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Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Rooms 1&2, Harrow Civic Centre

Contact: Michelle Fernandes, Committee Administrator  Tel: 020 8424 1542 E-mail:  michelle.fernandes@harrow.gov.uk

Items
Note No. Item

PART I - RECOMMENDATIONS - NIL

PART II - MINUTES

15.

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 Member:-

 

Ordinary Member

 

Reserve Member

 

Councillor Mark Versallion

Councillor Jeremy Zeid

16.

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 Committee, Sub Committee, Panel or Forum;

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that the following interests were declared:

 

Agenda Item

 

 

Member

Nature of Interest

5.      Call-in of the Decision of the Cabinet Meeting on 14 December 2006:  Key Decision - Outcome of Statutory Consultations on Three Particular Community Care Services (Decision relating to Wiseworks)

 

 

Councillor Ms Nana Asante

The Member, who was not a Member of the Sub?Committee, declared a personal interest arising from her involvement with A Connexion which had been involved with the Independent Steering Group campaigning for Wiseworks.  The Member would remain in the room and take part in the discussion on this item.

 

5.      Call-in of the Decision of the Cabinet Meeting on 14 December 2006:  Key Decision - Outcome of Statutory Consultations on Three Particular Community Care Services (Decision Relating Home Care Charges)

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Councillor Miss

Christine Bednell

The Member, who was not a Member of the Sub?Committee, declared an historical personal interest arising from a relative having been in receipt of social service payments which ceased in 2005.  The Member would remain in the room and take part in the discussion and decision-making on this item.

 

 

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Councillor

Anthony Seymour

The Member declared an historical personal interest arising from a relative having been in receipt of Home Care Service, which had ceased in 2004.  The Member would remain in the room and take part in the discussion and decision-making on this item.

17.

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 (as amended).

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That (1) in accordance with the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, the meeting be called with less than 5 clear working days’ notice by virtue of the special circumstances and grounds for urgency stated below:-

 

Special Circumstances/Grounds for Urgency:  Under Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 22, a meeting of the Call-in Sub-Committee must be held within 7 clear working days of the receipt of a request for call-in.  This meeting therefore had to be arranged at short notice and it was not possible for the agenda to be published 5 clear working days prior to the meeting.

 

(2)  all business be considered with the press and public present, with the exception of the following item, for the reason set out below:-

 

Item

 

Reason

6.             Land at Gayton Road

 

The report contained exempt information under paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) in that it contained information in relation to the financial or business affairs of a particular person (including the authority holding that information). 

18.

Minutes

That the minutes of the meetings held on 22 August and 17 October 2006 be taken as read and signed as correct records.

 

[Note:  The minutes of the above meetings are published on the Council's intranet and website].

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That (1) the minutes of the meeting held on 22 August 2006 be taken as read and signed as a correct record; and

 

(2)  the minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2006 be deferred until printed in the Council Bound Minute Volume.

Enc.

19.

Call-in of the Decision of the Cabinet Meeting on 14 December 2006: Key Decision - Outcome of Statutory Consultations on Three Particular Community Care Services

The following items relating to both the call-ins below are attached:-

·        Report of the Director of Adult Community Care Services

·        Extract from the Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 14 August 2006

Enc.

19a

Decision relating to Home Care Charges

Notice Invoking the Call-in.

Minutes:

At its meeting on 14 December 2006, the Cabinet had received a report of the Director of Adult Community Care, which summarised the feedback from public consultation on the proposed merger of Anmer Lodge and Milmans Day Centres, changes to Home Care charges, the re-provision of services currently provided by Wiseworks and Direct Payments.

 

In relation to Home Care charges, Cabinet had resolved to reduce the level of subsidy, increase the hourly rate and increase the new level cap to £250.  A call?in notice was subsequently received, calling in the decision and this decision had therefore been referred to the Call-in Sub-Committee for consideration under the call?in procedure.  The decision had been called in on the grounds that the action was not proportionate to the desired outcome.

 

The Sub-Committee received the Cabinet report of 14 December 2006, the relevant extract from the Cabinet minutes, and the Call?in notice.

 

Responding to the issues raised in the call-in notice, the Portfolio Holder for Adult Community Care Services and Issues Facing People with Special Needs made the following points:-

 

-           The decision was made to make financial savings but in the context of every other department within the Council.

 

-           The alternative was to reduce the service dramatically as opposed to increasing the charges for those that could afford it.

 

-           Every user would be individually assessed. If they refused the assessment then they would be supplied with a list of locally approved and registered service providers.  Those assessed would pay only if they had sufficient funds.

 

-           The Authority had a statutory duty to respond to eligible needs.

 

-           The decision was not disproportionate.

 

A Member representing the signatories to the Call-in notice commented as follows:-

 

-           The reduction of the home care subsidy hourly rate should have been made in steady increments and was unbalanced against the most vulnerable.

                      

-           Although other boroughs’ rates were higher, the fee could have been recouped by renegotiating contracts.

 

-           The hourly increase would affect service users and damage the service.

 

-           The new cap level of £250 for the maximum assessed was not sustainable.

 

-           Users of the service would be forced to use up their savings and either reduce their take up of their service or withdraw from it, thereby placing them at risk.

 

-           Once users had used up an element of their savings, the Authority would have to subsidise their care package, which was considered to be a false economy.

 

-           The decision needed to be reconsidered.

 

-           How many service users had savings of £21,000 and what system users would use to notify the department that their funds had depleted to £21,000?

 

The Director of Adult Community Care Services responded as follows:-

 

-           Assessments had not yet been carried out due to the call-in received;.

 

-           The number of services users with levels of savings of £21,000 would be provided, once assessments had been carried out.

 

-           It was the responsibility of service users and domiciliary care  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19a

Enc.

19b

Decision relating to the Proposed Re-provision of Services Currently at Wiseworks

Notice Invoking the Call-in.

Minutes:

In relation to the re-provision of services currently provided by Wiseworks, Cabinet had resolved to merge the services of Wiseworks and the Bridge Day Centre, and to relocate them to the Bridge.  A call?in notice had subsequently been received, calling in the decision and the decision had therefore been referred to the Call?In Sub?Committee for consideration under the call-in procedure.

 

The decision in relation to Wiseworks had been called in on the following grounds:

 

·         inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision;

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

·         the action was not proportionate to the desired outcome;

·         potential Human Rights Challenge.

 

The Sub-Committee received the report to Cabinet, documents setting out the Cabinet’s Code of Practice on Consultation, a response by Ann Freeman, co?ordinator of Harrow Rethink to the Cabinet report of 14 December 2006, an extract of the commissioning framework, the relevant extract from the Cabinet minutes, and the Call?in notice.

 

At the meeting, Maurice Hoffman, Chair of the Patient and Public Involvement Forum for the Central and North West London (CNWL) Mental Health Trust, together with Ann Freeman were given 10 minutes to make a statement.  In reading out their statements, the following points were made.

 

·                     The consultation was flawed:

 

-             Whilst no decision had been made of the future of Wiseworks at Cabinet on 14 December 2006, the consultation did not offer the continuation of Wiseworks as an option.

 

-             The consultation did not follow the locally agreed Harrow Compact and the Government’s Cabinet Offices Code of Practice on Consultation.

 

·                     Information had been requested from Councilor Janet Mote by the Forum, the information had not been provided.

 

·                     Any changes in service offered to CNWL would impact the users, their carers and also Harrow’s Adult Mental Health Services provided by CNWL.

 

·                     The Council had failed to honour its duty of care.

 

·                     Consultation had not taken place with users of the Bridge Day Centre.

 

·                     Inaccurate information such as key facts and figures supplied at Appendix 1 to the Cabinet report of 14 December 2006 had been published on the Council’s website

 

·                     Wiseworks appeared on the Cabinet supplemental agenda a few days prior to the meeting, which had made it difficult to prepare a deputation within the deadline specified.

 

In response, the Portfolio Holder for Adult Community Care Services and Issues facing People with Special Needs made the following points:

 

·                     In relation to the call-in on the grounds of inadequate consultation:

 

-             Full formal consultation had been undertaken.

 

-             The Government’s Cabinet Offices Code of Practice on Consultation guidance was followed on consultation.

 

-             Cabinet had made an additional recommendation “alternative arrangements put forward by MIND in Harrow/Harrow User Group and Harrow Rethink be considered for future services should resources become available to expand the services beyond the core statutory functions of the local authority” which endorsed feedback and proposals suggested by MIND and Rethink.

 

-             The consultation followed the locally agreed Harrow Compact and the Government’s Cabinet Offices  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19b

Enc.

20.

Call-in of the Decision of the Cabinet Meeting held on 14 December 2006: Key Decision - Land at Gayton Road

The following items are attached:

·        Notice Invoking the Call-in

·        Extract from the Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 14 December 2006

Minutes:

At its meeting on 14 December 2006, the Cabinet had received a confidential report of the Director of Planning Services, which outlined proposals for a development at Gayton Road.

 

Cabinet had resolved, in principle, to dispose of the land at Gayton Road to Fairview Homes in order to facilitate the provision of a library/performing arts exhibition centre and replacement car park and that officers be authorised to negotiate terms.  A call?in notice was subsequently received, calling in the decision and this decision had therefore been referred to the Call?In Sub?Committee for consideration under the call-in procedure.

 

The Decision had been called in on the following grounds:-

 

·         inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision;

·         the absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision; and

·         insufficient consideration of financial and legal advice.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Planning, Development and Enterprise made the following statement in relation to the various grounds for call?in.

 

·                     Inadequate consultation:

 

-             The site had been identified for redevelopment and discussed at the Town Centre Project Panel and Harrow Town Centre Project Panel (HTCPP).

 

-             A feasibility study had been approved at the HTCPP in July 2004, which in principle was aimed at meeting identified development needs as set out in cultural and leisure strategies.

 

-             The developers needed to know that the Authority was serious about the development before they were prepared to put more resources into developing their proposals.

 

·                     The absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision:

 

-             The feasibility study was the initial stage of the project.

 

-             The feasibility study had been completed and it had been confirmed that the development would significantly improve the town centre and cultural provision which would benefit the Borough as a whole.

 

·                     Insufficient consideration of financial and legal advice:

 

-             The advice presented by Cabinet included a detailed report from well-known reputable consultants.

 

-             The report had been cleared by the Monitoring Officer and the Chief Financial Officer.

 

Members representing the signatories to the Call-in notice expressed the following points.

 

·                     Inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision:

 

-             The grounds for consultation were flawed.

 

-             The HTCPP had had no opportunity to give their views.

 

-             The HTCPP meeting on 12 December 2006 had been cancelled due to lack of substantive business.  The proposed development was significant and this meeting would have been the ideal opportunity to discuss this matter.

 

-             The local development framework should have been considered at the HTCPP first.

 

-             The Authority had not considered the significant revenue costs.

 

-             The scope of the project had not been thought through carefully and could result in a legal challenge.

 

The Director of Planning Services referred Members to the report and advised as follows.

 

-             In relation to the library and car park, negotiations between the developer and the Authority would need to consider an agreed specification and final costs.

 

-             Revenue costs associated with a business plan would need to be considered by officers.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Extension of Meeting

Minutes:

In accordance with the provisions of Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 6.6(ii)(b), it was

 

RESOLVED:  (1)  At 9.55 pm to continue until 10.30 pm;

 

(2)  at 10.25 pm to continue until 11.00 pm;

 

(3)  at 10.59 pm to continue until 11.15 pm;

 

(4)  at 11.14 pm to continue until 11.20 pm;

 

(5)  at 11.19 pm to continue until 11.30 pm.