Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday 14 December 2021 6.30 pm, MOVED

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Online. View directions

Contact: Andrew Seaman, Senior Democratic & Electoral Services Officer  E-mail:


No. Item


Scrutiny Lead Member for Health

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The Chair informed the Committee of a change to the Scrutiny Lead Member for Health as notified by the Conservative Group.  He stated that, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 1.5, Councillor Dr Lesline Lewinson had been appointed to the vacancy.


RESOLVED:  To note the appointment of Councillor Dr Lesline Lewinson as Scrutiny Lead Member for Health.


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.

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RESOLVED:  To note the attendance at this meeting of the following duly appointed Reserve Member:-


Ordinary Member


Reserve Member


Councillor Ajay Maru

Councillor Sasi Suresh



Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 380 KB

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 Committee;

(b)          all other Members present.

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RESOLVED:  To note the declarations, if any, as published on the Council’s website prior to the meeting and the following additional declaration made at the meeting:


Agenda Items 7/8 – Council’s approach to enforcement: Licensing and Enforcement Update/Community Safety Strategic Assessment 2021


Councillor Marikar, who was not a member of the Committee, declared a non-pecuniary interest in that she was a Scrutiny Lead Member for Community.  She would participate in the discussions at the meeting.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 304 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2021 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

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RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2021, be taken as read and signed as a correct record.


Public Questions

To receive any public questions received in accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 17 (Part 4B of the Constitution).


Questions will be asked in the order in which they were received.  There will be a time limit of 15 minutes for the asking and answering of public questions.


[The deadline for receipt of public questions is 3.00 pm, 9 December 2021.  Questions should be sent to  

No person may submit more than one question].

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RESOLVED:  To note that no public questions were received.



To receive petitions (if any) submitted by members of the public/Councillors under the provisions of Committee Procedure Rule 15 (Part 4B of the Constitution).

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RESOLVED:  To note that no petitions had been received.


References from Council/Cabinet

(if any).

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None received.


Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Reports

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Prior to the consideration of the substantive items on the agenda, the Chair stated that these reports were initially expected at the November 2021 meeting of the Committee but were not available at the time.  As a result, the November meeting had been rescheduled to this evening.  Similarly, other meetings of the Committee had previously been re-scheduled.


The Chair wanted to remind the administration to treat the Committee with respect.

Resolved Items

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Council's approach to Enforcement: Licensing and Enforcement Update pdf icon PDF 452 KB

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The Committee received a report of the Corporate Director of Community,  which set out the approach taken on enforcement by the Licensing and Enforcement team during the last 12 months.  The report outlined the scope of the service, current issues facing the team and how it was working in order to continually improve the service to local residents and businesses.


The Portfolio Holder for Community Cohesion, Crime and Enforcement informed the Committee that, together with officers, she had met with the Scrutiny Lead Members and the report addressed their concerns, such as:


·                 enforcement action taken


·                 partnership working


·                 capacity of the team and any recruitment issues


·                 enforcement strategy, changes required and how the strategy could be altered for the benefit of the borough.


An officer introduced the report and made a presentation to the Committee which is attached at appendix 1 to the minutes.  She explained the scope and the demands on the service, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, which covered the following areas:


·                 commercial and residential licensing


·                 environmental protection


·                 food, health, and safety


·                 overseeing the delivery of the trading standards service for Harrow by Brent Council


·                 overseeing the enforcement work by a company, Kingdom LA Services, in relation to the non-compliance of the Council’s Public Spaces Protection Orders.


The presentation slides set out the Council’s approach to enforcement as follows:


·                 east, west, and central area-based teams had been formed.  These set out which Wards were covered by which areas


·                 priority enforcement teams (PETs) - the service was looking to recruit six additional officers by the end of January 2022.  The PETs would operate as a task force and be intelligence led.  Various initiatives were being used to make residents aware of the team’s work.  For example, yellow markings/stickers were being used on dumped rubbish in order to make residents aware that the Council was aware of the problem. Monitoring was taking place on a weekly basis and would be shown by Wards in due course.


·                 the fly tipping strategy had shown that there was a direct link between HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) and fly tipping.  An action plan was in place to deal with the issue


·                 it was recognised that customer journey needed to be improved.  This was being managed by the introduction of user-friendly web pages and e-forms, improved communication, and performance.  A cross-departmental working group had been set up to take this initiative forward.


Members welcomed the report and were pleased with the progress made by the Licensing and Enforcement team.  Members noted the good work done in some parks and that the consultation on the introduction of an Order to address concerns and complaints in the use of the parks would be repeated to include other issues that had arisen with the overall management of the parks.  The consultation would be broken down into two phases:


·                 phase 1 would consult on the PSPO (public service protection orders) to address particular issues of anti-social behaviour


·                 phase 2 would encapsulate the requirement or the need for additional powers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 188.


Community Safety Strategic Assessment 2021 pdf icon PDF 272 KB

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The Committee received a report of the Director of Strategy and Partnerships on the Strategic Assessment, which was an annual review of the patterns of crime and anti-social behaviour in the borough as required by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.  Members were informed that the findings of the Strategic Assessment would help inform the annual refresh of the Council’s Community Safety Strategy for Harrow.


The Director introduced the report and informed Members that the requirements for a Strategic Assessment and Community Safety Strategy had been suspended during the emergency measures introduced under the Covid-19 pandemic.


The Chair welcomed the Borough Commander, North West Basic Command Unit, who was present at the meeting, together with her two colleagues.  She would report on the Metropolitan Police violence against women and girls (VAWG) action plan.


The Portfolio Holder for Community Cohesion, Crime and Enforcement informed the Committee that the Strategic Assessment set out the available data collected.  Some data was not available and could be as a result of trust and confidence in reporting crime, particularly involving women and girls.  A great deal of work was required in some areas with a view to building trust.


The Borough Commander made a presentation to the Committee, which covered a couple of the presentation slides attached in full at appendix 2to the minutes.  She explained the work being done by the Metropolitan Police and referred to the Met VAWG (violence against women and girls) Action Plan attached at appendix 3 to the minutes.  The Action Plan would be shared with Partner Organisations.  She drew attention to the following slides:


·                 key objectives of the Action Plan. One of the key objectives was to increase women’s confidence in the police and see an increase in reporting to police, but a decrease in women being abused.  In Harrow, reporting of crime by women and girls was not to be a major issue and this could be as a result of good partnership work and a good base in terms of trust;


·                 key themes and areas of focus.  One element of this would be to continue working with partners and women to improve prevention and victim crime.  The Borough Commander added that successful prosecutions were key to building trust.


The Borough Commander added that feedback from the Council and its residents was important and she urged all to send in their comments, details of which were set out in the final presentation slide 6 at appendix 2 to the minutes.  The Action Plan would be aligned with other strategies, including those of the police.  It was important that voices were heard, and that the community of Harrow was fully engaged, involved, and represented.


Members made the following comments and asked questions of the Portfolio Holder, Director, and the Borough Commander:


·                 use of the Kick Start Scheme whereby 16–24-year-olds on Universal Credit who were at risk of long-term unemployment could be trained in ensuring security and safety.  The Director informed Members that employers in Harrow could be encouraged  ...  view the full minutes text for item 189.


Date of Next Meeting

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Special Meeting of the Committee scheduled for 11 January 2022 at 6.30 pm.

Appendix 1 - Licensing and Enforcement - Presentation Slides pdf icon PDF 552 KB

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Appendix 2 - Metropolitan Police - VAWG Presentation Slides pdf icon PDF 709 KB

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Appendix 3 - Metropolitan Police - VAWG Action Plan pdf icon PDF 560 KB

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