Hounslow Council


Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies, Declarations of Interest or Any Other Communications from Members

Decision:

Apologies had been received from Councillor Collins for lateness.

 

There were no declarations of interest.

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Councillor Collins for lateness.

 

There were no declarations of interest.

2.

Minutes of Meeting Held on 30 June 2015 & Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Councillor Mir had sent apologies for the meeting, but these were not recorded.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 30 June 2015 were agreed as a true and accurate record, and were signed by the Chair.

 

There were no matters arising.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 30 June 2015 were agreed as a true and accurate record, and were signed by the Chair.

 

There were no matters arising.

3.

Domestic Violence pdf icon PDF 260 KB

Decision:

The Panel considered the contents of the report on domestic violence statistics relating to housing and looked after children (attached to item 3 of the Agenda).  They agreed that a Task and Finish Group should be set up to investigate further.

 

Resolved that:

A Task and Finish Group be set up to look at Domestic Violence and its impact on housing and looked after children.  Members of the Task and Finish Group should be drawn from all Scrutiny panels.  It was agreed that the Terms of Reference of the Group should be as wide as possible, to ensure that all ground could be covered.  Members noted that it was essential to include the Equalities Team, as they had access to data across all Departments.

Proposed by:             Councillor Carey

Seconded by:            Councillor Hughes

Carried unanimously.

Minutes:

(Councillor Mel Collins arrived)

 

Councillor Sue Sampson asked Members to consider her report (attached to item 3 of the Agenda).  She informed Members that an additional point (3.8) should be included in the report; this was a very recent addition to the work undertaken in respect of domestic violence.

 

Text for this was:

3.8. Authorisation to commission a domestic violence perpetrator programme was granted last week.

 

 

Councillor Sue Sampson invited questions from Members:

 

Q: It was noted that the number of domestic abuse cases as a cause of homelessness had doubled between 2010-11 and 2011-12 (as per table on page 13 of Agenda pack), and asked if there was a reason for this.  Ken Emerson advised Members that 2011-12 was the first year of the Government’s Welfare Reform implementation, when all categories of causes of homelessness had massively increased.

 

(Councillor Sam Hearn arrived)

 

Q: How many women had chosen to move back into their family home through a lack of alternative accommodation?  Members were advised that national statistics were not collected on this; however, if a Task and Finish Group was set up, the requirement to collect this information could be incorporated into a recommendation; the Group could drill down deeper into relevant factors.

 

Q: Was money made available to refuge providers?  Members were advised that, in 2013, providers were awarded a waiver to deliver the service, but no funds were provided to maintain buildings.

 

Q: There did not appear to be any mention of Hestia in the report: although they were based in Ealing, Councillor Elizabeth Hughes knew that they were assisting women from Hounslow. Permjit Chadha reported that Hestia did not provide any domestic violence services in Hounslow, but confirmed that the LA worked with The Ascent Project and the Southall Black Sisters among others. Hestia provide other services in Hounslow including a ‘Homeless Accommodation’ service among others.

 

Q: How much was spent in housing women affected by domestic violence, and did this provide value for money?  Permjit Chadha advised members that figures were in the tender document, which could be provided to them.

 

Q: Were women with no children who went into refuges getting any help?  Councillor Sampson informed members that she had spoken to the Director of Housing with a view to looking at what happens to people who flee their permanent housing accommodation – could they be given like-for-like accommodation in Hounslow?  Councillors acknowledged that there was a danger in creating a perception that domestic violence was a route to obtain housing; the housing allocations policy needed to reflect this.

 

Q: Was there any concern that poor quality accommodation in refuges was forcing people to abandon them?  Members were advised that, up to 2012, the processing of homelessness applications was slow; this was not now the case, so women were housed in refuges for a shorter period of time.

 

Q:  Were there any statistics to show the time taken to process applications?  This had been noted in casework by the refuges themselves, but  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Waste and recycling services update pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted:

Members noted the contents of the Cabinet report on the future of the waste and recycling service that was considered by Cabinet on 22 September 2015.

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Amrit Mann led Members through his report that had been considered by Cabinet on 22 September 2015 (attached at item 4 of the Agenda).  The review of the waste and recycling service had been driven by the need to reduce spending across the Council Budget, and the requirement to increase the level of recycling to 50% by 2019. 

 

A variety of options were considered and recommended to Cabinet, as in the table at 3.2.1 of the report (pages 25-29 of the Agenda pack).  Fully costed business plans would be taken to Cabinet in December 2015 for final decision.

 

Noted:

Members noted the contents of the Cabinet report on the future of the waste and recycling service that was considered by Cabinet on 22 September 2015.

 

Councillor Mann invited questions from Members:

 

Q: How would bringing the service in-House improve the ability to reduce fly tipping, etc?  The waste strategy would not be taken in isolation; enforcement was the responsibility of Hounslow Highways, but the teams would try to work together to improve the situation.  With the implementation of local neighbourhood teams – based on Area Forum boundaries -  there would be a more robust response, and more effective, empowered, enforcement.  There would be an overlap with Councillor Foote’s portfolio.  Aled Richards reminded Members that, since 2013, more than 1000 fines for littering had been given; with the restructuring of Neighbourhood teams there would be increased power to issue fines.

 

Q: How would the problem of household waste at the rear of flats be addressed?  The deregulation bill would enable cameras to be redeployed, and target commercial properties that were known fly tipping hotspots.  Flats above shops had been issued with purple bags, which could be left out for collection on appropriate days.  However, this policy had not been successful; a similar problem was seen all over London – no Borough appeared to have found a successful remedy.

 

Councillor Mann reminded Members that residents in flats were a key factor in achieving 50% recycling: current rates of recycling stood at only around 8%.  However, the Council was targeting low rise homes in the first instance.  He advised Members that the Council was working with the West London Waste Authority, including using a roadshow to schools across the six boroughs, called “Rubbish Diet”,

 

Q:  In respect of the charging for clinical waste proposal: who would collect the waste, and who would collect the charge?  It was confirmed that residents would not be charged, only commercial users.  This service would be provided by a London-wide service private contractor in conjunction with the NHS, to ensure consistency.  This would come into effect around the end of 2015, and was part of a framework agreement.

 

Q: Why were communal recycling bins on housing estates not emptied in a timely manner?  Councillor Collins advised that an estate in Brentford where he lived had not had the recycling bins emptied since 9 September 2015, despite four e-mails to the Council.  Non-recycling waste had now been added  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Panel Work Programme pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Decision:

Members confirmed the 2015-16 Work Programme.  They noted that updates to topics discussed could be given under the “Matters Arising” item on future agendas.

 

Ben Osifo reminded Members that the Work Programme was fluid and could be changed.  In accordance with Members’ instructions, Ben Osifo confirmed that he would proceed with setting up a Task and Finish Group on Domestic Violence.

Minutes:

Members confirmed the 2015-16 Work Programme.  They noted that updates to topics discussed could be given under the “Matters Arising” item on future agendas.

 

Ben Osifo reminded Members that the Work Programme was fluid and could be changed.  In accordance with Members’ instructions, Ben Osifo confirmed that he would proceed with setting up a Task and Finish Group on Domestic Violence.

6.

Urgent Business

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

Decision:

There were no items of urgent business.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

7.

Date of next meeting

The date of the next scheduled meeting is 10 November 2015.

Decision:

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 10 November 2015, in Committee Room 1.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 10 November 2015, in Committee Room 1.