Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 13th December, 2018 5.30 pm

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

Items
No. Item

40.

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:

No discosures of interest in matters under consideration were received.

41.

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.

42.

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:

No referrals were made to the Committee.

43.

STRONGER COMMUNITIES STRATEGY AND DELIVERY PLAN pdf icon PDF 109 KB

The Committee is asked to consider Document “X” which contains the Stronger Communities Strategy and Delivery Plan, produced by the Bradford Stronger Communities Partnership.

 

Members are asked to note the work carried out in the development of the Bradford Stronger Communities Strategy and Delivery Plan.

 

(Ian Day – 01274 433507)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

(1)  That Document “X” be welcomed and the good work that is being undertaken be acknowledged.

 

(2)  That this Committee requests that progress against the Stronger Communities Strategy Delivery Plan be provided in twelve months time.

 

(3)  That the progress report include focus on the outcomes of projects being delivered as part of this programme.

 

(4)  That the report highlight the positive outcomes from “Test and Learn” so that work which has not been successful is not repeated.  

 

(Ian Day – 01274 433507)

  

Minutes:

The Committee considered Document “X” which contained the Stronger Communities Strategy and Delivery Plan, produced by the Bradford Stronger Communities Partnership.

 

Members of various groups making up the Partnership attended the meeting and spoke in support of the Strategy, advising that it had been informed by existing good practice across the District; that it dovetailed with other strategies; that it went beyond the original remit of the green paper and the narrow confines of the integration agenda; that Bradford’s experiences meant it had answers for the wider community and that the strategy would be shared widely across the Country.

 

The part of the Strategy which dealt with linking schools was explained in detail to the Committee, especially the positive experience of two very different schools within the District which had formed close on-going links to the benefit of both pupils and staff.

 

A member queried the need for the two schools to meet at neutral venues and asked whether that in itself could cause further division. He was advised that the project had proven very successful and had the full support of both head teachers. 

 

The Bishop of Bradford, who was a member of the Partnership, stated that it was important to make a start on working towards the aims of the Strategy without waiting for other issues such as housing and school admissions to be understood better. He stressed that one of the best places to engage with people was within schools and that, while some issues might be challenging, the purpose of the Strategy was to tackle them.

 

Members were also advised that the Strategy was an evolving document and that the partnership intended to challenge some of the data that had been used as a starting point. For example, it intended to create a Bradford standard measure for segregation, which took into account the high number of mixed race families within the District.

 

A member concurred with that view, stating that he wasn’t comfortable with the issue of segregation being described in simplistic terms without challenging that view or taking into account the movement of people within the District as new communities became more established and prosperous.

 

Another member stated that he considered that the issue of cohesion had been identified by organisations such as the Partnership as important rather than by the communities involved. He challenged the Partnership on this point as he noted that the report mentioned only working with registered social landlords when he considered that the issue of getting communities together was more subtle than that. He stated that he considered the issue of class to be important and queried what the report was trying to achieve.

 

The Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods and Communities appreciated Members’ challenges, stating that a big issue for the Partnership was understanding poverty and how it affected housing and communities. He stated that the Government considered that communities should be trying to do better than simply get along together. He also explained that he did not expect every strategy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.

44.

BRADFORD DISTRICT SAFER COMMUNITIES PARTNERSHIP PERFORMANCE REPORT AND DELIVERY PLAN pdf icon PDF 405 KB

The Strategic Director place will present a report (Document “W”) which provides the details of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) performance report for the twelve months to 30th June 2018. The report also presents the annual CSP delivery plan.

 

Members are asked to consider the Plan on a Page and the performance data contained within Document “W”.

 

(Ian Day/Rebecca Trueman – 01274 431364)

Decision:

 

Resolved –

 

(1)  That a schedule of scrutiny reviews into the areas raised in Document “W” be developed.

 

(2)  That the above schedule include a detailed scrutiny review into the effectiveness of Bradford Council and its partners in addressing hate crime across the District.

 

(3)  That the above schedule include a detailed scrutiny review into the effectiveness of Bradford Council and its partners in tackling domestic abuse across the District.

 

(4)  That this Committee requests that quarterly electronic performance reports be provided, with the opportunity to raise any concerns which may  require addressing.

 

 

(Ian Day/Rebecca Trueman – 01274 431364)

 

Minutes:

 

The Strategic Director Place presented a report (Document “W”) which provided details of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) performance report for the twelve months to 30th June 2018. The report also presented the annual CSP delivery plan.

 

A member challenged the content of the report, considering there to be a disconnect between the priorities within it and the priorities of his constituents. He expressed concern that the credibility of the Police would be adversely affected by this and also had concerns about the use of data within the report, citing that there was only one reference to burglary but that far more reference was made to hate crime. He considered that such priorities needed to be reconsidered and gave a personal example of extreme violence against a family member which he considered had not been investigated properly.

 

In response, a representative of the Police stressed the seriousness of the impact of hate crime. She also highlighted that violent crime did not necessarily have to result in injury to a person to have an impact. She undertook to discuss the example given by the Councillor privately. She also concurred that crime such as burglary had an impact on people’s lives and stressed that a lot of work was being done to make people feel safer.

 

The Chair also stressed how much hate crime affected people’s lives and stated that it should not be belittled. He highlighted that hate crime was increasing nationally.

 

A member noted that improved the reporting of crime may have the unintended effect that targets to reduce crime were not met. The Police representative agreed that data was difficult to manage and that it could sometimes appear contradictory.

 

Another member returned to the issue of hate crime as compared to other types of crime and expressed concern that the public felt that not enough was being done to resolve crimes which were not hate crime related. In response, the process of investigating burglaries was explained and it was stressed that, while such crimes were very distressing, they were not of the same nature as hate crime which was an attack on an individual simply for who they were. It was also noted that hate crime often had a high element of violence involved.

 

Members noted that this report contained some extremely important topics and considered that it would be worthwhile examining those separately and in greater depth.

 

Members also recounted examples of hate crime and abuse via social media which had resulted in very serious impacts on people’s lives and stressed that it was an important topic which should not be considered less significant than other types of crime.

 

In response to a question regarding the impact of crime on mental health and anxiety, members were advised that how crime was dealt with depended on individual circumstances. The process of making an impact statement by victims of crime was explained as was the restorative justice process which had proven extremely beneficial. It was stated that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.

45.

BRADFORD DISTRICT ANNUAL PLAN PROGRESS REPORT 2017/2018 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

The Committee is asked to consider Document “V” which presents key achievements, future challenges and areas of focus of the Bradford District Partnership in delivering the priorities of the District Plan (2016-2020).

 

Recommended –

 

(1)  The views of Members are requested.

 

(2)  That a further annual report be brought in 12 months time.

 

(Kathryn Jones – 01274 433664)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

That a further annual report be brought in 12 months time.

 

(Kathryn Jones – 01274 433664)

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered Document “V” which presented key achievements, future challenges and areas of focus of the Bradford District Partnership in delivering the priorities of the District Plan (2016-2020).

 

Members praised the report for its informative nature and improved presentation but considered that it would be useful for this Committee if issues were examined in more detail. They acknowledged that issues were also presented to other Overview and Scrutiny Committees but would wish to see headline issues reported to them and to have data explained in more detail.

 

In response to a question in respect of empty and derelict properties, members were advised that Bradford had a record of good practice in terms of working with the owners of empty properties to encourage them back into use. There were also measures such as loans to improve properties which were in poor condition. It was stressed that the empty homes team was extremely persistent in pursuing empty properties and had recently concluded a case which had taken a decade to resolve. Members were advised that an officer from the team had recently been awarded the Empty Homes Practitioner of the Year award. They were also reassured that owners of such properties were not abandoning them, so Council Tax was continuing to be paid, rather that they were mothballing them until the rental market improved.

 

Members then turned to the issue of Universal Credit and the support which residents may need and were advised that the Revenues and Benefits Team would lead on this issue and that officers shared their concerns about the increase in debt that people experienced as they transferred to the new system. Members were assured that as much preparation as possible was taking place within the Council’s Advice Service. They were also informed that the topic was included on the Committee’s work programme for a future meeting.

 

Resolved –

 

That a further annual report be brought in 12 months time.

 

ACTION: Assistant Director, Office of the Chief Executive

46.

BRADFORD COUNCIL'S EQUALITY OBJECTIVES ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT (JULY 2017 TO JUNE 2018) pdf icon PDF 94 KB

The Assistant Director for the Office of the Chief Executive will present a report (Document “U”) which provides the Committee with its annual update on the delivery of the Council’s equality objectives (2016-2020) and which covers the period July 2017 to June 2018.

 

Recommended –

 

(1)  That the progressing work on the Council’s equality objectives 2016-2020 be supported.

 

(2)  That a further progress update on the equality objectives be presented in twelve months time.

 

(Kathryn Jones – 01274 433663)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

(1)  That this Committee requests that its members be engaged with as part of the consultations for re-designing the Council’s equality objectives.

 

(2)  That a progress report be provided in twelve months time, including a focus on the delivery of key outcomes.

 

(Kathryn Jones – 01274 433663)

Minutes:

The Assistant Director for the Office of the Chief Executive presented a report (Document “U”) which provided the Committee with its annual update on the delivery of the Council’s equality objectives (2016-2020) and which covered the period July 2017 to June 2018.

 

A member queried how the objectives had originally been set and was advised that they had been established in 2015 after a period of consultation with key stakeholders such as this Committee, Strategic Directors and the voluntary sector  among others. The member noted that it was crucial that the Committee was provided with all relevant information and flagged up the recent concerns expressed by the Childrens Service’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee in respect of this issue.

 

Members queried the number of children in care who had entered into apprenticeships and were advised that they would be provided with that data after the meeting.

 

Members expressed some concern that outcomes or, in respect of long term projects, milestones were not included in this report. They also noted that some of the language used in the report was difficult to understand. Officers took those comments on board for future iterations of the report. 

 

Resolved –

 

(1)  That this Committee requests that its members be engaged with as part of the consultations for re-designing the Council’s equality objectives.

 

(2)  That a progress report be provided in twelve months time, including a focus on the delivery of key outcomes.

 

ACTION: Assistant Director, Office of the Chief Executive

47.

ANNUAL REPORT FOR OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 70 KB

The Chair of the Committee will present a report (Document “Y”) which contains the Draft Annual Overview and Scrutiny Report for 2017-18.

 

Recommended –

 

That the Committee adopts the proposed Annual Report with any amendments it may choose to make.

 

(Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

(1)  That, subject to the amendment of the part of the report referring to the workload of Children’s Social Care Services, the proposed  Annual Report be adopted.

 

(2)  That the Annual Overview and Scrutiny Report for 2017-18 be referred to Council for consideration.

 

(Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)

 

Minutes:

The Chair of the Committee presented a report (Document “Y”) which contained the Draft Annual Overview and Scrutiny Report for 2017-18.

 

Members noted that the example given in respect of the workload of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee was not appropriate and should be removed.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)  That, subject to the amendment of the part of the report referring to the workload of Children’s Social Care Services, the proposed  Annual Report be adopted.

 

(2)  That the Annual Overview and Scrutiny Report for 2017-18 be referred to Council for consideration.

 

ACTION: Overview and Scrutiny Lead

48.

WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 73 KB

WORK PROGRAMME 2018/19

 

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will submit a report (Document “Z”) 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 in respect of this item.

Minutes:

Previous Reference: Minute 31 (2018/19)

 

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

 

In respect of the resolution passed at the last meeting of the Committee requesting that a detailed report be presented on the financing of Children’s Social Care, the Chair reported that he had recently attended a meeting of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee and had been reassured that future reporting on the matter was sufficiently robust that this Committee need not scrutinise it further. Members considered that, although their colleagues would be examining matters in detail, it would be appropriate for this Committee to continue to monitor the issue and that it could be addressed at the next quarterly review.      

 

No resolution was passed in respect of this item.

 

ACTION: Overview and Scrutiny Lead