Venue: Room 10
Contact: Mrs KM Howard (01744) 676106
Appointment of Chairman
* Resolved that Councillor McDonnell be appointed as Chairman for this meeting of the Panel.
Councillor McDonnell here took the Chair.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Fulham and P Jackson.
* Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2018, be approved and signed subject to the following amendment:
Minute 25 – Para 1 removal of the word ‘Chief’
Declarations of Interest
No Declarations of Interest from Members were made.
Safeguarding Review of Merseyside Police
· Local Policing Superintendent, Louise Harrison has been invited to attend the meeting.
A verbal report was given by Superintendent Harrison which updated Members on the Safeguarding Review of Merseyside Police.
The Panel was informed that following a review into efficiency and effectiveness it had been recognised that the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs (MASH) lacked a consistency in processes across the pan Merseyside footprint. As a result of these findings a new working model had been developed and was now being embedded having been live for two weeks.
Members were also advised of staffing changes
within the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub with a move from the Hub
being staffed by Police Officers to Police Support Staff. Assurance
was given that the shift in staffing would not be to the detriment
of the service and that experience and skills remained within the
The Panel questioned if the changes had
affected the membership of health partners within the MASH and
raised concerns regarding Police communications in particular around changes/closures of
* Resolved that:
the verbal report be noted; and
(2) Superintendent Harrison be thanked for her verbal report.
Update on Skate Park
· Roy Benyon, Head of Place and Delivery has been invited to attend the meeting.
The Head of Place and Delivery was present at the meeting to provide a verbal report to the Panel on the Urban Skate Park.
On 26 April 2017, the Cabinet approved the development of an Urban Skate Park on land between Chalon Way Car Park and Foundry Street in St Helens Town Centre. The prime purpose of the development was to reduce the issue of antisocial behaviour caused by the presence of skateboarders particularly in Church Square and to provide a safe space for young people.
At this meeting, the Cabinet also approved the acceptance of £65,000 of funding from Merseyside Police via the Proceed of Crime Act (POCA) grant.
The Panel was informed that additional funding streams had been identified and secured; £77,000 by the Heart of Glass through Arts Council Funding and £50,000 from Sport England through a joint bid from the Heart of Glass and the Council, which had been confirmed on 12 March 2019. The total funds earmarked for the Urban Skate Park was now £192,000.
It was reported that Heart of Glass had been
given the lead to procure the design, seek planning approval and
award the contract for development. The design had been complete
and granted planning permission in 2018 and a specialist park
builder had been sourced.
Members welcomed the progress made towards the
development of the Urban Skate Park but emphasised the importance
in ensuring that the public was aware that this was being provided
due to the securing of grants and that the monies secured for the
development were not at the expense of the provision other Council
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Update
A verbal report was given by Ian Mullen,
Station Manager which updated Members on the current work of
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.
The Panel was also updated on the continuing
developments of the new community fire station to be located at
Watson Street off Milverny Way,
Ravenhead Retail Park.
Following questioning, clarification was given
on the number of appliances within the
The Panel noted the increase in RTC’s
and questioned if mapping exercises were undertaken to understand
where they were occurring. It was explained that RTC’s can
occur due to a number of factors not all
within the powers of the Fire and Rescue Service such as motorists
speeding, engineering of roads etc. However, the Fire and Rescue
Services were helping to continue to raise aware of the dangers and
risks through delivery of road safety messages to the public.
The Panel commented on the wide range of incidents the Fire and Rescue Service attended including a recent rescue of two ponies that had fell into a ditch. Ian Mullen acknowledged with the success of fire prevention measures, the rescue of both people and animals were becoming an increasing element of role and remit.
Members asked if the service had the machinery to access high level buildings. It was reported that the Fire and Rescue Service had specialist ladders with ability to access buildings with 8 to 10 floors (building dependant). Assurance was given that work was being done around preventative engineering works (such as stop breaks and early alerts) rather than relying on reactive engineering following learning from the Greenfell incident.
* Resolved that the verbal report be noted.
Merseyside Police Update
A verbal report was given by Superintendent Louise Harrison which updated Members on the current work of Merseyside Police.
The Panel was given an overview of the last few months’ performance over a number of crime types including Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), Vehicle Crime (including Interference) Robbery, Burglary Dwelling and Hate Crime.
It was reported that work to continue to be undertaken to raise public awareness on crime prevention measures they could take; such as not keeping valuables in vehicles, ensuring doors and windows were locked etc. in order to help prevent opportunist crimes.
The Panel was informed of the force wide knife crime operation called Operation Sceptre which was a national operational focus to crack down on knife crime and continue to raise awareness. It was reported that open air searches of parks and communal areas within St Helens had been positive with no significant findings. Members were informed that these searches would continue to be undertaken in open spaces.
was noted that the spring and lighter nights often saw an increase
in ASB and this was already being anticipated within the force and
a focus for local community Police teams. The Panel was advised
that planning was already underway for the regular spring/summer
events of Brookfest, Reminisce,
Fuzzfest and Westfest.
(1) the verbal
report be noted; and
(2) Superintendent Harrison be thanked for her attendance at the meeting.
A report was submitted to the Panel which updated
Members on the Scrutiny Review of Hate Crime.
1. the Hate Crime Partnership Board continue to meet on a quarterly basis to ensure data and good practice be continuously shared amongst a wider group and that greater effort to broadcast its work be made;
2. membership of the Hate Crime Partnership Board be extended to include representatives from Primary and Secondary Headteacher Group, the local faith sectors and victims of Hate Crime;
3. the work currently being undertaken by Merseyside Police to establish more third-party reporting centres be supported by the Council;
4. Members be given training by Merseyside Police to assist them in becoming third party reporting ambassadors for Hate Crime within their Wards; and
5. an easy to use online Hate Crime Awareness training resource be identified and communicated across partners.
(1) the report be noted;
(2) the final report be forwarded to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission prior to submission to Cabinet.