Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 16th July, 2020 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Lloyd White, Head of Democratic Services 

Link: Watch the LIVE or on demand broadcast here

Items
No. Item

13.

Apologies for Absence

Please notify the Head of Democratic Services as soon as possible if you are unable to attend the virtual meeting.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Roy Chamdal (the Deputy Mayor), Councillors Judith Cooper, Vanessa Hurhangee and Eddie Lavery.

14.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 171 KB

To receive the minutes of the meetings held on 20 February and 14 May 2020 (attached)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meetings held on 20 February 2020 and 14 May 2020 be agreed as correct records.

15.

Roll Call and Declarations of Interest

The Head of Democratic Services will ask each Member in alphabetical order to declare that they are present and whether they have any declarations of interest in any matter before the Council.

 

Please wait to be called then:

a)    unmute your microphone on your PC / tablet etc (if you are joining the meeting by telephone only, then please either locate the mute button or remain as quiet as possible until called upon to speak),

b)   state your name and if you have any declarations of interest to make,

c)    then please remember to, once again, mute your microphone or telephone.

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services asked each Member in alphabetical order to declare that they were present and whether they had any declarations of interest in any matter before the Council.  There were no declarations of interest. 

16.

Report of the Head of Democratic Services pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Minutes:

(i)           Temporary Suspension Of Council Procedure Rules For The Virtual Council Meeting

 

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

 

RESOLVED: That, under Standing Order 26.1, the following Standing Orders be suspended for the purposes of holding this virtual Full Council meeting, with immediate effect:

a)    Questions from the Public (Standing Order 10.7)

b)   Questions by Members (Standing Orders 11.5 and 11.6)

c)    Recorded Votes (Standing Order 19.4)

d)   Rules of Debate on Motions (Standing Order 14.5 a-c and Standing Order 14.9 c)

e)    General (Standing Order 22.1 and 24.1)

 

ii)       Urgent Implementation of Decisions

 

The recent urgent decisions taken were noted.

 

iii)      Appointment of Council Committees 2020/2021

 

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

 

RESOLVED: That Councillor Chapman replace Councillor Stead as a Member of the Licensing Committee for 2020/2021.

 

iv)        Update to the Council Constitution – Delegation of Powers Under Part 1 of the Business and Planning Bill 2020

 

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

 

RESOLVED: That the Deputy Chief Executive, Corporate Director of Resident Services be authorised to exercise the Council's powers under Part 1 of the Business and Planning Bill 2020 (once enacted) in accordance with the following principles:

·         A decision to grant or refuse an application for a Pavement Licence is to be taken by officers.  Where a Licence is granted, this is to be for an initial period of 4 months.  Subsequent extensions will also be for a 4 month period, with the maximum period of any initial licence and extensions being 12 months.

·         Any decision to revoke a Pavement Licence is to be taken by officers acting in consultation with the Chairman / Vice Chairman of the Licensing Committee.

·         The Council to charge an Application Fee of £50 for each Pavement Licence and an Extension Fee of £20.

17.

Mayor's Announcements

1.            To observe a minute’s silence in memory of the recently departed:

·           Mr Terry Dicks, former Councillor (1974 – 1987) and Deputy Leader of the London Borough of Hillingdon and MP for Hayes & Harlington, (1983-1997)

·           Mr Tim McCarthy, Mayor’s Escort 2011-12.

 

2.            To receive the Mayoral Announcements.

 

3.            The Mayor will call upon the Leader of the Council to make a statement in order to update all Members of the Council regarding the Council’s ongoing response to the Covid19 pandemic.

Minutes:

The Mayor reported the death of Mr Terry Dicks (a former Councillor (1974 – 1987) and Deputy Leader of the London Borough of Hillingdon and MP for Hayes & Harlington (1983-1997)) and Mr Tim McCarthy (Mayor’s Escort 2011-12).  A minute’s silence was held.

 

The Mayor advised that she had received updates from children in the Borough in relation to their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.  The Mayor praised H4All for the support they had provided to residents during lockdown and the “Skipping Sikh” (Mr Rajinder Singh) who had raised money for NHS charities and become the face of Hillingdon Age UK. 

 

The Mayor had been sending out video messages to a range of recipients.  As further requests for video messages continued to arrive, investigations were underway into establishing a video social media platform to keep up with the demand.  She had also taken part in St Mary’s the Virgin Church in Hayes’ flower festival lockdown challenge and had a Zoom meeting with staff at Harefield Hospital who had all supported each other through the pandemic. 

 

The Mayor looked forward to attending events and meeting people face to face over the coming months.

 

Statement from the Leader of the Council

The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the most dangerous challenges that this world had faced in our lifetime.  It was a human crisis with severe health and social economic consequences and, whilst progress had been made in dealing with this disease at a national and local level, it remained necessary for the Council to focus its attention and resources on dealing with this disease as its major priority at this time. 

 

Hillingdon was recognised as being one of the best run councils in the country and its ability to manage finance and business processes had provided a firm base and the practical ability to deal with the pandemic at a council level.  The cost of the COVID-19 pandemic was estimated to be £25m in the current financial year.  Government funding received and anticipated currently amounted to £22m, leaving a shortfall of £3m.  At the end of March 2020, the Council had set aside £5.6m in reserves and, at the Cabinet meeting on 23 July 2020, that sum would be increased to just over £9m and could be used to meet the shortfall if required.  Normal Council activity in the first two months of the financial year showed Hillingdon operating at £361k under budget and the year end balances were anticipated to be over £28m. 

 

The Leader of the Council encouraged Members not to be complacent as there was still much to do.  However, given media coverage of councils on the brink of financial collapse, it was important to let residents in Hillingdon know that the Council was still financially stable. 

 

The physical and mental health and wellbeing of all residents and Council staff had been (and would remain) the Council’s priority.  There had been much, well deserved, praise for NHS workers and carers.  In Hillingdon, both Council and private sector care workers had been outstanding.  To ensure the continuity and stability of bed based home care and outreach care for our residents, the Council had used funding provided by the Government to support both Council and private facilities with front line staff receiving a 10% salary uplift for the period April to June 2020.  The Council had also provided more than £2m of PPE to care homes in the Borough. 

 

The Council had created a Community Hub to help those residents that were shielding or at risk with deliveries of food or prescription medicines or for those who just needed to speak to someone.  Over 100 members of staff, mainly from the libraries and business assurance teams, helped to provide this service. 

 

Hillingdon’s parks and open spaces had remained open and well maintained since the start of the pandemic.  These facilities had been extremely important in enabling all residents to have some form of exercise in the open air.  The Leader of the Council paid special thanks to the Green Spaces team who had continued to work well over the last four months. 

 

Although outdoor playgrounds and gyms had been closed, they were now being inspected and reopened with appropriate signage.  The majority of playgrounds would be open by the end of the week, with outdoor gyms to follow. 

 

The Borough’s weekly waste and recycling service had continued throughout the lockdown period, with many residents expressing thanks and gratitude to the staff involved.  These staff had dealt with an exceptional amount of waste and recycling as residents had cleared out everything from their wardrobes to their gardens. 

 

Libraries were now reopening in a controlled manner with seven libraries dealing with book lending and a further seven allowing limited access to IT equipment.  All libraries were being provided with protective screens, PPE, signage and equipment for cash free transactions to allow them to open more fully on a phased basis. 

 

Throughout the lockdown period, the Council had provided all schools with free PPE and social distance markings outside of the schools.  All Hillingdon schools would reopen in September. 

 

One of the anticipated consequences of the lockdown had been an increase in the number of domestic abuse cases reported and sadly this had come to pass.  In the period March to mid-July 2019, there had been 32 reported cases.  In the same period this year, there had been 76 – a 138% increase.  The Leader of the Council was grateful to Councillors Palmer and Gardner for the support they provided victims of domestic abuse and for the amazing staff team in Hillingdon that also provided support to these victims.  All forms of abuse, including racial and homophobic abuse, were not acceptable in Hillingdon.

 

Trying to assist businesses to get through the lockdown period and beyond had again seen Council staff performing very well.  Finance staff had paid out more than £41m in support grants to local businesses and the Licensing and Food Safety teams had assisted over 1,200 shops and hospitality sector businesses to reopen (providing assistance with risk assessments and pavement markings.  Across the Borough, the Council had been putting up lamppost banners urging support for local high streets and shopping parades.

 

There had been 291 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Hillingdon.  Of these deaths, 216 had been in hospital, 48 in care homes and 27 in the community.  Although the death rate had dropped significantly recently, it was important not to become complacent.  Infection was still occurring and only last week Hillingdon had gone from having one of the lowest rates of infection to the highest in London due to a number of staff at Hillingdon Hospital testing positive.  As of 16 July 2020, the ambulance service had resumed at Hillingdon Hospital and, with the exception of a small cohort of patients, the hospital was returning to normal service.  Hillingdon now had the 10th highest rate of infection in London with three cases per 100,000 residents.  

 

Accordingly, going forward, it would be important to remain vigilant and focussed on the health and wellbeing of all of Hillingdon’s residents and prioritising all ages.  It was important to recognise the unique severity of the current situation, refrain from the traditional political knock about activities and campaigns and concentrate all of the Council’s efforts on dealing with COVID-19 and its consequences for all residents. 

18.

Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 50 KB

To take questions submitted by members of the public in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10.

Minutes:

The Mayor read out all four questions from the public as follows:

 

6.1       QUESTION FROM MR KIRAN DAURKA OF HARLINGTON ROAD, UXBRIDGE TO THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL - COUNCILLOR PUDDIFOOT

 

“Given recent events and the proper discussions now on-going around the UK, why does this borough not commit to raising awareness about race issues as part of a dedicated Black History Month? Does the Council not agree that black lives matter too?”

 

The Leader of the Council advised that he would provide the questioner with a written response which would appear in the minutes.

 

[The response sent to the questioner after the meeting was as follows: In my statement to Council [minuted earlier under Mayor’s Announcements] I said "for the avoidance of doubt all (other) forms of abuse racial and homophobic abuse are not acceptable in Hillingdon either." Accordingly, going forward we will need to remain vigilant and focussed with the health and wellbeing of all residents of all ages being our priority.

 

‘Our People, Our Heritage, Our Environment’ are the principles that we ask Hillingdon residents at Council elections to elect us to deliver and by a large majority they do. Again, for the avoidance of doubt this does mean all of Our People and all of Our Heritage.

 

Once again, thank you for your question and the opportunity to clarify the position of Hillingdon Council.]

 

6.2       QUESTION FROM KIRI KANKHWENDE OF HEMMEM LANE, HAYES TO THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL - COUNCILLOR PUDDIFOOT

 

“In light of the recent Black Lives Matter protests across the world and the country, which have highlighted the ongoing issue of structural racism and the need for education, a deeper understanding of UK history and context, would the Council consider reinstating Black History Month in Hillingdon in addition to diversity celebrations in the borough, considering it as a vital educational resource about racism, justice and equality rather than a 'celebration' of diversity, which is easily done at any time of year and indeed is already marked through Hayes carnival and other events in the borough?”

 

The Leader of the Council advised that he would provide the questioner with a written response which would appear in the minutes.

 

[The response sent to the questioner after the meeting was as follows: In my statement to Council [minuted earlier under Mayor’s Announcements] I said "for the avoidance of doubt all (other) forms of abuse racial and homophobic abuse are not acceptable in Hillingdon either." Accordingly, going forward we will need to remain vigilant and focussed with the health and wellbeing of all residents of all ages being our priority.

 

‘Our People, Our Heritage, Our Environment’ are the principles that we ask Hillingdon residents at Council elections to elect us to deliver and by a large majority they do. Again, for the avoidance of doubt this does mean all of Our People and all of Our Heritage.

 

Once again, thank you for your question and the opportunity to clarify the position of Hillingdon Council.]

 

6.3       QUESTION FROM MR ROY STOUT OF MATERIAL WALK, HAYES TO THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL - COUNCILLOR PUDDIFOOT

 

“Why does the Borough refuse to acknowledge Black History Month despite the diversity of its constituents?”

 

The Leader of the Council advised that he would provide the questioner with a written response which would appear in the minutes.

 

[The response sent to the questioner after the meeting was as follows: In my statement to Council [minuted earlier under Mayor’s Announcements] I said "for the avoidance of doubt all (other) forms of abuse racial and homophobic abuse are not acceptable in Hillingdon either." Accordingly, going forward we will need to remain vigilant and focussed with the health and wellbeing of all residents of all ages being our priority.

 

‘Our People, Our Heritage, Our Environment’ are the principles that we ask Hillingdon residents at Council elections to elect us to deliver and by a large majority they do. Again, for the avoidance of doubt this does mean all of Our People and all of Our Heritage.

 

Once again, thank you for your question and the opportunity to clarify the position at Hillingdon Council.]

 

6.4       QUESTION FROM DR KAINTH OF HAYES TO THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL - COUNCILLOR PUDDIFOOT

 

“It has come to my attention that Hillingdon does not acknowledge or celebrate Black History Month. Does the Borough not value the rich and diverse population here and does it not recognise that education regarding race and difference promotes unity. Will the Borough introduce Black History Month?”

 

The Leader of the Council advised that he would provide the questioner with a written response which would appear in the minutes.

 

[The response sent to the questioner after the meeting was as follows: In my statement to Council [minuted earlier under Mayor’s Announcements] I said "for the avoidance of doubt all (other) forms of abuse racial and homophobic abuse are not acceptable in Hillingdon either." Accordingly, going forward we will need to remain vigilant and focussed with the health and wellbeing of all residents of all ages being our priority.

 

‘Our People, Our Heritage, Our Environment’ are the principles that we ask Hillingdon residents at Council elections to elect us to deliver and by a large majority they do. Again, for the avoidance of doubt this does mean all of Our People and all of Our Heritage.

 

Once again, thank you for your question and the opportunity to clarify the position of Hillingdon Council.]

19.

Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 38 KB

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

Minutes:

7.1       QUESTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR DUNCAN TO THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL - COUNCILLOR PUDDIFOOT

 

“As the Government has now confirmed that it will provide postcode information to councils will the Council add regular, local, updated information about the number of Covid 19 cases and deaths in the borough, by ward if possible, to the Council’s website? This would give residents much needed, easily accessible, reliable evidence of what is happening in their area, reassure parents that it is safe to send their children to school, older residents that it is safe to shop and warn of any spikes that may occur?”

 

Councillor Puddifoot advised that he would provide Councillor Duncan with a written response which would be included in the minutes.

 

[The response sent to Councillor Duncan after the meeting was as follows: Overall, levels of Covid-19 infection remain low in Hillingdon and low overall in London compared to the rest of the country. The Council is taking a strong lead working with the NHS, care providers, the police, schools, local businesses and other partners to ensure our residents are as safe as possible. This includes supporting businesses and schools to put in place effective protective measures, such as social distancing and hygiene requirements, as well as promoting NHS information and advice to residents, in line with government guidance. All schools in the Borough will be ready to extend their opening arrangements from September, in line with Covid-19 guidelines.

 

Information about infection rates at local authority level is publicly available from Public Health England. As part of our approach we are also closely monitoring every day a range of data from the NHS, including data about the take up of testing and the Covid-19 infection rate across the Borough. This includes postcode level data for test results. Due to strict data confidentiality requirements it is not possible to make postcode information publicly available. Also, due to the low level of infection in Hillingdon it will not be meaningful to publish information at Ward level.]

20.

Motions pdf icon PDF 55 KB

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

Minutes:

8.1      MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR CURLING

 

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

 

“That this Council recognises that local history and heritage contributes significantly to the borough’s ‘Feel Proud’ initiatives as well as the general promotion of Civic pride in our borough. Council also recognise that history needs to be kept in context, but give an honest account of events, even if it is a negative aspect of our history, and that a truthful, ‘warts and all’, account of history contributes much more towards our learning and our Civic pride, than re-writing history to either ignore the negative aspects or try to expunge them from existence.

 

“In more recent times black people have contributed significantly to our nation and our borough. We all owe a great deal of gratitude to the Windrush Generation for the commitment to our society, all of which needs to be recognised and celebrated.

 

“Council therefore calls on the Cabinet to re-introduce Black History Month, but not just in name and not just as a tokenistic gesture, but as part of our local history and heritage activities to celebrate the significant contribution that black history has made to the borough and how people like local resident William Wilberforce, campaigned for the abolition of slavery.”

 

Following debate (Councillors Dhillon and Lewis), the motion was put to a recorded vote:

 

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

 

Those voting against: The Mayor (Councillor Barnes), Councillors Ahmad-Wallana, Arnold, Bianco, Bridges, Brightman, Burrows, Chapman, Choubedar, Corthorne, Denys, Deville, Edwards, Flynn, Fyfe, Goddard, Graham, Haggar, Hensley, Higgins, Kauffman, Lewis, Makwana, Markham, Melvin, D Mills, R Mills, Morgan, O’Brien, Palmer, Puddifoot, Radia, Riley, Rodrigues, Seaman-Digby, Simmonds, Stead, Sullivan, Tuckwell and Yarrow.

 

Those abstaining: None. 

 

The motion was lost.

 

8.2       MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR MATHERS

 

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

 

“That the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we view the value of key workers in our society. Those working in frontline services to ensure health and well-being have been applauded on many Thursday evenings during our lockdown across the country and continue to be admired by the public.

 

“That this Council notes our thanks to the incredible effort that all key workers have played and continue to play in keeping our residents safe from Coronavirus, including our own councils staff and those staff who our part of our supply chain in delivering public services in Hillingdon.

 

“That this Council recognises the important contribution that paid care workers provide in supporting our most vulnerable residents especially during the continuing pandemic.

 

“That this Council believes in quality care and fair treatment for care workers and notes that 45 local authorities in the UK have shown they take quality social care provision seriously by signing up to UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter. The objective behind the Charter is to establish a minimum baseline for the safety, quality and dignity of care by ensuring employment conditions which do not routinely short change clients and ensure the recruitment and retention of a more stable workforce through more sustainable pay, conditions and training levels. The Charter has been endorsed by both the Communities and Local Government Select Committee and the British Medical Association.

 

“The Charter is broken down into three stages to ensure that standards can achieved for all care provided and/or commissioned through councils in an effective and timely manner.

 

“Stage 1:

·           The time allocated to visits will match the needs of the clients. In general, 15-minute visits will not be used as they undermine the dignity of the clients

·           Care workers will be paid for their travel time, their travel costs and other necessary expenses such as mobile phones

·           Visits will be scheduled so that care workers are not forced to rush their time with clients or leave their clients early to get to the next one on time

·           Those workers who are eligible must be paid statutory sick pay

 

“Stage 2:

·         Clients will be allocated the same care worker(s) wherever possible

·         Zero hour contracts will not be used in place of permanent contracts

·         Providers will have a clear and accountable procedure for following up staff concerns about their clients’ wellbeing

·         All care workers will be regularly trained to the necessary standard to provide a good service (at no cost to themselves and in work time)

·         Care workers will be given the opportunity to regularly meet co-workers to share best practice and limit their isolation

 

“Stage 3:

·         All care workers will be paid at least the Living Wage Foundation Living Wage.

·         If Council employed care workers paid above this rate are outsourced it should be on the basis that the provider is required, and is funded, to maintain these pay levels throughout the contract

·         All care workers will be covered by an occupational sick pay scheme to ensure that staff do not feel pressurised to work when they are ill in order to protect the welfare of their vulnerable clients.

 

“That this Council will therefore:

·         Commit to adopting stage 1 of the above charter within 12 months and then adopt the full charter by 2023.

·         Convene a review group with representation from providers, local NHS and Trade Union representatives to work on a plan for adopting the full charter.”

 

Following debate (Councillors Eginton and Palmer), the motion was put to a recorded vote:

 

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

 

Those voting against: The Mayor (Councillor Barnes), Councillors Ahmad-Wallana, Arnold, Bianco, Bridges, Brightman, Burrows, Chapman, Choubedar, Corthorne, Denys, Deville, Edwards, Flynn, Fyfe, Goddard, Graham, Haggar, Hensley, Higgins, Kauffman, Lewis, Makwana, Markham, Melvin, D Mills, R Mills, Morgan, O’Brien, Palmer, Puddifoot, Radia, Riley, Rodrigues, Seaman-Digby, Simmonds, Stead, Sullivan, Tuckwell and Yarrow.

 

Those abstaining: None. 

 

The motion was lost.