Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 17th January, 2019 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

15.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Dhot, Hurhangee, Markham, and Seaman-Digby.

16.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 203 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2018 (attached)

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2018 be approved as a correct record.

17.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

None.

18.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that Lily Meares, Mayoress to former Councillor Mary O’Connor, had passed away in December 2018. Her funeral was attended by Councillor Yarrow and Mary O’Connor.

 

The Mayor was pleased to announce that Hillingdon had placed fourth (out of twenty) at the London New Year’s Day Parade, with the prize of £5,000 added to the Mayor’s Charity.

 

Forthcoming events included a Chinese themed quiz night to be held on 30 January, and the Mayor’s Civic Service on 17 February. The Mayor would also be walking a two-part marathon around the Borough on 28 and 29 March. Members were encouraged to attend the forthcoming events.

19.

Report of the Head of Democratic Services pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

i)        URGENT IMPLEMENTATION OF DECISIONS

 

Councillor Puddifoot moved the recommendation as set out in the report.  This was seconded by Councillor Simmonds and it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the recent urgent decisions taken, as set out in the report, be noted.

 

ii)      PROGRAMME OF MEETINGS 2019/20

 

Councillor Puddifoot moved the recommendation as set out in the report. This was seconded by Councillor Simmonds and it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the timetable of meetings for 2019/20, as set out in Appendix A to these minutes, be approved and the Head of Democratic Services, in consultation with the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, be authorised to make any amendments that may be required throughout the course of the year.

 

(iii)    REVIEW OF COUNCIL CONSTITUTION - RESIDENTS SERVICES SCHEME OF DELEGATIONS - SCHEDULE OF MATTERS WHICH WILL BE REPORTED TO COMMITTEE FOR DETERMINATION

 

Councillor Puddifoot moved the recommendation as set out in the report.  This was seconded by Councillor Simmonds and it was:

 

RESOLVED:  That

 

a)     the Schedule of Matters to be reported to Planning Committees, as contained in the Residents Services Scheme of Delegations be amended as shown below (in bold italics):

 

c)    Any application where the Ward Councillor requests, in writing to the Head of Planning, Transportation & Regeneration within 21 days of the publication of the relevant weekly list of applications received by the Council, that it be determined by a Committee. The Ward Councillor must include in their request

i)     the valid planning reasons why they wish the application to be determined by Committee and their desired outcome for the application.

ii)    Should the desired outcome subsequently be in accord with the Officer’s Recommendation then the application will not be referred to Committee.

 

Determination of what constitutes a valid planning reason, and thus a valid referral, will be made by the Head of Planning, Transportation & Regeneration in consultation with the relevant Planning Committee Chairman. In exceptional circumstances, as determined by the Head of Planning, Transportation & Regeneration the 21 day rule may be waived.

 

f)     Sites where enforcement action has been agreed by Committee has been taken and where the development that is the subject of the planning application, relates directly to the subject of the enforcement action agreed by Committee.

 

ADDITIONALLY, APPLICATIONS IN THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES SHALL BE REPORTED TO COMMITTEE FOR DETERMINATION BUT ONLY WHERE THE OFFICER RECOMMENDATION IS FOR APPROVAL: -

 

Addition: Permission in Principle applications, but only where the statutory time constraints allow for determination by Committee.

 

b)   the Scheme of Planning Delegations be amended by the deletion of the reference to the determination of applications for Conservation Area Consent for demolition in Conservation Areas.

 

c)    the Terms of Reference for the Planning Committees be amended to remove the following:

·         To approve the Council’s response to development proposals not requiring planning applications for example, from Government Departments or adjoining local authorities.

·         To adopt supplementary planning guidance specific to the area.

 

(iv)    LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOUNDARY COMMISSION REVIEW OF ELECTORAL ARRANGEMENTS

 

Councillor Puddifoot moved the recommendation as set out in the report.  This was seconded by Councillor Simmonds. Following debate (Councillor Curling), it was:

 

RESOLVED: That

 

a)        the warding arrangements as proposed by the LGBCE be noted.

 

b)        the Head of Democratic Services, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, be authorised to submit comments on the LGBCE proposals to the LGBCE by 18 March 2019 for the composition, size and name of wards for the London Borough of Hillingdon from May 2022 onwards.

 

20.

Council Tax Base and Business Rates Forecast 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider the report of the Corporate Director of Finance (attached)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Bianco moved the recommendation as set out in the report.  This was seconded by Councillor Puddifoot and it was:

 

RESOLVED: That

 

a)     the report of the Corporate Director of Finance for the calculation of the Council Tax Base and the Business Rates Forecast be approved;

 

b)     in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 the amount calculated by the London Borough of Hillingdon as its Council Tax Base for 2019/20 shall be 100,470.

 

c)     the Corporate Director of Finance be authorised to submit the 2019/20 NNDR1 return to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) and the Greater London Authority (GLA).

 

d)     the continuation of the Government-funded Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme for 2019/20 and new Retail Relief for 2019/20 as announced in the Chancellor’s October 2018 Budget, be noted.

 

21.

Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 46 KB

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

Minutes:

7.3      Question submitted by councillor BRIGHTMAN TO THE Cabinet Member for SOCIAL SERVICES, HOUSING, HEALTH & WELLBEING – COUNCILLOR CORTHORNE:

 

“Would the Cabinet Member please provide an update on the matter raised in the motion from Councillor Duncan at the Council Meeting on 22nd November 2018, when it was suggested that the Council was "acquiring properties for housing where this will evict tenants who are then made homeless"?”

 

Councillor Corthorne advised that, since the Council meeting on 22November, the matter had been investigated alongside supporting information submitted by Councillor Duncan.  The matter in question related to a property in Kings Road. As stated at the previous meeting, it was the Council’s policy to acquire properties with vacant possession. In this case, the landlord had served the eviction notice on 10 May 2017. The Council’s first interest in acquiring the property was in January 2018, and the sale was completed in May 2018, 12 months after the serving of the eviction notice.

 

Councillor Corthorne highlighted that the Council continued to reduce homelessness in the Borough, and had acquired almost 300 properties in just over a year, including outright purchase and private rented accommodation for families.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Councillor Brightman asked:

 

“Given that it was not Council policy or practice to acquire tenanted properties, could the Cabinet Member provide an update in respect of Barnet Council’s acquisition of 50 properties in Yeading from Palace Capital, and the assistance and support being given to the existing tenants by Barnet Council?”

 

Councillor Corthorne advised that as the purchaser of the properties, Barnet Council had written directly to all of the affected tenants to confirm that none would be forced out of their homes and made homeless.

 

Barnet Council were organising face to face meetings with each tenant to agree their preferred option on a case by case basis.  Barnet Council had stated that tenants would have the option to remain in their home.  Hillingdon’s Homeless Prevention Service was available to offer support and guidance to any of the residents affected. As of now, Barnet Council had spoken with 24 households and had identified a total of 13 who had been offered the opportunity to remain in their homes. It was Hillingdon Council’s understanding that Barnet Council were acquiring properties through a subsidiary company and that residents would be offered assured shorthold tenancies at their current level of rent.

 

7.1      Question submitted by councillor BLISS TO THE Cabinet Member for SOCIAL SERVICES, HOUSING, HEALTH & WELLBEING – COUNCILLOR CORTHORNE:

 

“50 families in Yeading have been given notice to vacate their long term homes as the properties have been sold by Palace Capital to Barnet Council. Can the Cabinet Member update us on the discussions between Hillingdon and Barnet Council? Some families are due to lose their homes on the 15th February, and are desperate to know where they can go for help with their housing needs.”

 

Councillor Corthorne referred Councillor Bliss to his answer to question 7.3, but highlighted that while Hillingdon officers were engaging with senior managers at Barnet Council, Barnet were taking the lead in this matter.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Councillor Bliss asked:

 

“Could the Cabinet Member confirm when Hillingdon was advised of Barnet Council’s intention to purchase these homes, and why there was no dialogue with residents and local Councillors before the eviction notices were received?”

 

Councillor Corthorne advised that Hillingdon was aware that the properties were going to be made available for purchase, but were not attracted to the proposition as there were sitting tenants in place. Regarding Barnet Council’s actions, this was an internal matter for that Council.

 

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

 

“Would the Leader of the Council please update Council, and in due course the residents of this Borough, on the outcome of the request made to Back Heathrow Ltd. at the Council Meeting held on 22nd November 2018.

 

Following a number of misleading and disingenuous statements made by the organisation Back Heathrow Ltd., the Leader of the Council requested, for the purpose of openness and transparency that they supply the Council with details of providers of finance and support received for the last three financial years, within 40 days.

 

The Leader stated that Back Heathrow Ltd. was not a resident-focussed organisation but was a puppet of Heathrow Airport Ltd. and that he doubted that the organisation would respond appropriately but would instead demonstrate a complete lack of scrutiny that would go against the grain of local opinion. Is he now in a position to confirm his assessment?”

 

Councillor Puddifoot advised that Back Heathrow Ltd. had not supplied the information requested, were clearly the puppet of Heathrow Airport Ltd., and therefore could not be taken seriously.  Hillingdon had started the current financial year with funding set aside to fight the Heathrow expansion totalling £331,000.  Expenditure so far this year, after deducting £117,000 received from partnering boroughs, had reduced that figure to £163,000.

 

The current year's budget contained an earmarked reserve of £250,000 to fund half the running costs of Uxbridge Police Station, which was no longer required as MOPAC has declined Hillingdon’s offer of assistance.  Accordingly, as indicated in the 2019/20 Budget which came to Cabinet in December, this sum would be added to the Heathrow Expansion Fighting Fund, giving a total of £413,000 funding available.

 

This was fulfilling the promise that Hillingdon had made to the people of the Borough at the local election in May last year, in that Hillingdon Council would defend Hillingdon residents and its environment against the detrimental effects of Heathrow Expansion, however much it cost and for however long it took.

 

There was no supplementary question.

 

7.4      Question submitted by councillor RILEY TO THE Cabinet Member for CENTRAL SERVICES, CULTURE AND HERITAGE – COUNCILLOR LEWIS:

 

“Could the Cabinet Member please let us know what the Council is doing to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on 27th January?”

 

Councillor Lewis confirmed that Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) took place on 27 January each year, and was a time to remember the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

 

Holocaust Memorial Day was a time to learn the lessons of the past and recognise that genocide did not take place on its own; it was a steady process which could begin if discrimination, racism and hatred were not checked and prevented. It was highlighted that while UK residents were fortunate to live without risk of genocide, discrimination had not ended, nor had the use of the language of hatred or exclusion. Accordingly, there was still much to do to create a safer future, and Holocaust Memorial Day was an opportunity to start this process.

 

The theme of Holocaust Memorial Day 2019 was ‘Torn From Home’, which encouraged audiences to reflect on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call ‘home’ was part of the trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution and genocide.

 

Hillingdon Libraries would be marking Holocaust Memorial Day by hosting the ‘Torn From Home’ theme, as well as showing the Oscar winning 1997 Film ‘Life is Beautiful’. Events to be hosted included poetry and reading projects. The full itinerary was available via the Council website and social media, and at each of library including the mobile library.

 

There was no supplementary question.

 

Programme of Meetings 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 79 KB