Agenda and minutes

Domestic Abuse Local Partnership Board - Friday, 18 March 2022 9.00 am

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Contact: Euan Walters (0116 3055483)  Email: Euan.Walters@leics.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome, introductions and apologies.

Minutes:

Mrs. D. Taylor CC welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the Board and the list of apologies was noted.

 

2.

Approving Terms of Reference for the Board. pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Gurjit Samra-Rai, Community Safety Manager, Leicestershire County Council will present this item.

 

Minutes:

Gurjit Samra-Rai, Head of Service (Safer Communities), Leicestershire County Council presented proposed Terms of Reference for the Leicestershire Domestic Abuse Local Partnership Board. A copy of the Terms of Reference, marked ‘Agenda Item 2’, is filed with these minutes.

 

It was explained that the Terms of Reference had been based on model Terms of Reference drafted by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

 

It was noted that the Board membership as set out in the proposed Terms of Reference did not include representatives from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and the Combined Fire Authority and suggested that they should be included as they would add value to the Board.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the proposed Terms of Reference for the Leicestershire Domestic Abuse Local Partnership Board be approved subject to representatives from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and the Combined Fire Authority being added to the Board membership list.

 

 

3.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman.

Nominations are sought from all Board members.

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That Mr. N. Bannister CC (Combined Fire Authority) be appointed Vice Chairman until the first meeting of the Board in the 2023/24 municipal year.

 

4.

Domestic Abuse Reduction Strategy and Equality and Human Rights Impact Assessment. pdf icon PDF 222 KB

Gurjit Samra-Rai, Community Safety Manager, Leicestershire County Council will present this item.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered the Domestic Abuse Reduction Strategy and the Equality and Human Rights Impact Assessment, copies of which, marked ‘Agenda Item 4’, are filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from discussions the following points were noted;

 

(i)          The five priorities in the Domestic Abuse Reduction Strategy had arisen from the Leicestershire Needs Assessment undertaken by SafeLives in 2021. One of the key points identified in the Needs Assessment was that male victims were not seeking assistance from the authorities and there was also a lack of data relating to the LGBT+ community. The Needs Assessment would be reviewed annually and following on from that annual reviews of the Domestic Abuse Reduction Strategy would also take place.

 

(ii)         The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 placed a duty on Tier One local authorities to provide support to victims of domestic abuse and their children within refuges and safe accommodation. In Leicestershire there was a shortage of safe accommodation for victims of Domestic Abuse. There were refuges in Leicester City, Hinckley and Loughborough but a greater range of accommodation types was required as some victims did not feel comfortable in refuges. New properties needed to be built to meet the demand but local authorities also needed to make sure existing accommodation was being made best use of and that landlords and tenants were encouraged to make sure properties were being lived in. Registered housing providers were not bound by the duty in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 nevertheless they were being liaised with to see if they could help with accommodation for domestic abuse victims. It was noted that registered providers did have a duty to help the homeless therefore this could be used to influence the providers to help Domestic Abuse victims.

 

(iii)       Consideration was being given by the County Council to whether Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 could be used to require housing developers to provide accommodation for domestic abuse victims.

 

(iv)       The Department of Levelling Up Communities and Housing (DLUCH - formerly MHCLG) had allocated Leicestershire County Council £1.126 million to support the victims of Domestic Abuse with each district receiving £33k. The funding was only for residents of Leicestershire so if a victim moved from Leicestershire to another County they could not continue to benefit from Leicestershire funding however the victim would be referred to the relevant partners in that County and it would be ensured support was still in place. It was intended that accommodation providers would receive Housing Benefit for those residing at the accommodation and those residents would receive wrap around support funded by the DLUCH monies.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Domestic Abuse Reduction Strategy and the Equality and Human Rights Impact Assessment be noted.

5.

Theory of Change.

Sabrina Hussain, Domestic Abuse and Housing Officer, Leicestershire County Council will present this item.

 

Minutes:

The Board received a presentation from Sabrina Hussain, Domestic Abuse and Housing Officer, Leicestershire County Council, regarding the Theory of Change which set out why action relating to Domestic Abuse was required and what interventions and outcomes were required. A copy of the presentation slides is filed with these minutes.

 

The Chairman emphasised that Key Performance Indicators were needed to measure whether the funding and interventions were leading to positive results and suggested benchmarking exercises should take place. In response it was explained that the commissioning arrangements and contracts with each provider would include Key Performance Indicators. This data was required to be reported to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and could also be reported to future meetings of the Board.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the presentation be noted.

 

 

6.

DLUHC Domestic Abuse Act Spend Plan. pdf icon PDF 222 KB

Gurjit Samra-Rai, Community Safety Manager, Leicestershire County Council will present this report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of Gurjit Samra-Rai, Service Manager (Safer Communities), which presented the Domestic Abuse Act Funding Plan 2021/22 and outlined how the County Council funding would be allocated to the specific requirements of the new duties. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 6’, is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from discussions the following points were noted:

 

(i)          Leicestershire County Council had been allocated £1,127,205 for 2021/22 and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities had indicated that a similar amount would be allocated to Leicestershire for 2022/23. The funding was for the area covered by Leicestershire County Council but not Leicester City. As the Leicester LGBT centre was based in the City it could not receive any funding from Leicestershire County Council.

 

(ii)         The Domestic Abuse Coordinator role had already been recruited to and Sabrina Hussain had been appointed. The Commissioning Officer would be appointed in April 2022.

 

(iii)       The Domestic Abuse Act funding could not be used to engage with the perpetrators of Domestic Abuse. However, the Covid-19 recovery funds which had been allocated to the Public Health Department at Leicestershire County Council could be used for perpetrators of Domestic Abuse. There was also a scheme already in place in Leicester City delivered by Freeva that worked with perpetrators and this scheme had funding in place until September 2022. Suki Kaur, Chief Executive, Freeva gave reassurance that this scheme did have an evidence base and the performance data, which was reported to the OPCC, indicated the scheme was having an impact.  Consideration was given to whether this data should be brought to a future meeting of the Board however it was concluded that it did not fit within the Board’s remit and timescales and it would be a more appropriate agenda item for the Leicestershire Safer Communities Strategy Board.

 

(iv)       It was also noted that in cases where the victim was willing to make a complaint to the police, the police had the power to remove the perpetrator from the home, remand them in custody or impose bail conditions that would protect the victim.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)        That the contents of the report be noted;

 

(b)        That the Domestic Abuse Act Funding Plan 2021/22 be approved.

7.

Any other Business.

Minutes:

It was suggested that the Domestic Abuse Act work should cover safeguarding issues which arose as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and identify children at risk. Lillie Green, Public Health, agreed to give this consideration.

 

8.

Date of next meeting.

The next meeting of the Board is scheduled to take place on Friday 17 June 2022 at 9.00am.

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the next meeting of the Board take place on Friday 17 June 2022 at 9.00am.