Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Panel – 7 September 2010

Councillors Waltham (vice-chair), Armitage, Bainbridge, Bunyan, Ellerby and T Foster.

Councillors Barkworth, Mrs Bromby, Carlile, Collinson, Glover, Jawaid MBE, Wells and Wilson attended the meeting in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 1.37 (b).

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

301 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – The following member declared a personal interest

Member
Minute
Nature of Interest
Councillor Jawaid MBE 303 Member of Humberside Police Authority

No whip was declared.

302 PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK – There were no requests received.

303 INVOLVING ELECTED MEMBERS IN SHAPING POLICING – The chair welcomed Paul Cheeseman, Strategic Development Manager, Communities and Partnerships for Humberside Police Authority and Councillor Jawaid MBE, North Lincolnshire Council’s lead member on the Police Authority to the meeting to discuss which services provided by the police locally were really important to councillors.

Mr Cheeseman informed the meeting that the comprehensive spending review later this year would lead to reductions in budgets for many public services, including the police. While the scale of these reductions was unknown, the Police Authority was working closely with Humberside Police on planning for the future. As part of that work the Authority was eager to engage with all elected members at the council to determine which services provided by the police locally were really important to them.

Mr Cheeseman then facilitated a discussion with the elected members in attendance to determine what they wanted their police force to deliver during a time of reductions in public spending. The Police Authority, on members behalf, would then ensure these views were taken into account when setting the budget and policing priorities for the Chief Constable for 2011/12.

This would ensure that, while budget reductions would not be without pain, elected members and communities in North Lincolnshire could be confident and reassured about the policing services they would receive in the future.

Resolved – (a) That Mr Cheeseman and Councillor Jawaid MBE be thanked for their attendance and for consulting with elected members on their police priorities, and (b) that should any members have any additional comments then they be fed into the Service Director Legal and Democratic.

304 (14) POLICING IN THE 21ST CENTURY – RECONNECTING POLICE AND THE PEOPLE – The Service Director Legal and Democratic informed the meeting that on 27th July 2010, the Government published a consultation paper on Policing – “Policing in the 21st Century: Reconnecting Police and the People.” The paper contained some radical proposals in relation to policing accountability and governance arrangements which would form part of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill that would be introduced in the autumn.

The paper’s stated aim was to focus on three areas including: –

  • Transferring power back to the people by introducing directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners and establishing Police and Crime Panels. Both of these were to be at a force level;
  • Transferring power away from Government by scrapping central targets and trusting the Police to use their professionalism to fulfil their role; and
  • Shifting the focus from Government on national issues by creating a new National Crime Agency to lead on dealing with organised crime, protecting the borders and providing services best delivered at the national level.

The Consultation Paper set out a number of consultation questions, the response to which was mainly based around those proposals that would have a direct impact on the council.

The aim of the paper was to set the Government’s vision for policing, how it would cut crime and protect the public, be more directly accountable to the public, and offer value for money – all through greater collaboration, the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners, less government intervention and bureaucracy, and more professional responsibility and judgement and a new policing and partnership landscape.

The elements of the consultation were broadly divided into two parts. The first were specific commitments already made in the Coalition Agreement where the Government was not consulting on whether they should happen, but how best they could be implemented. The second were broader areas where the Government was asking for views on whether and how to achieve its aims.

The chair then facilitated a discussion with the panel members in order to formulate a scrutiny panel response to the consultation.

Resolved – (a) That the Service Director Legal and Democratic draft a response to the consultation incorporating the comments made by members at this meeting, and (b) that the response be considered at the next scheduled meeting of this scrutiny panel.

305 SCRUTINY REVIEW – ‘NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE RESIDENTS PERCEPTION OF THE FEAR OF CRIME’ – The Service Director Legal and Democratic provided an update on the progress being made in publishing and promoting the scrutiny panel’s fear of crime survey.

Resolved – That the update be noted.

306 (15) LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S FORWARD PLAN – SEPTEMBER TO DECEMBER 2010 – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council’s Forward Plan for September to December 2010.

The plan contained details of all matters and issues likely to be the subject of key decisions for a period of the next four months, updated on a monthly basis. Members discussed various items on the Forward Plan.

Resolved – That the Leader of the Council’s Forward Plan for September to December 2010 be noted.

307 ADDED ITEM – There was no added item for discussion at this meeting.