Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Ele Snow  Senior Democratic and Civic Officer


No. Item


Minutes of the previous meeting

Meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 17 May 2022

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RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 17 May 2022 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.



Members' Declarations of Interest

Members may make any declarations of interest at this point and may also make them at any point during the meeting.

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There were no declarations of interest made at this point in the meeting.



Matters Arising Schedule pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Matters arising schedule setting out current position of previously agreed actions as at 27 June 2022.

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The matters arising schedule, setting out the position of previously agreed actions, as at 27 June 2022, was NOTED.


Presentation Item - Citizens Advice Lindsey

Presentation by Jenny Barnett, CEO Citizens Advice Lindsey, regarding the work of the CAB, followed by a question and answer session.

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The Chairman welcomed Jenny Barnett, CEO, and Paul Burrows, Operations Manager, from Citizens Advice Lindsey. It was explained that they covered both East and West Lindsey but for the purpose of the presentation, information was focussed on West Lindsey only.


The Committee heard that CA Lindsey provided free, impartial advice and support on a range of issues including but not limited to help with:


·         Debt

·         Benefits

·         Housing

·         Employment

·         Consumer

·         Relationships

·         Discrimination


They also supported people who were facing poverty. Last year in West Lindsey, 1,576 clients were helped with more than 7,300 issues, with a further 1800 clients helped on Advice Line, as well as those provided with assistance through webchat, email, referrals and one-off advice queries. Appointments were delivered in a way that best suited the client, whether that be face to face, telephone or online. There was also specialist support available, for example with complex debt issues or specific welfare benefits.


Members heard that the services provided by CA Lindsey continued to play a significant role in the community, with 86% of clients saying the service had helped them find a way forward and 87% saying they would recommend the service. In addition, it was explained that demand had risen by 50% between January and March 2022, with concerns such as the loss of the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift, the worsening cost of living crisis and the removal of the protective measures that had been introduced during the pandemic. It was also highlighted that as well as receiving a higher volume of enquiries, clients were presenting with increasingly complex issues, requiring more time to be spent with individual clients.


It was highlighted that CA Lindsey worked in partnership with local foodbanks, the Salvation Army, Local Authorities and had membership with the LCC Financial Inclusion Partnership. Members were provided with monetary figures demonstrating the benefit of the services provided, however it was highlighted that the fiscal benefits were only a small representation of the value of the services provided. The value of, for example, keeping people in employment or helping them back to work, reducing demand on GP and mental health services, improving family relationships, was immeasurable.


The presentation was concluded by recognising the looming cost of living crisis and the impact that would have across the district. Demand for CA Lindsey services was likely to increase further, with partnership working at the fore to provide necessary assistance where needed. Both Jenny Barnett and Paul Burrows thanked the Committee for the invitation to attend and offered Members the opportunity to ask questions.


The Chairman thanked them both for their detailed presentation and the work undertaken for the residents of West Lindsey, recognising the burden they helped to relieve on other services.


Members of the Committee recognised the increased demand and enquired as to whether there were specialist services offered for veterans, as they faced hardships that were perhaps unique to them. It was explained that there were several specialist services providing support, CA Lindsey would refer veterans  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 359 KB

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With no comments, questions, or requirement for a vote, the Forward Plan was DULY NOTED.


Committee Workplan pdf icon PDF 109 KB

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Members gave consideration to the proposed work plan for upcoming meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. With no questions or comments, the work plan was DULY NOTED.


Exclusion of Public and Press

To resolve that under Section 100 (A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.


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RESOLVED that under Section 100 (A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.


Note:              The meeting entered closed session at 7:15pm



Preparation for Presentation from Lincolnshire Police

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It was explained to the Committee that there would be a representative from Lincolnshire Police attending the September meeting and the intention of the discussion item was to ascertain areas of focus from Members. It was acknowledged that Members had details of individual situations that could not be discussed in a public forum, but provided examples of concerns across the district that could be used to ask further information from the Police.


There was significant discussion regarding the challenges of policing such a vast area, with differing areas of concern across rural and urban settings. Members were keen to hear how the Force dealt with these challenges, with specific enquiries as to whether there had been much noticeable difference in numbers of Police Officers.


With regard to rural policing, Members voiced concerns that there did not seem to be sufficient Police Officers to deal with rural crime. With regard to urban policing, Members enquired as to whether there were still actions that could be taken in relation to anti-social behaviours, such as curfews or dispersal orders.


Alongside the concerns regarding rural vs urban policing, there were specific questions raised regarding domestic abuse cases throughout the pandemic, how reported cases in the area differed or compared with data from across the county and nationwide, and with whom did the Police work in order to support victims of domestic abuse.


The Committee also suggested that a summary of current statistics, and a map of the geographical area covered, would assist in understanding the unique nature of policing in West Lindsey and Lincolnshire as a whole.


Members were in agreement for the discussions to be summarised and shared with the Police, in order to inform their presentation to the Committee at the September meeting.