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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

73.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 326 KB

Minutes:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting on 15 October be confirmed as a correct record and the Mayor be authorised to sign them.

74.

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.

75.

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 Councillors Comer-Schwartz, Donovan, Doolan, Hamitouche, Klute and Shaikh. 

(ii) Order of business

 

The Mayor advised that two very similar motions on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership had been submitted to the meeting and that the order in which the motions would be considered would be changed to allow the two motions to be debated together.

(iii) Declarations of discussion items

 

None.

 

(iv) Mayor’s Announcements

The Mayor led the Council in a minute’s silence in memory of those who died in the recent attacks in Paris and in remembrance of Vasso Kakko who very sadly died after being stabbed last week.

The Mayor also reminded colleagues of the vigil taking place at Finsbury Park Mosque on 4 December, and stressed the importance of maintaining a welcoming, supportive and inclusive society.

 

The Mayor advised that he had been honoured this morning to open a special event to mark the International Day for Disabled People; an important day which aims to promote to social and economic inclusion of disabled people worldwide and which will hopefully move the agenda forward for people with both visible and invisible disabilities.   

 

The Mayor welcomed the new Youth Councillors to their roles as representatives of Islington’s young people and thanked everyone who attended the Remembrance events during November.  Colleagues were also reminded that they can now submit nominations for the Civic Awards and Ben Kinsella Award for younger people.

 

Finally, the Mayor reminded colleagues of the charity dinner on 11 February to celebrate Chinese New Year.

76.

Leader's Announcements

Minutes:

Councillor Watts thanked the Mayor and advised that lobbying the government for the UK to do its bit in responding to the refugee crisis, and for funds for Islington to play its part, had been successful and that we will be taking 13 refugees between now and Christmas.  Councillor Watts advised that he had been proud to work with Citizens UK to help make this possible and that Refugee Action and the Families First team will help the refugees to adapt to life in London. Councillor Watts also thanked residents for all their donations, which had been led by Councillor Ngongo. Councillor Watts also mentioned that the French government is being lobbied to improve the conditions in the refugee camps and noted that all of this is a great sign of tolerance and inclusiveness in Islington.

 

Councillor Watts mentioned the recent terrible attack on the Finsbury Park Mosque and advised that since the attack he has visited the mosque twice, with the Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP and the Borough Commander and Councillors Shaikh and Convery.  Councillor Watts advised that all faiths, including Muslims, play a part in community and that the Finsbury Park Mosque is a force for good in the borough.

 

Councillor Watts advised that local government was bearing the brunt of the 60% cuts the government is making to the public sector, but it is not yet clear what this means for Islington.  The financial settlement has still not been announced; it is only 4 or 5 weeks until we have to set the budget and the cut could be as much as a further £170 million on top of the £150 million already cut, in one of the country’s most deprived areas.  Councillor Watts advised that we will continue to try to help residents and will discuss the proposals in more detail at the next meeting.  

Finally, Councillor Watts thanked Police for their swift action following the terrible murder of Vasso Kakko, the third young person this year who has died as a result of knife crime in the borough.  Councillor Watts advised that his thoughts are with family and friends and that we have continued work on the Youth Crime Strategy over the summer.  Although crime figures generally are falling, there is no complacency and we will continue our work on this.

77.

Petitions

Minutes:

Dr Jayne Kavanagh of the UCL Medical School presented a petition opposing the proposed closure of the Margaret Pyke Centre.

 

78.

Introducing the new Youth Council

Minutes:

The newly elected Youth Councillors were introduced to Council and signed the council’s Register of Youth Councillors.

79.

Questions from Members of the Youth Council pdf icon PDF 6 KB

Minutes:

Question 1 Youth Councillor Zinari to Councillor Watts

Since the Employment Commission was launched 1 year ago, what has been the impact, particularly for young people in the borough?

 

Reply:

Thank you for your question.  I would also like to add my personal thanks to the Youth Councillors who have served for the last two years and congratulations to the newly elected Youth Councillors who he looked forward to working with.

 

Councillor Watts advised that he is proud that the Employment Commission has made real progress in reducing poverty and improving life chances for people in the borough.  Careers advice was being significantly improved by aligning schools and businesses.  City and Islington College are also leading on work to improve this and we think it will make a significant difference.  

Question 2 Youth Councillor Christiane to Councillor Caluori

How can schools work more closely with youth providers to promote the youth offer particularly to young people who are not currently accessing services outside of schools?

Reply:

 

Thank you for your question. There are a number of things that schools can do to promote information about Youth Services; Assemblies, letters to parents, websites and it would be good if champions in the youth hubs could visit schools to explain what it’s like.  There are lots of things they could do; we will listen to the ideas of the existing and new Youth Councillors and talk to you about what young people at school are really looking for.  I look forward to working with you.

Question 3 Youth Councillor Hiba to Councillor Burgess

Recently celebrities have helped raise awareness around mental health and over 86,855 people have pledged to end mental health stigma. What more can be done in Islington to reduce the stigma particularly amongst young people who may be experiencing mental health issues?

Reply:

 

Thank you for your question.  I agree that stigma is one of the main burdens for people suffering from mental health problems, especially for young people, and it can prevent them seeking help.   We are working to make mental health the same as physical health and are supporting Time to Change.  In Islington we have Youth Mental Health training and first aid training and help to dispel the myths and fears by providing people with the facts.  We run creative workshops in community settings.  We want all schools to teach healthful mind lessons to reduce the stigma.  We have Child and Adolescent Mental Health service at Lift and Platform and will work with young people to develop services more and to help with the website.  Thank you again for your question.

 

Question 4 Youth Councillor Ryan to Councillor Caluori

How can Islington Council work with key partners in business and education to create and promote high quality apprenticeships for 16-18 years olds in the borough?

 

Reply:

 

Thank you for your question which has hit the nail on the head; there is an array of different businesses in and around the borough that say they want to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.

80.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Minutes:

Question (a) from ErnestasJegorovas to Councillor Watts, Leader of the Council.

Does the council agree that the goverment was wrong to cut Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and as its attack on education continues, in particular on Further and Higher Education, that providing support to post-16 students should be a key priority. Will you pledge now to ringfence the budget for Islington Year 12 Bursary to provide students the neccesary support?

 

Reply:

 

Yes, of course.  Cutting the EMA was very wrong and we introduced the Islington Bursary, while I was the Executive Member, to reduce the damage.  Over 300 children a year receive £300 and many say they are only able to stay on in further education because of it.  We made a manifesto commitment to keep the bursary.

 

Supplementary question:

What has been done to support STEM Academy Tech City to make sure students don’t become NEET?

It is a challenging situation and the poorest Ofsted report I have ever seen.  We continue to be concerned about the standards at the Academy and continue to work with them, but can only do so to the extent they choose to, which underlines how ridiculous government policy is; we run great schools.

 

Question (b) from Greg Foxsmith to Councillor Convery, Executive Member for Community Safety

How many cycles have been stolen in the Borough in the last 12 month period for which figures available and how many have been recovered?

 

Reply:

 

1,021 bicycles were reported stolen between 1/11/14 and 31/10/15.  Of these, 36 were recovered and linked to an offence/returned to owner.  However, it should be noted that many more cycles are recovered by the police but for various reasons cannot be traced to an original owner or linked to a specific theft offence.



Question (c) from Claire Poyner to Councillor Webbe, Executive Member for Environment and Transport

What did the Council do to promote National Walking Month this year?

 

Reply:

 

On foot is the best way to see Islington.  We’ve got extensive information on the website on the Get Active pages; there are 20 maps and sound maps of walks in the borough.  My favourite is around the graveyards in Bunhill and through the markets and the squares of Clerkenwell.   

 

Supplementary question:

 

That is impressive if you are connected to the internet, but what have you got for those who are not and what plans have you got for next year?

 

Reply:

We support a number of walking groups across Islington and will work with you on what we may be able to do next year.  For those who can’t get on line we have very good wayfinders and walking routes across the borough.  I’ve certainly found it helpful and know some need updating, we will try to find the resources where we can.  We will keep trying to obtain Transport for London funding for walking.

 

 

Question (d) from Katie Dawson to Councillor Convery, Executive Member for Community Safety

 With the latest crime figures showing rocketing crime  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.

81.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

Question (a) Councillor Rupert Perry to Councillor Murray, Executive Member for Planning and Development.

 

Can the Executive Member for Housing and Development please tell me how many landlords the Council has taken action against for renting sub-standard accommodation?

 

Reply:

I won’t waste any time explaining to members what we have all experienced.  We do have an increasing problem with bad landlords; people are so desperate for somewhere to live they accept poor conditions.  We have limited powers but we do use them, we go out and proactively find sub-standard properties.  In the last 12 months we’ve

·         Served 231 notices or legal letters requiring landlords to take action

·         successful prosecuted 8 landlords where they failed to comply

·         settled 3 cases before proceedings commenced

 

That’s 166 substandard properties that have been improved over the last year. You’ll be aware of the HMO Licensing zone and once year end has passed we can enforce there too.

Supplementary question:

In view of this success would we consider using the councils powers to clamp down on people have B&Bs, sort of hotels on short term lets; it is depriving the borough of good quality housing.

 

Reply:

 

The government have recently deregulated how long properties can be let for, so they can now be rented out for very short term lets with no restrictions. When somewhere is routinely let out on short term lets, rather than just a week or two during holidays, it does concern us, but there are no relevant regulations to enforce. However, I can confirm we will go after bad landlords and you may have seen our recent success in the papers.


Question (b) Councillor Parker to Councillor Burgess, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing.

 

Can the Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing advise what the council is doing to meet its obligations as set out in the Autism Act 2009 and subsequent statutory guidance?

 

Reply:

 

Since the implementation of the Autism Act, Islington has progressed its work on autism in a variety of key areas. The Autistic Spectrum Conditions diagnostic service (or NDD) is now well established and providing access to a service that was not previously available. This service aligns with the strategic objectives of the Autism Strategy and NICE guidelines on Autism. It offers full diagnostic assessments, some post diagnostic support, signposting, and interventions for adults. Autism awareness training and other advanced training for frontline professionals from Skills for Care has been undertaken since the Act was implemented. Work is currently being progressed to provide a comprehensive training plan from basic awareness training to advanced professionals training, which will be offered on a rolling basis. This training will also be offered to a variety of stakeholders including families\carers and shared lives’ workers. We have also just received confirmation that we have been successful in the bid for funding for training. An Asperger London Area Group (ALAG) has been established as a support group for adults/carers of people with Asperger syndrome. A scoping exercise has recently been undertaken  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.

82.

Employment Commission - One Year On pdf icon PDF 187 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Watts moved the motion, seconded by Councillor Khan.

 

Councillor Watts introduced the report on progress made during the first year of the Islington Employment Commission and thanked Councillors Khan, Webbe and Maggie Semple for doing such a great job.

 

Councillor Watts advised that the progress report made impressive reading.  In the last year 1,000 people were helped back into work and over 100 families were found flexi or part time work.  Employment coaches across the council were seeing how better to support people and a new partnership with NHS England to help disabled people back into work.  There are still some big challenges ahead however.

 

Councillor Khan agreed that real progress was being made and that it was important to destroy the myth that many unemployed people do not want to work, the commission found that there were real barriers to work in many instances and we must do what we can to remove them.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

That the contents of the ‘One Year On: Making it work better’ report by the Islington Employment Services Board be noted.

 

83.

Council Tax Support Scheme 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hull, seconded by Councillor Perry, moved the recommendations in the report. 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.            That the adoption of the Council Tax Support Scheme for 2016/17 as contained in Appendix A of the report be agreed.      

2.            That retention of the amendments to council tax agreed at full Council on 4 December 2014 be agreed and therefore from 1 April 2016 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.

 

84.

Gambling Policy pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Convery, seconded by Councillor Alice Perry, moved the recommendations in the report.  Councillor Andrews contributed to the debate.
 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED

 

RESOLVED:

1.         That the adoption of the Gambling Policy for Islington as attached in Appendix
            A to the report be agreed.

 

2.         That a formal decision that the Council will not issue any Casino licenses
            within the next three years be agreed.

 




85.

Constitution Report pdf icon PDF 176 KB

Minutes:

 

 

Councillor Alice Perry moved the recommendations in the report and with the Mayor’s agreement, in accordance with rule 23.6(b) of the Constitution moved an amendment to recommendation 2 that the Assistant Chief Executive (Governance and HR) be authorised to make any consequential amendments to the Constitution she considers necessary, in conjunction with the Chief Whip.

Councillor Poyser seconded.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the amendments to the Constitution set out in the attached Appendix to the report be agreed.

2.    That the Assistant Chief Executive (Governance and HR) be authorised to make any consequential amendments to the Constitution she considers necessary, in conjunction with the Chief Whip, be agreed.




 

86.

Chief Whips Report pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Minutes:

 

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

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED

 

RESOLVED:

APPOINTMENT TO PLANNING COMMITTEE

1)         That Councillor Picknell replaces Councillor Gantly as a member of
            Planning Committee for the remainder of the municipal year 2015/16 or until a
            successor is appointed be agreed.

APPOINTMENT TO PERSONNEL SUB COMMITTEE

2)         That it is anticipated that Audit Committee will appoint Councillor Williamson
            as the new member of Personnel Sub Committee with immediate effect for   
            the remainder of the municipal year 2015/16 or until a successor is appointed
            be noted.

 

SADLERS WELLS FOUNDATION

3)         That the appointment of Councillor Klute and Councillor Khan as the Council’s
            representatives on the Sadlers Wells Foundation with effect from February
            2016, for a period of three years or until successors are appointed, be
            agreed.

 

87.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 20 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:  Keeping Islington Safe by Protecting Policing in Islington

Motion 2:  Keep Caledonian Road Tube Station Open

Motion 3:  Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Motion 4:  LGBT History Month

Motion 5:  TTIP

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Motion 1: Keeping Islington safe by protecting Policing in Islington

 

Councillor Convery, seconded by Councillor Williamson, moved the revised motion in the second despatch of papers. Councillors Russell and Andrew contributed to the debate.
 

The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

This council resolves to call on the Executive to –

·         make representations to the Mayor of London and the Home Secretary about the damage which will be caused by removing the community model of policing;

·         oppose further cuts to London’s policing system;

·         make representations to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police to properly consult with Londoners before taking any decision to dismantle vital neighbourhood policing teams.

 

This council further resolves to continue working with Islington’s dedicated police officers and PCSOs, the Borough Commander, and the local community, to ensure that Islington is made safer and criminal activity confronted when it takes place.

 

Motion 2 – Keep Caledonian Road Tube Station Open

Councillor Smith, seconded by Councillor Ismail, moved the motion. Councillor Russell contributed to the debate.

The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.

RESOLVED:

 

To:

-       request that the Leader of the Council writes to the Mayor of London seeking his support for keeping the station open by seeking a review of the TfL’s board decision;

-       ask that the review of TfL’s decision to close the station examines how TfL failed to give adequate notice for works that had clearly been long planned, yet seemed not to factor in the wider economic impacts of it decision on the public which it serves.

 

 

Motion 3 – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

 

Councillor Alice Perry, seconded by Councillor Heather, moved the motion. Councillors Russell, Kaseki and Jeapes contributed to the debate.

The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.

RESOLVED:

To –

  • monitor the potential impact TTIP could have on the council’s procurement practices;
  • make further representations to ensure TTIP does not damage council services, limit our options in procuring services or force any existing Council services to be privatised;
  • encourage other local authorities to adopt a similar motion and position.

 

Motion 4 - TTIP

 

The motion was deemed moved and CARRIED by the Mayor following the debate and vote on Motion 3 above.

 

RESOLVED:

  • To write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government local MPs and all London MEPs raising our serious concerns about the impact of TTIP on local authorities and the secrecy of the negotiating process.

  • To write to the Local Government Association to raise our serious concerns about the impact of TTIP on local authorities and ask them to raise these with government on our behalf.

  • To call for an impact assessment on the impact of TTIP on local authorities.

  • To publicise the council’s concerns about TTIP; join with other local authorities which are opposed to TTIP across Europe and work with local campaigners to raise awareness about the problems.



Motion 5  – LGBT History Month

 

Councillor Russell moved the motion.  Councillor Ward, seconded by Councillor Gantly,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 87.