Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes


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

Contact: Pauline Ferris, Senior Professional - Democratic Services (Council)  Tel: 020 8424 1269 E-mail:

No. Item




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.



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


Ordinary Member


Reserve Member


Councillor David Ashton

Councillor Julia Merison

Councillor Graham Henson

Councillor Keith Ferry



Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of personal or prejudicial interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:


(a)               all Members of the Forum;

(b)               all other Members present in any part of the room or chamber.



RESOLVED:  To note that the following interests were declared:


Agenda Item



Nature of Interest

5.     Asbestos - Recommendations from Health and Safety meeting


Councillor Currie

Personal interest as his son was an employee and he was a member of Commercial Workers Union.


5.     Asbestos - Recommendations from Health and Safety meeting

Councillor Ferry

Personal interest as a member of GMB Union.




Arrangement of Agenda

To consider whether any of the items listed on the agenda should be considered with the press and public excluded on the grounds that it is thought likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted, that there would be disclosure of confidential information in breach of an obligation of confidence or of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.



RESOLVED:  That all items be considered with the press and public present with the exception of the following item for the reasons set out below:





5.      Asbestos – Recommendations from Health & Safety meeting

Exempt information under paragraph 5 of Part II Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as the report contains information relating to legal professional privilege.




To receive deputations (if any) under the provisions of Advisory Panel and Consultative Forum Procedure Rule 15 (Part 4E of the Constitution).


RESOLVED:  To note that no deputations were received at this meeting under the provisions of Advisory Panel and Consultative Forum Procedure Rule 15 (Part 4E of the Constitution).


Asbestos - Recommendations from Health & Safety meeting

Report of the Director of Human Resources & Development and originating letter received from Unison, Harrow L.G. Branch attached.


Prior to the consideration of the item and upon being put to a vote, it was agreed by majority vote that a DVD from the Health and Safety Executive in respect of Asbestos Health and Safety handling be shown.  However, upon commencing playback the DVD did not operate correctly and therefore could not be shown.


Further to the request at the Forum held on the 31 July 2008, the Forum received a report from the Service Manager (Asset Management and Facilities) responding to six recommendations which arose from a meeting between Councillors, officers and trade union representatives, held on 11 April 2008, which considered health and safety issues relating to asbestos.  The Service Manage explained that with regard to recommendation 5 that the Council would not support the course of action proposed following the advice gained from various sources including legal, occupational health, risk management, human resources departments.


The Forum discussed the background to the recommendation and circumstances that had led to the request with the Union side members submitting their arguments concerning the veracity of the previous record keeping process and importance of ensuring that employees of the Council were fully protected through their personnel records.


The officers responded that the process had been subject to examination by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) who had cleared the processes utilized in asbestos removal.  It was therefore considered that the recommendation 5 was unnecessary and inappropriate. As officers were confident there was no risk associated with the Council’s asbestos removal practices.


Members raised several questions relating to timelines, legal advice etc and noted the view of the Union members that new evidence should again be referred to the HSE.


At the end of the discussion the Forum noted the advice that should the Union personally wish to revisit the matter with the HSE it was entitled to do so under its own cognisance.


RESOLVED:  That in respect of the recommendations arising from the Health & Safety meeting held on 11 April 2008 that:


(1)  the action taken and officers response to recommendations 1 – 4 be noted;


(2)  the request of UNISON in respect of recommendation 5 be not agreed;


(3)  the officers response to recommendation 6 be noted.