Hounslow Council

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Ian Duke Email: ian.duke@hounslow.gov.uk, 020 8583 2191 

No. Item


Apologies, Declarations of Interest or Any Other Communications from Members


Apologies were received from:

Panel members: Cllrs Carey, Howe and Lambert

Lead Members: Cllr Mann, Member for Environment and Cllr Sampson, Member for Parking.


There were no declarations of interest


Minutes of meeting held on 31 October 2016 & Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 140 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2016 were agreed and signed

as a true record


Matters Arising:

Noted that actions in minutes were to be raised with officers and response reported back at the next appropriate panel. 


Parking Services pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Additional documents:


Melanie Gadd provided an overview of the Parking Services Contract arrangements with serco, with detail of the provision and location of services by serco and LBH. A breakdown of the £2.3m budget was given along with an overview of the performance management of the serco contract. More detailed performance data over the past year was provided in relation to Customer Service, Enforcement Productivity, Permit Processing Times, Response Times to PCN Challenges and Complaint Response Times. The presentation ended by focusing on areas where performance could be improved.


The key points emerging from the discussion that followed were:

·         Noted that the performance of the serco contract was significantly improved on the previous year

·         The panel noted it would be helpful to have sight of all 18 key performance indicators


Action:           Melanie Gadd will circulate information about all 18 KPIs to panel members


·         KPIs are monitored on a monthly basis and, where they slip into amber, action plans to address performance are put into place

·         Where the contractor does not meet performance standards then payment is withheld, for instance serco were not paid for 3 months for failing to meet its KPIs.

·         The panel noted some instances when more than one machine was not working in a Pay and Display area. Officers asked members to report any such incidences to them and they would be looked into as a matter of urgency.

·         Members welcomed the ability to access online parking offence case  materials, noting this has reduced complaints

·         Members were concerned about residents (a relatively small number) who were unable to request a parking permit online. Officers were working with the Council’s Equalities Team to ensure support for those who might struggle to access online systems.


Action:           Officers to advertise the Online Parking Offence case file resource to all members through Members’ Matters


·         The panel noted the difficulty in removing vehicles abandoned/left for long periods on private land/roads, which was acknowledged by officers. This was because a car had to be in contravention before they were able to remove it.


Action:           Officers to provide comparative data for Ealing with respect to abandoned vehicles


·         One problem with enforcement is ensuring that an Enforcement Officer being in the right place at the right time. Enforcement performance is good in the borough with a PCN rate of 1.5 an hour. By comparison Brent’s rate is 1.2 despite having more Enforcement Officers.

·         The Panel suggested that the service might consider the Lay Assessors for parking as was the case with Hounslow Highways, a suggestion that was welcomed.


Action:           Officers to report back on consideration of recruiting Lay Assessors


·         It was also suggested that the number to report violations could be better advertised

·         Pay & Display machines were experience more problems due to age, and the service is currently looking into whether it is cost effective to replace, or better to move more towards cashless payment.

·         The Panel were interested to learn about usage of the existing Ringo service


Action:           Information to be provided about where  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Hounslow Highways Performance Update pdf icon PDF 212 KB

Additional documents:


Hounslow Highways officers (Phil Horton and Martin Clack) provided:


·         an overview of the PFI funded arrangement (awarded in 2012),

·         an overview of the performance management arrangements involving LBH Hounslow Highways Managers

·         a summary of progress to date (milestone 8); and

·         Contract performance in Year 4.


The key points emerging from the discussion that followed were:

·         2017/18 will be the final year of the first (5 year) phase of the PFI which will have seen significant investment in the road and footpath network, and upgrade/replacement of all street lights, by which point 80% of the network will have been upgraded.

·         Once the initial investment in the road network had been made on completion phase 1 at the end of 2017/18 it was noted that a further £48million of investment would be made over the next 20 years.

·         The gap between the performance of the network and its optimum possible performance continues to narrow, and has been consistently smaller than the performance target

·         Lower interest rates and an increase in confidence in the model had resulted in a successful refinancing with the group of banks achieving an £80k saving for the Council

·         Clarity was sought over the criteria used to prioritise road repairs, including the definitions of potholes. Officers had recognised that residents found the current guide too confusing and were already working on producing a more easy to understand explanation.


Action:           HH officers to produce new easy-to-understand road repair criteria by end of January


·         Instances were given, by members, of roads that fell below standards expected by residents and members, and there was concern that councillors could not influence this as prioritisation was decided by a complex algorithm designed to reduce the long term costs of maintenance.

·         Members were advised to bring these cases to the notice of the relevant Area Committee in the first instance and the Lead Member thereafter.

·         It was also highlighted that communication of works was not always ideal, with residents being asked to move cars when works take place elsewhere on the road. This and other such communication was recognised as a problem and activity was ongoing to improve this.

·         Concerns were raised in relation to standing water/pooling following heavy rain. Officers were aware that this was an issue. The contract gave Hounslow Highways 5 years before performance targets and payment penalties were introduced. A standing water strategy had been developed to ensure this issue is address.


Action:           Copy of the Standing Water Strategy to be circulated

·         It was noted that there had been a delay in completing the total renewal of the street light inventory due to issues with heritage lighting improvements. A report soon to go before cabinet should enable the resolution of these problems enabling the final tranche of lights to be upgraded within the timeframe agreed.

·         The panel noted the marked improvement in the levels of litter and detritus on streets where the scores (a high score representing dirtier streets) were consistently below target and declining overall. Street cleaning performance had increase  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


Panel Work Programme pdf icon PDF 303 KB


The Panel agreed the items for the next meeting as set out in the work programme. In terms of reviews, the focus will be to complete the Domestic Violence Scrutiny Review. Thereafter the Panel agreed to look at the issues of homelessness. It was noted that a discussion between Cllrs Ellar and Dunne had taken place following the previous meeting and that a scoping paper would be circulated for comment.


Urgent Business

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


There were no items of urgent business


Date of next meeting

The next scheduled meeting will take place on 28 February 2017, in Committee Room 1, Civic Centre.



Next meeting is 28 February 2017 in Committee Room 1