Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday 17 May 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Online. View directions

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


No. Item


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: That Cllr Jerry Miles is reserving for Cllr Jeff Anderson and that Cllr James Lee is reserving for Cllr Ajay Maru.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 222 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.


RESOLVED:  To note that


(1)            the Declarations of Interests published in advance of the meeting on he Council’s website were taken as read;


(2)            Members of the Committee and Co-opted Members who had declared interests remained in the virtual meeting whilst the matters were considered and voted upon.

Resolved Items


The Council's Accommodation Strategy and the Harrow New Civic Centre

Report of the Corporate Director, Community

Additional documents:


Members received a report which presented the proposed approach to the Council’s future accommodation, outlined the reasons for this and sought the necessary approvals for carrying out works to the Forward Drive Depot, incorporating the proposals in the Harrow Strategic Development Partnership Business Plan.  The Committee were asked to consider the report prior to its submission to Cabinet.


The Leader of the Council introduced the report and highlighted the following:


·       Like many organisations, since the pandemic there had been a shift in the way the Council worked with an increased move towards online and remote working.  This emphasised that the need for future office-based work had reduced.


·       Staff surveys had revealed that being able to work remotely had created a better working environment for many of our staff.


·       The current Civic Centre was no longer fit for purpose due to substantial financial costs and approaching the end of life.  The Depot site would be able to accommodate all the required staff working in an agile environment.


·       40 carpark spaces were the maximum achievable at the new Civic Centre space.


·       The proposals provided the opportunity for more affordable housing as well as staff to being able to work in a more modern working environment.


The Interim Director of Commercial Development advised:


  • This was the second of three reports for finalising the establishment of the Harrow Strategic Development Partnership.  The first report was the appointment of Wates as preferred bidder and the key part of this report had been for the accommodation strategy to be agreed and the HNC in particular.  The recommendations would then inform the final business plan for setting up the partnership.


  • The report set out the change of situation, the learning from the wider market, the development of the flexible futures programme and the experience of the pandemic which changed the Council’s requirements.


  • The Forward Drive Depot was available for high quality offices.  There were constraints on the depot letting and noted that it would nevertheless be an improvement on the existing buildings.


  • As the Forward Drive Depot was not necessarily an appropriate space, the report also addressed the identification of ancillary spaces.


The Director of Finance highlighted the financial implications of the report including:


·       The accommodation strategy, fitting out the Forward Drive Depot for staff which would cost circa £7.6m in terms of capital which had already been accounted for in the Council’s capital programme.  This meant that no extra capital would need to be added to the existing budget.


·       There was an associated revenue cost of £725,000 which was primarily for ancillary spaces which had been accounted for in the 2020/21 outturn report.


·       The financial implications for the Council in relation to the Harrow Strategic Development Partnership, highlighted that, based on the current Business Plan model, there would be no impact on the general fund.


·       The Council’s total capital investment over the initial 12-year period of the scheme would be £48.6m.  This covered the Councils investment in the Harrow Strategic Development Partnership and the new  ...  view the full minutes text for item 165.