Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2, 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

45.

Appointment of Chairman

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That Councillor Jerry Miles be appointed Chairman for the duration of the meeting.

46.

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 Paul Osborn

Councillor Chris Mote

Councillor Sue Anderson

Councillor Graham Henson

 

47.

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:  To note that the following interests were declared:

 

Agenda Item 7 – Call-In of Cabinet decision (18 July 2013):  Concessionary Travel – Changes to the Taxicard Scheme

 

Councillor Chris Mote declared a non-pecuniary interest in that his brother was a blue badge holder.  He would remain in the room whilst the matter was considered and voted upon.

 

Councillor Thaya Idaikkaddar declared a non-pecuniary interest in that his mother was disabled.  He would remain in the room whilst the matter was considered and voted upon.

 

Councillor David Gawn declared a non-pecuniary interest in that he was a blue badge holder.

RESOLVED ITEMS

48.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

To consider the appointment of a Vice-Chairman to the Sub-Committee for the Municipal Year 2013/14

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To appoint Councillor Jerry Miles as Vice-Chairman of the Call?In Sub-Committee for the 2013/2014 Municipal Year.

49.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 105 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 29 April 2013 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 29 April 2013 be taken as read and signed as a correct record, subject to the following amendment: page 2, paragraph 1, ‘Kingsbury School’ should read ‘Kingsley High School’.

Enc.

50.

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

Minutes:

The Chairman outlined the procedure to be followed at the meeting and advised the Sub-Committee on the requirement to cite the grounds for call-in, and the options open to the Sub-Committee following consideration of the call-in.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Call-In on the Cabinet decision on ‘Concessionary Travel - Changes to the Taxicard Scheme’ would be determined on the basis of the following ground:

 

d)                 the action is not proportionate to the desired outcome.

51.

Call-In of Cabinet Decision (18 July 2013) - Transformation of Day Opportunities in Harrow pdf icon PDF 48 KB

The following documents are attached:-

 

a)     Notice invoking the Call-in

 

b)     Draft Minute Extract of the Cabinet meeting held on 18 July 2013

 

c)      Report submitted to Cabinet on 18 July 2013

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman informed the Sub-Committee that a call-in notice had been received, signed by over 150 members of the public, in respect of the Cabinet decision taken on 18 July 2013, on ‘Transformation of Day Opportunities’.  However, official notice had since been received from the lead signatory that the call-in notice should be withdrawn, and there was, therefore, no business to consider under this item.

 

RESOLVED:  That the withdrawal of the call-in notice on the Cabinet decision on ‘Transformation of Day Opportunities’ be noted.

52.

Call-in of Cabinet Decision (18 July 2013) - Concessionary Travel - Changes to the Taxicard Scheme pdf icon PDF 53 KB

The following documents are attached:-

 

a)     Notice invoking the Call-in

 

b)     Draft Minute Extract of the Cabinet meeting held on 18 July 2013

 

c)      Report submitted to Cabinet on 18 July 2013

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee received papers in respect of a call-in notice submitted by over 150 members of the public.

 

The Chairman invited the representative of the signatories, Ms Angela Dias, to present the reasons for the call-in of the decision to the Sub-Committee.

 

Ms Dias explained that the action was disproportionate in that it would have an enormous impact on some lives, and particularly for those with complex needs who were unable to use public transport, regardless of discounts and passes available to them.  For people without family and friends to assist and support them it would mean the difference between being totally housebound and isolated, and being able to socialise and partake in ‘normal’ activities enjoyed by people without disabilities.  She also believed there was a potential human rights challenge, in that the right to participate in community life would be compromised.

 

She added that disabled people were already suffering cuts in services and benefits, and that this action compounded the hardship and distress being experienced by a vulnerable sector of the community.  Changes to the scheme would achieve minimal savings but at great cost to the quality of life of disabled people. 

 

Avril Coombs and Maureen McGrath made additional points:

 

·                     disabled people, often on low incomes, have higher expenses in carrying out normal activities;

 

·                     40 trips amounts to 20 trips in total as each outing will require a return journey;

 

·                     disabled people are already seriously disadvantaged in their lives and support should not be reduced.

 

Councillor Idaikkadar stated that while he was deeply sympathetic to the needs of service users, it was imperative to balance the Council’s budget.   He added that he had experience of disability in his own family and understood the impact the decision would have, but savings in this area were preferable to cuts in other services.  In reviewing the service, Cabinet had looked at practice in other boroughs and had decided to remove the subsidy, rather than lose the service altogether.  They had also analysed the available data, which demonstrated that 15% of scheme users would be adversely impacted, as not all users exceeded the proposed allowance.  He acknowledged that the service could be improved, and had asked officers to meet with London Councils to discuss this.  He was happy to liaise with Harrow Association of Disabled People (HAD) to look at issues raised.

 

He noted that disabled residents had recourse to other support, such as personal budgets, in managing their needs.  He commented that Cabinet had included transitional arrangements in their decision, and while they had taken no comfort in deciding on these changes, it was the right decision at this time.

 

Members discussed the points raised, and requested clarification on the following points:

 

·                     were there alternative income streams (e.g. interest on the underspend) which could fund the shortfall?;

 

·                     if alternative methods of transport were available for scheme members, how were these publicised and promoted?.

 

Members noted that interest accruing from an underspend would be available only in the short term and was not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.