Agenda for Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee on Monday, 14th March, 2016, 4.00pm

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Valley Social Centre, Whitehawk Way, Brighton

Contact: Penny Jennings  Democratic Services Officer


No. Item


Procedural Business

    (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.


    Additional documents:


    Minutes Silence in Memory of Chris Cook


    The Chair, Councillor Daniel stated that it was with sadness that she needed to open that day's committee meeting by inviting her fellow councillors and members of public to join her in observing a minute’s a silence to recognise the life and loss of Chris Cook. Well known in the city particularly in the East, Chris had been a strong LGBT campaigner and had been actively involved in a range of residents groups most recently Kemptown in Bloom. For her, Chris had epitomised an active citizen, passionate about championing for communities but also about getting people to problem solve for themselves. People didn’t always agree with Chris nor he with them but in her opinion a worthy feature in a community activist was to challenge, champion, and act. Chris had done all three. He would be sorely missed by individuals and communities in the city and on behalf of the Committee she wished to place on record their condolences to his family and friends.


    50a     Declaration of Substitutes


    50.1    There were none.


    50b     Declarations of Interest


    50.2    There were none.


    50c     Exclusion of Press and Public


    50.3    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.


    50.4    RESOLVED - That the public are not excluded from any item of business on the agenda.



    There will be two presentations before proceeding to the formal business of the meeting by the following:


    (a)          A presentation by representatives of “Due East” detailing their work and including the opportunity to ask questions; and


    (b)       A presentation by local community representative(s) detailing their work and including the opportunity to ask questions.


    Following these presentations 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.

    Additional documents:


    51.1    Before proceeding to the formal business of the meeting a presentation was given by local community representatives from Due East. Chris El Shabba, Chair of Due East, Neighbourhood Council explained that the network currently in place had grown out of The New Deal for Communities for which had been set up and established on the Bristol Estate in 2005. This had grown as an umbrella organisation covering the whole BN2 5 post code area and included 50+ Local Community Groups, Public Services and businesses in the Whitehawk, Manor Farm and the Bristol Estates and was open to all adults over 18 living in BN2 5 neighbourhoods. Those present introduced themselves detailing the areas/projects that they were involved in, giving their perspectives of what had been achieved to date and detailed further work planned for the future.


    51.2    Christian Sant detailed the Equalities and initiatives undertaken which had included networking with local businesses; provision of disabled access ramps, parking bays, a braille/accessible cash point and dropped kerbs. These measures enabled people to get out and about in the community which helped to prevent individuals to become less isolated. Other initiatives undertaken included work with the BME community and youth organisations. It was explained that all trustees were residents and others who were present including Anne Glow, Treasurer and Vice-Chair, Patrick McKenna, Neil Smith, Iain Ramage, Andy Silsby and James Wheeler detailed the work they had been involved in.


    51.3    Quarterly Open public Neighbourhood Council meetings were held and additionally, there were focussed sub groups which were also open to residents, these included a crime prevention forum, communications work, environmental planning issues including those for children and families, housing, health and wellbeing, festival (a local annual event), enterprise, employment and training and interfaith as an in integral part of equalities and inclusion within their community. Due East was committed to representation, consultation, priority setting with their community and initiatives to attract resources for their area . In 2015/16 SES and Due East had been able to use their BHCC CWC Core Grant to attract additional match funding from other local statutory services, central government and charitable trusts.


    51.4    As a result of its demonstration of best practice across a number of areas and with the encouragement of community activists a successful bid had been made to be one of the two pilots (the other being Hollingdean), to examine the potential benefits of more localised decision making. This had culminated in Due East being granted charitable status and in partnership with SES had made a successful bid to jointly deliver Community Development commissioned services in the area from July 2014 onwards. Three rounds of participatory/community budgeting had been undertaken with local people deciding which projects they wanted to support in their area. The first of these had been £20,000 for Youth Service Funds, £10,000 for community health and well being funds and healthy neighbourhood funding plus a trading surplus from the Hawkes Community Café which employed a local resident as manager and was now able to offer an apprenticeship to one local young person. A regular newsletter and monthly bulletins were provided all residents and council meetings were beginning to be webcast. A group had been set up called Tenants and Residents Together (TARTS) to lead on taking responsibility for a common way on cleaning and upkeep on housing.


    51.5    Chris El Shabba explained that overall Due East provided a resident led and controlled organisation which sought to involve all of its residents in local decision making. It championed greater engagement by the council with its residents and was keen to support local service delivery and was campaigning for more budgets to be devolved to a local level.


    51.6    The Chair thanked all those present for their detailed and informative presentation, Councillor Moonan the Deputy Chair had visited a meeting recently and had been impressed by the level of expertise. Due East were recognised as example of best practice.


    51.7    RESOLVED – That the contents of the presentation be noted.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 141 KB

    To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 25 January 2016 (copy attached).

    Additional documents:


    52.1    RESOLVED – That the Chair be authorised to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 25 January 2016 as a correct record.


Chairs Communications

    Additional documents:


    53.1    The Chair welcomed everyone present to the Valley Social Centre, a prominent and popular venue in the east of the city. The


    International Women’s Day


    53.2    The Chair explained that the previous Tuesday she had had the pleasure and honour of speaking at an event for International Women’s Day organised by the council’s women’s network. The focus had been on resilience and well-being. Unfortunately women still faced many inequalities, not least of all the pay gap. It had been great to see the Chief Executive, the Head of Law & Monitoring Officer and The Head of Human Resources making their pledge for parity, the theme for International women’s day.


    International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination


    53.3    The Chair also wished to highlight the upcoming International day of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21st March. Similar to gender equality the fight to stamp out racism and racial discrimination was on-going and she was pleased that on that days agenda  there was a report about the work being done with the city’s Racial Harassment Forum to help it become a stronger more independent organisation to hold the council and police to account.


    Community Works – Spring Conference


    53.4    Earlier that month Community Works had held its spring conference – the theme was “change” – and in particular there was a session on the council’s ambition to work differently, have a different relationship with citizens. Libraries, parks and neighbourhood hubs were the focus of the discussion. Key messages heard had been:


    a.            Eagerness from the community and voluntary sector to be involved in neighbourhood hubs and for there to be space for a collaborative approach to the design of services from the hubs.


    b.            Respect that citizen involvement in designing and delivering change requires resourcing


    c.             Eagerness for continuing the dialogue between council and community and voluntary sector on how through greater collaboration the negative impact of the savings could be mitigated especially as we now have four year plans


    Annual Grants Programme for Community and Voluntary Sector


    53.5    The Chair stated that last but not least she was pleased to announce that the council’s annual grants programme for the community and voluntary sector would be going live that week. As well as letting the sector know a communication would be going out to all members and she wished to urge members most strongly to share this information with groups in their own wards and to encourage them to make contact with the grants team, the earlier the better. Community groups needed to be aware that the team were not just there on deadline day but year round to give groups advice and guidance not just on the council’s grant programme, they also offered a free grant finder search to provide information about other funding opportunities.


    53.6    RESOLVED – That the Chair’s Communications be received and noted.


Call Over

    (a)          Items (54-60) 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.

    Additional documents:


    54.1    All items on the agenda were reserved for discussion.


Public Involvement

    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 7 March 2016.


    (c)          Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 7 March 2016.

    Additional documents:


    55.1    No items were raised.


Member Involvement

    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.



    Additional documents:


    56.1    No items were raised.


Developing and Improving the Functioning and Outcomes of Local Action Teams pdf icon PDF 76 KB

    Report of the Director of Public Health (copy attached)

    Additional documents:


    57.1    The Committee considered a report detailing the work which had been undertaken in developing and improving the functioning and outcomes of Local Action Teams.


    57.2    The Head of Community Safety, Peter Castleton, explained that the purpose of the report was to give an overview of the Local Action Team (LAT) project work undertaken to date, specifically the work carried out as phase 1 from June to December 2015, and to provide an update on planned work to take place under phase 2 of this initiative which would conclude in June 2016. It was explained that the outcomes of this work would help the council in development and delivery of co-operative working in neighbourhoods and would assist LATs in responding proactively to community safety issues in their localities and to contribute to developing the City Neighbourhoods agenda. A presentation was given detailing the process which had been undertaken to date.


    57.3    The Chair, Councillor Daniel, stated that whilst welcoming the report and the work which had been undertaken to date, she had expected more detail on proposed way(s) forward at this stage. Whilst it was important to identify the capacity of LATs and how Chairs’ could be encouraged to share ideas and best practice and to build on existing links it was also very important to focus on “how” future changes would be implemented and what those changes needed to be. Thought needed to be given to what the potential impact of continued cuts in Police resources might be. The issues identified needed to set into context and ways forward specified, in her view.


    57.5    Councillor Moonan, the Deputy Chair concurred, whilst it  was  useful  to receive an evaluation of the current position it was important to devise a consistent approach going forward. This was an interesting “work in progress” document but clearly further work would be required going forward. Whilst it was understood that the nature of LAT’s was different in different areas, and that some were very strong and were examples of good practice whilst some others were less so it was important to adopt a consistent approach and to seek to ensure that all were accountable and inclusive within the areas they represented.


    57.6    In Answer to questions Superintendent James Collis, who was in attendance of behalf of the Police stated that whilst changes to the Local Policing Plan would result in the need to effect changes there was a continuing commitment to provide support within local communities and to interface with LAT’s in the most appropriate and effective manner.


    57.7    Councillor Simson stated that the work carried out to date represented a valuable “snapshot” indicating the breadth and diversity of Lats across the city, who  had varied approaches to their work, stating that in making changes it was very important to work collaboratively with groups, so that they took ownership of work going forward rather than considering that they had been forced into making changes which did not reflect local groups with in the areas they represented. Councillor Littman concurred in that view stating that any resolution made by the Committee should reflect that.


    57.8    Councillor Hill, referred to the reference which had been made in paragraph 4.3 of the report to the alternative groups and networks operating across the city and stressed the need to facilitate full engagement by these groups, as whilst some did not have a set constitution or specific role encourage and were not therefore considered a viable option to replace the existing established LAT structure, they did form a stakeholder link at local level. Where LATs were not operating effectively this did need to be addressed to seek to ensure that all communities across the city were properly served and represented.


    57.9    Councillor Gibson stated that in his view it was very important to foster measures ensure that LATs were representative of their respective communities.


    57.10  Joanna Martindale stated that from her perspective as a community representative she was aware of the level of work which had been undertaken by officers in concert with LAT Chairs and representatives and advice given in steering them towards additional/alternative funding streams.


    57.11  The Head of Community Safety, Peter Castleton, stated that he had noted the points made and would ensure that they were taken on board when a further report was prepared for consideration by the Committee. Given that a the work carried out under Phase 1 had identified that groups within the LAT network fell into three distinct types, he had considered it was important to highlight this and to bring an update report to the NCE Committee at this stage. The project carried out had and would continue to seek to work with the strengths and ambition of each type to best support neighbourhood work in their chosen way rather than attempting to impose a “one size fits all”.


    57.12  RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee notes the contents of the report and the recommendations which have been developed as a result of phase 1 of the initiative;


                (2) That the Committee agrees the proposed activities within phase 2 of this initiative and that detail be provided in the next report brought forward to Committee setting out the further work that has taken place in depth and means by which this is to be carried forward;


                (3) That the Committee notes progress made towards developing an independent Local Action Team Chairs Forum, which would give the LAT structure an improved opportunity as a recognised community voice enhancing collaborative relationships with council services and the NCE Committee, details of the consultation with local groups which has taken place to be included in the further update report referred to in (2) above.


Racial Harassment Forum Memorandum of Understanding pdf icon PDF 53 KB

    Report of the Director of Public Health (copy attached)

    Additional documents:


    58.1    The Committee considered a report of the Director of Public Health the purpose of which was to note that the Racial Harassment Forum and the Council had agreed to work collaboratively with BME and faith communities to address racist and religiously motivated incidents and for the Council to be held to account for its performance by those communities. As a result of the work undertaken a Memorandum of Understanding had been drawn up which had been brought before the Committee for approval.


    58.2    The Chair, Councillor Daniel, stated that she welcomed the report commending the hard work and commitment which had instrumental been undertaken to date in bringing the Memorandum of Understanding to fruition.


    58.3    Councillors Bell, Gibson and Littman also commended the report and the work which had been carried out to underpin it which had resulted in the Memorandum itself, it was understood that this work would be on-going. The Independent nature of the Forum provided a positive contribution and it was important for this to be noted.


    58.4    Superintendent Collis, who was in attendance on behalf of the Police, stated that the Police wished to express their wholehearted support for both the Forum and the Memorandum.


    58.5    RESOLVED – That the Committee agrees the memorandum of understanding attached at Appendix 1 to the report.


Rough Sleeping Strategy 2016: Consultation Draft pdf icon PDF 250 KB

    Joint report of the Executive Director of Adult Services and the Acting Director of Environment, Development and Housing (copy attached)

    Additional documents:


    59.1    The Committee considered a joint report of the Executive Director, Adult Services and Acting Executive Director, Environment, Development & Housing detailing the proposed Rough Sleeping Strategy 2016: Consultation Draft.


    59.2    It was explained that the issue of rough sleeping had become more acute with a visibly increased presence of rough sleepers on the city’s streets. This not only impacted on the life chances of the individuals concerned, but on the city’s reputation and costs to public services and businesses. The city’s current approach to rough sleeping was being re-assessed to ensure that the city’s commissioners, service providers and those supporting people sleeping rough sleeping in the city and to improve outcomes for people sleeping rough and those at risk of rough sleeping. The report before the Committee presented the draft “Rough Sleeping Strategy 2016” and was requesting permission to carry out formal consultation to shape the final version that would be brought back for adoption later in the year.


    59.3    It was noted that subject to the report being accepted, officers intended to consult on the draft between 16 March and 17 April 2016. As part of that consultation there would be workshops for service providers and community organisations, online consultation for all residents and businesses through the council’s consultation portal, those people working with people sleeping rough would be encouraged to ensure that their clients had a voice in responding to the consultation.


    59.4    It was noted that following discussion of this report at the recent meeting of the Housing and New Homes Committee It was suggested that recommendation 2.1 (3) be amended to read as follows:


                “2.1 That the Neighbourhoods Communities and Equalities Committee:


                (1) Approves the consultation draft of the Rough Sleeping Strategy 2016 (Appendix 1);


                (2) Authorises the Executive Director, Adult Services and the Executive Director, Environment, Development & Housing to carry out consultation on the draft strategy;


                (3) Notes that it is intended for the final strategy to come back to meetings of this Committee and the Housing & New Homes Committee for formal adoption and permission to implement.


    59.5    The Deputy Head of Law, Elizabeth Culbert, explained that it was proposed that, following the conclusion of the consultation, the strategy be considered by the Neighbourhoods, Communities Committee first before being considered by the Housing and New Homes Committee later on the same day.


    59.6    Councillor Moonan stated that officers and partner organisations who had been involved in the consultation process to date were to be commended for their concerted hard work and for the level of engagement that had taken place to date.


    59.7    Councillor Simson stated that she was not a member of the Housing and New Homes Committee but was surprised that it was now proposed that meetings of the two committees were intended to take place separately. The report before NCE Committee appeared to be was written primarily for Housing Committee and she thought that it had been decided to put any subsequent report to a joint meeting in order to avoid duplication of any lengthy debate which might take place. Councillor Simson stated that she was concerned that in the absence of a joint meeting if the Housing and New Homes Committee had different views of the NCE Committee this Committees’ recommendations could be overturned. Councillor Moonan concurred in that view stating that it was important for this Committees’ role to be recognised.


    59.8    Councillor Bell commended the strategy being adopted which in his view sought to address the issue in a pragmatic and practical way. It was important to be mindful that a number of individuals found themselves in this situation due to circumstances beyond their control, not as a matter of choice. There were clearly however, some individuals who did not want to be helped at any given point enquiring regarding strategies in place to address that. The Housing Strategy Manager, Andy Staniford, explained that individuals could refuse assistance/advice offered; this was an issue being looked at, especially in relation to instances where it was considered that there were mental capacity issues. John Child who was in attendance on behalf of the Clinical Commissioning Group detailed the health/mental health approaches/support which were being used in concert with other agencies and partners.


    59.9    The Chair, Councillor Daniel referred to the importance of a joined up approach which took on board the health care issues and sought to deter and prevent rough sleeping by having robust alternatives in place. The recent summit which taken place had highlighted the very poor quality of some of the emergency accommodation available, this was an issue which needed to be addressed. Councillor Moonan who had also attended the summit concurred in that view.


    59.10  Councillor Littman stated that the seriousness of this issue could not be understated noting that innovative approaches were needed to address this holistically. The high cost of rented accommodation and gap in the affordable housing market in the city only served to exacerbate these problems.


    59.11  Councillor Simson stated that ultimately whilst arrangements to get people off the street and into a safe and secure place to sleep addressed the immediate problem, ultimately the solution was to provide permanent housing. People needed to be supported to do so and a holistic multidisciplinary approach was what was needed.


    59.12  Councillor Simson proposed that in order to reflect the points raised during discussion that the final report to be referred to Full Council for debate and decision that any resolutions made by the Committee needed to be amended to reflect that. Councillor Moonan seconded that and the Members of the Committee who were present voted unanimously that this should be so (Resolution 3 below refers).


    59.13  RESOLVED – That the Neighbourhoods Communities and Equalities Committee:


                (1) Approves the consultation draft of the Rough Sleeping Strategy 2016 (Appendix 1);


                (2) Authorises the Executive Director, Adult Services and the Executive Director, Environment, Development & Housing to carry out consultation on the draft strategy;


                (3) Notes that it is intended for the final strategy to come back to meetings of this Committee and the Housing & New Homes Committee for formal adoption and permission to implement and that this Committee resolves that at that stage the further report on this matter be forwarded to Full Council for approval of any recommendations contained therein.


    Note 1: It was decided subsequently that the updated report referred to above would be considered by each of this Committee and the Housing, Neighbourhoods and New Homes Committee at their next scheduled meetings respectively, rather than at separate meetings to be held on the same day (paragraph 59.4).


    Note 2: Councillors Barnett, Bell, Gibson were absent having left the meeting during consideration and discussion of the above item.


Items referred for Full Council

    To consider items to be submitted to the XX 2013 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


    Additional documents:


    60.1    There were none.


Venues for Future Meetings

    2016/17 Municipal Year:


    11 July 2016, Friends Centre, Ship Street, Brighton;


    10 October, The Bridge Community Centre, Lucraft Road, Brighton;


    28 November 2016, St Richard’s Church Hall, Egmont Road, Hove;


    23 January 2017, Whitehawk Library, 179a Whitehawk Road, Brighton;


    13 March 2017 tbc

    Additional documents:


    61.1    It was noted that venues for the 2016/17 Municipal Year were:


                11 July 2016, Friends Centre, Ship Street, Brighton;


    10 October, The Bridge Community Centre, Lucraft Road, Brighton;


    28 November 2016, St Richard’s Church Hall, Egmont Road, Hove;


    23 January 2017, Whitehawk Library, 179a Whitehawk Road, Brighton;


    13 March 2017 tbc


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