Agenda for Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee on Monday, 10th October, 2016, 4.00pm
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Agenda and minutes
Venue: The Bridge Community Centre, Lucraft Road, Brighton BN2 4PN
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.
16a Declaration of Substitutes
16.1 Councillor Wealls declared that he was in attendance in substitution for Councillor Lewry.
16b Declarations of Interest
16.2 There were none.
16c Exclusion of Press and Public
16.3 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.
16.4 RESOLVED - That the public are not excluded during consideration of any item of business on the agenda.
There will be a presentation before proceeding to the formal business of the meeting by representatives from Citizens Online:
Richard Denyer-Bewick - Partnership Manager and Citizens on Line; and
Judith Field – Local Project Co-Ordinator
Digital Brighton and Hove:
Digital Brighton & Hove is part of the national One Digital Programme, which is funded locally by the Big Lottery Fund, Brighton & Hove City Council and BT. Since the start of this year, it has established an active Partnership Network of local public, voluntary and private organisations working together to promote digital inclusion: ensuring people are able to access and use technology and the internet.
The presentation will focus on how Digital Brighton and Hove tackles inequalities by helping residents improve their digital skills, confidence, independence, wellbeing and financial capability and will include details of “lessons learned” so far about digital inclusion.
The project uses an evidence based approach to target specific neighbourhoods and demographic groups at most risk of exclusion.
Following the presentation(s) and the opportunity to ask questions it is intended that there will be short break before proceeding to the further business of the meeting.
17.1 Before proceeding to the formal business of the meeting a presentation was given by Richard Denyer-Berwick, Partnership Manager, Digital Brighton and Hove and Citizens on Line and Judith Field, Local Project Co-Ordinator in respect of Digital Brighton & Hove, which was part of the national One Digital Programme. This was funded locally by the Big Lottery Fund, Brighton & Hove City Council and BT.
17.2 It was explained that since the start of the year Digital Brighton & Hove had established an active Partnership Network of local public, voluntary and private organisations working together to promote digital inclusion seeking to ensure people were able to access and use technology and the internet. The project used an evidence based approach in order to target specific neighbourhoods and demographic groups at most risk of exclusion. The development of a Digital Champion network of people across the city who were themselves skilled and available to help those in need lay at the heart of the project and represented one of its guiding principles.
17.3 The presentation focused on how Digital Brighton & Hove tackled inequalities by helping residents to improve their digital skills, confidence, independence, wellbeing and financial capability and included details of lessons learned so far about digital inclusion and how the Council could best support people to develop the skills they need to access the full range of public services now online.
17.4 following the presentations there was the opportunity for Members to ask questions followed by a short break before proceeding to the further business of the meeting. The Chair thanked the attendees for their interesting and enlightening presentation.
17.5 RESOLVED – That the contents of the presentation be noted.
To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 11 July 2016 (copy attached).
18.1 The Chair stated that in relation to the presentation given detailing the work of independent visitors, she had requested further information and a report back regarding how capacity was built into the scheme to ensure that a visitor was available for all children who wanted one for as long as they wanted one. The Head of Communities and Equalities, Emma McDermott explained that she had requested this further information and that an information report would be brought back to Committee as soon as all of the necessary information had been received.
18.2 RESOLVED – That subject to the additional comment set out above, the Chair be authorised to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 11 July 2015 as a correct record.
19.1 The Chair welcomed everyone to that day’s meeting at the Bridge Community Centre and commenced her communications by thanking her fellow committee members for agreeing to demonstrate their collective support for fighting the stigma around mental health by wearing our ‘I am Whole’ t-shirts and sweatshirts. This was a new anti-stigma youth mental health campaign.
19.2 The Chair went on to explain that the #IAMWHOLE campaign had been launched that morning – on World Mental Health Day - by the CCG in partnership with the council and YMCA. A big thank you was due to the CCG which has been instrumental in creating the campaign, working closely with the council’s public health team. #IAMWHOLE was an innovative new anti-stigma mental health campaign, designed to reach out to young people aged 13-25, with a range of activities taking place from 10 October. The campaign’s messages would also be shared with parents, teachers and employers through national and regional media coverage and the use of ‘Schools Against Stigma’ workshop materials. Jordan Stephens from UK hip-hop duo The Rizzle Kicks was the figurehead for the campaign. The campaign was specifically aimed at challenging harmful language used to describe mental health difficulties and enabling young people to feel that they could ask for help without fear of negative labels and for support from friends, parents, teachers GP’s or youth workers. A website www.findetgive.com provided a mental health directory for young people created by YMCA’s Brighton & Hove Right Here project in partnership with other local groups. This allowed users to search for support, share stories about their own mental health and give feedback on services they had used for others to read. The site also included resources for parents and carers.
19.3 Having relatively recently completed its own Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Assessment the Council knew only too clearly how significant this issue was. The assessment had found that current trends suggested that there was increasing need related to children and young people with depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. Whilst only a small action, the Chair was pleased that as a committee NCE was publicly supporting this campaign and sending a message to the children and young people of the city that “we care and we are here to help”.
International Migrant Needs Assessment
19.4 The Chair went on to state that she was pleased to inform the Committee that work had started on producing a needs assessment on international migrants. This would form part of the city’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Programme which was designed to be used as a tool to help in understanding “our” City and to take action to improve the lives of its residents, including some of our most vulnerable groups.
19.5 The International Migrant Needs Assessment would capture information about the size and nature of the populations of migrants in the City, their needs and the assets they brought. The experiences of local people would be at the heart of this worked and the Council was collaborating with community groups that work with migrant communities and our local universities to ensure this was done effectively. The final report would make recommendations for commissioners, service providers and decision makers. It would also support the community and voluntary sector to better understand the needs of their communities and how they could work with other service providers to meet those needs together. The Chair looked forward to the Committee receiving the needs assessment, when it was ready.
19.6 A short update was given on the support being provided by the city to refugees. The Council was continuing to receive households under the Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Relocation Scheme. Six households (17 people), had now been received with at least two others (6 people) due to arrive later that autumn. The Council was continuing to work closely with the voluntary and community sector, in particular “Brighton Voices in Exile” which had been commissioned to provide the intensive day-to-day support which people needed when they first arrived. In the long term the aim was for the refugees to integrate into the local community. All the properties for the programme had been offered by sympathetic private landlords and the Council was immensely grateful to those individuals who were prepared to let their properties at Local Housing Allowance rates to offer homes to people whose chances of returning to Syria were looking increasingly slim. It was also very pleasing to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the arrival in the city of another group of resettled refugees under the Gateway Protection Programme. Originally from Ethiopia but exiled to Kenya for many years before their arrival here in 2006, the families who had come on that programme were now British citizens. This had been celebrated at BHASVIC with many of the professionals and community supporters who had helped with the process of resettlement in Brighton & Hove attending.
Hate Crime Vigil
19.7 Some would be aware we were in the middle of “Hate Crime Awareness Week” which would run from 8 to 15 October. Over the past seven years the third Saturday of October had been established as a day when people around the globe organised solidarity vigils and events to show support to those who have been affected by Hate Crime.The Brighton & Hove Solidarity Vigil, organised by the Brighton & Hove Community Safety Forum, would be held on Saturday October 15th 2016 near the Old Steine fountain at 6.30pm, and all were welcome to attend.
Black History Month
19.8 Black History Month was currently underway and the Chair explained that she would I’d like to encourage committee members and the members of the public to join Brighton and Hove’s Black History Month Family Celebration Day on 30th October. It had become a very welcome annual event celebrating our local arts and heritage. This year there would be singing performances by local group Banyan Tree, a children’s activity area, dance and drumming workshops, printmaking, head wrapping, music and song, pop up talks, craft stalls and fabulous food from across the world. This event took place across two sites: the Brighton Museum and Brighton Dome Cafe Bar. The event this year would also form part of the “Africa Arts Festival”, a weekend celebration, 28-30 October, of African fashion, film, food, music and literature inspired by the “Fashion Cities Africa” exhibition at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.
Older Peoples Festival
19.9 That Chair explained that on behalf of the Committee she wished to thank all of the organisations who had been instrumental in delivering the city’s first “Older Peoples Festival”. A special thank you was given to Impact Initiatives for their role in co-ordination and event management, a not insignificant task which had been arranged in co-operation between the voluntary sector and the business sector to in order to provide two weeks of fun, learning and celebration from 26 September to 7 October.
19.20 Last but not least the, Chair wished to use her prerogative and to invite Cllr Moonan, the Deputy Chair, to say a few words to update the Committee on the Council’s participation in the Rainbow Cities network which was helping promote LGBT equality.
19.21 Councillor Moonan explained that in 2015 Brighton & Hove City Council had joined the Rainbow Cities network of international cities focused on LGBT policies. The aim of the network was to exchange expertise and experience and to provide peer support so that countries developed their work with and support for LGBT people. Members included cities from The Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Slovenia and Belgium.
19.22 One of the requirements of membership was attendance at the Annual General Meeting. Usually this was for officers only and was hosted by a different member city each year in November. However, the hosts for this year, Amsterdam, had used the opportunity provided as a result of it also being the venue for the 2016 EuroPride to link the two events. The AGM had been opened up to elected members of all Rainbow Cities and Councillor Moonan had attended, representing Cllr Daniel, with Sarah Tighe-Ford, the council’s Equality Co-ordinator. The politicians were hosted by the Mayor of Amsterdam and had attended sessions on how to implement city sexual diversity policies, the experiences and needs of LGBT refugees, access to healthcare and hate crime.
19.23 Attendees had also had the opportunity to see how the city archives demonstrated Amsterdam’s ‘queer’ history. The sessions had culminated in the great experience of participating in the canal parade for EuroPride, watched along the banks by hundreds of thousands of people. Officers had been given the opportunity to learn from each other about progress and barriers in working with trans communities, LGBT refugees, and older LGBT people.
19.24 The Council had used the AGM to provide an update on the trans equality work it had undertaken, as well as its ongoing engagement with LGBT communities in the city. Many partners had already heard of the Council’s ground-breaking “Trans Needs Assessment” work and had been in contact in order to find ways to run similar projects in their own cities. The Council was already involved in a partnership bid for EU funding to use this knowledge and experience and to build on it. Cities (and countries) across Europe had very different legal frameworks and/or different social attitudes to gender identity and sexual orientation. We could learn from the ways in which they built political consensus, worked with often small and publicly invisible communities, and engaged with the wider communities in their cities to raise awareness of human rights and equality.
19.25 The Council would continue to use this network to strengthen its LGBT policy work and to open up new avenues of funding with partners around Europe. The city and the council had a reputation for being leaders in LGBT policy and the Rainbow Cities network enabled it to share what it had learned and to gain insights into alternative approaches.
19.26 RESOLVED - That the content of the Chair’s Communications be received and noted.
(a) Items (x – x) 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.
20.1 All items on the agenda were reserved for discussion.
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 3 October 2016.
(c) Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 3 October 2016.
21.1 There were none.
21b Written Questions
21.2 There were none.
21.3 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.
22.1 There were none.
22b Written Questions
22.2 There were none.
22.3 There were none.
22d Notices of Motion
22.4 There were none.
Report of the Executive Director of Finance and Resources (copy attached)
23.1 The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director of Finance and Resources providing an update in respect of community safety and crime in Brighton and Hove.
23.2 It was explained that under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, there was a requirement for statutory and other partners to formulate a plan every three years to tackle crime and disorder and to monitor progress. This report provided an update on the work undertaken by the Safe in the City Partnership in relation to the Community Safety and Crime Reduction Strategy 2014-17.
23.3 The Head of Community Safety, Peter Castleton, gave a presentation picking out the headline trends and on-going measures being taken towards the management of crime reduction and community safety priorities in the city and invited observations and questions from the Committee.
23.4 James Collis was in attendance representing the Police stating that the increased figures for violence against the person were due in part to changes in reporting practices. Any increases were taken very seriously and means by which this could be addressed were being reviewed. Following the inspection of all police forces carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary improvements had been made within forces including Sussex Police. This had had an impact on the way in which some types of crime were recorded and particularly violence against the person including domestic violence and hate crimes.
23.5 Work had been on-going with the Council in order to seek to strengthen local communities by working with Local Action Teams (LAT’s) with the overall aim of supporting them in the most appropriate and efficient way to enable communities to take a bigger role in working collaboratively to address community safety issues in their locality. This also formed the subject of a separate report at item 24 on that day’s agenda.
23.6 There were a number of services which existed to help reduce alcohol or drug related risk by supporting individuals who could be vulnerable whilst involved in the night time economy. Early intervention and support could prevent the need for them to be admitted to A & E or for Police involvement and included Safe Space, Taxi Marshalls, Street Pastors and the Beach Patrol, forward funding for these services going forward remained to be agreed, although the position in relation to Safe Space provision appeared to be on a more stable footing and was being supported by the Red Cross. For 2015/16, 741 people had used Safe Space, during the first quarter of 2016/17, there had been 221 users 80% of whom had been under the influence of alcohol.
23.7 From April 2016 a new contract had been put into place for inpatient drug and alcohol detoxification services which had transferred from Hove to Islington. Whilst positive feedback had been received, some other of the measures in place e.g., access to drug and alcohol misuse services and recovery had been showing less positive results and work was being undertaken to understand more about the reasons for that to enable service adjustments to be made.
23.8 It was an issue of great concern that incidence of violent crime had risen steeply since 2014. Notwithstanding that this was due in part to changes in reporting practices as outlined this figure had continued to rise since in the first four months of 2016/17, including violence with and without injury. Attendances at A & E linked to assaults had also increased during that period compared to the same period the previous year. An analysis of the current state of the night time economy had been commissioned in relation to violent crime in order to explore options for supporting effective services to increase safety and reduce crime in relation to the night time economy.
26.9 In answer to questions of Councillor Simson it was confirmed that a number of these incidents were associated with the night time economy and were occasioned by combined use of drugs and alcohol. Councillor Simson stated that she had visited the night time economy with fellow licensing councillors, licensing officers and the police and had observed at first hand the changes which had been made to “Operation Marble” which operated over each weekend in the CIZ and “Operation Bobcat” which operated in concert with the Door Supervisor scheme. John Child who was in attendance representing the CCG confirmed that all agencies were working together to formulate successful strategies to respond both to the crime and potential vulnerability of individuals arising from alcohol and drug abuse.
23.10 Councillor Bell considered that it would be appropriate for the report to be forwarded to the Licensing Act Committee for information and Councillor Simson agreed considering that it would be more meaningful if the Committee also received an extract from this Committee which would highlight the discussions that had taken place about the night time economy.
23.11 Councillor Simson stated that whilst increases in crime figures were often explained in terms of changes in reporting, it was important to have more in depth analysis in order to ascertain whether and what trends might be developing across the city, to have that information given in future reports would be helpful. Councillors, Bell Gibson and Littman concurred in that view.
23.12 Councillor Littman stated that whilst there were positives there were also areas for concern. In answer to questions, it was confirmed that although the level of repeat offending had reduced overall, there were a small number of prolific re-offenders and measures were being undertaken to seek to address that, especially as the latest data on adult offending showed that the average number of re-offences per offender remained above the national average. It was encouraging that the number of youth offenders appeared to be dropping, although again it was noted that a small number of offenders were responsible for a high proportion of re-offences.
23.13 Councillor Moonan echoed what had been said stating that she shared the concerns of her colleagues.
23.14 Councillor Gibson welcomed the report which had provided the Committee with useful for information, stating that it would be useful if future reports could provide figures for neighbouring areas too, East and West Sussex for example.
23.15 Councillor K Norman referred to the incidence of modern slavery, noting that the refugee and migrant crisis and the need to co-ordinate the council’s response to this strategically on a number of levels had reduced the Community Safety Team’s ability to address this as pro-actively as they would have liked. He hoped that this could be addressed.
23.16 Councillor Bell referred to crimes of violence against the person, he was aware that some incidents had taken place at the Brighton Railway Station early in the morning, and sought confirmation of how such incidents were recorded and whether those/how those figures were included. It was explained that incidents at the station or which occurred on trains were recorded separately by the Transport Police who had their own reporting systems. Officers would see whether that wider data was available.
23.17 The Chair, Councillor Daniel, concurred with all that had been said, seeking the Committees’ confirmation that they wished the report to be forwarded to the Licensing Committee for information accompanied by an extract from the minutes. Members voted unanimously that was their wish.
23.17 RESOLVED – (1) The Neighbourhood, Communities and Equalities Committee has noted and commented on the information contained in the report which provides an update on work being undertaken by the Safe in the City Partnership in relation to the Community Safety and Crime Reduction Strategy 2014-17;
(2) The Committee give its support to the partnership work described in the report and to the work described which is within the council’s remit, thereby contributing to the management of crime reduction and community safety priorities for the city; and
(3) That a copy of the report be forwarded to the Licensing Committee (Licensing Act 2003 Functions) with an extract from the minutes of this meeting attached in order to inform them the issues emerging in relation to the night time economy.
Joint report of Executive Director of Finance and Resources and the Acting Director of Public Health (copy attached)
24.1 The Committee considered a joint report of the Executive Director of Finance and Resources and the Acting Director of Public Health which provided an update in respect of Local Action Team (LAT) project work undertaken to date and the proposed way forward. Ultimately, a further period of development was recommended in order to build upon the work that had taken place so far and to test a new working model (outlined in section 3.11 of the report), in order to seek to maximise the impact of Local Action Teams in the city.
24.2 The Environment Improvement Officer, Simon Bannister, explained that changing arrangements for the delivery of neighbourhood working in the city, as well as the formation of the Neighbourhood, Communities and Housing Directorate and changes in priorities for Sussex Police had provided an opportunity to reconsider how the Council and partners interacted with and supported the city’s network of Local Action Teams (LAT’s) and how the impact of LATs fitted with changing Council and Police priorities. As a community network, LATs offered the potential to assist in improved, more collaborative and more cost effective delivery of some neighbourhood services. To date that potential had not been sufficiently explored and the proposal as outlined in section 3.11 of the report would enable that to happen. The Head of Community Safety, Peter Castleton and the Environmental Improvement Officer, Simon Bannister, gave a presentation including reference to large scale coloured plans delineating the location of existing LAT’s across the city.
24.3 James Collis who was in attendance representing Sussex Police stated that largely, the Police supported the approach being advocated. With the changes that would inevitably occur to the manner in which policing, particularly neighbourhood policing would be delivered in future it was important that dialogue took place to ensure that information was shared and that LATs were engaged with as part of a broader process going forward. There was a need to engage creatively with neighbourhoods across the city to foster community well-being, this went beyond crime and community safety.
24.4 Councillor Wealls referred to the LAT in his own area which appeared to be flagging, he was aware that Councillor Moonan had put a lot of hard work to support and foster this. If instances occurred where a LAT did not represent its community he was concerned whether mechanisms existed to remove it.
24.5 Councillor Littman made the same point, whilst some LAT’s worked very well and were inclusive and collaborative he was aware of instances where they were weak, were dysfunctional or had morphed into a body which was no longer representative to the point where they could actually be divisive or work contrary to the interests of that community. He was anxious that robust arrangements were available if that became so.
24.6 The Chair, Councillor Daniel, stated that she was aware that such situations required sensitive handling bearing in mind that there was no “one size fits all” approach, also that LAT’s were independent and did not fall within the Council’s control. It was important however to ensure that in exceptional cases a LAT could be “derecognised”. Councillor Daniel considered that paragraph 3.10 of the report covered this point and should be taken up going forward. Where a LAT had ceased to be active or was not attracting participation in its neighbourhood it was important to ensure that there was a willingness to listen and engage when other groups came forward and to potentially recognise the new, more functioning group as that areas LAT.
24.7 Joanna Martindale, referred to the desire by the community and voluntary sector to engage proactively and to provide support and engage in dialogue, this approach helped to ensure good governance and to minimise unnecessary duplication. The Environmental Improvement Officer, Communities, stated that work with LAT’s would be on-going over the next twelve months. The LAT Chair’s meeting held the previous week had been well attended and had generated positive discussions.
24.8 Councillor Moonan referred to the staged approach and to the three different typographies identified in the report considering that this provided a helpful and proportionate framework for further work.
24.9 Councillor Hill concurred considering that approach provided a good flexible model citing the Coldean LAT which was small and lower tier but was well connected within that community and was an example of good practice. The Hollingdean LAT was larger yet struggled. It was important for groups to be aware of what the Council could and could not do and how groups and communities could enable themselves.
24.10 Councillor Gibson stated that the report and discussions arising from its consideration had been reassuring for him and had addressed some of his concerns to ensure that LAT’s were empowered, reflected their individual communities and worked collaboratively with other organisations in their locality.
24.11 RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee agrees the proposed 12 month targeted programme of LAT development to establish a new working model for LATs in the city as outlined in sections 3.11 and 3.12 of the report;
(2) That the Committee notes the findings of the LAT review phase 1 and 2 as described in section 3 of the report; and
(3) That committee instructs officers to present the results of the 12 month development programme including recommendations on future working arrangements between LATs and the council and other public sector organisations to a future meeting of this Committee;
Report of the Executive Director of Finance and Resources and the Acting Director of Public Health (copy attached)
25.1 The Committee considered a joint report of the Executive Director of Finance and Resources and the Acting Director of Public Health which sought its approval to implement guidance to address domestic violence and abuse (DVA), rape, sexual violence and abuse (RSVA) and other forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG).
25.2 The Violence Against Women and Girls Commissioner, James Rowlands, explained that DVA and RSVA had a significant impact in Brighton and Hove. In 2015/16 there had been 4,575 domestic violence incidents and crimes reported to the police (an increase of 4.7%compared with the previous year) and 667 police recorded sexual offences (an increase of 12.3% compared with the previous year). It was likely that police’ recorded data under represented the scale of violence and abuse as substantial numbers of people did not report to the police. Similarly, there was a range of other forms of violence and abuse which had an impact on the city. In response, Brighton and Hove had a VAWG Strategy, which was consistent with the approach taken by HM Government’s recently updated “Ending violence Against Women and Girls Strategy 2016-2020.”
25.3 Men could and did also experience violence and abuse (boys as children could witness or experience the same), their needs also needed to be given consideration. Consequently, it was important to ensure that support was available proportionate to the needs of men and boys. The proposal to address DVA, RSVA, and VAWG crime types in procurement and commissioning should help to benefit men and women affected by violence and abuse.
25.4 The Head of Community Safety, Peter Castleton explained that whilst increases in the number of instances recorded were welcomed, as it appeared that they related to increased confidence in the reporting process rather than an increase in the number of incidents per-se, it did none-the-less present a challenge in terms of how to respond to that most appropriately going forward. A key driver was recognition that the response to this type of violence should provide an opportunity for intervention with the victim/survivor at every point of interaction with them. There was clear evidence that many victims/survivors found it difficult to access help and support. A further driver in the strategies being put into place was the recognition that for many victims/survivors the workplace was a critical place of safety but that it could also be a place of risk if a perpetrator knew where someone worked. Employers could therefore play a critical role in identifying and developing robust policies to support employees who might be affected by violence and abuse.
25.5 The Chair, Councillor Daniel, welcomed the report which illustrated how this serious issue could be addressed via the procurement and commissioning process.
25.6 Councillor Littman concurred with all that had been said stating that excellent work had been undertaken and was evidenced by the report. Whilst focusing on women and girls it had been made clear that anyone could be affected. He thought it was important however to mention that there were individuals who did not identify with a particular gender asking whether this could be addressed in the guidance. It was confirmed that this would be done.
25.7 Anusree Biswas Sassidharan considered that the guidance was well put together and sought clarification that measures were in place to address that any gaps that were identified. Also, no figure had been included for men and boys and it was confirmed that information was available and would be included.
25.8 Councillor Wealles welcomed the report but considered that it was important to draw out that men and boys and those who were disabled could also experience sexual and domestic violence and bullying. It was confirmed that this was being addressed going forward and that women and girls had been focused on for this piece of work.
25.9 RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee approves the implementation of the guidance set out in Appendix One to address DVA, RSVA and VAWG issues in procurement and commissioning activity; and
(2) That the committee notes that if the recommendation at 2.1 is agreed an update report on the effect of implementing the guidance will be brought back to committee for its consideration.
Report of the Acting Director of Public Health (copy attached)
26.1 The Committee considered a report of the Acting Director of Public Health detailing the work of the City’s Equality and inclusion Partnership (EQuIP) in relation to disabled people in the city and recommending that the Committee refer the research report of the Learning and Work Institute to the Children Young People and Skills Committee and the Economic Development and Culture Committee for approval.
26.2 The Head of Communities and Equality, Emma Mc Dermott, gave a joint presentation with Tony Wilson who was in attendance from the Learning and Work Institute who had been commissioned by the council to prepare the research report copies of which were appended to the covering report. The key findings arising were outlined as were the recommendations arising from them.
26.3 It was explained that in October 2015 EQuIP had completed a disability snapshot report which provided an accessible overview of statistics about people living, working or studying in Brighton and Hove. The ultimate aim of the report was to create a shared sense of priorities across the partnership. Improving employment chances for disabled people and individuals with a long term health condition was both a national and local commitment and presented a number of challenges.
26.4 In January and February 2016 a cross sector sub-group of the partnership had drafted and released a tender for research into the barriers to employment with the requirement for a set of practical, realistic actions to help disabled people and those with a long term health condition secure and sustain employment. The proposal was that the actions were included in the action plan of the new City Employment and Skills Plan (CESP), under objective 3, following its adoption by Full Council.
26.5 On 22 September the Economic Development and Skills Committee had recommended the CESP to Full Council for adoption. Assuming Full Council approves the CESP four action groups would be established to deliver the CESP action plan.
26.6 There had been clear indications that whilst there was a range of provision available in Brighton & Hove, there was a lack of awareness of such provision amongst employees and local residents. Whilst the support provided by the Council’s Supported Employment Team was highly valued by those who had used it, both employers and individuals, long waiting lists for receiving support from this service represented a key challenge. This service was valued because it provided an effective bridge to employment for disabled people, with knowledgeable staff who were able to support employers when issues or concerns arose as well as in-work support to ensure that opportunities could be sustained. Support for young people with mental health conditions had been identified as a key gap in the provision of support locally.
26.7 Concerns had also been raised by participants that individuals could become “parked” in unsuitable support, or in voluntary roles, without efforts to progress them into sustained employment. This pointed to a need for improved signposting and referral processes, in order to ensure that individuals were able to access support which was right for them.
26.8 The Chair, Councillor Daniel, commended this important piece of work which had quite properly identified the multiple positive health and well-being benefits accruing from employment, which went far beyond the financial.
29.9 Councillor Gibson welcomed the report but expressed concerns that recent welfare reforms could have a negative impact. The Chair, Councillor Daniel, stated that the point was noted and whilst not appropriate to discuss it directly in relation to this report she would ensure that an update report on the impact of welfare reforms would be provided to the Committee at an early date.
26.10 Councillor Moonan also welcomed the report considering that it was important to acknowledge the work carried out by the Equip Partnership and the good ideas to address the existing imbalances which had been generated as a result of this piece of work. It was very important to continue to pursue initiatives which sought to close the gap, which remained significant for those who had a range of disabilities or long term health conditions.
26.11 Anusree Biswas Sassidharan stated that she welcomed the report which provided an in-depth analysis of this issue.
26.12 Councillor K Norman concurred with all that had been said but stated that in addition he considered given the remit and impact of this work that as well as being referred to the Children Young People and Skills Committee and the Economic Development and Culture Committee that the report also be referred to the Health and Well Being Board to reflect the cross-cutting nature of this work. John Child who was in attendance at the meeting representing the Clinical Commissioning Group responded in answer to questions by the Chair that he concurred in that view and that it would be informative for Members of the Board to receive the report for their information.
26.13 The Chair, Councillor Daniel, sought agreement of the Committee that the report also be referred to the Health and well Being Board and that the report recommendations be amended to reflect that and it was agreed unanimously.
26.14 RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee welcomes the research and its findings and approves the recommendations;
(2) That the Committee refers the research report to the Children, Young People and Skills Committee, and the Health and Well Being Board for information Economic Development and and requests the incorporation of the recommendations into the CESP action plan.
Report of the Acting Director of Public Health (copy attached)
27.1 The Committee considered a report of the Acting Director of Public Health providing an update on actions arising from the Council’s budget EIAs and summarising how this process had worked, what progress had been made recommendations for future reporting.
27.2 The Equalities Co-Ordinator, Communities, Sarah Tighe-Ford, explained that Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) were completed on all budget proposals with a potential impact on service-users and/or staff. EIAs identified negative impacts and actions to reduce or remove them and to maximise positive outcomes. For the first time progress against the mitigating actions identified in the 2015-16 budget proposals had been monitored via the Council’s performance monitoring system (Interplan). Paragraph 3.7 of the report referred to areas where it had been identified that action was required and/or action taken to address or monitor those issues.
27.3 Monitoring implementation of planned mitigating actions enabled the Council to demonstrate that actions were being completed and that anticipated negative impacts were being avoided or reduced. It increased the transparency of the budget process and provided assurance that services were fulfilling their duties under the Equality Act.
27.4 Councillor Moonan welcomed the report which showed that a thorough analysis had been undertaken to ensure that any issues were identified and addressed to ensure that there were positive outcomes and that structures were in place to ensure that continued monitoring took occurred. It was important to know robust measures were in place across the organisation.
27.5 Councillor Littman also commended this report, monitoring would increasingly important as budgets came under increasing pressure. By identifying and addressing problems in this way future repetition of them could be avoided.
27.6 The Head of Communities and Equalities, Emma Mc Dermott, confirmed that all of the key indicators had been applied to ensure compliance and would be monitored to as part of the broader delivery responsibilities across the council as a whole. Performance was evaluated by peers, respective departmental management teams and ultimately was fed into the Executive Leadership Team.
27.7 Councillor Gibson referred to a small number of where it appeared that no action had been taken and it was confirmed that where this appeared to be the case that was so because that area was no longer being recruited to, the focus of that service had shifted or changed, savings had been made or that service was delivered in a different way.
27.8 The Chair, Councillor Daniel, stated that she was very reassured by the information provided by the report including details of the rationale used and the processes which underpinned EIA’s. It was important to be confident that robust measures were in place in advance of the next budget round.
27.9 RESOLVED – That the Committee notes the content of this report and the actions being taken to improve the process outlined in paragraph 3.7 of the report.
Items referred for Full Council
To consider items to be submitted to the Council 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
Community Venues for Future Meetings:
Please note community venues for meetings for the remainder of the Municipal Year are as set out below:
28 November 2016, St Richard’s Hall, Egmont Road, Hove, BN3 7FP;
10 January 2017, Whitehawk Library, 179a Whitehawk Road, Brighton BN2 5FL;
13 March 2017, The Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AF
28.1 There were none.