Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 11th September, 2014 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW. View directions

Contact: Lloyd White, Head of Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

21.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Edwards, Fyfe, Gardner, Khatra and Seaman-Digby.

22.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 24 KB

To note any declarations of interest in any matter before the Council

Minutes:

The Deputy Mayor declared a non pecuniary interest in agenda item 6.3, Question Submitted by Councillor Allen, as he was a trustee of Blue Sky Development, and stayed in the room during the consideration thereof.

 

Councillor J Cooper declared a non pecuniary interest in agenda item 6.3, Question Submitted by Councillor Allen, as her husband was a trustee of Blue Sky Development, and stayed in the room during the consideration thereof.

23.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 154 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 10 July 2014 (attached)

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 10 July 2014 be agreed as a correct record. 

24.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that, at the launch of her charity appeal, Michael Sobell Hospice had been presented with a cheque for £600 to buy a new lawn mower and a sundial for the garden.  Since the launch, the Mayor had held a quiz night where a further cheque for £2,000 had been given to the Hospice for a motorised reclining chair and ten side tables for use in the day centre.  She thanked everyone that had contributed toward or attended her charity events.

 

It was with great sadness that the Mayor announced that she and the Mayoress had attended the funeral of Mrs Freda Beasley who had been the Mayoress of Hillingdon in 1977/1978.  A donation had been made to Parkinson's in her memory. 

25.

Report of the Head of Democratic Services pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Minutes:

Members considered the filming, recording and reporting of meetings and it was suggested that thought be given to the Council making its own recordings of all meetings, particularly Licensing and Planning. 

 

Councillor Puddifoot moved the recommendations as set out on the Order of Business.  Following debate (Councillors Allen, Duncan and Morse), the motion was seconded by Councillor Simmonds and it was:

 

RESOLVED:  That:

1.    the Urgency decisions detailed in the report be noted.

2.    the Procurement and Contract Standing Orders be amended in relation to property licences and leases, as set out below:

 

3.    with regard to the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014:

a)     authority be delegated to the Head of Democratic Services, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to implement the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 in respect of non-executive decision making.

b)     in respect of the filming, recording and reporting of meetings, Paragraph 22 of Part 4D of the Constitution be amended to read as follows:

 

22.      FILMING, RECORDING & REPORTING OF MEETINGS

 

22.01  Members of the public are entitled to report on meetings of Council, Committees and Cabinet, except in circumstances where the public have been excluded as permitted by law. Reporting means:

·      filming, photographing or making an audio recording of the proceedings of the meeting;

·      using any other means for enabling persons not present to see or hear proceedings at a meeting as it takes place or later; or

·      reporting or providing commentary on proceedings at a meeting, orally or in writing, so that the report or commentary is available as the meeting takes place or later if the person is not present.

 

22.02  Anyone present at a meeting as it takes place, is not permitted to carry out an oral commentary or report and must remain seated throughout the meeting. This is to prevent the business of the meeting being disrupted.

 

22.03  Anyone attending a meeting is asked to advise the Head of Democratic Services that they wish to report on the meeting and how they wish to do so. This is to enable Democratic Services staff to guide anyone choosing to report on proceedings to an appropriate place from which to be able to report effectively.

 

22.04  Any person present to film the proceedings of a meeting must respect the wishes of members of the public who do not wish to have their image recorded.

 

22.05  For meetings held at the Civic Centre, members of the public are welcome to use the Council’s public Wi-Fi facilities. Occasionally, meetings take place in venues not run by the Council and in such circumstances members of the public are advised to check with the venue whether Wi-Fi is available.

 

4.    the changes to the membership of Committees as shown below be approved:

a)     Executive Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Sweeting to replace Councillor Eginton

b)     Audit Committee - Councillor Davis to replace Councillor Crowe as a nominated substitute.

c)     Health and Wellbeing Board Membership - as set out in Appendix 1 of the report.

d)     Children, Young People and Learning Policy Overview Committee - Councillor Eginton to replace Councillor Dheer.

26.

Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 29 KB

To take questions submitted by Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11

Minutes:

6.1       QUESTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR EAST TO THE Cabinet Member for SOCIAL SERVICES, HEALTH & HOUSING – COUNCILLOR CORTHORNE

 

"How will the Better Care Fund transform integrated care in Hillingdon?"

 

Councillor Corthorne advised that work to integrate care had started before the introduction of the Better Care Fund (BCF) and had been developed over the last two years.  It was anticipated that BCF would enable greater joined up working between partner organisations.

 

It was expected that the BCF plan for Hillingdon would result in residents being able to plan their own care; with professionals working together to understand their needs and those of their carer(s).  This would enable residents to have control over services and help to ensure that these services delivered what was important to them.

 

Councillor Corthorne noted that there would be a shift to planning for anticipated care needs rather than crisis management.  The services would be delivered in a way that was integrated and seamless from a patient's point of view, in their usual place of residence.

 

The changes would include:

·         A focus on improving health outcomes for older frail residents with one or more health conditions or care needs;

·         Better coordination of services that were configured around Hillingdon’s older residents, including a much stronger focus on case management and prevention;

·         Involving residents and carers in the planning of their care;

·         Reducing the need for older people to go to hospital – and reducing the lengths of stay where they were admitted; and

·         Bringing greater coherence to services enabling older people to be treated at (or close to) their home wherever possible.

 

Although it would have been preferable to the Council to apply the principles of the Hillingdon Improvement Programme, partners had found it more difficult to follow these principles as they were guided by the NHS ways of working.  Work on the integration of health and social care would continue and that the Hillingdon Health and Wellbeing Board would receive an update on BCF at its next meeting on 23 September 2014. 

 

Councillor East, by way of a supplementary question, asked how the BCF would generate local structures to support new community working relationships.

 

Councillor Corthorne advised that he would provide Councillor East with a written response in due course.

 

NB: The written response was subsequently provided and is included below:

 

"The Better Care Fund is one of a number of approaches which are seeking to provide a significant expansion of services in the community, which also include the Shaping a Healthier Future hospital reconfiguration across North West London. Structurally this moves services out of hospital into Out of Hospital Hubs in the new GP Provider Networks in the community. These hubs will provide direct services and also through methods developed as a part of the Integrated Care Programme provide a preventative service by case managing those who would otherwise have been more likely to have hospital admissions.

 

These new community health structures are being supported by realigned services in the Council and local voluntary sector providers, five of whom have formed a consortium called Hillingdon 4 All which will work with agencies and more importantly with communities to develop the resilience required to better support the more vulnerable residents in Hillingdon."

 

6.2       QUESTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR EGINTON TO THE Cabinet Member for Community, Commerce and Regeneration - COUNCILLOR D.MILLS

 

"In recent years, the Council has claimed to be supporting the idea of apprenticeships as a way of encouraging young people to gain work based skills and experience at the same time as gaining a qualification. In the past two years, only five apprenticeships have been offered by Hillingdon Council; none at all in the last fiscal year and all this year in Green Spaces.

 

"Can the Cabinet Member tell me, as so few apprenticeships have been offered, how the Council has sought to encourage contractors working for the Council and businesses supplying services to the Council to provide apprenticeships?"

 

Councillor D Mills advised that Hillingdon had a good record of growing its own, including the Hillingdon Academy and programmes to support vocational training.  Great success had been achieved by working with developers of sites in the Borough to secure job opportunities for local people, both through longer term employment in the businesses being developed and during the construction phases.  For example, using section 106 planning obligations over the last year, the Council had secured construction apprenticeships and general trainee posts in relation to the development phases at major sites such as St Andrews Park and the Old Vinyl Factory.  Developers had also advised that, as sites were rolled out and occupied, more apprenticeships would become available.

 

In addition, the Council had, over many years, worked with Job Centre Plus and Heathrow to ensure that residents had access to apprenticeship opportunities that existed at the airport.  During 2014, the Heathrow Academy had recruited, trained and employed 85 young Hillingdon residents as apprentices in retail, construction and logistics positions. 

 

There were apprenticeship opportunities all over Hillingdon with the National Apprenticeship Service website showing over 1,700 opportunities in Hillingdon and a further 1,700 at Heathrow. 

 

The Cabinet Member praised the work undertaken by Uxbridge College to develop a dedicated plumbing workshop which had been equipped with the help of s106 funding.  It was anticipated that plumbing apprenticeships would be offered in due course. 

 

The opportunities being offered in Hillingdon provided great value for money and demonstrated an understanding of the local economy, the needs of residents and excellent partnership working. 

 

Councillor Eginton, by way of a supplementary question, asked why appointments had not yet been made to the five Green Spaces apprenticeships advertised in 2013.  

 

Councillor D Mills advised that the apprenticeships had not yet been appointed to as suitable candidates had not been identified.  However, he advised that the positions would remain open until suitable candidates were found. 

 

6.3      QUESTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR allen TO THE CABINET MEMBER FOR Finance, Property and Business Services – COUNCILLOR bianco

 

"St. Mary's the Virgin Parish Graveyard was handed over to the Council a number of years ago, trusting that it would receive equal care and attention as other Council owned graveyards. Sadly, anyone passing or visiting the area cannot fail to notice the poor state it is in. The grass, when cut, is done haphazardly, hedges seldom trimmed and the worse sight of all is that of tree saplings growing out of graves.

 

"Could the Cabinet Member please inform Members if he plans to bring this graveyard up to the same standard as others within his remit?"

 

Councillor Bianco advised that, under the Open Spaces Act 1906 (amended by the Local Government Act 1972), responsibility for the maintenance of closed cemeteries had fallen to the relevant local Council.  In this case, the Council's Green Spaces Team had started to implement a programme of improvements for the church yard and, in September 2013, Blue Sky Development (a social enterprise that helped ex offenders into work through training and employment) had been employed to undertake a full schedule of pruning and cutting back.  This was then followed by monthly grass cutting in line with the schedule implemented in other closed cemeteries.  The privet hedges had been cut twice with a further cut scheduled for late summer.  This September, Blue Sky Development had been scheduled to undertake further pruning and selective clearance work, which would include the self seeded trees and the banks of brambles.  Officers would be happy to meet with Councillor Allen onsite to discuss their plans for maintenance of the church yard.

 

Councillor Allen, by way of a supplementary question, asked if Councillor Bianco would take the opportunity to visit the site with her to look at the work that had been undertaken. 

 

Councillor Bianco advised that Councillor Allen was welcome to invite him any time.

 

6.4       Question submitted by councillor SWEETING TO THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL– COUNCILLOR PUDDIFOOT

 

"Does the Leader of the Council agree with Councillor Yarrow's reference at the last meeting to poor Councillors in the south of the borough having lack of vision and being responsible for poorer facilities, which suggested that only Labour Councillors served these wards and which omitted to mention that 12 Conservative Councillors did indeed represent southern wards for four years in the last administration?"

 

Councillor Puddifoot advised that this question revolved around the north/south debate held during the last meeting and he noted that Councillor Yarrow had stated that what separated the administration from the opposition was 'vision' - something that the Labour Group lacked.

 

The Leader gave a definition of the word 'vision' and advised that this was something that the Conservatives had demonstrated by continuing to put residents first.  He noted that this vision had led, inter alia, to: the refurbishment of all libraries in the Borough; a £50m investment in sport and leisure facilities; the introduction of the Hillingdon First card; the brown badge scheme; free allotments for those over 65; £150m investment to ensure the provision of primary school places for every child in the Borough; and 28 Green Flags.  

 

In addition to all of this work, the Council had frozen Council Tax year on year, had used the Business Transformation Programme to improve services and had built up the authority's financial reserves. 

 

The Leader noted that all of the Councillors in the north of the Borough were Conservative so, by definition, any reference made to Labour Councillors would be a reference to those in the south of the Borough.  Councillor Yarrow had not been ambiguous in his statement as he was unable to see a comparable Labour vision.  For the avoidance of doubt, Councillor Puddifoot stated that he agreed with Councillor Yarrow that the Labour Group had no vision. 

 

Councillor Sweeting, by way of a supplementary question, asked if the nine Conservative Councillors in the south of the Borough could identify issues that they would like to deliver over the next four years to show that the north/south divide did not exist.

 

Councillor Puddifoot advised that there were a range of developments being undertaken in the south of the Borough which included a new theatre and a new health centre in Yiewsley.  The Leader advised that, as they had the vision that the Labour Group lacked, it was important that the Conservative Group remained in power. 

 

6.5       Question submitted by councillor NELSON TO THE CABINET MEMBER FOR Planning, Transportation and Recycling - COUNCILLOR BURROWS

 

Councillor Dheer asked the following question on behalf of Councillor Nelson:

 

"According to the statistics below, received from the Council, between 2010 - 2014 the road resurfacing programs carried out within the borough have shown that the Wards in the North of the borough which include Harefield, Ickenham, Northwood, West Ruislip, Northwood Hills, Eastcote & East Ruislip, Cavendish, Manor, South Ruislip, Hillingdon East and Uxbridge North have had a far greater number of roads resurfaced than the South of the borough which include Heathrow Villages, Uxbridge South, Brunel, Pinkwell, West Drayton, Yiewsley, Botwell, Townfield, Barnhill, Yeading and Charville. It is evident that the Council has blatantly ignored the South of the borough. This Council claims that it puts its residents first yet is obvious that there is a division, favouring residents in the North.

 

Can the Cabinet Member please explain these statistics, why there is an obvious division?"

 

 

2010 - 2011

2011 - 2012

2012 - 2013

2013 - 2014

Total over this period

North

56%

68%

73%

56%

66%

South

44%

32%

27%

44%

36%

 

Councillor Burrows advised that simply considering the number of roads resurfaced in the north against those resurfaced in the south of the Borough was misleading as roads could be of different lengths.  A proper analysis of the road programme, in terms of the actual number of miles of road resurfaced, provided a somewhat different picture.

 

Between 2010 and 2014 (including the current programme), the length of roads resurfaced in the north of the Borough was 56.6 miles compared with 52.1 miles in the south, a difference of only 4.5 miles.

 

Given the practical considerations involved, Councillor Burrows advised that this showed that the Council had managed to achieve close to an even split between north and south over the last four years, with 52% of the total programme in the north and 48% in the south.  This was a difference of just 4% rather than the 30% suggested in the figures put forward by the Labour Group. 

 

Councillor Dheer (on behalf of Councillor Nelson), by way of a supplementary question, asked how funding for the new road resurfacing programme would be split given that it had previously been a 66/36 split between the north and south of the Borough.

 

Councillor Burrows repeated that, the split was actually 52/48 and not 66/36 - a 4% difference rather than a 30% difference.  He noted that consideration also needed to be given to the level of work associated with the construction of the roads as some were concrete with a gravel base. 

 

6.6       Question submitted by councillor MONEY TO THE CABINET MEMBER FOR Social Services, Health and Housing - COUNCILLOR CORTHORNE

 

"Under the Homelessness Suitability of Accommodation (England Order 2003), it is illegal to place families with children or pregnant women in B&B accommodation for more than 6 weeks in any circumstances. According to data published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, 51 families in Hillingdon have been in B&B for more than 6 weeks at the end of March this year. Can the Cabinet Member please assure us that this will not occur again in Hillingdon?"

 

Councillor Corthorne advised that considerable effort was being made to reduce the number of people in bed and breakfast accommodation but that this was a constant challenge.  However, progress was being made through the application of new criteria and by taking preventative action.  This had resulted in a decrease of 50% between 31 March 2014 and 10 September 2014.   

 

The number of people in bed and breakfast accommodation fluctuated and each case needed to be looked at in detail to ensure that only genuine cases were progressed.  Furthermore, as the current housing market was proving challenging, the Council had been working with landlords to identify properties and was offering finder's fees.  However, as all councils were aware, it was still hard to locate suitable properties as landlords wanted to maximise their income so would rent properties for the best price that they could achieve. 

 

As part of the planning process, the Council was negotiating with developers to include affordable housing in their developments.  The Council would use its best endeavours to prevent residents from being on the street and only used bed and breakfast accommodation as a last resort.  To this end, the Cabinet Member thanked officers for their efforts in these difficult circumstances. 

 

Councillor Money, by way of a supplementary question, asked whether or not the Council had been putting aside money to cover compensation payments and whether or not this would affect the Council's budget plans.

 

Councillor Corthorne advised that the Council would deal with any issues as they arose and noted that he would rather talk about the work that was being undertaken by the Council to address the issues. 

27.

Motions pdf icon PDF 14 KB

To consider Motions submitted by Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12

Minutes:

7.1       MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR EGINTON

 

Councillor Eginton moved the following motion:

 

"That Hillingdon Council agrees with the need to comply fully with the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity, issued on 31 March 2011.

 

"This includes the maximum frequency of publications, the need to be even-handed (including presenting the different views where there are matters of political controversy) and the requirement to freely provide publicity to anyone who wishes to receive it."

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Morse and, following debate (Councillors Corthorne, Puddifoot and Sansarpuri), the motion was put to the vote and lost. 

 

7.2       MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR DUNCAN

 

Councillor Duncan requested that her motion be withdrawn on the basis that she had received an assurance from the Leader of the Council that, with regard to war memorials in the Borough, any names that were not yet included and could be verified, would be included. Councillor Puddifoot confirmed that any names that were thought to have been missed off war memorials should be put forward and, subject to verification, would be included in accordance with Council policy

 

RESOLVED: That the motion be withdrawn.