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013/2014: Application to merge Community Safety Partnership areas in North Yorkshire. – 9 September 2014

Executive Summary and recommendation:

Changes implemented through the Police and Social Responsbility Act (2011), passed the responsibility to approve CSP area mergers from the Home Office to the Police and Crime Commissioners.

The Commissioner is asked to consider and approve the attached proposal (see Appendix A), to combine the six Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) in North Yorkshire into one North Yorkshire CSP.  This recommendation follows extensive consultation and agreement by all responsible authorities[1].

[1]               The responsible authorities for an area are the police force, local authorities, fire and rescue authority, probation, and clinical commissioning groups. Police and Crime Commissioners are not responsible authorities, unlike the former Police Authorities. 

Police and Crime Commissioner decision: Approved

Signature: signature
Date: 9 September 2014
Title: Police and Crime Commissioner

Part 1 – Unrestricted facts and advice to the PCC

1. Introduction and background

1.1       The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (as amended), requires the police force, local authorities, fire and rescue, probation and clinical commissioning groups (collectively known as the responsible authorities) to work together and with others to:

  1. Protect their local communities from crime and help people feel safer;
  2. Deal with local issues like antisocial behaviour, drug or alcohol misuse and re-offending; and
  3. Assess local crime priorities and consult partners and the local community about how to deal with them.

1.2       Currently there are six Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) in North Yorkshire: Craven, Hambleton and Richmondshire, Harrogate, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby.  Originally there were seven; but Hambleton and Richmondshire merged in 2011.  In addition, legislation requires that where there is more than one CSP in a county council area, there must also be a county-wide strategy group.

1.3       Partners have been considering the nature and number of partnerships in recent years, including those relating to community safety.  In January 2011, Local Government North Yorkshire and York agreed four principles for a new approach to partnerships:

  1. The minimum number and simplest of partnership structures, consistent with delivering the required outcomes and statutory requirements;
  2. A North Yorkshire and York approach to county/sub-regional partnership structures as far as possible, recognising that a degree of pragmatism will be required given the different local authority structures in North Yorkshire and York;
  3. Local partnerships, including shared community engagement arrangements, at the most appropriate local level; and
  4. The use of task and finish groups to deal with particular issues, rather than standing thematic partnerships or sub-groups.

1.4       Until 2010, the Home Office provided funding to support the work of CSPs in England via the Government Offices for the Regions.  From 2010, the Home Office funding came via upper-tier local authorities such as North Yorkshire County Council.  In addition, since 2010, the amount of Home Office funding for community safety has reduced considerably; in North Yorkshire from over £700k per year to around £250k per year.  In April 2013, the Home Office transferred the funding to the Police and Crime Commissioners, as an integral part of their main grant from the Home Office rather than ring fenced or separately identified for CSPs.

1.5       Prior to the election of Police and Crime Commissioners, the York and North Yorkshire Safer Communities Forum reviewed the future of partnerships concerned with community safety with a view to reducing cost and focusing local energy on a locally based problem solving approach.  Proposals focused on reducing the number of CSPs whilst maintaining local groups to ensure the effective delivery of a locally based problem solving approach.

1.6       Discussions have continued since, including with the Police and Crime Commissioner following her election in November 2012.  The Police and Crime Commissioner has strongly supported and encouraged the principle of one CSP for North Yorkshire, alongside one CSP for York.  She also encouraged local areas to develop appropriate solutions for their area, which is set out in the arrangements for the local delivery teams (see Appendix 1).

1.7       Legislation allows for responsible authorities to propose a combination of CSPs in the interests of efficiency and economy.  The power to approve a combination now rests with the relevant Police and Crime Commissioner, but the request can only come from the responsible authorities which is set out in the CSP area merger pro forma (see Appendix A).  The Home Secretary would only be only involved if a proposed CSP would cover all or parts of more than one police force area. 

2. Matters for consideration

Proposal to create a North Yorkshire CSP

2.1       The proposal is to combine the six CSPs in North Yorkshire into one North Yorkshire CSP, supported by district based Local Delivery Teams.  The draft constitution for the North Yorkshire CSP is set out in Appendix 1; this will need to be agreed at the first meeting of the North Yorkshire CSP.

2.2       The proposal is made in the interests of efficiency and economy given the significantly reduced resources available for community safety in the county, alongside the background of significantly reduced budgets for most responsible authorities.

2.3       In this context, district based local delivery teams will better enable responsible authorities, through operational managers, to implement a partnership based problem solving approach – working together to identify and mitigate the impact of crime and disorder issues on the locality or victim and to promote crime prevention activities.

2.4       A single CSP will also better enable a strategic approach to community safety, including applying for funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner.  The Police and Crime Commissioner has indicated that she will be seeking bids for funding from a York CSP and a North Yorkshire CSP for the period October 2014 to March 2016, after which she will move to an open commissioning process. 

Local authority crime and disorder overview and scrutiny committees

2.5       Every local authority is required to designate a committee with the power to review or scrutinise decisions made, or actions taken in connection by the discharge by the responsible authorities of their crime and disorder functions.

2.6       This duty and power would not change with combination of the CSPs.  It would be possible for local authorities to exercise this duty and power through a joint committee, but this would have to be entirely separate from the Police and Crime Panel.  It is anticipated that the eight local authorities are likely to want to continue to exercise the duty and power individually in the best interests of their residents, but a protocol or understanding between the committees may be helpful to avoid any duplication of effort. 

3. Other options considered, if any

3.1       All responsible authorities have considered and agreed to the proposal to combine the six CSPs in North Yorkshire into one North Yorkshire CSP as outlined in Appendix A and evidenced in Appendix 2. 

4. Contribution to Police and Crime Plan outcomes

4.1       The restructure of the Community Safety Partnership model is referenced in the People First goal within the Police and Crime Plan (2013-17).  Specifically, to encourage a more strategic approach to delivering Community Safety through a restructure of the Community Safety Partnerships across the county.  This will enhance local delivery and reduce bureaucracy through streamlined, mainstreamed resources at a strategic level.

4.2       Due to the nature and purpose of the CSPs, they assist in the successful delivery of a wide range of outcomes within the Police and Crime Plan.

5. Consultations carried out

5.1       The proposed merged CSP for North Yorkshire has been created in consultation with responsible authorities.  As at 1st September 2014, all 17 responsible authorities have considered and agreed the proposal in accordance with their own governance structures as highlighted in the attached pro forma.

5.2       The funding from the Police and Crime Commission for the current six CSPs ends on 30 September 2014.  Therefore, in March 2014 all officers of the responsible authorities met as a shadow North Yorkshire CSP to start preparing a bid to the Police and Crime Commissioner for funding from October 2014.  This deadline has been met and funding arrangements have now been made to commence from 1st October 2014.

6. Financial Implications/Value for money

6.1       The PCC’s CFO is satisfied that there are no financial implications that arise from the proposals set out within this report.

7. Legal Implications

7.1       Having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, the Acting Force Solicitor and Head of Legal Services is satisfied that this report does not ask the PCC for North Yorkshire to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law. 

8. Equality Implications

8.1       The author is satisfied that no impact will arise from acting on the recommendation set out in this report.

9. Human Resources Implications

9.1       It is noted that this decision notice relates to a restructure of Community Safety Partnership areas and therefore should have no directly related people issues. 

Public Access to information

The Police and Crime Commissioner wishes to be as open and transparent as possible about the decisions he/she takes or are taken in his/her name. All decisions taken by the Commissioner will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

As a general principle, the Commissioner expects to be able to publish all decisions taken and all matters taken into account and all advice received when reaching the decision. Part 1 of this Notice will detail all information which the Commissioner will disclose into the public domain. The decision and information in Part 1 will be made available on the NYPCC web site within 2 working days of approval.

Only where material is properly classified as restricted under the GPMS or if that material falls within the description at 2(2) of The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 will the Commissioner not disclose decisions and/or information provided to enable that decision to be made. In these instances, Part 2 of the Form will be used to detail those matters considered to be restricted.  Information in Part 2 will not be published.

Part 2

Is there a Part 2 to this Notice – YES / NO       (please delete as appropriate)

If Yes, what is the reason for restriction –

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