Agenda and minutes

Communities Scrutiny Group - Thursday, 22nd July, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Rushcliffe Arena, Rugby Road, West Bridgford. View directions

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the Meeting held on 29 April 2021 pdf icon PDF 328 KB


Councillor Jones referred to Minute 37 ‘Carbon Management Plan’ and to the sentence  "It would also be helpful if the Council could produce a document to assist potential homeowners, when choosing a property, to allow them to question developers regarding the environmental and ecological measures they used."


Councillor Jones stated that at the meeting, the Group had considered that this would be a worthwhile action; however, he was not aware that any action had been taken and requested an update.


In response, the Director – Neighbourhoods advised that the action had been logged and would be incorporated into the second section of the Carbon Management Action Plan, which set out how the Council would influence and support local residents and businesses to make carbon reductions. 


Councillor Jones raised a further matter in relation to the Carbon Management Plan, and stated that given the recent 'exceptional' but predicted extreme weather events around the world, would it be possible to request an interim report on the steps being taken on carbon reduction, and to ask the County Council what the flood risks were in the Borough, if Rushcliffe experienced such heavy downpours.


The Chairman reminded the Group that flood risk issues and the Carbon Management Plan had both been scrutinised in the last six months, and suggested that officers be asked to provide an update on the latter topic and circulate that to members of the Group.  It was noted that given the Group’s very busy Work Programme, it was not possible to keep revisiting issues.


The Director- Neighbourhoods reiterated that both items had been scrutinised recently and advised that the County Council had been undertaking a Flood Risk Assessment for West Bridgford, and the Borough Council would continue to liaise with the County Council regarding this issue.  Flooding risk information was also available on the Environment Agency’s website.  


WISE: Environmental Crime Enforcement Update pdf icon PDF 340 KB

The report of the Director – Neighbourhoods is attached.

Additional documents:


The Service Manager – Public Protection presented the report of the Director – Neighbourhoods, which provided an update on the Council’s approach to environmental crime enforcement.


Mr John Dunne and Mr Daniel Edwards from WISE (Waste Investigations Support and Enforcement) attended the meeting, to assist with the consideration of this item.


The Service Manager – Public Protection and Mr Dunne delivered a presentation reviewing the Council’s partnership with WISE, and how WISE operated, which provided details on the following issues, and members of the Group were invited to make comments and observations on the presentation and report:


·        Background and examples of fly tipping in the Borough.

·        Fly tipping data.

·        The Council’s enforcement approach.

·        WISE – history and service overview.

·        Fixed penalty levels.

·        Partnership management.

·        WISE – six month pilot - background and aims.

·        How the enforcement service works.

·        Details of enforcement actions.

·        Fixed penalties and notices by wards and towns/villages.

·        FPN (Fixed Penalty Notice) offenders outside of the Borough and offence locations.

·        FPN processes.

·        Cost of the service.

·        Ad-hoc weekend parks patrols.

·        Examples of positive media.


The Director – Neighbourhoods advised that following a discussion with the Cabinet Portfolio Holder, Councillor Inglis, who was delighted with how the trial had progressed and given the positive outcomes and behaviour change that had been seen, it was proposed to extend the trial for a further 12 months.


The Chairman thanked the Service Manager – Public Protection and Mr Dunne for the excellent presentation and suggested that the Group agree that the presentation, together with WISE terms of reference be circulated to all Councillors, reminding them of the important role that they played as community leaders in spreading the message about incident reporting via the Council’s website.


All members of the Group thanked the Service Manager – Public Protection and Mr Dunne for the informative presentation, which was extremely positive, and looked forward to the trial being extended.


Councillor Healy asked what publicity was being given to the trial and how were areas being identified, was it through requests by Councillors, parish and town councils or simply due to the number of calls logged about a particular incident.

Mr Dunne advised that the pilot itself was focussed on complaints regarding fly tipping, dog fouling and littering, and once a complaint had been received, WISE officers had 24 hours to investigate that complaint.  Whilst in one particular area, officers would also undertake proactive patrolling, and during the six month trial, WISE had initially been given a ‘hot spot’ list from Environmental Health, which it had now added to, through its own work and investigations.


In answer to a question regarding enforcement against littering, Mr Dune confirmed that in order to take any action, a person had to be visibly observed by an officer in the act of littering, and in those cases the standard operating procedures would be followed on issuing a Fixed penalty Notice (FPN).


Councillor Healy concluded by asking if it would be possible for Councillors to be updated on a monthly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Safeguarding Adults and Children Strategy pdf icon PDF 329 KB

The report of the Director – Neighbourhoods is attached.

Additional documents:


The Director – Neighbourhoods, introduced a report, which provided an update on the Council’s approach to safeguarding, and advised the Group that the Council worked closely with key partners as a team, to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults in the Borough, and the Group was reminded of the key role that Councillors played whilst undertaking their duties.


Mr Steve Baumber from Nottinghamshire County Council attended the meeting, to assist with the consideration of this item, in relation to safeguarding children.


The Service Manager – Public Protection, the Communities Manager and Mr Baumber delivered a presentation relating to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, which provided details on the following issues, and members of the Group were invited to make comments and observations on the presentation and report:


·        What is safeguarding.

·        Main types of abuse.

·        The role of Rushcliffe Borough Council.

·        Adult safeguarding.

·        Definition of a child.

·        Self-assessment audit 2021 for children.

·        How to report concerns.

·        What is the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and what is its purpose.

·        How we work with others.

·        MASH pathway to provision.

·        Number of adult and children referrals/enquiries across the county.

·        Various adult and children data for Rushcliffe.

·        What can Councillors do.


The Chairman thanked officers for the excellent presentation and requested that the possibility of having all Councillors signed up to the Nottinghamshire safeguarding website be investigated.


Councillor Jones referred to Council staff working in particular areas, including sport and leisure, and those dealing with homelessness, and sought assurance that they were appropriately trained to focus on potential areas of abuse and domestic violence.  The Service Manager – Public Protection confirmed that Lex Leisure participated on the Council’s internal group and was fully involved, and it would continue to report any issues or concerns, as it previously had.  The Group was advised that in respect of homelessness, all staff undertook mandatory e-learning training.


In answer to a question regarding the use of Council facilities by outside sports bodies, the Communities Manager advised that the Council’s Sports Development Officer worked with voluntary, community based clubs, ensuring that they had appropriate safeguarding policies in place, and how to share information, if they had any concerns.  The Group noted that there was an expectation that each club would have a Safeguarding Officer and that they would know how to make any referrals.  If any concerns were raised, they would be fed through the channels in a similar way, and officers were trained on how to make any safeguarding referrals to the MASH.  Mr Baumber added that connecting and engaging with sports clubs and voluntary bodies was a considerable challenge given their numbers and ensuring that those groups were aware of safeguarding issues was extremely important.  The Group noted that a piece of work was currently underway, to strengthen engagement with those sectors and faith groups, and a conference with sports clubs would be held on 6 October 2021.


Councillor Jones emphasised that in many cases checks did not work as offenders were not listed and it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 301 KB

The report of the Director – Finance and Corporate Services is attached.


The Director – Neighbourhoods presented the report of the Director – Finance and Corporate Services, which detailed the proposed Communities Scrutiny Group Work Programme for 2021/22. 


The Chairman confirmed that an updated version of the Work Programme had been circulated to members of the Group, to incorporate the decisions made by the Corporate Overview Group at its meeting on 20 July 2021. 


The Chairman referred to the meeting on 7 October 2021 and advised that the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environment and Safety, Councillor Inglis, would be invited to attend the meeting when the report on Police Performance and Resources for Rushcliffe would be considered.  The Group noted that the new Police inspector for Rushcliffe would also be in attendance to assist with the consideration of the item.


The Group was advised that a report on Community Facilities and Assets, due to be considered on 7 October 2021, had been removed from the Work Programme by the Corporate Overview Group.  The Chairman advised that this decision had been taken given that many facilities had yet to reopen properly, or were being used for other functions, and it would be appropriate to delay the report, until the meeting in January 2022.  The Chairman advised that he had requested that a Briefing Note be sent to all Councillors, providing an overview of the current situation regarding Council facilities.


In respect of the meeting scheduled for 27 January 2022, the Corporate Overview Group had agreed that the report on Tree Conservation should be considered by the Growth and Development Scrutiny Group instead, as it would also be considering a report on Conservation Areas, and those two issues were linked.  The Group noted that currently the meeting in January would have two substantive items, the Housing Delivery Plan and the delayed Community Facilities and Assets report.


The Chairman advised that for the meeting on 28 April 2022, there was a possibility that the Waste Strategy report could be delayed, as it was dependent on the publication of the Government’s report.


The Director – Neighbourhoods reiterated the changes outlined by the Chairman and advised that there were a number of topics on the Scrutiny Matrix, which could further populate the Work programme in due course. 


Given that the next meeting of the Corporate Overview Group would not be held until after the next meeting of this Group, the Chairman suggested that he and the Vice-Chairman would speak with the Chairman of the Corporate Overview Group and officers, with a view to agreeing which items, if any, from the Scrutiny Matrix should be added to the Group’s Work Programme for its meeting on 7 October 2021.  It was confirmed that the Group would be notified of any changes to the Work Programme.




a)        that the Work Programme detailed below be approved by the Communities Scrutiny Group:


7 October 2021


Police Performance and Resources for Rushcliffe

Work Programme


27 January 2022


Housing Delivery Plan

Community Facilities and Assets

Work Programme


28 April 2022


Carbon  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.