Agenda and minutes

Crime and Disorder Select Committee - Thursday 21st December, 2023 4.30 pm

Venue: Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1TU

Contact: Scrutiny Support Officer Rachel Harrison 

No. Item


Evacuation Procedure pdf icon PDF 9 KB


The evacuation procedure was noted.


Declarations of Interest


There were no interests declared.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To approve the minutes of the last meeting held on 9 November 2023.


Consideration was given to the minutes of the Crime and Disorder Select Committee meeting which was held on 9 November 2023 for approval and signature.


AGREED that the minutes of the Committee meeting held on 9 November 2023 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Monitoring the Impact of Previously Agreed Recommendations - Bonfires on Public Land pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Progress report for the previously completed Bonfires on Public Land review.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the assessments of progress on the implementation of the recommendations from the Committee’s previously completed review of Bonfires on Public Land.  This was the third progress update following the Committee’s agreement of the Action Plan in November 2022, with developments in relation to the outstanding agreed action noted as follows:


         Recommendation 5 (To further deter the construction and lighting of unauthorised bonfires, SBC identifies any alternative sites within the Borough where official bonfires may be able to be facilitated in the future): Reflecting on the recently concluded bonfire season, achievements were highlighted in relation to the continuation of well-established partnership-working, engagement with identified hot-spot areas, and general communications via social media.  The innovative use of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (SBC) drones to detect waste accumulation was noted, as was the traditional gathering in Hardwick which was substantially smaller and less impactive than the previous year.  In terms of this Committee recommendation, it was confirmed that no alternative sites within the Borough for future official bonfires were obvious – this was something which the Council was reluctant to promote anyway as it was contradictory to the general messaging around the dangers of bonfires (whether official or unofficial) and any SBC event would mean the Council would be liable for any chosen site.


Reiterating that this recommendation was now considered ‘fully achieved’, the SBC Assistant Director – Community Safety and Regulated Services emphasised the progress made around bonfire-related issues, with a clear reduction in reported incidents compared to 2022 (17% decrease in deliberated primary fires (on top of a 30% reduction in 2022 compared to 2021), 10% decrease in deliberate F3s, and no reported occurrences of violence to staff).  Whilst some bonfires were still evident during the recent ‘season’, there appeared to have been a significant push-back from the community towards the organisers of unofficial bonfire sites.  The Council would continue to work alongside its partners with regards private organisers and diversionary alternatives.


Referencing the related issue of fireworks, the Committee noted some recent social media posts which had indicated that a site in Hardwick would become the Borough’s main display in the absence of a Council-organised event.  In response, Members were informed about the significant number of Trading Standards prosecutions involving an estate within that Ward, as well as the more positive conversations with that particular community who did not want to be affected by bonfires and the associated problems these created.


Members spoke of their own awareness of a reduction in bonfire-related incidents within their Wards, though did observe that the traditional ‘season’ seemed to go on for longer than usual (possibly due to the mixed weather).


AGREED that the Bonfires on Public Land progress update be noted, the assessment for progress be confirmed, and the overarching Action Plan approved by the Committee following the original review be signed-off as complete (no further updates required).



Scrutiny Review of Outdoor Play Provision: Quality and Distribution, Maintenance, and Physical Accessibility pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To receive information from the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (SBC) Regeneration and Inclusive Growth directorate in relation to this scrutiny topic.

Additional documents:


The second evidence-gathering session for the Committee’s ongoing Scrutiny Review of Outdoor Play Provision: Quality and Distribution, Maintenance, and Physical Accessibility focused on a contribution from the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (SBC) Regeneration and Inclusive Growth directorate.


Prior to the directorate’s input on this scrutiny topic, the Committee considered a number of updated maps and lists in relation to both informal sport facilities and play areas across the Borough which included planned sites as well as those already under development (though not those where only initial discussions had taken place / were ongoing).  Of note:


         Informal Sport Facilities: The site at Stillington had now been completed and was only awaiting lighting (it was, however, very muddy at present so opening may be delayed), and the planned site at Kirklevington was a new additional multi-use games area (MUGA).  Despite having a lot of play area provision, Ingleby Barwick only had Romano Park as an informal sport facility.


         Play Areas: In addition to the planned Stockton waterfront developments (which included play provision), several ‘doorstep’ sites were intended across the Borough – these involved SBC plans for Hardwick Community Park and the Elmwood Centre, and third-party facilities at Yarm Back Lane (x2), Allens West, and Kirklevington.


Maps showing catchment zones for all existing / intended provision were also presented, though it was noted that these were only crude indicators as users can travel from outside these areas, particularly for the larger ‘destination’ sites like Preston Park.  The Committee was also reminded that the maps did not indicate ‘play value’ which, as had been previously seen, varied from site-to-site across the Borough, something which may be a factor in how far young people and / or families were prepared to travel to use specific facilities.  These graphics did, however, allow SBC to identify gaps in provision which may then feed into section 106 (s106) considerations.


Attention turned to the main contributors to this session, the SBC Planning Team and SBC Place Development Team, who had previously been identified as part of the scoping process for this review.  Introduced by the SBC Assistant Director – Inclusive Growth and Development, and supported by the SBC Place Development Manager, the SBC Planning Services Manager proceeded to give an overview of a report which responded to several key questions directed towards these Council departments, including:


         Local plan policies and how this influences new play / informal sport facility development.

         Applications approving play / informal sport facilities as part of new housing developments over the past two years.

         Rationale behind developers building new rather than improving existing assets.

         The rights of the general public on the use of play facilities managed and funded by individual housing developments or residents under a service charge.

         How s106 works and the requirements around this for play provision to new developments.

         Potential for a revenue element within a s106 to enable maintenance or sinking funds.


Policy SD5 of the existing SBC Local Plan (adopted 30  ...  view the full minutes text for item CD/27/23


Chair's Update and Select Committee Work Programme 2023-2024 pdf icon PDF 204 KB


Chair’s Update


The Chair had no further updates.


Work Programme 2023-2024


Consideration was given to the current Crime and Disorder Select Committee Work Programme.  The next meeting was scheduled for 25 January 2024 and would feature the third evidence-gathering session for the ongoing Scrutiny Review of Outdoor Play Provision.


Reference was made to the ‘other information sources / updates’ section which included two additional elements involving developments around shoplifting and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.


AGREED that the Crime and Disorder Select Committee Work Programme 2023-2024 be noted.