In the absence of Mrs Hardwick, Mr Dignum (Leader of the Council), seconded by Mrs Tull, moved the recommendations of the Cabinet.
He explained that the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 had changed the rules for the use of surveillance by councils. The approval of the Magistrates Court was required for any directed surveillance, and covert surveillance was allowed only for matters which carried a sentence of six months imprisonment or more. As a result there were very few circumstances in which the Council would seek to use surveillance powers.
An inspector from HM Commissioner for Surveillance had suggested a number of amendments to the Council’s policy and practice, and recommended that Fareham Borough Council’s policy be used as a template. Officers had, therefore, adapted Fareham’s policy to local circumstances and made additional changes to reflect recent guidance, with the result that the Council’s proposed policy had now become the model policy used by inspectors. The Corporate Governance and Audit Committee had recommended the revised policy for adoption.
(1) That the policy, as recommended by Corporate Governance and Audit Committee, be adopted.
(2) That the delegations in Appendix 1 of the Policy, as recommended by Corporate Governance and Audit Committee, be approved.
(3) That the enhanced oversight process, adopted by the Corporate Governance and Audit committee as outlined at paragraph 3.2 of the report, be noted.