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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 Green  020 7527 3184

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Minutes pdf icon PDF 229 KB

The Minutes of the Council meeting held on 15 September 2016.




That the minutes of the meeting on 15 September 2016 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

(iv)         Mayor’s Announcements

(v)          Length of speeches



(i)            Apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Councillors Doolan, Khan, Nicholls, Parker and Nick Ward. Apologies for lateness were received from Councillors Wayne and Gallagher.


(ii)          Order of Business


The Mayor agreed to accept Item 11, The Council Tax Support Scheme for 2017/18, as an urgent item of business under Procedure Rule 10.2(n). This item was to be considered after Item 8, Questions from Members of the Council.


(iii)         Declaration of Discussion Items


No items were declared.


(iv)         Mayor’s Announcements


The Mayor paid tribute to former Mayor and Leader of the Borough, Jim Evans, who had recently passed away. Jim was a well-known figure across Islington and had a key role in the council during a turbulent political time in the 1980s.


The Mayor passed on her commiserations to the residents and businesses affected by the recent flood on Upper Street and thanked the Emergency Services, staff from across the council and all of those involved in the response, including the Business Design Centre and The Steam Passage Tavern which had offered support to residents.


The Mayor praised the strong support for the Remembrance Day services in the borough and reported that the 2016 Poppy Appeal had been the most successful ever. The Mayor passed on the thanks of Islington Veterans Association.


The Mayor was enjoying the festive period; turning on multiple Christmas lights and had attending several carol services. The council had hosted a Christmas lunch attended by 100 pensioners in the Assembly Hall and the Mayor thanked all of those who had helped at the event.


The Mayor welcomed the Youth Council to the meeting and reported that she had attended an event celebrating the 60th birthday of the National Youth Theatre with the Young Mayor at Buckingham Palace. The council had recently had a successful Youth Council Takeover Day, with the Youth Council taking on the roles of Chief Executive, Leader and Executive Member for Children and Young People for the day.


Finally, the Mayor advised that the nomination deadline for the Civic Awards and Ben Kinsella Award was 20th January 2017.


(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 that this was the first meeting of the Council since central government had abandoned its Tenant Tax proposals which the council had strongly campaigned against. Councillor Watts thanked everyone who had contributed to the successful campaign. Councillor Watts advised that although he was delighted that the Tenant Tax would not be implemented, the campaign against the Housing and Planning Act continued, as the government’s housing policies would reduce the already limited supply of affordable housing in the borough.


Councillor Watts thanked the Mayor and councillors who had visited the scene of the Upper Street flood and was grateful that nobody was seriously injured given the scale of the flooding. Councillor Watts also thanked the council staff, the staff of the Angel Business Improvement District, the Business Design Centre, the Steam Passage Tavern, and everyone who had offered support to businesses and residents. Councillor Watts emphasised that Islington was open for business and encouraged those present to shop in the Camden Passage area to support the affected businesses on the run up to Christmas. Matters related to the speed of response and investment in infrastructure would be raised with Thames Water.


Councillor Watts had recently visited Pentonville Prison with Councillor Hull and the Chief Executive. Councillor Watts acknowledged that residents living near Pentonville were concerned about security and emphasised that recent incidents of violence in the prison were not acceptable. Councillor Watts had been reassured that prison staff were doing their best, however significant cuts and underinvestment from central government had been detrimental to the safety of prisoners, staff and local residents. Councillor Watts called on the government to invest in the prison appropriately.


Councillor Watts was delighted that the Town Hall had flown the transgender flag on the International Day of Transgender Remembrance and thanked Councillor Gantly for his campaigning on the issue.


Councillor Watts congratulated and thanked Winston Douglas, the Station Manager of Islington Fire Station, who had retired after 32 years’ service in the London Fire Brigade. Mr Douglas was Britain’s longest serving black firefighter and had served at all of the major incidents in the local area during his service, from the Kings Cross fire to the Upper Street flood. 


Finally, Councillor Watts thanked all of those involved in the Remembrance Day events and those who had attended the Pensioner’s Christmas Lunch.





Councillor Russell presented a petition regarding the planning application for a Sainsbury’s store on Blackstock Road.


Questions from the Youth Council pdf icon PDF 134 KB


Question a) from Youth Councillor Mohamed to Councillor Watts, Leader of the Council:


What impact does Cllr Watts think the vote for Brexit will have on Islington as a London Borough and specifically to the employment, learning and training opportunities for Islington’s young people?




Thank you for your question. As a proud Lononder, British Citizen and European, I was heartbroken by the result of the referendum. The question now is how we respond to it.


Leaving the European Union presents massive risks and potential problems for this borough. There are over 30,000 EU citizens living in this borough and central government is refusing to say what their plans are for their future in this country. I think that is a disgrace. These people have contributed to this country and the government should confirm that they have a future in Britain.


The impact on the economy could be very serious, but we don’t know the potential consequences yet as the government has been unclear on its negotiating terms. However, if British companies lose the ability to competitively sell goods to the rest of Europe then that will mean job losses in Islington and the rest of the country. Brexit will also mean a loss of opportunities for young people.  Schemes like Erasmus may come to an end. Young people may find it more difficult to study abroad, and we may not benefit from having European students study in this country.


The government needs to provide clarity to the tens of thousands of EU residents in this borough who feel uncertain about their future in this country, and clarify how businesses, universities, schools and colleges will be affected.


Question B) from Youth Councillor Venetia to Councillor Hull, Executive Member for Finance, Performance and Community Safety:


During the autumn Islington Youth Councillor and elected Member of the UK Youth Parliament Mohamed Abass co-ordinated the annual Make Your Mark ballot, which is the largest consultation of young people in the country.  In Islington over 1,600 young people voted in 10 schools, City and Islington College, Lift and Platform youth hubs and other youth projects. In the top 5 issues young people voted for both nationally and locally, tackling racism and religious discrimination featured as concerns. How is the council tackling hate crime in the borough?




Thank you for your question and thank you to Youth Councillor Abass for his important work co-ordinating Make Your Mark. Hate crime is a scourge in modern Britain; it divides communities and it harms cohesion. There has been a spike in hate crime following the EU referendum and in Islington this has particularly manifested itself as a rise in homophobia.


A new hate crime strategy was produced in October. This progressed through the Safer Islington Partnership, to ensure that all of the key players in community safety in the borough could contribute to the strategy. In producing the strategy we consulted the Independent Community-led Hate Crime Forum, which includes residents with an interest in tackling hate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 124.


Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 150 KB


Question a) from Ernestas Jegorovas to Councillor Caluori, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families:


With NUT and ATL predicting Government cuts of 10 per cent to schools in Islington over the next four years. How does the council plan to help schools balance their books so that the damaging impact of the cuts on student progress is minimised?




This is something we are hugely worried about and have been talking about with our schools. We don’t yet know the changes to the national formula, but we will be campaigning against this with other boroughs through London Councils. We are not alone in being worried about the impact that the proposed funding formula will have, which is set to redistribute money away from poorer inner-London areas to the shires. It is true that schools in London have achieved high levels of attainment and progress in very challenging circumstances because of the additional investment they have had; but instead of taking that money away and reallocating it elsewhere, for the amount of money used by the Government to fund the free schools and academies programme, they could lift the rest of the country up to the level we are at, which demonstrates the priorities that the Government has for education.


Locally, we will be working with our Schools Forum, which is comprised of governors, teachers, and local authority representatives, to discuss how we are going to deal with the implications of the school funding formula. It is important to consider that it is not only the amount of money which is reducing, but it is also the amount we can centrally retain for the collective activities that we do as a borough. The ability of local authorities and local authority schools to collectively decide what is important to invest in will be eroded by changes to the schools grant regulations.


Supplementary question:


Can the council make a commitment to reporting on school efficiencies in terms of how much energy is used by schools and their work in reducing their carbon footprint? Reducing schools’ spend on energy would help to save jobs.




I’m happy to do that. Perhaps this could be discussed in more detail at a future meeting of the Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee.


Question B) Jane Taylor to Councillor Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Community Development:


Why has the council agreed to allow Fabric to keep its licence, subject to conditions, overturning its own licensing committee decision to revoke the licence and ignoring 200 pages of evidence recording five years of breaches of licence conditions, police warnings, licence reviews, resident complaints and the deaths of 6 young people?




Thank you for your question. The council did not overturn the decision of the Licensing Sub-Committee. I want to thank the Sub-Committee members for their diligence in making their decision. The Sub-Committee reviewed Fabric’s licence following the tragic deaths of two young people earlier this year, and the deaths of four other people since 2011. The Sub-Committee concluded that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 125.


Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 137 KB


Question a) from Councillor Poyser to Councillor Ward, Executive Member for Housing and Development:


Could I congratulate the council on its swift action acting as honest broker in making available the empty Mount Carmel school to the nearby Whitehall Park Free School while the building work continues on the former Ashmount School site. As Councillor Ward is aware, there is now also the building of much-needed social housing taking place on that site.  Would it be possible to give local residents, the parents of children at the school and the Islington people on our housing waiting list, some idea as to when the building on the site might be completed?




We are told by the EFA that construction of the new school building is due to be completed on 10 February 2017. Provided that the February 2017 deadline is met the school should occupy the building from 20 February 2017, with the decant from Mount Carmel school taking place during the February half term break. The housing scheme which is being delivered by ISHA will be complete by July 2018.  46 new homes are being delivered. 24 homes will be for social rent and 11 would be shared ownership. The overall affordable housing offer therefore is 35 homes or 76% overall.


Supplementary question:


There is a lot of concern about this in our ward. Residents have contacted me to say that their properties are being damaged by the vibrations from the works, parents want the school to be built as quickly as possible, and we are all well aware of the need for social housing in our borough. Many great socialists have lived in Islington, even this year we unveiled a plaque for George Orwell. I wanted to know if you had any advice from the great socialists who have lived in Islington.




In ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’ George Orwell wrote about the poverty in this country and one of the consequences of that book was the eventual creation of the welfare state by Attlee’s Government in 1945 and a mass housebuilding programme. I am proud that this borough continues to build social housing for its residents.


Question B) from Councillor Jeapes to Councillor Watts, Leader of the Council:


The Social Mobility Commission has just produced a report that highlights low-income and middle-income families are being held back by deep social mobility problems in Britain. This problem is starkly evident in Canonbury ward, where council housing is situated cheek-by-jowl alongside million pound houses, which residents on the estates will never be able to afford.


The report describes the polarisation of the labour market where, “there are too few progression opportunities for workers, especially women, in the bottom half of the labour market”, and that, “job growth in the British economy has shifted more towards low-skilled jobs compared with other European countries”. The report goes on to say, “Professional employment is growing but the potential it contains for a social mobility dividend is hindered by talent being recruited  ...  view the full minutes text for item 126.


Urgent Item - Council Tax Support Scheme 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 253 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Hull moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Watts seconded.


The resolutions were put to the vote and CARRIED.




-       That the Council Tax Support Scheme for 2017/18 as contained in

Appendix A to the report submitted be agreed;

-       To retain the amendments to council tax agreed at the Council meeting on 3 December 2015. To be clear, this means that from 1 April 2017 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.


Chief Whip's report pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Allice Perry moved the recommendations. Councillor Gill seconded.


The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.






a)    That Dr Helene Brown be appointed as the NHS England representative on the Health and Wellbeing Board for the remainder of the municipal year 2016/17 or until a successor is appointed be agreed.

b)    That Dr Hasz Sonigra be appointed as the substitute member for Dr Helene Brown on the Health and Wellbeing Board for the remainder of the municipal year 2016/17 or until a successor is appointed be agreed.

c)    That Finola Culbert be appointed as the substitute member for Carmel Littleton on the Health and Wellbeing Board for the remainder of the municipal year 2016/17 or until a successor is appointed be agreed.



That Councillor Champion be appointed as a substitute member of

Islington Council’s Community chest for the remainder of the municipal year

2016/17 or until a successor is appointed be agreed.




That Tanya Parr, Senior Commissioning Officer (Children’s Services), be

appointed as a Trustee on the Board of the Richard Cloudesley Trust for a period of four years or until a successor is appointed be agreed.




a)    That Councillor Heather be appointed as the Council’s representative on the Board of Trustees of the Finsbury Park Trust for a period of three years or until a successor is appointed be agreed.

b)    That Councillor Shaikh be appointed as the substitute member for Councillor Heather on the Board of Trustees of the Finsbury Park Trust for a period of three years or until a successor is appointed be agreed.




That Councillor Andrews be appointed as Islington Reads Champion for the remainder of the municipal year 2016/17 or until a successor is appointed be agreed.




That the amendment to the Constitution be agreed as set out in the report submitted.


Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 168 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.


Additional documents:




Councillor Poole moved the motion. Councillor Ismail seconded. Councillor Russell contributed to the debate.


The motion was put to the vote and was CARRIED.




-       To support and promote The Royal British Legion’s call to include a new topic in the 2021 census that concerns military service and membership of the Armed Forces community;

-       To call upon the UK Parliament, which will approve the final census questionnaire through legislation in 2019, to ensure that the 2021 census includes questions concerning our Armed Forces community.





Councillor Caluori moved the motion. Councillor Debono seconded.


The motion was put to the vote and was CARRIED.




-       To make further representations to the government concerning its purchase of Ladbroke House, proposing that the building is developed as genuinely affordable accommodation for teachers;

-       To support the council to continue to build genuinely affordable homes in Islington across a range of tenures, to ensure that people, including key workers, can find a home in the borough;

-       To request that the Executive ensures that sufficient school places continue to be planned for and provided by the council, meaning there is no need for the development of new mainstream Free Schools in the borough outside of those already in place.





Councillor Burgess moved the motion. Councillor Ngongo seconded. Councillors Russell and O’Halloran contributed to the debate.




-       To support the Scrap the Fee campaign;

-       To call on the government to scrap this unfair and unjust charge, by bringing this service back under the NHS contract;

-       That Cllrs Burgess and Ngongo write to the local press to raise awareness of this vital issue.





Councillor Russell moved the motion.


Councillor Webbe moved the amendment as set out in the additional despatch of papers.


The amendment was put to the vote and CARRIED.


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




That the Leader and Executive be asked to:


-       Respond positively to the Mayor's air pollution consultation that calls for the Ultra-Low Emission Zone to extend to the North and South Circular and to be brought forward from the previously proposed 2020 start date;

-       Report back to Executive in due course on the outcome of the council’s bid to Transport for London’s Local Implementation Plan funding scheme;

-       Continue to make representations to the Mayor of London to urge him to prioritise cleaner buses running on routes that use Islington’s roads.





Councillor Russell moved the motion.


Councillor Hull moved the amendment.


The amendment was put to the vote and CARRIED.


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




-       To continue to work with the police to keep fireworks out of the hands of under-18s and to ensure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 129.