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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD

Contact: Mary Green  020 7527 3005

No. Item


Apologies for absence




Declaration of substitute members




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 of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 263 KB




That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 September 2022 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.


Matter arising

Minute 18 (e) – Review of Audit Committee’s terms of reference – Noted that the updated terms of reference had not yet been circulated to members of the Committee for further review and approval before the Council meeting in December 2022.  The clerk undertook to follow this up with the Committee Services Manager.


Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places - Finsbury Park Ward pdf icon PDF 4 MB



(a) That the changes to polling districts and polling places detailed in paragraph 3.6 of the report of the Director of Law and Governance be approved.

(b) That the comments/representations received from councillors and residents, also detailed in paragraph 3.6 of the report, be noted.

(c) That thanks be expressed to the Election Team for their work and in particular the efficient running of the Elections held in May 2022.


The Council's use of investigatory powers pdf icon PDF 226 KB



The Committee noted the following:

·       The good progress to date against the actions in the action plan and that the last audit had been undertaken in July 2021 by the Housing Investigations Team.  As a result of that particular audit, the manager had checked all the data, reduced hard copies and ensured that electronic RIPA data was available

·       That training had taken place across the Council, with an emphasis on reaching as many officers in different services as possible.

·       That the pandemic had been a major factor in the reduction of the number of cases of direct surveillance in the past two and a half years. Council officers were now resuming its use.

·       That ultimate responsibility for ensuring that proper checks were in place where RIPA authority should have been sought, lay with the FRO.  This ensured no breaches.  Safeguards were in place to ensure the use of RIPA if required in the case of prosecutions.




(a) That the level of directed surveillance undertaken by the Council and detailed in the report of the Corporate Director of Resources be noted.

(b) That the recent developments in the Council’s arrangements to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, also detailed in the report, be noted.


Annual standards and members' conduct report pdf icon PDF 151 KB


Members asked particular questions in relation to complainant 2 and 4, detailed in paragraph 3.9 of the report of the Director of Law and Governance and Monitoring Officer, as to what further enquiries had been made to elicit further information from those complainants.  They also asked about support offered to a member of the public who wished to make a complaint about a councillor, including a member of the public who had been known to make vexatious complaints against the Council/councillors and possibly had a restraining order preventing them from approaching the Council.  The Senior Lawyer (Governance), who was in attendance, undertook to provide responses to Members outside of the meeting.


Councillor Hyde detailed the greatly expanded programme of training opportunities for councillors, all facilitated by the recently appointed Member Development Officer. This included bespoke requests from councillors and external courses covering such topics as licensing law, data protection, scrutiny and safeguarding.  The councillors’ training programme would develop in the coming years and was part of the programme to have a leading Council providing good services to residents.



That the contents of the report of the Director of Law and Governance and Monitoring Officer, detailing standards of member conduct, a summary of complaints received under the Code of Conduct Complaints Procedure and their outcome, information on member training and development and declarations of interest, be noted.


Update on the Local Authority External Audit Market and appointment of External Auditors from 2023 pdf icon PDF 294 KB


The following points were noted during discussion:

·       A question was asked as to whether the rise in fees would also apply to the audit of the Pension Fund and what the likely cost would be.  The Deputy Director of Finance undertook to check this, noting that the costs would be recharged to the Fund

·       The PSAA anticipated that fees were likely to increase by up to 150% from the previous year to ensure that the audit process was robust and provided assurance to the public and that the audit was conducted in a timely manner

·       Although no additional services would be provided by KPMG, the provisionally appointed auditor to the Council, it was anticipated that their services would be of better quality and timely


The Director of Finance detailed progress on the 21/22 audit process by Grant Thornton, the current Council auditor.  The Council was supplying the required information to the auditor as swiftly as possible, but the levels of thresholds for the auditors to meet to satisfy themselves that the accounts were in order had increased, meaning that their work was taking longer.  The aim was to have the accounts available for consideration at the Audit Committee on 30 January 2023.



(a) That it be noted that KPMG had been proposed as the new audit firm from 2023/24 for both the Council and the Pension Fund.

(b) That it be noted that the scale of fees was anticipated to rise by approximately 150%, meaning an increase from approximately £180k to £450K and from £250k to £625k for variations in 2021.