Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - Thursday, 6 October 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Time Square, Market Street, Bracknell, RG12 1JD. View directions

Contact: Kirsty Hunt  01344 353108


Note No. Item



Apologies for absence were received from

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


Councillor Virgo and Mrs McKenzie-Boyle



Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 1 September 2022.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 1 September 2022 be approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.


Responses to all of the queries and requests for information raised in the meeting had been received or formed part of the agenda.



Declarations of Interest and Party Whip

Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary or affected interests and the nature of that 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 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.


Any Member with an Affected Interest in a matter must disclose the interest to the meeting.  There is no requirement to withdraw from the meeting when the interest is only an affected interest, but the Monitoring Officer should be notified of the interest, if not previously notified of it, within 28 days of the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest made.


There were no indications that members would be participating while 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 items of urgent 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.


No submissions had been made by members of the public under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.


Community Safety pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive a presentation on, and to consider: the performance of the Community Safety Partnership and the priorities in the Community Safety Plan for the coming year.


The Commission has invited the following guests to address the meeting:

·       Councillor Harrison, Executive Member for Culture, Delivery and

Public Protection

·       Superintendent Helen Kenny, Local Police Commander Bracknell &


·       Alison O’Meara, Head of Community Safety


Members of the Commission are asked to submit technical or detailed questions in advance of the meeting.


The presentation relating to Bracknell Forest CSP’s progress report noted:


·       The CSP has recently prepared some information resources. This includes a FAQ on the CSP, a FAQ on Anti-Social Behaviour and an infographic on how to report crime to the police and Crimestoppers.

·       The crime survey for England and Wales is an important tool used to understand the true level of crime – a key feature of the survey is its ability to find out about crimes that aren’t necessarily reported. Only 4 in 10 crimes are reported to the police so the survey offers a lot of value. Nationally, estimated crime continues to decrease

·       Over the twelve months leading up to March 2022, Bracknell Forest Council had the 9th lowest level of recorded offences, out of 59 English unitary authorities.

·       Most similar groups (MSGs) are groups of CSP areas that have been judged to be most similar to each other, based on analysis of demographics, and social and economic characteristics. Within their MSG, Bracknell Forest CSP had the 4th lowest levels of crime per 1,000 residents between Aug 2021 and July 2022.

·       Crime trends across Thames Valley for 2021/22 demonstrated some reassuring figures – residential burglary saw a significant decrease of 40% over a 5-year average and a 23% decrease in personal robbery offenses over the same time period.

·       Serious violence can be defined as the following: A person of 25 or younger in possession of a knife, any incident of violence, burglary, robbery, sexual offence, or public order offence that can be linked to a weapon (used, threatened or mentioned), serious assaults and supply of drug offences by a person of 25 or younger.

·       Data taken from the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) for 2021 shows that large urban areas have the highest rates of serious violence. Bracknell is 5th lowest and sits just above the rural CSP areas.

·       Violence against the person crimes have increased in Bracknell Forest and the Thames Valley. It is important to understand the context behind these changes in trends. An example is that Bracknell has seen a significant rise in reported offences from a local secure hospital as a result of changes in partnership practices and streamlining of some of the processes.

·       In the last HM Inspectorate of Constabulary PEEL inspection for 2020/21, Thames Valley Police (TVP) was graded Good for their crime data integrity (how crime is recorded). It has been a particular area of focus for TVP and, in turn, has led to a change in recording practices which could explain why Violence Against the Person trends have changed in the area.

·       There was an 8% increase in knife crime in Bracknell Forest in 2021/22 which, in real numbers is an increase of 3 offences. Knife crime generally is quite low in Bracknell, in part due to the preventive work TVP do. There is an existing long-term operation on tackling serious violence prevention where the police work in partnership with the VRU TVP uses intelligence to target habitual  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Education, Skills and Growth Overview and Scrutiny Panel Report: Special Educational Needs and Disabilities pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To consider the draft Special Educational Needs and Disabilities review report prepared by the Education, Skills and Growth Overview and Scrutiny Panel for submission to the Executive on 18 October 2022.

Additional documents:


The Chair of the Education, Skills and Growth Panel introduced the Special Educations Needs and Disabilities review report and the following points were made:


·       A discussion took place among members of the Commission on some of the wording of the recommendations and it was agreed the report must not be delayed going to the Executive but could be amended to include the sentence ‘good and timely communication is essential’.

·       The Commission was reassured the Panel could review progress of the recommendations as part of the work program.

·       It was noted by Councillors that the report supports the SEND action plan but from the viewpoint of Councillors which was developed by speaking to parents, schools and officers, and the recommendations reflect this.

·       Councillors thanked Louise Connelly, Governance and Scrutiny Officer for her hard work supporting Councillors during this review.


The Commission endorsed the recommendations in the Special Educations Needs and Disabilities review report for submission to the Executive on 18 October 2022.



Work Programme Update

Overview and Scrutiny Panel Chairs to provide verbal updates on the work programme and highlight any proposed changes such as scope, scheduling or duration.



Each Panel Chair in attendance provided a verbal update on work programme



Environment and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel


The Executive approved the recommendations in Environment and Communities Panel’s report on Integrated Enforcement.


The Panel’s next review is on Enforcement Strategy and the first meeting will be on the 26th October. 


Education, Skills and Growth Overview and Scrutiny Panel


It was noted the first meeting of the Panel’s review on Child Criminal Exploitation had taken place and had been very useful. Other meeting dates for the review were being finalised.


Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Panel


The Health and Care Panel will be reviewing the Blude Bade recommendations and the Chair had received an update from the director of People.


It was noted the Panel are currently finalising the scope for the review on Adult Safeguarding.


Governance and Scrutiny team update


The Commission noted that Kirsty Hunt, Governance and Scrutiny manager, was leaving and thanked her for her time working with them to develop the delivery of Overview and Scrutiny.