Agenda and minutes

Venue: Boardrooms 5&6 - Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ. View directions

Contact: Bryony Gibbs, Governance Officer  020 8937 1355; Email: bryony.gibbs@brent.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of interests

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, any relevant disclosable pecuniary, personal or prejudicial interests in the items on this agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

2.

Deputations (if any)

To hear any deputations received from members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 69.

Minutes:

There were no deputations.

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 225 KB

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 March 2017 are attached for Members’ consideration.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:-

 

that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 March 2017 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting.

4.

Matters arising (if any)

To consider any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

There were no matters arising.

5.

Safer Brent Partnership Annual Report and Update on Community Safety pdf icon PDF 1 MB

The Safer Brent Partnership is the statutory community safety partnership under s5 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. It confers a legal responsibility on a range of relevant agencies to consider the impact on crime and disorder of everything that they do, and to jointly create a strategy to reduce crime, disorder, substance misuse and reoffending in Brent. The Safer Brent Partnership Annual Report is attached for Members’ consideration, along with a community safety update relating to Hate Crime, Domestic Abuse, Crime and the Fear of Crime.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee had before them the Annual Report for 2016-2017 of the Safer Brent Partnership, a statutory community safety partnership established in accordance with the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The report detailed the activities of the Partnership undertaken in support of the jointly created Safer Brent Partnership Strategy aimed at reducing crime, disorder, substance misuse and reoffending in Brent. The Partnership comprised the London Borough of Brent, Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade, National Probation Service, Community Rehabilitation Company and NHS Brent Clinical Commission Group. The committee also received an update report on community safety from the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment which provided details of Hate Crime, Domestic Abuse and Crime and the Fear of Crime in Brent.

 

The Chair welcomed to the meeting Michael Gallagher (Borough Commander, Metropolitan Police), Councillor Miller (Lead Member for Stronger Communities), Karina Wane (Head of Community Protection) and Amar Dave (Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment). Members were informed that Karina Wane was attending in place of Carolyn Downs (Chief Executive of Brent Council) who due to an error had not been invited to attend the meeting.

 

In the ensuing discussion the committee questioned the work being undertaken to combat anti-Semitism and raised concerns regarding incidents of intimidating behaviour associated with religious sectarianism in Brent’s Islamic communities. Referring to the statistics provided regarding hate crime in Brent, members sought further detail regarding the groups affected and questioned why there had been an increase in hate crime related to religion. Members queried the procedure for information sharing with local councillors following the occurrence of a major crime in their wards. In view of the rising figures associated with anti-social behaviour and gang activity in Brent, the committee requested an overview of the work being undertaken to tackle such issues, including drug dealing and prostitution, and highlighted a number of hotspots of illegal activity in the borough. Members questioned what initiatives were pursued with the borough’s schools, particularly around issues of domestic violence and violence against women and girls.

 

In response, Councillor Miller explained that hate crime statistics were closely monitored, emphasised the importance of education in tackling this type of crime and outlined the Council’s work with the Brent Interfaith Forum. The Borough Commander also praised the work of the Brent Interfaith Forum and highlighted the importance of monitoring data regarding the fear of crime, as it was recognised that this too had a significant impact on quality of life. The local police response to anti-Semitism included increased patrols on High Holy Days. A strong working relationship was also maintained with the Community Safety Trust, a charity which aimed to protect the Jewish Community from anti-Semitism and other threats. Different communities had different needs and the Borough Commander had visited and addressed worshipers at each of the mosques in Brent around a variety of issues, including concerns relating to the public mood around Britain’s exit from the European Union. Whilst it was acknowledged that tensions could exist between different Islamic groups, broadly, community  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Task group report on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises pdf icon PDF 306 KB

The committee will receive the report of the Task Group on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

Minutes:

The Chair informed the committee that the Chair of the Task Group had been unable to attend the meeting and welcomed James Curtis (Scrutiny and Policy Officer) to the meeting to introduce the report. James Curtis advised that the task group had been established to examine how the council could grow and enhance the power of small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in the borough.

 

Councillor Tatler (Lead Member for Regeneration, Growth, Employment and Skills) welcomed the report and the focus on SME in the borough. Members heard that SMEs increasingly represented a key source of employment and the Council had an important role in supporting businesses and helping to create environments in which they could flourish in the borough. The recommendations of the task group were thorough and would be taken forward. With regard to the recommendation regarding business champions, it was considered that the best advocate would be the Brent Business Board.

 

At the invitation of the Chair, Matthew Dibben (Head of Employment Skills and Enterprise) provided a brief response to the recommendations set out in the task group report. The committee heard that the focus on the sub-region of West London was important and the council worked closely with the West London Alliance and West London Business. Work was currently underway to develop an enterprise pathway for Brent Start, the council’s adult education service. The council was also working with the Brent Business board and Brent Start and Further Education providers to ensure that education providers were responsive to the skills requirements of the employment market and to avoid duplication in the offer between FE providers and Brent Start. The College of Northwest London was currently offering manufacturing qualifications and higher level and degree level apprentices but there were still gaps in certain sectors such as engineering. The council could play a role in ensuring that there was affordable work space available for rent in the borough to support business incubation.

 

The committee discussed the recommendations of the task group and subsequently raised a number of queries which included seeking further information about the West London Brand, exploring the role of governors in supporting entrepreneurial pathways in schools and how Brent could attract industry to the borough given the expenses associated with being located in London. Members also questioned the level of feedback from Brent Works (a free service provided by the council to assist residents in finding employment and apprenticeship opportunities) and the role of the Chamber of Commerce in Brent. During its discussion, the committee emphasised the importance of the availability of start-up and small scale funding for businesses as well as the accessibility of working space on a flexible or ad-hoc basis.

 

Responding to the committee’s queries, Councillor Tatler advised that the West London economic activity was the biggest in London, after the City of London and the West London Brand sought to support inwards investment, education and skills in the region. This was a growing initiative and businesses could buy into associated support  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Update on the committee's work programme 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 148 KB

The committee’s work  programme sets out the items that will be heard at committee and those to be examined by task groups. The work programme evolves according to the needs of the committee and this report provides an update on the 2016-17 programme.

Minutes:

 

The committee noted the update report on the committee’s work programme for 2016/17.

 

8.

Any other urgent business

Notice of items to be raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Head of Executive and Member Services or his representative before the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 64.

Minutes:

None.

9.

Date of next meeting

The dates of the meetings for the 2017/18 municipal year will be agreed at the Annual Council Meeting scheduled for 17 May 2017.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was subject to confirmation at the Annual Council meeting on 17 May 2017.