Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

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

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

Items
No. Item

10.

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

11.

Minutes of the meeting held on 29 June 2017 pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 29 June 2017 were agreed to be an accurate record and signed.

12.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Item 3, ‘Hounslow Highways Q & A’ page 3: Cllr Colin Ellar asked for it to be made clear that any agreement to have ‘like for like’ paving replacement had never meant that asphalt would be replaced by asphalt in conservation areas, as the asphalt surfacing in St Stephen’s had only ever been intended as a temporary replacement for the block paving originally installed. As a result it had been understood by people involved that the footpaths in all conservation areas, including St Stephen’s, would be block paved, as had been the case up until ten years previously. Martin Clack advised that it was Hounslow Highways’ understanding that ‘like for like’ had been agreed and was in the contract, and meant that asphalt would replace asphalt wherever it was laid currently, including the St Stephen’s conservation area.

13.

Police Reports pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Please see the reports at agenda item 4.

 

Sergeant Andy Pugh presented the reports. He advised that Hounslow police station was to remain open 24/7 but the future of Chiswick and Feltham stations was under review and consultation was currently underway. Police in the borough had been restructured into east and west ‘clusters’ with three sergeants each. There were to be two dedicated ward officers as of 6 September who would be ‘ringfenced’ and not deployed elsewhere. These officers would pass investigation of crimes to CID to allow them to be on the beat as much as possible.

 

The Chair asked for any update on drug dealing around Hounslow High Street and Kingsley Road. PS Pugh advised that a lot of work was currently being undertaken which was expected to pay dividends in future. The Borough Commander had allocated sufficient resources and it was intended that the organised criminals behind the supply would be caught, rather than very low level dealers operating on the street. Cllr Ajmer Grewal had witnessed drug deals taking place quite openly and asked if CCTV cameras would help. PS Pugh advised that the operation was already underway and future tactics would be reviewed afterwards.

 

Cllr Ajmer Grewal advised that there was still a problem with rough sleepers in the High Street, including one who had constructed a shelter for himself outside a shop. PS Pugh stated that he would liaise with the Town Centre Team the following day.

14.

New bike parking initiatives and dockless bike share update pdf icon PDF 472 KB

Verbal presentation by Gareth James.

Minutes:

Please see the briefing notes (agenda item 5).

 

Gareth James presented the briefing.

 

Responding to questions from members, Mr James advised that the Mobike dockless bike hire set up would involve a phone app which would tell the user where the nearest bike was. Bikes could be parked anywhere as long as no obstruction was caused. Officers were looking at a range of approaches to prevent anti-social parking and to remove obstructive cycles quickly; perhaps “good user” credits. It would cost £50 a year to join the scheme with an initial trial price of £30. Short hires would be covered by the subs but if hired for longer periods an additional charge would be levied. Members referred to a similar scheme in Manchester in which bikes were found on private property and would-be users threatened by people who saw the bikes as “theirs”. Mr James advised that it had been found that the launch of these schemes could result in such behaviour for a spell but it tailed off rapidly. The bikes offered by Mobike were heavy with a single gear. The Council would not be responsible for the cycles, for example if any were stolen.

 

15.

Hounslow Highways Presentation pdf icon PDF 683 KB

Presentation by Martin Clack (Divisional Director Hounslow Highways), Satbir Gill (Network Manager), Rebecca Mastrogiannis (Environment & Sustainability Manager) and Sabeel Khan (PFI Contracts manager)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Please see the presentation (agenda item 9). Martin Clack, Melanie Gadd, Satbir Gill, Sabeel Khan and Rebecca Mastroggianis gave the presentation.

 

Officers then responded to questions from members. Cllrs Pritam Grewal and Bob Whatley asked about work on Kingsley Road. Mr Clack advised that it had been planned for September but utilities had prevented this, so it would now be carried out in October. The road presented particular engineering challenges and three or four different treatments would be trialled. One option had been to excavate the carriageway to a depth of 600mm but as that would require full road closure for three months it was not considered viable. Engineers were looking at alternative shallower repairs that would still be long lasting and effective. Different methods would be tested on separate areas and monitored regularly to find the best one which would then be applied to the whole road.

 

Ms Mastroggiannis acknowledged the ongoing flytipping problem raised by Cllr Grewal, much of which was thought to be carried out by landlords. Letters would be sent to explain the situation then enforcement action would follow. If evidence could be found then fixed penalty notice (FPN) fines could be issued, some of more than £400. Cameras were useful but not very effective unless the offenders were using a vehicle that was legally registered. Hounslow Highway’s (HH) policy when clearing flytipped rubbish was to take items such as fridges, mattresses etc but not “ordinary rubbish”, ie in black bags, as that would be collected by Council refuse collectors.  Cllr Ajmer Grewal asked if FPNs were always paid and was advised that not all were. Although the practice of chasing up by letter was generally successful, it was sometimes necessary to go to court. Overall however payment rates were quite high and certainly comparable to neighbouring boroughs. HH gathered evidence when it was felt that cases should be taken to court, which was then presented to the Council for a legal decision on whether to proceed. Cllr Whatley asked for information on promised CCTV cameras to combat flytipping in the Rosemary Avenue/Manor Avenue area which had never materialised and was advised that HH would provide information later. Asked about dummy cameras Ms Mastroggiannis advised that the deterrent effect tended to be very short lived as people soon realised.

 

Regarding Whitton Dene Cllr Colin Ellar pointed out that as the road was asphalt on concrete potholes didn’t become deep enough to fit the criteria for repair but were still a problem. He felt that the contract did not cover such roads adequately and asked if there were plans to rectify this. Mr Clack advised that unfortunately there were insufficient funds to resolve the matter within the existing contract. Cllr Nisar Malik referred to the practice of laying gravel and letting traffic press it down and asked if this was a result of cost cutting. Mr Clack stated that the most appropriate treatment was used and any savings could be spent elsewhere on the network. The contract  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Hounslow High Street Quarter

Presentation.

Minutes:

No officer attended to present this item.

17.

Open Forum for Questions from the Public (Maximum of 30 Minutes)

Minutes:

A resident of Taunton Avenue stated that he and his neighbours had received letters from the Council telling them to clear rubbish from the back alley within two weeks (the deadline was to expire the day after this meeting). The rubbish had been left as a result of flytipping and was an ongoing issue so residents felt that it was highly unjust to blame them for it and hold them responsible. They had agreed among themselves to erect a fence if Hounslow Council removed the rubbish. The alleyway had been adopted and so was the Council’s responsibility. The Chair agreed, adding that several skipfuls of rubbish had been cleared from the alley three years ago. When questioned, the resident acknowledged that not all residents had agreed to install fencing as several houses were rented and the landlords could not be contacted. The consensus among members was that it would not be possible to fence off the alleyway without full residents’ support. Sabeel Khan confirmed that 100% agreement would be necessary. The alley in question had several entrances and if cleared would be inevitably flytipped again very quickly. He advised that he would investigate methods that could be used to get the rubbish cleared, such as Community Payback workers. Melanie Gadd added that the Enforcement Team would contact registered landlords to remind them of their responsibilities regarding homes in multiple occupation. Ms Gadd advised that officers would rescind the demand for residents to clear the rubbish immediately. Members urged the resident to persevere with attempts to gain full approval from neighbours to fence off the alley and assured him they would assist all they could.

18.

Lampton Park Alley Cleaning Petition pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Response presented by Sabeel Khan and Hounslow Highways.

Minutes:

Please see the petition (agenda item 7).

 

Sabeel Khan advised that weekly cleansing would be arranged until at least 2038. Officers were investigating who was responsible for the upkeep of the lights, a difficult task as the alley had multiple owners and were also looking into the possibility of bidding to use section 106 funding. Cllr Pritam Grewal asked if an alley between Kingsley Road and North Drive could be looked at too as there were many problems. Cllr Jagdish Sharma also asked for officers to establish who was responsible for the maintenance of the grass verge on Ravensdale Road between Martindale Road and Beaversfield Park, which remained uncut and attracted litter. Mr Khan agreed to find out.

19.

School Road Car Park petition to reopen pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Written response by Melanie Gadd.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Please see the petition and briefing note (agenda item 8)

 

Melanie Gadd presented the briefing note. She acknowledged that parking was a problem and the forthcoming closure of two more car parks would exacerbate the issue. Officers were looking at a couple of potential sites, including one on Inwood Road which it was hoped could become a short stay park; the result of a drainage survey was awaited. Another enquiry was regarding the car park on Prince Regent Road, a small plot (around 25-30 spaces) owned by the Council and let on a long lease. Corporate Property were examining the viability of taking it back into Council use. If taken back the Council would be obliged to compensate the company currently renting it with adequate replacement but they didn’t require much parking space. There were bays in Livingstone Road, Stanley Road and Pears Road as well as the Kingsley Road car park. Several different solutions were being looked into although one likely plot had been found to be privately owned and unobtainable.

 

Cllr Bob Whatley advised that when work started on the High Street Quarter more parking would be lost. He asked if the owners of the Treaty Centre had been asked about extending their opening hours as it currently closed at 6:00 pm while neighbouring shops opened later. Ms Gadd stated that she would ask Mark Frost if he raised the matter. Cllr Colin Ellar advised that he believed the Council had overlooked the impact of such extensive loss of parking spaces on the commercial viability of the town centre. He felt that people would shop in other centres such as Staines or Richmond if Hounslow did not offer adequate parking.  Ms Gadd advised that a report on the subject was currently being written. Discussions were being held with Kingsley Academy and Hounslow Town School to use their car parks.

 

Ms Gadd advised that a number of spaces would be returned to use once town centre redevelopment was complete but meanwhile a large amount would be lost. Cllr Tom Bruce stated that some parking would still be available, including within the Blenheim and Treaty Centres and he felt that people would be encouraged to cycle or use public transport to a much greater extent and so reduction in parking provision was not necessarily bad and would in fact benefit the environment. Cllrs Pritam Grewal, Shaida Mehrban and Colin Ellar disagreed and felt that the extensive car-free residential development, coupled with loss of car parks, would seriously affect the town centre’s viability and would also cost the Council up to £1 million a year in lost revenues. Ms Gadd stated that Finance were looking into the potential losses. There were under used car parks in the town such as Montague West and Undercroft which were not ‘user friendly’ in addition to being quite a walk from the centre. CCTV would be installed for safety as well as cleaning. There was also an issue with rough sleepers using them and officers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

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

Minutes:

None.

21.

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. 

 

22.

The date of the next scheduled meeting is 9 November 2017