Agenda and minutes

Residents' Services Select Committee - Tuesday, 26th September, 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


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Colleen Sullivan with Cllr Darran Davies substituting. Cllr Sital Punja had previously advised that she would be arriving a little late.


Declarations of interest in matters coming before this meeting


There were no declarations of interest.


To receive the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 344 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting dated 14 June 2023 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.


Safer Hillingdon Partnership and Metropolitan Police Service Report pdf icon PDF 629 KB

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Richard Webb, Director of Community Safety and Enforcement, presented the report. The Committee heard that the previous Safer Hillingdon Partnership (SHP) strategy had concluded earlier in the year. A review of priority themes for the Partnership was underway with a focus on ways in which to meet the new duties of the SHP. A needs assessment would be completed, and it was anticipated that the new strategy would be published by the end of January 2024. The priorities of the Partnership were likely to include domestic abuse, Violence against Women and Girls, drugs, antisocial behaviour and other violent crime, including knife crime. Money had been made available from central Government to tackle drugs and alcohol issues, recognising that these were a significant driver of crime - there would be a new Drugs and Alcohol Partnership in Hillingdon.


Superintendent Anthony Bennett provided an update on the work of the Metropolitan Police Service. He confirmed that he was now Neighbourhood Superintendent for Hillingdon therefore was no longer responsible for Ealing and Hounslow. Response Teams and HQ still sat centrally within the West Area Basic Command Unit (BCU).


It was noted that in 2022, post-Covid restrictions and lockdowns, footfall across Hillingdon had increased both during day and night-time periods. In Hillingdon there had been an increase in robbery which mirrored the London wide picture.


Members heard that tackling violent crime and a focus on addressing Male Violence Against Women and Girls were priorities of West Area BCU across 2022 and into 2023 which had helped the Borough to experience no rise in violence against the person crime and a 1% reduction in sexual offences. The focus on tackling violence crime in Hillingdon had also resulted in a 13% reduction in knife crime with injury.


It was confirmed that Hillingdon had seen a steady decline in sanction detection rates over a number of years which had been driven by factors including a reduction in police numbers and the reliance on police to fill the gap for other services, such as responding to clients in mental health crisis. In 2022/23, Hillingdon’s sanction detection rates had stood at 7% for all offences against an MPS-wide figure of 7.3%.


In respect of trust and confidence, it was confirmed that corrupt officers and staff were actively being rooted out and recruitment and training were being reviewed.


Emergency Response Policing Teams (ERPTs) responded to emergency calls and dealt with ongoing incidents - demand was increasing and resourcing was a challenge. In 2022, West Area BCU had received a total of 86,392 calls for service – Hillingdon accounted for 31% of these calls at 26,831 which represented a 2.5% increase on the previous 12 months.


Resourcing continued to be challenging but a large number of posts had been filled in the last year. The new London Plan sought to focus on front line and neighbourhood policing. In terms of diversity, the MPS aspired to have a representative workforce that mirrored the population of London. Neighbourhoods West Area had a dedicated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


2024/25 Budget Planning Report For Services Within the Remit of the Residents' Services Select Committee pdf icon PDF 296 KB


Andy Goodwin, Head of Strategic Finance and Ceri Lamoureux, Head of Finance for Place presented the budget report which provided the Select Committee with an update on the current challenges and the work underway to prepare for the consultation budget to be presented to December Cabinet. A further update would be provided in January 2024. The feedback from the Committee would then be included in the budget report to be presented to Cabinet in February 2024.


Members were informed that, for 2023-24, the Council was reporting a net underspend of £23k. The services within the remit of the Residents’ Services Select Committee were forecast to overspend by £1,778k with this being driven by three key issues:


1.    the Green Spaces savings being impacted by external factors such as inflation;

2.    Community safety and Enforcement due to the impacts of Heathrow and Brexit-related pressures; and

3.    income pressures within the planning service.


Within these services there were £12.5m pounds worth of savings to be delivered in 23-24 with £1,83k of this recorded as red. £600k related to fees and charges predominantly linked to parking, £200k was linked to better targeting the demand for recycling sacks, £241k within Green Spaces and £42k for street cleansing. The HRA was currently forecast to break even.


With regards to the MTFF, in February 2023, the Council savings requirement was estimated to be £55,414k with the single largest factor being driven by exceptional inflation adding £60m to the budget gap within the remit of the Residents’ Services Select Committee. There were no exceptional inflation items with a total requirement within the remit of the Select Committee accounting for £7.1m of the £60m requirements, with the forecast pay award making up £4.7m of this and the remaining £2.4m being driven by the inflation requirement on contracted expenditure.


Service pressures were forecast to add £23m predominantly from the impact of demographic growth within waste services (£2.9m) and homelessness (£2.1m).  Corporate items added just under £12m with £6.5m of this being driven by the Council's borrowing requirement to fund the capital program and £4.1m from the TFL concessionary Affairs Levy. It was confirmed that, over the next few months in the build up to December Cabinet, officers would continue to work on assessing the budget gap with inflation remaining high and the pressures on Council Services linked to the cost-of-living crisis. They would also explore ways to reduce the Council's expenditure by driving efficiency gains whilst protecting frontline services and using the Council's transformation process to formulate the budget proposals that would be presented back to the Committee in January.


Members enquired why Green Spaces was isolated in respect of inflationary pressures. It was confirmed that inflation was not particularly impacting that service area, but had had a more significant impact because of the reducing envelope.


In respect of external consultants, Members enquired whether these were used to supplement existing staff. It was confirmed that, within the planning service there were niche specialist areas for which external consultants were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Draft Final Report: A Review of Alley Gating in Hillingdon pdf icon PDF 171 KB

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RESOLVED: That the draft final Alley Gating in Hillingdon review report be agreed.


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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Democratic Services presented the following potential information items as suggested by the Chairman for inclusion in the Work Programme:


·         Graffiti removal


·         Sheltered housing

·         Tree planting


·         Food waste

·         Street Champions

·         Animal welfare

·         ASBET

·         Sports – facilities, engagement & inclusivity

In relation to the last item, it was suggested that this could focus on facilities for women and disability access. It could also consider how the Council assisted clubs in procuring funds. Members suggested that women-only swimming sessions would be beneficial.


The suggested items would be added to the work programme - further ideas would be welcomed.  


In respect of the Locata item scheduled for the October meeting, it was confirmed that Members wished to see the system in action if possible as this would help them to assist and support their residents.


RESOLVED: That the Work Programme be noted.