Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities) - Thursday, 14th September, 2023 10.30 am

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR. View directions

Contact: Becky Atherton (0113 37 88642)  Email:

Link: to View Meeting Recording

No. Item


Appeals Against Refusal of Inspection of Documents

To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 25* of the Access to Information Procedure Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded).


(* In accordance with Procedure Rule 25, notice of an appeal must be received in writing by the Head of Governance Services at least 24 hours before the meeting).


There were no appeals against refusals of inspection of documents.


Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of the Press and Public

1.  To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.


2.  To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.


3.  If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-


RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:


No exempt items have been identified.


There were no items excluded from the public domain.


Late Items


To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration.


(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes.)


There were no late items.


Declaration of Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.


There were no declarations of pecuniary interests.


Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.


Apologies were received from the following Scrutiny Board members: Cllr P Stables (Cllr D Blackburn attended as a substitute) and Cllr P Grahame.


Apologies were also received from James Rogers (Director, Communities, Housing and Environment), Alison Lowe (Deputy mayor, WYCA), Paul Money (Chief Officer, Safer, Stronger Communtities).


Minutes - 20 July 2023 pdf icon PDF 164 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 20 July 2023.


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting of 20 July 2023 be confirmed as a correct record.


Matters Arising


Minute 22:

It was noted that the Communities Team has requested nominations from all five Scrutiny Boards for representatives to sit on the Member Working group as part of the Community Committee review. Scrutiny Board members agreed the nominees on behalf of the Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing & Communities) would be Cllr S Golton and Cllr B Anderson


It was also agreed in July that a further update would be provided to the Scrutiny Board on the progress of the review later in the municipal year. This has provisionally been scheduled for December 2023.


Minute 23:

As requested in July, a written briefing was circulated to board members outlining the measures being taken by Leeds City Council to assess the level of risk from radon gas in Leeds.


Members of the Board reflected on the advice provided and recommended that an update on the progress of phase 1 testing is provided to the successor scrutiny board early in the next municipal year.



Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Report: 'Out of Order: learning lessons from antisocial behaviour.' pdf icon PDF 390 KB

Item for Information and Note


Appended to this agenda is the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman report ‘Out of Order: Learning lessons from complaints about anti-social behaviour’ (published August 2023).


This report is included by way of additional information for members in the context of the wider discussions scheduled elsewhere on this agenda.


Additional documents:


RESOLVED - It was agreed that the report be noted.


West Yorkshire Police and Crime Plan 2021-2024 pdf icon PDF 766 KB

To receive an update on behalf of the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime on the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Plan 2021-24.

Additional documents:


Under the Police and Reform and Social Responsibility Act the WYCA Mayor must produce a Police and Crime Plan which sets out the strategic policing and crime priorities for West Yorkshire and how she plans to meet them.


The Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities) is allocated special responsibility to exercise the functions of a crime and disorder committee through Article 6 of the Constitution. In the context of this responsibility the Scrutiny Board considered an update on the Police and Crime Plan 2021 – 2024.


In attendance for this item were:


·  Cllr D Coupar (Executive Member)

·  Cllr Eileen Taylor (Chair of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel)

·  Julie Reid (Head of Police & Crime WYCA)

·  Wendy Stevens (Research and Performance Team, WYCA)

·  Jonathan Pickles (Policy and Performance Lead, WYCA)

·  Fran Sandhu (Policy Manger, WYCA)

·  Chief Inspector Lucy Leadbeater (West Yorkshire Police)

·  Chief Superintendent Steve Dodds (West Yorkshire Police)

CS Steve Dodds provided introductory comments. He highlighted the work of neighbourhood policing teams and the importance of strong representation in communities.


Members were informed that there has been an increase within West Yorkshire Police of 20 officers within neighbourhood policing, which follows an earlier uplift of 70 patrol officers.


An update was provided on performance in relation to several categories of offences including violence with injury, robbery, theft from motor vehicles and serious violence.


The local partnership approach to tackling anti-social behaviour was explored by the Scrutiny Board, with representatives from West Yorkshire Police outlining the way in which this can facilitate bespoke solutions to challenges in different areas of the city.


An update was provided in relation to the work of the dedicated city centre policing team.


Members considered the local approach to tackling Domestic Violence, noting the importance of daily assessment meetings, which involve a range of partners. 


A notable rise in hate crime was highlighted. In response, members were informed there has been an increase in hate co-ordinators in the city and police partners reassured the Scrutiny Board that they continue to work with communities with the aim of building trust and preventing community tension.


Police partners outlined a series of successful operations to tackle organised crime including drug related offences, youth crime and child exploitation.


Members sought an update in relation to work with schools and explored ways in which the police are tackling violence against women and girls.


Julie Reid provided introductory comments noting that the appended report focused on the elements of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Plan that link to Leeds. She reiterated that the mayoral authority works closely with police and community safety partners to support their work, as well as setting the Police and Crime Plan in accordance with statutory requirements and providing additional funding to support initiatives that reflect the Mayor’s identified priorities.


Cllr Coupar highlighted the importance of partnership working in Leeds and thanked those present for their input into that partnership.


Members were reassured that West Yorkshire Police takes a “strong and consistent” approach to recording crimes.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.


Safer, Stronger Communities - Leeds Plan Update pdf icon PDF 416 KB

To receive an update from the Chief Officer (Safer, Stronger Communities) on progress against the priorities included in the safer, Stronger Communities Leeds Plan 2021 – 2024.

Additional documents:


Members received a report detailing an annual update against priorities in the Safer Strong Communities Leeds Plan 2021 – 2024.


In attendance for this item were:


·  Nadeem Siddique (Head of Community Relations and Cohesion)

·  Kevin Brighton (Development & Improvement – Anti Social Behaviour)

·  Simon Hodgson (Head of Community Safety Services)

·  Magdalena Boo (Head of Public Health)

·  Geoff Turnbull (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager)

·  Jude Roberts (Manager Safeguarding)


Cllr Coupar provided introductory comments, noting the strength of partnership working in the city.


Simon Hodgson provided an overview of the Safer Strong Communities Leeds Plan and highlighted how recent organisational changes had enabled more joined up working with youth services and the localities team.


Officers provided introductory remarks in relation to nine priority areas:


·  ASB and Public Order


Kevin Brighton welcomed organisational changes that had enabled closer working with colleagues in the youth service, housing and localities team. He noted the importance of strengthening prevention and intervention activities to reduce anti-social behaviour, including supporting and diverting young people away from the criminal justice system.


The benefits of having established a mediation service within LASBT was explored and members were informed that locality-focused planning for the period including bonfire night is used as an example of best practice by other authorities.


Members were updated on partnership work with the city’s universities to respond to anti-social behaviour in areas predominantly occupied by the student population. The renewal of the Northwest Leeds PSPO was also highlighted noted as an important tool in tackling anti-social behaviour associated with the Otley Run.  


Community based problem solving was identified as a way in which to target the work of partners to reduce risk, threat and harm in different communities.

Members sought and received information about the vehicular nuisance public space protection order, which came into effect in April 2023.


Members also sought updates in relation to the way in which disputes between tenants of registered social landlords and owner-occupiers can be resolved. Information about signposting and support was provided to the Board.


Kevin advised members that he anticipates the development of a member protocol around reporting systems for ASB, which can be shared with community committees and scrutiny members in the coming months.


Officers were asked to consider how communication of good news can be improved to highlight successes.


·  Domestic Violence and Abuse


Jude Roberts confirmed that the Domestic Abuse Partnership Board has just released a draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Strategy 2023-28 that has been co-produced with key partners as well as victims and survivors.


Members were reassured that work is ongoing to develop a safe accommodation strategy but it was noted that there are still significant challenges around domestic violence and the availability of housing. Members  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 330 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2023/24 municipal year.

Additional documents:


Appended to the work programme report were the following documents:


-  A draft work schedule for 2023/24.


-  Executive Board minutes for the meeting of 26 July 2023.


Members were reminded that a remote budget briefing would be taking place at 10.30am on 21 September 2023 for all Scrutiny board members.


Members were advised that several member development sessions are taking place during the Autumn which will cover topics that fall within the remit of the Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities). Dates will be distributed by the Member Development team.


RESOLVED – that the work schedule for 2023/24 be noted.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities) will take place on Thursday 7 December at 10.30am. There will be a pre-meeting for all Scrutiny Board members at 10.00am.


The next public meeting of the Scrutiny Board will take place on 12 October 2023 at 10.30am. There will be a pre-meeting for all boardmembers at 10.00am.