Agenda and minutes

Residents' Services Select Committee - Wednesday, 15th March, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 6 - Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW. View directions

Contact: Liz Penny, Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Declarations of interest in matters coming before this meeting


There were no declarations of interest in matters coming before this meeting. 


To receive the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 349 KB


RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 15 February 2023 be agreed as a correct record. 


To confirm that the items of business marked as Part I will be considered in public and those marked Part II will be considered in private


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


A Review of Alley Gating in Hillingdon: Witness Session 2 pdf icon PDF 235 KB

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Ms Helena Webster, the Council's Community Engagement and Town Improvement Manager, advised that the Council had made grant funding available to residents in Hillingdon to secure alleys and mitigate levels of fly tipping and burglary in the area.  At its meeting on 15 February 2023, Members received evidence from residents about their experiences.  Officers had subsequently attended a site visit and identified the need for repairs to just one gate which was being followed up by the team through the new existing gate refurbishment initiative. 


Mr Adam Stitson, the Council's Team Leader for Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and Environmental Protection, advised that alleygating schemes had reduced levels of certain crimes in the Borough, and complaints about fly tipping and similar issues tended to reduce following the installation of alley gates.  However, the effectiveness of the alley gates depended on the compliance of residents in using them appropriately.  Residents needed to understand how the alley gates should be used and that they needed to be kept locked when not in use and that keys should be kept safe. 


Insofar as hotspots were concerned, Mr Stitson advised that there were no geographical hotspots for alley gates being broken or left unlocked and resulting in ASB.  Residents' buy-in addressed this issue so it was imperative that, to maintain the effectiveness of the scheme, new residents moving into the area needed to have a handover.  The longer a scheme had been installed, the more likely it was that the system would break down as those residents coordinating things like keys locally may have moved away.  The Council's Community Engagement Team was currently looking into this issue to come up with a solution. 


Members were advised that localities based action would be taken by the Council to address reports of ASB in an area and that, if this action was successful, there would potentially be no need to install an alley gating scheme.  Evidence was needed to be able to tackle instances of fly tipping and other crimes and identify the perpetrators.  In these situations, the Council could write to all households in the area but these generic communications tended to have limited effectiveness as they were impersonal and easy to ignore. 


Inspector Dan Lipinski, Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), advised that the police interaction with the Council's ASB team was limited as the team appeared to be largely autonomous.  However, the MPS worked with the ASB and Community Engagement teams when needed and undertook intelligence led patrols and the MPS' Design Out Crime team had significant expertise in identifying preventative measures that could be taken to address crime.  The Democratic Services Manager would circulate the Police Crime Prevention Initiatives Guide to Alley Gating to Members of the Committee. 


Inspector Lipinski had contacted Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) officers to garner their thoughts on the alley gating schemes and had received a number of testimonials.  These SNT officers were wholly supportive of alley gating and noted that the schemes had reduced fly tipping and worked well  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.


Antisocial Behaviour and Street Scene Service Development pdf icon PDF 178 KB


Ms Stephanie Waterford, the Council's Head of Public Protection and Enforcement, advised that the restructure of the Anti-Social Behaviour and Environment Team had progressed with a proposal to split into three distinct areas, with clear lines of responsibility to allow for separation of functions and the retention of specialist competencies:

1.    Street Scene Enforcement – there had been 2,933 reports of on street issues in 2022, including fly tipping.  It was thought that high levels of non-compliance had been driven in part by businesses trying to cut costs and cutting corners.  It was recognised that the team would need to demonstrate high levels of diplomacy when dealing with disputes such as high hedges.  Each job would have a target response time based on the risk associated with the issue and the service parameters.  There had been some improvements over the last twelve months since the introduction of a new post;

2.    Environmental Protection Unit (EPU) – this team would be responsible for matters relating to environmental nuisances such as light, dust and emissions, and odour and smoke.  It was proposed that regulatory activities be brought back in house.  The EPU had a unique set of powers and responsibilities and would be able work across service areas.  Although service areas might be governed by certain legislation, it would not be permissible to disregard other legislation that also affected an issue (for example, planning and licensing often crossed over); and

3.    ASB Localities – this team would focus on localities-based problem solving (LBPS) to deal with ASB, community tensions and local issues within specific localities.  Officers within this team would be able to work across teams, project manage an issue to its conclusion and hold service areas to account.  Once this team was in place, it would be important for them to work closely with Ward Councillors. 


Ms Waterford advised that officers across the whole service area would be provided with refresher training in relation to any relevant legislation.  An external training provider would be brought in to provide training on legislation such as the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) and investigations.  Ms Waterford's role (and the service managers' roles) would be required to keep abreast of any new legislation which would be helped by attending London, peer and officer group meetings to share knowledge and information. 


The staff consultation period had closed at the start of this week so work would now be undertaken to finalise the new structure.  The Street Scene Service Plan would be aligned to the new LBPS model and a review would be undertaken of the Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs would be the subject of a report to the Committee's next meeting on 12 April 2023).  Officers were also implementing a new digital triage and case management system across the service area. 


It was noted that there was one PSPO document in force in Hillingdon which covered 15-20 restrictions including dog fouling and spitting.  PSPOs were in place for three years and the one in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.


Climate Action Plan Annual Update pdf icon PDF 323 KB

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Ms Jo Allen, the Council's Climate Action Manager, advised that the report provided an update in relation to the objectives set out in the Strategic Climate Action Plan and the Council's aspiration to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.  The Council had set out six corporate commitments covering nine key themes, along with a series of priorities for 2022/2023. 


The Committee was advised hat the Council had taken advantage of grant funding via a bid process with numerous successful applications made including:

1.    Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme - £3,862,804

2.    Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund - £1,582,432

3.    Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme - £13,751,385


Mr Scott advised that the grants were advertised by central Government and officers needed to submit applications within short timeframes and, if successful, had to deliver the agreed scheme in equally short timescales.  He noted that the Council had not missed many opportunities to bid for grants and had been successful in 100% of the bids that it had submitted.  There were also times when the Council was able to submit joint bids in conjunction with other organisations. 


Ms Allen advised that an extensive street lighting replacement programme had been undertaken and a trial had been conducted across six sites for a standalone off grid LED street lighting luminaire.  The lights in the Grainges car park had also been replaced, resulting in a 38% reduction in energy consumption. 


Whilst the installation of LED street lights across the whole Borough had helped the environment, it was noted that they were not as bright and therefore could make pedestrians feel unsafe in darker spots.  Where issues had been identified, the situation had been assessed and, where appropriate, additional light columns had been installed.  It was suggested that officers liaise with the police officers working on the Street Safe project as they would be aware of the areas where pedestrians felt unsafe. 


The Council's boiler replacement programme continued and the schools screening programme was progressing (39 schools had had screens installed and 12 more were in the validation phase).  Progress had also been made on the Trees for Cities tree planting programme but it was noted that saplings could take time to develop and become effective in mitigating the impact of carbon. 


To maximise the effectiveness of the Council's climate aspirations, it was important that the authority worked with other groups such as the West London Climate Emergency Officers Group and the London Environment Directors Group Network to share challenges and opportunities.  A progress report would be considered by Cabinet at its meeting in September 2023. 


Members queried whether the new West Drayton Leisure Centre would be on track to be carbon neutral by 2030.  Mr Perry Scott, the Council's Corporate Director of Place, advised that the design of the leisure centre had had to demonstrate that it met the net zero needs during the planning process so the building had been designed to that standard.  He confirmed that all new housing developments, such as the Hayes regeneration  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 328 KB

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RESOLVED:  That the Cabinet Forward Plan be noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 149 KB

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RESOLVED:  That the Work Programme be noted.