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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Civic Centre, High Road, Wood Green, N22 8LE

Contact: Philip Slawther, Principal Committee Co-ordinator 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

FILMING AT MEETINGS

Please note that this meeting may be filmed or recorded by the Council for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council’s internet site or by anyone attending the meeting using any communication method. Although we ask members of the public recording, filming or reporting on the meeting not to include the public seating areas, members of the public attending the meeting should be aware that we cannot guarantee that they will not be filmed or recorded by others attending the meeting. Members of the public participating in the meeting (e.g. making deputations, asking questions, making oral protests) should be aware that they are likely to be filmed, recorded or reported on. 

 

By entering the meeting room and using the public seating area, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings.

 

The chair of the meeting has the discretion to terminate or suspend filming or recording, if in his or her opinion continuation of the filming, recording or reporting would disrupt or prejudice the proceedings, infringe the rights of any individual or may lead to the breach of a legal obligation by the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Noted.

 

2.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

3.

Urgent Business

The Chair will consider the admission of any late items of urgent business. (Late items will be considered under the agenda item where they appear. New items will be dealt with at item below).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no new items of urgent business.

 

4.

Declarations of Interest

A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a prejudicial interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered:

 

(i) must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent, and

(ii) may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must withdraw from the meeting room.

 

A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Register of Members’ Interests or the subject of a pending notification must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.

 

Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal interests and prejudicial interests are defined at Paragraphs 5-7 and Appendix A of the Members’ Code of Conduct

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In relation to Item 12, Councillor Moyeed declared a conflict of interest having represented the traders in his professional capacity as a solicitor. The Councillor agreed to not be present for Items 5 and 12, when the Scrutiny Review of Wards Corner would be under discussion.

 

In relation to Item 9, Mark Chapman declared a conflict of interest as he was the Chair of Governors at Fortismere School.

 

5.

Deputations/Petitions/Presentations/Questions

To consider any requests received in accordance with Part 4, Section B, paragraph 29 of the Council’s constitution.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillor Moyeed left the room for the duration of the deputation and for the entirety of the discussion on Item 12.)

 

The Chair invited Stuart McNamara to introduce his deputation which addressed concerns about the voices of the market traders and residents not being properly considered, as well as wider concerns about how the Council communicated and engaged with residents on regeneration programmes. He was accompanied by Stefania Alvarez and Javie Huxley.

 

Stuart McNamara thanked the OSC for accepting the deputation and praised the three months of evidence gathering by the Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee for the scrutiny report on Wards Corner. He highlighted the following:

·         Praised the scrutiny report and its findings, noting the traders had requested the Council carry out a scrutiny review on the matter.

·         A meeting had been held with the Leader of the Council in 2018 to request a scrutiny review, the halting of any major decisions at the market until the review had been complete, and continuous engagement between the traders and the Council with ongoing dialogue. All three had been declined at that time.

·         Traders at a Shepherds Bush market had won a case on appeal at the high court against a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO).

·         Critical of the Council’s Regeneration department and drew comparisons between situation at Wards Corner to the failed Haringey Development Vehicle scheme.

·         Recognised a number of councillors had been supportive of the traders at Wards Corner but criticised the executive for indecision on the matter.

·         Critical of the Section 106 and the Seven Sisters Market Trader Steering Group.

 

The Chair thanked Stuart McNamara for the deputation and invited Committee Members to ask questions. The deputation party provided the following responses:

·         Considered the scrutiny report to be thorough and impartial with the recommendations being fully supported by the evidence gathered.

·         Highlighted that the report was critical of the Council’s failure to monitor the Section 106.

·         Queried why, given concerns had been raised surrounding the Seven Sisters Market Trader Steering Group in 2016, those remain unresolved.   

·         Noted the success of the Seven Sisters Market with its large number of traders and compared this to high streets, such as Wood Green, where there was a notable number of vacant properties.

·         Praised the community asset of Wards Corner and claimed it provided what the local community needed.

·         Regarding the Seven Sisters Market Trader Steering Group, it was noted this met 21 times with traders making repeated concerns about their distress at the situation but claimed the market operator used the Steering Group as a forum to denigrate the traders. It was claimed traders had put forward recommendations at the meetings, but these failed to progress, which resulted in the traders opting out of the Steering Group following a vote of no confidence in the process.

·         Claimed the Council failed to monitor the Steering Group and failed its obligations to the traders under the Section 106 agreement.

·         The deputation sought:

o   independent round table discussions chaired by an individual outside of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 228 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting on 22nd July.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillor Moyeed returned following the conclusion of discussion at Item 12)

 

Following a query, Councillor Dogan informed the Committee that Councillor Brabazon would provide information on proposals for capital expenditure on schools, including clarification of the position regarding Fortismere School, to the Children and Young Person’s Scrutiny Panel at a future meeting.

 

RESOLVED

 

To agree the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 22nd July 2019.

 

7.

MINUTES OF SCRUTINY PANEL MEETINGS pdf icon PDF 162 KB

To receive and note the minutes of the following Scrutiny Panels and to approve any recommendations contained within:

 

Children and Young People Panel – 19th September

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

To note the minutes of the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel held on 19th September 2019 and to approve any recommendations contained within.

 

8.

CABINET MEMBER QUESTIONS - CABINET MEMBER FOR LOCAL INVESTMENT AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

Verbal update

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Bull, Cabinet Member for Local Investment and Economic Growth, appeared before the Committee and outlined his areas of responsibility within his portfolio. The Councillor then responded to questions from the Committee and the following information was noted:

a.    The Cabinet Member informed that the unemployment rate in Haringey was 4.5%.

b.    Regarding monitoring the impact of the Liveable Crouch End scheme on the surrounding area, the Cabinet Member invited local businesses to provide any information that demonstrated the scheme was having an impact on their business. Officers noted this was an ongoing pilot scheme and would provide fuller findings of the economic impact on the area to the Committee when they became available.

c.    In response to a question regarding encouraging businesses to provide jobs to local residents, the Cabinet Member noted there were provisions within the Procurement Strategy that had weighting in favour of businesses that sought to provide local residents with jobs. The Cabinet Member noted the Community Wealth Building fully supported the encouragement of local residents being provided with jobs where the Council provided investment and development. 

d.    Regarding assisting young people for the future by preparing them for the job market, the Cabinet Member noted Haringey Adults Learning Service should be able to assist in that area. He would also explore with the Cabinet Member for Children and Families what extra support and assistance could be provided to young people which ensured they were fully prepared for the job market.

e.    Regarding the support that the Council would provide to businesses on struggling high streets, the Cabinet Member noted general improvement was required such as cleaning up the streets and removing graffiti to make them a more attractive business investment. The Cabinet Member reiterated support for encouraging the employment of local residents from new business areas regenerated. With regard to Wood Green High Street specifically, Officers added that there was a piece of work underway called the Wood Green Place Shaping Manual which sought a collaborative approach between councillors, the community, and departments of the Council to identify projects that would help improve Wood Green High Street.

f.     Officers noted the Section 106 provided for major schemes to contribute to Haringey Works which provided free employment and skills support exclusively for Haringey residents. It also provided for funding to be made to the Haringey Construction Partnership which facilitated local employment in the construction sector.   

g.    Regarding the High Road West Strategy, the Cabinet Member recognised businesses concerns and informed the Committee there were plans to work with the Peacock Industrial Estate businesses to find alternative locations for them to continue their businesses in Haringey, or as close to the borough as possible.

h.    The Cabinet Member noted that the two small business loan funds would be available for start-up companies as well as existing businesses in Haringey, if the businesses were able to provide a credible business plan. The two council-run small business loan funds were the Opportunity Investment Fund and the new Productive Valley  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Quarter 1 (Period 3) Budget Monitoring for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jon Warlow, Director of Finance, outlined the report as set out. The report covered the budget monitoring position at Quarter 1 (Period 3) of the 2019/20 financial year, including General Fund (GF) Revenue, Capital, Housing Revenue Account (HRA), and Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) budgets. The report highlighted significant budget variances, including those arising as a result of the forecast non-achievement of Cabinet approved MTFS savings.

 

The Chair praised the £0.246mil underspend recorded in the Children’s and Schools budget. The Chair remarked that:

·         the mitigation plans for the overspend in the Adults and Public Health budget should be discussed in detail at the Adults and Health Scrutiny Panel;

·         the underachieved income on green chargeable waste services should be reviewed by the Environment and Community Safety Scrutiny Panel; and

·         the Overview and Scrutiny Committee should look into the corporate overspends.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, the following information was noted:

a.    Officers were optimistic that the total overspend recorded would not increase and that any major difficulties usually presented themselves at the end of Quarter 1.

b.    Regarding the new approach to putting together the budget, Officers noted this was working better than previous strategies. The team were being proactive in utilising what was working in the current budget to facilitate strategies for future budgets.

c.    Regarding the care packages overspend, Officers noted there were high-level discussions between the finance team and the directorate to analyse the demography issues, expected projections and cost dynamics on care packages. Those insights would facilitate future planning for care packages from 2021.

a.    Officers noted the 81% ragged Amber (which indicated an intermediate level of confidence in delivery of agreed savings) recording on page 37 in paragraph 8.4, was likely to be lower but officers were cautious in Quarter 1.

b.    In response to whether the underspend in the Children’s and Schools would stay within that portfolio, Officers stated this was not a given as there was a corporate overspend overall which needed to be addressed. The situation would be reviewed at the end of the year.

c.    Following any new developments in the borough, the Council would benefit through any increase in business rates. The Council would also benefit from the council tax collection from any new properties.

d.    Regarding the name change of Scheme Reference 115 on page 53, Officers noted this was not deliberate and would amend this for Quarter 2. The Chair requested this be further explored at the Children and Young Persons Scrutiny Panel.

 

The Chair invited Committee Members to forward any additional questions on the capital budget to the Director of Finance for written responses. 

 

10.

Borough Plan 2019-23 Priority performance update Quarter 1 pdf icon PDF 213 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Charlotte Pomery, Assistant Director for Commissioning, introduced this report as set out. The report provided an update on the new Borough Plan priorities, outcomes and indicators. It was highlighted that, as this was Quarter 1, there was a limited amount of information available.

 

The Chair suggested the comment on ‘Priority 1 Housing’ at page 65, that “… the 1000 council homes programme is a fundamentally new area of work in which the council has limited experience” be explored bythe Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel. The Chair also suggested the Environment and Community Safety Scrutiny Panel explore the comment on ‘Priority 3 Place (Outcome 12)’, that “…the ORC satisfaction survey…show that Haringey residents feel led safe both during the daytime and after dark than the national average”.

 

The Chair suggested the Overview and Scrutiny Committee explore at future meetings the negative recording for resident satisfaction in ‘Priority 5 Your Council (Outcome 18)’ regarding getting the right information and advice from the Council’s customer feedback. It was considered helpful if any future report on the matter contained comparators with other Council’s to see how Haringey compared.

 

Following discussion, it was noted:

·         With regard to ‘Priority 1 Housing (Outcome 2) Reduce Homelessness’, the Committee sought an update on the Temporary Accommodation forecasting model and how a reduction in the number of households in temporary accommodation has been achieved. On street homelessness, Officers noted additional funding had been provided from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to cover the winter period. Haringey was also working with Islington to street homelessness areas which jointly affected both boroughs.

·         With regard to ‘Priority 3 Place (Outcome 9) A healthier, active, greener place’, the Committee sought greater detail on the survey produced by Veolia, including the number of responses, to provide context to the stated 80% satisfaction with park cleanliness.

·         With regard to ‘Priority 4 Economy Support growth in business and jobs’, the Committee sought the Council to be more proactive in its ambition to increase the number of workers in Haringey earning the LLW or above.

·         With regard to ‘Priority 5 Your Council (Outcome 19) Being an able, positive workforce’, the Committee requested the actual number of BAME staff members in the top 5% of Haringey earners.

·         With regard to ‘Priority 3 Place (Outcome 10) A cleaner, accessible and more attractive place’, the Committee sought to explore in greater detail the rate of people killed or seriously injured on Haringey roads.

·         With regard to ‘Priority 2 domestic abuse with injury’, it was noted this was displayed as green on the Council’s website, despite it still being a high figure, as a result of the downward trajectory of the statistic. Officers accepted this could be presented more clearly.

·         With regard to ‘Priority 2 (Outcome 6) Pathway to success’, the Committee sought for greater clarification on what the Council was doing to address the large disparity in results achieved by white  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Front Office, Back Office Transformation Programme pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods introduced this report as set out. The report provided the Committee with an update on the Front Office, Back Office (FOBO) Transformation Programme.

 

The Cabinet Member highlighted the following:

·         The Cabinet Member had been visiting other councils to see if any lessons could be learned for Haringey’s FOBO.

·         There had been a reduction in the number of face to face customer service interactions, with an increase in online customer service interactions.

·         September Cabinet approved a new parking system which would be live from April 2020.

·         There had been no compulsory redundancies issued to any FOBO staff.

 

Andy Briggs, Assistant Director of Corporate and Customer Services, highlighted the additional points:

·         The FOBO Transformation Programme had achieved savings of £2.9mil.

·         The service had a productive working relationship with the trade unions in addressing staff changes as a result of the programme.

·         The service had improved its communication with customer services.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, the following information was noted:

a.    For those residents not comfortable using electronic services, there were drop in sessions available to assist those residents in completing services which required online systems. The website had also been made more user friendly.

b.    Stage 2 would include a complete review of the operating model in Haringey’s libraries, which would include the encouragement of a self-service model. There had been successful trial runs of the self-service systems for the elderly and those who did not speak English as their first language.

c.    The Council had been recording customer satisfaction levels at its face to face centres, which showed high levels (80%+) of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction was being recorded on the Council’s website, with a scoring system at the bottom of each webpage, and also at the end of Council calls, with a text following up the call asking for a rating of the level of customer service received.

d.    The move towards a greater online customer service presence was cautioned with potentially barring those unable or without the means to access online services. The Cabinet Member noted there would still be the provision to deal with customers fact to face. Furthermore, the emphasis on online customer service would free up the face to face customer service provisions to deal with those genuinely in need of face to face assistance.

e.    The Change in letters being sent out from Revenues and Benefits and Housing Rent letters had led to a reduction in calls to the Council. This freed up customers services and allowed resources to be deployed elsewhere.

f.     The FOBO programme had initially been allocated a budget of £8.4mil, however, the service was currently predicting a spend of £5.4mil, an underspend of £3mil. Officers largely attributed this saving as a result of the contractor the service chose to provide its customer platform.

g.    Regarding G-Cloud, Officers noted this had a much wider range of pre-vetted suppliers available on it.

h.    Regarding the number of landlords who had taken up the invites to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Scrutiny Review of Wards Corner pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced this report on the Scrutiny Review on Wards Corner. 

 

Stephen Lawrence-Orumwense, Assistant Head of Legal Services, outlined the officers recommendation of the report, that ‘Overview and Scrutiny Committee defer approval of the draft Wards Corner scrutiny review findings and recommendation to its next meeting in November 2019 to allow for private third parties to comment on its accuracy, findings and recommendations and for these to be considered in finalising the review report’, with reasons for that recommendation at paragraph 4 of the report. It was noted neither the Chief Planner of the Council or third parties had the opportunity to provide comments on the scrutiny review report, with regards to accuracy. 

 

The Chair noted there was exempt information at Item 16 in relation to additional legal advice on this report but did not consider that information needed to be discussed at the meeting. The Committee, having had sight of that exempt information prior to the meeting, agreed to proceed without discussing that information. 

 

The Chair informed that a letter had been received by Grainger which highlighted their concerns over factual inaccuracies within the scrutiny report and requested the Committee defer approval of the report until its November meeting so that those inaccuracies could be resolved.

 

Following discussion, the Committee praised the scrutiny report and its recommendations. It therefore decided it would not defer approval of the report until its November meeting.

 

The Chair proposed approving the scrutiny report and its recommendations but granting the Chair and Vice-Chair, in consultation with the Committee Members, authority to make any necessary factual corrections to the report following third party feedback as appropriate. Legal advice would be sought if the Chair or Vice-Chair considered it necessary. The Committee agreed this approach.

 

Following clarification from the Assistant Head of Legal Services, the Committee agreed the below resolutions.

 

RESOLVED

 

The Committee agreed :

 

  1. To accept the review reports findings and recommendations

 

  1. That third parties be allowed to make representations relating to accuracy of the review report. And that authority be granted to the Chair and Vice-Chair in consultation with Committee members to consider the representations and make any additions to the report, if required

 

  1. To seek legal advice, if required, to help inform the above process

 

  1. To publish the final report and put it before the executive for a response at the December Cabinet meeting.

 

13.

Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Rob Mack, Principal Scrutiny Support Officer, updated the Committee on the work programmes for the main Committee and Scrutiny Panels.

 

Following the completion of the Ward Corner review, the Committee would be able to focus on the Business Support review, which focussed on Procurement and Local Supply Chain. On Monday 23rd October, there would be an Evidence Gathering session in which Haringey Business Alliance and Barry Phelps, Head of Procurement, would provide evidence to the Committee. Efforts were being made to have a representative from the Federation of Small Businesses provide evidence at a future session. 

 

14.

New Items of Urgent Business

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

 

15.

Future meetings

25 November 2019

14 January 2020 (Priority X)

23 January 2020 (Budget Scrutiny)

12 March 2020

Additional documents:

Minutes:

25 November 2019

14 January 2020 (Priority X)

23 January 2020 (Budget Scrutiny)

12 March 2020