Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 21st March, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3 - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Items
No. Item

63.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)

 

To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

Notes:

 

(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

 

(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

 

Minutes:

In the interest of transparency Councillors Bacon and Green disclosed an interest in the item relating to Gambling (Minute 67); Councillor Bacon’s daughter was employed in the sector and Councillor Green occasionally bet on horses.


ACTION: City Solicitor

 

64.

INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS

(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)

 

Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 

 

Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 

 

If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 

 

Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 

 

(Yusuf Patel - 01274 434579)

 

Minutes:

There were no appeals submitted by the public to review decisions to restrict documents.

 

65.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

The following referrals have been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda.

 

The Committee is asked to note the referrals listed above and decide how it wishes to proceed, for example by incorporating the item into the work programme, requesting that it be subject to more detailed examination, or refer it to an appropriate Working Group/Committee.

 

Minutes:

There were no referrals made to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

66.

BREXIT PREPAREDNESS - VERBAL UPDATE

Members will receive a verbal update on the Council’s preparedness for Brexit.  This follows on from the recommendation made by Corporate Overview and Scrutiny on Thursday 14 February 2019. 

 

(Phillip Witcherley – 01274 431241)

Decision:

Resolved –

 

That a further verbal update on Brexit preparedness be provided at the next meeting of the Committee which includes details on hate crime.

 

ACTION: Head of Policy and Performance

 

(Philip Witcherley - 01274 431241)

Minutes:

Members received a verbal update on the Council’s preparedness for Brexit.  This followed on from the recommendation made by Corporate Overview and Scrutiny on Thursday 14 February 2019. 

 

The Head of Policy and Performance gave a brief summary on Brexit preparedness and the work the Council was undertaking with its partners to ensure that the appropriate mechanisms were in place.  The Council was working closely with regional and national partners to ensure that the right processes and clear communications were also in place.  Government funding had been made available to assist with some of the preparatory work around Brexit.  In addition the following activities around Brexit preparedness were also alluded to:

 

·         There was on going liaison with businesses and sharing of best practice around Brexit to ensure clear signposting.

 

·         Work was on going to prepare a range of advice and information that could be shared with residents and businesses.

 

·         In addition outreach work will be done to assist vulnerable individuals and ensure advice around immigration issues was pertinent.

 

·         Staffing implications for those working in the Adult Social Care sector and the risks involved was also being looked at.

 

In response to a question on the proposed Keighley event it was mentioned that ward members would be advised accordingly about the event, and in relation to a question on the numbers of Looked After Children, it was stated that this figure was now lower than previously anticipated,  as a number of larger families had moved out of the district.

 

Members thanked officers for the update and it was:

 

Resolved –

 

That a further verbal update on Brexit preparedness be provided at the next meeting of the Committee which includes details on hate crime.

 

ACTION: Head of Policy and Performance

 

67.

GAMBLING IN THE BRADFORD DISTRICT pdf icon PDF 377 KB

The Strategic Director Place will submit a report (Document “A”) which asks Members to consider the prevalence of problem gambling and gambling related harm within the district and development of the Council’s approach to problem gambling.

 

Recommended –

 

The views of the Committee on the options set out in Section 4 of this report are requested. 

Tracy McLuckie

Phone: (01274) 432240

(Tracy McLuckie – 01274 432240)

Decision:

Resolved –

 

(1)       That a local area profile be developed to identify areas of greater           or specific risks of gambling related harm in the district.

 

(2)       For the Council and Partner organisations to take part in activities        to raise awareness of problem gambling as part of responsible       gambling week in November, including the possibility of a     conference on problem gambling, and planned activities be        brought back to this Committee prior to the gambling week in        November.

 

(3)       That this Committee requests that the Chief Executive to write to          the Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and       Sport and to the Chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group on      problem gambling to request the following:

 

(i)            Additional powers that mean local authorities can prevent excessive clustering of betting shops and amusement arcades.

(ii)          The introduction of a 1% levy on industry gross profits to pay for much needed research, education and treatment.

 

(4)       That this Committee requests that representatives from the         gambling industry be invited to a future meeting of this            Committee.

 

(5)       That Bradford Council officers undertake “spot checks” in betting       shops and access to scratch cards across the district in relation   to under age gambling.

 

(6)       That this Committee requests that education awareness be        undertaken in schools, explaining the dangers of gambling to            young people.

 

(7)       That a report be presented to this Committee which focuses on             the treatment services that are available across the district.

 

(8)       That a further progress report be brought back to this Committee         which also includes progress in relation to the above           recommendations.

 

ACTION:       Strategic Director Place / Chief Executive

 

(Tracy McLuckie – 01274 432240)

Minutes:

The Strategic Director Place submitted a report (Document “A”) which asked Members to consider the prevalence of problem gambling and gambling related harm within the district and development of the Council’s approach to problem gambling.

 

The Licensing and Local Land Charges Manager gave a brief overview of the current gambling regulations, the provision of gambling premises in the district and an understanding of the issue of problem gambling, drawing attention to the Gambling Commissions’ Participation Survey which showed that the rate of problem gambling across the country was 0.7%.  The Leeds Beckett University study into problem gambling was also alluded to, which found higher rates of problem gambling occur in more northern areas, major urban areas and those living in wards classified as industrial, traditional, manufacturing, prosperous and multi-cultural. 

 

It was also stated that locally, figures suggested that approximately between` 2500 and 7000 people in Bradford would be classed as problem gamblers. Current treatment provision and tackling gambling related harm was also alluded to.

 

A representative from an organisation which campaigns to highlight the dangers of problem gambling – “Gambling with Lives” was present at the meeting to talk about the work of the organisation and how he had lost his own son through problem gambling.  During his presentation he alluded to the following:

 

How problem gambling had affected his families life and ultimately the life of his own son, stating that his son was an ordinary 17 year old when he became involved in gambling, adding that the industry is set up to exploit individuals and will not take responsibility for the misery a gambling addiction can reek.

 

That many involved in problem gambling were young adult males and that the journey into addiction was normally very rapid, and although gambling patterns and habits varied, they were failed by treatment services.

 

That gambling addicts were 3-4 times more likely to take their own life compared to other addicts, with Fixed Odds Betting Terminals and casino style games being particularly addictive forms of gambling.

 

That Gambling with Lives had a 10 point plan to tackle this problem including limiting to the stake on Fixed Odds betting; enforce a statutory levy on the gambling industry to fund research, education and treatment; end illegal underage gambling and ban gambling advertising.

 

During the discussion a Member stated that an industry representative should have been invited to the meeting today to provide their perspective and respond to questions.

 

A Councillor who was observing and was campaigner on the issue of problem gambling thanked the representative from Gambling with Lives for giving a candid insight into problem gambling, and he stressed that the impact on young people was very pertinent and that the industry had to start taking responsibility for the issue and not just treat people as pound signs, with the availability of treatment being at the forefront.

 

A Councillor stressed that the online gambling arena was a particular potent aspect of the industry and where problem gambling was prevalent on a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

PROGRESS REPORT ON THE PREVENT STRATEGY IN THE BRADFORD DISTRICT pdf icon PDF 128 KB

The Strategic Director Place will submit a report (Document “AG”) which outlines the approach to delivering the national Prevent strategy in Bradford  district and highlights progress made in the last twelve months against the District Prevent Action Plan.

 

Recommended –

 

The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee acknowledge the progress on work undertaken in implementing the Prevent agenda in Bradford and its approach to supporting vulnerable people.

 

(Ian Day - 01274 433507)

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

(1)       That this Committee would like to thank officers for implementing         the Prevent Strategy across the district.

 

(2)       That a further progress report be presented in 12 months time.

 

ACTION: Strategic Director Place

(Ian Day – 01274 433507)

Minutes:

The Strategic Director Place submitted a report (Document “AG”) which outlined the approach to delivering the national Prevent Strategy in the Bradford  district and highlighted progress made in the last twelve months against the Districts’ Prevent Action Plan.

 

The Assistant Director and Prevent Coordinator gave a brief outline of the activities that have been undertaken as part of the Prevent programme.  The current threat level was alluded to, with 4 far right and 12 islamist plots being thwarted.  Lone actors seem to be the modus operandi for most attacks as demonstrated in the recent New Zealand terrorist attack perpetrated by a far right activist.  In addition online radicalisation remained a potent threat and an echo chamber for individuals seeking out extremist material online.

 

The success of the Resilient Families Programme and Mothers Against radicalisation was also alluded to and how it had empowered individuals, was a key factor in addressing radicalisation.

 

Far Right extremism was a growing threat and resources had been put in place to try and gauge and address this issue as new far right groups were emerging at a rapid rate, adding to the threat level.

 

During the discussion Members welcomed and endorsed the activities under the Prevent agenda and the progress made, with positive and mature engagement with the Muslim community.

 

In response to a question on the growing threat from far right extremism and how was this problem being tackled, the Assistant Director stated that intelligence on any threat level was shared with partners by the North East Counter Terrorism Unit and the threat level was closely monitored.

 

In response to a question on emerging threats, the Assistant Director stated that the online space was a key area of activity and the primary tool used for luring young people into extremism.

 

In response to a question of what conversations or activities were being undertaken at a street level to explain the benefits of being a good citizen, the Assistant Director espoused the benefits of the People Can Programme and the Mothers Against Radicalisation Programme as counter narratives.  In response the Members stressed that further engagement work was essential and those at greatest risk were unlikely to engage with mainstream society.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)       That this Committee would like to thank officers for implementing         the Prevent Strategy across the district.

 

(2)       That a further progress report be presented in 12 months time.

 

ACTION: Strategic Director Place

69.

PROGRESS REPORT ON PEOPLE CAN pdf icon PDF 95 KB

The Strategic Director Place will submit a report (Document “AH”) which gives an update on the progress of People Can with information on projects, key outcomes, application of a community development approach and wider linkage to council and partners communication channels.

 

Recommended –

 

The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee acknowledges and supports the work undertaking under the People Can programme.

 

(Mahmood Mohammed - 01274 437399)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

(1)       That a further report be presented in 6 months time, which should        also demonstrate the social value of the People Can Programme.

 

(2)       That this Committee expresses its concerns over the financing             and resourcing of People Can and requests that officers             reconsider their approach of the financing and resourcing of           People Can.

 

(3)       That the job description and job specification for the post of       People Can Coordinator be circulated to Members of this     Committee.

 

(4)       That the concerns raised by Members around the People Can    Programme be agreed with the Chair, and then circulated to            Members of this Committee and to the Chief Executive and             Strategic Director Place.

 

ACTION: Strategic Director Place

 

(Mahmood Mohammed – 01274 437399)

Minutes:

The Strategic Director Place submitted a report (Document “AH”) which gave an update on the progress of People Can with information on projects, key outcomes, application of a community development approach and wider linkage to council and partners communication channels.

 

During the discussion Members made a number of observations around the People Can Programme which are set out below:

  • That many of the projects highlighted in the report were already taking place prior to the emergence of People Can, such as the Friends of Parks Groups and community clean ups, and it was therefore difficult to see what additional value or dimension the People Can Programme added in this respect.

 

  • That in respect of the Library Service there was no choice under the current Council’s budgetary constraints for volunteers but to take on the running of some of the libraries in the district, and therefore the volunteering within the Library Service could not be attributed to the People Can Programme.

 

  • That the Financial and Resourcing of the People Can Programme should be reviewed by officers in order that the Programme offered good value for money.

 

  • That the People Can Programme and the associated bureaucracy had the potential to deter volunteers or diminish what they were already doing in their respective communities.

 

  • That it seemed that the principle objective of People Can was to put all volunteering activities under one umbrella.

 

  • That the Programme in its current form was not using social media effectively and this approach should be fully evaluated.

 

  • That there should be clarity on what projects would be undertaken under the People Can Programme, and how it would be distinct from previous volunteering activities.

 

In response to some of the issues raised by Members, the Assistant Director Neighbourhoods stated that it was not the intention of the People Can Programme to replicate or take credit for volunteering that was being undertaken in the district, but to provide support, advice and encourage more volunteers to come forward;  and he stressed that without People Can initiatives like the Community Stars Award would not take place.  He added that People Can would build on the existing volunteering activities and create a district wide momentum as well as build resilience.

 

In response to the financing and resourcing of the People Can Programme, the Assistant Director was keen to explain that the funding of the £90,000  coordinator post was over a 2 year period, and that the post was an integral part of promoting and coordinating volunteering in the context of reduced Council funding.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)       That a further report be presented in 6 months time, which should        also demonstrate the social value of the People Can Programme.

 

(2)       That this Committee expresses its concerns over the financing             and resourcing of People Can and requests that officers             reconsider their approach of the financing and resourcing of           People Can.

 

(3)       That the job description and job specification for the post of       People Can Coordinator be circulated to Members of this     Committee.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.

70.

CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - WORK PROGRAMME 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will submit a report (Document “AJ”) which sets out  the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2018/19. 

 

Recommended –

 

(1)       That members consider and comment on the areas of work        included in the work programme.

 

(2)       That members consider any detailed scrutiny reviews that they             may wish to conduct.

(Mustansir Butt - 01274 432574)

Additional documents:

Decision:

No resolution was passed on this item.

Minutes:

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee submitted a report (Document “AJ”) which set out  the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2018/19. 

 

No resolution was passed on this item.