Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 5th July, 2018 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

The Mayor announced the death of Arthur Preston on 4 May 2018.  Those present observed a one minute silence.

 

13.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ian Edwards, Scott Seaman-Digby and John Riley.

14.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To receive the minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 22 February, 12 April and 10 May 2018 (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that the minutes of the Council meeting held on 10 May required amendment to correctly list Councillor Eginton as the seconder for the Labour Group’s amendment to the motion on the review of the Council’s Constitution.

 

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meetings held on 22 February, 12 April and 10 May 2018 be approved as a correct record, subject to the amendment set out above.

15.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

None.

16.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that, two months into his mayoralty, he and the Deputy Mayor had attended over 100 events, including 22 street parties celebrating the royal wedding.

 

The Mayor’s Charitable Trust 2018/19 had been launched in the previous week. The Mayor thanked everyone who had helped make it a success.

17.

Report of the Head of Democratic Services pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

i)          Urgent Implementation of Decisions

 

RESOLVED: That the Urgent Implementation of Decisions be noted.

 

ii)         Audit Committee Annual Report

 

RESOLVED: That the Audit Committee Annual Report be noted.

 

iii)     Health And Wellbeing Board Membership

 

Councillor Puddifoot moved, and Councillor Simmonds seconded, the recommendation as set out on the Order of Business, and it was:

 

RESOLVED:That Ms Lynn Hill, Chair of Healthwatch Hillingdon, be named as the statutory voting member for Healthwatch Hillingdon on the Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

iv)     Review of Constitution – Petition Scheme

 

Councillor Puddifoot moved, and Councillor Simmonds seconded, the recommendation as set out on the Order of Business. Following debate (Councillor Eginton), it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the amended Hillingdon Council Petition Scheme, set out in Appendix B be approved.

 

v)      Local Government Boundary Commission - Review of Electoral Arrangements

 

Councillor Puddifoot moved, and Councillor Simmonds seconded, the recommendation as set out on the Order of Business. Following debate, (Councillor Curling), the motion was put to a recorded vote: 

 

Those voting for: The Mayor (Councillor Morgan), the Deputy Mayor (Councillor Yarrow), Councillors Ahmad-Wallana, Arnold, Barnes, Bianco, Bridges, Brightman, Burrows, Chamdal, Chapman, Choubedar, Cooper, Corthorne, Denys, Deville, Flynn, Fyfe, Goddard, Graham, Haggar, Hensley, Higgins, Hurhangee, Jackson, Kauffman, Lavery, Lewis, Makwana, Markham, Melvin, D Mills, R Mills, O’Brien, Palmer, Puddifoot, Radia, Rodrigues, Simmonds, Stead and Tuckwell.

 

Those voting against: Councillors Allen, Birah, Bliss, Curling, Dhillon, Dhot, Duncan, Eginton, Farley, Gardner, Lakhmana, Mathers, Milani, Money, Morse, Nelson, Oswell, Prince, Sansarpuri, Singh and Sweeting.

 

Those abstaining: None.

 

The motion was carried, and it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the draft submission, attached as Appendix C to the report, be approved for submission to the LGBCE and the Head of Democratic Services, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, be authorised to make any minor amendments prior to submission by the end of July 2018.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Local Government Boundary Commission - Review of Electoral Arrangements Motion Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 18.

    Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 43 KB

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

    Minutes:

    6.3      Question submitted by councillor ARNOLD TO THE leader of the council - councillor puddifoot:

     

    Would the Leader of the Council please provide an update on the Government proposal to expand Heathrow Airport?

     

    Councillor Puddifoot thanked Councillor Arnold for his question on what was a very important issue for the Borough.  The effect of an expanded Heathrow on the health and wellbeing of Hillingdon people and its environment was, and remained, a major concern to the administration.

     

    Councillor Puddifoot reiterated that, regardless of the colour of central Government, if that Government proposed something that was felt to harm Hillingdon’s people, the administration would fight hard against it. Whether it was a Conservative Government looking at business and shareholder interests or a Labour Government directed by trade unions, it would make no difference, and he urged Hillingdon’s Conservative and Labour Groups to work together, against what was a common enemy.

     

    For the benefit of new Members, Councillor Puiddifoot briefly summarised the history of the proposed Heathrow expansion, which, most recently, had seen the Davies Commission, having rejected the option for a four runway Thames Estuary Airport, put forward their options: a third runway at Heathrow, the lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow, and a second runway at Gatwick.

     

    In September 2016 Hillingdon Council passed a motion requesting that the Government choose the Gatwick option.  However, the Government chose to proceed with the third runway option which, after some delay, resulted in the vote on a National Policy Statement on 25th June.

     

    Hillingdon’s Constitution made it clear that Councillor Puddifoot was responsible as Leader for making all necessary decisions in pursuit of the Council policy on Heathrow expansion, and in the week before the expansion vote Councillor Puddifoot spoke to both Boris Johnson MP and Nick Hurd MPregarding their position as Government Ministers and the parliamentary protocol that, with a three line whip, they must vote with the Government.  Mr Johnson had asked Councillor Puddifoot if he thought that he should resign as Foreign Secretary and Councillor Puddifoot advised him that this would be the worst course of action for both his constituents, and the country, that he could take.

     

    Councillor Puddifoot referred to his statement in the previous week that confirmed that "Boris Johnson has been and remains a tremendous asset to Hillingdon in many ways, but particularly in helping us, in the past, and going forward, in defeating the Heathrow Expansion proposal.  This will be a long fight and it is about winning the war, not making a pointless gesture at the first sign of conflict".

     

    With Mr Hurd, the same rationale applied; why, when there were concerns about policing, from personnel to infrastructure, would he best serve his constituents by such a pointless gesture.

     

    Whilst it was predicted that the Government would win the vote, the majority of 296 was larger than anticipated due to a large number of Labour MPs following the Len McCluskey Union directive to support expansion.

     

    On the day after the vote and again on Tuesday, Hillingdon’s legal team had met to discuss their course of action regarding the bringing of a Judicial Review in the High Court. There was a six week window to do so, and the aim was to issue proceedings by Friday 3rd August.  The parties to the challenge were to be Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond, Windsor and Maidenhead, Hammersmith & Fulham, Greenpeace, TfL, The Mayor of London and possibly one or two more.

     

    A Pre-action Protocol Letter was to be issued in the coming week, followed by Hillingdon’s formal request for a Judicial Review, and it was anticipated that a Hearing would take place in October.

     

    There were numerous grounds for challenging the Government policies and a number of these, including air quality, were to be taken forward. Hillingdon had a second option for a Judicial Review when the Development Consent Order was to be issued next year, should that be considered necessary, and a number of challenge grounds were be held in reserve for that purpose.

     

    Councillor Puddifoot concluded by confirming that Hillingdon had a long battle through the High Court ahead, in order to protect Hillingdon residents and their environment. Councillor Puddifoot reiterated the need to concentrate on turning Hillingdon’s political groups’ fire on the common enemy. Any attempt to divide those who opposed expansion would be political stupidity.

     

    In such an instance, clear and unambiguous leadership was required, and that is what the Conservative Administration in Hillingdon had, and would, continue to deliver.

     

    There was no supplementary question.

     

    6.1      Question submitted by councillor CHAMDAL TO THE Cabinet Member for Education & Children's Services - COUNCILLOR SIMMONDS:

     

    Can the Cabinet Member please provide an update on the outcome of the recent full Ofsted inspection of Children’s Services in Hillingdon?

     

    Councillor Simmonds confirmed that the Ofsted inspection had taken place during the time when the elected Members were very busy due to the election, and for that reason it may have passed a little bit under the radar for many. A full Ofsted inspection was the opportunity for the regulator of children's social care in England to take a very detailed look at the workings of what the Council did to protect and support the most vulnerable of its younger residents. 

     

    The Inspectors’ report available for reading on the Ofsted website and one of the key findings was that, as a Borough, “a child-centred approach is woven into strategic and operational decision-making” which was a tribute to the Council’s Chief Executive and other senior managers.

     

    Regarding the frontline practice, which was the major focus of the inspection, the report had indicated that there was a need for some improvement, and Members were reminded that at the most recent Cabinet meeting, a new contract had been approved with a view to improving on two of the areas: quality of return to home interviews, and advocacy for children who were in the care system.

     

    Inspectors had highlighted domestic abuse, and found that children assessed to be at risk received effective interventions to safeguard their health, and for those children who might be at risk of sexual exploitation, Hillingdon was taking effective action to reduce risks to children who were considered highly vulnerable and at risk of child exploitation.

     

    Regarding those children who were in the care system, the inspectors had found that the plans drawn up by Council staff for children in need of health and protection were of a significant strength and quality. A pleasing finding from the inspection was that Hillingdon social workers knew the children very well and genuinely cared for them. The inspectors went on to find that the children's physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing were given a high priority by staff and senior leaders, and when it came to the engagement the Council had with the children and young people, they noted, in particular, that processes were in place to “ensure that their concerns and views are heard directly by decision-makers.”

     

    While the report was not perfect and there remained issues that continued to be identified, a theme that ran through it was that the Council had a body of staff who cared very deeply about the children and young people that they were there to support, and they did it in a way that was extremely professional. A further theme that ran through the report was that of the impact that leaders and staff within the organisation had on the outcomes for Hillingdon’s children and young people, which was an area of the inspection that was graded ‘outstanding’, the highest possible grade that Ofsted could allocate.

     

    The overall grade of the inspection was ‘good’ and it was encouraging for Hillingdon that, given that the last inspection outcome in 2013, that the inspectors had noticed the dramatic improvement that had taken place since then.

     

    By way of a supplementary question, Councillor Chamdal asked:

     

    Could the Cabinet Member inform Councillors of the Terms of Reference of the Ofsted inspection?

     

    Councillor Simmonds confirmed that the practice of Ofsted, and the way that they undertake inspections, had varied over the years. The recent inspection that had taken place involved more than a dozen inspectors, who were part of the inspection process for a period of more than a month in total. Inspectors began off-site by looking at all the data and the information that they could glean about the Council, then commenced with an interview with the Lead Inspector, the Cabinet Member, and the Council’s Chief Executive.

     

    The inspection team then arrived, and spent a considerable amount of time with social work staff, including  some of the most junior social work staff. Clearly this had been a huge burden for people to experience but one of the big positives was that, again, the inspectors noted the enthusiasm and commitment of the social workers that they had met.

     

    Councillor Simmonds concluded by encouraging Members to take the opportunity to meet some of the Children’s Social Work staff and to talk to them about what is involved in their day to day job.

     

    6.2       Question submitted by councillor GODDARD TO THE Cabinet Member FOR Community, Commerce and Regeneration - COUNCILLOR d.mills:

     

    Does the Cabinet Member agree with me that the Council’s offer to buy Uxbridge Police station, so that it can remain operational, was well received by local residents, and can he update us on the response to our letter sent to MOPAC?

     

    Councillor Douglas Mills confirmed that, yes, there was no doubt that local residents were pleased with the Council’s offer to purchase Uxbridge Police Station. It was clear that, from the moment that MOPAC had undertaken a consultation process, across the Borough many residents had not understood the logic of that decision, and more importantly had not agreed with that decision, and therefore welcomed the Council’s offer to purchase Uxbridge Police Station as soon as MOPAC were willing to sign the contract.

     

    Many residents across the Borough had raised their concerns about what was happening, and were surprised when they found out that Hillingdon’s Labour Group had voted against the proposal to purchase Uxbridge Police Station.

     

    With regard to the response, a holding response from MOPAC had been received on the preceding day. MOPAC had stated that they needed more time to consider the property issues, the financial issues, and the operational issues inherent to the offer. This was surprising as the offer to purchase had been quite straightforward, and Members were reminded that the only reason for the proposed closure of the station was because the Mayor of London had stated that there was no money available because the government hadn't given them any. However, this administration had been willing to give them the funding since November.

     

    Operationally, the police station was still going to be run as a station for three years, and it didn’t take much effort to put a front counter back on in order to help reassure the public. It was clear that MOPAC, and the Labour Group, did not understand the symbolism of the police presence in what was a major town centre in this Borough.

     

    By way of a supplementary question, Councillor Goddard asked:

     

    Does the Cabinet Member  agree with me that the only plausible reason why we've not had a response to our offer of any substance is because the Mayor of London wants to have his cake and eat it too: he wants the cash from selling Uxbridge Police Station but he also wants to score a political point by saying that the Conservative government has been responsible for depriving residents of adequate policing?

     

    Councillor Mills confirmed that the Mayor was in a difficult position, having made a very public statement that the sole reason to close police stations across London was because he didn’t have enough money, and yet there was an offer of five million pounds sitting on the table ready for him to use to support direct policing 24/7.

     

    The offer would enable Hillingdon residents to feel the comfort of having a police station and police officers on the street, working for them. It was probable that the reason as to why they had not been able to come back and admit that they had made a mistake was because the Mayor of London had politically painted himself into a corner. However, there was now realisation across the whole of the Met’ that their proposals to close a number of police stations were causing immense problems.

     

    This administration remained committed to providing the public with what it needed – a police station in Uxbridge.

    19.

    Motions pdf icon PDF 49 KB

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

    Minutes:

    7.1      MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR PRINCE

     

    Councillor Prince moved, and Councillor Milani seconded, the following motion:

     

    That Council recognises the positive record of championing older residents in this Borough, and celebrates the positive effect of older person engagement and support that they receive here in Hillingdon.

     

    Council acknowledges that young people in Hillingdon face increasingly difficult challenges, and that they require specific and dedicated attention to address them.

     

    Council, therefore calls upon the Leader to recommend the appointment of a Youth Champion which will be a role held by a sitting Hillingdon Councillor and would be the lead on exploring opportunities to increase engagement between the Council and young people in the Borough, and would be responsible for championing young people’s issues here in Hillingdon.

     

    Following debate, (Councillors Dhillon and Sweeting), Councillor Simmonds moved, and Councillor Puddifoot seconded, an amendment to the motion as follows:

     

    Insert at the end of the first paragraph:  "and regrets that the Hillingdon Labour Group voted against the 2018/19 budget proposals providing the necessary funding to enable this to continue".

     

    Insert at the end of the second paragraph: "and again finds it disappointing that the Labour Group were unable to support the funding proposals to continue the services provided for our younger residents".

     

    In the final paragraph after the words "appoint a Youth Champion" insert: “when and if he feels it appropriate and necessary" and at the end of the final paragraph insert: "regardless of the lack of budgetary support from the Hillingdon Labour Group".

     

    The motion then to read:

     

    That Council recognises the positive record of championing older residents in this Borough, and celebrates the positive effect of older person engagement and support that they receive here in Hillingdon and regrets that the Hillingdon Labour Group voted against the 2018/19 budget proposals providing the necessary funding to enable this to continue.

     

    Council acknowledges that young people in Hillingdon face increasingly difficult challenges and that they require specific and dedicated attention to address them and again finds it disappointing that the Labour Group were unable to support the funding proposals to continue the services provided for our younger residents.

     

    Council, therefore calls upon the Leader to recommend the appointment of a Youth Champion, when and if he feels it appropriate and necessary, which will be a role held by a sitting Hillingdon Councillor and would be the lead on exploring opportunities to increase engagement between the Council and young people in the Borough, and would be responsible for championing young people’s issues here in Hillingdon regardless of the lack of budgetary support from the Hillingdon Labour Group.

     

    Following debate (Councillors Allen, Dhillon, Eginton, Hensley, Mathers, Nelson, Prince and Sweeting), the amended motion was put to a vote and carried.

     

    The substantive motion was then put to the vote it was: 

     

    RESOLVED: That Council recognises the positive record of championing older residents in this Borough, and celebrates the positive effect of older person engagement and support that they receive here in Hillingdon, and regrets that the Hillingdon Labour Group voted against the 2018/19 budget proposals providing the necessary funding to enable this to continue.

     

    Council acknowledges that young people in Hillingdon face increasingly difficult challenges, and that they require specific and dedicated attention to address them and again finds it disappointing that the Labour Group were unable to support the funding proposals to continue the services provided for our younger residents.

     

    Council, therefore calls upon the Leader to recommend the appointment of a Youth Champion, when and if he feels it appropriate and necessary, which will be a role held by a sitting Hillingdon Councillor and would be the lead on exploring opportunities to increase engagement between the Council and young people in the Borough, and would be responsible for championing young people’s issues here in Hillingdon regardless of the lack of budgetary support from the Hillingdon Labour Group.

     

    7.2       MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR ALLEN

     

    Councillor Allen moved, and Councillor Dhillon seconded, the following motion:

     

    That this Council notes that, quite rightly, much is talked of anti-social behaviour, the owners of Heathrow Airport’s proposal for a 3rd runway, about the fumes residents breath in from tarmac companies in Townfield, hot wheel cars taking over local carparks and of residents causing problems for their neighbours.

     

    The issues, however, that we never hear, here in the Council Chamber is the other type of ASB - the lack of proper street cleaning, the lack of proper maintenance of shrubbery or the removal of weeds in a timely manner to stop them seeding.

     

    This Council calls upon Environmental Services to investigate what actions they can take regarding the areas for which they are responsible, to bring the weeds under control and to improve our environment and make the residents proud to say they live in Hillingdon.

     

    Following debate (Councillors Bianco, Corthorne, Curling, Money and Nelson) the motion was put to a vote, and lost.

     

    7.3       MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR DHILLON

     

    Councillor Dhillon moved, and Councillor Morse seconded, the following motion:

     

    That this Council is concerned with increased anti-social behaviour associated with car street racing and their meets, and requests Cabinet to address this issue immediately to prevent further danger and ASB to residents and investigate ways, with other agencies such as the police, to help prevent future events on other venues.

     

    Following debate, (Councillor Allen), Councillor D. Mills moved, and Councillor Palmer seconded, an amendment to the motion as follows:

     

    Delete all wording after “….and their meets, and….

     

    And insert the following:

     

    asks the Cabinet Member for Community, Commerce and Regeneration to escalate concerns regarding incidents of Anti Social Behaviour that are at risk of becoming public order issues to the new BCU Chief Superintendent and that the Chief Executive writes to Sophie Linden, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in London, to confirm clear guidance is in place for Basic Command Units to respond to such public order occurrences.”

     

    The motion then to read:

     

    That this Council is concerned with increased anti-social behaviour associated with car street racing and their meets, and asks the Cabinet Member for Community, Commerce and Regeneration to escalate concerns regarding incidents of Anti Social Behaviour that are at risk of becoming public order issues to the new BCU Chief Superintendent and that the Chief Executive writes to Sophie Linden, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in London, to confirm clear guidance is in place for Basic Command Units to respond to such public order occurrences.

     

    Following debate on the amendment (Councillors Allen, Curling, Dhillon, Morse, Nelson and Palmer), the amended motion was put to a vote and carried.

     

    The substantive motion was then put to a vote, and it was:

     

    RESOLVED: That this Council is concerned with increased anti-social behaviour associated with car street racing and their meets, and asks the Cabinet Member for Community, Commerce and Regeneration to escalate concerns regarding incidents of Anti Social Behaviour that are at risk of becoming public order issues to the new BCU Chief Superintendent and that the Chief Executive writes to Sophie Linden, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in London, to confirm clear guidance is in place for Basic Command Units to respond to such public order occurrences.

     

    7.4      MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR CURLING

     

    Councillor Curling moved, and Councillor Morse seconded, the following motion:

     

    That this Council recognises the value that the RAFA Battle of Britain Club provides to the local community and its historic significance in both its building and its location. With the redevelopment of the RAF base, including the new bunker museum and visitor centre, Council recognises that the Battle of Britain Club’s profitability has a very good chance of improving substantially over the next few years. Its continued presence would also add to the proud heritage of the St Andrews Park estate.

     

    Council further expresses its disappointment that this club is destined to close within the next few days. Council requests that the Leader of the Council uses his good offices to intervene and do everything in his power to persuade the Royal Air Force Association to hold off their closure plans and then enable the Council and community groups to work with the Battle of Britain Club on initiatives to secure the club’s future.

     

    Following debate (Councillors Allen and Puddifoot), the motion was put to a vote, and lost.

     

    7.5      MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR MONEY

     

    Councillor Money moved, and Councillor Nelson seconded, the following motion:

     

    That this Council notes that it conducted a local referendum in which 66%, of those who took part, opposed Heathrow Expansion. This Council, therefore, expresses its disappointment that Boris Johnson MP and Nick Hurd MP didn’t stand by their election pledges to put our residents first, and vote against a 3rd Runway at Heathrow.

     

    That this Council calls upon the Leader of the Council to use his influence to persuade Boris Johnson MP and Nick Hurd MP to consider their positions, do the honourable thing and resign, to make way for MPs who will put our residents before their own self-interest.

     

    Following debate (Councillors Allen, Curling, Denys, Dhillon, Milani, Morse, Puddifoot, and Sansarpuri), the motion was put to a vote, and lost.