Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Una Sullivan, Democratic & Electoral Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1785 E-mail:  una.sullivan@harrow.gov.uk

Items
Note No. Item

28.

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 of the following duly constituted Reserve Members:

 

Ordinary Member

 

Reserve Member

Councillor Sue Anderson

Councillor Nana Asante

Councillor Paul Osborn

Councillor Tony Ferrari

 

29.

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 Sub-Committee;

(b)               all other Members present.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:   That the following interests were declared:

 

Item 5 – Call-In of Cabinet decision (22 November 2012)

Whitchurch Playing Fields

 

Councillor Nana Asante declared a non-pecuniary interest in that she was a member of Stanmore Baptist Church, which was an organisation likely to be affected by the outcome of the decision.  She would remain in the room while the matter was considered and voted upon.

 

Councillor Tony Ferrari declared a non-pecuniary interest in that he had been a Member of Cabinet when the matter had first been taken forward for decision.  He would remain in the room while the matter was considered and voted upon.

RESOLVED ITEMS

30.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 89 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 1 October 2012 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 1 October 2012 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Enc.

31.

Protocol for the Operation of the Call-In Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Minutes:

The Chair drew attention to the document ‘Protocol for the Operation of the Call-In Sub-Committee and outlined the procedure to be followed at the meeting.  He explained that, in accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 46.5, a notice seeking to invoke the call-in procedure must state at least one of the following grounds in support of the request for a call-in of the decision:-

 

(a)               inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision;

 

(b)               the absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision;

 

(c)               the decision is contrary to the policy framework, or contrary to, or not wholly in accordance with the budget framework;

 

(d)               the action is not proportionate to the desired outcome;

 

(e)               a potential human rights challenge;

 

(f)                 insufficient consideration of legal and financial advice.

 

He informed the Sub-Committee that grounds (a), (b) and (f) had been cited and had been deemed to be valid for the purposes of Call-In.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Call-In would be determined on the basis of the following grounds:

 

(a)               inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision;

 

(b)               the absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision;

 

(f)                 insufficient consideration of legal and financial advice.

32.

Call-In of Cabinet Decision (22 November 2012) - Whitchurch Playing Fields pdf icon PDF 80 KB

The following documents are attached:-

 

a)      Notice invoking the Call-In;

 

b)      Extract from the Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 22 November;

 

c)      Extract from the Public Questions at the Cabinet meeting held on 22 November;

 

d)      Extract from the Councillor Questions at the Cabinet meeting held on 22 November;

 

e)      Report submitted to Cabinet on 22 November.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee received papers in respect of a call-in notice, served by nine Members of the Council, and accepted background papers on a supplemental agenda, which had previously been circulated to all Members of the Council.

 

The Chairman invited the Member representative of the Councillor signatories to present their reasons for call-in to the Committee.

 

A Member asked for clarification on a point of order concerning the presence of Cabinet Members, and was advised that this was permitted.

 

The Member representative addressed each of the grounds for call-in separately.

 

Ground a) – inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision 

 

The Member representative outlined the following issues, and asked for clarification on the points raised:

 

·                     the vast majority of residents living adjacent to the proposed development had not been consulted with by the Council;

 

·                     consultation was being undertaken by the developer, who had a vested interest in the outcomes and could not be considered to be independent;

 

·                     consultation by the developer was largely a box-ticking exercise by the consortium, which did not promote active engagement with residents and stakeholders;

 

·                     a consultation event held last March had been poorly organised and run, and this was a view held by Members across parties;

 

·                     the Corporate Director of Place Shaping had not responded to enquiries or correspondence from residents and resident organisations in a timely fashion.

 

He asked whether the pastor of Stanmore Baptist Church was supportive of the proposal and concluded that the Council could not demonstrate that it had properly consulted with residents and key stakeholders.

 

Ground b) – the absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision

 

The Member representative reminded the Sub-Committee that the proposals had first come to Cabinet for decision in 2008, but had been deferred.  The original lease had been set at 30 years, but the proposal now was for a 99 year lease, which represented an entirely new business proposition.  He asked why officers had seen fit to ‘dust down a proposal from the archive’, and why, in view of the material difference in terms, a re-tendering exercise had not been considered.  This change in terms was likely to have broader or greater appeal to potential developers, and could have secured greater financial benefit to the Council.  He asked if the Council was conducting itself correctly in failing to do so.

 

Ground f) – insufficient consideration of legal and financial advice

 

The Member representative queried whether a contract did in fact exist, as the sum payable was defined as ‘a peppercorn’.  He also asked if schools could continue to avail of the planned facilities if they converted to academies.  Finally, he stated that an application had been made to register the site as an ‘open space’, and asked if this would affect the proposed development.

 

He noted that, at the 22 November Cabinet meeting, only the Leader had received legal advice during consideration of the item prior to decision, which had not been made available to remaining members of Cabinet, verbally or in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.