Agenda and minutes

Moved from 5 Dec 2017, Performance and Finance Scrutiny Sub-Committee - Monday 11 December 2017 7.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 5, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Manize Talukdar, Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1323 E-mail:

Note: Postponed from 5 

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 there were no declarations of interests made by Members.


Reasons for Lateness & Urgency

Note: In accordance with the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, the following agenda item has been admitted late to the agenda by virtue of the special circumstances and urgency detailed below:-


Agenda item


Special Circumstances/Grounds for Urgency


3. Minutes

An incorrect version of the minutes was included in the main agenda in error. Members are requested to consider this item, as a matter of urgency.



RESOLVED:  That the reasons for lateness and urgency of the two supplemental agendas be agreed.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 138 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2017 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 20 September 2017 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.


Public Questions & Petitions

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, Wednesday 6 December.  Questions should be sent to  

No person may submit more than one question].


RESOLVED: To note that none were received.


References from Council and Other Committees/Panels

To receive any references from Council and/or other Committees or Panels.


RESOLVED:  To note that there were none.



Revenue and Capital Monitoring 2017/18 - Quarter 2 as at 30th September 2017 pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Report of the Director of Finance.

Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received a report of the Director of Finance which set out the Council’s revenue monitoring position as at Quarter 2, 2017/18 (30 September 2017).


Following a brief overview of the report by the Director of Finance, Members made the following comments and asked the following questions and officers responded accordingly:


·                     Page 42 savings RES 16: Had the service review of communications taken place?  What was the outcome of the review?  How would this affect communications from the Council? 


An officer advised that no formal review had taken place.  The comment in the report referred to reviewing the saving and ultimately the impact on the service of taking more money out of it.  It was agreed with Members that the nature of the demand on the Communications Team for 2017/18 was such that the impact of taking £57k out and reducing it by more than a post would significantly reduce the impact of what the team could provide.  Therefore in the light of this the £57k has been assumed as a pressure within the Strategic Commissioning Division for 2017/18, and this was being covered.  For the future, options were being considered around how further external income could be delivered which would help offset the overall costs of the service.


The Member asked how the above impacted on residents.


The officer advised that within the Strategic Commissioning Division (where the Comms budget sat) they were in receipt of £85K from the Home Office for the Prevent programme.  These monies were being used to fund an existing post within the Section as well as supporting bringing in additional capacity, which meant that there was a surplus of circa £30k, which was being used to support other pressures in the Divisional budget.  There was also a vacancy in the Policy team which had arisen as a result of the reduction in work from the voluntary sector which amounted to £75K saving in the MTFS.


·                     Did the forecast £164M, which was 83% of the total Capital Programme have contingencies built into it?


The Director of Finance advised that when the budget was set, there was no assumption that funds would be drawn down.  The contingency and reserve funds sat outside the budget and would be used to cover unforeseen costs such as the recent works at Pinner Wood School to make it safe.


·                     Were the figures in Table 10 on page 30 of the agenda relating to carry forward accurate?


The Director of Finance undertook to check the figures and amend the table if they were incorrect.


·                     At the previous meeting of the Sub-Committee Members had requested that the impact and implications of any slippage on the Capital Programme be set out in the report.  Why had this not been done?


The Director of Finance apologised for this oversight and undertook to ensure that this information was provided in all future reports.  She added that a large number of cases, there was no revenue impact of any slippage.


·                     Why had officers’ view of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 106.


Annual Equalities Report 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Report of the Divisional Director, Strategic Commissioning.

Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received a report of the Divisional Director, Strategic Commissioning, which set out the Council’s performance and work towards advancing equality of opportunity, and helped evaluate the equality of service provision.  It also considered whether that work was benefitting local communities in Harrow and looked at ways work had been undertaken to eliminate unlawful discrimination and promote good relations between the different communities in Harrow.


Following a brief overview of the report by an officer, Members made the following comments and asked the following questions and officers responded accordingly:


·                     How did the Council monitor whether work carried out as part of the plan was delivering benefits to the wider community – please give examples and evidence. 


·                     What action was being taken to improve the portion of BAME and disabled staff at a Senior level?  And what are the series of actions that CLG have taken to improve this?  Please give examples and evidence.


An officer advised that the Plan tried to bring together a number of different activities across the Council.  For example, 10 members of staff in Access Harrow had received training in the use of British Sign Language.  The DisabledGo website, which was aimed at disabled people, provided information, advice and listings of social events and premises.  The website had almost doubled the number of hits it received in 2017/18.  A number of other events, such as Holocaust Memorial day, were commemorated annually.


He added that officers on the Corporate Leadership Group (which consisted of the Chief Executive, Corporate Directors and Divisional Directors) acted as role models and championed initiatives such as Stonewall, Diversity etc.  The Council had also had discussions with CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting) regarding how to recruit staff from under-represented groups.


A Member asked what CEG, CRM and CLG and CCPH stood for.  He requested that in the future, all acronyms used in reports should be clearly explained.  This request was noted by officers.


An officer advised that CEG (Corporate Equalities Group), CRM (Customer Relation Management Software), CEG (Corporate Equalities Group), CCPH related to the SAP infrastructure which supported the MY Harrow account.


·                     What was the difference between the Corporate Priorities and the Corporate Vision?


The officer stated that  the Harrow Ambition Plan set out the overall direction of the Council, and as the Council was required to identify and work to achieve Equalities objectives under the 2010 Equalities Act, that these naturally sat underneath the Corporate Priorities.  However, he recognised that the way this was presented in the report could be made clearer and he undertook to clarify this point in future reports.


·                     Why had only 58% of staff undertaken the mandatory equalities training?


An officer advised that there was a rolling programme of training and staff were expected to complete the online training every 2 years.  Most staff based at the Depot did not have access to computers and would be offered classroom based training in the future.


·                     What reviews of policy had taken place and how effective  ...  view the full minutes text for item 107.


12 Month Review of Community Involvement in Parks Recommendations pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Report of the Corporate Director, Community.

Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received a report of the Corporate Director, Community which provided Members with monitoring feedback in response to the ‘Community Involvement in Parks’ Scrutiny review report and relevant Recommendations.


Following a brief overview of the report by an officer, Members made the following comments and asked the questions below and officers provided the following responses:


·                     Had the new booking system for sports pitches been publicised?


An officer advised that there was an online, area-based booking system as most sports clubs were now online.  The website also provided information about clubs and groups.  He added that most outdoor tennis courts in Harrow were free to use.


·                     Were there plans to install any more green gyms in the borough?


An officer stated that a green gym had recently been installed in Cedars Park Open Space  and another would be soon be installed at the Woodlands Open Space. No further suitable sites had been identified. 


·                     Statistics showed that the level of adverse health indicators in Pinner South Ward was high.  Was there any data to show who used the green gyms and what benefits they achieved?  How had they been funded?  How had the bicycle stands in parks been funded?


The officer stated that Edgware and South Harrow had been targeted in the first phase of installing green gyms, where the key objective had been to promote health amongst those with diabetes or had obesity issues.  These had been funded from Capital funding, NIS (Neighbourhood Improvement Scheme) funds and monies from the local Primary Care Trust.  He added that the bicycle stands had been installed next to each green gym and near children’s playgrounds had been funded by TfL (Transport for London).


A Member stated that figures showed that life expectancy in Wealdstone Ward was 10 years less than in Pinner Ward.  He proposed that green gyms should be installed in other deprived areas such as Wealdstone and Queensbury and specifically in the Whitefriars Open Space, Weald village and the open space by Artisan Place area.  He suggested that these could be funded from the 15% of CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) which would be received from new development.  The motion was seconded and won.


·                     A Member asked why the Corporate Scorecard no longer listed voluntary hours.  Did groups submit information about how they publicised their events?


An officer advised that it was difficult to judge the effectiveness of how groups worked in terms of the number of hours.  For example, some local groups had a large membership but did not necessarily undertake a large volume of work.  Groups were required to submit information about their projects and events to the Council.  This information was monitored in order to help groups achieve their targets.


·                     What priorities had been set for parks?


The officer stated that there was a more detailed plan in place.  Some of the Recommendations from the report had not yet been pursued, for example, the young champions, as currently the focus was on user groups. The existing strategy would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108.