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That the Minutes of the meeting on 15 October 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 Comer-Schwartz, Donovan,
Doolan, Hamitouche, Klute and Shaikh.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
Dr Jayne Kavanagh of the UCL Medical School presented a petition opposing the proposed closure of the Margaret Pyke Centre.
Introducing the new Youth Council
The newly elected Youth Councillors were introduced to Council and signed the council’s Register of Youth Councillors.
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?
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?
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
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?
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?
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.
(a) from ErnestasJegorovas to
Councillor Watts, Leader of the
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?
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.
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
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?
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.
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?
Question (d) from Katie Dawson
to Councillor Convery, Executive Member for Community
With the latest crime figures showing rocketing crime ... view the full minutes text for item 80.
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?
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
· 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
That the contents of the ‘One Year On: Making it work better’ report by the Islington Employment Services Board be noted.
Councillor Hull, seconded by
Councillor Perry, moved the recommendations in the
The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED
That the adoption of the Council Tax Support Scheme
for 2016/17 as contained in Appendix A of the report be
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
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.
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
2. That a formal
decision that the Council will not issue any Casino licenses
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.
The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED
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.
Councillor Alice Perry,
seconded by Councillor Poyser, moved the recommendations in the
The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED
PERSONNEL SUB COMMITTEE
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
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 motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.
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.
- 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
Motion 4 - TTIP
The motion was deemed moved and CARRIED by the Mayor following the debate and vote on Motion 3 above.
Motion 5 – LGBT History Month
Councillor Russell moved the motion. Councillor Ward, seconded by Councillor Gantly, ... view the full minutes text for item 87.