Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Open Area, Lampton Park Conference Centre, (Civic Centre), Lampton Road, Hounslow

Contact: Katrina Bell Email: katrina.bell@hounslow.gov.uk 020 8583 2072 

Items
No. Item

10.

Apologies for Absence and Communications from members

Minutes:

Apologies for Absence had been received from Atifa Ali-Khan and Councillor Mukesh Malhotra. Councillor Shantanu Rajawat and Walter Benn had sent their apologies for lateness, whilst Councillor Ajmer Grewal had sent her apologies for leaving early.

11.

Minutes of the meeting of 8 July 2014 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8th July 2014 were agreed to be accurate.

12.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Minute Item Four – Campaign to Improve Patient Transport

 

Councillor Mel Collins explained that the patient transport conference had taken place on 6th October 2014, and that he had attended. A five point charter had been developed, and there was a proposal to add an extra point to the charter. The meeting had highlighted the difficulties of patient transport.

 

Councillor Collins also explained that three members from Hounslow were required for a regional disability forum for transport.

 

Minute Item Five – Hounslow’s Disability Needs and Future Advice Service Provision

Kevin Sarwarpolley said that local disability charities were unable to bid for Council contracts owing to procurement rules which required charities to hold significant balances. He explained that even as a consortium, local charities had failed to meet the Council’s criteria. He felt that the rules would have a devastating impact on charities in Hounslow, and said that he would be writing to the Leader, Councillor Curran, about the matter. John Sears said that he agreed with the comments Mr Sarwarpolley had made. The Chair said that she would pass Mr Sarwarpolley’s concerns onto the Lead Member.

 

The Clerk referred to the first action point in minute five, and explained that the sixteen services currently commissioned by the Community Partnerships Unit were:

1.    The Voluntary Sector Capacity Building Service – provided by Ealing Council for Voluntary Services (CVS)

2.    Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Advice – Provided by Hounslow Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)

3.    Disability Advice – Provided by Hounslow CAB

4.    Legal Advice – Provided by Hounslow CAB

5.    General Advice – Provided by Hounslow CAB

6.    Domestic Violence Advice – Provided by EACH Counselling

7.    Art and Civic Pride – Provided by Watermans

8.    Art and Civic Pride (Community Based Arts) – Provided by Feltham Arts

9.    Community Transport and Shopmobility – Provided by Hounslow Community Transport

10. Hounslow Multi-Cultural Centre

11.Supporting Young People – Provided by Watermans

12.Supporting Young People – Provided by Brentford FC Community Sports Trust

13.Supporting Young People – Hounslow Action For Youth Association, Hanworth

14.Supporting Young People – Hounslow Toy Library

15.Volunteering Support – Provided by Hounslow Volunteer Centre

16.Hate Crime Advice Service – Provided by Ealing CVS

 

He referred to the second action point and told members that there was no Personal Independence Payment (PIP) support service provided by the Department of Work and Pensions in Hounslow. The DWP could be contacted by phone for support. Referring to the third action point, he explained that the Hounslow Citizen’s Advice Bureau would provide advice on benefit changes.

 

13.

Living Streets

Minutes:

Hannah Gibbs, London Development Manager for Living Streets, explained that Living Streets was a national charity promoting the rights of pedestrians.

She explained that the charity’s walk to school campaign engaged thirteen million people, and that they tried to work with community groups to improve streets. They were also a lobbying organisation at both local and national government levels.

 

Hannah said that, in Living Streets’ view, good streets were ones which: worked for their users, whatever mode they used; were places in their own right; allowed pedestrians to feel safe, and had sufficient space and crossing facilities for them; were clean; were well lit; and had sufficient benches and public toilets.

 

Hannah explained that work had been done in London in 2013, and this project had established six principles for Local Government to apply to high streets. These were:

1.    Safe – High streets needed 20mph speed limits, and needed to be people friendly.

2.    Well signposted – Routes to major destinations, and to high streets themselves, needed to be signposted.

3.    Crossable – Pedestrians needed sufficient time to cross streets. Living Streets were running a campaign called Give us Time to Cross, calling for three more seconds to cross roads.

4.    Inviting – High Streets needed to be nice places to visit.

5.    Smart – Deliveries and collections needed managing to reduce their impact on high streets.

6.    Mixed – A broad offer was needed to attract residents.

 

Councillor Rajawat entered the meeting at this point, and apologised for arriving late.

 

Hannah noted that there was a good deal of concern amongst disabled people about shared space. She said that in her view if people felt vulnerable, then streets were not good enough. Repeated evaluations of the Exhibition Road scheme had shown it to be safer than it had been, but she noted the reports had not accounted for people’s feelings, and the possibility that vulnerable people were staying away from the street. She felt that shared streets might get better as more were installed, as people would get used to navigating them safely. She felt that it was important to involve local residents in street schemes, especially at the detailed design stage. She gave an example of a street scheme in Cheapside, in the City of London, where taxi ranks had been installed at the same level as the pavements, so that when they weren’t being used the pavement was wider, but this had stopped the taxi ramps from working properly.

 

Hannah explained that Living Streets produced guidance on how to design good streets, and these were available on their website. Living Streets was also happy to support residents in trying to change things in their local areas.

 

Councillor Bath asked if Hannah had done any work in Hounslow. She said that she hadn’t.

 

Israr Yagub said that the road works in her street seemed to be constant. Hannah Gibbs said that London’s road works were not properly co-ordinated. Councillor Collins said that the reason for so many  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Hounslow Town Centre design and development proposals - Response to feedback from DCF members

Minutes:

Carlos da Rocha, Principal Engineer, Project Centre Ltd., explained that residents concerns regarding Bell Corner, raised under the Living Streets item, had previously been raised with the project managers, however, he agreed to raise them again. He noted, however, that phase one, which included Bell Corner, was out of his area of control.

 

Carlos thanked members for their helpful comments at the site visit. He said that in response to their concerns, a pedestrian crossing, with traffic lights would be installed at Douglas Road. The carriageway would be raised at the crossing to make it easier to cross. Street clutter would also be reduced, including the removal of most pedestrian guard rails, although he thought that some might have to remain. Different paving slabs would be used to try to make pavements flatter, and drainage channels would be at the same level as the pavement, so that things couldn’t get trapped in them. Loading bays would also be raised to the same height as the pavement. The height of the kerb would be reduced, and a chamfered edge would be used, so that wheelchairs could get over kerbs. Residents had also told him that the seats were too low, and so new higher seats would be installed, and these would be more evenly spaced along the High Street.

 

Councillor Ajmer Grewal left at this point in the meeting.

 

Councillor Lily Bath thanked Carlos for his presentation and said that it was good to see officers responding to residents’ concerns.

 

Sharon Birch, explained that there was no street lighting on Westmacott Drive, near to the Sandbanks Resource Centre. This made it hard to cross the road. Carlos agreed to raise this with the traffic and transport team. Sharon was also concerned that there were too many traffic lights in Feltham high street. David Baker raised concerns about the junction of New Road and Hounslow Road in Feltham. He felt that the junction needed a pedestrian crossing. Carlos explained that the Council was bidding for money to improve the whole Feltham area. Celia suggested that if a bid to improve Feltham was successful, a site visit for disabled people should be introduced.

 

Colin Gourley said that guardrails had been removed in Brentford, but that they were needed to keep pedestrians safe. Councillor Mel Collins suggested that Colin ask Rachel Victor-Sampson, the new Town Centre Manager for Brentford and Chiswick.

 

Ben Penton said that there were holes in the pavement in Hounslow. Penny Ledger said that this was outside the Star Centre, and had been caused by lorries parking on the pavement.

 

Punam Sharma asked whether loading bays would have signs on the pavements. Carlos explained that there would be signs at the start of the high street, and floor markings around the bays themselves.

 

John Sears explained that there was great concern about Bell Road and asked who could fix the problems members had raised. Carlos explained that Mark Frost was the best contact. His team could be contacted on transportplanning@hounslow.gov.uk.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Update on Keep Safe Scheme

Minutes:

Sergeant Ehab Al-Hashimi explained that the Keep Safe Scheme was being extended. The scheme got businesses to provide a safe place for people who needed it, and they would then phone people’s emergency contacts to help them. Keep Safe would soon be open to all disabled people, not just those with learning disabilities, and would also cover all of London, not just Hounslow. The Chair thanked Ehab for his update.

16.

Needs of disabled residents for Sports and Physical Activity in Hounslow

Minutes:

Marianne Boyle said that disabled people were a priority for Hounslow. The Physical Activity and Sport Strategy 2012-2022 made this clear. The reason for disabled people being a priority group was that only 20% took part in physical activity, compared to 39% of people without disabilities.

 

Hounslow Council had appointed consultants to look at how to meet the borough’s needs, and some members may already have spoken to them at the vision strategy event. So far the consultants had found that there were many barriers to disabled people doing physical activity. These included:

-       physical barriers at leisure centres

-       a lack of appropriate gym equipment/hoists

-       a lack of public toilets

-       poor information being given to residents

-       the high cost of some activities

-       insufficient variety of activities

-       a lack of support for those facing psychological barriers.

She said that the consultants work would be used to decide what changes would be made in Hounslow. It was important that disabled people gave their views.

 

Domenico Pasquariello said that he had spoken to the contractors. He explained that people who rarely left their homes needed to be encouraged to take part in sport. He said that the only way to do this was to deliver leaflets to their homes. Marianne agreed that more promotion of sport for disabled people needed to take place.

 

IsrarYagub said that she was a 2000 Club Sports Event Organiser, and asked why there was not more support for volunteers. Marianne said that she agreed that more support for volunteers was needed, and explained that plans for this were being developed.

 

AsifHanif said that more people of all ages needed to be engaged in sport. Marianne said that the strategy included people‘s entire lives, from 0-5 year olds to those over 85 years. She also said that the borough wanted to help older people be more mobile and fitter. 

 

Punam Sharma asked how people could be encouraged to leave their homes if they had phobias or anxieties. Marianne explained that a buddy scheme might be set up to help people to take part in sports. The Council was working with Fusion, who ran Hounslow’s leisure centres, to encourage people to get active.

 

Colin Gourley explained that those with visual impairments could be very active. He was partially sighted and took part in archery and bowls, and was hoping to start rifle shooting. He felt that instructors developed when teaching disabled people skills, as they had to think more about how they were teaching. Marianne agreed that people learned how to teach better when they were challenged, and explained that leisure centre staff would be receiving extra training on how to help disabled people to use the facilities available.

 

Colin said that there was no hydrotherapy pool in Hounslow, and that residents had to travel to Teddington to use a pool. He hoped that one could be included when Brentford Fountains Leisure Centre was refurbished. He said that privacy was important for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Open Forum

Minutes:

Penny Ledger explained that there were 46 people in Hounslow who were given money under the Independent Living Fund. The money was soon to be paid to the Council, rather than directly, and she asked how the Council would distribute it to those who needed it. She noted that many of those receiving the Independent Living Fund often employed staff, and so needed security urgently. The Chair agreed to speak to Penny about the matter after the meeting.

 

Phil Southward said that the Council were proposing to build a large number of homes. He asked how many disabled properties would be built. The Chair asked that someone come to speak to the DCF about the issue.

 

Asif Hanif asked whether the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) could be invited to a future meeting to talk about Personal Independence Payments as they were very slow to respond. Celia Golden said that Colin Morris from the DWP had attended a previous meeting, and that the next agenda was quite full. She would, however, see if representatives of the DWP were available for a future meeting. Kevin Sarwarpolley said that Flourish and Disability Network Hounslow would be happy to facilitate a separate question and answer question with the DWP. Asif also asked for the police to attend to talk about hate crime. Celia explained that the police could be asked to attend in March.

 

Kevin said that he felt third sector representatives being moved from the top table didn’t display the collaborative working the Council and voluntary organisations sought. Celia explained that at the last meeting members had said that the top table was too large, and so co-opted voluntary sector representatives had been asked to sit at the front of the audience. Punam Sharma agreed that it was better with a smaller top table. Sharon Birch said that she thought it would be better if there wasn’t a top table. The Chair said that she felt that people ought to go away and think about the problem, and tell Celia what they thought.

 

Puman said that she and Jaspal were acting in plays about hate crime. She invited members to come and see them.

 

Sheila Dodd said that Dial a Ride would be closing down in 2017. The Chair said that Celia would look into this.

 

George Foster said that he had been to Docklands to see an exhibition about disabled access to London’s Transport. He thought that a similar exhibition should be run in Hounslow to let more people see it.

 

Councillor Collins said that he had attended a conference on patient transport, and had brought three copies of the report given to that conference with him for organisations to use in their discussions with the NHS. He asked people to encourage organisations to sign up to the charter within the report.

 

The Chair explained that Katrina Bell, who had been the clerk to the DCF since October 2013, had changed roles, and was now working on implementing the Care  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.