London Borough of Hounslow:

Minutes for Isleworth and Brentford Area Committee (Monitoring) meeting, Jan 15 2009, 7.30PM official page

Other committee documents for London Borough of Hounslow :: Isleworth and Brentford Area Committee (Monitoring) details

Venue: Brentford Free Church, Boston Manor Road, Brentford

Contact: Kay Duffy Tel: 020 8583 2071 or email:  kay.duffy@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items No. Item

88.

Apologies for Absence, Declarations of Interest and any other Communications from Members

Minutes:

Interests were declared in the following items:

  • Agenda Item 5: Councillors Paul and Shirley Fisher
  • Agenda Item 6: Councillor Paul Fisher
  • Agenda Item 8: Councillor Harmer
  • Agenda Item 10: Councillors Paul Fisher and Dakers
  • Agenda Item 11: Councillor Dakers

89.

Budget Consultation PDF 155 KB

The presentation slides for this item were attached to the electronic agenda pack following the meeting.

Minutes:

Councillor McGregor, Lead Executive Member for Finance, presented members with a PowerPoint presentation (attached to the electronic agenda pack following the meeting). He confirmed that the budget would be set at Borough Council on 3 March 2009.

 

In response to members’ questions Councillor McGregor confirmed that the Social Services budget included both adult and children’s services. Questions from the public gallery were invited. In answer to a question on how the Council would make allowances for those who may default on Council Tax payments as a result of changes to personal circumstances following the economic downturn, Councillor McGregor assured members that, in comparison to other local authorities, Hounslow Council had only resorted to bailiffs in a very small percentage of the 9,000 cases reviewed in 2008. The Council Tax collection rate had increased and the Council had incorporated contingencies in its processes, including the ability to write off bad debts – currently standing at approximately £250,000 per quarter and expected to rise over the coming period. The minimum number of letters sent to a defaulter was 5 during which time officers also made attempts to contact the defaulter with supporting telephone calls. The message to residents was to talk to the Authority as soon as difficulties in payments were identified.

 

Councillor McGregor was asked how many new build family homes were planned by the Council and how this figure compared to the number of homeless/ those currently living in unsuitable accommodation. He was also asked what provisions had been made for the anticipated increases in the number of homeless in the borough. Councillor McGregor indicated that municipal housing was assessed and incentives given to those families that had spare bedrooms to move to more suitable smaller accommodation. He added that homelessness was categorised by Government in increasingly restricted terms, which required Council officers to take a hard line when processing applications. That said provisions were being put in place in anticipation of increased numbers of homeless in the borough in the coming period. He confirmed that he could provide figures on the number of family homes planned for the borough for the minutes.

 

Councillor Phil Andrews noted that as a rule of thumb approximately 10 households needed re-housing for each new property built. Simply increasing the number of new builds was not the answer. A number of new build and re-building projects were currently in the pipeline. The Council had been able to provide more family sized accommodation and was facilitating funding for home extensions for those already in accommodation. The Council had sought to encourage people who could move to private housing to do so but members acknowledged that the tenants were within their rights to remain in their current accommodation providing they fulfilled the tenancy requirements.

 

Councillor Reid noted that the planning process included affordable housing elements in larger applications. It was acknowledged that there was a surfeit of one and two bedroom flats. SDC had recently refused applications due to the insufficient number of affordable housing properties within those particular schemes.

 

Councillor Dakers queried the level of LATs fines anticipated, should the Council not meet recycling targets and whether provision had been made to accommodate any anticipated increases in fines. He also asked whether the year on year rise in borough spending in connection with the PFI on highways had been budgeted for. Councillor Reid responded by reminding members of the Council’s commitment to increasing the percentage of recycled waste from March 2009 to 40% by 2010. On the matter of the PFI provisions, Councillor McGregor noted that the Authority was currently reviewing the highways contract, which was currently out to tender. He acknowledged that the recession could be advantageous to Hounslow in terms of a bidding war. He reported that highways would have a larger percentage of the budget and acknowledged that this may have to be financed by possible increases in Council Tax in future years. Councillor Reid added that Hounslow was committed to match-funding the PFI award, which would mean that the Authority was now committed to the existing highways budget plus an estimated £2.5million each year.

 

The Chair thanked Councillor McGregor for his presentation.

90.

Minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2008 and Matters Arising PDF 29 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2008 were agreed and signed by the Chair as a correct record with the following amendments:

 

Minute 83: Policing Update (paragraph 8):

“…Worton Estate…” should be amended to read “…Ivybridge Estate…”.

 

Minute 84: S106 Report (paragraph 2):

in principal” to be amended to read “in principle”.

 

Minute 84: S106 Report (paragraph 4 and 13):

Councillor Harmer sought clarification on the progress made to recruit to the currently vacant S106 Officer post, highlighting the difficulties experienced in relation to S106 funding discussions and decisions following Jon Medlin’s departure. Councillor Hardy noted his dissatisfaction at the lack of update on the matter. Councillor Reid agreed to raise the matter with managerial staff once again. Stuart Harrison reminded members of the high workload undertaken by Jon Medlin when in post and acknowledged that the position might now have to be repackaged so that the spending departments were more involved in the process.

 

Minute 84: S106 Report (paragraph 12):

“…had agreed to monitor S106…” to be amended to read “…had agreed to review S106 monitoring reports…

 

“Point Wharf“ to be amended to read “Goat Wharf“

 

Minute 86: Open Forum (St Lawrence War Memorial):

“Mr Brian Byers” should be amended to read “Mr Brian Briers”.

 

Matters Arising:

 

Minute 83: Policing Update (paragraph 7):

Councillor Paul Fisher confirmed that no response had been received from Alan Keen MP on the possible reasons for his declined invitation to Downing Street in October 2008.

 

Minute 84: Section 106 Report (paragraph 8):

Stuart Harrison informed Christine Diwell that officers were still working on the S106 database and the possibility of releasing on Internet version. On the issue of reporting back to the Area Committee on S106 funding, he informed members that this had been a matter of discussion with the Director of Environmental Services, Mike Jordan, and that officers were working on a resolution.

91.

Brentford High Street Car Park - John Reynolds (verbal update)

Minutes:

John Reynolds, Environmental Projects Manager, provided members with an update on the progress of work initiated on 5 January 2009. It was hoped that the car park could be completed by the end of January providing a total of 21 pay and display bays, including 3 disabled bays. The costs of parking in the facility would be decided by Executive in the near future.

 

Councillor Dakers expressed his appreciation on behalf of local traders for the work carried out on the car park and to the planned street signage, which would highlight the significant number of additional parking opportunities in and around Brentford High Street.

92.

Adoption of the Brentford Area Action Plan - Julia Worboys PDF 30 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Julia Worboys, Planning Policy Officer, briefed members on the background to the document and informed them that once successfully adopted by Borough Council it would be used for developmental control purposes in future. Councillor Reid thanked officers on behalf of the Area Committee for their hard work on the Plan to date. 

 

At this point the Chair invited Mr Dennis Browne, Chair of the Brentford Community Council, to address the meeting. Mr Browne had submitted a letter to members on the future of Brentford High Street, which members had discussed at the Planning meeting on 11 December 2008. A copy of this letter was circulated to members for their information at tonight’s meeting. Referring to some of the proposed measures detailed in his letter to members, Mr Browne asked the Area Committee to endorse Brentford High Street as an area where special measures were necessary.

 

Julia Worboys confirmed for Councillor Hardy that the BAAP document could not at this stage be amended to include the proposed measures for Brentford High Street as detailed in the Brentford Community Council letter. Consequently Councillor Hardy proposed that Brentford High Street be adopted as a separate issue.

 

Councillor Dakers requested more detailed information on the way rents were set for the tenants of the High Street. He also sought further details on the reinstatement of the farmers’ market.

 

Councillor Reid reminded members that the Area Committee had agreed at the December Planning meeting to take a report from the Director of Environmental Services at a future planning meeting.

 

Councillor Cadbury supported the endorsement of the spirit of the Brentford Community Council’s letter and agreed that a report on the feasibility of the proposed measures would necessitate the involvement of not only Environmental Services but other relevant Council departments. On the issue of special measures, she asked whether Brentford Community Council was also requesting that the Area Committee seek specific funds.

 

After receiving confirmation from the Committee Clerk, Kay Duffy, that Brentford High Street had not been included on the published Planning agenda for the meeting on 22 January, Councillor Hardy requested that it be taken as an additional item and asked officers to follow the matter up in preparation for this meeting.

 

8.50pm – Councillor Cadbury left the meeting at this point.

93.

455 London Road - Stuart Harrison PDF 22 KB

Minutes:

Following Stuart Harrison's brief introduction of the submitted report, Councillor Reid proposed looking at possible S106 funding to ensure that the two projects at Thornbury Playing Fields were funded and that sufficient funding could be found to fund proposals at St John's Gardens. Stuart noted at this point that there had not yet been a full audit of the available funds connected with St John's Gardens but that he was not aware of any obvious identifiable funds. The report to SDC taken at the end of 2008 had made reference to other funding sources but subsequent examination of the facts had found that these funds were already spent and therefore now unavailable.

 

Councillor Paul Fisher queried the discrepancy in the estimated costs included in the submitted report. The original Cip estimate of £93,000 had been referenced in the legal agreement. However, subsequent estimates from the current leisure provider costed the MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) at between £54,000 and £74,000 with an additional £10,000 to cover maintenance costs. Lisa Forsyth noted that the broad estimate (£54,000 to £74,000) reflected the fact that the leisure provider had submitted estimates for a range of differing sized MUGA facilities. Councillor Paul Fisher queried whether funding of approximately £10,000 was still available (unspent) under S106 schemes 149 (Spring Grove Centre, Thornbury Road) and 210 (Land at Isleworth Studios).

 

The Chair sought clarification on the current leisure provider's funding strategy for the Authority’s parks and leisure facilities. Lisa Forsyth confirmed that an annual fund of £100,000 had been allocated for priority works and that during 2009/10 this would be used to review health and safety in playgrounds. She added that the Leisure & Cultural Services team was currently carrying out a quality and quantity audit of sports pitches in the borough, looking at residents' current and future needs in order to inform a Boroughwide leisure plan due for completion late 2009.

 

Councillor Hardy indicated that he had received an email from Dominic West, St John's Residents Association, and had passed it to Stuart Harrison for a detailed response. He asked the officer to copy him into the reply email.  

 

Christine Diwell indicated that the S106 legal agreement for 455 London Road had not specifically mentioned teenage facilities and suggested therefore that it was misleading to keep looking only at teenage facilities for the allocated funding.

 

Christine Diwell drew members’ attention to the fact that only a relatively small percentage of Thornbury Playing Fields was situated within the Isleworth & Brentford Area Committee boundary when compared to the proportion of the site in Central Hounslow jurisdiction and suggested that Isleworth & Brentford had already allocated comparatively high financial contributions to the site. She suggested that the submitted report emphasised the officer's views on how best to allocate the available funding from 455 London Road.

 

Ms Diwell stated that the original vision for the Thornbury Playing Field site included no vision for children's facilities but that since then funding had been spent on children's facilities, which members of this Area Committee had not specifically approved. She also drew attention to the fact that the reports submitted to both Isleworth & Brentford and Central Hounslow area committees in the past on 455 London Road/ Thornbury Playing Fields had contained different information. Stuart Harrison confirmed that the reason tonight’s report specifically mentioned teenagers was to differentiate between facilities for children and teenagers. He reminded members that the developer had been able to meet all the necessary requirements for young children on site at 455 London Road but not for teenagers. S106 funding had to be spent within the development’s catchment area on the understanding that teenagers were able to travel further than young children. Mr Harrison acknowledged that, although Thornbury and St John's Gardens were equally suitable targets for the funding, the decision had been taken early on in the proceedings to site the facilities at Thornbury Playing Fields in line with the wider development of this site by the former leisure services contractor, CIP.  

 

In response to the Chair’s query on whether any residual S106 funding would remain after the suggested 2 teenage facilites at Thornbury Playing Fields had been built, the officer suggested that there could be a residual fund. He reminded members that tonight’s report asked them to give direction as to where and on what any such residual amount could be spent and drew attention to 5.7 of the report as a possible solution, which would remain within the terms of the existing legal agreement. Mr Harrison reminded members that they could also suggest different uses and location for the funding but highlighted the associated risks with going back to the developer on any changes to the use of the available funding.

 

At this point in the discussion Councillor Reid proposed that members refrained from submitting comments on the need for a Deed of Variation. She reiterated her proposal for an audit of all available funding streams to assess whether sufficient funding could be found to provide the requested facilities on Thornbury Playing Fields and St John's Gardens.

 

Councillor Harmer reminded members of the Area Committee's remaining capital funding of approximately £85,000. He recommended the inclusion of this in the proposed audit of available funds and thanked Stuart for his report, which he said brought together all the factual background information.

 

Councillor Paul Fisher reported that Hounslow had made a successful bid for approximately £1 million towards children's play facilities. When he asked whether St John's Gardens could be included in the first lot of spending for this fund, Lisa Forsyth assured members that she would look into the matter but pointed out that the criteria might only allow that funding to be used for new playgrounds.

 

Councillor Hardy raised a number of points: he pointed out that there was a large green field immediately to the rear of the development at 455 London Road and suggested that teenage facilities could have been placed there to mitigate the impact of the development; he suggested that it was the residents living immediately around the development who most needed mitigation, adding that St John's Gardens also desperately needed improvement and that the direct route between St John's Gardens and Thornbury Playing Field was not at all clearly delineated for those wishing to walk between the two sites at the moment. His final point mirrored Christine Diwell's reference of the percentage split of area committee jurisdiction over Thornbury Playing Fields and the fact that funding allocated by Isleworth & Brentford had been disproportionately high compared to Central Hounslow's contributions.

 

Councillor Phil Andrews supported the proposal to look at all available funding streams but cautioned that the Executive decision on the capital funding may conflict with members' proposals to include it in the audit. Councillor Hardy requested that a caveat be applied where possible to ensure that any capital funding by this Area Committee was matched by capital funding from Central Hounslow Area Committee.

 

Christine Diwell drew attention to reports taken to Central Hounslow by Insp. Adrian Baxter, Partnership Inspector with Community Safety, which mentioned the availability of "community funding" and asked officers to investigate whether this funding might still be available.  

 

Councillor O'Reilly asked that accounts on the available funding streams for both Central Hounslow and Isleworth & Brentford Area Committee be brought forward to the SDC meeting. Councillor Harmer asked that the SDC report should include all proposals put forward by members at this meeting. This was seconded by Councillor Hardy and agreed by members. Councillor Reid asked that the priority be placed on available S106 funding and then capital funding.

 

Councillor Caroline Andrews asked members to urge the Executive to consider using the available capital funding on environmental improvements in St John's Gardens.

 

Stuart Harrison informed members that, when carrying out the audit, officers would be helped in their efforts if they knew how much funding was necessary at St John's Gardens. Councillor Paul Fisher responded by confirming that cost quotes for improved children's play facilities had been sought and estimates subsequently received for approximately £75,000. He reiterated his belief that just over £10,000 had already been allocated from S106 schemes 149 and 210.

94.

S106 funding for Isleworth Green - Lisa Forsyth PDF 15 KB

Minutes:

Lisa Forsyth, Interim Client Manager for Leisure and Cultural Services, addressed the meeting. Councillor Paul Fisher thanked her for meeting with him recently and noted that the signage in a number of parks needed to be updated to remove or reduce the number of “No Ball Games” notices. Members were informed that a program was underway but that key parks would be prioritised.

 

Christine Diwell corrected errors in the submitted report summary, stating that Scheme 328 related to Waverley House and Scheme 332 to 20 Church Street. Referring to 2.6 of the report, she reminded members that Scheme 332 funding had been rescinded by members at the last planning meeting after combined S106 funding had been sourced from Schemes 195 and 359 - both West Middlesex Hospital, and Scheme 360 -Syon Park Hotel (Refer to Isleworth & Brentford Area Planning Committee on 11 December 2008, Agenda Item 8). The officer confirmed that she had completed her report before the December Planning meeting had taken place and acknowledged that she had later not reviewed the database for updated information.  

 

Councillor Paul Fisher moved the officer’s recommendation, seconded by Councillor Hardy.

 

Resolved:

That the improvement works identified and costed by Continental Landscapes are progressed and that they are funded from all the available monies from Clause 1 of Scheme 328 and from part of the funds in Clause 1 of Scheme 332.

95.

Policing Update - Insp Simon Earle PDF 28 KB

Minutes:

Insp. Earle informed members that CCTV cameras had now been installed in York Road and that target hardening work had progressed on providing locks for the over 60s and vulnerable residents. He added that recorded figures for youth violence were falling year on year and that the last recorded figures were the best on record. To date 48 neighbourhood watch schemes had been set up in the area and more schemes continued to be established.  

 

Responding to Councillor Dakers request for details of those local businesses which had signed up to the Business Watch scheme, Insp. Earle reminded members that there were two schemes – Business Watch, which covered the A4 area and the Business Security Zone, which covered the Brentford High Street area.

 

Councillor Paul Fisher thanked the officer for his support in connection with the bid for funding for Positive Futures from the Community Investment Advisory Panel. Answering Councillor Fisher’s second question as to who would support a more permanent traffic management arrangement on the Ivybridge Estate, Insp. Earle informed members that he was hoping to secure joint funding through Parking Services for traffic management on the estate.

 

Councillor Harmer drew attention to residents’ concerns at the level of crime around the retail outlets on the junction of Ealing Road and Albany Road. He asked whether a dome hawk camera could be deployed to monitor the area and provide reassurance. Insp. Earle confirmed that officers across the Borough now had access to a pool of portable and fixed CCTV equipment and that he would follow up Councillor Harmer’s request.

 

From the public gallery local resident, Cliff Chanter, reminded members that no mention had been made in the local press since the last Monitoring meeting of the speed gun training schemes. Insp. Earle reminded members that the scheme was advertised in the press in January 2008 with little positive response. He informed members that this training cost the MPS £75 per trainee and that a minimum number of applicants was necessary to initiate the training. Since the last Monitoring meeting Insp. Earle had assembled a team of 6 officers who would be trained to enforce speed restrictions in the area. He added that he would be happy to advertise for volunteers in future editions of local Neighbourhood Watch publications. The Chair thanked Insp. Earle for his presentation.

96.

St Lawrence's War Memorial - Councillor Harmer (verbal update)

Minutes:

Councillor Harmer briefed members on the background to the relocation of the St Lawrence’s War Memorial, suggesting that SDC would most likely be the decision making body and that a referral may also have to be made to GOL (Government Office for London), depending on the level of objection received. It was anticipated that the relocation could be completed by Summer 2009 but the final deadline was November 8th in time for the Armistice commemoration.

 

Councillor Harmer wished to record his thanks to Anthony Way, Community Development Officer, who would soon be leaving the Authority, for his work on the matter.

97.

Brentford Play Plan - Luke Kirton PDF 16 MB

The report has been included on the electronic agenda pack only. It has not been included in the main agenda pack because of the text fonts used within the document. A3 hard copies of the report will be available for members at the meeting. To access the electronic version, please click on the item title.

 

A copy of the presentation slides shown to members was attached to this agenda pack following the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A copy of the presentation slides was attached to the electronic agenda pack following the meeting for reference.

 

Luke Kirton, Director of West Play, and Phil Doyle, Chair of Westplay, introduced a PowerPoint presentation on the submitted Brentford Play Plan report. He reminded members that the Area Committee had commissioned the report using S106 funding.

 

9.55pm – The Chair sought members’ approval to suspend Standing Orders until 10.15pm to complete the remaining business of the meeting. Members agreed.

 

Councillor Paul Fisher sought clarification as to whether any revenue funding had been secured for the maintenance of the proposals. He queried whether there were plans to extend the proposals to other areas within the jurisdiction of this Area Committee. In response Luke Kirton confirmed that revenue funding was available for the maintenance of Carville Park but indicated uncertainty at the level of Government funding available, noting that the Government expected the Local Authority to secure revenue funding. Responding to the second question he reminded members that the submitted report laid out a set of principals and an ethos, which could easily be applied to other areas.

 

Councillor Reid referred to Recommendation 3 (Section 1 of the report) and asked for further information on the implications of this. Luke Kirton noted that this had been a request from him and that he was unsure why it had not been picked up by the Authority’s Finance Department. Whilst acknowledging the risks associated with it Councillor Reid suggested that this Area Committee support the proposals. Uttam Gujral suggested that a report could be invited from Children’s Services to the Area Committee. Luke Kirton noted that West Play representatives were involved in the Play Strategy Implementation Group and that this report would also be submitted to that body for consideration.

 

Councillor Dakers thanked Westplay for the work on the report. He suggested that it would be helpful to have a future report on the revenue funding having consulted with other departments within the Authority, taking these recommendations as principles. He supported the document. 

 

Councillor Harmer noted the need to improve on the existing areas, many of which were on Hounslow Homes property. He asked how possible it was to include HRA land in the plan. Luke Kirton confirmed that this would be possible and indicated to councillors that he had contacted Hounslow Homes but didn’t get a response and therefore didn’t follow the initial contact up. He acknowledged the importance of including Hounslow Homes in the planning and process. Councillor P. Andrews supported the plan and encouraged Westplay to proceed.

 

A local resident asked whether it was possible to organise a parents’ group to supervise play areas so that they could feel confident that their children were being supervised. Members heard that this idea was reflected in the national strategy and that the mobile play project was similar in respect of encouraging parents to actively play with their children outside.

 

Councillor Reid moved to approve the recommendations in the submitted report in principal, subject to any formalities relating to funding. Members agreed unanimously to this proposal.

 

Resolved:

·        That the Isleworth & Brentford Area Committee supports the overarching objective of the submitted report in principal, subject to any formalities being resolved.

·        That the Isleworth & Brentford Area Committee seeks ways to realise in 1009 two or more of the schemes proposed in Section Seven of the submitted report.

·        That the London Borough of Hounslow’s Playbuilder Programme and other funding streams are deployed to support the innovative schemes within Brentford.

98.

Community based personalised travel planning - Chris Calvi-Freeman and Charlotte Welch PDF 177 KB

A copy of the presentation slides shown to members was attached to this agenda pack following the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

10.15pm – Members agreed to suspend Standing Orders in order to complete the final item of business on the agenda.

 

A copy of the presentation slides was attached to the electronic agenda pack following the meeting for reference.

 

Chris Calvi-Freeman, Head of Transport, and Charlotte Welch, representing Steer Davis Gleave, introduced the PowerPoint presentation for members and confirmed that Hounslow would be the first to use personalised travel planning in a targeted community based way. Charlotte Welch listed the anticipated benefits of the project and confirmed that she would be the project manager for the Authority and TfL.

 

In response to Councillor O’Reilly’s query as to whether additional public transport would result from the project, Chris Calvi-Freeman reminded members that Hounslow was well served by 49 bus routes. The project would be aimed at ascertaining people’s attitudes with the anticipated outcome of a slight decrease in traffic volumes. He noted the links with other items under discussion at tonight’s meeting.

 

Councillor Harmer drew attention to 6.2 of the submitted report and sought confirmation that £450,000 represented the actual cost and represented a recognised benefit for the borough.

 

The Chair thanked officers for their presentation and patience and closed the meeting.

99.

Open Forum

An opportunity for members of the public to address the meeting on general issues relating to the meeting agenda. Please note that individual cases cannot be discussed.

Minutes:

There was no formal open forum slot at this meeting.

100.

Urgent Business

Any other business which the Chair considers is urgent

Minutes:

There was no urgent business raised at this meeting.

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