Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells

Contact: Judith Turnbull Tel No. 01835 826556  Email:

No. Item


Appointment of Vice Chair

To appoint a Vice Chair for the Police, Fire and Safer Communities Board.


The Chairman invited nominations for the position of Vice Chairman of the Board. Councillor Scott nominated himself and was seconded by Councillor Richards.  Councillor Moffat nominated himself and was seconded by Councillor Robson.  On a show of hands Councillor Scott was appointed.



AGREED that Councillor Scott be appointed as Vice-Chairman of the Police, Fire & Rescue and Safer Communities Board.



Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Consider Minute of Meeting held on 31 August 2018. (Copy attached).


2.1       There had been circulated copies of the Minute of the meeting held on 31 August 2018. 



APPROVED the Minute.


2.2        Matters Arising from the Minute

            With reference to paragraph 3.2 of the Minute, Chief Superintendent Clark advised that a briefing on the armed response deployment model would be given to the Board early next year.  The Chairman emphasised the importance of receiving an early update on the condition and funding of CCTV across the Borders.






Fire & Rescue pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Performance Report (copy attached)

Update on Service Matters


LSO Stephen Gourlay

Additional documents:


4.1       There had been circulated copies of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services (SFRS) Local Plan Performance Report.  Local Senior Officer (LSO) Gourlay began the report by explaining that the SFRS Chief Officer was due to retire at the end of March 2019.  Interviews would be taking place shortly for his replacement. Positive areas of progress within the Transformation programme included the introduction of new Rapid Response Units in the form of 7 ton trucks with ultra high pressure specialist lances.  There were currently 10 units across Scotland predominantly in isolated northern areas, an advantage being that these could be manned with just 4 officers


4.2       Group Manager (GM) Jaffray then presented the SFRS Local Plan Performance Report for the period 1 April 2018 to 30 September 2018, copies of which had been circulated with the agenda.  He firstly referred to a large fire that had occurred on a farm near Kelso, in September, where additional resources had been brought in which included engines from Northumberland.  He thanked all the crews and retained firefighters involved.  GM Jaffray went on to identify the headline outputs for the period relating to the SFRS priorities:-


4.3       Reduction of ‘Dwelling Fires’ – SFRS attended 44 dwelling fires over the period, a slight increase of 1 from the same period last year.  Seven of the fires were started deliberately.  48% of the fires originated in the kitchen with almost all involving cooking or cooking appliances.


4.4       Reduction of ‘All Fire Casualties’ – There had been 8 fire related casualties so far in 2018.  This was the same as the figure for the corresponding period last year. Further analysis showed that five casualties went to hospital for precautionary checks suffering from smoke inhalation.  Three casualties received first aid at the scene and required no further treatment.


4.5       Reduction of  ‘All Deliberate Fires Excluding Dwellings’ –  There had been 82 deliberate fires over the period, a decrease of 33 from the same period last year.  Galashiels and District experienced 31% of all deliberate fires across the Scottish Borders, however this was a welcome decrease of 44% for the ward area compared to the same period last year.  The majority of these fires involved grass, scrubland and woodland which may partly have been attributable to the prolonged dry period earlier in the year.


4.6       Reduction of ‘Special Service Road Traffic Collisions’ – During the first two quarters of 2018 SFRS had attended 41 Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs), 3 more that the same period last year.  There had been 23 RTC related casualties with one fatality during Quarter one.  On 13 occasions SFRS used Hydraulic Rescue Equipment to extricate casualties.


4.7       Reduction of ‘Special Service Casualties’ – There were a total of 44 attendances by SFRS at non-fire related incidents: 8 effecting entry; 4 assisting other agencies; 23 RTC casualties; and 9 others including rescues from water, flooding etc. 


4.8       Reduction of ‘False Alarm – Equipment Failure’ – The figure contained within the report related to Equipment Failure as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Safer Communities Update and Key Activities pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To consider report by Safer Communities & Community Justice Manager, Graham Jones (Copy attached)


5.1       There had been circulated copies of the Safer Communities Performance report covering the period from 1 April 2018 to 30 September 2018.  Mr G Jones, Safer Communities & Community Justice Manager, highlighted the main points:-


5.2       Priority 1 – Reduce the level and Impact of Gender Based Violence through effective partnership working.  Referrals to all the Safer Communities based domestic abuse services had increased in the year to date when compared to last year.  The increase was in part due to all services being fully resourced.  Recent corporate change had created a vacancy for the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) coordinator post.


5.3       Priority 2 – Reduce the level and impact of Substance Misuse through effective partnership working. It was noted that the SBC funded Community Action Team (CAT) had been active in enforcement activity both in relation to property searches under warrant and on street intelligence led stop and search activity.  The ‘don’t buy it, don’t supply it’ campaign would continue throughout the 2018/19 Festive period in digital form.


5.4       Priority 3 – Reduce the level and impact of crime and antisocial behaviour through effective partnership working.  The year to date trends across crime, ASB and vandalism had all shown an improvement compared to the same period last year.  The decrease shown in referrals to mediation and reduced success rate was in part a reflection of changes in internal operating processes.  Mr Jones added that there may be an improved way of reporting this.


5.5       Priority 4 – Reduce the level and impact of poor driver behaviour through effective partnership working. With the approach of winter advisory material would be circulated through social media relating to vehicle preparation and driving considerations. Part of the Drivewise training covered some of these components. 


5.6       Priority 5 – Reduce the level and impact of incidents in the home through effective partnership work.  This partnership work was led principally by SFRS.  Options had been considered to update Crucial Crew, the annual safety event for P7 pupils.  An online resource had been identified, written by education practitioners with input from subject experts.  The content reflected all the safety subjects that were relevant to local children and aligned to the Curriculum for Excellence.  The next stage was to consider how best to introduce an interactive component to the High School transition visit for P7 pupils.  In a discussion about Crucial Crew Members recognised the impact of the event and lasting impressions for Primary School children when this was held over a day at Springwood Park.  Members hoped the value of that element would not be lost in a revised format.  Mr Jones explained that in looking for a way forward that maintained the spirit of the event consideration also needed to be given to the overall cost, particularly with regard to transport.  There was an opportunity to provide a version of the experience when P7 pupils undertook their visits to the High Schools. In response to a question from Councillor Robson, Mr Jones agreed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Presentation - Strategic Assessment on Safer Communities in the Scottish Borders

Presentation on Strategic Assessment on Safer Communities in the Scottish Borders by Graham Jones, Safer Communities & Community Justice Manager and  Wendy Marsden, Partnership Analyst.


6.1       Mr Jones explained that the presentation was to describe work being carried out to revise reporting arrangements for the Safer Communities Team, which were linked to the Community Plan and the Police Scotland and SFRS Plans.  It was apparent that some existing Priorities were not as relevant as they ought to be, based upon the composition and activities of the team.  Agreement was requested from the Board to develop the performance indicators being used so that the scrutiny function could be fully discharged and information reported upon was based upon what the team actually contributed towards. This would be effective from  the next financial year and would give clarity of purpose and demonstrate value.  Partnership Intelligence Analyst, Ms Wendy Marsden, gave the presentation which began by showing the structure within the Scottish Borders Safer Communities Team including the link with partners and the Safer Communities Team core responsibilities.  The Strategic Assessment Process involved reviewing progress against existing priorities; establishing the current situation through analysis of information; detailing findings and recommendations; considering future developments; proposing future priorities; and consulting with partners and team members to agree and refine priorities. Essentially the work linked to the Community, Police and Fire plans, and work of the Alcohol and Drugs partnership, all of whom were co-located partners.


6.2       The presentation went on to list key findings since 2015 and proposed priority areas in respect of crime and ASB; gender based violence; and injury prevention.    Key changes in the priorities from 2015 were as follows:-

·                     problematic drug and alcohol use would be a theme that cut across all areas          of work but would no longer be a separate priority; and

·                     injury prevention would have a broader scope than currently and would      encompass all aspects of safety within and outside of the home.


The next steps were to develop a workplan to deliver the identified priorities ; review performance indicators to ensure there was an accurate measurement of activity progress; and to revise the risk register and link risks to the delivery plan.  Final proposals would be brought back to the Board for endorsement.


6.3       Members of the Board welcomed the review of reporting arrangements.  It was recognised that the role of the Local Authority was to support partners and that the review may take away some of the duplication with other plans. Mr Dickson suggested that priorities also be linked with the Mental Health Plan, Back To Basics training on falls prevention and the Director of Public Health’s Health Strategy.



            AGREED the approach being taken by the Safer Communities Team in the review of priorities and reporting arrangements.



As this was the last Board meeting for Inspector Hodges, who was shortly retiring from Police Scotland, the Chairman thanked him for his valuable contribution to meetings and expressed the Board’s best wishes for his future.




Dates of Future Meetings

Friday, 8 February 2019 at 9.30 am

Friday, 17 May 2019 at 9.30 am


The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and advised that the next meeting was scheduled to take place on Friday 8 February 2019 at 9.30 am. 







Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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