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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Olympic Room Aylesbury Vale District Council Gatehouse Road Aylesbury Bucks HP19 8FF

Contact: Clare Gray 

Items
Note No. Item

143.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Emma Webster and Iain McCracken declared a personal interest as Members of the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority.

144.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 164 KB

To agree the Minutes of the Meeting held on 17 November 2017.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting on 17 November 2017 were agreed as a correct record subject to an amendment regarding RAHAB which was based in Reading not Oxford.

 

The following points were noted:-

 

·         The Office of the PCC has access to the TVP performance dashboard (this related to the discussion on Local Policing).

·         An internal Force review had been carried out in relation to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs but there was also a separate review of the Berkshire MASH which had not yet been completed. The PCC reported that having six MASH in Berkshire was not sustainable but confirmed that the review would look at all MASH across the Thames Valley. They were looking to complete this review by the end of 2018. Members asked if they could help with this review and the PCC responded by asking all Councils to keep him updated on any safeguarding issues within their area.

11.05am

145.

Public Question Time

Anyone who works or lives in the Thames Valley can ask a question at meetings of the Police and Crime Panel, at which a 20 minute session will be designated for hearing from the public.

 

If you’d like to participate, please read the Public Question Time Scheme and submit your questions by email to contact@thamesvalleypcp.org.uk at least three working days in advance of the meeting.

 

http://www.southbucks.gov.uk/article/5242/Public-questions-at-Panel-meetings

Minutes:

The following public question was submitted:-

 

A graph was submitted from their Mobile VAS. “It is located in our village, 220 metres inside the 30 speed limit zone. This is a country road classified as 4b local access by BCC. We have over 2000 drivers a day coming through the village in each direction. As you can see, 76% of these are exceeding the posted speed limit. 50% are doing over 40mph, 200 a day are going over 50mph and on average 17 a day are exceeding 60mph, we get at least one a day doing over 70. The average speed is 45mph, at some rush hours this can be 48mph, that’s the average. This is not only an offence but it is a form of anti-social behaviour which greatly affects our local amenity. It also costs in excessive wear to the roads and verges. The safety implications are obvious.

 

Since the speed limit was introduced in the 2010 review, we have been campaigning to have some enforcement in the village but we and our fellow parishes in the LAF are told that it is not a priority and nothing is done. We understand that this needs to come behind a list of more serious crimes but that doesn't stop it remaining an issue and it should not mean do nothing at all. The Police are the only authority given the power to enforce speed limits and to simply not do it should not be acceptable.

 

So, my somewhat rhetorical question is, when does this become unacceptable? If an average speed of 45mph warrants no action, what would?

 

We have been told to use techniques such as speed watch and to buy vehicle activated signs, sentinel devices and so on. While these DIY approaches can have an effect, it is short lived. People using these roads are regulars, commuters passing through mostly, all we need is occasional enforcement to educate drivers that there is a speed limit and it will be enforced. This need not be much, a few hours a few times a year at the right time.”

 

The Chairman informed the Panel that this issue was discussed at the Great Brickhill and Wing Local Area Forum and there was concern about speeding in Mentmore and the safety implications of this.

 

The PCC reported that the best response to speeding was engineering and for the Council to install chicanes or speed humps. Enforcement would not stop speeding. Speeding was an issue for all Parishes. The Local Police Area were aware of the issue and would look at this from a policing point of view. The Chief Constable reported that the right forum for this issue was the Neighbourhood Action Group. The District and County Councillor for this area reassured the Parish Council that she sat on the Community Safety Partnership and road safety was one of its priorities. They would shortly be establishing a Task and Finish Group with partners to see how they could work together to improve  ...  view the full minutes text for item 145.

11.25am

146.

Chairman Update/PCC Update pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Includes topical issues report

Minutes:

National Police and Crime Panel Association

The Chairman referred to the setting up of a Special Interest Group by the Local Government Association which would act as the national voice for Police and Crime Panels. To enable this work to be taken forward a contribution of up to £500 was being requested from each Panel, although further clarification was required about whether the Home Office Grant could be used for this purpose. Members expressed concern that Local Authorities were being asked to contribute to this National Association and agreed that no contribution should be made at this current time.

 

Webcasting

Members were asked to consider the costs of webcasting and whether this should be taken forward. They considered that the cost of webcasting at Aylesbury Vale District Council was expensive and suggested that other options should be considered with a further report in June 2018 when the rules of procedure were reviewed.

Action: Scrutiny Officer

 

PCC Update

 

Language Schools

The PCC reported that a letter had been sent from Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System in relation to Ofsted Inspections of English Language Schools. The letter referred to the publication of the Government’s Counter Extremism Strategy in 2015, which set out plans to introduce a new system of oversight for out of school settings. Key features of the system include strengthening existing oversight, so there is transparency about where these settings are operating, as well as enabling Ofsted to enter, investigate and apply sanctions where there is evidence that a setting is failing to adequately safeguard children in its care. In the meantime the Government is continuing to work with the education sector, including Ofsted, community organisations and operational partners to safeguard children, and protect them from harm, including harm caused by radicalising influences. They have also been supporting local authorities to use their existing powers under safeguarding, or health and safety legislation to disrupt and tackle unsuitable out-of-school settings.

 

Police Helmets

A pilot was being undertaken in Reading to reintroduce police helmets and, according to the PCC, feedback so far from police officers was very positive. Cllr Hayes asked about the cost of helmets and was informed by the PCC that they cost £30 each which was good value for money for the visibility it provided. Most of the large Forces in the Country still wear helmets. The Chief Constable reported that the police uniform had been changed in 2009 and there had been a consultation undertaken. The change was mainly for officers on foot as the flat cap was more practicable for officers using cars. Following the pilot they would review feedback to see whether this scheme should be extended across the Force area. The PCC reported that there would be an upfront cost of around £30,000 but after incurring the upfront cost, the ongoing annual cost would significantly reduce. Cllr Hayes asked whether this funding would pay for a Police Community Support Officer. He reported that Oxford City were looking to employ  ...  view the full minutes text for item 146.

11.35am

147.

Report of the Budget Task and Finish Group pdf icon PDF 207 KB

The report will be presented by Cllr McCracken, Chairman of the Task and Finish Group.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

As in previous years, the Thames Valley Police & Crime Panel formed a Budget Task & Finish Group to assist in discharging its statutory duty to scrutinise the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley’s proposed council tax precept for 2018/19. Cllr McCracken, the Chairman of the Budget Task and Finish Group presented the report. He thanked Ian Thompson and Linda Waters for attending the Group and updating Members on the PCC’s draft budget proposals and also Members of the Group for their work.

 

The Chairman particularly referred to the following points:-

 

        Precept increase flexibility of up to an additional £12 (Band D equivalent) for all PCCs (or equivalents) in 2018/19

        Flat cash grant funding i.e. the same allocations as in 2017/18 for Home Office Core Police Settlement, Ex-Department for Communities and Local Government, and Legacy Council Tax

        The Home Office has stated that grant will be maintained at current cash levels in 2019/20 and PCCs will be allowed to raise their Band D precept by £12 for two years subject to national targets on efficiency and productivity being met. No information is provided for grant in 2020/21 and later years; the working assumption is that grant will remain flat, and council tax precept will revert to a 2% increase in year three. The national review of the police funding formula has been ‘parked’ for the time being and is not likely to be introduced until after the next Comprehensive Spending Review.

        There were concerns about the level of reserves at the end of year 3.

        There were concerns regarding the clarity around number of police officers bearing in mind that 50 posts were not being reduced as planned due to the Local Policing model, there was an increase of 47 police officers but a reduction of 46 police staff and an additional 95 case investigators. The Chairman asked that no Local Police Area should be disadvantaged for loss of police officers and that they were redeployed as necessary.

        The EmergencyServicesNetworkgovernment project has fallen an estimated 15 months behind schedule. This delay means that forces may need to extend their Airwave contracts, which is likely to have associated costs in addition to the delayed savings from ESN. An OPCC paper circulated earlier in the year estimated the cost of a 12 month delay at £400m. It is not yet clear how these additional costs will be met and by whom. The PCC responded that ESN was a real worry and that 15 months delay could still increase and that this issue had been taken up with senior civil servants.

        Reference was made to the cost of £35 million for the Head of Commonwealth Conference. The PCC reported that this cost was being picked up by the Metropolitan Police.

 

A recommendation had been put forward which was debated during the next item as follows:-

 

That the Panel approve the Police and Crime Commissioner’s precept for 2018/19 as set  ...  view the full minutes text for item 147.

148.

Scrutiny of the proposed precept - Questions to the Police and Crime Commissioner pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Attached is the Revenue Estimates 2018/19 and the Medium Term Financial Plan 2018/19 to 2021/22. The Medium Term Capital Plan and Reserves and Balances reports are attached as a supplement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The PCC responded to the following written questions:-

 

1.       Will this budget mean that you can deliver the key objectives in your Police and Crime Plan?

 

Yes, this budget provides the chief constable and I with the resources we need to deliver the strategic priorities and key aims set out in my Police and Crime Plan.  With the increasing demands and complexities in policing there is always more which could be done but the additional financial flexibility provided within this year’s budget assists in protecting the delivery of the PCC Plans and the CC’s Force commitment.

 

2.       How are holding the Chief Constable to account on the use of this additional funding? Please give us a clear breakdown of how the £12 per head is being used also confirming that the funding increase goes directly to retaining and enhancing the services provided by police officers and that this is ringfenced and:-

 

·           That this extra funding is not being used for the 50 police officers being reinstated from the previous budget

 

The budget provides the force with limited investment in our high priority areas such as vulnerability, maintains our overall strength and provides investment to facilitate increasing the productivity of officers and delivering future efficiency savings.  The financial flexibility provided by the relaxation of council tax capping provides a limited opportunity to invest now and protect our future service without having to make unpalatable cuts.  Savings as in previous years will only be taken when the full implications have been risk assessed and we are confident that there will not be any unintended consequences.  Investing in our officers is critical to maintaining our service delivery given the continued restrictions on our funding and the significant increases in demands and the complexity of crime.  The digital policing vision alongside continuous improvement is vital in these difficult times.

 

·           The number of vacancies the Force are currently carrying that are not being filled.

 

LAs at the end of December the force was 98 officers below its year-end target. Against this shortfall we already have 72 additional case investigators in post and a number more are going through the recruitment and vetting process.  

 

·           The number of efficiencies that are being made elsewhere and the criteria for reducing resources including the Joint Operations Unit 

 

All savings are risk assessed and the implications of reducing the funding in the particular area fully explored before the saving is deemed “green” and included within the financial plans.  We also keep a register of Amber and red potential savings where we need to do further work to ensure we mitigate any knock on effects and that we are satisfied that the implication to the service is understand and accords with our future plans.  Seeking continuous improvement and revisiting where and how our resources are used is a healthy process fortunately the £12 council tax has meant we will not have to remove any savings we do not consider to be “green”.

 

Criteria – resource allocation/re-allocation is determined by relative priority  ...  view the full minutes text for item 148.

12.35pm

149.

Annual Assurance Report pdf icon PDF 480 KB

Dr Louis Lee, Chairman of the Joint Independent Audit Committee will present the report.

Minutes:

Members received the Annual Assurance Report from the Chairman of the TVP/OPCC Joint Independent Audit Committee, Dr Louis Lee. The JIAC is a key component of the PCC and Chief Constable’s arrangements for securing effective corporate governance and provides an independent and high-level focus on the audit, assurance and reporting arrangements that underpin good governance and financial management and reporting standards. This is the Committee’s fifth Annual Report.

 

Dr Louis Lee presented the report which highlighted the following:-

 

  • The external auditor Ernst and Young had issued an unqualified audit opinion and an unqualified value for money conclusion for both the PCC and Chief Constable.
  • The JIAC has continued their scrutiny around ICT and its impact on force change management, the delivery of force financial performance and operational effectiveness. This was as a result of serious concerns raised the previous year. Reports presented to the Committee showed that positive progress was visible across the ICT business areas. There was a response to the Wannacry Malware incident that had attacked certain NHS Trust computer systems. There were no occurrences in TVP which showed that there are resilient and good processes in place.
  • The Annual Treasury Management Strategy has been reviewed and scrutinised robustly and there was nothing of concern.
  • JIAC Members were satisfied that both the PCC’s Chief Financial Officer and the Force Director of Finance have the necessary capability and capacity to ensure the proper administration of their financial affairs.
  • JIAC Members remain observers on the Hampshire/TVP Bilateral Governance Board.
  • JIAC Members received regular quarterly updates from both the Force and the PCC in terms of their strategic risk management systems and processes. Members were satisfied that the business continuity management processes were operating efficiently and effectively in identifying issues and capturing organisational learning.
  • The Committee received the annual report from the Chief Internal Auditor and all of the planned audits were completed. Of the 20 audits one had received substantial assurance, 12 had received reasonable assurance and 7 had received limited assurance.
  • There were no significant governance issues that required immediate attention nor were there any potential issues that could have an adverse impact on the internal control environment.
  • JIAC Members are observers of the bi-monthly meetings of the Complaints, Integrity and Ethics Panel to gain assurance from a government perspective that the PCC and Chief Constable’s arrangements for the proper handling of complaints made against the Force and consideration of other integrity and ethics issues is subject to effective oversight.
  • In terms of health and safety and the environment, JIAC Members were pleased to note the continued reduction in total safety incidents and that TVP was one of the best performing forces nationally in this area.
  • A survey was sent to all JIAC Members and there were positive comments about the working of the Committee. Key points on the analysis are outlined on page 123 of the agenda.
  • The year ahead will be very challenging when a number of leading edge digital policing developments would be brought into service.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 149.

13.00pm

150.

Police and Crime Plan - Performance pdf icon PDF 5 MB

Strategic Objective 2 Prevention and Early Intervention. The OPCC and Thames Valley Police Delivery Plans are attached as a supplement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received the report of the OPCC on Strategic Aim 2 of the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan which was prevention and early intervention. Within this his objective was to improve safeguarding. Specific areas also included road safety, cybercrime, peer on peer abuse, hate crime, technological surveillance and female genital mutilation.

 

During discussion Members raised the following points :-

 

  • Cllr Culverhouse asked the Chief Constable whether he had a clear policy for sexting particularly when it came to thinking about how to classify those involved in sexting cases as suspects, victims or otherwise. The Chief Constable reported that there was national guidance on this area in relating to crime recording and how to deal with individuals. If an offence had been committed this had to be recorded but there needed to be a careful approach in relation to the criminal justice system. A large amount of work had been carried out with schools. Cllr Culverhouse referred to an article which mentioned prosecuting parents as they held the contract for the phone. The Chief Constable reported that it would be highly unlikely that a parent would be taken to court.
  • Cllr Hayes referred to the performance measures for hate crime. He referred to the policy resource within the OPCC and asked what was being done to increase the reporting of hate crime. The PCC commented that there was an increase in reporting but it was a difficult area to differentiate between a crime and general rudeness. These figures are being monitored by the Force.
  • Cllr Hayes referred to child drug exploitation and the increasing use of county lines. The PCC said that he was concerned about this area and the use of children to supply drugs.  Vulnerable children were being drawn into serious organised crime and often it was not right to put them through the criminal justice system. If a child lost the drug supply they would then be beholden to the gang to pay back a loan. Cllr Hayes commended the work being undertaken by Supt. Joe Kidman in Oxford in this area and commented that many children drawn into this area had often experienced domestic abuse at home. He asked the PCC whether this was a priority ? The PCC reported that it was an implicit priority.
  • Cllr Burke asked for an update on the FGM strategy. The PCC reported that one of his concerns was understanding how big an issue this was because of the lack of reporting by the health service or schools. The OPCC were continuing to work on the strategy as set out in the OPCC Delivery Plan.
  • Cllr Mann asked what the PCC was doing about revenge porn. The PCC reported that there were a number of school initiatives and there was also a school play which educated children in this area. This was a social issue and needed to be addressed by all partners not just the police.

 

The report was noted.

13.30pm

151.

Report of the Complaints Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Members are asked to note the report.

Minutes:

The report was noted.

13.40pm

152.

Recommendation Monitoring pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Response to previous recommendations for Member comment.

Minutes:

In terms of Panel recommendations Members noted the following:-

 

  • The Local Criminal Justice Board were looking at improving their website to provide more information to the public including initiatives that were taking place e.g their business plan and work on domestic abuse. There was concern by Board Members about sharing performance data as this may be misconstrued without understanding detail behind the figures. There was ongoing monitoring of performance data at the Board. The PCC reported that there had been a considerable improvement in the performance of Magistrates Courts.
  • Roads Policing – Cllr Page referred to working with the police in relation to 20mph zones. He referred to capital costs for additional cameras and average speed enforcement and whether this could be funded through fines. He had made contact with his Chief Inspector and she was keen to discuss this further with him and to explore options at a local level. Cllr Egleton reported that it was important for all Councils to engage in these discussions with the police. The Chief Constable referred to the road safety summit and the up and coming Chief Executive’s meeting (in March) which should improve communications with local authorities on this area. He also commented that engineering was important to ensure compliance with 20mph zones.
  • Cllr Mallon referred to the regular Chief Executives meetings held by the Chief Constable and emphasised the importance of all Councils making sure that the appropriate level of representation attended these meetings to ensure positive outcomes.

 

 

13.50pm

153.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 92 KB

For Panel Members to put forward items for the Work Programme including ideas for themed meetings.

Minutes:

The Work Programme was agreed. Cllr Hayes asked for two additional items; the value of community policing and the implications of Brexit on policing.

154.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

To add additional meetings as follows:-

 

16 November 2018

1 February 2019

15 February 2019 (provisional date in case precept is vetoed)

Minutes:

Extra meetings were agreed as follows:-

 

16 November 2018

1 February 2019

15 February 2019 (provisional date in case precept is vetoed)

 

Panel Members thanked Cllr Burke from Milton Keynes Council as this was her last meeting. Cllr Burke had made a huge contribution to the work of the Panel and it was agreed that a letter should be written to the Leader of the Council.