Venue: Ashburton Hall - HCC. View directions
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Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from:
Declarations of Interest
To enable Members to declare to the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest they may have in any matter on the agenda for the meeting, where that interest is not already entered in their appointing authority’s register of interests, and any other pecuniary or personal interests in any such matter that Members may wish to consider disclosing.
Members were able to disclose to the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest they may have in any matter on the agenda for the meeting, where that interest is not already entered in their appointing authority’s register of interests, and any other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests in any such matter that Members may wish to disclose.
No declarations were made.
To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting.
The Minutes from the 28 January 2022 meeting were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Questions and Deputations
To receive any questions or deputations in line with Rule 31 and 31A of the Panel’s Rules of Procedure.
No questions or deputations were received by the Panel on this occasion.
To hear any announcements the Chairman may have for this meeting.
The Chairman announced, following the notification of changes to the arrangements of the Commissioner’s office, that a brief additional item would be added, as an urgent item to the agenda, to enable members to raise their comments and questions regarding this announcement. The Chairman confirmed that the item would be added as item 6a, with the Commissioner’s announcements to be heard as 6b.
The Chairman further explained that he had made the Commissioner aware that he was minded to add the additional item the day before the meeting and, whilst the Commissioner was invited to respond to any of the questions, it was recognised that some matters were still in progress, and therefore the Chairman proposed to follow up with a scheduled item at the July Panel meeting.
Police and Crime Commissioner Office Arrangements
To discuss the recently announced changes to the office arrangements for the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The Chairman invited Members to raise any questions regarding the forthcoming changes to the Commissioner’s office arrangements. The questions raised included:
· In January, the Panel were given assurances that the costs of the PCC’s office would not increase, why were the Panel not made aware, at the time, that there was an intention to reduce the office costs, and were these changes reflected in the budget presented?
· When will the reported savings of £700,000 per annum be fully realised?
· What tender process was followed in the selection of the new office premises?
· What time is remaining on the lease for the current office premises of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and if so, how will this building be used and who will meet the costs?
· When will the Panel have visibility of the costs of the restructure, including exit packages and the moving and set up costs of the new office?
· How have staff at the office been supported through the restructure process and when do you expect to have your new staffing arrangements in place?
· With efforts focussing on the restructure and the move, little performance information has been shared to date with the Panel. How are these changes impacting on delivery of the Plan and how are business as usual functions being maintained through this period?
In response to the questions raised Members heard that:
· At the time of the Panel meeting in January the legal process had started but not concluded, and therefore the budget was based on costs as adopted from the previous year.
· The net benefit of the changes would be first reflected in the 2023/24 budget, with redundancy costs to be met during 2022/23.
· The revenue savings were expected to be £550k per annum, plus additional savings driven by the office relocation.
· The process in selecting the new office premises was not subject to a tender process, as it was not required.
· A notice period was to be served on the Commissioner’s current premises until November 2023. It was heard that the office would provide a vital space to accommodate policing staff who needed to relocate temporarily as a result of the refurbishment of the Southampton Police Investigation Centre. It was further heard that the building costs, including the rent, would transfer under operational policing, as part of the overall policing budget owned by the Commissioner.
· An update on staffing would be brought to the meeting in July.
The Chairman thanked the Commissioner for her responses and clarified that, following the meeting, the Panel would confirm in writing any questions Members wished to be addressed at the meeting of the Panel in July.
Police and Crime Commissioner's Announcements
To hear any announcements the Commissioner may have for the Panel.
The Chair invited announcements from the Commissioner, who provided the Panel with an overview of the forthcoming changes to her responsibilities resulting from parts one and two of the Home Office’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Review. Members heard this would see PCC’s having greater responsibilities across the Criminal justice landscape, including greater engagement with probation and public health.
Since the last meeting Members heard that the Commissioner had attended the National Policing Board, as one of only two PCC’s invited to attend nationally, specifically to speak upon violence against women and girls (VAWG) and child sexual exploitation (CSE).
More locally it was heard that the Commissioner had attended 10 parish and town council meetings since the last meeting and held a third COPS session. To date the Commissioner highlighted that over 10,000 people had accessed the COPS sessions, with several hundred joining each live session.
The Commissioner also noted a £3,900 contract which had been recently awarded by her office, through Yellow Door for Hampshire and under a separate contract for the Isle of Wight for the provision of enhanced Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) and Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) services.
Police and Crime Commissioner - Police and Crime Plan Delivery
To receive a quarterly update from the Police and Crime Commissioner detailing delivery against the Police and Crime Plan.
Members received a verbal update from the Commissioner outlining delivery against the Police and Crime Plan since the last meeting. Members heard that:
· The Commissioner had used the recently introduced criminal justice scorecards to enable benchmarking of performance against other areas nationally.
· Approximately £300k of the additional £1m funding added to the Commissioning fund this year was to be spent in support of the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).
· The Commissioner had recently rolled out mentoring projects which would focus upon mentoring for females and to young people in communities who were not engaging with other services.
· The Trauma Informed Conference held on 1st March had been hugely successful and the first of its kind in the country. £46k of funding had been provided by the Home Office and the PCC had co-ordinating training for over 2000 professionals across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (IOW) to spot signs of trauma.
· A call for evidence had recently been issued by the Commissioner to support the VAWG agenda and a focus was being applied to reducing female offending.
· The annual grants round had closed in January and the Commissioner’s office were starting to confirm successful bids.
· Funding was being provided for three Integrated Offender Management (IOM) houses across the policing area and the Commissioner announced that a fourth would be opened in Basingstoke. The houses were successfully supporting persistent low level offenders to tackle and change their behaviour to prevent re-offending.
In response to questions, the Panel heard:
· The Commissioner was maintaining a good professional relationship with the Chief Constable and that they met weekly to discuss operational priorities.
· The Commissioner was not aware of any work supporting the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan which had fallen behind. The Commissioner however highlighted that IT based-projects were most at risk of falling behind schedule, as a result of the specialist skills needed and the lead in times required.
Members raised concerns about the level of verbal updates which had received from the Commissioner, which had not always been supported with written reports. In particular it was raised that information presented in a verbal format could prevent it from being accessible to all. The Commissioner expressed that she was keen to work collaboratively with the Panel to provide the information it needed, in the most appropriate format, to support the Panel to be effective in its role.
That the update on the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan is noted.
Police and Crime Commissioner - Estates Strategy
To receive a verbal update from the Police and Crime Commissioner on progress against the Estates Strategy.
The Commissioner provided an update on delivery against the Estates Strategy. Members heard that:
· Required testing of the police estate had been undertaken and had been confirmed as safe and legal.
· Bitterne police station opening would be reopening on 21 April and the Commissioner extended an invitation to all Panel members to attend.
· The Southampton Police Investigation Centre (PIC) required renovation. It had been identified that the most cost efficient way to do so was to relocate anyone working in the building to other sites to allow the work to be undertaken.
· Gosport Police Station had been sold subject to planning in June 2017. The buyer was out of contract, and have reviewed the contract particulars the Commissioner had ended the agreement and was considering further other options for the site.
· Contingencies and allowance for a 4% increase in inflation was built into the budget to meet the rising cost of utilities and fuel. Efforts were made to buy in bulk wherever possible to minimise costs. A project, led by the Head of Estates, was being undertaken to reduce the cost of running buildings within the estate, as many were old and not energy efficient.
· Wherever possible, where it would not draw away from operational capacity, Neighbourhood Policing Teams were focussed on being visible to residents and providing local police bases. One option being explored was the use of retained fire stations, which had the benefit of being maintained properties, which would enhance public access and allow the police and fire service to share the costs.
· Options were being considered for a new PIC on the IOW. A bid had been made jointly to the Cabinet Office by the Fire and Police Services for funding to support this. Feasibility studies were being undertaken, including a visit to the IOW on 29 April to visit sites identified as most feasible.
That the Panel notes the update the Estates Strategy
Police and Crime Panel - Update from Working Groups
To receive a verbal update from recent meetings of the Panel’s working groups.
Councillor Sarah Vaughan, who had recently been appointed Chairman of the Plan Working Group provided an update from the latest meeting of the working group. Members heard that at the meeting, attended by the Chief Executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), discussion had focussed upon the development of the Police and Crime Plan Implementation Plan, the scrutiny work programme of the Panel and creating synergy between the work of the OPCC and the Panel’s work programme through 2022/23.
To consider a report setting out the proposed future work programme for the Panel.
Members received a report from the Democratic Support Officer to the Panel which set out the work programme for the Panel during the 2021/22 municipal year.
That the work programme is agreed.