People and Places Scrutiny Panel (Joint Meeting) – 20 November 2012

Councillors Clark, Collinson, Godfrey, Marper, Oldfield and Wells.

Statutory Co-opted Members: Mr W Egan and Mrs W Witter (Church Representatives).

Councillor Whiteley attended the meeting in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 1.36 (b).

The panel met at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.

1.  DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and personal or prejudicial interests.

No whip was declared.

2.  PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK There were no requests received.

(1)  JOINT SCRUTINY REVIEW – The Chairman welcomed all members and officers to this special meeting of the People and Places Joint Scrutiny Panel.  The meeting had been convened in order that members could discuss keeping our children and young people safe in North Lincolnshire.  This followed the tragic abduction of April Jones in Wales and the numerous, albeit unconfirmed, allegations of attempted abductions in North Lincolnshire.

The Chairman invited members to suggest a name for the scrutiny review.  Various suggestions were put forward.  However, it was –

3.  Resolved Unanimously – That the review title be ‘Keeping Children and Young People Safe in North Lincolnshire’.

The Chairman invited panel members to comment on the draft scrutiny brief and review timetable for their forthcoming joint review into ‘Keeping Children and Young People Safe in North Lincolnshire’.

4.  Resolved – That the scrutiny brief and review timetable be agreed.

The Chairman welcomed Dave Basker, Stuart Minto and Chris Skinner, the council’s Chief Social Worker, Head of Safer Neighbourhoods and Head of Communications respectively to the meeting.

Members were informed that –

  • Thankfully, incidents of abductions or attempted abductions were very rare indeed.
  • Children and young people needed to be educated on the dangers of communicating with people they don’t know.
  • Much work was being done to raise awareness of e-safety.
  • The council had established a ‘feeling safe’ consultation group made up of students and council officers.
  • Opportunities existed to use older children and peer mentors to talk to younger children on staying safe.
  • Potential to utilise schools text messaging service to inform parents of any incidents inside or within vicinity of the school.
  • Parents had a responsibility as well as the school to communicate with the children.
  • North Lincolnshire had very robust Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements to protect the public.  All information on offenders was shared.
  • Essential that the council and its partners proactively shared information.  Failure to do so could allow social media to circulate information which may cause panic amongst children and parents.

The Chairman then proceeded to facilitate a discussion between panel members and the council’s Chief Social Worker, Head of Safer Neighbourhoods and Head of Communications.

5.  Resolved – (a) That the council’s Chief Social Worker, Head of Safer Neighbourhoods and Head of Communications be thanked for their attendance, presentation and for answering members’ questions; (b) that the information be noted; (c) that the council’s Anti Bullying and Emotional Wellbeing Co-ordinator be invited to a future meeting of the panel; (d) that the Head of Safer Neighbourhoods report back to members the information requested by the panel, and (e) that the next meeting of the joint scrutiny panel be held on Tuesday 11 December 2012, commencing at 10.00 am at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.

6.  ADDED ITEM – There was no added item for consideration at the meeting.