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Meeting Details

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
8 Jul 2021 - 19:00 to 21:00
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Declarations of Interests
  • Visitors

Documents

Agenda

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Standard Items
Webcast of the meeting

This meeting will be streamed live on the Council's YouTube channel.

LINK HERE

 

1 Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To note any apologies for absence and substitutions.

1

The Chair explained that this was the Council's first meeting that had taken place in a 'hybrid' format with members and officers able to dial in remotely.

 

However as the government had not chosen to make the regulations allowing virtual attendance permanent, this meant that any members that joined the meeting virtually would not be counted as 'present' in the attendance section of the minutes and their attendance would not count as attendance in relation to section 85 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

The members that had joined the meeting remotely were Councillors:

 

  • P Anand
  • Anjum
  • Ball
  • Chohan
  • D Crawford
  • Rice

 

2 Declarations of Interest

To note any declarations of interest made by members.

2

There were no declarations of interest.

 

3 Urgent Matters

To consider any urgent matters that the Chair has agreed should be considered at the meeting.

3

There were no urgent matters.

 

4 Matters to be Considered in Private

To determine whether items contain information that is exempt from disclosure by virtue of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

4

RESOLVED: That all matters be considered in public, as proposed.

 

5 Minutes

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 8 April 2021.

 

5

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 8 April 2021 be agreed as a correct record of proceedings.

 

6

Kieran Read, Director of Strategy and Communications; and Councillor Peter Mason, Leader of the Council, presented the Council Plan 2021-22 for consideration by the Committee in advance of it being agreed by Council on 20 July 2021.

 

The Committee noted that:

 

  • The Council plan was the document which transposed the administration's political priorities into the Council's corporate priorities.

  • In 2018, when the Labour administration had been elected, the challenges were very different. It had been impossible to predict COVID-19, and issues such as the climate emergency and inequalities had become much more acute as a result of the pandemic.

  • There had also been a change in leadership within the Labour group, and therefore Council, and the new leadership of the Council had renewed and refocussed its commitment to creating good jobs in the borough.

  • The new Council leadership's values of openness, transparency and inclusivity featured heavily in the document as these were principals that needed to part of everything the Council did.

  • The plan also celebrated the achievements of the last year, as well as the elements of the manifesto that had already been delivered. For example, all Greener Ealing Limited staff were on London Living Wage, the four year target of creating 750 apprenticeships had been met and the Council was three quarters of the way through meeting its target of 2500 new genuinely affordable homes in the Borough.

 

Following the presentation, the Committee asked the following questions:

 

  • As working from home had increased due to the pandemic, how was the Council working to address broadband black spots and was this addressed in the plan?

  • What was planned to deal with the impacts of growth in the borough and how this interacted with equalities?

  • What role would the Council take to support residents when furlough ends, as Ealing had the highest furlough rate in London?

  • How would the Council help the Community achieve their aspirations?

  • How would voluntary and private sector organisations who stepped up in the last year be recognised?

  • How could the Council look after the mental health and wellbeing of residents?

In response to the questions asked by the Committee, Councillor Mason and Kieran Read confirmed that:

 

  • There was previously a focus on ensuring there was fibre optic broadband available in employment sites. However this has now changed to ensure provision in residential areas. Broadband improvements weren't the responsibility of local government, but the Council would use its role as champions for the borough to engage with and influence partner organisations to address issues.

  • Growth in London had previously been focussed on providing work in central locations and employment hubs, and creating infrastructure to get people there. This meant that boroughs, or parts of boroughs, became dormitory areas. When this happens you get inequalities when large employers or sectors collapse, much like what had happened to Heathrow during the pandemic. The Council was switching its strategy to focus on helping to provide good jobs locally, which would provide more resilience and diversity in employment opportunities.

  • The Council was switching some of its investments from Housing to Economic Growth, as it was recognised there was due to be a crunch in terms of employment when furlough ended. There may be opportunities in the future in relation to this, as there were already labour force issues in some industries due to Brexit, but the Council needed to be ready to intervene and influence in order to ensure that good jobs were available locally. Some examples of what the Council was planning to do were developing office space in Ealing Broadway and supporting the development of industrial space in Old Oak Common and Park Royal.

  • The Council was aiming to ensure that everyone had access to opportunities and fulfil their potential, whatever their background. The equalities work the Council had already undertaken highlighted, as an example, that Black residents made up 15% of the population of the borough but 25% of Council tenants and 25% of those on the housing waiting list. This was a pattern evident in most urban and rural locations, but the council knew it had to do better. Some of the actions that could be taken were within the control of the local authority, but many of them weren't.

  • The Council was planning to hold the Ealing Together Awards, as well as a thank you day on 14 July, to say thank you to all members of the community who had provided assistance to the community during the pandemic.

  • Mental Health provision wasn't entirely within the Council's control, however lots of positive work had already been undertaken. There was a scrutiny panel focussing on the mental health and wellbeing of children which would deliver its recommendations next year.

 

RESOLVED: That the Council Plan 2021-22 is noted.

 

7 COVID-19 Verbal Update

The Cabinet Member for Healthy Lives, Councillor Josh Blacker, will provide OSC with an update on COVID-19.

OSC will have an opportunity to question the Cabinet Member on the update provided.

 

7

Councillor Josh Blacker, the Cabinet Member for Health Lives, provided the Committee with an update on COVID-19 in the borough.

 

The Committee heard that:

 

  • Cases were at a similar level locally as the level London and West London. Ealing as a whole was mid table compared to other West London Boroughs.

  • The vaccination programme was key to ensuring the NHS was not overwhelmed. The borough was improving provision for vaccinations with the Dominion Centre in Southall opening up for drop in vaccinations in the evening and CP House in Ealing Broadway opening up every Friday in August.

  • The Government had set a target for 92% vaccination by mid July, however this target was difficult for Ealing to deliver as the area did not have the capacity or been provided with the vaccine supplies to meet that target.

  • Booster vaccines were due to be rolled out alongside flu vaccines.

  • It was important for the public to adhere to social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing advice as this was key to prevent the spread, even if individuals had received both doses of their vaccine.

  • There had been plans to roll out the Moderna vaccine in Acton but this had been delayed.

  • London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust were not overly concerned about the level of hospital admissions, but should the number of admissions increase then the number of deaths would also increase.

RESOLVED: That the COVID-19 verbal update is noted.

 

8

Sam Bailey, Head of Democratic Services, presented the Committee's work programme. In response to questions from the Committee it was noted that the final reports of last year's panels and an update on recommendations from previous years' panels would be brought to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

Members highlighted that they particularly wished to have updates around the Council's Arts Strategy and no-idling zones which had formed the basis of recommendations from previous panels. Reviewing Controlled Parking Zones were also highlighted as an area of interest for when the Committee was due to consider the Parking Services annual report.

 

RESOLVED: That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme is agreed.

 

 

9 Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on 5 August 2021 if a call in is made from Cabinet in July. If no call in is made the meeting will be cancelled.

 


9

The next meeting was scheduled to take place on 5 August 2021, but would be cancelled if no call-ins were received.

 

Additional Meeting Documents

Attendance

Name
No other member attendance information has been recorded for the meeting.
NameReason for Sending ApologySubstituted By
No apology information has been recorded for the meeting.

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Visitors

Visitor Information is not yet available for this meeting