Agenda and minutes

Corporate Services, Commerce and Communities Policy Overview Committee
Thursday, 10th October, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW. View directions

Contact: Luke Taylor  01895 250833

Link: Watch the LIVE or archived broadcast of this meeting here

Items
No. Item

18.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Lindsey Bliss and Martin Goddard, with Councillor Lynne Allen and Steve Tuckwell.

19.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor Lynne Allen declared a personal interest in Item 5, as a member of the Hayes Town Partnership.

20.

Minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2019 be agreed as a correct record, subject to the following alteration:

 

1.    That “The Head of Planning, Transportation and Recycling confirmed that the benefit from the project was huge, with more jobs provided than were ever envisioned, and this was a huge difference, in comparison with other mixed-used sites in the Borough" replace the paragraph that stated “The Head of Planning, Transportation and Recycling confirmed that the benefit from the project was huge, with thousands of jobs provided - more than ever envisioned - and this was a huge difference, in comparison with other mixed use sites in the Borough".

21.

Exclusion of Press and Public

Minutes:

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

22.

Review C: Local Commerce, Employment, Skills and Job Creation pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Minutes:

Dr Darrell DeSouza, CEO and Group Principal at Harrow College and Uxbridge College (HCUC), and Mr Neil Impiazzi, Partnership Development Director at SEGRO, were in attendance at the meeting to give evidence to the Committee.

 

Dr DeSouza noted that while he started his role in August, he had been a long-standing part of Uxbridge College as Vice-Principal, and was a resident of the Borough. The Committee was informed that Further Education was now starting to be recognised for its role in skills, and one of the recent examples of this was the forthcoming introduction of the new Technical Level (T-Level) exams.

 

The Uxbridge College (UC) has had a very good record for over ten years or more, and this is largely due to the breadth and width of the curriculum offered, with varied levels to suit the student.

 

The Committee heard that 70% of higher education learners at HCUC were in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), but there was a significant variety in levels of education at the colleges. Dr DeSouza noted that the aim of HCUC was to re-engage a very diverse number of students with education and help them with their career progression, and the investment in the campuses had helped provide a great environment for students to learn in.

 

Members were informed that, in addition to the College’s standard academic, vocational and technical provision, they also provided T-Levels (via a pilot scheme), higher T-Levels through the Institute of Technology (IoT) apprenticeship reform, and various projects in partnership with the Brunel University, the Borough’s commercial sector, and Hillingdon Council.

 

Dr DeSouza commented that HCUC would be part of the first tranche pilot for T-Levels in 2020/21, which would offer T-Levels in Digital and Early Years Education, with a planned expansion in 2021/22, which included a bid for four more subjects: Science – Lab Technician, Healthcare Science, Pharmacy Services, and 2nd Digital T-Levels. These T level schemes, when fully rolled out, would offer specific employment focused qualifications in 15 sector areas. The T levels would require substantial employment placements to aid workplace skills, offering 45-60 day placements to help make students ready for work. Furthermore, there was a planned pilot transition program to build a pipeline for Level 2 learning.

 

Councillors heard that the Department for Education had awarded HCUC permission to establish one of twelve IoTs in the UK, in partnership with Brunel University London and major employers, Fujitsu and Heathrow. The IoT would be based in STEM provision, with over 3,000 learner enrolments. HCUC supported this drive for high value higher technical skills to begin changing the national mind-set regarding non-degree options in education, and would focus on Level 4 and 5 higher technical qualifications, including apprenticeships, with a small percentage at both Level 3 and Level 6 (degree) level.

 

The IoT aimed to target under-represented groups in order to gain wide participation, and are looking to use a dynamic process to construct the program by encouraging employers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Sports Ground Safety Review pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Minutes:

The Regulatory Services Officer introduced the report regarding Safety at Sports Grounds.

 

The Committee were informed that the Local Authority develop a relationship with those clubs that do not require safety certificates at their grounds to ensure they still have a high level of safety, but this can be tough for clubs where funds are very limited. Members heard that there were two stands in the Borough which required safety certificates, and these were situated at Hayes and Yeading FC and the Gaelic Athletic Association.

 

Councillors noted that there were often not a huge number of fans at these stands, but on some occasions, the GAA would be very busy on event days. The GAA stand was granted a limited safety certificate for 1,200 people in May, but this had since been reduced to 600 people, and then again to zero people due to non-compliance.

 

Responding to Councillors’ questioning, the Regulatory Services Officer confirmed that the Council worked with operations managers at these grounds to build a relationship, and in the case of the GAA, a traffic management plan would be built into the new safety certificate.

 

Members also heard that the Council did not contribute to private clubs, and as such the clubs built off their own back, and in some cases, with grants from the Football Association, which would be used to improve grounds. In the case of Northwood Football Club, there was now access to the Chrysalis Fund, which may have an impact on the club.

 

The Committee commented that the current number of inspections were suitable, and this should continue for the next two years.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.    Considered and noted the report regarding Safety at Sports Grounds; and,

2.    Recommended to the Cabinet Member for Community, Commerce and Regeneration that the same level of inspection is maintained during 2019/20 and 2020/21 for all sports grounds.

24.

Annual Complaints and Service Update Report pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Minutes:

The Business Manager for Complaints and Enquiries introduced the report which provided information and analysis of complaints and Members’ Enquires received between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019 for services that fall under the remit of the Corporate Services, Commerce and Communities Policy Overview Committee.

 

Councillors were informed that the complaint numbers remained largely the same as previous years, and there had also been 142 compliments received from residents, although it was expected that this figure would go up in time. There was also a significant increase in Members’ Enquiries, although those regarding Residents Services dwarfed all the other departments.

 

The Business Manager for Complaints and Enquiries noted that there were 837 Stage 1 complaints, and 85 of these were considered by the Local Government Ombudsman, although only ten of these were upheld, which suggested that the Council was getting decisions right in the vast majority of cases. The Committee heard that, in comparison to other local authorities, Hillingdon Council were doing well, although it was noted that neighbouring Boroughs such as Harrow and Hounslow do not publish their complaints figures.

 

Members heard that the bulk of complaints were contained in the report which was considered by the Social Care, Housing and Public Health Policy Overview Committee, and asked that this be shared with the Committee.

 

The Committee noted that while there were a number of compliments received, most were received from email, although some were received on cards or letters. Members stated that there was a lot of good feedback received by Group Leaders, and asked whether these comments should be passed on to the Complaints and Enquiries Department, and were informed that this would be very helpful. Councillors noted that in the future they would ask that any feedback received by Group Leaders be passed on to Officers.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the contents of the annual complaints report.

25.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted that there was a shortage of social housing, and questioned why the Council was disposing of The School House. The Democratic Services Officer noted that officers would be approached to provide a response to this question.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.    Noted the Forward Plan; and,

 

2.    Ask officers to clarify the reasoning behind the decision to dispose of The School House, Hayes.

26.

Work Programme 2018/2020 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the work programme 2018 – 2020.