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COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 18th October, 2017.

 

Present:  Councillor Mrs. C.A. Cave (Vice-Chairman in the Chair); Councillors Ms. J. Aviet, G.D.D. Carroll, S.T. Edwards, Mrs. S.M. Hanks, P.G. King, K.F. McCaffer, M.J.G. Morgan and M.R. Wilson.

 

Representing Town and Community Councils:  J. Hawkins (Barry Town Council), J.R. Harris (Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council), Dr. P. Dickson  (Llantwit Major Town Council), C. Roach (Colwinston Community Council), S.J. Griffiths

(Dinas Powys Community Council), H.L. Baker (Ewenny Community Council), Dr. A. Rees (Llancarfan Community Council),   P. Carreyett (Llandough Community Council), R. Thomas (Llandow Community Council), J.H. Teague (Llanfair Community Council), D. Reed (Llangan Community Council), G. Smith (Llanmaes Community Council), S. Parnell (Pendoylan Community Council), S. Howells (Penllyn Community Council), C. Cowie (St. Donats Community Council), J. Powell (St. Georges and St. Brides Super Ely Community Council), G. Rawson (St. Nicholas and Bonvilston) and N. Craddock (Welsh St. Donats Community Council).

 

 

397     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

These were received from Councillor Mrs. J.E. Charles (Chairman); Councillors N.P. Hodges, Mrs. S.D. Perkes and A.R. Robertson (Vale of Glamorgan Council). 

 

 

398     MINUTES –

 

AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 4th July, 2017 be accepted as a correct record.

 

 

399     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The following Members declared an interest in Agenda Item No. 5 in that they had received dispensation from the Standards Committee to speak and vote on matters relating to Reshaping Services and would therefore remain in the meeting: Councillors Ms. J. Aviet, S.J. Griffiths, Mrs. S. M. Hanks, K.F. McCaffer and M.R. Wilson.

 

 

400     POLICE MATTERS –

 

In presenting her report Chief Inspector Lisa Gore referred to a number of items as outlined below.

  • Automated Facial Recognition

The Police had new technology that could be deployed to locations to detect people.  It was used at the airport and in Cardiff during UEFA Champions League.  The police would shortly have a vehicle which contained the equipment and portable cameras so that they could deploy the technology where it was needed.

  • Acquisitive Crime – Vale of Glamorgan

There had been a sudden rise in burglary offences committed during the daytime within the community.  There was no specific property type being targeted and all had been unoccupied while occupants were at work. The modus operandi suggested a linked pattern (rear entry usually through a smashed rear window), full untidy search with varying degrees of items stolen and sought including electric, jewellery and on occasion vehicles if present.

 

The numbers were however not extreme but there was a clear pattern and an operation had been implemented to tackle the situation with two clear objectives:

 

1.  Reduce burglary offences (and fear of) within the community

2.  Bring to justice those suspected of committing the acts.

 

Crime reduction and prevention had been led by the local policing teams who had engaged in high visible patrols and extensive media appeals as well as leaflet drops.  This was ongoing.

 

The CID and proactive teams had been working hard to ensure those suspected of committing the offences were arrested and interviewed in a timely manner.  Thus far this had been achieved with some notable successes.  Chief Inspector Gore was aware of three prolific burglars who had been charged and remanded during this operation for separate offences.  Others were being sought who were currently wanted, by working with officers from neighbouring Base Command Units and the local media.  Chief Inspector Gore assured the Committee that all lines of enquiry were being pursued with a focus on technical and forensic work.

 

The operation was due to run until the end of October and the Chief Inspector would provide an update at the next meeting of the Committee.

  • Barry Update

Operation Grey Biscay – This was the summer long Barry Island weekend over by NPT staff.  The operation employed extra officers to police the Island, providing confidence to traders and visiting families, preventing and reducing Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and supporting the town’s summertime economy.

 

Barry Night Time Economy on Broad Street and High Street.  Operations during the reporting period utilised drug itemiser checks, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate Committee with food outlets, trading standards and joint licensing visits.  CCTV provision had increased the coverage of weekend night time economy at the location until 04:00 hours supporting the deployed officers.

 

Ongoing PACT and “Cuppa with a Copper“ meetings continued – contact Officer Deryn Martin at Barry Police Station.

 

Ride Along Scheme – Barry response units were joined by Alun Cairns MP on Friday, 22nd September, 2017, who experienced a night shift with officers and took part on Operation RAVEN, patrolling on foot along Broad Street and High Street.  The invitation is open to all Council Members who may be interested in taking part in the community engagement scheme.

 

Anti-social behaviour in and around Victoria Park was being addressed by the Community Safety Department and Barry Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT).  Operation Grey Mulhacen would enforce the ongoing actions with increased visibility at key times in support of the Parks Department.

 

Operation Blue Minnesota, an anti-slavery (forced labour) operation with visits to Barry Nail Bars and Car Washes in conjunction with HMRC, trading standards and UK Border Force (Immigration).

 

Police officers attended the Queen’s Baton Reply celebrations on Barry Island on 5th September, 2017 and were employed on community engagement and security duties.  This was a large public event which had been publicised in the local press.

 

Barry NPT supported the annual Hindu Chariot Festival Event on Saturday, 22nd July at the Barry Memorial Hall and facilitated the town parade along Holton Road.

 

Officers had supported the Barry Mosque during periods of national and international tensions as a result of further terrorist incidents.  Sector management had attended at end of Friday’s prayers to provide support and reassurance to the Leaders and members of the local Islamic community.  South Wales Police security advisors had provided assistance to the Mosque leaders, submitting a funding application to the Home Office for security upgrades to the building.

 

Various Barry events – in July the Isle of Fire and Street Music Weekender at Barry Island; in August the Circus Weekender, Red Arrows, Continental Market, Street Dance and Storytelling weekender on Barry Island and Cinema by the Sea also at Barry Island.

 

Future projected Barry events – Barry Island bonfire night display, Halloween celebrations, Remembrance Day parade and staff planning for the Christmas and New Year periods.

  • Pen-Vale

Llantwit officer supported another well attended and successful Vale Show.

 

Penarth Response, British Transport Police and NPT officers had engaged with groups of local and Cardiff youths in and around Cogan Leisure Centre, which had been subject to ongoing ASB.  This Police action was supported by local schools, the Vale Community Safety Department and Council officers.

 

Extensive work had been ongoing all summer with youths attending the Rhoose Point “pond” to swim and tombstone.  Way-marker, regular patrols, the South Wales police dive team had attended to establish underwater hazards.  New signage and warning marker highlighting the dangers in conjunction with the Local Authority.

 

Llantwit Major NPT and CID had taken extensive action against local youths after an increase in ASB and related offences.  Community safety involvement with Behaviour Orders and prosecutions of identified criminal offences. 

  • Projected

Planning in conjunction with the Local Authority for the Cowbridge and Llantwit Major Bonfire night display.

 

Planning for Halloween celebrations with increased Police numbers and NPT (officers and PCSOs) on duty during the key times (14:00 – 00:00 hours).

 

Planning for Remembrance Day parade on Sunday, 12th November, 2017 at Cowbridge, Llantwit Major and Rhoose.

 

Staff planning for the Christmas period and New Year, including the well-attended Cowbridge reindeer parade. 

  • Parking Around Schools

Planning was underway with Fairfield Primary School in Penarth for a pilot to alleviate the dangerous and / or illegal parking around schools.

 

Currently involved in the pilot were Police, the School’s Headteacher, the School Governor, the Local Authority Highways Department and Traffic Enforcement Department, the Community Safety Partnership, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Welsh Ambulance Service and Councillor P.G. King.  The pilot started with the introduction of the Junior PCSO scheme and some education of parents and students.

 

During the summer Highways attended and repainted any road markings.  The local residents were all asked if they wanted to pay to have lines painted on the road outside their drives (for a fee).

 

The green cone scheme was in place and the school were also buying sandwich board type signs.

 

The Police were keen for the school to introduce a “walking bus” where children could be dropped off / collect from a safe location a short walk from the school but at the moment there was a lack of volunteers to enable this to happen.

 

The Police would move to “Junior PCSOs” issuing “parking tickets” and giving parking advice, and finally joint enforcement campaigns with the PCSOs and Civil Enforcement Officers.  Inspector Gore felt that it was important to education and try other alternatives first.  The pilot complemented the Public Services Board objectives as it gave children the skills to be resilient and encourage them to be more active.

 

They key to the success of this pilot was the identification and provision of alternative sites for the parents to park their cars.  The local PCSO had created a map showing the walking distance between the school and different parts of Penarth to encourage parents / carers to park away from the school and walk in for 5-10 minutes.  Councillor King had also assisted by having discussions with local shops to establish if they were amenable to parents parking their cars at that location.

  • Controlled Drugs

There were challenges with drugs in the Vale in the same way that there was elsewhere.  Over the last few months one individual was sentenced to five years in prison for Possession With Intent to Supply (PWITS) cocaine, another individual was currently on remand for PWITS crack cocaine and heroin and another two for PWITS cocaine.

  • Operation Red Volcano

County lines / cuckooing was an emerging national issue.  County lines was the term for a drug distribution model which typically involved an organised crime group, sometimes known as an urban street gang, travelling to areas away from their home locations to sell drugs.  The Police have experienced this across South Wales and the Vale.  However, while the drug dealing was why they were coming to South Wales, the threat to our communities was largely based on how they undertook their criminal business.

 

These gangs were exploiting the most vulnerable members of society – using and abusing vulnerable adults and children to do their “dirty” work.

 

Operating from areas such as London, Birmingham and Liverpool, the gangs communicated with customers via a branded mobile number that was held in the urban home location.  Orders were communicated to low level dealers or runners working in the “county” location who then met the customer to supply the drugs.  This was just one tactic that helped the gang leaders evade detection.

 

Other tactics included rotating gang members between locations so that they were not identified by law enforcement or competitors, and exploiting vulnerable women and children to support drugs in the belief that they were less likely to be stopped and searched.

 

Organised crime groups functioned with a high degree of affiliation and loyalty, and they would challenge existing groups or other county lines enterprises for territory which could leave to an escalation of violence which impacted on the wider community.

 

Gangs controlled these vulnerable people using a combination of intimidation, violence, debt bondage, and grooming and would go as far as taking over a vulnerable adult’s property to create a local base for their activities.  This was known as “cuckooing” and again the Police had also seen incidences of this in their Force area.

 

Protecting vulnerable people was the Police’s number one priority and they needed to work together with the Council to make the Vale a hostile place to these gangs.

 

Signs of cuckooing included an increase in rubbish from a property, lots of callers to a property, increased mail, increased food deliveries, etc.

 

Chief Inspector Gore advised that she would provide a PowerPoint presentation to the next meeting of the Committee on the subject County lines.

 

Following consideration of the report, Members acknowledged the offer of a patrol ride along and took the Chief Inspector’s e-mail address Lisa.Gore@south-wales.pnn.police.uk should they wish to take up the offer. 

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council Member from Penarth referred to the issue of hypodermic needles being left in and around the Stanwell Ward and queried what Police action had been undertaken to address the matter.  Inspector Gore advised that she had not been notified of the issue but would look into the matter and report back as appropriate. In considering this issue reference was made to street cleansing and the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer agreed to refer the matter to the Visible Services Department for comment as to whether this was a matter the Council would be able to address.

 

Following on the Member for Llandough advised that a number of small cylinders had been left in and around fields in Llandough, again the Inspector advised that she would link in with the local PCSOs to discuss the matter. 

 

Having considered the report, it was subsequently

 

AGREED – T H A T Chief Inspector Gore be thanked for a thorough and comprehensive report.

 

 

401     NOMINATION OF REPRESENTATIVES FROM TOWN AND COMMUNITY COUNCILS FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICES BOARD, RESHAPING SERVICES PROGRAMME BOARD, RESHAPING SERVICES PROJECT TEAM, VOLUNTARY SECTOR JOINT LIAISON COMMITTEE AND STRONG COMMUNITIES FUND EVALUATION PANEL (MD) –

 

The report sought nominations for appointments of the above representatives.

 

At the meeting of the Community Liaison committee in July 2017, the Committee considered a report for representation on various bodies, but deferred consideration to provide time for further consideration regarding the commitment required.  At that time, Councillor Mike Cuddy advised that he would be happy to remain as the representative on the Public Services Board (PSB) and Reshaping Services Programme Board and Project Team until the next meeting of the Committee to ensure Town and Community Councils had a voice on all and that representation could continue until the appointments were reconsidered at the next meeting of the Committee.

 

The current report therefore provided further information relating to the roles, including the commitment required from representatives and arrangements for the various meetings in order to enable the Committee to consider nominations further. 

 

Following discussion at the meeting, both the representatives from the Town and Community Councils and the Vale of Glamorgan Elected Members subsequently

 

AGREED –

 

(1)       T H A T Councillor M. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council) be appointed as the representative from the Community Liaison Committee to sit on the Public Services Board for a term of two years.

 

(2)       T H A T Councillor M. Cuddy (Penarth Town Council) be appointed as the representative from the Community Liaison Committee to sit on the Council’s Reshaping Services Programme Board for a term of two years.

 

(3)       T H A T Councillor D. Reed (Llangan Community Council) be appointed as the representative from the Community Liaison Committee to sit on the Council’s Reshaping Services Programme Town and Community Councils and Voluntary Sector Project Team for a term of two years.

 

(4)       T H A T Councillor A. Barnaby (St. Athan Community Council) be appointed as the Community Liaison Committee representative to sit on the Council’s Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee for a term of two years.

 

(5)       T H A T Ms. Emily Forbes (Clerk to Barry Town Council) and Councillor C. Roach (Colwinston Community Council) be appointed as the Community Liaison Committee representative from a Town Council and a Community Council respectively to be a member of the Strong Communities Fund Evaluation Panel for a term of one year.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1-3)    To ensure effective engagement between Town and Community Councils and the Public Services Board and the Reshaping Services Programme.

 

(4)       To ensure effective engagement between the Community Liaison Committee and the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee.

 

(5)       To enable Town and Community Councils to have involvement in the evaluation of the Council’s Strong Communities Grant Fund.

 

           

402     OUR VALE – OUR FUTURE, THE PUBLIC SERVICES BOARD DRAFT WELL-BEING PLAN (MD) – 

Committee was informed that the Public Services Board (PSB) had to publish a Well-being Plan by 4th May, 2018.  The Well-being of Future Generations Act placed a duty on Community and Town Councils with a gross income or expenditure of at least £200,000 for each of the three financial years preceding the year in which the local Well-being Plan was published to take “all reasonable steps” towards meeting the local objectives set out in the area’s local Well-being Plan. 

 

A Community or Town Council which was subject to this duty must also publish a report annually detailing its progress in meeting the objectives contained in the Well-being Plan.  The statutory guidance issued by Welsh Government (WG) encouraged Community and Town Councils which were subject to the duty to liaise with PSBs on the objectives outlined in the Well-being Plan.

 

In May 2017 the Vale PSB published its Well-being Assessment.  The Assessment brought together a wealth of information from a wide range of sources and provided a comprehensive picture of well-being in the Vale of Glamorgan.  As part of the consultation on the draft Well-being Assessment views were sought on the four areas of focus which the PSB had identified to provide a framework for the Well-being Plan.  The four areas of focus were engagement, the environment, early years and tackling poverty / inequalities.  All Community and Town Councils were consulted on the assessment of local well-being and would be consultees to the Well-being Plan.

 

Following the consultation on the Assessment and subsequent publication, the PSB started work on the development of the Plan.  This included the development and implementation of a self-assessment tool focusing on leadership, policy, activities, resources and impact in relation to the four areas of focus.  Two expert workshops had also been held and discussions with partners had been ongoing throughout the process.  The PSB had also taken account of feedback from the Future Generations Commissioner on the Well-being Assessment and the approach to developing the Plan.

 

As a result of this work the PSB had drafted a vision for 2050 and a Well-being Plan for 2018-2023 with four well-being objectives and a number of short term and long term actions.  The Plan represented the first steps in achieving the 2050 vision.

 

The PSB's four Well-being Objectives were:

  • to enable people to get involved, participate in their local communities and shape local services
  • to reduce poverty and tackle inequalities linked to deprivation
  • to give children the best start in life
  • to protect, enhance and value our environment.

The full draft Plan was attached as Appendix A to the report and detailed how the Well-being Objectives had been set, proposed actions, how the plan fitted with other partnership plans and strategies and the outcomes the Council wanted to achieve.  An Executive Summary was attached as Appendix B to the report.

 

The actions in the draft Plan had been discussed at length across the PSB and reflected where partners thought their collective action could add the greatest value in contributing to the national well-being goals.  Many of the actions in the draft Plan cut across a number of objectives and demonstrated how partners were looking to integrate activities to deliver a range of outcomes.

 

Consultation on the draft Plan would run for 12 weeks and would end on 20th December.  During the consultation period there would be a range of activities and ways that would assist people and organisations to have their say.  These included:

  • a link to the draft Plan and dates of the stakeholder workshops had been circulated to all statutory consultees, Town and Community Councils and a wide range of organisations including those that participated in the engagement to date on the Well-being Assessment and draft Plan;
  • PSB partners had already been out and about at different events to talk about the PSB and the draft Plan including the 50+ Forum event, Barry Jobs Fair, Big Volunteer event and the Equalities Consultative Forum.  Officers would also be out about in the different communities and attending more events over the coming weeks;
  • an online survey and social media campaign ~30 days of wellbeing will be launched on 23rd October and promoted by all partners;
  • two stakeholder workshops would be held on 29th November and 6th December.

Following the consultation the feedback would be considered by the PSB and the draft Plan amended and agreed for publication at the beginning of May 2018.

 

The representative from Barry Town Council could confirm that Barry Town Council would be considering the document at its meeting on 30th October, 2017 and that the Barry Town Council Corporate Plan was in line with the seven objectives. 

 

Councillor Cuddy, the Town and Community Council representative on the PSB, took the opportunity to thank the Vale Council for including the Town and Community Council sector on the PSB.  He advised that it was good to see co-operation between all the organisations, that the draft plan had been developed in considering local services and their related issues and that every community could get involved in the process. 

 

In acknowledging that the work of the PSB was to try to ensure that the relevant bodies worked together collaboratively, a Member queried the fact that they had different objectives and what engagement had currently been undertaken with the relevant organisations.  In response, the Head of Performance and Development advised that there had been a long history of various organisations trying to work together for the good of the customer / citizen.  He mentioned the Health and Social Care interface as an example, where user needs should be paramount but where the differing organisational objectives and separate budgets of various provider organisations were obstacles.  The challenges were to align objectives and budgets towards common aims, and this would be one of the tasks of the PSB.

 

A Member acknowledged that the actions in the Plan were ambitious with the response that the PSB was aware of the challenges it faced and the need to “get down to the grass roots level”.  A possibility was for each of the Plan’s objectives to be given to an organisation to take the lead on, but further work was needed in that respect. 

 

Representatives from St. Athan advised that they would welcome officer attendance at Community Council meeting to provide a presentation on the Plan, after it had been fully adopted. Following a further query as to whether the Plan (once adopted) would be rolled out to all departments within the Council, Committee was advised that this was the intention.

 

It was subsequently

 

AGREED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Public Services Board draft Well-being Plan be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Community Liaison Committee acknowledged that presentations to Town and Community Councils could be provided by officers on request.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In recognition of the contents of the report and discussions at the meeting.

 

(2)       In recognition of the invitation for officer attendance at meetings.

 

 

403     INFORMATION ON CARE FIRST FOR TOWN AND COMMUNITY COUNCILS –

 

The Corporate Health and Safety Officer, in commencing the presentation, advised that the new employee assistance programme had been introduced on 1st June, 2016 and that counselling was available to all employees 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.  The cost to the Council was £1.54 per employee per annum, with the contact telephone number being 0800 174319.  Care First provided a number of services including telephone counselling, face to face counselling, information services, lifestyle and Zest applications, etc.  There were over 5,600 employees in the Vale and the total cost of the service was £8,500 for the year.

 

With specific reference to telephone counselling, Committee was informed that trained counsellors were on hand and the facility could be offered in Welsh and was accessed via a free phone number.  For face-to-face counselling, following an assessment up to six sessions were available.  Information services provided advice, support and information on any real life crisis including finances, health and family etc. 

 

For further information, Members were advised to contact Andrea Davies or Nicky Johns at the following e-mail addresses ardavies@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk and njohns@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk and telephone number 01446 709361. 

 

Following the presentation, Members queried as a number of Town and Community Councils had only a small amount of staff working for them, whether employees could be identified.  In response, the Corporate Health and Safety Officer advised that having looked at the reports that she had received to date she had no idea who the people receiving counselling were, the information only detailed  the number of new clients per month and how many had registered (for Lifestyle/Zest).  However, a number of Members considered that due to the very small numbers in Community Councils, it would not be difficult to narrow down the information and identify the member of staff and therefore sought assurance on the matter from the organisation.  The Corporate Health and Safety Officer confirmed that the report identified numbers per Directorate and that Town and Community Councils would be included as another ‘Directorate’.  If all Town and Community Councils opted in it would be difficult for individuals to be identified.

 

With regard to face-to-face consultation and whether staff had to travel the Committee was advised that counsellors could go to the home of the person or an independent venue could be arranged within around 20 minutes of where they lived. 

 

The representative from Barry Town Council advised that his Council was interested in exploring the service and requested that Ms. Davies contact Emily Forbes, the Clerk. 

 

Following a query as to whether there was a proposal to extend the service to Councillors as well as employees, the Corporate Health and Safety Officer agreed to report back to the Committee with more detailed information. She also advised that she would be providing the information to all Town and Community Councils, with the Chair urging all Councils to be involved in the process so that they were all aware of the scheme and could take advantage of the service for their employees when appropriate. 

 

Following a query as to the level of uptake, Committee was informed that for the last quarter 20 new clients had registered and there had been 30 face-to-face sessions that had taken place.  Although the uptake had not been a massive increase compared with the previous year it had increased significantly.  

 

A number of Members, considering that it was a very important service, suggested that it would be more appropriate for an opt-in policy to be established. 

 

Having fully considered the report and the comments made by Members of the Committee, it was subsequently unanimously

 

AGREED –

 

(1)       T H A T the service be rolled out to all Town and Community Councils with an opt-in approach being established.

 

(2)       T H A T the recommendation be referred to Cabinet for approval.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  Following agreement at the meeting and to seek Cabinet approval.