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Contact: Charles Francis Email: Charles.Francis@lbhf.gov.uk
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Andrew Jones (Cabinet Member for the Economy).
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 Standards Committee.
There were no declarations of interest.
To approve the minutes of the previous meeting and note any outstanding actions.
The minutes of the Economy, Arts, Sports and Public Realm Policy and Accountability Committee meeting held on 28 November 2022 were approved subject to clarification being sought on engagement with the Bhavan Centre in West Kensington.
Change of agenda order
The Chair explained that, as Councillor Rowan Ree, Cabinet Member for Finance and Reform was also attending the Children’s Policy and Accountability Committee, he proposed that the running order of the agenda be changed. The Committee agreed that Item 5 – the Update on the development of the borough’s new five-year Sport and Physical Activity Strategy would be considered first, followed by Item 4 – the 2023 Medium-Term Financial Strategy.
This report provides an update on the new Sport and Physical Activity Strategy, including a clear statement of the Council's aims, objectives and priorities for the next five years.
Steve Hollingworth (Assistant Director Leisure, Sport & Culture) introduced the report which provided an update on the Borough’s new five-year sport and physical activity strategy.
Councillor Adam Peter Lang commented on the post pandemic period and the importance of ensuring the well-being of young people. He asked what was being done to encourage young people to engage in activities to support healthy lifestyles into adulthood. In response, Steve Hollingworth explained there was more work to do with Primary Schools, but the Council was already providing physical activity sports sessions with free meals in the summer holidays. However, he stressed it was important to engage with young families and children, so that they developed a sporting habit for life. Councillor Adam Peter Lang agreed this was vital work and it was excellent that activity sessions with free meals were being provided.
Councillor Jackie Borland asked how officers were consulting with local community groups. In response, Steve Hollingworth explained CSPAN (Community Sport and Physical Activity Network) comprised of representatives of the whole sports community, and the strategy had been taken to this forum for feedback from its members. As the Sports Strategy was being developed, it was his intention to put the report out to wider consultation through the Council’s website before it finally went to Cabinet for sign off.
Councillor Jackie Borland asked if more emphasis could be placed on the work being conducted in Fulham (and not solely in Hammersmith). Steve Hollingworth acknowledged there were several great parks in Fulham, as well as the Sands End Arts and Community Centre which supported young children, adults and providing services for adults with dementia.
In terms of the priorities set out in the strategy, Councillor Ashok Patel commented that one of the things that was missing was the goal of getting young people off their (phone) screens. He also asked if further details could be provided on the community support and physical activity network. In response, Steve Hollingworth confirmed that this was a difficult challenge, but it was important that children were introduced to sports professionals early so they received the right experience, and in doing so, wanted to adopt the sport and do more of it and build it into their lifestyle.
On CSPAN (Community Sport and Physical Activity Network), Steve confirmed it was Sports England that had suggested their needed to be a network in the community of all those volunteers – volunteers’ groups and sports club which had shared issues such as recruitment, training and finding affordable venues so there were lots of synergies. Steve confirmed that CSPAN met on a quarterly basis and despite good progress, further work needed to be done in this area. In relation to the composition of CSPAN, Steve Hollingworth confirmed the members were drawn from community sports groups. Councillor Ashok Patel asked if these groups should also contain school PE teachers as these were closely connected with schools and pupils. Steve Hollingworth confirmed it would be an important asset if a schools representative ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
This report sets out the budget proposals for the services covered by the Economy, Arts, Sports and Public Realm Policy and Accountability Committee. An update is also provided on any proposed changes in fees and charges in the budget (updated 25 January 2023).
Councillor Rowan Ree (Cabinet Member for Finance and Reform) introduced the item. He noted the challenges of finding further efficiencies given the dual pressures of high inflation and high interest rates. Despite this, he was proud of the budget which protected the Council’s key front-line services / priorities and included an investment of almost £1m to support residents through the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. He thanked Cabinet Members and officers for their hard work.
Andre Mark (Head of Finance –Strategic Planning and Investment) gave an overview of the financial context and the corporate budget. The key principles of the proposed Budget Strategy 2023/24 were:
• Pay & Price Inflation (5%)
• Investment for the Delivery of Council Priorities
• Council Tax Increase of 3% plus 2% for Social Care Precept
• Provisional Revenue Grant Settlement
• Some Savings Proposed (£2.9m)
• Maintaining Resilience (Retaining Contingencies)
• Costs of Planned Borrowing (to fund Capital Programme)
Councillor Adam Peter Lang and the Chair congratulated officers and Councillor Rowan Ree for leading on the difficult task of setting a balanced budget which protected front line services.
Bram Kainth (Strategic Director of Environment) gave a presentation of the budget for the Environment Directorate. Key budget changes that were highlighted included:
· Additional investment in the new waste collection and street cleansing contract (£1.7m). Protects current service standards including at least weekly waste collections. Allows for the addition of new services (such as food waste collections), inflationary pressures, and growth in the number of properties in the borough.
· Additional 5% investment for inflationary increases on both major contracts and council staff pay.
· Thorough review of fees and charges to generate increased income (£133k). General inflationary uplift, alignment with other boroughs and full cost recovery.
· Sustained reductions in waste disposal tonnages and continuation of discounted rate for processing recycling (£150k budgetary saving).
Councillor Jackie Borland congratulated officers for their work on parks and noted the borough was awarded fifth place in Parks for London. In relation to the Parking Business turnover, she asked what elements were included in the £50 million and if this was just on-street parking. In response, Bram Kainth confirmed this included all parking income, such as pay and display tickets, permits and suspensions.
Councillor Adam Peter Lang commended the work which had been conducted by the LET (Law Enforcement Team) to make neighbourhoods feel safer for residents and commented that this was money very well spent. Turning to the new waste collection contract which had been recently signed, he asked if this was a continuation of contractor or if there had been a change. In response, Bram Kainth confirmed that the old contractor was Serco which had been replaced by Veolia.
Councillor Adam Peter Lang asked for further clarification on the food waste collection and if this is included within the new contract. Bram Kainth confirmed that food waste was included in the new contract and funded, but discussions were ongoing with the new contractor as to when and how exactly this would be rolled ... view the full minutes text for item 5.