Venue: Virtual Meeting - Microsoft Teams
Contact: Democratic Services
Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence.
To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Health and Public Protection Scrutiny Panel held on 16 January 2020.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Health and Public Protection Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 16 January 2020 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.
There were no Chairman’s announcements.
Declarations of Interest and Disclosures or Advice or Directions
To receive any declarations of interest from members in accordance with Standing Orders and the Council’s Code of Conduct and disclosures of advice or directions received from Group Leaders or Political Groups, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.
There were no declarations of interest made at this meeting.
To receive any deputations of which notice has been lodged.
There were no deputations made at this meeting.
To consider any items of business dealt with by the Executive since the last meeting of the Panel, that falls under the remit of the Health and Public Protection Portfolio. This will include any decisions taken by individual Members during the same time period.
There were no items of Executive Business for consideration at this meeting.
Executive Member Update
To receive a verbal update from the Executive Member on matters relating to the Health and Public Protection portfolio, e.g the Police and Crime Panel and Local Strategic Health issues.
The Panel received a verbal update from Councillor T M Cartwright, MBE, the Executive Member for Health and Public Protection, on Local Strategic Health issues and Police and Public Protection matters.
Police and Public Protection matters
The Police and Crime Panel met on the 02 October 2020. Unfortunately, the Commissioner had not been able to attend the meeting due to illness. Councillor Cartwright highlighted the following points from the meeting:
· The Panel reviewed the Commissioner’s annual report which summarises what has happened over the past year and outlines funding allocations to various community safety services across the County.
· A Police and Crime Plan Decisions update was received, which covered the decisions taken in the past few months and the funding awards made.
· The Commissioner’s annual report was discussed and several questions put forward to scrutinise issues such as backlogs in court cases caused by the pandemic, co-ordination with other agencies to meet the wider challenges faced as a result of the pandemic, the impact on road safety measures and action taken to tackle the increase in domestic abuse cases.
· An update was given by the Chief Constable, which was very informative and outlined what has happened since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown. This covered how there has been a significant reduction in normal calls being received which has been offset by a 700% increase in online enquiries. As expected, things have been quite difficult over recent months although normal duties are now resuming. On the Justice Challenge, the number of cases charged and awaiting court hearings has increased from 2,500 to over 5,000 which is a significant backlog. Staff welfare is a priority and staff are being well looked after and encouraged to keep fit. The budget is currently £0.9m underspent and the Force is currently 99 officers over establishment, however the upcoming funding gap continues to be a concern and the precept payment, which is discussed in January, will be very important. 91 new police constables passed out in September and are now out on the street. Only 4 are in Fareham, however the Chief Inspector is happy with the staffing arrangements and feels that he has an excellent team in place to meet the needs of the Borough.
· An announcement was made recently by the Police Crime Commissioner that the Home Secretary will enshrine a new covenant in law to enhance support and protection for police officers against unacceptable incidents such spitting.
Councillor Cartwright also advised Members that he will be attending the first meeting of the re-established Joint Gypsy/Traveller Panel next week and will include an update on the outcomes from the meeting in his next update.
Local Strategic Health Matters
Councillor Cartwright reported on concerns that the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) appears to be undergoing further restructuring and amalgamation which could result in a return to a single Clinical Commissioning Group for the whole of Hampshire. This is a concern for local patient groups who feel that there is a danger that this will cause a significant reduction in patient engagement. Councillor Cartwright commented that a recent meeting he attended was overwhelmingly comprised of NHS personnel with very little democratic representation. Councillor Cartwright also commented that the CCG Community Engagement Panel has not met for quite some time, although it has tried to engage with the Council around voluntary services.
Councillor Cartwright reported that he recently received a letter from the Chief Executive of QA providing an update on the current situation at the hospital and outlining what they are doing in the coming year. The main points were summarised as follows:
· Planning is taking place around the increasing impact of Covid-19 and preparations are being made to deal with the increase in demand for services over the winter months.
· Patients are being encouraged to ensure that they attend hospital appointments – particularly those needing cancer treatments.
· Access to urgent care is being enhanced with the introduction of an appointment booking service via 111 which enables people to book an Emergency department appointment slot at the hospital. Over 1,200 patients have accessed this service through this route so far.
· The new Emergency Department Care Programme is moving ahead well. The Strategic outline case has been approved by the Health Secretary and work is now being done on the outline business case.
· The electronic prescribing medicines administration is now up and running and is working well. This system removes the lengthy waiting times for patients who need to collect medication when they are discharged from hospital.
Finally, Councillor Cartwright advised Members that he has received a letter from the University of Portsmouth advising of a feasibility study that is taking place in respect of the establishment of the University of Portsmouth Education Programme and Medical School, which will linkup with QA which is also a university hospital. Councillor Cartwright commented that if this goes ahead, it would be very good for the area.
To provide the Panel with the opportunity to scrutinise a report in respect of Community Safety and CCTV before it is considered at the meeting of the Executive scheduled to take place on 02 November 2020.
The Panel considered a report and received a supporting presentation on the Community Safety and CCTV review that will be considered by the Executive at its meeting on 02 November 2020.
At the invitation of the Chairman, Councillors J Forrest and Mrs K K Trott addressed the Panel on this item.
At the invitation of the Chairman, Councillor T M Cartwright, MBE Executive Member for Health and Public Protection addressed the Panel on this item to provide answers and clarity to some of the questions and comments raised by Members.
Members raised the following points during the discussion on this item:
The new service provided by the security officers patrolling the town centre is excellent and extremely worthwhile. They provide a very valuable support service to the police.
The proposed increase in enforcement officers is very welcome – particularly if they will be trained by the security guards who currently patrol the Town Centre. However, there needs to be a wider presence to cover outer parts of the Borough that have seen an upswing in anti-social behaviour as a result of the successes achieved in the Town Centre.
It is concerning that there are no proposals to retain any cameras in the Highlands Road area as they act as a deterrent against anti-social behaviour.
The monitoring period of the cameras did not cover the times when the greatest level of anti-social behaviour takes place at Highlands Road, the summer, and may not therefore provide a true representation of the need to retain them.
The decision to make a small charge for ‘Access All Areas’ makes sense as it provides fantastic value for money, particularly when compared with other provision that is available. However, some families on low incomes may struggle to be able to afford it. Can some sort of concession be made for these families?
With the loss of the control room, how will the Out of Hours service continue to operate effectively and provide the same level of service that it currently provides?
It is concerning that there will no longer be any cameras at Portchester precinct. McColl’s Convenience store has been broken into several times this year and the cameras covering the car park make residents feel safe in using the car park. Could there be at least one camera that faces straight down the length of the precinct?
How will the Highways ROMANSE scheme work with the new technology? Will it be compatible?
It will be great to have a more re-active service available with the deployable cameras but how will we be able to apply for the use of the cameras in an area and how quickly can the cameras be deployed?
Residents have complained in the past that the cameras at Broadlaw are not positioned in the correct place to be able to capture footage of anti-social behaviour and therefore may not accurately reflect the level of need for retaining a camera there.
How long will it take to be able access footage from the cameras when it is needed?
The improved specification of the cameras is fantastic and much clearer. Hopefully this will bring some of the issues that face the Town Centre into sharper focus.
RESOLVED that the Health and Public Protection Scrutiny Panel notes the content of the presentation, the draft Executive report and the detailed results outlined in the confidential Appendix to be presented to the 02 November meeting of the Executive for consideration.
Health and Public Protection Scrutiny Panel Priorities
To provide an opportunity for Members to consider the scrutiny priorities for the Health and Public Protection Panel.
At the invitation of the Chairman, Councillor Mrs K K Trott addressed the Panel on this item.
At the invitation of the Chairman, Councillor T M Cartwright, MBE, Executive Member for Health and Public Protection addressed the Panel on this item.
Members considered and reviewed the scrutiny priorities for the Panel and agreed the need to scrutinise how building regulations are changing as a result of the Grenfell Enquiry and what the implications are for Fareham’s Building Control Team. It was felt that this matter should be brought forward as soon as possible, and it was therefore agreed that the item should be added to the agenda for the meeting due to be held on 19 January 2021. It was further agreed that the Scoping report to be presented to the Head of Building Control would be prepared by the Director of Leisure and Community, following consultation with the Chairman.
RESOLVED that the Health and Public Protection Scrutiny Panel agrees that:
(a) an item be added to the Scrutiny Priorities for the Panel entitled ‘The Impact of the Grenfell Enquiry on the Building Control Service’;
(b) the item entitled ‘The Impact of the Grenfell Enquiry on the Building Control Service’ be add to the agenda of the meeting to be held on 19 January 2021; and
(c) the Director of Leisure and Community, following consultation with the Chairman of the Health and Public Protection Scrutiny Panel, prepare a scoping report to outline the Panel’s requirements to the Head of the Building Control Service.