Agenda and minutes

Joint Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 9 March 2017 6.30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Milton OX14 4SB

Contact: Susan Harbour, Democratic Services Team leader 


No. Item


Apologies for absence

To record apologies for absence and the attendance of substitute members. 


Apologies were received from South Oxfordshire Councillor John Walsh and South Oxfordshire Councillor Jeannette Matelot was his substitute.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Joint Scrutiny Committee minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2017 (attached). 


The minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2017 were agreed as an accurate record and were signed by the Chair as such.


Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.  


There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interest or conflicts of interest raised by councillors.


Urgent business and chairman's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chairman determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chairman. 


There were no items of urgent business.


The Chairman made the housekeeping announcements.



Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 


South Oxfordshire District Councillor David Turner asked a question to the committee about why South Oxfordshire District Council had withdrawn its funding which contributed to the provision of six PCSOs. Although this was considered to be a question appropriate for South Council or South Scrutiny, it led to a further conversation about the valuable work done by PCSOs and it was established that there had not been a significant reduction in the number of PCSOs in the TVP area.


Work schedule and dates for all South and Vale scrutiny meetings pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To review the scrutiny work schedule (to follow). Please note, although the dates are confirmed, the items under consideration are subject to being withdrawn, added to or rearranged without further notice.



The work schedule and date for all South and Vale scrutiny meetings was noted by councillors.


The clerk reported that, in consultation with the Chairman designate, the Five Councils’ Partnership Scrutiny committee had been postponed from 28 March to 23 May 2017.


South and Vale Community Safety Partnership – performance report pdf icon PDF 242 KB

To receive the report of the head of legal and democratic services.

Additional documents:


In attendance to present this item and to answer questions from the Scrutiny Committee were:


·           Councillor Eric Batts, Cabinet member Vale of White Horse

·           Councillor Anna Badcock, Chair of the South and Vale Community Safety Partnership (CSP) and Cabinet member South Oxfordshire

·           Superintendent Rory Freeman, Local Police Area Commander, South and Vale

·           Liz Hayden, Legal Licensing and Community Safety Manager

·           Karen Brown, Community Safety Team Leader


Liz Hayden introduced the report on behalf of the South and Vale Community Safety Partnership.


The report had two recommendations:


Recommendation One -  To note the progress that the South and Vale CSP has made so far in 2016-17 in delivering its priorities and statutory functions.


Statutory duties include:

a)     the need to develop and publish an annual  plan

b)     functions relating to anti-social behaviour

c)     duties to protect vulnerable people, This includes:

·         a Prevent action plan in accordance with section 26 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 which places a duty on local authorities to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism;

·         raising awareness of and reporting to the Secretary of State any person identified as a victim of Modern Day Slavery; 

·         carrying out a Domestic Homicide Review when a homicide takes place in either district and the victim and offender were in a relationship.

The added value work of the Partnership includes:

a)     funding an outreach service for victims of domestic abuse and paying to help secure victims’ homes;

b)     joint agency tasking meetings (JATAC) have been combined with police tasking.  The aim being to maximise partnership working and make best use of resources;

c)     funding community based projects that aim to improve resilience for example projects that divert young people away from committing anti-social behaviour and/or becoming victims of crime.

Recommendation Two - To support the CSP’s view that the 2017-18 plan will focus on the protection of vulnerable people, prevention and early intervention, reducing re-offending and serious organised crime and terrorism. 



The committee then discussed the report with the panel. The following is a summary of the main topics raised.


The committee was interested in the funding arrangements for the Partnership and how it best managed its funding challenges to enable it to carry out its functions.

·           The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) provides annual funding via Oxfordshire County Council to allow the partnerships to deliver on a local level.

·           The Partnership would like to work with charities in partnership arrangements for longer term projects.

·           The Partnership is working across the county and sharing resources on some issues, for example Prevent and domestic abuse services.

·           The PCC funding has reduced year on year and, therefore, the Partnership is working in collaboration with other bodies to work smarter, for example in commissioning groups. As a third party funder it can be effective in opening the doors to other funding and group working.

·           The community safety officers are all mainstream funded by the districts and this represents a significant contribution and commitment to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.


Use of Affordable Housing Commuted Sums pdf icon PDF 140 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Development and Housing


In attendance to present this item and to answer questions from the Scrutiny Committee were:


·           Councillor Elaine Ware, Cabinet member Vale of White Horse

·           Councillor Elizabeth Gillespie, Cabinet member South Oxfordshire

·           Gerry Brough interim head of development and regeneration

·           Helen Novelle, team leader housing development and regeneration


The report was brought to Scrutiny at the request of the committee and intended to inform Scrutiny of the recommendations to be made to South and Vale Cabinets and Scrutiny committee was invited to provide guidance on the strategy.


The committee discussed this item.


Options were raised including that the council purchase land and allow self build on the land and that third party organisations such as the Oxford Community Land Trust who offer long term/ guaranteed affordable housing, could be engaged in partnership working.


There is currently an identified shortage of housing that meets specialist needs and this needs to be tackled.  There is a county wide physical disability strategy. The County Council provides each district with a summary of housing need for different client groups and South and Vale Councils aim to address this need on strategic sites and/or perhaps on small pieces of land. There are also issues for people with learning disabilities, for example, complex autism. There are particular difficulties for people who are currently having to live out of district.



·           To support the recommendations to Cabinets

·           To receive an annual report on the status of commuted sum payments received and expenditure to date, including measurable Key Performance Indicators.