Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Music Room, Spring Grove House, West Thames College, London Road, Isleworth TW7 4HS

Contact: Kay Duffy on 020 8583 2067, email  kay.duffy@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

41.

Apologies for Absence, Declarations of Interest and any other Communications from Members

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Carey and Jessica Bass (Co-optee). Apologies were also received for lateness from Councillors Cadbury and Dennison who were attending other Council meetings this evening.

 

Councillor Reid declared having received correspondence on Jersey Gardens and Brunel University.

42.

Policing Update from Inspector John Partington pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Minutes:

See report from the Sector Inspector, Agenda Item 4.

 

Sgt. Pete Donelan represented Insp. Partington at the meeting and, in response to questions, stated the following:

·        In relation to the consultation on the possible redeployment of Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT) staff, police stations had been sent an email today referring to a proposal to retain all SNTs.

·        A new town centre team would be established at Brentford, which would incorporate West Middlesex Hospital.

·        Sgt. Donelan was aware of reports of a council tax scam, where individuals were told that they were due a rebate and asked to supply their bank details. He advised members and residents to contact their local SNT. Members highlighted the “No Cold Caller” and “Ringmaster” initiatives, which residents could sign up to.  Residents were also advised to use the non-emergency number for the Police (0300 123 1212) to report such matters. Those using this number would have their details taken and the report would be directed to the relevant SNT for investigation.

·        In response to a query from Dominic West about plans for a meeting of all four SNTs servicing the St John’s Road area, Sgt. Donelan agreed to follow up and feed back to residents through the SNT network. In addition he would follow up on the resident’s query in relation to the deployment of SNT officers to Central London duties in recent months, when residents had previously been assured that SNT officers would not normally be redeployed out of their areas.

·        In response to a query on whether SNT officers had access to CCTV footage, Sgt. Donelan confirmed that officers could make an appointment to view CCTV recordings. Live camera footage was also available to view by control room staff.

43.

Sustainable Community Strategy - Chris Bates (Corporate Policy) pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See report from the Assistant Director for Corporate Policy, Performance and Communications Unit (CPPCU), Agenda Item 2.

 

Chris Bates, Assistant Director, introduced the report and confirmed that he was representing the Local Strategic Partnership “Hounslow Together” at this meeting. He acknowledged that the vision document was ambitious and that the Partnership had “set the bar high” for the borough, with different emphasis for different areas within it.

 

Members of the Area Committee and attending public commented on the vision document and related consultation questionnaire as follows:

·        Problems had been experienced when attempting to submit completed questionnaires online, leading to frustration.  

·        There was also frustration at the lack of explanation for each question and the over simplification of the questions in the consultation. More contextual information was required to provide meaningful responses to questions within the consultation.

·        No space had been provided in the questionnaire for more creative thought on the vision for the borough.

·        Members were disappointed to see that Isleworth had been omitted from the document, suggesting that the area was equally valid as a cultural centre and provider of green space as other areas in the borough.

·        More detail was sought on the aspiration to open up access to the river in Brentford, which it was said could provide a green transport link to central London.

·        Members requested that the document include more on sustainability and, as part of this, use of the borough’s rivers and canals.

·        Brentford’s role as a ‘transition town’ should be included in the strategy document.

·        The document currently contained little vision on how best to exploit the culture and tourism resources in the borough, particularly looking at its proximity to both Heathrow Airport and the centre of London.

·        Members commented that the distribution of the hard copy consultation documents had been patchy.

·        Nowhere on the document did it specifically say that this was a draft document, which could cause confusion for some respondents.

 

Mr Bates assured members that more detail would be contained within the draft strategy document. He offered to take the comments on the distribution of the consultation documents and the issues in relation to the online questionnaire back to his team for further investigation. In response to a question on the reasons for producing the document in colour, Mr Bates stated that the print run had been costed at approximately £0.11 per household, which he believed represented a good investment.

 

Mr Bates confirmed that the Local Strategic Partnership had unanimously signed off the vision at their November 2010 meeting. Despite the current financial climate it was acknowledged that this was a long-term vision and the various partners within the LSP were committed to working together on it.  In response to Councillor Harmer’s question on the input received from the private sector, Mr Bates accepted that West London Business had found it difficult to resource attendance at LSP meetings but that Councillor Cadbury was acutely aware of this and had proposed hosting a business breakfast to encourage an improved  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.

44.

Section 106 - Notting Hill Housing Trust Townfield Way allocation - Julia Worboys (Planning Policy) pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See report from the Director of Environment, Agenda Item 3.

 

Julia Worboys, Planning Policy, and Mr John Barry, Notting Hill Housing, introduced the submitted report.

 

From the public gallery Ms Christine Diwell raised the point that under S106 Scheme 307 £10,650 had been agreed by this Area Committee in March 2008 towards St John’s Gardens to benefit amenity use including children’s play area (safety surface) upgrade of play equipment and that a further £100,000 was allocated to St John’s Gardens from Scheme 359 in November 2009 for the implementation of a management plan for the site, which was now in place. She asked that these funds now be released, as a further £37,500 grant had been awarded from the London Marathon Trust towards the refurbishment of the children’s play area.

 

The Chair asked for members’ agreement to delegate power to him to use Chair’s Action to release the funds, subject to the submission of the costed proposals within the management plan for the site.

 

Resolved:

1.      That members note the contents of the report and appendices one and two.

2.      That members consider the proposed upgrade works to the Townfield Way Play Facility and, agree to the allocation of £54,327 of S106 funding available from scheme 359 for the identified works.

3.      That S106 funding allocated to St John’s Gardens under schemes 307 and 359 (as detailed above) be released using Chair’s Action, subject to the submission of the costed proposals for the refurbishment of the children’s play area in the management plan for the site.

45.

Jersey Gardens - verbal update on the site pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Minutes:

UttamGujral referred members to the update paper circulated at tonight’s meeting (see attached, Agenda Item 6), which stated that colleagues from Leisure & Cultural Services were due to meet with members of Friends of Jersey Gardens on January 26th to discuss the Heritage Lottery Fund bid.  Further updates on the matter would be available once this meeting had taken place. 

 

Councillor Reid asked that the matter be progressed as a priority.

46.

Brunel University Site Athletics Facility - verbal update

Minutes:

UttamGujral referred members to the update paper circulated to the at tonight’s meeting (see attached, Agenda Item 6), and confirmed that the handover of the facilities at Brunel’s Osterley campus to the Authority had been completed today, 20th January 2011.

 

Councillor Harmer offered to look into the possibility of organizing a tour of the facilities for those who were interested in attending (members and public). Councillor Collins noted concern at the lack of detail in the updates for both this and the Jersey Gardens site.  He suggested that there was a lot of exciting work still to be done at Brunel, which was a huge asset of which the borough could be justly proud.  Councillor Mayne mirrored Councillor Collins’ concerns, highlighting the fact that newly elected members may not be aware of the background to what was obviously a long-running issue.

 

Councillor Harmer therefore asked Mrs Gujral to communicate back to the relevant officers and invite them to attend the next Monitoring meeting to provide a more detailed update on both sites.

47.

Open Forum

An opportunity for members of the public to address the meeting on general issues relating to the meeting agenda. Please note that individual cases cannot be discussed.

Minutes:

S106 allocations:

Ms Diwell noted concern at the considerable quantities of S106 funding allocated to projects in the Isleworth area by this Area Committee, none of which had been spent or implemented. She commented that the environmental report was supposed to have been taken to the December Monitoring meeting but had been deferred to the March 2011 meeting.

 

The Chair pointed out that it was the responsibility of the ward councillors to follow up on allocated S106 funds for their respective wards. He asked that a cohesive report be presented to the Area Committee detailing all S106 monies so that members could see why certain funds had not been spent. In addition to this he asked that an update report be brought to the March meeting in relation to the priority list members had agreed for work on the A4. Councillor Mayne fully endorsed the call for a report to Area Committee, suggesting that this was a more satisfactory method of monitoring matters and publicising progress on the Council’s website than receiving updates by email from officers.

 

Ms Diwell reminded members that she had asked at a previous meeting whether the S106 database could be made available on the public website, stating that members of the public did not currently have access to the detailed information available to councillors.

 

The Chair reminded members that a stocktake of the S106 funds was being carried out again in the summer and that a report would be forthcoming. Members asked that Planning Policy officers be asked to remain at the meeting until the Open Forum section was completed in future so that they could respond to any questions from the public gallery.

 

In preparation for the March 24th Monitoring meeting members were asked to ensure they submitted their questions in good time so that officers could respond at the meeting. 

 

Mr Dominic West referred to the report taken annually to Area Committee on highways and footways. He noted that a lot of work was carried out on local roads last year and asked for an update on capital spend on highways at the next Monitoring meeting. The Clerk agreed to request this on members’ behalf.

48.

Minutes of the meeting held on 2 December 2010 & Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 2 December 2010 were agreed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.

 

Matters Arising:

 

Minute 32: A4 Pedestrian Surveys Update:

The Chair requested an update at the March Monitoring meeting on the priority list members had suggested.

 

Councillor Reid also requested an update at the March Monitoring meeting on her suggestion to look at the feasibility and cost of a new pedestrian crossing on the A4 near Ridgeway Road because of the current habit of students to 'drift' across the carriageway on the way to and from Isleworth & Syon School.

 

Councillor O'Reilly stated that, during discussion on this item, she had asked for the slip road off the eastbound A4 carriageway into Thornbury Road to be lengthened. She asked that the feasibility of this request be investigated by officers and an update taken to the March meeting. 

 

Minute 35: Dog Control Orders:

The Chair noted that he had been heavily lobbied by “London Woof” on the maximum number of dogs dog walkers could take out at one time. He canvassed members’ views on the matter.

49.

Meeting adjournment

Minutes:

8.50pm - Members agreed the Chair’s request for a 10 minute adjournment to allow time for Councillor Cadbury (en route from another meeting) to join the meeting to present the Council Budget 2011/12 item.

50.

Budget Presentation - Council Budget 2011/12

Minutes:

Following the adjournment Councillor Ruth Cadbury, Deputy Leader of the Council, took members through a slide presentation on the Authority’s budget proposals for 2011/12.

 

On the possibility of local library closures in the borough Councillor Reid advocated for Osterley Library as the only Council run facility in that ward and one which was very easily accessible and popular with local residents.  Barbara Lawrence suggested that if we couldn’t afford to run them, we couldn’t call ourselves a society.

 

From the public gallery, Mr David Pavett stated that the cuts were a legacy of this Government and were not without pain. He asked what the point was of including questions in the consultation such as whether people strongly agreed or disagreed on the use of energy at the Civic Centre or the disappearance of a 0.6 teaching post, suggesting that residents had no basis on which they could usefully help answer these questions.

 

Councillor Cadbury acknowledged that the problem with the consultation document was that it had to ask questions on a number of issues whilst using the same standard choice of answers. She informed the meeting that the analysis of the consultation would focus on the questions to which the majority of people responded and on those issues which elicited strong views. To date responses had shown that people strongly disagreed on some issues and not on others.

 

Cllr Cadbury informed the meeting that the current administration had never imagined it would be responsible for closing facilities when unable to provide an alternative service. On the matter of library closures she and colleagues had asked for more time to investigate ways of saving without having to cut services. She stated, however, that if a decision were to be made to close libraries, they would have to close from the beginning of the financial year on April 1st.  However, if given more time the Authority could look into ways of using the libraries and expanding their services. Statistics showed that to the east of the borough libraries were used primarily for book loans whereas to the west of the borough they were utilised more by children studying and doing homework.

 

Mr David Pavett suggested looking at the feasibility of social enterprise as a way of keeping libraries open. Councillor Cadbury agreed that the options were there such as training Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) officers or using volunteer librarians. Councillor Harmer informed the meeting that councillors had the opportunity to tour the new student facilities at West Thames College before tonight’s meeting, which included a beautiful library spread over 3 floors. This library was open this evening but was virtually empty, as was the in-house theatre and sports hall. He pointed to the need to break down the barriers and allow these excellent services to be fully utilised.

 

Councillor Mayne suggested that these were exciting times for community venues. Isleworth Public Hall was a community venue built by public subscription and was currently managed by the Authority on behalf of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Urgent Business

Any other business which the Chair considers is urgent

Minutes:

Members requested an update on S106 Leisure funding from Hamish Pringle, Head of Leisure & Cultural Services to the March Monitoring meeting. Members were again requested to submit any questions they might have specifically on this area in advance so that responses could be provided by the officer in March.

52.

Date of next scheduled meeting

24th March 2011 at Brentford Free Church, Boston Manor Road.

Minutes:

Members noted that the next meeting would be held back at their usual venue at Brentford Free Church.

 

On behalf of members and those attending tonight’s meeting, the Chair wished to record his thanks to the staff at West Thames College for hosting the meeting and providing a tour of the new college facilities.