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 

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the substantive items on the agenda.



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


Apologies were received from Cllrs Green, Savin, Mann, Dennison, Mayne and Todd.



Minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2017 pdf icon PDF 306 KB


The minutes of the meeting of 4 September 2017 were agreed as an accurate record.



Matters arising from the minutes held on 4 September 2017


The following was noted:

·         Page 1: Outcome of LGA Peer Challenge and Action Plan- The Chair and Ian Duke shall meet to ensure that OSC monitors this report.

·         Page 2: Worksmart - Ms Heran send the programme timelines and deadlines to OSC on 2 October 2017

·         Page 2: Consider recycling and waste performance in a OSC meeting. This is included on the agenda.

·         Page 4: Adult Social Care performance shall be added to the work programme if needed. This is on the agenda for this meeting

·         Page 6: Forward Plan: An A3 copy has been circulated ahead of the OSC meeting of 3 October 2017. This was received by Members.



Minutes of the meeting held on 18 September 2017 pdf icon PDF 219 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the 18 September were agreed as an accurate record.



Matters arising from previous meeting held on 18 September 2017


The Chair noted that Cabinet shall consider the OSC recommendations on the Call-in at the 10 October 2017 meeting. The response has been published in a report to Cabinet. The Chair drew attention to 3.5- 3.6 of the report. It was suggested that these sections were not helpful or constructive.



Cabinet Response to Task & Finish Group Review of VCSE Savings pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Additional documents:


Cllr Chatt introduced the Cabinet Response to the Task and Finish Group Review of VCSE Savings and set out the background to this report which began with a review of the VCSE sector savings in October 2015. The findings and recommendations were considered by Cabinet in July 2016. An update report to those findings and recommendations was provided to Cabinet at its meeting of 19 September 2017.

Cllr Chatt stated that as Cllr Dennison was unable to attend this meeting and suggested that the OSC are due a fair response to this item and that the item be considered at the next meeting of the OSC on 14 December 2017.



·         The Committee requests that Cllr Dennison presents the report at the next meeting of the OSC on 14 December 2017.



Update on Non-Permanent Staff pdf icon PDF 383 KB


Cllr Chatt introduced the item and noted that, since 2009, there has been interest on the use of non-permanent staff by the Council. Significant progress was made to reduce the reliance on agency and contract staff. In April 2016, OSC considered a report on the differing levels of usage across the authority with a specific focus on the highest areas of usage. The Committee looked at the 6% target and performance for each service area. The OSC made several recommendations for inclusion in the June 2016 report to Cabinet on this issue.

Cllr Atterton introduced the report and highlighted the following:

·         The target for non-permanent staff is 6% and it is widely held that this is aspirational and a difficult target to achieve.

·         In comparison to other Boroughs the London Borough of Hounslow is doing well.

·         There are plans and innovative schemes in place to reduce the level of the use of non-permanent staff across the Council and good progress has been made.

Steve Williams, Head of Human Resources went through the report. He highlighted the following:

·         The current position of the Council is good. In 2016, 14% of staff were non-permanent staff and this has improved to 8%.

·         The Council has switched suppliers to Adecco and is moving in the right direction but it is likely, based on the nature of our work, that some non-permanent staff will be required to meet service needs.

·         There is a tendency not to fill posts where organisational change is ongoing and hence you see differences across service areas. Broadly the current situation is good news. The Council may see rises in the future but will always be looking at where single figures are more achievable.

The following discussion focussed on the following

·         Members raised concerns that focussing on targets eclipses the fact that often a job requires non-permanent staff. Agency workers are more expensive but sometimes the job may require that kind of employment.

·         Members sought clarification on non-permanent staff in Lampton360. It was noted that during a restructuring process or prior to the transfer of a service, permanent posts are not filled. When this processes are completed, permanent staff are sought.

·         On questioning the costs for agency staff, Steve Williams responded that agency staff are generally more expensive but costs have reduced. LBH has a framework contract with Adecco and the agency margins are approximately 6 pence per hour due to volumes. Adecco services most London boroughs.

·         Members questioned whether Worksmart is having an impact on staffing. With the move to the new Civic Centre the associated disruption, smaller premises and lack of parking may impact on the attractiveness to staff. Steve Williams stated that that the flexibility appears attractive to staff and no obvious impact has been seen at present

·         Questions were raised as to whether the use of non-permanent staff may affect the quality of service in some areas. Steve Williams responded that this has not been seen.

·         It was noted by Mun-Thong Phung that for social care  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82.


Update on Adult Social Care Performance Indicators pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Additional documents:


Members received a presentation on the Adult Social Care Performance Indicators BPIs 64, 65 and 67. Cllr Kaur introduced went through the attached presentation and highlighted the improvement in the indicators and the factors and interventions that have led to these improvements.

The following discussion of the Committee focussed on the following:

·         Members noted the improvements in BPI 64 (Increasing the proportion of older people (aged 65 +) who were still at home 91 days after discharge from hospital into reablement/rehabilitation) and the trajectory. Questions were asked dementia and how it may impact discharge. John Morgan noted that there is various stages of dementia and patients would be assessed. Those that do not have severe levels of dementia go through Community Recovery Service.

·         Members questioned how funding and resources are allocated to ensure that demand is met during times where their needs are high such as in winter months.  It was noted that it’s often difficult to predict demand but methods are in place to meet demand. The service monitors data and usage and has a has good budget monitoring system. here social workers’ team in the hospital team has grown to meet demand and addition funding this year was secured from the CCG.

·         Member inquired about BPI 67 (Reducing the number of hospital discharge delays for a social care reason per 100 population (people). Acute and non-acute settings) and asked about the coding of ‘red’ and ‘yellow’ for similar numbers. Further information was requested on the RAG rating.

·         Members also asked whether the Council is charged for delays. There has been no charge to date.

·         It was noted that the service receives more people with complex needs and so there are some delays as suitable places are found before discharge.

·         Members sought clarity on referrals and whether people can self-refer to the CRS. It was noted that people can self-refer. Approximately 110 referrals are received per month from locality teams and approximately 300 referrals from hospital. The Care Quality Commission have given the service a ‘good’ rating.

·         Members asked as to whether there is a reliance on care packages. Cllr Kaur responded that some money last year was unspent and some of that was for care packages.

·         The timing of hospital discharges was discussed. It was questioned as to whether people are being discharged at inappropriate hours. It was noted that generally people are discharged at appropriate times. The CCG commissions the Red Cross to help those patents who may need some assistance, such as those who live alone. The Chair requested that this offer and service is better communicated.


Action: Clarity on the BPI 67 be circulated to the Committee.


Resolved: The Committee noted the report and presentation



Overview of Waste and Recycling Performance Indicators pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Additional documents:


The Chair noted that at the OSC meeting of 19 July 2017 the Committee resolved to look at performance on recycling and waste as a part of its’ ongoing oversight of Recycle 360.

Victoria Lawson went through the attached presentation which set out the implementation of the recycling programme.

The subsequent discussion focused on the following:

·         In trying to achieve our targets for recycling, we need to make the process as easy as possible. It was questioned whether sorting at source might make it less attractive for people to recycle. Victoria noted that this decision was taken by the Council to sort at source and significant communication has been done to enable residents to sort appropriately.

·         Members questioned the effectiveness of the missed bin system and whether the numbers reflected are an accurate representation as often people do not bother reporting a missed bin.

·         Issues were raised about the customer services and complains on bins. Victoria noted that the change to the new system generated significant customer contact via email and calls.

·         Food waste recycling appears an area where much progress can be made. The Service is working with West London Waste Authority to improve rates of food waste recycling.

·         Questions were raised how to extend the service to flats in order to meet recycling targets. The Mayor of London’s targets are very ambitions and this cannot be achieved without focussing on apartment blocks. Victoria noted that is an area the service shall prioritise


Resolved: The standing orders were suspended at 9.20pm


Resolved: The Committee

o   Noted the progress with the implementation of the recycle refresh and fortnightly black wheelie bin collections;

o   Noted the early indications of improvements to our recycling performance.



Quarter 1 Performance Report and New Performance Management Arrangements pdf icon PDF 286 KB

Additional documents:


The Chair noted that the OSC work programme for 2017/18 has been examining closely performance, including improving reporting and continuing to monitor areas of under-performance. At the 19 July 2017 meeting OSC looked at Q4 performance and received an update on the proposed performance management system and governance arrangements.

Victoria Lawson spoke to the report and noted the amount of work to change the reporting and visualisation of performance measures. It has been proposed that a new performance management subgroup be established to consider performance reports and action plans and provide recommendations to the lead member.

The chair asked for questions on the performance report and the proposed new subgroup. The subsequent discussion focussed on BPI73 which deal with responses to members’ enquiries. Members warned that poor performance in this area reflects badly on ward councillors. It is also difficult to track enquiries. Ideally Members would like a system that helps them to track cases. Some members also raised that the quality of the response is not always a full or adequate and not a full response. Issues were also raised about lost enquiries. It was suggested that in developing a new system and workflow that members are involved in the design.

Associated concerns were also raised about the contact centre and reception staff. Victoria assured members that this is improving and feedback on reception services was very positive.  New numbering options for the call line have been introduced and staff have received additional training to make it more customer focussed.


·         The Committee noted the report;

·         The following members volunteered to join the Performance Subgroup: Cllr Chatt, Cllr Lambert, Cllr Bath, Cllr Thomson and Cllr Carey.




Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 2 MB

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


The Committee indicated an interest in receiving more information on CEX184.

Action: further details to be circulated to the Committee



Monitoring Information - Decisions Taken Under Urgency Arrangements





Any other Matters that the Chair Considers Urgent

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




Date of Next Meeting - 14 December 2017

Call-In of Complaints – Meeting Date TBA


·         17 October 2017– Call in on Complaints Stage 3

·         14 December 2017- Budget, Fees and Charges 2018/19, Lampton 360



Progress Reports from Scrutiny Panels