Agenda and minutes

Venue: Boardrooms 3/4 - Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ. View directions

Contact: Bryony Gibbs, Governance Officer  020 8937 1355 Email: bryony.gibbs@brent.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of interests

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, any relevant disclosable pecuniary, personal or prejudicial interests in the items on this agenda.

Minutes:

None

2.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:-

 

that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 12 July 2016 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting subject to the following amendment:

 

The second sentence of Minute 4, Annual work programme 2016-17, be amended to read ‘ … Councillor Tatler would be chairing the task group on Child Exploitation.’

3.

Matters arising (if any)

Minutes:

None

4.

Order of Business

Minutes:

RESOLVED: that the order of business be amended as set out below.

 

Item 7, update on the implimentation of recommendations from the CCTV Scrutiny Task Group, be considered prior to the remaining items of business.

 

5.

Update on the implementation of recommendations from the CCTV Scrutiny Task Group pdf icon PDF 161 KB

This is a report to update on progress made against a number of recommendations for the Council Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Service. These recommendations were set by the Scrutiny Committee CCTV Task Group in their report published November 2015.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Pavey (Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities) introduced the report updating the committee on the progress made against the recommendations of the Scrutiny CCTV Task Group. Members heard that all of the recommendations had either been completed or were in progress. In line with the second recommendation, Councillor Pavey confirmed the council’s commitment to maintaining a public network of CCTV cameras in the borough and advised that proposals were in development to secure major investment in the service enabling costs to be lowered and quality to be enhanced. 

 

Drawing the committee’s attention to Appendix 1 to the report, Karina Wane (Head of Community Protection) advised that of the twenty-one recommendations made, eighteen had already been implemented. Work was underway with regard to the remaining recommendations, 7, 9 and 11. Addressing each of these in turn, Karina Wane explained that the Home Office was currently undertaking work in relation to a CCTV benchmarking system. The Brent CCTV service had discussed a benchmarking system with other local authorities but had received an unenthusiastic response due to a lack of overlap of borough priorities and key hotspot areas.  The CCTV team did have a list of community and residents groups for the purpose of communicating changes but work would be pursued with the Head of Strategy and Partnerships to develop a council-wide list. The value of using site visits to help maintain the local knowledge of CCTV operators was acknowledged and would be taken forward, though was currently limited by staffing capacity.

 

Members subsequently discussed the possibility of hosting an open-day to raise awareness of the CCTV service, to provide reassurance to residents and to deter criminal activity. Officers agreed that this would offer public insight into the work of the service and suggested that this could be held in partnership with the police. Karina Wane agreed to explore the practicalities of this proposal and report the outcome of this back to the committee.

 

The committee discussed possible sources of funding for the service, questioning the contribution of the Football Association and whether greater funds could be obtained from section 106 monies and the Community Infrastructure Levies, particularly in view of the large regeneration projects underway in the borough. Further information  was sought regarding potential capital investment and the funding of additional staff hours. It was queried whether upgrading to a more modern system would allow opportunities for income generation. A member noted the high cost of moving CCTV cameras currently and highlighted the importance of addressing this need in the procurement of new equipment. The use of section 106 agreements and the role of the planning service in requiring CCTV installation in developments was queried and the committee sought additional information on work with other CCTV providers in the borough to extend the council’s network. A member further queried whether the council had a full list of all CCTV providers in the borough. An assessment of the current performance measurement activity of the service was requested.

 

In response, Karina Wane explained that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

The Council's Planning Strategy pdf icon PDF 133 KB

This is a report on the Council’s Planning Strategy and includes a presentation on the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) Local Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Mashari (Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Growth, Employment and Skills) presented a report to the committee on the Council’s Planning Strategy. The current strategy was based on the Core Strategy, which had been adopted in 2010 and had been supplemented by the subsequent adoption of other Local Plan documents. The Strategy now required review to account for various developments including the adoption of the Brent 2020 vision, updates to the London Plan and the Old Oak and Park Royal  regeneration programmes. In reviewing the current strategy, the council had the opportunity to ensure that the plan addressed Brent’s priorities and that opportunities arising out of developments in and around the borough were maximised for Brent residents. A statutory review process would be followed with the new Strategy going live in 2018.  Key to the review would be the issues of housing provision and tackling poverty and it would be underpinned by a social structure needs assessment. A proactive approach to acquiring land for housing developments would be explored.

 

At the invitation of the Chair, Tom Cardis (Head of Policy, Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC)) delivered a presentation to the committee on the Old Oak and Park Royal regeneration advising the OPDC had now been in operation for fifteen months. The consultation activity undertaken in support of the development of a Local Plan for the areas was outlined to the committee and the key emerging issues identified. The timescales for further activity were set out and formal consultation of the Regulation 19 Local Plan would begin in March 2017.

 

Members questioned the extent to which National Planning policy restricted Brent in shaping its Planning Strategy and sought further information on the role of the Council in delivering affordable housing. Concerns were raised about how affordable housing was defined, the implications for public health priorities of housing developments with inadequate provision for local amenities and services and the effect of large developments such as the South Kilburn development on the local infrastructure, including public transport. Members questioned how the council was working with the OPDC to address issues of sustainability in view of the proposed scale of the developments. With reference to the South Kilburn development, it was queried how the council would support the provision of three-bedroom properties. A question was raised regarding the potential use of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) to acquire sites for development. Noting the modifications to the Development Management Plan policies to protect Public Houses from development, a member sought assurance from officers that this was an appropriate safeguard. An update was requested regarding the potential for securing a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) from the OPDC in the immediate term for use in the surrounding areas to the development.

 

Addressing Members’ queries, Paul Lewin (Planning Policy & Projects Manager, Planning Transport and Licensing) advised that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) did not prevent the council from pursuing a particular approach, but merely required that appropriate justification and supporting evidence be provided. Brent’s approach was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Brent Road Resurfacing Strategy pdf icon PDF 2 MB

This report looks at the Council’s Road Resurfacing Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Southwood (Cabinet Member for Environment) presented a report from the Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment on Brent Road Resurfacing. Members’ heard that the Brent highways infrastructure was currently valued at £3.89bn  and was the asset most visible and frequently used by the public. Despite an increasing maintenance requirement and reductions to local government funding, Brent continued to provide investment and deliver programmes to improve the overall condition of the borough’s footways and roads. The Highway Asset Management Plan (HAMP) had been adopted by the council in 2014 and enshrined a proactive approach to asset repair, ensuring maintenance works took place before assets failed to prevent high street repair costs in the long term. In line with this approach, an asset management tool was being procured which would enable officers to identify the most appropriate time for planned intervention ensuring optimal use of funding and improved communication with residents.

 

Councillor Southwood highlighted that additional funding of £200k had been provided in the 2015/16 budget to target areas worst affected by potholes and a further £2m in the current 2016/17 budget had been made available to  accelerate road repairs. Members had been extensively involved in identifying priorities for action and a decision had been taken by Cabinet to use  asphalt surfacing on some roads as a more durable and therefore cost effective material.

 

Members raised a concern about damage caused to public roads and pavements as a result of building works and in the case of commercial buildings, deliveries and other routine activities. It was queried whether the use of deposits or licences could address the cost implications of repairing this damage. Similar concerns were raised regarding damage caused to highways by Transport for London buses and how this was accounted for in the service’s budget. Noting that investment was concentrated on A class roads, it was queried what action would be taken to maintain the other categories of highway. The committee questioned the quality and timeliness of repairs being carried out by the contractors and sought details of the department’s oversight arrangements. Members discussed the importance of good communication with and feedback to  Brent’s residents and it was queried whether the publicising of the additional £2m funding had raised expectations beyond what could reasonably be delivered. Members further suggested that the automatic and formulaic responses provided by the current system should be tested on real people to enable improvements to be made. Clarity was sought regarding the relative merits of the different materials used for repair.

 

Councillor Southwood confirmed that the council had previously paid for repairs to pavements damaged by building works but that the number of staff pursuing enforcement action was now in the process of being increased. Members’ suggestions regarding the use of deposits or licensing would be explored as part of the planned Service Review. Tony Kennedy (Head of Highways and Infrastructure) advised that Transport for London provided the council with a principle road budget to repair A class roads and liaised with the council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Progress report on the recommendations of the Scrutiny Fly-Tipping Task Group pdf icon PDF 214 KB

This report provides an update on progress against the recommendations made by the Fly-Tipping Task Group.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Southwood (Cabinet member for Environment) presented a progress report on the recommendations of the Fly-Tipping Scrutiny Task Group which had been formed in 2015 in response to concerns regarding increased levels of illegal rubbish dumping (IRD) in the borough. The purpose of the task group was to analyse and consider the borough’s knowledge, behaviour and understanding of IRD, to review local policies and processes, and to put forward recommendations to bring about improvements to the service. The review was reported to Scrutiny Committee on 5 November 2015, and made twenty-six specific recommendations, principally concerned with reducing the levels of fly-tipping in Brent and ensuring clean and safe environments for Brent residents; and as a result, a reduction in clean-up and enforcement costs. The committee’s attention was drawn to Appendix 1 to the report which set out the progress achieved against each of the task group’s recommendations. Councillor Southwood noted that the pilot with Kingdom Security which aimed to provide dedicated teams of uniformed officers in the borough able to issue fines for littering, was going well. The need to increase work with landlords was recognised and the Service Review which was due to be undertaken over the coming weeks would seek to address the currently unsustainable Bulky Waste Service.

 

The committee acknowledged that an email received from a member of the public in attendance at the meeting set out concerns about incidences of illegal rubbish dumping in Harlesden and it was agreed that Councillor Southwood would provide a detailed response to be shared with the committee.

 

In the subsequent discussion the committee sought the views of Councillor Southwood regarding the role of community champions in the context of the “Love Where You Live” campaign and emphasised the importance of a good coverage of this activity across the borough.  It was queried whether the council was engaging with residents across a broad range of social media platforms. The value of a council-wide list of community and resident groups, previously discussed in relation to the task group recommendations for the CCTV service, was again highlighted. It was questioned what was being done to reach residents who had difficulties with written or spoken English and whether relevant community groups were being engaged. Members noted the importance of involving ward councillors in discussions with local community groups. The committee raised queries regarding enforcement activity and communicating this to residents. With reference to street inspections further information was sought about what constituted a ‘pass rate’ and how the borough compared with other London Boroughs.  

 

Councillor Southwood advised that she would liaise with the Communications team regarding the use of a broader range of social media platforms. Feedback on the role of community champions from residents identified that a group or community approach was preferred.  Further work was still required to develop the initiative but initial responses had been positive. This would be further explored in the planned Service Review, particularly with regard to ward member involvement and extending coverage across the borough. Robert Anderton  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Proposed Scope for Scrutiny Task Group on The Devolution of Business Rates in Brent pdf icon PDF 204 KB

This report sets out the proposed scope for the Scrutiny task group on the Devolution of Business Rates in Brent.  The task group will look at both Brent and the government’s current business rates policies and processes with a view to ensuring Brent council is in the best possible place to respond to the government’s changes to the Devolution of Business rates policy.

 

Minutes:

Pascoe Sawyers (Head of Strategy and Partnerships) outlined the report to the committee detailing the proposed scope for the Scrutiny task group on the Devolution of Business Rates in Brent. The task group would explore both Brent and the government’s current business rates policies and processes with a view to ensuring Brent council is in the best possible place to respond to the government’s changes to the Devolution of Business rates policy. The committees attention was drawn to appendices A and B to the report which detailed the proposed scope, terms of reference and time scale for the task group.

 

RESOLVED:

 

that the scope, terms of reference and timescale for the task group on the Devolution of Business Rates in Brent be agreed as detailed in appendices A and B to the report from the Director of Performance, Policy and Partnerships.

10.

Any other urgent business

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

Minutes:

None.

11.

Date of next meeting

The next scheduled meeting of the committee is on 8 November 2016.

Minutes:

Members noted that the next meeting of the committee was scheduled for 8 November 2016.