Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - Monday, 17th October, 2022 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, St Luke's Avenue, Harrogate HG1 2AE. This meeting will be livestreamed here: (Copy and paste the link in your browser).. View directions

Contact: Claire Wilson - Scrutiny Officer  Tel: 01423 500600 ext. 58323 Email:

No. Item


Apologies for absence and notification of substitutes:


Notification had been received that Councillor Victoria Oldham was substituting for Councillor Nigel Middlemass. Apologies had been received from Councillor John Mann, Councillor Michael Harrison and Councillor Stuart Martin, MBE.

(5.32 pm)


Declarations of interest:

Members to advise of any declarations of interest


No declarations of interest were made at the meeting.

 (5.32 pm)


Minutes: pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Of the meeting of 26 September 2022


The Minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 26 September 2022 were approved as a correct record.


(Seven Members voted for the motion and there was one abstention)


(5.33 pm)


Exempt information:

To determine whether to exclude the press and public during the consideration of any exempt items.


There was no exempt information.

 (5.33 pm)


Public arrangements- questions:

To consider any questions under Standing Order 27


There were no public questions under Standing Order 27. The Chair explained that members of the public could contact Democratic Services via the Harrogate Borough Council website and submit a question to be answered at a future meeting of the Commission.

(5.33 pm)


North Yorkshire Police - Harrogate District Overview and Scrutiny Commission Update - March to October 2022:

North Yorkshire Police representatives to attend


The Chair welcomed be Chief Inspector Alex Langley and Superintendent

Theresa Lam North Yorkshire Police (NYP) to the meeting. SI Lam explained she was relatively new in-post along with others who made up a new senior management team. SI Lam had served with the police for 22 years, including the Metropolitan Police and Greater Manchester forces. Her initial impressions were that the staff 

working for North Yorkshire Police were very dedicated and professional, one of her early priorities was information gathering and she was grateful to attend the meeting and hear the views of elected Members and any concerns raised on behalf of the public. It was noted that NYP recognised the importance of detailed monitoring and analysis of crime data which was beneficial to the wider public and that this would be an area of renewed focus.


CI Langley explained that an update report from NYP had been circulated to Members on Friday 14 October. Members were informed that over the past 12 months there had been a steady reduction in incidents of crime, anti-social behaviour (ASB) and public safety and welfare, with volumes reducing in all areas. CI Langley highlighted that many of the positive outcomes were as a result of effective partnership working.


NYP had published its control strategy focussing on four key areas, with terrorism cutting across all four:



                Serious and organised crime

                Sexual crime and exploitation

                Community harm


Operational meetings were held daily where decisions were made about how best to focus attention and resources. Considerations included current incidents, intelligence, volumes, resource allocation, high-visibility patrols, disruption, safeguarding and also longer term planning.


Harrogate town centre (Low Harrogate Ward) had the highest rate of anti-social behaviour across North Yorkshire. NYP worked with partners including volunteers and charities to manage this. There were 243 incidents of ASB in the last twelve months, this equated to less than one per day and it was noted that this provided reassurance that Harrogate town was safe.


CI provided the updates listed below and answered Members’ questions:


                Prosecutions were underway following serious assaults of PCSOs in Harrogate town centre

                The first permanent knife amnesty bin in North Yorkshire was to be introduced in Harrogate

                NYP were increasing their social media presence, this was seen as positive with a particular focus on building awareness with the public about core, day to day policing

                Robbery rates were very low with around one incident every two months

                All residential burglaries would result in NYP attending and NYP had developed a “toolkit”, it was noted that reassuring individuals and the community was of primary importance

                Drug crime/county lines - proactive work was the focus of the expedite team which included detectives and front line resources, employing a variety of tactics

                Child sexual exploitation was a “low-visibility” area of policing, however   this work was significant to the work of NYP

                Control room call handling and the 101 service - there was now the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.


Harrogate District Community Safety Group and Community Safety Hub Update: DOTX 531 KB

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities and the Community Safety and CCTV Manager to submit a written report. The Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities and the Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities to be in attendance.

Additional documents:


The Chair welcomed the Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities and the Community Safety and CCTV Manager to the meeting. The Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities introduced the report and highlighted the importance of the Hub, in particular the relationship with the police, safeguarding young people and vulnerable people and violence against women and girls.  As was considered at Minute 49/22 a new knife amnesty bin was about to be introduced on Dragon Road.


The Community Safety and CCTV Manager introduced a video to Members that had been made in partnership with the Harrogate Business Improvement District (BID) and contained accounts from three local people who had benefitted from the Street Aid project. Staff from Harrogate Borough Council’s Housing Options team had also helped in the making of the video and supported the individuals. A shorter version of the video was being developed for social media platforms. 


It was noted that the project had been successful and the next phase of work for Street Aid would be to explore the roll-out of additional tap terminals in Knaresborough and Ripon.  The focus of work was currently on the locations for terminals. Many businesses had social responsibility priorities and targets which could be met (or partially met) through the provision and/or sponsorship of terminals. The Community Safety and CCTV manager confirmed that the team were aiming to have the new terminals in place by March 2023. It was agreed to circulate information to Members about the costs to businesses so that they could promote them through their networks. It was noted that the contracts for the terminals were for hiring them for 2-3 years and businesses could add their own branding. Members noted that other low-cost mobile app based options were available to take payments and these could be explored.


Harrogate BID was hosting a charity football match to raise funds for the Street Aid. It was confirmed that donations could include Gift Aid, this enabled the charity to receive extra funds and was administered by the Two Ridings Foundation.


It was noted that there was likely to be an increase in begging in town centres in the run-up to Christmas and the Street Aid initiative encouraged donations to be given directly through the Street Aid terminals rather than to individuals directly. It was noted that in Harrogate town centre, the people begging may not be homeless.


Following a question from Councillor Sam Green it was confirmed that the criteria for Street Aid grant applications required a local connection to the area and that the individual had to have been street homeless or rough sleeping.


In response to a question about homeless people being able to keep their pets when moving into accommodation, it was confirmed that there were organisations that helped facilitate this. It was accepted that keeping families and their pets together was important.


Members considered that the work of the Community Safety Hub was effective, and involved a combination of agencies. Assurance was provided that this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.


Forward Plan of Key Decisions: pdf icon PDF 273 KB

To consider current Forward Plan items.


There were no updates relating to upcoming Key Decisions. Information about Key Decisions, including report authors, was available on the Harrogate Borough Council website.

(7.22 pm)


Overview and Scrutiny Commission Draft Work Programme 2022/23: pdf icon PDF 328 KB

The Scrutiny Officer to submit a written report.



The Scrutiny Governance and Risk manager confirmed that a new date for an LGR focussed meeting early in 2023 was being arranged, this was agreed at a previous meeting of the Commission held on 5 September 2022. Management Board were available to attend on Monday 6 February 2023 and this was subject to confirmation by the Commission.

(7.22 pm – 7.24 pm)