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

22.

Apologies, Declarations of Interest or Any Other Communications from Members

Decision:

Apologies had been received from Councillors Peter Carey, Elizabeth Hughes and Khulique Malik.  Councillor Sam Hearn had sent apologies for lateness.

 

There were no declarations of interest.

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Councillors Peter Carey, Elizabeth Hughes and Khulique Malik.  Councillor Sam Hearn had sent apologies for lateness.

 

There were no declarations of interest.

23.

Minutes of Meeting Held on 8 February 2016 & Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 February 2016 were agreed as a true and accurate record, and were signed by the Chair.

 

Matters arising:

a)Item 20 – Garage Review

Councillor Collins noted that there had been no feedback on this.  The Chair agreed to write to Peter Matthew (Director, Housing) to request an update on the current status of the garage review.  Following receipt of the update, the Scrutiny Panel would decide on their next steps.

 

b) Item 20 - Adapted Properties

There had been no feedback on Councillor Collins’ request for the policy on adapted properties and their allocation to be made available to Committee members.  The Chair agreed to write to Peter Matthew to request the policy, and obtain further information about how properties for people with disabilities were allocated, and why able-bodied people were being allocated adapted properties.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 February 2016 were agreed as a true and accurate record, and were signed by the Chair.

 

Matters arising:

a)Item 20 – Garage Review

Councillor Collins noted that there had been no feedback on this.  The Chair agreed to write to Peter Matthew (Director, Housing) to request an update on the current status of the garage review.  Following receipt of the update, the Scrutiny Panel would decide on their next steps.

 

b) Item 20 - Adapted Properties

There had been no feedback on Councillor Collins’ request for the policy on adapted properties and their allocation to be made available to Committee members.  The Chair agreed to write to Peter Matthew to request the policy, and obtain further information about how properties for people with disabilities were allocated, and why able-bodied people were being allocated adapted properties.

24.

Serco parking contract update pdf icon PDF 79 KB

The Cover report is attached; the presentation referred to in the report will be published as a supplementary report prior to the meeting.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Members received the report and presentation from Councillor Foote and Aled Richards.  They noted that a Parking Steering Group had been set up to look at service delivery when the current contract ends.

Minutes:

Councillor Foote and Aled Richards led Members through their presentation (attached as a Supplementary Report to item 3 of the Agenda), highlighting the following points:

 

a)    This was a snapshot of the Serco Parking contract, which had been in force for 3 years.

b)    An outline of Service provision was given, which showed that Serco should be making suggestions on areas of improvement and innovation.

c)    This was a shared area of provision, with some areas provided by Serco, and some by the Council.

d)    This is a tri-borough contract with Brent and Ealing.  Strategic Partnership Board joint reviews of service took place every 3 months, not every 6 months as planned, due to the disappointing performance of Serco.

e)    Serco were not meeting the Enforcement KPI on PCN/hr, which was disappointing.  This impacts on Council revenue. 

f)     Implementation of Easi permit to process permit applications later this year should speed up processing time. Although permit applications were currently processed within 10 working days, this was not a contractual KPI.

g)    Members noted that this was the only parking contract held by Serco, and they were making a loss on it.

h)   Responses to PCN challenges were made, on average, within 5 working days.  In 2015 there had been 237 complaints, enquiries, FOI requests or concerns.  No complaints had been escalated to Stage 2, and there had been a month on month improvement.  Councillor Foote advised that this had been due in some part to the intervention of LBH staff to improve the standard of responses.

i)     The council had expected more innovative ideas from Serco.  Current council innovations included:

Ø  CCTV enforcement at yellow box junctions.  Members were advised that it was permissible to use CCTV to monitor yellow box junctions and bus lanes.  Signage had been improved at two junctions, and non-compliance was greatly reduced. 

Ø  Enforcement at nine School Keep Clear sites, with cameras at four of these.  Spikes in PCNs had led to compliance.  Councillor Foote reported that most Headteachers welcomed steps to enforce parking restrictions, for the safety of their pupils.  CCTV could be used, although it was expensive to move the cameras.  Occasionally, mobile cameras on cars were used.  School travel plans were useful, but it was very difficult to find long term solutions to parking near schools.  Councillor Foote had spoken to Aled Richards and Gerry McCarthy (Head of Environmental Protection, Regeneration, Economic Development and Environment) and would meet with a company who could provide portable CCTV cameras with face and number plate recognition, which could improve flexibility.  Mark Frost reminded Members that CCTV could only be used to enforce zig zag markings outside schools; however, Environment Protection Officers could be trained to issue parking tickets, providing the team had the capacity to do so.

Ø  Serco had been asked to increase the number of CEOs across the borough more than a year ago.  5 additional officers were due to be in place by the end of March 2016.

Ø  A rationalisation programme  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

CPZ Briefing and Discussions pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Decision:

Members received a briefing note from Mark Frost.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Hearn, Mark Frost agreed to look at the possibility of using the electoral register when undertaking CPZ consultation exercises.

Minutes:

Members received a briefing note from Mark Frost (attached to the Agenda pack at item 4), who explained that the document was in two parts: background and discussion.  The Chair invited questions to Mark Frost from Members.

 

Q: If residents do not respond to a CPZ consultation, are their views assumed to be against the CPZ? (Councillor Savin)

A: No, they would count as nil responses.  There is a process for CPZs which includes extensive consultation: petition (then to Area Forum), informal consultation (then to Area Forum), detailed design consultation (then to Area Forum), formal statutory consultation (then to Area Forum if objections have been received).

 

Q: How are the timing restrictions for CPZs decided upon? (Councillor Savin)

A: Mark Frost pointed to item 2.2 in the report regarding displacement of parking problems to adjoining streets.  He reminded Members that CPZs are set up in the interest of balance and fairness, both to residents and visitors who have legitimate reasons to be in that area.  He confirmed that there is often no need to have time restrictions throughout the day in a CPZ; if commuter parking is the issue, just one or two hours per day will give resolution.  Hours of operation were chosen to solve specific problems encountered by residents.  These can be reviewed.

 

Q: Have there been any instances of CPZs being removed once they have been put in place? (Councillor Collins)

A: This has never happened.  There was one case where the CPZ started with operational hours of 8am to 6pm, where the time frame was later reduced.  Councillor Foote noted that a review of Sunday parking would be discussed by the new Parking Steering Group.

 

Q: Why were the charges for permits in CPZs being increased? (Councillor Hearn)

A: Mark Frost reminded Members that charges for resident permits were rising by 20p per day, to £80pa, which was cheaper than neighbouring Boroughs. It was difficult to disaggregate costs, but the cost to set up a CPZ was in the region of £40K to £45K. Each CPZ then has to be maintained, with reviews when appropriate.  Traffic Orders have to be made, and permits issued.  A surplus of around £18K pa is realised from each CPZ, which is used to provide concessionary transport including blue badges and Freedom Passes.  Councillor Foote informed Members that parking income is around £7.5m, but concessionary transport costs around £9.3m.

Q: How is this information being publicised to residents? (Councillor Hearn)

A: Councillor Foote confirmed that he had spoken to Communications to ensure that this was done.

 

Q: Was it possible to use the electoral register when undertaking CPZ consultation exercises? (Councillor Hearn)

A: Mark Frost agreed to check if the register could be used for this purpose.  He also expressed a desire to use online surveys as part of the process.  Members noted that, on smaller consultations, Mark Frost’s team hand-delivered consultation letters.

 

Q: Why is there sometimes such a small take-up of resident permits in a CPZ? In  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Urgent Business

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

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

27.

Date of next meeting - 27 June 2016

The next scheduled meeting will take place on 27 June 2016 at 7pm in Committee Room 1, Civic Centre.

Decision:

The next scheduled meeting will take place on 27 June 2016 at 7pm in Committee Room 1, Civic Centre.

Minutes:

The next scheduled meeting will take place on 27 June 2016 at 7pm in Committee Room 1, Civic Centre.