Hounslow Council


Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Irene Bowles, Email: irene.bowles@hounslow.gov.uk, 020 8583 2075 

Items
No. Item

25.

Apologies, Declarations of Interest or Any Other Communications from Members

Decision:

Apologies were received from Councillor Howe and Councillor Mann, Lead Member for Environment.

 

 

Councillor Chatt was also present at the meeting.

 

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Howe and Councillor Mann (Lead Member for Environment).

 

 

Councillor Candice Atterton welcomed Members to the meeting.

26.

Minutes of Meeting Held on 16 March 2015 & Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 March 2015 were agreed.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 March 2016 were agreed subject to the following amendments:

 

Page 1: Members Present:

 

Councillor Chatt advised that he was present at the last meeting.

 

 

Minute 20, page 3, paragraph 19, sentence 1: Mogden Sewage Treatment Works

 

Replace ‘Councillor Hearn asked if quarterly meetings with Thames Water were held’ with ‘Councillor Hearn asked if quarterly meetings with Thames Water were still held’.

 

 

 

Matters Arising from the meeting:

 

Page 1, Item 19: Councillor Carey reported that he still had not received any data on spillages of recycling materials in his ward. He advised that Sarah Raynor had agreed to collate the data but it had not yet been received.

 

Page 4, Item 21, paragraph 1: Councillor Carey stated that the panel had not received a response from Councillor Foote in relation to the return of fines imposed in Chiswick House Car Park. He felt it was important to chase up a response on the issue.

 

Page 5, Item 21, paragraph 3: Councillor Carey had expressed concerns at the previous meeting with regard to the deplorable reliability record of the pay and display machines, which he felt needed to be improved. He questioned whether there had been any further updates or responses in relation to the quality of the machines. 

 

Page 7, Item 22, Paragraph 3: Councillor Collins stated that he had not received any further clarification on the Council’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 2020. Ben Osifo, Scrutiny Officer, advised that a response had been received from Ajit Bansal, Principal Environmental Strategy Officer, and that he would be circulating hard copies of the response to all panel members at the meeting.

 

Page 7, Item 22, Paragraph 4:  Councillor Collins advised that the response to his question on the Council policy on retrofit properties had not been circulated to all Members. He felt it was important that a response was sought from Rob Gibson, Head of Environmental Strategy. This was also contained in the response received from Ajit Bansal which would be circulated by Ben Osifo.

 

Page 7, Item 22, paragraph 8: Councillor Chatt asked Ben Osifo to ensure that the response to the questions on the policy on retrofit properties was circulated to Housing and Environment Scrutiny Panel Members and also the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Members.

27.

Appointment of Panel Vice Chair pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Decision:

The Chair nominated Councillor Khulique Malik and this was seconded by Councillor Carey and unanimously agreed.

 

Resolved:

 

That Councillor Khulique Malik be appointed as Vice Chair

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair nominated Councillor Khulique Malik and this was seconded by Councillor Carey and unanimously agreed.

 

Resolved:

 

That Councillor Khulique Malik be appointed as Vice Chair.

 

 

 

28.

2015-2016 Panel Work Programme Planning - Workshop

Decision:

Actions Arising from the discussion with Aled Richards:

 

·        Aled Richards to bring a report back to the panel on Hounslow Highways performance in relation to areas such as street lighting, road resurfacing

·        Scrutiny Office to check with Sales Force and Members Services how many complaints have been received by Members in relation to Hounslow Highways

·        Aled Richards to bring a report on CCTV for enforcement and using CCTV for a co-ordinated approach across services back to the panel

·        Hounslow Highways to provide a statement about LED lighting and planned works for lighting across the Borough

 

 

Actions Arising from the discussion with Councillor Dunne and Peter Mathew

 

·       Peter Mathew to report back in November about the consultation with staff regarding the staff restructure and to report back on the staff transition from Hounslow Homes to Hounslow Housing

·       Peter Mathew to report back on the Cabinet Away Day that would discuss the plans to move away from using B&Bs as temporary accommodation.

·       Members requested data on the number of Domestic Violence Victims currently taking up much needed bed space in refuges whilst they were waiting to be allocated Housing.

·       Members requested details on the average wait times for Domestic Violence Victims.

·       Data was requested to outline how many people were waiting for Housing and how many people were waiting on each Housing band/category

·       Members requested the latest figures outlining the number of vacant properties that had been brought back into use

·       Members felt a quality review of the Bed & Breakfasts being used for temporary accommodation by the Council needed to be carried out. It was felt that some B&Bs were providing substandard accommodation and a review of the standards needed to be carried out

·       Members requested figures outlining how many families were currently living in temporary accommodation waiting to be allocated a property.

·       Peter Mathew to provide details of how many members of staff had resigned from the DLO and what skills they took with them

 

 

Other Areas of work

 

·        Garages Review

·        Parks Cleansing

·        Libraries

·        Thames water to come to September panel meeting to discuss issues in relation to Mogden

·        Waste/Recycle Plan for the Borough

 

 

Task and Finish Group – Domestic Violence

 

·        Councillor Hughes requested domestic violence figures as she felt strongly that they had an impact on Housing. It was suggested that domestic violence would also have an impact on the breakup of families resulting in children becoming Looked After Children thus impacting on the Local Authority.

·        Figures were requested in relation to how many people were being housed in temporary accommodation because of domestic violence.

·        A task and finish group to be set up to look into the issue of domestic violence and the impact on housing and children’s services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

ENVIRONMENT:

 

The panel welcomed Aled Richards, Assistant Director, Community Safety, Environment & Regulatory Services.

 

Members raised the issue of Freedom Passes and Blue Badges for disabled car users. The Panel felt it would be useful to have a wider discussion as part of the work plan to investigate why so many people had been refused Freedom Passes. In response, Mr Richards advised that the policy in relation to the allocation of Freedom Passes had changed. In many cases, where Freedom passes had been refused, those applications had been revisited and most of the cases had since been resolved. Mr Richards felt it would be helpful for Melanie Gadd, Head of Supplier Performance, to attend a future scrutiny panel meeting to explain the impact of the changes to the policy for Freedom Passes.

 

Aled Richards advised that the Council was in the last year of the SITA, Waste and Recycling Services contract. The Council would need to make a decision about whether it would be beneficial to bring the service in-house or whether to outsource to a different provider. He advised that developing a service delivery model for the new service would be crucial.

 

In response to questions related to the Hounslow Highways contract, Members were advised that Hounslow Highways would be attending the Overview & Scrutiny meeting on 6 July 2015. The Panel felt that a discussion with Hounslow Highways would be useful. Members emphasised that the biggest problem with the Hounslow Highways contract was poor communication, both via email and over the telephone. Mr Richards agreed that communication with Hounslow Highways had not been good. Although there had been some recent improvements, he acknowledged that in general communication had been poor. He suggested that some work could be done with Bukky McGlynn, Head of Customer Service, to improve communications with Hounslow Highways.

 

Councillor Collins stated that a holding email was often received when queries were emailed through to Hounslow Highways. He advised that when he sent through more than one query the same automated response would be received and it became very confusing as the automated emails did not provide a reference number or acknowledge which road the query related to. He felt this was an important issue that needed to be rectified to stop confusion about whether Hounslow Highways had acknowledged the query or not.

 

Action: Ben Osifo, Scrutiny Officer, to investigate with Sales Force and Members Services how many complaints had been received by Members in relation to Hounslow Highways.

 

Action: Councillor Chatt invited Members to attend the OSC meeting on 6 July 2015 to raise their concerns with Hounslow Highways.

 

Aled Richards gave a brief update about services within the Environment department. The Keep Britain Tidy statistics had come through and it was noted that cleanliness in the Borough had improved. The Enforcement Service was increasing and more teams were enforcing regulations such as, planning, parking/traffic, littering and environment. 

 

Mr Richards advised that there would be a more commercial edge to many of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Urgent Business

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

Decision:

Dates of future meetings:

 

The date of the next meeting was agreed as 1st September 2015

 

Members agreed to move the meeting on 5th January 2016 to Tuesday 2nd February 2016.

 

 

Minutes:

Dates of future meetings:

 

The date of the next meeting was agreed 1st September 2015

 

Members agreed to move the meeting on 5th January 2016 to Tuesday 2nd February 2016.