Hounslow Council

Agenda and minutes

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

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Communications from members


Apologies were received from Cllrs Kamaljit Kaur and Mukesh Malhotra.


Vice Chair Cllr Mel Collins chaired the meeting in Cllr Kaur’s absence. He advised attendees that a questionnaire had been distributed about local pharmacy services, which he urged everyone to fill in. Grants were being cut and treatment for minor ailments was being withdrawn from pharmacies from 1 May 2017, so people needed to complete the survey to help ensure that the best service could be preserved. Cllr Collins was due to ask questions at the GLA in the near future and planned to ask a question about pharmacy services.


Groundwork London


In a last minute addition to the meeting, not featured in the agenda, Linda Bannerman of Groundwork Services explained the service’s work, summarised in the following handout:


Better Homes, Better Health

Every winter, people in Hounslow suffer from the adverse impact of cold weather. Hounslow Council are working in partnership with Groundwork London to help tackle these issues through the ‘Better Homes, Better Health’ service. 

A free home visit can be arranged with one of Groundwork London’s ‘Green Doctors’. This includes:

·         Free energy efficiency measures- Like low energy light bulbs, draught proofing, water saving devicesand a free "Stay Warm Pack"

·         Signposting to grants for things like loft insulation and boiler replacements,and help and support with claiming energy related benefits

·         Advice about simple ways residents can keep warm and save money on their bills, and Energy tariff or company switching advice.

·         Connections to other services – for example, the Priority Services Register; fire safety checks; the Handyperson Service.


Who is eligible for this service?

Anyone with vulnerability to the cold can apply, particularly: Residents over the age of 70, - Low income families with children under 5, - Residents with long-term health conditions, including residents with cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses.


How do I sign up?

·         by calling Groundwork London on 0300 365 3005, or by completing the online referral form at: https://www.hounslow.gov.uk/info/20000/housing/1259/better_homes_better_health




Minutes of the meetings of 19 October and 6 December 2016. pdf icon PDF 123 KB

6:30 – 6:40pm.

Additional documents:


6 December Item 22: Former co-optee John Beattie advised that he had stepped down in September 2016, whereas the minutes implied that he had stepped down immediately prior to the December meeting.


Both sets of minutes were otherwise confirmed as an accurate record and signed.


Matters Arising

6:40 – 6:45pm.


6 December, Item 24 The Come on Board Campaign: A member of the public advised that the Supreme Court had made a decision and bus companies were now expected to enforce priority for wheelchair users, provided the chair did not exceed a certain size. The gentleman had attended a meeting on transport issues where barristers had advised that there was a possibility of launching a legal campaign against the Mayor of London about the lack of step free access; the Mayor’s office had a legal duty to ensure equal access to stations. There was insufficient access in west London compared to the east and south-east, where the DLR was very well equipped and this had a very real impact on disabled residents of Hounslow. Head of Equalities Celia Golden advised that it was her understanding that the Equalities Act provided for equal access at a later date. Infrastructure costs varied and availability of step free access could therefore be deferred until 2019/20. Hounslow Council would not seek to challenge the Mayor on its own but would support any campaign for equal access.  


Taxicard and Dial-a-Ride Consultation pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Presented by Tony O’Connor and Joyce Mamode of London Councils.

6:45 – 7:05pm

Questions from the public 7:05 – 7:35pm.


Please see the presentation published as part of the supplementary agenda (agenda item 4)


The presentation was given by Joyce Mamode of Transport for London (TfL) and Tony O’Connor of London Councils. Mr O’Connor explained that London Councils was a cross borough organisation funded by all 33 London Boroughs which advised on a range of issues and managed many, including the Taxicard scheme. Ms Mamode advised that a review of social needs transport was underway and the idea of issuing a joint tender for taxis providing door-to-door services was being examined. Currently a number of different organisations were involved and a larger service would get better value for money. “Kerb-to kerb” service was defined as when the driver picked up and dropped off passengers but did not get out of the vehicle to offer assistance. “Door-to-door” meant that the driver would help people from the front door of their home into the cab and then out of the car and into their destination.


The Forum were told that currently 98% of taxi bookings were made by phone and while it was appreciated that many people didn’t have smartphones or just preferred to call, the service wanted to increase choice and so were asking users’ opinions. A separate contract for a street hailed service, which would have to be black cabs only, was being considered and views were being sought on the importance of assistance to and from the vehicle and to and from the service user’s door. Currently different rules applied, with Taxicard drivers being obliged to help people in and out of the car but not to or from their own door, whereas Dial-a-Ride helped passengers to and from their homes as well. TfL paid slightly more for that service. Reliability was good, achieving 96% of arrivals within 30 minutes of booked time (15 minutes in the case of advance bookings) although there were discrepancies in the standard of driver training, mainly regarding private hire rather than taxis. If, for example, a driver refused to carry an assistance dog then the customer should report it and the contract would be terminated.


There were 67,000 registered Taxicard members and 62,000 had been written to with 5,000 being emailed. So far 2,000 had responded by letter and 1,500 online with a month remaining to reply. In terms of market engagement it had been decided to invite potential contractors to talk about their ideas for innovation rather than simply send out specifications and asking applicants to conform to them. The tenders were to be issued in the summer of 2017. The current contracts ended in March 2018, although they could be extended. The new contracts should come into force in summer/autumn 2018.


In response to questions from attendees the officers advised that the service applied to Greater London only. Drivers were allowed to pick up from outside the area but would have to drive the part of the journey outside London in their own time, they were not allowed to charge it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


LIFE Project pdf icon PDF 635 KB

Presentation by Helena Stephenson, Hestia.

8:00 – 8:15pm.

Questions from the public 8:15 – 8:35pm.


Please see the presentation published as part of the supplementary agenda (agenda item 5)


The presentation was given by Carrie-Ann Singer and Helena Stephenson. Ms Singer advised that she managed the Supporting Independence Service, and outlined the service’s work, as presented in slides 1 to 3. Ms Stephenson stated that she worked for Hestia, which provided the Life Support service (see slides 4 to 11).


Forum members said that they had experienced difficulties contacting the services, leaving messages that were not returned. Ms Stephenson acknowledged that the service had undergone teething problems as it had been created from around 17 separate providers which had been merged. Not all data had been properly passed on to Hestia following the merger and documents had been deleted, staff had left without retaining information.She asked people who had problems to speak to her after the meeting, giving contact details so she could help. The service was a charity that had been in existence for some time, working across London to provide help including domestic violence services, anti-trafficking and mental health accommodation. Staff required no set formal qualifications as the service was very broad; people had experience in many areas but were not care workers, they were there to provide support. Some were social workers, some had personal experience of the issues that affected service users. Staff were recruited on the basis of the value they held.


Any Other Business

8:50 – 9:00pm.


A member raised a problem with children as young as 10 banging on doors of sheltered accommodation hard enough to cause damage, throwing things through residents’ windows and other anti-social behaviour. Youths also drank and took drugs in the communal stairways. The properties were council owned. The lady was advised to refer the matter to the Police Safer Neighbourhood Team.


Cllr Collins offered the Forum’s thanks to Satish Dhutt and Liz Mammatt of Healthwatch Hounslow, who regularly volunteered to provide catering at the DCF’s meetings, and also to volunteer Patricia Sale.


Cllr Collins asked attendees what matters they would like raised in future meetings. Suggestions were:

·         the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and any other organisations providing advice about benefits to be invited;

·         the Clinical Commissioning Group to discuss the integration of social services and health services as well as the provision of hospital transport.


Finally the acting Chair thanked Sarfraz Kherdin, who was possibly working with the DCF for the last time, for all his hard work.


Date of Next Meeting 7 June 2017 (TBC)

Future items for consideration


Urgent Business

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