Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Wellington Day Centre, 292 Staines Road, Hounslow TW4 5BA

Contact: Bill Lee on 020 8583 2068 or email  william.lee@hounslow.gov.uk or  CHAF@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

72.

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

Minutes:

Cllr Tom Bruce declared that his wife had raised the petition about the Whitton Dene bus stop. This was a non-pecuniary matter which did not prevent Cllr Bruce from speaking on the subject, or voting.

73.

Police Reports pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Presenter to be confirmed.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Please see agenda item 2 for the reports. Sgt Mark Ogunwe presented the reports.

 

He advised that there were changes to the policing of the Borough, to be found on the new website. Hounslow police were to be merged into a “Tri-Borough” formation, allowing a high level of flexibility. There would be two designated ward officers per ward, who would be “ring-fenced” for local patrols and duty. Recent operations carried out in Hounslow included Operation Sceptre, aimed at knife crime and numerous successful ANPR ops which had resulted in an arrest for drug and handling stolen goods offences and the seizure of an illegal vehicle.

 

Cllr Bob Whatley raised reports of thefts from motor vehicles carried out with the aid of ‘blocking’ devices which prevented electronic locking by key fobs and urged caution when locking cars, to check that doors were actually locked and to use the key if necessary. The spike in theft from the person and shoplifting offences in Hounslow Central in March was noted and Sgt Ogunwe advised that officers had met with management at TK Maxx, a major victim of shoplifting, to improve security. The store had had no visible deterrent to thieves, relying instead on plain clothes operatives who reacted to thefts once they occurred, but following discussion, now employed uniformed security staff who acted as a deterrent. Police had also stepped up patrols outside. Reported shoplifting offences had fallen to just 37 in April and it was hoped that a fall in crimes in TK Maxx would have a ‘knock on’ effect across the town centre.

 

Several letters had been sent as a warning to motorists found to be exceeding the speed limit following an operation in Hounslow Heath and it was noted that residents who had volunteered to assist wished to continue to do so in future. Cllr Mukesh Malhotra reported that rough sleepers were present in the Vine Place/Derby Road area and suspicious activity in the Bell Road car park which he asked police to patrol. CCTV had been removed from Midsummer Avenue and Munster Avenue and there had since been reports from residents of drug dealing along with similar in Frampton Road. Cllr Whatley advised that drug dealers were skilled at evading CCTV and also eluding police if reported.

 

Cllr Ajmer Grewal asked why only nine officers had been available to assist with Vaisakhi processions for crowds of up to 15,000 people; the Southall event had been escorted by 45 police. As a result the Gurdwara had spent £14,000 on marshalling, money which should have been spent in the community, such as assistance to the elderly.  Sgt Ogunwe advised that initially there was to have been no police involvement, with the procession being left to the Gurdwara but it had then been decided to deploy some officers. The matter was being reviewed and officers had held discussions with the Gurdwara about the 2018 event. The Area Forum fully backed requests for more police assistance to be given to the procession in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.

74.

Minutes of the Meeting Held on 30 March 2017 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 30 March 2017 were held to be an accurate record.

75.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Cllr Bob Whatley requested that the question of an additional meeting of the Area Forum to discuss road and footpath maintenance issues with Hounslow Highways be raised in “any other business”, which was agreed by the Chair.

76.

Open Forum for Questions from the Public (Maximum of 30 Minutes) pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Please see the briefing note by Mark Frost, Head of Traffic & Transport (agenda item 5).

 

Mr Frost presented the briefing.

 

He acknowledged that there had been no definite statement that the car park would be closed, something officers could learn from. The Legal & General proposal referred to in paragraph 3.4 involved checks that the land was suitable for a car park as that was currently uncertain due to the possibility of a basement underneath. Officers were examining the possibility of a small car park on London Road and the provision of some car parking along the proposed Cycle Superhighway 9 on the A315. There could be no promises however as there would be significant difficulties but it was believed that the proposals to allow parking on the school car park at weekends and the Lawrence Road site were both viable. It was hoped that more provision could be found in addition. 

 

In response to questions from members Mr Frost advised that officers were looking to progress parking on the south side of the A315 while also examining the possibility of spaces on the north side. Regarding parking at the school, the proposal was that the car park that would be provided for school staff could be used by the public at weekends, thereby not only giving additional parking provision but also generating extra income for the school. The school would have to agree as they would control the car park but it would be recommended that planning permission should call for the car park to be designed to allow public use. It was felt to be in everyone’s interest to proceed but discussions would take place with school governors to try to obtain their agreement. Parking along the Cycle Superhighway presented major challenges but there was an intention to build more car parks in the town centre, however there would be further loss of provision beginning in September 2017. Signs advising of available spaces were run by Legal & General and there were plans to upgrade the service (paid for by the Council) to allow access to the data from the internet. It was found that up to 40% of town centre traffic was actually generated by people driving around looking for a parking space so if they could find out availability before leaving home it could cut a considerable amount of congestion.

 

A parking review would be carried out of every road in the town centre. Complaints were raised about marked police cars parking in the York Road Controlled Parking Zone, depriving residents of spaces they paid for. A police officer at the meeting stated that the police station had a very small car park, giving no indication that the police would stop using residents’ bays. There were complaints that a car park which had been left unused for four months had become a rubbish tip and Serco were failing to keep it clear as agreed; it was suggested that the car park be returned to use at least until  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.

77.

Whitton Dene Bus Stop pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Briefing by Mark Frost.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See the briefing note by Mark Frost, (supplementary agenda item 5a).

 

Mr Frost gave the briefing and recommended that formal consultation for  the bus stop be progressed.

 

Cllr Bob Whatley expressed concern that the bus stop would exacerbate existing problems with irresponsible parking. Cllr Tom Bruce advised that his wife had proposed the bus stop to TfL as residents faced a long walk to the next closest stop, involving crossing the road, which was difficult with a pram or baby buggy or for disabled pedestrians. He accepted Cllr Whatley’s point about safety but felt that removal of parking bays for the bus stop would in fact improve the situation. He sympathised with local shopkeepers who feared the loss of parking’s effect on trade but felt that there was adequate parking available in the vicinity, plus bus passengers could increase custom. Mr Frost advised that an informal consultation had already taken place and if the Area Forum approved the Council would go to formal consultation. Cllr Colin Ellar asked if the bus stop could be placed a little further along the road and thereby keep the existing parking bays as he was concerned that drivers would park illegally if the bus stop was put in the proposed place. He suggested yellow lines at the junction to improve visibility. Mr Frost advised that there was a bus stop across the road and best practice was to pair them (albeit staggered to avoid congestion); if people parked in the bus stop it was up to enforcement officers to take action.

 

The Area Forum voted unanimously in favour of agreeing the recommendations.

 

Resolved:

 

That Central Hounslow Area Forum:

 

(a) noted the public consultation that had been undertaken for the provision of a new bus stop on Whitton Dene;

(b) noted the relative opposition and support for the bus stop;

(c) determined that the bus stop should be progressed to detailed design and

statutory consultation as per the outline plan in Appendix A; and

(d)

i. delegated authority to the Chief Officer to undertake the statutory

consultation on the proposals and resolve where possible any objections

received to the statutory consultation;

ii. in the event of any objections remaining unresolved, delegated authority to

the Chief Officer to determine these objections in consultation with the

Ward Councillors; and

iii. delegated authority to the Chief Officer to implement the proposals should

the decision be taken to confirm the Traffic Management Order.

 

78.

Problem Solving Booths

Presentation by Acting Superintendent Wayne Matthews.

Minutes:

PC Lou Roberts gave a verbal presentation on the Problem Solving Booths initiative which had been launched in Hounslow High Street on 9 May 2017, accompanying the talk with photographs taken of the event. This was a new cutting edge concept devised by Dr Caroline Howard and delivered in collaboration with a company called Owl. Hounslow was the first London borough to carry out the idea. Chairs had been set up in the High Street and officers had directly engaged with the community at street level. The exercise had been a great success and had reached people the police normally didn’t have good communications with. PC Roberts had worn uniform and although she was told by some youths that they hated the police, ended the event by obtaining contact details, having assured the young people that their input had been invaluable. Police had asked questions and got people to ask them questions too, showing that police officers were human and there to listen. Community Inclusion and Participation Manager Joan Conlon explained that the initiative had been undertaken as part of Mental Health Week; she had spoken to a 21 year old prolific offender who felt that he hated the world but nonetheless was celebrating eight months drug free. He had been invited to sit in the chair marked “helper” while Ms Conlon sat in the one marked “helped”. The young man had been baffled at first but the idea had been to show that the exchange was between one human being and another and both had as much to give as to receive. Cllr Corinna Smart applauded the initiative, which had been very well received by members.

 

As the meeting was running late the Chair moved to lift Standing Orders at this point, with unanimous approval.

79.

Consultation Advisory Panel Report pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Report by Cllr Theo Dennison presented by Joan Conlon.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Area Participation Officer Joan Conlon called for a volunteer for the Panel, which met during the day. Cllrs Mukesh Malhotra and Shaida Mehrban both volunteered and agreed to share the post. The Area Forum agreed unanimously.

80.

Any other business the Chair wishes to take on the grounds of urgency.

Minutes:

Cllr Bob Whatley stated that he had been appalled by what members had been told at the previous meeting of CHAF by Hounslow Highways and Vinci Ringway officers. He felt that the PPI scheme had gone badly awry and believed that an area wide meeting was needed to discuss the matter, not ward meetings to talk about specific local problems.  Cllr Mukesh Malhotra agreed, expressing frustration at the lack of step free access in refurbishment work and the company’s failure to make good on promises to improve roads on the ground that officers did not feel the surface was sufficiently damaged. Cllrs Shaida Mehrban and Ajmer Grewal echoed those comments. Cllr Colin Ellar advised that what had been promised was that all roads would be brought up to a certain standard; some were already at that standard and so required no further work. However, some roads in fairly good condition had been improved whereas others, such as a cul-de-sac that was not on the system, had no attention despite being very heavily potholed. Contractors focussed on main roads.

 

Cllr Whatley found the opposite, stating that in his ward side roads were surfaced even if in good condition but main roads were neglected. Whitton Dene had been taken off the system but an adjacent road had been repaired.

 

Area Participation Officer Joan Conlon advised that client side officers could be invited to an additional meeting and suggested that Councillors from neighbouring wards be invited. Cllr Tom Bruce asked that the Cabinet member attend, even if new in the post.

 

Members agreed the proposal unanimously.

 

Resolved:

 

That an extra meeting of the Central Hounslow Area Forum be held after the General Election to discuss the highways maintenance contract.

 

 

Members gave thanks to Cllr Banda Chopra for her good work in chairing the Area Forum during the past municipal year.

81.

Protocol for Speaking

 

i)             Members of the public or applicants should contact the Committee Administrator, Bill Lee, on 020 8583 2068 with details of the proposed submission as soon as practicable and no later than two working days before the meeting.  The Chair will decide whether or not to grant the request to speak and notification will be given of the decision.

ii)            For all highways matters, if there are members of the public with opposing views regarding the proposal the chair will allow both sides to speak. Generally, speakers will only be allowed to speak on issues where funding is available.

iii)           Each party will be given no more than 5 minutes to speak.  The time allotted could be reduced if, for example, the chair wishes to accommodate several speakers on the same item.

iv)           The Area Committee will consider submissions on up to 3 items per meeting.

v)            Written submissions should be made to the Committee Administrator no later than 4pm on the day of the meeting. 

 

82.

The date of the next scheduled meeting is 29 June 2017