Contact: Amrita Gill Tel: 07776 672845
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Sue Fennimore and David Morton.
Roll - call and Declarations of interest
At the start of the meeting the Chair will carry out a roll-call of committee members to confirm attendance. Members will also have an opportunity to declare any interests.
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.
There were no declarations of interest.
To approve the minutes of the meetings held on 28th January and 10th February.
Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler requested that a report on the Policing and Crime Commission be brought to a Committee meeting as soon as possible. Furthermore, she was keen to understand the work that was being carried out by the Gangs, Violence & Exploitation Unit.
The Chair explained that she understood the importance of bringing a report on the Crime Commission to a Committee meeting. However, felt that items relating to the Covid-19 pandemic needed to be considered as a priority at this Committee meeting.
THAT, the minutes of the meeting held on 28th January and 10th February were approved as a correct record.
For the Chair to invite those members of the public that have registered to speak, to ask questions on the reports within the agenda.
To ask a public question, you will need to register to speak at the meeting.
To do this, please send an email to email@example.com by 12pm on Friday 17th July 2020 and joining instructions to the Microsoft Teams meeting will be sent to you.
There were no public questions received.
This report provides an overview of actions taken in parks and open spaces in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Steve Hollingworth (Assistant Director Leisure Sports and Culture) introduced the report that highlighted the actions taken by the Council in parks and open spaces in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. On 22nd March a decision was taken by the Council to close all parks due to the lack of social distancing and health risk from the spread of the virus. Following the closure of the parks, many complaints were received from the public. Most people understood why this action was taken, but also placed an importance on the value of green spaces for exercise, walking dogs and for mental wellbeing. It was noted that parks were re-opened on 27th March once all signage was in place and enough staffing was secured to engage with residents and help maintain social distancing.
The following measures were implemented by the Council to ensure that parks were being managed in a safe way:
· The Parks Police worked closely with CCTV to ascertain which parks had immediate need for response.
· Temporary restrictions were introduced on cycling and jogging between 10am and 6pm to allow pedestrians to use the riverside path more freely.
· Several marshals were introduced on Hammersmith Bridge to encourage social distancing.
· Recommendations were put in place to limit the number of people attending funerals in line with Government guidance.
· Idverde, the Council’s ground maintenance contractor, introduced safe working practices for staff to maintain social distancing and provided good resilience.
· Litter was identified as a significant issue in parks as many people neglected to take their litter home with them. However, this was cleared away on a daily basis.
· Tennis courts were reopened in mid-May with appropriate signage and a new online booking system in place.
· Toilets in Ravenscourt and Bishops Park were currently only open between 9am and 3pm to ensure that there were enough staff available to keep them clean.
· Council services, including the parks team, were reviewing their performance during the lockdown, ready to respond to a potential second lockdown if required.
Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler thanked officers for providing a detailed report and was impressed with the work carried out by Idverde during the period of uncertainty. She felt that 3pm was too early to close the toilets in Ravenscourt and Bishops Park due to the increase in visitors during the summer months and urged officers to review the opening hours.
Steve Hollingworth noted that the opening hours would be reviewed. He outlined the reasons why the opening hours for the toilets were reduced. Adequate resources were put in place to ensure that the toilets were managed in line with the Government guidelines.
Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler said that the padel tennis courts were a popular attraction with the local community and asked why these were not open. In response Steve Hollingworth explained that the padel tennis courts were created without planning permission. Therefore, the business was in breach of its lease and would need to apply for planning permission before the padel tennis courts could reopen.
Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Masum Choudhury (Head of Transport), introduced the report and noted that levels of walking and cycling had increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, after the Government issued rules and guidance instructing people to avoid public transport and to stay at home to control the spread of the virus. On 9th May the Government announced that Councils should reallocate road space to accommodate significantly increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians.
It was noted that following the Governments advice and to ensure that a prompt response was delivered in response to the crisis, the Council installed temporary cycle lanes in the borough. More than two miles of pop-up cycle lanes had been marked out with barriers from King Street at the border with Chiswick, around Hammersmith Gyratory and down Hammersmith Road to Olympia, using more than 3,500 barriers. In addition, new temporary cycle lanes had been installed on Wood lane and at Shepherds Bush Green. The existing policy context for transport, climate change and public realm remained a key driver for change both locally and regionally. It was noted that a report (Appendix 1) was presented at the GOLD meeting and to the Senior Leadership Team on 5th May 2020 and 11th May 2020 respectively. This report set outlined the Council’s transport response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the revised delivery approach.
SolomonCastillo (Highways, Parks and Waste), provided a presentations of cycle route 9 (along King Street and Hammersmith Road) and cycle route 10 (along Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush Green and Wood Lane). He showed slides that outlined some of the detail that went into designing the temporary cycle routes. Feedback from members of the public and businesses, was being used to make changes to temporary schemes such as alterations for accessibility, loading or bus stops. These would continue to be reviewed and design changes incorporated before installing semi-permanent materials.
Councillor Iain Cassidy (Walking, Cycling and Healthy Streets Champion) noted that there had been a significant increase in the number of people cycling in London and the rest of the UK since the lockdown measures were put in place. This had been supported by anecdotal data and many bike retailers had also reported a spike in sales. He asked what could be done to monitor the number of people cycling in Hammersmith and Fulham. Masum Choudhury agreed that there was currently a lot of anecdotal information on the uptake of cycling. Officers would need to review options on how a monitoring strategy could be implemented. This would include carrying out hard traffic counts in the borough to produce data driven evidence to support the reported increase in cycling.
Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler said that many people in the borough chose not to cycle and were not supportive of the temporary cycle lanes. She felt that the temporary fixtures were not appropriate for car users, causing traffic issues and restricting accessibility into the borough. In addition, she felt that those who were shielding and were at higher risk ... view the full minutes text for item 6.