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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 4, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Zoe Lewis  020 7527 3044

Items
No. Item

88.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Councillor Webbe – Executive Member Environment and Transport

89.

Declarations of Substitute Members

Minutes:

None

90.

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

91.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 5 December 2017 be confirmed and the Chair be authorised to sign them

92.

Public Questions

Minutes:

The Chair outlined the procedure for filming and recording of meetings and Public questions

93.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

The Chair stated that the order of business would be Ag.Item 10 – Use of Barbeques, Ag.11 Installation of PV Solar Panels, Ag.Item 9 Performance Statistics and then Ag.Item 8- Performance Statistics followed by Ag.Item 7 – Regeneration of Retail Areas – Presentation by Councillor Shaikh

94.

Presentation on Regeneration of Retail Areas Scrutiny Review - Witness evidence - Councillors Shaikh and Hull

Minutes:

Councillor Aisma Shaikh, Executive Member for Economic Development was present for discussion of this item and made a presentation to Members. (Copy interleaved).

 

Councillor Shaikh added that she was also dealing with the witness evidence required from Councillor Hull, who could not be present that evening.

 

During consideration of the report the following main points were made –

 

·         The Council approach to Economic Development and Growth built on the Fairness and Employment Commission recommendations. Following the Employment Commission recommendations the Council has now assisted over 2,700 residents into work and a case was being made to JCP to implement a similar approach of support

·         The aim is to tackle inequality and poverty and develop an approach that is driven by inclusion, a model of economic growth that benefits everyone

·         There are 2 Islington’s with affluence in some parts, however Islington has the third highest rate of child poverty in the UK

·         The draft economic development strategy vision is to make Islington a place a place for sustainable, inclusive economic growth, where local people and communities share in this growth

·         In addition there should be a diverse, resilient, local economy for the most densely populated local authority in the country, where economic activity can successfully co-exist with residential and other land uses and displacement of successful established activities in sectors is limited, provided demand exists. Economic growth should be a means of reducing inequality of opportunity within the local community

·         The Council should take a proactive role in shaping the local economy and successfully engaging with and supporting key economic factors

·         The Council’s objectives are to ensure Islington residents share in economic growth, particularly through employment opportunities such as iWork employment support – to improve the learning and skills of Islington residents to enable them to take full advantage of available employment opportunities such as the Employment and Skills strategy, ACL and Skills devolution, challenges of BREXIT – encouraging business uses and other appropriate commercial development in the borough through the local plan and the opportunities of Economic clusters

·         In addition the Council will support resilient Town Centres and encourage diversity as an enabler, through small business support and the night time economy and refreshing the markets strategy. The Council will also seek to maximise opportunities for the growth of SME’s and for local entrepreneurs through planning policy and S106 and affordable workspace, and making a difference through the Council as an economic agent. Councillor Shaikh added that a large amount of workspace has been lost to residential use over a number of years

·         With regard to Business Rates the 2017 revaluations were announced on 28 September and will see increase in Islington by around 45% and will see bills increase by around 30%-45%. This could force businesses to close or leave the borough

·         L.B.Islington does not get increased funding and are calling on the Government to freeze the re-evaluation implementation until after Britain leaves the EU, extend transitional relief to small businesses, and increase the threshold for Small Business Relief  ...  view the full minutes text for item 94.

95.

Performance Statistics pdf icon PDF 219 KB

Minutes:

Kevin O’Leary, Director of Environment and Regeneration was present for discussion of this item.

 

During consideration of the report the following main points were made –

 

·         It was noted that performance indicators were on target with the exception of waste collections and this was currently being investigated

·         Reference was made to the Xmas tree collection and it was stated that the arrangements for collection had not worked as well as in previous years. It was noted that there had been an increase in trees collected which had risen from 65000kg this year from 35/45000kg 5 years previously

·         Members expressed concern at dumping of rubbish/fly tipping in the borough, particularly on Council estates and it was felt that an additional PI should be added and possibly the Leisure/Library indicator should be removed as this is well meeting its target. In addition Members were of the view that there needed to be clear responsibility set out for who is responsible for what in clearing rubbish on Council estates

·         Discussion took place as to the changes that had been circulated to residents in collection arrangements and that this should be circulated to them in pictorial format to assist them in understanding the new arrangements

·         Discussion took place as to recycling and that the figures had gone down and that this is a big challenge and the recycling centres were requiring more high quality recycling to process this. Islington recycling rates Most neighbouring boroughs recycling rates had also plateaued. A Member referred to the Highbury Quadrant estate and there is a trial taking place on recycling and it would be useful for the Committee to get the results on this once it is available

·         It was stated that a new communications plan needed to be developed to inform residents on recycling arrangements

 

RESOLVED:

(a)  That a further report be submitted to the Committee on the problems with the Xmas tree collections

(b)  That Councillor Hull be asked to consider adding an additional PI on fly tipping/dumping of rubbish and deleting the Leisure/Library indicator

(c)  That pictorial details be circulated to Members on recycling arrangements, in addition to the written details already circulated

(d)  That details of the recycling trial on Highbury Quadrant be reported to Members of the Committee once these are available

96.

Progress of Installation of PV Solar Panels - Presentation pdf icon PDF 543 KB

Minutes:

Martin Holland, Environment and Regeneration Department, was present and made a presentation to the Committee. (Copy interleaved).

 

During consideration of the report the following main points were made –

 

·         The third party PV installations for 2011/12 were completed in December 2011 and the licence concessions provide 7.5% of FIT income to Islington

·         LBI also receives £18.52 for each kWp installed annually and there were 20 new systems installed on the Elthorne Estate providing approx. £3,200 income per month and there had been no investment necessary from L.B.Islington

·         Housing Own investment – six systems were completed during 2011 by Housing as a pilot at a cost of £88k investment. All systems are 4kw and receive the top FIT rate of 43.1/kWh, Housing typically receive between £10-£12k per annum and a licensed FIT supplier has been appointed (Good Energy)

·         Future investment has been curtailed due to a 50% cut in tariffs rates

·         The 2015/16 PV installation at Sobell Leisure Centre, 222 Upper Street and 1 Cottage Road was completed in February/March 2016 and the investment was £790k and has resulted in electricity and energy cost savings of £67,394 in the year to date. The FIT income is linked to RPI and the total installed capacity is 510kW

·         Other systems included the Climate Change Fund 2008 pre feed in tariff and 11 PV systems were installed as part of the Climate Change Fund project around 2008 which included Central Library, Newington Barrow Way office and 7 Primary schools

·         It was noted that FIT rates were only 6% of original rates and had reduced proportionally by 59% in March 2012 and 70% in 2016

·         Cost of installation dropped by approx. 33% since 2011 and investment is continuing to be reviewed to make an investment case if unit rates increase

·         With the reducing FIT rates the Energy Team were looking at other measures of reducing fuel poverty

·         Capital investment is needed for PV solar panels and it had proved a cheaper option to reduce energy use by installing LED lighting

·         Members expressed the view that the Council and other boroughs should be campaigning to increase the FIT rate to encourage the use of energy reduction measures, however it was noted that this did not seem to be a Government priority at the present time. Members were also informed that the Council had signed a letter to the Government protesting about the reduction in FIT rates

·          A Member expressed the view that the solar panels at Gillespie Park should be upgraded and that Arsenal could be asked for a contribution towards this. It was that the viability of this could be looked at

 

RESOLVED:

(a)  That the report be noted

(b)  That the viability of upgrading the solar panels at Gillespie Park be considered

 

97.

Use of Barbeques

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Watts, Leader of the Council was present for discussion of this item and made a presentation to Members.

 

During consideration of the presentation the following main points were made –

 

·         It was noted that the report e-mailed to Members of the Committee prior to the Committee from Air Quality Consultants on BBQ smoke at Highbury Fields could not be considered that evening due to legal advice, however a response would be sent in due course

·         Councillor Watts stated that the Council had introduced the BBQ policy as a result of 80% of Islington residents living in flats and added only 1 in every 6/7 residents have access to a garden or open space. He BBQ policy had proved a popular policy to date but is under constant monitoring

·         Councillor Watts stated that whilst he accepted that some residents around Highbury Fields were unhappy certain measures had been introduced to assist with their concerns

·         In relation to health implications from the smoke from the BBQ’s, this has been looked at on the basis of the Kings College report in 2015 and World Health guidelines and it was not felt that the smoke was within these guidelines and British legal requirements

·         In response to a question about the cost to the Council of the use of BBQ’s on Highbury Fields it was stated that this was met from the Council’s maintenance budget

·         Reference was also made to the numbers of people allowed to attend a BBQ and it was stated that the number of people allowed by Islington to attend a BBQ is more than Camden, however this could always be kept under review if there were problems

·         A Member thanked the Council for being responsive to complaints from her and putting measures in place to alleviate the problems of the BBQ’s on Highbury Fields, however she felt that the Council needed to look at their policy again, given the huge amounts of smoke emanating from Highbury Fields when BBQ’s took place and the health implications and impact on residents. The Member added that the Council should consider picnics instead of BBQ’s. It was stated that there would still be costs involved for the Council in clearing rubbish and in supervision. Councillor Watts added that there is nothing to stop residents having picnics at present if they wished to do so

·         A Member also stated that she felt that residents who had asthma could not use Highbury Fields on BBQ days and the Council had a duty of care towards all its residents. There were also people using Highbury Fields engaging in physical activity and the health implications on these residents also needed to be considered and the Council needed to consider the health risks for local residents and introduce communal gas BBQ’s or stalls that sell hot food instead of allowing individual BBQ’s

·         Councillor Watts responded that the cost and complexities involved, including the dangers of calor gas, in arranging the use of communal gas BBQ’s and food stalls  ...  view the full minutes text for item 97.

98.

Work Programme 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted

99.

Other Business

Minutes:

Flood Plain consultation

 

In response to a question it was stated that the Flood Plain consultation proposals would be circulated shortly and details could be sent to Members.

 

RESOLVED:

Accordingly