Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Daksha Ghelani, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1881 E-mail:  daksha.ghelani@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

70.

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.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note the attendance at this meeting of the following duly appointed Reserve Member:-

 

Ordinary Member

 

Reserve Member

 

Councillor Jeff Anderson

Councillor Jerry Miles

 

71.

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 Committee;

(b)               all other Members present.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that the following interests were declared:

 

Agenda Item 4 – Question and Answer Session with the Leader of the Council and Chief Executive

 

During the question and answer session, Councillor Jean Lammiman, a member of the Committee, declared a non-pecuniary interest in that she had recently been interviewed in relation to the inspection of The Local Area (LA, CCG and NHS) for the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Reforms, an inspection which had beenconducted by Ofsted.  She would remain in the room whilst the matter was considered and voted upon.

 

During the question and answer session, Councillor Chris Mote, a member of the Committee, declared a non-pecuniary interest in that his wife, Councillor Janet Mote, had met the Inspection Team in relation to the inspection of The Local Area (LA, CCG and NHS) for the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Reforms, during the introductory and feedback meetings.  He would remain in the room whilst the matter was considered and voted upon.

RESOLVED ITEMS

72.

Appointment of Parent Governor Co-opted Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

The Committee is requested to confirm the appointment of Manoj Chandran (Whitmore High School) and Mandeep Trivedi (Stanburn Primary School) as

Parent Governor Co-opted Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the Municipal Year 2019/20.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That Mr Manoj Chandran (Whitmore High School) and Ms Mandeep Trivedi (Stanburn Primary School) be appointed as Parent Governor Co-opted Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the Municipal Year 2019/20.

73.

Question and Answer Session with the Leader of the Council and Chief Executive pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive to the meeting.  The Chair outlined the purpose of the question and answer session which was to scrutinise the Leader and the Chief Executive in relation to their decisions and performance, including initiatives and projects.  He outlined how the meeting would be conducted and requested all those present to refrain from politicising this meeting and to uphold the spirit in which scrutiny operated and worked across party lines.

 

Prior to the consideration of questions from the Committee, the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council referred to their presentation circulated with the supplemental agenda and provided an overview of the following: strategic context, strategic response and strategic priorities.

 

The Chief Executive stated that:

 

-               he had worked in local government for many years but that he had not experienced the degree of uncertainty and challenges that currently faced local government;

 

-               local government was facing a significant flux and a great deal of uncertainty and these aspects had been evident at the Local Government Conference he had attended during the previous week;

 

-               the country was ‘wrestling’ with Brexit and there was uncertainty in relation to how it would impact on the economy and on future government policy.  The style and approach of the government was likely to change with a new PM and ministerial team which, in turn, would impact on policy and the legislative environment, particularly in relation to the major issues facing local government on housing, health and social care and education.  He expected changes in the funding of local government which would impact on Council Tax, fair funding and the comprehensive spending review.

 

The Chief Executive reported on the major issues that he had been leading on since joining Harrow in February 2019:

 

(1)          the Regeneration Programme, including proposals for  the procurement of a Strategic Development Partner to assist with the delivery of a number of core strategic development sites in Harrow;

 

(2)          the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS).

 

He added that, in parallel, the following issues would be ongoing:  service delivery and the Council’s future direction of travel, including a refresh of the Harrow Ambition Plan.  It was important to ensure that the services provided within the financial constraints of the Council were good and effective and that the budget was on a sound footing.  In the longer term, a focused Harrow Ambition Plan was required.  The Council’s policy agenda would focus on the integration of health and social care, an effective HR, organisational and staff development, including performance management.  It was important that the culture of the organisation was fit for purpose. 

 

The Leader of the Council added that Harrow was a low spending/high achieving Council and the government’s future funding plans would determine the Councils direction of travel.  It was therefore difficult to plan ahead.

 

The Chair invited questions from Members of the Committee.

 

Q -       Harrow Ambition Plan/Corporate Plan/Shared Services:

The strategic priorities indicated that a new outcome  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.