Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 21st October, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Please use the links on the Agenda Front Sheet to join the virtual meeting

Contact: Andy Ellis Email: ( 0208 132 1111) 

No. Item




The Chair, Cllr Susan Erbil welcomed everyone to the meeting and Members introduced themselves.



Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.



No declarations of interest were received.



To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 15 September 2020.


1)    Cllr Georgiou stated that minute 10 (vii) contradicts later Cabinet papers which note that the response from Workstream Members to the Leader’s letter was permitted to be tabled at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 15 September. The Monitoring Officer, Jeremy Chambers will provide further clarification.

2)    Minute 9 (vii) - The role of Cllr Yusuf on the Housing Scrutiny Panel was confirmed as Vice-Chair.


The minutes were agreed, subject to amendment as necessary in relation to 1) above.



PETITION RECEIVED: Petition for all works under the 'Bowes Primary & Surrounding Street Quieter Neighbourhood' plan to be halted until there has been a full consultation with local residents, and engagement with Haringey Council and Transport for London (TFL) pdf icon PDF 173 KB

To receive the petition from the Lead Petitioner, and in accordance with the Councils Petition scheme, allow consideration of the views expressed in the petition.



The Chair welcomed the Lead Petitioner, Roland Hewes, to the meeting. The format of this item would include a statement from the Lead Petitioner (5 mins), a statement from the Deputy Leader, Cllr Barnes (10 mins), followed by questions from Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and a summary from The Chair.



i)             The Lead Petitioner’s statement in support of the petition included that the scheme should be removed and that it is socially regressive. In the Bowes area, a car is a vital, not a life-style choice. With no local facilities, residents are required to travel to high streets in Muswell Hill and Southgate for shopping, medical appointments and places of worship.

ii)            With no cycle network available, potholes in the road, parked cars and increased congestion, cycling isn’t a realistic option. Residents are required to navigate congested roads, made worse by dis-placed traffic. If Haringey go-ahead with their own plans for a similar scheme on the borough boundary, local journeys will become even more horrendous.

iii)           The statement also included resident’s concerns regarding access for emergency vehicles, the air quality around high density housing schemes and Bowes School on the North Circular Road, potential increased crime levels around dead-end roads and disruption for the disabled, elderly and vulnerable residents in relation to home deliveries and visits from carers and relatives.

iv)           Any reduction in pollution levels should be supported with the production of hard data, indicating before and after levels in the area.

v)            The statement concluded by noting that the Council should start again and work with Haringey Council and Transport for London as  It is essential to win the hearts and minds of local residents.


The Chair thanked Mr Hewes for his statement and invited Cllr Barnes to respond.


vi)           Cllr Barnes stated that he would cover how the Bowes Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) Scheme works and how it came about, the petition itself, the organisation behind the petition and a summary of the consultation going forward.

vii)          A LTN scheme operates by filtering the ends of roads to encourage less use of cars and more pedestrians, cyclists and greater use of public transport. Bowes has several bus routes and an underground station. The filtering system uses planters and cameras to allow cyclists and emergency vehicles to pass through unimpeded.

viii)        Traffic congestion in this area has been a problem for a long time and both the local MP and Bowes Ward councillors have lobbied for improvements.

ix)           Schemes in other parts of London have been successful, for example in Waltham Forest. However, schemes do take a while to bed-in and for behavioural change to take place, which will lead to cleaner air, safety on roads, helping to fight obesity and climate change.

x)            The LTN is a Government funded scheme, however, a time scale of 8 weeks for design and implementation was applied. This reason for this short period of time was to provide increased space for cyclists and pedestrians during the covid-19 pandemic.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.



To receive a presentation from Fay Hammond, Acting Executive Director of Resources.


The Chair welcomed Fay Hammond asked that the main areas of challenge were highlighted in the presentation. It was noted that Cllr Maguire, Cabinet Member for Finance had to leave the meeting before this item commenced.


i)             It was highlighted that accessibility will be at the forefront of the customer experience moving forward and there will be an improved offer for those residents identified as requiring early help.

ii)            We now offer face to face support at community hubs within Enfield Town and Edmonton Green Libraries where residents can gain appropriate help and early intervention as necessary.

iii)           The Council website is being redesigned and a range of groups will be consulted, for example the Over 50s forum and the Youth Parliament. The profile of the website will be raised to ensure residents and businesses find it useful.

iv)           As one of the future improvements, resident interviews will take place in relation to navigating the website.

v)            A new telephony system will be implemented which will provide a better experience for callers.

vi)           Over 130 Pay Points are now available across the borough in supermarkets and newsagents to pay Council Tax, business rates and housing rent. The availability to pay cash is still current.

vii)          In response to a question it was confirmed that there are now 4 flagship libraries open, reviewed on a weekly basis.

viii)        A question was asked as to how increased demand has impacted on  council employees and it was noted that improved IT for staff has alleviated stress levels considerably, with rates of absence reduced. Staff are encouraged to take down-time and annual leave.

ix)           The level of phone calls and webchat have increased during the covid-19 period. Our current, fragmented telephony system doesn’t work well from a customer perspective., so a single telephony system is being implemented.

x)            We are currently reviewing the operation and number of community  hubs available. The feedback from residents has been very positive.

xi)           The majority of contacts with the council are still via telephone but we are promoting self-help so there will be an increase in webchat and self-service via the website.

xii)          It was confirmed that 42% of calls are resolved at the first point of contact. The customer journey overall has been improved.

xiii)        The issue of outside contributors not being able to fully access Teams Live Events was raised and Fay Hammond agreed to take this back for further consideration with the Director of Digital, Data and Technology.  

xiv)        Residents have informed councillors that navigation of the website has often proved difficult. It was confirmed that the new website would contain pictorial guidance and the search facility will be much improved. New tools and add-ons will be included to improve customer service.

xv)         The deaf community should be assisted as English isn’t their first language.

xvi)        In response to a question, it was commented that feedback from customers during the pandemic has been very positive, especially when offering 1-1 assistance for vulnerable residents.

xvii)       During  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.



To note the dates of future meetings as follows:


Business Meetings


Thursday 17 December 2020 (Budget Meeting)

Wednesday 17 February 2021

Thursday 1 April 2021



Provisional Call-in Meetings


Wednesday 25 November 2020

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Thursday 4 February 2021

Wednesday 3 March 2021

Thursday 25 March 2021

Tuesday 27 April 2021




The dates of future meetings were noted.