1. Since its formation, the Crime & Safety Committee has been an executive committee with decision-making powers. It is currently made up of four councillors and the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council as ex-officio members. There are also three co-opted members who are all members of the Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Watch.

2. The Committee's primary role was to sort of problems with employment of Sharon as PCSO and to work on the Parish Council/Police Authority Agreement. This role has now changed and its terms of reference are:

To identify local crime, anti-social behaviour and safety issues, to appraise options to address them.
To liaise with Sussex Police regarding the work of the PCSO for Sedlescombe.
To support the Sedlescombe NHW Group.
To liaise with East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service regarding its Integrated Risk Management Plan as it affects Sedlescombe residents.

3. In accordance with regulations governing Parish Council committees, the Chairman of this Committee must be a Parish Councillor and co-opted members do not have a vote.

4. With the introduction of the 2007 Members' Code of Conduct and SPC's adoption of para 12(2), the public can speak but are limited to one particular time when they can make representation, answer questions or give evidence to the Council or Committee.

5. The attendance at the C&S Committee meetings of representatives of Sussex Police, Orbit Housing Association and the Youth Development Service are valuable and welcomed by C&S Committee members. However, if they attend, they expect as members of statutory agencies to join in with the Committee's deliberations and not be limited to one opportunity.

6. It is suggested that SPC considers amending the status of the Crime & Safety Committee to that of an advisory committee of the Parish Council. This will allow any person to be Chairman, everyone who attends to join in and vote. The advisory committee would, however, not be able to make any decisions but would simply advise SPC through its recommendations. SPC would make the decisions.

7. The alternatives seem to be:

a) To continue with the C&S Committee as a decision-making committee and explain to representatives of the Police, Orbit and YDS that it is a Council Meeting in which they cannot take part apart from the time when the public are allowed to speak.

b) To change the C&S Committee to an advisory committee which will allow everyone to have their say but no decisions to be made.

P Raymond
Clerk, Sedlescombe Parish Council
7 November 2007