Agenda and minutes

Call-In Sub-Committee - Tuesday 10 March 2015 5.30 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Una Sullivan, Democratic & Electoral Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1785 E-mail:

Note 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

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 the following interest was declared:


Agenda Item 5 – Call-In of the Cabinet Decision – 19 February 2015 – Environment and Enterprise MTFS Implementation Plan

Councillor Susan Hall, who was not a Member of the Sub-Committee, declared a non-pecuniary interest in that she was the Portfolio Holder when the three bin system was introduced. 


Minutes pdf icon PDF 91 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 2 October 2014 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.


RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 2 October 2014 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.




Protocol for the Operation of the Call-In Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 48 KB


The Chair drew attention to the document ‘Protocol for the Operation of the Call-In Sub-Committee’.  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 wholly in accordance with the budget framework;


(d)               the action is not proportionate to the desired outcome;


(e)               a potential human rights challenge;


(f)                 insufficient consideration of legal and financial advice.


He informed the Sub-Committee that the ground (b) had been cited on the Call In notice, and this had been deemed to be valid for the purposes of Call?In.


RESOLVED:  That the Call-In would be determined on the basis of the following ground:


(b)               the absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision.


Call-In of the Cabinet Decision - 19 February 2015 - Environment and Enterprise Medium Term Financial Strategy Implementation Plan pdf icon PDF 51 KB

The following documents are attached:


a) Notice invoking the Call-in


b) Record of the Cabinet Decision taken on 19 February 2015


c) Report submitted to Cabinet on 19 February 2015


Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received the papers in respect of the call-in notice submitted by 7 Members of Council in relation to the decision made by Cabinet on the Environment and Enterprise Medium Term Financial Strategy Implementation Plan.


The Chair advised the Sub-Committee on the suggested order of proceedings and reminded Members of the timings allowed for submissions and questions.  He invited the representative of the signatories to present their reasons for the call-in.


The representative of the signatories commented on attendance by members of the public, and said this demonstrated that the issue was important to residents.  She added that while the decision was appalling and unpopular, the call-in related to the lack of due process and the absence of sound evidence on which to base the decision.  She believed the decision had not been properly thought through, that no business case had been presented, and that the supporting documentation was insufficient to justify the decision.  She posed the following questions:


·                    How was the predicted take-up rate of 40% arrived at?


·                    How would concessions be determined and administered?


·                    Had the cost of concessions been factored in to projected savings?


·                    How would fluctuations in eligibility for concessions be managed?


·                    How would assisted collections be managed?


·                    Would there be an increased need for pest control?


·                    Would there be an increase in illegal bonfires and how would this potential nuisance be addressed?


·                    Would fly-tipping increase?


·                    How would surplus brown bins be disposed of, and at what cost?


·                    The rate for disposing of residual waste was considerably higher than recycled waste – had the probability of cross-contamination been calculated, and what would be the cost of monitoring and correcting this?


·                    Which vehicles would be used to meet the change in collection methods?


In conclusion, she re-iterated her point that the decision had not been fully thought through, that there was insufficient evidence in the documentation to support the assumptions made, and that residents were entitled to have the cost of waste collection met through their council tax contributions, which were among the highest in London.


The Portfolio Holder for Environment, Crime & Community Safety, stated that savings of £83m would be needed over the next 4 years, and this decision was one of many contributory measures; savings were based on the scheme running from October 2015 to March 2017.  The 40% take-up rate was arrived at by the professional judgement of officers, using current collection rates, benchmarking with other authorities, and the results of consultation.  Of the 40%, it was anticipated that 18% would be in receipt of concessionary rates, and this was factored into the predicted savings.  A comprehensive promotional campaign was planned to increase awareness and understanding on the part of residents in respect of waste collection.  A decision on vehicles would be made in April.  In conclusion, the report and its recommendations had been signed off by the Section 151 Officer, and was therefore deemed to be financially sound.


The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Major Contracts commented that the decision had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.