Meeting documents

Communities Scrutiny Sub-Committee (DCC)
Monday 5 March 2007

            Meeting: Communities Scrutiny Sub-Committee (County Hall, Durham - Committee Room 1A - 05/03/2007 10:00:00 AM)

                  Item: A1 Minutes



At a Meeting of the Scrutiny Sub-Committee to Promote Strong, Healthy and Safe Communities held at the County Hall, Durham on Monday 5 March 2007 at 10.00 a.m.

COUNCILLOR M Nicholls in the Chair

Members of the Sub Committee:
Councillors Bowman, Douthwaite, Ebbatson, Hunter, Marshall, Mason, Stradling, Trippett and Wade

Other Members:
Councillors Gray, Lethbridge and Meir

Mrs H Gibbon, Mr M Iveson, and Mr K Ibbotson

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Armstrong, C Carr, and Southwell, and Mrs M English.

A1 Minutes

The Minutes of the meeting held on 4 December 2006 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

A2 Declarations of Interest

Mrs H Gibbon advised that she was running school activity clubs.

A3 Any Items from Co-opted Members or Interested Parties

There were no items from Co-opted Members or Interested Parties.

A4 School Sports Partnerships and Local Area Agreement Children and Young People Stretch Targets

The Sub-Committee received a presentation from Geoff Sheldon, Specialist Inspector for RE (for copy of presentation see file of Minutes).

The presentation focussed on the National Strategy and how it will be delivered, the School Sports Co-ordinator Partnerships Structure, Infrastructure Roles and Objectives, and the PSA Target.

The PSA Target that is to enhance the take up of sporting opportunities by 5-16 year olds by increasing the percentage of school children spending at least 2 hours a week on high quality PE and schools sport, within and beyond the curriculum, to 75% by 2006 and 85% by 2008. Although County Durham is above the national average both Derwentside and Sedgefield areas are below it. It was possible for these figures to be broken down into each school and it was suggested that this information be presented to the appropriate MAP and then school governors could raise this with schools.

A5 Performance Update for 3rd Quarter of 2006/07

The Sub-Committee considered a report of the Head of Corporate Policy which provided a performance update for the 3rd quarter of 2006/07 for the authority’s corporate priorities, Best Value Performance Indicators and Public Library Service Standards relevant to the Corporate Aim of Promoting Strong, Healthy and Safe Communities (for copy see file of Minutes).

In relation to the number of people in receipt of council tax benefit, Gerald Tomkins would speak to welfare rights to establish the level of potential eligibility.

In response to the concerns being expressed about the statistics relating to road safety, an officer from the road safety section would be asked to attend the next meeting.


That the report be noted, and that subsequent quarterly performance progress reports be received.

A6 Adult and Community Services Organisational Structure and Changes

Peter Appleton, Head of Planning and Performance, Adult and Community Services gave a presentation to the Sub-Committee about the organisational changes within Adult and Community Services (for copy see file of Minutes). The Sub-Committee noted that both Peter Brookes and John Thornberry were leaving the service and asked that they be thanked for their hard work.

Councillor Wade advised that he had difficulty in contacting welfare rights and Peter Appleton advised that a review of the phone lines to welfare rights is being undertaken and he would circulate a list of their phone numbers to members.

That thank you letters be sent to Peter Brookes and John Thornberry for their hard work.

A7 Teenage Pregnancy Rates

The Sub-Committee considered a report of the Corporate Director Adult and Community Services regarding tackling teenage pregnancy (for copy see file of Minutes)

Gerald Tomkins advised that he was the Chair of the Tackling Teenage Pregnancy Partnership Board for County Durham. He referred to the statistics for 2005 and that these had been disappointing and therefore there was much work to be done to meet the targets set.

Miriam Davison from the PCT advised that they are undertaking a review of the family planning services in County Durham. The work in County Durham is focussed around 10 specific areas which feature building on relationships with teachers, education workers, health workers etc. , work with the LAC and those at risk, to have well resourced youth services, work on raising aspirations, improvements with information sharing across the county although at local level it is very good. She advised that it was an enormous challenge however they were going the right way. She advised that the NHS is working on improving its data.

Gail Thompson, Co-ordinator for the strategy work advised that it is difficult to plan services when data is received very late.

The Service was intending to issue a press release to highlight the issues and how this is being tackled.

Councillor Trippett advised that in Trimdon with funds from the PCT they had opened a drop in centre which had been supported with a health care worker where teenage girls attend and receive advice. It was pointed out that there are health workers in each of the 5 PCT areas.

Councillor Ebbatson advised that the LSC is looking to develop some work in this area.

The Sub-Committee would like a copy of the Tackling Pregnancy Partnership Board’s submission to the Government once it is available. This issue would be considered as a possibility for inclusion in its work programme for next year.


 minutes 050307.pdf