Agenda and draft minutes

The Economy, Housing and the Arts Policy and Accountability Committee - Tuesday, 10th November, 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Online - Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Charles Francis  Email: charles.francis@lbhf.gov.uk

Link: Watch the meeting on YouTube

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Andrew Jones.

 

2.

Roll-Call and Declarations of Interest

To confirm attendance, the Chair will perform a roll-call. Members will

also have the 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.

 

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 Standards Committee.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 491 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 9 September 2020.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 9 September 2020 were agreed as an accurate record.

 

In relation to the actions of the July meeting, the Chair highlighted that he, and Councillor Rowan Ree had received a copy of the Council’s proposed response to the new Government Guidance on Housing Allocation for the Armed Forces. The Chair asked for this to be circulated to all Committee members outside the meeting.

 

Councillor Ann Rosenberg confirmed that Prema Gurunathan – (Managing Director – Partnership for Growth and Innovation - LBHF & Imperial College) had not yet contacted her about broadband issues throughout the borough. The Clerk confirmed that this information would be sought outside the meeting.

 

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 9 September were agreed as a correct record.

 

4.

Public Questions

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 charles.francis@lbhf.gov.uk

by 12pm on Monday 9 November 2020 and joining instructions to

the Microsoft Teams meeting will be sent to you.

Minutes:

The Chair confirmed that several questions had been received from residents on transport matters and Highways officers would provide a written response to these in due course.

 

No public questions were received in advance on the Defend Council Homes Policy Consultation Update.

 

5.

PROGRESS REPORT ON SUPPORT FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC pdf icon PDF 379 KB

This report details the measures taken by the council’s business support team to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the borough’s small business community during the ongoing pandemic

 

 

 

Minutes:

Karen Galey – (Assistant Director for the Economy) introduced the report, which provided details of the measures taken by the council’s business support team to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the borough’s small business community during the ongoing pandemic.

 

The Chair thanked Karen Galey for the overview and invited Councillor Guy Vincent (Local Business Champion) to address the committee. Councillor Guy Vincent highlighted the wide range of businesses operating within the borough and explained that he wished to place on record his thanks to those people that had been working so hard over the last nine months – the Business Rates Team (administering all the grant monies), the Business Support Team (working with business and across Council departments) and finally, the businesses themselves.

 

It was noted the borough had a very active community of businesses and Hammersmith and Fulham’s Business Network meetings had been taking place every two weeks (with between 20 and 30 business representatives attending each time). Councillor Guy Vincent explained that the Business Network was particularly valuable as it enabled businesses to let the Council know what its needs were, share ideas and enable businesses to support each other locally.

 

The Chair explained that several Business Network representatives were in attendance and he invited each of them in turn to relay their experiences of the action the Council had taken so far.

 

Patricia Bench of Hammersmith BID provided a summary of the actions the organisation took at the start of the pandemic, to ensure it had a sustainable model in place going forwards. These actions included attending Business Network meetings on a weekly basis, setting up virtual forums for those businesses it directly supported and liaison with other agencies such as the Police and TfL (as there were concerns about security / transportation and the possibility of civil unrest at the outset of the pandemic).

 

Hammersmith BID welcomed being part of the Council’s Shop Local, Shop Safe campaign which played a large part in the BID’s strategy to open up Hammersmith again (to ensure people felt safe to come back into Hammersmith and use retail again) when lockdown restrictions were eased. It was noted the Office sector had been slower to return than retail, but matters had accelerated after the schools returned.

 

Hammersmith BID had worked closely with the Council, especially Karen Galey’s team on the Your Space / Our Space aspects and the Council had been particularly helpful in fast tracking the permissions businesses requited to operate legally. Other welcome actions included the reinstatement of the video screen in Lyric Square which had given residents a semblance of normality.

 

Hammersmith BID welcomed the new round of grant funding which would be far more tailored towards Hammersmith businesses and working with the Council to ensure further finding opportunities were disseminated across the borough. Details were provided on the Privilege Card and how the use of this had been repurposed when the Hammersmith reopened, to warn people of how the heart of Hammersmith was now operating (with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

DEFEND COUNCIL HOMES POLICY CONSULTATION UPDATE pdf icon PDF 568 KB

This report provides an update on the Defend Council Homes Policy and the boroughwide consultation with all council housing tenants and leaseholders.

Minutes:

Councillor Lisa Homan, Cabinet Member for Housing, introduced the report, provided the context of the Defend Council Homes Policy and summarised the work which had been conducted in the past year. It was noted that resident involvement and engagement had developed significantly since 2014, and despite the consultation for Defend Council Homes  falling within the pandemic, over a thousand residents had responded to the online consultation. Councillor Lisa Homan thanked officers and the Defend Council Homes Unit for all their hard work and the comprehensive consultation that was conducted.

 

Shirley Cupit, Defend Council Homes Unit Chair, explained that a joint presentation would be provided by Daniel Miller, Resident Involvement & Service Improvement Manager and herself. The presentation outlined what the Defend Council Homes Policy was and provided details on the recent consultation with council housing residents. The video that was used as part of the consultation process with residents was also shown at the meeting.

 

The Chair thanked Shirley Cupit and Daniel Miller for the presentations / video and invited Councillor Lisa Homan to comment.  Lisa Homan confirmed it was extremely timely the DCH policy consultation update had come to PAC so any comments it did have could be incorporated into the final report to be considered by Cabinet in January 2021.

 

Councillor Rowan Ree noted that the last policy was unable to proceed due to changes in Government policy. With the Developers Charter legislation on the horizon, he asked whether the DCH policy would be able to operate effectively. In response, Councillor Lisa Homan confirmed that the DCH policy should work because it was based on good practice and on redevelopment rather than for a major planning application. However, it was essential that the DCH Policy was endorsed before these governmental changes.

 

Councillor Adronie Alford asked how much it was going to cost to amend the land register and what would the implications be for leaseholders wishing to sell their homes. In response, Shirley Cupit confirmed the cost implications were currently under review and an answer could not be provided at the present time. In relation to the second point, leaseholders and right to buy would not be affected in any way. Mark Meehan, Chief Housing Officer confirmed that discussions were on going with the Land Registry, but the cost implications of the DCH Policy would be included in the Cabinet report. Councillor Lisa Homan confirmed that with regards to leaseholders, the scheme would afford then greater protection and so would be a positive move.

 

With regards to the Land Registry, Councillor Adronie Alford asked how the DCH Policy would work and whether this would be an individual property or estate restriction on title, Mark Meehan confirmed that legal negotiations were ongoing, and he would provide Councillor Adronie Alford with further information outside the meeting.

 

Action: That Mark Meehan provide Councillor Adronie Alford with further information relating to the legal negotiations surrounding the Land Registry.

 

At the invitation of the Chair, Mr Flynn, resident in attendance asked several  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.