Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - Thursday, 2 May 2013 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Fourth Floor, Easthampstead House, Bracknell. View directions

Contact: Katharine Simpson  01344 352308

Note No. Item



Apologies for Absence/Substitute Members

To receive apologies for absence and to note the attendance of any substitute members.


The Panel noted the attendance of the following substitute members:


Councillor Baily for Councillor Finnie

Councillor Kensall for Councillor Mrs Birch



Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 28 March 2013.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 28 March 2013 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Matters Arising


Minute 52: Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner – It was clarified that the Police and Crime Commissioner considered the Police’s primary role as being crime detection and apprehending perpetrators however for crime prevention to be fully effective then wider partnership working was required.


Minute 54: Community Infrastructure Levy – The Chairman had written to the Leader of the Council on 26 April 2013.


Minute 56: Residents’ Survey – Action Plansd would be available for the Commission to consider at its next meeting on 1 July 2013.




Declarations of Interest and Party Whip

Members are requested to declare any disclosable pecuniary or affected interest, including the existence and nature of the Party Whip, in respect of any matter to be considered at this meeting.


Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or an affected interest in a matter should withdraw from the meeting when the matter is under consideration and should notify the Democratic Services Officer in attendance that they are withdrawing as they have such an interest. If the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is not entered on the register of Members interests the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.


There were no declarations of interest or indications that members would be participating whilst under the party whip.



Urgent Items of Business

Any other items which, pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chairman decides are urgent.


There were no urgent items of business.;


Public Participation

To receive submissions from members of the public which have been submitted in advance in accordance with the Council’s Public Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.


There were no representations submitted under the Public Participation Scheme.


Community Safety pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Meeting as the Crime and Disorder Committee, to receive a presentation on, and to consider:

  1. The performance of the Community Safety Partnership in 2012-13
  2. The Community Safety Plan for 2013-14

Additional documents:


Meeting as the Crime and Disorder Committee, Assistant Chief Constable John Campbell, Chief Inspector Dave Gilbert, Timothy Wheadon Chairman of the Community Safety Partnership and Ian Boswell Community Safety Manager were welcomed to the meeting.


Ian Boswell, Community Safety Manager gave a presentation in respect of the performance of the Bracknell Forest Community Safety Partnership during 2012-13.  The presentation included an overview of the Partnership’s make up, priorities and challenges, resourcing and comparator data.


The Community Safety Partnership was a statutory partnership and one of the four key theme partnership groups that the Bracknell Forest Partnership was focused on currently. The Partnership was well supported by all agencies involved and both statutory and non-statutory partners were fully engaged with the Partnership’s work bringing their own areas of expertise to the table.


For the past few years, Thames Valley Police and the Community Safety Team had been focused on reducing crime levels across the area and tackling the public’s disproportionate fear of crime.  Work that was proving successful as crime levels continued to fall.  Total recorded crime levels were now at their lowest level since 1998 and between 2008/9 and 2012/13 there was a 39% drop in recorded crime. The innovative development of a Community Safety Team that was shared between the Police and the Local Authority and the strength of the Bracknell Forest Community Safety Partnership, which attracted government financial support of £53,000 per annum,  were considered to be key to this success.  Measures of note for the Partnership during 2012-13 included:


  • 10.8% reduction in total volume of recorded crime
  • 11.4% reduction in violent offences
  • 28.7% reduction in burglary non dwelling
  • 28.3% reduction in hate crime
  • Significant reductions in metal thefts
  • An increase in the domestic abuse detection rate from 37.1% to 46.8%
  • A domestic abuse repeat rate of 44.8%


It was reported that when compared against the performance of the closest fourteen comparator police areas Bracknell Forest Local Police Area (LPA) was ranked second best for domestic burglary and recorded a lower than average 12 month rolling total of all crimes.  Although the level of serious acquisitive crime had risen slightly when compared to the same period the previous year Bracknell Forest LPA continued to perform better than its comparator LPAs and the Partnership was confident that the rise could and would be reversed.  At 30.1% Bracknell Forest LPA’s detection rate for burglaries was the best in the Thames Valley Police area.


The Partnership had been pleased to learn that the work that was taking place to tackle people’s perceptions of crime levels in the Borough was starting to pay dividends with the results of the 2012 Residents’ Survey putting the low level of crime as being the third best thing about living in the Borough, after parks and open spaces and the accessibility of nature.  In the previous Residents’ Survey the low level of crime had been ranked in sixth place.


 Key challenges for the Partnership during 2013/14, based on a strategic assessment, were:




Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Forthcoming items on the Executive Forward Plan of a corporate nature are attached for consideration.

Additional documents:


The Commission noted the Executive Key and Non-Key decisions contained within the report.  In response to Members’ questions the Chief Executive informed the Commission that the terms of the Development Agreement for the regeneration of Bracknell town centre had now been agreed and work was underway to ensure that the Development Agreement’s terms matched those in the Section 106 Agreement.  It was expected that the Development Agreement would be signed by the end of May 2013.


It was clarified that the Corporate Asset Management Plan was a strategic document and therefore did not have any direct financial impact.  However individual properties within the Plan would have an impact and these would be detailed within any decision reports relating to a property.


Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To note the progress against the Overview and Scrutiny work programme for 2012-13.


To receive verbal updates from Overview and Scrutiny Panel Chairmen on each panel’s progress against the work programme, drawing attention to any new major issues or changes needed to the programme:


  • Adult Social Care and Housing – Councillor Turrell
  • Children, Young People and Learning – Councillor Mrs Birch
  • Environment, Culture and Communities – Councillor Finnie
  • Health – Councillor Virgo


To prioritise the commission’s work in the agreed programme for 2013-14.


The Commission considered a report providing an update on the Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme for 2012-13 with particular reference to Working Groups of the Commission.


The Commission was informed that the Lead Member of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Working Group had written to the Leader of the Council to raise the Working Group’s concerns about the different levies that a neighbouring local authority would be imposing on developments and the potential impacts that this might have on the Borough.  It was noted that the Government were still publishing regulations in relation to the CIL something that was making the development of the CIL problematic.  Consequently the Working Group would continue to monitor the situation and any material changes would be brought back to the Commission for comment.


The Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel would be reflecting on the implications of the Francis Report on the review of activity at the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital Trust however it was acknowledged that reflection on the report’s outcomes would help all members develop their roles further.


The Chairman of the Commission would be meeting all Directors to obtain their view of the work taking place in the coming year.  Any relevant information would be fed back to the Commission.


The Commission noted the report.