Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Rooms 1&2, Harrow Civic Centre

Contact: Claire Vincent, Democratic Services Manager  Tel: 020 8424 1637 E-mail:  claire.vincent@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

PART I - RECOMMENDATIONS - NIL

PART II - MINUTES

22.

Appointment of Chairman

To note the appointment, at the Special meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 12 July 2007, of Councillor Anthony Seymour as Chairman of the Committee for the Municipal Year 2007/2008.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note the appointment, at the Special meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 12 July 2007, of Councillor Anthony Seymour as Chairman of the Committee for the Municipal Year 2007/2008.

23.

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 Members:-

 

Ordinary Member

 

Reserve Member

 

Councillor Mitzi Green

Councillor Jerry Miles

Councillor Mark Versallion

Councillor Jeremy Zeid

24.

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 7:  Call-in of the Decision of the Special Cabinet Meeting on 25 July 2007:  Key Decision – Outcome of Spring 2007 Statutory Consultations on Community Care Services – Fair Access to Care Services

 

(i)                   Councillor Chris Mote declared a prejudicial interest in the above item arising from the fact that he was an Executive Member and had taken part in preparations for the decision.  Accordingly he would remain in the room only for the purpose of making representations, answering questions or giving evidence relating to the item.  He further declared a personal interest arising from a relative having been in receipt of social care.

 

(ii)                 Councillors Paul Osborn and Eric Silver declared a prejudicial interest in the above item arising from the fact that they were Executive Members and had taken part in the decision making on this item.  Accordingly they would remain in the room only for the purpose of making representations, answering questions or giving evidence relating to the item.

 

(iii)                Councillor Anthony Seymour declared a historical personal interest in the above item 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.

25.

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.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That (1) in accordance with the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, this 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 22.6, 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 other items be considered with the press and public, with the exception that, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting whilst legal advice is given to the Sub?Committee, on the grounds that it was thought likely that there would be disclosure of exempt information under paragraph 5 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act, in that there would be disclosure of information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.

26.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

To appoint a Vice-Chairman of the Sub-Committee for the Municipal Year 2007/2008.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To appoint Councillor Mitzi Green as Vice-Chairman of the Sub-Committee for the Municipal Year 2007/2008.

27.

Minutes

That the minutes of the meetings held on 17 October 2006 and 8 January 2007 be taken as read and signed as correct records.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meetings held on 17 October 2006 and 8 January 2007 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

28.

Call-in of the Decision of the Special Cabinet Meeting on 25 July 2007: Key Decision - Outcome of Spring 2007 Statutory Consultations on Community Care Services - Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) pdf icon PDF 290 KB

The following documents are attached:-

 

(a)               Notice Invoking the Call-in

(b)               Extract from the Minutes of the Special Cabinet meeting held on 25 July 2007

(c)               Report submitted to the Special Cabinet meeting held on 25 July 2007

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a decision taken by Cabinet at the Special Cabinet meeting on 25 July 2007 to proceed with the proposal to meet only needs that fell within the ‘Critical’ FACS band and that the proposed actions to mitigate this be agreed.  A call?in notice had been received, which was signed by 597 members of the public. These were checked against the electoral register to satisfy the call-in requirements. The Sub?Committee received the notice invoking the call?in procedure, the relevant minute of the Cabinet meeting and the documentation submitted to Cabinet to inform their decision.

 

The decision had been called-in on all six grounds:

 

·                    inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision;

 

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

 

·                    the decision was contrary to the policy framework of the Council;

 

·                    the action was not proportionate to the desired outcome;

 

·                    a potential human rights challenge;

 

·                    insufficient consideration of legal and financial advice.

 

Deven Pillay, a member of the public representing the signatories to the call?in notice, put the case for the call?in.  He presented a file providing further evidence to the call?in notice, which, after legal consultation, was submitted to the Sub?Committee and the Executive Members defending the decision.  Mr Pillay stated that, whilst the Council maintained that no decision had been taken prior to the Special Cabinet meeting on 25 July 2007, he was of the opinion that it had been implemented prior to the meeting.  The draft consultation, which was held with representatives of community organisations, included two options, but only one option had been included in the report submitted to the Cabinet meeting.  He further stated that assessments had been made prior to the Cabinet decision and that the experiences of carers and families had not been taken into consideration.

 

Mr Pillay expressed the view that the consultation was not genuine, because the decision was about making cuts, not containing costs.  To illustrate this, Mr Pillay read out statements from patients whose care services had been cut.  He stated that there were four legal precedents with regards to lawful consultation processes and urged the Council to take these into consideration.  He further stated that the two consultation documents, one on FACS and the other on Day Centre Charges, which were sent out simultaneously, looked similar and had confused people, which subsequently impacted on the outcome of the consultation process.  Mr Pillay drew attention to an extract from the impact assessment in the FACS report which acknowledged it would be difficult to accurately predict how many people would be affected by the decision and that the report failed to take into consideration the impact on carers’ lives who feared they now would be unable to provide the same level of care.

 

In conclusion, Mr Pillay stated that the purpose of a FACS policy was to promote individual living, but that at present patients were subjected to harm, abuse and neglect.  He added that the Department of Health FACS  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Extension and Termination of the Meeting

Minutes:

In accordance with the provision 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 10.27 pm to continue until 11.00 pm;

 

(3)  at 10.55 pm to continue until 11.15 pm.