Agenda and minutes

Special Meeting, Council
Thursday 20 April 2017 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Thomas Cattermole, Head of Executive and Member Services  020 8937 5446, Email: thomas.cattermole@brent.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence for the meeting from Members.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor stated that direct apologies for absence had been received from: Councillors Chan, A Choudry, Denselow, Duffy, Hoda-Benn, Marquis, Nerva, Pavey and Thomas.

2.

Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, any relevant personal, prejudicial or disclosable pecuniary interests, and the nature of these, in relation to any matter to be considered at this meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(i)         Councillor Harrison declared a personal interest in respect of Agenda Item No.6 (Housing Management Options Review – Outcome of Formal Consultation) in that she was a current member of the Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) Member and Resident Panel Board.

 

(ii)        Councillor Collier declared, in respect of Agenda Item No.6 (Housing Management Options Review – Outcome of Formal Consultation), that he had previously been a member of the BHP Member and Resident Panel Board, but had informed the Chair of his resignation on 3 January 2017.

 

Councillors Colwill, Davidson, Kansagra, Maurice and Mashari joined the meeting at 7.03pm.

3.

Mayor's Announcements (including any petitions received)

To receive any announcements from the Mayor.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor made the following announcements:

 

(i)        Service of Hope and Reconciliation following the Westminster terror attack

 

The Mayor reflected that everyone was shocked and saddened by the terrorist attack on Westminster on 22 March. He informed Full Council that on 5 April 2017 he had represented Brent at the Service of Hope and Reconciliation which followed the attack. He said that it was a humbling and moving event which had showed the solidarity and resilience of the people of London. The occasion had made him feel extremely proud at the defiance shown in the face of adversity. He continued that thoughts were with everyone who had been involved in the attack and that the Brent Civic Centre flag had been flown at half-mast to show solidarity and unity with those affected.

 

A minutes silence then proceeded to take place in the Council Chamber. 

 

(ii)       March Fundraising Event at the Grand Hall

 

The Mayor announced that on 16 March he had hosted another successful fundraising evening in the Council’s Grand Hall. He thanked all of those who attended and those who had supported him during his mayoral year.

 

(iii)      Wembley National Stadium Trust Reception

 

The Mayor stated that he had been delighted to attend the Wembley National Stadium Trust Reception recently. The reception had celebrated the work that local organisations had been doing to engage local residents in sport and physical recreation activities. He said that it had been a pleasure to meet such a wide cross-section of Brent residents.

 

(iv)      Romanian Ambassador for London at the Civic Centre

 

The Mayor announced that on 19 April 2017 he, alongside the Leader of the Council, Deputy Leader of the Council and Council’s Chief Executive, had had the pleasure of welcoming His Excellency, Dan Mihalache, the Romanian Ambassador for London to the Civic Centre. He noted that it had been interesting to discuss the integration process of the large Romanian community Brent and the different ways to work together.

4.

Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies and Appointment of Chairs and Vice Chairs (if any)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED that, the following appointments to Committees be ratified by Full Council:

 

(i)                           Resignation of Councillor Mili Patel, as full Member, from the Council’s Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Roxanne Mashari to fill the vacancy, as full Member.
 

(ii)                          Resignation of Siddika Gulamhusen, as non-statutory co-opted Member, from the Council’s Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee – Sayed Jaffar Milani (Al-Khoei Foundation) to fill the vacancy, as non-statutory co-opted Member. 


    

5.

Deputations (if any)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor noted that the Council had received a combined deputation from residents of Harlesden Gardens in Kensal Green Ward and that the deputation related to traffic issues and road rage. He asked Councillor Kelcher (Kensal Green Ward) to introduce the residents.

 

Councillor Kelcher began by placing on record his thanks to the Mayor for all his work during his mayoral year. He stated that the residents would speak on the issue in further detail but mentioned that he, Councillor McLeish and Councillor Hector had all visited the roads in question and that they were fully supportive of the initiative being proposed by residents. It was felt that this would help to aid the traffic problems which were prevalent in Harlesden.

 

Nancy Strang (resident of Harlesden Gardens) began by stating that she had been a resident of the Harlesden Gardens area for 14 years. She outlined that in the last couple of years the traffic on Park Parade (the local high street) had worsened significantly. She felt that the problems arose in part from the two way traffic systems on three of the roads adjoining Park Parade (Harlesden Gardens, Sellons Avenue and Springwell Avenue), which frequently caused ‘bottlenecks’ of road traffic. She put forward that some of the reasons which contributed to this included: not being able to turn onto the road when another car is coming in the opposite direction; double parking on the road; and cars on the high street using the three roads as a cut through. She also mentioned that there were two bus stops which created a traffic backlog and three schools in the Harlesden Gardens area which contributed to the severe disruption at pick-up times. She also drew Members’ attention to the rise of anti-social behaviour in the form of road rage and that her children had witnessed violent and expletive confrontations between drivers. She concluded that this was an issue affecting all of the residents in this area, and that only one person she had spoken to had refused to sign her petition on this issue.   

 

Amanda McKenzie (resident of Harlesden Gardens) noted that she had lived in Harlesden for 16 years and had been a resident of the Harlesden Gardens area for nine years. She said that the traffic problems were intolerable on the three roads in question, but that they wanted to offer a solution to the Council. She directed Members to a map of the roads, which had been circulated within the Chamber, which identified the possibility of creating a ‘natural loop’ of access to the three roads. She felt that this would assist in easing the traffic flow on these three roads, and have a beneficial effect for residents in the area. She explained her proposals in more detail according to the map, specifying which sections of the roads would be one way and which would be proposed to remain two way. She also mentioned that a similar system had been introduced on Buckingham Road and Wendover Roads in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Housing Management Options Review - Outcome of Formal Consultation pdf icon PDF 461 KB

To allow Members to debate the outcome of the formal consultation on the review of the Council’s Housing Management Options.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor outlined that the procedure for this item had been agreed with all three group leaders and the Council’s Chief Executive. He outlined that Councillor Farah (Lead Member for Housing and Welfare Reform) would introduce the item; followed by a speech from the Chair of the Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee; which would be followed by a general debate which would be open to all Members. The item would conclude with a summary from the Lead Member.

 

Councillor Farah introduced the report which set out the outcomes from the formal consultation undertaken with tenants and leaseholders on the Council’s future housing management service provision. Councillor Farah began by thanking the BHP Board and staff for their support during a difficult period over the last two years. He gave some background to Full Council on the reasons that the review had come about, citing significant concerns about BHP’s performance which began towards the end of 2015. He noted that review formally started in June 2016 and Cabinet heard the three identified options for housing management services going forward at its meeting in November 2017. These were:

           

(i)         To continue with BHP on a reformed basis;

(ii)        To bring the service back in-house; or

(iii)       To enter into partnership with another organisation to provide the service.

 

Councillor Farah outlined that Cabinet had rejected the partnership option as it was deemed to have had too many risks and rejected the option to reform BHP as Cabinet did not have confidence in BHP to make the necessary improvements or savings that needed to be achieved. He specified that Cabinet had chosen its preferred option to bring the housing management service back in-house as it was expected to be easier to achieve savings and would also give the Council direct control to be able to drive up standards. This would in turn deliver better services for tenants and leaseholders. He noted the consultation which had been undertaken with residents since November 2016 and the different aspects of this which included: newsletters; information on the Council’s website; a dedicated hotline; a dedicated freepost address; drop-in events; and an independent survey which had a 26% response rate. He drew Members’ attention to the fact the survey’s key finding was that 49% of BHP respondents support, or tended to support, the Council’s proposal and only 8% preferred the reformed BHP option.    

 

He set out the additional reasons for the in-house option being considered preferable, such as: there no longer being a financial advantage to having an arm’s length management organisation (ALMO); a single leadership team would provide clarity of accountability and reduce costs; opportunities to bring Council expertise to addressing BHP challenges whether on the frontline or in back off functions; and opportunities to join up services and remove an unnecessary divides which currently existed between Council and BHP services. He noted that it was for these reasons that ALMOs in London had reduced from 20 in 2009 to eight in 2017. He added that most ALMO  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Urgent Business

At the discretion of the Mayor to consider any urgent business.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no urgent business to be transacted.