Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Peter Goss, Democratic Services Manager  020 8937 1353, Email:

No. Item


Declarations of interests

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


None declared.






Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 91 KB




that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 16 June 2015 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting subject to the addition of the following point being added at the end of item 7 – Access to Extended GP Services and Primary Care in Brent – Interim Report:

·         Information on the level of off-line contact with GPs, ie telephone contact.


Matters arising


Members raised where the committee had, at its last meeting, requested information and this had not been supplied.  It was agreed that in future the minutes of the meeting should include any such requests at the end of each item to give greater prominence to the request.


Information requested at the previous meetings was:

Minute 6 – Paediatric Services in Brent

·         LNWHT to provide a copy of the data modelling used

·         Explanation of how Treatment Function ‘Paediatric’ achieved savings while dealing with the same number of patients

Minute 8 – Public Health – priorities and progress

·         Copy to of financial return for public health expenditure

·         Details on how many people were offered and accepted a health check by GP practices

·         A breakdown of the drugs and alcohol budgets

Minute 9 – Access to affordable childcare

·         Information on use of discretionary housing payments

·         Allocation of Nursery Education Grant




Performance of Brent Housing Partnership pdf icon PDF 224 KB

This report provides an update on BHP performance in relation to 2014/15.

Additional documents:


The following were present for this item and were introduced to the committee:

Tom Bremner – BHP Managing director

Peta Caine – BHP Operations Director

John Lloyd-Owen – LBB Operational Director, Housing and Employment


The Chair stated that Appendix B to the report should have been drafted in a more anonymous way and the committee would not be referring to it during consideration of the item.


John Lloyd-Owen introduced the report and explained that the Council had a management agreement with BHP.  The second version had been introduced in 2013 for a 10 year period with a 7 year review.  He outlined the role of BHP and the small client side team that monitored the contract.


Tom Bremner added that BHP was a legally constituted company run by a Board.  He outlined the constitution of the Board and introduced Sheila Perry as a tenant representative who served on the Board.


In answer to opening questions from the chair of the committee, John Lloyd-Owen explained that Government intentions were still unclear on the requirement to dispose of high value properties when they became void.  If the criteria were set on a regional basis it would have a lesser effect on Brent than if it was set locally.  It was explained that the capital receipts from such disposals would go towards:

Discharging debt

Providing funding to subsidise extended Right to Buy

Contributing to the fund for development of brownfield sites

Providing funding for the Council to build replacement homes.


Members were concerned at the potential financial impact of the extended Right to Buy if there were not sufficient capital receipts.  Members also noted an inevitable consequence  of the policy which would be to see a retreat of social housing in high value areas. The committee asked for more information on the potential impact of the proposed extension of Right to Buy.


John Lloyd-Owen explained that the Government’s intention that rents were to be reduced by 1% over the next 4 years would result in a substantial reduction in income of approximately £10m.  Members expressed dismay over such a reduction and noted that  this would need careful modelling to make choices on where the impact would be felt.


Sheila Perry outlined to the committee the nature of tenant involvement in the operation of BHP.


With reference to the Gypsy and Traveller site at Lynton Close, the committee was informed that a lot of work had been undertaken by both the Council and BHP to improve the site.  As part of the pre-development process the identified sites included in the 2015/18 GLA Funding Bid had been subject to consultation with ward councillors and resident representatives but there was an awareness of the lessons learnt to better engage in the future.  The potential of other sites was being looked at and local residents would be engaged in this.  It was pointed out that many consultation events took place on a ward area basis and it would be good practice if BHP ensured that the local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Developing the Scrutiny work programme 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

This report sets out the arrangements for the future operation of the Scrutiny Committee and the process for developing a relevant and robust work programme for the Committee during 2015/16.

Additional documents:


A revised Appendix B Draft Forward Plan was tabled.


The following list of items was put forward for potential inclusion in the committee’s work programme:


·         Commissioning and procurement practices – consideration of two contract specifications that are due for tender to consider their compliance with best practice guidance

·         Educational attainment levels in schools in relation to those schools considered by OFSTED to be coasting

·         Implementation of the Prevent agenda in Brent schools

·         Impact of the Development Management Plan on planning policies for town centres

·         The affordability of charges for uniforms, school trips etc.

·         Planning policy in relation to the protection of local pubs and use made of assets of community value nominations

·         Delays in waiting times for elective surgery

·         Delays in waiting times for referral to cancer treatment

·         Child and adolescent mental health services

·         Performance of housing associations

·         Adult education services provided by the College of North West London

·         DWP – the impact of benefit sanctions on Brent residents and DWP programmes to support local people into employment

·         Use of stop and search procedures by the Metropolitan Police. 


It was confirmed that the Budget scrutiny panel would be reconvened to consider the budget for 2016/17.


The committee asked:

·         that a briefing paper be provided on how the protection of pubs had been incorporated into the Development Management Plan.

·         that a briefing paper be provided on the admissions policies adopted by different types of schools

·         that the chair, education co-opted members and a senior officer from the Children and Young People’s department meet to discuss the education related topics.




(i)         that the arrangements and principles for the effective operation of the Scrutiny Committee, as set out in paragraphs 3.1 – 3.6 of the report submitted, be noted;


(ii)        that the proposed process for defining the annual work programme for scrutiny detailed at paragraphs 3.10-3.14.




Date of next meeting


Noted – 12 August 2015.


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.