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

20.

Welcome and Introductions

Minutes:

Cllr Chatt welcomed members and officers to the meeting.

 

21.

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

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllrs Collins, Green and Khan.

In relation to Item 5, Cllr Chatt and Ellar both declared having an allotment.

 

22.

Minutes of the meeting held on 2 February 2017 pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the 2 February 2017 were agreed as an accurate record.

 

23.

Matters arising from the minutes

Minutes:

An update on the Domestic Violence review was requested. Ian Duke stated that with Ben Osifo leaving there had been a delay. The work had transferred to Michael Edley who had agreed with the Chair to recommence the review but subsequently has been suffering from a severe infection and off work. Michael has started that work again, but it again has to be put on hold due to the current Multi-Agency Ofsted review into Domestic Violence. Once this was completed, work should begin again.

 

Other outstanding actions would continue to be chased prior to the next meeting.

 

Action: Ian Duke to monitor and chase outstanding actions

 

24.

Fees and Charges: Outstanding items from 2 February pdf icon PDF 327 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Chatt reminded the committee that this was the third time it was considering the Fees & Charges paper, this time to consider the contractor charges that were not available on 2 February. Cllr Dennison assured the committee that although these were contractor charges, the Council remained able to influence these unless their setting was Statutory.

 

The committee considered the document page by page, raising the following points:

 

·         It was noted that the ‘Discretionary’ Charging Policy was used where the Council consciously sought to generate income in excess of the cost of providing the service.

Action: Cllr Dennison to provide the total number of discretionary charges.

 

·         In the last administration a policy was introduced that allowed the Mayor and the Leader to waive fees for Charity Events. This had not been used during this administration but the policy still stood.

·         The purchase of an exclusive right of burial fee was a one-off charge covering a 60-year period

·         Cllr Dennison asked the Committee to note that the fee for child burials had been removed as raised by the Committee previously. The committee pointed out that there remained a charge to non-residents for child burials. Cllr Dennison stated that this was not the intention and he would investigate. If there was no good reason for this the fee would be removed.

Action: Cllr Dennison to investigate and report back to the committee.

 

·         Cllr Purewal raised the removal of life passes for pensioners, an issue that emerged after the opening of the new Heston Leisure Centre. This had been raised directly with the Chief Executive and the Director of Public Health & Leisure, but no response received.

Action: Cllr Dennison to investigate and report back.

 

·         The committee welcome the lower leisure centre fees for those with less ability to pay but were keen to understand how ability to pay was established.

Action: Cllr Dennison undertook to find and circulate the policy.

 

·         The Council was proposing changes to residents parking permits to address air quality issues. These changes, subject to consultation, would include a £50 increase for diesels cars, the removal of any fee for electric vehicles, and increased charges for additional vehicles

·         Off-street parking charges in Brentford were increasing more than elsewhere in the borough because Brentford has traditionally had lower charges than elsewhere in the borough. A review had been undertaken to understand why this might be, but no reason had been uncovered and therefore charges are being brought into line with elsewhere in the borough.

·         Cllr Denison stated that he had received other queries from councillors and residents that he was looking into. If these resulted in further changes to the Fees & Charges paper he would inform the Committee.

 

25.

Performance Focus - Adult Social Care pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Chatt reminded the committee that at the last meeting it considered the Quarter 2 Performance Report, and discussed under-performing indicators and action plans. The committee decided to look more in-depth at the Adult Social Care indicators BPIs 64, 65 and 67, and attached to the cover report are the action plans for each indicator for Quarters 2 and 3.

 

Cllr Chatt welcomed Cllr Kaur and officers Mun Thong Phung, Nigel Howcutt and Sally Duhig to the meeting and asked them to provide the presentation that had been circulated prior to the meeting. The following summary of key points emerged from the presentation and discussion that followed:

 

·         The service had been set stretch targets for each of these indicators. However the impact of increased demand, increasing complexity of need and constrained finances has meant that these have not been achievable. The reality is that the service is having to provide a service at minimum thresholds in order to meet demand within resources.

·         Despite challenges the service has made significant strides in recent years and received a positive peer challenge recently.

·         The market is challenging, and getting the right availability of places at the right price is difficult. There have been examples of contractors threatening to give contracts back although this has been rare, not least because of the work the service does with providers. The service is this year looking to allow for inflation factors which is helping but affordability will continue to be a concern.

·         The Council takes a dual approach to providing residential care. Firstly it has its own provision which is used as the first port of call. This also provides the Council with a good understanding of the market. Secondly the Council works with West London boroughs to set a baseline rate across the sub-region, adjusted to take account of differences across Councils.

·         Unlike some authorities, the Council does not resort to 15 minute visits and we pay at the London Living Wage, including our contractors. Care packages continue to be based upon needs.

·         With respect to BPI 64 (proportion of older people still at home after 91 days after discharge) the service is undertaking a profiling of recipients to better understand levels of need. This will include looking at those who were back in hospital very quickly which raises the questions about whether they were fit for discharge of if the support required was in place.

·         BPI 65 (measure positive outcomes from CRS interventions) is one of two indicators (the other being BPI 66) that measures whether the CRS improves independence and reduces need for long term care. In future these two indicators will be merged into one in order to provide a single view.

·         Profiling is also being undertaken to better understanding these outcomes. 49% increase or sustain levels of independence. The nature of long term conditions however is that health often deteriorates affecting potential levels of independence. This deterioration would be worse without reablement and rehabilitation support

·         There were some recipients whose  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Future Shape of Councils pdf icon PDF 340 KB

Minutes:

Ian Duke introduced the paper reminding the committee that it had highlighted this subject as a potential review. At the last meeting the committee had considered a paper looking at emerging models post-austerity and had asked for more information regarding cooperative and commercial councils.

 

The committee welcomed the paper and discussed how they would want to proceed. There was common interest in looking at genuine leading practise at involving residents and stakeholders in redesigning services from the ground up, especially if this had resulted in generating new income. This might involve visiting such authorities to learn more.

 

It was agreed that this should be carried over as a potential area for the committee in the next municipal year.

 

27.

Feedback from Scrutiny Panels & Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 265 KB

Minutes:

The committee agreed that the agenda for the next meeting as set out in the report. With regards to the Lampton 360 agenda Cllr Chatt reported the following:

 

·         Cllr Todd had emailed him regarding reference to a meeting between Cllr Chatt and Lampton 360 on page 108 of the recent Cabinet papers. Cllr Chatt had in fact met with Lampton 360 on two occasions. This was to get to know the new Directors and to discuss his expectations of the relationship with scrutiny.

·         A scrutiny referral had been received from Mr Sebastian of Feltham asking whether the closure and reduction of service at Spacewaye was impacting on flytipping, and to ask whether the Council were considering changes to the future use of the Spacewaye site.


The committee agreed that the referral would be included within the scope of the Lampton 360 item for the next meeting.

 

Cllr Hearn also asked that detail be provided about how Hounslow Highways was planning to meet the saving that had been agreed for next year. This question was raised at a recent Area Forum.

 

Action: Ian Duke to approach commissioning team to follow up.

 

28.

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.

 

29.

Monitoring information - decisions taken under urgency arrangements

Minutes:

Cllr Chatt informed the committee that since publication of the papers for this meeting he had consented for a Single Member Decision (Early years 30 hours provision published on 16 March 2017) to be taken without five clear days’ notice in advance. This was in order to secure DfE capital funding to expand children’s centre provision in the borough, which may otherwise have been at risk

 

30.

Any other matters that the Chair considers urgent

Minutes:

No items raised.

 

31.

Date and Time of Next meeting - 15 May 2017, 7pm

Minutes:

The next meeting was scheduled for 15 May at 7pm. However the Chair reported a clash and advised that he would seek to move the date.

 

Subsequently the meeting was rearranged to take place on Wednesday 17 May 2017 at 7:00 pm.