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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD - Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

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Minutes pdf icon PDF 401 KB

The Minutes of the previous Council meeting held on 29 June 2017.




That the minutes of the Council meeting on 29 June 2017 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.



The Mayor advised that all members of the Council had a disclosable pecuniary interest in Motion 2 ‘End the Public Sector Pay Pinch’. The Monitoring Officer had granted a dispensation to all members to allow them to speak and vote on the motion.


As members of the GMB Union had an additional personal interest in the motion, the Mayor asked that members of the GMB Union declare their interest before speaking on the motion.



Mayoral Announcements

(i)            Apologies

(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 Doolan, Diner, Kaseki and Spall.


(ii)          Order of Business


No changes were proposed to the order of business.


(iii)         Declaration of Discussion Items




(iv)         Mayor’s Announcements


The Mayor advised that she had attended many great events over the summer months. The Mayor highlighted the Angel Canal Festival, and thanked the organisers who had worked hard to make the event a success. The Mayor was pleased that the festival would continue in future years.


The Mayor had attended the Islington in Bloom awards ceremony the previous week. The Mayor said that it was important to celebrate the work of the local community to make the borough greener, especially as there was so little green space in Islington. The Mayor also noted the recent Eid Al Adha celebration at the Town Hall, which was very well attended. The Mayor thanked the local Muslim community, who had generously donated food for the evening.


The Mayor had been pleased to host a celebration for one of the council’s longest serving officers, Maureen Collins, who had retired after 50 years of caring for Islington’s elderly. The Mayor thanked Maureen for her dedication to the borough.


The Mayor had also been pleased to host a Thank You Tea for staff in recognition of their hard work following the Grenfell Tower fire. The Mayor commented that staff in Housing were working hard to reassure residents and to make sure that the council’s housing stock was safe. The Mayor also thanked Councillor Diarmaid Ward, the Executive Member for Housing and Development, for his hard work.


The Mayor reminded all members that the Remembrance Sunday Parade and Inter-Faith Service would be taking place on Sunday 12 November. The Mayor also announced that the Mayor’s Annual Charity Dinner would be taking place on Tuesday 5 December. 


(v)          Length of Speeches


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


Leader's Announcements


Councillor Watts thanked the Mayor for her work in representing the borough at many events held over the summer.


Councillor Watts advised that the housing crisis was the most pressing issue affecting the borough, and a priority of the council was to build more genuinely affordable housing. Councillor Watts said that the housing crisis was ruining lives, and commented that residents at his most recent ward surgery had the worst set of housing cases he had ever known. Given that Islington had 10,000 residents in serious housing need, Councillor Watts was particularly concerned that the Mount Pleasant site had been sold for 565% of what the site was valued at when Royal Mail was privatised and expressed disappointed that a public asset could be undervalued so significantly, as the proceeds from a more accurate sale value could have been used to fund essential public services. Councillor Watts was also disappointed that the residents of Clerkenwell had been denied much needed new affordable housing at the site. Councillor Watts noted a study that indicated that the site could have included 75% more affordable housing and still be a viable commercial housing scheme. Councillor Watts said that the former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, had denied hundreds of people a home by only agreeing to a minimal amount of affordable housing on the site.


Councillor Watts said that difficult conversations were needed about where to site genuinely affordable council housing, but was clear that developing more council housing was a priority. Councillor Watts said that the council would work to solve the housing crisis by tackling rogue private landlords, making sure people with disabilities and learning difficulties had access to secure sheltered housing, and building more council housing.


Councillor Watts was proud that in 2017/18 the council would deliver more new council homes than in any year over the previous 30 years. Councillor Watts emphasised that the current Labour administration was elected on a manifesto which prioritised delivering council housing and that is what the council would focus on.


Councillor Watts also spoke of the issues affecting EU citizens. Councillor Watts said that the government was playing politics with the lives of the 30,000 EU citizens residing in the borough. Councillor Watts thanked Councillor Comer-Schwartz for her work in supporting EU citizens, helping them to access legal advice and support. Councillor Watts said it was not good enough for the government negotiate with Brussels on the lives of our European neighbours and friends. Councillor Watts called on the government to act now to guarantee the rights of EU citizens after Brexit and said that the council would continue to campaign on this issue over the coming months and years.


Councillor Watts said that although he was a supporter of freedom of movement and cultural exchange, he recognised that 20,000 FC Köln fans arriving in the borough for the club’s Europa League fixture with Arsenal was problematic. Councillor Watts thanked council staff for quickly cleaning up Highbury Fields and other areas.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 156.




Councillor Greening presented a petition on behalf of residents of the Harvist Estate objecting to the new housing development.  


Alastair Hazell presented a petition objecting to the use of barbeques on Highbury Fields.




Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 139 KB


Question a) from Margaret Wolfe to Councillor Burgess, Executive Member for Health and Social Care:


Please inform us if you are aware that, as a consequence of this Council's decision to close Sotheby Mews Day Centre, a charge of indirect age discrimination and indirect disability discrimination could be brought against the Council because you have requested Highbury Roundhouse to accommodate the users of Sotheby Mews Day Centre at the new multi-purpose Highbury Roundhouse Community Centre on Ronalds Road; a location which for the majority of our users is impossible to access because the consequences of their age or disability. This is not the case for the majority of other users of the new Highbury Roundhouse Centre. 




Thank you for your question. In 2011, Age UK decided that they were going to pull out of providing services at the Sotheby Mews Day Centre. The Highbury Roundhouse Association agreed to provide services for older people at Sotheby Mews, but this was always going to be an interim arrangement.


The arrangement for HRA to run these services while the site at Ronald’s Road was being built was a temporary solution for service users at both Sotheby Mews and Ronald’s Road; indeed, approximately 15 clients of the old Highbury Roundhouse Centre made the move to Sotheby Mews. HRA were provided with funding under the proviso that this funding would move with the provider from the Sotheby Mews site to Highbury Roundhouse’s new site at Ronald’s Road when that was ready.


We have all been working very hard to ensure that services are relocated to Ronald’s Road. The lunch club will continue, it will be as it is now, but it will be able to expand because the space at Ronald’s Road is bigger. I can refute a rumour that there will be no kitchen at Ronald’s Road, there will be.


We are working to resolve the issue of transport although I understand we haven’t quite cracked that one yet. I will finish by endorsing the words of Councillor Watts about housing. Earlier this week I had the case of a family of six, two adults and four children, sharing a flat with one double and one single room. We cannot allow this kind of housing to continue, and I support this council’s priority for housing. Councillor Ward will be saying more on this later.


However, I can assure you all that one of my major priorities is to ensure that your services continue, because they are wonderful services. I promise I will do all I can to make sure they continue.


Supplementary question:


I would like to give a short example of indirect disability discrimination. Sotheby Mews Day Centre has a very popular art room. At Sotheby Mews this is on the ground floor. At the new centre it will be on the first floor. The majority of Sotheby Mews users cannot use of the stairs, they will have to use the lift. The majority of the general public, however, will be able  ...  view the full minutes text for item 158.


Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 140 KB


Question a) from Councillor Court to Councillor Shaikh, Executive Member for Economic Development:


What is the council policy around Islington’s Heritage Plaques, and does the executive member share my concerns over multiple voting distorting the awarding of Heritage Plaques?




Thank you for your question. As Councillor Court knows, Islington People’s Plaques is an important scheme that allows our residents to recognise and celebrate our heritage. We do this through an open and democratic process. IPP votes come from two sources – online voting and printed voting cards in council buildings including all Islington libraries and the Municipal Offices at 222 Upper Street.


However, we are aware that there is potential for voting irregularities, especially with online voting. When the scheme originally went live in 2010 the system was set up to only allow one vote from any device, using the IP address as the limiter. But we did see a large number of complaints from public bodies, such as schools and libraries, because it stopped people who didn’t have their own device from voting. The system also asked for a post code, but this breached data protection so it was removed.


Since 2011, the IPP public vote system has been that the IP address is no longer the limiter and people can vote more than once on a single device. This allows families and devices in public institutions and communal areas to be used more than once. But, to control any irregular multiple voting, at the end of the voting period the votes are analysed. So any block voting, or over use of particular IP addresses, is picked up and removed from the final numbers. This means that all multiple voting is scrutinised and any possible issues are picked up and corrected. I hope this provides some reassurance to Councillor Court that the Islington People’s Plaques do indeed reflect local views.


Supplementary question:


I would like to thank Councillor Shaikh for her answer. I think many councillors know the history of the performing arts and theatres this wonderful borough has. Still currently, we have the Almedia, Sadler’s Wells, Park Theatre, our cherished Chickenshed, The Kings Head, The Old Red Lion. We have champions even within this chamber, our Arts Champion is Councillor Khan.


What people may not know, is that Islington’s first theatre was indeed in Clerkenwell. The Red Bull was just by St John’s Street, it was set up in 1605 as a rival to Shakespeare’s Globe. This theatre deserves recognition, one of my constituents is even willing to put their own money into this, but unfortunately I am told this is not allowed. I myself would be willing to allocate my Local Initiatives Fund money, and I hope Councillor Shaikh and the rest of the Council can support the recognition of this great theatre. 


The Mayor indicated that Councillor Shaikh may wish to take up this matter with Councillor Court outside of the meeting.


Question b) from Councillor Poole to Councillor Watts, Leader of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 159.


Resolution to extend 6 month rule - Section 85 Local Government Act 1972 pdf icon PDF 160 KB


Councillor Gill moved the recommendations. Councillor Picknell seconded. The Mayor passed on her best wishes to Councillor Doolan.


The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.




That in accordance with Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972, Councillor Gary Doolan’s non-attendance at meetings be approved until the end of the municipal year on the grounds of continued ill health and that the Council’s best wishes be conveyed to him.


Constitution Update pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Gill moved the recommendations. Councillor Picknell seconded.


The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.





(i)            That the amendments to the Islington Code of Conduct for Members as set out in the appendix to the report submitted be approved;

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



Report of the Chief Whip pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Additional documents:


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.






(i)            That Jennifer Kent be appointed as the Healthwatch Islington substitute member on the Health and Wellbeing Board for the remainder of the municipal year 2017/18 or until a successor is appointed.

(ii)           That Siobhan Harrington be appointed as The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust member of the Health and Wellbeing Board for the remainder of the municipal year 2017/18 or until a successor is appointed.


(iii)          That Carol Gillen be appointed as the substitute member for Siobhan Harrington on the Health and Wellbeing Board for the remainder of the municipal year 2017/18 or until a successor is appointed.

(iv)          That the above appointments also be made to the Haringey and Islington Health and Wellbeing Boards Joint Sub-Committee.



(v)           That Councillor Picknell be appointed as the Vice-Chair of the Planning Committee for the remainder of the municipal year 2017/18 or until a successor is appointed.

(vi)          That Councillor Convery be appointed to the Planning Committee for the remainder of the municipal year 2017/18 or until a successor is appointed.




(vii)        That Councillor Hamitouche be appointed as a trustee of the St Luke’s Trust for a one year term from 5 December 2017.



(viii)       That Councillor Hamitouche be appointed as Recycling Champion for the remainder of the 2017/18 municipal year or until a successor is appointed.




Quarterly Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 100 KB


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.




That the decision on Innovation Project Funding detailed in the report submitted be noted.



Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 187 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 Private Renters

Motion 2 – End the Public Sector Pay Pinch


Additional documents:




Councillor Donovan-Hart moved the motion. Councillor Clarke-Perry seconded. Councillor Russell moved the amendment circulated in the additional despatch of papers. Councillor Convery contributed to the debate.


The amendment was put to the vote and LOST.


The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.




(i)            To back the Labour Party’s campaign for stronger regulation of the private sector in order to protect renters.

(ii)           To make representations to Government to urge them to introduce further regulations to ensure proper protection of renters’ rights, including preventing letting agencies imposing rip-off fees by introducing a Tenants’ Fees Bill that is properly enforced.

(iii)          To continue to use all powers available to it to identify and fine bad landlords and letting agencies who are breaking the law and endangering tenants, and ensure they are prosecuted where possible.

(iv)          To encourage private renters to report unscrupulous landlords and letting agencies to the Council so their concerns can be followed up where appropriate.





Councillor Gantly declared an interest as a member of the GMB Union and moved the motion.


Councillor Heather declared an interest as a member of the Communication Workers Union and seconded the motion.


Councillor Watts declared as interest as a member of the GMB Union and conveyed the Council’s thanks to Councillor Doolan, who campaigned on public sector pay and supported the motion.  


The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.




To support the GMB’s campaign to end the public sector pay pinch, and call on the Government to commit to:

·         Real-terms pay increases for all public sector workers, fully funded by Central Government;

·         Proper funding for public services;

·         Restoration of independence for the Pay Review Bodies;

·         A real Living Wage of at least £10 an hour for all public sector workers.