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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Waltham Forest Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Chris Foxton, Democratic Services Officer  020 8496 4344 | Email: chris.foxton@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

15.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

The minutes were approved by the Committee as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

16.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members are required to declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they or their spouse/partner may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting. Interests are defined on the inside cover of this agenda.

Minutes:

The Chair declared a non-pecuniary interest as the Chief Executive Officer of the LVE Charitable Foundation which delivers programmes for young people.

 

Councillor te Velde also declared a non-pecuniary interest as a member of the Safer Neighbourhoods Board.

 

17.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were approved by the Committee as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

18.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Members of the public are welcome to participate in scrutiny meetings.  You may speak for three minutes on a topic related to the Committee’s work, and fifteen minutes in total is allowed for public speaking, at the discretion of the Chair.  If you would like to speak, please contact Democratic  ...  view the full agenda text for item 18.

Minutes:

There were no requests for public participation.

 

19.

COMMITTEE ACTION TRACKER, UPDATE AND FORWARD PLAN pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report from the Scrutiny Officer.

 

Ms Cabral introduced the report and noted that there would be an update later on in the meeting from Mr Macorkindale on the community safety budget distribution.

 

20.

LONDON BOROUGH OF CULTURE 2019 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report from the Director of the London Borough of Culture (BoC) 2019.

 

Lorna Lee and Councillor Paul Douglas presented the report which outlined the strategic and programme arrangements for the Council’s BoC plans and responded to questions from the committee:

 

Strategic Programme –This was aimed at collaborating and co-producing with residents. Officers had engaged over a thousand residents in delivering the opening event, ‘Welcome to the Forest’.

 

Social media had been used to reach out to residents, artists and businesses to encourage them to get involved with the BoC programme with 500 volunteers signed up to be and trained to be ‘Legends of the Forest’.

 

Young People - Officers were working with the charity Groundworks who had been promoting opportunities with faith communities and at careers fairs. Officers had seen interest in volunteering from students in local colleges and would continue promoting volunteer opportunities throughout the programme. Ms Lee explained that Cabinet Members were looking at ways of aligning the volunteer programme with other programmes in the Council.

 

The Chair suggested that the BoC team needed to work with the Police and the Safer Neighbourhoods Board throughout the programme. Ms Brueseke said that she would be looking ways to involve the YIAG as well.

 

Schools –Resources had been published for schools that provided three levels of approach. Firstly resources for key stages 1, 2 and 3, that any school could use throughout the year.

 

The second approach was a ‘Targeted Approach’, where artists could work with local schools and allow them to get involved with their projects in the BoC programme.

 

The final approach was more structural and part of the long-term benefits of the BoC programme.  The ‘Cultural Education Partnership’ was being developed to help enable schools and artists to work together as part of this approach.

 

Ms Lee explained that all schools in the borough had been given information on how to get involved, including special schools.

 

Fundraising/Grants –Funding had been secured from a number of partners. Councillor Douglas indicated that this is the first BoC programme in London and that after the first few events, officers will be able to go back to potential partners to request more funding.

 

Ms Lee explained that grants were evenly distributed around the borough, which was part of the criteria of the scheme.

 

The Chair asked Ms Lee if she anticipated an increased spend coming into the borough during the programme. Ms Lee said that officers estimated that the BoC programme would bring in half a million extra visits from outside the borough which would lead to more spend in the borough.

 

Creative Programme – Officers had been working with City Hall and the London Borough of Brent on the programme. The launch event at the end of October 2018 had gained significant coverage in both national and international press. There would also be a second ‘launch’ event in January to announce the next wave of projects in the programme.

 

The Chair asked if the programme  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

UNDERSTANDING AND RESPONDING TO THE BOROUGH'S DRUG MARKET pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report from the Group Manager (Strategic) of Community Safety.

 

Alastair Macorkindale introduced the report outlining that the priority of understanding and response to the drug market had tended to be linked with amount of violent crime in the borough.

 

Superintendent Khan said that the police had been focusing on how to reduce violent crime in the borough. Operation Langdale had been established to explore links between the drug market and violent crime and had led to 35 arrests in October. He said that understanding the causes needs to be balanced against the priority of tackling violent crime.

Mr Macorkindale and Superintendent Khan responded to questions from the committee:

 

Deterring young people from the drugs market - Mr Macorkindale said that the LSBU report that one of the best deterrents was through providing economic pathways away from the drugs market. He also said that there are also avenues to provide opportunities within the Council’s programmes. Superintendent Khan added that these opportunities need to be promoted earlier, particularly at primary school level.

 

Mr Macorkindale said that officers and the police need to work with the community to help identify and understand those at risk. He added that it was important to recognise the debt bondage created by those who become involved with the drug market. Once the risk groups are identified a safeguarding response can be used and modern slavery powers can be used to track and prosecute those responsible.

 

Further commissioned research - Councillor Baptiste asked if there funding for further commissions, particularly in regards to looked-after children and care leavers. Mr Macorkindale said that there was not a plan to commission further research.

Mr Macorkindale added that this could be part of a regional study, but it would have to be much broader than borough boundaries, as the drug market is not necessarily linked to geography, but through businesses, social networks and family links.

 

Councillor Edwards asked if there were any barriers to talking to drugs users who are not in treatment. Mr Macorkindale said that firstly that any research into this would need to be undertaken either by academia or the voluntary sector, as they tend to have the particular skillsets to do this, but there is no current funding for experts to undertake the research.

 

Collaborative work - Councillor te Velde agreed that officers need to look into the reason why users are turning to drugs. She asked Mr Macorkindale if there was a plan for any cross-cutting work with Connecting Communities and the BoC programmes. He responded that officers had been looking into collaborative work with other programmes to tackle violent crime in general. There had been interest for links to happen arising from the recent Youth Takeover event.

 

Impact - Councillor Jacob Edwards asked if the borough is at a stage where arrests are making little impact on the drugs market. Superintendent Khan replied that since the market is demand-driven, when arrests are made the vacuum created is usually filled quickly.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

EXPLOITATION OF YOUNG GIRLS WITHIN GANGS pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report from the Group Manager (Strategic) of Community Safety.

 

Superintendent Khan introduced the item explaining that the matter was a priority for police and a unit was being established to tackle the issue.

 

Safeguarding - Mr Macorkindale said that it was now necessary to move away from the traditional understanding of safeguarding to contextual safeguarding, realising that child protection risks to young girls in not confined to the home, but also comes from peer groups, schools and local communities. This approach would help surface the issues and help identify the risks of the exploitation of young girls where it would be invisible otherwise.  Officers had a current bid for funding with the Department of Health for training and Mr Macorkindale was still waiting to hear whether this was successful. Currently practice was for officers to route everything through the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) to try and recognise and respond to risks.

 

Superintendent Khan said that social media had also created new risks for young girls.

 

Schools - A specialised programme was being used in seven secondary schools in the borough over the next two years, Officers had estimated that it would reach between 12-14,000 pupils in the lifetime of the programme. Officers were seeking to bid for more funding to extend the lifetime and reach of the programmes in January.

 

Mr Macorkindale said that this report is moving the issue of the exploitation of young girls in gangs into a more mainstream position. Officers are looking for an expert organisation to partner with for the long-term to develop a common approach and work in a concerted way.

 

The Chair thanked Mr Macorkindale for his report.

 

The Committee agreed the following action:

 

·         Met Police to provide information on the number of girls and young women who are victims of exploitation.

 

23.

THE COUNCIL'S ROLE IN A PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH TO VIOLENCE PREVENTION pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report from the Group Manager (Strategic) of Community Safety.

 

Mr Macorkindale presented the report stating that the public health approach works on a number of levels; that it involves those at risk of violence; places additional controls around them; seeks to treat them; seeks to build community resilience to violence; treat its victims; and reduce the opportunities for violence.

 

Officers had been looking at implementing a number of evidence-based parenting support programmes for both volunteers and the Council. Waltham Forest had become the first London borough to implement the ‘Botvin Life Skills Training’ programme to tackle gender based violence. Mr Macorkindale said that officers had been looking at the effects of the introduction of minimum unit pricing of alcohol in Scotland and its impact on reducing violence..

 

Projects in other Boroughs - The Chair asked Mr Macorkindale if officers had been learning from other boroughs and noted that there were many grassroots projects that they can learn from. He replied that he heard about promising work that been happening in the borough of Croydon and had intended to visit his counterpart there to see what has been done.

 

He added that not many boroughs know what makes a difference, as each one has a different history, but agree that a grassroots community approach works. A London-wide network was being established for boroughs to share good practice about reducing youth violence in London.

 

Inequality - The Chair asked how the public health approach deals with inequality in the borough. Mr Macorkindale agreed that inequality is the single biggest predictor of violence and addressing inequality through programmes such as Life Chances and Connecting Communities is important, but must be complemented by support from central government.

 

The Chair thanked Mr Macorkindale for his report.

 

24.

SAFETYNET ANNUAL SUMMARY 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report from the Head of Strategic Partnerships and the SafetyNet Chair.

 

Anti-Social Behaviour - The Council is developing an anti-social behaviour strategy due to be completed in January 2019.

 

Gangs, Youth Violence and School Absences -The Chair asked how the impact of intervention on gangs and youth violence would be monitored and evaluated.

 

Mr Macorkindale said that officers were looking at changes in offending behaviour. School attendance rates had been improving for those in gangs and there was a focus on trying to keep them in mainstream school, providing employment opportunities and stable housing.

 

The Chair asked Mr Macorkindale about action taken by the council concerning school exclusions. He replied that exclusions would be a subject to be considered at the upcoming violence reduction summit.

 

Superintendent Khan said that the police were looking to work closely with the Council. He added that the Council needed to look at how Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) get students back into mainstream school. Ms Brueseke said that there needed to be more support for PRUs, as their current set-up did not equip students for returning to mainstream school and that PRUs have been overlooked in previous consultations.

 

Prevent – Councillor te Velde had noted that the Prevent strategy had been very male-dominated and that it needed more women involved. She also asked Mr Macorkindale about what had been done for children who are being home schooled and other out of school settings.

 

He replied that material had been published for parents who are home-schooling their children. Officers were looking at mapping out what risks there were and working together with OFSTED to tackle those issues.

 

Mr Macorkindale explained that risk of radicalisation in the borough had been primarily Islamist, but there had been a recent increase in far-right radicalisation. He added that officers were looking at delivering Prevent through the ThinkFamily programme and by promoting inter-faith dialogue to help prevent radicalisation.

 

EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

 

The Committee resolved to exclude the press and public from the proceedings of the rest of the meeting in accordance with Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended, on the grounds that consideration of the item would involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 7 of Schedule 12A to the Act as it contained information relating to an action taken or to be taken in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime.

 

Mr Macorkindale then gave a verbal update to the Committee about the budget distribution for community safety programmes in the borough.

 

The Chair thanked officers for their reports and for the involvement and input of the representatives from the YIAG.