Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 6th July, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Woodside Room, George Meehan House

Contact: Philip Slawther, Principal Committee Co-ordinator 

Note: This meeting will be webcast - use the link on the agenda frontsheet or copy and paste the following link into your internet browser: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_ZDZlMjlmZjgtOGIwMC00MDdkLWJkNDUtY2NmYjI3ZmYwZTNk%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%226ddfa760-8cd5-44a8-8e48-d8ca487731c3%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22f5230856-79e8-4651-a903-97aa289e8eff%22%2c%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3atrue%7d&btype=a&role=a 

Items
No. Item

57.

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.

Minutes:

The Chair referred Members present to item one on the agenda in respect of filming at the meeting and Members noted the information contained therein.

 

58.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Ms Jakhu.

59.

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).

Minutes:

None.

60.

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

Minutes:

In respect of item 9 (Statement of Gambling Policy), Councillor declared that he had previously been briefed on this issue whilst as the appropriate Cabinet Member but had not taken any decisions relating to it. 

61.

Deputations/Petitions/Presentations/Questions

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

Minutes:

The Committee received a deputation in respect of the Council’s draft Gambling Policy.  The deputation stated that 20% of shop premises in Tottenham were now being used for gambling purposes.  This was bad for the area and they felt that it would not be tolerated in other areas of the borough.  There had previously been successful campaigns in some areas of the borough to stop betting shops but residents were not always aware of proposed new establishments.  

 

Gambling could cause harm to people in the community and, in some cases, could lead to debt and destitution.  Gambling had a particularly negative impact on young people and some premises were offering free refreshments to entice them in. Poorer communities were often targeted by operators as these were likely to provide the greatest profits. They were disappointed that a new establishment had been allowed to open in Tottenham recently, despite opposition from local people.

 

In answer to a question regarding how they wished the Council to respond further, the deputation stated that there had been no consultation with the local community regarding the proposed opening of new gambling premises in Tottenham and no consideration over whether it was wanted locally.  They felt that there was a need for the Council to be more ambitious in its approach.  In addition, they felt that more genuine consultation was required with residents. 

 

Committee Members stated that although gambling could be a blight on local communities, the Council had very limited powers to prevent establishments from opening.  It was not possible for the Council to just say that it did not want them.  Current legislation stated that there was an “aim to permit” and the Council and other local authorities had asked the government to remove this. 

 

The deputation responded that they were aware that local authorities had limited powers.  They already felt that they knew what the outcome of consultation on the issue would be and there was little chance of the Council stopping establishments from opening by using the law as it currently stood.  They felt that the Council could nevertheless make local people more aware when proposals were made to open establishments as well as what they could do if they objected to them. 

 

Committee Members stated that they shared the concerns of the deputation regarding the proliferation of gambling establishments and, in particular, the disproportionate number of these that there were in the more deprived parts of the borough.  Men from some Black and Minority Ethnic communities were also disproportionately affected by gambling. 

 

Councillor Ruth Gordon, the Cabinet Member for House Building, Place-Making and Development, reported that ward Councillors had objected robustly to a recent proposal to open a gambling establishment in Tottenham and the application had been turned down initially.  However, the application had been agreed when re-submitted by the applicant despite there being a number of objections.  Unlike the first time, the Police had not objected to the re-submitted application.  In addition, the application had not been noticed as much  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Statement of Gambling Policy pdf icon PDF 332 KB

To consider the draft Statement of Gambling Policy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Daliah Barrett, Licensing Team Leader, introduced a report on the Council’s draft Statement of Gambling Policy.  Local authorities were required to review this every three years.  The draft was currently being consulted upon by the Council and the Committee were invited to submit any comments that they may have.  The consultation would on 6 September and the final policy would be approved by Cabinet in November. 

 

Gambling was legal but had the potential to cause a range of harm and there was also a disproportionate impact on some communities.  The Gambling Commission had acknowledged the harm gambling caused and was undertaking some work to address it.  Research was taking place and it was being looked at as a public health issue.   The Council’s draft statement focused on how the Council carried out its regulation of gambling.  Key licensing objectives were preventing crime and disorder, ensuring that gambling was fair and open and protecting children and vulnerable people.

 

The current legislation was permissive and designed to provide “light touch” regulation.  The draft statement was based on legislation and guidance from the Gambling Commission.  There were currently no casinos in Haringey.  There had been some clustering of betting shops and this had been driven by the prevalence of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).  However, stakes had been reduced to £2 from April 2019 and this had led to clustering no longer being profitable for operators.  Whilst this had led to a reduction in the number of betting shops, some had been re-purposed as adult gaming centres.  The Local Area Profile acted as a guide for operators to use when preparing risk assessments.  There were default conditions for adult gaming centres and these included 24 hour opening but the Local Area Profile had been used to bring about reduced hours for them within the borough. 

 

The Council had responded to the recent call for evidence as part of the review of the Gambling Act.  It had asked that the community impact could be taken into account when determining applications, that the “needs test” be restored and that the “aim to permit” provision in current legislation be removed. The outcome of the review would not be known for another year.  The review had been geared towards looking at emerging issues though, such as the growth of on-line gambling. 

 

The consultation on the Council’s draft statement was underway and details had been shared with a wide range of stakeholders including Councillors, operators, neighbouring boroughs and the Citizen’s Panel.  It was an open and public consultation and residents were encouraged to respond.   However, the legislation forbade local authorities from just responding that there were too many gambling establishments in their area or putting forward moral considerations.  There was an argument for a bespoke piece of research being undertaken on the harm caused by gambling.  There was currently a lack of local data and research findings could be used to provide additional detail within the Local Area Profile. In answer to a question, she stated that there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.

63.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 427 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting on 8th June as a correct record.

Minutes:

In respect of (n). in item 50 (Cabinet Member Questions - the Leader of the Council), the Committee requested an update on concerns regarding trees being cut down and feedback from residents about lack of communication or consultation when this happened.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That subject to the above, the minutes of the meeting of 8 June be approved.

64.

MINUTES OF SCRUTINY PANEL MEETINGS pdf icon PDF 247 KB

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

 

Adults & Health Scrutiny Panel – 11th March 2021

Children & Young People’s Scrutiny Panel – 8th March 2021

Environment & Community Safety Scrutiny Panel – 4th March 2021

Housing & Regeneration Scrutiny Panel – 2nd March 2021

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the following Scrutiny Panels be received and noted and any recommendations contained within approved:

·         Adults and Health Scrutiny Panel – 11th March 2021

·         Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel – 8th March 2021

·         Environment and Community Safety Scrutiny Panel – 4th March 2021

·         Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel – 2nd March 2021

65.

CABINET MEMBER QUESTIONS - Cabinet Member for House Building, Place Making and Development

Verbal update

Minutes:

Cllr Ruth Gordon, the Cabinet Member for House Building, Place Making and Development, gave the Committee an update on key developments from within the areas of her portfolio that came within the terms of reference of the Committee:

·         She reported that Covid government grants amounting to just under £92 million had been distributed by the Council to businesses in the borough.  Home based businesses had not initially been entitled but this had now been rectified and, in addition, they would now be able to claim an allowance of £312 for property costs once the scheme reopened for applications;

·         There had been a recent flood in Wood Green High Road that had caused damage to a number of businesses.  Assistance had been provided for those affected by it; and

·         A Good Economy Recovery Plan (GERP) had been launched by the Council last year in response to Covid pandemic and was intended to provide a road map for recovery for the local economy.  It was informed by analysis of how the borough had been affected.   22,000 residents were employed within the borough and the pandemic had had a huge impact on them.  The plans covered a range of issues including provision of outdoor seating and reduction of crime.

 

The business sector in the borough was dominated by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the plans reflected this.  Further consideration was now being given to the overall strategy.  In particular, what had worked well and what had not been successful were being considered.

 

In answer to a question, she reported that the Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel on 8 July would include discussion of plans for Wards Corner, Broadwater Farm and High Road West and relevant officers would be there to assist in answering questions.  In respect of Wards Corner, a viability report by the developer had stated that the proposed development was no longer economically viable.  As was the normal practice in such situations, the Council had commissioned its own independent assessment, which had now been completed.  Discussions were taking place with traders on the future of the site.  It was agreed that the Assistant Director for Regeneration and Economic Development would provide a written answer to a question from Councillor White regarding the progress with the implementation of the Fairness Commission recommendation on the incentivisation of payment of the London Living Wage.

 

In answer to a question regarding place making, she stated that regeneration could be perceived as a “top down” process.   Place making focussed more on building communities and developing a sense of belonging.  The intention was to develop genuine engagement with residents and ensure that their views were listened to ahead of plans being developed.  She reported that the Council’s role in respect of Covid grants was to passport them to local businesses.  They had been lobbied by some groups who had been excluded, such as home based businesses, and had responded to their concerns where able to.   

 

In answer to a question about preserving green space, she  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.

66.

Good Economy Recovery Plan, High Streets Recovery Action Plan and the Employment and Skills Recovery Action Plan pdf icon PDF 643 KB

To receive an update on the delivery of the above named plans.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Peter O’Brien, Assistant Director for Regeneration and Economic Development, and Diane Southam, Head of Economic Development, introduced the Good Economy Recovery Plan for the borough.  The impact of the pandemic on the borough had been amongst the severe in London, with a large numbers of people being either furloughed or made unemployed.  Haringey was a borough of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the sectors that many of them were in were amongst those hardest hit.  The latest data showed a cautious level of growth but this represented businesses taking back some of the losses that they experienced in the past 15 months.  The peak of unemployment was not expected to be reached until next year and the consequences of the pandemic were likely to felt for some time.  There had been an increased demand for business support services and the Good Economy Recovery Plan (GERP) had been launched last year in response to it. 

 

There were four elements to the GERP:

·         Re-opening and supporting high streets and town centres;

·         Supporting business through recovery and into renewal;

·         Assisting residents into work and training; and

·         Securing social and economic value through investments in communities and neighbourhoods.

 

The Committee noted the range of interventions that had been undertaken is support of the four elements of the GERP.  The Chair reported that he had consulted Haringey Business Alliance regarding it.  They stated that they had been consulted in the development of the GERP, were fully supportive of it and anxious for it to continue to be implemented.

 

Councillor Bull commented that it was important that empty shop units were targeted and they were a key reason why gambling operators moved in.  He also stated that some of worst affected businesses were those that were not required to close during lockdown but whose trade had been badly impacted, such as dry cleaners.  He also suggested that Broad Lane in Tottenham be considered for inclusion in the next phase of the Shutter Gallery.  In response, Mr O’Brien stated that work was being undertaken to obtain an understanding of which business had been worst affected.  Engagement and a business survey were being undertaken to inform this process. 

67.

Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 295 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted that the scope and terms of reference of the forthcoming review on knife and gun crime would be circulated Committee Members and relevant officers for comment and would be submitted to the next meeting for final approval.  This would not preclude work be started on the it.  There were currently two items that had been requested that it was not possible to currently accommodate within the work plan.  These were Brexit and Fire Safety in High Rise Blocks.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the current work programmes for the main Committee and Scrutiny Panels be noted; and

 

2.    That the scope and terms of reference for the review by the Adults and Health Panel’s review on Sheltered Housing be approved.