Venue: Council Chamber, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions
Contact: Mwim Chellah; Tel.: 07761405966 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Attendance by Reserve Members
To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.
Reserve Members may attend meetings:-
(i) to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;
(ii) where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and
(iii) the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;
(iv) if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.
RESOLVED: To note that there were no reserve Members in attendance at the meeting.
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:
(a) all Members of the Sub-Committee;
(b) all other Members present.
RESOLVED: To note that there were no declarations of interests made by Members.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 June 2021 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 June 2021 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.
Appointment of Vice-Chair
To consider the appointment of a Vice-Chair to the Call In Scrutiny Sub Committee for the Municipal Year 2022-2023
RESOLVED: To appoint Councillor Jerry Miles as Vice-Chair of the Call-In Scrutiny Sub-Committee for the 2022/2023 Municipal Year.
The Chair advised that the call-in notice had been received and drew attention to the document “Protocol for the Operation of the Call-In Sub Committee” contained in the Agenda pack.
He outlined the procedure to be followed at the meeting and the options open to the Sub-Committee at the conclusion of the process.
In accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 46.5, a notice seeking to invoke the call in procedure must state at least one of the following grounds in support of the request for a call-in of the decision:
a) inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision;
b) the absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision;
c) the decision is contrary to the policy framework, or contrary to, or not;
d) wholly in accordance with the budget framework;
e) the action is not proportionate to the desired outcome;
f) a potential human rights challenge;
g) insufficient consideration of legal and financial advice.
Referring to paragraph 8 of the Protocol, the Chair stated that the Sub-Committee, having considered the grounds for the call-in and the information provided at the meeting, may come to one of the following conclusions:
1) that the challenge to the decision should be taken no further and the decision be implemented;
2) that the decision is contrary to the policy framework, or contrary to, or not wholly in accordance with the budget framework and should therefore be referred to the Council. In such a case the Call-in Sub-Committee must set out the nature of its concerns for Council; or
3) that the matter should be referred back to the decision taker (that is, the Portfolio Holder or Executive, whichever took the decision) for reconsideration. In such a case the Call in Sub Committee must set out the nature of its concerns/reasons for referral for the decision taker/Executive.
(a) Notice invoking Call In (pages )
(b) Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 23 June 2022 (pages )
(c) Report submitted to Cabinet on 23 June 2022 (pages )
The Sub-Committee received the notices in respect of the call-in submitted by six Members of the Council in relation to a decision made by the Cabinet on 23 June 2022, on Investment into Harrow’s Tennis Infrastructure.
The Chair advised the Sub-Committee on the suggested order of proceedings and reminded Members of the timings allowed for submissions and questions.
The Chair then invited the representative of the signatories to present their reasons for the call-in.
The representative began by explaining that the call in was on the decision to outsource operations of the tennis courts to an external provider and introduce charging, without any prior consultation.
The call in was based on the following five reasons.
1. Inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision
a) there had been no consultation with Ward Councillors prior to Cabinet making the decision to outsource the running of the publicly owned tennis courts within the parks in Harrow for profit;
b) there had been no consultation with the Park User Groups prior to Cabinet making the decision to outsource the running of the tennis courts, as per the contract set out in the Park User Groups – Operational Framework;
c) there had been lack of adequate consultation with current users of the tennis courts in Harrow and whether they supported or opposed the role out of charging and outsourcing to an external provider;
d) the Cabinet report ignored and did not take into account the COMPACT agreement with the voluntary and community sector regarding consultation prior to a decision being made that would impact the sector;
e) there had been lack of consultation with debt advice charities who had more relevant data on Harrow residents and their ability to pay, or not;
f) the lack of consultation with way the decision was made contradicted the Nolan Principles; in particular, openness and personal judgement. For example, the decision to outsource had been made prior to consultation, therefore, ignored any views that may be made;
g) the lack of communication or consultation had damaged future partnership working and relationships with residents and community groups.
2. The absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision
The Cabinet report had insufficient information on the risks associated with the decision to outsource, particularly the potential impact on youth services and groups, spontaneous play, ability to pay, Park User Groups and schools.
Insufficient attention had been paid to potential “unintended consequences” of outsourcing the running of the service:
§ there was no evidence base or pricing structure to support the decision. It is noted that the tennis operator would be responsible for the pricing strategy;
§ there were no contract limits on profits by the provider; and
§ free play would be forced into non-prime times, which would exclude weekends and evenings.
3. The decision is contrary to the policy framework, or contrary to, or not wholly in accordance with the budget framework
The decision contradicted Council agreed policies that ensured there was free access to sports facilities ... view the full minutes text for item 6.