Agenda item

Q3 Performance Report - Children Services and Community Safety Partnership, Customer Services, The Old Town Hall, Communications and Community Partnerships


M Rawdon introduced item 7 highlighting that the papers will provide an update on service performance over Q3 2020/2021 and also highlighted key achievements over this same period.


M Rawdon was happy to take questions from Members.


Cllr England referred to 3.5.5 the communication figures; he notes that the figures are difficult to judge, he asked how this compare with last year?


L Roberts said that we do not know tonight but she will get clarification from Kelvin.

Action: L Roberts to speak to Kelvin


Cllr England welcomed the figures and said we need to see how well we are engaging on what the Council see as the top 5 important issues.

We want to find out as a Council if our channels are being used by people.

It would be very useful as we go forward with these figures to identify those issues that we know have been important in the last period and to see how well we have engaged on those.


Cllr England also asked what the plans for the website are?


L Roberts said there are two different things, one is content and one is platform. The platform they will be looking at as part of a digital strategy that they are working on.

They have relied a lot more on digital offerings through the pandemic so they are looking to see what that means going forward.

They anticipate the work to take place between now and the summer and they will come back with any propositions.


Cllr Mahmood said that the elicits were good and informative, it gives us a good picture of who is keeping in touch with the council.  Not for a response here, but in the future we need to see how our housing service is going digital.


Cllr Mahmood referred to the Old Town Hall which has nearly been closed for a year. Are we expecting the Café to open with the recent announcement?


M Rawdon said that they are working on a road map like other services to re-open safely.

They are looking at the infrastructure needed around streaming live show etc to broaden their audience; in terms of the café re-opening it will be part of the road map.


Cllr Mahmood highlighted an observation. A lot more people are going to Gadebridge Park, and asked if we could publicise the Old Town Hall.


Cllr Barry refereed to 3.1.1 its brilliant that people have been able to provide food for those that need it. She asked how DBC are checking if these organisations have the relevant safeguarding DBS checks, food hygiene rating and First Aid. Not just, for where they prepare the food but if they have an understanding of it.


M Rawdon said the people that are delivering those services, one being Dens which they are heavily involved with and the other being Youth Booth. M Rawdon said he would come back to the committee on that.

Action: M Rawdon


J Banks added to that, and confirmed that environmental officers are involved with both the organisations and have been able to offer advice and guidance and confirm that they are meeting the necessary regulations to deliver the service.


Cllr Barry asked if it would be possible to find out what those where? And if all volunteers would need First Aid etc.


Cllr Banks said yes having known both organisations they do have all the health and safety checks and the wider checks, which you are referring too.

ACTION: Cllr Banks to give a written response.


Cllr England referred to 3.4.2 Dacorum football working group which has been launched along side the project board, can I ask what the group is? He is struggling to understand why there is a football group and how it relates to the sports strategy. He asked if there are any other specific groups planned.


L Roberts said that they decided to create this group as they have a lot of communication from football clubs, and football is by far the biggest sports activity that takes place.

They have found that by creating this working group it enabling the clubs to talk with us at the same time, this way they are not replicating information and the conversations are a lot richer. They also get the Herts FA representatives and outside boards come along.

It has been a positive experience.


M Rawdon said that they have just set up a sports and working infrastructure group, which wasn’t in this quarter, so hasn’t been mentioned.  Sports England are helping to set these meetings up and  it helps join up the local plan and the sporting infrastructure. Planning also sit on this as well, It was definitely a successful first meeting.


Cllr England said that he likes the sound of the latter and forma and makes perfect sense. He is worried that football dominates everything and that we don’t get a round picture, He understands that your aware of this?


L Roberts said that it is about balancing it out and they have had a lots of different representatives that were there.


Cllr Adeleke referred to the adventure playground, he asked if we are keeping it closed permanently, or what are our plans and preparations to police and maintain?

He also asked about the second quarter 2020. Is the 2020 event going to be repeated in 2021/22 so we can get a proper feel of what it was really like?


M Rawdon said that the playgrounds will have a roadmap of re opening and we need to be mindful of the dates. In preparation you will have noticed in the report that they have added a 3D pitch in Grovehill and the Adeyfield facilities have been improved. We are in good shape and have utilised the section 106 money to do that.

He said that we have to be mindful that indoor play is different from outdoor play as we have the Cabins, there are different rules and more requirements.

M Rawdon did explain that they opened it during the last lockdown (without the Cabins open) and the attendance numbers were low. it was a waste of staff time so instead they have supported other service areas.

He added to that, We may open the open space and then factor in the Cabins, we aim to be safe and open as soon as possible.

M Rawdon said that the Hertfordshire year of culture was unfortunate that it was during a pandemic, however our team did the best it could to deliver virtual cultural events. We have employed someone to continue the good work and cultural offerings to the community so it is now more sustainable.


Cllr Pringle referred to 3.5.1 the external communication portal as we have delivered on external PR campaigns and projects such as the local plan.

The Local Plan is a statutory plan exercise; she would suggest it requires a greater level of diligence form the community. It concerns her that it has been collected with other events.


L Roberts said that this is simply an oversight on the report and that’s not how it’s been treated within the department, it’s very much part of the formal consultation and its treated very different. It’s just how the report is written.


Cllr Pringle asked if this could be amended?


L Roberts said that they can get this looked at.


Cllr Pringle referred to the contact that had been circulated to all Cllrs, she is concerned they chose this contract. She said there is no requirement to deliver to every resident nor a requirement for the delivery of documents within any particular time frame. She would suggest that this might well be inadequate.

It is not adequate to send to every council taxpayer, they would be entitled to be aware of everything that are being planned. She has already been informed by the Leader of the Council that people in more rural areas because the proposals affect them more.

She asked if there were voids and how we find out about them and what is the best choice of contract.


M Gaynor said that there will be a full report on this and you’re looking at a level of detail that the committee doesn’t have at this time.


Cllr Pringle asked if the contract could be circulated.


Cllr Imarni said that there would be a tracking report of where and when.


ACTION: M Gaynor – written response


Cllr Adeleke left the meeting at 19:32


Cllr Mahmood thanked them for the parking on Wheelers Lane.

Cllr Mahmood said under Dacorum Community Safety Partnership, Due to lock down and COVID has there been a rise in violent crime.


M Gaynor said yes domestic abuse has risen hugely, 52 households are in temporary accommodation due to violence. Nationally these figures have increased.


L Roberts added to that stating that we get this information from the police. Although these figures have risen other, crime has reduced.


M Gaynor added to that saying those that are in temp accommodation weren’t all council tenants before. He said that there would now be a greater focus on domestic abuse.  County Council and the Government are making better use of resources.


Cllr Mahmood asked where we get our figures.


M Rawdon said that they are discussed at the Dacorum Community Safety Partnership Meeting (DCSP), and any Councillor is welcome to come along, which in the past many have done so.


Cllr Griffiths referred back to the local plan, it is a general category for communications. She explained that you will find the local plan in several places, it’s also important to note that a PR campaign was run on the local plan. There was also a campaign on Facebook. She believes that the statement is correct because it refers to communications as a general heading.

The detail to any given subject, in this case the local plan it would be brought up with the relevant committee to scrutinising it. In this case, Cabinet when they are reporting back what the consultation delivered and how it was delivered etc etc.

She believed that having a conversation outside of the meeting is wasting officer’s time as all the information is contained there and that is the right forum to have it in.


Cllr Pringle followed up on domestic abused and expressed her concerns. She is worried that the owners is on the victim, more often than not, the women with dependent children. There tends to be a cultural presumption that she might leave the home. Her concern is that where there is a tenancy, she would hope that priority would be given to keep them in their own home while correct legal remedies are followed to prevent the perpetrator from contacting them. She asked what communication is there with the court services and the police. She is concerned that most cases fail as people tend to go home as all the bay equipment is there.


M Gaynor said that we do have a policy and not to assume that the women has to leave the home. We remove the guilty party if the women requests we do request an out of Borough request and this is facilitates ASAP.



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