Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

1.

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

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr Hanif Khan

2.

Minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 2016 pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were agreed as an accurate record.

3.

Matters arising from the minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 2016

Minutes:

The advice from the Head of Governance with regards to School Crossing Patrols had been received. Ian Duke confirmed it had and had been circulated. It was requested that the guidance be circulated again.

 

Action: Ian Duke to re-circulate the guidance from the Head of Governance.

 

It was noted that a response had not been received in regards to the other action points. In some cases the detail requested was covered by Item 4 of the agenda. Where this was not the case it was requested that the actions agreed be actioned once again.

 

Action: Outstanding actions to be re-actioned.

 

Under the Housing item on page 4 it was requested that when receiving details in relation to the numbers and properties to be secured by the subsidiary of Lampton 360, that the response also include an indication of timeframes.

 

Action: Clarification on timeframe to be sought in addition to previous request for details relating to numbers and properties.

 

In discussing the matters arising from the minutes the following points emerged:

 

  • The rates of loans obtained when procuring housing would be set out within each Single Member Decision relating to acquisitions
  • The December Cabinet papers would set out the latest position regarding anticipated end of year overspend and actions being taken to manage this
  • The Council had for the past few years deliberately not increased budgets in area of consistent overspend in order to maintain pressure to reduce that overspend. Moving forward this might need to be reviewed in areas where increased demand means there is no option.

 

4.

Budget Saving Proposals 2017/19 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

The attached report is a late item.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee consider the report and its appendices section by section, with the key points as follows:

 

2. Scale of the savings we have made to date and new proposals

 

The Committee noted the scale of savings at very nearly £140m in total by 2018/9, including a reduction in the Revenue Support Grant from Government from £90m to £14m.

 

In developing the savings for the 2017-9 period, each division had been asked to develop proposals for savings of 3% and 12% in the first instance. A corporate view was then taken, taking into account that achieving this level of savings was more challenging in certain areas.

 

Proposals set out earlier in the process could be made available to the Committee.

 

3. Social Care Precept and other corporate adjustments

 

Clarification was provided that within an earlier paper to Cabinet, the increase in Council Tax was set out as 2%. This was a rounding up of the 1.99% presented in this paper which would be carried forward through the budget.

 

Within the 3.3 Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) the £135k per year covers the costs of administrating the fund, which by legislation can be up to 5% of the total raised.

 

The rise in the Social Care Precept sought to both meet the costs of increasing demand and to improve the way in which services are provided. Adult Social Care and Children’s Services had taken on significant cuts in previous rounds of savings and were now at the point where further reductions will impact on front line services. Hounslow spend on Adult Social Care, at 28%, is the lowest in London and it is a similar position with Children’s Services.

 

4. Increased fees and charges

 

The Fees & Charges appendix was still being finalised. For instance there was reference to two different reviews in relation to parking, which will need to be brought together. The document will be shared with all councillors in the coming weeks and comments were very much welcomed prior to finalisation.

 

The intention of fees and charges is not simply about raising funds. In some cases it was around levels of subsidy and in others about encouraging people to do the right things.

 

The Committee raised a concern about the level of charges for preventative services (for example Telecare) that might act as a disincentive to behaviours that we would want to promote. Another concern raised was in relation to CPZ charges, given that there was an 18% increase last year.

 

A final point raised that the unit involved for each line of the Fees & Charges document needed to be clearer in the final version.

 

Resolved: The Fees & Charges paper will come back to the Committee for its meeting on 2 February 2017 prior to its finalisation. The Committee was asked to send any questions through in advance.

 

5. Savings arising from cuts to services

 

The Committee questioned why Enforcement was experiencing a further round of cuts, and whether this would be affect ability to maintained required enforcement activity. It  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Urgent Business

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

Minutes:

None.

 

6.

Date of next meeting

The next scheduled meeting would take place on Thursday 2 February 2017 at 7pm in Committee Room 1

Minutes:

The next scheduled meeting would take place on Thursday 2 February 2017 at 7pm in Committee Room 1.