Hounslow Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Carol Stiles Tel: 020 8583 2066 or email: carol.stiles@hounslow.gov.uk 

No. Item


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


Apologies had been received from Councillor Richard Foote, Councillor Gerald McGregor and Gavin Mott.


There were no declarations of interest.


The Chair welcomed Melanie Fontinelle to her first meeting as Head of Health and Safety. It was noted that a GMB representative was being sought to fill the current vacancy on the Committee.




Minutes of the previous meeting held on 20 July 2015 pdf icon PDF 79 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 20 July 2015 were confirmed.


There were the following matters arising:


Item 14, pages 1 and 2: Matters arising from the previous minutes – Health and Safety meetings with Directors

Councillor Anderson asked whether the health and safety management meetings were now taking place. It was confirmed that now that there was a permanent Head of Health and Safety in post, the first meeting had been held and a schedule for future dates for meetings with the Directors established. The Chair, Councillor Katherine Dunne, also noted that she had had informal meetings with Staff Side Secretary and Head of Health and Safety and was happy for these to continue.


Item 14, page 3: Matters arising from the previous minutes: Lone Workers

It was confirmed by Esther Rey, Staff Side Secretary, that Staff Side and the Head of Health and Safety had been working together in respect of lone working in Hounslow Housing and had moved this forward. Melanie Fontanelle confirmed that a draft policy would be put to the next operational management meeting. They were looking at background systems and processes but she was keen to incorporate training and implementation. It was important to ensure that the consultation was right and that the policy was sufficiently generic to fit the range of situations whilst also sufficiently detailed not to miss any aspects, including issues around WorkSmart. In response to a question from Councillor Tina Howe, it was confirmed that the policy would come to the Committee for sign off.


Esther Rey pointed out that the other policy which was needed urgently was that of Stress Management as post cuts and restructuring were causing high stress levels. She suggested that policies might be emailed around for comment to be signed off as a single member decision or other appropriate route by the Chair and the Staff Side Secretary. The Chair supported this approach as the Committee did not meet that often.




That members agreed, as the Committee met infrequently, to the approach of using email consultation for draft policies amongst the members of the Committee and alternative decision making methods where appropriate such as the use of single member decisions to sign off policies, in order to get policies agreed more quickly.





Health and Safety Report (performance and general update) pdf icon PDF 83 KB


See the Head of Health and Safety’s report – Agenda Item  3.


Melanie Fontinelle, Head of Health and Safety, introduced the report. She explained that the report highlighted minor changes to the Policy and Strategy. She recommended that minor amendments should be agreed by the Director of Transformation and HR and the Chair, Councillor Dunne, rather than bringing all such amendments to the Committee. The changes were primarily to capture the fact that there was no longer a Corporate Resources Directorate.


The Head of Governance had advised that the terms of reference of the Health and Safety Committee were not currently in the Constitution and should be included so there was a recommendation to do so.


The Chair explained that currently all amendments to the Policy and Strategy were brought to the Health and Safety Committee and then to Borough Council. For the future it was proposed that minor amendments were signed off by the relevant Director and lead Cabinet member. Large changes of policy would continue to be brought to the Committee.


Ms Fontinelle drew attention to paragraph 4.1.2 of the report and the Action Plan. The last full plan had been for 2014/15. There had been no plan in 2015/16 so she had now produced a combined plan for 2015-2017. This included 12 items, six of which had been carried over from the earlier plan. She stressed that this was a very ambitious plan, although she believed that it was achievable. The Plan depended on the consultation outcomes. In considering the policies and procedures, Ms Fontinelle believed that many were too generic so the team had built on some of the work already undertaken to produce policies which were fit for purpose and would meet the needs of Hounslow borough. The policies and procedures were being looked at in priority order, for example Fire, Asbestos and Lone Working would be considered first. They were also considering moving up the scaffolding policy. The first drafts of these policies should be done by the end of February.


Ms Fontinelle pointed out that Hounslow Homes had come back into the Council as Hounslow Housing in January 2015. They would spend time integrating systems.  The service had some good systems which they would incorporate where they could. There was a difference in culture to take into account and a change of staff in Housing which meant that the work was progressing slightly more slowly than the team would have liked. The Health and Safety Team had also moved to the Children’s and Adults’ Directorate and were building relationships there.


Ms Fontinelle explained the importance of sufficient training being in place before people might be expected to apply procedures. Ensuring the training was undertaken first did result in slower implementation and resulted in ‘reds’ attached to the performance indicators. She explained the work that the team were doing to work with managers on risk assessments. In response to a question from Councillor Anderson, Ms Fontinelle clarified that there were current generic risk assessments  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.


Appendix A - Amendments to Health, Safety and Wellbeing Strategy and Health and Safety Policy (Policy and Strategy attached for information) pdf icon PDF 285 KB

Additional documents:


The Appendix was discussed during discussion of the main report.


Appendix B - Corporate Health and Safety Action Plan 2015-2017 pdf icon PDF 397 KB


Appendix C- Health and Safety Performance Report - April -September 2015 and RIDDOR Summary pdf icon PDF 400 KB

Please note that there is a confidential part to this report, exempt from publication, to be considered in the confidential part of the agenda, following the exclusion of press and public.


Urgent Business

Any business accepted by the chair on grounds of urgency.


There was no urgent business.


Exclusion of Press and Public

To resolve that the public and press be asked to leave the meeting during discussion of the remaining items of business because exempt information as defined in Paragraph 2 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 is likely to be made known.


Please note that members of the public and press must leave the meeting at this point.




That the public and press be asked to leave the meeting during discussion of the remaining items of business because exempt information as defined in Paragraph 2 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 is likely to be made known.



Confidential part of Appendix C - RIDDORS and Serious Incidents

Please note that this is a confidential part, exempt from publication, to the Appendix C in the public part of the agenda.


The confidential part of the appendix had been considered in general discussion of the main item.


Date of next meeting: Wednesday, 20 July 2016 (provisional date proposed in new draft Council Calendar) - to be confirmed


The next meeting had been scheduled for 20 July. However, the Chair advised that the date might need to be changed. Councillor Howe also advised that she would need to give apologies for that date.