Agenda and minutes

Performance and Finance Scrutiny Sub-Committee - Wednesday 27 March 2019 7.33 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:

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 interest made by Members.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 122 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 December 2018 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 December 2018 be taken as read and signed as a correct record, subject to the following comments:


Councillor Patel informed the Group that he had still not received a breakdown of figures from the Director of Finance, on page 7, about:


(1)          the Rayners Lane Triangle project to see if it was partly crowd funded; and


(2)          the breakdown of the £400k which was allocated for the development of unmanned aerial vehicles to support a range of Council services.


Public Questions and 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, Friday 22 March 2019.  Questions should be sent to  

No person may submit more than one question].


RESOLVED: To note that there were none.


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.



Annual Equalities Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Report of Divisional Director, Strategic Commissioning.

Additional documents:


The Divisional Director, Strategic Commissioning presented the Annual Equalities Report 2018/19.  He explained that it outlined progress against the Council’s three equality objectives and was reviewed every four years – the next one would be at the end of the forthcoming financial year.  An officer advised that the priorities for the next report cycle would be determined at the Corporate Priorities Group meeting at the end of 2019.


Members asked the following questions and officers provided the following responses:


Page 27:  ‘Harrow Council has the second highest proportion of in-work Housing Benefit households in the country, reflecting the number of low-paid jobs available in the borough.’ – Are these recipients working inside the borough or outside it?


The Divisional Director, Strategic Commissioning advised that the data was based on household income and it was not therefore possible to tell if these people worked in the borough.  However, previous studies had shown that there was in-work poverty in Harrow.


Page 28: ‘In 2011, the census showed that 14.6% of residents in Harrow had a limiting long-term illness or disability.  This was an increase of 13.2% (+4000) since 2001. Harrow’s rate is now higher than the average for London (14.2%).’ – What type(s) of sickness did people have as this could determine what type of resourcing needed to be put into place?


The Director of Public Health stated that these figures referred to census data and not to a local data set.  The census question was: ‘Do you have an illness/disability that limits your daily life?’  Respondents would have answered yes for a variety of conditions such as: ageing, mental illness, infirmity, learning disabilities, sensory impairments and other issues due to ongoing illness (including those that were self-diagnosed).  The Director of Public Health confirmed that Harrow and Leicester had the highest rates of diabetes in the UK and that this was an ongoing challenge.  However, other chronic conditions were not as prevalent in the borough.


Page 30: what was the definition of child poverty that was used to compile the data?


The Director of Public Health clarified that it was the central Government definition which related to low income households in receipt of benefits.


Page 31:  ‘At 10%, Harrow has the second lowest proportion of social housing of any of the London boroughs’.  The Council’s current regeneration strategy will deliver a number of new 2 bedroom flats but the report stated that there is a demand for larger properties.  How will the Council reconcile this shortfall and should it consider building larger family homes?


The Divisional Director, Strategic Commissioning stated that he did not have detailed figures regarding the number and size of homes to be delivered by the Regeneration Plan.  He added that private developers would be obliged to adhere to planning policy.


The Director of Public Health also advised that some of the current overcrowding in the borough was due to people living in extended families because numbers of affordable first-time homes were lacking, as opposed to the availability  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Update on the Health Visiting Scrutiny Review pdf icon PDF 335 KB

Report of Carole Furlong, Director of Public Health.



The Director of Public Health presented an Update on the Health Visiting Scrutiny Review Recommendations.  She confirmed that actions against the recommendations in her paper were all on track with key progress being made on a new combined contract for health visiting and school nursing (0-19) which was awarded to Central and North West London (CNWL) in July 2018, where feedback had been positive so far.  By October 2018, all previous staffing issues had been resolved and all inductions (including equality training) were completed.  More recently, the Council won a bid to help target Romanian women who had some of the highest rates of smoking during pregnancy.


The Director for Public Health also went through the performance graph on page 68 and explained that the key performance indicators (KPIs) were mandated by the Department of Health.  She informed the Sub-Committee that statistics on children who had a 12 month review would appear to drop due to availability of data because of long-term sickness of a staff member in the team, but that this would be resolved by May 2019.  There was also an anticipated delay in the National Child Measuring Programme due to the recruitment of new staff.


Members asked the following questions and received the following responses:


What health support is given for home schooled pupils and what types of health conditions do they face?


The Director of Public Health advised that parents may opt to home-school their children due to a severe disability, terminal conditions or parental choice, but that the exact numbers were unknown as the data was held by the Children and Families section.  However, where known home schooled children were given access to the same school nurse advice as pupils in mainstream schools.


Dental disease among children in Harrow was at 33% – what facilities are available in school to tackle this?


The Director of Public Health explained that the public health team had taken the opportunity to change the model for oral health promotion when NHS England retendered their contract for community dentistry – the previous contract having been inherited by the local authority.  The new programme was developed in collaboration with Public Health England (PHE) and Queen Mary Westfield College, University of London, and it provided training and resources to school nurses, health visitors, early years staff in both children centres and private nurseries and childminders.  As a result, oral hygiene was now regarded as everyone’s responsibility rather than the sole responsibility of a single health promoter.  Due to the success of this initiative, Harrow Council would be joining a PHE campaign in May/June 2019 to promote Harrow’s achievements as an example of what could be done in neighbouring boroughs.  Additionally, money from the Government’s Sugar Tax was distributed back to the Council’s Healthy Pupil Capital Fund where work is underway to install water fountains in schools and Affinity Water would be providing refillable water bottles to show pupils the link between protecting the environment and healthy living.  A launch date for this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.