Minutes of meeting held on 7th January 2015

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OFFICIAL
Record of Meeting
Title:
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Police & Crime Reduction
Alliance
Held on:
7th January 2015
Venue:
Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner, Winchester.
Present:
Simon Hayes, Police & Crime Commissioner (Chair)
Cllr. Roy Perry, Leader, Hampshire County Council
Cllr. Donna Jones, Leader, Portsmouth City Council
Cllr. Simon Letts, Leader, Southampton City
Council
Cllr. Royston Smith, Chair, Hampshire Fire & Rescue
Service
Cllr. Phil Jordan, representing Isle of Wight Council
Mr. Roger Tetstall, Chief Executive, Test Valley Borough
Council
Ms. Mary D’Arcy, Chief Executive, Hampshire Community
Rehabilitation Company
Andy Marsh, Chief Constable, Hampshire Constabulary
Kevin Gardner, Interim Chief Executive, OPCC
Rob Jarman, Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner
Judy Venables, Assistant Police & Crime Commissioner
Apologies:
1.
Cllr. Ian Stephens, Leader, Isle of Wight Council.
Cllr. Ian Carr, Leader of District Councils.
Ms. Lisa Briggs, Chief Officer, North Hampshire Clinical
Commissioning Group.
Welcome and Introductions
The Commissioner welcomed members to the meeting.
2.
Establishment of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Police & Crime
Reduction Alliance
The Commissioner introduced the report (Item 2 on the agenda)
summarising the background to the establishment of the Alliance, its
membership and terms of reference. The aim of the Alliance was to
introduce greater engagement and co-ordination at a strategic level
around budgeting, planning and delivery of services by the agencies
responsible for Community Safety, with a focus on the Police & Crime
objectives in the Police & Crime Plan.
The terms of reference were considered. It was agreed that paragraph
2 should be slightly amended to state “to actively encourage strategic
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partners to plan their services and allocate their resources in a coordinated way that supports value for money and the overall
achievement of the Police & Crime objectives in the Police & Crime
Plan”. It was also felt that the name of the Alliance should be slightly
amended to the Police & Crime Reduction Alliance.
The name and terms of reference were therefore agreed subject to
these minor changes.
3.
Approach to budget setting for 2015/16
The inclusion of this item on the agenda was to enable Alliance
members to share the approach being taken by their organisation to
budget setting for 2015/16, with particular regard to policy and service
provision impacting on policing and crime. The aim was to encourage
an overall approach across the Hampshire & Isle of Wight agencies
that is joined up and holistic, orientated around the Police & Crime Plan
priorities.
The Commissioner’s Chief Finance Officer gave a summary of the
approach being taken to setting the Commissioner’s budget 2015/16.
Government grant was being reduced by 4% (£10.1m) on the previous
year, making a cumulative reduction of 22% (£52m) since 2011.
It was explained that, in the face of these challenges, the Constabulary
was undergoing transformation through its operational change
programme, in a bid to work more efficiently, introducing safer
neighbourhood teams, a Resolutions Centre handling more tasks by
‘phone, alongside collaboration in certain areas with Thames Valley
Police and with Hampshire County Council and Hampshire Fire &
Rescue Authority over back office functions.
An increase to the Council Tax of 1.99% was being proposed, which
would deliver an additional £2m. Hampshire would remain the 6th
lowest total cost per head of population out of 43 Forces nationally.
Commitments made in the Police & Crime Plan for the period to March
2017 would be funded, but the prospect of further cuts in the period
beyond then would present challenges to maintaining frontline
operations.
A question was raised about the impact of damping, which the Chief
Finance Officer undertook to respond to following the meeting.
Other Alliance members summarised the budget position they were
facing.
Hampshire County Council was proposing a Council Tax freeze,
working hard to reduce the cost of back office functions through
collaboration, while there would be no increased investment in Adult
Social Care.
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Portsmouth City Council needed to find £37m in savings over the next
two years. The Community Safety budget was being reduced by
£290k in real terms, which would largely impact upon back office
support. There had been liaison with the Constabulary and OPCC over
the setting up of a new Social Enterprise Company, focussing on crime
prevention, and this had strengthened the relationships between
partners. There was the possibility of the company being developed on
a pan-Hampshire basis.
Southampton City Council was in a broadly similar position, indeed
slightly worse due to numbers of children being looked after.
Hampshire Fire & Rescue Authority had a smaller budget than some of
the larger bodies, but also had a reduced flexibility in options to make
savings. Savings were being made through sharing back office
functions with the County Council and Constabulary, with additional
revenue being generated through the Authority’s Trading Company,
which was on course to exceed income targets.
The Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) would be operating in
the private sector from 1st February, delivering a contract based on
volumes. Discussions were currently taking place with the new owners
of the CRC to establish funding levels.
Isle of Wight Council had similar pressures to other Authorities, having
to find £28m in savings over three years. It was seeking a 1.99%
increase on the precept. District Councils were reported as facing a
similar picture to the unitary authorities.
In discussion, it was recognised that the budget pressures all Alliance
members were facing, in the short and long term, made it imperative
that there was effective collaboration, with a particular focus on
prevention and early intervention, to minimise future demand on
policing and other services contributing to community safety.
4.
Opportunities for strategic partnering
The report on opportunities for strategic partnering (Item 4 on the
agenda) was considered. Following on from the discussion of the
previous item, it was felt that opportunities for joint commissioning and
collaboration should be explored where these had the potential to
make a positive contribution to prevention and early intervention.
Current and future plans should therefore be viewed in this context.
The importance of effective arrangements for sharing of information
was recognised. It was noted that the current arrangements for this
could be improved, and a business case was being prepared, with a
view to seeking partnership funding. There was agreement to try to
tackle this issue together. The CRC was exploring an IT solution that
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involved information sharing, and this may provide a basis for future
collaboration.
5.
Impact of Devolution Debate
The potential implications of the debate on devolution for policing and
crime in Hampshire & Isle of Wight was considered. It was reported
that discussions were continuing from a local authority perspective, and
that this may lead in due course to proposals being presented to the
Department for Communities and Local Government. It was agreed
that, should any such proposals emerge, that there would be liaison
with the Commissioner as to the implications of this for future
governance of policing and crime.
6.
Tackling Serious and Organised Crime
The report outlining the national approach to tackling serious and
organised crime, and the implications of this at a local level for partner
agencies (Item 6 on the agenda) was considered. The Chief Constable
gave an oral summary of current activity in Hampshire & Isle of Wight.
It was noted that the Home Secretary had emphasised the importance
of partnership between local organisations in fighting serious and
organised crime, and in particular working together to compile a
serious and organised crime local profile.
In discussion it was recognised that an effective response in this area
involved a return to themes already discussed in the meeting:
collaboration, focus on prevention, and good arrangements for
information sharing.
It was agreed:
That the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Police & Crime Alliance acts as the
body to provide strategic leadership and oversight of local activity to
tackle serious and organised crime.
That members of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Police & Crime
Alliance confirm the commitment of their organisations to work together
to tackle serious and organised crime in Hampshire & Isle of Wight.
That arrangements are made for the establishment of a working group
to support and advise the Chief Constable in developing the serious
and organised crime local profile for Hampshire & Isle of Wight, with a
progress report to be brought to the next meeting
7.
Any other business
There was none.
8.
Date of next meeting
This was to take place following the General Election in the June/July
period, the date to be confirmed.
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