Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 22nd October, 2012 6.30 pm

Contact: Felicity Parker  2919


No. Item



Please note: This meeting may be filmed for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council's internet site - at the start of the meeting the Chair will confirm if all or part of the meeting is being filmed. The images and sound recording may be used for training purposes within the Council.


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If you have any queries regarding this, please contact the Committee Clerk

at the meeting.


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The Chair welcomed everybody to the meeting and informed them that the meeting would be webcast.


Apologies for Absence

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Apologies for absence were received from Helen Kania and Mariatta Ezeji.


Apologies for lateness were received from Cllr McNamara.


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 14 below).

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The Chair informed the Committee that Councillor McNamara would be tabling a Panel report from the Environment & Housing Scrutiny Panel.  This would be taken under item 12.


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

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There were no declarations of interest.



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

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An opportunity for the Committee to question the Cabinet Member, Councillor Alan Strickland, on the Economic Development and Social Inclusion portfolio.

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The Committee received a brief update of the Cabinet Member portfolio for Economic Development and Social Inclusion.





·          Tottenham Regeneration – the Council had set out 12 pledges to the community with key items of work by end of calendar year.  Councillor Strickland placed on record his thanks to the officers involved with the works already carried out.

·          A new team had been introduced to tackle grime and enforcement issues in Tottenham in the form of a neighbourhood action team, launched in March 2012.

·          Activities had been arranged in Tottenham High Road to bring more people to Tottenham and restore confidence.  A number of events had taken place – medley market, film festival (400 people attended), and there would be a music festival in December.

·          The Bruce Grove Youth Centre was re-launched in April 2012 and had run a summer programme.

·          The Jobs for Haringey scheme had been launched in May 2012 and had so far made good progress.  48 people had been helped into work through the brokerage scheme and 17 new jobs had been created locally.  There had been 154 applications jobs to be created, with a target of 200.  There had been good interest from local businesses, with officers working hard to challenge developers to create local jobs and recruit locally.

·          A new enterprise centre was due to open at 639 High Rd - a temporary building (639b) had opened in July and was run by the London Youth Support Trust.

·          Phase 1 of the Spurs development started on 24 September, starting with the supermarket development.

·          The Authority was keen to make sure that the community were involved in regeneration.  Working groups had been set up in Tottenham Green, Bruce Grove and West Green Road, and chaired by local Councillors.  Successful meetings had been held over the summer period, supported by the Princes foundation to work up designs for Tottenham Green.

·          Tottenham High Road - the Post Office was relocated in January, Job Centre Plus had now been reopened and both Aldi and Carpet Right had been granted planning permission to re-build.

·          Work on removing the Tottenham Hale Gyratory was due to begin next month.

·          Good progress had been made on the 12 pledges, and a progress report would be published at the end of the year.

·          Town centres – Councillor Strickland was keen to get to learn more about the Borough’s town centres in greater detail.  There were challenges across the whole Borough.  £100k Government funding had been received to support town centres and this money would be distributed as follows:  £50k to West Green Road, and the remaining £50k would be split between the remaining five town centres to support local initiatives and drive growth.



·          Planning policies group had been set up, with cross party membership, to work through policies and ensure that these reflect political and local priorities.


·          There had been good activity across the borough during the Olympic period – arts programme at Bruce Castle Park, art exhibition at Bruce  ...  view the full minutes text for item 151.



This report informs Members of progress against the Council’s priorities and other major responsibilities in the first quarter of 2012/13.

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The Committee received an update on progress against the Council’s priorities and other major responsibilities in the first quarter of 2012/13.  Up to date Quarter 2 information had been provided to Members as part of the supplementary pack. 


Margaret Gallagher outlined the highlights of the report:


·                    September had seen the creation of 17 jobs through the Jobs Fund

·                    There had been an increase in the amount of people in Temporary Accommodation.  The overall trend was decreasing, but the Haringey average was significantly higher than the London average

·                    The number of children in care had reduced from 574 (March) to 542 (September) – a rate of 110 per 10,000 population, which was a reduction compared to last year but still higher than the national average.

·                    The number of children under a child protection plan had increased and the Haringey rate was higher than its’ statistical neighbours.

·                    57.9% of pupils had received 5 GCSEs at A-C grades, although this statistic was subject to validation.

·                    Housing benefit and Council Tax claims had reduced significantly.

·                    There had been an increase in violent crime.

·                    An improvement had been made in the under 18 conception rate


Margaret Gallagher informed the Committee that she may be unable to answer any service specific questions, but would refer these to the relevant officers.


The Committee requested information on the following:


·                    Education – what actions were being taken to bring the fixed term exclusion rate in line with the inner London rate?

·                    What measures were being taken to ensure that the case loads of social workers were manageable and to ensure that there were enough social workers in the authority?

·                    Target HY483 – average days from becoming looked after to placed for adoption for children adopted in period – was ‘red’ for Quarter 2.  What plans were in place to reduce this and bring in line with the Government target?

·                    Now that the Belmont Infant and Junior School expansion plans had been rejected, would there be an affect on school places and how would this be dealt with?


The Committee had a brief discussion on how this type of information was presented at meetings and suggested that it would be better to receive it at an earlier stages so that Members could scrutinise it in more details and address concerns in other ways.  It was suggested that Panels may be better placed to consider areas within their remit and OSC to consider areas it specifically covered.


The Chair thanked Margaret Gallagher for attending.



This report, as considered by Cabinet on 18 September 2012, details the forecast revenue and capital outturns for 2012/13 based on actual performance to 31 July 2012 and the proposed management actions and budget adjustments in response to monthly budget management during the financial year to date.

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The Committee received an update from Kevin Bartle on the Budget Monitoring report.  The report was considered at the 18 September 2012 Cabinet meeting, and detailed the forecast revenue and capital outturns for 2012/13 based on actual performance to 31 July 2012 and the proposed management actions and budget adjustments in response to monthly budget management during the financial year to date.


The highlights of the report were outlined:

·                    A balanced position was projected on the revenue budget – this included some overspends and underspends.

·                    Adults & Housing – projected £2m overspend (paragraph three of the report outlined actions taken to address the position).  There was an amount held in central reserves which was earmarked for Adults and Housing, and there may be a request to release these reserves.

·                    Place and Sustainability - projected £600k overspend

·                    Children & Young People – projected balanced position at the end of the financial year, however due to the volatile nature of the budget, this was being closely monitored.

·                    Chief Executive – projected £300k overspend.

·                    There was a £1m saving in Treasury Management, based on the costs of borrowing.

·                    All funding decisions were made annually by Full Council – this decision was based on funding needs and demographic pressures on the budget process.


The Committee requested:

·                    That the Chief Executive of Homes for Haringey (or his rep) attend the next meeting to explain the forecast overspend on the repairs budget; and,

·                    Explanation of projected capital under spend on voids, which seemed to be at odds with the performance report on voids.


Councillor Rice reminded Committee Members that OSC were responsible for scrutinising the overall view of the whole budget, the Scrutiny Panels were responsible for scrutinising the detailed monitoring of services.



This reports updates the Committee on progress of the actions taken following the response provided to the July 2011 Cabinet to recommendations set out in the Scrutiny Panel report on introducing a 20mph limit in the borough.

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The Committee received an update from Joan Hancox on the review update of the 20mph speed limit.  There was not a great deal to update the Committee – the main recommendation on the original report had not been agreed by Cabinet.



·                    Road safety measures were still being implemented to reduce speed on residential roads.

·                    The £3.2m was an estimated based on implementing the limit where it was not already in place – it was not for a wide range of physical measures.

·                    With regards to comparisons against other boroughs, Hackney and Islington already had significant areas (approximately 75%) of the borough under 20mph limits prior to a roll out.  Haringey only had 35% of the roads covered by a 20mph limit, hence the higher cost to introduce it across the remaining 65%.

·                    The majority of accidents were on A and B roads and not residential roads.  Therefore a 20mph limit of side roads would not address the majority of accident rates.


Councillor McNamara suggested that it might be appropriate for the Environment and Housing Scrutiny Panel to carry out further work on this issue.



This report asks the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to note and approve the draft revised Statement of Licensing Policy and sets out the process and timetable for adoption.

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The Committee received the report on the responses to the revised Gambling Policy consultation process, introduced by Joan Hancox and Daliah Barrett.



·                    The Gambling Policy – Statement of Licensing Principles – was required to be reviewed every three years and needed to be in place by the end of January 2013.

·                    There were a number of restrictions as to what could be included within the policy.  Problems with gambling and betting shops could not be legally incorporated.

·                    The Gambling Act 2005 did not allow for the community to get involved.  Planning and demand could also not be taken into consideration.

·                    The fees charge for gambling was set by the Government – LBH fees were set 10% below maximum, further work would need to be undertaken to see if these could be increased.


The Committee discussed why this report was presented at OSC, when there could be no influence over the content.  The Chair agreed to take advice from Legal Services to see why this is the proper route for the gambling policy.




The purpose of this briefing is to provide information to the Panel to enable them to discuss and agree the focus and objectives of this project.

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The Committee received the report as set out in the agenda papers.  Melanie Ponomarenko outlined the following:


·                    The paper was a discussion paper for the Committee to consider the impact of the welfare reforms project.

·                    Discussion had taken place with several departments- Council Tax Benefits, Community Housing, Economic Regeneration, Public Health – to see where scrutiny may be able to add value.  Page 131 of the agenda pack outlined these areas.

·                    The Community Housing Service were currently looking at a policy about placing people unable to stay in the borough to other areas, due to the benefits cap.  This policy was due to be reported at the Cabinet meeting in December, with a roll-out in-March-April 2013.

·                    The changes to Council Tax benefits would be agreed by full Council in January 2013.  There were some elements that scrutiny could contribute to – categorising who is protected or enforcement and collection policies.

·                    There were many changes happening.  It would be useful to carry out a mapping exercise to identify any gaps in service, along with what services and advice were available.

·                    It was proposed that the project team held 3-4 meetings to consider the welfare reform project.  Timescales needed to be worked out, and these meetings should be in-sync with the significant milestones as outlined by the services.


The Committee discussed the report and made the following comments:


·                    This was a good piece of preliminary work to set out the most significant changes that the Council would have to deal with.  These changes would have a major effect on people living in the borough and it was important that the policies were scrutinised before they were implemented.

·                    A special OSC meeting was requested to meet before the December Cabinet meeting. 

·                    The Chair questioned whether OSC had the capacity to carry out detailed scrutiny work and suggested that it may be better to delegate this to a Scrutiny Panel.   However it was noted that cross cutting areas and benefits are in the OSC’s remit.

·                    The Chair agreed to meet with Policy Officers to discuss a way forward.  The Vice-Chair requested to attend the meeting also.

ACTION: Melanie Ponomarenko



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Communities Scrutiny Panel


Councillor Winskill introduced the summary paper and draft minutes of the Communities Scrutiny Panel as set out in the agenda papers.  Councillor Winskill added that following the meeting, Councillor Rice had written to the Borough Commander with regards to tasers, requesting further assurances about their use.  This was in response to a recent incident within the Borough where a young person was accidentally tasered.  Councillor Rice added that he had received a response from the Chief Inspector to say that the same presentation given at the CSP meeting could be given at OSC, however engagement on a larger scale with all Councillors may be a better route.  Following a discussion it was agreed that Councillor Rice would again write to the Borough Commander in his capacity of Chair of OSC to request that the taser rollout be suspended until the IPCC had reported back on their findings.



The Committee noted and AGREED the recommendations as set out.


Adults and Health Scrutiny Panel


Councillor Adamou introduced the summary paper and draft minutes of the Adults and Health Scrutiny Panel as set out in the agenda papers.


The Committee noted and AGREED the recommendations as set out.


Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel


Councillor Newton introduced the summary paper and draft minutes of the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel as set out in the agenda papers.  Councillor Newton added that the Panel would be carrying out in-depth work on school places, following the decision not to expand Belmont Infant and Junior schools.


Environment and Housing Scrutiny Panel


Councillor McNamara introduced the summary paper and draft minutes of the Environment and Housing Scrutiny Panel as set out in the agenda papers.


The Committee noted and AGREED the recommendations as set out.


Councillor McNamara tabled a report - ‘Interim report on waste and recycling services’ – which outlined the impact on the rollout for phases 1&2 and covered wider issues of how to increase recycling rates.  Councillor McNamara outlined the report and recommendations.


The Committee noted and AGREED the recommendations as set out, subject to the following amendment to recommendation 1:


Where the successful application of the new waste and recycling collection system is not immediately deliverable (e.g. no room for wheelie bins), a more bespoke system is developed which utilises the full range of available receptacles: bags; boxes; boxes with bags; 120, 240 & 360 litre bins; food waste bins; hessian sacks and community bins and is undertaken in consultation with ward councillors, local residents, residents associations and community groups. This should also include the option of returning to weekly collection of residual waste in exceptional circumstances where other options have been ruled out as unworkable.


Councillor McNamara gave thanks to the officers involved in the report, particularly Martin Bradford.  He also requested that the report be sent to Cabinet Members.



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This item was not discussed.


New Items of Urgent Business

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There were no new items of urgent business.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 23 July 2012.

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The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 23 July 2012 were approved as a correct record.


NOTED the response to the action under minute OSCO 137 –


In response to whether an options appraisal had been carried out for the provision of front line services through post offices, the Leader confirmed that Lyn Garner – Director of Place and Sustainability – would be able to provide an update, following a meeting that she had attended.  ACTION:  Director of Place and Sustainability


The Post Office’s national modernisation programme will be taking place over the next three years. There is a £1.34 billion investment package associated with the programme which will see up to 6,000 branches converted into new formats. There is no programme of branch closures, the modernisation plan is centred on two new models:


·        The main model will see many larger branches refreshed with open plan counters, new technology such as assisted self-service, longer opening hours and special services for small businesses.

·        The local model will see Post Office services offered on the retail counter, rather than from a dedicated Post Office counter. The local model is more economical for sub postmasters to run and usually means services are available for much longer hours.


In Haringey there are currently 18 Post Offices. Five are ‘Crown’ Post Offices, run directly by Post Office Ltd with direct employees. The remainder ‘Independently Run’ Post Offices operated under a number of different models. The five ‘Crown’ Post Offices are located at: Wood Green; Crouch End; Harringay Green Lanes; Muswell Hill; Finsbury Park.


The Post Office has contacted all branches in Haringey to offer three alternatives:


a) No change (branch stays as it currently is);

b) Modernise (fully funded in return for a switch to a new variable contract with the Post Office);

c) Leave the Post Office branch network (18 months’ severance payment, with the Post Office seeking to identify alternative provision).


The offer runs for three years. Council officers are in dialogue with colleagues from the Post Office about opportunities to join up service provision and deliver in partnership at locations where it makes sense to do so.  


Future meetings

To note the dates of future meetings as follows:


Thursday 8 November 2012 (budget)

Monday 17 December 2012

Monday 28 January 2013 (budget)

Monday 18 March 2013

Monday 29 April 2013

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NOTED the dates of future meetings.