Places Scrutiny Panel (Special Meeting) – 9 January 2013
PRESENT: Councillor T Foster in the chair.
Councillors Davison (Vice-Chair), Clark, Evison and Oldfield.
Councillors Collinson, N Sherwood, Swift, Waltham, Whiteley and Wilson attended the meeting in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 1.36 (b).
The panel met at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.
225 DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – There were no declarations of pecuniary or personal and prejudicial interests.
No whip was declared.
226 PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK – There were no requests received.
227 (25) ITEM REQUESTED FOR CALL-IN IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 22 OF PART D RULE 5 (OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY PROCEDURE RULES) OF THE COUNCIL’S CONSTITUTION – Minute 12 of the Customer Services, Sport and Leisure Cabinet Member meeting held on 31 December 2012 – Funding of Police Community Support Officers – The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, and invited a nominee of the members who had requested the call-in to speak on the above decision and question the Cabinet Member. Members outlined areas of concern as reasons for seeking a review of the above decision. These included –
- Why have discussions only taken place with the Police Inspector for rural areas?
- Where was the justification for additional posts in only the rural areas? Where were the crime figures to support this decision?
- The council was now funding a total of five Police Community Support Officers all for the rural areas. Crime figures in North Lincolnshire clearly show the majority of crime takes place in the urban areas.
- The number of available Police Community Support Officers was dropping in the urban areas. Would this be addressed in the same way?
- Have Safer Neighbourhoods been consulted on where the new posts would be best placed in terms of need.
- The decision was also contrary to the council’s policy framework in that the deprivation index had not been taken into account.
Following a discussion on the above issues, the Customer Services, Sport and Leisure Cabinet Member was invited to respond to the concerns and reasons for the decision being called in, and be held to account for the decision taken. The Assistant Director Technical and Environmental Services and the Head of Safer Neighbourhoods were also invited to comment, at which point the Cabinet Member explained that the words “and Urban” had inadvertently not been included in Paragraph 2.5 of the report.
It was then –
Moved by Councillor Clark and seconded by Councillor Evison –
That no further action be taken, and the above decision of the Customer Services, Sport and Leisure Cabinet Member (minute 12 refers) be implemented with immediate effect.
Moved by Councillor Davison and seconded by Councillor Oldfield as an amendment –
That the decision be referred back to the decision maker for reconsideration within 5 working days to either (i) confirm the original decision, or (ii) agree to change the decision to allow the council’s designated Crime and Disorder Committee to consider the deployment of the Police Community Support Officers having considered the representations made by the scrutiny panel,