The Chair invited Mark Norris to introduce the report.
Mark explained that the first part of the report summarised the work carried out on the priority areas that were set out by the Board in September 2019. Mark stressed that the Covid-19 outbreak had diverted the team’s time and resources away from the original work plan to other priorities.
Mark then outlined some initial thoughts on themes for the 2020/21 work priorities and said that these would remain broadly consistent with 2019/20. He warned members that it was likely that part of the team’s capacity would continue to be diverted to the Covid-19 response and that they would have to retain some flexibility to respond to any further developments in this area, such as a second peak of infections.
Following Mark’s introduction, members raised the following points:
· Could the successful LGA annual licensing conference be added to the annual report? Members agreed to add this in.
· Could the cross-cutting work on community safety resilience that was agreed as part of the 2019-20 work plan be carried over into next year? Ellie Greenwood, Senior Adviser, said that this work had been due to start in March this year but had to be postponed due to Covid-19. This could be picked up again next year.
· It was considered important to include policing and community relations as a workstream given the events of recent weeks around the Black Lives Matter campaign. It was vital that local government, through the LGA, had a voice on the various reviews and commissions that were being set up to look into the issues. The Chair agreed and suggested that officers speak to the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners to get their viewpoint.
· The water safety brief and, in particular, the increasing number of related suicides, was considered to be a high priority. Could this work be tied in with the work of the Community Wellbeing Board on suicide prevention?
· It was suggested that modern slavery retain the high profile that it had in the workstream in 2019-20. The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown could well have exacerbated the situation.
· Members re-emphasised the need for a piece of work focusing on community engagement and support in the Coronavirus response and developing a strategy for future sustainability.
Mark thanked members for their comments and said that these would be used to feed into a more detailed work plan for 2020-21 which would come to the Board for agreement in September 2020.
Members of the Safer & Stronger Communities Board noted the End of Year Report and agreed that the points raised in the discussion be fed into the 2020-21 Work Plan.
· Officers to incorporate LGA Annual Licensing Conference in End of Year Report.
· Officers to amend 2020-21 Work Plan to incorporate members’ comments.