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No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 390 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 11 December 2023.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2023 were agreed as a true and accurate record and signed by the Chairman.


Outstanding actions from previous meetings pdf icon PDF 264 KB

To consider any outstanding matters from previous meetings.


The following updates were noted on the outstanding action points from previous meetings:

Item 1 – Hunting Trophies Bill – the impact of the enactment of the legislation would be considered as part of the priority setting process for the Public Protection Partnership.  

Item 2 – lobbying the Government on statutory fees – this work continued to be in progress.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 301 KB

Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in a matter should withdraw from the meeting when the matter is under consideration, and should notify the Democratic Services Officer in attendance that they are withdrawing as they have such an interest. If the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is not entered on the register of Members’ Interests, the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.


During discussion of agenda item 8 (Public Protection Partnership Service Update and Q3 Report – Housing update), Councillor Lee Dillon declared a personal interest by virtue of the fact that he worked for a Registered Social Landlord (Sovereign Network Group), they were not however named in the report. As his interest was personal and not prejudicial or a disclosable pecuniary interest, he determined to remain to take part in the debate. 


Notice of Public Speaking and Questions pdf icon PDF 302 KB

To note those agenda items which have received an application for public speaking.

A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.

The Partnership welcomes questions from members of the public about their work.

Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Partnership or an item which is on the agenda for this meeting. For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact Democratic Services.


No public questions were received.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 268 KB

To detail future items that the Committee will be considering.


RESOLVED that the Forward Plan be noted.


Water Safety Partnership Annual Report 2023/24 (JPPC4335) pdf icon PDF 417 KB

As agreed by West Berkshire Council’s Executive on 15 July 2021, an annual report is presented to the JPPC detailing the activities of the Bracknell and West Berkshire Water Safety Partnership.

Additional documents:


Councillor Lee Dillon opened the item with a reflection on the reasons the Water Safety Partnership was formed. On 13 March 2021, three year old Dylan Milsom tragically died after falling into the Kennet and Avon Canal near Victoria Park in Newbury. The Committee gave its heartfelt condolences to Dylan’s family and friends. 

The Committee considered the annual report detailing the activities of the Bracknell and West Berkshire Water Safety Partnership (the Partnership) (Agenda Item 7).

Jon Winstanley (Service Director, Environment) presented the report. Following the tragedy of March 2021, the Partnership was formed by a number of key partners including West Berkshire Council, the Canal and River Trust, emergency services and Bracknell Forest Council. Meetings were also attended by representatives from Wokingham Borough Council and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

Key objectives of the Partnership included the sharing of best practice and knowledge across Berkshire, promoting and developing water safety initiatives, promoting awareness of risks, and the provision of a targeted approach to water safety with the ultimate aim of minimising, as far as possible, incidents of accidental drowning across Berkshire.

However, Mr Winstanley reported the further extremely sad news that there had been an accidental drowning in the past year, which occurred along the Kennet and Avon Canal at night time. This was investigated by the Partnership and while they found that no reasonable physical measures could have prevented this incident, conversations were held with street pastors and representatives of the nighttime economy in Newbury to help highlight the dangers of being near the water at night. Physical measures were however being considered in some other areas.

The Partnership had been and would continue to be involved in a number of activities. Future activities were captured in the events calendar which was appended to the report. Examples included educational activity, introducing additional water safety cabinets, adding information to the PPP website, and running events/raising awareness in hot spot areas.

Councillor Guy Gillbe described a near miss he experienced as a seven year old child. Fortunately, he survived, but this was something he still remembered quite vividly. He was pleased to see this being rightly treated as a highly serious matter to prevent the tragedy that had occurred three years ago.

Councillor Gillbe highlighted the importance of following the Water Safety Code. He acknowledged it was extremely difficult to keep a 100% constant eye on children but such incidents could happen in a matter of seconds. The Code highlighted the absolute importance of staying close to children at all times when near the water.

Councillor Iskandar Jefferies was pleased to note the addition of QR codes which gave the ability to access information on water safety. This would help make the information more accessible to young people.

Councillor Gillbe questioned whether it was possible to record near misses. Mr Winstanley acknowledged this was difficult in that there was reliance on receiving reports from members of the public. West Berkshire Council did receive data from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


Public Protection Partnership Service Update and Q3 Report for 2023/24 (JPPC4333) pdf icon PDF 354 KB

To inform the Committee of the performance of the Public Protection Partnership in line with the operating model and business plan, and provide an update setting out performance during the third quarter of 2023/24.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report (Agenda Item 8) which informed Members of the performance of the Public Protection Partnership, in line with the operating model and business plan, during the third quarter of 2023/24. The Committee worked through the different sections of the report.

Finances and Resources

Sean Murphy, Public Protection Service Lead, explained that the Service was reporting a zero outturn which included the management of an estimated £95k income shortfall, predominantly arising from an income shortfall from licensing.

The Service had been managing an underspend in the region of £200k to assist both local authorities with their significant financial pressures. In the main, this came from managing vacancies that had been offered for deletion.

In response to a query from Councillor Iskander Jefferies, Mr Murphy explained that a number of successful grant applications had helped to offset some costs. However, the majority of the underspend was achieved from managing vacancies.

Councillor Nick Allen felt that the report would have benefited from explaining that the income shortfall had been met by not recruiting to some posts.

Mr Murphy noted this point and would reflect on it for future versions of this report.

Damian James, Assistant Director for Contract Services, added that the position would be much clearer for the Quarter Four report.

Customer Satisfaction Rates, FOIs etc

Moira Fraser explained that there had been a decline in the overall satisfaction rate during Quarter 3 to 52%. However, it was still the expectation that the target for the year (75%) would be met as the satisfaction rating was tracking at 72% for the year to date. Moira added that the relatively small number of responses received per quarter meant that small changes in the figures could impact the percentages significantly.

Only one complaint had been received in the past quarter as well as some compliments, examples of which were contained within the appendix to the report.

Human Resources

Sean Murphy reported that while seven posts were proposed for deletion, recruitment was ongoing in an attempt to fill some vacancies, with interviews to be held shortly.

Recruitment of qualified staff remained a challenge and there was therefore a focus on staff development and succession planning. Level 4 apprentices were anticipated to complete their qualifications in the near future and were being allocated to teams within the service. There were also three apprentices working towards Level 6 qualifications.

Councillor Lee Dillon passed congratulations on behalf of the Committee to the qualifying apprentices.

Councillor Phil Barnett queried if the service remained able to fulfil its mandatory functions when considering the number of vacancies. Mr Murphy confirmed this was the case and was made possible with staff working in areas of highest priority and/or risk. Mr Murphy praised the willingness of staff to work in different teams.

Councillor Guy Gillbe noted the longer term strategy and that the short term held challenges. He therefore gave thanks to officers on behalf of the Committee for their excellent work under challenging circumstances.


Operational functionality was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


Crowthorne Air Quality Action Plan and Air Quality Management Area Revocations Update (JPPC4485) pdf icon PDF 569 KB

To seek approval from the Joint Public Protection Committee (JPPC) for the revised Crowthorne Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) following the statutory consultation.

To seek approval from the JPPC for the revocation of the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in Bracknell (A322 Downshire Way), Newbury (A339) and Thatcham (A4) having considered of the consultation process instigated by the Committee on the 11th December 2023.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report (Agenda Item 9) which sought approval for the revised Crowthorne Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) following the statutory consultation; and for the revocation of the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in Bracknell (A322 Downshire Way), Newbury (A339) and Thatcham (A4) following the consultation process.

Suzanne McLaughlin presented the report. She explained that consultation processes had been undertaken as agreed by Committee at its December meeting. Consultation responses were outlined in the report as were next steps. This included the revised AQAP for Crowthorne which was proposed for approval.

It was also proposed that the AQMAs in Bracknell, Newbury and Thatcham be revoked.

Councillor Guy Gillbe advised that this matter had been a key concern for Crowthorne residents. They would be assured that targets were being met and that an AQAP would be in place to maintain this progress.

Councillor Phil Barnett queried the usage of electric vehicles. He noted that pre Covid-19 usage was at 37.1% of vehicles on the road, but this had reduced to 28.2%. However, Councillor Barnett questioned if there had been an overall increase in numbers.

Sean Murphy advised that the number of electric vehicles had increased and there had also been a gradual improvement in emissions from non-electric vehicles.

Suzanne added that improvements reflected changes post Covid-19. As well as those outlined by Mr Murphy, people had been living their lives a little differently in terms of work habits etc. This had helped ease congestion and reduce pollution.


·         The Crowthorne AQAP be approved.

·         The AQMAs for Bracknell, Newbury and Thatcham be revoked.


Young People and Vaping (JPPC4483) pdf icon PDF 396 KB

To provide an update to the Committee about the work being undertaken by the Public Protection Partnership to reduce the consumption of vaping products by young people across the partnership areas.


The Committee considered the report (Agenda Item 10) which provided an updated on the work being undertaken by the Public Protection Partnership to reduce the consumption of vaping products by young people across the Partnership area.

George Lawrence outlined that while vaping was substantially less harmful than smoking it was not risk free and vaping by young people was of particular concern. Vapes were an age restricted product and were addictive as they contained nicotine. The number of young people vaping had grown and the marketing of vapes was of concern as this was felt to make vaping appealing to youngsters.

Central Government had looked to take action. Single use vapes were to be banned and tax laws were to be tightened to help fund enforcement action.

Responsible disposal of vapes was also being promoted.

Work undertaken by the PPP had been successful but areas of non-compliance remained. The PPP would continue to have a role in this area in line with Government legislation. Government funding was being made available for enhanced enforcement work.

Councillor Iskandar Jefferies requested further information on seized products (as outlined in paragraph 3.22 of the report). He queried if they were seized post testing or based on labelling of products.

George Lawrence explained that products were collected on the basis of intelligence gathered, but labelling was also a factor. Sean Murphy added that officers needed to have grounds to seize products on suspicion of non-compliance and labelling was a starting point. The distribution of products to retailers was also looked at to ensure this was legitimate.

Councillor Lee Dillon noted from the report a non-compliance failure rate of 70%. This high percentage was very concerning and he queried whether information would be provided to the public on this.

George Lawrence explained that the products in question had been approved by the regulator and there was therefore concern in relation to quality assurance and control at the manufacturing stage. The PPP was part of a regional approach with other local authorities and relevant organisations working together on this matter.

Councillor Dillon requested that this become an annual item to keep Members informed. It would be useful for future versions of the report to contain, for example, further detail on non-compliance rates.

George Lawrence confirmed that the 70% failure rate concerned the contents of legal products. This was separate to the seized (illegal) vapes referred to earlier in the debate.

Councillor Dillon queried when the public would be made aware of offending premises. Sean Murphy advised of recent publicity after a successful prosecution case, with other cases under review by the Case Management Team. The public could be made aware if there was a conviction, beyond that publicity was restricted.

Councillor Dillon followed this by questioning if publicity was possible should a premises receive a warning. He felt this was important for public protection. Sean Murphy agreed to pursue this with officers in Legal. He added that future reports would include options available in this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.