into hospital, getting lost, or being left for substantial amounts of time when they had a fall. The system had been distributed via Social Workers, Health Visitors, and in some circumstances GP's or by individuals contacting the service direct. P. Smith informed that by March 2008 the majority of the funding for this service would be spent, and no further funding was available. A member discussed her experience of using the service on receiving a bogus telephone call, where the caller tried to get the member to leave their home unnecessarily. The member contacted Carecall who advised not to leave their home. It was suggested that the information was forwarded to the Neighbourhood Watch schemes.

Members requested a visit to the Independent Living Centre. P. Smith noted that there was a meeting room at the Centre and suggested the visit take place as part of the Association's meeting. P. Smith requested the Association minutes be sent to him so that he could forward these to the Health, Well Being, and Fire Safety Strategy Group.
SHS
29/07
T. Redfern informed that the lottery bid was stalled, but had been re-submitted and it was hoped that the funding would be received by December 2007. Doorstoppers was launched at the Are You Being Served? Event and work had started on developing links in the area. T. Redfern noted that volunteers from Middlesbrough were to be used to give talks in the area until there were enough volunteers from Stockton.

The arrangement for Retired Senior Volunteer Project (RSVP) to use the Association's name was discussed and the secretary informed that the Local Authority's Legal department would arrange a meeting with the Chair and T. Redfern to draw up a more robust agreement.

A new video regarding bogus callers had been launched, 'Not Sure, Don't Open the Door', which was targeted at the 55+ age group. It was suggested that this video be shown at a meeting.
SHS
30/07
The evaluation of the No Cold Calling schemes was taking place and due to be assessed by the end of November 2007. At the time of the meeting the feedback had been positive, although some had stated that they had had no information on the scheme. The Trading Standards Officer said that he had hand delivered information to every household in the No Cold Calling Zones.

The Trading Standards Officer noted that due to the cost of the scheme it would not be possible to extend it to other areas. He explained that it would cost approximately 10 per household to set up a scheme in another area.
SHS
31/07
The Secretary tabled the Community Health Initiatives newsletter, and informed that Stockton Residents and Community Groups Association (SRCGA) had queried whether the Associations wished to be included in their Information Directory. The Association agreed to be included in the Directory.
SHS
32/07
Underage Sales

The Trading Standards Officer reported that there had been one underage sale of alcohol, which was sold by the licensee. The Officer informed that a fire works underage sale exercise would take on 25th October 2007.

Novelty Witch's Hat

The Officer informed that a novelty witch's hat had failed a trading standards test, and was being sent for further testing.

Toy/Collectors Train

The Officer raised a recent report in the local media that a model train had caused serious injury to a child. The Officer informed that this item was not a toy but a collector's item, and had passed all the relevant testing. He believed that the incident had occurred due to the item not being used as intended.

Walking Frame

Trading Standards had received a complaint regarding a walking frame which had collapsed. Health & Safety Executive were looking into this.

Teeth Whitening Products

The Officer explained that there had been a huge influx of non-dentistry professionals offering teeth whitening procedure and products, which was against the dentistry regulations. Trading Standards had become involved in investigating this issue due to the levels of specific chemicals used in this products.

Swimming Aids

An arm band swimming aid had failed a trading standards test and therefore further test needed to be carried out on this product. However, this was a seasonal product and was no longer on sale; therefore Trading Standards Officer was unable to purchase this item for further testing.
SHS
33/07
The Fire Officer discussed electric blankets and what advice should be given to the public regarding these. The Trading Standards Officer suggested that there should be a publicity campaign to alert the public on the need to renew their electric blankets on a regular basis.
SHS
34/07
The Police Officer was not in attendence.
SHS
35/07
It was suggested that the Trading Standard Centre visit would be postponed till Spring 2008.

The Sure Start Officer requested that a report from Sure Start be a standing item on the agenda.

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