Agenda and draft minutes

SWT Community Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 30th September, 2021 6.15 pm

Venue: The John Meikle Room - The Deane House. View directions

Contact: Email: governance@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk  Scrutiny Officer - Marcus Prouse Email:  m.prouse@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

31.

Apologies

32.

Minutes of the previous meeting of the Community Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 136 KB

    To approve the minutes of the previous meeting of the Community Scrutiny Committee held on 29th July 2021.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    (Minutes of the meeting of the Community Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 29th July 2021 were circulated with the agenda)

     

    RESOLVED that the minutes of the Community Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 29th July 2021 were confirmed as a correct record.

     

33.

Declarations of Interest

    To receive and note any declarations of disclosable pecuniary or prejudicial or personal interests in respect of any matters included on the agenda for consideration at this meeting.

     

    (The personal interests of Councillors and Clerks of Somerset County Council, Town or Parish Councils and other Local Authorities will automatically be recorded in the minutes.)

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Members present at the meeting declared the following personal interests in their capacity as a Councillor or Clerk of a County, Town or Parish Council or any other Local Authority:-

     

    Name

    Minute No.

    Description of Interest

    Reason

    Action Taken

    Cllr M Blaker

    All Items

    Wiveliscombe

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr C Booth

    All Items

    Wellington and Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke

    Cllr S Coles

    All Items

    SCC & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr R Lees

    All Items

    Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke

    Cllr M Lithgow

    All Items

    Wellington

    Personal

    Spoke

    Cllr J Lloyd

    All Items

    Wellington & Sampford Arundel

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr R Tully

    All Items

    West Monkton

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr B Weston

    All Items

    Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke

    Cllr L Whetlor

    All Items

    Watchet

    Personal

    Spoke

     

34.

Public Participation

    The Chair to advise the Committee of any items on which members of the public have requested to speak and advise those members of the public present of the details of the Council’s public participation scheme.

     

    For those members of the public who have submitted any questions or statements, please note, a three minute time limit applies to each speaker and you will be asked to speak before Councillors debate the issue.

     

    Temporary measures during the Coronavirus pandemic

    Due to the temporary legislation (within the Coronavirus Act 2020, which allowed for use of virtual meetings) coming to an end on 6 May 2021, the council’s committee meetings will now take place in the office buildings at the John Meikle Room, Deane House, Belvedere Road, Taunton. Unfortunately due to capacity requirements the Chamber at West Somerset House is not able to be used at this current moment.

    Following the Government guidance on measures to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), the council meeting rooms will have very limited capacity. With this in mind, we will only be allowing those members of the public who have registered to speak to attend the meetings in person at the office buildings, if they wish. (We will still be offering to those members of the public that are not comfortable in attending, for their statements to be read out by a member of the Governance team). Please can we urge all members of the public who are only interested in listening to the debate to view our live webcasts from the safety of their own home to help prevent the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    No members of the public had requested to make a statement or ask a question on any item on the Agenda.

35.

Community Scrutiny Request/Recommendation Trackers pdf icon PDF 95 KB

    To update the Community Scrutiny Committee on the progress of resolutions and recommendations from previous meetings of the Committee.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    ·       A query was raised as to whether the issue around the Fountains also applied to parks in Wellington?

    ·       This would be clarified with Officers, who had stated that “The fountains are not working as the pump had an issue with the bearings. They have undergone various repairs and all was working really well for a few weeks, then the bearings went, and a new pump has been ordered as they don’t make the bearings anymore for this type of pump”.

     

    RESOLVED to note the Community Scrutiny request and recommendation trackers.

36.

Community Scrutiny Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 54 KB

    To receive items and review the Forward Plan.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    A request was made to add an Agenda item with an update on the Health and Wellbeing Board. The Executive Councillor Booth stated his support and would be happy to attend such a meeting.

     

    RESOLVED to note and approve the Community Scrutiny Forward Plan.

37.

Executive and Full Council Forward Plans pdf icon PDF 122 KB

38.

Avon and Somerset Police (verbal update)

    Chief Inspector Justin French (Avon and Somerset Police) the Local Policing Area Commander is scheduled to attend to present and answer any questions in relation to policing matters in the Somerset West and Taunton Area.

     

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Chief Inspector Justin French (Avon and Somerset Police) the Local Policing Area Commander attended to present and answer any questions in relation to policing matters in the Somerset West and Taunton Area. He had been 18 months in post and gave an overview of his role. He outlined the areas that were being concentrated on at the current time, including County lines, murder suppression, protests, young people and anti-social behaviour and mental health. A new Police and Crime Commissioner had been elected and their priorities were being established alongside the recruitment of a new Chief Constable.

     

    During the discussion the following points were raised: -

     

    ·       A query was raised as to whether the Police would look to start using their ticketing powers to deter poorly parked vehicles, which blocked emergency service vehicles and refuse lorries from carrying out their work.

    ·       The Local Authorities would take the lead on this but if an individual had a concern they could call it in and the attending Police Officer or PCSO could look to issue a ticket.

    ·       A query was raised as to the expected timescale of an attending officer, and it was confirmed that it would depend on the priorities of the day as there was only a finite resource, but Councillors were urged to call it in as a starting point.

    ·       Concerns were raised about the spike in rural anti-social behaviour, particularly during the periods of lockdown in the last eighteen months.

    ·       It was confirmed that the evidence had shown there was a spike in this activity and the police had responded to the challenge. The area Commander had put more resources into the rural crime department as there was a recognition of the need to do more.

    ·       In a discussion on the problems with anti-social behaviour and young people, the police had proven areas in the criminal justice system to address this e.g. Criminal Behaviour Orders.

    ·       Concern was raised on crimes being committed by individuals below the age of responsibility, with specific reference to an area in Victoria ward.

    ·       Comment was made that residents in the rural areas would still wish to see more of a police presence to offer reassurance. This was a recognised challenge and the Chief Inspector had instructed his officers to where possible walk or use bikes to be more visible.

    ·       A concern was raised around the closure of Minehead Police Station and that if a youth picked up in Minehead for a crime and was taken to Bridgwater Police Station and to how they would then make their way home. Concern was also raised around the relocation of Williton Police Station and the need to make appointments.

    ·       The Police had a concerted strategy to be cutting edge and encourage the use of 101/999 and online reporting as the traditional method was no longer viable, but it was understood this may not be the preferred methods for all.

    ·       Reassurance was given over the Watchet Police office and that this was not going to be closed.

    ·       Concern  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

To consider reports from Executive Councillors - Cllr Chris Booth pdf icon PDF 205 KB

    To consider reports from Executive Councillors on their respective Portfolios;

     

    i.                 Councillor Chris Booth – Community

     

    3.2 of the Scrutiny Terms of Reference state that the Scrutiny Committee may review and scrutinise and ask questions of the Leader, lead Councillors, the Executive in relation to their portfolios.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Chris Booth (Community Portfolio Holder) introduced his latest Portfolio Holder report and gave an overview of the areas he had tackled and welcomed any questions.

     

    During the discussion the following points were raised: -

    ·       Concern was raised around the provision of CCTV in Wellington and the quality of information provided in the portfolio reports.

    ·       A concern around the CCTV in Watchet was also raised and whether the cameras were working. It was confirmed that there was a known issue in Swain St which was being resolved.

    ·       A request was sought that the information on the West Somerset area was more broader than a focus on Minehead.

    ·       The work of the Portfolio Holder with the One Teams and the Link Centre grants was praised.

    ·       The Community Grants Review was commented as being done at a bad time due to the uncertainties with Covid but it was clear the work was being done with integrity.

    ·       With the advent of Unitary, it was commented that a holistic approach was needed in working with the Police and Health and Social Care.

    ·       Further detail was requested on the Domestic Abuse funding grant and how that worked. Officers confirmed most of the funding in relation to the Domestic Abuse Act was given to the upper tier authority.

    ·       In relation to a query on the Youth Funding being allocated to the One Team areas, officers confirmed there would be flexibility to go outside of those areas if needed.

     

    Councillor Booth was thanked for attending.