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Agenda and minutes

Venue: online via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: committee.services@tmbc.gov.uk

Link: View Meeting

Items
No. Item

PART 1 - PUBLIC

OS 20/19

Declarations of interest pdf icon PDF 3 KB

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

OS 20/20

Minutes pdf icon PDF 194 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 27 August 2020.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 27 August 2020 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

Matters for Recommendation to the Cabinet

OS 20/21

Review of Domestic Abuse Services pdf icon PDF 140 KB

This report will provide an update to the previous scoping report. A number of speakers will attend the meeting to provide information about their services and how they support victims of domestic abuse. The paper will also consider best practice from around the country that could be implemented within Tonbridge & Malling and will also look to identify any additional sources of funding that might be available to support these projects.

 

Representatives from DAVSS (Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services), Kent Police and Clarion Housing have been invited to attend the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Director of Central Services provided an update to the scoping report considered at a previous meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee; reviewed best practice nationally that could be implemented within Tonbridge and Malling and identified additional sources of funding that could be available to support these projects.

 

Representatives from Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services (DAVSS), Kent Police and Clarion Housing provided information about the services available and how victims of domestic abuse were supported.

 

A written report from Lookahead, who were commissioned by Kent County Council to provide services to high risk victims of domestic abuse in the borough, was attached for information at Annex 1.

 

Particular reference was made to the development of new initiatives, such as a Cyber Stalking Clinic run by Protection Against Stalking and Lookahead; the Dragonfly programme to identify victims isolated within communities and the Everyone’s Business Advice Line, run by the charity Hestia, that worked with employers to provide information, resources and practical guidance to employees.

 

It was reported that funding to tackle domestic abuse was limited and additional funding remained difficult to source.   However, Government had announced a significant emergency fund to help support victims of domestic abuse and other issues during the coronavirus pandemic.  Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council would continue to liaise with the services working within the Borough to ensure a cooperative approach in applying for funding.

 

Members listened to the information provided by the invited speakers with interest and expressed appreciation for the good work undertaken by these organisations.  A number of points were discussed including charging decisions, financial pressures, definitions of domestic abuse, reciprocal transfers for housing tenants, societal barriers, removing stigma and victimology, cultural differences and the impact of enforced lockdown in the home due to the coronavirus pandemic.  These points were addressed by the speakers and Members noted the responses.

 

RECOMMENDED:  That the Safer and Stronger Communities Manager

 

(1)             work with the domestic abuse organisations operating within Tonbridge and Malling to explore and develop options around the new initiatives proposed within the report (detailed at 1.3 and summarised above); and

 

(2)             review the financial support offered to the Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services and recommend, if appropriate, a level of funding that could be provided by the Borough Council, subject to the views of Cabinet.

 

*Referred to Cabinet

Decisions to be taken by the Committee

OS 20/22

Scoping report: Recovery of the Voluntary and Community Sector pdf icon PDF 141 KB

The impact of the pandemic has had a huge impact on the voluntary sector, this scoping report will outline the work of the voluntary Sector Recovery Cell and suggest some options for the next stage of the Review.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Chief Executive advised that the voluntary sector had been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, outlined the work of the Voluntary Sector Recovery ‘cell’ and identified some options for the next stage of the Review.

 

RESOLVED:  That the next stage of the Review should be to invite:

 

(1)             The Chairman of the Voluntary and Community Sector Recovery Cell to the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to discuss the work of the cell and outline the key issues faced by the sector; and

 

(2)             Representatives from West Kent Mind and Citizens Advice North and West Kent to the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to highlight particular issues being faced locally.

Matters for consideration in Private

OS 20/23

Exclusion of Press and Public pdf icon PDF 4 KB

The Chairman to move that the press and public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting during consideration of any items the publication of which would disclose exempt information.

Minutes:

There were no items considered in private.