Hounslow Council


Agenda, decisions and minutes

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

Contact: Irene Bowles, email  irene.bowles@hounslow.gov.uk, telephone 020 8583 2075 

Items
No. Item

117.

Apologies for Absence, Declarations of Interest or any other Communications from Members

Decision:

Apologies: Apologies had been received from Councillor Lily Bath.

 

Declarations of Interest:  Councillors Atwal Hear and Rajawat advised that they had received a briefing on Item 5 (West of Borough Local Plan Review) at a meeting of the Planning Committee.

Minutes:

Apologies: Apologies had been received from Councillor Lily Bath.

 

Declarations of Interest:  Councillors Atwal Hear and Rajawat advised that they had received a briefing on Item 5 on the Agenda (West of Borough Local Plan Review) at a meeting of the Planning Committee  (minuted at 121 below).

118.

Police Report - Inspector O'Brien pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Decision:

In response to questions from Councillors, Inspector O’Brien agreed to provide more specific crime information to the Area Forum if this was requested prior to future meetings.

 

Members were advised that Inspector O’Brien was moving to a new role, although she would still be working within the Borough.  Inspector Dominic Hall would take over her current role, and would attend future Area Forum meetings.  Councillor Virdi requested contact details for Inspector Hall, which would be provided by the Clerk.

 

The Chair thanked Inspector Dee O’Brien for her work in the Heston and Cranford area, and presented her with a small gift as a token of thanks from the Area Councillors.

Minutes:

In addition to the information provided in her report (attached to item 2 of the Agenda pack, Inspector O’Brien highlighted the following points:

a)    There had been targeted patrols as part of “Operation Autumn Nights”, which has resulted in a reduction in burglary offences – previously the trend was an increase.

b)    There had been a problem in the vicinity of Heston Hyde Hotel in respect of thefts of tools from motor vehicles; this had reduced dramatically in December (from 4-5 weekly in November to 5 for the whole of December).

c)    Although some types of crime in Heston and Cranford have increased, the overall current trend is downwards.

d)    It was noted that the Metropolitan Police were not currently looking to reduce the number of PCSOs; there was a commitment for the time being to maintain one PCSO per Ward.

e)    Inspector O’Brien informed members that she was taking on a new role as a Partnership Inspector within Hounslow, and that Acting Inspector Dominic Hall (present at the meeting) would be taking over the Neighbourhood Inspector role, and attending Area Forums.  Councillor Virdi requested contact details for Inspector Hall, which would be provided by the Clerk.

 

Councillor Virdi agreed that crime figures overall were going down across the Borough, but noted that crime was actually increasing in most MOPAC7 categories in Heston and Cranford, including a 52% increase in knife crime.  He also noted that shoplifting had increased by 9.4% across the Borough.

 

[Councillor Kaur arrived at 7.10pm]

 

Inspector O’Brien acknowledged that the figures for Heston and Cranford were not as positive as for some other Wards.  However, quarter on quarter, the trend was down – especially for criminal damaged and violence with injury.  Although Inspector O’Brien did not have the figures to hand for knife crime, she advised Members that “Operation Sceptre” was to be rolled out across the whole metropolitan police area, including Hounslow.  There will be knife sweeps in schools and other areas.  Inspector Hall would be overseeing this in Hounslow, and was in the process of planning activities.  Inspector O’Brien accepted that knife crime was a matter of public and police concern.

 

In response to questions from Councillors, Inspector O’Brien agreed to provide more specific crime information to the Area Forum if this was requested prior to future meetings.

 

Councillor Mann thanked Inspector O’Brien for her report, but confirmed that he would like to see a breakdown by Ward; he was concerned that drug offences were more visible in Heston East and Cranford, and worried that drug dealers might be one step ahead of the police at times.  He assured Inspector O’Brien that Councillors wanted to help the police.  Inspector O’Brien confirmed that a breakdown of crime figures by Ward could be provided in the report to Area Forum, although she reflected that Heston East currently had the lowest crime figures in the area.  She reminded Members that the figures were taken from the corporate system, which could be quite clunky, and should be taken  ...  view the full minutes text for item 118.

119.

Rectory Farm - Gravel extraction and provision of new park - David Graham (DP9) pdf icon PDF 9 MB

Decision:

It was agreed that the Presentation given by David Graham (DP9) and Kevin Carmody (Carmody Groarke) would be attached as a supplementary report to the Agenda documents.

Minutes:

The Presentation given by David Graham (DP9) and Kevin Carmody (Carmody Groarke) is attached to the Agenda documents as a supplementary report (Agenda item 3).

 

Messrs Graham and Carmody thanked Members for the opportunity to present information to them, and led Members through their presentation, making the following points:

Ø  The site is on greenbelt land.

Ø  The site had experienced a variety of problems, including high levels of crime, fly-tipping, and encroachment from horses.

Ø  The area has the richest level of minerals in London: samples taken across the site show 8-14 metres depth of gravel, equating to approximately three million tons.

Ø  This will not be an open gravel mine; top-down construction would be applied.

Ø  There would be a sustainable approach, underground.  The surface can be used a parkland, etc, and the impact on the local community would be reduced.

Ø  There is a big win for the Council – a greenbelt site in private ownership will become a park for the public, paid for and maintained by the gravel work.

Ø  There would be clear paths, including running tracks and cycle ways across the park, connecting the different communities.  Playing fields would also be included.

Ø  It was proposed that there would be three clear access points; this was under discussion with TfL.

 

Q:  Councillor Virdi remarked that this scheme appeared to be very similar to a previously submitted plan, which had been rejected.  Mr Carmody confirmed this, advising that further information had been required in relation to the previous application; this had not been obtained and the proposal revised accordingly.

Q: Councillor Rajawat raised concerns:

Ø  Boundary issues, particularly at Brabazon Road – Mr Carmody explained that buffers in landscaping would be placed 15m from the boundaries, and there would be community gardens between the proposed footpaths and adjoining back gardens.

Ø  The river flowing through the site – Mr Carmody advised that hydrology had been carefully considered.  There were large spaces between the blocks of cell buildings, with natural mud and earth in those spaces; there would be no problems in terms of flooding.

Ø  Access and egress for trucks – Mr Carmody noted that there was already an access point at the northern end of the site.  The Developers were keen to take other road users into account, and avoid the southern end junctions where possible.  Councillor Rajawat reminded Mr Carmody that the northern access point was at the High Street – a busy junction in its own right.  How would the Developers manage this?  Mr Carmody explained that they would work with Council officers to avoid peak periods.

Q: Councillor Mann raised concerns:

Ø  What about earth/mud falling from trucks? Mr Carmody informed Members that there would not be a great deal of need to remove soil from the site: it is the gravel that will be removed.  While the structures are being constructed, 30% of the gravel extraction will be used in the construction.  Effective Banksmen will ensure that wheels are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 119.

120.

British Legion Presentation - Graham Crean

Decision:

This item was withdrawn.

Minutes:

This item was withdrawn.

121.

West of Borough Plan (Local Plan review) - Michael Thornton & Alex Bird pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Members were advised that the consultation on this plan would close at 5pm on 22 February 2016.

Minutes:

Alex Bird and Michael Thornton, from the Planning Policy Team, led Members through a presentation on Local Plan Reviews 2016/17 (presentation has been uploaded as a Supplementary Report alongside the Agenda papers for the meeting).  They advised Members that there were currently two consultation papers, one for each end of the Borough.  The Local Plan had been advertised in September 2015.  11 issues had been identified on the West of Borough review; any others should be raised with the Planning Department.

 

Currently, research was being undertaken in the following areas:

Ø  Employment space – looking at the strategic growth of Heathrow and how to support local jobs;

Ø  Housing need and market conditions – there is a housing target, but the Borough is not meeting the need for housing types;

Ø  Infrastructure and delivery – this is looking at refreshing potential school sites; a report will be going to Cabinet in the Spring.

 

Key issues are:

Ø  Feltham Town Centre, with a focus on access to Feltham Station

Ø  Green Belt – does Hounslow’s policy meet national guidelines?  Does it need to be amended?

Ø  Heathrow – a new Garden City brochure is to be published.  Members were disappointed that the Government had delayed a decision on a 3rd runway at Heathrow.

 

Members were advised that the consultation on this plan would close at 5pm on 22 February 2016.

 

The Chair thanked Alex Bird and Michael Thornton for their presentation, and invited questions on the review.

 

Q: Councillor Rajawat expressed frustration that this local plan review was titled “West of the Borough”, but some areas appeared to have been lost.  It was largely about Feltham, with very little on Heston.  The Council was not considering how to protect local heritage.  Michael Thornton acknowledged that this was a very diverse area. He reminded Members that issue 10 in item 4.1 of the report (attached to item 5 of the Agenda pack) highlights urban design and character as a key implication.  He confirmed that it was important to recognise sites and buildings of heritage – and add them to the listed buildings register if appropriate.  Michael Thornton recognised that Ward Councillors understood their local area and were better placed to identify this.

 

The Chair suggested that a separate meeting could be arranged where Councillors and residents could meet with Michael Thornton to discuss matters of heritage.

 

Councillor Virdi concurred that there were many heritage buildings in Cranford, and that this area needed regeneration as well.  He asked that the parking problems around the mosque in Cranford be considered.

 

Mr Blackett raised concerns that Greenbelt and Metropolitan Open Land were in danger of being lost to develop infrastructure, housing, etc.  He reminded Members that due regard must be given to evidence demonstrating why Greenbelt land should be released.  Michael Thornton confirmed that planning applications had to meet this requirement.  However, he noted that this was an opportunity to review the definition of Greenbelt land (as per the reviews in 1957 and 1989):  ...  view the full minutes text for item 121.

122.

Waste and Recycling Update - Andrew Baker pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Minutes:

Andrew Baker led Members through his report (attached to item 6 of the Agenda pack), highlighting that:

a)    Wheeled bins – 70,000 properties would be using wheeled bins by April 2016.  A large number of recycling containers had been requested.

b)    Chargeable Garden Waste Service – Subscribers to this fortnightly service would receive a 240 litre wheeled bin, or could continue to use the green bags. A 10% discount would apply to anyone signing up by 29 February 2016; 50% discount would be given to residents receiving Council Tax Support.  Residents could also apply for a free compost bin – subject to availability.

c)    New Services – Members were reminded of the proposals that had received Cabinet approval in December 2015.

 

Mr Blackett was concerned about the low level of recycling in Hounslow, and wondered if the target of 50% recycled waste by 2019 was achievable, as the current level was 35%.  The programme to educated people to recycle and not “black-bag” everything had not been successful to date.  Andrew Baker assured Members that there were lots of resources in place to aid this education.

 

Councillor Mann agreed that more education was needed.  He reminded Members that Hounslow spent only 50p per household on this, as opposed to £4 per household spent by Barnet.  Education, along with the size of the wheeled bins (140 litre) should strongly encourage residents to recycle more.

 

Mr Blackett stated that residents would have welcomed more updates on how recycling rates were progressing as this programme had been rolled out across the borough.  Andrew Baker advised that this would have been difficult to demonstrate during a transition stage.  However, he could confirm that there was less residual waste from those residents already using wheeled bins.

 

Councillor Mann reported that the key failure areas were from flats above shops, where the recycling rate was only 8%.

123.

New SEN School - Gresham Road - Presentation by Susan Crinage (Pick Everard)

Minutes:

Susan Crinage, Project Architect from Pick Everard, gave a presentation on the proposed new SEN School, to be sited at Gresham Road.  This would provide 224 places for 11 to 25 year olds in a secondary school (11-16 years) and college (16-25 years).  The current Oaklands school in Woodlands Road would become primary provision, with around 95 places.

 

There would be some shared facilities with the local community, that would be available for all groups to book and use (elderly, mother and toddler, disabled, etc).  These would include the use of badminton courts, gym, swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool – all outside school hours – and a café.

 

There would be some high fences on the boundary to provide security for vulnerable pupils.

 

There were no questions from Members or residents; the Chair thanked Susan Crinage for her presentation.

124.

Open Forum for questions from the public (maximum of 30 minutes)

Protocol:

       Questions will be allowed at the Chair’s discretion.

       The Chair will normally only allow one question per item.

       Items on the main agenda should not be raised in the open forum.

       Individual cases cannot be discussed.

       Items submitted to the Chair in advance of the meeting are welcomed.

Decision:

a)     Fly-tipping and dumping of rubbish in Summerhouse Avenue, Heston

Michael Edwards circulated a photograph (via Councillor Mann) of rubbish that had been dumped in Summerhouse Avenue.  Councillor Mann agreed that the situation was not acceptable, and advised that he would discuss this and other case work with Aled Richards, (Director - Community Safety, Environment & Regulatory Services).

 

The Chair  advised that a representative from the Hounslow Highways team would be asked to attend the next Area Forum meeting.

 

b)   Henlys Alley

Brian Clark raised the problems around alleys in the Borough that had not been included in the Hounslow Highways contract, and that had been discussed at previous meetings.  Councillor Mann confirmed that he had followed this up, but would pursue this again with Aled Richard’s team.

Minutes:

a)     Fly-tipping and dumping of rubbish in Summerhouse Avenue, Heston

Michael Edwards circulated a photograph (via Councillor Mann) of rubbish that had been dumped in Summerhouse Avenue.  Councillor Mann agreed that the situation was not acceptable, and advised that he would discuss this and other case work with Aled Richards, (Director - Community Safety, Environment & Regulatory Services).

 

The Chair added that CCTV was in place at this site.  Hounslow Highways had identified an individual from rubbish left at the site, who had been issued with a penalty notice and was being prosecuted.

 

The Chair  advised that a representative from the Hounslow Highways team would be asked to attend the next Area Forum meeting.

 

b)   Henlys Alley

Brian Clark raised the problems around alleys in the Borough that had not been included in the Hounslow Highways contract, and that had been discussed at previous meetings.  Hounslow Highways had reiterated to Mr Clark that Henlys Alley was not the responsibility of the Council.

 

 Councillor Mann confirmed that he had followed this up, but would pursue this again with Aled Richard’s team.  He advised that this – and other similar areas- had been omitted from the original contract, so further negotiation was required.

 

Councillor Mann reminded Members that fly-tipping in this area was the responsibility of Hounslow Highways to clear.  Mr Edwards agreed to forward an e-mail that he had received from Hounslow Highways to Councillor Mann, so that further action could be taken.

 

c)    Cranford Car Wash

Mr Bawa raised the subject of Cranford Car Wash.  Members reminded him that this had been raised on numerous occasions, and there were complex issues involved.

 

At 9.25pm, Councillor Rajawat proposed the suspension of Standing Orders, until all business had been concluded.  Members voted to agree this proposal.

125.

Budget Presentation for 2016/17 - Cllr Theo Dennison

Decision:

Councillor Dennison informed Members that the revised Medium Term Financial Statement would be published on the Area Forum Agenda page of the Council website on Wednesday 27 January 2016.

Minutes:

Councillor Dennison led Members through his presentation on Budget Savings Proposals 2016/17.  He informed Members that the revised Medium Term Financial Statement would be published on the Area Forum Agenda page of the Council website on Wednesday 27 January 2016.

 

Budget savings had taken longer to resolve this year, especially in view of the announcements made by the Government in the Autumn Statement.

 

There was a savings requirement for 2016/17 of £23.7m, which includes the requirement arising from the Financial Settlement from the Autumn Statement.  Taking into account savings approved to date, and the proposed savings package, there is still a shortfall of £2.7m.

 

Councillor Dennison outlined the key budget cuts and cuts with significant service implications.  He reminded Members that the Autumn Statement had lifted the cap on Council Tax increases by 2% to fund Adult Social Care (ASC); Government funding now assumes an annual 1.7% increase in Council Tax and 2% ASC precept from 2016/17.

 

Q: Mr Marbrow asked about the calculation of the population of Hounslow.  Councillor Dennison agreed that there was a discrepancy in the way the Government counts population to that of the Council, and confirmed that this did have an impact on funding.

 

Q: Mr Blackett asked if there was a proposal to increase Council Tax?  Councillor Dennison replied that there was no proposal to hold a referendum: ie the Council would not exceed Government limits on any increase.  Public services would not be cut.

126.

Planning Enforcement Update/Clarification - Cllr Theo Dennison pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Dennison sought to clarify the new process for planning enforcement, following the September 2015 Borough Council decision.  The Council had opted to adopt an Enforcement “Tsar” model.  Enforcements could be called in by Ward Councillors, the Area Chair, or recognised amenity societies.

 

Councillor Dennison reminded Members that 96% of Planning Applications were agreed by Officers; Councillors were only called on if there was an issue.  There were similar call-in powers for planning enforcement.  Officers made high quality decisions, and approved matters in the vast majority of cases – individual Councillors will call in a few cases.  Councillors will need to look at the Pending Actions list every week, to keep a check on this.  Councillor Purewal has called in two cases in his Ward under the new regime; the Chair has an oversight over the Area Forum Wards and can call in cases from any of them.  Members noted that Marilyn Smith is their point of contact.  Councillor Dennison advised that recognised amenity societies also have the right to request a call in via their Ward Councillor or Area Forum Chair.  At that point, it is the Ward Councillor’s responsibility to try and resolve any issue with the Planning Officer (Marilyn Smith).  If the Councillor is unhappy with the result, the matter can be taken to the Planning Committee or the Enforcement Advisory Panel Chair, Councillor Elizabeth Hughes.

 

Councillor Dennison clarified that local panels had been discussed initially, but had not been included in the final report that went to Borough Council in September 2015.  If Ward Councillors wish to meet as a Ward Forum to discuss any case, they can, and they are free to invite others into their deliberations if they so wish.  Councillors will receive training on this in due course.

 

Q: Councillor Virdi:  Why can Councillors only call in minor applications, and not major ones?  Councillor Dennison explained that all major applications go to Planning Committee for decision.  Councillors can discuss individual cases, but need to take care if they are members of the Planning Committee, as this could be seen to be prejudicial…..they can discuss, but not determine.

 

Q: Mr Marbrow expressed his concern that the Tsar model did not show the process prior to call-in, and reported that he felt the call-in procedure was unclear.  Borough Council had agreed various recommendations, but no procedure.  Mr Marbrow did not believe that the process was open and transparent, as it was difficult to know if due process had been complied with.

 

Councillor Dennison noted that Mr Marbrow had raised all these points previously, and had received written responses from the Desmond Adumekwe, Planning Enforcement Manager; Councillor Dennison absolutely endorsed the information given to Mr Marbrow by Mr Adumekwe.  Councillor Dennison considered that clarity had now been delivered, and there should be no doubts about how the process would work.

127.

New Petitions and updates

a)                  To receive Petition requesting a resolution to persistent fly-tipping and litter in Lynmouth Gardens, Heston

 

b)                 To receive any updates on petitions previously received

Decision:

Members received a petition from Ms Ghataura, with 65 signatures, in relation to persistent fly-tipping and litter in Lynmouth Gardens, Heston. 

Resolved:

To pass the petition to relevant Officers for action, and to receive a report on action taken at a future Area Forum meeting.

Minutes:

Members received a petition from Ms Ghataura, with 65 signatures, in relation to persistent fly-tipping and litter in Lynmouth Gardens, Heston.  They accepted that this was a matter that should be pursued, and agreed to pass the petition to relevant Officers to investigate.

 

 

Resolved:

To pass the petition to relevant Officers for action, and to receive a report on action taken at a future Area Forum meeting.

128.

Minutes of the meeting held on 12 November 2015 and matters arising pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12 November 2015 were agreed as a true and accurate record and were signed by the Chair.

 

Matters arising:

a)    Item 101(i) s106 update

Councillor Dennison advised Members that an updated list of s106 projects was being prepared, and would be circulated as soon as it was ready.

 

b)   Item 104 (6.4) Western International Market Site – s106 payments

Councillor Dennison confirmed that he had the answer to Mr Blackett’s questions, and would forward this to him at the end of the meeting.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12 November 2015 were agreed as a true and accurate record and were signed by the Chair.

 

Matters arising:

a)    Item 101(i) s106 update

Councillor Dennison advised Members that an updated list of s106 projects was being prepared, and would be circulated as soon as it was ready.  Councillor Purewal was concerned that accounting principles had not been robustly applied.

 

b)   Item 104 (6.4) Western International Market Site – s106 payments

Councillor Dennison confirmed that he had the answer to Mr Blackett’s questions, and would forward this to him at the end of the meeting.

 

[Councillor Mann left the meeting]

129.

Street Improvement - Gareth James pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Members were advised to contact Gareth James if they wished to make applications for Street Improvement grants.  The current round of applications would close on 29 February 2016.

Minutes:

Gareth James confirmed that the current round of applications for funding from the Street Improvement Fund was now open, and would remain so until 29 February 2016.  There was £100K available – approximately £20K for each Area Forum area.  Last year, only £3K had been requested for the Heston and Cranford area; this had been used to provide 22 trees in Firs Drive, which had been transformative.

 

Members were advised to contact Gareth James if they wished to make applications for Street Improvement grants. 

130.

Spring Grove Road CPZ Proposed Expansion - Design Consultation Results - Gareth James pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Gareth James reminded Members that this item was for information only, as the proposed CPZ Spring Grove Road expansion bordered on Heston and Cranford.  It would be taken to Central Hounslow for decision on 28 January 2016 for decision.

 

The proposal was to add this area to the HTC North zone, with the same time restrictions.  Members would be kept up to date with any impact on neighbouring streets in the Heston East ward.

131.

Any other business, which the Chair considers to be urgent

Minutes:

a)    Avenue Park – arson attack in 2015

Councillor Virdi advised Members that the damage caused in this arson attack had been repaired, and the park was now open again. 

132.

Date of next scheduled meeting is 3 March 2016

Minutes:

The next scheduled meeting will take place at 7pm on Thursday 3 March 2016, in Committee Rooms 1 & 2.