Hounslow Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Music Room, Spring Grove House, West Thames College

Contact: Kay Duffy on 020 8583 2067 or at Email: kay.duffy@hounslow.gov.uk 

No. Item


4.00-4.05pm - Welcome

The Chair will open the meeting, invite introductions, welcome new attendees and take apologies for absence.


Apologies were submitted on behalf of Nicola Burbidge, Carl Bussey, Mary Harpley, Bally Janagal (deputised at the meeting by Jas Lall), Sue Jeffers, Councillor Mann and Zara Qureshi.  Marjorie Semple, Chair, welcomed everyone present to the meeting and invited a round of introductions.


4.05-4.10pm - Previous minutes and matters arising pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Opportunity for attendees to raise any issues of accuracy before agreeing the minutes and to raise any matters arising not covered by the agenda.


The minutes of the December 2014 meeting were agreed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.


Matters Arising:


Minute 14: Previous minute and matters arising (Minute 8: Update Report):

Stephen Hutchinson confirmed that the young people’s survey of 1000 of their peers would be carried out in the Autumn.


4.10-4.40pm - Review of 2014 and Planning for 2015 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

The session will provide an opportunity to reflect on last year, and to consider role, term of reference, membership (including agreeing the Chair for the coming year) and focus for the year ahead. This will begin with a reprise of responses received in reply to the Chairs email of 26 February and an opportunity to discuss further.


See the Board’s Terms of Reference, Agenda Item 3.


Marjorie Semple thanked members for their responses to her recent emails on the future of this Board.  All responses had been positive and, whilst members acknowledged how busy they were, they also recognised the value of continuing to meet as a local strategic partnership. 


Members were asked for their comments on the current terms of reference. It was suggested that the quarterly meeting schedule was preferable for the majority of members, as was the choice of Wednesday as the meeting day.  Where an earlier start time was not supported, Stuart Low wondered whether meetings could be restricted to 1.5hrs long to allow them to finish earlier.  It was agreed that some adjustments could be made in the agenda planning to support an earlier finish. 


Members agreed that the Chair and Vice-Chair positions should continue to be reviewed on an annual basis.  Marjorie offered members the opportunity to continue meeting at Spring Grove House in future, irrespective of the chairperson. 


It was acknowledged that full attendance at meetings was more difficult to achieve at particular times of the year.  Marjorie wished to record members’ desire to secure the renewed support and participation of the current political administration at meetings.  Members also sought assurances that the Board would have what Marjorie described as a ‘line of sight’ for its work, together with the ability to shape policy and influence how decisions were taken for the borough.


Ian Duke reminded members of the overlap between the two major projects discussed during the past year, despite those projects originating from different places:

·         population churn and challenges;

·         reductions in resources versus increases in demand;

·         the identification of gaps in respect of what other partners might be addressing in relation to areas of disadvantage.


The two main projects were the Cranford Stronger Together project and the Community Resilience project, which looked at how those areas that might be coming under stress were measured in Hounslow.  Ian reminded the Board that the Future Borough Strategy was due for revision this year. He suggested, however, that members may feel that the Board had already reviewed the Future Borough Strategy, as a result of work on these two named projects, and may wish to defer the formal review of this document to next year.


When asked where members wished to focus their energies on this Board, Stephen Fry suggested that the private sector appeared to be experiencing some resurgence and was growing fast.  He drew attention to a report by Regeneris, due to be published soon.  This resurgence contrasted with the drastic cuts to public sector funding, which meant that the necessary infrastructure in education, health and police services etc. to support economic growth was increasingly unavailable.  Stephen referred to the impact on GP patient lists as a direct result of the high level of residential development across the borough and the expectation that the health service would continue to deliver.  GPs were he said concerned that provision for health  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.


4.40-5.00pm - Update Report pdf icon PDF 161 KB

The report provides updates on areas of work initiated by the partnership or in which it has previously expressed an interest. It also updates on the other strategic partnerships and now includes a round-up of actions raised by the Board in previous meetings. Includes an in-depth update on welfare reforms, the work of the Welfare Reform Group and the roll-out of Universal Credit.


See Update Report from the Head of Policy and Scrutiny, Agenda Item 4.


Ian Duke referred members to a slightly longer update on Welfare Reform.  Officers anticipated confirmation in the coming months of the reduction to the benefit cap to £23,000pa, together with further restrictions to housing benefit, which would impact many more of the borough’s residents.



Members noted the submitted report.


5.00-5.25pm - Cranford Stronger Together Project Update pdf icon PDF 102 KB

This item will highlight key points within the final report and will update the Board on the outcome of the first co-design workshop that took place on 16 February. The Board will have an opportunity to explore these interventions and to think about wider applications ahead of a second workshop with residents. The Board is asked if there are other cohorts within Cranford it may wish to consider. Finally there will be a discussion on potential next steps.


Please note that the final report for the project has not been included in the printed agenda packs and can instead be found with the electronic pack on the Council’s website using the following link: https://democraticservices.hounslow.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=295&MId=9067&Ver=4


Additional documents:


See submitted reports from the Head of Policy and Scrutiny, Agenda Item 5.


Following a short update on the framework of the project, Stephen Fry asked whether the established networks had to be disrupted in order to access them or whether some commonality could be found to access those networks.  In response Ian reported that a workshop had already been held, using the typologies table included in the pack (Pg 35).  Potential interventions resulting from that workshop were listed at Pgs 20-21 of the pack and a report would be brought to members of this Board before holding a second workshop.


Resourcing the work of the project was an issue and officers were working to identify appropriate funding streams.  The Council’s Cabinet had been supportive of the proposals but the focus was now on narrowing the number of outcomes.  Two lead officers had been commissioned from the Council’s Community Partnerships Unit to work on network mapping, together with a match-funded Community Organiser post. 


Parveen Sohal commented that the project’s target community reflected the communities served by the Citizens Advice Bureau.  She drew attention to the need to establish trust with individuals, which was very resource intensive.  Having been involved in the first workshop, Parveen reported that those who worked with the community were afraid that they would lose residents’ trust if it was discovered that they were attending these workshops.


When asked whether the strategy was to get those vulnerable individuals into an ‘adoptive’ community or to get them to ‘self-include’ into an existing community, Ian suggested that the aim was to focus first on the close network around the individual and then the extended network, which would help to enable the individual to get back into education and work.



Members noted the submitted report and recorded their support of the work carried out to date.  


5.25-5.50pm - Community Resilience Project Scoping pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Following the outline paper that went to the last meeting, this paper provides a detailed scoping to put in place a model that can identify where our communities’ ability to be resilient and support individuals is weakest. The paper responds to the Board’s interest in population migration and the impact this may have on plans for more community based working.


See submitted report from the Head of Policy and Scrutiny, Agenda Item 6.


Ian Duke provided a brief synopsis of the project, indicating that officers were meeting with representatives of Flourish in connection with the analysis of community infrastructure, something which was currently being looked at by colleagues in Community Partnerships Unit.  He hoped there was the possibility of recruiting student volunteers from West Thames College to help with the detailed analysis of networks at local level.  Marjorie Semple suggested the possibility of building this work into the 3rd year of the student curriculum.  Parveen Sohal and Stephen Hutchinson offered to support the analysis work.


Stephen Fry sought clarification as to whether S106 funding could be used for the development of the bespoke model for this project. 


Ian confirmed that this particular project format was currently exclusive to Hounslow.  He acknowledged that it could be used as a pilot once the first tranche of work had been completed and assuming funding was available to scale up the project for other areas.


Stuart Low wished to record the support of the London Fire Brigade for the work, asking whether the networks equalled health and employment.  In response Ian reminded members that the 2010 study in New Cross Gate had been initiated by RSA towards the end of a multi million pound regeneration project funded under the New Deal initiative. That study revealed positive outcomes for housing and environment but negligible difference for health and employment. 


Ian expressed his opinion that these types of initiatives reinforced clusters but did not necessarily expand them.  He suggested that the longer distance networks and connections supported better health and employment prospects.  This had been evident in the results from the New Cross Gate initiative, particularly for those individuals who had long-distance connections, who were non-British and who had not been in the area long.  Although these individuals could face challenges if they got into difficulty, they also tended to be much more positive and were consequently easier to engage with.



Members noted their support for the work carried out to date and for the progression of the community resilience project.


5.50-6.00pm - AOB, Agenda for the next meeting and Close

Next scheduled meeting to be held on 29 July 2015 from 4pm.


Members agreed to cancel the July meeting and revise the frequency of the Board’s meeting schedule to proceed with a quarterly meeting schedule from October 7th 2015, using Wednesdays from 4pm as the preferred meeting day.