Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Frankie Belloli, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1263 E-mail:  frankie.belloli@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

119.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence (if any).

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Phillip O’Dell and Varsha Parmar and from John Higgins (Voluntary Sector Representative).

120.

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 Cabinet; and

(b)               all other Members present.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

121.

Petitions

To receive any petitions submitted by members of the public or Councillors.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that the following petitions had been received:

 

(1)          Petition – the Mayor of the London Borough of Harrow

 

Mrs Duri presented a petition signed by 49 residents with the following request:

 

We, as Harrow residents who have signed this petition, request that the Councillors and Harrow Council ask her (the Mayor) to step down from her position as Mayor of Harrow immediately.

 

RESOLVED:  That the petition be received and referred to the Director of Legal and Governance Services for a response.

 

(2)          Petition – Speed Bump on Rayners Lane near Tranquil Lane

 

Councillor Graham Henson presented a petition signed by 31 residents with the following request:

 

We request your support and ask Harrow Council to please remove the speed bump at the earliest and if needed replace it with better traffic calming measures such as a pedestrian crossing and vehicle activated speed limit warning signs.

 

RESOLVED:  That the petition be received and referred to the Corporate Director, Community for a response.

122.

Public Questions

To receive any public questions received in accordance with paragraph 16 of the Executive Procedure Rules.

 

Questions will be asked in the order in which they were received.  There will be a time limit of 15 minutes for the asking and answering of public questions.

 

[The deadline for receipt of public questions is 3.00 pm on 18 February 2019. Questions should be sent to publicquestions@harrow.gov.uk  

No person may submit more than one question].

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that no public questions had been received for this meeting.

123.

Councillor Questions pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To receive any Councillor questions received in accordance with paragraph 17 of the Executive Procedure Rules.

 

Questions will be asked in the order agreed with the relevant Group Leader by the deadline for submission and there be a time limit of 15 minutes.

 

[The deadline for receipt of Councillor questions is 3.00 pm on 18 February 2019].

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Councillor questions were responded to and the audio recording placed on the Council’s website.

124.

Key Decision Schedule - February to April 2019 pdf icon PDF 214 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note the contents of the Key Decision Schedule for the period February to April 2019.

125.

Progress on Scrutiny Projects pdf icon PDF 84 KB

For consideration

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the Progress on Scrutiny Projects report be noted.

RECOMMENDED ITEMS

126.

Corporate Plan (Harrow Ambition Plan) pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Report of the Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved to RECOMMEND:  to Council

 

That

 

(1)          the Corporate Plan 2019 (Harrow Ambition Plan) be noted;

 

(2)          the Corporate Plan be approved and that the Head of Policy be authorised, following consultation with the Leader of the Council, to make any minor amendments to the Plan as necessary prior to the matter going to Council.

 

Reason for Recommendation:  To update the Council’s Policy Framework and set out the Council’s direction of travel for the next year.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.

 

Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member/Dispensation Granted:  None.

 

[Call-in does not apply as the decision is reserved to full Council.]

127.

Financial Regulations - Approval of Updated Set pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Report of the Director of Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved to RECOMMEND:  (to Council)

 

That the revised Financial Regulations, as detailed at Appendix 2 of the report, be approved.

 

Reason for Recommendations:  The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has the duty to maintain an up to date set of Financial Regulations.  The previous version was agreed by Council in November 2014.  Updating the Financial Regulations will ensure that the Council has effective governance arrangements in place.  

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.

 

Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member/Dispensation Granted:  None.

 

[Call-in does not apply as the decision is reserved to full Council.]

128.

Final Capital Programme 2019/20 to 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 520 KB

Report of the Director of Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved to RECOMMEND:  (to Council)

 

That the capital programme, as detailed in Appendix 1 of the report, be recommended to Council for approval.

 

Reason for Recommendation:  To enable the Council to have an approved Capital Programme for 2019/20 to 2020/21.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.

 

Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member/Dispensation Granted:  None. 

 

[Call-in does not apply as the decision is reserved to full Council.]

129.

Final Revenue Budget 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 to 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 529 KB

Report of the Director of Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Having considered the confidential appendix, it was   

 

Resolved to RECOMMEND:  (to Council)

 

That

 

(1)          the 2019/20 budget be approved, being mindful of the results of the various consultations and equality impact assessments, to enable the Council Tax for 2019/20 to be set (Appendix 2);

 

(2)          the Model Council Tax Resolution 2019/20 be approved as set out at Appendix 11;

 

(3)          in accordance with Section 38(2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, the Chief Executive be instructed to place a notice in the local press of the amounts set under recommendation 2 above with a period of 21 days following the Council’s decision;

 

(4)          the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) be approved (Appendix 2);

 

(5)          the addition of £2.627m to the Social Care Reserve be noted as set out in paragraph 1.8;

 

(6)          the balanced budget position for 2019/20 be noted, and the budget gaps of £16.795m and £9.345m for 2020/21 and 2021/22 respectively (table 4);

 

(7)          the intention to increase Council Tax by 2.99% in 2019/20 be noted (paragraph 1.23);

 

(8)          the proposal to increase Council Tax by a further 2.0% in 2019/20 be noted in respect of the Adult Social Care Precept (paragraph 1.23).

 

(9)          the changes to schools funding for 2019/20 as set out in paragraphs 1.57 to 1.63 and Appendix 6 be noted;

 

(10)       the assumed funding for the protection of social care in 2019/20 through the BCF as set out in paragraphs 1.62 to 1.68 be noted;

 

(11)       the draft Public Health budget for 2019/20 (Appendix 7) be approved;

 

(12)       all resident charges relating to child burials (paragraph 1.69, Appendix 18) be removed;

 

(13)       the 2019/20 Members’ Allowance Scheme to Council be approved (Appendix 12);

 

(14)       the 2019/20 Annual Pay Policy Statement for Council be approved (Appendix 13);

 

(15)       the Capital Receipts Flexibility Strategy be approved (Appendix 15);

 

(16)       the comments from the various stakeholder meetings (Appendix 14) be noted.

 

[Call-in does not apply to the decisions above as they are reserved to full Council.]

 

 

RESOLVED:  That with regard to the London Business Rates Pooling Pilot,  the following be approved:

 

(a)          participation in the second year of the London Business Rates Pilot Pool with effect from 1 April 2019 (to 31 March 2020) and delegation to the Director of Finance, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources, and the Monitoring Officer, to finalise the details for the continuation of the pilot pool;

 

(b)          delegation to the Director of Finance, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources and the Monitoring Officer of authority to consider such consultative reports as the Lead Authority may circulate and to respond on behalf of the authority with regard to any recommendations and in particular, proposals for projects to be approved for funding from the Strategic Investment Pot.

 

Reason for Recommendations:  To ensure that the Council sets a balanced budget for 2019/20.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.

 

Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared  ...  view the full minutes text for item 129.

130.

HRA Budget 2019-20 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020-21 to 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 511 KB

Report of the Director of Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet was advised that, in addition to the specific recommendations in the report, it was also being asked to recommend the 2019-20 Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget and the HRA capital programme for approval by full Council.

 

Resolved to RECOMMEND:  (to Council)

 

That

 

(1)       the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget for 2019-20 be approved;

 

(2)       the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital Programme, as detailed in appendix 7 to the report, be approved.

 

[Call-in does not apply to the decisions above as they are reserved to full Council.]

 

RESOLVED: That the following be approved -

 

(1)          the proposed average rent for non-sheltered accommodation of £113.09 per week for 2019-20 be approved, representing a decrease of 1% in average rent from the 2018-19 figure and for fifty three rent weeks to be charged in financial year 2019-20;

 

(2)          the proposed average rent for sheltered accommodation of £93.66per week for 2019-20 be approved, representing a decrease of 1% in average rent from the 2018-19 figure and for fifty three rent weeks to be charged in financial year 2019-20;

 

(3)          an average tenant service charge of £3.22 per week be approved, an increase of 2.4% in line with CPI as detailed in appendix 2.  Should review of tenant service charges support a further increase with appropriate consultation, approval from Cabinet will be sought for an in year increase;

 

(4)          a proposed average rent for new build units at affordable rent of £197.29 be approved, reflecting the statutory 1% rent reduction and non-grant funding and for fifty three rent weeks to be charged in financial year 2019-20;

 

(5)          proposed average rent for shared ownership units of £150.03 per week be approved, reflecting 75% equity share held by Council following approval by Cabinet 6 December 2018 of the Shared Ownership Allocation and Affordability Policy;

 

(6)          proposed increases in Facility charges and Community Halls of 3% and 4% respectively (appendices 4 and 6) be approved, and charges for Garages and Water (appendices 3 and 5) remain unchanged be noted;

 

(7)          policy of repayment of HRA debt on new RTB disposals using a proportion of right to buy receipts as part of a policy to reduce interest exposure on the revenue account with due regard to borrowing requirements for new build be approved;

 

(8)          an increase in the planned investment programme of £8m over five years based on latest stock condition survey in line with affordability testing in the HRA Business Plan be approved;

 

(9)          an increase in Home-4-Harrow programme of £123.7m be approved for provision of 659 additional homes in accordance with Government’s stated objective to provide 10,000 new Council homes in the capital by 2030, comprising £25.8m for Grange Farm phases 1 & 2; £2.8m for Infill phase 2; £7.7m Gayton Road and £87.4m other schemes;

 

(10)       phased increase in borrowing of up to £83.6m be approved to complete existing, and start new schemes for provision of new housing supply; additional borrowing to be raised in separate HRA loans pool and subject to ongoing affordability testing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 130.

131.

Treasury Management Strategy Statement including Prudential Indicators, Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy for 2019/20 and Capital Strategy pdf icon PDF 684 KB

Report of the Director of Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved to RECOMMEND:  (to Council)

 

That

 

(1)          the Treasury Management Strategy Statement for 2019/20 be approved including:

 

·                     Prudential Indicators for 2019/20

·                     Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement for 2019/20, (see para 42) 

·                     Annual Investment Strategy for 2019/20

 

(2)          the draft Capital Strategy 2019/20 be approved. (Appendix H)

 

Reason for Recommendation:  To promote effective financial management and comply with the Local Authorities (Capital Finance and Accounting) Regulations 2003 and other relevant guidance.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.

 

Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member/Dispensation Granted:  None.

 

[Call-in does not apply as the decision is reserved to full Council.]

RESOLVED ITEMS

132.

Homes for Harrow: Council House Building Programme pdf icon PDF 216 KB

Report of the Divisional Director of Housing Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Having considered the confidential appendix, it was

 

RESOLVED:  That

 

(1)          the Council House Building Programme attached at Appendix 1 be approved and the required capital budgets that will deliver 639 new genuinely affordable council homes, which, combined with homes already completed and on site, will provide a total of 659 homes;

 

(2)          the budget for the construction of 26 new council homes at Chichester Court be approved, as part of recommendation 1, and the award of the Chichester Court contract with Bugler Developments Ltd. as set out in para 3.4;

 

(3)          authority be delegated to the Corporate Director Community following consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing, together with the Director of Finance and Director of Legal and Governance to enter into the Chichester Court contract to Bugler Developments Ltd. and to accept tenders and enter into contracts, submit grant applications and bids for additional resources and enter into any related legal agreements for any matters referred to in this report and which may contribute towards the Council House Building Programme and housing regeneration initiatives, including but not limited to the Grant Agreements referred to in paragraph 3.3;

 

(4)          authority be delegated to the Corporate Director Community following consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing to appoint the necessary technical consultants and commission supporting technical information to enable the delivery of the Council House Building Programme subject to these costs being within the approved capital budgets and allowances;

 

(5)          authority be delegated to the Corporate Director Community following consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing to substitute sites within the Homes for Harrow programme as necessary to ensure take-up of grant within specified timescales;

 

(6)          authority be delegated to the Corporate Director Community following consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing to dispose of properties identified within the Council House Building Programme for shared ownership in accordance with the Council’s priorities for shared ownership sale and the approved Shared Ownership Allocation and Affordability Policy;

 

(7)          authority be delegated to the Director of Legal and Governance Services to extend the Compulsory Purchase Order boundary for the Grange Farm Regeneration project Phase 1 to include the area surrounding 0-18 Osmond Close in accordance with the plan attached at Appendix 3.

 

Reason for Decision:  To ensure delivery of the overall Homes for Harrow council house building programme.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.

 

Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member/Dispensation Granted:  None.

133.

Extension of Property Purchase Initiative for Temporary Accommodation pdf icon PDF 349 KB

Report of the Divisional Director of Housing Services

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That

 

(1)          authority be delegated to the Director of Housing Services, following consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources, to acquire up to 32 additional properties on the open market for the purpose of providing temporary accommodation, at a maximum cost of £10.8m in 2019-20 to include the purchase price, all costs associated with the acquisition and initial repairs and refurbishment.  The timing of acquisitions may vary depending on how quickly appropriate properties can be sourced.  The properties will be held in the General Fund and managed by the council;

 

(2)          the Director of Housing Services be authorised, following consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources, to negotiate the purchase of properties at a reasonable price given the prevailing market conditions at the time of purchase, supported by a valuation report and provided the overall costs of acquiring the additional properties are contained with the maximum authorised cost of £15m;

 

(3)          the financial benefits of properties acquired under this programme be noted and used for TA against more expensive B & B accommodation and the contribution towards the £378k MTFS saving target included within 2019-20 approved budget;

 

(4)          authority be delegated to the Director of Housing Services, following consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing, to determine the most efficient way to manage the property acquisition programme and invite and evaluate quotes and tenders and award contracts for any services, including repairs and maintenance contracts, necessary for the programme within the agreed budget.

 

Reason for Decision:  To extend the original 100 Homes Property Acquisition Initiative to provide additional good quality TA and   deliver additional B & B cost avoidance in line with the approved budget and MTFS.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.

 

Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member/Dispensation Granted:  None.

134.

Paines Lane Cemetery: Addition to the Local List of Historic Parks and Gardens, and Pinner Memorial Park: Enhancement of the Local List Description pdf icon PDF 174 KB

Report of the Corporate Director, Community

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That

 

(1)          the representations received in response to the consultation on the proposals and officers’ responses to these set out in the body of the report be noted;

 

(2)          the addition of Paines Lane Cemetery to the list of locally listed parks and gardens in Harrow with associated boundary and amended local list description following public consultation (appendix 2) be approved;

 

(3)          the enhanced local list description for Pinner Memorial Park (appendix 3) be approved.

 

Reasons for Decision: 

 

1.            To comply with the National Planning Policy Framework requirement that planning authorities ensure that they make information about the significance of the historic environment gathered as part of plan-making or development management publicly accessible.

 

2.            Providing locally listed status to those heritage assets that have local merit will help protect Harrow’s local historic and architectural interest and assist the Council to meet its corporate priority that seeks to build stronger communities.

 

3.            To comply with the Harrow Core Strategy (adopted 12th February 2012) Strategic Objective 1 for ‘heritage assets – parks and gardens’ for an ‘up to date list of locally important historic parks and gardens’.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.

 

Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member/Dispensation Granted:  None. 

135.

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Strategy 2019 - 2024 pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Report of the Corporate Director, People Services (Interim)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That

 

(1)          the SEND Strategy 2019-24 and Strategic Priorities as set out in this report and Annexe be agreed;

 

(2)          authority be delegated to the Corporate Director, People Services following consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Young People and Schools, to review and amend the Strategic Priorities as required during the period of the Strategy.

 

Reason for Decision:  To enable the Local Authority to fulfil its statutory duties for SEND in the Children and Families Act 2014 and secure a continuum of provision and support with partners for pupils aged 0-25 with SEND.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.

 

Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member/Dispensation Granted:  None. 

136.

Childcare Sufficiency Assessment pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Report of the Corporate Director, People Services (Interim)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report sets out the current sufficiency of childcare in Harrow as of September 2018 and identifies any gaps in childcare and key findings.  The information in the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (CSA) feeds into the wider Early Years Strategy in securing sufficient childcare.

 

RESOLVED:  That the report be noted.

 

Reason for Decision:  The Local Authority has a duty to secure that sufficient childcare is provided in accordance with Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006 and statutory guidance states that there should be an annual report ‘to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and make this report available and accessible to parents’ (DfE 2018).  We have prepared the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment report in order to support this duty.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.

 

Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member/Dispensation Granted:  None. 

137.

Customer Services - Channel Migration Schedule pdf icon PDF 404 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That

 

(1)          progress to date be noted;

 

(2)          the channel migration plan as set out in this report be approved.

 

Reason for Decision:  The Council has delivered significant savings over the last 5 years through channel migration and digitalisation.  Across all services, 89.4% of all customer enquiries are handled through self service.

 

In order to release savings of £560,000 over the next two financial years (2019/20, 2020/21), a programme of enforced channel migration is required for certain services where the appropriate self service options are available.

 

Mitigations are in place to assist the channel shift programme and to support residents where required.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.

 

Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member/Dispensation Granted:  None. 

138.

Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring 2018/19 - Quarter 3 as at 31st December 2018 pdf icon PDF 437 KB

Report of the Director of Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Having considered the confidential appendix, it was

 

RESOLVED:  That

 

(1)          the revenue and capital forecast positions set out at paragraphs 1.1 to 1.2 be noted;

 

(2)          debts write offs as specified in paragraph 2.85 be approved;

 

(3)          the proposed addition to the Capital Programme as set out at paragraphs 3.43 to 3.44 be approved;

 

(4)          the progress on the Council’s commercial structure as detailed in Appendix 5 be noted;

 

(5)          to reflect the change in operational responsibility for the Council’s commercial structure, the Director of Legal and Governance Services and the Director of Finance (Section 151 officer) be authorised to take over the responsibilities as the shareholder representatives on behalf of Harrow Council for Concilium Assets LLP and Concilium Group Limited including subsidiary companies.

 

Reason for Decision:  To report the 2018/19 forecast financial position as at Quarter 3 (31 December 2018) and seeks Cabinet approval for Capital Programme adjustments and debts write offs which require Cabinet approval in accordance with Financial Regulations.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.

 

Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member/Dispensation Granted:  None.