Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday 14 September 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:  To note that there were no Reserve Members in attendance.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 385 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 the 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.



Additional documents:


RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2021 and the Special meetings held on 5 May 2021, 17 May 2021, 1 July 2021 and 12 July 2021 be taken as read and signed as correct records.


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 September 2021.  Questions should be sent to  

No person may submit more than one question].


RESOLVED:  To note that no public questions had been 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).


RESOLVED:  To note that no petitions had been received.


References from Council/Cabinet

(if any).


RESOLVED:  To note that no references had been received.

Resolved Items


Race Equality in Harrow Council pdf icon PDF 296 KB

Report of the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:


The Committee received the Race Equality in Harrow Council report, which set the council’s strategic vision for race equality. The report launched a series of new corporate objectives designed to ensure that the council’s policies and practices would be fair and equitable for all staff in the workplace, with a focus on race and ethnicity.


The portfolio holder for Equalities and Public Health, Councillor Krishna Suresh, introduced the report and highlighted the need for equality, diversity and inclusion to be actively improved upon within the working environment of Harrow Council. The report had examined Harrow Council’s role as an employer and had commissioned an independent race review, with engagement with employees having taken place alongside this review. It was noted that this report would support a series of new corporate objectives for Harrow Council which would ensure that policies and practices were fair and equitable for all staff.


The Chief Executive added that though there had been attempts in the past to tackle race inequality and that more should have been changed then. It was important that on this occasion the Council aimed to tackle this issue, so much so that the Council should not have to repeat the work that had been done in this review and action plan. It was also noted by the Chief Executive that this action plan should be tested periodically challenged and maintained, in order to be sustainable.


The report was presented by an Officer in brief.  It was highlighted that:


·       That the race equality report had represented the Council’s corporate approach to race equality as well as the wider equality, diversity and inclusion agenda. It was also in response to the independent race review that had taken place earlier in 2021.


·       Over 230 staff members were involved during the consultation.


·       Though the report had focused on race and ethnicity it was noted that the strategic approach taken could act as a framework that would underpin the Council’s equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, which would be produced during early 2022.


·       The Council’s high-level approach centred around: safe spaces to be created; for the culture and behaviour of the organisation to be changed through leadership, training and development as well as recruitment and retention.


·       The work that was undertaken within this report were underpinned by the strategic principles as outlined in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategic Framework. Research took the form of both qualitive and quantitative research, for example the independent race review conducted by Dr Patrick Vernon and the analysis of the workforce profile and ethnicity pay gap review.


·        Key themes that had emerged from the independent race review included: psychological safety, racism in the workplace, challenges with management behaviour, lack of career opportunities for black, Asian and multi-ethnic staff, impact of racism on health and well-being, race and sexism as well as institutional and structural racism.


·       That the council had responded to the independent race review’s five recommendations, where clear commitments had been made to these recommendations in order for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 179.