Agenda and minutes

Crime and Disorder Committee, Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 19th July, 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone

Contact: Anna Taylor  03000 416478


No. Item


Declarations of Interests by Members in items on the Agenda for this Meeting

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1.       Mr Hook made the declaration on item C1, that he works for the CPS as a lawyer & that his wife is a probation officer.

2.       Dr Sulivan made the declaration on item C1, that her husband was deputy leader of Gravesham Borough Council and was Chair of CSP Gravesham and sits on CSP Kent.



Minutes of the meeting held on 6 June 2023 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

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RESOLVED that subject to the inclusion of Mrs Game on the attendees of the meeting the minutes were an accurate record and they be signed by the Chairman.



Kent Community Safety Agreement pdf icon PDF 135 KB

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Mr Hill OBE, Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, Mr Peerbux, Head of Community Safety, Superintendent Peter Steenhuis & Inspector Peter Ballard of Kent Police, Ms Mookherjee Public Health Consultant, Mr Powel, Director of the Violence Reduction Unit, Ms Annan-Veitch, Project and Programme Manager, Ms Westlake, Commissioner and Jess Harman, Prevent Co-ordinator.


1.    Mr Hill introduced the item.

2.    Mr Peerbux provided an overview of the functions of the Kent Community Safety Partnership (KCSP). He explained that the Kent Community Safety Agreement drew together several partner agencies to develop a strategic assessment and set out priorities for the county.

3.    Superintendent Steenhuis updated Members on actions taken by Kent Police. As part of their new neighbourhood policing approach, he told Members that all wards would be assigned a named beat officer who would act as a point of contact for the community and every district would have a neighbourhood task force established to address long term Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). In addition, a Child Centred Policing Team had been established to engage with young people and schools. He assured Members that Strategic Prevention Command would oversee these areas and focus on the priorities set by the Community Safety Agreement. He told Members that an app, ‘My Community Voice’, had been established to connect the Police with community members. It would allow the sharing information both ways and would help map locations of concern.

4.    Mr Powell provided an update on the work of the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU). He told Members that Central Government had placed a Serious Violence Duty on authorities and that this required specific authorities to establish organisational arrangements, produce a need assessment and develop a joint strategy by January 2024. He told Members that there were 20 authorities in Kent and Medway and that the VRU had been holding workshops with these authorities to draft plans in this area. He also explained that the VRU had been developing a shared database between organisations including KCC and Kent Police to cut down on the time taken to manually request and send information. He reminded Members that funding for the VRU from Central Government would only last until March 2025 and he felt the database would provide a legacy and good value for money. The VRU had also been working alongside the DWP to support those between the ages of 18-25 to reduce criminality. Lastly, he updated the committee on violence in Kent, he told Members that children were overrepresented as suspects and victims of violence, and this remained a concern. In particular they wanted to see a reduction in the number of children using and being harmed by weapons. He also told Members that since 2019 they had seen a reduction in the amount of violent behaviour caused by the nighttime economy –an area they had been monitoring closely.

5.    Ms Mookherjee provided an update on the work of the Public Health team with a specific focus on substance misuse. She told Members that the Dame Carol Black  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Revenue and Capital Budget Outturn Report 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 185 KB

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Mr Oakford, Deputy Leader, Zena Cooke, Corporate Director for Finance and Emma Feakins, Chief Accountant were in attendance for this item.


1.       Mr Oakford introduced the item. He told Members the 2022/23 budget had been prepared amongst increased spending pressures and complexity following the pandemic and invasion of Ukraine. He reminded Members that spending growth forecasts had been based on the inflation data at the time of the budget and that the risk reserves established in 2021 & 2022 were made available to mitigate the risks in the 2022/23 budget. He told Members that during 2022/23 the provisional revenue outturn position was an overspend of £44.4 million. He told Members there were significant overspends in Children’s, Young People and Education of £32.7 million and in Adult Social Care totalling £24.4 million. He explained that the overspend would require the full utilisation of the risk reserve of just under £25 million with the remaining £22 million being drawn from the general fund reserve.

2.       Members asked the following questions.

a)       A Member asked how much was currently in general reserves. Mr Oakford confirmed that £35 million was left in general reserves.

b)      A Member commentated that the report was a comprehensive analysis and praised the amount of work that had gone into the report and its clear presentation of information. The Member raised concerns about the rate at which the budget for Adult and Children’s Social Care Services was growing year on year. The Member said that these areas would need to be reviewed and a leaner service provided in future. The Member raised concerns at the amount needed to be drawn from the reserves and the difficulty ahead in balancing the budget.

c)       A Member raised concerns over the use of short-term beds and the high amount this was costing. With £30 million spent on this the Member asked if the money would not be better spent finding a long-term solution. They also raised concerns over the cost of supported living and asked why better provisions were not made for these services. They told the committee that given the number of people crossing the channel and entering Kent these services should expect growing demand and asked how the influx in migrants had impacted services. Mr Oakford responded that a comprehensive review into social services was underway. He said that he had concerns over how much of the Council’s budget was being spent on a small percentage of the population. He also raised concerns by the way in which the NHS discharge patients and then transfer contracts for their beds to KCC and that this had accounted for much of the temporary bed costs. He also told the committee that the costs of looking after children had increased drastically and many of the children cared for in Kent came from other authorities including London. On migrants he said the cost of direct care was covered by central government, but costs had risen due to demands on education and other services supplied  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 259 KB

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1.       Members requested a further update on Budget Monitoring, the timing of this to be confirmed.  

2.       Members also raised queries about the costs of Home to School Transport and requested that this be brought to the most appropriate committee. 

3.       A Member raised the costs of Thanet Parkway and the Sturry Compulsory Purchase Order decision – both of which would be considered for a future agenda.  


RESOLVED that subject to the inclusion of the above items the work programme be noted.