Hounslow Council

Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Joti Patel - 020 8583 3356 or email:  joti.patel@hounslow.gov.uk  Email: joti.patel@hounslow.gov.uk

No. Item


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

Apologies for absence were noted from Councillors Tony Louki and Paul Lunch and from Kamal Ahmad.



Apologies for absence were received from councillors Daanish Saeed, Tony Louki, Jagdish Sharma and Peter Carey, and from Imran Choudhury, Jacqui Corley, Kamal Ahmed and Zara Qureshi.


It was noted for the record that members had taken part in the Under 5s consultation forums in their locality, though this was not considered prejudicial to their duties on this panel.


Cllr Green welcomed the new supporting Policy and Scrutiny Officer, John Murphy.


Minutes of the meeting held on 2 September 2015 pdf icon PDF 86 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 2 September 2015 were agreed and signed by the Chair.


Matters Arising from the Minutes


There were no matters arising.


Child Obesity and Children's Health briefing pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:


See the Policy and Scrutiny Officer’s (PSO) report at agenda item 4, page 10.


There was a presentation by Laura Maclehose, Public Health Consultant, outlining measures and proposals to tackle child obesity and other public health issues affecting children and young people - including eating disorders - for the panel to consider for further scrutiny.


The following points were made by members and officers in response to questions following the presentation:

·       The Discovery Club was a pilot weight management scheme run in four secondary schools that monitored the progress of young people identified as overweight.  The scheme would be rolled out to other schools if the data analysis showed the scheme to be a useful intervention.

·       11,000 people in Heston and Feltham took part in a physical activity scheme run by LBH Transport Team called “Switch”.  The scheme was promoted in those areas encouraging people to walk to school, college or work.  The area was chosen as data showed higher levels of obesity in this area of the Borough and the team hoped to roll out the scheme across the Borough.  Some of the grants funded various organisations, schemes and groups who were not attending mainstream physical activity programmes.  The aim was to have people undertake at least 10 minutes exercise a day.

·       Public Health also funded an audit of behaviours, health gap, and what to do in future to promote healthy eating.

·       Areas of high poverty were often linked with obesity. However,  there were many other factors to consider, as children with a range of problems were likely to be at risk of obesity.  Public Health needed to work closely with the children’s services to identify issues. To this effect there were plans for an open event for Public Health partners to share ideas.

·       Although recent press reports showed a slight drop in child obesity in early primary school, figures showed that the Borough required a 20% drop in primary school levels to meet the national figure.

·       Hounslow, Richmond and Kingston Community Care Services had been commissioned to provide a complete health and wellbeing service for young people including provision of between 10 to 20 sessions on parenting skills.

·       The Council had been allocated funding of £153,000 from NHS England and was working jointly with Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham to establish eating disorder services for young people.  Specification and staffing had been agreed and the service was due to start in April 2016.

·       Data was not available on specific causes of obesity across different ethnic groups.  Thus the working target was based on an audit of areas where obesity was at its highest level.

·       In response to a question on long term funding for public health, the panel were informed that funding was currently ring fenced by the Department of Health.  John Murphy added that funding pressure could potentially increase in future years when public health grants were no longer funded by specific ring fenced grants.  Laura Maclehose said that public health funding was important for preventative health  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Brighter futures for under-5s consultation response pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Additional documents:


See the Policy & Scrutiny Officer’s report at agenda item 5, page 22


There was a presentation by Michael Marks, Assistant Director for Education and Early Help Services and Sandra Morrison, Head of Early Help Services, to update members on the outcome of the 90 day consultation on providing free childcare places for under-5s.  Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, Chrissie Elam, Head of Early Years, and Judy Matthews, Project Manager, Under 5s Education, also attended.


Panel members were asked to note the update and provide comment to the Cabinet Lead Member and officers.


Michael Marks provided members with a summary of the programme:

·       Consultation carried out from 20th July 2015 to 17th October 2015.

·       Statutory duty to provide free child care for every two year old for 30 hours from 2017 for working parents earning less than £100,000 per annum.

·       Reconfigure how services are provided to make savings of £1.76m set out in the Council’s medium term financial strategy (MTFS).

·       The new approach to delivering these services would be:

·       A reduced number of children’s centres open full time.

·       Increased free child care places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

·       Access to universal services through a variety of venues targeted to those who need it the most.

·       More reliance on sustained partnership working.

·       Increased outreach support from trained workers.

·       Less external providers and increased internal provision.

·       Improved systems for signposting, booking and timetabling of activities.


Sandra Morrison reviewed the outcome of the consultation and key points that had emerged from responses received through a variety of channels used for consultation.  She said that the proposed model had been revised in the East and West of the borough as a result of feedback during the consultation. Berkeley Primary School had changed to academy status and Heston Children’s Centre would be part of the school estate.  The centre would continue to provide full time childcare places and offer available space to rent for children’s centre activities.  The proposed model was then revised to keep Bedfont Lane Children’s Centre open full time in the West of the borough, as feedback showed the greatest need for provision in this area.  Ms Morrison stated that children’s service colleagues were also in discussion with Bedfont Primary School about expanding the nursery to provide free places for eligible 2 year olds.  From feedback in the East area the proposed model had been revised to share the Chiswick Centre and close Dukes Meadow instead.


The final report would be presented to Cabinet for approval on 15 December 2015 and panel members were welcome to attend.


In response to questions the following points were made by Officers and the Lead Member:

·       The meeting at Southville Children’s Centre was a public meeting and was attended by service users.

·       Feedback was generally quite good and showed how much people value children’s centres and that for some users who suffered with health issues the children’s centres were a lifeline.  Some users thought about the different models  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 84 KB


See the report presented by the Policy & Scrutiny Officer, agenda item 6, page 29.


The Policy and Scrutiny officers asked members to note the work completed during the year by the panel and advise if there were any changes to be made to the work programme for the remainder of the year.  Councillor Green told members that this was a good opportunity to consider how they might carry out more in-depth work outside of the scheduled committee meetings.  She asked officers to undertake a scoping exercise to see how the panel might do further work around child obesity.  Councillor Green also asked members to email any suggestions for areas to review to Policy and Scrutiny officers.


Councillor Lynch proposed a review of the SEN transition from children’s services to adult services as it was felt that there was a lack of connection between staff and families in transition.  Ian Duke told the panel that work was being undertaken in this area and that officers would review whether it was possible to provide an update on this work at the panel’s April meeting.


Councillor Green asked whether it was possible to hold a joint meeting with the Youth Council and how this could best be arranged.  John Murphy confirmed that he would liaise with children’s services colleagues and report back to the panel at their February meeting.


Members of the panel discussed how they would also like to consider outcomes for care leavers at a future meeting.



      I.          That the panel should note the work programme for the remainder of the year, and

    II.          That officers report to the next meeting of the panel on how the items identified for review could be most effectively taken forward.


Urgent Business/Any Other Business

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



John Murphy to check if the April panel meeting would be subject to any restrictions related to the forthcoming GLA pre-election period.


Councillor Collins invited all Members to the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Ceremony provisionally scheduled for April 2016.