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The minutes of the previous meeting of the Infrastructure Safety & Growth Scrutiny Committee held on 27th February 2020 were approved as a correct record.
(Moved by Councillor A Farrell and seconded by Councillor Dr S Peaple)
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of Members’ interests (personal and/or personal and prejudicial) in any matters which are to be considered at this meeting.
When Members are declaring a personal interest or personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they have dispensation, they should specify the nature of such interest. Members should leave the room if they have a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they do not have a dispensation.
There were no declarations of interest.
Update from the Chair
To receive an update from the Chair
The Chair thanked members for attending this first remote meeting of the Infrastructure Safety & Growth Scrutiny Committee.
The Chair welcomed the new member of this Committee, Councillor Richard Kingstone.
The Chair reminded members that the 31st March 2020 Infrastructure Safety & Growth Scrutiny Committee meeting had been cancelled. That meeting had been due to receive an update on local crime figures from the Chief Inspector. This would now be considered in this meeting together with an update from the Assistant Director Partnerships on community safety.
(Report of the Assistant Director, Growth and Regeneration)
The Chair welcomed the Portfolio Holder for Heritage and Growth and the Senior Regeneration Officer who were in attendance for this item. The Chair reminded the Committee that this was an area where the committee had made recommendations to Cabinet around 12 months ago and that tonight the committee would receive an update on progress.
The Portfolio Holder introduced the report and invited the Officer attending to provide a brief overview.
The Senior Regeneration Officer provided the following updates:
· since completion of the report there had been contact from one private sector organisation expressing an interest in taking a long term lease to provide a charging point;
· that Staffordshire County Council was looking at taking part in a research and development project;
· that electricity capacity issues could mean that residential charging would be required as part of the solution.
The Committee considered the report and commented and sought and received clarifications in the following areas:
· further details around the County Council option were requested;
· further consideration over the expression of interest in a long term lease and whether the proposed location at Riverside would be appropriate for this length of lease given other potential developments in the town;
· questions over the benefits to residents of Tamworth as opposed to visitors, depending upon the technology pursued;
· questions over the capability of the electricity network to deliver on proposed options;
· some members considered that provision in Tamworth was behind other areas, and other councils, and that a plan to make provision was required, notwithstanding some of the technological uncertainties;
· the role for the council in supporting modal shifts in transport were considered whilst acknowledging the realities of the car market which currently existed;
· suggested that contacts were made with other local councils who had started their journey to support electric vehicle charging points; such as in Newcastle under Lyme and Stafford;
· what data the council had access to in terms of electric vehicle charging demand locally, and what research had been undertaken. It was suggested that contact be made with the Society of Motor Manufacturers for relevant data and well as looking to neighbouring councils;
· it was highlighted that it was important for any decisions to be clear on where the demand was for charging provision and it was reported that demand for charging facilities was expected to be from both visitors and from residents without driveways in terms of on street charging;
· comments over the proposed Riverside car park location were raised, including the need for there to be a strategic view as to where provision could best be located. It was considered that any supplier would be better able to judge the location specifics; and
· it was suggested that consideration could be given to utilising s106 support in new residential developments.
The Chair moved that Recommendation 1 from the report be amended to remove reference to a specific location, and that an additional Recommendation 5 be added such that a timescale for provision of electric vehicle infrastructure be specific as ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
(Report of the Assistant Director, Partnerships)
The Chair welcomed the Portfolio Holder for Regulatory and Community Safety, the Assistant Director, Partnerships and the Chief Inspector Talbot, the Tamworth NPT Commander to the meeting for this item.
The Portfolio Holder introduced the item which was for the Committee to consider the draft 2020-2023 Community Safety Partnership Plan and to receive a Police and Partnership Update and invited the Assistant Director to provide an overview of the report.
The Assistant Director provided an overview of the key achievements for the 2017-2019 Priorities highlighting the steady reduction in reported anti-social behaviour (ASB), the introduction of new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs), the success of the Local Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) and the development of Tamworth Borough Council CCTV under a shared agreement with West Midlands Combined Authority. The Assistant Director provided an overview of the 2020-2023 Priorities which included ASB, Domestic Abuse and Stalking & Harassment, Burglaries, County Lines, Public Place Violence and Vulnerable Persons and Contextual Safeguarding.
Chief Inspector Talbot provided an overview to the Committee on areas of work which particularly contribute to the priorities outlined in the Community Safety Plan:
· The relocation of Tamworth NPT officers to the Belgrave Fire Station – work continued on ensuring public access to officers via the intercom system
· Harm Reduction Hub
· Local MARAC and the work to reduce domestic violence through development of partnership solutions
· ASB figures for Tamworth, where reported ASB had reduced and where the general compliance with COVID-19 rules had been good.
· PSPOs which had been introduced and publicised which had worked work.
· COVID-19 and management of BLM protects. It was reported that the police had locally facilitated three BLM protests.
· Future work and engagement in Tamworth where work would continue to ensure that the tone and style of policing locally remained correct and relevant.
Committee members welcomed the Chief Inspector to Tamworth and made comments and sought further clarifications in the following areas:
· The differences sometimes between the perceived crime levels and reported crime levels and how to manage this. The Assistant Director reported that whilst during lockdown levels of police reported local domestic abuse had not risen, the call for services from partner agencies, such as New Era, had increased and where relevant, information received from partner agencies could be considered by MARAC to support high risk callers such that strategies could be developed to reduce the level of harm and risk.
· The presentation of data and whether there could be any differentiation between the town centre figures and the remainder of the Castle ward. It was reported that the software used to compile the data was changing and the new system should be able to deliver more current information.
RESOLVED that the Committee recommend to Cabinet that it endorse the Tamworth Community Safety Plan 2020-2023 for publication.
(Moved by Councillor Dr S Peaple and seconded by Councillor P Thurgood)
The Chair thanked The Portfolio Holder, the Chief Inspector and the Assistant Director for their attendance, who then left the meeting.
(Discussion item – link to Forward Plan is attached)
The Committee considered the Forward Plan and agreed that the item on the ICT Strategy should be brought to this Committee and the Chair agreed to consider further the optimum timing for the committee’s consideration.
Councillor Bilcliff thanked the ICT team for its assistance in supporting his participation at this meeting.
The Committee agreed that Gungate would continue to be considered by the Corporate Scrutiny Committee.
(Update and discussion on the Infrastructure Safety & Growth Scrutiny Work Plan)
The Committee considered its Work Plan and agreed that it was important at this time to keep the work plan as flexible as possible.
RESOLVED that the Chair work with relevant Officers to identify items for upcoming meeting and to amend the Work Plan accordingly.
(Moved Councillor Dr S Peaple and seconded by Councillor R Bilcliff).
The indicative Work Plan is set out below.