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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD - Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Philippa Murphy  Tel: 020 7527 3184 Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 342 KB

The Minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 12 June 2014.





That the minutes of the Council meeting on 16 October 2014 be confirmed as a correct record and the Mayor be authorised to sign them.


Declarations of Interest

If you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest* in an item of business:

§  if it is not yet on the council’s register, you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent;

§  you may choose to declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is already in the register in the interests of openness and transparency. 

In both the above cases, you must leave the room without participating in discussion of the item.


If you have a personal interest in an item of business and you intend to speak or vote on the item you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent but you may participate in the discussion and vote on the item.


*(a)       Employment, etc - Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation
            carried on for profit or gain.

(b)       Sponsorship - Any payment or other financial benefit in respect of your
expenses in carrying out duties as a member, or of your election; including
from a trade union.

(c)       Contracts - Any current contract for goods, services or works, between you or
     your partner (or a body in which one of you has a beneficial interest) and the

(d)      Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.

(e)       Licences- Any licence to occupy land in the council’s area for a month or

(f)        Corporate tenancies - Any tenancy between the council and a body in which
     you or your partner have a beneficial interest.

(g)       Securities - Any beneficial interest in securities of a body which has a place of
     business or land in the council’s area, if the total nominal value of the
     securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital
     of that body or of any one class of its issued share capital. 


This applies to all members present at the meeting.






Mayoral Announcements

(i)            Apologies

(ii)           Order of business

(iii)          Declaration of discussion items by the Majority and Opposition parties



(i)            Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Comer-Schwartz, Greening, Hamitouch, Khan, Klute and O’Sullivan.  Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Court and Councillor Ngongo.

(ii)          Order of Business
The order of business was not changed.

(iii)         Declaration of discussion items

(iv)         Mayor’s Announcements
The Mayor led the Council in a minute’s silence in memory of Alex Farrell, who was a councillor from 1978 to 1986 and chaired the Arts and Recreations Committee.

The Mayor thanked colleagues for supporting the charity dinner, reminded colleagues to encourage nominations for the Civic Awards and Ben Kinsella Awards and wished everyone a happy Christmas.

(v)          Length of speeches
The Mayor asked colleagues to do their upmost to keep speeches within the permitted length.



Leader's Announcements



Councillor Watts advised how pleased he has been by the public response to the Leader’s Question Time meetings and announced that more meetings will be scheduled during next year.  Councillor Watts also welcomed the changes to make it easier for members of the public to participate in Council meetings and the new standing item for questions from the Youth Council.  

Councillor Watts advised he was very proud of the improvement in GCSE results; from being ranked 143 in the country in 2010, following this year’s results we are now ranked 39th. Combined with the primary school results, it shows that children attending state schools in Islington are being given the best start in life.

Councillor Watts thanked Councillor Robert Khan, Councillor Claudia Webbe, Maggie Semple and everyone who worked on the Employment Commission.  The final report was published in late November and it signals some of the important steps we can take that will change lives.

Finally, Councillor Watts advised that he was proud to announce that we are the first Council to pay London Living Wage to home carers.





Councillor Olly Parker presented a petition on behalf of opponents to the closure of the Buffalo Bar.

Councillor Kat Fletcher presented a petition on behalf of the residents of Cutbush House.


Revised report of the Chief Whip pdf icon PDF 36 KB



Councillor Alice Perry, seconded by Councillor Poole, moved the recommendations in the report.


The recommendations were put to the vote and carried.



a)    That the Council’s Constitution be amended to allow an additional 20 minutes for Youth Council Questions be agreed.

b)    That the appointment of Councillor Richard Watts as the Council’s representative to Greater London Enterprise (GLE) with immediate effect until 2015/16 or until a successor is appointed be agreed.

c)    That the appointment of Rose-Marie McDonald and James Rooke as co-opted members of the Housing Scrutiny Committee until 30 September 2016 or until a successor is appointed be agreed.



Questions from Members of the Youth Council



1.    Youth Councillor Ryan to Councillor Joe Caluori, Executive Member for Children and Families 

Career and Education Planning
Youth Cllrs can report that in a response to a ballot in which nearly 600 young people voted during September and October, the top issue which young people are concerned about is access to high quality work experience which is linked to their career ideas.  What pressure can be put onto school head teachers to provide a quality work experience offer available to all the young people within the borough? 


We want a work experience offer that helps people to investigate ideas and dreams and helps them learn a little about the world of work.  We don’t just want it to be stuffing envelopes.  Head Teachers want the same thing we do and ultimately they will be convinced by the evidence. I would suggest that you add some anecdotal evidence to your survey results, to show what young people think has and hasn’t worked and to provide a challenge to those Head Teachers who think that any work experience will do.

2.    Youth Councillor Christiane to Cllr Richard Watts, Council Leader

Youth Employment
Please can Cllr Richard Watts inform the youth council how he intends to take the Employment Commission recommendation forward?


Thank you for your question and thank you all for attending this evening.  There are three main recommendations in the Employment Commission report.  The first is to work with all the organisations across the borough who are providing support, including Job Centre Plus, to ensure that we work together and target resources more effectively.  The second is to work with employers to increase the number of local people they employ; there are 1.3 jobs for everyone of working age, but we still have a high number of unemployed people.  Lots of employers either don’t know about the services, don’t think they will get the right people or don’t advertise their vacancies at all and fill them through word of mouth/adverts in windows.  By working with businesses we expect that more vacancies will be properly advertised.  The third recommendation is to build relationships between schools and employers.  We’ve made vast improvements in education but we need to provide a direct line to employment.  The kind of work experience Joe just spoke about is important but we also want to see local companies investing in and developing trainees; there’s a lot of work to do on improving opportunities for young people.  If we can action all three recommendations, it will change economic opportunities for people in the borough.

3.    Youth Councillor Dinari to Cllr Janet Burgess, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing

Health and Wellbeing
In a nationwide ballot in which 865,000 11- to 18-year-olds took part during the summer, improving mental health services was the number 1 issue which received the most votes during a debate in parliament by young people.  Given this fact, what plans are in place to promote mental health service to young  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 29 KB


1.    Question from Kate Calvert to Councillor Claudia Webbe.

Does the Council support improvement to Archway gyratory for all users?


The council, together with the local community,  has long campaigned for improvements to Archway gyratory.  We therefore welcome TfL’s consultation on proposals for changes to this busy and dangerous one-way system.  We feel the latest design provides some real opportunities and benefits for the local community, despite some of the challenges.  TfL’s proposals will help to regenerate the area providing a new public open space and safer pedestrian routes, improving resident access to the businesses on the Archway island as well as giving cyclists a safer passage through the junction.  The Council would like to see a proposal that it feels best balances the needs of all users of the area.  However, the Council has not yet taken a formal position on the proposals; we want to hear the views from local residents and businesses first.

Supplementary Question:

Does the Council agree to running empty buses?

Reply:  We wouldn’t support empty buses running.  The idea is to transport people safely through and to give people better access to all the facilities in the area.  You may have some information about empty buses that you want to give me later, but do we support empty buses?  No.

2.    Question from Anita Frizzarin to Councillor Claudia Webbe, Executive Member for Environment.

How many bicycle hangers have been installed since I asked about this at the last full council and Cllr Webbe said there are no obstacles to putting cycle parking on the road? 


Thank you.  Welcome again Anita. We currently do not have any of these installed, however I am pleased to inform you that we are working towards a secure cycle storage / bike hangar pilot scheme in the borough.

Supplementary Question:

Explain in what way you are working towards this?


The issue is one of funding.  Subject to funding and planning permission, we hope to do this by the summer of next year.

3.    Question from David Lincoln to Councillor Claudia Webbe, Executive Member for Environment.

Holloway School recently converted its impressive bicycle parking racks into picnic benches. This is sadly indicative of the failure to get Islington's children cycling to school despite many children saying that cycling is their preferred transport option and despite the tremendous health & social benefits that could be achieved by incorporating this physical activity into children's daily routine . Now that the 'Tufnell Park Loop' bid for Cycle to School Partnership funding has been rejected by TFL, what practical steps will the council take to facilitate a sustained increase in children cycling to school and play in Tufnell Park?


Thank you David for the important question.  We were very supportive of the bid to TfL and are equally disappointed with the result.  However, none of the bids for the Cycle to School Partnership (CtSP) programme across London were successful and this was due  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 32 KB


Question (a) Councillor Raphael Andrews to Councillor Claudia Webbe, Executive Member for Environment.

Can the Executive Member explain what is being done to improve the safety of cyclists in Owen street and Margery Street Cycle paths and also update the Council with what action is been taken to deal with the Clerkenwell road accident.


Thank you for your question, which is dear to my heart.  Owen Street is a priority in the Ward Improvement Plan and Clerkenwell Councillors did the same.  You are right to ask what progress we are making.  Owen Street and Margery Street form part of one of the Quietway Routes, Quietway Route 2: (Bloomsbury to Walthamstow). Design is currently being prepared for this route with a view to consult before Christmas and deliver the scheme for Spring 2015. The Council has been working with the owners of Owen Street, which is a private road, to secure legitimate cycle access as well as designing an improved cycle lane through to St John Street. The design also includes improvements for Margery Street to the existing segregated contraflow cycle facility to allow for increased cycle volumes. Transport for London is currently preparing design to improve the route for cyclists through the Margery Street – Farringdon Road – Calthorpe Street junction.  Clerkenwell Road and Old Street also form part of the cycle Grid funding – from the junction with Farringdon Road to Old Street gyratory. Preliminary design and traffic modeling of the signalized junctions is currently being prepared for cycle improvements along the length of this route with a view to providing segregated cycle facilities where possible. The Council plans to consult on the proposals in Spring 2015 with a view to deliver the scheme in 2016. The Council is coordinating the design with TfL design improvements for the Farringdon Road – Clerkenwell Road junction and also the Old Street gyratory proposals (which include segregated cycle facilities) which is currently out for consultation. 


Supplementary question:

It is good to be reassured that we have actually managed to get progress, thank you for that.  Can you tell us what effect the introduction of the 20MPH speed limit across Islington has had?


We pioneered and implemented the first 20MPH speed limit, which makes it safer for cyclists and pedestrians too.  We got it boroughwide and we got it enforced.  The Police are working with us to make it safer and cycling lobby groups tell us it is much improved.  I don’t have figures in terms of accidents to hand, but I will forward them onto you.


Question (b) Councillor Clare Jeapes to Councillor Andy Hull, Executive Member for Finance and Performance.

Can the Executive Member for Finance please explain the importance he attaches to Islington's Ecology Centre in drawing up proposals for next year's budget?





To answer your question, Clare, in the most straightforward of terms: in drawing up proposals for next year’s budget, I attach the highest importance to Islington’s Ecology Centre.

The Ecology Centre  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Council Tax Support Scheme 2015-2016 pdf icon PDF 239 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Hull, seconded by Councillor Watts, moved the recommendations in the report.  Councillor Russell contributed to the debate.

The recommendations were put to the vote and carried.



2.1       That the Council Tax Support Scheme for 2015/16 as contained in Appendix A of the report be adopted.


2.2       That the scheme for 2015/16, proposed to be funded from the Council’s budget, will be reflected in the budget presented to full Council in February 2015 be noted.


2.3       That retention of the amendments to council tax agreed at full Council on 5 December 2013 be agreed. This means that from 1 April 2015 the following will continue to apply:

1) council tax exemption classes A and C will have a discount of 0% for all cases.

2) council tax discount for second homes will be 0% in all cases

3) council tax discount for empty furnished lets will be 0% in all cases

4) a premium of 50% will be charged on the council tax of all properties that have remained empty for over 2 years in all cases.



Quarterly Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 40 KB


Councillor Alice Perry, seconded by Councillor Poole, moved the recommendations in the report.


The recommendations were put to the vote and carried.



To note the decisions taken during the previous quarter.


Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Where a motion concerns an executive function, nothing passed can be actioned until approved by the Executive or an officer with the relevant delegated power.



1.    Tackling tax-dodging businesses, locally and globally

2.    Fire cuts make Islington less safe

3.    Motion proposing that Islington joins other Labour councils calling for TfL to expand, strengthen and bring forward the introduction of the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone.






Councillor Andy Hull proposed the Motion, seconded by Cllr Marian Spall.  Councillors Doolan, Andrews and Gallagher contributed to the debate.


The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.


This Council will

• Continue to pursue organisations to pay their fair share of business rates through every available means.

• Continue to support local businesses and community and voluntary sector organisations through business rates relief, where appropriate.

• Support Action Aid’s 'Towns Against Tax Dodging' campaign.

• Call on the Government to close tax loopholes and shut down tax havens wherever they exist, to ensure that every business pays its fair share of tax.


llr Paul Convery proposed the motion, seconded by Cllr Alice Donovan.  Councillors Heather and Russell contributed to the debate.

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.


To call on the Mayor of London and LFEPA to reconsider the reduction in fire engines and crews in the light of these worsening response times.



Cllr Caroline Russell moved the motion.  Councillor Webbe, moved an amendment to the motion.

The recommendations in the amended motion were put to the vote and CARRIED.

The motion as amended was put to the vote and CARRIED.


This Council will take an evidence based approach that considers the impact on local residents when analysing any proposals to expand