Agenda and minutes

Housing, Environment and Healthier Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 6th December, 2021 1.30 pm

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Melvyn Mallam-Churchill, Tel: 0191 433 2149, E-mail: 

No. Item


Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 291 KB


RESOLVED        -       That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 October 2021 be agreed as a correct record. 



Northumbria Police Update - Superintendent Jamie Pitt pdf icon PDF 203 KB

The item will cover the following themes and trends not individual crime types at ward level:

·        Overview of Threat, Harm, Risk and Vulnerability issues

·        Strategic overview of Policing activity (referencing the importance of partnership working)

·        Details of the new Force Control Strategy (see attached) and examples of activity undertaken against each of the specific themes



Additional documents:


The Committee received a presentation from Superintendent Jamie Pitt from Northumbria Police on the Northumbria Police Control Strategy for 2021-2022 which will support the information provided in the presentation.


The Strategy has been revised to reflect the importance of partnership working.  Every 3 years Northumbria Police pull all of the data together working with partners and identify similar threats and what areas need to be co-ordinated.


There are 6 policing priorities in the Control Strategy 2021-22:


·         Protect the Vulnerable

·         Effective Justice

·         Prevent Crime and Disorder

·         Engaged Communities and Trusted Police

·         Intelligent Policing

·         Outstanding Organisation


Superintendant Pitt advised that in order to achieve the priorities they will look at the following themes:


·         Threat Risk and Vulnerability

o   Under this theme they will look at Drugs which is a massive cross cutting theme in terms of major organised crime and we have become an accelerated site and have just started testing on arrest.  75% of those tested have tested positive for drugs and need to be engaged and work needs to be undertaken to target the people causing the most harm.

o   Cyber Crime is another theme where areas such as online paedophilia, ransom ware, phishing emails and the dark web causes issues and is an example of great work which can be done when working in partnership.

o   Serious violence such as knife crime is another area where there is a focus and is subject to government funding.

o   Terrorism is another area where partnership working is critical.


The Committee were advised that currently all Local Authorities were revising their Strategic Assessments at the moment and the police will look to use the data to come together with interactive plans.


The Committee requested that information be provided to them on who were the best people to contact with regards to issues of Crime in their wards, in particular anti-social behaviour.


It was also requested that it would be useful to know where there have been areas of work undertaken whether difference has been made in that particular area.


It was suggested that keeping lines of communication open was one of the best ways to keep partnership working well, whilst ward members don’t need to know operational level day to day working communication is key.


RESOLVED -  That the comments of the Committee and the information presented by noted.






Community Safety Priorities and Progress - Adam Lindridge pdf icon PDF 524 KB

Report of the Director of Public Health


The Committee received a report to provide a brief overview of the key activities that have been co-ordinated and delivered by Gateshead Community Safety Board within the last six months to address the strategic priorities outlined in the Strategic Partnership Plan 2022/23.  The report also highlights the impact of, and some of the potential emerging themes, from Covid-19 in relation to Crime and Disorder within Gateshead.


The Strategic Themes were agreed by the Community Safety Board for 2020-23 are:


·         Violence, Exploitation and Abuse

·         Thriving Neighbourhoods and Communities

·         Community Cohesion and Resilience


In the first six months or 2020/21 recorded crime in Gateshead has reduced by 1% compared to a 3% increase across Northumbria.


Crime levels in Gateshead continue to remain on par with local authority areas across South of Tyne and the rate of crime per 1000 population remains comparable to our 15 Most Similar Family Group national average.


Crimes against the person have increased on last year – with violence rising by 4%, robbery increasing by 15% and sexual offences up 30%.  Demand-related call to Northumbria Police relating to public safety-type issues (such as mental health, suicides and substance misuse has increased in the last 12 months) with more complex and multiple needs being identified.  Police and Council have also seen increased reporting of anti-social behaviour.


Feelings of safety and perceptions of how the Council and partners work together to tackle community safety issues remain positive.


A review of the locations in which crime and ASB incidents are committed has shown more than half of all crime that takes place in those neighbourhoods that are classified ‘Extremely’ or ‘Very Vulnerable’ under Thrive agenda categories – and has increased proportionally compared to last year.


The report highlighted some of the activities which have been undertaken this year by partners to address the priorities of the Board include:


·         Serious Violence (including Criminal Exploitation and Knife Crime)

o   Supported Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit with the refresh of the regional Insight Report and Violence Reduction Strategy for Year 3

o   Knife Crime Serious Violence GRIP Funding will be used for high visibility targeted patrols and problem solving within specific harm hotspots within Inner West and Central Gateshead with an aim to implement to step change in activity to suppress and reduce serious violence

·         Domestic Abuse (including Violence against Women and Girls)

o   Gateshead Strategic Domestic Abuse Forum has been re-established and has started to progress some key areas of work required as part of the Domestic Abuse Act.  This includes the ongoing development of a draft Needs Assessment and Strategy to improve our support offer linked with Safe Accommodation

·         Anti-Social Behaviour (Youth, Adult and Place-based ASB)

o   We have started to plan and undertake a multi-agency review of anti-social behaviour to ensure victim receive the best possible service

·         Locality Based Tasking and Problem-Solving Arrangements

o   We have a robust operational planning and tasking group which continues to operate effectively with strong representation with a range of statutory partners and Council services.  In addition,  ...  view the full minutes text for item CPL11


Covid 19 Update - Andrew Tate/Ian Stevenson pdf icon PDF 353 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Housing, Environment and Healthy Communities


The Committee received a report and presentation to update on the position with regards to Covid 19. 


The Committee were advised that quite quickly at the early stages of the Pandemic the Economic Development working with Regulatory Services and Environmental Health established a business support hub to help and allow businesses to stay open. 


Demand has fallen away recently as businesses have opened.  We have administered £77m of support to 1200 businesses.  During the summer of 2020 £40m of direct grants to business and since Summer 2020 a further £36m has been further delivered to business particularly those that have been forced to close or those operating at reduced capacity.


An additional restrictions grant was also administered and the first allocation totalled £5.835m.  The grant was issued to:


·         Businesses forced to close but outside the rates list

·         Suppliers to hospitality, accommodation, leisure and events

·         Taxi drivers and Driving Instructors

·         Registered childcare providers

·         Other impacted businesses with fixed property costs

·         Home based and mobile hospitality businesses and in person services


There was a second top of of this grant of £1.081m with top up payments to:


·         Pubs, cafes, clubs, restaurants and hotels

·         Indoor leisure venues

·         Taxi drivers


The remaining additional restrictions grant is being used to support business recovery. 


In terms of recent impact there was some concern with regards to the withdrawal of government support along with the Furlough scheme coming to an end in September and the 5th and final round of Income support for Self Employed ended in September and the repayment holiday for Government loans ending for many businesses.


There is uncertainty about new strains of the virus, fears of peak infection rates over the winter and further business restrictions continue to impede the recovery.  The ability of businesses to survive or thrive during the pandemic has been heavily influenced by the sector in which they operate.  Businesses providing in-person services such as retail, hospitality, leisure and event businesses have been particularly impacted.  Existing sectoral challenges have been exacerbated and supply chains have been severely impacted.  Generally larger businesses have been more resilient due to greater resources and capacity.


Digital business and those providing business services have found it easier to adapt and introduce new ways of working to mitigate impact.  Manufacturing and health sector operators have continued to operate during the pandemic.  There continues to be demand for commercial property to support growth, both small units and larger foot print office and industrial premises.  Recorded business investment and job creation levels for 2020/21 are comparable to pre-Covid reporting periods. 



Working Gateshead, our person centred, place based universal employment support approach which is open to any Gateshead resident regardless of employment status continues to deliver both remotely and face to face.  It has strong links with the Area Co-ordinator in the community hubs and robust referral mechanisms.  In partnership with Gateshead Older People’s Assembly, Gateshead Council has worked to establish a Gateshead 50+ employability hub to help people over 50 access employment, training and health and  ...  view the full minutes text for item CPL12


Brighten The Day - Holiday Activities & Food Programme pdf icon PDF 316 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Housing, Environment and Healthy Communities


The Committee received a report and presentation on the delivery and impact of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme 2021 for their views and the announcement of the programme for 2022.


A video of the work undertaken was shown to the Committee.


DfE funding allocation of £850,000 for 2021 in Gateshead to fund Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) over the Easter, Summer and Christmas School Holidays for benefits-related Free School Meal (FSM) recipients and vulnerable children.


The holiday club places are available for the equivalent of at least 4 hours a day, 4 days a week for 4 weeks (Summer Only) and must include health meals (one healthy meal a day meeting the School Fund Standards guidance), enriching activities (provide fun activities with opportunities to develop skills and knowledge), physical activities (which meet the Physical Activity Guidelines), nutritional education (awareness of healthy eating and how to source, prepare and cook nutritious and low-cost food, signposting and referrals: (to other services and support).


In total there are 7200 children who are eligible for school meals, living in 4500 households across the Borough.  The programme also aims to help additional families who are struggling to make ends meet but do not access this benefit.


A HAF (Holiday Activities and Food Programme) Steering group meets regularly to plan and co-ordinate the Brighten the Day programme.  Representatives on the steering group include University of Northumbria, Education, Public Health, Children’s Social Care, Early Help, Libraries, Leisure, Catering Services and VCS organisations.


The Easter programme was delivered remotely due to Covid-19 restrictions in place.


The programme delivered the following:


·         1750 Cook n’ Eat food boxes delivered to FSM eligible families with fresh ingredients and recipes for 5 meals for a family of 4

·         1500 activity packs of crafts, books and sports equipment

·         Tyne and Wear TV on freeview broadcast content aimed at 3 different age groups for local children and young people over the Easter holiday period

·         A limited number of schools, community, church and sports organisations delivered small scale face to face holiday clubs, these were exclusive to know FSM eligible families connected to the venues and providers

·         A club at Cedars School for children with physical and learning difficulties was also run for the first time.


During May half term face to face delivery took place at a small number of venues using outdoor facilities, including Gateshead International Stadium with 560 places, delivered to 250 children attending 2,600 hours of activities in bubbles.  Half term delivery was not a requirement of the DfE grant.


The summer clubs in Gateshead were delivered in 52 venues; 23 community organisations, 12 schools (including 3 secondary and 2 special schools), 5 sports venues and 3 church organisations.  Over 21000 places were delivered across the 6 week period to approximately 1450 children per day.


Activities included Sports, Dance, Work Skills, Cooking, Cycling, Circus Skills, Bush Forestry, Open Spaces, Environmental and Educational Visits, as well as Cook N Eat, online activities, exercises and games.


The Council’s Catering Service complimented the  ...  view the full minutes text for item CPL13


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Joint report of the Chief Executive and the StrategicDirector of Corporate Services andGovernance

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report on the work programme for the remainder of the 2021/22 municipal year.  The Committee asked that a report be brought to the Committee in March from the new allotments officer and that the updated position with regards to repairs be brought back in April.


RESOLVED -      (i)              that the information contained within the work programme report be noted.

                            (ii)             that any additional reports be added to the work programme as highlighted.

                            (iii)            that an updated report be brought to the next Committee to identify any further issues the Committee may wish to consider.