Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Ian Duke, telephone 020 8583 2191, e-mail  ian.duke@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

32.

Apologies for absence, declarations of interest or any other communications from Members

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllrs Bath and Chaudhary.

 

33.

Minutes of the meeting held on 20 March 2017 pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the 20 March 2017 were agreed as an accurate record.

 

34.

Matters arising from the minutes

Minutes:

It was noted that all items raised by the Committee were on the agenda. There were no other matters arising.

 

35.

Lampton 360 pdf icon PDF 251 KB

Report by CllrJohn Chatt, ChairOverview& ScrutinyCommittee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Chatt reminded the committee that earlier in the municipal year the Committee had looked at preparations ahead of Recycle 360 going live. It was agreed that the Committee would like to see how mobilisation of Recycle 360 had gone around 6 months later. As noted at the last meeting, the Committee had also received a public referral regarding recent queues at Space Waye and whether there has been any impact on fly-tipping and agreed to look to request an update for this meeting. This was also a chance to look at the recent performance report for Lampton 360 and to look at forthcoming areas of development.

 

Cllr Chatt welcomed Cllr Mann and officers Brendon Walsh, Andrew Baker, Melanie Gadd, Barbara Richardson and Dave Ward and asked them to speak to the different reports and presentations provided. In relation to the mobilisation of Recycle 360 the following provides a summary of key points that emerged from the presentation and discussion that followed:

 

·         Overall the transfer had gone well despite a number of challenges. Suez had not provided a full list of collection rounds and Fire Brigade keys were not provided for access to communal blocks were examples of some of the operational issues faced. The work to support the transfer and induction of staff had been effective.

·         Collections over the Christmas period had gone well despite the closure of the Civic Centre over that period meaning there was no customer service contacts for the service. This would be address in time for this Christmas.

·         Work had been undertaken on route optimisation, however current arrangements are finely balanced. It is not yet clear if current resources will be sufficient under the new recycling regime. The savings previously identified will be attained through the move to fortnightly black bin collection.

·         Reports of missed bin collection were being checked and if necessary challenged by in cab technology, which was also being used to capture inappropriate usage. Photographs were being used in exceptional circumstances were investigations were taking place.

·         This was all part of the educational drive to increase recycling rates. If non-compliance occurs over time then there are powers to issue notices and introduce fines.

·         Missed collections and other issues should be resolved by the next day. If Members were receiving cases where this was not happening this should be raised with Recycle 360 so that it can be looked into and resolved.

·         Each crew has been issued with brooms to deal with any spillages when they occur. Again if Members were hearing this wasn’t being done then please feedback to Recycle 360 so that this can be reinforced.

·         The garden waste renewals had suffered issues due to ICT difficulties but this was now being addressed. The extension for renewals means that it is anticipated that total number of subscriptions this year will match or exceed last year’s. The garden waste service is self-funding.

·         The subscription scheme introduced for garden waste last year had seen the tonnage collected reduce by around 1,500 tonnes.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Pollution and Air Quality pdf icon PDF 294 KB

Report by Cllr Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Environment.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Chatt reminded the Committee that this was an item that it was keen to look into. Air Quality is a major issue nationally and regionally. The Government, under duress, has recently published its Air Pollution Strategy. Commentary on the strategy has described it as weak and passing responsibility onto local authorities. Hounslow suffers from Air Quality issues not least because of its road connections. The possible expansion of Heathrow is likely to increase road traffic within the Borough. We have previously heard from Cllr Dennison the likelihood that parking charges (subject to consultation) will take account of pollutants.

 

The Council is producing its own Air Quality Action Plan and so this is a very apt time to look at air quality in the borough and to consider the impact of an additional runway and the mitigation action being planned.

 

Councillor Chatt welcomed Cllr Mann and Surinderpal Suri and asked them to speak to their presentation. The key points emerging from the presentation and the discussion that followed were:

 

·         Local authorities do not have the power or funding to make a significant impact on their own, so the strategy seeks to work with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and to influence Government Policy, in particular to address the source of Air Pollution.

·         Air quality in 2016 was marginally worse that in 2015. Four of the seven monitoring stations exceedance. There are clear implications for public health and recent research is making links with dementia. 

·         Mortality rates attributable to long term exposure to PM2.5 is 7.1% in Hounslow compared to 5.6% nationally. The Hounslow rate is the 14th highest in London.

·         The old action plan had 100 action points which were too many as was reduced to 69 but this is still too many. The GLA suggests 38 and the new action plan is in line with this.

·         New monitoring stations for Chiswick and Brentford have been procured and are being installed in June of this year. The Committee expressed some concern that this had taken so long to deliver as agreements and funding were put in place some time ago.

·         Concern was also expressed about the messages that schools (and the parents whose children are attending those schools) close to busy arterial routes were receiving and the lack of mitigation measures.

Resolved:

 

·         The Committee agreed to set up a task and finish group to look into what practical measures can a local authority put in place to address pollution and air quality. This would consider both mitigation and addressing sources. Measures will need to take account of costs, where cross-boundary or GLA joint working was required, and the administrative challenges of implementation. Schools should be a key focus of the work. It was suggested that Transport colleagues should be actively involved, in particular looking at the impact of Heathrow expansion.

 

37.

Savings Proposals: Follow up on Hounslow Highways

Minutes:

Cllr Chatt reminded the Committee that within the savings considered in December was a proposed reduction of £1m spend with Hounslow Highways to be achieved over two years. £350k was to be achieved by cancelling the ‘Whole Street Environment’ scheme and Reducing spend on street cleansing and associated surveys. A further £650k would be found through a negotiation with the contractor on service provision and service standards.

 

At the last meeting the Committee decided to request an update on progress achieving this saving. Cllr Chatt welcomed Cllr Mann and Melanie Gadd to provide a verbal update.

 

Proposals for the remaining savings target are still being developed. Options are being developed to assess risk and impact upon the delivery of the service and whether these would result in generating unintended costs elsewhere.

 

The Committee was keen not to undermine the gains that had been made through this contract and offered that Scrutiny could be used as a sounding board to look at proposals if that was considered helpful.

 

38.

Draft Annual Report pdf icon PDF 232 KB

Report by Cllr John Chatt, Chair of Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Chatt informed the Committee that each year the Chair of Overview & Scrutiny reports back to Borough Council on scrutiny activity over the previous year. The draft report circulated with the papers is a draft for the Committee to consider and provide a steer. The Panels have already received and commented on earlier drafts for their activity, and this includes any amendments and updates from their final meeting. If agreed the report will be presented to Borough Council in July.

 

Resolved:

 

The Committee approved the draft report and agreed to delegate final amendments to the Chair.

39.

Forward Plan

A link to the electronic version is listed here:

http://www.hounslow.gov.uk/index/council_and_democracy/forward_plan.htm

An A3 size hard copy will be circulated separately to Members of the Committee

Minutes:

No items were raised.

 

40.

Monitoring Information

Decisions taken under urgency arrangements

Minutes:

No decisions had been taken under urgency arrangements since the last meeting

41.

Urgent Business

Any business which the Chair agrees to accept on grounds of urgency.

Minutes:

No items raised.