Venue: Council Chamber, Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5LF. View directions
Contact: Carley Lavender
Declarations of Interest
Members and Officers are invited to make any declaration of pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests that they may have in relation to items on this agenda, and are reminded that they should re-declare their interest before consideration of the items or as soon as the interest becomes apparent.
Members and Officers should make their declaration by stating:
a) the item they have the interest in
b) whether it is a pecuniary/personal interest and/or prejudicial interest
c) the nature of the interest
Cllrs Cooper and Pendleton declared a personal interest in agenda item 7 [SAFER ARUN PARTNERSHIP] and item 8 [SAFEGUARDING AT ARUNDISTRICT COUNCIL] as they are both West Sussex County Councillors.
The Committee will be asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the Housing and Wellbeing Services Committee held on 17 March 2022.
The minutes of the meeting held on 17 March 2022 were approved.
Public Question Time
To receive questions from the public (for a period of up to 15 minutes).
There were no public questions submitted for this meeting of the Committee.
The Committee is asked to set its start times for meetings during 2022-23.
That its meeting start time be at 6pm
Safer Arun Partnership PDF 166 KB
This report provides summary information which is intended to assist the Committee to undertake its statutory function of scrutinising the performance of the Safer Arun Partnership.
Chief Inspector Nick Bowman, District Commander for Arun & Chichester, will be in attendance to assist in responding to questions from Members.
The Chair explained to members that the report before them allowed them to scrutinise the Safer Arun Partnership (SAP), specifically, looking at how the partnership itself operated and how effective it was against its terms of reference. She then welcomed Chief Inspector (C.I) Bowman and Sergeant Paul Coles who were in attendance as the representatives of Arun’s Neighbourhood Policing team.
In introducing the report, the Community and Wellbeing Manager reconfirmed the purpose and aim of its detail was to enable members to effectively scrutinise the SAP and support compliance of the Council’s statutory duty to scrutinise the work of local partners in addressing Crime and Disorder and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) within the district.
The Chairman then opened debate and invited members to ask questions clarification was sought on the serious organised crime priorities and why these had been discharged. It was confirmed by C.I Bowman that whilst these had been recorded as ‘discharged’ in the document, the work in relation to Serious Organised Crime (SOC) continues, however it had taken on a new governance recently. Explaining that the previous SOC group had been disbanded and the work was now being undertaken by the Partnership Tactical Co-ordinating Group (PTCG). He confirmed that outcomes of cases or areas that required additional scrutiny by the committee would be fed from the PTCG meetings into the SAP meetings it is hoped that this would see a more co-ordinated response to SOC.
It was asked by a non-member of the committee what would the communities see in terms of the changes made by the PTCG. C.I Bowman explained that the new format is in its early stages, its first meeting was yet to be held. However, none of these changes would stop the local policing work that was already in place and the new format would be under review to ensure that it delivers against expectations. C.I Bowman confirmed that residents of the district would be able to keep up with communications from his teams via the Police force website. The Chair then asked C.I Bowman what specifically would the communications look like for all the Parishes within the district. He confirmed that a ‘one size fit’s all’ approach would not work. Each Parish has its own individual needs and there needed to be a tailored approach according to each Parishes need.
The Arun wide Child exploitation campaign had been documented as ‘discharged’ within the report, what did this mean? Arun’s Safeguarding Officer confirmed that the campaign was a project that launched after a serious case review came to light within the district. An awareness campaign was then started to increase awareness in the specific area. Work on child exploitation within the district was confirmed as ongoing despite this specific campaign being discharged. C.I Bowman was asked by the Chair how the police specifically engaged with child exploitation issues. He confirmed that the special investigations unit managed high risk cases of child abuse, as well as a proactive missing persons team who complete a lot ... view the full minutes text for item 63.
Safeguarding at Arun District Council PDF 355 KB
Arun District Council is committed to protecting and safeguarding its community, especially Children, Young People and Adults at risk. This report sets out for scrutiny the resources for managing safeguarding and identifies the main categories of harm reported by officers.
The Safeguarding Officer explained that the report provided members with the opportunity to scrutinise the councils safeguarding function. It provides an overview of the categories of abuse, demand for the year prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and how this has shaped concerns and emerging themes. Data is also provided to show referrals from council staff, specialist advice received, actions given and taken.
The Chair then opened debate on the item, inviting members to ask any questions to officers present.
Concern was raised regarding section 1.9 of the report that detailed the number of incidents of domestic abuse it was stated that it was alarming to see Arun had the highest figures across West Sussex. The Safeguarding officer explained that as C.I Bowman confirmed earlier in the meeting, this was a hidden crime and the data was based on referrals or incidents reported that police had responded to. She confirmed that once police have responded to an incident of domestic violence, an automatic referral to panel is made. The panel consists of key people from a number of services such as health, probation and police. The objective of the panel is to put in place a safety plan that sets out to reduce the risk to individuals suffering domestic violence. She explained that sadly the figures were a true reflection of domestic violence issues within the district, however, confirmed that there was a collaborative partnership across the services that work together in providing support where it’s needed.
It was asked what further proactive steps the council could take in providing support and help for individuals of domestic violence. The Safeguarding officer stated she believed mandatory training for all front-line staff to raise awareness as well as an ongoing training programme of support would be of benefit. She also confirmed that lockdowns during the pandemic did certainly exacerbate the issue.
The topic of communicating with residents on how they can report cases of domestic violence in confidence was raised, specifically, what more the council could do to improve on current communications. The Safeguarding officer confirmed various internal communication campaigns had been completed alongside a women’s safety event that enabled engagement with the local community. She agreed that a review of internal and external communication plans would be a positive action.
Further information was sought about the work the council does regarding temporary accommodation use in partnership with Chichester District. The Safeguarding officer confirmed that to help embed the Domestic Abuse Bill 2021 a small amount of funding had been awarded to local districts. After some consultation internally and with external partners it was decided to focus on those who were ‘fleeing’ and/or presenting to the Council for housing matters. This issue consists of many other needs that also require addressing from getting children into new schools, signing up with dentists, doctors’ surgeries, or any other community links. She confirmed that the council and My Sisters House had commissioned a complex safe key worker who would work with housing options officers for those ... view the full minutes text for item 64.
The Committee’s Work Programme for 2022-23 is attached for the Committee’s information.
Members took part in a full discussion with officers regarding changes to the work programme, where it was explained that officers regularly review the work programme to ensure that each item on it can be effectively discharged against financial and operational constraints. Following this discussion, it was agreed that the following items would be added to the work programme as regular updates;
· Housing Stock updates
· Sheltered Housing updates
· New Housing Management System project updates
· Key Performance Indicators performance update
The Committee then noted its work programme for 2022/23.