Agenda for Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee on Monday, 5th October, 2015, 4.00pm
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Agenda and minutes
Venue: Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton. View directions
Contact: Penny Jennings Democratic Services Officer
(a) Declarations of Substitutes: Where councillors are unable to attend a meeting, a substitute Member from the same political group may attend, speak and vote in their place for that meeting.
(b) Declarations of Interest:
(a) Disclosable pecuniary interests;
(b) Any other interests required to be registered under the local code;
(c) Any other general interest as a result of which a decision on the matter might reasonably be regarded as affecting you or a partner more than a majority of other people or businesses in the ward/s affected by the decision.
In each case, you need to declare
(i) the item on the agenda the interest relates to;
(ii) the nature of the interest; and
(iii) whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest or some other interest.
If unsure, Members should seek advice from the committee lawyer or administrator preferably before the meeting.
(c) Exclusion of Press and Public: To consider whether, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, the press and public should be excluded from the meeting when any of the following items are under consideration.
Note: Any item appearing in Part Two of the agenda states in its heading the category under which the information disclosed in the report is exempt from disclosure and therefore not available to the press and public.
A list and description of the exempt categories is available for public inspection at Brighton and Hove Town Halls and on-line in the Constitution at part 7.1.
(A) Declarations of Substitutes
13.1 There were none.
(B) Declarations of Interest
13.2 There were none.
(C) Exclusion of Press and Public
13.3 In accordance with Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (“the Act”), the Committee considered whether the public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item of business on the grounds that it is likely in view of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during it, there would be disclosure to them of confidential information as defined in Section 100A (3) of the Act.
13.4 RESOLVED - That the public are not excluded from any item of business on the agenda.
Presentation - Street Community
Presentation – Update on life of the city’s street community.
Following a presentation and the opportunity to ask questions it is intended that there will be a short break before proceeding to the further business of the meeting.
14.1 Kurt Horex and Keith Newnham were in attendance and gave a presentation on behalf of the street community, they provided an update on current issues for this community within the city. Both were candid in sharing their experiences as ex members of the street community and gave their perspectives on the issues facing the street community including their vulnerability to violence and their respective perspectives on access to and availability of services, support available and how that could be improved. Both gave details of their personal journeys to the point which they had reached now, how they were moving forward following their previous addictions and attendant mental health issues. Both men highlighted that although individual services were good there was a degree of disunity and sometimes animosity between services it was important to provide the right level of targeted (to individual need) support to those in active addiction.
14.2 Both referred to the difficulties in receiving proper diagnosis and the right level of mental health support for multiple and often deep seated problems and in accessing housing. A “revolving doors” situation often arose whereby following periods in rehabilitation and move on accommodation individuals could then end up on the street again and vulnerable. Sometimes there was an unwillingness to engage when individuals were in active addiction and were facing multiple problems associated with that.
14.3 David Walton and Petra Salva were in attendance on behalf of St Mungo’s Broadway which had recently arrived in the city. They outlined the work that was being undertaken in the city and how they intended to carry that forward and to work pro-actively with other agencies to help to reduce the number of people rough sleeping in Brighton and Hove.
14.4 The Chair and Deputy Chair everyone for their contributions and unique perspectives which were valuable to their understanding of the complex and multiple issues involved. Following the presentation there was a short break during which members had the opportunity to ask questions and to talk informally before proceeding with the remaining business on the agenda.
14.5 RESOLVED – That the content of the presentation be noted.
To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 15 July 2015 (copy attached).
15.1 RESOLVED – That the Chair be authorised to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 20 July 2015 as a correct record.
16.1 The Chair explained that the meeting was being recorded and would be capable of repeated viewing via the subsequent on-line webcast. The Chair gave the following communications:
16.2 The Chair welcomed Hanan Mansi and Joanna Martindale from HKP, representatives from the community and voluntary sector, great to have you here and look forward to the knowledge, expertise, creativity and challenge you will bring to the Committee.
16.3 The Chair also thanked Geraldine Hoban who would be leaving the CCG at the end of the month for her tireless work to make the CCG an effective and efficient organisation, driving up improvements in local health care in very challenging circumstances. Geraldine was acknowledged as a great champion of bringing clinicians and the community closer together, not an easy task and as a great supporter of realising the assets within our communities and community and voluntary sector to help tackle health inequalities. Under her watch much joint work between the council and the CCG had been successful progressed to get better outcomes for residents. The Chair wished Geraldine well in her future endeavours.
Use of Community Venues
16.4 The Chair welcomed all present to the Friends Meeting House, explaining that all meetings of the Committee would take place at community venues across the city. It was good to be in another community venue and would be interesting as the committee went around the city to remind itself of the vast diversity of communities in the city which was spatially very small.
· Brighton city centre was very diverse community;
o Residents and businesses were cheek by jowl – which is not without its challenges
o The meeting was being held in Regency Ward which had just over 10,000 residents (10,240)
o 70.2% white British, 29.8% BME – higher than city overall- 80.5% white British, 19.5% BME
Recent and Forthcoming Events
16.5 The Chair encouraged committee members and public to participate in two great celebrations of the ethnic diversity of our city - 1st November in the Corn Exchange we have Black History Month Family day and in the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery Diwali day
End of September saw the launch of the Fairness Commission and its first meeting - all commissioners received full and frank picture of the city and its challenges and the public sector budget pressures.This would be a standing item on future agendas.
16.6 The Chair stated that she was sorry to have to inform the Committee that the city had lost one of its most dedicated community activist – Faith Matyszak-Gander MBE passed away in early September. For many decades Faith was involved and often the driver of much work in the city - Brighton and Hove Black Women’s group, B&H Racial harassment forum, Trust for Developing Communities, Brighton Unemployed Family Centre. Fighting for fairness and equality had been at the heart of her work.
16.7 It was noted that on a happier note, the Council had been successful in getting a grant from the Tinder Foundation to:
deliver work clubs in partnership with Job Centre Plus, the National Careers Service and the Fed Online at Jubilee Library from mid-October
computer access being taken to Food Banks by Libraries IT volunteers using 4G enabled i-pads, starting at the Hangleton and West Blatchington Food Bank from October 14.
Committee members had been invited to launch 14th October at Jubilee library.More details could be obtained from Alan Issler in library services.
16.8 The Chair welcomed Chas Walker the new CEO of YMCA Downslink and more significantly, farewell to David Standing. Chas was appointed CEO in early September but David had stayed to ensure a smooth transition. A small indication of the tireless commitment and dedication he had always given to helping improve the lives and opportunities for young people in our city. David was wished every success in his next adventures and everyone was looking forward to working with Chas.
(a) Items (13 – 22) will be read out at the meeting and Members invited to reserve the items for consideration.
(b) Those items not reserved will be taken as having been received and the reports’ recommendations agreed.
17.1 All items on the agenda were reserved for discussion except Item 22 “ Equality and Inclusion Policy: Review Proposal.”
To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:
(a) Petitions: To receive any petitions presented by members of the public to the full Council or at the meeting itself.
(b) Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 26 September 2015.
(c) Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 26 September 2015.
18.1 There were none.
(b) Written Questions
18.2 There were none.
18.3 There were none.
To consider the following matters raised by Members:
(a) Petitions: To receive any petitions referred from Full Council or submitted directly to the Committee;
(b) Written Questions: To consider any written questions;
(c) Letters: To consider any letters;
(d) Notices of Motion: to consider any Notices of Motion referred from Full Council or submitted directly to the Committee.
19.1 There were none.
(b) Written Questions
19.2 There were none.
19.3 There were none.
(d) Notices of Motion
19.4 There were none.
Joint Report of the Executive Director, Adult Services and the Acting Executive Director, Environment, Development and Housing (copy attached)
20.1 The Committee considered a joint report of the Executive Director, Adult Services and Acting Executive Director, Environment, Development and Housing providing an update on the council’s rough sleeper strategy.
20.2 It was explained that the issue of rough sleeping had become more acute recently with a visibly increased presence on the streets. This not only impacted on an individual’s life chances, but also on the city’s reputation and had cost implications for public services and business. The city’s current approach needed to be re-assessed to ensure that the city’s commissioners, service providers and advocates were working in partnership to a clear strategic plan which would seek both reduce rough sleeping in the city and to improve outcomes for rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping.
20.3 The Committees’ approval was sought to the approach to developing a new Rough Sleeper Strategy for the city, which aimed to ensure no one had to sleep rough in Brighton and Hove by 2020.
20.4 The Housing Strategy Manager, Andy Staniford, explained that over recent years the number of rough sleepers seen by services had almost doubled, a new estimate was to be complied towards the end of 2015 and officers were concerned that numbers would increase further due to the natural draw of the city, the impact of welfare reforms and the high cost of accessing and sustaining accommodation in the city’s private rented sector. This project would review the way that rough sleeping was currently addressed, covering the measures to prevent people sleeping rough, services provided to support people on the streets and approaches to help people move on from rough sleeping in a sustained way. Stakeholders would be involved in the review and would be encouraged to formally sign-up to the resultant strategy. An initial set of strategic priorities had been drafted in order to help shape the discussions which needed to take place and these were set out in the report.
20.5 Councillor Littman welcomed the report but found some of the language used problematic. He considered that it was important to note that there were multiple causes, changes in national policy and the level of on going welfare reform, the local authority needed to assess measures and support which could be given to seek to prevent people from ending up as rough sleepers in the first place. Councillor Gibson concurred in that view, also citing cut backs which the Council itself had undertaken.
20.6 The Clinical Commissioning Group, invitee, Geraldine Hoban, was in agreement that an integrated solution needed to be sought, using different criteria for different types of homelessness, the issue needed to be looked at its totality. It was important to seek to avoid revolving doors, where individuals accessed different services ad moved in and out of homelessness. There were many, particularly young people across the city who were “sofa surfing” due to the lack of affordable housing and who were vulnerable to homelessness and rough sleeping.
20.7 Councillor Moonan, the Deputy Chair commended the work that had been undertaken, and expressed the view that it was important to challenge existing practices and essential to impose tight timescales for action. It was also good to hear about good services which existed whilst acknowledging that more needed to be done to join them up.
20.8 The Chair, Councillor Daniel noted that a number of cuts had been made by the previous administration. Whilst agreeing with what had been said it was important to note that this work could not be carried forward by this Committee, or indeed, the Council on its own. It was important to speak to users and other experts in seeking sustainable solutions.
20.9 The Chair put the recommendation to the vote.
20.10 RESOLVED – That the Committee gives its approval to the approach outlined in the report.
Report of the Assistant Chief Executive (copy attached)
21.1 The Committee considered a report of the Assistant Chief Executive detailing progress made to date on the establishment of the Brighton and Hove Fairness Commission.
21.2 It was noted that at its July meeting, the Committee had received a report setting out the proposed details on the ways of working for the Brighton and Hove Fairness Commission including its draft terms of reference. These had been agreed and the report before them that day was intended to provide an update on the progress to date in establishing the Fairness Commission.
21.3 It was noted that, the Chair, Councillor Daniel and Councillors Simson and Littman would sit on the Committee as observers and that in accordance with the recommendations to the Policy and Resources Committee on 11 June 2015, the Chair and Commissioners had made a number of suggestions for additional Commissioners and these had been followed up subsequently. The process by which the Commission would be delivered were outlined, evidence and solutions would be gathered through a range of methods.
21.4 In answer to questions it was explained that the Commission’s meeting scheduled for 14 October would be held in closed session to enable wide ranging discussions to take place to enable themes and lines of enquiry to be agreed upon. All subsequent meetings would explore these themes, would be public and would take place at a series of venues across the city.
21.5 The Chair, Councillor Daniel explained that updates on progress of the Commission and its work would appear on subsequent agendas as a standing item.
21.6 The Chair put the recommendation to the vote.
21.7 RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee notes the progress made to date; and
(2) Requests an update on the work of the Fairness Commission at its Committee meetings during the period of the Commission’s work.
Report of the Assistant Chief Executive (copy attached)
22.1 RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee gives approval for the council to continue to follow its existing Equality and Inclusion Policy; and
(2) That the Committee notes that a full report and new policy will be taken to full council for approval, linking the timetable for this to timetable for the Fairness Commission in order to reflect its findings and recommendations.
Report of the Director of Public Health (copy attached)
23.1 The Committee considered a report of the Director of Public Health detailing the new general statutory “Prevent Duty” for the local authority and other statutory partners created by the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 which had come into force on 1 July 2015. The report sought to identify implications for the council’s work, risk management and actions needed to achieve compliance.
23.2 The report set out the strategy in the context of the Action Plan and the work of the Community Safety Partnership. The key priorities and actions required in order to achieve compliance were set out as were the priorities and performance indicators which were also reflected within the corporate plan.
23.3 The Chair, Councillor Daniel explained that notification had been received immediately prior to the meeting of proposed amendments/additional recommendations by the Green Group, seeking confirmation that the Members had had the opportunity to give them proper consideration. Councillor Horan sought confirmation that the work being undertaken would focus on all vulnerable groups, and would therefore have a broader focus than those currently highlighted in the media. The Chair was in agreement this was very important and it was confirmed that this was the approach used and that the Prevent Strategy addresses all forms of terrorism..
23.4 The following amendment was put by Councillor Littman on behalf of the Green Group and seconded by Councillor Gibson. It was proposed that four new recommendations, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7 and 2.8 be added and renumbered accordingly:
2.5 “The NCE is concerned to note the requirement to “create credible voices and community spokespeople.” This shows a total lack of respect for existing community spokespeople; and the rights of communities to organise their own representation. The requirement to “sustain trust and confidence” in communities may be impossible to achieve, if we do not show trust and confidence in those communities ourselves. Imposing spokespeople on communities shows neither trust nor confidence.
2.6 The NCE is concerned to note the focus on acts of non-violent extremism; which would not be in themselves otherwise illegal. This risks the suppression of the right of freedom of speech.
2.7 The NCE is concerned to note that the “us and them” nature of this extension of the Prevent agenda may foster feelings of “otherness” among sections of our community. It is well recognised that a feeling of “otherness” acts to significantly increase the danger of radicalisation.”
2.8 The NCE is concerned to note that, as it stands, overall, this policy runs a serious risk of being counterproductive; driving criticism underground; fostering mistrust and lack of confidence in local and national authorities; and potentially increasing the susceptibility of some sections of the community to the radicalisation, which it is intended to counteract.”
23.5 The Prevent Coordinator, Nahida Shaikh explained that there it was intended to build on the cross cutting work carried out to date, utilising the strong community networks that already existed facilitating support to communities in having a voice. Ultimately, to have effective mechanisms in place around supporting young people, both these were also identified needs by communities. The Prevent Coordinator suggested that it would be more appropriate to replace reference to “creating” by the word “supporting”, as more accurately reflecting what was intended as referred to in 3.14 (iii) in the report. The Prevent Coordinator also amplified on the work that had been undertaken to date, the consultation and inclusion which had been taken place and detailed how that would be carried forward in concert with communities.
23.6 Councillor Littman responded stating that on the basis of the further explanation given and details of the rationale for it, he was willing to remove paragraph 2.5 of the Green Group amendment, he did however wish for points 2.6 – 2.8 inclusive to remain in place as worded and for them to be re-numbered accordingly. Whilst accepting all that had been said, he was firmly of the view that it was very important for the approach adopted to be absolutely clear and unequivocal and was not counter productive. Councillor Littman acknowledged the work carried out over the last three years or so as a result of the strong links across communities. He was anxious that the duty created, could undermine what had been achieved, there was a danger that it could do “more harm than good”.
23.7 Councillor Gibson concurred with the concerns expressed by Councillor Littman reiterating his support for the Green Group proposed amendments/additions which he hoped would be supported by the Committee.
23.8 Councillor Hill responded in respect of the proposed amendments stating that whilst supporting the proposed change of wording which would result in the removal of paragraph 2.5 she had concerns regarding the other suggested amendments and was unable to support them. Councillor Hill stated that in some instances non violent action was illegal, incitement to racism for example, it was necessary to balance the need to support and the need to act. In Councillor Hill’s view 2.7 was an expression of opinion, she would be uncomfortable with expressing support for the policy whilst at the same time seeking additional assurances that it would work, that appeared contradictory.
23.9 Councillor Littman stated that whilst accepting in some instances non-violent action could be illegal, he firmly of the view that it was important not to act in a way which could result in alienation.
23.10 Councillor Simson concurred with all that had been said by Councillor Hill, considering that the existing policy and recommendations were not counter productive and did not need to be added too.
23.11 The proposed Green Group amendments were then formally voted on excluding proposed paragraph 2.5 which it was agreed would be deleted. The amendments were lost on a vote of two for and eight against by the ten members present at the meeting.
23.12 The Chair then put the substantive recommendations set out in the report to the vote. All Members present were in agreement that the reference to “create credible voices” should be replaced by “support credible voices”. On a vote of eight to two by the ten members present at the meeting the recommendations set out below were agreed.
23.13 RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee notes the requirements of the Prevent Duty and the resource implications with respect to staff training and extending safeguarding and the Prevent Duty arrangements for out-of-school educational and childcare settings;
(2) The Committee note that a “Prevent Action Plan” responding to risks and priorities setting out the work programme and performance framework will be taken to the Prevent Board in its October meeting;
(3) The Committee notes the resource implications for Prevent projects; and
(4) The Committee note the requirement for an overall communication plan; and
RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND - That the report be referred to Full Council for noting and a copy is sent to all Committee Chairs.
Report of the Director of Public Health (copy attached)
24.1 The Committee considered a report of the Director of Public Health detailing the Trans Needs Assessment Findings and recommendations.
24.2 It was explained that the council’s commitment to reducing inequality and ensuring fairness in the city for all its communities was set out in the Corporate Plan. In 2013 a scrutiny panel had been established to better understand and highlight the challenges facing trans people in the city and had made a number of recommendations for change. A key recommendation had been to undertake the first ever Trans Need Assessment for the city. This report was intended to provide a comprehensive analysis of current and future needs of local trans people to inform commissioning and delivery services across the city in order to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities.
24.3 A presentation was given by Public Health Consultant, Alistair Hill which sought to give a comprehensive overview of the work which had been undertaken in concert with the Trans Needs Assessment Steering Group and other partners and as a result of community collaboration. The recommendations agreed by the steering group had been formulated on the basis of the evidence received and the findings had already been fed back to the trans community.
24.4 It was explained that this work had been carried out in the context of the Trans Equality Scrutiny Report, published in 2013, the Brighton & Hove Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and the Trans Needs Assessment Steering Group. The methodology adopted had involved community research conducted by Brighton University and the Brighton & Hove LGBT Switchboard, interviews with other stakeholders, analysis of data received and call out for evidence. Key findings of the survey had indicated that in the last five years nearly four out of five respondents had experienced depression and one in three had self-harmed. Counselling support was limited. Respondents had also reported that they had experienced verbal abuse, harassment, physical violence or sexual assault. At some point in the past six in ten reported that they had experienced domestic violence and one in three had experienced homelessness. Highly valued community and voluntary sector services cited as being highly valued had included, safe space, peer support, drop-ins and volunteering opportunities.
24.5 In closing, the next steps to be taken in terms of action planning and reporting were set out. The Equality and Inclusion Partnership Trans Sub Group would be d this forward. All members had been asked to review the TNA recommendations which applied to them to enable set a timescale for action to inform the action plan which would then be developed further. The subgroup would monitor the plan and report regularly to Equip, it was intended that the final annual report on the outcome of the action plan drawn up after the Scrutiny report and next steps going forward would be presented to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee in January 2016.
24.6 The Clinical Commissioning Group invitee, Geraldine Hoban welcomed the report which she stated highlighted that whilst good quality cross- cutting work was taking place with health partners and providers it was clear further work was needed in order to ensure that services were more accessible. The provision of specialist services was not at an acceptable level, especially in terms of waiting times and this needed to be addressed. Councillor Moonan, the Deputy Chair asked regarding the most appropriate means for the Committee to express its frustration that this issue needed to be addressed at national level and to feed that through in such manner that NHS England was held to account in. The Director of Public Health suggested that the most appropriate way forward would be for the Committees’ observations be passed forward to the Health and Wellbeing Board with a recommendation that the Board carry this matter forward.
24.7 The Head of Communities and Third Sector, Emma McDermott explained that in addition to the work detailed in the report the council had been invited to join the Rainbow Cities Network, based in the Netherlands. The network was carrying out trailblazing collaborative work and would provide an opportunity to showcase the work carried out in the city whilst providing opportunities to identify a EU partner to bid for additional funding. Twenty European cities were currently members of the network and Brighton would be the first city in England to join the network. This represented an excellent opportunity for the city and it was recommended that the Committee give approval to join this network.
24.8 Councillor Horan considered that it was important to acknowledge the cross-party work which had been carried forward over a number of years in order to arrive at the current position; a lot of hard work had taken place. Councillor Marsh also commended this excellent work.
24.9 The Chair, Councillor Daniel welcomed the input given also commending the excellent work that had taken place to date. The Chair put the recommendations to the vote including the additional ones put forward and all were agreed.
24.10 RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee notes and approves the findings of the needs assessment;
(2) The Committee notes the role of the Equalities and Inclusion Partnership (EQUIP) Trans Subgroup in developing an action plan in response to the recommendations;
(3) The Committee gives approval for the city to join the Rainbow Cities Network; and
(4) That the Committees’ concerns and frustrations in respect of waiting lists and access to health pathways especially in relation to specialist services be conveyed to the Health and Well Being Board requesting that that they seek to bring leverage to bear to facilitate innovative solutions by NHS England.
Items referred for Full Council
To consider items to be submitted to the 22 October 2015 Council meeting for information.
In accordance with Procedure Rule 24.3a, the Committee may determine that any item is to be included in its report to Council. In addition, any Group may specify one further item to be included by notifying the Chief Executive no later than 10am on the eighth working day before the Council meeting at which the report is to be made, or if the Committee meeting take place after this deadline, immediately at the conclusion of the Committee meeting.
25.1 It was agreed that the following item would be forwarded to Full Council information:
Item 23 – “Prevent: New Statutory Duty” – report of the Director of Public Health.
Note: It was also agreed that a copy would be sent to all Committee Chairs for their information.
Community Venues for Future Meetings
Please Note, Community Venues for meetings the remainder of the Municipal Year are as set out below :
23 November, 2015, St Richard’s Community Centre, Egremont Road, Hove;
25 January 2016, South Portslade Community Centre, Church Road, Portslade;
14 March 2016, Valley Social Centre, Whitehawk Way, Brighton.