Agenda and draft minutes

Annual Council, Council - Thursday, 9th May, 2024 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Lloyd White, Head of Democratic Services 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Burrows, Curling, Lewis, Money and Smallwood. 


Declarations of Interest

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


There were no declarations of interest in any matter before the Council. 


Election of Mayor 2024 / 2025

To elect a Mayor of the London Borough of Hillingdon to hold office from 9 May 2024 until his or her successor becomes entitled to act as Mayor.


i)              The retiring Mayor, Councillor Ahmad-Wallana, to provide a summary of his year in office.

ii)             Nominations for Mayor invited by the retiring Mayor – election (if necessary)

iii)           The retiring Mayor declares the result.


The Mayor gave a summary of his year in office and noted that he had been able to help promote a healthier Hillingdon during his mayoralty and that he had engaged with all sectors of the community, made speeches in multiple languages and had met with the Prince of Kent and the Duke of Gloucester.  He had welcomed the opportunity to raise the profile of his charities, Halo Children's Foundation and the Al-Falah Institute, as well as raising funds for them. 


The Mayor thanked his Mayoresses, Mrs Amtul Would Wallana and Miss Tooba Wallana, for the support that they had given him over the last twelve months and he also thanked his father and late mother. 


The Mayor paid tribute to the Mayoral team, past and present, and all of the Council officers who had supported his charity fundraising events whilst also providing excellent services.  The Mayor was grateful to his Ward Councillor colleagues, Councillors and the Leader for affording him the opportunity to hold the position over the last year. 


Nominations were invited for a Mayor to hold office for the 2024/25 municipal year.  Councillor Sullivan was nominated by Councillor Bridges and seconded by Councillor O’Brien.  There were no further nominations. 


RESOLVED:  That Councillor Colleen Sullivan be elected as Mayor for the 2024/2025 municipal year. 


The Council adjourned for robing of the new Mayor at 7.51pm and reconvened at 8.04pm.


Acceptance of Office by the New Mayor

i)              The newly elected Mayor to make and sign the declaration of acceptance of office.

ii)             The Head of Democratic Services to declare the election of the Mayor to be complete.


The newly elected Mayor signed the declaration of acceptance of office.


Appointment of the Deputy Mayor

To receive the Mayor’s appointment in writing of a Councillor of the Borough to serve as Deputy Mayor for the forthcoming municipal year.


The Mayor informed the Council that she had appointed Councillor Philip Corthorne as Deputy Mayor.


RESOLVED: That the Deputy Mayor for the 2024/2025 municipal year be noted.


New Mayor's Announcements

To receive announcements from the new Mayor.


The new Mayor thanked Members for electing her to the position for the new municipal year.  She advised that her Mayoress would be Ms Anne Robinson and that her nominated charities for the year would be Radio Hillingdon and RB&H Arts Charity.  The Mayor advised that she would not be appointing a single Chaplain but would instead be seeking support from various churches during her mayoralty.


Vote of Thanks to the Outgoing Mayor

i)              Vote of thanks to the outgoing Mayor to be moved and seconded – vote.

ii)             Presentation of Past Mayor’s and Past Mayor’s Escort’s badges.


Councillor Edwards moved a vote of thanks to the retired Mayor, Councillor Shehryar Ahmad-Wallana, and his Mayoresses, Mrs Amtul Woud Wallana and Miss Tooba Khulat Wallana.  He congratulated the outgoing Mayor on the support that he had provided and the money that he had raised for his two charities over the last year.


The vote of thanks was seconded by Councillor Lakhmana.  Councillors Bianco, Roy Chamdal, Denys, Gohil, Higgins and Lavery spoke in support of the vote of thanks to the outgoing Mayor, Councillor Ahmad-Wallana. 


The Mayor (Councillor Sulivan) presented a Past Mayor's badge to Councillor Ahmad-Wallana a Past Mayoress’s badge to Mrs Amtul Woud Wallana and Ms Tooba Wallana. 


RESOLVED:  That the vote of thanks to the outgoing Mayor, Councillor Ahmad-Wallana, be agreed.


Report of the Head of Democratic Services pdf icon PDF 400 KB




The appointment by the Leader of the Council of Councillor Bianco as the Deputy Leader, and the following Members as Cabinet Members, for 2024/2025 was noted:




Deputy Leader, Property, Highways & Transport




Children, Families & Education


Health and Social Care


Residents’ Services


Corporate Services





It was noted that Kelly Martin, the Conservative Party candidate, had been elected to represent Hillingdon East Ward at the by-election held on 2 May 2024. 




Councillor Edwards moved, and Councillor Bianco seconded, the recommendations contained in the report. 


Those speaking against the recommendations expressed concern that a reduction in the number of select committees would increase the workload of the remaining select committees and make effective scrutiny difficult to achieve.  Whilst efforts to streamline were appreciated, the objective should be to increase productivity rather than reduce it. 


Councillor Mathers moved, and Councillor Punja seconded, the following amendment:


i)       That the word ‘frivolous’ be removed as a reason for the Head of Democratic Services to reject questions and motions from Members and the public. 


ii)      That, in relation to the section regarding Members’ Enquiries and Services Requests in the Opposition Lead Protocol on Good Member and Officer Relations, the following wording be added as shown below in bold:


“Should a Member wish for information that is not specific to their own Ward (e.g. is regarding matters affecting the whole Borough or is cross-cutting for a part of the Borough wider than a single Ward) then such a request must be made through the Group Leader with an explanation as to why such information is required.


Where a Member requests such factual information, that information will also be supplied to the relevant Cabinet Member, Chair and Opposition Lead of the appropriate Committee or relevant officers.”


Those speaking in support of the amendment believed that these two small changes would strengthen the Constitution.  The word ‘frivolous’ was thought to be too subjective and, if the administration had nothing to hide, they would have no objection to including the opposition lead in the protocol. 


Those speaking against the amendment noted that the dictionary had been clear about the definition of ‘frivolous’ and whether or not a question or motion could be deemed frivolous would be determined by the Borough Solicitor and the Head of Democratic Services.  Members were reminded that the Whips had recently been tasked with reviewing the protocol and had agreed the current procedure. 


The amendment was put to the vote and lost.


The original motion was put to the vote and it was:


ReSOLVED: That the Head of Democratic Services be authorised to make the following amendments to the Constitution:


i)             Part 2, Chapter 4, SO11: Questions submitted by Members:


11.4 Questions that may not be accepted


The Head of Democratic Services may amend or reject a question submitted on notice if it:

·               is defamatory, frivolous or offensive;

·               does not contain sufficient detail or information to allow for an informed and detailed answer to be given or, if local authority resources are referred to, does not provide sufficient detail to allow them to be accurately quantified;

·               is substantially the same, similar in nature or concerning the same subject matter as a question which has been put at a meeting of the Council in the past six months; or

·               requires the disclosure of confidential or exempt information as defined in the Access to Information Rules.


Part 2, Chapter 4, SO12: Motions on Notice:


12.3 Motions that may not be accepted


The Head of Democratic Services may amend or reject a Motion submitted on notice if it:

·               is defamatory, frivolous or offensive;

·               if approved would require unlawful action to be taken or action which would be impossible to implement;

·               requires the disclosure of confidential or exempt information as defined in the Access to Information Rules.


ii)            Part 3, Chapter 22: Members’ Enquiries & Service Requests


A Member is free to submit a Member’s Enquiry or service request to approach any Council Department, via the Members’ Enquiry portal only, to provide such information, explanation and advice about the Department’s functions as may reasonably be required in order to assist with discharging his/her role.


A Members’ Enquiry is defined as:


'a clear question has been asked that requires investigation by Council Officers, or the supply of information from a Council department’. A Members Enquiry may include requests for general policy and performance information, and/or the investigation of ongoing or persistent issues including persistent fly tipping.


A Members’ Service Request is defined as:


‘a request for a one-off action to be taken, that requires action by an officer and not investigative activities or supply of information’. Examples of a Service Request include collection of fly tipping, removal of graffiti, street lighting issues, tree problem etc. Service Requests are location-specific.


All enquiries and requests must be reasonable and will be met subject to any overriding legal considerations (determined by the Monitoring Officer). If the recipient of any request considers the cost of providing the information requested or the nature of the request to be unreasonable, they will raise the matter with the relevant Corporate / Executive Director who will discuss the issue with the relevant Group Leader or, in the absence of a Group Leader, with the Member concerned.


A Member may raise a valid Service Request for any area within the Borough.


Should a Member wish to raise a Member’s Enquiry, or be asked to raise one by a member of the public, concerning a matter in another Member's Ward, there is an expectation that they will refer the matter to the appropriate Ward Member(s) or / and, where appropriate, seek the agreement of the member of public to refer the matter to the appropriate Ward Member(s), unless a valid reason why this would not be appropriate is provided by the relevant Group Leader.


Should a Member wish for information that is not specific to their own Ward (e.g. is regarding matters affecting the whole Borough or is cross-cutting for a part of the Borough wider than a single Ward) then such a request must be made through the Group Leader with an explanation as to why such information is required.


Where a Member requests such factual information, that information will also be supplied to the relevant Cabinet Member, Chair of the appropriate Committee or relevant officers.


To assist Members in submitting Service Requests, Members’ Enquiries or requests for factual information, the Council operates a portal, and all such requests must be made via this route.


iii)          Part 2, Chapter 4, SO14: 14.3 Seconder’s Speech


“When seconding a motion or amendment, a Member may reserve their speech until later in the debate. The Member may also, at the moment of seconding a motion or amendment and reserving their right to speak later, request of the Mayor that they be called to speak at the conclusion of the debate, albeit prior to those Members exercising a Right of Reply as set out in SO14.9. Such a request shall be granted by the Mayor.”


iv)          That the deletion of the former Finance and Corporate Services Select Committee and the Property, Highways and Transport Select Committee be noted and the creation of the new Corporate Resources and Infrastructure Select Committee be agreed with the following Terms of Reference:


To undertake the overview and scrutiny role in relation to the following Cabinet Member portfolio(s) and service areas:


Cabinet Member Portfolios

• Leader of the Council

• Cabinet Member for Corporate Services

• Cabinet Member for Finance

• Property, Highways & Transport

Relevant service areas

1)    Democratic Services

2)    Finance

3)    Procurement & Commissioning

4)    Counter Fraud & Business Assurance

5)    Digital & Information (Customer Access, Business Intelligence, Digital, Technology, Information Governance)

6)    Strategic Partnerships

7)    Consultation & engagement

8)    Corporate Communications

9)    Legal Services

10)Human Resources

11)Business Administration (incl. Mortuary)

12)Transformation (BID)

13)Operational Assets (Repairs & Engineering, Planned Works, Disabled Facilities, Building safety & FM)

14)Property Services

15)Capital Programme (inc. Major Projects)



18)Health & Safety / Emergency Response


Cross cutting topics

This Committee will also act as lead select committee on the monitoring and review of the following cross-cutting topics:

• Resident Experience

• Civic Centre, Property and built assets


This Committee will scrutinise and review the work of utility companies whose actions affect residents of the Borough.


Committee Allocations and Membership 2024 / 2025 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To determine the number and size of Council committees and allocate Members to serve on those committees based on the political balance of the Council, where required.


Councillor R Mills moved, and Councillor Davies seconded, the motion as set out on the Order of Business and it was:


ReSOLVED: That the appointment of Committees, Sub-Committees and their memberships, as set out in Minute Annex A, be approved.


Select Committees Annual Report pdf icon PDF 5 MB

To receive the annual report.


The Council received a report detailing the work covered by the Select Committees in 2023/24.  It was moved by Councillor Bridges, seconded by Councillor Makwana, and:


RESOLVED:  That the report be noted.


Statement by the Leader of the Council

In accordance with the provisions of the Constitutiton, to receive, without comment, a statement from the Leader of the Council.


The Leader of the Council advised that inflationary pressures had continued but that the recent by-election had shown that residents still had confidence in the Hillingdon Conservatives to deliver on their promise of sound financial management and putting residents first.  Of the 46 commitments that had been made by the administration, 42 had already been achieved (or were on track to be achieved) and services and facilities in Hillingdon continued to be better than those provided in neighbouring boroughs.  Work continued to find a new site for HOAC, a feasibility study was being undertaken in relation to a solar farm and it was regretted that the Mayor of London would not fund the expansion of the Santander cycle scheme.


The Leader was proud that the Council had stood up for residents in relation to the expansion of the Mayor of London’s Ultra Low Emission Scheme into outer London.  Although the Council had lost the Judicial Review that it had led, the authority had spoken up about the punitive and unfair impact that the scheme would have on residents.  It was hoped that the Mayor of London would not introduce the pay per mile initiative that had recently been mooted.


Officers of the Council had contributed to many successes over the last year.  The Youth Justice Service had been awarded Quality Lead status with a Child First Commendation by the Association of Youth Offending Team Managers, Children’s Services had been rated as ‘Outstanding’ in an Ofsted inspection and the Counter Fraud Team had won two awards at the Public Finance Awards.  In addition, officers had secured numerous grants for various projects and Hillingdon had performed best in London with regard to the number of children being offered their first choice of primary school.


It was recognised that local authorities were still under significant financial pressure and that, as a result, some had recently declared bankruptcy.  Although Hillingdon was committed to sound financial management, no consideration had been given to cutting services.  The way services were provided and the buildings used was being optimised, releasing unused estate.


The modernisation of the Civic Centre would reduce the Council’s carbon footprint whilst also providing a more pleasant environment for staff.  This project had also enabled the Council's use of office space to be rationalised with spare space being rented out to partners (including the NHS), providing the Council with an income as well as enabling closer partnership working.


Work had continued in relation to the Council’s digital transformation agenda with the shift to the provision of online services.  Further work was needed including the need to reduce the number of email addresses and telephone numbers that were publicly available.  This move would focus residents’ communication to specific routes and prevent failure to respond.


In February 2024, the Financial Resilience in Local Authorities report was published and suggested that government elected at the next general election would need to review local authorities’ delivery of social care services. A fundamental review had been undertaken in Hillingdon over the last few months to pursue savings, align services and reduce duplication.  £15.7m of savings had already been identified for 2024/2025 and further work was needed to help the Council become smaller whilst working smarter.  The Leader thanked Council officers, the Corporate Management Team and the Chief Executive for leading the changes.  He also thanked all Councillors for improving the lives of their residents.