Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Mike Smith, Email: mike.smith@hounslow.gov.uk, tel: 020 8583 2069 

Items
No. Item

66.

Apologies for Absence and Communications from members

Minutes:

Residents were welcomed to the meeting and apologies given by Cllr Kamaljit Kaur and Tim Spilsbury. In the Chair’s absence the meeting was chaired by Cllr Mel Collins.

67.

Minutes of the meeting held on 16 December 2015 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 December 2015 were agreed to be an accurate record and signed.

68.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Minute 64 – Any Other Business: Cllr Mel Collins said concerns had been raised at the last meeting regarding the condition of the dropped kerb and pavement near the Star Centre on Star Road. Nothing had been done since to address concerns and he wondered how many injuries and damaged wheelchairs were needed before the problem was taken seriously. In addition markings had faded badly in the car park, particularly around disabled spaces and people had received fixed penalty notices for parking over the lines as a result. He stated that SERCO should note the fading and rectify the matter rather than hand out tickets. Cllr Mukesh Malhotra agreed, adding that casework notes had been handed over to the new interim head of Legal Services and Hounslow Highways were also aware; he requested a response from them.

 

A representative of Flourish Hounslow advised that the service was to go live soon and invite 5,000 residents of the borough to partake in physical activities, paying close attention to people with disabilities.

 

69.

6.45pm to 7.00pm - Care Place - Tom Knight from Affinity Works and Heidi Shearn from LB Hounslow

7.00pm to 7.20 pm - Questions from the public

Minutes:

Heidi Shearn introduced Tom Knight and Caroline Cronin, Care Place Relationship Manager. She described Care Place as a Council directory of information and advice for health, housing, leisure and finance. An online site was being developed and hard copies of information would also be provided as not everybody was able to access and use computers. An example of the service to be provided was information needed to find out who would provide the support needed for someone to live at home safely and securely. Officers had been speaking to doctors with a view to placing Care Place in every GP surgery in the borough. The service was also working with Age UK to set up a kiosk where users could access a computer and/or print out information.

 

Mr Knight presented a slide show. He displayed the home page of the website, which he advised was still a work in progress, pointing out that it gave guidance on care homes and home care agencies, including whether they met the required standards. Other information included opening times for leisure facilities, whether transport was available and where from, etc. He advised that the site was supported through phone and email contacts; if people called to say something they needed was not on the site officers would look into adding it. Contrast and text size could be changed for the visually impaired and the site could be translated into over 50 languages, using Google Translate. The system wasn’t perfect but was understandable. 

 

Kevin, a representative of Flourish Hounslow, stated that he had looked at the site and raised concerns, for example he had typed in “learning disabilities Hounslow” and didn’t get Speak Out. He was concerned about the filter, which should bring up Hounslow agencies first if the word “Hounslow “ was typed in. Kevin also felt that too many private companies came up and said that activities listed must be known to be good quality with governance thoroughly checked for safeguarding purposes.

 

Mr Knight advised that he had typed in “disabilities Hounslow” and got Hounslow locations first – he stated that adding the postcode would be very helpful. He was aware that some organisations offering mobile services sometimes exaggerated their catchment area to get better coverage and this would be tightened up. The search rankings did not give preference to private companies over charities and public services. The entries that came up first were those with the most information, ie phone numbers, addresses, website etc. He requested feedback from users regarding the quality of the search engine. John Beattie said he had attended a meeting about using the site and had identified a couple of flaws and had particularly asked for plain language to be used and not professional jargon. George Foster felt there was a problem with “pop up” adverts and was also concerned with the language used; he felt very strongly that everything should be clearly understood by people with Year 9 reading standards. Ms Shearn said that officers were very  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.

70.

7.20 pm to 7.35 pm - Hounslow Highways - Martin Clack, Divisional Director pdf icon PDF 51 KB

7.35pm to 7.50pm - Questions from the public

Minutes:

Please see the presentation (agenda item 5).

 

Martin Clack, Divisional Director, Hounslow Highways (HH), presented the item. He advised that the HH offices were equipped with hearing loops in reception and were fully DDA compliant, with parking available. There were eight or nine lay assessors, all borough residents, who told HH teams of their findings about all aspects of the organisation’s work. Mr Clack asked anyone present interested in becoming a lay assessor to let him know.

 

Cllr Collins asked if there was inspection or monitoring of trees after work was done, as many people felt there had been “massacres” of plants, which looked awful. Mr Clack said that every tree was inspected every three years, some being pollarded – a practice of cutting them back to about a third of their size, while others were lightly pruned as necessary. If trees had to be culled then HH replaced them, but it was not always possible to plant in the same place.  Cllr Collins asked if LEDs were placed in trees and shrubs. Mr Clack advised that 15,000 such lights had been installed and most people agreed they had improved the borough, unfortunately  some had been placed in trees. 

 

Residents advised of damaged footpaths, potholes, and dangerously steep footpaths that could tip wheelchairs, forcing people into the road, at various locations. Mr Clack noted the complaints, advising that HH staff would inspect those paths they were responsible for, however sloping pathways were not necessarily something they could address and any estates were the responsibility of Hounslow Homes.  A resident asked if the criteria for pavement repair took wheelchair users into account, as what could be adequate for most could be a real hazard for wheelchairs. Mr Clack advised that officers had used borrowed wheelchairs to make assessments but he appealed to the community to provide feedback of their own experience, repeating the invitation to become lay assessors.

 

Residents asked about steep driveway crossings, utility covers, pavement parking and tree roots protruding through pavements. Mr Clack said nothing could be done about older crossings but all new ones were done in asphalt and steep slopes were avoided.  Covers were the responsibility of the utility companies although HH inspected them, reported faults and levied fixed penalty notices if they were not addressed. He agreed that pavement parking was an issue but a very complex one, not easily addressed. He asked people to report dangerously uneven pavements caused by tree roots as they would be smoothed over with asphalt. Trees were only removed if dead, diseased or dangerous.

 

Pat Azille of Speak Out referred to rising bollards in the Great West Quarter, a major obstruction caused to wheelchair users by pavement parking in Hounslow Bus Garage, and the absence of a 235 bus service, causing people to go a long way out of their way to catch the 65. Mr Clack advised that TfL had withdrawn the 235 without consultation and the Leader of the Council was talking to them about that and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.

71.

8.05pm to 8.35pm - Model of co-optee representation

Minutes:

Workshops were conducted and written submissions handed in.

72.

8.35pm to 8.50pm - Open Forum

Please limit questions to general issues as personal issues cannot be discussed in open debate.

Minutes:

There was no Open Forum as the meeting was running late, due to the number of questions raised with Hounslow Highways.

73.

Date of Next Meeting - 6 July 2016

Future items for consideration

74.

Urgent Business

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