Hounslow Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Mike Smith, tel 020 8583 2069, e-mail  mike.smith@hounslow.gov.uk 

No. Item


Apologies for absence


The Clerk informed Members that the standing orders of West Waste prescribed that


“If a Member of the Authority failed to attend any meeting of the Authority for a period of six months from the date of his/her last attendance, he/she shall cease to be a Member of the Authority, unless failure to attend was for some reason approved by the Authority before the expiry of the six month period.  Where Membership terminates as a result of such failure, the Clerk shall immediately notify the proper Officer of the constituent council which shall nominate another Member to fill the vacancy.”


The Clerk reported that Councillor Keith Burrows last attended a meeting of West Waste on 11 April 2014. His membership might therefore be regarded as to have terminated before the next available meeting on 12 December 2014 - although it could be interpreted that the six month period restarted on re-appointment after the local elections. 


The Authority noted Councillor Burrows’ reasons for his absence. To avoid any doubt, the Authority extended the absence grace period until and including the date of the next meeting which was scheduled for Friday 12 December.  It was however noted that non-attendance at the December meeting was likely to lead to termination of membership in accordance with the Authority’s standing orders.


Declarations of interest

Members are reminded that if they have a pecuniary interest in any matter being discussed at the meeting they must declare the interest.  They may not take part in any discussion or vote on a matter in which they have a pecuniary interest.


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the meeting held on 27 June 2014 pdf icon PDF 86 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 27 June 2014 were confirmed.


Matters arising from the minutes


(a)      Victoria Road Household Reuse and Recycling Centre (HRRC) - minute 5 refers


Marketing was underway for an alternative use of the site.


(b)      Audit of Contract Management (minute 9 refers)


It was confirmed that progress on implementing the audit recommendations on contract management had been discussed at the last Audit Committee meeting.


(c)      Impact of the HS2 rail link on Victoria Road Waste Transfer Station (minute 11 refers)


It was confirmed that the petition on the proposed bill had been submitted.  There was no other news as yet.


Final Statement of Accounts 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Including annual governance statements.

Additional documents:


See report of the Treasurer (agenda item 4).


Jay Patel, Head of Finance and Performance, introduced the report.  He tabled amended pages 8, 24 and 25 which contained some contextual changes (a copy is available online with the published papers for the meeting). The Final Statement did include an increased figure of £5 million for pension liabilities.


In response to a question from Councillor Varsha Parmar, Jim Brennan, Director, confirmed that construction was going well at the Bristol residual waste treatment site there was a delay of 35 days in January but the contractors had now caught up by 28 days.  Jim Brennan confirmed that he attended regular progress meetings and there was also an independent certifier.  If Members wished to view progress, there was a live webcam of the construction.  He would circulate a link.  There were also regular updates to the project board.  Ian O'Donnell, Treasurer referred to the Annual Governance Statement.  It outlined the progress being made in developing contract monitoring and control processes.  There were no significant governance issues.


Members wished to thank officers, and in particular Jay Patel, for the effective preparation and presentation of the Statement of Accounts.


Resolved -


That the statement of accounts for 2013/2014, as set out in appendix 1 to the report and subject to the tabled amendments, be approved.


Finance and Performance Report - Budget Monitoring 2014/15 (Period 4) and Budget Setting 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 213 KB

Additional documents:


See report of the Treasurer (agenda item 5).


Jay Patel, Head of Finance and Performance, introduced the report.  There was a slight underspend in period 4.  However there was currently projected to be an overspend over the year, in the region of £228,000, as a result of a slight under recovery on PAYT charges.  It would be met from reserves.  Ian O'Donnell, Treasurer, stated that the preferred option of the constituent boroughs was to have a predictable budget process and that such variations should be managed through reserves in order to avoid any in year changes.  There were always likely to be some minor variations on PAYT charges.  As part of the budget process the Authority would be invited to agree a target level of reserves to meet this and other contingencies. The Authority was also looking at in year savings.


Jay Patel highlighted the notable variances on operational KPIs as set out in section 5 of the report.  Payment systems were being updated.  Officers were working closely with the borough's on 2015/2016 budget setting in order to accurately predict tonnages for the coming year.  No large variations were expected.  Councillor Bassam Mahfouz reminded Members that, as last year, there was a challenge process in October on the budget assumptions with constituent boroughs.


Resolved -


(a)      That the current financial position in 2014/2015 to period 4 and the Key Performance Indicators be noted.


(b)      That the 2015/2016 budget setting timetable be noted.


Waste Prevention Annual Action Plan - Mid-year Review pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Additional documents:


See report of the Director and Chief Technical Adviser (agenda item 6).


Sarah Ellis, Waste Minimisation Officer, introduced the report and gave a presentation on some of the initiatives being undertaken by the waste minimisation team (the presentation is published online with the papers for the meeting).  Progress against the waste minimisation plan in 2013/2014 had been good.  There had only been one project which was not completed at the wish of constituent boroughs to redirect funding other related waste minimisation initiatives.  .  The waste minimisation team had attended 151 events and spoken to over 5500 people.  There had been significant use of social media, such as  twitter.  There had been 51,000 unique visits to the Authority’s redesigned website.  A newsletter was launched in February 2014.  A smart phone application had also been launched.  Activity for 2014/2015 was going well.  The number of website visits was expected to be higher than last year and the twitter reach was expected to be exceeded as well.  The "love food hate waste" campaign was the flagship initiative. Further details were given in the PowerPoint presentation.  It was estimated that every £1 spent on waste minimisation led to an £8 saving on disposal costs.


Councillor Fleming suggested that campaigning links might be made with the "village" newsletters being introduced in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.  Jim Brennan, Director, stated that there was some excellent work being undertaken by the team. It was difficult to measure the impact. However waste minimisation and prevention work was extremely important as waste generation was expected to increases as the country came out of recession.  The team was looking for celebrities to act as a promotional front for activities and would welcome any contacts which could be provided by Members.  It was suggested that it might be helpful to make contact with communications teams in the constituent boroughs.


It was suggested that engagement through the member development programmes in individual boroughs be delayed until the New Year as it was a very busy time at the moment for the newly elected members.


Resolved -


(a)      That the success of waste minimisation plan activities in 2013/2014 be noted.


(b)      That the progress of waste minimisation activity so far in 2014/2015 be noted.


(c)      That the process to be followed to develop a plan for 2015/2016 and plan to integrate the waste prevention strategy into the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy be noted.


Annual Health and Safety Review pdf icon PDF 185 KB

Additional documents:


See report of the Director (agenda item 7).


Jim Brennan, Director, introduced the report. He stated that the safety record of the Authority had been good over 2013/2014.  The actions arising from the Health and Safety Review in March 2014 were mostly complete and were subject to an internal audit in October.


Resolved -


(a)      That the revised Health and Safety Policy attached to the report as appendix 1 be approved.


(b)      That the outcomes from the Annual Health and Safety review meeting held in March 2014 be noted


(c)      That the key issues highlighted for the Authority in 2013/2014 in respect of health and safety as shown in appendix 2 to the report be noted.


(b)      That the Authority’s Health and Safety plan for 2014/2015 as shown at appendix 3 to the report be approved.


Consultations: London Infrastructure Plan 2050 pdf icon PDF 199 KB


See report of the Director and Chief Technical Adviser (agenda item 8).


Jim Brennan, Director, introduced the report.  He referred to the proposed response to consultation regarding the concept of a "circular economy".  He noted that there was a suggestion to standardise recycling for instance by colour coding.  This might help but it would need to take account of different types of housing and of collection arrangements.  Councillor Pamela Fleming noted that there were issues around developing the skills which would be required in order to effectively deliver disassembly and reuse.


Resolved -


That the draft response to the consultation on the London Infrastructure Plan 2050, as set out in the appendix to the report, be approved.


Urgent business

Any other items which the Chair accepts for consideration on the grounds of urgency.


There was no urgent business.


Exclusion of Press and Public

That the public and press be asked to leave the meeting during discussion of the following item because exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of schedule 12A of the local Government Act is likely to be made known.




That the public and press be asked to leave the meeting during discussion of the following item because exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the local Government Act was likely to be made known.


Director's Delegated Decisions


See report of the Director and Chief Technical Adviser (agenda item11).


Members noted the contract arrangements made by the Director in Consultation with the Clerk, Treasurer and Chief Technical Adviser which secured a cost effective solution for the treatment of wood waste. Officers were asked to explore whether there was any interest from Boroughs for use of wood chippings.