We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We Asked

We asked for your views on changing our Fairer Contributions Policy in a way that was fair and prioritises support for those in greatest need. The proposals were about fees and charges for community based (non-residential) care services which include: home care, day care, supported living, extra care, direct payments and other services financially assessed under our Fairer Contributions Policy. The specific changes proposed were:

  1. raising the maximum contribution for home care to match the lowest hourly rate we pay our providers
  2. raising the maximum contribution for day care to reflect the actual amount paid to providers for an individual’s care
  3. including the higher rate of Disability Allowance and Attendance Allowance as income
  4. aligning the council’s guaranteed minimum income to the Department of Health’s guaranteed minimum income or the current level whichever is the highest.

The consultation involved posting consultation packs to people who use community care services, writing to their carers, emailing key stakeholders and hosting drop-in sessions across the borough as well as putting the proposals and an online survey on Engage Barnet. A total of 286 questionnaires and responses were received from the general public and interested groups.

You Said

Opinion was fairly evenly split on raising the maximum contribution for day care. However, some of the open ended responses may indicate that some respondents considered the proposals to be about provider payment rates rather than service user contribution rates. If this is the case, then it is possible that the majority of respondents disagree with the proposal.

There was slightly more disagreement than agreement on the proposal to raise the maximum contribution for day care.

More respondents disagreed than agreed with the proposals to include the higher rate of Disability Allowance and Attendance Allowance as income and to align the council’s guaranteed minimum income to the Department of Health’s guaranteed minimum income or the current level whichever is the highest.

Please read  the full consultation report for further information.

We Did

All feedback from the consultation was given due consideration.  Whilst there is a proposal in the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy to not increase Council Tax in 2017/18, it also proposes applying the Social Care Precept at the maximum of 3%. This has been taken into account in assessing the Council’s financial resources available for adult social care. Taking all this into account, it is considered that alternative savings proposals (for example further cuts to preventative services) would have a greater adverse impact than implementing these proposals.

The changes to the Fairer Contributions Policy were approved on 28/02/17 by powers delegated to the Adults and Health Commissioning Director (in consultation with the Chairman of the Adults and Safeguarding Committee) by the Adults and Safeguarding Committee.

We Asked

We asked for your views on proposed changes to oversubscription criteria for admission to community infant and primary school reception classes.

 

You Said

There were 124 survey responses to the first proposal to give priority to children of teaching staff in the oversubscription criteria. 101 respondents agreed or strongly agreed to the proposal, representing 81%. Four disagreed and 12 strongly disagreed representing 13%.

For the second proposal, on amending the oversubscription priority for former pupils, there were 103 responses. Of these, 69 agreed or strongly agreed (67%) and 15 disagreed or strongly disagreed (15%).

We Did

The results of the consultation were discussed at the Children, Education, Libraries and Safeguarding Committee on 21 February.

Proposal 1

Given the support by 81% of respondents for the request by Barnet community schools to address an increasing recruitment and retention issue by offering priority for children of staff, the committee recommended that Barnet adopts this proposal.

Proposal 2

Given the pressure on school places and balancing the needs of former pupils with those children who may be awarded a school place under other priority categories (such as distance), the committee recommended to adopt the amended criteria.

We Asked

We asked for your views on the outcomes of a review of prevention and early support service for adults. We wanted to know what residents and interested parties thought of our proposals on the future provision of the following services:

  • Support Planning and Brokerage (delivered by Inclusion Barnet)
  • Wellbeing Services (delivered by Chinese Mental Health Association)
  • Mental health project (delivered by Barnet Asian Women’s Association)
  • Community Arts Project (delivered by Community Focus)

The consultation ran from the 28 November 2016 – 10 January 2017 with an online questionnaire (anonymous responses) being available during this period on the council’s Engage Barnet website available to all stakeholders. A consultation document was available as well as an easy read version. Alternative formats were available on request. The council promoted the consultation via a range of channels including letters and mailing out consultation packs, emails, phone calls, a press release and posters are the service locations. Service users and their carers and families were offered the opportunity to attend a face-to-face group discussion or 1-2-1 face-to-face or telephone conversations to provide feedback. Language interpretation was available where this was required or requested.

You Said

In total 204 responses were received throughout the duration of the consultation.

Residents raised a number of concerns about the impact of the proposals on people accessing support such as the ability of adult social care to respond adequately to need, the cultural appropriateness of alternative provision, accessibility of alternative provision and concerns about the financial implications for individuals.

Please read the full consultation report for further information.

We Did

The council has recently undertaken a large scale piece of work to change social care practice to a strengths based model for assessments and reviews. This change will help to make sure that we work with clients to help them achieve their aspirations.

We allocated funding to support the transition of service users to new provision. Comments received during the consultation shaped the allocation and use of this transition funding to ensure that alternative provision is suitable for people from the Chinese community.

We have been supporting organisations affected by the proposals to develop their service models.

We have worked with providers to ensure that, where necessary, service users are able to safely transition to alternative provision. We have worked with Chinese Mental Health Association and Barnet Asian Women’s Association to ensure residents have transitioned to the Wellbeing Hub which has included service and staff development. We will continue to monitor uptake of alternative provision. 

We Asked

We asked residents for their views on the proposal to relocate the library in East Barnet to the proposed future leisure centre at the Victoria Recreation Ground in New Barnet. In particular, residents were asked:
 
  • whether they tended to agree or disagree with the proposal
  • how likely they would be to use the library should it be located within the proposed new leisure centre
  • for reasons why the would/would not be likely to use the library in the proposed new location.
In order to enable further understanding of individual responses, open ended questions were included inviting respondents to give their reasons in addition to questions establishing the respondents use of the current library in East Barnet. Key demographic questions were included at the end to help understand the views of different demographic groups. 
 

You Said

Analysis of the questionnaire responses demonstrated that just under half of residents supported the opportunity whilst others, generally those who currently walked to the current library building, were less supportive of the proposal. Twenty three individuals agreed with the proposal to re-locate and re-provide the library and 26 preferred for the library to remain in its current location and building.  Three did not know. Respondents who welcomed the proposal generally cited improved location for themselves or their families to make use of the library services, and the benefits to them and other residents of co-locating multiple services on one site. Respondents who preferred for the library to remain in its current location and building most commonly cited proximity of the current library building to their home as the reason.

The reaction of residents at the face-to-face drop-in sessions also varied although having had an opportunity to see the plans and talk to officers about the potential opportunities for co-locating services, many appreciated the advantages associated with the relocation and some were excited by the opportunity to undertake numerous activities at one venue in the future. More than half of comments made at the drop-in sessions were in favour of the proposal. 

We Did

Following the 8 week consultation period a report was taken to the Policy and Resources Committee recommending the proposal to re-provide the Partnership library in East Barnet as part of the proposed new leisure facilities in the Victoria Recreation Ground, due to be completed in 2019. This recommendation took into consideration the outcome of the consultation and was made in view of the opportunity to provide modern, fit for purpose library facilities co-located with other leisure and café services (with increased footfall) together with the declining use of the current library in East Barnet and the age and condition of the current building. The Policy and Resources Committee approved the recommendation and subsequently the proposed leisure facility at the Victoria Recreation Ground was granted planning consent. 

We Asked

We asked for your views on the draft Railway Terraces Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Proposals.

You Said

A total of thirty three responses were received, including on behalf of various residents, the Residents Association and Historic England. All respondents welcomed the document but only a few suggested alterations to the text.

We Did

As a result of the comments received, various amendments were made to the text of the character appraisal, including clarification of the current controls over different forms of minor development. The final Character Appraisal has been published on the council's website and can be found here.

We Asked

We asked for your views on the evidence we proposed to accept to support a Disabled Persons Freedom Pass application and the ways you can apply for a Disabled Persons Freedom Pass.

You Said

We considered 376 responses received from a mix of service users, residents of Barnet and statutory stakeholders and people who work with service users including:

  • Disabled Persons Freedom Pass holders
  • older Persons Freedom Pass holders
  • residents interested in applying for a Freedom Pass
  • relatives of Disabled Persons Freedom Pass holders
  • those whose job involves working with Freedom Pass users in Barnet
  • Barnet residents interested in Disabled Persons Freedom Passes
  • voluntary/community organisations
  • public sector organisations

73% of respondents (238 out of 376) advised they currently hold a Disabled Persons Freedom Pass.

Overall, 53% of the respondents agreed with the changes to the accepted criteria.

We Did

At the Policy and Resources meeting on 1 December 2016 it was agreed to adopt the new criteria for assessing eligibility for Disabled Persons Freedom Pass applicants.

In response to requests for GP letters to be accepted as evidence, this is adopted within the criteria where it is deemed appropriate by the Department for Transport. In some categories this cannot be accepted as evidence because of the risk of compromising the doctor/patient relationship.  

Full details of the December committee report (item 12) can be found here.

We Asked

You can read about the The Residential Design SPD feedback here.

The Sustainable Design and Construction feedback:

We asked for your views on the refocused Sustainable Design and Construction SPD which captures changes on space standards as well as new standards that address accessibility, security, energy, noise, air quality and water conservation.

You Said

We received and considered 8 responses received from a mix of statutory stakeholders including the Historic England, Natural England, Mill Hill Neighbourhood Forum, developers, local residents and the Woodland Trust. Responses covered issues on biodiversity, flood risk, air quality, space standards, energy standards in new buildings, noise and other issues unrelated to the SPD.

We Did

At the Policy and Resources meeting on 5 October 2016 it was agreed to adopt the Sustainable Design and Construction SPD. We responded to some of the issues raised including noise, air quality and space standards. Full detail of the council's response to the consultation responses can be found at Appendix 1 to the committee report.

 

We Asked

We asked for your views on our proposals for:

  • A new way of delivering adult social care in Barnet that would help people to stay well, to recover quickly from illness or injury, and to draw upon the support that their family, friends and the local community can give them.

 

  • A new way of organising our adult social care services to support the new way in which we want to deliver these services. In our proposal we short listed three potential options for how we organise the service:

Option A - keeping the adult social care service within the council.

Option B - creating a shared service with one or more local NHS organisations.

Option C - establishing a public service mutual (an organisation that has left the public sector but continues to deliver public services).

An online questionnaire was published on Engage Barnet together with a consultation document which provided detailed background information about the council’s budget setting process and the financial challenges the council faces. Paper copies and an easy read version of the consultation were made available on request. Three consultative events were also held with groups of stakeholders.

You Said

A total of 72 questionnaires and responses were completed by the public, interested groups and statutory bodies. 45 stakeholders attended the consultative events.

The majority of respondents supported the proposals for a new way of delivering adult social care in Barnet, including a strengths-based approach, use of hubs for assessments, and proposals for a collaborative approach with the community and voluntary sector. Most respondents also thought that extending the information and advice the council provides about access to adult social care support would be effective. However, only 42% of respondents thought that introducing new online services would be effective. Comments included concerns about online information not being suited to older people, those who have serious or long term sickness, those with learning disabilities and the visually impaired.

In response to the proposals for a new way of organising our adult social care services, option A (keeping the service within the council) had the highest level of support in the public consultation, with 50% of respondents supporting it. 41% of respondents supported option B (a shared service with one or more local NHS organisations). Option C (a public service mutual) was the least popular of the short listed options - 63% of respondents said they were opposed to this option.

We Did

The qualitative responses to our proposals for a new way of delivering adult social care identified important areas which we have taken into account when implementing the approaches, such as ensuring that home visits are still available for those who need them.

Work to further develop assessment hubs, strengths-based practice and the mental health enablement pathway will include a co-design approach with staff and residents and take into account the consultation feedback. The work will also be coordinated with the Council’s Customer Access Strategy and Digital Inclusion Strategy, to ensure that everyone in the borough who is capable of being online is supported to get online and that there are special access arrangements in place for those who cannot use self-service.

Because of the feedback from consultation, the risks and the minimal financial benefit, the Adults and Safeguarding Committee agreed that the public service mutual option would be no longer pursued as an alternative delivery model approach. A progress report on the development of the two remaining options was presented to the Adults and Safeguarding Committee in March 2017.

We Asked

We asked residents to give us their views on the effectiveness of the election and electoral registration services – especially those based upon personal experience, so that the independent reviewer, former Chief Executive and Returning Officer for Sunderland City Council, Dr Dave Smith,could use these to inform his findings and contribute to the recommendations that he made.

You Said

Overall we received 38 responses covering a wide range of topics related to voting and registering to vote in Barnet. This included feedback on personal experiences of registering to vote and of voting in polling stations, by post and by proxy. Respondents also gave us information about how easily they were able to access the necessary materials for registering and voting and the effectiveness of the communication channels used by Barnet’s Electoral Services.

We Did

All of the responses received in the consultation were provided to the independent reviewer. He used the responses, along with all of the other information that he collated and reviewed and the evidence gathered by conducting interviews with staff, councillors, Barnet MPs and Barnet and Camden’s GLA Assembly Member.  He used all the feedback to produce his findings and recommendations in a report that went to the Council’s General Functions Committee on 9 November 2016. All of the recommendations from the independent review were accepted at the committee meeting. Council staff are now actively working on implementing these recommendations. You can read the report of the independent review and the council’s initial responses here.

We Asked

We asked your views on a proposal to amend the special guardianship allowance rates and align Barnet’s offering to the recommended minimum established by the Department for Education. This proposal would impact both existing and new special guardianship allowances. 

You Said

During the consultation period, we received approximately 52 responses, predominantly from Barnet special guardians and family members which reflected a negative view to the proposal. While each individual’s circumstances are different, there were some common comments and questions raised on the sufficiency and determination of current financial support.

We Did

We contacted you to clarify the council’s position on some key issues you raised such as the sufficiency of the support to meet the child’s needs, the role of the Court, and the requirement for annual financial reviews. The council is currently considering the feedback and will present a final proposal to the Children, Education, Libraries, and Safeguarding Committee in November 2016

We Asked

We asked residents, traders and local businesses for their views on:

  • their experiences of contacting the council through the face to face contact centres at Burnt Oak and Barnet House, through the telephone system, or via the website
  • their experiences of interacting with the revenues and benefits service
  • suggestions for how these services might change to meet the changing needs of residents.

You Said

Residents expressed concerns about contacting the council, about delays in dealing with council tax refunds and about the approach to validating single person discounts.  One resident raised concerns about how the council manages the contract, along with specific queries about call answering times and the delivery of various contractual commitments.

We Did

The attached report to the Performance and Contract Management Committee on 15th November 2016 sets out proposals for improving the services that are delivered under the contract, including proposals to improve response times in Revenues and Benefits. The council continues to monitor Interactive Voice Recognition systems, to ensure that they operate effectively.  The report also sets out proposals to update the list of contract commitments and strengthen the monitoring of their delivery, along with other changes to further improve performance monitoring and reporting.

We Asked

We asked for your views on our design proposals to refurbish and transform Silkstream Park and Montrose Playing Fields.

You Said

Overall the feedback from both events was positive. Participants were generally happy and excited about the proposals. Those who attended both the Tea in the Park event and the drop-in sessions were keen to see facilities included such as toilets and cafe, and were also keen that levels of anti-social behaviours in the park are tackled. There were some concerns surrounding the practicality of parking, the capability of the park withstanding flooding, and security for both park users and the property of residents surrounding the site. The aspirations of the local community seemed to connect well with the Stage C proposals.

We Did

Moving forward, the project will involve completing a full design review and issue of new proposals as well as concluding flood attenuation and ground investigation studies to understand the capabilities of the flood attenuation and an efficient playing pitch strategy. All the responses will be incorporated into the evolving design for Silkstream Park and Montrose Playing Fields and will form part of the package submitted for planning permission in January 2017. 

We Asked

We asked how you felt about the proposal to expand Childs Hill Primary School from one and a half to two forms of entry (45 children per year group to 60 children per year group), in order to meet demand for school places in the surrounding area. The proposal explained that the expansion would be gradual, with the first intake of 60 pupils beginning in Reception for September 2016. 

You Said

The survey for the school’s expansion showed that four out of six respondents supported the proposal (of which three strongly supported the proposal). A further respondent neither supported nor opposed the proposal, and one respondent strongly opposed the proposal. Two respondents raised concerns around the impact of increased traffic on air quality and parking. The governing body considered the responses and was satisfied that these concerns could be managed, and proceeded to the representation stage, which involved publishing a statutory notice. One representation was received during the representation period from Camden Council, which had no further comments or any objections to the proposed expansion. 

We Did

The governing body of the school and the council considered the responses to both the initial consultation and the representation period and is recommending the expansion of Childs Hill Primary School, to come into effect on 1 September 2016. The school is committed to sustainable transport initiatives, securing TfL’s bronze sustainable travel accreditation annually since 2011, and has applied for gold accreditation this year. 

We Asked

We asked for your views on the Draft Children and Young People’s Plan 2016 - 2020. We asked if you agreed with the vision, key outcomes and objectives in the Plan and if you thought there was anything missing which needed to be included. 

You Said

Overall you supported the vision, key outcomes and priorities set out in the Plan, however, there were some comments around objectives that were missing. You also suggested that there needed to be more detail around how outcomes will be achieved. 

We Did

The Children and Young People’s Plan 2016-2020 will be reviewed by the Health and Wellbeing Board in July 2016 and once approved we will publish it here and start work to reach the Plans aims. We are developing an action plan, taking on your feedback, to track progress (going to the Children, Education, Libraries and Safeguarding Committee later in 2016), including some more detailed activities which are being carried out to improve outcomes for children and young people in Barnet.

We Asked

We asked parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs, governors and headteachers/principals of schools and FE providers, neighbouring boroughs and local National Health Service trusts what they thought about the options for increasing the number of places to meet the future needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

You Said

We received and processed 66 completed questionnaires and met with the Barnet Parents and Carers Forum. Of those who identified their role, the majority were parents. You told us that there is a clear preference for the identified need for more provision to be met through a new special school to meet the needs of children with autism, with 65% supporting this option. 12% favoured a new Special Sixth Form Centre and 21% additional Additionally Resourced Provisions (ARPs).

You told us that you recognise the importance of providing specialist places as close to children’s homes as possible. 

We Did

Your feedback gave us significant information on the future direction of the strategy for meeting future needs for children and young people with SEN. The results of the consultation were reported to the Children, Education, Libraries and Safeguarding Committee on 14th June 2016 and it was agreed that the Commissioning Director, Children and Young People will pursue the development of a new special school for children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD).   

We Asked

We asked people who live and work in the borough what they thought about the Draft Customer Access Strategy.

You Said

We received and processed 119 completed online and paper surveys and have gathered further views from Inclusion Barnet.

You told us that many of you already use the internet to access information, goods or services. Of those who are not confident users of the internet, many would like the opportunity to learn how to do so. Just over half of you also preferred interacting with us on-line than automated phone given these two choices. You also told us that there is a need to improve the existing web offer if a transaction is going to be self-service only.

We heard your concerns that proposed changes might stop you from accessing services, especially for housing benefits and council tax. There was recognition that face to face services will continue to be the best option for some elements of services and customers.

We Did

Your feedback will be used as part of the Customer Transformation Programme which is how we are delivering the Customer Access Strategy. It is also feeding into our upcoming Digital Inclusion Strategy and Locality Strategy which will address concerns that you have raised through the consultation.

We Asked

We asked people who live and work in the borough, as well as staff and statutory bodies, what they thought about the Draft Recycling and Waste Strategy.

You Said

We received and processed 96 questionnaires and responses; 73 from the general public and interested groups and statutory bodies through Engage Barnet; 21 through engagement with front line staff, and four from elected Members.

You told us that you agreed with the four key aims of the strategy, and that you strongly supported the principles of the waste hierarchy, especially recycling. The importance of good communications was very strongly highlighted. You strongly agreed that new developments in Barnet should be designed to enable their new residents to recycle 70% of their waste, both through recycling facilities outside the flat and suitable storage for recycling and waste inside the flats.

When asked about recycling and waste outside of the home you strongly agreed that businesses should have and use recycling facilities.

In relation to specific assumptions on waste growth, 49% believed that that as the economy becomes stronger people are more likely to have more waste. Likewise 49% did not agree that households with fewer people in them, i.e. couples or a single person, produce more waste per person.  When combined with the comments it seems that a number of their views may be due to a belief that waste production cannot be generalised in this way, or based on their own experiences. 

We Did

Your feedback gave us significant information on the draft Municipal Recycling and Waste Strategy and helped us to finalise the strategy, and create an action plan. Based on feedback we will keep the aims of the draft strategy and embed them and the waste hierarchy within the action plan and development of recycling and waste services. The action plan includes the implementation of a new recycling scheme for commercial waste, and ensures that all of our business customers recycle. We will also embed increased communication into the strategy action plan, to increase behavioural change. We will also further explore other options for increasing recycling through alternative collection methods, utilising feedback from the consultation.

The final strategy was approved and adopted at the Environment Committee meeting on 12th May 2016

We Asked

We asked people who live and work in the borough what they thought about the Draft Parks and Open Spaces Strategy.

You Said

We received and processed over 140 completed questionnaires and had individual meetings with local residents’ associations and other stakeholder groups. We held workshops with ‘friends of parks’ groups as well as focus groups and the Barnet Youth Board.
 
You told us that you recognise the importance of the borough’s parks and the need to preserve and enhance them.  Responses confirmed an understanding that the projected growth in the borough’s population would influence the level of demand for open space in different parts of the borough.
 
Proposals for investment in parks was strongly supported in the consultation responses and there was a recognition that there was a real opportunity to bring significant amounts of external funding into the borough. Strong support was expressed for better signage, enhanced horticulture and more toilet facilities.
 
Options for the future management and funding of parks were considered to require further consultation and detailed development. There was a recognition of the need to address how to achieve an aspiration for a high quality service in the context of the need to identify budget savings. 
 

We Did

Your feedback gave us significant information on the draft Parks and open Spaces Strategy and helped us to finalise the strategy to include more robust text on the options on how the parks service is run, as well as include specific points raised about dog walkers and specific parks. The council wants to continue the dialogue about how parks and open spaces will evolve and how the service will be delivered in future with people who live and work in the borough. The final strategy was approved and adopted at the Environment Committee meeting on 12th May 2016. You can view the final strategy here.

We Asked

The council plans to refurbish the hard surfaced sports courts at Lyttelton Playing Fields.  We asked for the views of local residents and park users to ensure that these improvements are in line with the needs of the community.

You Said

We received 273 responses to the questionnaire and 14 letters of support, and there was general support for the project.  There was concern locally that the sports courts are falling into disrepair and becoming unattractive, which could impact on the use of the courts by park users, local schools and sports clubs. When asked why respondents do not use the sports courts, over half stated the poor condition of the courts was an issue. The majority of respondents (86%) stated that a refurbished facility would inspire them to use the courts more often.  Respondents generally regarding the refurbishment project as an important way of allowing local residents and park users to stay fit and active, as well as providing grass roots access to sports.

We Did

The results of the consultation were incorporated into a bid to secure external funding which, if successful, will help to help deliver the project. The outcome of the first round will be heard at the start of August 2016 and we will report the outcome here.

We Asked

We asked for your views on our proposed schedule of fees and charges for services provided by Regional Enterprise, before they were finalised. 

You Said

There were no comments received for this consultation.

We Did

The proposed fees and charges were implemented in April 2016.

We Asked

We asked for your views on the National Institute of Medical Research Planning Brief that took place over six weeks until 17th February 2016. This included a presentation to the Mill Hill Neighbourhood Forum and an evening drop in session at Mill Hill Library.
 
Consultation involved letters that were e-mailed to stakeholders on the Local Plan consultation database as well as posted to residents living next to NIMR area. A Public Notice was published in the Barnet Press to publicise the consultation. 
 

You Said

There was concern locally that any development on the site should have a beneficial effect on the setting and outlook to the green belt. This was a mixed response, with notable support for the development’s impact, but concern that new development could be overbearing. Overall it seemed the Planning Brief had struck the right tone in this regard.
 
There was particular concern with the potential impact of construction traffic on the Ridgeway, amid reports that previous developments had impacted negatively on this issue. A certain amount of construction traffic is inevitable with any development, but that the effects can be managed by appropriate use of a construction management plan, which will be required alongside a planning application.
 
There was generally support for the “main building” within the NIMR campus. There was concern from the potential developer that this building may be beyond repair and conversion. The Council is clear that if the building is to be removed, it will expect a faithful replica to be rebuilt. A new building that differs from the original, but maintains the same height will not be acceptable.
 
You can read the responses in more detail here.
 

We Did

All the comments were taken into account and National Institute of Medical Research Planning Brief was approved by the Policy and Resources Committee on 22 March 2016.

We Asked

We asked for your views on the draft plans to develop the Copthall sports and recreation estate in Mill Hill.

You Said

All the responses have been considered and have been incorporated into a report to the Policy and Resources Committee.

We Did

The council is currently re-considering how it moves forward with the Planning Brief on the Copthall Estate and expects to report back to the Policy and Resources Committee in Summer/Autumn 2016. 

We Asked

We asked for your views on the North London Business Park Planning Brief that took place over six weeks until 17th February 2016. 
 
Consultation involved letters that were e-mailed to stakeholders on the Local Plan consultation database as well as posted to residents living next to NLBP. A Public Notice was published in the Barnet Press to publicise the consultation. Further publicity included a drop-in session at Building 2 of the North London Business Park on 9th February.

You Said

Local residents expressed concerns about the proposal to re-open an access route between the north of the NLBP site and Russell Lane through Ashbourne Avenue and Weirdale Avenue. The prospective developer Comer Homes has confirmed that access to Russell Lane by car from the NLBP site is not necessary from a commercial point of view. In terms of the fear of crime issue the Council will require the development to be appropriately designed so that it can positively affect perceptions of safety. A “Secured by Design” statement will be required to accompany the planning application, reviewed by the Metropolitan Police, to ensure that development is suitably designed to address this issue.  In terms of the increased pressure on car parking spaces issues the Council considers that with redevelopment the nature of the site will change. The site will change from an employment use to a residential led mixed use scheme including employment uses and a secondary school. The Transport Assessment that is required as part of the planning application will consider that journeys to and from the site will be different, and what provisions are required to mitigate the new trip pattern.
 
There was support for the retention of the pond on the site, both from a wildlife perspective, and as well as the perception that it acts as a ‘balancing pond’, providing a flood mitigation measure. The Council agree that such purposes is make it a positive feature of the site, and that in some way it should be incorporated into the design of the new site.
 
Concerns were raised about the changing nature of the area, increasing densities; and the potential impact of new development on adjoining properties and views across the site. You can read the responses in more detail here.

We Did

All the comments were taken into account and North London Business Park Planning Brief was approved by the Policy and Resources Committee on 22 March 2016.

We Asked

We asked for your views on the draft Discretionary Relief Policy - the revised scheme to assist businesses wishing to seek a reduction in their Business Rates.

You Said

There were nine responses to the consultation, but only five responders went on to make a comment. In summary these responses were largely in favour of the principles. Comments were received around the extension on offer to CASCs, the turnover threshold, and the exclusion of not for profit organisations from having a licenced bar. One respondent welcomed the limit to charity shops, but sought further assistance for local high street shops. You can read the responses in more detail here.

We Did

All the comments were taken into acccount and the Discretionary Rate Relief Policy was approved by the Policy and Resources Committee on 22 March 2016.

We Asked

We asked you for your views and comments about proposed admission arrangements to Admission Authority schools, particularly giving priority to children of staff in the oversubscription criteria, and removing the priority for former pupils from the oversubscription criteria for In-Year admissions.
 

You Said

We received 44 responses to our questionnaire, broadly in support of both proposals. 70% of those responding were in agreement with the proposal to give priority to children of staff in the oversubscription criteria, while 64% of those responding were agreed with removing the priority for former pupils from the oversubscription criteria for In-Year admissions.

We Did

The findings were included in a report which is currently being considered. The final admission arrangements for the Admission Authority schools will be published on the schools' websites and on Barnet council's website later this year.