Agenda and minutes

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

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Luke Taylor  01895 250833

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

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Jazz Dhillon.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2019 pdf icon PDF 140 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2019 be agreed as a correct record.


Exclusion of Press and Public


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


Review C: Local Commerce, Employment, Skills & Job Creation pdf icon PDF 103 KB


Mr Mike Langan, Chairman of the Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce, and Mr Jonathan Seymour, Treasurer of the Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce, were in attendance at the meeting to give evidence to the Committee.


Mr Langan confirmed that the Chamber of Commerce was established in 1908, and currently has nine people sitting on the Committee in a voluntary capacity fulfilling various roles.


Councillors were informed that the Chamber had worked alongside the Council on a number of issues over the years, including the decision to introduce 30 minutes of free parking in the high streets across the Borough and a special rate for Hillingdon First card holders. The Chamber also runs a number of networking events with partners, seminars on various topics, and has been involved in the Heathrow summit, which is a supply chain for businesses and obtained contracts from the airlines and airports that has been running for 26 years, and the Chamber holds an annual review every November.


The Committee heard that the Chamber also has an annual event with West London Film Studios, based in the south of the Borough, and an annual barbeque at Brunel University, of which proceeds are donated to the Mayor’s Charity, in addition to a yearly visit to the Mayor’s Charity. Mr Langan stated that the flagship event for the Chamber of Commerce was its annual Expo, which has run for five years, and a sixth will take place in 2020.


Mr Seymour noted that Hillingdon’s economy was made up on 99.3% small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and that the benefits of developing a strong local supply chain were enormous. The Committee heard it was important to prioritise local SMEs to ensure they received work, and this in turn helps to build strong local businesses in the Borough. Additionally, a strong local supply chain leads to more economic growth and minimises the impact on the environment, as the businesses involved are local and the supply chain requires less travel.


Members were informed that the visibility of future projects may help improve the supply chain, as it would allow local businesses to see where large projects take place and who they would be working with, while the ability for local SMEs to engage and work together would also help the supply chain’s development.


The Committee asked how the relationship between the Chamber of Commerce and Council was, and were informed that there was a close working relationship, with the recent work on improving shop front in town centres and example of this, along with the work done to help train inexperienced shopkeepers to help them run their businesses.


Responding to Councillors’ questioning, Mr Langan noted the Chamber’s hopes that the supply chain will bring together the 13,000 plus microbusinesses in the Borough and encourage them to look for bigger contracts. Members heard that this has been achieved using the Heathrow Airport supply chain, which helped to introduce businesses together. Mr Seymour noted that the Chamber of Commerce was funded by modest subscriptions,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.


Community Cohesion pdf icon PDF 140 KB


The Council’s Stronger Communities Manager and Prevent Lead introduced a report that outlined what action the Council took to reach out to all communities to promote cohesion.


Members heard that the promotion of community cohesion by the Council was underpinned by partnerships, not only with other statutory agencies, but also alongside the voluntary sector and diverse communities, and this work is done through partnership working with the Council’s communications team, and also events and activities that are provided to Hillingdon residents. 


The Council identified three key groups to engage with, and these were women, particularly isolated women from different community backgrounds, faith communities, and children and young people. It was noted that if the work can reach young people, it can often reach their parents, families and wider community.


It is important to ensure that all communities have access to services, and Members heard that it was important to utilise libraries and community events to help people engage, not just from different faith or ethnicities, but also ages, genders and residents with disabilities, as the events were a good way of bringing people together.


The Committee commended the comprehensive report before them, and noted that it highlighted the huge amount of work the Council do on community cohesion.


Responding to Councillors’ questioning, the Stronger Communities Manager and Prevent Lead confirmed that the Stronger Communities Partnership, predominantly made up of external partner agencies, meet quarterly and aim to look at how the Council is working to develop its programmes that feed into local strategic priorities.


Members asked how the Council was reaching those women who were not part of women’s groups and may have been identified as in need of extra support, and were informed that the Council works alongside a lot of different community organisations and voluntary sector groups, and the library services are also involved in comprehensive work that includes people with dementia or mental health needs. The Committee heard that activities are promoted by many different areas to bring people together, and community events are a good opportunity for this. 


The Stronger Communities Manager and Prevent Lead stated that to reach isolated people in the Borough, many different parts of the Council were involved. It is hard to map exactly where all these opportunities are, but there is a strong grants sector which is funded by the Council that can help to reach out to these people too. Members heard that it building relationships with communities that do not engage the Council.


The Committee were informed that the Stronger Communities Manager and Prevent lead worked alongside colleagues, leading on Hayes Fun Day, and have worked hard to get a lot of people involved. However, across the voluntary sector it is harder to get people to volunteer at events such as the Fun Day, but there is still a good level of diversity that is increasing at the event, despite these challenges.


Responding to questioning from Members, the Stronger Communities Manager and Prevent Lead noted that there used to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:


Members sought clarification on the item regarding Assistance to Hillingdon’s Local Voluntary Organisations, regarding the timing and consultation with the Committee, and requested a written update outside of the meeting.


RESOLVED: That the Forward Plan be noted.


Work Programme 2018/2020 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That the Work Programme 2018/20 be noted.