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The Minutes of the Council meeting held on 4 December 2014.
That the minutes of the Council meeting on 4 December 2014 as amended 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.
- Any payment or other financial benefit
in respect of your
(c) Contracts -
Any current contract for goods, services or works,
between you or
(d) Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.
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
(g) Securities -
Any beneficial interest in securities of a body
which has a place of
This applies to all members present at the meeting.
(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 Donovan, Picknell and Spall.
The order of business was not changed.
The Mayor congratulated Councillor Burgess, Maureen Collins from Adult Social Services and Uma Mehta for Legal Services who were recognised in the New Year’s Honours list. Councillor Burgess was awarded a MBE for services to local government, Maureen gained a BEM for services to the care of older people and Uma received a CBE for services to children.
The Mayor also encouraged colleagues to attend the Civic Awards Council on 10 March, as it was an important opportunity for us to recognise the achievements and contributions of residents and asked colleagues to support the next fundraising dinner in aid of Home Start Islington and Islington Foodbank on Tuesday 31 March.
Councillor Watts thanked the Mayor and noted that the council’s budget is being proposed in the context of a very difficult economic situation; that the council and the wider borough faced tough times. Events elsewhere, such as the recent events in Paris, also added to tensions locally and it was particularly regrettable that the Islington Gazette ran an incorrect story that the council had banned pork in schools. Councillors Watts advised that the Council is proud of the borough’s diversity.
Councillor Watts also advised that the Council
is working with others across London to push for a London City
Deal, which would bring more jobs to the borough and help protect
vital services; too many decisions affecting the borough are taken
Councillor Watts thanked Councillor Ismail for
all her hard work as an Executive Member.
That the appointment of Councillor Asima Shaikh as
the Executive Member for Economic and Community Development be
That Councillor Claudia Webbe’s title is now Executive Member
for Environment and Transport be
That the appointment of Councillor Asima Shaikh as a
member of Voluntary and Community Sector Committee be
1.4 That it be noted that the delegation of Executive functions remains unchanged.
Mr Paul Murphy presented a petition titled ‘Stop the Job Losses’.
Questions from Members of the Public
Councillor Alice Perry moved a procedural motion under Rule 22(k) of the constitution, to suspend Rule 19.3 for the duration of the agenda item and to suspend Rule 19.2 in so far as is necessary to enable the Mayor to read out questions from the public.
Councillor Poole seconded the motion.
The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.
The Mayor read out the following question from George Sharkey to Councillor Watts, Leader of the Council:
‘As a Labour Council, the GMB recognises that the unprecedented cuts imposed by this Tory-led Government will fall hard on our communities. Many will be driven deeper into poverty, as a trade union and a Labour Party that was formed out of poverty and deprivation, how can we jointly come together again within Islington to resolve any differences and work towards one single aim of eradicating this inept Tory Government?’
Thank you for your question. First of all, we have been cut more than the leafy conservative areas. We’ve lost 40-45% of funding when western Dorset’s funding has gone up. This government is brutal. Their areas get more. We get less. I ensure regular communication with trade unions and we are a much better administration because of it. The GMB are enormously helpful, the campaign for school meals for example, they are a partner in delivering a fairer and better borough. We have to work together to get rid of the Tories. We will fight them here and in more marginal seats as well.
The Mayor read out the following question from Ernestas Jegorovas to Councillor Joe Caluori, Executive Member for Children and Families:
‘How does cutting the Connections Team (provides young people with information and advice on education, training and jobs) fit in with Islington Labour’s 2014 manifesto priority of every young person has a job, is in college or an apprenticeship?’
Thank you for your question. It’s a good question, as it is important to spell out what we are doing regarding employment in schools. We are going through a process of discussion with schools to help us identify the things ... view the full minutes text for item 29.
Question (a) from Councillor Caroline Russell to Councillor James Murray, Executive Member for Housing and Development:
"Will the Council review its decision to hold on to overpayments made by tenants with communal heating systems this year and repay the money immediately?"
This council takes fuel efficiency very seriously. Street properties are much harder to insulate, but we have a huge programme to insulate wherever possible; it’s good for the environment and it reduces fuel bills for residents. We are going to smooth out costs across all tenants on communal heating charges to share the benefit. Tenants and Leaseholder get charged the same over the longer term. We are trying to make heating charges low and predictable so bills don’t go up hugely one year and down the next.
Question (b) from Councillor Caroline Russell to Councillor Janet Burgess, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing:
"Why is the Council cutting funding for the Latin American Women's Aid Refuge?
The Latin American Women's Aid Refuge contract with the council was until 2013 with an option to extend for two years to 31 March 2015, which we did. The contract was paid for out of the Supporting People Grant, which is being reduced by 50% this year and although the refuge is located in Islington, people don’t go to refuges near where they live for obvious reasons and we therefore believe that refuges should receive plan-London funding. We are contacting colleagues from other councils to support organisations like this and they are submitting a bid to the DCLG for funding which we hope will be successful. We continue to support their work and provide business rate relief for example. ... view the full minutes text for item 30.
Councillor Hull, seconded by Councillor Watts,
moved the recommendations in the report.
Councillors Burgess and Heather contributed to the debate.
The amendment was put the vote. Voting was recorded as follows:
The amendment was LOST.
The recommendations in the report were put to
the vote. Voting was recorded as
The recommendations were CARRIED.
The General Fund Budget 2015-16 and MTFS (Section 3 of the Main Report)
That the 2015-16 net Council cash limits as set out in Table 1
(paragraph 3.1.4 of the report) and the MTFS at Appendix A to the
report, which include the revenue savings in Appendix B to the
report, be agreed.
That the report of the Policy and Performance Scrutiny Committee on
22nd January 2015 be noted in reviewing the
‘Budget Proposals 2015-16’ and its recommendation for
the addition of an invest-to-save scheme comprising the
installation of photovoltaic (PV) plates on corporate Council
properties (excluding leisure centres, schools and housing, which
are subject to ongoing exploration) (Paragraph 3.1.3
and Appendix B of the report) be agreed.
That it be agreed that within the 2015-16 revenue budget,
£1.16m from general grant funding, to continue to provide a
Resident Support Scheme following the reduction in Local Welfare
Provision (LWP) funding by the Government, on being transferred
from specific to general grant and that it be noted that we will
review expenditure on the Resident Support Scheme in the first
three months of 2015-16 and supplement this funding as required
from the Housing Benefit Reserve up to the level of the LWP funding
for 2014-15 (£1.44m) be agreed (Paragraphs 3.2.5 to 3.2.6 of
requirement to report on the number of maintained schools that have
completed the Schools Value Financial Standard (SVFS) by
31st March to the Department for Education by
31st May each year be noted (Paragraph 3.2.15 of the
That the fees and charges policy and the schedule of 2015-16 fees
and charges (paragraph 3.2.16-17 and Appendix C of the report) be
That the Council’s policy on the level of General Fund
balances and the estimated use of the Council’s earmarked
reserves be agreed (Paragraph 3.2.21-22 and Table 3 of the
The HRA ... view the full minutes text for item 31.
2.2 That the amendments
to the Constitution set out in the Appendix to the report
2.3 That the Assistant Chief Executive (Governance and HR) be authorised to make any consequential amendments to the Constitution she considers necessary be agreed.
Appointment of Councillors to political positions
That Councillor Poyser has been elected as
an Deputy Chief Whip replacing
Councillor Shaikh, for the remainder of the municipal year or until
a successor is appointed be noted.
Appointments to Council Committees:
Policy and Performance Scrutiny
Health and Care Scrutiny
Health and Wellbeing Board
Appointments to Outside Bodies:
Appointment to St Mary Magdalen
Islington Community Covenant Grant
Cross River Partnership
Greater London Enterprise