Agenda and minutes

Community Safety and Environment Policy and Accountability Committee
Monday, 29th January, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Small Hall - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Amrita Gill 020 8753 2094 

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 242 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 20 November 2017.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the meeting held on 20 November 2017 be approved as an accurate record.

 

2.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

3.

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.

4.

2018 Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 351 KB

This report sets out the budget proposals for the services covered by this Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Hitesh Jolapara gave a presentation outlining the budget proposals for the services covered by the Committee. He highlighted the scale of the challenges facing local government in recent years. The Council’s general government grant had reduced from £160m in 2010/11 to £90m by 2018/19. He noted that the 2018/19 budget assumed a continued freeze in council tax and no increase in fees and charges in Children’s Services, Adult Social Care, and Housing Services.

 

A resident asked if the Council would be bringing the budget proposals in line with the current assumptions. Hitesh Jolapara said that the papers were reviewed regularly and the Council’s fees and charges had been frozen on a range of areas. Additionally, statutory areas had increased by 3.9% which was historically based on the August retail price index (RPI), therefore the papers were consistent with the policy requirements.

 

A resident asked what the assumptions were around council tax growth, in comparison to the cost of servicing additional dwellings. Hitesh Jolapara noted that the Council was not building growth into base budgets and not receiving requests for additional expenditure, however at some point the costs would start to increase. The challenges of waste production had been declining very slightly which had also helped. Furthermore, the tax base had increased due to both an increase in the number of properties but also a reduction in the number of residents claiming a council tax discount through the local council tax support scheme (which replaced housing benefits).

 

Mark Jones gave a presentation outlining the proposed income and spend 2018/19 for Environmental Services. He highlighted that Environmental Services were an important income generator for the Council, recovering much of its costs from external sources and some from internal recharges. A considerable amount was recharged to Transport for London (TfL). The aim was to protect front line services through savings focussed on income, improved efficiency, and procurement. He noted that saving proposals (including income and outside investment) totalling 1.9 million were included in the proposed budget and a £640k budget growth proposed to strengthen corporate health and safety and budget planning.

 

Councillor Charlie Dewhirst asked how much savings would the Council make if pay and display machines accepted pound coins. Mark Jones said that the old coin machines were worn out and 80% of people pay by phone, therefore the new machines in place were card only. This expected to increase income by making parking easier while lowering operating costs. It was expected that the introduction of new pay and display machines would lower the costs of maintenance and cash collection.

 

A resident asked how the budget for electric charging vehicles was determined and how this was progressing. Mark Jones said that the Council was receiving grants to install equipment and were at the experimental stages of what worked for electric cars in the borough, however a more detailed update would be available at a later stage.

 

A resident, referring to page 18 of the agenda noted that cycle street furniture and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Cycle Super Highway 9 pdf icon PDF 221 KB

This report sets out the Council’s response to the TfL consultation on CS9. This item gives the Committee and residents the opportunity to discuss the proposed scheme and put forward any areas of concern or suggestions for how the scheme could be improved.

Minutes:

Richard Duffill gave a presentation outlining the process of the proposed scheme, where the Council was with the consultation, the Councils objectives and noted TfL’s proposals.  He emphasised that the decision to proceed or not with the TfL proposal, lies with the Council. The Chair welcomed members of the public to share their ideas on the proposed scheme and put forward the areas of concern or suggestions for how the proposed scheme could be improved.

 

A resident explained that moving bus stops was a concern and asked where the existing bus stops in Olympia would be placed. Richard Duffill noted that there was provision for bus stops and that the plan was to look at implementing floating bus stops that worked in conjunction with cycle lanes along the route, this information would be made available with the detailed design. Additionally, TfL were also working with the TfL bus team to identify appropriate and safe locations for bus stops. The Chair said that further clarification was required on how the location of bus stops would impact traffic in Olympia.

 

A resident said that according to TfL figures cycling accounted for 5% of the population and majority were males aged between 30-49, and 95% of residents didn’t cycle in the borough and primarily walked. He added that Hammersmith and Fulham was the 6th most densely populated borough in London and population was increasing, therefore felt that taking away foot space from residents to accommodate cycling was very concerning. He felt that the TfL consultation was flawed and the direction of travel was against the pedestrian, and the scheme would have a negative impact on the quality of the lives of residents. Furthermore, the Council’s police response teams were based in Chiswick as both Hammersmith and Fulham police stations were closed and were not due to open until 2020. Therefore, TFL should not put in any sort of infrastructure that would be detrimental to police response times.

 

A resident said that he was broadly in favour of TfL’s proposal to encourage people to cycle and make the streets healthier and safer. He suggested building the Cycle Super Highway 9 (CS9) down the A4. It would allow safer, quicker, and direct journeys from outer London into Central London.

 

The Chair thanked those in attendance for the useful points that had been raised, especially around the cycling demographics including more women and children cyclists. Councillor Wesley Harcourt noted that initially TfL were not keen on the A4 route, however the Council would like to revisit this including the Hammersmith flyunder proposal and take this plan forward with the Greater London Authority (GLA).

 

Richard Duffill said that TfL had carried out a pedestrian survey, along the route to establish where the crossing points would be situated. The findings were taken forward in the bigger model. A resident asked if this included dog walkers. The Chair suggested to clarify with TfL if dog walkers, partially sighted and less able people were accounted for.

 

A resident noted that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

A Draft Consultative Report on H&F Council's Emergency Response To Major Incidents In June and September 2017 pdf icon PDF 227 KB

In 2017 there were two major incidents in and around Hammersmith & Fulham that required the authority to implement its emergency planning procedures – the fire at Grenfell Tower and an explosion on a tube train in Parsons Green.

 

This report reviews the Council’s response at both strategic and operational levels, identifies action taken to date to improve readiness and makes recommendations for further improvements.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Peter Smith introduced the draft report and noted that in 2017 there were two major incidents in and around Hammersmith & Fulham that required the authority to implement its emergency planning procedures. These were the fire at Grenfell Tower in June and an explosion on a tube train in Parsons Green in September. The report reviewed the Council’s response to those incidents at both strategic and operational levels and considered the views of local businesses and community organisations that participated in a ‘hackathon’ event convened by the Council to examine the views of partners.

 

The report identified action taken to improve the Council’s readiness and response to major incidents and made recommendations for additional action for further improvements. The Committee was invited to discuss the report’s findings and consider the draft recommendations.

 

The Committee thanked officers who were at the frontline and supported both incidents. Councillor Wesley Harcourt added that the support received from local resident groups to all the people that were affected on both incidents was also appreciated by the Council.

 

The Chair asked what the additional emergency planning training entailed for staff. Nick Austin said that training was being expanded to increase the capacity of the authority to cope with an incident of the scale of the Grenfell Fire in H&F. Basic induction would be provided to staff at departmental meetings to discuss the general structure of emergency response and training would be identified for staff depending on their roles. Furthermore, at any given time a group of responders would be on call.

 

Councillor Iain Cassidy asked if the recommendations were being revised after each PAC meeting. Peter Smith said that the report had updated prior to it being presented at the next PAC meeting.

 

The Chair said that he was grateful for the wealth of volunteering and donations offered by the community. He asked if the Council continued to encourage the community to support in what they could do and if there was scope to guide them on how they could contribute.

 

Kim Dero said that it was important for the Council to establish what it could influence communities to do together. The Council had organised a hackathon event in recognition of the important role that community organisations play. The Council was also planning exercises involving the community, building on the ideas that came out of the Hackathon. She added that it was important for the Council to understand what it could influence communities to do together with the Council. Furthermore, the Council offered training to bring the community together and encourage community response.

 

RESOLVED

That the Committee reviewed and commented on the report.

 

 

7.

Highway Maintenance pdf icon PDF 174 KB

This report sets out the statutory duties and requirements that the performs to ensure that the highway network is in a safe and reliable condition.

 

Minutes:

Kevin Anderson introduced the report and noted the statutory duties and requirements that the Council was required to perform to ensure that its highway network was in a safe and reliable condition and the process of compiling a program of planned footway and carriageway maintenance works. He showed slides that outlined the main purpose of highway maintenance and noted that each year council engineers carried out a visual inspection of the highway network assessing whether a road or footway needed maintenance. Each year Council engineers carry out a visual inspection of the highway network assessing whether a road or footway needs maintenance. A visual score is assigned to the road according to its condition.

 

Ian Hawthorn explained that London had a backlog of repair work because of funding restraints and the Council faced challenges to get on to the road network due to existing works being carried out. The Council worked with the utilities team to coordinate and ensure that high priority works were carried out with limited disruption to residents.

 

Councillor Iain Cassidy noted that historically Kensington & Chelsea had invested a lot of funding into the resurfacing and planned maintenance of roads and had fewer trips and accidents in comparison to H&F. He asked if there was an opportunity for the Council to shift towards Kensington and Chelsea’s model. Ian Hawthorn said that this was still the plan and there would be an increase in footway schemes on the Council’s programme going forward.

 

RESOLVED;

That the Committee reviewed and commented on the report.

8.

Work Programme and Dates of Future Meetings pdf icon PDF 183 KB

The next meeting is scheduled to be held on 7 March 2018.

Minutes:

The PAC’s work programme was noted.