Agenda and minutes

Communities and Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 30th January, 2017 1.30 pm

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Helen Conway Email - 

No. Item


Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 290 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 5 December 2016 were approved as a correct record.


OSC Review - Impact of Gambling on the Borough - Evidence Gathering pdf icon PDF 488 KB

Report of Strategic Director Communities and Environment and Trevor David from Gamcare London, will attend provide an update to Committee.


The Committee undertook its fourth evidence gathering session on the review into the impact of gambling on the Borough. This session focused on recent research into the way that local authorities can protect vulnerable people from gambling related harm by improving the understanding of local area risk. It focussed on some work commissioned by Westminster and Manchester City Councils which was published in 2016.


The first aim of the study was to consider the types of people who may be at greater risk of harm from gambling and where they might be located. Based on review of existing evidence, it was conclude that the following groups are potentially more vulnerable to harm from gambling:-


·         Youths

·         People affected by substance abuse/misuse/excessive alcohol consumption

·         Poor mental health

·         People living in deprived areas

·         Certain ethnic groups

·         People with low IQs

·         People with personality/cognitive impairments

·         People seeking treatment for gambling problems

·         People who are unemployed


Having identified these groups, the next stage was to bring this information together to create local risk indices, showing areas with greater concentrations of people who are more likely to be vulnerable to harm.


For each characteristic of vulnerability identified, using Westminster and Manchester as case study areas, the availability of local level data was reviewed. For some characteristics, there were good data available (for example, unemployment rates but for others there were no data available (such as low IQ).


Therefore, the final characteristics of vulnerability included in the models were those where there was a strong theoretical and empirical basis for inclusion and good local level data available.


Information from all different characteristics was brought together and visually displayed. Data were grouped into two different indices based on whether they related to:


·         The characteristics of people who live in a local area (the resident profile) and/or

·         The location of local services which are likely to attract potentially vulnerable people to a specific place.



Data from the two indices were then combined to produce an overall gambling risk index for each area. These results were displayed visually on maps for Westminster and Manchester to highlight the locations which had relatively higher risk profiles.


In Westminster, four broad areas of greater risk were identified. The heightened risk in each area is driven by a range of different factors. For example, in Pimlico risk is higher because a greater number of homelessness shelters and substance treatment providers in this area. In the North West area, risk is driven by rates of unemployment, ethnic make-up and large numbers of resident young people.

In Manchester, many different areas of risk were identified which include areas around the city centre and the south of the city; risk in the city centre is driven primarily by the concentration of pay-day loans shops, education establishments, younger residents and support centres for problem gamblers. Relatively high levels of unemployment as well as ethnic mix are major driving factors in the other locations.


The study made the following recommendations:


The Gambling Commission’s introduction of Local Area Risk profiles  ...  view the full minutes text for item CPL20


Review of Annual Programme pdf icon PDF 232 KB

Report of the Acting Chief Executive


The Committee received a report seeking the Committee’s views on the current position with regard to the annual work programme.


In advance of the OSC agreeing its review topic for 2017-18, members of the OSC were invited to identify any issues which might potentially be appropriate for a detailed review by 14 December 2016. Any issues put forward by members have been added to the list of potential review topics for consideration by the OSC at the start of the municipal year, unless the issue is already being, or would more appropriately be, dealt with through other processes within the Council. Members have been notified if this has been the case and advised as to how their issue is being dealt with.


This Committee has already received a monitoring report on the outcomes generated by its Review of Opportunities to Promote Rural Gateshead on 12 September 2016 and will receive a further monitoring report on 24 April 2017.


Case studies have been included within OSC work programmes to provide an additional means of examining specific issues of concern/carrying out more detailed work on a particular topic/measure the impact of a particular OSC’s review recommendations over a specific period of time.


The case study for 2016/17 is:-

Street Cleanliness – Enforcement, Education and Community Involvement

(31 October 2016 meeting)


Each OSC has identified specific issues to be considered through the case study method and it was agreed that in view of the timing of the case studies within the 2015-16 work programmes that feedback on their effectiveness be sought during its work programme review in 2016/17.


During 2015/16 the OSC considered the following case study:-


Estates Management – 14 September 2015 meeting


The OSC focused on:-

·         How services have been reconfigured, public expectations managed and new ways of working developed;

·         The scale of the financial reductions for waste service and grounds maintenance;

·         The impacts of reduced funding and resources on service provision;

·         Plans for the future


Having examined the issues the OSC:-

·         Raised concerns regarding the impact on services in light of budget cuts and the notable visible impact on some areas.

·         The OSC queried if the Council was promoting gardening services to target those households who might be interested in buying into services. The OSC received information that although there the scope to do this there had to be a balance between the cost of service provision and the sustainability of such a service. The Council and the Gateshead Housing Company were looking to create a package of services that could be considered for “buy in” by developers.

·         The OSC also suggested that where there is active talent involvement/community groups around the borough there may be an opportunity for Grounds Maintenance to pass on skills and have links to events such as Community pride. The OSC was advised that Gateshead Housing Company does have a tenant engagement programme but it could be beneficial to hear from tenant groups which are successful.

·         The OSC requested that all councillors be kept informed  ...  view the full minutes text for item CPL21