Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 12th January, 2023 5.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Items
No. Item

52.

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 Councillor Arshad Hussain declared an interest in the Gambling Cross Department Action Plan as his son was a landlord of premises occupied by a gambling company (Minute 56). 

 

Councillor Arshad Hussain also disclosed, in relation to the Hackney Carriage and Private Service and for transparency, that he was the Chair of the Bradford District Appeals Panel ( Minute 57)

 

Those interests were not prejudicial and he remained in the meeting during discussion and voting on those items. 

53.

MINUTES

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 10 November 2022 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

(Jane Lythgow - 01274 432270)

 

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 10 November 2022 be signed as a correct record.

 

ACTION: Director of Legal & Governance

 

54.

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.

55.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

Any referrals that have been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda will be reported at the meeting.

 

The Committee is asked to note any referrals reported 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 Committee.

56.

PROGRESS AGAINST THE GAMBLING CROSS DEPARTMENTAL ACTION PLAN pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Previous reference: Minute 55 (2021/22)

 

Over the past 12 months, a multi-agency Gambling Harms Reduction partnership have been working together to reduce the harms associated with gambling. The report of the Director of Public Health, Document “AA” describes the work so far and outlines the proposed next steps.

 

Members are asked to note the contents of the report and provide views and feedback on the existing work and proposals outlined in Document “AA”.

 

(Sarah Exall – 07855 177158)

 

 

Minutes:

Members were advised that over the past 12 months, a multi-agency Gambling Harms Reduction partnership had been working together to reduce the harms associated with gambling. The report of the Director of Public Health, Document “AA” described the work so far and outlined the proposed next steps.

 

The report revealed that gambling was a major industry in England and a public health issue with impacts on individuals, families and communities. 

 

Statistical data on the numbers of Bradford residents at risk of and experiencing problem gambling or gambling related harms and the status of gambling premises across the district was provided. Treatment options available in the district were also reported together with licensing activities undertaken to mitigate problem gambling issues.

 

Following a comprehensive presentation, the Chair thanked those involved for their excellent work locally whilst acknowledging there was still a crucial role for the Government to play.

 

The report revealed that following a review of school based resources appropriate resources were not found to be available and those services had now been commissioned.  The nature of those resources was questioned and it was explained that material sponsored by the gambling industry was not felt to be appropriate and work had been undertaken with the charity, Gambling with Lives, to work with education providers.  That work had been undertaken in December 2022 and material would be distributed during the current school term.  The work would be evaluated and considered alongside data from the Born in Bradford’s Age of Wonder survey. It was confirmed that the Age of Wonder was a three-year data collection process and information would be released in the summer. 

 

A trial undertaken with Kings College London to upskill and empower the adult social care workforce to help early identification of gambling harms and to support vulnerable individuals was discussed.  It was noted that the trial had been completed and that a number of adult social care staff had not felt confident about raising gambling issues with service users.  Members suggested that both adult and children’s care staff should be aware of issues and able to ask questions at an appropriate time and if relevant as opposed to a box ticking exercise aimed at all service users.

 

Measures undertaken by the Council’s Licensing Team were discussed.  It was noted that the team acted on any reports of gambling premises which were not enforcing age restrictions but questioned it checks were carried out prior to those reports being received and similar to test purchasing which was carried out for alcohol sales by West Yorkshire Trading Standards.  The Council’s Emergency Planning and Licensing Manager confirmed that in addition to action on reports the service did carry out random compliance checks and no issues had been found. 

 

A Member questioned work undertaken to ensure the gambling industry was held to account if young people were entering their premises; she questioned if online gambling was monitored and the work undertaken with schools to make pupils aware of gambling issues as opposed to just dictating  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE SERVICE pdf icon PDF 529 KB

Previous reference: Minute 49 (2021/22)

 

The Interim Strategic Director, Place, will provide a report (Document “AB”) to inform Members how the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Service is working towards achieving a high performing, customer focused service and how it analyses information to drive improvements in service delivery to the benefit of trade and employees.

 

Members are asked to consider, and comment, on Document “AB”.

 

(Carol Stos – 07582 101569)

 

Minutes:

The Interim Strategic Director, Place, provided a report (Document “AB”) to inform Members how the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Service was working towards achieving a high performing, customer focused service and how it analysed information to drive improvements in service delivery to the benefit of the trade and employees.

 

The report revealed how the service analysed information to drive improvements in service delivery to the benefit of the trade and its employees.  Statistics were presented including performance timescales; customer and service interactions obtained from customer surveys and customer drop in sessions.   An update on the number of telephone enquiries to the service and response times was also provided.

 

A summary of legal and financial obligations was provided as well as a statement as to the current financial position.

 

The report compared licensing process statistics from April 2021 to October 2022.  Members were advised that applicants were submitting their renewals sooner than previously although there was a slight delay in the average number of days for an application to be accepted by the service except for new vehicle applications.  It was explained that this was due to the current recruitment freeze in place whilst a service restructure was being undertaken.  More positively it was reported that an indicator of the process improvements was that once an application was started they were being processed more quickly.

 

Members questioned the number of applications received and it was reported that there were 1500 to 1800 new applications waiting; 5,500 current drivers and more than 4,000 vehicles licensed.

 

The number of vehicles which were not compliant with the district’s Clean Air Zone was queried.  Whilst the figures were not available at the meeting it was agreed that the information would be circulated to Members. 

 

Action plans which had been put in place to address cultural issues and ensure staff could deal with the city’s diverse population were questioned and it was reported that the service worked to address language barriers and no issues or complaints had been received.

 

A Member reported that complaints received from his constituents tended to be about vehicles being parked up with their lights on as opposed to the way they were driven and he questioned if complaints raised with operators were dealt with appropriately.  In response it was explained that the service worked with operators to help them run good businesses and understand complex Department for Transport (DfT) issues. 

 

Comparisons with enforcement issues with previous years were discussed and it was reported that the numbers were low.  The service was keen to facilitate educational sessions to ensure that the trade was aware what they should and should not be doing.  A particular hot topic at the current time was the use of mobile phones  in vehicles and sessions were being arranged to discuss issues since the law had changed.  Work was also undertaken to facilitate an understanding and raise awareness of serious issues such as child sexual exploitation (CSE).

 

The report revealed that the Enforcement Team carried out  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

RESPONSE TO FIREWORKS REVIEW OCTOBER 2021 pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Previous reference: Minute 39 (2021/22)

 

In response to continuing fears around fireworks a comprehensive review of the use of fireworks in the district’s neighbourhoods was undertaken by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The report made several recommendations to tackle some of issues regarding firework nuisance.

 

The report of the Chair of District Community Safety Partnership, “Document “AC” provides a summary of the key actions and partnership responses to the recommendations of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Firework Review.

 

(Michael Churley – 01274 431364)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In response to continuing fears around fireworks a comprehensive review of the use of fireworks in the district’s neighbourhoods was undertaken by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The report made several recommendations to tackle some of issues regarding firework nuisance.

 

The report of the Chair of District Community Safety Partnership, “Document “AC” provided a summary of the key actions and partnership responses to the recommendations of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Firework Review.

 

Members were aware the rationale for that review had been continuing fears around fireworks in the district.

 

The report of the Chair of District Community Safety Partnership, “Document “AC” provided a summary of the key actions and partnership responses arising from that review.

 

Following a detailed presentation, the Chair acknowledged that there were clear limitations on the powers of local authorities and that residents should be made aware that the Government must do more to address their concerns.

 

A Member referred to the response from Jane Hunt MP, the then Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets to a letter from MPs urging the Government, to take action on fireworks as insulting.  It was felt that none of the points raised had been addressed. 

 

The work undertaken to mitigate the problems occurring was recognised but problems were continuing and it was suggested that venues hosting functions may need reminding of their responsibility to their neighbours and to understand the conditions of their licences. 

 

It was suggested that there were still issues with many category F4 fireworks being used in the district and it was questioned how people were obtaining those products.  It was reported that F4 category fireworks could only be purchased with a specific licence.  The Safer Communities Delivery Co-ordinator explained that he had tried to make test purchases of those goods and had been unable and it was felt that the fireworks were not being obtained from reputable premises.

 

It was reported that the Government had stated it would keep the decibel limits under review but the law was not about to change.  Laws in Scotland had been amended and fireworks could only be lit between 1800 – 2300 hours.   The amount which could be purchased at any one time had also been restricted to 5kg and fireworks were only on sale between 0700 to 1800 hours.  

 

A Member expressed a view that there should be ‘no firework zones’ and referred to firework issues being a problem throughout the year and at all times of day.  He was concerned that the review had revealed that the authority was restricted in what they could do to tackle the issue.  He referred to the police response that they did not have the resources to deal with all the issues and felt until the Government took action or gave more resources to the police the problems would continue.

 

The Safer Communities Delivery Co-ordinator reported that residents had asked for support to appeal to people’s better natures and raise awareness of the nuisance being caused.  In response  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.