Agenda and minutes

Community Safety, Environment and Residents Services Policy and Accountability Committee
Monday, 18th September, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Courtyard Room - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert 020 8753 2088 

Items
No. Item

9.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Holder.

10.

Declarations of interest

If a Councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a particular item, whether or not it is entered in the Authority’s register of interests, or any other significant interest which they consider should be declared in the public interest, they should declare the existence and, unless it is a sensitive interest as defined in the Member Code of Conduct, the nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.

 

At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest or other significant interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter. The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken.

 

Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance and speak, then the Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration. Councillors who have declared other significant interests should also withdraw from the meeting if they consider their continued participation in the matter would not be reasonable in the circumstances and may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest.

 

Councillors are not obliged to withdraw from the meeting where a dispensation to that effect has been obtained from the Audit, Pensions and Standards Committee.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

11.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 243 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2017.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2017 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

12.

Council’s Draft Air Quality Action Plan Consultation pdf icon PDF 392 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Elizabeth Fonseca explained that the council was required to adopt a new Air Quality Action Plan for 2018-23. There was significant evidence that poor air quality was having a negative impact on residents of Hammersmith and Fulham; 25% of early deaths in the borough had been attributed to the effects of poor air quality.  It was therefore important that the council developed an Air Quality Action Plan which would help it to tackle the issue. The Greater London Authority (GLA) had developed a framework for Councils across London to use when developing their action plans. It was hoped that having a more coordinated approach across London would help to increase the impact of each borough’s actions.

 

Maps showing the concentration of nitrogen dioxide pollution and particulate matter in the borough were shown, with main roads clearly standing out as the principal areas of concentration. Elizabeth Fonseca explained that the majority of nitrogen dioxide pollution came from diesel vehicles, whereas particulate matter was caused largely by particles from tyre, brake and clutch wear and particles being resuspended in the air, although there were also many other sources. Unfortunately, there was little that the council could realistically do to significantly reduce the impact of pollution from roads, national or regional action would need to be taken as most of the traffic in Hammersmith and Fulham was passing through rather than being caused by residents.

 

Hammersmith and Fulham’s draft action plan proposed actions in a wide range of areas. Air pollution would continue to be monitored closely, the council having doubled its nitrogen dioxide monitoring network in 2016. The council’s own vehicle fleet and the larger fleets of its contractors would be upgraded to less polluting vehicles. Council buildings would also be fitted with low-emission boilers as they needed replacement. Greening measures would also continue to be introduced on the highway, with some schemes to look at reducing the canyon effect which concentrated pollution between tall buildings on main roads. Planning controls would be used to ensure that large developments did not have a negative impact on air quality. The council would also try to persuade people make less polluting choices, for example, through discounted parking permits for low emission vehicles, the promotion of active travel and anti-idling campaigns.

 

A resident asked why planning powers were not used to prevent tall buildings from being built near to polluted roads, as it was known that this would cause a canyon effect. Elizabeth Fonseca explained that each application for development was assessed individually and that developers could potentially overcome issues of the canyon effect through other design measures. Councillor Harcourt said that Hammersmith and Fulham used the limited planning powers available to it to good effect, but said that it was difficult to prevent developments on air quality grounds.

 

A resident asked what the impact of the 20mph speed limit was on air quality. Elizabeth Fonseca explained that driving at 20mph would typically reduce a vehicle’s emissions as traffic flow should be smoother and a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

RIPA and CCTV Update pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Minutes:

Joyce Golder explained that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) controlled the council’s use of covert CCTV. Between June 2016 - August 2017 covert surveillance had been used on 12 occasions to identify the perpetrators of anti-social behaviour and drug dealing. In January 2017 the Office of Surveillance Commissioners inspected the council’s use of RIPA. The report had generally been very positive; 6 recommendations for minor improvements were made as detailed in the report.

 

A resident said that they wanted more CCTV cameras to be installed on estates to help to tackle anti-social behaviour and rough sleeping in communal areas. The Chair noted that there was a programme of expansion of the CCTV network on housing estates and said that the council recognised their value. Joyce Golder said that the council’s use of CCTV had been commended many times and that 543 arrests had been made as a direct result of the CCTV service’s work.

 

The Chair asked whether the existing RIPA procedures made it difficult for officers to deploy covert CCTV. Joyce Golder said that the procedures worked well within RIPA, however, there would be a change to the regulatory framework as the provisions of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 came into force, which might make covert surveillance easier to organise.

 

A resident asked whether the council ran a CCTV service for other organisations. Claire Rai explained that the council’s CCTV service only ran public space CCTV cameras. It worked with Hammersmith BID to prevent crime in Hammersmith Broadway and also had a link to Westfield’s CCTV network. CCTV networks in council buildings, schools and at other sites were run by the managers of those buildings.

 

A resident asked how long CCTV footage was retained. Claire Rai explained that CCTV was kept for 30 days, although if requested by the police, it could be kept for longer.

 

A resident asked whether CCTV could be used to take enforcement action against those who were fly-tipping. Councillor Culhane explained that CCTV was used to prove the identities of those fly tipping and that the council often forced individuals and companies to pay the council for the cost of investigation and clearing their dumped waste. The council had appointed a Street Tsar to reduce fly-tipping through the use of CCTV.

 

Councillor Dewhirst asked whether there were plans to extend the CCTV network to the Western End of King Street. Clair Rai agreed to look into the issue and report back to Councillor Dewhirst.

 

Councillor Cassidy asked how good the council was at getting access to footage from other organisations CCTV networks. Claire Rai explained that it depended on the organisation; some partners such as Westfield were very helpful whereas other premises might be more reluctant to share their footage.

14.

Neighbourhood Wardens Service pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Minutes:

Claire Rai introduced the report, saying that the Neighbourhood Wardens Service consisted of 13 officers who patrolled the borough’s streets and estates. The service had been formed when the Shepherds Bush Street Wardens and the Estate Wardens Services had merged.

 

The Neighbourhood Wardens provided a wide range of services, including:

-       Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour both through intervention and by passing information to housing officers so that tenancy action could be taken where the perpetrators were council tenants.

-       Stopping Begging and Street Drinking by providing support for those on the streets and by taking enforcement action where necessary.

-       Providing Reassurance through high visibility patrols and home visits to residents.

-       Helping to keep the borough clean by issuing fines to those littering or failing to clear up after their dogs.

-       Engaging with residents and helping with their problems; the team regularly attended community events to talk to residents and also gave fraud prevention advice to older residents.

-       Doing joint work with the police, including carrying out weapons sweeps across housing estates. Intelligence was also regularly provided to both the police and other council services.

-       Helping with major incidents by being available to do what was needed. The team carried out a range of roles in an emergency, from acting as the Local Authority Liaison Officer to manning cordons and helping to direct the public. The team had attended the terrorist attack at Parson’s Green on Friday 15 September.

 

A resident asked how the service could be contacted and whether they would attend all incidents. Stephen Gibbs said that the Neighbourhood Wardens operated from 8am -11pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-10pm on Sundays. The service could be called on 020 8753 2645 and where possible the team would visit a resident on the same day as their call; if this proved impossible officers would contact the resident to discuss the issue with them over the phone.

 

A resident asked how the team helped rough sleepers if they only worked until 11pm. Stephen Gibbs explained that monthly patrols were run at 3am, along with St Mungos who provided support to those sleeping on the streets.

 

A resident asked how many fixed penalty notices had been issued for littering. Stephen Gibbs explained that the vast majority of the 72 fixed penalty notices issued between January and July 2017 were for littering whilst in 2016 120 fixed penalty notices had been issued. The council’s street scene enforcement officers were noted to issue far more of these notices as that was one of their primary roles, whereas Neighbourhood Wardens carried out enforcement alongside a wide range of other duties. The resident explained that he had previously asked that the council look at ways to carry out more littering enforcement as he did not feel that residents were getting the message. Councillor Harcourt agreed to provide the resident with a response to his suggestions about increased enforcement.

 

A resident asked whether the service would be affected by the changes to shared service  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Work Programme and Dates of Future Meetings pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Minutes:

The work programme was noted.