Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Thursday, 17th November, 2022 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW. View directions

Contact: Lloyd White, Head of Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

29.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Gardner, Lakhmana and Nelson. 

30.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 423 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 22 September 2022 (attached)

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 September 2022 be agreed as a correct record.

31.

Declarations of Interest

To note any declarations of interest in any matter before the Council

Minutes:

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

32.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor commended the tireless and continued service of Councillors, officers, businesses and community groups in communicating and supporting others.  The Mayor’s Parlour had been busy receiving visits from groups such as Scouts, Guides and Cadets and new connections had been made between charities and multifaith groups. 

 

The Mayor had attended a range of events including the Hillingdon Hospital Staff Awards and retirement celebrations for the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Bruce Houlder, and commended Ruislip Residents Association for receiving the Queens Award.  Her charities had been doing well with the Daniella Logan Foundation holding a very well attended event and the Magical Marvellous Picture House moving into premises in the Pavilions in Uxbridge. 

 

The Mayor’s music hall event had sold out and raised more than £2,200 for her charities.  The Mayor thanked everyone who had attended and thanked the Mayor’s Office staff who had supported the event.  She also thanked the Councillors, those with roles in the community, her Consorts and her mother who had supported her.  She wished everyone a very Happy Christmas.

33.

Report of the Head of Democratic Services pdf icon PDF 401 KB

Minutes:

5.1       MEMBER / OFFICER PROTOCOL

 

Councillor Edwards moved, and Councillor Bianco seconded, the motion as set out on the Order of Business and it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the proposed amendment to Chapter 22 of the Constitution regarding the Member / Officer Protocol as set out in Minute Annex A, be approved.

 

5.2       APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE

 

Councillor Edwards moved, and Councillor Bianco seconded, the motion as set out on the Order of Business and it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the proposed amendment to Chapter 10 of the Constitution regarding the deletion of the Appointments-Sub Committee and the merging of its role into the Appointments Committee (with membership of 3 Members) as set out in Minute Annex A, be approved and the Head of Democratic Services be authorised to make any other consequential text changes to the Constitution, as appropriate.

 

5.3       HEALTH AND WELLBEING BOARD MEMBERSHIP

 

Councillor Edwards moved, and Councillor Bianco seconded, the motion as set out on the Order of Business and it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the Health and Wellbeing Board membership be amended to include the LBH Executive Director, Children and Young People’s Services and the NWL CCG be replaced with NWL ICS as set out in Minute Annex A.

34.

Adoption of the Council Strategy 2022-2026 pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To consider the adoption of a Council Strategy (attached)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Edwards moved, and Councillor Bianco seconded, the motion as set out on the Order of Business and it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the Council Strategy 2022-2026, be adopted as part of the Council’s policy framework.

35.

Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 313 KB

To take questions submitted by Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11

Minutes:

7.1       QUESTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR GOHIL TO THE CABINET MEMBER FOR RESIDENTS’ SERVICES – COUNCILLOR LAVERY:

 

“Could the Cabinet Member please update the Council on the progress of the Hayes Regeneration project?”

 

Councillor Lavery advised that the two development projects in Hayes represented significant investment in the Council’s housing stock.  A consultation had been undertaken with residents and, in May 2021, residents located on both sites had voted in favour of regeneration on both estates.  Since then, work had been undertaken to mobilise and reach key milestones.  Planning consent for 740 new homes had been agreed - 50% of these would be affordable and Phase 1 would include a high proportion of social housing. 

 

Higgins Partnership had been engaged to deliver the project and had started on site.  The organisation had held a ‘meet the developer’ event during the half term holidays to engage with residents.  The development would enable those residents that wanted to stay to do so but would enable existing residents to move if they wanted.  It was anticipated that the new homes would be ready from 2025.  The Cabinet Member thanked the Corporate Director of Place and his team for delivering on these projects. 

 

There was no supplementary question.

 

7.2       QUESTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR MAKWANA TO THE CABINET MEMBER FOR RESIDENTS’ SERVICES – COUNCILLOR LAVERY:

 

“What success has the Council had using Natural Flood Prevention to protect residents from flooding?”

 

Councillor Lavery advised that, rather than using interventions such as underground tanks to deal with flooding, the authority had run pilot schemes in Council-owned green spaces (Bessingby Park, Elephant Park and Court Park) over the last year using natural flood management techniques to mitigate the impact of flooding.  This included the installation of ponds and in-watercourse channel dams to slow down the natural movement of water.  Bessingby Park had subsequently seen big improvements in residential areas which had previously experienced flooding.

 

The Environment Agency had invited applications for natural flood management projects.  An application had been submitted for Ruislip.

 

There was no supplementary question.

 

7.4       QUESTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR LEWIS TO THE CABINET MEMBER FOR FINANCE - COUNCILLOR GODDARD:

 

“Could the Cabinet Member please provide an update as to the work and results of Hillingdon’s Counter Fraud Team?”

 

Councillor Goddard noted that the Counter Fraud Team supported the Council to meet its statutory responsibilities regarding the prevention and detection of fraud and corruption.  As well as counter fraud activity, the team also undertook revenue inspections and disciplinary investigations. Fraud awareness training had been delivered, policies had been put in place and the risk of fraud and corruption had been assessed.  The team also helped nationally with work around housing benefit fraud. 

 

In terms of positive financial returns, Councillor Goddard noted that the work of the Counter Fraud Team had resulted in £1.2m of loss prevention and savings in 2018/2019.  In 2020/2021, this had increased to £1.9m and, in 2021/2022, the Team had achieved £3m.  During the current year to date, the Team had achieved £7.8m in loss prevention and savings against a target of £3.5m. 

 

Areas of work undertaken by the team included immigration, blue badges and housing, with the recovery of 50 Council houses.  The team had achieved a record level of recovery and reflected the Council’s approach of a zero tolerance of fraud.  Councillor Goddard congratulated the Head of Counter Fraud and his team for their splendid performance. 

 

There was no supplementary question.

 

7.3       QUESTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR BENNETT TO THE CABINET MEMBER FOR RESIDENTS’ SERVICES – COUNCILLOR LAVERY:

 

“Could the Cabinet Member please update the Council on the outcome of the 2022 Green Flag awards?”

 

Councillor Lavery advised that Hillingdon had achieved four additional new Green Flags (in Rosedale Park, Moorhall Recreation Ground, Rockingham Recreation Ground and Hillingdon House Farm) taking the Borough’s total to 67 – more than any other Borough.  27 of the Green Flags were in the North of the Borough and 40 in the South.

 

The Green Flag awards had been judged by environmental charities and needed to meet stringent criteria.  Councillor Lavery noted that the work at Hillingdon House Farm had been led by the Green Spaces team but had been achieved through the work of volunteers who maintained the space. 

 

The Cabinet Member thanked the Head of Green Spaces and his team for their hard work.  He also thanked the Friends of Eastcote House Gardens which had won four prestigious awards in London in Bloom. 

 

There was no supplementary question.

36.

Motions pdf icon PDF 237 KB

To consider Motions submitted by Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12

Minutes:

8.1       MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR BIANCO

 

Councillor Bianco moved, and Councillor Gohil seconded, the motion as set out on the Order of Business. 

 

Those in favour of the motion noted that a unanimous resolution had been passed a few months previously which had condemned the ULEZ expansion proposal as it would have had a detrimental effect on many Hillingdon residents.  Sir Ray Puddifoot MBE had met with TfL in November 2017 to request the introduction of an express north / south bus route through the Borough to reduce residents’ car usage but this had not yet resulted in any action.  This express bus route proposal was thought to be a better and greener solution to reduce car emissions in the Borough and a sound alternative to ULEZ. 

 

It was noted that the London Assembly Member for Ealing and Hillingdon, Dr Onkar Sahota, had voted in support of the proposal to expand ULEZ to the outer London boroughs. 

 

Councillor Curling moved, and Councillor Mathers seconded, the following amendment:

·         First Paragraph - delete “with the majority of respondents opposing the idea of the boundary being extended into outer London Boroughs” and add “but that the results and conclusion have not been published yet”.

·         Insert New Second Paragraph – “This Council notes that the Government has failed to adequately fund TfL and has forced through unfair, unnecessary and damaging conditions to funding deals which were essential to keeping Londoners moving during the pandemic.  This Council notes that these conditions were imposed by the former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.”

·         Add to the End of the Final Paragraph – “As well as writing to the Secretary of State for Transport to request a better funding settlement for TFL which will benefit residents across Hillingdon.”

 

Those speaking in support of the amendment noted that there had been cross party support in opposing the ULEZ expansion proposal.  They welcomed the administration’s change to a lobbying Council and had proposed the amendment to ensure that the Council lobbied the Government, which had provided inadequate funding for TfL, as well as the Mayor of London.  The funding formula needed to be changed by Government. 

 

Those speaking against the amendment were struck by the last minute nature of the amendment and suggested that it blamed others for the lack of services in Hillingdon. 

 

Councillor R Mills moved, and Councillor O’Brien seconded, that the question now be put.  This was agreed by the Mayor, put to the vote and carried.  The amendment was then put to the vote and lost. 

 

Speaking on the original motion, those in favour noted that the administration continued to put residents first and aimed to ensure that facilities were improved rather than playing politics.  The previous Mayor of London had recognised that outer London needed to be treated differently to inner London but the current Mayor hadn’t even managed to stop the Crossrail project from being delayed by four years. 

 

Those in favour of the original motion suggested that Dr Onkar Sahota did not care for his constituents or recognise that travelling from north to south in the Borough (and other outer London boroughs) was difficult for residents using public transport.  The Mayor and Dr Sahota needed to be urged not to abandon Hillingdon and instead give residents the bus service that they needed and deserved. 

 

The original motion was put to the vote and it was:

 

RESOLVED:  That this Council notes the Mayor of London’s ULEZ consultation has concluded with the majority of responses opposing the idea of the boundary being extended into the outer Boroughs.

 

This Council further notes that the most important TfL connection the Mayor could deliver to assist the residents of Hillingdon, whilst also reducing emissions across the Borough, is an express bus service from Uxbridge to the Elizabeth line stations at Hayes and Harlington and West Drayton, providing a fast route into and out of Central London.

 

This Council instructs the Cabinet Member for Property, Highways and Transport and the Chief Executive to write to the Greater London Assembly Member for Ealing and Hillingdon asking him to support the proposal and also to The Mayor of London encouraging him to implement the express bus service.

 

8.2       MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR FARLEY

 

Councillor Farley moved, and Councillor Mathers seconded, the following motion:

 

“That this Council recognises the severe financial impact that energy costs are having on local schools, placing many of them in a position of budget deficits.

 

“This Council therefore calls on the Cabinet to consider the allocation of Community Infrastructure Levy funding to a programme of renewable energy installation, such as solar panels, on school buildings, in order to make future energy costs less of a drain to school budgets, as well as making a positive contribution towards the reduction of the borough’s carbon footprint.”

 

Those speaking in support of the motion noted that the energy crisis was deepening daily and that schools were not being temperature shielded.  The Government had advised that additional funding would be given to schools but it was thought that this would be overrun by other additional costs.  The increasing costs faced by schools would have to be met from within existing budgets so it was anticipated that around 66% of schools would have to make teaching assistants redundant or reduce their hours.  More schools would be declaring deficits in their budgets. 

 

It was unclear how long the war in Ukraine would continue.  As such, it was important to improve the energy security in the Borough. 

 

Councillor Bianco moved, and Councillor Lavery seconded, the following amendment:

 

That this Council recognises the severe financial impact that energy costs are having on local schools residents and organisations across the Borough, placing many of them in a position of budget deficits financial difficulty.

 

“This Council notes the work already undertaken by the administration on developing Council owned solar farms and therefore calls on the Cabinet to consider the allocation of available funding including, where appropriate, Community Infrastructure Levy funding to a programme of fund renewable energy installation, such as solar panels, on school buildings Council land, in order to make future energy costs less of a drain to school public budgets, as well as making a positive contribution towards the reduction of the Borough’s carbon footprint.”

 

Those speaking in favour of the amendment noted that it made the motion more relevant to the Council’s position.  Increasing energy costs would be affecting all residents and the administration had looked to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint.  Funds had been withdrawn to progress the development of a solar farm which would power 12k homes and reduce the Borough’s carbon footprint by 16k tonnes.  Consideration would be given to looking at alternative funding streams. 

 

The original motion had only focussed on one part of the community and CIL funding had already been allocated to a range of Council projects including Chrysalis and roads and pavements.  It was recognised that the Council needed to make its buildings more energy efficient but the funding to achieve this would come from sources such as the Government’s Green Homes Grant Scheme.  In addition, money had been identified in the Council’s Medium Term Financial Forecast (MTFF) for carbon initiatives.  It would be important for all groups to know what funds were available and how to apply for them.  It was suggested that the amendment put all residents first as everyone had been suffering from the cost of living crisis and the Council would do more good with projects that benefitted all residents. 

 

Those speaking against the amendment noted that there were children at school that were having to wear scarves and gloves to keep warm in class as windows and doors continued to be kept open to reduce the spread of bugs.  Members of the Residents’ Services Select Committee had been awaiting an update on the Council’s net zero achievements. 

 

The amendment would change a motion which had specifically supported schools (and would have helped schools with a shortfall in their funding) with one that was more general.  Despite funding increases, it was claimed that schools would be worse off by 2024 and that 9/10 schools would run out of money in the next year.  With budget deficits looming, it was suggested that support was needed to target cash-strapped schools that were still having to deal with the consequences of Covid.  Whilst the sentiment to expand the scope of the motion was understood, the amendment did not specifically help schools which were constrained by their budgets. 

 

The amendment was put to the vote and agreed.  The substantive motion was put to the vote and it was:

 

RESOLVED:  That this Council recognises the severe financial impact that energy costs are having on residents and organisations across the Borough, placing many of them in a position of financial difficulty.

 

This Council notes the work already undertaken by the administration on developing Council owned solar farms and calls on the Cabinet to consider the allocation of available funding including, where appropriate, Community Infrastructure Levy funding to fund renewable energy installation, such as solar panels, on Council land, in order to make future energy costs less of a drain to public budgets, as well as making a positive contribution towards the reduction of the Borough’s carbon footprint.

Minute Annex A pdf icon PDF 335 KB

Order of Business pdf icon PDF 456 KB