Agenda and draft minutes

Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 27th February 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room, Grafton House

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Gibbs, Grant and C Smart. Councillor Cracknell attended as substitute for Councillor Gibbs.


Minutes of the Meetings held on 13 January 2020 and 30 January 2020 pdf icon PDF 310 KB

Additional documents:




that the Minutes of the meetings held on 13 January 2020 and 30 January 2020 be signed as a true record.



Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business




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



OS/19/17 Proposal Form No 27 - GP Hubs pdf icon PDF 329 KB

Additional documents:


48.1      David Brown, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) gave a presentation on the provision of GP Services in Ipswich. Key points made were:

-       The CCG had a budget of £55m to spend on GP Services.

-       There were 13 GP Practices in Ipswich, which ranged in size from 6,300 to 23,000. Most practices in Ipswich were bigger than the average across England and the quality of GP services in Ipswich was higher than the average across England.

-       GPs were usually self-employed, providing services on behalf of the CCG as set out in the nationally negotiated GP contract.

-       There was significant pressure on GP services as a result of population growth and there being a larger number of older people. The increased demand was exacerbated by there being a shortage of GPs.

-       Core services were available from all GP Practices, although some offered additional services, often based on a GPs professional interests.

-       A range of additional services were to be provided through Primary Care Networks, with £1.8bn of additional funding. GPs would be able to employ Clinical Pharmacists, Social-Prescribing Link Workers, Physician Associates, First Contact Physiotherapists and Community Paramedics.

-       GP Practices had catchment areas, and lots of these overlapped significantly. If a patient lived in the catchment areas for more than one GP practice they could choose which they wished to use.

-       Most of the buildings in Ipswich from which GP Services were delivered were in reasonable condition. The CCG worked with practices on maintenance and extension and expansion plans, and was working with Ipswich Borough Council on developing a new surgery at the Tooks development.

-       The CCG was looking at its primary care estates strategy with reference to the additional services which would be provided through Primary Care Networks. Information collected through the ‘One Public Estate’ project was used to inform the CCGs plans.

-       The digitalisation of paper patient records which remained a legal requirement but were rarely used was expected to release space in surgeries which could then be used for other purposes.


48.2      The Chair thanked Mr Brown for the presentation he had given.


48.3      Councillor Handley explained that the GP Hubs Task and Finish Group had been established as result of concerns Councillors had about the closure of the Landseer Road surgery and the impact of the CCG’s aspiration to deliver all GP Services from 5 Hubs. Councillor Handley commented that key issues for the review were:

-       How would the 5 Hubs Model address the issue of a rising population and shortage of GPs?

-       Was land available to deliver the 5 hubs model?

-       What transitional protections would be put in place for patients?

Councillor Handley noted that the Primary Care Networks were an additional consideration and that it would be useful to know how these fitted with the 5 Hubs plan.


48.4      Mr Brown explained that the 5 Hubs idea had come about following a consultation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


Annual Report on Crime and Police Matters


49.1      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 Alasdair Ross (Chair of the Community Safety Partnership) also attended.


49.2      Supt. Cutler reported that, in the year to October 2019, recorded crime across Suffolk had increased by 8.1%, and noted that this was a national trend. Domestic Abuse had risen by 24.6%, although Supt. Cutler commented that some of this was likely to be as a result of increased reporting which was a good thing. The number of serious sexual offences and robberies had also risen significantly. The rate of crimes being solved had reduced by 8.2%. Supt. Cutler explained that the proportion of emergencies responded to in the target time remained slightly above the target rate. Confidence in the Police had continued to fall, although the amount of crime recorded as Anti-Social Behaviour had fallen significantly.


49.3      Supt. Cutler reported that the rate of residential burglaries had fallen and that Suffolk Constabulary had a good solved rate for this type of crime. Theft from Motor Vehicles had also been reducing, however, it remained a real issue and lots of vehicles continued to be left open or with valuables on display.


49.4      Supt. Cutler highlighted that the amount knife crime in Suffolk was lower than in similar force areas, however, there was an issue with more people carrying knives. Suffolk Constabulary had dedicated a lot of resources to tackling this issue and there was now a Youth Engagement Team with 1 Sergeant and 6 PCs dedicated to Ipswich, as well as the Schools Liaison Team which consisted of 1 PC and 3 PCSOs; each Safer Neighbourhood Team also had a Community Engagement Officer who would also visit schools.


49.5      Supt. Cutler outlined what she thought the key achievements in Ipswich South had been over the past year. These achievements were:

-       Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour;

-       The strengthened Neighbourhood Partnership Team which had given greater capacity to manage licensing and also to deal with hate crime, retail theft and other issues;

-       A strong partnership with officers, Councillors and others;

-       Joint working to tackle Youth Gang Violence;

-       Greater Engagement with Schools.


49.6      Supt. Cutler gave an outline of a number of police operations and their aims and achievements. There had also been many ‘days of action’ tackling issues such as modern day slavery and motoring offences and 80 drugs warrants had been executed in Ipswich over the past year. Supt. Cutler commented that the reputation of the police and Ipswich was being tarnished despite the town remaining a safe and nice place to live. Supt. Cutler noted that the gang issues which had emerged had reduced significantly as a large proportion of the gang leaders were now in prison.


49.7      Councillor Allen asked what the target response times for emergencies were. Supt. Cutler explained that in urban areas the target response time was 15 minutes and that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.


OS/19/18 Annual Portfolio Holder Update - Community Protection pdf icon PDF 313 KB

Additional documents:


50.1       Councillor Ross introduced the Annual Update on the Community Protection Portfolio. Key points made were:

-       Ipswich Borough Council’s Public Protection and Community Support Teams worked closely with partners such as the Police, Suffolk County Council and the Probation Service;

-       The Community Safety Partnership had been given additional statutory responsibilities relating to serious and violent crime;

-       Work to tackle gangs had been effective;

-       Police officers were passionate about Ipswich and the public ought to have more confidence in them, however, there were not enough Police, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.

-       Police officers often changed roles frequently which made it harder for them to carry out their jobs well;

-       The lack of response target for the Police 101 service meant that residents did not have faith in it;

-       There was an emerging issue with Class A drugs being supplied to and used by students and people having a night out.


50.2       Councillor Pope asked for more information about the interpretation of the timeframe for Community Triggers in relation to LI254. Councillor Ross explained that there had been a misinterpretation of the legislation relating to Community Triggers which meant that the Council had not been able to meet its targets; following conversations with officers from other authorities the target had been corrected.


50.3       Councillor Shaw asked whether Crucial Crew was dependant on help from the voluntary sector. Councillor Ross explained that Crucial Crew had changed in the past few years to match what was currently important and that the scheme was now less dependant on voluntary sector assistance, although this was still used and welcome. Some joint work with East Suffolk District Council had also taken place.


50.4       Councillor Gage commented that the good performance in respect of LI 331, which related to inspection of abandoned vehicles, would improve residents perception of the Council as this was a regular complaint she and other Councillors received.


50.5       Councillor Heaps asked whether the Business Continuity Management Plan had been completed in December 2019 as suggested by the report. Ian Blofield confirmed that the plan had been completed and noted that an exercise had recently been carried out to ensure that the Emergency Control Centre could relocate promptly.


50.6       Councillor T Lockington asked for more information about the Anti-Social Behaviour Review which was mentioned in the officer comments on LI496S. Councillor Ross explained that the ASB Review was intended to develop a new strategy which would lead to more staff being out and about in the community.


50.7       The Chair asked what the Council had been asked to do to help prepare for the potential impact of Coronavirus. Councillor Ross explained that staff were attending meetings about the potential impact and that Government was leading the response.


50.8       The Chair thanked Councillor Ross and officers for their attendance and responses.


OS/19/19 Annual Portfolio Holder Update - Communities pdf icon PDF 313 KB

Additional documents:


51.1       Councillor Meudec introduced the Annual Update on the Communities Portfolio, the key points being:

-       The Shared Revenues Partnership continued to deliver excellent performance and had saved the three partner Councils significant amounts of money since its establishment through more efficient processing of Revenues and Benefits;

-       Area Committee funding had enabled match funding of 150% to be received by community groups in Ipswich;

-       The Council’s Cash Grants continued to support vital services such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, FIND and the Ipswich Community Playbus, with 3 year funding agreements, which provided greater certainty for voluntary organisations, being increasingly used;

-       Legal and Democratic Services had achieved a number of successful prosecutions, including a recent case where the letting agents of a 4 bed property which had housed 27 people had been found guilty;

-       Human Resources had been working hard to increase the number of apprenticeships available across the Council, noting the very positive comments made by one of the current apprentices about the welcoming and supportive environment the Council offered.


51.2       Councillor Pope asked what proportion of Council Tax was now collected by Direct Debit. The Operations Manager – Revenues, explained that 69% of Council Tax was now collected via Direct Debit and that this method of payment was continually promoted.


51.3       Councillor Pope asked what the Council was doing to ensure that the Council’s activity related to supporting safeguarding was sufficient. Councillor Meudec agreed to seek more detailed information and provide Councillor Pope with a response outside of the meeting.


51.4       Councillor Heaps noted that the number of working days lost due to sickness was an indicator of whether Human Resources support was effective and was pleased to see that the number reported in LI 023 had fallen year on year. Councillor Meudec commented that the Council had introduced a range of new wellbeing measures over the past few years and these were likely to have caused some of the reduction in the number of working days lost.


51.5       Councillor Gage noted that Ipswich Borough Council had funded the Citizen’s Advice Bureau through its cash grants scheme and regretted that, despite the recommendations of the Cross-Authority Task and Finish Group, Suffolk County Council proposed to reduce their funding.


51.6       The Chair thanked Councillor Meudec and officers for attending the meeting and the useful information they had provided.


OS/19/20 Annual Review of Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:


52.1      Councillor Meudec introduced the report, noting that in accordance with the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s request at its meeting on 28 February 2019 all Outside Bodies had been directly written to and that their responses were contained within the report.


52.2      Councillor T Lockington expressed concern that Age UK had not responded and that the Councillors appointed to the organisation had not been invited to meetings. Councillor Gage explained that this was a long-standing issue.



a)    that the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee recommend that no appointments be made to Age UK, Ipswich Arts Association or the East Suffolk Travellers Association from the 2020/21 Municipal Year;

b)   that those Statutory Bodies currently listed as Outside Bodies be reported separately to Council and not considered as part of the Annual Review of Outside Bodies in future years.


OS/19/21 Work Programme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Additional documents:




that the Work Programme for 2019/20, attached at Appendix 1 to report OS/19/21, be noted.