Agenda and minutes

Venue: Herefordshire Council Offices, Plough Lane, Hereford, HR4 0LE

Contact: Ben Baugh, Democratic Services Officer 

Link: Watch this meeting on the Herefordshire Council YouTube channel

No. Item


Apologies for absence

To receive apologies for absence.



Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Paul Andrews, Tracey Bowes, Toni Fagan and Kath Hey.


Named substitutes

To receive details of councillors nominated to attend the meeting in place of a member of the committee.


Councillor David Summers was present in the meeting room as the substitute for Councillor Tracy Bowes.  Councillor Felicity Norman participated via remote attendance on behalf of Councillor Toni Fagan.


Declarations of interest

To receive declarations of interest in respect of items on the agenda.


In relation to the item ‘Herefordshire Community Safety Partnership’ item, Councillor Barry Durkin advised the committee that he was the Vice-Chairman of the West Mercia Police and Crime Panel.


During the item ‘The Public Realm Services Future Operating Model’, Councillor Jim Kenyon advised the committee that he had a non-pecuniary interest due to an association a sub-contractor.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 151 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 18 November 2022.


The minutes of the previous meeting were received.




That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 November 2022 be confirmed as a correct record and be signed by the Chairperson.


Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To receive any written questions from members of the public.

Additional documents:


Questions received and responses given are attached as Appendix 1 to the minutes.


Questions from members of the council

To receive any written questions from members of the council.


No questions had been received from councillors.


Herefordshire Community Safety Partnership pdf icon PDF 209 KB

In accordance with the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the Herefordshire Council Connected Communities Scrutiny Committee delivers the crime and disorder scrutiny function for Herefordshire Community Safety Partnership.

Additional documents:


The purpose of this item was to undertake crime and disorder scrutiny function in relation to Herefordshire Community Safety Partnership (CSP).


The key participants were introduced and the Cabinet Member - Housing, Regulatory Services and Community (and Chairperson of the CSP Board) gave an introductory presentation covering: the role and membership of the CSP; the CSP strategy, ‘Our Plan to Keep You Safer’ (2021-2024), which included the strategic priorities ‘To prevent Violence Against Women and Girls’ and ‘To reduce the harm from Domestic Abuse’; the delivery of the strategy and funding arrangements; the structure of groups and sub-groups; data in relation to the strategic priorities; data on all crime trends and for comparative police force areas; positives and challenges in recent years; and an acknowledgement to all the partners, agencies and volunteers involved for their efforts. 


The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) made opening comments about: CSPs predated PCCs; the value of scrutiny activity to check the effectiveness of the CSP; current PCC initiatives; the need to address behaviours and to support communities to be safe and resilient to stop crime happening in the first place; and the need to be resolute in the commitment to the strategic priorities.


The principal topics of the debate included:


1.             The purpose of the ‘Channel Panel’, as part of the Prevent strategy, to support individuals at risk of radicalisation.


2.             The impact of healthy relationships education and initiatives in schools and how to evidence outcomes over the next twelve months, including comparative data from other CSPs and feedback from parents / guardians.


3.             The issue of elder abuse in the county.


4.             The influence of social networking and other media platforms in shaping relationships and behaviours.


5.             Challenges associated with funding to deliver programmes in schools were outlined but it was acknowledged that there were other opportunities to promote key messages across broader society.


6.             The PCC questioned whether the council was assured that it was deploying resources effectively to address the strategic priorities.


7.             The work being undertaken by the CSP with education professionals and practitioners to raise awareness about the damage caused by emotional abuse and controlling behaviours in relationships.  Reference was also made to the Drive campaign which aimed to deter perpetrator behaviour.


8.             The need to promote sources of help and support to enable people to recognise and respond appropriately to all forms of abuse.  The PCC emphasised that help and support was available, whether or not victims wished to report incidents to the police.  It was acknowledged that messages had to be communicated in ways that were relevant to young people and the voices of young people should be heard.


9.             The work of the police in terms of child exploitation and online protection.


10.         The training undertaken by West Mercia Police and Fire and Rescue Service personnel on domestic abuse matters.


11.         In response to a comment about improving pastoral support in educational settings, the Corporate Director – Children and Young People advised that the Children and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.


The Public Realm Services Future Operating Model pdf icon PDF 509 KB

To provide committee the outcome of a midpoint review of the council's public realm services delivered in partnership between the council and the Public Realm Service Contractor, and seek comments and constructive challenge regarding the proposals to select and develop a Future Operating Model to ensure the public realm services are aligned to the council’s medium and long term objectives.

Additional documents:


Further to minute 8 of the meeting held on 14 October 2022, the purpose of this item was to provide the committee with the outcome of a midpoint review of the council's public realm services and to invite comments and constructive challenge regarding the proposals to select and develop a Future Operating Model.


The Cabinet Member - Infrastructure and Transport made opening comments about: the background to the public realm service contract with Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP) that had been awarded in 2013; the key features of the existing model; audits undertaken of the public realm contract which had identified issues with the effectiveness of contract monitoring on the council side; various model types had been considered by Cabinet Members and by a cross party member working group; it was considered that Model Five, ‘in house client and technical staff with existing provider (single contract) for top up professional services and works’, would deliver the council’s objectives.


The principal topics of the debate included:


1.             The initial implementation costs of the model and opportunities to deliver efficiencies to reach a cost neutral position with ongoing service costs.


2.             The learning from bringing public rights of way and traffic management services back in house in April 2022, particularly in relation to communications and staff planning.


3.             The transfer of technical and professional services staff from BBLP to the council.


4.             Encouraging the public to report potholes, with an enhanced digital presence.


5.             The future management of assets and the modernisation of the vehicle fleet.


6.             The options appraisal identified that Model Five would provide value for money and would negate risks for the council.


7.             The Cabinet Member - Commissioning, Procurement and Assets commented on the benefits of competitive dialogue with potential suppliers, including on social value and environmental objectives.


8.             The improvements that had been made to contract management, informed by the Major Contract Improvement Plan, including enhanced constructive tension between the parties.


9.             The interim arrangements and plans for the recruitment of permanent heads of contract management, highways, and transportation.


10.         The value of public rights of way, including for population health and wellbeing, and the importance of engagement with volunteers interested in supporting and improving the network, subject to appropriate supervision and mitigation of risks.


[Note: With the assent of committee members, the Chairperson determined that the meeting should continue beyond three hours.]


11.         It was noted that there was limited detail on the additional costs and challenges referenced in paragraphs 18 and 19 of the report (agenda pages 64/65).  The Cabinet Member - Infrastructure and Transport said that a preferred model had been identified but further decisions would not be taken until the new administration period.  Comments were made about the importance of corporate memory and apprising councillors about the situation.


12.         The need for flexibility in terms of potential suppliers for major infrastructure projects.


13.         The need for clarity about the division of responsibilities between contractors and the council, and for the council to be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Work programme pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To consider the work programme for the committee.


The work programme for the committee was received and it was noted that there were no further scheduled meetings of the committee for the remainder of the municipal year 2022/23.