Agenda and minutes

Community Safety and Environment Policy and Accountability Committee
Monday, 18th January, 2016 7.00 pm

Venue: Courtyard Room - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert 

Items
No. Item

29.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 243 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 18th November 2015.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 November 2015 be approved as a correct record, subject to the amendment of the title of Minute 24 from ‘Boroughwide 20MPH Speed Limit – Consultation Results’ to ‘20 MPH – Consultation Results’.

 

30.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence from Councillors. George Warren, Flood Risk Manager, had been taken ill and so item 5, Update on Sustainable Drainage Solutions, had been deferred until the PAC meeting on 2nd March 2016.

31.

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.

32.

Public Participation

To invite questions from members of the public present.

 

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 present to make any comments in relation to issues on the agenda as part of that item.

33.

Update on Sustainable Drainage Schemes pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Minutes:

This item was deferred to the meeting on 2nd March 2016 owing to officer illness.

34.

Wormholt Park Landscape Refurbishment Project pdf icon PDF 577 KB

Minutes:

Dave Page, Director for Safer Neighbourhoods, explained that the park was in the middle of a 22 week improvement project. Works had begun at the eastern end of the park, near to the Bloom development. The remains of the former Janet Adegoke Centre and the bowling green had been removed, although this had been more difficult than anticipated. The planting had been thinned, and the beds prepared for new planting. The next phase would be taking place in the south west corner of the park, with the Multi Use Games Area being installed, as well as footpath works. The play equipment would be delivered in the last week of January, and the project remained on budget. There were issues with the concrete slab above the Bloom underground car park, which extended into the park by 1.2 metres and made planting above it at ground level impossible. It was proposed to extend the existing paved area and install a soak away drainage system, subject to an acceptable estimate being received. Sport England had declined funding for replacement tennis courts, and so, at this time, these would not be built, although officers continued to seek other funding for them. 

 

The project had been consulted on at length with residents and the Friends of Wormholt Park, a dragon had been designed by pupils at Wormholt School and would be sculpted by a local artist, whilst a wheelchair swing had been match funded by residents, and would therefore be installed as part of the works. The committee expressed its thanks to Hayley Wedgebury for having organised the campaign for a wheelchair swing, and to the London Housing Partnership for contributing to the cost of the sculpture. The park had remained open throughout the works but it was likely that the park would be re-launched as part of the W12 Festival, once new grass had become established.

 

The Chair asked  whether the Bloom development would pay for additional costs resulting from the car park slab. Dave Page explained that officers were looking into liability, however, he was also keen to ensure that the works were done as part of the wider scheme and so this had not been officers’ first priority.

 

The Chair asked whether there had been any problems with misuse of the wheelchair swing in Ravenscourt Park, and whether officers expected such issues in Wormholt Park. Dave Page said that there had been no issues with the existing swing in Ravenscourt Park, and that it had been both well used and respected; he did not see why there would be any problems related to the swing at Wormholt Park. Members agreed that a letter be sent to Ms Wedgebury to thank her for her efforts in getting the swing built.

35.

Future Waste and Street Cleansing Services – Involving The Citizen – Consultation Outcomes pdf icon PDF 197 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Kathy May, Head of Waste and Street Enforcement, explained that the consultation on Waste and Street Cleaning had been proposed to the meeting of the PAC on 21 September 2015. The consultation had closed early due to misleading publicity but answers received at that point had been collated, together with suggestions on how the service could be improved. An action plan had been developed from these suggestions and officers were working to implement this plan, whilst the responses to the consultation were included in the agenda pack for Members’ consideration. Kathy May invited questions and comments. 

 

A resident asked what the Council was doing to reduce the amount of fly-tipping. Kathy May explained that there were some changes in the action plan aimed at reducing fly-tipping, but noted that other local authorities across London were also facing an increase in dumped rubbish. The resident suggested that the Council could use its resources more effectively and suggested:

-       Reporting of fly-tips by the crews of refuse lorries and by street sweepers.

-       Fly-tip collection vans following refuse lorries.

-       PCSOs reporting fly-tips.

-       Routine inspections by Councillors and residents.

-       The Council providing larger bins for storing waste.

-       Better communication between Council departments such as Public Health, Environment and Housing.

-       A focus on clearing waste rather than investigating where it had come from.  

-       Increased enforcement against fly-posters.

 

Kathy May explained that crews were already supposed to report dumped waste, although she didn’t have figures at the meeting on how many reports were made. She noted that there were not sufficient vans to follow all of the refuse lorries, and that PCSOs had a number of other priorities. Councillors explained that in some areas the larger style bins, with a flip over lid, appeared to work well and that encouragement should be offered to increase their use in appropriate areas. Sue Harris apologised for issues around communication between departments, which she understood were now resolved. Kathy May noted that clearing waste without investigating it would mean that those dumping it were more likely to get away with it, and a ‘clear all’ policy would likely cost a significant amount. Councillor Harcourt asked that fly-posting be reported in order that it could be investigated, but noted that some advertisements, such as estate agents boards, were harder to control because of legal issues. He also asked that reporting options for frontline staff be looked into.

 

A resident said that he felt that waste dumped at hotspots ought to be investigated, but that otherwise investigation was a poor use of resources. Another resident said that there had been no successful prosecutions in his area for fly-tipping and felt that investigations needed to lead to prosecutions to be worthwhile. Kathy May explained that lots of investigation took place, but that it was difficult to gather sufficient evidence to prosecute. The Chair asked how many officers worked on enforcement, and how many collected the dumped waste. Kathy May explained that there were 8 enforcement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

2016 Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 287 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Hitesh Jolapara introduced the Corporate Budget. He explained that the squeeze on public sector finances continued in the Government’s attempt to reduce the deficit. Local Government funding had reduced significantly, by about 20% since 2010, as other areas such as Policing, the NHS and Education were protected from funding cuts. He explained that the Government now allowed Councils to introduce a 2% Social Care Precept, however, the amount this might raise in Hammersmith and Fulham was low as existing levels of Council Tax were low. Proposals for the devolution of Non Domestic Rates was expected, but new responsibilities were expected to come with this extra money; no detail was yet available from the Government. Mr Jolapara explained that there were two large items of corporate growth, resulting from reform of Local Government Pensions to remove the National Insurance rebate, and from increased costs in Children’s Services owing to new legislation and reduced funding. The administration was proposing that Council Tax be frozen, and that the Social Care Precept not be applied in Hammersmith and Fulham. Fees and charges for Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, Adult Learning and Skills, Libraries and Housing would be frozen. Parking Charges would also be frozen, whilst some fees in Environmental Services would rise by inflation (1.1%). Commercial fees and charges would be reviewed on a case by case basis, to ensure that services were both maximising income and remaining competitive. The budget would not draw upon general fund reserves, although 20% of the £90 million earmarked reserves were committed for 2016/17. Mr Jolapara explained that looking forward the Council would face an increasing budget gap, which if the Council did nothing, would rise to £55.8 million in 2019/20.

 

Mark Jones introduced the Environmental Services Budget. He explained that Environmental Services brought in a significant amount of income and that this was used to provide the wide range of universal services it delivered. There were some large contracts in the service, covering waste, street cleaning, facilities management, grounds maintenance and enhanced policing. The service had tried to protect front-line services through increased commercialisation and further efficiencies. Part of the variance in parking income had also been included in the 2016/17 budget which had helped to reduce the level of savings needed. There were a few small items of growth relating to: anticipated licensing fee increases not taking place; the delayed implementation of the Wi-Fi concession leading to income being delayed, and; additional spending on improving access to sports facilities for residents. There was likely to be budget growth in 2017/18 of about £500,000 owing to increasing waste disposal costs.

 

Mark Jones highlighted the key risks to the service budget, which were a fall in parking revenue, additional facilities management costs and a failure to meet income targets, especially in Adult Learning and Skills and Commercial Services. Fees and charges would rise by a maximum of 1.1%, the rate of inflation, with parking and a range of other charges frozen. The Bulky Waste Collection charge would drop  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Work Programming

The Committee is asked to suggest any items it wishes to consider at future meetings.

 

Minutes:

The proposed work programme was noted.

38.

Dates of future meetings

The next meeting will be held on 2 March 2016.

 

Minutes:

Members noted that the next meeting was scheduled for 2nd March 2016.