Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities
Thursday, 26th July, 2018 3.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Council House. View directions

Contact: Michelle Rose  Tel: 024 7683 3111; Email: michelle.rose@coventry.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no disclosable pecuniary interests.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 86 KB

(a)  To agree the minutes of the Cabinet Member (Policing and Equalities) meeting held on 13th March, 2018

 

(b)  Matters arising

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 13th March, 2018 were agreed as a true record.

3.

Gambling Act 2005 - Revised Statement of Licensing Policy 2019 - 2022 pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place) which sought Members views and approval to consult on the draft revised Statement of Licensing Policy 2019-2022 under the Gambling Act 2005.  The report was due to be considered by Licensing and Regulatory Committee on 14th August, 2018.

 

Under the terms of the Gambling Act 2005 the Council’s Statement of Gambling Policy had to be renewed every three years.  The current Statement of Gambling Policy came into effect on 31st January 2016 and a review must therefore be completed.  There was a requirement in the Act for the Council to publish and advertise the revised Statement of Gambling Policy at least 4 weeks before, by 3rd January 2019.

 

The Gambling Policy produced by the Licensing Authority under the Gambling Act 2005 was relevant for all licensing decisions taken by the Council as the Licensing Authority over three years commencing on 31st January 2019.

 

The general principles of the Gambling Policy remain the same and the document was still centred around the Gambling Act's three licensing objectives, namely:

 

  Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being   associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime;

  Ensuring that gambling was conducted in a fair and open way; and

  Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or   exploited by gambling.

 

Before amending the policy for a further three year period, licensing authorities were required to carry out a wide consultation process.  In addition to those it must consult by law, the Council had authority to include in the process any individuals or organisations it deemed appropriate. 

 

The Responsible Authorities (statutory consultees - Gambling Commission, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, Planning, Environmental Health (functions in relation to pollution to the environment or harm to human health) Safeguarding Children Board, HM Revenue & Customs), Community Safety team and Public Health would be consulted on the draft revised policy.

 

The public consultation exercise would begin on the 7th August 2018, for a 6 week period and finish on the 18th September 2018 and would include the following elements:-

 

  Mail shots to representatives of the licensed trade, clubs and key   partners;

  Formally writing to the Chief Officers of the responsible authorities;

  Mail shots to businesses and organisations; and

  Wider public consultation through the City Council Web Site

 

The revised policy complied with updated Gambling Commissions guidance and regulations. It had been developed with all 6 Warwickshire Licensing Authorities (Warwickshire County Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Rugby Borough Council, Stratford on Avon District Council and Warwick District Council), although each authority had adapted the policy to suit the needs of their area and profile. 

 

A copy of the draft revised policy was attached as an Appendix to the report.  There were no proposed significant changes to the policy only minor amendments and additions.  These were highlighted in grey in the draft revised policy.

 

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Response to a petition regarding concerns over environmental issues, anti-social and criminal behaviour and a lack of police assistance in the vicinity of Winchester Street pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place)

 

To consider the above petition, bearing 15 signatures, which has been submitted by Councillor O’Boyle, a St Michael’s Ward Councillor, who has been invited to the meeting for the consideration of this item along with the petition organiser.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place)

which responded to a petition bearing 15 signatures, sponsored by Councillor O’Boyle, a St Michaels Ward Councillor, which had been submitted to the City Council on 20th May, 2018.  The petition was regarding concerns over; environmental issues, anti-social and criminal behaviour and a lack of police assistance in the vicinity of Winchester Street.  The petition specifically mentioned acts of criminal damage to vehicles by persons unknown and the presence of litter throughout the area as a result of the activity of sex workers.  Councillor O’Boyle and Councillor Welsh attended the meeting and spoke along with the petitioners in attendance.  The Police were also in attendance and spoke to residents regarding the petition.

 

The report stated that the main issue concerned a spate of incidents between 18th and 19th May 2018 during which a large number of local resident’s vehicles were damaged.  Residents felt that the police could have done more on this occasion.  Another issue of concern was that the area was affected by litter which often included condoms which were believed to emanate from sex workers within the area.  Residents wanted to know what could be done to ensure the area was kept in a clean state.  Residents felt that the activity of the sex workers in the area make it an unsafe place for young children to play and grow up.  This made the area look dirty and untidy and discouraged the children from playing outside.  Residents were keen to have the issues addressed at the earliest opportunity.

 

The report detailed the recorded data regarding litter and refuse complaints from June 2017 to June 2018 which showed 30 reports directly related to Winchester Street.  Of those reports, 18 were as a result of council officers logging the issues.   Another notable street in the area was that of Colchester Street, due to the proximity of the 2 streets it is difficult to treat both in isolation, and over the same period June 2017 to June 2018, 68 reports were directly related to Colchester Street.  Of those reports, 44 were as a result of council officers logging the issue.  

 

Both streets were patrolled regularly, at least once a week by officers from the Neighbourhood Enforcement Team and referrals were made to ensure the area was kept clean. Officers also visit the area as a result of specific complaints as and when they were reported.  The operatives also visit the neighbouring Raglan Street and Vauxhall Street every Friday and would pick up additional litter as and when they see it.  In addition, specific visits were undertaken to collect reported fly tipping from council land.  All cases of littering and fly tipping were investigated, with the appropriate course of action depending on any evidence found at the scene and witnesses to the offence(s).

 

Police data for the same period showed a total of 49 logs for Winchester Street and 69 logs for Colchester Street.  A large proportion of these  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Petition - Upgrade of the Caludon Castle Park Play Area pdf icon PDF 11 MB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place)

 

To consider the above petition, bearing 41 signatures, which has been submitted by the petition organiser, who has been invited to the meeting for the consideration of this item.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place)

which responded to a petition bearing 41 signatures, sponsored by Councillor Abbott, a Wyken Ward Councillor, which had been submitted to the City Council on 12th April, 2018.  The petition requested that the Council upgrade the children’s play area located within Caludon Castle Park.  Councillor Abbott attended the meeting and spoke on behalf of the petitioners.

 

The report noted that the petition stated “As a mother of two very lively boys, I would like to ask if there is possibility for upgrade of the Caludon Park Play Area.  The actual place is very poor and apart from the huge area for football there is no proper space for older kids to burn some energy. We were at Allesley Park on Sunday and it was so busy and noisy (in a positive meaning). There is a big slide, spider web climbing frame (it was the main attraction), a lot of swings and few other attractions to entertain kids. I live in Wyken area and seen a lot of families with small kids suffering from lack of space to keep the kids busy. Apart from St Margaret Road and Caludon Park poor play areas, there is no place to spend the time with kids. Is there any possibility at least for one more attraction (spider web frame) to place in Caludon?”

 

The report noted that Caludon Castle Park Play Area was located in the south east of the City and contained a number of items of equipment designed to be appropriate for both the younger age group, aged 4 to 7 years and the senior age group, 8 to 13 years.  These play items included rockers, swings with both junior and toddler seats, Multi Use Play Units, dish roundabout and cable runway.  In addition the play site also included items for informal sports play such as a basketball net and court and a Multi-Use Games Area.  Infrastructural elements associated with the play site included fencing, wooden posts, seating, bins, tarmac footpaths and safer surfacing.  Items of existing equipment were shown in the appendix to the report.

 

The park was under the control of the Parks Service within the Place Directorate.  It was the Area Park for the South of the City and was submitted annually for a Green Flag award, which it had achieved for the last 6 years. Play facilities in the City were inspected on a weekly basis and repairs/replacements were undertaken as and when necessary to maintain the equipment and associated infrastructural features in a safe and usable condition.

 

During 2010/11 the play area was refurbished at a cost of approximately £105,000.  This was financed from funding secured from the Governments Play Builder Initiative.  Since that time a further £7,000 had been spent undertaking general refurbishment works.  Recent inspections however had found that most of the equipment was nearing the end of its practicable life. Some items were showing signs of wear and tear, and an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Report of the Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities - Disability Equality Advisory Panel (DEAP) pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive (People) which reported achievements of the Disability Equality Advisory Panel (DEAP) over the last 3 years and sought approval for the continuation of the Disability Equality Advisory Panel for a further 3 years.  The Chair of the DEAP was present at the meeting.

 

The report noted that the Disability Equality Advisory Panel (DEAP) was appointed at the Annual Meeting of the Council with Terms of Reference.  The panel meets three times a year and representatives of various groups were invited by the chair to attend, DEAP was not open to the public. The aim of the panel was to improve services, enable, empower, involve and educate various community organisation’s representing persons with disability, who would otherwise struggle to put across their views, thereby improving the quality of life for people from the particular “communities of interest” they represent.  The panel dealt with different issues at every meeting as well as providing updated information on on-going issues.

 

As a working proactive panel the DEAP had always been well attended by invited members.  Councillor Christine Thomas has been Chair for two years.  Each year the panel had been reassessed to ensure that new people were invited that represent a diverse cross section of Coventry residents, Charities/Voluntary Organisations and service users who meet to work together as an effective, proactive, working panel. 

 

The report noted that the Chair of the Disabled Equality Action Partnership (DEAP) Councillor Thomas, had been encouraged by the way that this panel had raised and in certain circumstances been able to support community initiatives in relation to equality issues brought to the panel by members.  One example was that a panel member raised the issue of pavement parking with regard to the difficulties it caused him and others due to his sight loss.  The panel discussed the issue which was then picked up by the students of Hereward College who then took it forward with support from officers, the Chair, and the Cabinet Member Councillor Abdul Khan.  The students of Hereward College had now developed and launched a pavement parking initiative with a campaign highlighting the problems all people with disability had due to thoughtless pavement parking.  This and other initiatives undertaken by the panel confirmed, the best value of this panel. 

 

DEAP had also supported and publicised the ‘near miss’ survey of cyclists, skateboarders and mobility scooter users having had near misses with pedestrians as part of the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).  Over the past year the DEAP had worked very effectively as a conduit for information and discussion about Coventry City Council’s aspirations for the City.  Members had been consulted on the masterplan of the redevelopment of the train station, bus services, and taxis and more recently Coventry City Centre South redevelopment.

 

Councillor Thomas attended the meeting with officers and discussed with the Cabinet Member the work of the Panel, representation and inviting members.  Councillor Thomas thanked all those who supported the effectiveness of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Social Media Protocol for Members pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Deputy Chief Executive (People)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive (People) which sought approval of the social media protocol, appended to the report and to confirm that it should be shared with all elected members. The report had been considered by the Ethics Committee.

 

The report noted that social media was a powerful communication and networking tool which had become increasingly part of our everyday life.  Social media was used to describe any kind of on-line tool that you could use for sharing information, including blogs, photo sharing, video sharing, social networks, mobile phone applications, texting, digital TV services and collaboration tools.  Unlike a telephone conversation or email, it was a broadcast medium meaning messages had the potential to be viewed by a wider range of people than just the intended recipient.

 

Although it was not a requirement for elected members to use social media to fulfil their job as a councillor, an increasing number did so in an attempt to share information and to give and gauge opinions.  As a result, a first-ever social media protocol for Coventry City Council’s elected members had been created. It was designed to offer basic help and advice, as well as highlighting good practice and helping to avoid potential pitfalls.  The protocol also complemented the general rules under the Code of Conduct for Members.  The protocol highlighted potential legal issues when using social media including libel, copyright and data protection.  It also raised awareness of how members’ use of social media could leave them at risk of falling foul of the Members’ Code of Conduct. 

 

The Ethics Committee fully supported the recommendations to the Cabinet Member and further recommended that the Protocol be “launched” with appropriate training sessions provided for all Elected Members.  The Committee made the following comments to the Cabinet Member:

 

·  They welcomed the Protocol, recognising the importance of providing guidance for Elected Members

·  They commended the officers for the extremely well written and user friendly style of the Protocol

·  They indicated that, for some Elected Members, it may be more appropriate to receive the Protocol in a hard rather than electronic version

·  They recommended that the Protocol be “launched” with appropriate training sessions provided for Elected Members.

·  They requested that a final version of the Protocol be circulated to all Members of the Ethics Committee

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities:

 

1)   approve the Social Media Protocol and confirm that it should be   shared with all elected members. 

 

2)   following the suggestion during consideration by the Ethics   Committee, the protocol be “launched” with appropriate   training   sessions provided for Elected Members.

 

8.

Outstanding Issues pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place)

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place) that contained a list of outstanding issue items that would be submitted to future meetings and summarised the current position in respect of each item.

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities approves the dates for future consideration of matters relating to the outstanding issue items listed in the report.

9.

Any Other Business

To consider any other items of business which the Cabinet Member decides to take as a matter of urgency because of the special circumstances involved.

Minutes:

There were no other items of business.