Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room, Council Offices, Urban Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield

Contact: Lynn Cain  Email:

No. Item


Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary or Personal Interests and/or Non-Registrable Interests


No declarations of interest were made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 231 KB



that the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 10 March 2022, be

received and approved as a correct record.


Scrutiny Review: Gambling Harm pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Additional documents:


The Scrutiny Research Officer welcomed all present to the meeting and introduced the report.  He asked Members to note that following a recent Chairs and Vice Chairs meeting it had been acknowledged that the current Scrutiny Work Programme was extensive and therefore the Panel needed to be expedient with its reviews to ensure all review topics were completed within the 2022/23 municipal year.


With that in mind, Members took the opportunity to consider the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny (CfGS) guidance document titled ‘10 questions to ask if you are scrutinising gambling harm’.  The publication was part of a CfGS project in partnership with the Gambling Commission to raise awareness and increase the involvement of elected members in overview and scrutiny roles tackling gambling harm as a review topic.


The draft terms of reference, as outlined in the report, were also considered and accepted as appropriate for the review.


Following a recent meeting with the Service Manager for Customer Services to ascertain if any Council staff in front facing roles have offered advice or support to residents in relation to gambling addictions, it was evident that customers were extremely reticent towards revealing any gambling addictions or difficulties they were experiencing.  It was more common for issues to present themselves as debt, housing or employment problems rather than the addiction itself.


In addition, customer services staff were not specialists in these fields and were trained to be cautious about offering any detailed advice to vulnerable adults.  Their role however, did include signposting the individual to charities or organisations that dealt with gambling addictions specifically.


It was acknowledged that the nearest Gamblers Anonymous organisation was in Nottingham City and that no particular initiatives were currently running within the Ashfield area.  There were also currently no links to any organisations of this nature on the Council’s website.


A discussion then took place and Members debated and commented upon the following:


·         gambling problems manifesting themselves as housing and debt difficulties resulting in the Council becoming involved to assist local residents and their families remain secure in their homes


·         the essential work being carried out by the Council’s Housing Debt Management Team to support local residents experiencing financial difficulties


·         the quality of Gambling Harm information contained on the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) website and the possibility of the Council signposting this site within its own pages


·         acknowledgement that the Government’s Gambling Act White Paper would imminently be published with Members being keen to review the content as soon as possible


·         the insidious increase in TV gambling across both adult and children’s programming schedules in the form of adverts and competitions with the stark realisation that charitable organisations were now also jumping of the bandwagon to raise much needed funds for their causes


·         acceptance of the fact that gambling will never be eradicated but that many improvements can still be made to reduce addiction risk for vulnerable individuals


·         the increasing problem of gambling addiction within younger age groups arising from the plethora of ‘loot  ...  view the full minutes text for item SA.3