Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Board - Wednesday, 7th December, 2022 7.30 pm

Venue: Havering Town Hall, Main Road, Romford

Contact: Anthony Clements 01708 433065  Email:


No. Item



(if any) - receive.



Apologies were received from Councillors Mandy Anderson (Matthew Stantion substituting) Natasha Summers and Damian White.



Members are invited to disclose any interest in any of the items on the agenda at this point of the meeting.


Members may still disclose any interest in an item at any time prior to the consideration of the matter.



There were no disclosures of interest.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 277 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 13 October 2022 and 10 November 2022 (attached) and to authorise the Chairman to sign them. Note: Exempt minutes of 10 November 2022 meeting not available to press or public.


Additional documents:


The minutes of the meetings of the Board held on 13 October and 10 November 2022 and of the exempt meeting held on 10 November 2022 were agreed as a correct record.



Report attached.

Additional documents:


Emergency planning officers confirmed that there had only been one major incident in Havering in the last 5 years – the Wennington fires. Many of the other incidents during this period had been related to climate change e.g. flooding, extreme heat etc.


Members expressed concern that they were sometimes not notified of incidents occurring in their wards but it was pointed out that the Council was often not the first responder to an incident – this could be e.g. the Fire Brigade. Members felt however that they should be notified of incidents at the first opportunity and that this should be built into plans with partners.


Numerous major incident exercises were undertaken with next exercise dealing with flooding and due to take place in May 2023. A pandemic exercise had taken place in 2019. The transformation team was currently looking at the impact of cyberattacks. This was in the Council’s Corporate Risk Register and work had been undertaken with the London Borough of Hackney on the impact of the cyberattack that Council had suffered.


It was felt that Councillors had three main roles in emergency planning with a focus on political leadership – ensuring plans were in place, civic leadership – acting as a focal point during an emergency and community leadership during the recovery phase. Councillors had been observers on exercises though it was felt that Member training on this area could be revisited with the role of the Councillor being explored more widely.


Business continuity plans had been updated in light of the Covid pandemic. Lessons were learnt from all incidents and debriefs took place as soon as incidents had happened. Scrutiny had also taken place of pandemic issues including the Council and the impact on care homes. Learning from cross-borough incidents e.g. the London Bridge attacks was also shared through the London Resilience Forum. The Council’s emergency plans were also updated on a monthly basis.


The Strep A outbreak was being responded to at a national level. Practice exercises had been undertaken for any terrorist attack on the night time economy in Romford and emergency planning officers would also work with the Police as needed. Havering also self-assessed against resilience standards for London.


There were good procedures in place for risk assessments and these were fed into the London Resilience Forum. It was also hoped to broaden the membership of the Borough Resilience Forum. There was also an important role for scrutiny in reviewing emergency planning procedures and policies. It was wished to increase training to be offered to Members but was a resource issue. The London Resilience Forum offered a course to Councillors and the availability of this could be investigated. A Member felt that the impact of most staff working from home should also be considered as regards emergency planning.


It was accepted that it was difficult to control e.g. unofficial fundraisers on social media but officers and Members could be prepared for high levels of media interest etc. Fundraising issues were now covered in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.