Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

||

Venue: Committee Room 5, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Manize Talukdar, Democratic and Electoral Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1323 E-mail:  manize.talukdar@harrow.gov.uk

Items
Note No. Item

18.

Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.

 

Reserve Members may attend meetings:-

 

(i)                 to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;

(ii)               where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and

(iii)             the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;

(iv)              if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note the attendance at this meeting of the following duly appointed Reserve Members:-

 

Ordinary Member

 

Reserve Member

 

Councillor Jeff Anderson

Councillor Pamela Fitzpatrick

 

19.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:

 

(a)               all Members of the Sub-Committee;

(b)               all other Members present.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: To note that the following interests were declared:

 

Agenda Item - Call-In of the Cabinet Decision: Library Management Contract Extension

 

Councillor Pamela Fitzpatrick declared a non-pecuniary interest in that she was a trustee of the Harrow Community Library.  She would remain in the room whilst the matter was considered and voted upon.

20.

Appointment of Vice Chair

To appoint a Vice-Chair for the 2017/18 Municipal Year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That Councillor Richard Almond be appointed Vice-Chair for the 2017/18 Municipal Year.

21.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 79 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 8 February 2016 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 8 February 2016 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Enc.

22.

Protocol for the Operation of the Call-In Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 12 KB

Minutes:

The Chair drew attention to the document ‘Protocol for the Operation of the Call-In Sub?Committee’.  He outlined the procedure to be followed at the meeting, and the options open to the Sub-Committee at the conclusion of the process.

 

In accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 46.5, a notice seeking to invoke the call?in procedure must state at least one of the following grounds in support of the request for a call-in of the decision:

 

a)            inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision;

 

b)            the absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision;

 

c)            the decision is contrary to the policy framework, or contrary to, or not wholly in accordance with the budget framework;

 

d)            the action is not proportionate to the desired outcome;

 

e)            a potential human rights challenge;

 

f)             insufficient consideration of legal and financial advice.

 

He informed the Sub-Committee that the grounds a), b) and d) had been cited on the Call In notice, and this had been deemed to be valid for the purposes of Call?in.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Call-In would be determined on the basis of the following grounds:

 

a)            inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision;

 

b)            the absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision;

 

d)            the action is not proportionate to the desired outcome;

 

e)            insufficient consideration of legal and financial advice.

 

The Legal Adviser stated that the Sub-Committee, having considered the grounds for the call-in and the information provided at the meeting, may come to one of the following conclusions:-

 

(i)            that the challenge to the decision should be taken no further and the decision be implemented;

 

(ii)               that the matter should be referred back to the decision taker (i.e the Portfolio Holder or Executive, whichever took the decision) for reconsideration. In such a case the Call?in Sub?Committee must set out the nature of its concerns / reasons for referral for the decision taker/Executive.

RECOMMENDED ITEMS

23.

Call-In of the Cabinet Decision (18 January 2018) - Library Management Contract Extension pdf icon PDF 115 KB

a)    Notice invoking the Call-In;

 

b)    Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 18 January 2018;

 

c)    Report submitted to Cabinet on 18 January 2018.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee received the papers in respect of the call-in notice submitted by 6 Members of the Council in relation to a decision made by Cabinet on 18 January 2018 regarding the Library Management Contract Extension.  The contract, which had been jointly procured with the London Borough of Ealing, had been managed by the Construction Company Carillion until recently when Carillion had gone into compulsory liquidation.

 

The Chair advised the Sub-Committee on the suggested order of proceedings and reminded Members of the timings allowed for submissions and questions.  He invited the representative of the signatories to present his reasons for the call-in.

 

The representative stated that:

 

·                     he was grateful that he had been kept informed by both the leader and relevant officers about the latest position regarding Library Mangement Contract since the recent announcement that Carillion had gone into compulsory liquidation;

 

·                     at its Cabinet Meeting on Tuesday 16 January, Ealing Council had presented an addendum to their Cabinet Report regarding extending the library contract with Carillion for a further 5 years;

 

·                     Ealing Council had, in light of the liquidation, presented an addendum to their Cabinet Report regarding extending the library contract with Carillion for a further 5 years at its Cabinet Meeting on Tuesday 16 January.  However, in his view, Ealing’s proposals in the addendum were too broad and long-term and he had been surprised to see that the recommendations proposed by Harrow with regard to its Library Management contract closely resembled those proposed by Ealing; 

 

·                     in his view, the Library Management Contract item could have been deferred until February 2018 Cabinet meeting and he had requested this be done but his request had not been agreed;

 

·                     he had submitted the call-in because he was particularly concerned that authority to make longer term decisions over a key service area had been delegated to officers without the possibility of further public scrutiny or consultation.

 

The representative made the following points with regard to each of the grounds for the call-in:

 

Inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision:

 

·                     revised versions of recommendations B and D of the Cabinet Report relating to the Library Management Contract Extension had been tabled during consideration of the item at the Cabinet meeting of 18 January 2018.  Library staff, the trade unions, the opposition, residents and library users had not been consulted regarding the proposals and this equated to inadequate consultation and inadequate scrutiny;

 

·                     furthermore, no timescales had been set out for Recommendation D.  Recommendation B would allow officers to novate the contract until 31 August 2023.  However, very little detail had been provided regarding any potential future provider or the nature of any potential new contract.  For example, he would expect financial and legal implications, estimated costs associated with any new contract, key performance indicators, an equalities impact assessment to have been provided as part of the revised recommendations.

 

The action was not proportionate to the desired outcome:

 

·                     he was aware of the tight timescales and the urgent need to stabilise the Library Service.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.