Agenda and minutes

Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda Item 1)

The minutes of the meeting held on 9 October 2014 are not available.  They will be presented to the next meeting.


Due to sickness, the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 October 2014 were not available.  The Minutes would be presented to the next meeting of the Commission.



Apologies and Substitutes (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence and to note substitute Members in attendance.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Byrne.  Councillor Kiddle-Morris had also sent his apologies as he was unable to attend the meeting.



Urgent Business (Agenda Item 3)

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.





Declaration of Interests (Agenda Item 4)

Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate and must leave the room, for the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. 


In the interests of transparency, Members may also wish to declare any other interests they have in relation to an agenda item, that support the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.


No declarations were made although Councillor Rogers noted that he was one of the Watton Surgery patients that had had to move to another practice.



Non-Members wishing to address the Meeting (Agenda Item 5)

To note the names of any non-members or public speakers wishing to address the meeting.


Councillors Armes, Bambridge, Bowes, Canham, T Carter, Chapman-Allen, Darby, Duigan, Martin, North, Robinson, Sharpe, Turner, Wilkin and Wassell were in attendance.


Mr Stephen Bett and Inspector Wheatley were also in attendance at the invitation of the Commission.



Executive Member Portfolio Update (Agenda Item 7)

Lynda Turner, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Community & Environmental Services, has been invited to attend the meeting to provide a specific Portfolio update on community development.


Councillor Turner, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Community & Environmental Services said that Norfolk was a safe place to live with relatively low crime and the Council was proud of its response to Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB).  It had a proven track record.  The Operational Partnership Team (OPT) had been formed in 2004 and since 2010 Norfolk Constabulary Officers had been co-located at the Council’s offices.  They were a dedicated team with a high standard of response.  She asked the OPT to give their presentation before she provided her update.


At the conclusion of the presentation and the question and answer session that followed it, she advised the Commission that the Community Team and the Council as a whole were focussing on Health & Wellbeing including dementia awareness.  The local leisure centres were working with the Council placing an emphasis on dementia sufferers and their carers. 


Other things that the Community Team were involved in were the Art Trail which had works from 57 artists at 25 venues; Fit Families – aimed at increasing physical activities; the Master Gardner Scheme, with 378 new supported growers; the Walks Project; the Parks Runs; Active Norfolk and Pride in Breckland which was also aimed at getting people active.


On 20 March 2015 the Pride Awards event would be held.  There was also a Participatory Budgeting (PB) Scheme based in the five market towns, which each had £10,000 to award in grants.  A new Pride Officer had been appointed.  It was noted that the five market towns each had their own local lead organisation which would work to include the rural areas in the PB scheme.


The Chairman thanked Councillor Turner for her update.


Operational Partnership Team (Agenda Item 8)

To discuss the workings of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs).


Mrs Baxter and Sergeant Crown gave a detailed presentation on the work of the Operational Partnership Team (OPT) which had been the first of its kind in Norfolk and was held up as a beacon of best practice.  There were now six other such teams, modelled on the Breckland OPT.  Their priority was to address anti-social behaviour (ASB) and to focus on identifying risk and harm.


Being co-located the Team were able to respond quickly to complaints about ASB.  They worked with both victims and perpetrators focussing on early intervention.  They used a teamwork approach to deal with a range of complaints and gave practical help.  In neighbour disputes, mediatory or restorative justice measures were used.


Members were given details of the numbers and types of cases that the Team dealt with and the way that they worked together to form an action plan and prioritise cases where risk had been identified.  Examples of successful interventions were described.


Councillor Armes asked if the schools were involved in educating young people about ASB and was advised that a drama project was run every year in junior schools.  It was hoped to roll that out to more schools in future.


Councillor Bambridge asked how confident the Team was that they were impacting rural areas.  Mrs Baxter advised that they were a reactive team which responded to issues reported to them by communities.


Councillor Sharpe asked what happened when high risk incidents occurred ‘out of hours’ and Inspector Wheatley explained that the police responded to such cases.  Also, each morning a meeting was held to discuss the calls received in the previous 24 hours and at those meetings high risk cases were also identified for a quick response.


Councillor Richmond said they had had problems in Swanton Morley and he congratulated the team as the system had worked.

The Chairman thanked Mrs Baxter and Sgt Crown for a fascinating presentation.


Norfolk Police & Crime Commissioner (Agenda Item 8)

Stephen Bett the Norfolk Police & Crime Commissioner has been invited to update the Commission on how targets are being met and to answer questions.


Stephen Bett, Norfolk Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC), thanked the Commission for their invite.  He had been in post for two years since being elected in November 2012.  He had had no idea what he was letting himself in for as no-one seemed to know what a PCC was expected to do.


He had decided to start by listening to what people wanted and expected.  He had talked to public bodies, voluntary groups and charities.  It had been very interesting.  The main themes had been domestic violence, child sex exploitation, drug and alcohol abuse; mental health, etc.


After the first year of listening, he had asked people to tell him their problems and come up with solutions. There had been a huge list of problems from the prisons, employers, NHS, Social Services, etc and he had decided that the best way he could help was to co-ordinate all the agencies to work together.  So the PCC Office had become a hub for everything and people chosen by the agencies worked there.


He now had a really great team that worked as one unit.  They were not political.   He was not an expert himself and he relied on his team to give him the information to make the decisions.   He did not get involved in the day to day workings of the team.  If necessary he went outside the team to get help in addressing problems.  He could also question any organisation and they had to answer him.  It was the first time in British political history that one person could cut across all boundaries and get things done.


A recent public consultation had not identified any new issues so he would keep on doing what he was doing as it was meeting the needs of the majority of people.  He didn’t want to take on any more responsibilities as it would dilute what he was currently able to do.


He gave an example of one area where he had been able to make a difference.  There had been a problem in Cromer with domestic abuse.  It was obvious that the medical profession knew something was wrong but due to confidentiality issues they said nothing.  He had got training for all GP surgeries on the early signs of domestic abuse.  Over 500 nurses had been trained so far.


Another area he was working on was rehabilitation for prisoners.  Currently if a prisoner served less than 12 months they got no support at all on release.  Rehabilitation was important and all the problems like health, housing and mental health needed to be looked at.  On release they needed to be given employment or training to get them in the right mind-frame to break the chain, stop re-offending and slow the growth in domestic violence.  That was his priority for the medium to long term.


In future there would be less resources, so it was important to work closely with partners to break cycles or the problems would expand.  If vulnerable people were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.


Norfolk Constabulary (Agenda Item 9)

Inspector Paul Wheatley will be in attendance representing the Chief Constable.


Inspector Wheatley gave a brief update on his role particularly concentrating on the rural crime aspect of his work.  He said that they concentrated on evidence based policing as there was a significant problem with burglaries from sheds, etc and with the theft of diesel.  There were numerous arrests and he assured Members that the police were ‘out there’.


They had started a distribution list system where they sent out advisory e-mails.  He was happy to include other people on that list.  It was working well and proving to be a good tool in raising awareness of potential problems in specific areas.


The police had also started using quad bikes and they had had a positive impact in tackling ASB problems and hare coursing among other things.  They were also very useful in searching for missing persons and could be used for patrolling hard to reach areas. 


Members were encouraged to let the police know if they had an issue and to notify them if they saw anything about which they were suspicious.  The police had alarms which could be put into places when intelligence was received.


Councillor Rogers raised two issues about crimes being notified to the police and no action being taken for a number of days.  Inspector Wheatley asked him to provide details of the incidents as he could not understand why there had not been an immediate response.


Councillor R Richmond was concerned about speeding motorbikes and Inspector Wheatley said it was a difficult issue and the good summer had increased the problem.  However, they had the technology to capture evidence and they used it to concentrate on known hot-spots.


He noted that there was a lot more migrant criminality with people coming from other Counties.  There had been a spate of catalytic converter thefts by people from Essex and another group from Staffordshire had been hitting industrial areas.  The key offenders had recently been identified.


Councillor Joel was concerned about the increased number of children at his local high school which meant increased cars and coaches and risk from traffic as NCC would not employ a lollipop person.  Inspector Wheatley said that he would speak to the Safer Neighbourhood Team to see what could be done.


Councillor Bambridge was concerned about the misuse of PCSOs and said that he would rather see one constable than two PCSOs.


Inspector Wheatley advised that PCSOs were there for reassurance.  They did not investigate crime but they did a tremendous job.  Some went on to be trained as PCs which was very cost effective as the training was shorter.


Councillor Gilbert asked about the rise in organised shop lifting and how restorative justice was working.  Inspector Wheatley acknowledged that shop lifting did increase at this time of year and said that Shop Watch was to be encouraged.  With regard to restorative justice, he didn’t have any figures but he thought it was excellent and its use was encouraged.  Mrs Baxter said she was a big advocate of it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.


Task & Finish Group (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Councillor Kybird, Chairman of the Watton Medical Practice T&FG, will seek Members’ views on the proposals to change the Watton Medical Practice boundary.

Additional documents:


The Chairman asked Members to contact Councillor Kybird with any comments.



In view of the time and the number of Members that needed to leave the meeting the Chairman said that the remaining items would be moved to the next meeting.