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MOTION - HOUSES IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION

The following Motions have been notified in accordance with the requirements of Council Procedure Rule 14, to be moved and seconded by the Members indicated:-

 

(1)         Houses in Multiple Occupation

 

 

To be moved by Councillor James Bond and seconded by Councillor Chris Noyce:

                                                                                                                 

 

This Council notes that the following two statutory instruments came into effect on 1st October 2010:

 

1.        The Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No 2) (England) Order 2010 (2010 No. 2134) will make changes of use from Class C3 (dwellinghouses) to Class C4 (houses in multiple occupation) permitted development.

 

2.  The Town and Country Planning (Compensation) (No. 3) (England) Regulations  2010 (2010 No 2135)

 

This Council notes therefore that the Government has amended the planning rules for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and as a result from 1st October 2010 changes of use from family houses to small HMOs will be able to happen freely without the need for planning applications.

 

This Council is concerned that appropriate time was not given to consultation with Local Authority Planning Services.

 

This Council also views with concern the possible detrimental effects such permitted development could have on the character and environmental aspects of residential roads including the increase in motor vehicles, refuse and possible nuisance to surrounding neighbours.

 

This Council regrets that the new legislation does not allow residents to be alerted to such proposals for houses in multiple occupation.

 

This Council recognises the extra burden placed on Local Authority Planning Services in order to facilitate Article 4 Directions.

 

This Council resolves to instruct the Chief Executive to write to the Chief Planner at the Department of Communities and Local Government to express our grave concern that such developments can occur without recourse to Local Authority approval.

 

This Council further instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Members of Parliament for Harrow West, Harrow East and Ruislip, Pinner and Northwood to note our concerns”.

 

(2)    Proposed Cap on Housing Benefit

 

 

To be moved by Councillor K Kareema Marikar and seconded by Councillor Ben Wealthy:

 

 

“This Council deplores the unreasonable cap on Housing Benefit which will export poverty to Outer London Boroughs like Harrow. London suffers severe housing shortages which have not been helped by the Conservative Right to Buy Policy as it depleted housing stock. To make matters worse, the conservative policy of offering private housing as an option for homeless families will mean that Councils in inner London will be setting up a revolving door for families in temporary private housing who will have to be moved to outer London or beyond.

                            

This Council notes that 59% of families in private housing are living in poverty.  The cap on Housing Benefit is neither fair nor reasonable as it affects the poor and impacts on children who are more likely to be moved several times resulting in unstable education with its consequent impact on education attainment.

 

This Council draws the attention of Government to the fact that high rents in London are not a new phenomenon but are driven by the housing shortage. When the Local Housing Allowance was introduced the average rent in Central London for a 3 bedroom house was £700, twice the cap.  This Council draws the Government's attention to the fact that it is Landlords who profit from Housing Benefit not tenants.  

 

As a Council committed to listening and leading, this Council urges Government to look at the root causes of high rents in London and bring out policies which deal with problem instead of ideological cuts which play well in conservative heartlands but penalise the poor and those unfortunate enough to lose their jobs.

 

This Council urges the Government to reconsider the cap and reduce the housing benefit bill by funding Councils to build enough social housing thereby stimulating the building industry, creating jobs and giving the country the much needed optimism which will take us out of recession and avoid a depression.

 

This Council resolves to:

 

(1)         instruct the Chief Executive to write to the Prime Minister expressing our concern about this retrograde step which penalises families;

 

(2)         write to Harrow’s MPs and GLA Member to ask them to raise these concerns in Parliament and the London Assembly;

 

(3)         work with the other London Boroughs through London Councils to lobby against the Housing Benefit cap;

 

(4)         support the voluntary and community sector to campaign for fairness for families.”

 

 

(3)    Government Spending Review – Implications for Women

 

 

To be moved by Councillor Sue Anderson and seconded by Councillor Victoria Silver:

 

 

“This Council notes with deep concern the huge cuts announced during the spending review contain measures that will hit women twice as hard as men in our communities in Harrow.

 

The Council believes urgent action is needed by the government to tackle the effect these cuts will have on households and female workers in Harrow - and across the country - because the clear effects will be damaging throughout our communities if the consequences of cutbacks on females and families are not significantly addressed.

 

The Council is resolutely committed to helping those in greatest need but the targeting of local government for cuts is tantamount to singling out women for the greatest hit as 75 per cent of local government workers nationally are women and the rolling back of public services hits women particularly hard because they tend to use services more frequently and more intensively, because of their sizeable caring responsibilities.

 

The Council hopes the government will reconsider its plans because making women bear the brunt of cuts makes a mockery of its claimed commitment to fairness. We also hope the Council will commit to closely monitoring the impact of changes on women and families in the borough through proper impact assessments and evaluation.”

 

 

(4)   Standing up for Harrow” Motion

 

 

To be moved by Councillor Bill Stephenson and seconded by Councillor Ben Wealthy:

 

 

“This Council notes that the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review threatens Harrow’s economic recovery.

 

Many senior economists believe that the scale and speed of cuts in public spending will damage business and lead to job losses.

 

Experts have also warned that the Coalition Government’s spending plans are regressive, not progressive, and will hit the poorest hardest.

 

This Council notes:

 

Ÿ         Following the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition Government’s budget, the Office for Budget Responsibility downgraded its growth forecast for next year from 2.6% to 2.3% in response to the increased pace of public spending reductions.

 

Ÿ         In their independent assessment of the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said that the measures were ‘more regressive, than progressive’ and made clear that children were the biggest losers, not bankers.

 

Ÿ         The Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, outlines big cuts in Local Government spending of almost 30%. The Local Government Group has been clear that such reductions ‘will lead to cuts at the front line.’

 

Ÿ         Local Government has had some of the biggest cuts in the public sector, and most authorities’ cuts are significantly front-loaded to 2011/12.

 

Ÿ         The Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition Government have admitted that at least 1 million jobs will be lost - half in the public sector and half in the private sector.

 

Ÿ         Other cuts to funding for new social housing, child tax credits, university teaching budgets and school modernisation programmes will curb aspirations and opportunities for many people in Harrow.

 

Ÿ         The Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition Government’s decision to raise VAT to 20% in 2011 will damage Harrow businesses and is unfair, hitting those on low and fixed incomes hardest.

 

This Council believes that the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review will hinder, not help Harrow’s economic recovery. Furthermore, their wider economic policies are deeply unfair and will hit the poorest and most vulnerable in Harrow hardest.

 

 

(5)    Fare Increases

 

 

To be moved by Councillor Navin Shah and seconded by Councillor Phillip O’Dell:

 

 

“This Council deplores the London Mayor, Boris Johnson’s, proposals for a devastating rise in bus and tube fares - with an average increase of 7%, going up to an actual increase of 74%.

 

This Council notes that:

 

·         Tube and bus fares went up by 6% in the first year of Boris Johnson’s Mayoralty and last year single bus journeys went up by 20%.

 

·         the coalition government is already hitting Harrow residents with a likely cut of at least 30% in its grant to Harrow Council in addition to the above inflation rises in tube and bus fares.

 

·         the only legacy that Boris Johnson has left so far as the people of Harrow are concerned is that of closing ticket offices like North Harrow Station, endless weekend closures of  the Jubilee and Metropolitan line services and the  scrapping of funding for disabled access to Harrow on the Hill and Stanmore tube stations.

 

This Council instructs the Chief Executive to communicate this Motion to the three Harrow MPs and the London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow, asking them to oppose these fare increases and further instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Mayor of London demanding that the fare increases be scrapped.”    

 

 

(6)    Harrow International Vision

 

 

To be moved by Councillor Nana Asante and seconded by Councillor Graham Henson:

 

 

“This Council notes with some concern the pessimism of the governments’ spending plans and the short-sighted cuts which threaten the economic recovery. The Council notes with great concern the in-year cut of the Migrants Impact Fund which has cost London authorities an estimated £2.4 million. This Council also puts on record its concern at the cut in LAA Reward Grant, an act which undermines the credibility of future agreements with Government. This assault on Local Government funding makes the silence on the important area of community and social cohesion even more worrying.

The Council believes that the Government should take some lessons from a Council that listens and leads, and tap into the optimism and potential of residents and enable them to work towards a brighter future.  This Council is resolutely committed to furthering Community Cohesion and celebrating the fact that Harrow is the most religiously diverse borough of England and Wales. 

 

This Council commits to renewing its international vision by:

 

  • working towards recognition of Harrow as a Fair Trade borough in March 2011

 

  • following the example of its twin town Douai and exploring the possibility of twinning with more towns and cities such as Balakot, Bhuj, Broken Hill, Hargeisa, Pattan, Port au Prince, Kingston, La, Tilburg and Tel Aviv, underlining the tremendous advantage such links can bring, both to the harmony of the Borough and its future development.

 

 This Council resolves to:

 

(i)           explore the feasibility of Harrow twinning with further towns and cities;

 

(ii)         involve residents in creating opportunities for experiencing and exploring other cultures thereby building an atmosphere for economic development and trade opportunities, a positive climate to counterbalance the doom and gloom coming from the current Government;

 

(iii)       work with London Councils to mitigate the impact of the short-sighted cuts on our residents.

 

(Under the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 14.6, it is considered that the subject matter of this Motion refers to matters within the remit of the Executive and the Motion therefore stands referred to the next meeting of that body.

 

It may be moved that such referral should not apply and any procedural motion moved and seconded to that effect shall be voted on without discussion).

 

Minutes:

(i)            At item 11(1) the Council received a Motion in the names of Councillors James Bond and Chris Noyce in the following terms:

 

This Council notes that the following two statutory instruments came into effect on 1st October 2010:

 

1.             The Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No 2) (England) Order 2010 (2010 No. 2134) will make changes of use from Class C3 (dwellinghouses) to Class C4 (houses in multiple occupation) permitted development.

 

2.             The Town and Country Planning (Compensation) (No. 3) (England) Regulations  2010 (2010 No 2135)

 

This Council notes therefore that the Government has amended the planning rules for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and as a result from 1st October 2010 changes of use from family houses to small HMOs will be able to happen freely without the need for planning applications.

 

This Council is concerned that appropriate time was not given to consultation with Local Authority Planning Services.

 

This Council also views with concern the possible detrimental effects such permitted development could have on the character and environmental aspects of residential roads including the increase in motor vehicles, refuse and possible nuisance to surrounding neighbours.

 

This Council regrets that the new legislation does not allow residents to be alerted to such proposals for houses in multiple occupation.

 

This Council recognises the extra burden placed on Local Authority Planning Services in order to facilitate Article 4 Directions.

 

This Council resolves to instruct the Chief Executive to write to the Chief Planner at the Department of Communities and Local Government to express our grave concern that such developments can occur without recourse to Local Authority approval.

 

This Council further instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Members of Parliament for Harrow West, Harrow East and Ruislip, Pinner and Northwood to note our concerns.”

 

(ii)          There was an amendment proposed in the names of Councillors Keith Ferry and Bill Stephenson, which sought to amend the Motion to read as follows:

 

This Council notes that the following two statutory instruments came into effect on 1st October 2010:

 

1.             The Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No 2) (England) Order 2010 (2010 No. 2134) will make changes of use from Class C3 (dwellinghouses) to Class C4 (houses in multiple occupation) permitted development.

 

2.             The Town and Country Planning (Compensation) (No. 3) (England) Regulations  2010 (2010 No 2135).

 

This Council notes therefore that the Government has amended the planning rules for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and as a result from 1st October 2010 changes of use from family houses to small HMOs will be able to happen freely without the need for planning applications.

 

This Council is concerned that appropriate time was not given to consultation with Local Authority Planning Services.

 

This Council also views with concern the possible detrimental effects such permitted development could have on the character and environmental aspects of residential roads including the increase in motor vehicles, refuse and possible nuisance to surrounding neighbours.

 

This Council regrets that the new legislation does not allow residents to be alerted to such proposals for houses in multiple occupation.

 

This Council recognises the extra burden placed on Local Authority Planning Services in order to facilitate Article 4 Directions.

 

This Council resolves to instruct the Chief Executive to write to the Chief Planner at the Department of Communities and Local Government to express our grave concern that such developments can occur without recourse to Local Authority approval.

 

This Council further instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Members of Parliament for Harrow West, Harrow East and Ruislip, Pinner and Northwood to note our concerns.

 

This Council further requests that the Local Development Framework Panel, as a matter of urgency, to examine the scope for the introduction of an Article Four Direction covering the whole of the Borough to control the number of HMOs.”

 

(iii)        Upon a vote the amendment was carried;

 

(iv)        Upon a vote, the substantive Motion, as amended, was agreed.

 

RESOLVED:  That the substantive Motion as amended and set out at (ii) above, be adopted.

Supporting documents: