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Contact: Jonathan Moore Te: 020 7527 3308
The Council observed a minute’s silence for former Councillor Gary Doolan, former Councillor and Freeman of the Borough George Durack, and local housing campaigner Eleonora Schinella.
The Minutes of the previous meeting held on 5 July 2018.
That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 5 July 2018 be confirmed as a correct record and the Mayor be authorised to sign them.
Declarations of Interest
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in respect of your
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(f) Corporate tenancies
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This applies to all members present at the meeting.
(ii) Order of business
(iii) Declaration of discussion items
(iv) Mayor’s announcements
(v) Length of speeches
(i) Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Councillors Clarke-Perry, Chowdhury, Kay, Poole, Spall and Williamson.
(ii) Order of Business
(iii) Declaraton of Discussion Items
(iv) Mayor’s Announcements
The Mayor had attended many events since the last Council meeting, including the very successful Angel Canal Festival, the Hillrise Summer Festival, the Rosemary Gardens Funday and the “Go Islington” sports festival on Highbury Fields, to name a few. The Mayor said that attending Islington’s community events always made him proud to live in such a diverse borough with a strong community spirit. The Mayor was pleased to see so many newly elected councillors at these events, commenting that they had already become a key part of the communities they serve.
The Mayor was pleased to open the Islington in Bloom Awards and thanked everyone who participated for helping make sure the borough always looked its best.
The Mayor congratulated the young people of the borough on a fantastic set of exam results. Islington’s young people achieved their best-ever GCSE results. Islington schools had come a long way in recent years and it was great to see the benefits of that improvement.
The Mayor was pleased that the anti-suicide measures on Archway Bridge had received permission to go ahead, commenting that it was a great result for the local community.
The Mayor encouraged everyone to attend the
borough’s Remembrance events in November. 2018 was the
centenary of the end of World War 1 and the centenary of the Royal
Air Force. In addition to the usual events at Islington Green, Spa
Green, the Royal Northern Gardens, a beacon would be lit at
Dartmouth Park at 7pm.
(v) Length of speeches
The Mayor asked all members to be mindful of the timer and keep within the permitted length for speeches.
Councillor Watts passed on his warmest wishes to the borough’s Jewish community on the conclusion of Yom Kippur.
Councillor Watts congratulated Islington’s young people on achieving the borough’s best ever GCSE results. Only ten years ago Islington was in the bottom 20 lowest performing boroughs in the country for GCSE results; this year Islington was in the top 20 for the progress that young people make in secondary school. This was a remarkable turnaround and Councillor Watts thanked the borough’s schools, teachers, pupils and their families for their hard work, commenting that they had achieved outstanding results during a time of chaos in the country’s exam system.
Councillor Watts said that the new Council administration had hit the ground running; delivering genuinely affordable new homes, extending the school music tuition service to make music tuition accessible to all, delivering the UK’s first affordable workspace strategy to create good quality jobs for local people, and progressing the de-carbonisation of the council’s pension fund. Councillor Watts advised the Council was determined to keep up the pace of delivery.
Councillor Watts said his thoughts were with the family of the man murdered in Tufnell Park earlier the same week. Councillor Watts wanted to reassure everyone that the Council would continue to work closely with the Police and City Hall on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.
Councillor Watts paid tribute to Gary Doolan and George Durack. Gary was Islington born and bred, representing St Peter’s ward for over twelve years and championing policies that had been a hallmark of the borough; including universal free school meals, bringing services back in-house, opposing blacklisting and introducing the London Living Wage. Councillor Watts noted that Gary’s memorial service at St Mary’s Church was very well attended by members of the trade union movement, the Labour Party, the local community and council staff. At the service warm tributes were paid to former Councillor Doolan, who changed hundreds of lives through his union work, his community work and his political work.
Councillor Watts said it had been a privilege to know George Durack, also a former Councillor and Freeperson of the Borough. George had a life well lived, he had been a soldier, a postman, a trade unionist, a councillor and a community activist. His work in his community changed hundreds of lives, he was always honest, straightforward, and charming and his humour and support was touching. It was a remarkable achievement that George was able to campaign for so many years, well into his nineties.
Councillor Watts called on everyone present to reaffirm their commitment to ordinary working people, as Gary and George did every day of their lives.
Tributes to Gary Doolan and George Durack were also made by Councillors Burgess, Russell, Heather, Clarke, Klute, Gantly, Debono and Champion.
Kate Elander and pupils from Hugh Myddleton Primary School presented a petition requesting the Council to resettle ten child refugees a year, over the next ten years.
Sebastian Sandys presented a petition requesting the Council to welcome representatives of the “City State of Totnes” and take an oath of allegiance to the European Union.
Question (a) from Sebastian Sandys to Councillor Watts, Leader of the Council:
Could the Leader please outline what (if any) formal connections he has made over the summer on behalf of the Borough with the City State of Totnes?
Thank you for your question. The answer is none.
Question (b) from Natasha Cox to Councillor Webbe, Executive Member for Environment and Transport:
The other day on a 390 bus I was sat in front of a couple saying how much they were looking forward to using the cycle path down Holloway Road when it was completed. With the new protected cycle lanes at Archway and Highbury Corner they and their friends had assumed there were plans to join them. Will you contact TFL and push them to provide protected cycle lanes on Holloway Road connecting Archway and Highbury Corner?
Thank you for this very helpful question. In our 2018 manifesto Islington Labour stated we will campaign for TFL to support our ambitions for protected cycle routes on the Holloway Road corridor and Upper Street. I am pleased to hear that this aspiration is shared by local residents like yourself. This administration is firmly committed to making cycling safer and more attractive for all. We are campaigning for this new cycle route and we have made some headway with the Mayor of London and TFL. A few key junctions are currently being considered for re-design to make them safer, including the dangerous and outdated junction at Drayton Park as well as the junction at Hornsey Road and Hornsey Street. We of course await further details on these proposals from the Mayor of London and TFL and we hope to share this information with the public very soon. It helps that those junctions were in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, as that document sets the direction of travel.
However, Holloway Road cannot be made safer for cyclists just through improvements to individual junctions. The Council remains firmly committed to campaigning for a comprehensive safe cycle route, covering Holloway Road and Upper Street.
We are very pleased to have secured formal commitment from the Mayor of London through Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, for TfL to fund the development of a new ‘quietway’ route paralleling the A1 corridor and connecting Regents Canal near the Packington Estate to Highgate north of Archway. While this parallel route does not replace the need for improvements to Holloway Road and Upper Street, it will at least give inexperienced cyclists a safe and quiet alternative to Holloway Road, and this will be much sooner than improvements could be delivered on Holloway Road itself.
We hope to turn Will Norman’s formal commitment into some real cash, so that development of this parallel route can commence sooner rather than later. I hope to be welcoming very soon TfL’s planned the improvements to Holloway Road itself. We will stand with you, we will campaign with you, we believe this route is very much needed.
Question (c) ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
Question (a) from Councillor Clarke to Councillor Shaikh, Executive Member for Inclusive Economy and Jobs:
As the Council’s reading champion I have noticed that Islington libraries do not provide small tables and chairs for very young library users. When I travel around this country and Wales and visit libraries in other towns I notice the children’s section in most libraries do have at least one small table and chairs. I think it would be good if Islington would try out using small tables and chairs as librarians in other places say they are popular and well used. I have heard constituents ask for them as their children are not as safe on the bigger tables. Would it be possible to try introducing small tables and small chairs for our youngest library users?
Thank you for your question and thank you for being a fantastic Reading Champion. I thank you for all the support you are giving to our libraries. As you know, libraries are one of our biggest assets. Providing not only a place for reading, but also learning and supporting the community, from our Baby Bounce classes to the events for our older residents. I’m proud that this Council administration has kept open all of our fantastic libraries despite severe government cuts.
In answer to your question, in our experience, the biggest requirements for tables and chairs comes from older children for whom very small furniture would not be suitable. These tables are used by children doing their homework as well as for our homework clubs, which take place weekly in all of the libraries. The Fair Futures Commission reported that young people need more space to read and do their homework, our libraries have an important role to play in that, which is why we have introduced homework spaces and computers are provided in all libraries.
Another reason why we don’t see a number of small tables and chairs in our libraries is space. When we carry out refurbishments or design new library spaces, we always look to maximise the use of space and provide furniture that can be used by children and adults of all ages, so they can enjoy the space together. This has included zoning areas in libraries so that young children can sit with their parents or carers on sofas. We also try to maximise floor space so we can accommodate larger groups on school visits and also Baby Bounce sessions.
We do have a few small tables and chairs in Finsbury Library because the space allows for this, and to date we have not received any requests from residents or reports of children falling off bigger chairs. I thank you for raising this issue, and in response to the question I would like to survey library users about the layout of the children’s section in each of the libraries, and invite residents to make suggestions on how we can make better use of that space. I’d like to invite you to take ... view the full minutes text for item 22.
Councillor Watts moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Burgess seconded. Councillor Russell contributed to the debate.
That the activity over the past year to celebrate and support Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families be noted.
Councillor Webbe moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Burgess seconded. Councillor Russell contributed to the debate. Councillor Webbe exercised her right of reply.
(i) That authority be delegated to LCTEC to exercise the further functions, set out in paragraph 3.8 of the report submitted;
(ii) That the Council’s acting Director of Law and Governance be authorised to sign any necessary documents to give effect to the variation of the LCTEC Governing Agreement dated 13 December 2001 (as amended), and as attached at Appendix A;
(iii) That a subsequent decision will be needed before the Council can formally agree the details of LCTEC’s actual exercise of this new function of managing and delivering electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The Mayor advised that a revised Chip Whip’s Report had been circulated in the second despatch of papers.
Councillor Gill moved the recommendations in the revised report. Councillor Hamitouche seconded. Councillor O’Sullivan contributed to the debate, welcoming Councillor Kay’s appointment as Private Renters Champion.
Camden and Islington Joint Health Scrutiny Committee be
established, as required by Regulation 30 of the Local Authority
(Public Health, Health and Wellbeing Boards and Health Scrutiny)
That the terms of reference of the Camden and Islington Joint
Health Scrutiny Committee, as set out at Appendix A, be approved
and incorporated into Part 5 of the Council’s
(iii) That all members of the Health Scrutiny Committee be appointed to the Camden and Islington Joint Health Scrutiny Committee;
Amendment to Executive Portfolios
(iv) To note that the Leader of the Council has amended the title of the Executive Member for Economic Development to the ‘Executive Member for Inclusive Economy and Jobs’;
That Councillor Picknell be appointed Social Enterprise Champion
for the remainder for the 2018/19 municipal year or until a
successor is appointed;
(vi) That Councillor Kay be appointed Private Renters Champion for the remainder of the 2018/19 municipal year or until a successor is appointed.
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: SINGLE USE PLASTIC – UNFLUSHABLES
Councillor Russell moved the motion. Councillor Webbe moved the amendment circulated in the additional despatch of papers. Councillor Russell exercised her right of reply.
The amendment was put to the vote and CARRIED.
The motion as amended was put to the vote and CARRIED.
(i) To build on the Council’s existing PSHE work by working with head teachers to develop culturally sensitive period positive education as part of the Healthy schools initiative; and to use period positive language to reduce stigma around menstruation enabling students to more easily discuss opportunities to cut the cost of managing their periods with reusable products and binning not flushing single use plastic wipes and period products;
(ii) To use contact with parents through the council’s Brightstart Early Years provision to raise awareness of the opportunity for people to save money via the council’s reusable nappy voucher scheme, potty training at an early age and by using reusable period products; and to raise awareness of the importance of binning not flushing wetwipes and disposable period products;
(iii) To explore providing "bin it, don't flush" it labels for toilet doors along with bins in men’s toilets for single use plastic unflushable items across buildings the Council is responsible for, including schools.
MOTION 2: COUNCIL TAX RELIEF
Councillor Russell moved the motion. Councillor Hull moved the amendment circulated in the additional despatch of papers. Councillor Russell exercised her right of reply.
The amendment was put to the vote and CARRIED.
The motion as amended was put to the vote and CARRIED.
To continue the Council’s practice of annually reviewing its council tax support scheme to explore how the Council can best support residents from the poorest households. This will include requiring any proposals to amend the council tax support scheme to be fully costed and funded.
MOTION 3: PROTECT PER PUPIL FUNDING AND SEND FUNDING IN ISLINGTON SCHOOLS
Councillor Caluori moved the motion. Councillor Cutler seconded. Councillors Russell and Graham contributed to the debate.
The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.
(i) To write to the Secretary of State to urge him to reverse the £2.7 billion cuts to schools’ budget in England, protect per-pupil funding in real terms and fully fund the pay increase for teachers recommended by the School Teachers’ Review Body;
(ii) To continue to work closely with Islington’s SEND Forum to ensure the needs of Islington’s SEND children are met;
(iii) To work with parents, teachers, unions and the local community to make representations to Government to ensure Islington’s schools receive the funding they need.