Agenda and minutes
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Apologies for Absence and Substitutions
Councillor Cleary submitted her apologies as the Portfolio Holder to report on the proposed designation for a private landlord selective licensing scheme.
The Overview and Scrutiny Officer informed the meeting that Dave Parkins, Co-optee, had resigned from his position on the Committee. The Committee expressed gratitude for Mr. Parkin’s contribution to the work of the Committee during the time that he was a Member.
Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
There were no declarations of interest or dispensations submitted at the meeting.
To submit the Minutes of the Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 13th December 2017 for approval as a correct record.
The Minutes of the Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 13th December 2016 were submitted for approval as a correct record.
Resolved - That the Minutes be received and approved as a correct record.
Inspector Holgate to provide a presentation on Police, Crime and Community Safety to the Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
The Neighbourhood Policing Inspector, Inspector Holgate, and the temporary Community Safety Lead for Hyndburn, Sam McConnell, submitted a report to provide the Committee with an update on Police and Crime and the Community Safety report.
Inspector Holgate referred to page 11 of the report which provided details of the key issues highlighted throughout the report including:
· An increase in trend of ‘violence against the person’.
· Volume wards for non-domestic violent crime.
· Increase in recorded cases of harassment.
· Increasing trend of reported domestic abuse crimes.
· Substance misuse related to a third of all violent crime.
· The primary crime category for victims under 18 years old being ‘violence against the person’.
· Increase in sexual offences against young people.
· Youth related anti-social behaviour.
· Continuation of elevated levels of vehicle crime.
Inspector Holgate advised that the process for recording crimes had changed and indicated that this could have had an impact on the figures produced. She referred to the different categories of reported crime and provided greater detail on some of these categories as follows:
Harassment - many of the incidents were related to social media but an increase in figures could also be as a result of more people reporting incidents.
Substance Misuse – reference was made to a number of known premises and the efforts of the Police to target these areas.
Youth Anti-Social - work was ongoing to reduce the incentives for youths to congregate in certain areas, e.g. by switching off free wifi.
Vehicle Crime -two-thirds of vehicle crime was caused by insecurity contributing factors. Inspector Holgate referred to a spike in vehicle crime in Baxenden and reported that since two people had been arrested there had been no further incidents.
Inspector Holgate reported that CanSafe had been successful but pointed out that there was a trend towards house parties and as such the Police would review their strategy as changes happened.
Sam McConnell, Hyndburn Community Safety Partnership referred to the importance of preventing criminal offences and referred to the work and the initiatives that had been implemented by the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) to raise awareness and prevent crime. He also explained that Child Sexual Exploitation remained a priority and pointed out that they had taken a partnership approach to tackling the offence. He reported on the type of actions taken by the Community Safety Partnership including work with schools, training for taxi drivers and letters with direct contact numbers sent to the families of young people.
Members of the Committee expressed concern about road safety in a number of areas including the zebra crossings off the viaduct roundabout and on Blackburn Road, Oswaldtwistle. Inspector Holgate indicated that she would investigate to see if there had been any incidents in these areas that may provide evidence to show that the locations of the crossings required review. Councillor Allen reported that she had been in contact with Lancashire County Council who had acknowledged that there had been an analysis of the locations but had indicated that they would ... view the full minutes text for item 344.
The Head of Regeneration and Housing to present a report on the proposal to designate a Private Landlord Selective Licensing Scheme (parts of Accrington and Church).
The Private Rented Sector Manager and the Housing Strategy & Policy Manager submitted a report to consult the Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the proposed selective licensing designation for parts of Accrington and Church.
The Head of Regeneration and Housing reported that the existing private landlord selective licensing designation was due to end 30th November 2017 and that the Council was considering making a new designation in parts of Accrington and Church. He reported on the process required to do this and pointed out that the new scheme would last for 5 years. He referred to the persons who would be consulted on the new scheme.
Members submitted the following questions and comments:
· why other parts of the borough had not be chosen to be included in the proposed scheme.
· What fees the landlords would be expected to pay
· How much involvements tenants have in the consultation to the scheme
· What would happen to landlords who did not pay
· Concern that landlords may be put off buying properties to rent in the area
The Head of Regeneration and Housing responded to the above questions and comments as follows:
· Accrington and Church were already designated areas and other areas would require a separate consultation. He referred to limited resources but that other areas would still be considered.
· £500 standard fee with a discount to £250 and then £220 per property annually.
· All tenants are consulted on the proposed scheme. He pointed out that information was on the Council’s website and that there had been two public exhibitions.
· Landlords who did not pay would be prosecuted by the Council and fined. He pointed out that the scheme aimed to raised standard for all tenants. He explained that good landlords would have nothing to fear and that it was the responsibility of the landlord to acquire good references from tenants.
Resolved - That the contents of the draft Consultation proposal to Designate a Private Landlord Selective Licensing Scheme in parts of Accrington and Church be noted and supported by the Community and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee.