Agenda and minutes

Communities Scrutiny Committee - Friday, 3rd September, 2021 1.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, District Council Offices, Mill Lane, Wingerworth

Contact: Damon Stanton  01246 217011

Items
No. Item

CSC/21/21-22

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors R Hall, B Lewis, J Lilley and P Windley.

CSC/22/21-22

Declarations of Interest

Members are requested to declare the existence and nature of any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or other interests, not already on their register of interests, in any item on the agenda and withdraw from the meeting at the appropriate time.

Minutes:

Members are requested to declare the existence and nature of any disclosable pecuniary interest and/or other interest, not already on their register of interests, in any item on the agenda and withdraw from the meeting at the appropriate time. 

 

There were no Declarations of Interests.

CSC/23/21-22

Minutes of Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 198 KB

To approve as a correct record and the Chair to sign the Minutes of the Formal Communities Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 5 March and the Informal Communities Scrutiny Committee meetings held on 14 May and 2 July 2021 (attached).

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Formal Communities Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 5 March and the Informal Communities Scrutiny Committee meetings held on 14 May and 2 July 2021 were approved.

CSC/24/21-22

Scrutiny Review

Scoping and Scene Setting for the 2021/22 Scrutiny Review.  The Environmental Enforcement Team Leader (NEDDC) and the ASB Case Worker (Bolsover) will be in attendance.

Minutes:

The Committee welcomed the Environmental Enforcement Team Manager to the meeting to give an overview of the out of hours enforcement provided by the Council’s Environmental Health Service.

 

Members heard that in the Environmental Health Team officers did carry out out of hours enforcement on a number of issues such as envirocrime, environmental protection, housing and public health, licensing, and commercial but it was generally reactive, dependant of staff availability and based on demand. The officer informed the Committee that the service had received over 5000 requests in 2021 but it was not clear how many of those would have benefited from an out of hours arrangement and further analysis of the data may be required.

 

The officer explained that there were a number of benefits to having an out of hours service which included a deterrent so residents were less likely to commit offences; it was easier to gather evidence for a range of offences; it resulted in better customer service and reduced demand and workload on staff during their working day. Members also noted that working with the Rangers at Bolsover District Council had proved useful.

 

The Environmental Enforcement Team Manager clarified that the Housing Public Health Team would investigate noise and lighting complaints from residential properties. If this regularly occurred out of hours then customers would be asked to fill in a diary, and if officers deemed the behaviour to be unreasonable they would take the appropriate action. The Committee discussed fixed penalty notices (FPN’s) and prosecutions.

 

The Community Safety and Enforcement Manager (BDC) was also present at the meeting to discuss the out of hours service provided by Bolsover District Council.

 

Members heard that the Community Enforcement Rangers (previously known as CAN Rangers) provided a service to the public of Bolsover between the hours of 8am until midnight – 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Rangers assisted with a wide ranging number of issues including anti-social behaviour, environmental crime, crime prevention, out of hours repairs and emergencies (housing), and PSPO enforcement. It was stated that for the financial year (April 20 – April 21) the Rangers had dealt with 6,740 jobs. They had also assisted and supported other Council services to provide vital functions during the Pandemic.

 

The Committee heard about a number of enforcement actions where the Rangers had worked well with external partners such as the police. There had been, for example, issues with street drinking in Shirebrook which had resulted in a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) being issued.

 

Members noted that the Rangers were able to gather evidence which could be used for enforcement action. It was stated that in doing this, evidence could be gathered ‘out of hours’, whilst at NED the service relied on diaries which were completed by residents.

 

The Committee discussed the vehicles used by the Rangers. The Community Safety and Enforcement Manager (BDC) clarified that they had access to 6 vehicles including a mobile CCTV unit for night time patrols.

 

Members heard that  ...  view the full minutes text for item CSC/24/21-22

CSC/25/21-22

Housing Update

To consider an update from the Council’s Housing Options Team Leader. 

Minutes:

The Housing Options Manager was present at the meeting to give an overview of the Council’s homelessness service.

 

The presentation outlined a number of important elements that oversaw the service including a history of homeless legislation; what homelessness was; the Homelessness Reduction Act 2018; and how the Authority responded to homeless residents.

 

The Committee also heard about a number of initiatives that supported homeless people in North Derbyshire. These included the North Derbyshire Homeless Pathway, which was for single people over the age of 18 living in North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield and Bolsover. There was also ‘call B4 you serve’ which offered advice to landlords and aimed to prevent homelessness by solving problems before a notice was served.

 

Members noted that demand for the service increased significantly during the Pandemic. The Government had called for all homeless people to be brought into accommodation in March 2020, and as a result a hotel was block booked for three months. It was stated that the homelessness out of hours service had received over 600 calls last year. There had been 113 placements in emergency housing in 2020/21, compared with just 37 placements in 2018/19.

 

The Housing Options Manager concluded the presentation by outlining some positives from a very challenging year for the service, which included the development of a county wide homeless strategy and £142,000 in next steps funding from the Government.

 

The Committee were informed that there were no known current rough sleepers in North East Derbyshire. There was, however, four known rough sleepers in Chesterfield who had links to the District.

 

RESOLVED – That the update be noted.

 

CSC/26/21-22

Forward Plan of Executive Decisions

To consider the Forward Plan of Executive Decisions.  Please note, the most up-to-date Forward Plan of Executive Decisions can be accessed via the following link:-

    

https://democracy.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/mgListPlans.aspx?RPId=1137&RD=0&bcr=1

 

Minutes:

AGREED – That the Forward Plan of Executive Decisions be noted.

 

CSC/27/21-22

Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 164 KB

To consider the Work Programme for the Communities Scrutiny Committee 2021/2022.

Minutes:

AGREED – That the Work Programme be noted.

 

CSC/28/21-22

Additional Urgent Items (if any)

To consider any other matter which the Chair of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items discussed at this meeting.

CSC/29/21-22

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Communities Scrutiny Committee will be held on Friday, 22 October 2021 at 1.30 pm.

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Communities Scrutiny Committee will take place on Friday, 22 October 2021 at 1.30 pm.