Agenda and minutes

Residents' Services Select Committee - Tuesday, 13th February, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Civic Centre. 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




To receive the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 480 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting dated 16 January 2024 be agreed as an accurate 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 in Part I and would be considered in public.


Proposed Review of Homeless Prevention & the Customer Journey - Scoping Report pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Additional documents:


Melissa Blower, Housing Project Manager, presented the Scoping Report. It was confirmed that the Select Committee had agreed to focus on the Customer Journey i.e. how customers were supported as they moved through the process. Members heard that customer feedback and best practice would be considered as part of the review. On completion of the review, conclusions and recommendations would be agreed by the Select Committee prior to being submitted to Cabinet for consideration.


Members welcomed the review topic and agreed the Scoping Report subject to a number of minor amendments:


1.    It was recommended that a witness representing Olympic House Housing and Homeless Shelter in Uxbridge, be invited to participate in the review; and,


2.      Given the significant impact of housing difficulties on the mental health of local residents, it was further recommended that social prescribers be invited to attend as witnesses to the review. It was noted that a large number of witnesses were proposed in the current Scoping Report hence an additional witness session may be required.


Councillors observed that some witnesses may be reluctant to attend a Select Committee meeting to address Members in a formal setting. It was suggested that written representations could be made in lieu of attendance. Alternatively, an informal meeting or a small private meeting with Councillors could be arranged elsewhere as this would be less daunting. A Councillor site visit to Housing Reception was also proposed.


Members noted that DLUHC (Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) had just published a commissioned report on the London Plan and had made recommendations regarding Housing. It was confirmed that the scope of said report would be included in ongoing plans for Hillingdon in the future.


In response to further questions from the Committee in respect of training, it was confirmed that a training matrix would identify gaps in training so these could be addressed. Customer feedback and case reviews would further inform training plans in the future. Members were informed that customer feedback would focus on customer satisfaction and experience rather than on the outcome of their request for housing assistance. Feedback would be gathered at the end of the customer journey.


RESOLVED: That the Select Committee considered and agreed the scoping report to initiative the review subject to the inclusion of witnesses representing Olympic House and social prescribers.


Community Infrastructure Levy and S106 Monitoring - Annual Report pdf icon PDF 347 KB

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Having authored the report in the agenda pack, Julia Johnson, Director of Planning, Regeneration and Environment, was in attendance to respond to questions from the Committee.


Members referenced paragraph 11, page 21 of the pack which referred to the neighbourhood portion of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and the requirement to engage with communities where development had taken place to agree on how best to spend the neighbourhood funding. Members sought clarification as to what more could be done to carry out boroughwide community engagement. It was confirmed that all community groups could apply for Chrysalis funding through the Council’s website which was then allocated on an annual basis.


In relation to the £6.45 million Hillingdon CIL spend allocated to fund the new West Drayton Leisure Centre (paragraph 13, page 21), Councillors enquired how much of this CIL funding had been generated in West Drayton in the last 3 years and how much had come from Hayes developments. The Director of Planning, Regeneration and Environment agreed to check this and provide the information outside of the meeting.


The Committee was pleased to note that spending on projects in the south of the Borough had exceeded that in the north – this was a good news story. However, it was noted that the information in the report did not specify where the allocated money had come from in each case. It was difficult to scrutinise the matter effectively without these details. Members were informed that statutory requirements in terms of the information required to be published had been met. It was noted that the Committee had previously been informed that Members would be provided with said information but this had not been received. Further details of specific funding allocations would be included in Cabinet Member reports on an ad hoc basis. Appendix 4 of the Infrastructure Funding Statement (page 59 of the agenda pack) listed all the S106 financial covenants secured in 2022/23. The information was by planning application reference. It was agreed that the addition of addresses would be useful – this information was available and would be requested for future reports.


Members noted that the Council could charge a 5% administration fee and enquired why TfL was only being charged 4% at present. It was confirmed that the Borough took 4% and the remaining 1% was paid to TfL.


RESOLVED: That the Committee noted and commented on the information presented within the report.



Local Flood Risk Management Strategy pdf icon PDF 147 KB

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Ian Thynne, Head of Environmental Specialists, had authored the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy report and was in attendance to answer questions from the Committee.


At the request of Members, it was agreed that the finalised Strategy would be brought before the Select Committee again at a later date once the consultation period had concluded. Democratic Services would add this to the Work Programme. It was also agreed that details of the obligations of the Fire Service, the Police and the Council in respect of flooding would be incorporated into the Strategy as this information was currently missing. 


Members noted that, since the flooding in 2016, the number of permeable areas in Hillingdon had reduced significantly. It was confirmed that a section in the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy sought to encourage residents to understand their role in the management of flooding and the importance of maintaining gardens and limiting impermeable paving areas. Another part of the Flood and Water Management Act which was likely to be enacted at the end of 2024 would incorporate a separate planning process for all developers obliging them to demonstrate the use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS).


In response to further questions from the Committee, it was confirmed that the asset register was constantly under review and regularly updated. It would be reviewed again at the end of the consultation period.


Members sought clarification regarding staffing noting that it was difficult to recruit staff with the appropriate level of expertise. The Committee was advised that recruitment was underway to fill the two posts currently vacant. Some promising candidates had applied, and interviews would be held in the near future. In the meantime, consultants had been employed to bridge the gap.


The Committee was informed that officers worked closely with Cllr Patel of Harrow Council to discuss Hillingdon’s ongoing relationship with Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. With regard to how Hillingdon was getting third party funding for natural flood management projects that the Council was entitled to as part of that Committee across NW London and beyond, Members heard that officers had made good headway with a number of projects across the Borough as listed in the Strategy. The Council was performing well in terms of project delivery and was adept at accessing funding from the Environment Agency. Three or four more bids would be going in shortly and there were currently eight or nine projects underway.

In response to concerns raised by the Committee, it was clarified that officers were predominantly concerned with preventing flooding from affecting communities and were exploring natural flood management techniques, such as allowing green spaces to flood for positive reasons. The potential impact of floods on wildlife was recognised but did not constitute a major part of the current Strategy. It was explained that most wildlife could adapt to short-term flooding, and the focus was therfore on preventing long-term impacts on communities.

Members heard that the Strategy had been launched on 22 January 2024 and had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 328 KB

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RESOLVED: That the Forward Plan be noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 230 KB

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A change to the date of the Residents’ Services Select Committee’s April meeting was noted. It was confirmed that the meeting was due to be held on 16 April rather than on 10 April. This had been incorrectly recorded on page 127 of the pack.


A site visit to Botwell Leisure Centre was due to be held on Tuesday 27 February at 6pm.


RESOLVED: That the Work Programme be noted.