Agenda and minutes

Communities Select Committee
Tuesday, 13th November, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: J Leither  Tel: (01992) 564243 Email:

No. Item



This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking.


The Chairman will read the following announcement:


“I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by such third parties).


If you are seated in the lower public seating area it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in the possibility that your image will become part of the broadcast. This may infringe your human and data protection rights and if you wish to avoid this you should move to the upper public gallery or speak to the webcasting officer.”


The Chairman made a short address to remind all present that the meeting would be broadcast on the Internet, and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.


Substitute Members (Minute Item 39 - 23.7.02)

To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.


It was noted that Councillor M Owen substituted for Councillor A Beales.


Notes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To agree the notes of the previous two meetings of the Select Committee held on 4 and 26 September 2018.

Additional documents:




That the notes of previous two meetings of the Select Committee held on 4 September 2018 and 24 September 2018 be agreed as a correct record.


Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any items on the agenda.


In considering whether to declare a pecuniary or a non-pecuniary interest under the Code of Conduct, Overview and Scrutiny members are asked pay particular attention to paragraph 9 of the Code in addition to the more familiar requirements.


This requires the declaration of a non-pecuniary interest in any matter before an Overview and Scrutiny Committee which relates to a decision of or action by another Committee or Sub-Committee of the Council, a Joint Committee or Joint Sub-Committee in which the Council is involved and of which the Councillor is also a member.


Paragraph 9 does not refer to Cabinet decisions or attendance at an Overview and Scrutiny meeting purely for the purpose of answering questions or providing information on such a matter.



No interests were declared by members of the Committee in any item on the agenda for the meeting, pursuant to the Council’s Code of Conduct.


Alan Hall - Director of Communities


The Chairman expressed thanks to Alan Hall, Director of Communities, for all his help and service to the Communities Select Committee over the years and wished him a happy retirement.



To receive a presentation from Essex Police’s District Commander, Lewis Basford on current policing and crime issues in the District.


Members received a presentation on the current policing and crime issues in the District from Chief Inspector Lewis Basford, District Commander for Brentwood and Epping Forest Community Policing Team. He answered a number of questions that had been sent to him by Members.


Mental Health


What was the Police’s approach to dealing with offenders and suspects with mental health problems and what were the pathways used by the Police to help and deal with such people?


Chief Inspector Basford advised that mental health issues had increased significantly on the demands of the Police. All officers were being trained in restraint techniques specifically designed to restrain people in a mental crisis, these techniques were developed between the Police and the NHS. Furthermore, anyone detained under S.135 or S.136 warrant must be transported in an ambulance unless transport in a Police vehicle was authorised in extreme conditions. Patient dignity was at the forefront and this would enable ambulance staff to assess the medical needs of the patient and any issues that might arise or be masked by other factors such as alcohol or drug abuse.


A Police officer was not the best placed professional person to help people who suffered with mental health problems, neither was dealing with an acute health crisis the best use of a police officers time and skills. The Police should not be filling gaps in mental health services. New procedures were being put into place around dealing with people suffering a mental health crisis. A pilot scheme was taking place in Essex with Police officers and mental health nurses attending incidents together. This would help to provide better information and advice to better serve the person in crisis which will in turn improve relations between the Police and mental health staff and would reduce the number of unnecessary detentions under S136.


There was now a Liaison Diversion team in every custody suite across the District, seven days a week twenty-four hours a day, as there were still a number of offenders that needed support to divert them and prevent them from progressing to a crisis stage.


The SIM project was a pilot in Essex following the success of the Hampshire Constabulary which brought together mental health professionals and Police officers to intensively support service users who were struggling to manage high frequency and high risk behaviours. The Police officer along with the mental health nurse professional would engage with identified patients as a combined approach. The role of the Police officer was to reinforce to the patient acceptable boundaries and consequences by way of investigation/prosecution through the criminal justice system should they commit offences.


Retention and Recruitment


What was the retention and recruitment issues for frontline Police officers and the current numbers of Police officers covering the Epping Forest District and the recent forecast and trend?


Chief Inspector Basford advised that retaining Police officers in the District was challenging because of the close proximity of the City of London and  Metropolitan Police’s more favourable salary scheme and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.



To consider the attached report.


The Community Safety Manager, C Wiggins, introduced the work of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) over the last year. The annual report outlined the highlights and gave a flavour of what the Community Safety Team had accomplished during the year. It demonstrated the Council’s commitment to the CSP and the work of Essex Police, whose area encompassed both Epping Forest District and Brentwood.


Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) were first introduced nationally in 1998, to provide a multi-agency solution in response to crime and the fear of crime within communities. They supported the work of the Police and other statutory agencies, this was considered the most effective approach to finding joint solutions to local community safety issues.


In Epping Forest, the responsible authority group, which had a statutory responsibility to reduce crime and disorder, protect the community, reduce reoffending, combat the misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances and help people feel safe was made up of Epping Forest District Council, Essex Police, Essex Fire and Rescue, Essex Community Rehabilitation Company, Essex County Council and the National Probation Service. However, the delivery of the community safety agenda was not restricted only to the agencies identified as the responsible authority group, they worked with various voluntary sector groups across the district.


The CSP did not replace the work of the Police or the day-to-day business of the organisations involved, they were a channel for agencies to work together. The Strategic Board of the Partnership met quarterly and much of the work that emanated from the CSP was undertaken and led by the Council’s Community Safety Team.


In July 2018 the District Community Safety Hub opened. The Hub saw the Council’s Community Safety Team working alongside three Council funded Police officers, which created stronger links between the Council and the Police. The Safety Hub was a first for Essex and was being watched closely by other local authorities across the UK.


The Community Safety Manager advised that the CSP had launched a Twitter account and a two-weekly newsletter which was available to the public and advised a more timely detail of the work of the Community Safety Team.


Councillor H Whitbread stated, In terms of community engagement, you advertised your email address online, therefore would it be preferable to report Anti Social Behaviour (ASB), to the CST or the Police. The Community Safety Manager advised that all cases of ASB should firstly be reported to the Police where it would be recorded. The sort of ASB situations the CST would deal with would be for example do we need to remove a bench, was it a crime generator, that was where the CST came into their own strength.


Councillor Patel stated that the work of the CST was fantastic and long might it continue and asked what would the CST like Councillors to do to enable you to do more in the community. The Community Safety Manager stated that it would be helpful if Councillors could get the message out there to residents  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.


Corporate Plan 2018-2023 - Performance Report Q1 & Q2 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 206 KB

To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:


The Corporate Plan 2018-2023 was the authority’s key strategic planning document. The Plan laid out the journey the Council would take to transform the organisation to be ‘Ready for the Future’. The plan linked the key external drivers influencing Council services, with a set of corporate aims and objectives, grouped under three corporate ambitions.


A Corporate Specification for each year (previously called the Key Action Plan) detailed how the Corporate Plan was being delivered through operational objectives, with those in turn linked to annual Service business plans.


The success of the Corporate Plan was assessed through the achievement of a set of benefits, each measured through one or more performance indicators, focussed on what the Council achieved for customers. Strategic Board, Cabinet and the Scrutiny Committees had overview and scrutiny roles to drive improvement in performance and ensure corrective action was taken where necessary.


Councillor H Whitbread asked why there were so many actions and measures which fell into the red zone.


The Performance Improvement Officer explained that:


·        Red indicated a performance indicator below target or an overdue action based on the deadline date;

·        Amber indicated a performance indicator that was unassigned;

·        Green indicated an element that was on target or had been completed; and

·        Blue indicated that there was data missing.


Councillor A Patel stated that KPI’s were yearly observations based on yearly statistics and asked if they could be broken down to quarterly statistics as the Select Committees were unable to influence any changes if they were required.


The Performance Improvement Officer advised that she was aware of this and was liaising with Officers to review the procedure.




That the Select Committee reviewed and noted the progress of the Corporate Plan 2018-2023 – Performance Report Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 progress in relation to its areas of responsibility.


Housing Revenue Account 30-Year Plan pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Report to follow as a supplementary agenda item.

Additional documents:


The Housing and Property Service Director advised that the report on the supplementary agenda was self explanatory and asked the Select Committee to consider the quarter 2 update to the Housing Revenue Account 30-Year Plan 2018/19 and provide any feedback to the Housing Portfolio Holder and Service Director for Housing and Property accordingly.




That the quarter 2 update to the Housing Revenue Account 30-Year Plan 2018/19 be noted.


Terms of Reference/Work Programme pdf icon PDF 49 KB

(Chairman / Lead Officer) The Overview and Scrutiny Committee has agreed the Terms of Reference of this Committee. This is attached along with an ongoing work

programme. Members are asked at each meeting to review both documents.


Additional documents:


The Committee reviewed its terms of reference for the current municipal year and current progress towards the achievement of its work programme for the year.


The Chairman advised the Select Committee that there was currently a consultation running on the Select Committee framework for implementation in the next municipal year,  she urged them to look at the consultation and make their views known.


Reports to be made to the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

To consider which reports are ready to be submitted to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its next meeting.



The Chairman confirmed that she would make a brief summary of the meeting’s progress to the next Overview and Scrutiny Committee regarding:


(a)   The Essex Police District Commander’s presentation; and

(b)   The annual report of the Community Safety Partnership.



To note the future meeting dates of the Select Committee:


15 January 2019; and

12 March 2019.


It was noted that the next meeting of the Communities Select Committee would be held on 15 January 2019 at 7.00pm.