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MEMBERS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

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MEMBERS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

    Full Council 21 October 2009

    MEMBERS’ QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

    1. Freedom Pass funding

     To the Leader of the Council

     (Councillor Michael White)

     By Councillor Andy Mann

     In a recent Conservative newsletter which included a feature on the Freedom

    Pass, you were quoted as saying: “The Government decided to withhold this

    year’s payment in Havering”. Can you confirm if the Government have actually

    slashed the ?1.8 million as stated in the leaflet?

     Answer:

    We were responding to a letter received by London Councils from Lord Adonis,

    the Secretary of State for Transport and have joined together on a cross-party

    basis with the 31 other London Boroughs to fight this issue. I would therefore like

    to invite you to join the Collier Row Conservative Action Team and Havering

    Conservative’s campaign to lobby on behalf of the elderly and most vulnerable in

    our borough.

    2. Litmus Towers along the A13

    To the Cabinet Member for StreetCare & Customer Services

    (Councillor Barry Tebbutt)

    By Mark Stewart

    Could the Administration tell us the total amount spent on the installation and

    maintenance of the Litmus Towers along the A13?

    Answer:

    The overall project costs were ?256,800. This was entirely grant funded and

    came from London Riverside Ltd ?110,000. ODPM ?86,800. Cleanaway Trust

    ?30,000. and ?30,000 from private sponsorship. To date the Council has not

    allocated or spent any funds on the maintenance of the Towers.

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Full Council 21 October 2009

    The operation of the towers has been deteriorating over time and they are now

    not functional.

     Specialist contractors are being commissioned by Regeneration and Strategic

    3. Cancelled penalty charge notices: Havering Show Planning to do a full assessment of economic viability of the options for repair,

     costs and future maintenance programme.

    To the Cabinet Member for StreetCare & Customer Services

    (Councillor Barry Tebbutt) By Councillor Ray Morgon

Would the Cabinet Member explain why a number of people who were issued

    parking tickets in the streets around Harrow Lodge during the Havering Show

    had their tickets cancelled?

Answer:

Due to the success of this year's Havering Show the main car park became full.

    We understand that some visitors who were unable to park there tried to find a

    space in nearby streets. They may have been under the wrong impression that

    parking restrictions were not being enforced on those two days, and so as a

    gesture of goodwill, we decided to cancel tickets issued in that area over that

    period.

4. Investment policy

To the Cabinet Member for Finance & Commerce

    (Councillor Eric Munday) By Councillor Jeffrey Tucker

Taking into consideration the recent significant increases in value of silver and

    gold, does this Council regret not investing in them when they had the

    opportunity?

Answer:

No. It is not a function of local authorities to speculate with public money. We

    have a duty to conserve funds and to this end whilst we put surplus funds to work

    earning interest, we do not seek to obtain capital gains in speculative ventures.

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Full Council 21 October 2009

    5. Hazardous household waste

     By Councillor Linda Van den Hende To the Cabinet Member for StreetCare & Customer Services (Councillor Barry Tebbutt) What procedures do the council have in place to ensure that there is safe collection, disposal and recycling of hazardous household waste to comply with legislation?

Answer:

    The City of London manages the hazardous waste collection service on behalf of the majority of the London Boroughs, including Havering.

    Residents who have chemicals or asbestos contact the City of London directly and arrangements are made for collection and disposal. This service is funded through the East London Waste Authority.

    Alternatively residents can dispose of asbestos and some other types of hazardous waste at the Gerpins Lane Re use and Recycling Centre (RRC), because of the nature of this type of waste, options for recycling are limited.

    Whilst the most common batteries (alkaline AAA, AA, A) can still be disposed of safely in the normal household waste stream, battery banks have recently been installed at the RRC. The collected batteries are then sent for recycling. We are currently working with ELWA to see if battery collection/recycling banks can be established at the orange recycling sack distribution points around the Borough.

6. To the Cabinet Member for Finance & Commerce

     (Councillor Eric Munday)

     By Councillor Keith Darvill

     Will the Lead Member Finance and Commerce make a statement about progress

    in the negotiations with the other 4 partner authorities in renewing the Thames Chase Joint Funding contract due to come into effect at the end of March 2010.

Answer:

    The current Thames Chase Joint Committee Agreement runs for a five year period until March 2010. There are five constituent Local Authorities represented by elected Members from Essex County Council (who are the Lead Authority), Brentwood District Council, the London Borough of Havering, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, and Thurrock Council. All authorities now C:\convert\temp\55072294.doc 3

Full Council 21 October 2009

    need to confirm their future commitment to a new Thames Chase Joint

    Agreement. To this end the Joint Committee has established a Working Group of

    Members from each Local Authority to consider future arrangements, which has

    met on two occasions. I have represented Havering on this Working Group.

    At its meeting on 7 October 2009 the Joint Committee resolved that each Local

    Authority should be asked to report back on their future commitment to its next

    meeting on 9 December 2009.

    The Member will be aware that, further to a report by the Culture and

    Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 15 July 2009, Havering’s

    Cabinet has confirmed this Council’s commitment to the Thames Chase Joint

    Agreement until March 2015, subject to there being no major change in the

    financial circumstances of Havering or the other contributing Authorities.

    The Essex representative has stated that the County wishes to relinquish the

    Lead Authority role, but will continue its financial contribution. Brentwood D.C. th October. The Thurrock D.C. will also continue its support, subject to final budget approval and this also stance is ambivalent and will not be made known until after the finalisation of its appears to be the position with LB Barking & Dagenham, although its budget. representative was absent from the meeting on 7

    There is an undercurrent of feeling from the other authorities that Havering

    receives the lion’s share of benefit from the project.

    7. Numbers of licensed premises in town centres

     To the Cabinet Member for Corporate Services

     (Councillor Peter Gardner)

     By Councillor Pat Mylod

     With increasing numbers of premises obtaining licenses to sell alcohol, would the

    Cabinet Member set out what measures are being taken to avoid our town

    centres and neighbourhoods being overrun with licensed premises?

    Answer:

    Any premises selling alcohol must be appropriately licensed by the Council under

    the Licensing Act 2003. The Council undertakes its licensing duties in

    accordance with a Statement of Licensing Policy, which must be reviewed every

    3 years. Our policy is due to be reviewed next year, in order that a revised policy

    can take effect from January 2011. The review will consider whether to include a

    special policy relating to the cumulative impact of licensed premises along with

    other matters.

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    Full Council 21 October 2009

    Legislation empowers the Council, as the licensing authority to implement a

    special policy within the Statement of Licensing Policy relating to the cumulative

    impact of licensed premises on the promotion of the four statutory licensing

    objectives subject to, there being an evidential basis for the decision. Guidance

    issued by the Department of Media, culture and Sport under section 182 of the

    Licensing Act which the Council is obliged to follow states, that it would not be

    justifiable to adopt a special policy on the basis of a concentration of shops,

    stores or supermarkets selling alcohol for consumption off the premises.

    Therefore a limitation of introducing a special policy is that it would only apply to

    alcohol sales for consumption on licensed premises.

    As part of our review work, we will research the effectiveness of special policies

    in areas where they have been adopted.

    8. 10:10 Climate change campaign

     To the Cabinet Member for Finance & Commerce

     (Councillor Eric Munday)

     By Councillor Jonathan Coles

     Will the Council be signing up to the 10:10 climate change campaign?

     Answer:

    No. The Council is fully committed to setting firm, realistic, and deliverable

    targets for reducing its carbon emissions and has agreed a target with the

    Government Office for London to achieve a 3% reduction in CO2 emissions by

    2010 and a further 4% by 2012, and has allocated resources accordingly. The

    Council is not, however in a position to sign up to the 10:10 climate change

    campaign.

    9. Killed and seriously injured road incidents

     To the Cabinet Member for StreetCare & Customer Services

     (Councillor Barry Tebbutt)

     By Councillor Andy Mann

     Would the Cabinet Member set out how many KSI (killed and seriously injured)

    road incidents have occurred in Havering in each of the last four years, and this

    year to date?

     Answer:

    The number of road incidents classified as KSI are:

    2005 83

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    Full Council 21 October 2009

    2006 120

    2007 129

    2008 84

    2009 (January to May, which are the latest figures available) - 28

    10. Street lighting: times of operation

     To the Cabinet Member for StreetCare & Customer Services

     (Councillor Barry Tebbutt)

     By Councillor Andy Mann

     Would the Cabinet Member explain why street lights on Havering roads are

    coming on later at night and going off earlier in the mornings?

     Answer:

    New energy saving switching gears have been installed in some street lights

    which saves half an hour of energy per day. The Authority has applied to the

    Carbon Trust for external funding to extend this programme.

    11. Use of external consultants: cost

     To the Leader of the Council (HR Portfolio)

     (Councillor Michael White)

     By Councillor Clarence Barrett

     In respect of expenditure for external consultants, would the Cabinet Member set

    out how much has been spent, broken down by Directorate, in each of the last

    three years and the projected figure for 2009/10?

    Answer:

    On levels of consultancy spend it should also be remembered the levels of

    savings that the Council has driven out over the same period. The figures for

    2009/10 are provisional figures and this early in the financial year could be

    subject to change. The figures are -

     2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10

    ?000’s ?000’s ?000’s ?000’s

    Costs 1,504 1,551 1,949 1,397

    Savings 5,304 5,710 6,331 6,442 C:\convert\temp\55072294.doc 6

Full Council 21 October 2009

    12. Support for schools not receiving Building Schools for the Future funding

To the Cabinet Member for Education & Children’s Services

    (Councillor Geoffrey Starns)

     By Councillor Gillian Ford

     Would the Cabinet Member advise this Council what support is being given to

    schools that are now at the top of the priority list for improvement, but are not currently identified as receiving Building Schools for the Future funding?

Answer:

    I am grateful to Cllr Ford for giving me the opportunity to describe how we and schools are preparing to engage with the government's Building Schools for the Future programme should our bid be successful.

    We have made a submission to Partnership for Schools the outcome of which is awaited. The only funds we have available currently are those agreed by Cabinet to provide a resource to make this application and make initial preparations for the next stage called Strategy for Change. From those funds we arranged with the National College for School Leadership to provide a support programme for all schools to help them prepare for Strategy for Change. On 29th and 30th September all schools with secondary age pupils attended a two day development session. There are two further sessions planned, one in November and another in March. On 14 November all governors are invited to a briefing session so that they can contribute to our preparations.

    If we are successful all schools will need to do some more work and those schools in the first wave will need significantly more support. We will match support to need as best we can.

    Part of our bid is to obtain early draw down of Information and Communications Technology funding for the benefit of all schools and, therefore, all learners and by extension their families.

    While we await the outcome of our bid we, with schools, will continue to strive to improve the quality of learning irrespective of the availability of capital funds.

13. Welfare of animals kept in schools

     To the Cabinet Member for Education & Children’s Services

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    Full Council 21 October 2009

     (Councillor Geoffrey Starns)

     By Councillor Linda Hawthorn

     Would the Cabinet Member please explain the policy in respect of welfare of

    animals kept at schools?

     Answer:

    We do not have a specific council policy that covers Animal Welfare in schools.

    However there is a booklet widely available to all schools in the series Health &

    Safety in Primary Schools, Science and Technology called 'Be Safe'.

    This advises schools on looking after pets and animals in a school environment.

    We advise schools to use this, along with the generic risk assessment, before

    any pets or animals are permitted on the school site.

    There is also a borough Health and Safety generic risk assessment. This

    addresses the risks associated with schools keeping animals from the Health and

    Safety perspective of staff and pupils i.e. hand washing etc, along with some

    advice on welfare considerations.

    14. Surface water management: DEFRA funding

     To the Cabinet Member for StreetCare & Customer Services

     (Councillor Barry Tebbutt)

     By Councillor Ray Morgon

     DEFRA has awarded the Drain London Forum ?3.2million to fund surface water

    management across London. Would the Cabinet Member confirm if Havering

    has bid for any of this money?

     Answer:

    The deadline for bids is 30 November 2009. Staff are reviewing the eligibility

    criteria following which the scope and basis for a bid will be assessed through the

    Council's Cross-Service Flood Group.

    15. Highway works: signage

     To the Cabinet Member for StreetCare & Customer Services

     (Councillor Barry Tebbutt)

     By Councillor Gillian Ford

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    Full Council 21 October 2009

     Would the Cabinet Member please advise this Council the signage requirements

    of contractors carrying out work on the public highway?

     Answer:

    The Council and the Utility Companies have a duty to abide to the 'Safety At

    Street Works And Road Works' Code of Practice under the New Roads & Street

    Works Act 1991 & Traffic Management Act 2004 regarding the use of signage on

    the public highway.

    16. Responding to Members’ enquiries

    To the Cabinet Member for StreetCare & Customer Services

    (Councillor Barry Tebbutt)

    By Councillor Cllr Andy Mann

    Would the Cabinet Member state:

    a) What time scale does the Cabinet member feel should be

    appropriate for StreetCare to reply to a member’s enquiry?

    b) Does he have in place a Service Level Agreement (SLA) for such

    member enquiries?

    Answer:

    As the Member may be aware, StreetCare are currently part of a pilot scheme to

    record the volume of Member enquiries received by individual services. The

    scheme states that Members queries should be answered within 10 working days.

    17. Rex Close Car Park: spending

     To the Cabinet Member for StreetCare & Customer Services

     (Councillor Barry Tebbutt)

     By Councillor Andy Mann

     Would the Cabinet Member state how much capital funding has been spent on

    Rex Close Car Park, Collier Row, in each of the last two financial years and

    2009/10 to date?

    Answer:

    Capital spend - Rex Close Car Park:

    2007/08 - ?14,268.42

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    Full Council 21 October 2009

    2008/9 - ? NIL

    2009/10 (To date) - ? NIL

    A consultation is underway to bring the car park up for Park Mark standard in

    2010/11

    18. Monitoring highway repairs

     To the Cabinet Member for StreetCare & Customer Services

     (Councillor Barry Tebbutt)

     By Councillor Gillian Ford

     Would the Cabinet Member provide details of the monitoring process that takes

    place after all highway repairs?

     Answer:

    On major works, repairs are inspected throughout the works period, and

    measurements agreed before invoices are signed off. A Clerk of Works or

    Engineer is assigned to all major schemes to ensure the quality of works. 10% of

    minor repairs are checked before sign off. In addition all carriageways and

    footways have routine safety inspections carried out at least every 6 months. The

    frequency of safety inspections is determined by the hierarchy and usage.

    19. Housebound people: recycling of glass items

     To the Cabinet Member for StreetCare & Customer Services

     (Councillor Barry Tebbutt)

     By Councillor Cllr Gillian Ford

    Would the Cabinet Member set out what measures are taken to enable residents

    who are housebound to recycle items made of glass?

    Answer:

    There are no specific measures in place to enable housebound residents to

    recycle items made of glass. Glass that is placed in black sacks is captured

    through the Bio-MRF process which is recycled at the Bio-MRF facility at Frog

    Island.

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