Hounslow Council


Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, 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

83.

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

Decision:

All members were present.

 

Councillor Cadbury presented a petition signed by 935 young people calling on Hounslow Council to reject the proposed closure of Hounslow Youth Service and to protect valuable programmes, places to go and things to do for young people.

 

Councillor Cadbury pointed out that this was in addition to the petition on the same subject presented to Borough Council the previous week.

 

 

Minutes:

All members were present.

 

The Chair welcomed all present, including the many residents in the public gallery. He advised that he would rearrange the agenda order to allow Item 6, the 2011/12 Revenue Budget – Council Savings Package, to be taken after the communications from members, so that residents attending for that item did not need to wait through discussion of other items.

 

Councillor Cadbury presented a petition signed by 935 young people calling on Hounslow Council to reject the proposed closure of Hounslow Youth Service and to protect valuable programmes, places to go and things to do for young people.

 

Councillor Cadbury pointed out that this was in addition to the petition on the same subject presented to Borough Council the previous week.

 

 

84.

Minutes of the special meeting held on 20 December 2010 pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To confirm the minutes of the special meeting held on 20 December 2010.

Decision:

The minutes of the special Executive meeting held on 20 December 2010 were confirmed.

Minutes:

The minutes of the special Executive meeting held on 20 December 2010 were confirmed. There were no matters arising.

85.

Minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2011 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2011.

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2011 were confirmed. There was one addition – Councillor Lin Davies and Councillor Jabbal had been in attendance.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2011 were confirmed. There was one addition – Councillor Lin Davies and Councillor Jabbal had been in attendance.

86.

2011/12 Revenue Budget - Council Savings Package pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Report by Stephen Fitzgerald, Director of Finance.

 

Republished 3 February 2011 with Appendix B

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

 

  1. The Executive noted the following tabled amendment to the report:

 

      “Paragraph 2.5, page 90 – The paragraph headed Youth Service (CSLL22) should read:

 

‘The original savings option has been significantly scaled back. The new option identifies £300k of savings, rather than the original proposal of £875k. It is proposed that savings are taken first from administrative roles with only limited reductions to services being recommended.’

 

The remainder of the paragraph and the following bullet points should be deleted. Members should instead consider the details in the tabled Addendum Pro-forma – CSLL 22”.

 

2. The Executive also noted that some consultations related to specific services were ongoing and that any decision in respect of these services would be subject to the outcome of those consultations.  

      

3. The Executive agreed the recommendation of the report and approved the package of savings options outlined in Appendix A of the report to the value of £15.316m for recommendation to full Council on 1 March 2011, subject to the amendment above and consideration of the outcome of ongoing consultations.

Minutes:

See the report of the Director of Finance – Agenda Item 6 and the additional tabled papers – the Addendum reports with additions to Appendix B from Children’s Services and Lifelong Learning and Finance, and the tabled amendment to the report.

 

The Chair opened the item by saying that he wanted to say a few words as a message to residents. He stated that the cuts were not imposed by the current Administration in the borough. The Labour Administration did not want to make such cuts but were being forced to implement them by the Coalition Government. There was common talk of the arrogance of the Government in saying that these cuts had to be made. The Chair stressed that in compiling the proposals the present Administration had listened to people and also disagreed with what the Government was doing. He stressed that the London Borough of Hounslow was being forced to make £60m of cuts over 4 years. He believed that the Government was forcing this programme because it was not listening to concerns. The Government approach was to retain grant and stop money to local authorities. So to balance the budget, the Council had to take action.

 

The Chair stressed that the Labour Group believed it was important to talk to the community and to be transparent in any cuts which might be made. For this reason, the Administration had circulated proposals for savings of £21m. These proposals had generated a tremendous response from the community and as a result action had been taken to revise the proposals. The Executive had decided to delay closure of libraries until they could consider alternatives and also to delay action on community halls. The street cleaning budget had been reinstated as this was what the community wanted. Youth centres would remain open, although with less activity.

 

The Chair referred to the sources of Council income as Council Tax collection and Government grant. He referred to the community business rate, paid by business people who were often also local residents and certainly part of the local community, but this rate was retained by central Government. He believed that the money raised through the business rate should come back to the borough.

 

The Chair considered it vitally important for people to know that the present Labour Administration in the borough approached the decision on cuts with a heavy heart, but were being forced into this position by decisions of the Coalition Government in respect of local authority funding. He was aware that some people felt that Executive members should resign in these circumstances rather than implement the cuts but the Chair’s view was that this would lead to worse options for the people of the borough.

 

The Chair asked the Deputy Leader, Councillor Cadbury, to move the report.

 

Councillor Cadbury endorsed the Chair’s remarks. She believed that the cuts for local authorities were too deep, noting that the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) had accepted a 25% reduction over four years.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

87.

Final Report of the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Panel Review of Non Permanent Staff Within the Authority pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Report by Councillor John Todd, Chair of the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Panel.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

 

The Executive received and welcomed the report and agreed to provide a response to the recommendations within the usual timescales.

Minutes:

See the report of the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Panel – Agenda Item 4.

 

Councillor John Todd, Chair of the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Panel, introduced the report of the review of non permanent staff within the authority. He asked the Executive to approve its contents and recommendations and invited questions.

 

Councillor Dennison, as the Lead Member for Finance and Performance, responded to the review. He stated that he was incredibly grateful for the work put in by the Scrutiny Panel and team. He recognised the difficulties encountered in getting clear information in this area and gave credit to the invaluable work of the review. There was merit in the recommendations and overall these were very positively received, although there were a couple of nuances in respect of processes to be considered.

 

Councillor Dennison advised that the Executive would respond to the report with alacrity, as this was an area of common concern. It was important to fix a ‘laissez faire’ situation, which the District Auditor had described as ‘permissive’. A recruitment freeze fitted with the Leader’s statement made at Borough Council before Christmas and would help decrease the damage resulting from the cuts agreed that evening. Councillor Dennison accepted that in some services there was a need for agency staff, but as yet saw no transparent process in line with the Leader’s announcement in December. He was keen to see such a process as soon as possible.

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Todd and all of the Scrutiny team involved for the very impressive work done.

 

The Executive received the report.  

 

Resolved:

 

The Executive received and welcomed the report and agreed to provide a response to the recommendations within the usual timescales.

88.

Public consultation on Budget proposals for 2011/12 - Budget consultation results pdf icon PDF 67 KB

 Report by the Corporate Leadership Team

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

 

  1. The report, with the results of the consultation to date, was noted.
  2. The Executive also noted that there would be a further report to 15 February 2011 Executive meeting clarifying which consultations were complete and which were ongoing.

Minutes:

See the report of the Corporate Leadership Team- Agenda Item 5.

 

Mary Harpley, Chief Executive, introduced the report. She explained that in many ways this was an interim report on the results of consultation on the 2011/12 budget proposals. At the next Executive meeting on 15 February 2011 there would be a further update. The present report summarised the results of the main general consultation and linked the responses from the consultation with residents to each budget saving proposal.

 

Some consultations related to specific services were ongoing. The report to the Executive on 15 February 2011 would make it clear which consultations were complete and which were not. The outcome of some consultations would still be awaited at 1 March and would not be included in the Budget report to Borough Council. Decisions on these proposals would need to be made in principle, subject to the outcome of the consultation.

 

Resolved:

 

  1. The report, with the results of the consultation to date, was noted.
  2. The Executive also noted that there would be a further report to 15 February 2011 Executive meeting clarifying which consultations were complete and which were ongoing.

89.

Monthly Revenue Financial Monitoring - 30 November 2010 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Report by Stephen Fitzgerald, Director of Finance.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

 

  1. The Executive noted the results of revenue budget monitoring at 30 November 2010.
  2. The Executive agreed action to contain out turn within the Council’s corporate budget for 2010-11.  

 

 

Minutes:

See the report of the Director of Finance – Agenda Item 7.

 

Stephen Fitzgerald, Director of Finance, introduced the report which monitored performance up to 30 November. He drew attention to the projected balance of an under spend of £300k, which was commendable. The report had been adjusted to take into account in year savings.

 

Members had asked for more detail on an individual department with each monthly report and this time Appendix A gave more detail from the Finance Department.

 

The Executive were asked to note the report.

 

Councillor Dennison thanked Stephen Fitzgerald and commended the report. He noted that it belied the work that Stephen’s team, Departmental Directors and finance teams had undertaken. He was both pleased and surprised to see the report showing in balance month by month. Councillor Dennison injected one word of caution. Actions had been identified to ensure that there was not overspend. Some were one off items which could not be taken in other years. So it needed to be noted that potential overspend was not shown and a close eye needed to be kept on future expenditure.

 

Councillor Dennison moved the report and commended the actions taken, with thanks. The motion was seconded and the recommendations agreed.

 

Resolved:

 

  1. The Executive noted the results of revenue budget monitoring at 30 November 2010.
  2. The Executive agreed action to contain out turn within the Council’s corporate budget for 2010-11. 

 

 

90.

Brentford Football Club - Extension of Loan pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Report by Stephen Fitzgerald, Director of Finance.

 

Please note that there is a confidential appendix to this report contained in Part II of the agenda at Item 11, following the exclusion of press and public.

 

Decision:

Resolved:

 

The Executive agreed to extend the loan to Brentford Football Club by 3 years and 4 months to 31 May 2014, at the existing fixed rate of interest of 5.25%.

Minutes:

See the report by the Director of Finance – Agenda Item 8 and reference the confidential appendix – Agenda Item 11.

 

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 7.55 p.m. for 10 minutes before discussion of this item to allow time for the arrival of Mr Alan Bird, Executive Director of Brentford Football Club, who would address the meeting.

 

The Chair reopened the meeting at 8.05 p.m. and welcomed Mr Bird. The Chair invited Stephen Fitzgerald, Director of Finance, to introduce the report and noted that, if necessary, the meeting would move to exclude press and public to have confidential discussion of the paper in Part II of the agenda.

 

The Director of Finance gave a brief history of the loan. The Council’s Executive had made the decision in September 2005 to make a loan of £500k to Brentford Football Club. This was in line with the practical support to local football clubs offered by local authorities across the country. The view was taken that the loan should be made to help Brentford Football Club. The loan was due to be returned in 2011 but there was the option to continue the loan and Brentford Football Club wished the Council to do so. It was proposed that the loan should be continued for a further 3 years and 4 months. The interest paid on the loan was 5.25%, which was comparable with other deposit accounts and represented a preferential and commercial rate of interest. It was recommended to assist Brentford Football Club and allow the benefit to the community to continue.

 

The Director of Finance suggested that Alan Bird, Executive Director of Brentford Football Club, should be invited to address the Executive.

 

Alan Bird explained that since the loan had been granted the owners of Brentford Football Club had reached agreement with a wealthy Brentford supporter, Matthew Benham, whereby the Club received a minimum of £1m each financial year from 2009-14, with the option of additional monies if he wished. The money would be available this season based on share capture so that the debt would not increase. An earlier loan of £2 ½ m from Barclays had been repaid. This was now reduced to a £500k overdraft facility renewed annually. All Directors had rolled over loans to 2014 and all were interest free. The only interest bearing loan was that from the Council. The proposed extension to 2014 linked with the option for Matthew Benham to take control of the Club by 31 May 2014. There was negotiation underway to bring this date forward and if this were to happen the loan would be repaid as the loan from the Council was dependant on being a supporters club.

 

Mr Bird advised that the Club was asking for an extension of the loan on the same terms in the knowledge that the security was stronger than in the past. The loan was secured against Griffin Park and if control of the Club changed hands, then the loan would be repaid  ...  view the full minutes text for item 90.

91.

Urgent Business

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

Decision:

There was no urgent business.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

92.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To resolve that the public and press be asked to leave the meeting during discussion of the remaining items of business because exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 is likely to be made known.

 

Please note that members of the public and press must leave the meeting at this point.

Decision:

As the business at Item 8 – Brentford Football Club – Extension of Loan – had been completed in the public part of the agenda, there was no need for the Executive to move to a confidential part of the meeting.  

Minutes:

As the business at Item 8 – Brentford Football Club – Extension of Loan – had been completed in the public part of the agenda, there was no need for the Executive to move to a confidential part of the meeting.  

93.

Brentford Football Club - Extension of Loan

Please note that this is a confidential appendix to Agenda Item 8 in the public part of the agenda.

 

 

 

 

Decision:

The Executive considered the additional supporting confidential information when making the decision at Item 8 of the agenda.

Minutes:

The Executive considered the additional supporting confidential information when making the decision at Item 8 of the agenda.

94.

Any Other Items which the Chair considers urgent and are exempt from publication

Decision:

There were no urgent confidential items.

Minutes:

There were no urgent confidential items.

95.

Addendum pdf icon PDF 66 KB

The addendum report contains additional information to include at Item 6 – 2011/12 Revenue Budget – Council Savings Package – Appendix B

Decision:

The addendum report contained additional information to include at Item 6 – 2011/12 Revenue Budget – Council Savings Package – Appendix B and was considered as part of that item.

Minutes:

The addendum report contained additional information to include at Item 6 – 2011/12 Revenue Budget – Council Savings Package – Appendix B and was considered as part of that item.

96.

Additional papers pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The following additional papers in respect of Item 6 – 2011/12 Revenue Budget – Council Savings Package were tabled and considered by the Executive:

 

  1. Amendment to Agenda Item 6 – paragraph 2.5 of the report
  2. Executive saving package report – Finance – addition to Appendix B.

Minutes:

The following additional papers in respect of Item 6 – 2011/12 Revenue Budget – Council Savings Package were tabled and considered by the Executive:

 

  1. Amendment to Agenda Item 6 – paragraph 2.5 of the report
  2. Executive saving package report – Finance – addition to Appendix B.