Agenda and minutes

Corporate Services, Commerce and Communities Policy Overview Committee - Thursday, 20th September, 2018 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Luke Taylor  01895 250693

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Lindsay Bliss and Vanessa Hurhangree, with Councillors Robin Sansapuri and Steve Tuckwell substituting.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the meeting held on 24 July 2018 pdf icon PDF 104 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 24 July 2018 be agreed as a correct record.


Exclusion of Press and Public


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


Annual Complaints and Service Update Report pdf icon PDF 134 KB


The Business Manager for Complaints and Enquiries introduced his report, and informed Members that as a result of a review of the Council's corporate complaints procedure by this committee, it had resulted in significant changes to the way complaints are now being handled. His report would show the impact of these changes, in particular the procedure had been streamlined and fewer complaints were now escalating to stages 2 and 3.


The Committee were informed that for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018:


The number of informal complaints had reduced from 416 in 2016/17 to 222 for 2017/18. The main reason for the reduction in informal complaints recorded was the change in service provider, as the current provider is more effective at answering the questions being asked.


The number of Stage 1 complaints had fallen from 285 for 2016/17 to 243.


The number of Stage 2 complaints had also fallen from 40 in 2016/17 to 23 for 2017/18. This was expected, as officers are applying the revised corporate complaints procedure by using their discretion to escalate a complaint direct from Stages 1 and/or 2 to the Ombudsman.


There were no Stage 3 complaints recorded for 2017/18.


The number of complaints investigated by the Ombudsman for 2017/18 was ten. The Committee can have some reassurance that the implementation of the change in the complaint procedure had not resulted in a deterioration of performance.


Councillors heard that 8,502 Members Enquiries were received for 2017/18, and the year before it was 9,185. This change was largely due to the way that enquiries were recorded, with multiple enquiries received on the same issue classed as one enquiry.


The Committee heard that four compliments were received, but was informed that this could be due to the fact that the recording of compliments is not promoted as well as it should be. Members were informed that an article would be appearing in the Council's All Staff E-mail to encourage officers to send their compliments to the Complaints and Enquiries Team so that they can be better recorded.


Members commented that the impact of the Committee’s review into the complaints procedure has led to clear improvements, and stated that the statistics showed that the Council dealt with complaints efficiently. Councillors also noted that there were probably many more compliments received but these were not recorded.


Responding to questioning from the Committee, the Business Manager for Complaints and Enquiries confirmed that when a complaint is received and dealt with informally, the Council aim to reply within two or three working days. If a complaint is registered as a formal complaint, it is acknowledged within two working days and the complainant is then informed who will respond and when they can expect to receive their response.


Councillors were also informed that, where the Council were deemed to be at fault and a complaint upheld, the organisation will complete a “learning memo”, report the result of the complaint to Senior Managers in the relevant service area, and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Review A: Policing in Hillingdon pdf icon PDF 56 KB

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The Deputy Director for Housing, Environment, Education, Health and Wellbeing, and Service Manager for Community Safety were in attendance at the meeting and addressed the Committee with details of the policing structures in Hillingdon.


Councillors were informed that the Community Safety Team (CST) identified the needs of the borough with regards to crime prevention, and was working with partners in the Safer Hillingdon Partnership to tackle a number of issues, such as youth violence, burglary, anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse. The team works alongside other Council departments, such as Housing, Anti-Social Behaviour and Social Care, as well as the Police, Fire Brigade and private sector landlords, to identify these issues to tackle. Once identified, the CST’s partners can then pass on any resident feedback regarding local issues to the relevant partner and action can be taken to tackle the problem with partners, for example; police, truancy officers, environmental enforcement teams, trading standards etc.


The Committee heard that the Safer Hillingdon Partnership (SHP) was a statutory body responsible made up from a number of statutory members, that receives progress reports on crime and sets targets for crime prevention. The SHP also completes needs assessments for the Borough, and compares Hillingdon with other neighbouring local authorities, and once a year, sets a plan to tackle local issues. It is also able to hold partners to account for the delivery of local actions plans to tackle these concerns.


The Service Manager for Community Safety discussed the changes made to policing within Hillingdon, and noted that on 6 June 2018, Hillingdon joined the London Boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow to form the West Area Basic Command Unit (BCU), which replaced the Metropolitan police’s old 32-borough model by merging neighbouring local police forces to form twelve new BCUs. Trials for the model were carried out in the east, and central north, of London.


Members were informed that the Council funds two sergeants and 5.5 constables with two grants; an annual grant of £81k, and a further grant of £538k for three years which ends in March 2020. These grants are matched by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), which provides a further 7.5 constables. Currently, in the north of the Borough there is one sergeant and five constables, while one sergeant and eight constables operate in the south of the Borough. Officers were asked whether Ealing and Hounslow fund additional officers, and the Committee noted that an answer to this question would be supplied outside of the meeting.


The Committee heard that the Service Manager for Community Safety meets with the Safer Hillingdon Partnership, Inspector and both local sergeants on a fortnightly basis, as well as other officers who bring cases to the Tasking Teams. There is also the opportunity to directly task the Police with issues that have been raised via Member Enquiries, and if an investigation requires a specialised task, the Police are able to use a Tasking Team for this. It was confirmed that Tasking Teams were still ring-fenced to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 48 KB

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RESOLVED: That the Forward Plan be noted.


Work Programme 2018/2020 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

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RESOLVED: That the Work Programme be noted.