Agenda and minutes

CABINET
Thursday, 22nd April, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: VIRTUAL - Live on the Council's YouTube channel: Hillingdon London. View directions

Contact: Mark Braddock - email:  mbraddock@hillingdon.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

All Cabinet Members were present.

2.

Declarations of Interest in matters before this meeting

Minutes:

Councillor Eddie Lavery declared a non-pecuniary interest on item 7 on the agenda (budget monitoring report) as a Director of Uxbridge BID. He remained in the virtual meeting during the discussion and decision on the item.

3.

To approve the minutes of the last Cabinet meeting pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Minutes:

The decisions and minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 18 March 2021 were agreed as a correct record.

4.

To confirm that the items of business marked Part 1 will be considered in public and that the items of business marked Part 2 in private

Minutes:

This was confirmed.

5.

Report from the Social Care, Housing and Public Health Policy Overview Committee - Making the Council more autism friendly pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Social Care, Housing & Public Health Policy Overview Committee, Councillor Philip Corthorne, presented the Committee’s review. He commended the review to Cabinet and set out its findings, thanking the various witnesses, previous committee chairmen, committee members and officers who had participated.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet welcomes the review by the Social Care, Housing and Public Health Policy Overview Committee and agree the recommendations made by the Committee set out below. Furthermore, delegates their implementation to the Corporate Directors in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Health & Social Care:

 

1.    That the Council’s public facing service environments adopt a practical corporate standard (checklist) to ensure a consistent approach to making these areas more autism friendly;

2.    That Cabinet notes the rollout of training for front-line staff thus far and recommend that this becomes embedded in the new starter induction and ongoing learning and development targets for key front-line staff in reception-based areas;

3.    That Cabinet explore the feasibility of improving online accessibility for residents with autism by providing further access to, and information about, Council autism services on the Council’s website;

4.    That Cabinet consider the merits of seeking Autism Accreditation for eligible Council services through the National Autistic Society;

5.    That Cabinet welcome the culture of continuing improvement and such improvements as the appointment of Advanced Social Work Practitioners with a focus on autism, the development of e-learning training, and clear Council-wide guidance on reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010;

6.    Note the impending publication of the National Autism Strategy review and forthcoming changes to legislation with a report back to the POC at an appropriate juncture covering progress on the recommendations and Hillingdon's approach to meeting these requirements;

7.    That appropriate front-line managers review their service's procedures whereby in formal contact environments, should a resident with autism unexpectedly remove themselves from a meeting or proceeding, it should not be taken as a withdrawal from the process in question, and that steps are taken to continue such formalities in a more appropriate or suitable matter; and

8.    That Cabinet recognises all the Council’s strong partnership relationships with organisations and providers supporting people with autism in Hillingdon.

 

Reasons for the decision

 

Cabinet welcomed the report of the Social Care, Housing and Public Health Policy Overview Committee’s into ‘Making the Council more autism-friendly’. The Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care paid tribute to those involved in the review and outlined how essential it was for Council staff involved in front line services to understand the barriers to those with autism in accessing those services. It was noted that training was an important component of this along with continuing the strong partnership the Council had with the voluntary sector to support people with autism.

 

The Leader of the Council conveyed his thanks to the Committee and praised the strong report, whilst commenting on the effectiveness of witnesses being able to participate remotely in the review during the pandemic in a more accessible way which the Council would look at continuing.

 

Alternative options considered / risk management

 

The Cabinet could have decided to reject some or all of the Committee’s recommendations, or pursue alternative routes in which to progress the objectives of the review.

 

Officers to action:

 

Steve Clarke, Democratic Services (monitoring)

Tony Zaman, Social Care (implementation)

 

Classification: Public

 

The report and any background papers relating to this decision by the Cabinet are available to view on the Council's website or by visiting the Civic Centre, Uxbridge.

 

6.

Standards and quality of education in Hillingdon during 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet:

 

1.    Note the comments from the Residents, Education and Environmental Services Policy Overview Committee. 

2.    Note the key findings set out in the report. 

 

Reason for decision

 

Cabinet noted a detailed report on the standards and quality of education across Hillingdon schools. The Cabinet Member for Families, Education & Wellbeing updated Cabinet on the progress made but in the context of the pandemic due to the national cancellation of statutory school tests and examinations, meaning that there was limited new attainment data available.

 

The main findings of the 2019/20 were outlined to the Cabinet, noting that all early years’ settings in Hillingdon were judged by Ofsted to be good or better and above the London average. At primary, outcomes at key stages were either in-line or above the national level, whilst at secondary progress had decreased slightly but remained above national averages. Concern was expressed that at post-16 further improvements in outcomes for children were required. However, the Cabinet Member noted that the Borough remained a positive place for apprenticeships and vocational qualifications and informed Cabinet that 87% of schools were judged by Ofsted as good or better by the end of 2019/20.

 

The comments of the Residents, Education & Environmental Services Policy Overview Committee, who had reviewed the data previously, were also noted along with thanks passed to council officers in supporting schools over the year.

 

Alternatives considered and rejected

 

None.

 

Officer to action:

 

Dan Kennedy, Planning, Environment, Education & Community Services

 

Classification: Public

 

The report and any background papers relating to this decision by the Cabinet are available to view on the Council's website or by visiting the Civic Centre, Uxbridge.

 

7.

Monthly Council Budget Monitoring Report: Month 11 pdf icon PDF 497 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet:

 

1.    Note the budget position as at February 2021 (Month 11) as outlined in Table 1.

2.    Note the Treasury Management update as at February 2021 at Appendix E.

3.    Note those consultancy and agency assignments over £50k approved under delegated authority between the 18 March 2021 and 22 April 2021 Cabinet meetings, detailed at Appendix F.

4.    Ratify an Emergency Power decision taken by the Leader of the Council on 25 March 2021 to waive all fees for pavement licenses to support businesses as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, with any forgone income to be funded through the Council’s COVID-19 grant funding.

5.    Note the payment of £204k to Uxbridge BID from Additional Restrictions Grant funding to support the 340 businesses within the Business Improvement District

6.    Agree to amend the standard parking charges for the Ruislip Lido Main car park as set out in Appendix H.

 

Reasons for decision

 

Cabinet was informed of the latest forecast revenue, capital and treasury position for the current year 2020/21 to ensure the Council achieved its budgetary and service objectives.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance outlined the Council’s current position and noted financial pressures relating to the pandemic which would be covered by Government grants or the Council’s earmarked reserves.

 

Additionally, Cabinet made decisions to support local businesses as the Country moved out of lockdown and agreed revised parking fees for non-Hillingdon residents at Ruislip Lido as part of a broader package of measures to assist with traffic congestion in the area. A recommendation in relation to a free parking period at the Kingsend South Car Park in Ruislip was deferred for further consideration.

 

The Leader of the Council noted the continued sound financial management of the Council and thanked Council officers in this endeavour, particularly in supporting the grants process for local business during the pandemic.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected

 

None.

 

Officer to action:

 

Paul Whaymand, Corporate Director of Finance – Finance Directorate

 

Classification: Public

 

The report and any background papers relating to this decision by the Cabinet are available to view on the Council's website or by visiting the Civic Centre, Uxbridge.

8.

Contract extension - Revenues and Benefits Service

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet approve a 2-year contract extension for Liberata UK Ltd to continue to provide Revenues and Benefits services including Business Rates administration, scanning and indexing, contact centre services, as well as council tax recovery and processing functions to the Exchequer Services Department. The proposed 24-month extension will run from 1 June 2022 until 31 May 2024 taking the total contract term from 5 to 7 years at an additional cost of £1.976m to be funded from existing budgets within the Revenues Service.

 

Reasons for decision

 

Cabinet noted that the Revenues and Benefits services contract with Liberata UK Ltd would end on 31 May 2022 and in considering the options open to the Council, it approved a 2-year contract extension which represented best value-for-money.

 

Alternative options considered / risk management

 

Cabinet could have added in additional outsourced services to the contract or not have extended the contract bringing the service back in house, but these options were not considered feasible at this time.

 

Officer to action:

 

Muir Laurie, Finance

 

Classification: Private

 

Whilst the Cabinet's decisions above are always made public, the officer report relating to this matter is not because it was considered in the private part of the meeting and contained information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information) and the public interest in withholding the information outweighed the public interest in disclosing it in accordance with Section 100(A) and paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12 (A) to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

9.

Voluntary Sector Lease

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet agrees the rent set out in the table below, which has been the subject of negotiation with the voluntary sector organisation detailed in this report and instructs the Head of Property and Estates to complete the rent review memorandum.

 

Reasons for decision

 

Cabinet made a decision regarding a rent review for the 5th Hayes Scout Group for use of premises at Shakespeare Avenue in Hayes.Cabinet’s decision enabled the organisation concerned to benefit from heavily discounted rent as part of the Council's Voluntary Sector Leasing Policy and wider commitment to a vibrant local voluntary sector.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected

 

None.

 

Officer to action:

 

Michele Wilcox / Mike Paterson – Infrastructure, Transport and Building Services Directorate

 

Classification: Private

 

Whilst the Cabinet's decisions above are always made public, the officer report relating to this matter is not because it was considered in the private part of the meeting and contained information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information) and the public interest in withholding the information outweighed the public interest in disclosing it in accordance with Section 100(A) and paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12 (A) to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

 

10.

Any other items the Chairman agrees are relevant or urgent

Minutes:

No additional items were considered by the Cabinet.

 

The meeting closed at 7.21pm

 

 

*Internal Use only - implementation of decisions

 

All decisions: Meeting after Cabinet, the Executive Scrutiny Committee did not call-in any of the remaining decisions by the Cabinet. Therefore, these decisions can be implemented by officers upon the expiry of the scrutiny call-in period which is from:

 

from 5pm, Friday 30 April 2021.

  

Officers to action the decisions are indicated in the minutes.

 

The minutes are the official notice for any subsequent internal process approvals required by officers to action the Cabinet’s decisions.

 

 

This virtual meeting was broadcast live on the Council’s YouTube channel here under The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) (Regulations) 2020.

 

Please note that these minutes and decisions are the definitive record of proceedings by the Council of this meeting.

 

If you would like further information about the decisions of the Cabinet, please contact the Council below:

 

democratic@hillingdon.gov.uk

Democratic Services: 01895 250636

Media enquiries: 01895 250403

 

To find out more about how the Cabinet works to put residents first, visit here.