You are here:

Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Perminder Purewal, Democratic Services Officer  020 8496 4537 | Email: Perminder.Purewal@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

16.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Mohammad Asghar and Councillor Mitchell Goldie.

 

Councillor Marion Fitzgerald attended the meeting as a substitute for Councillor Mitchell Goldie.

17.

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:

Councillor Bellamy declared a non-pecuniary interest as she is the CEO of LVE Charitable Foundation - a charity in the Borough that deals with young people and gang violence. Notwithstanding her interest in the Agenda items, Councillor Karen Bellamy was able to remain in the room and participate in the meeting.

18.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 320 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on the 15th October 2019 were agreed by the Committee and signed by the Chair.

19.

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 19.

Minutes:

None.

20.

COMMITTEE ACTION TRACKER AND FORWARD PLAN pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Scrutiny Officer. Ms Cox presented the report. She said that information about the Future Creatives program had been circulated to the Committee and that the Metropolitan Police also provided information on the Tasking Team stop and search outcomes.

 

 

 

21.

VIOLENCE REDUCTION PARTNERSHIP (VRP) pdf icon PDF 437 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the annual report from the Divisional Director for Early Help. Mr Macorkindale introduced the report. He highlighted the work of the Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) noting it’s strong start this year.

 

Mr Macorkindale said that the clear framework had resonated with residents, stakeholders and young people and provided a simpler version of the public health approach to violence to engage with. He also highlighted the list of the organisations that had been engaged with the VRP on p.30 of the agenda pack and added that this was not an exhaustive list.

 

The Committee asked how organisations were referred to the VRP. Mr Macorkindale said that the Head of the Violence Reduction Partnership had been meeting with organisations across the borough and working with Connecting Communities. They would then ask organisations already involved with the VRP to ask other organisations that they were aware of if they also wished to join the VRP. Mr Macorkindale indicated that not all organisations had wished to join.

 

The Committee asked if the VRP had engaged with any of the Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) in the borough. Mr Macorkindale said that both Hawkswood and Belmont were involved with the partnership and that Hawkswood had participated in the LifeSkills program. This program had been led by Barnados and had engaged with 1800 year four students across 25 schools in the borough.

 

Mr Macorkindale explained to the Committee that a new co-chair, Steven Barnabas, had been recruited to work alongside Joe McDonell to involve more organisations and community groups. He said that under previous arrangements had only been with statutory partners with a few commissioned voluntary groups.

 

Mr Macorkindale said that the partnership was youth-focused and had the views of young people represented in each of the four workstreams and had an overarching group who could challenge any recommendations made. There had been involvement from the Young Advisors, the Youth Independent Advisory Group (YIAG), Leyton Sixth Form College and other groups working with the Hub and Steven Barnabas. He added that the VLP had been informed by the Big Youth Conversation and the VLP getting regular sense-checks of its work from Streetbase. Mr Macorkindale also said that it was important to seek every opportunity to showcase the activities of young people in a positive light.

 

Mr Macorkindale said that the VLP was at the forefront of innovative work that was happening in the borough. Officers had sought to build capacity to respond to women experiencing violence but had realised that they needed to be better strategically and had sought the advice of organisations such as Abianda.

Officers had also implemented the Safer Together program, which provided a different approach to tackling domestic violence and had seen success in America and Scotland and had been recently implemented in Manchester. Officers were now reviewing the results from its implementation in Edinburgh.

 

Mr Macorkindale updated the Committee that 100 ambassadors had been recruited through the “Ask Me” program, which had also been expanded into working with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

GIRLS IN GANGS - ABIANDA UPDATE pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report from the Group Manager (Strategy, Early Help Division).

 

Ms Burke on behalf of Abianda, a pan-London project commissioned by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), explained to the Committee the charity’s work in the borough. She said that a review of the support offered to young women in Waltham Forest was being produced, which would look at how risk is identified through different sources and partners and ensure that all organisations recognise vulnerabilities. Any risks would then be assessed and ensure that intervention support is tailored to the individual. Finally, the impact would be measured and Abianda used a therapy model to help young women realise that they could create their own solutions.

 

The Committee asked Ms Burke what age group did Abianda work with. She replied that the young women ranged between ten to twenty-five years old. Support for younger women included education around healthy relationships. Ms Burke added that Abianda also worked with the St Giles Trust to engage with young men as well.

 

The Committee asked if Abianda had observed any young women being groomed for County Lines. Ms Burke said that originally, research data in 2013 had originally suggested this, but did not classify young women involved as gang members. Since the ‘Postcodes to Profit’ report in 2018, research data now suggested that young women were more involved with gangs and services needed to look at how they were identified. Abianda were working with sexual health clinics as it had been noted that they could help identify this. The Committee noted that the police now accepted that young women were being used as couriers as the police did not have as many women in the force, but a police officer, regardless of gender, could conduct non-invasive searches on young women. Mr Macorkindale confirmed that because of this there had been a 25% increase of identifying young women involved in gangs.

 

The Committee asked Ms Burke to expand on the solutions-based results Abianda offered. She said that a twelve-week program was offered. This program allowed the participant to design the outcomes that she wished to see from the program. These tended to be improvement focused outcomes such as confidence and moving into professions. A 0-10 scale is used to measure the improvement and many participants see an increase of three or four points by the end of the program.

 

The Committee asked what the process was if a young woman approached Abianda saying that they no longer wished to be part of a gang. Ms Burke said that Abianda may not be involved directly, as the person may have already built rapport with another professional. Abianda would support and train the professional and provide solution-based therapy. The training for professionals tended to be provided by those who had been through the program. Ms Burke added that Abianda also observed the work of partners and made suggestions on how to improve work with young women and provide a rescue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

THEMED REVIEW TOPIC: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS (VAWG) pdf icon PDF 404 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the themed review of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).

 

The Chair introduced the item noting the importance of the work that had been taking place. She said that officers from the scrutiny team have been helpful in the work completed so far.

 

Ms Cox said that she had met with officers within the council’s VAWG team and that she was in the process of setting up meetings for the Committee to meet survivors of domestic abuse through charities such as Solace and Womens Aid, to provide an opportunity to ask what they wished to see as part of the council’s future response to violence against women. Ms Cox said that the first meeting was due in early 2020.

 

Ms Cox reported back on the meeting that Committee members had on Friday 29th November 2019 on economic abuse. The Committee noted that women could be controlled through finance and Universal Credit was a big factor as the monthly payment was only paid to a single person and usually to a man in the household, which risked being used for gambling, drinks and drugs in an abusive household. Officers were looking into how Universal Credit payments could be split between partners as the current system did not take into account issues of financial control.

 

Ms Cox said that there was work happening on a national level, all the political parties had indicated that they wished to bring back the Domestic Abuse bill back to parliament and keen to see economic abuse in the same category as domestic abuse. Lloyds Bank Foundation were also piloting a number of projects to tackle domestic abuse including awards for the most ‘Domestic Violence helpful’ bank and encouraging other banks to adopt a code of conduct around domestic abuse, and if possible, make this a statutory requirement.

 

Ms Cox also noted the training offered to the police ‘DA Matters’ provided by Safe Lives, but the police did not always take up this training, as they had internal training courses of their own for local economic abuse. She also said that Solace had a pilot scheme in Waltham Forest and was looking to extend this.