Agenda and minutes

Community Safety and Environment Policy and Accountability Committee
Tuesday, 13th January, 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Courtyard Room - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Craig Bowdery  (020 8753 2278)

Items
No. Item

32.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 198 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 4th November 2014

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the meeting held on 4th November 2014 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair

 

33.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Michael Cartwright.

 

34.

Declarations of interest

If a Committee member has any prejudicial or personal interest in a particular item they should declare the existence and 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 prejudicial 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 unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Standards Committee.

 

Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance, then

the Councillor with a prejudicial interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration unless the disability has been removed by the Standards Committee.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

35.

Public Participation

To invite questions from members of the public present. Questions relating to items later in the agenda will be taken as part of that item.

 

Members of the public with more complex issues are invited to submit their questions in advance in order to allow a more substantive answer to be given. Questions can be sent to the contact officer shown on the front page of the agenda.

 

Minutes:

The Chair invited members of the public to make any comments in relation to issues on the agenda as part of that item.

 

 

36.

THE RESIDENTS' COMMISSION RESPONSE TO THE AIRPORTS COMMISSION CONSULTATION ON ITS SHORT-LISTED OPTIONS FOR ADDITIONAL RUNWAY CAPACITY IN THE SOUTH-EAST OF ENGLAND pdf icon PDF 164 KB

To receive a report from the Principal Policy & Strategy Officer presenting the findings of the Hammersmith & Fulham Commission on Airport Expansion

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Christina Smyth, Chair of the Hammersmith & Fulham Commission on Airport Expansion (HFCAE), an independent, resident-led investigation into the proposals to expand Heathrow Airport. Ms Smyth explained that HFCAE would be submitting its findings and conclusions to the Airports Commission separately from the Council, which may choose to include some, all or none of the HFCAE findings into its own submission.

 

Ms Smyth presented the HFCAE draft final report to the Committee and described how the members of the commission were drawn from local resident groups who worked hard over the Christmas period to analyse large quantities of technical data and to question expert witnesses. The Commission also received support from Council officers. Ms Smyth highlighted three main points from the report and the conclusions of the HFCAE:

 

1. Information about local impacts of Heathrow expansion was imperfect. There were gaps, for example, on air quality and precise flight paths, and unrealistic assumptions on noise mitigation. It was felt that these gaps have undermined the value of the Airports Commission consultation process.

 

2.  However, the residents' commission worked very hard within these limitations and reviewed all available evidence, including questioning Heathrow Airports Limited and Heathrow Hub at an oral hearing, and their conclusions are based on this evidence.

 

3.  The report concluded that, if Heathrow were to expand under either of the options, Hammersmith & Fulham would enjoy some economic and leisure benefits, although economic developments elsewhere in the borough mean it is not dependent on them.  In any case, these benefits would be far outweighed by the adverse effects of additional flights overhead, additional flight paths over the borough, additional noise, road and public transport congestion, worse air quality and uncertainty about precise impacts for many years. The HFCAE therefore opposed expansion in the interest of residents' health and quality of life.

 

Ms Smyth also stated that whether or not expansion goes ahead, the community should try to work with Heathrow to encourage them to bring in the noise and air quality mitigations which were mentioned in their submission to the Airports Commission. It was the ambition of HFCAE to get those enhancements without an additional runway.

 

The Chair thanked Ms Smyth and all of the members of the HFCAE for their hard work and for giving up their time to produce a response in line with the tight submission deadlines of the Airports Commission.

 

A member of the public asked if the report considered whether a new parallel runway that spanned the M25 and the reservoir would have a different impact on Hammersmith & Fulham. Ms Smyth explained that the investigation focussed only on those proposals that were included by the Davies Commission, so principally looked at the planned new runway to the north-west. However it was not considered that either option would have different effects on the borough.

 

Concern was voiced by a member of the public regarding safety and in-flight near misses over the borough. It was suggested at the previous Committee that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

The Police in Hammersmith & Fulham

To receive a presentation from Chief Inspector Causer on the work and priorities for the Metropolitan Police in Hammersmith & Fulham

 

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Supt Mike Hill to the meeting, who gave a verbal report on the key Policing issues in Hammersmith & Fulham. He explained that in June 2013 a new local Policing model was imposed upon the force with a defined officer structure. This change reduced the size of teams responding to 999 calls and to the CID, but increased the numbers of Police working in a neighbourhood role. The priorities for the Police in Hammersmith & Fulham were set out by MOPAC (the Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime), which demanded a significant reduction in certain crimes. The progress made in the borough for each target crime over the preceding four years was:

·         burglary – 27% reduction

·         criminal damage – 20% reduction

·         robbery – 53.1% reduction

·         theft from motor vehicle – 32% reduction

·         theft of motor vehicle – 10% reduction

·         theft from person – 39% reduction

·         violence with injury – increased by 7%

 

Supt Hill explained however that if the same crimes were measured over just the preceding twelve months, the picture was less positive:

·         burglary – 3% reduction

·         criminal damage – 17% increase

·         robbery – 36.3% reduction

·         theft from motor vehicle – increased 1%

·         theft of motor vehicle – 31% increase

·         theft from person – 23% reduction

·         violence with injury – 13.8% increase

 

Giving context to these statistics, Supt Hill explained that the increase in violence with injury was a result of new reporting standards which now included domestic abuse in this category. Reported instances of domestic abuse were increasing approximately 16% year on year. Supt Hill saw this as a success however as it demonstrated that victims of domestic abuse were increasingly prepared to report the crime. He explained that the Police had invested energy towards establishing trust with residents and encouraging the reporting of such crimes, so the increase was a sign that this was working. The figures were also skewed by the decision to consider every instance where blood is drawn as GBH, which meant that even if the harm was only a scratch it was now included in this category.

 

With regard to the criminal damage increase, Supt Hill explained that the hotspot where most instances took place was Hammersmith Police station due to suspects damaging cells. He also reported that 40% of all criminal damage was committed within the home, which made it hard to target or patrol.

 

The increase in the instances of theft of motor vehicles was a recent occurrence and the Police were now targeting it as a priority. Motor vehicle theft in west London was different to the rest of the capital with motorbikes targeted more often than expensive cars. Piaggio scooters seemed to be particularly at risk so the Police was contacting registered owners.

 

Members of the public asked about the gender split of victims of violence with injury. Supt Hill reported that around 90% of domestic violence was men on women. Excluding domestic abuse, the victims were more varied with occurrences in a wide range of scenarios and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

2015 Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 291 KB

To receive a report from the Executive Director for Finance & Corporate Services presenting budget proposals for the services covered by this committee

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Executive Director for Finance & Corporate Services and presentations from the Bi-Borough Director of Finance and the Director for Finance & Resources for ELRS and TTS. Officers presented the anticipated budget gap (expected to be £86.7m by 2021/22) and the measures taken in the Medium Term Financial Strategy to deliver a balanced budget in 2015/16.

 

Members of the Committee welcomed much of the proposed budget, particularly where service improvements had been delivered such as the increased opening hours for sports bookings following the outsourcing to Quadrant. However some members expressed concern at some of the increases in charges. It was argued that the announcement earlier that day that interest rates were now 0.5% should be reflected in the charges increased in line with inflation, rather than the 2.4% rise reported. The 2.4% increase was based on the Retail Price Index (RPI) in August 2014, which some members felt was now outdated. Cllr Schmid explained that the 0.5% rate was the current Consumer Price Index, which the Council had always used the RPI when determining any fee increases. He highlighted that the latest RPI rate had decreased to 1.6%, but that it was not possible to keep constantly revising the budget each month. He also reminded the Committee that the previous Council administration had followed the same practise of using the RPI in August of the preceding year as its set interest anniversary date.

 

Cllrs Culhane, Harcourt and Fennimore declared interests as Governors of the Phoenix School

 

The Committee asked for further information on what the funding from public health would be used at the Phoenix School. Officers explained that the public health money would allow the leisure centre at the school to operate for a further year while the Council reviewed options for how to get the most from the facility. In order to make the site viable in the long term, the leisure centre needed to attract more users.

 

Councillors asked about the Cecil French Bequest and expressed concern that council tax income was being spent on preserving an art collection worth £17.8m that was not publicly displayed. Cllr Harcourt agreed that the art should be displayed and reported that options for display were currently being considered. He did not however agree that the Council should consider selling the collection.

 

It was also asked whether the Council policy on debt reduction had changed, with councillors noting that the debt reduction proposed was less than under the previous administration. Officers explained that whilst the authority could pay off more debt, doing so before payment was due would incur substantial premiums. Cllr Schmid confirmed that paying debts before they were due was not seen as prudent due to the premiums involved.

 

The Committee also discussed the Council’s property within the ELRS portfolio such as cemetery lodges, with some members suggesting the Council explore selling them. Cllr Harcourt explained that all of the cemetery lodges were currently let to long-term stable tenants. Sale of these  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

Work Programming pdf icon PDF 76 KB

The Committee is asked to consider the Work Programme of future items

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the work programme be noted.

 

40.

Dates of future meetings

The following dates are proposed:

·         Tuesday 3rd February 2015

·         Tuesday 21st April 2015

 

Minutes:

The following dates were agreed:

·         Tuesday 3rd February 2015

·         Tuesday 21st April 2015