Agenda and minutes

Corporate Services, Commerce and Communities Policy Overview Committee - Tuesday, 5th February, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Luke Taylor  01895 250693

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Vanessa Hurhangee, with Councillor Ray Graham substituting.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 129 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2019 be agreed as a correct record.


Exclusion of Press and Public


It was confirmed that all items were Part I and would be considered in public.


Draft Budget Proposals 2019/20: Comments from Policy Overview Committees pdf icon PDF 118 KB


The Committee noted that comments on the draft budget proposals 2019/20 were made by Policy Overview Committees in January, and that these comments were before the Committee for consideration.


The Labour Group disagreed with the proposed comments’ assertion that the Council had a record of delivering a budget without impacting on frontline services.


The draft comments were proposed and seconded and put to a vote, with five Councillors voting in favour and three voting against the proposed wording. The Labour Group requested that their opposition votes to the motion be recorded.


As such, it was agreed that the comments on the budget proposals be confirmed as “The Committee noted the budget projections and the combined budget proposals put forward by the Chief Executive’s Office and Finance Group, and recognised the continuing financial constraints faced by the Council, whilst acknowledging that the Council have a track record over recent years of delivering a budget without impacting frontline services”.


RESOLVED: That the Committee:


1.    Noted the formal comments on the Cabinet’s budget proposals from the other two Policy Overview Committees;

2.    Agreed its own final comments on the Cabinet’s budget proposals; and,

3.    Submitted the combined set of formal Policy Overview Committee comments to Cabinet for consideration.


Review B: Broadcasting of Policy Overview, Scrutiny & Select Committees on YouTube pdf icon PDF 1 MB


The Senior Democratic Services Manager introduced the report regarding broadcasting in Hillingdon, as part of the Committee’s review into the Broadcasting of Policy Overview, Scrutiny and Select Committee meetings.


Members heard that the decision to begin broadcasting meetings was made in 2015, and it was possible to broadcast from the Committee Rooms 5 and 6 with single cameras, and the Council Chamber with three cameras.


The Council’s YouTube viewing rates compare favourably with other Councils as residents are able to watch meetings that they are not able to attend, and even choose the item they wish to watch in some cases, which ensures they do not take up time watching discussions that they are not interested in.


Councillors were informed that YouTube provides free subtitling and transcripts on its videos, and technology was improving for these services, and were shown examples of other Council’s around the world who broadcast Committee meetings for comparison.


The Senior Democratic Services Manager noted that watchtime, not views, was the key indicator for public interest in broadcasts, and heard that outside of Democratic Services, YouTube was used infrequently within the Council, although the music service occasionally posted videos. Members were then shown a tutorial to demonstrate you videos were added to YouTube.


The Committee asked whether it was possible to add meeting broadcasts to the Council’s website, and heard that there was nothing to stop this, and although the Council used YouTube to broadcast, this may be something that is considered in the future.


Responding to questioning from Councillors, the Senior Democratic Services Officer noted that the resolution of videos was dictated by the cameras, which are now three years old and will eventually require upgrading, and that the streams were controlled by computers in the Democratic Services Office, while officers had to start the broadcasts on their own laptops at meetings.


Members noted the screens in CR5 could not be viewed on videos, citing the example of Planning Committee plans which may be useful for viewers to see, and asked whether these could be enhanced. The Senior Democratic Services Officer noted that Google Hangouts may offer alternatives to this as they could add presentational material during a broadcast, but this is something that would require the Democratic Services Officer to act on during the meeting with live editing. However, Democratic Services Officers were primarily required to minute meetings and advise the Chairman, and as such, live editing was seen as problematic, as it may interfere with the other roles required of the officers. However, it was an aspiration for the future.


The Committee asked whether the broadcasts generated enough traffic to warrant advertising and heard that monetisation was disabled to stop adverts for viewers, and that this decision was taken by the Council as it was a public body and would not be able to control the adverts to ensure they were for local businesses, or companies relevant to Hillingdon.


Councillors agreed that broadcasting more meetings was the way forward, but urged a cautious  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.


Review A: Policing in Hillingdon pdf icon PDF 59 KB


Following the final witness session at the previous Committee meeting, Members discussed potential recommendations to be included in the final report.


The Committee noted that a regular report updating the Council on the impact CCTV has had to assist police in prosecutions may be helpful, and that this would be seen by the relevant scrutiny Committee.


Councillors also noted that the Community Safety Team had a lot of work, and wanted to ensure that the department was not under-resourced. It was agreed that the department coped admirably considering financial pressures, and due to their track record of delivering results, it was important to ensure this work could continue to a high level, and that ensuring the team was adequately resourced helped to achieve this.


Members expressed concerns regarding the rumoured cut in MOPAC funding, and noted that officers bring huge value to Hillingdon and a loss in funding for Tasking Teams would be problematic, and the Committee should make representations to MOPAC to request that this funding remains in place.


With regards to CCTV, the Committee agreed it was important to ensure the current CCTV program rollout continues, and that the Committee is notified of any slippage. Members also noted that it would be interesting to see information on the effects and prosecutions from mobile CCTV cameras.


Councillors commented that the “Out of Hours Team” that works in the Council overnight may be better deployed if they were moved to the new CCTV Control Room.


Members also stated that facial recognition in CCTV cameras may be used to help find missing people, vulnerable adults or dementia patients, and the Council should liaise on assisting this with the relevant teams if technology continues to advance to allow its use in this manner.


To conclude, it was agreed that a set of draft recommendations be drawn up and circulated to the relevant officers to confirm practicality and wording. Once agreed by officers, these recommendations would then be circulated to the Chairman and Labour Lead Member to agree, before being incorporated into the final report.


RESOVLED: That the review’s draft recommendations be agreed with the relevant officers, Chairman and Labour Lead Member, before being included in the first draft of the final report.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That the forward plan be noted.


Work Programme 2018/2020 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That the work programme be noted.