Agenda and draft minutes

(Informal), Community Safety and Environment Policy and Accountability Committee - Monday, 19th July, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Online - Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Amrita White  Email: amrita.white@lbhf.gov.uk

Link: Watch live on YouTube

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence received.

 

 

2.

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.

 

Councillor Fiona Smith declared that she was appointed as the Vice-Chair for the Licensing Sub-Committee for this municipal year.

 

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 367 KB

To note the minutes of the previous meeting and any outstanding actions.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on the 16th March 2021 were noted. As this was an informal meeting, minutes will be formally agreed at the next meeting.

 

4.

Public Participation

This meeting is being held remotely on Zoom and will be live streamed to YouTube:

youtu.be/mbfVOeTcJws

 

If you would like to ask a question at the meeting about any of the items on the agenda please send your question to governance@lbhf.gov.uk by 5pm on Thursday, 15 July.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions received from the public.

 

 

5.

Law Enforcement Team Update pdf icon PDF 478 KB

This presentation provides an update on the Law Enforcement Team.

Minutes:

Matt Hooper (Chief Officer - Safer Neighbourhoods & Regulatory Services), gave a presentation on the role of the Law Enforcement Team (LET) and provided a summary of the following key points.

-       The Council approved the creation of the LET on the 7th December 2020.

-       This was the largest community safety investment in the history of Hammersmith and Fulham.

-       The reasons why the Team was put in place were outlined.

-       The objectives and core duties of the Team were summarised.

-       The Team carried out high visibility patrols and provide 24-hour coverage Wednesday – Sunday.

-       The Team had legislative tools and powers to undertake their duties.

-       The Team would provide long term solutions to local issues and would work with all Council services to find lasting resolution.

-       An overview was provided of the Team’s early successes and performance to date.

-       An extensive training programme would be offered to all staff (new and existing).

-       Training would be ongoing to ensure that the Council had the most professional and well qualified officers in London.

 

The Chair queried whether the LET replaced Parks Police and Estate Wardens. In response Matt Hooper (Chief Officer - Safer Neighbourhood & Regulatory Services), explained that the functions of these Teams had been combined into the LET. In total 14 existing members of staff were transferred to the LET.

 

Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler asked for clarification to be provided on the types of powers that were available to the Team. Matt Hooper (Chief Officer - Safer Neighbourhoods & Regulatory Services), explained that the Team had powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This included powers to issues fines and fixed penalty notices for fly tipping, littering, abandoned vehicles and highway obstruction. They also had powers under the ASB, Crime & Policing Act 2014  to issue community protection notices and warnings. It was noted that a full list would be emailed to Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler following the meeting.

Action: Matthew Hooper

 

 

Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler noted that some residents felt that the uniform of the LET was intimidating and made officers appear less approachable.In response Matt Hooper (Chief Officer - Safer Neighbourhoods & Regulatory Services), noted that the Council explored uniform trends across other Local Authorities and discussed the colour scheme in great detail. Currently staff were wearing a temporary uniform and by the end of July all staff members would be provided with their new corporate uniform.

 

Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler queried if other boroughs in London had combined all their community safety services, similar to the LET. In response Matt Hooper (Chief Officer - Safer Neighbourhoods & Regulatory Services), explained that the London Borough of Newham and Croydon had taken very similar approaches to .

 

Councillor Ann Rosenberg queried how quickly was the LET able to respond once an incident was reported. Matt Hooper (Chief Officer - Safer Neighbourhoods & Regulatory Services), explained that the Team was not designed to be a response service. However, the Team had the ability and resources to respond to issues immediately.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Improving Private Sector Housing through discretionary property licensing pdf icon PDF 350 KB

This report sets out the steps taken to improve Private Sector Housing through discretionary property licensing.

 

 

Minutes:

Ed Shaylor (Private Sector Housing Manager), presented the report and noted that the private rented sector in Hammersmith and Fulham was the sixth highest in London and eight highest in the country and accounts for 30% of all households in the Borough according to the 2011 census.

 

To help improve the private rented sector, the Council had two discretionary property licensing schemes which expired in June 2022.  These schemes required landlords of privately rented houses and flats which meet the criteria to apply to the Council for a licence for each property.

 

The proposal was from June 2022 to June 2027 to:

·       continue additional Licensing for Houses and Flats in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) for all HMOs not covered by mandatory HMO Licensing, and

·       substantially reduce the number of streets in the Selective Licensing scheme from 128 to 23, to focus on busy roads, flats above shops, and roads with a significant private rented sector. The proposed 23 streets were in a range of the borough’s districts so would provide wide coverage of the rental sector – 4 streets were in W6; 4 in W14; 9 in W12; 5 in SW6; and 1 in NW10.

 

HMO licensing being Borough wide would also ensure that all areas of the Borough were properly supported by the private sector housing team. There was also a proposal to prohibit multiple occupation use of leasehold flats where the Council was the freeholder, due to pressure on block infrastructure and nuisance to neighbours.

 

Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler asked for further clarification to be provided on the policy for HMO’s in leasehold flats. In response Ed Shaylor (Private Sector Housing Manager), noted that where there was a leasehold agreement prohibiting use of a flat for multiple occupation, a policy had been implemented to limit the duration of the licence to two years during which time the licence holder was expected to either cease using the flat as an HMO when the tenants moved out or obtain a waiver from the freeholder. The same approach had been adopted where the Council was the freeholder, as the Council had a policy not to allow its leasehold flats to be used as HMOs.

 

Councillor Iain Cassidy commented that a very small number of private tenants had responded to the public consultation and asked what measures had been put into place by the Council to expand the engagement strategy with the public. Ed Shaylor (Private Sector Housing Manager), noted it was apparent at the beginning of the consultation that Officers were receiving a higher number of replies from landlords in comparison to the tenants. Officers were working closely with tenant representative organisations and the Council’s Environmental Health Officers also reached out to tenants to encourage participation in the consultation. In addition, 13000 leaflets were delivered within the Selective Licensing streets to the occupiers as part of the consultation.

 

 

Referring to Appendix 5 (Survey of privately renting tenants December 2020 to February 2021), Councillor Iain Cassidy raised concerns in relation to the safety responses.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Licensing Policy Consultations pdf icon PDF 260 KB

This item covers two consultations:

1.    Review of the Statement of Gambling Policy - This report outlines the changes made to the revised policy and the timetable for consultation, prior to submission to Full Council for adoption. – Pages 41 - 90

 

2.    Removal of Cumulative Impact Policies in Fulham and Shepherd’s Bush - The Council currently has two cumulative impact policies (CIPs) in Fulham and Shepherd’s Bush. This report explains that as the evidence for both of these policies has now expired, the Licensing Authority must carry out a public consultation on the removal of the policies from our overall Statement of Licensing Policy. – Pages 91 - 141

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Removal of Cumulative Impact Policies in Fulham and Shepherd’s Bush

Adrian Overton (Licensing Policy and Enforcement Manager) gave a presentation on the future of the Cumulative Impact Policies (CIP’s) and noted the following key points:

-       The Council currently had two CIP’s in Fulham and Shepherd’s Bush.

-       The supporting evidence for both of these polices had expired.

-       The Licensing Authority must carry out a public consultation on the removal of the policies from the Statement of Licensing Policy.

-       The steps required to implement a CIP area were outlined.

-       The evidence gathering process for both of the policies showed different types of problems in both areas.

-       Both polices were last reviewed in 2015 and data from the police, ambulance service and noise complaints were assessed.

-       Any evidence gathering exercise to support any new CIP’s would now be carried out in the summer of 2021 or 2022.

-       A consultation was now live with residents and other stakeholder online via the Council’s Space system.

 

Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler commented that she was the Chair of the Licensing Committee between 2008-2012 when these two CIP zones came into place. She felt that it was essential for the Borough to continue to include both Fulham and Shepherds Bush Town Centres under the CIPs, noting that she was in favour of renewing the existing policies. She asked for further clarification to be provided on the Council’s intention of the public consultation. In response Councillor Wesley Harcourt (Cabinet Member for the Environment) noted that the policies had expired, therefore a public consultation on the removal of the polices must be carried out. The Council needed to gather new evidence and would support the outcome of the consultation. The responses received from residents would be taken into consideration to help minimise any significant adverse impact on their enjoyment of their homes and local amenities

 

Review of the Statement of Gambling Policy

 

Adrian Overton (Licensing Policy and Enforcement Manager) gave a presentation on the review of the statement of Gambling Policy and noted the following key points:

 

-       It was now time for the Council to review its Statement of Gambling Policy (SGP) and undergo a public consultation exercise.

-       The latest version would be agreed by Full Council in October 2021 and published in January 2022.

-       A SGP may last for a maximum of three years and canbe reviewed and revised by the authority at any time during that period.

-       The review process for the SGP was outlined in detail.

-       A proposal had also been made to support the removal of the Council’s longstanding ‘No Casino’ resolution from the policy.

-       The consultation began on the 12th July 2021 and would close on the 19th September 2021.

 

Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler commented that she was supportive of a ‘No Casino’ resolution as she felt it was not suitable for this borough.

 

The Chair requested that details of the consultation be circulated to Committee Members and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on 8 November 2021.

Minutes:

The next meeting will be held on 8 November 2021.