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The Minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 December 2018.
That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 December 2018 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
(iv) Mayor’s announcements
(v) Length of speeches
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Kay, Spall and Woolf. Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Woodbyrne. The Mayor noted that Cllr Hyde was not present as she was on maternity leave.
(ii) Order of Business
The Mayor advised that Item 11, Resolution to Extend the 6 Month Rule, had been withdrawn.
(iii) Declaration of Discussion Items
(iv) Mayor’s Announcements
The Mayor welcomed everyone to the first Full Council meeting of 2019.
The Mayor was honoured to take part in events to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Mayor had attended a very moving event in Islington Assembly Hall which was well attended by the local community, local councillors, Jeremy Corbyn MP and Emily Thornberry MP. The Mayor had also attended an event at City Hall with Councillor Kay and Mayors from across London to hear the poignant contributions of holocaust survivors.
The Mayor said that homelessness is an important issue and that he had recently spent an evening at the CARIS Cold Weather Night Shelter helping the volunteers. He had also volunteered overnight in a personal capacity. The Mayor was also pleased to encourage and help the Streets Kitchen volunteers on Christmas Day, who served Christmas dinner to homeless people in the Assembly Hall.
The Mayor was pleased to attend the topping out ceremony for 55 genuinely affordable new council homes on the Redbrick Estate with Councillor Graham. The developers had presented the Mayor with a ceremonial trowel which was on display in the Mayor’s Parlour.
The Mayor had accompanied the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive at the London Government Dinner at Mansion House. The event was hosted by the Lord Mayor of London and attended by senior figures in local government from across London. The Mayor said that London faces serious challenges, but hoped that these could be addressed through co-operation and collaboration with neighbouring boroughs.
The Mayor had attended several excellent events to celebrate LGBT History Month. The Mayor had attended the opening event with Councillor Chapman, and had also met with Frank Mugisha, the Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, who had attended the Pride exhibition at Islington Museum. The Mayor was proud of Islington’s rich LGBT history; Islington had the first openly gay Mayor, the first openly gay MP, and the first trans Councillor. Britain’s first gay marriage was held in the Council Chamber. The Mayor thanked everyone who had contributed to the programme of activities as part of LGBT History Month.
The Mayor had also attended several cultural activities, including Chinese New Year celebrations and Mother Tongue Language Day.
The Mayor congratulated the new Young Mayor, Lydia Banjo, Deputy Young Mayor, Arkan Ali Akiil, and Member of Youth Parliament, Abubakar Finiin on their election. The Mayor looked forward to working with them in future.
The Mayor reminded councillors that the annual Mayor’s Civic Awards ceremony would be held on Thursday 14 March 2019.
The Leader noted that it was the first meeting of the Council since the murder of teenager Nedim Bilgin on Caledonian Road on 29th January. The Leader said that any loss of life due to senseless violence is an absolute tragedy and should serve to toughen our resolve to address this scourge on our city and our society. The incident had shocked the community and the Leader fully understood the concerns of local residents. The Leader and Cllr Caluori had met with Nedim Bilgin’s mother earlier the same week. The Leader said that meeting the parents of young people who had lost their lives was one of the toughest and most humbling parts of his job.
The Leader wanted to provide assurance that, despite the massive cuts the council had faced after years of pernicious austerity, the council was working hard to make our communities safer and would never stop doing so. The Leader also wanted to make clear that the council understood the deep unfairness at the heart of youth crime. Youth crime must be seen through the prism of the deep unfairness in society and the lack of opportunity that affected so many in the local community. Fundamentally, youth crime was a fairness issue as much as it was an issue of law enforcement.
The Leader said that the Council would always stand shoulder to shoulder with any community suffering from hate and intolerance and stood against hate crime in all of its forms. A shocking and disgusting anti-semitic attack took place on Highbury Corner on Tuesday of this week which the Police were treating as a hate crime. The Leader said that Islington was united in standing against hate. The Leader thanked all of the community representatives and councillors who co-signed the statement issued to condone the attack and reaffirmed the Council’s commitment to stand against hate crime. The Leader was concerned about the rising tide of hate and intolerance across the country and the world. The standard of public debate often reflected this and too often the national political rhetoric was translated by people on the ground into violence. The Leader said that it was important to be very clear that all of us in Islington stood on a platform of community inclusion and of all of Islington’s communities were welcome in the borough.
The Leader was proud that at the end of January the council hosted a powerful, informative and deeply moving holocaust remembrance event in the Assembly Hall. This was attended by both of the local MPs, councillors and children from schools from across the borough. Those present had heard the powerful and harrowing words of holocaust survivor Harry Spiro, read movingly by his daughter, Tracey Moses. Attending the event every year was a reminder of how important it was for the council to commit to fighting anti-semitism, islamophobia and all other forms of hate crime and racism.
The Leader was proud to announce that Islington Council was one of the first ... view the full minutes text for item 44.
Nathalie Sowden presented a petition requesting the council to support the Youth Strike for Climate.
Question a) from Sebastian Sandys to Councillor Watts, Leader of the Council:
What plans do the Council have this year to shine even more light on your work and
decision making and to encourage and enable resident participation in that work? For
example, would you agree to a pilot scheme to live stream meetings of key committees?
Thank you for your question Sebastian and thank you for your recognition in your question that we are trying to do our best to make local democracy and decision-making more open and transparent. Everything from Ward Partnerships, to encouraging questions from the floor at Council meetings, agreeing to your request to allow questions at the Budget meeting, and the Leader’s Question Time events that are held across the borough shows we are an open and listening Council. We are going to do much more of that over the next year, there will be further Leader’s Question Time events, we are going to support councillors to hold Ward Partnerships that involve more than just the usual suspects, we are taking advantage of the power of social media to offer two-way communication between the council and residents by responding to issues that are reported to us and actively encourage people to take part in consultations via online methods.
We should also recognise that people in Islington have far more opportunities to engage in Council meetings than people living in other boroughs do. I am often asked by colleagues elsewhere, why did you change the rules in 2014 to allow people to ask questions without notice? Because they think we are mad to have done so.
In terms of webcasting of Council meetings, I don’t think that’s a silver bullet that will ignite an unstoppable wave of civic activism and engagement. We did actually try this a decade ago; this year marks the tenth anniversary of the council last trying to webcast meetings. Over time fewer and fewer people watched these videos, despite them being well publicised, and at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds. The technology has got cheaper since then, but in costing out your suggestion, it would still cost around £25,000 to webcast meetings.
To be honest, and with the greatest respect to you, given that we have never had any other member of the public request this, I don’t think there is a massive demand for it. However, if there ever is public demand for this, we will continue to look at it.
Question a) from Cllr Convery to Cllr Webbe, Executive Member for Environment and Transport:
Please will your team re-consider the location of communal recycling bins on the
Thank you for your question. As you know, we are absolutely committed to protecting our environment and I am pleased that our efforts have led to recycling rates in Islington being above those in other Inner London boroughs. We of course must continue to increase our recycling rates, and I would welcome your help, and that of other councillors as community champions, in achieving this. The changes to recycling on council estates in our borough, from door to door collections to communal recycling, were created and delivered by working very closely with residents; including our tenants, management organisations and associations. As a council, we routinely review our communal recycling bin locations and to consider any current issues and where necessary explore solutions to help make recycling easier and more convenient for local people. What I would ask you to do Councillor Convery is to send me details of your specific request about the recycling bins on the Bemerton Estate. I am sure that this can be considered as part of our review. I would want to ensure that before any changes are made to existing refuse infrastructure that ward councillors are consulted on any new arrangements. Thank you again for your question.
Question b) from Councillor Clarke to Councillor Webbe, Executive Member for Environment and Transport:
The Biodiversity action plan is a very welcome initiative by the council and a positive
move towards protecting wildlife and biodiversity in Islington. I am proud that most of
our parks and many estate green spaces are maintained by our wonderful Grounds
Maintenance Service and in some of our parks this is carried out by local residents. I
note that Croydon Council will end the use of glyphosate in all its public parks and green spaces as of February 2019. The council plan to train staff in new techniques and explore feasible non-chemical options. Would Cllr Webbe consider meeting with the relevant councillors on Croydon council with a view to finding out how they are managing this and investigating the possibility of moving Islington Council towards being pesticide free?
Thank you for your question. Can I start by echoing your comments about the fantastic work that Islington Council does with local residents to look after the green spaces in our borough. Islington Council is committed to reducing the use of pesticides wherever possible and practical. The council is constantly reviewing the market to identify and test alternative methods of weed control as they become available. We are already using new methods of weed control to reduce the amount of pesticide we use. However, there is not currently a cost effective and practical alternative to glyphosate that allows us to go completely pesticide free. However, this year Street Environment Services will use a new application method that applies herbicide using computer controlled spot weeding. ... view the full minutes text for item 47.
Councillor Watts moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Russell seconded. The recommendations in the report were put to the vote and CARRIED.
That the Council size submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, to be taken into account in the Commission’s review of Islington’s electoral arrangements, be approved.
Councillor Comer-Schwartz moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Gill seconded. The recommendations in the report were put to the vote and CARRIED.
(i) That the draft Gambling Policy 2019-2022, Appendix A of the report submitted, be approved.
(ii) That the council will not issue any casino licences in the period 2019 – 2022 be agreed.
Councillor Hull moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Debono seconded. Councillor Russell contributed to the debate. Councillor Hull exercised his right of reply. The recommendations in the report were put to the vote and CARRIED.
(i) That the collaborative work done across the Council and with its partners to combat modern slavery be noted.
(ii) That the specific work completed to date regarding the Council’s supply chain and implementation of the Charter be noted.
(iii) That he proposals, detailed in Part C of this report, to develop further the Council’s response to the Charter, be agreed.
Councillor Gill moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Hamitouche seconded. The recommendations in the report were put to the vote and CARRIED.
(i) That Cllr Comer-Schwartz has been appointed as the Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families from 1st March 2019, be noted;
(ii) That Cllr O’Halloran has been appointed as the Executive Member for
Community Development from 1st March 2019, be noted;
(iii) That the Executive Member portfolios, set out at Appendix A, effective from 1stMarch 2019, be noted.
(iv) That Cllr Comer-Schwartz be appointed to the Health and Wellbeing Board from 1st March 2019 for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.
(v) That Cllr O’Halloran be appointed as a substitute member of the Health and Wellbeing Board from 1st March 2019 for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.
(vi) That Katharine Willmette, Director of Adult Social Care (Operations), be appointed to the Health and Wellbeing Board from 4th March 2019 for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.
(vii) That Cllr Comer-Schwartz be appointed to the Haringey and Islington Health and Wellbeing Boards Joint Sub-Committee from 1st March 2019 for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.
(viii) That Cllr O’Halloran be appointed as a substitute member of the Haringey and Islington Health and Wellbeing Boards Joint Sub-Committee from 1st March 2019 for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.
(ix) That Katharine Willmette, Director of Adult Social Care (Operations) be appointed to the Haringey and Islington Health and Wellbeing Boards Joint Sub-Committee from 4th March 2019 for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.
(x) That Cllr Champion be appointed as Chair of the Policy and Performance Scrutiny Committee from 1st March 2019 for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.
(xi) That Cllr Khondoker be appointed as a member of the Policy and Performance Scrutiny Committee with immediate effect for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.
(xii) That Cllr Champion be appointed as a member of the Audit Committee on 1st March 2019 for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.
(xiii) That Cllr Khondoker be appointed as a member of the Housing Scrutiny Committee on 1st March 2019 for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.
(xiv) That Cllr Convery be appointed as a member of the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee with immediate effect for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.
(xv) That Cllr Spall be appointed as a member of the Planning Committee with immediate effect for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.
(xvi) That Cllrs Gill, ... view the full minutes text for item 51.
Councillor Hull moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Watts seconded.
Councillor Russell moved an amendment.
Councillors Heather, Clarke, Khondoker, Cutler and Burgess contributed to the debate.
Councillors Russell and Hull exercised their right to reply.
The amendment was put to the vote. Voting was recorded as follows:
For: Councillor Russell
Against: Councillors Bell-Bradford, Burgess, Caluori, Champion, Chapman, Chowdhury, Clarke, Comer-Schwartz, Convery, Cutler, Debono, Fletcher, Gallagher, Gantly, Gill, Graham, Hamitouche, Heather, Hull, Ismail, Jeapes, Khondoker, Khurana, Klute, Lukes, Mackmurdie, Nathan, Ngongo, O’Halloran, O’Sullivan, Picknell, Poole, Poyser, Shaikh, Smith, Turan, Ward, Watts, Wayne, Webbe, Williamson, Woodbyrne.
The amendment was LOST.
The recommendation in the report were put to the vote. Voting was recorded as follows:
For: Councillors Bell-Bradford, Burgess, Caluori, Champion, Chapman, Chowdhury, Clarke, Comer-Schwartz, Convery, Cutler, Debono, Fletcher, Gallagher, Gantly, Gill, Graham, Hamitouche, Heather, Hull, Ismail, Jeapes, Khondoker, Khurana, Klute, Lukes, Mackmurdie, Nathan, Ngongo, O’Halloran, O’Sullivan, Picknell, Poole, Poyser, Shaikh, Smith, Turan, Ward, Watts, Wayne, Webbe, Williamson, Woodbyrne.
Abstention: Councillor Russell
The recommendations were CARRIED.
That the 2019-20 net Council cash limits as set out
in Table 1, paragraph 3.7 of the report, and the MTFS at Appendix A
of the report, which include the 2019-22 revenue savings at
Appendix B of the report, and the 2019-20 revenue growth proposal
at paragraph 3.6 of the report, be agreed.
That the Council should strongly oppose Government
proposals in the ‘Review of Local Authorities’ Relative
Needs and Resources Consultation’ to remove deprivation
indicators from the baseline grant formula, which would
significantly disadvantage high-need boroughs such as Islington,
and the other key elements of the Council’s response as set
out in paragraphs 3.9-3.10 of the report, be agreed.
That the fees and charges policy be noted and the
2019-20 fees and charges, paragraphs 3.12-3.13 and Appendices C1 -
C3 of the report, be agreed.
That the estimated use of the Council’s
earmarked budget reserves (including the creation of a new
Transformation Reserve), the Council’s policy on the level of
General Fund balances, with an increase in General Fund balances of
£2m in 2019-20, and an increase in the ongoing contingency
budget of £3m in 2019-20, as set out at paragraphs 3.14-3.17
and Table 2 of the report, be agreed.
HRA Budget and MTFS (Section 4 of the Main
That the balanced HRA 2019-20 budget, including
savings and growth proposals, within the HRA MTFS, at Tables 4-5
and Appendix D1 of the report be agreed.
That the 2019-20 HRA rents, fees and charges, agreed
by Executive on 17 January 2019, Tables 6-9 and Appendix D2 of the
report, be noted.
Capital Programme 2019-22 (Section 5 of the Main
That the 2019-20 capital programme, paragraph 5.1,
Table 10 and Appendix E1 of the report, be agreed and the
provisional programme for 2020-22, paragraph 5.1, Table 10 and
Appendix E1 of the report, be noted.
8. That the Capital Strategy 2019-22, which includes affordability ... view the full minutes text for item 52.