Agenda and minutes

Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Thursday 28th February 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room - Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors L Harsant and G Chisholm.  In the absence of Councillor L Harsant (Chair), Councillor S Gage (Vice-Chair) took the Chair.



Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 94 KB




that the minutes of the meeting held on 3 January 2019, be signed as a true record.


Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were received.


To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business




that the Order of Business be as printed on the agenda.


Annual Report of Crime and Police Matters


58.1    Superintendent Kerry Cutler (Area Commander for the Southern Area and Vice Chair of the Community Safety Partnership) presented this item and the Portfolio Holder for Community Protection and Customer Services, Councillor A Ross (Chair of the Community Safety Partnership) also attended.


58.2    Supt. Cutler reported that the area that she was responsible for; Ipswich Borough, Babergh District and the soon to be East Suffolk Council, (previously Waveney and Suffolk Coastal) covered a diverse area of both urban and rural regions.  Policing responsibility ranged from BT, the Port of Felixstowe, the Orwell Bridge, the University, military sites, coastlines and towns and villages. 


58.3    The uniformed Response Units and the Neighbourhood Response Teams, who worked 24/7 were supported by a Safer Neighbourhood Team in the 3 locality areas (Central, East and West) and the business support functions, such as the command and control room and custody functions.  The Roads Policing and Armed Response Teams investigated issues at incident management hubs as appropriate, using intelligence in response to incidents such as; safeguarding and counter terrorism.  A major investigation team also responded to missing person reports, of which there could be up to 20 at any one time and in order to disrupt any serious crimes. 


58.4    There was a huge demand on the Southern Area resources due to road traffic collisions on the trunk roads and the emergency response times were 95.5% within 15 minutes in Ipswich Town Centre, a response time of 90.8% within 15 minutes in Ipswich East (covering Felixstowe and Woodbridge) and 91.2% in Ipswich West (which was impacted by the A14) and there were 2 armed response vehicles in Ipswich.  


58.5    The National Crime Recording Standards had confirmed that there had been a change in approach to recording and 999 calls (Grade A calls) had increased by 2% in the last 12 months to over 9,000.  Grade B calls in the Southern area had seen the biggest increase in the last 12 months to 24,000 calls and all calls which came into the Control Room were graded appropriately prior to any Officer response.


58.6    Although Ipswich and Lowestoft were the towns with the highest incidents of anti-social behaviour in the Southern Area, overall there had been a 30% reduction in the reporting due to incidents being specifically grouped into the type of behaviour, e.g. housing, drug use, littering, parking or noise nuisance.  The Neighbourhood Policing Team now had specific strategic leads e.g. for Licensing or Hate Crime and were engaging with community groups to tackle, in partnership, youth gang violence with a dedicated Police Team available to work with families, mentoring and dealing pro-actively in prevention work.  Work continued by increasing the patrols of the Safer Neighbourhood Team in areas such as Garrick Way and Grebe Close with Community Protection Notices being issued and also Action Days by the Roads Policing Teams had taken place.


58.7    Operation Sceptre, the ‘Bin a Blade’ knife amnesty was held in Ipswich twice this year in September and March and 3 knife  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.


OS/18/22 Annual Portfolio Holder Update - Community Protection and Customer Services pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Additional documents:


59.1    Councillor A Ross (Portfolio Holder for Community Protection and Customer Services) gave a brief outline of the diverse portfolio in line with the delivery of the Corporate Plan priorities.  Ian Blofield, the Head of Service was also present for this item.  A document was tabled which gave further information about the performance indicators reported as ‘Red’, LI 298 (% of CCTV cameras out of action), LI 335 (% of re-rating visit requests completed on target) and LI 338 (% of food hygiene inspections completed against inspection plan).  Councillor Ross commended the Operations Managers in each of their service areas for their hard work undertaken.


59.2    Councillor Pope asked whether the body worn cameras worn by the Parking Enforcement Officers had proved beneficial and Councillor Ross said that the cameras were more about protecting the staff from confrontation.  Mr Blofield said that staff had reported that there had been incidents when situations had remained calm due to the cameras. 


59.3    Councillor Ion asked whether the process to install the new CCTV cameras had taken place and Councillor Ross said that a briefing note about the CCTV cameras would be available to all Councillors in the near future.


59.4    Councillor Allen expressed concern about drug deals taking place in Bridge ward where no CCTV cameras were installed and Councillor Ross said that as the replacement CCTV project had ‘come in’ under budget, more temporary cameras had been purchased so more facilities would be available in the future to react to incidents.


59.5    Councillor Holmes asked whether the lack of staff resources, resulting in the performance indicators LI 335 and LI 338 showing as ‘Red’, were temporary or were there ongoing problems with recruiting staff and Councillor Ross said that there was a shortage of skilled workers in this specialist area.


59.6    Councillor Pope asked for more information about LI 064 (% of calls answered in the Customer Contact Centre) being 77% which meant that 23% went unanswered?  Councillor Ross said that this was a result of the recent move of the Centre from the Town Hall to Grafton House and back again and the figure was now at the high expectation end.  Enquiries as a result of Universal Credit had not been problematic as training before the roll out had proved useful.  An increase in calls had been experienced due to both the Homelessness Reduction Act and Election enquiries.  The Chair thanked Councillor Ross and Mr Blofield for their attendance.


OS/18/23 Representation on Outside Bodies Review pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:


60.1    The Democratic Services Manager presented this review of the Councillor representation on Outside Bodies and asked for questions or comments.  Following discussion about who decided the allocation of Councillors, whether representation held voting rights or Trustee status and whether the representation fulfilled a worthwhile role to each organisation, it was suggested that each Outside Body be asked whether representation by Councillors was effective for their organisation and therefore effective for the Council. 




1.    that the Democratic Services Manager write to each of the Outside Bodies to ask whether the representation by Councillors was effective for their organisation and therefore effective for the Council, be agreed.


2.    that the Portfolio Holder for Communities be informed of this decision.


OS/18/24 Universal Credit Update pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Additional documents:


61.1    The Chief Executive presented the briefing note which had been prepared by the Operations Manager of the Shared Revenues Partnership in line with the request from 5 July 2018 which allowed for six month comparisons to be made.  It was noted that the speed of the change had been slowed which had limited the impact of Universal Credit.




            that the impact of Universal Credit had been noted and would continue to be reviewed by the Corporate Management Team on a monthly basis.


OS/18/25 Work Programme 2019/20 - No Proposal Forms received pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:


62.1    Due to the extent of discussion remaining and the forthcoming election, the debate on the notes of the Task & Finish Group, GP Hubs would be delayed until the Overview & Scrutiny Committee to be held on 24 October 2019.


62.2    Councillor C Smart reported that an ambassador from the Suffolk Parent Carer Network had offered to speak to the Committee about social and SEN provision countywide, at a forthcoming meeting.  However, following discussion about why the Overview & Scrutiny Committee would be best placed to receive this information, it was agreed that the ambassador of the volunteer group would be contacted to outline the presentation in order to decide whether this could be a presentation to all Councillors before a Council meeting.     




that the Overview & Scrutiny Committee Work Programme, with the above amendment, attached at Appendix 1 to report Ref No: OS/18/25, be agreed.