Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

||

Venue: Committee Room 6 Harrow Civic Centre

Contact: Sam Challis, Committee Administrator  Tel: 020 8424 1785 E-mail:  sam.challis@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

PART I - RECOMMENDATIONS - NIL

PART II - MINUTES

56.

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)             after notifying the Chair at the start of the meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were no Reserve Members in attendance at this meeting.

57.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of personal or prejudicial interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from all Members present.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were no declarations of interest made by Members in relation to the business transacted at this meeting.

58.

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 the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That (1) all items be considered with the press and public present; and,

 

(2) in accordance with the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, the following agenda items be admitted late to the agenda by virtue of special circumstances and urgency detailed below:-

 

Agenda Item

Reason

 

5.(d)    Advice from the Director of Corporate Governance

 

 

The Chair had requested that the Sub-Committee receive procedural advice from the Director of Corporate Governance.

 

6.        Call-in of Environment and Transport Portfolio Holder Decision:  Roxeth Green Avenue, South Harrow

A valid call-in notice for this decision was only received after the issue of the main agenda.  Members are requested to consider this item, in order to meet the timescale for consideration of called-in decisions as set out in Overview and Scrutiny Rule 22.6.1.

59.

Minutes

That the minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2005, having been circulated, be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2005, having been circulated, be taken as read and signed as a correct record

60.

Call-in of Environment and Transport Portfolio Holder Decision: Proposed Extension of Stanmore Controlled Parking Zone - Objections and Re-Consultation Results including Howberry Road and Howberry Close pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee considered a decision of the Environment and Transport Portfolio Holder dated 13 October 2005, which determined that the Council would implement a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) incorporating a residents’ parking scheme in Howberry Road between Cloyster Wood and Wychwood Avenue including Howberry Close, as described in paragraph (4) of the published decision notice.  Members received the notice invoking the call-in procedure, the record of the Portfolio Holder’s decision, the documentation sent to the Portfolio Holder to inform his decision, and a tabled statement from the Portfolio Holder, who was unable to attend the meeting.  A procedural note provided by the Director of Corporate Governance was also tabled at the meeting. 

 

The Director of Corporate Governance advised the Sub-Committee that a decision related to the same issue had previously been called-in and therefore Members needed to determine the validity of the call-in.  He described the provision in Rule 22.1 of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules stating that a decision may only be subject to the call-in procedure once, and advised that the Sub-Committee needed to decide whether this was the same decision as that considered by the Sub-Committee on 11 January 2005.    While the two decisions were not worded identically, it was his view that this was the same decision.  He advised that a narrow interpretation of the rule, allowing decisions to be called-in on more than one occasion unless they were identical, could enable a Call-In Sub-Committee to disrupt the business of the Executive.  He stated that while the notice of the Portfolio Holder’s decision sent to Members stated that call-in did apply, this did not mean that Rule 22.1 was inapplicable as it was for Members to decide whether the decision was the same.   

 

Following questions from Members, the Director of Corporate Governance stated that it was for the Sub-Committee to decide whether the additional consultation that had taken place regarding the Controlled Parking Zone after it was considered on 11 January meant that this was now a separate decision.  He also stated that the Constitution Working Party could consider this issue at its December meeting.

 

The Sub-Committee decided to consider the call-in on this occasion, and agreed that Officers and the Constitutional Working Party seek means of clarifying whether two decisions should be regarded as the same in these circumstances.

 

The decision had been called-in on three grounds: the absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision, the action was not proportionate to the desired outcome, and a potential human rights challenge.

 

The Sub-Committee having decided that the call-in was valid, the Chair asked an officer to explain how the decision was taken.  The officer stated that consultation had been carried out asking residents to indicate whether they preferred a residents’ parking scheme or a yellow line.  This consultation had shown that over a third of residents were in favour of a yellow line scheme.  However, a negative consequence of a yellow line scheme was that it was highly restrictive as no cars  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.

61.

Call-in of Environment and Transport Portfolio Holder Decision: Roxeth Green Avenue, South Harrow pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee considered a decision of the Environment and Transport Portfolio Holder dated 13 October 2005, which determined that the Council would implement a congestion relief scheme in Roxeth Green Avenue, as described in Appendix D of the published officer report.  Members received the notice invoking the call-in procedure, the record of the Portfolio Holder’s decision, the documentation sent to the Portfolio Holder to inform his decision, and a tabled statement from the Portfolio Holder, who was unable to attend the meeting.

 

The decision had been called-in on three grounds: the absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision, the action was not proportionate to the desired outcome, and a potential human rights challenge.

 

The Chair asked an officer to explain how the decision was taken.  The officer stated that the objective of the scheme was to reduce traffic congestion in Roxeth Green Avenue following concerns raised by members of the public through both a MORI poll and a public meeting held as part of the New Harrow Project.  The design process for the project had included a local consultation exercise and the public exhibition of drawings.  Following the receipt of public comments, the design process had continued with officers noting these comments.  There had then been a second public consultation on the refined scheme and the additional proposals.  Throughout the process it had been agreed that the scheme was necessary and no significant adverse comment had been received. The officer added that the design process was complex and the report sent to the Portfolio Holder contained only what was necessary to enable the Portfolio Holder to take an informed decision.

 

The Chair asked a Member representing the signatories to the call-in to explain the reasons for the call-in.  In response, she stated that other traffic measures in South Harrow had increased congestion and led to increased speeds as cars accelerated on leaving them.  She added that the building out of junctions would reduce the width of already narrow roads without assisting pedestrians.  The scheme also included the planting of new trees, which could impinge visibility, and a new cycle lane which had the potential to be used by cars to increase speed.  The Member had had input into the scheme, having been included in the second round of consultation in her capacity as a Ward Councillor, but felt that there was a lack of evidence in the report to the Portfolio Holder to support the conclusions reached as it did not address the potential negative impact on safety of some parts of the scheme.

 

An officer responded by stating that many of the features in the scheme were widely used and the Portfolio Holder would not have needed detailed descriptions.  Engineers had decided what details were necessary for the Portfolio Holder to make an informed decision.  The building out of junctions was a very common feature of traffic schemes and did not lead to the narrowing of side roads.  The scheme was intended to achieve a balance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Guidance on Issues Arising at the Meeting

Which the Chair has decided is urgent and cannot otherwise be dealt with.

Minutes:

Further to this having been raised as an item of other business, a Member noted that the Portfolio Holder was not present at the meeting due to other commitments but stated that it would assist the Sub-Committee in reaching a decision if Members were able to question the Portfolio Holder directly.  He requested that the Director of Legal Services provide some guidance on Portfolio Holder attendance at Call-in Sub-Committee meetings.

 

Clarification was also sought on the routing of Portfolio Holder decisions relating to traffic schemes, and specifically whether Ward Councillors and Nominated Members of the Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Panel (TARSAP) could request that such matters be considered by TARSAP prior to referral to the Portfolio Holder for decision.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Director of Legal Services be requested to provide the Call?In Sub?Committee with guidance to clarify the issues outlined above.