Agenda and minutes

Corporate Services, Commerce and Communities Policy Overview Committee - Wednesday, 4th November, 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: VIRTUAL - Live on the Council's YouTube channel: Hillingdon London. View directions

Contact: Luke Taylor - Email:; Telephone: 01895 250 693 

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Hurhangee.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2020 pdf icon PDF 108 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2020 be agreed as a correct record.


Exclusion of Press and Public


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


Review: Voluntary Sector Response to Covid-19 Pandemic pdf icon PDF 105 KB


The Committee heard evidence on its review into “The Voluntary Sector’s Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic in Hillingdon” from Julian Lloyd, Chief Executive Officer at Age UK, Hillingdon, Harrow and Brent, and Sally Chandler, Chief Executive at Carers Trust Hillingdon.


Mr Lloyd noted that Age UK were one of the five larger charities in the Borough that were part of Hillingdon 4 All (H4All), an organisation that expanded as a partnership to include a wider number of secondary partners and smaller charities. Nearly all of these individual charities found that their work was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and resulted in them suspending their work, which in turn had an impact on the most vulnerable residents within the Borough.


The Committee heard that H4All, the NHS and Council rallied together in response to the pandemic to deal with the immediate needs of these vulnerable residents. This led to a focus on giving vulnerable residents and those residents shielding at home access to food and medicine. Mr Lloyd conceded it did take some time to get organised, but began to work well to meet these needs with volunteers working non-stop to help.


Members were informed that food parcels and deliveries from the Middlesex Suite were organised very quickly, as were shopping services, and H4All were confirmed that people did not go without food. Since the lockdown in March, Mr Lloyd stated that this process had evolved and now calls from residents required more complex resolutions. Councillors heard that a lot of isolated or lonely residents had called, and there were concerns over older residents who were forced to stay at home, with limited human contact and, potentially, no internet access. This means that those residents could be considered more excluded from society than previously, and it could have a significant impact on their mental health and wellbeing, with low levels of depression and anxiety manifesting, as well as a deterioration in physical health due to not being able to go out as much as pre-Covid. Mr Lloyd stated that there was a concern for charities’ client cohort over Christmas as we enter another lockdown period, and this would be a challenging time. There were concerns for the workforce too, as this would have an impact on the wellbeing of staff and volunteers, and while they were trying to support each other, it was not possible physically, which could lead to strains on the workforce.


Ms Chandler noted that larger charities drew-down a significant resource during the pandemic, not just on helping vulnerable residents, but also supporting youth education and from investing in their own IT to make working remotely a possibility. Members heard that charities were prepared for a second wave, but it would have an impact on funding in the sector, and smaller charities were at risk of disappearing without support.


The Committee was informed that charities had to ensure they coordinated their activity, and must look at the needs of the 13,000 residents who were shielding and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Past Review Update: Recruitment in Hillingdon pdf icon PDF 215 KB

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The Interim Director for Corporate Resources and Services provided an update on the review regarding “Recruitment in Hillingdon”, and what actions were taken on previous recommendations contained within the report.


The report outlined the Council’s actions on individual recommendations, and the Committee heard that the organisation were much better at differentiating what it means to be working for Hillingdon, as opposed to another organisation, following the review. Following work with a focus group, it became clear that professional workers in the business believed Hillingdon offered five things: accomplishment and achievement, a collective impact, working for a resourceful and progressive Council, a sense of diversity, and, a support mechanism through management and an organisational culture that supported professional development.


Members heard that there was now a much better level of candidate response, and the recruitment process was quicker following the implementation of the recommendations. The Committee was also informed that the apprenticeship scheme had stood out in its success, and provided a pivotal talent pool with over 50% of apprentices staying and starting their professional careers at the Council. Members also noted that the recruitment process was a lot easier for line managers.


The Committee stated that the update was very encouraging, and it was clear that the recommendations were having a big impact on recruitment at Hillingdon.


RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the update on the actions taken with regards to the previous review on “Recruitment in Hillingdon”.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 48 KB

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RESOLVED: That the forward plan be noted.


Work Programme 2018-2022 pdf icon PDF 52 KB

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RESOLVED: That the work programme be noted.