Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive
Monday 15 July 2013 7.00 pm

Venue: Boardroom - Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ. View directions

Contact: Anne Reid, Principal Democratic Services Officer  020 8937 1359, Email: anne.reid@brent.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of personal and prejudicial interests

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, any relevant financial or other interest in the items on this agenda.

Minutes:

None made.

2.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:-

 

that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 17 June 2013 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting.

3.

Matters arising

Minutes:

None.

4.

Petition - event day parking - Tokyngton area

We the undersigned object to the proposed amendment to event day controls permit system in the Tokyngton area reference T0/12/190/EAM.

Minutes:

With the consent of the Executive, Mr Johnson and Mrs Keeley, residents from the Tokyngton area, addressed the Executive on the report from the Strategic Director, Environment and Neighbourhoods regarding the outcome of statutory consultation on proposed changes to parking tariffs, charges and permits. Mr Johnson sought clarification on the arrangements outside of event days and questioned whether there were plans to extend controlled parking in the Wembley area. Mrs Keeley reminded the Executive that when arrangements for the new Stadium had been considered, residents had been assured that there would be little road traffic generated by Stadium events but now instead traveling by car was being encouraged, inconveniencing local residents.

 

Councillor J Moher (Lead Member, Highways and Transportation) advised that visitor permits under the Wembley Stadium Protective Parking Scheme now allowed parking all day instead of the previous four hours and he was pleased to highlight the reduction in visitors’ charges to 50 pence for the day. He assured that there were no plans for new controlled parking zones in the borough. Councillor Butt (Chair, Leader of the Council) assured that the changes were primarily designed to clarify the system and to reduce costs.

5.

Deputation - statutory consultation on proposed changes to parking tariffs, charges and permits

Minutes:

Mr Robert Dunwell (Barn Hill Residents Association 2004) addressed the Executive in respect of the report from the Strategic Director of Environment and Neighbourhoods which summarised the representations received from the statutory consultation process in relation to proposed changes to parking tariffs.  He reminded the Executive of past promises that residents’ first parking permits would be free and that charges would be levied for additional permits. However, Mr Dunwell commended the council for making what he considered to be a bold step of reducing the cost of short stay on-street parking charges to 20p for 15 minutes which he felt would help regeneration but drew attention to the permit charges paid by residents who moved house or changed their cars. Additionally, residents were also now required to reapply every two/three years. Mr Dunwell welcomed the decision to charge only 50 pence per day for Wembley Stadium Protective Parking Scheme visitor permits but still put forward the view that residents’ parking should be free.

 

The Lead Member (Highways and Transportation) Councillor J Moher stated that much had changed since parking charges were first introduced in 2003, not least of which was the significant reductions in central government funding. He added that an additional reason for the reforms was to address the large scale misuse of parking permits. Finally, the council would be keeping the issue of Event Day parking under review.

6.

Outcomes from consultation for parking charge changes and permit changes pdf icon PDF 284 KB

This report summarises the representations received from the statutory consultation process in relation to proposed changes for parking short stay on-street tariffs, permits, incentives for cashless parking and makes recommendations in relation to the issues arising.

Decision:

(i)         that the petition and representations received in relation to the notices of proposals dated 9 May 2013 and summarised in section 4 and Appendix A of the report from the Strategic Director of Environment and Neighbourhood be noted;

(ii)        that approval be given to the retention of longstanding day-long visitor parking duration, from the four hours agreed by the Executive on 12 September 2012, as described in paragraph 4.3 of the report;

(iii)       that approval be given a new visitor parking price tariff as described in paragraph 4.3.5 of the Directors;

(iv)       that approval be given to the extension of the validity of a Wembley Stadium Protective Parking Scheme residents’ permit and Brentfield Road zone T from the two years agreed by the Executive on 12 September 2012 to three years, as described in section 4.4 and 4.7.2 of the report;

(v)        that approval be given to the extension of the maximum duration of virtual visitor passes in the Wembley Stadium Protective Parking Scheme from the four hours agreed by the Executive on 12 September 2012 to one calendar day, as described in section 4.5 of this report;

(vi)       that approval be given to the extension of the maximum duration of virtual visitor passes in the Brentfield Road zone T from the four hours agreed by the Executive on 12 September 2012 to 24 hours, as described in section 4.7.2 of the report;

(vii)      that approval be given to the tariff for virtual visitor passes in the Wembley Stadium Protective Parking Scheme and Brentfield Road zone T from the £1 agreed by the Executive on 12 September 2012 to 50p and to continue the longstanding limit of two visitor simultaneous parking passes per household, as described in section 4.5 and 4.7 of the report;

(viii)     that approval be given to the arrangements for exchanging unused scratch-cards and for easing enforcement in the period immediately after 31 October 2013, when they will become invalid as set out in section 5 of this report, including granting delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Environment and Neighbourhoods as regards the detailed arrangements for timing and implementation;

(ix)       that authority be delegated to the Strategic Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services to establish and implement temporary mitigation measures for carers of people that would be eligible for the new cared-for persons’ permit, until such time as that permit is formally launched as set out in paragraph 5.13 of the report;

(x)        that the remaining parking tariffs and pricing and product changes agreed by the Executive on 19 September 2012 be implemented where they are unaffected by the representations made and considered within the report.

Minutes:

The report from the Strategic Director, Environment and Neighbourhoods summarised the representations received from the statutory consultation process in relation to proposed changes to parking short stay on-street tariffs, permits and incentives for cashless parking. The report recommended several changes in response to the issues and concerns that had been raised, including new arrangements to allow unused daily visitor scratch-cards to be exchanged for electronic visitor passes and transitional enforcement arrangements in respect of scratch-cards that were mistakenly used after they ceased to be valid on 31 October 2013. The report made no recommendation in respect of the earlier agreement to reduce on-street parking tariffs, move to a linear charging model and introduce a very low charge for parkers staying less than 15 minutes, in consequence of the absence of any adverse comments about this from the consultation process. The report also outlined issues remaining that arose from the changes agreed by the Executive on 19 September 2012, such as the new unified business permit, suspensions and dispensations and sought delegated powers in respect of a few remaining matters.

 

Councillor J Moher (Lead Member, Highways and Transportation), in introducing the report, was pleased to draw attention to the evidence that the council listened to the concerns expressed by residents over parking charges referred to in the report. No adverse comments had been submitted on the proposals to reduce parking charges and the minimal charging had been well received. Many comments had been received on the four hour visitor parking permit and it was hoped that the new day long arrangements visitor parking duration would reduce misuse as well as satisfy residents.

 

Councillor Moher made reference to the comparisons with neighbouring boroughs with which the council compared favourably. He empathised with residents who found the change from scratch cards to on-line payments challenging but people were getting used to it, many boroughs were going the same way and the option to pay by phone was being preserved. The scratch card system would run in parallel with on-line and a scheme offering incentives to exchange previously issued cards was being introduced in late summer.

 

Ward councillors present at the meeting, while welcoming the reduction in parking charges, expressed concern over the operation of the telephone parking service and what was reported to be a high number of complaints about delays and poor response rates. Residents had also complained of difficulties in making advance arrangements for couriers and contractors in the absence of registration number information and for those without computers.

 

Michael Read (Assistant Director, Environment and Protection) accepted that the telephone service had been poor. This was attributed to the process of changing contractors. The new provider should bring increased capacity. On prior booking, Michael Read clarified that car registrations were not required in advance. The on-line service should be working well and, with the use of a smart phone, the process should take seconds.

 

The Chair (Councillor Butt, Leader of the Council) contributed that people could, if they preferred, contact  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Annual parking report pdf icon PDF 692 KB

This report includes information about the number of civil parking enforcement related penalty charge notices issued for the period 2012/2013, the income and expenditure recorded in our ‘parking account’ and how subsequent parking surplus has been spent or allocated.

Decision:

that approval be given for publication the Parking Services Annual Report 2012/13.

Minutes:

One requirement of the Traffic Management Act 2004 was for local authorities to produce and publish an annual report on parking enforcement activities. The purpose of the report from the Strategic Director of Environment and Neighbourhoods was to explain the aims and key objectives of delivering a parking enforcement service in Brent and the key achievements and statistical analysis of the last financial year. Councillor J Moher (Lead Member, Highways and Transportation) stated that the Parking Service was committed to providing a fair, consistent and transparent enforcement operation. He referred to information about the number of civil parking enforcement related penalty charge notices issued for the period 2012/2013 but pointed to the number of penalty charge notices that had been waived. Councillor Moher acknowledged that the parking account was a sizeable source of income however it costed approximately £7,614,000 to fund the system and the surplus was transferred to pay for transportation schemes and environmental improvement. He stressed the need to ensure traffic flow and improve road safety making specific reference to school areas and cyclists.

 

Councillor Lorber (Leader of the Opposition) regretted that the report did not include any comparative data with PCN charges over previous years. He also felt that Brent’s expenditure of parking surplus on street lighting was outside of the provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1984.  Additionally, Councillor Lorber called for a review of the hours of operation which he considered to be excessive with drivers being penalised all day on empty roads and long after the events concerned have ended. He made reference to a petition to this effect due to come before the Highways Committee the following evening.

 

Councillor Moher responded that comparisons with previous years were not always possible as the data was not comparable and countered that street lighting was transport related. He acknowledged that the matter could be discussed further at the forthcoming meeting of the Highways Committee.

 

RESOLVED:

 

that approval be given for publication the Parking Services Annual Report 2012/13.

8.

Independent Fostering Agencies Framework Agreement pdf icon PDF 172 KB

This report advises Members of Brent’s participation in the procurement by the London Borough of Hillingdon of the West London Alliance Independent Fostering Agency framework. This report summarises the process undertaken in tendering this framework agreement and seeks approval to depart from the usual requirements of CSO 86(d) (ii) in relation to individual call-off contracts from the framework agreement.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(i)            that the Council’s participation in a WLA initiative, led by LB Hillingdon, to establish a framework contract for Independent Fostering Agencies be noted;

(ii)        That authority be delegated to officers to access the IFA framework and give permission to enter into an Access Agreement with the London Borough of Hillingdon to use the framework;

(iii)       That an exemption from the usual requirements of Contract Standing Order 86(d)(ii) be approved so that it is not necessary to seek advice from the Director of Legal and Procurement each and every time a call-off is proposed from the IFA framework.

Minutes:

The report from the Acting Director Children and Families advised members of Brent’s participation in the procurement by the London Borough of Hillingdon of the West London Alliance Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) framework. The report summarised the process undertaken in tendering this framework agreement and sought approval to depart from the usual requirements of contract standing orders in relation to individual call-off contracts from the framework agreement. Councillor Pavey (Lead Member, Children and Families) welcomed the report as a significant proportion of the department’s budget was spent on looked after children and care leavers purchasing placements from the private and voluntary sectors. The framework presented an opportunity to use combined purchasing power to deliver more efficient commissioning arrangements. The contract would be awarded for four years and be led by LB Hillingdon.

 

The Executive also had before them appendices to the report which was not for publication as it contained the following category of exempt information specified in Schedule 12 A of the Local Government Access to Information Act 1972, namely: “Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority)”.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)         that the council’s participation in a WLA initiative, led by LB Hillingdon, to establish a framework contract for Independent Fostering Agencies be noted;

 

(ii)        that authority be delegated to officers to access the IFA framework and give permission to enter into an Access Agreement with the London Borough of Hillingdon to use the framework;

 

(iii)       that an exemption from the usual requirements of Contract Standing Order 86(d)(ii) be approved so that it was not necessary to seek advice from the Director of Legal and Procurement each and every time a call-off is proposed from the IFA framework.

9.

Determination of the proposals to expand primary school place provision for September 2014 pdf icon PDF 147 KB

This report informs the Executive of the outcome of the statutory proposals to alter the following schools through permanent expansion from September 2014 and recommends that they be approved: Preston Park Primary School (Community) by one form of entry and Harlesden Primary School (Community) by two forms of entry.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(i)         that approval be given to the permanent expansion of Preston Park Primary School (Community) by one form of entry from September 2014, conditional upon the grant of full planning permission under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 by the end of October 2013 or other such date as agreed by the Director of Children and Families and the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Growth

(ii)        that approval be given to the permanent expansion of Harlesden Primary School (Community) by two forms of entry from September 2014, conditional upon the grant of full planning permission under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 by the end of October 2013 or other such date as agreed by the Director of Children and Families and the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Growth.

(iii)       that it be noted that the reason for approving the alteration of Preston Park Primary and Harlesden primary schools is to provide permanent primary places in areas of the borough which have severe shortages of Reception and Year 1 school places.

Minutes:

The Lead Member, Children and Families, Councillor Pavey, introduced the report which informed the Executive of the outcome of the statutory proposals to alter two schools through permanent expansion from September 2014 and recommended that they be approved, namely Preston Park Primary School (Community) by one form of entry and Harlesden Primary School (Community) by two forms of entry.  Councillor Pavey referred to current central government policy of Free Schools which he felt were not a feasible response to the current shortage of school places and stressed the need for serious efforts to be made improve schools whose Ofsted ratings were currently less than good or outstanding.

 

Councillor HB Patel (ward councillor) expressed concern at the proposals to further increase the capacity of Preston Park School. There were currently 215 primary aged pupils without a school place and he questioned how many of those were residents in his ward. In 2011, it had been estimated that an additional 450 places per school year would be required 2014/15 and hequestioned the requirement for 2013/14. Preston Park was in the midst of a residential area and he queried what assessments had been carried out on the impact on traffic.

 

Councillor Pavey responded that travel analysis could be provided and that a ward breakdown could be made available but that Preston Park had the space and the will to expand. Councillor Butt (Chair, Leader of the Council) added that funding expected from the Building Schools for the Future Programme had not been forthcoming and the council had to explore alternative options.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)         that approval be given to the permanent expansion of Preston Park Primary School (Community) by one form of entry from September 2014, conditional upon the grant of full planning permission under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 by the end of October 2013 or other such date as agreed by the Director of Children and Families and the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Growth;

 

(ii)        that approval be given to the permanent expansion of Harlesden Primary School (Community) by two forms of entry from September 2014, conditional upon the grant of full planning permission under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 by the end of October 2013 or other such date as agreed by the Director of Children and Families and the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Growth;

 

(iii)       that it be noted that the reason for approving the alteration of Preston Park Primary and Harlesden primary schools was to provide permanent primary places in areas of the borough which have severe shortages of Reception and Year 1 school places.

10.

HRA Asset Management Strategy pdf icon PDF 113 KB

As a consequence of Housing finance reform in April 2012 the Council needs to set a long-term strategy to maximise the value and performance of the housing assets which are held within its Housing Revenue Account in order to best meet its housing priorities. A draft Asset Management Strategy has been prepared. This sets out a strategic framework for maintaining and developing the Council’s housing assets.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(i)         that consultation to proceed with Council tenants and leaseholders and with the wider community on the approaches recommended in the draft Asset Management Strategy including in relation to the rent policy proposed therein and that the responses to that consultation shall be taken into account in revising the strategy with a final version to then be reported to a future meeting of the Executive for approval;

(ii)        that preparation of a programme for infill development within the HRA estate of new affordable housing proceed with the final schemes to then be subject to further approval by the Executive;

(iii)       that development of proposals for a programme of estate regeneration and redevelopment proceed through taking forward initial feasibility studies with the proposed programme then being subject to further approval by the Executive;

(iv)       that further examination be made of options to maximise affordable housing development including where appropriate through partnership arrangements and to receive a further report on recommended approaches;

(v)        that an Asset Management Plan be developed to prepare the required programmes and resources that will be required to enable the prompt implementation of the final strategy once approved;

(vi)       that expenditure from the Housing Revenue Account be authorised to undertake the above activities of up to £200,000 which will be funded by transferring uncommitted one-off resources from the HRA depreciation budget in 2013-14.

Minutes:

The report from the Director of Regeneration and Growth advised that as a consequence of housing finance reform in April 2012 the Council needed to set a long-term strategy to maximise the value and performance of the housing assets which were held within its Housing Revenue Account in order to best meet its housing priorities. The proposals set out in the draft Asset Management Strategy depended upon a continuation for existing stock of the rent policy that the Council has operated in recent years. It is also proposed that receipts arising from HRA stock disposal were ring-fenced for expenditure through the HRA on the development or acquisition of affordable housing. Councillor McLennan (Lead Member, Housing) was pleased to report that this was a good news story and the council as a landlord was trying to manage assets. A draft Asset Management Strategy set out a strategic framework for maintaining and developing the Council’s housing assets covering three main areas namely, stock investment, stock reform mindful of the need for larger houses and Development including additional affordable housing. Councillor McLennan assured that the strategy would be subject to public consultation before being finalised and considered for approval by the Executive.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)         that consultation to proceed with Council tenants and leaseholders and with the wider community on the approaches recommended in the draft Asset Management Strategy including in relation to the rent policy proposed therein and that the responses to that consultation shall be taken into account in revising the strategy with a final version to then be reported to a future meeting of the Executive for approval;

 

(ii)        that preparation of a programme for infill development within the HRA estate of new affordable housing proceed with the final schemes to then be subject to further approval by the Executive;

 

(iii)       that development of proposals for a programme of estate regeneration and redevelopment proceed through taking forward initial feasibility studies with the proposed programme then being subject to further approval by the Executive;

 

(iv)       that further examination be made of options to maximise affordable housing development including where appropriate through partnership arrangements and to receive a further report on recommended approaches;

 

(v)        that an Asset Management Plan be developed to prepare the required programmes and resources that will be required to enable the prompt implementation of the final strategy once approved;

 

(vi)       that expenditure from the Housing Revenue Account be authorised to undertake the above activities of up to £200,000 which will be funded by transferring uncommitted one-off resources from the HRA depreciation budget in 2013-14.

11.

Supply and Demand pdf icon PDF 517 KB

This report seeks Members’ approval of the lettings projections for social housing for 2013/14. It also provides an analysis of housing supply and demand issues, including performance in 2012/13 and challenges for 2013/14 onwards. A number of recommendations are made in order to manage these challenges.

Decision:

(i)         that approval be given to the lettings projections for 2013/14, as detailed in paragraph 3.3 and in Appendix C of the report from the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Growth;

(ii)        that the analysis of housing supply and demand issues, including performance in 2012/13 and challenges for 2013/14 onwards be noted;

(iii)       that approval be given to the proposed pilot of incentives for mutual exchanges for under-occupiers living in BHP accommodation, as detailed in paragraph 5 of the report;

(iv)       that approval be given to the proposed amendments made to the Allocations Scheme, as detailed in paragraph 4 of the report.

Minutes:

The report from the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Growth sought approval of the lettings projections for social housing for 2013/14. It also provided an analysis of housing supply and demand issues, including performance in 2012/13 and challenges for 2013/14 onwards. Councillor McLennan outlined the actions which the council proposed to be taken to address the housing shortage including increasing mutual exchanges and changing the residential criteria. Other challenges included changes in Local Housing Allowance and the introduction of the Benefit Cap and the Personal Independence Plan for which, the Department of Work and Pensions predicted, 40% of those currently claiming disability living allowance, would be ineligible.

 

Councillor Hirani (Lead Member, Adults and Health) commended the mutual exchange pilot welcoming the incentive approach to rehousing. Councillor Pavey concurred and paid tribute to staff who were working with and supporting clients.

 

The Executive heard from Robin Sivapalan (Brent Housing Action) who spoke against the central government initiatives, the shortage of new housing and the impending bedroom tax which would penalise people in receipt of housing benefits who had spare rooms and the reclassification of housing need.  Councillor McLennan responded that the council was open to new ideas and that the housing strategy would help house-building.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)         that approval be given to the lettings projections for 2013/14, as detailed in paragraph 3.3 and in Appendix C of the report from the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Growth;

 

(ii)        that the analysis of housing supply and demand issues, including performance in 2012/13 and challenges for 2013/14 onwards be noted;

 

(iii)       that approval be given to the proposed pilot of incentives for mutual exchanges for under-occupiers living in BHP accommodation, as detailed in paragraph 5 of the report;

 

(iv)       that approval be given to the proposed amendments made to the Allocations Scheme, as detailed in paragraph 4 of the report.

12.

School Expansion Programme - temporary primary school expansion 2013/14 and Preston Manor School pdf icon PDF 149 KB

In May 2013 the Executive received an update on the school expansion programme 2012-16 and approved proposals for the provision of temporary school places for the 2013/14 academic year.  This report seeks approval to a revised proposal for the provision of temporary school places and approval to use council assets to deliver the proposal. In February 2011, the Executive was informed about existing covenants on Preston Manor school's land in relation to the expansion of that school to take primary aged children.  The school, with support from the Council, appointed external legal advisors to seek amendments to the covenants through the Upper Tribunal. This report provides an update on progress and seeks authority to continue the Upper Tribunal process and/or alternative routes with the help of external legal advisors.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(i)         that the current status of all projects to provide temporary school places for September 2013 and during the 2013/14 academic year be noted;

(ii)        that approval be given to the use of Anansi to provide temporary school places for three to five years aligning with Knowles House temporary use arrangements and to agree that an appropriate lease/license agreement be entered into with College Green Nursery allowing occupation;

(iii)       that approval be given to the use of Douglas Avenue to provide temporary classes for up to two years and to agree that an appropriate lease/licence agreement be entered into with a suitable school to allow occupation;

(iv)       that the use of Strathcona to provide temporary classes for four to seven years, thus withdrawing the site from the market for that period be authorised and to agree that an appropriate lease/licence agreement be entered into with Roe Green Infant School to allow occupation;

(v)        that authority be delegated to the Operational Director Property and Projects to agree the terms of the lease/license and enter into appropriate agreements;

(vi)       that the current status of the legal process in relation to the restrictive covenants on land belonging to Preston Manor School be noted;

(vii)      that approval be given to the continuation of the Upper Tribunal process in relation to the covenants related to Preston Manor School.

Minutes:

In May 2013 the Executive received an update on the school expansion programme 2012-16 and approved proposals for the provision of temporary school places for the 2013/14 academic year. The report from the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Growth sought approval to a revised proposal for the provision of temporary school places and approval to use council assets to deliver the proposal. In February 2011, the Executive was informed about existing covenants on Preston Manor school's land in relation to the expansion of that school to take primary aged children.  The school, with support from the council, appointed external legal advisors to seek amendments to the covenants through the Upper Tribunal. Before the Executive was an update on progress and a request for authorisation to continue the Upper Tribunal process and/or alternative routes with the help of external legal advisors.

 

Councillor Crane (Lead Member, Regeneration and Major Projects) reminded the Executive that in May 2013 approval was given to deliver 26 classes of temporary primary school places, however, it had since been found that some previously approved places were not deliverable and new proposals were now being put forward. Those applications submitted on time would have places however there were a further 472 late applications. Councillor Crane drew attention to the status of previously approved expansions, the changes proposed and expansions planned for coming years. He also referred to the legal position regarding the proposals to expand Preston Manor the detail of which was set out in an appendix to the report which was not for publication.

 

Councillor HB Patel (ward councillor) reiterated concerns over the suitability of expanding Preston Manor School given the difficulties already experience by residents due to traffic congestion. Councillor Butt (Chair, Leader of the Council) stated that the council was investing to ensure suitable accommodation and the Lead Member for Children and Families assured that the temporary classes would be of high quality.

 

The Executive also had before them an appendix to the report which was not for publication as it contained the following category of exempt information specified in Schedule 12 A of the Local Government Access to Information Act 1972, namely:

“Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority)” and

“Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings”.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)         that the current status of all projects to provide temporary school places for September 2013 and during the 2013/14 academic year be noted;

 

(ii)        that approval be given to the use of Anansi (former nursery premises) to provide temporary school places for three to five years aligning with Knowles House temporary use arrangements and to agree that an appropriate lease/license agreement be entered into with College Green Nursery allowing occupation;

 

(iii)       that approval be given to the use of Douglas Avenue to provide temporary classes for up to two years and to agree that an appropriate lease/licence agreement be entered into with a suitable school  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Clement Close, former children's respite centre pdf icon PDF 572 KB

This report sets out proposals to offer a combined development site for disposal, recommending Executive approval to proposals.

Decision:

(i)         that provided the site is deemed suitable for affordable housing development by BHP or another internal use (such as social care – on a spend to save basis), then subject to further review of the powers under which the land is held, that the District Valuer be appointed to ascertain a transfer value, to the HRA or another portfolio as appropriate;

(ii)        that if an internal use cannot be identified, to agree that the site be prepared for disposal so marketing can start and therefore approve the disposal of the former Children’s Respite Care Centre and adjacent site at Clements Close, Willesden Green, NW6 7JL shown shaded red and verged blue on the site plan at Appendix 2, with access via Clement Close.  The capital receipt estimate is in excess of £750,000+ or such transfer value as determined by the District Valuer;

(iii)       that authority be delegated to the Operational Director Property and Projects, to agree the detailed terms of the transaction in conjunction with the Director of Finance and Corporate Services;

(iv)       that the capital receipt be apportioned between the two construction projects, previously identified, namely the Village School New Build and Ashley Gardens Refurbishment with any surplus capital being taken as a contribution toward the Council’s Capital Programme;

(v)        The porta-cabin located on the BHP managed part of the site will to be re-located elsewhere within the Clement Close estate following consultation with BHP and local residents.

Minutes:

The report from the Director of Regeneration and Growth set out proposals to offer a combined development site for disposal, recommending Executive approval to the proposals.  The subject land comprised the former Children’s Respite Care Centre and adjacent site at Clement Close, Willesden Green, NW6 7JL. Both were owned freehold by the Council with the adjacent land forming an under–utilised part of the Clement Close estate managed by Brent Housing Partnership (BHP).  The capital receipt generated from the sale of the former Children’s Respite Care Centre of £410,000 was earmarked towards the Village School, Kingsbury. As the proposal comprised an area managed by BHP the paper asked the Executive to note the reduction in that area and the relocation of the porta-cabin used by the local residents association elsewhere within the Clement Close estate.

 

Ward councillors, Councillors Cummins and Cheese, reported that residents were unhappy with the proposed new location for the porta-cabin and were due to meet the following day to consider an alternative. Additionally, they wished for the cabin and services to be connected before work commenced. Councillor Crane assured that consultation would take place re-siting the cabin and residents suggestions taken on board.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)         that provided the site was deemed suitable for affordable housing development by BHP or another internal use (such as social care – on a spend to save basis), then subject to further review of the powers under which the land is held, that the District Valuer be appointed to ascertain a transfer value, to the HRA or another portfolio as appropriate;

 

(ii)        that, if an internal use cannot be identified, to agree that the site be prepared for disposal so marketing can start and therefore approve the disposal of the former Children’s Respite Care Centre and adjacent site at Clements Close, Willesden Green, NW6 7JL shown shaded red and verged blue on the site plan at Appendix 2, with access via Clement Close.  The capital receipt estimate is in excess of £750,000+ or such transfer value as determined by the District Valuer;

 

(iii)       that authority be delegated to the Operational Director Property and Projects, to agree the detailed terms of the transaction in conjunction with the Director of Finance and Corporate Services;

 

(iv)       that the capital receipt be apportioned between the two construction projects, previously identified, namely the Village School New Build and Ashley Gardens Refurbishment with any surplus capital being taken as a contribution toward the Council’s Capital Programme;

 

(v)        that the porta-cabin located on the BHP managed part of the site be re-located elsewhere within the Clement Close estate following consultation with BHP and local residents.

14.

Advice and Guidance Review pdf icon PDF 337 KB

In January 2012 Executive agreed to create an Advice and Guidance Stream within the Voluntary Sector Initiative Fund out of the existing advice budgets and some of the larger grants in the Main Programme Grant which have been paid over a number of years. Executive extended existing arrangements to facilitate a review of present service provision with a view to medium term funding arrangements for the services. This paper sets out the review and findings. Future funding for advice and guidance is proposed to make the best use of the resource critical to the resilience of local communities as they adjust to change.  The review has taken longer than anticipated due to a number of local issues identified when reviewing existing services, shifting local need and the changing national context affecting advice, particularly legal advice.

 

Decision:

(i)         that the key findings from the review of service provision in the newly formed advice and guidance stream during 2012/2013 set out in section 3 of the report and summarised at paragraph 3.12 of the report be noted;

(ii)        that it be noted that existing arrangements for most projects in the advice and guidance funding stream were rolled over on 1 April 2013, due to the review of existing arrangements taking longer than expected and pending a decision from Executive on future provision in light of the review. (See 2.6 for the exception);

(iii)       that authority be delegated to Assistant Director – Policy to renegotiate of a Service Level Agreement with Brent Community Law Centre for the provision of specialist legal advice until 31 March 2015 as set out in paragraph 3.33;

(iv)       that authority be delegated to Assistant Director – Policy to renegotiate a Service Level Agreement with Brent Citizen’s Advice Bureau for the provision of generalist legal advice until 31 March 2015 as set out in paragraph 3.33;

(v)        that the council’s existing grant agreements with Age UK and Brent Mencap be extended until 31 March 2014 as set out in paragraph 3.35 2.6;

(vi)       that it be noted that Brent Association of Disabled People has encountered some governance and financial difficulties which are affecting the everyday running of the organisation and the council has worked with BADP to investigate these. Regrettably, the council is not in a position to continue to fund the organisation to provide advice and guidance for disabled people in the borough at this time;

(vii)      Agree to commission a new consolidated advice and guidance service level agreement providing advice and guidance to both elderly and disabled people from 1st April 2014 until 31st March 2015, with option to extend for a further year, subject to the 2014 Executive decision on future advice provision (as set out in paragraph 3.36);

(viii)     Agree to seek interim provision of advice and guidance for disabled people in the borough to replace that which cannot be provided by the Brent Association for Disabled People, until the new arrangement proposed in 2.7 is in place.

(ix)       Agree to extend existing arrangements for private sector tenant engagement provided by Brent Private Tenants Rights Group until 31st March 2014, giving notice that the council does not intend to fund this particular project after that time.

(x)        Note the intention to manage the monitoring of this grant as part of the themed grants stream during this period and no longer include it as part of the Advice and Guidance stream.

(xi)       Agree to reallocate the £33,228.98 presently allocated on the tenant engagement project to Housing Need Team in Regeneration and Growth to commission work to address private sector housing issues from 1st April 2014 (as set out in paragraphs 3.30, 3.31 and 3.38).

(xii)      Note the specific proposals (set out in paragraph 3.10) already agreed by members for ward working projects which respond to welfare  ...  view the full decision text for item 14.

Minutes:

In January 2012 Executive agreed to create an Advice and Guidance Stream within the Voluntary Sector Initiative Fund out of the existing advice budgets and some of the larger grants in the Main Programme Grant which have been paid over a number of years. The Executive extended existing arrangements to facilitate a review of present service provision with a view to medium term funding arrangements for the services. Cathy Tyson (Assistant Director, Policy) introduced the paper which set out the review and findings which had identified an increase in demand, changes in economics and the profile of customers. Key issues for advice were now debt, welfare and employment. The proposals outlined in the report were based on discussions with current providers with whom there was a high level of satisfaction. Cathy Tyson drew attention difficulties being experienced by Brent Association for Disabled People and the need to seek alternate provision to support this client group.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)         that the key findings from the review of service provision in the newly formed advice and guidance stream during 2012/2013 set out in section 3 of the report and summarised at paragraph 3.12 of the report from the Assistant Director, Policy be noted;

 

(ii)        that it be noted that existing arrangements for most projects in the advice and guidance funding stream were rolled over on 1 April 2013, due to the review of existing arrangements taking longer than expected and pending a decision from Executive on future provision in light of the review;

 

(iii)       that authority be delegated to Assistant Director – Policy to renegotiate of a Service Level Agreement with Brent Community Law Centre for the provision of specialist legal advice until 31 March 2015 as set out in paragraph 3.33 of the report

 

(iv)       that authority be delegated to Assistant Director – Policy to renegotiate a Service Level Agreement with Brent Citizen’s Advice Bureau for the provision of generalist legal advice until 31 March 2015 as set out in paragraph 3.33 of the report;

 

(v)        that the council’s existing grant agreements with Age UK and Brent Mencap be extended until 31 March 2014 as set out in paragraph 3.35 2.6 of the report;

 

(vi)       that it be noted that Brent Association of Disabled People has encountered some governance and financial difficulties which are affecting the everyday running of the organisation and the council has worked with BADP to investigate these. Regrettably, the council is not in a position to continue to fund the organisation to provide advice and guidance for disabled people in the borough at this time;

 

(vii)      that agreement be given to commission a new consolidated advice and guidance service level agreement providing advice and guidance to both elderly and disabled people from 1 April 2014 until 31 March 2015, with option to extend for a further year, subject to the 2014 Executive decision on future advice provision (as set out in paragraph 3.36 of the report);

 

(viii)     that agreement be given to seek interim provision of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Capital Contribution to West London Waste Authority pdf icon PDF 230 KB

In April 2013 the West London Waste Authority (WLWA) agreed to award preferred bidder status to a consortium of companies for construction of a waste treatment facility and the subsequent treatment of residual waste, following a procurement exercise. There is an opportunity for the constituent boroughs of WLWA to make a capital contribution towards the construction cost of the facility being built, in return for an annual interest payment from the WLWA.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(i)         that agreement in principle be given to a capital contribution of up to £15million, provided that a sufficient number of the other WLWA constituent boroughs agree to contribute as well (since the decision to proceed with the investment is dependent on support from others in order to reach a required level of investment);

(ii)        that authority be delegated to the Deputy Director of Finance, after consultation with the Director of Legal and Procurement and the Deputy Leader of the Council to agree the final amount and terms of the loan;

(iii)       that a progress report be submitted in due course.

Minutes:

In April 2013 the West London Waste Authority (WLWA) agreed to award preferred bidder status to a consortium of companies for construction of a waste treatment facility and the subsequent treatment of residual waste, following a procurement exercise. There was an opportunity for the constituent boroughs of WLWA to make a capital contribution towards the construction cost of the facility being built, in return for an annual interest payment from the WLWA. Councillor R Moher (Lead Member, Resources) referred to the possibility of achieving significant savings and that at present approval in principle was being sought.

 

The Executive also had before them an appendix to the report which was not for publication as it contained the following category of exempt information specified in Schedule 12 A of the Local Government Access to Information Act 1972, namely: “Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority)”.

 

Councillor Lorber (Leader of the Opposition) raised questions on the terms of the loan and considered that the there was insufficient information available to make a decision at this stage. Mick Bowden (Deputy Director of Finance) advised that negotiations were still on going and repayment terms being considered. The position would become clearer once the number of boroughs involved was confirmed.

 

The Executive agreed to receive a progress report once the terms of the loan facility were agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)         that agreement in principle be given to a capital contribution of up to £15million, provided that a sufficient number of the other WLWA constituent boroughs agree to contribute as well (since the decision to proceed with the investment is dependent on support from others in order to reach a required level of investment);

 

(ii)        that authority be delegated to the Deputy Director of Finance, after consultation with the Director of Legal and Procurement and the Deputy Leader of the Council to agree the final amount and terms of the loan;

 

(iii)       that a progress report be submitted in due course.

16.

Treasury Management Annual Report 2012/13 pdf icon PDF 378 KB

This report updates members on recent Treasury Management activity. The Council can confirm that it has complied with its Prudential Indicators for 2012/13.  Details can be found in Appendix 1 to the report.

Decision:

That the 2012/13 Treasury Management outturn report as also submitted to the Council and Audit Committee be noted;

Minutes:

Councillor R Moher introduced the report which updated members on recent Treasury Management activity. The Council could confirm that it had complied with its Prudential Indicators for 2012/13.  The Executive noted that the report had been submitted to the Audit Committee. Councillor Moher was pleased to report that a significant percentage of the original deposits with Icelandic banks had been recovered.

 

RESOLVED:

 

that the 2012/13 Treasury Management outturn report as also submitted to the Council and Audit Committee be noted.

17.

Performance and Finance 2012/13, quarter 4 pdf icon PDF 126 KB

The purpose of this report is to provide Members with a corporate overview of Finance and Performance information to support informed decision-making and manage performance effectively. 

Additional documents:

Decision:

(i)         Note the Finance and Performance information contained in this report and agree remedial actions as necessary;

(ii)        Consider the current and future strategic risks associated with the information provided and agree remedial actions as appropriate.;

(iii)       Challenge progress with responsible officers as necessary;

(iv)       Approve the use of Children & Families reserves as set out in 4.1;

(v)        Note the write off of bad debts contained within the appendix to this report.

Minutes:

The purpose of the report from the Deputy Director of Finance and Assistant Director (Policy) was to provide members with a corporate overview of Finance and Performance information to support informed decision-making and manage performance effectively.  The Leader of the Council stated that the council’s accounts were on target, and drew attention to central government’s austerity measures which were adversely affecting the council. Brent’s Borough Plan Brent’s Borough Plan ‘Brent our Future’ was a four year strategy document which set out the Administration’s priorities over the coming years and would help the council meet targets.

 

The Executive also had before them an appendix to the report which was not for publication as it contained the following category of exempt information specified in Schedule 12 A of the Local Government Access to Information Act 1972, namely: “Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority)”.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)         that the Finance and Performance information contained in the report be noted and agreement given to remedial actions as necessary;

 

(ii)        that the current and future strategic risks associated with the information provided be noted and agreement given to remedial actions as appropriate;

 

(iii)       that approval be given to the use of Children and Families reserves as set out in 4.1 of the report;

 

(v)        that the write off of bad debts contained within the appendix to this report be noted.

18.

Any other urgent business

Notice of items to be raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Democratic Services Manager or his representative before the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 64.

Minutes:

None.

19.

Reference of item considered by Call in Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Minutes:

None.