Hounslow Council


Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Carol Stiles on Tel: 020 8583 2066 or email:  carol.stiles@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

74.

Apologies for absence, declarations of interest or any other communications from Members

Decision:

There were no declarations of interest or any other communications from members.

Minutes:

The Chair opened the meeting, welcoming all present and those tuned into the webcast.

 

All members were present. There were no declarations of interest or any other communications from members.

75.

Minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2010 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2010.

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2010 were confirmed    

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2010 were confirmed.

 

Minute 57: CPI 12 (NI 48) Percentage reduction in the number of children (under 16) killed and seriously injured in road traffic accidents:

Councillor Curran informed members that he had discussed the target for reduction in the accident rate with Mike Jordan, Environment, outside this meeting and was anticipating a response from Mr Jordan.  

 

On behalf of the members, the Leader welcomed Mary Harpley as the newly appointed Chief Executive of Hounslow Council to her first meeting of the Executive.

76.

Terms of Reference of the Confidential Cases Sub Committee pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Report by the Borough Solicitor.

Decision:

Resolved:

 

The Executive agreed the revised terms of reference for the Confidential Cases Sub-Committee as set out in Appendix One of the report and the addendum report, which amended the section titled: “Make up of the Sub-Committee” (bullet point two) as follows:

 

Delete ‘Executive’ so that the bullet point reads: ‘The Leader may consider if the chairman of the relevant Scrutiny Committee or other relevant member should be invited to attend.’

 

The Executive also agreed to amend the wording of “chairman” to read: “chair”.

Minutes:

See report from the Borough Solicitor, Agenda Item 3.

 

The Chair referred to the suggested amendments submitted by Councillor Todd and informed members that he would not be accepting this submission as it had been provided at short notice. He would, however, be happy to meet with the member outside this meeting to discuss his suggestions.

 

Terry Welsh, Borough Solicitor, introduced the report for members’ approval. He drew members’ attention to the submitted Addendum, which clarified that the word “Executive” would be removed from the following sentence in the final document:

 

The Leader may consider if the chairman of the relevant Executive Scrutiny Committee or other relevant member should be invited to attend.”

 

Councillor Smart requested that the word “Chairman” be amended to read “Chair” in the final document.

 

Resolved:

The Executive agreed the revised terms of reference for the Confidential Cases Sub-Committee as set out in Appendix One of the report and the addendum report, which amended the section titled: “Make up of the Sub-Committee” (bullet point two) as follows:

 

Delete ‘Executive’ so that the bullet point reads: ‘The Leader may consider if the chairman of the relevant Scrutiny Committee or other relevant member should be invited to attend.’

 

The Executive also agreed to amend the wording of “chairman” to read: “chair”.

77.

Exploring a suitable option for the Gunnersbury Park Estate (ENV 052) pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Report by Councillor Corinna Smart, Lead Executive Member for Gunnersbury Park.  

Decision:

Resolved:

 

The Executive agreed the recommendations of the report as follows:

 

  1. The Executive noted progress on the Gunnersbury Project and adopted the Conservation Management Plan (CMP) as formal guidance.
  2. The Executive agreed that suitable consultants are procured in accordance with the Council’s procurement rules by Ealing on behalf of itself and Hounslow Council to fully explore viable options within the aims of the CMP and available funding.
  3. The Executive agreed that a project team is established to develop a preferred option.
  4. The Executive agreed that this option is brought back to the Executive for ratification and submission of a Major Grant Application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in November 2011.
  5. The Executive agreed that S106 (scheme 11) can be used to fund the Council’s share of the cost of the development of an application to the HLF.
  6. The Executive noted that this process will also consider future governance options.

Minutes:

See report from Councillor Corinna Smart, Lead Member for Gunnersbury Park, Agenda Item 4.

 

Councillor Smart summarised the salient points within the submitted report, pointing to the urgency of the work needed to protect what was a historic park of national significance and local importance. Hounslow and Ealing Councils had been working together closely since May 2010.  The aim was to submit a joint bid for funding to the Heritage Lottery Fund in November 2011, supported by the Gunnersbury Park Joint Advisory Committee. Representatives of both English Heritage and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) had visited Gunnersbury Park earlier in the year and had linked that visit with a look at the successful joint project at Chiswick House and were, Councillor Smart said, very much in favour of the plans for Gunnersbury Park.

 

Councillor Cadbury supported the plans stating that each year that the 14 listed buildings in the park did not receive the necessary investment further jeopardised our role as guardians of its heritage and brought the local authorities closer to potential legal action by English Heritage. She indicated that the park was also an important resource for the local community and should be providing excellent sports facilities. Councillor Cadbury supported taking this project forward. She was aware, however, of local opinion on building on green space but hoped that options could be worked out in the interests of protecting the heritage and future feasibility of the site.

 

Resolved:

The Executive agreed the recommendations of the report as follows:

  1. The Executive noted progress on the Gunnersbury Project and adopted the Conservation Management Plan (CMP) as formal guidance.
  2. The Executive agreed that suitable consultants are procured in accordance with the Council’s procurement rules by Ealing on behalf of itself and Hounslow Council to fully explore viable options within the aims of the CMP and available funding.
  3. The Executive agreed that a project team is established to develop a preferred option.
  4. The Executive agreed that this option is brought back to the Executive for ratification and submission of a Major Grant Application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in November 2011.
  5. The Executive agreed that S106 (scheme 11) can be used to fund the Council’s share of the cost of the development of an application to the HLF.
  6. The Executive noted that this process will also consider future governance options.

78.

School Place Planning Strategy 2010-2020 (CSLL 182) pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Report by Judith Pettersen, Director of Children’s Services and Lifelong Learning.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

 

The Executive agreed the recommendations of the report as follows:

 

  1. The Executive noted the responses to the consultation regarding the draft strategy (as set out in paragraphs 2.4 to 2.12 of the report).
  2. The Executive agreed to adopt the revised School Place Planning Strategy and the principles within it (the revised strategy as contained in Appendix 1 of the report).
  3. The Executive agreed to the establishment of a School Organisation Reference Group as outlined in paragraph 2.13 and Appendix 3 of the report.

Minutes:

See report from the Director of Children’s Services, Agenda Item 5.

 

Councillor Gupta introduced the submitted report. Gerard Mooney, Assistant Director, CS&LL Resources & Commissioning, then provided members with the detailed summary of the key issues addressed in the consultation and how they had fed into the final version document.

 

On the issue of mixed secondary school provision in Brentford (see table on Brentford Secondary Schools, Appendix 2), Councillor Cadbury asked whether there was a breakdown available showing the responses of Brentford residents, which gave officers a view of more localised opinion on the matter. Although he did not have the statistics with him, Mr Mooney was able to confirm that the majority of Brentford residents responding to the questionnaire had been more strongly in favour on this question.

 

Councillor Bath thanked the department for the work in preparing the strategy document, which she said very clearly identified the challenges to the borough. She also welcomed the establishment of the School Organisation Reference Group particularly in light of current confusion caused by the Government’s agenda on free schools and academies.

 

Councillor Cadbury also welcomed the report noting that the borough was actually reducing school places 4.5 years ago. Members’ casework now reflected the more recent population growth, particularly to the west of the borough and in Brentford where approximately 10,000 new homes were under development. Councillor Cadbury expressed the view that the sooner this could be translated from a strategy into potential new school places or expansion of existing schools the better.

 

Councillor Cadbury drew attention to the need to actively manage the issue of free schools and academies. Should applications be received for free schools in the borough the Authority would have to ensure that those schools would be supportive of the School Place Planning Strategy, work with other schools and serve this community in a holistic way.  Although there were currently 5 single sex schools in the Brentford area, there was no mixed secondary school, which Councillor Cadbury said caused massive stress for parents, some of which now considered moving out of the area to secure secondary school places for their children. She stressed that this was an issue the Authority had to address at the earliest opportunity, particularly in light of the current primary school bulge classes and the impact that this would inevitably have on demand for secondary school places in the coming years.

 

Councillor Gupta thanked members for their comments. He noted that the Schools Organisation Reference Group had been well received by the Schools Forum Head and a number of the borough’s head teachers who welcomed the opportunity for them to be engaged in the challenges faced by the borough. Councillor Gupta urged the Leader and Deputy Leader to lobby the coalition Government on the huge challenges and in relation to the rise in demand for SEN provision and the uncertainty facing the Authority in relation to the award of capital budgets from the Government in the coming years. The Chair informed members that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.

79.

Monthly Revenue Financial Monitoring- 31 October 2010 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Report by the Director of Finance.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

 

The Executive:

 

  1. Noted the results of revenue budget monitoring at 31 October 2010
  2. Agreed action to contain out turn within the Council’s corporate budget for 2010-11.

 

 

Minutes:

See Report from the Director of Finance, Agenda Item 6.

 

Stephen Fitzgerald, Director of Finance, reported on the revenue financial monitoring position. He referred members to the current position as at October 2010 (See Projected Outturn 2010-2011) and the predicted variance of an underspend of £200,000, adjusted already for the £8.7million in year savings agreed by this Executive and removed from the budget. He then drew particular attention to the appendix which looked at Environment Department.

 

Councillor Dennison stated that the amount lost from the Area Based Grant exceeded the stated £2.1million under paragraph 2.4 of the report. £2.1million only referred to the part of the Area Based Grant, which was in the budget itself. He asked that in future members could be presented with details of the full sum rather than the amount contained within the budget.

 

Under paragraph 2.5 Councillor Dennison challenged the wording, which stated that the projected outturn “assumes that departments concerned fully achieve the in year savings...”. Mr Fitzgerald confirmed Councillor Dennison’s assertion that the Local Authority was budgeting that the departments would achieve the savings and that post October would assume that the departments could continue on that track.

 

With regards to paragraph 4.2 in relation to the Community Services budget Councillor Dennison indicated that the budgets set and amended could be achieved but suggested that more detail on the proposals to bring the budgets down to break-even level would have been helpful and asked that those actions referred to were reported to Executive before the end of the financial year. 

 

Drawing attention to the submitted appendix, Councillor Dennison welcomed the provision of additional detail but asked the lead members for Leisure and Public Realm review the predicted overspends of approximately £750,000 and look at ways of bringing these predicted overspends back within budget rather than having to take steps to draw down funds from Section 38 and Section 278.

 

The Chair thanked all departments for their work on ensuring that the individual departments do not overspend on the budgets set.

 

Resolved:

The Executive:

  1. Noted the results of revenue budget monitoring at 31 October 2010
  2. Agreed action to contain out turn within the Council’s corporate budget for 2010-11.

80.

Council Tax Base - 2011/12 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Report by Councillor Theo Dennison, Executive Member for Finance.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

 

The Executive agreed the recommendations of the report and the addendum report amended recommendation 3, as follows:

 

  1. The Executive agreed the Council Tax collection rate for 2011/12.
  2. The Executive agreed the Council Tax Base for 2011/12 in accordance with the calculation in paragraph 6.2 of the report.
  3. The Executive agreed that, as authorised by the Local Government Act 2003, the discount to be given, with effect from 1 April 2011, in respect of second homes (Classes A and B) as allowed by Section 11A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 be 10%, and, with effect from 1 April 2011, the discount to be given in respect of long

Minutes:

See report from Councillor Theo Dennison, Executive Member for Finance, Agenda Item 7.

 

Councillor Dennison drew attention to the Addendum and asked members to agree the recommendations. Councillor Lal asked Mr Fitzgerald how confident he was in relation to the collection rate of 98.6% (paragraph 5.2 of the report). 

 

Stephen Fitzgerald acknowledged the need to set realistic targets but indicated that this figure was consistent with the previous year’s rate and pointed to the fact that the actual collection rate had been good and was in fact improving over recent years.

 

Resolved:

The Executive agreed the recommendations of the report and the addendum report amended recommendation 3, as follows:

  1. The Executive agreed the Council Tax collection rate for 2011/12.
  2. The Executive agreed the Council Tax Base for 2011/12 in accordance with the calculation in paragraph 6.2 of the report.
  3. The Executive agreed that, as authorised by the Local Government Act 2003, the discount to be given, with effect from 1 April 2011, in respect of second homes (Classes A and B) as allowed by Section 11A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 be 10%, and, with effect from 1 April 2011, the discount to be given in respect of long

81.

Urgent Business

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

Decision:

No urgent business items were raised.

Minutes:

No urgent business items were raised.

82.

Addendum to Items 3 and 7 of the agenda pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the submitted addendum reports be noted.

Minutes:

See Addendum Reports, Agenda Item 9.

 

Resolved:

That the submitted addendum reports be noted.