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Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Jonathan Moore  Email: jonathan.moore@islington.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

140.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 279 KB

The Minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 11 May 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the Annual Council meeting on 11 May 2017 be confirmed as a correct record and the Mayor be authorised to sign them.  

141.

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.

142.

Mayoral Announcements

(i)            Apologies

(ii)           Order of business

(iii)          Declaration of discussion items

(iv)         Mayor’s Announcements

(v)          Length of speeches

 

Minutes:

(i)            Apologies for Absence

 

Apologies were received from Councillors Doolan, Klute and Nicholls.  Apologies for lateness were received from Councillors Nick Ward and Alice Perry.

 

The Mayor read a statement from Councillor Klute apologising for his absence, which explained that he was unable to attend due to a work function.

 

(ii)          Order of Business

 

The Mayor agreed to change the order of business so that the Council could consider Motion 4, ‘Fire Safety in Islington’ alongside Item 9, ‘Islington Council’s Response to the Grenfell Tower Fire’. It was also agreed that Motion 5, ‘Finsbury Park Terrorist Attack – Standing Shoulder to Shoulder as One Community’ would be considered as the first motion under Item 13.

 

(iii)         Declaration of Discussion Items

 

No items were declared.

 

(iv)         Mayor’s Announcements

 

The Mayor passed on the Council’s condolences to all of those affected by the recent terror attacks at Finsbury Park, London Bridge, and Manchester Arena, and the all of those affected by the Grenfell Tower Fire. The Mayor thanked the emergency services for their quick response and courage in dealing with the atrocities. The Mayor announced that it was the Council’s intention to award Freedom of the Borough to the fire fighters and officers of the Islington and Holloway Fire Station. The Mayor also thanked the Islington Council officers for providing assistance at Grenfell Tower.

 

In relation to the Finsbury Park terror attack, the Mayor emphasised that Islington has always been a diverse and inclusive borough, and commented on the importance of standing together as a united community. The Mayor highlighted the work of the Finsbury Park Mosque and the Muslim Welfare House to support the local community following the attack.

 

The Mayor commented that her first month as Mayor had come at a particularly difficult time, however it was a privilege to see how committed the local community was in helping each other in the face of such tragic events.

 

The Mayor had attended some very special events, including the 500th Anniversary of the Richard Cloudesley Trust, the Armed Forces Day Parade, the Royal Garden Party, and an event at St Luke’s Community Centre to raise awareness of Key Changes, the mental health charity. The Mayor had also attended the Cally Festival which had attracted over 8,000 people, and thanked the organisers for their work.

 

(v)          Length of Speeches

 

The Mayor asked colleagues to do their upmost to keep speeches within the permitted length.

 

143.

Leader's Announcements

Minutes:

Councillor Watts thanked the Mayor and thanked everyone present for observing the two minutes’ silence with dignity.

 

Councillor Watts extended the sympathies of the Council to the family of Makram Ali, who was murdered in the Finsbury Park terror attack, and to all of those injured in the attack, including the husband of Councillor Ismail. Councillor Watts said that it was right to refer to the attack as an act of terrorism and welcomed that a national minute’s silence had been held to remember the victims of the attack.

 

Councillor Watts said that the council had worked hard to manage the response to the attack and thanked Councillors Hull, Shaikh, Heather, O’Sullivan, Comer-Schwartz, Ismail and the Mayor for helping the community in the days after the attack. The council was coordinating a package of support for the victims of the attack, which included counselling, financial help, benefits advice, housing options and adaptations, travel assistance, and legal advice. Councillor Watts thanked the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Prime Minister for their messages of support and condolences, and paid special thanks to Jeremy Corbyn MP for his response to the attack and support for the community. Councillor Watts said that the aim of the attack was to divide the local community, as was the intention at the London Bridge, Westminster Bridge, and the Manchester Arena attacks. The response to these attacks had demonstrated that the hate-mongers had failed. Councillor Watts was very impressed by the response of the Finsbury Park community, which had come together stronger and more united than ever.

 

Councillor Watts expressed his sympathies to the family of the person who committed suicide at Archway Bridge earlier the same day, and expressed his anger that effective suicide prevention measures had not yet been installed at the bridge. The council had worked with other boroughs to secure funding for the works and the delays to their installation were disappointing.  Councillor Watts hoped that swift action would be taken by Transport for London to install suicide prevention measures following this latest tragedy.

 

Councillor Watts was pleased that the council had won a legal challenge from the private developer of the territorial army site at Parkhurst Road, who had appealed the Planning Inspectorate after the council had refused planning permission on the grounds that the scheme did not provide a sufficient number of affordable homes. Councillor Watts said that Islington Council put the interests of residents first and it was right to use the council’s resources to fight for genuinely affordable housing in the borough. Councillor Watts said that developers were very welcome in Islington, but were not welcome to develop exclusively private housing at the expense of genuinely affordable housing for local people.

144.

Petitions

Minutes:

Councillor Greening presented a petition regarding fire safety at the Harvist Estate.

 

Councillor Russell presented a petition regarding the installation of the trampoline park at the Sobell Leisure Centre.

 

Councillor Russell presentation a petition regarding redevelopment work and the downsizing of the football pitch at Barnard Park.

145.

Questions from the Youth Council pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Minutes:

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

 

How will the election result impact on the lives of young people in the borough and what specific challenges and opportunities does Cllr Watts identify?

 

Reply:

 

Thank you very much for your question. The election result was a shock to many, not least of which the Prime Minister, who called for a strong and stable government but spent the entire time looking weak and wobbly. The Prime Minister lost her majority and had to do a deal with the DUP to cling to power, throwing a billion pounds of money which is needed in boroughs like Islington to Northern Irish MPs.

 

In the short term the election result means political paralysis and chaos. The Conservatives have lost their moral mandate to govern and their parliamentary majority; the public have rejected the austerity politics that they have been pursuing for the last seven years; and they have propped themselves up through the DUP, who’s track record on gay rights, women’s rights, and other matters shows that they are a long way away from the values of this Council and the vast majority of residents in our borough and beyond. I am very concerned indeed about the DUP having a say on the important matters that affect our country.

 

On the positive side, this election showed that the Labour Party has enormous momentum, we achieved the biggest increase in the party’s share of the vote in any one election, we saw young people assert their place at the centre of British politics and go out to vote in record numbers, 64% of registered votes aged 18 to 24 are thought to have voted, and I think that politicians of all parties will take notice of young people’s issues far more than they have ever done.

 

I think there will be another election before too long. If opinion polls are to be believed that election will result in a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn, and a fully costed Labour manifesto promising to bring back EMA and maintenance grants for students, abolish tuition fees, build more genuinely affordable housing for young people, to end the public sector pay cap and to end austerity. This will be paid for by a slightly higher taxes on corporations and people who have the money to pay a bit more tax. I think that will fundamentally change the lives of young people in this borough for the better.

 

 

Question b) from Young Mayor Diana to Councillor Caluori, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families:

 

It’s really exciting that the council’s commitment to youth provision in the borough will see another great summer offer including Summerversity, Launchpad and the opening of Soapbox youth centre. How will councillors promote the fantastic offers across the borough to young people in their wards?  

 

Reply:

 

Thanks for your question Diana. I think we should all be really proud that Islington is probably the only borough in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 145.

146.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Minutes:

Question a) from Greg Foxsmith to Councillor Hull, Executive Member for Finance, Performance and Community Safety:

 

An astonishing 1,021 bicycles were reported stolen between 1/11/14 and 31/10/15.  Of these, a mere 36 were recovered and returned to owner, a derisory figure so low that it has only one advantage - it cannot get any worse. What are the figures for reported bicycle theft and recovery in the following year, and notwithstanding the inevitable improvement, do you consider that to be satisfactory?

 

As Greg Foxsmith was not present at the meeting, the following written response was subsequently provided:

 

Official bike theft figures for Islington (MPS publication) are 1,133 (FY 2014/15), 1,038 (FY 2015/16) and 988 (FY 2016/17) with 46 bikes being recovered in this last FY. Bike theft levels in Islington have been steadily reducing for the last six years when there were 1,607 in their peak (FY 2010/11), largely due to two factors – better security and a switch in offending type.

 

The council takes cycle security seriously and introduced two secure bike hangars into the borough last year, as a trial. These hangars provided safe storage for those who cannot store cycles within their dwelling and provides better security.

Following this successful trial, Islington has begun a roll out of bike hangars across the borough, based on known demand. Consultation for the installation of 18 new hangars will begin shortly and the council welcomes further requests. We also installed over 160 on-street Sheffield stands across the borough to provide short term cycle parking.

 

Many more cycles than is quoted above are recovered by the police each year but it has not been possible to reunite them with the victim as they can’t be identified.  To support the efforts of ourselves and the police, we urge people to note the frame number, use security marking and leave their bike secure.

 

 

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

 

What risk assessment has been done about the influx of cases from West London to Highbury Corner Youth Court following the closure of Hammersmith Court?

 

Reply:

 

Thank you for your question. The background to this is the government have closed nearly a fifth of all courts in the country, including ten courts across London. This impacts on people’s access to justice, increases the time you have to travel to courts, and puts increased pressure on the workload of courts. The Lord Chancellor decided to close Camberwell Green and Hammersmith Magistrates’ Courts and transfer the youth court work from Hammersmith to Highbury Corner.

 

We don’t know whether the Ministry of Justice carried out a full risk assessment on the impact of those closures, or how the decision was reached. However, our Youth Offending Service has carried out its own risk assessment due to the fact that the West London Court day takes place on a Monday, the day before Islington’s own court day.

 

Although we don’t have particular issues between gangs in Islington and gangs  ...  view the full minutes text for item 146.

147.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Minutes:

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

 

The Council quite rightly has taken all the actions it can to improve and maintain conditions, despite swingeing government cuts, to help social housing in Islington.

Islington Council recently took a private landlord who owned a multi-occupancy property in Hillrise ward to court after we found a series of hazards – including a lack of fire alarm, insecure handrails and banisters, and rotten window frames in a multiple occupancy property.  The inspection, in the autumn, also found a window in disrepair, a hole in the wall, and dirty kitchen extractor fans. The landlord, from Enfield, paid fines of £12,000 along with costs of £1,124 and a victim surcharge of £100.

 

Many of the tenants in Islington’s private rented sector live in appalling conditions, and some are paying a huge percentage of their incomes to live here. What can we do as a council to help these tenants?

 

Reply:

 

Thank you very much for your question. There’s lots of things the council can do to help tenants in the private rented sector. Environmental Health carry out a programme of activities to identify and improve the worst living conditions in the sector, for example we investigate and identify hazards that could be a risk to the tenant’s safety, we work with landlords to ensure they provide safe accommodation, and we carry out enforcement action if we have to.

 

We have a licensing system for Houses of Multiple Occupation, we carry out inspections, and we also use our own data to identify unlicensed HMOs and potentially unsafe private rented accommodation. We work with internal and external partners to share information on this, and we also work with Trading Standards to enforce letting agent requirements.

 

Supplementary Question:

 

Thank you for your work on this. Given the scale of government cuts, in the future will the council still be able to carry out this work in the private rented sector?

 

Reply:

 

This council will never stop working hard for the private rented sector, that is our job, regardless of what cuts are imposed on us by the government. I would encourage all councillors to contact the council about any concerns they have regarding private rented sector properties in their ward, or with any concerns about landlords.

 

Question b) from Councillor Ismail to Councillor Caluori, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families:

 

According to the council’s Principal Risks Report 2017/18, serious youth crime has increased by 30% in Islington, and there has been a 9% rise in knife crime victims under 25 years old. What is the council doing about this, and how is it engaging with young people and the local community?

 

Reply:

 

Thank you for your question. Serious youth crime is a priority for the council. I think it’s important to say that involvement in serious youth crime harms both the victim and the perpetrator; everyone loses. Information on what we are doing to address youth violence is detailed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 147.

148.

Islington Council's response to the Grenfell Tower fire (Item 9) and Motion 4: Fire Safety in Islington (Item 13) pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Ward moved the recommendations in the report set out in the additional despatch of papers. Councillor Watts seconded.

 

Councillor Russell moved the motion. Councillors O’Sullivan, Convery, Heather, Greening, Parker and Webbe contributed to the debate.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)        That Council’s thanks be passed to the firefighters of Islington and across London for their heroism and prompt response to the Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June;

(ii)        That Council notes the urgent actions being taken by Islington Council in response to the fire at Grenfell Tower and the support provided to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Grenfell Fire Response Team;

(iii)        That following on from urgently addressing the fire safety issues currently in hand, a thorough examination will be undertaken by Islington Council into how the sides of Braithwaite House came to be partially clad in a combustible form of cladding;

(iv)        That the council make public all existing fire safety risk assessments of high rise towers in Islington;

(v)        That the council reassure residents in Islington about fire safety and work with local residents to hear and address any concerns;

(vi)        That the council assist London level efforts to support the victims of the Grenfell Tower.

149.

Islington Armed Forces Community Covenant: Annual Update pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Minutes:

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

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)        That activity over the past year to celebrate and support Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families be noted;

(ii)        It be noted that, from April 2017, the Council has agreed an additional measure to support veterans: payments under the War Pension Scheme are now fully disregarded in the financial assessment for social care charging (with the exception of payments of Constant Attendance Allowance);

(iii)        It be noted that, in December 2016, the Council passed a motion to support the Royal British Legion’s campaign for the 2021 Census to include questions concerning military services and members of the Armed Forces community, to provide more robust data to help target our support.

150.

Constitution update pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Gill moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Picknell seconded.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

    (i)        That the amendments to the Constitution as set out in the Appendix to the report submitted be approved;

   (ii)        That the council’s right of referral to the Secretary of State in responding to formal consultations involving all of the Councils in the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee pursuant to Regulation 23(9) of The Local Authority (Public Health, Health and Wellbeing Boards and Health Scrutiny) Regulations 2013 be delegated to the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee;

  (iii)        To adopt the Members Allowance Scheme for 2017/18;

  (iv)        That authority be delegated to the Service Directors of Public Protection, Public Realm and Housing Operations to authorise the appropriate officers in their department with the relevant functions under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014;

   (v)        That the Director of Law and Governance be authorised to make any consequential amendments to the Constitution considered necessary.

151.

Chief Whip's Report pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Gill moved the recommendations in the revised report set out in the additional despatch of papers. Councillor Picknell seconded.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.      APPOINTMENT TO THE HOUSING SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

 

That Dean Donaghey be appointed as a resident observer to the Housing Scrutiny Committee for the remainder of the municipal year 2017/18 or until a successor is appointed be agreed

 

2.      APPOINTMENT TO THE DAME ALICE OWEN FOUNDATION

 

That Andrea Stark, Director of Employment, Skills and Culture, be appointed to the Dame Alice Owen Foundation until the end of the municipal year 2018/19 or until a successor is appointed be agreed.

 

3.      APPOINTMENT TO THE CAMDEN AND ISLINGTON NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

 

That Councillor Turan be appointed to the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust until the end of the municipal year 2017/18 or until a successor is appointed be agreed.

152.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 241 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 – Protecting Islington Schools Funding

Motion 2 – Protecting EU nationals in Islington

Motion 3 – Condemning Anti-Semitism

Motion 4 – Fire Safety in Islington

Motion 5 – Finsbury Park Terrorist Attack – Standing shoulder to shoulder as one community

Minutes:

MOTION 5 – FINSBURY PARK TERRORIST ATTACK – STANDING SHOULDER TO SHOULDER AS ONE COMMUNITY

 

Councillor Shaikh moved the motion. Councillor Hull seconded. Councillor Ismail, O’Sullivan, Russell and Heather contributed to the debate.

 

The motion was put to the vote and was CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

-       To continue to support those affected by this terrorist atrocity in any way that we can;

-       To work with the local community, faith leaders and the police to combat terrorism and hate crime in all its forms;

-       To continue to work closely with local mosques, other faith groups, and the police, to assess security issues in the borough and to provide assistance and support where necessary;

-       To condemn anyone who seeks to sow hatred in our community and our country either through their words or by their actions.

 

 

MOTION 1 – PROTECTING ISLINGTON SCHOOLS FUNDING

 

Councillor Caluori moved the motion. Councillor Debono seconded.

 

The motion was put to the vote and was CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

-       To continue to make representations to ensure Islington schools get a fair deal from the National Funding Formula;

-       To work with its two MPs, head teachers, parent representatives and trade unions to make the case that Islington schools should receive adequate funding;

-       That the Leader of the Council and the Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families to write to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education, calling for Islington schools to receive sufficient funding and a fairer deal from the proposed National Funding Formula.

 

 

MOTION 2 – PROTECTING EU NATIONALS IN ISLINGTON

 

Councillor Gallagher moved the motion. Councillor Comer-Schwartz seconded.

 

The motion was put to the vote and was CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

-       To continue to make representations to urge Government to stop playing politics with the lives of EU citizens currently living in the UK by immediately guaranteeing their right to continue residing here;

-       To continue to work with partners and the voluntary and community sectors to coordinate practical support for EU nationals who want to remain in Islington.

 

 

MOTION 3 – CONDEMNING ANTI-SEMITISM

 

Councillor Comer-Schwartz moved the motion. Councillor Alice Perry seconded.

 

The motion was put to the vote and was CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

-       To adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism and to continue to work to make Islington a welcoming and tolerant place to all communities;

-       To thoroughly apply this working definition to the Council’s operations.