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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Waltham Forest Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 0208 496 4204 Email:  democraticservices@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting and asked for introductions. 

2.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Liz Phillips.

 

 

3.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 407 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting, held on 25 February 2019, were approved as a correct record, subject to the following changes:

 

·         All references to Martin Newman, be changed to Martin Newnham. 

·         That it be noted that, under item 5 in the penultimate paragraph, the following words were added after “previous work the YIAG had undertaken”: “and from engagement with people on the streets via Streetbase.  In addition, the YIAG explained that hotspots for crime were mapped and that they worked closely with the Council and the IAG to identify individuals that might require assistance.

·         That it be noted that, under item 6, Mr Newnham had offered assistance in drafting assessment material for the application process. 

 

4.

QUESTIONS TO THE POLICE

Minutes:

Councillor te Velde gave thanks to the Metropolitan Police for their policing of the open Iftar event which she said was very successful. 

 

The following are questions put to the Police by the Board and consequential debate:

 

1)    In relation to young people who live outside of the London Borough of Waltham Forest but attend school in Waltham Forest – does this present a safeguarding issue?

 

Inspector Walton explained that the Metropolitan Police tried to have an officer to every school and college.  He said that the Police Safeguarding team would go through all relevant issue if a child was vulnerable in accordance with national policy.  Inspector Walton confirmed that if the child was under 17 years old then the school should be notified. 

 

2)    Please provide an update on the merger between police services in the London Boroughs of Waltham Forest and Newham. 

 

Inspector Walton confirmed that the impact of the merger was minimal on a day to day basis.  He explained that should one response team have significant more demand than the other service then resources would be balanced by moving resources appropriately.  Inspector Walton said that the Criminal Investigation Department was more affected by the merger.  He then went on to say that the safeguarding team worked closely with the Waltham Forest but would travel to Newham if required.  Inspector Walton confirmed that the advantages of the merger outweighed the disadvantages.

 

3)    Is there any feedback on the boundary consultation?

 

Inspector Walton said that he had no information on it but would check with relevant senior officers.

 

4)    How many vacancies do Waltham Forest Police have?  Given the rise in crime in Leyton and Leytonstone are any resources being diverted to those areas?

 

Inspector Walton confirmed that there was one vacancy on the safer neighbourhood team in Waltham Forest.  He added that Central Government had made funds available to try and combat knife/violent crime.  Inspector Walton then explained that stop and searches had been increased in the borough, however he did add that the number of items being recovered as a result of those searches remained at a similar percentage – approximately 20%.

 

5)    How quickly can the operations to target hotspots for violent crime be put in place?

 

Inspector Walton confirmed that funds were being made available.  Mr Dundon said that it seemed that hotspots for crime in the borough had shifted from Walthamstow towards the Bakers Arms area and asked why that was the case.  Inspector Walton stated that there were no hard facts or statistics to support the shift.  He said that there was a concern in relation  to that area and confirmed that resources had be diverted to try and combat the issue. 

 

 

5.

MEMBERSHIP OF THE BOARD

Minutes:

The Chair confirmed that Martin Newnham’s application for membership of the Safer Neighbourhood Board had been considered and approved.  It was therefore resolved that Martin Newnham was now a member of the Board. 

 

The Chair went on to express concerns that the Board had number of representatives from Chingford, however pointed out that there was not very much representation from south of the borough of Waltham Forest.  She gave the view that balance of representation was necessary to ensure views from the whole borough. 

 

The Chair confirmed that there was no limit to the number of Board members however she explained that MOPAC had advised that if the situation arose where there were a particularly large number of Board members, then the issue would need to be re-visited.  The Chair then stated that 16 Board Members would be the optimum number.  Councillor Berg referred to the terms of reference for the Board where it stated that “all Safer Neighbourhood Panel Ward Chairs will be invited to be Members of the Board” and asked how the optimum number of Board members could be 16 when there were 20 Ward Panel Chairs.  The Chair explained that the Board would undertake a “stock take” as Board membership approached a high level of membership. 

 

Councillor Bellamy asked how information on becoming a Board member was disseminated through the community.  The Chair confirmed that the Board had made Ward Panel Chairs aware of the possibility of becoming a member of the Board.  She also explained that various organisations had been spoken to.  The Chair then said that Board members needed to consider how to target different people and engage them.

 

 

6.

YIAG UPDATE

Minutes:

Representatives from the YIAG provided an update on the work they had undertaken since the last Safer Neighbourhood Board on 30 August 2018. The update is electronically available on the Council’s website. 

 

The Chair said that she was pleased to hear of the success of the Mental Health Ambassador project. 

7.

MOPAC FUNDING

Minutes:

The Chair introduced Lillian Gerber, who had previous received funding from MOPAC on project.  She asked Ms Gerber to provide an update on her project and the impact. 

 

Ms Gerber explained that she was very grateful to receive the funding for her project which was to train young people who struggle in various areas.  She referred to feedback received from young people and stated that one had said that they learnt kindness from the training, whilst another said that they felt cared for.  Ms Gerber said that young people who undertook the training felt that they were in a supportive environment and gave thanks to the Chair and Vice-Chair of SNB for their support. 

 

The Chair then went on to explain that funding from MOPAC was still uncertain with regard to this year’s projects.  She said that she did not want to waste time reviewing project applications when MOPAC might deny the funding.  The Chair stated that she had spoken to MOPAC about the issue and had confirmed that no applications would be submitted until confirmation of funding was received from MOPAC.  She acknowledged the uncertainty was frustrating, however said that MOPAC had confirmed that they would extend the deadlines for applications if necessary.  Mr Newnham offered his assistance but the Chair said that there was not much that could be done at present as the issue had been escalated internally and it was a matter of waiting for their response. 

 

Ms Foley asked what the reason for the delay was.  The Chair explained that MOPAC were cutting funding to each London Borough and needed to calculate exactly how much would be provided to each borough as, historically, many boroughs had not spent the money that they were provided.  She said that MOPAC were considering removing some of the funding available to potentially put towards a Central Neighbourhood Watch project.  

 

Councillor te Velde asked whether it was still te intention to approach a variety of organisations within the London Borough of Waltham Forest to let them know about the opportunity to bid for funding.  The Chair confirmed that that would be happening and explained that a list of which organisations to send the applications had been compiled.  She added that any application would be considered and then recommendations would be put to the Board to select the most appropriate project.

 

Mr Dundon asked if delay in funding had been brought to the attention of the relevant Assembly Member at the Greater London Authority.  The Chair agreed that was a good idea and said she would look into doing so. 

 

 

 

 

8.

ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR (ASB) UPDATE

Minutes:

The Chair varied the order of business to take this item as the first substantive item of business.

 

Lisa Jones, Anti-Social Behaviour Team Manager, provided an update on the ASB strategy, which focussed on the following points:

 

·         That the Strategy was now in its final process and that public consultation was due to end on 31 May 2019.   There was a high level of support for the aims and objectives of the strategy. 

·         That there would be a relaunch of the Problem Solving Partnership which was scheduled to take place on Monday 10th June 2019.

·         Operation Gibus - an integrated approach to tackling violence and ASB has been implemented in hotspots leading to significant reductions in serious violence in those areas.  The MPS and Council are both committed to reducing violence and ASB.

·         Operation Bicorne – joint patrols were tasked across various locations in the borough but concentrated in Leyton/Leytonstone, with the intention of reducing crime and ASB.

·         The fact that, under operation Bicorne, 16 knives were seized, with 44 arrests as a result of 353 stop and searches. 

·         The issue of often violent and aggressive street drinkers in the Chingford Mount area and partnership working between the Council and local Police teams to try and combat the issue.  

·         Gilbert Street (WF Housing) had been issued with a partial closing order that was due to expire, however Police and ASB officers had witnessed several breaches and the lead ASB officer acquired a 3 month extension to the partial closure order, despite magistrates wanting to issue a full closure.  The part closure was implemented instead as the tenant was considered to be vulnerable and efforts were being made to complete a capacity assessment with NELFT.

·         Spruce Hill Road (Private rented) – reports from residents indicated that the property may have been a cuckooed address associated with a variety of drug dealers.   Safeguarding concerns for the occupant were raised with Social Services who had recently conducted a visit to engage with the occupant however, the occupant refused the offer of support.  A full premises closure order application will now be made to provide residents with respite who are experiencing constant ASB and nuisance

Ms DaCosta referred to the consultation on the ASB Strategy and asked when it had taken place and with who.  Ms Jones explained that it was a public consultation that took place online.  She added that there was also a workshop associated with the consultation which took place towards the end of May 2019. 

 

Ms DaCosta asked for clarity around closure orders that had been issued.  Ms Jones conformed that the majority of culprits were social landlords.  She went on to explain that there was only one owner occupier that the ASB team dealt with which was related to a cannabis factory in the home.  She added that it did not matter whether it was social housing or n owner occupier as the issue would still need to be tackled and that it was important to consider the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

IAG AND SNB WORKING TOGETHER

Minutes:

The Chair introduced Cathy XXXXX, Chair of the Independent Advisory Group (IAG).  She explained that the work of the IAG closely aligned with the work of the SNB and raised the question of whether it would be beneficial for the SNB and IAG to come together as one large meeting.  The Chair asked the Board for their thoughts and said if they were agreeable then a proposal could be brought to a future meeting on how the meeting and working more closely might work.  Mr Newnham said that he thought it was good idea providing that both groups got what they needed from the arrangement.  Mr Dundon agreed and said that it would make the Board more accountable. 

 

Ms XXXX explained that a police officer undertook the administration work for IAG meetings.  She said that there was more funding in the earlier stages.  Ms XXXX said that there had been difficulty getting representation from across the borough.   

 

Councillor Bellamy said that she would be interested to know more in relation to the work of the IAG, in terms of how people get involved, particularly young people.  She agreed that it may be beneficial to have both groups working more closely and said she would be interested to see how the arrangement might work. 

 

The Chair explained that a proposal was yet to be formed and said that she and Ms XXXX would need to have a conversation about what both the SNB and the IAG were trying to achieve.  Councillor te Velde stated that it would be helpful if the proposal was a written document submitted to the Board for consideration. 

10.

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE SNB

Minutes:

The Chair asked the Board to consider what can be done to get the most out of the SNB.  She said that she would email members of the Board and ask for suggestions.