Agenda and minutes

Corporate Services, Commerce and Communities Policy Overview Committee - Thursday, 4th January, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 4 - Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW. View directions

Contact: Luke Taylor  01895 250833

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Henry Higgins.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the meeting held on 7 November 2017 pdf icon PDF 130 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 7 November 2017 were approved as a correct record.


Exclusion of Press and Public


It was agreed that all items would be considered in public.


'Homophobic, Biphobic & Transphobic Bullying' Review pdf icon PDF 68 KB


Ms Sarah Rose, Senior Account Manager at Stonewall, and Mr Colin Tucker, Headteacher at Ryefield Primary School, were in attendance at the meeting to speak to the Committee as part of the review's witness session.


Mr Tucker noted that the issue of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying is far more nuanced than in previous years, as children are more likely to identify themselves differently, and schools must ensure that they are well equipped to deal with changing times and opinions. Mr Tucker confirmed that bullying does happen at every school, but is not prevalent at Ryefield Primary School. With regards to HBT bullying, there were not cases of this, although the term "that's gay" is sometimes used; however, the phrase is used much less today than in previous years and is not heard much at all anymore. It was noted that this term is used more commonly among years 5 and 6, although it is not necessarily always used in a homophobic manner.


Responding to Members questions, Mr Tucker confirmed that his school does teach children that all people are different, and respect and inclusiveness is used in the subject matter that is taught. Primary Schools historically have not addressed these issues as it is not included in the curriculum and it was not possible to teach children about LGBT rights until 2003 (section 122 of Local Government Act 2003), but the topic would not be pushed aside if it was raised, and is now welcomed by teachers. Different families should be reflected in schools (e.g. same sex parents) and Ofsted now have a focus on the issue, supporting a better understanding of LGBT rights among pupils.


The Committee heard that it was important that children were taught about relationships and friendships, as well as their body in primary school; this does not necessarily mean sex education though, which is taught in secondary schools. Members agreed that the younger children understand that all families are different, the more accepted these perceived differences are as the societal norm. It was noted that children are more aware of relationships, differences and related topics at an earlier age now as it is more visible, either on TV or film, or through social media and the internet. 


With regards to sex education, Mr Tucker confirmed that 9-11 year olds were taught about sex, as per the curriculum, focussing on the scientific aspects of the topic in a loving relationship. This does not explicitly reference LGBT sex, but does not exclude same sex couples who are in relationships. Ms Rose noted that from 2019 onwards, relationship education would be made compulsory in every English primary school, and relationships and sex education would be made compulsory in every English secondary school.


Mr Tucker was asked whether parent involvement was required as the influence at home is stronger than from school, and confirmed that in many instances children make the changes first, and then ask parents to change, which often leads to changes in the home  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.


2018/19 Budget Proposals for Services within the remit of Corporate Services & Partnerships Policy Overview Committee pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:


The Finance Manager for Operational Finance and Financial Planning Manager for Strategic Planning were in attendance to discuss the item with the Committee.


Responding to Members' questioning, Officers confirmed that £7m of savings were outlined in the budget report to Cabinet, and this information would be included in the report to the February Committee meeting, and that £250k allocated for the Uxbridge Police Station was kept aside until there was agreement on the matter with the Mayor of London.


The Committee asked for confirmation on the number of Council houses that had been built, and how these figures compared with the Council's target, and officers confirmed that they would confirm the figure with the Committee via a written answer before the next meeting.


Officers informed Councillors that the £200k additional funding for Counter Fraud Activity which has not all been allocated, but some has been earmarked for an officer from Border Control to work within the team.


RESOLVED: That the budget proposals for services within the remit of Corporate Services and Partnerships Policy Overview Committee were noted.


'Employee Induction & Retention' Review pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee was presented with a draft copy of the 'Employee Induction and Retention' review.


Members commented that they were happy with the draft report, but noted that the recommendations were more weighted towards staff retention. The Committee expressed a wish to include one further recommendation regarding staff induction, and expressed their support for the suggestion that a recommendation be added requesting Human Resources facilitate an informal meeting for new starters at the organisation to give them the opportunity to introduce themselves to other new starters who worked outside the department.


The Committee confirmed that they were happy with the report, and agreed to delegate authority to finalise the report, subject to the addition of the additional recommendation.




1.    A recommendation be added to the review, to request Human Resources facilitate an informal meeting for new starters at the Council to give them an opportunity to meet other new starters who worked in a different department at the organisation; and


2.    The Committee delegated authority for the drafting of the Committee's final report to the Clerk and Workforce and Organisational Development Manager, under consultation with the Chairman of the Committee.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:


Councillors requested further information, by way of a written response to the Committee, on the Council's Print Contracts regarding how the tender would be structured.


RESOLVED: That the forward plan was noted, and a written response from officers regarding 'The Council's Print Contracts' was requested.



Work Programme 2017/2018 pdf icon PDF 66 KB


RESOLVED: That the work programme was noted, subject to the following changes:


·         The Work Programme for 2018/19 be added as an item to the March agenda;

·         That the meeting in January 2019 includes an item on potential review topics; and

·         That the meeting in March 2019 includes a further item on review topics.