Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD - Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions
That the minutes of the Council meeting on 21 September 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.
- Any payment or other financial benefit
in respect of your
(c) Contracts -
Any current contract for goods, services or works,
between you or
(d) Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.
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
(g) Securities -
Any beneficial interest in securities of a body
which has a place of
This applies to all members present at the meeting.
(ii) Order of business
(iii) Declaration of discussion items by the Majority and Opposition parties
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for lateness were received from Councillors Gallagher,
Kay and Poyser.
Order of Business
The Mayor advised that she had accepted an urgent motion under rule 10.2(n) of the Council’s Constitution. The motion was to be considered under Item 12, Notices of Motion.
Declaration of Discussion Items
(iv) Mayor’s Announcements
The Mayor paid tribute to former Mayor of Islington, Candy Atherton, who passed away on 30 October 2017.
The Mayor said that attending Remembrance Sunday had been her greatest honour as Mayor, and thanked the armed forces, veterans, community groups, young people and different faith groups who took part in the service. The Mayor also thanked the council staff, police and emergency services who had worked to facilitate the event; Councillor Watts, Leader of the Council, and Councillor Poole, Armed Forces Champion. The Mayor commented that all Remembrance events in the borough were well attended by members of the public.
The Mayor had attended the Adult Community Learning Awards Ceremony and said it was a great pleasure to see so many adults accessing the service. The Mayor congratulated the learners on their achievements and noted how important it is for the council to support residents in this way.
The Mayor said that it was fantastic to see so many young people put themselves forward for the Youth Council elections and said that she was looking forward to working with the new Youth Councillors to help us make decisions which will affect all young people in the borough.
The Mayor reminded everyone present that the deadline to submit nominations for the Civic Awards and Ben Kinsella Award is Friday 19 January. The Mayor said that it was very important to recognise the residents who contribute so much to our communities.
(v) Length of Speeches
The Mayor asked colleagues to do their upmost to keep speeches within the permitted length.
Councillor Watts thanked the Mayor and said how pleased he was that they were both at the recent opening of the Cat and Mouse Library. Councillor Watts thanked the St George’s, Holloway and Junction ward councillors, and all the others that supported the event. Councillor Watts was delighted that a new library had been provided in the borough alongside a new social housing development.
Councillor Watts said that it was great to see the launch of new social housing in the Kings Square development, and the many other social housing developments which are part of the council’s new build programme. It was noted that the programme would deliver the most new affordable housing that the borough had seen for the past thirty years.
Councillor Watts reflected on the previous year and the horrific terrorist attack in Finsbury Park. Councillor Watts commended the incredible work of the emergency services, and noted how the community came together in the most difficult of circumstances. Councillor Watts said that he remained both touched and very proud of Islington’s response.
Councillor Watts noted that the Finsbury Park attack came only a few days after the appalling fire at the Grenfell Tower, and that the council is prioritising residents’ safety and continuing to work very closely with the Fire Brigade on a multi-million-pound programme of fire safety improvements across the council’s housing stock to ensure all council homes and buildings are as safe as possible.
Councillor Watts thanked the many council staff who assisted Kensington and Chelsea Council in their response to the Grenfell Tower fire, and also commended staff for their response to the Finsbury Park terror attack, and the assistance given to Camden Council during the evacuation of the Chalcots Estate.
Councillor Watts said it was incredible to see the continued transformation of the borough’s schools, noting that 2017 saw the best ever GSCE results achieved in Islington. In eight years Islington had progressed from one of the bottom 20 boroughs in the country to one of the top 20 boroughs in terms of the progress that young people make. Councillor Watts was very proud that more young people were getting the opportunities to go to a good university or get a good apprenticeship, and wished them the very best of luck and future success.
Councillor Watts mentioned Angelic Energy, the council’s not for profit energy provider, which allows the council, on behalf of its residents, to challenge the commercial energy monopoly that is failing so many people, and thanked Councillor Webbe for her work in this area.
Councillor Watts referenced the ongoing housing crisis, and said that councillor surgeries were full of people whose lives had been ruined by the lack of social housing in the borough. Councillor Watts mentioned three cases he had seen personally in the last couple of months. The first was four children and two adults in a two-bedroom flat, where the overcrowding was causing condensation dampness that was affecting the family’s physical and mental health and, as hard ... view the full minutes text for item 168.
Councillor Russell presented a petition on behalf of residents objecting to the proposed relocation of services from the Sotheby Mews Day Centre.
Councillor Russell presented a petition on behalf of residents objecting to the Finsbury Central development proposals due to its impact on Burnhill House and the surrounding area.
Councillor Diarmaid Ward presented a petition on behalf of residents requesting a pedestrian crossing at the Holloway Road, Drayton Park and Palmer Place junction.
Rosalind Tyler presented a petition on behalf of Penderyn Way residents requesting that the council limit the height and length of extensions to properties in the street.
Councillor Russell presented a petition on behalf of residents on the Parkview Estate requesting that the council rectify damp issues on the estate.
The Mayor welcomed the newly elected Youth Councillors and congratulated their success in the recent youth elections. The new Youth Councillors signed a declaration that they would fulfil their duties to the best of their ability.
Question a) from Youth Councillor Iqra to Councillor Kaya Comer-Schwartz was asked by Youth Councillor Darey in Youth Councillor Iqra’s absence:
What can be done to further foster and embed a culture of respect in the borough, so that males, females, trans, gender variant and questioning young people can feel safe at school and in the work place, free from inappropriate behaviour and reassured that any concerns will be taken seriously by those in a position of power?
Thank you for asking this incredibly important question. I absolutely agree with you, we need a culture of respect, so that all people regardless of their gender, race or religion feel safe at school and in the work place.
The Council is bound by law under the Equality Act to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation. The law also expects the same from the borough’s businesses, organisations, schools, colleges and universities. Of course, we know that changing culture is a challenging and long process. We need to come together as a community, and foster relationships so we know that the concerns of all, but especially young people, are taken seriously.
Islington has shown through the many things we are doing that the future of young people of all genders is important to us. I am very proud that my colleague Cllr Osh Gantly was one of the first openly trans elected representatives in the UK. Proving that Islington Labour is committed to making sure that trans people are politically represented.
The council has just adopted our ‘Supporting Trans Staff’ policy, where we outline ways staff can help to create an inclusive and supportive working environment, so that trans staff are able to work to their full potential. We provide training to managers and also have an LGBT Staff Forum that offers a safe place to discuss issues and get support and advice.
Every year this Council reflects on and draws attention to the continued transphobic violence endured by the transgender community. We mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance by flying the flag at the Town Hall, we mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia by wearing orange ribbons, we take part in LGBT History Month with a month-long annual observance of LGBT history, we work with the police and community groups to tackle hate crime, and we also have a zero tolerance approach to homophobic and transphobic bullying in our schools. We have also recently started Islington's Pride project, which is funded by the National Lottery, to create an LGBT archive. All of this work had led to Islington being chosen to host the UK’s first exhibition of transgender people of faith at Islington Museum.
We want to make sure we send a message to the community that hatred is not tolerated in this borough. That ... view the full minutes text for item 170.
Question a) from Martin Rutherford to Councillor Ward, Executive Member for Housing and Development:
I would like to propose that Islington Council ban all residents allowing the use of Air BnB and similar companies in their properties, but particularly the council estates that have a security gate system.
We never know who are using these properties, and whilst the tenant or leaseholder holds responsibility for the strangers on our estates, we do not feel safe that these strangers have access to our security fobs which they can pass around as they like.
There have been numerous reports of people abusing this system to have parties and cause disruption to the residents in neighbouring properties.
Security and safety should be paramount in our homes, and with a ‘free for all’ attitude to allow anyone free reign on our secure estates, this is not the case. Could Islington Council please say whether they would consider this ban?
Thank you for your question. There are two aspects to this. The first is council tenants; tenants are not allowed to sublet their property, if it was found that a tenant was subletting their property, we would investigate and take immediate action. We recovered in the region of 70 properties last year as a result of subletting investigations. The second aspect is leaseholders; leaseholders own their homes and planning permission is required if they wish to let their property for more than 90 days in a calendar year. If they let their property without planning permission, then we are able to take enforcement action. That said, leaseholders are able to let their property so long as it is for fewer than 90 days in a calendar year. But, the council are taking this seriously, and we are establishing a registration scheme, so that any leaseholder who rents out their property on Air BnB is required to register with the council every year.
My question is not about subletting; it is specifically about Air BnB. It doesn’t matter if they are council tenants or leaseholders, they are coming into our estates using security fobs and keys, we don’t know who is in the property. If they are registered or not makes no difference; they let their rooms out and it causes problems on our estates.
Letting your property on Air BnB is a form of subletting. I completely take your point and that is why we want to bring in the registration scheme. It will let us keep an eye on it, if they are operating unlawfully we will take enforcement action. You raise a very important point though; because these short term lets put up rents, and secondly it means there are less properties to let out to people who live in the borough. I think London should look at what Berlin and New York have done and place much heavier restrictions on this practice. The registration scheme is intended to keep a very close eye on the situation, including ... view the full minutes text for item 171.
Question a) from Councillor Williamson to Councillor Webbe, Executive Member for Environment and Transport:
What are the average daily, weekly and annual passenger numbers for the council’s own bus service, the plus bus?
Thank you Councillor Williamson for your question about our wonderful plus bus. This runs a 30-minute service within Islington between 9.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays. The service is aimed at older and less mobile people who find it more difficult to use TfL bus services. 92% of the passenger trips in 2016/17 were made by Freedom Pass holders who are over 60. It serves residents living in Canonbury, St Peter's, St Mary's, Barnsbury, Clerkenwell and Bunhill wards, connecting them with shops, services and community activities at the Angel and various venues along the route.
The average number of daily passenger trips in 2017, up to August, was 76 trips. The average weekly passenger trips made in 2017, up to August, was 382 trips. The annual passenger trips for 2016/17 was 20,789 trips. I think this is value for money, it serves a community who do not often have their voices heard, and it meets the needs of the community. It is a service which can be improved, there is no doubt about that, but it is a good service and is here to stay.
Thank you for your reply. I am pleased to hear that the plus bus runs, as there is no way you can find this information on the internet. The council’s website page has been down for at least a month; the HCT website containing the information is currently down; there is a Wikipedia page, but it does not tell you where the bus stops. Bearing in mind that there is little information about where the bus stops or where it goes, passenger numbers are not going to increase. Has the council looked at the cost benefit analysis of replacing the service with taxi cards for the individuals who use it most? This would offer a more flexible service to those who need it.
I don’t want to make any announcements about taxi cards and I’m not sure how that could be funded, but needless to say the 812 bus is a service we can rely on into the future. It is one that we have control over, one we can direct, one we can support, and one whose funding we will fight for. Very few councils have control over their bus services and I think that is a crying shame. We need to make sure that we have public transport, including buses, back into public ownership, into customer control. It is only through councils like our own, and other pioneering councils, that we will provide cleaner, more efficient, safer, more reliable and more accessible routes for those that need it. In regards to accessing the timetable; it is available on a number of travel apps.
Question b) from Councillor Poole to Councillor Watts, Leader of the Council:
Councillor Hull moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Picknell seconded. Councillor Russell contributed to the debate.
The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.
That the Council adopt the Council Tax Support Scheme for 2018/19
as contained in Appendix A to the report submitted;
(ii) That the retention of the amendments to council tax agreed at full Council on 15 December 2016 be agreed. This means that from 1 April 2018 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 will be charged at the maximum percentage allowed on the council tax of all properties that have remained empty for over 2 years in all cases.
Councillor Comer-Schwartz moved the recommendations. Councillor Williamson seconded. Councillor Russell contributed to the debate.
The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.
(i) That the Council adopt the Licensing Policy 2018-2022, attached as Appendix A to the report submitted;
(ii) That the Policy shall apply to all applications for a premises licence or club certificate submitted after 1 January 2018;
(iii) That the continuation of the following cumulative impact policy areas for all activities licensed under the Licensing Act 2003 for a further 5 years be agreed:
· Clerkenwell (paragraph 18)
· Bunhill (paragraph 25)
· Angel and Upper St (paragraph 41)
· Holloway Road and Finsbury Park (paragraph 49)
· Archway area (paragraph 58)
· Kings Cross (paragraph 31);
(iv) That the extension of the Kings Cross cumulative impact area north along Caledonian Road to Frederica Street as shown on the map in paragraph 38 of the Policy be agreed;
(v) That the Council adopt a borough wide cumulative impact policy with respect to shops and other premises selling alcohol for consumption off the premises.
Councillor Gill moved the recommendations. Councillor Picknell seconded.
The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.
That Councillor Hull be appointed as a member of the North London Waste Authority with immediate effect.
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: FURTHER PAUSE AND FIX THE ROLLOUT OF UNIVERSAL CREDIT
Councillor Hull moved the motion. Councillor Williamson seconded. Councillors Heather and Russell contributed to the debate.
The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.
(i) To make further representations to the Government to urge them to pause the rollout of Universal Credit still further in order to fix the significant problems which remain with it, despite changes announced in the Chancellor’s recent autumn budget, and which will impact local people badly if they are not addressed; and
(ii) To protect council services which support local people in receipt of Universal Credit, or other out-of-work benefits, including particularly services that help them to find work.
MOTION 2: STANDING UP FOR LOCAL PEOPLE FROM OTHER EU COUNTRIES
Councillor Comer-Schwartz moved the motion. Councillor Poyser seconded.
The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.
(i) To continue to make representations to urge Government to stop using our friends, family and neighbours as a bargaining chip in the Brexit negotiations by:
a. Immediately guaranteeing the full rights of all people from other countries in the European Union living in the UK, including those who have resided in the country for less than five years;
b. Guaranteeing that the rights of people from other countries in the European Union will not be affected in the event of no Brexit deal being agreed;
(ii) To establish a dedicated advice page on the Council website, which residents from other countries in the European Union can visit for the latest information and advice.
MOTION 3: MAKING ISLINGTON COUNCIL DEMENTIA FRIENDLY
Councillor Burgess moved the motion. Councillor Gantly seconded. Councillor Russell contributed to the debate.
The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.
To further improve dementia diagnosis rates in the borough by
encouraging earlier presentation and diagnosis in the
To work towards awareness raising within the wider community,
encouraging all elected members to become a ‘Dementia
Friend’ through the Alzheimer’s Society’s free
Dementia Friends Programme, and to take this learning into their
To apply the Council’s principles of co-production when
working with people affected by dementia when bringing in new
To work towards making council practices more dementia friendly,
including commitments to make council run buildings dementia
To continue to run local risk reduction campaigns, including clear
messaging in ongoing Public Health campaigns regarding exercise,
alcohol, smoking or diet. The best prevention advice is that
‘what’s good for your heart is good for your
(vi) To make information about local dementia services as accessible as possible, reviewing content on the local authority website and raising awareness among all Council staff.
MOTION 4: PROVIDING SAFE STREETS FOR PEOPLE WALKING AND CYCLING IS A MATTER OF SOCIAL JUSTICE
Councillor Russell moved the motion. Councillor Webbe moved the amendment circulated in the additional despatch of papers. Councillor Watts seconded the amendment.
The amendment was put to the vote and ... view the full minutes text for item 176.