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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Philippa Murphy  Tel: 020 7527 3184 Email:  Philippa.murphy@islington.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

46.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 339 KB

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:

That the Minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 14 May 2016 be confirmed as a correct record and the Mayor be authorised to sign them.

47.

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
     council.

(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
longer.

(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.

 

Minutes:

 

None.

48.

Mayoral Announcements

(i)            Apologies

(ii)           Order of business

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

 

Minutes:

 

(i) Apologies for absence

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Comer-Schwartz and Councillor Turan. Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Jeapes.


(ii) Order of business

 

The Mayor amended the order of business to allow an urgent motion, under rule 10.2(n), and to bring together a number of related items on the same topic, including a petition and a number of questions.  The items were to be taken after the Leader’s Announcements.

(iii) Declarations of discussion items

 

None.

 

(iv) Mayor’s Announcements


The Mayor congratulated a number of colleagues who had completed the borough boundary walk of 13.1 miles, in aid of Islington Giving and presented certificates to Councillors Gill, Heather, O’Halloran, Poyser and O’Sullivan.  Councillor Kay also completed the walk.

The Mayor reminded colleagues that the Armed Forces Day Parade was taking place on Islington Green on Saturday June 27 and hoped as many people would attend as possible.

 

Finally, the Mayor advised that he and Councillor Watts would be attending a memorial service on 7 July to mark the tenth anniversary of the London bombings. 

A minutes silence was held in memory of the victims and their families.

49.

Leader's Announcements

Minutes:

 

Councillor Watts thanked the Mayor and wished Ramadan Mubarak to everyone celebrating Ramadan.  He also welcomed all the members of the public present at the meeting, especially the residents of Islington Park Street and advised that they have the respect and support of everyone on the Council.  Councillor Watts thanked the Mayor for the minutes silence in memory of the victims of the bombings on 7 July 2005 and said it was also important to support the living, acknowledging the contributions made by the survivors of the bombings.

Councillor Watts spoke of the murder of Stefan Appleton earlier this month and advised that his thoughts are with Stefan’s family and friends.  There have been several speedy arrests and charges have been bought and Councillor Watts noted this thanks to colleagues in the Canonbury and Mildmay wards who worked very hard to ensure that tensions in the community have been diminished.  Councillor Watts advised that the council is doing what it can, but we also need the community to come together to bring the random violence to an end.

 

Councillor Watts advised that we are waiting for the Emergency Budget on 8 July to find out what further budget cuts the Chancellor of the Exchequer has planned and noted that throughout the recent election there was no mention of a cut to the public health budget. Councillor Watts advised that the cuts make it even more important that decisions about services are made locally, so we can do more to protect residents, as they now can in Manchester, and called for London to have a similar devolution deal.

50.

Urgent items relating to 38-44 Islington Park Street

Minutes:

 

Question from Albert McKeran and Ranjit Krishnamma of the Islington Park Street Community to Councillor Murray, Executive Member for Housing and Development:

 

Will Islington Council recognise 38-44 Islington Park Street as an established sui generis shared home, which has been in continuous occupation as such since 1976 and confirm to the freeholder that they will require a change of use permission to turn our home into self-contained dwellings or similar and ask the freeholder to suspend all possession proceedings and will Islington Council do this before the Notice to Quit expires on Sunday 5 July?

Reply:

Thank you for your question.  We feel very strongly that we should do what we can to fight One Housing about this. We need to work out every angle and use what powers we have and one of these is Planning.  We don’t have an application in at the moment, but if a developer were to come forward in the future they would have to apply for planning permission.  Councillors Picknell, Poole and Turan are on the case and if One Housing think they can sell off and convert it to private housing they should think again.

 


Question from Councillor Poole to Councillor Murray, Executive Member for Housing and Development:

 

Will Councillor Murray commit to doing everything possible to prevent the eviction of the tenants of One Housing Group who live at 38-44 Islington Park Street?

 

Councillor Poole advised that he will waive the answer and await Councillor Murray’s response to the urgent Motion.

 

Petition:  A petition was presented by Councillor Caroline Russell on behalf of the residents of 38-44 Islington Park Street.  

 

 

Urgent Motion: Islington Park Street Community

 

Councillor Poole proposed the Motion, seconded by Councillor Picknell.  Councillor Russell moved an amendment.  Councillors O’Sullivan and Murray contributed to the debate. 

Councillor Murray advised that sui generis status is granted by the Planning Committee and although it looks like it may apply, it is a decision that the Planning Committee would have to make and we cannot pre-determine their decision.  Councillor Murray also advised that DM Policy 3.9 allows us to resist the loss of good quality Houses of Multiple Occupation and he hopes that the Planning Committee will also take that into consideration should a planning application be received.  Councillor Murray advised that it was vital the council supported the motion to send a clear message to One Housing and make sure a unique way of life is preserved.

 

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

The substantive motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.

RESOLVED:

·         To call on One Housing Group to immediately suspend their Notices to Quit.

·         To ask the One Housing Group to engage in dialogue with the Council about their intentions with regard to 38-44 Islington Park Street.

·         To encourage One Housing Group to work with residents to formalise the tenancy agreements, management arrangements, and allocations policy at 38-44 Islington Park Street, so that this unique community can continue their way  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Petitions

Minutes:

 

The following further petitions were presented:

Lisa Burnett presented a petition regarding road safety at Tufnell Park Primary School.

 

Ursula Yates, representing Living Streets, presented a petition calling for a zebra crossing in Leigh Road.

 

Bridget Stark presented a further petition regarding the proposed new visitor centre in Caledonian Park.  

52.

Questions from Members of the Youth Council pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Minutes:

 

 

1.    Young Mayor Taiga to Councillor Richard Watts, Leader of the Council

Voting and Democracy
How does Cllr Watts think the results from the recent general election will impact on the lives of Islington’s young people?

Reply:

Thank you for your question.  The general election result will be very significant for young people in Islington.  It will be harder for young people to access housing benefit and other benefits as well, such as out of work benefits.  Many will face housing benefit being taken away; the £12 billion welfare cuts will have a staggering impact.  Tuition fees have already been introduced, the Education Maintenance Allowance has gone.  The loss of tax credits will affect families and other cuts will be targeted at vulnerable people; young people and disabled people will be the hardest hit.  I am very worried about employment prospects for young people.  We need to keep supporting young people into housing and providing them with cash to study.


2.    Youth Councillor Hiba to Councillor Paul Convery, Executive Member for Community Safety

Community Safety
YCllrs are interested in how the Safe Haven scheme is contributing to young people feeling safe in Islington. How is this going and are there any statistics on how many YP have used it since it started?

Reply:

Thank you very much for your question.  It goes to the heart of the problem here and in many other boroughs.  The safety of young people is at the forefront of our minds.  We are all concerned and troubled about violence against young people on our streets.  Lorraine Dinnegan was instrumental in setting up the Safe Haven scheme in Islington; after her son Martin was killed, she campaigned tirelessly and selflessly.  There are approximately 50 safe havens in the borough, including many business and retail premises.  The council supports the scheme; all 10 libraries and the principal public buildings in the borough are safe havens.  I am afraid we don’t know how many incidents have been prevented, or young people protected, but I am convinced it is an important part of protecting young people on our streets.


3.    Deputy Young Mayor Abu to Councillor Paul Convery, Executive Member for Community Safety

Community Safety- Reducing Extremism 
How can young people in the borough be safe from radicalisation and extremism particularly online?  

Reply:

Many people across the country are struggling with how to prevent the violent radicalisation of residents and how to prevent terrorist attacks.  The tragedy is young people are being drawn into a different world, recruited and groomed by people seeking to exercise control of their hearts and minds.  Those Islington residents who have gone abroad sadly will not be coming back.  We want all schools to assess risks and provide training to help keep people safe on line.  We need to give people critical skills and schools have to be safe places to discuss ideas, to understand why some people feel a deep sense of grievance and provide space to express that.  We need  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Minutes:

 

Question 1: Mr Danny Simani to Councillor James Murray, Executive Member Housing and Development

 

Most disabled people live alone.  According to police records, there were over three hundred disabled hate attacks reported to police in London in 2012.  A member of my family and I were victims of such an incident in 1991 whilst living in a Council flat in the Andover estate.  Several youth addicts kicked down the front door and jumped on my relative’s bed, cutting their forehead.  Their life was saved by swift police action, as they took my relative to Whittington Hospital in their car.  The Council discrimination officer ordered our transfer to lower Hilldrop estate. In fear of a repetition of another discriminatory or disability hatred attack, I added front door and window security in 1995 without any Council objection and on three occasions since this has saved me from being attacked. 

I would like to know why Islington Mayor is taking me to the Clerkenwell County Court in order to obtain injunction forcing me to dismantle my present safety security so that the Council contractors can install double glazing while knowing that remaining alive with the aid of security features is surely more important and beneficial to me than being dead in a flat with double glazing?

 

Reply:

 

Thank you for your question.  I am sorry to hear about the incident and I understand your concerns about extra security.  We are currently installing new double-glazed uPVC windows to Coombe House as part of the Cyclical Improvement Programme works. The new windows are secure by design and are vastly superior in terms of security than the existing ill-fitting Crittall units. The works to replace the windows will only last for a single day, when there will always be operatives present. Officers have spoken to the contractor, Mears, and asked them if possible to reinstate the security grilles, but if this proves impossible, the new windows not only reduce heat loss, they are also more secure; we have looked into it and I think we are doing the right thing, but I am sorry it got to the stage it did with the legal case.

 

Supplementary question:

 

Thank you.  I made it clear that my question concerns all disabled people who live on their own.  We want two doors, but the council said we must have a single entry door.  This is an issue for all disabled people who face a lot of harassment.  The Housing Department doesn’t look into it.  You need to consult us about this type of change.  A disability officer would, but I presume you haven’t got one as you are forcing something on us that is not suitable for physically disabled people who can’t defend themselves.  I hope that the council will look into the issue and come up with some solution.

Reply:

Ensuring that people feel safe in their homes and that their homes are decent and affordable is a priority.  I will make sure that your case is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Minutes:

Question (a) Councillor O’Halloran to Councillor Murray, Executive Member for Housing and Development

 

This Council has a proud record of building new homes at affordable social rents. That’s why I know many members will be extremely concerned about the policy of the Government to force councils, like Islington, to sell off valuable homes. Could Cllr Murray comment on the likely impact this policy will have in Islington?

 

Reply:

Thank you for your question.  Forcing councils to sell high value properties will be a battle for the soul of Islington. Some independent research has been carried out which suggests that 1800 council homes in Islington could be forcibly sold in the first five years of the policy.  It would reduce our ability to support people by providing affordable housing and force people to move to outer London where rents will then go up.  It is difficult to believe what this policy will mean; we are currently building 20 new council homes on the Bemerton Estate which are ringfenced for local people. With property prices out of control, these properties will be worth a lot of money; a nearby estate leaseholder property is on the market for £435K.  If the government does set the figure at £400K and we assume any property we build will have a similar value, all the new properties we build, we will be forced to sell by the government.  There will be no incentive for people to downsize and there will be families stuck in overcrowding for many more years.  It is no exaggeration to say this is about the social cleansing of central London and we need to come together to oppose this.

 

Supplementary question:

Can you explain how we can fight this disastrous policy?

Reply:

The government has promised that all homes sold will be replaced, but they said the same with right to buy and barely one in ten was and they weren’t like for like; they were different size homes in different areas.  If they force us to sell it will be impossible for us to replace the properties; anything new we build we will be forced to sell again. We need to make sure that all the evidence is publicised to stop people being hoodwinked by this policy and we need to campaign on the street to get the public to oppose it too.

 

 

Note: The time for questions from members of the Council having expired, written replies to the remaining questions were sent as detailed below.

 

 

Question (b) Councillor Gantly to Councillor Watts, Leader of the Council

 

Cllr Watts will have seen the announcement by the Chancellor that, despite delivering the largest cuts to local government in our history, the Chancellor wants to wield the axe again and the LGA has warned that this could mean in-year budget cuts. What does this mean for Islington?

 

Reply:

Thank you for your question, Cllr Gantly. You are of course correct to say that since 2010, the Tory-led Government has imposed the largest peacetime  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Islington Carers' Hub - Presentation

Minutes:

 

Councillor Burgess introduced this item and advised that there are over 16,000 unpaid carers in Islington and the Islington Carers’ Hub delivers a lot of services for us; it has a strategic role working with partners and among other services, providing training and respite for carers.  Councillor Burgess introduced Liz Mercer from the Islington Carers’ Hub.

Liz Mercer advised that the Islington Carers’ Hub (ICH) is based in Finsbury Park, but does outreach at a number of venues across the borough.  The service is available to anyone over 18 who cares for someone, although there are many carers, for example those who care for people with substance misuse problems, who do not come forward to seek help.  The ICH only has six full time equivalent staff and can therefore only support a fraction of the carers personally, so although the ICH provides some direct support, such as a casework service for those who might otherwise struggle to access support and support groups, they also act as a gateway to services and work strategically, helping other organisations, such as GP practices, identify and support carers. 

Eddy Graham, Head of Advice, Carers UK advised that it is estimated that unpaid carers save the state approximately £190M and advised that over three quarters of carers are worried about the impacts on their own health, nearly half struggle to make ends meet and over half of working carers are worried about their ability to remain in work.  He advised that there was considerable concern that the expected £12 billion cut to welfare spending will have a number of very detrimental impacts on carers.

 

Councillor Burgess and Councillor Watts thanked Liz Mercer and Eddy Graham and Councillor Burgess advised that we will fight the government over any proposed cuts affecting carers.   

 

 

56.

Corporate Plan pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Minutes:

 

Councillor Watts, seconded by Councillor Burgess, moved the recommendations in the report. 

 

Councillor Watts highlighted the importance of the document, which sets out the Council’s strategy and priorities for the future.

The recommendations were put to the vote and carried.

 

57.

Islington Armed Forces Community Covenant Annual Update pdf icon PDF 358 KB

Minutes:

 

Councillor Poole, seconded by Councillor Hamitouche, moved the recommendations in the report. 

 

Councillor Poole particularly noted The Streets They Left Behind Project which is erecting plaques remembering Islington residents who were killed in WWI in the street where they lived or grew up and thanked the officers involved.

The recommendations were put to the vote and carried.

 

58.

Constitution Update pdf icon PDF 185 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and carried.

 

59.

Chief Whip's Report pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Minutes:

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

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and carried.

 

60.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 142 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.

 

Motion 1:  Support the Human Rights Act

Motion 2:  Ban on Glyphosate

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Motion1: Support the Human Rights Act

Councillor Russell moved the motion.  Councillor Nick Ward moved an amendment to the motion.  Councillor Kaseki contributed to the debate.

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

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

RESOLVED:

-        To support the council’s Equalities Champion in working with residents and organisations within the borough to co-ordinate activity to ensure their views on   the importance of the Human Rights Act are brought to the attention of the Government when it is considering repealing the Act.

-        To mark the United Nations ‘Human Rights Day’ on 10th December to emphasise the importance of human rights.

 

Motion 2: Ban on Glyphosate

 

Councillor Russell moved the motion.   Councillors Webbe, Poyser, Heather, Parker and Andrews contributed to the debate.

The recommendations in the motion were put to the vote and LOST.

 

61.

Emergency Motion - Islington Park Street Community pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Minutes:

This item was taken under Minute 50 ‘Urgent items relating to 38-44 Islington Park Street’ above.