Agenda and minutes
Venue: Birkenhead Town Hall
Contact: Lyndzay Roberts
MEMBERS' CODE OF CONDUCT- DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests in connection with any item(s) on the agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.
Councillor Phil Davies and Councillor Chris Meaden declared a personal interest in Item 3 – Constituency Managers Update by virtue of them being Non-Executive Directors of Lairdside Communities Together.
The Committee be requested to approve the accuracy of minutes of the meeting held on 30 October 2014.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 30 October 2014 be agreed as a correct record.
The Chair welcomed Ms Jo Burrell to the meeting as the new Constituency Manager – Birkenhead and wished her well for the future.
The Chair further introduced and welcomed Inspector George Minnery, Sergeant Mike Brunskill and Kim Dawn, Office of Police and Crime Commission to the Constituency Committee who were the new neighbourhood policing team for Birkenhead.
The Committee considered the report by the Head of Neighbourhoods and Engagement that updated the Committee on progress on the actions taken following its last meeting on 30 October 2014 (Minute 17 refers).
Attached to the report were appendices which the Constituency Manager presented to the Committee in relation to Town Talk Community Newspaper, Improving the Environment Project, LCT Update, Antenatal Breast Feeding Project Quarterly Report October 2014- January 2015); Birkenhead Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, Community Researchers Project Action Plan and the Community Engagement Activity.
The Constituency Manager updated the Committee on the following:
Seven Beats Projects Performance Overview
The Constituency Manager circulated at the meeting, a performance overview of the Seven Beats Projects from 1 October 2014 to 31 January 2015 compared to 1 October 2013 to 31 January 2014 and 1 October 2012 to 31 January 2013; business breakdown 7 Beats and highlighted the activity during 1/10/14-31/01/15.
Town Talk Community Newspaper
The Constituency Manager circulated a copy of the Town Talk Community Newspaper and indicated that the publication had been delivered throughout the area and had received positive feedback from community groups and the general public. Members indicated that they felt that the newspaper could be improved and commented that members should have been given the opportunity to comment on it prior to its distribution.
The Chair commented that as this was the first published edition, the responses and feedback receive would help shape future publications.
Improving the Environment
The Constituency Manager updated the Committee on the three month contract report from Lairdside Communities Together which identified sites for proposed action.
Members asked if a report could be provided to the next meeting highlighting the contract details and progress made to date. The Constituency Manager indicated that six sites had been identified with more sites still to be completed.
A Member commented about the scheduled clearance of the Balls Road/Oxton Road area which was in need of urgent attention.
Antenatal Project Quarterly Report
The Constituency Manager updated the Committee on the antenatal project which was going well.
In relation to the Home-Start Project, the Constituency Manager indicated that the mentoring service was going well and suggested that representatives from the project be invited to attend the next meeting of the Committee to update Members on the progress to date.
(1) the Constituency Manager’s report be noted;
(2) a report be provided to the next meeting highlighting the contract details and progress made to date in relation to improve the environment; and
(3) the Constituency Manager be requested to invite representatives from the Home-Start Project to the next meeting of the Committee to update on progress.
ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR DATA UPDATE
To receive a verbal report.
The Committee received an update on the data and the action plan in relation to anti-social behaviour (ASB) from Mr Tony Kinsella, Independent Consultant.
In response to a question from the Chair and Members, Mr Kinsella indicated that there may be problems with reporting systems (e.g. Community Patrol System do not have a case management system to record and manage ASB) and residents tolerance levels (e.g. Birkenhead) as to why there was such a low figure; intelligence was used to target services and activities to tackle ASB.
In relation to the high number of sexual violence reported, Mr Kinsella indicated that he would reported back to Members as to whether this classed as domestic violence and also the age profiles of those reporting the incidents.
Mr Kinsella indicated that meetings were being held with representatives from Fire, Police and Magenta Living to discuss their budgets and how it’s allocated for tackling ASB.
The Chair commented that the budget allocation for tackling ASB was less than satisfactory with a totally unfair distribution for Birkenhead. He suggested that when new money became available the Committee could look at 3/4 hotspots and consult with partners to see how together, ASB in particular gangs hanging around businesses and shops could be tackled.
Mr Mark Camborne from the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit indicated that in relation to similar project such as the Troubled Families, figures had not been produced; therefore it was unknown what affect these had, had on reducing crime figures.
A Member indicated that although the Council had limited resources, the budget had been set and money allocated to each of the constituency committees; these allocations would be reviewed to ensure that each committee received adequate resources for their needs.
A Member stressed the importance of all partners sharing the same data set and pooling resources to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Mr Paul Griffiths, McDonalds Restaurants commented that the figures reported were only a snapshot of what was really happening in Birkenhead. In response to a question from the Chair, Mr Griffiths indicated that he reported less 10% of the incidents, but paid tribute to the police for their fantastic response to those incidents staff had reported.
Sergeant Mike Brunskill urged Members and members of the public to reports all incidents of ASB, this helped the Police to shape their service provision to where it was needed.
The Chair requested that further information be provided on the data surrounding ASB and the Council’s strategy to support this important issue.
That the update on Anti-Social Behaviour be noted.
PUBLIC QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Prior to the Item 6 – Public Questions and Answers, A Member raised the issue of the Town Talk Newspaper and in light of Members views expressed earlier in the meeting asked Members to consider as to whether or not there should be a future edition of the Newspaper.
That the Chair and Leader of the Council, Councillor Phil Davies be requested to follow up on the views expressed by Members about there being a future edition of the Town Talk Newspaper.
Following on from the debate, The Chair indicated that 11 questions had been received prior to the meeting all of which had received a response from appropriate officers, copies of which were made available at the meeting.
The Chair invited the following members of the public to ask their questions.
Question 1 Tom Kershaw
Mr Kershaw raised concerns regarding the congestion on Gerald Road/Shrewsbury Road/Ball Road and down towards Borough Road.
He further expressed concern regarding the introduction of a mini roundabout at the junction of Gerald Road and Shrewsbury Road increasing the volume of traffic in the area.
Mr Kershaw had received a written response from the Technical Services Department.
A Member commented that the response received had not answered the concerns raised by Mr Kershaw and requested that a further written response be provided to Mr Kershaw
Question 2 Alfred Lennon
Mr Lennon raised concern regarding the Authority’s planning function and in particular the enforcement of planning conditions conveying the impression of chaos.
Mr Lennon raised concern regarding the ‘Courtyard’ Public Bar; a banner erected on the site of the former HSBC back without planning permission and a large blue metal box installed on the footway in Victoria Mout outside the ‘Simply Drinks’ premises.
Mr Lennon had received a response from the Planning Department. A member indicated that the he was still awaiting further information from the Planning Department in response to the queries raised by Mr Lennon.
The Chair also asked for further information as to how many people had be prosecuted for illegal dumping and dog fouling.
Question 3 Bob Giles
Mr Giles asked about the vending machines at Europa and West Kirby leisure centres offering junk food.
In response Councillor Meaden, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture indicated that officers had experimented with healthy food at the centres but there was a lot of food wastage. The Council were in the process of looking at the leisure offer upon the end of the contract in April 2015.
Question 9 Rob Ellis
Mr Ellis raised concerns regarding the lack of street lighting on James Street, Oxton and also the dog fouling in Oxton Village.
Mr Ellis had received a response from the Technical Services Department.
In response to the request for further use of CCTV, A Member indicated that extra CCTV was included in budget resolution to Council, a Member then suggested that the Car Camera Vehicle be used to capture incidents of dog fouling.
In response to comments from Members, the ... view the full minutes text for item 6.