Agenda and minutes

Social Care, Housing and Public Health Policy Overview Committee
Tuesday, 9th February, 2021 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Steve Clarke  01895 250693

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and to report the presence of any substitute Members


No apologies had been received.


Declarations of Interest in matters coming before this meeting




To receive the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 97 KB

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RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meetings dated 14 January and 19 January 2021 be approved as an accurate record.



To confirm that the items of business marked as Part I will be considered in Public and that the items marked as Part II will be considered in Private


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


Housing Briefing (Update on Housing Stock and the Zero Carbon Commitment


David Haygarth introduced himself as the Council’s new Climate Action Manager. Members were provided with an outline of how the post sits within the Council’s structure noting the cross departmental nature of the role.


A presentation was delivered to Members with a focus on housing energy and the activities being undertaken to reduce carbon emissions within the Council’s housing stock. By way of outlining the policy environment for housing and carbon emissions, key strategies and policy drivers were highlighted including the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change 2007 and the Climate Change Strategy 2009/12. In January 2020, the London Borough of Hillingdon declared a climate emergency which led to the impending development of a Climate Action Strategy; Members noted how the strategy was still at the drafting stage but would be coming before Cabinet in March 2021.


Giving an overview of fuel poverty across London, it was highlighted that as of 2018, Hillingdon had the ninth lowest proportion of households deemed to be fuel poor out of the 33 London Boroughs (including City of London). Further to this, Hillingdon had lower fuel poverty levels than all neighbouring boroughs and from 2010 to 2018, the proportion of fuel poor households had decreased from 11.2% to 10.1%. It was also highlighted that carbon emissions from Council operations had reduced by a total of 42% over the past decade. Members were informed that the concept of fuel poverty applied to where the fuel bill for a household exceeds 10% of the household’s disposable income.


Key objectives of the new Climate Action Strategy would include: enabling residents, businesses and schools to reduce their own carbon emissions, becoming carbon neutral across the Council’s services by 2030 and achieving 100% clean energy across the Council’s services by 2030.


It was noted that the Council had a level of influence over the housing emissions with regard to freeholders and private sector rented properties, including Social Care settings such as sheltered homes and care homes. The Council had more direct control over housing emissions within Housing Revenue Account properties and in the design of new build developments in the Borough through Planning means. The Committee heard how £3,862k of Housing Revenue Account grant funding was allocated for thermal efficiency works such as boiler upgrades, double glazing and insulation.


In relation to the reduction of the Council’s operational emissions, officers were examining methods of reducing demand in municipal buildings such as the Civic Centre, schools and social care facilities. Work had been done to improve the efficiency specifications of the Council’s fleet vehicles and where possible, there was an intention to upgrade to hybrid or electric vehicles.


The Committee were encouraged to hear that for the first time, 100% of the Council’s electrical supplies were from renewable sources such as solar and wind energy. To mitigate residual carbon emissions from space heating and hot water heating, officers were developing carbon offsetting initiatives such as tree planting, green space management and renewable power projects.


Members queried what impact the impending Future  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


The Committee's Next Review Topic - Ideas/Selection Phase pdf icon PDF 97 KB


The Chairman introduced the item noting that, following the imminent conclusion of the Committee’s review into making the Council more autism-friendly, Members were to start exploring topics for the next major review. The Chairman also informed the Committee that, following the AGM in May 2021, the structure and terms of reference for the Council’s Policy Overview Committees was likely to be reorganised to better align with the new Cabinet Member portfolios. Although nothing was confirmed, it was noted that the Committee may be losing Housing from its scrutiny remit.


Prospective areas raised for consideration as the next major review topic were:


  • Assistive Living Technology, including Telecare and Telehealth;
  • Corporate Parenting responsibilities and early help interventions;
  • Adoption and fostering;
  • Children and young people’s mental health services and improving mental health;
  • The effect of Covid-19 on demand for Adult Social Care services;
  • Promoting healthy lifestyles post Covid-19;
  • The future of public health services.


It was also requested that, as scrutiny of Housing may no longer be part of the Committee’s remit post May 2021, officers explore whether a brief item on the outlook and enforcement of Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in the Borough could be brought before the Committee.


Members discussed the prospect of lining up two reviews with an eye to the May 2022 local elections where the composition of the Council may change. It was confirmed that, if two reviews were pursued, they would not be able to take place concurrently and would need to be phased.


The Chairman informed Members that scoping for the suggested areas would be carried out by officers and using the review topic scorecard, a number of feasible review topics would be reported back to the Committee in due course.


RESOLVED That the Committee considered potential topic ideas for their next major review for officers to scope further and report back to the Committee.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 52 KB

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It was highlighted that, since the agenda for the meeting had been published, a new Forward Plan was made available, the Climate Change Action Strategy, noted by officers earlier in the meeting, was confirmed as scheduled for the March 2021 Cabinet meeting.


RESOLVED: That the Social Care, Housing and Public Health Policy Overview Committee noted items going to Cabinet.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 55 KB

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The Chairman drew attention to the newly added item in relation to the integration of Public Health Services, it was noted that the date of this item would be subject to change to consider when was best appropriate for officers to report to the Committee. It was also highlighted that there was no date set for the regular service monitoring item of Looked After Children Performance Data, the Democratic Services Officer confirmed that this would be looked at and a date added to the work programme for the next meeting.


RESOLVED That the Social Care, Housing and Public Health Policy Overview Committee noted the contents of the Work Programme and agreed any amendments to be made.