Community Safety and Leisure Scrutiny Panel Minutes

Community Safety and Leisure Scrutiny Panel Minutes

Monday 8 February 2016
10:30 a.m.
Spencer Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

Councillor F McIntyre (Chair), Councillor L Lewis (Vice Chair); Councillor J Goodchild, Councillor A Hellaoui, Councillor J Hobson and Councillor Z Uddin.
Councillor Lawton
L Henman - Political Assistant
Apologies for absence:
Councillor B A Hubbard, Councillor P Purvis
Declarations of interest:

There were no Declarations of Interest made by Members at this point in the meeting.

Item Number Item/Resolution

The Minutes of the Community Safety and Leisure Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 18 January 2016 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


Reference was made to the queries raised at the previous meeting in relation to clarification of information provided by the NPS. An explanation was provided by the Scrutiny Support Officer and it was highlighted that the split between the NPS and CRCs was clarified within the draft Final Report.


In response to a query regarding certain elements of the information provided by the Community Safety Partnership Manager, it was confirmed that further updates would be received by the Panel after May 2016.


The Scrutiny Support Officer presented the Draft Final Report of the Community Safety and Leisure Scrutiny Panel following its investigation of Reoffending and Rehabilitation - How does Middlesbrough Fare?


The report had been drafted based on the information gathered following a number of Panel meetings held in relation to the topic and highlighted the issues explored when considering the terms of reference. Council Officers and external witnesses had provided information during the Panel’s investigation and had been sent a copy of the draft report and invited to comment.


The Scrutiny Support Officer advised that she had received comments from J Allen, Head of Cleveland Probation Service, and had amended the draft report accordingly. All other participants had confirmed that the report was an accurate reflection of the information they had provided.


The importance of obtaining the Panel’s approval in respect of the report was highlighted as all Final Reports presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Board were owned by the Panel.


The Panel was able to assess the multi-agency arrangements in place locally to address complex issues such as reoffending and rehabilitation. Crime and disorder was a high priority issue for Middlesbrough residents and the Panel had established the following terms of reference when considering the topic:-

  • To establish the current picture of adult reoffending in Middlesbrough.
  • To examine the 'through the gate' community based resettlement support provided to ex-offenders in the Tees Valley.
  • To examine the impact the integrated offender management approach was having on reducing reoffending.
  • To consider the provision of peer support/family support services currently provided to help turn around the lives of ex-offenders in Middlesbrough.

The report provided details on the following areas of information that had been gathered by the Panel:-

  • Transforming rehabilitation
  • Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014
  • Middlesbrough Council’s involvement in reoffending and rehabilitation
  • Youth offending in Middlesbrough
  • Youth Restorative interventions and triage
  • Current picture of adult reoffending in Middlesbrough
  • E3 Programme
  • Examination of the 'Through the Gate' community based resettlement support provided to ex-offenders in the Tees Valley
  • Peer mentors
  • Binary hurdle - payments by results
  • Community Payback scheme
  • Thorntree Community Hub
  • Case Study - Holme House prison
  • Provision of peer support/family support services currently provided to help turn around the lives of ex-offenders in Middlesbrough
  • Examination the impact of Integrated Offender Management had on reducing reoffending

The Panel was asked to consider the conclusions and recommendations it wished to include within the final report, based on the evidence provided throughout its investigation.


During the course of discussion, the following issues were highlighted:-

  • It was suggested that the table at paragraph 62, in relation to reoffending data for Middlesbrough, be duplicated at paragraph 8 so that cross reference between the national reoffending rates could be compared more easily to those for Middlesbrough.
  • In relation to a query regarding the statistics provided regarding reoffending in Middlesbrough (paragraph 21), the reasons for the lag in data was explained. It was suggested that the Panel make a recommendation around the recording of such data.
  • At paragraph 26, reference was made to the areas with the highest volume of crime and how resources were being targeted in those areas. The Panel considered that one of the conclusions in the report should state that Members were being made aware of the effects that reduced resources was having in their wards. Whilst they appreciated why specific areas were being targeted, they were mindful of what was happening in their own wards.
  • It was highlighted that the table at paragraph 25 was difficult to read and a better quality table was requested.
  • The Panel requested that an introductory paragraph be added at paragraph 29 stating that Panel wished to acknowledged the good work being done in relation to youth offending.
  • Reference was made to paragraph 34 which highlighted information provided by the Youth Offending Service, specifically around the Junior Attendance Centre which provided young people with access to a kitchen where they were able to learn how to prepare food, etc. Members felt this was an excellent initiative for young people and discussion took place as to how something similar might be replicated for adult offenders. Discussion ensued around Community Hubs and the possibility of exploring whether they could be utilised to greater effect for such projects and the Panel wished to make a recommendation around this.
  • The Panel acknowledged (paragraph 60) that there would be no meaningful statistics in relation to how Middlesbrough fared in terms of re-offending and rehabilitation for 18 months and was keen to follow up this up. The possibility of visiting Holme House prison at this point was also suggested.
  • At paragraph 62, the Panel highlighted that it was pleased with the philosophy of the Probation Service that it was important 'to do the right thing' rather than to ensure the binary hurdles were achieved at all costs.
  • Paragraph 70 referred to out of Court diversion schemes and it was suggested that the Panel might wish to make a recommendation to the Police and Crime Commissioners Office in relation to encouraging a joined up approach in relation to the schemes.
  • In relation to the Community Payback Scheme, the Scrutiny Support Officer advised that she had received information from Environment Services advising that regular meetings were held with Senior Area Care Managers and the community to propose potential work projects for the teams. The proposals were added to a priority list and discussed at meetings held every five to six weeks where it was assessed whether projects were appropriate or not, who owned the land on which the work was to be carried out etc. Examples of projects had been provided and it was suggested that this should be circulated to the Panel for information.
  • Reference was made to the site visit undertaken to Thorntree Community Hub to observe the probation supervision being undertaken by staff from the DTV CRC. Members considered that this arrangement appeared to work very well and provided a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere, without stigma.
  • The Panel referred to the information provided in relation to Holme House Prison and wished to formulate conclusions in relation to following up progress regarding problems with drug misuse in prison and employment of offenders following release. It was also suggested that Community Hubs could again be utilised by hosting specific support for ex-offenders requiring help with reading and writing.
  • In terms of peer and family support services, it was identified that there were currently only three family support workers and that this was not sufficient.
  • Whilst there was a multi-agency approach to the provision of IOM, it was highlighted that the scheme had previously worked with 70 of the most prolific offenders in Middlesbrough but now worked with 35 due to a reduction in resources.

The Panel’s conclusions and recommendations would be formulated based on the discussion at the meeting and circulated to Panel Members for comment. Any suggested additions/amendments would be made accordingly prior to the report being submitted to Overview and Scrutiny Board.


The Panel wished to comment on the quality of the submitted draft report.


AGREED as follows:-

  1. That the conclusions and recommendations be formulated, based on discussion at the meeting, for inclusion in the draft Final Report and circulated to Panel Members for comment.
  2. That following receipt of any suggested additions/amendments, the Chair of the Panel, in conjunction with the Scrutiny Support Officer, be authorised to finalise the Final Report for submission to the Overview and Scrutiny Board.

The Chair requested that the Panel note the contents of the submitted report which provided an update on business conducted at the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 5 January 2016, namely:-


  • Attendance of Lead Executive Member for Children’s Services.
  • Feedback from the Executive.
  • Executive Forward Work Programme.
  • Scrutiny Panel Progress Reports.

AGREED that the information contained within the submitted report be noted.


The next meeting of the Community Safety and Leisure Scrutiny Panel was scheduled for Monday, 29 February 2016 at 10.30am. Members were reminded that the meeting would be immediately followed by a site visit to the Southlands Centre, Ormesby Road, Middlesbrough (approximately 11.45am).

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