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Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

137.

Moment of silence

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Minutes:

The Council paid tribute to Carmel Littleton, the Corporate Director – People, who sadly passed away the previous week.  Carmel was remembered as a supportive and very hard-working colleague and dedicated public servant, whose commitment to children and families and contribution to children’s services in Islington, was second to none. The Council expressed their condolences to Carmel’s family and friends and held a moment of silence.

 

138.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 97 KB

The Minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 20 May 2021.

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Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 20 May 2021 be agreed as a correct record and the Mayor be authorised to sign them.  

139.

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.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None.

140.

Mayoral Announcements

(i)           Apologies

(ii)          Order of business

(iii)         Declaration of discussion items

(iv)        Mayor’s announcements

(v)          Length of speeches

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Minutes:

(i)            Apologies

 

No apologies for absence were received, however, the Mayor explained that not all members could attend because social distancing restrictions had significantly reduced the capacity of the Council Chamber.

 

(ii)           Order of business

 

The Mayor advised that Item 9, Resolution to extend six month rule, had been removed from the agenda.

 

(iii)          Declaration of discussion items

 

No items were declared.

 

(iv)          Mayor’s Announcements

 

The Mayor announced that former councillor Kazim Khan had passed away and extended his condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.

 

The Mayor shared his reflections on his first six weeks as Mayor, in particular noting the work carried out in support of his charities ICAP, James’ Place and forum+. The Mayor had held a number of meetings around how the borough can support their important work on mental health, suicide prevention and support for the LGBT community.

 

The Mayor said that it was fantastic to visit the pop-up Covid-19 vaccination clinic Emirates Stadium and thanked Arsenal FC and all the staff and volunteers for their contribution. Many thousands had received a vaccination during the event and the sense of community spirit was heartening.

 

The Mayor was delighted to attend the Windrush Day flag raising outside of the Town Hall. It was so important to recognise and remember the contribution of the Windrush generation to Islington, and never forget the challenges faced by the Windrush generation. It was important that the spirit and memories of the Windrush generation are captured.

 

The Mayor had attended the Armed Forces Day flag raising and thanked the Islington Veterans Association for their work in support of armed forces personnel. The Mayor also thanked Cllr Gary Poole, Armed Forces Champion, for his dedication and contribution.

 

The Mayor had attended the Cally Festival for the launch of the Freeling Street Pocket Park. It was a great event and the Mayor thanked all those involved and commented on the fantastic community spirit.

 

The Mayor had visited the Irish Embassy and had joined the Irish Ambassador for lunch as the first Irish Mayor of Islington. It was intended to hold events over the next year to support and recognise the contribution of the Irish community to Islington.

 

The Mayor noted the recent anniversary of the 2017 Finsbury Park terror attack. The Mayor said that the Council’s thoughts were with the family of Makram Ali and we must never allow hate to divide us. There was no place for racism or hatred in the borough.

 

(v)           Length of speeches

The Mayor reminded all councillors to stay within the permitted length for speeches.

 

141.

Leader's Announcements

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Minutes:

The Leader spoke of her sadness at the passing of Carmel Littleton, who was loved and respected by so many. The Leader said that Carmel’s family were in her prayers. Carmel was warm, kind, funny, smart and a gritty and unwavering commitment to improving the lives of the children and young people she worked with.

 

The Leader also wished to remember Tony Eastlake and Taylor Cox who had been tragically murdered. Both of these incidents had shaken the community and the Leader passed on her deepest condolences to their families.

 

The Leader said that her first few weeks in office had been busy and trying, but a real highlight had been attending the Windrush Day celebrations. It was a real honour to pay tribute to the Windrush community who had made a massive contribution to the borough. The Mayor thanked all involved in their event for their efforts.

 

The Leader thanked the Mayor for attending the mass vaccination events at the Emirates Stadium. The Leader had volunteered at the event and had spoken to many who were delighted to be getting their vaccine. It was fantastic to see council staff, NHS colleagues and others working together to vaccinate over 9,000 people over four days. The Leader commented on the importance of the NHS; it is there when we need it most, and we must be there for the NHS now. The Leader said that the Council supported the work of the NHS, however was concerned that the NHS was under threat from a dangerous government privatisation agenda. The Leader commented on Motion 2 on the agenda and said that the Council would reaffirm its commitment to defending the NHS this evening.

 

The Leader was delighted to welcome Cllr Gilgunn to the meeting, who had been elected in the Tollington ward by-election the previous week.

 

Finally, the Leader reflected on the success of the England football team in reaching the finals of Euro 2020.

142.

Petitions

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Minutes:

No petitions were received.

143.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 82 KB

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Minutes:

Due to COVID-19 safety procedures it was not possible to accommodate members of the public in the Council Chamber. There was no opportunity to ask supplementary questions or questions without notice and Procedure Rule 19.2 was suspended accordingly.

 

Question (a) from Helena Farstad to Cllr Comer-Schwartz, Leader of the Council:

 

Does the Councillor believe that we are headed towards a Sixth Mass extinction, putting the future of humanity at significant risk, because of our inaction to halt biodiversity loss and stop the increase in global temperatures?

 

Response:

 

As Leader of Islington Council, I am extremely concerned about the Climate Emergency and the impact it is having on our planet, which can be seen right now by the extreme heatwave in the west of the USA.

 

As you’ll be aware, Islington Council declared a climate emergency on 27 June 2019 and we adopted our new Net Zero Carbon strategy in November 2020.

Since 2012, we have cut emissions in the borough by 40% and seen the 12th highest decrease in emissions per person for any council area in the country. However, we know there is much more to do.

 

Tackling the climate crisis is a matter of social justice. Our strategy, ‘Vision 2030: Building a Net Zero Carbon Islington by 2030’, sets out our plan for a fair and green future for local people, to reach net zero carbon Islington by 2030. It builds on our work so far to reach our net zero target, including energy efficient homes, affordable green electricity, lower energy costs, cleaner air and streets free of harmful emissions. We will be doing this by building more genuinely affordable homes for local people and getting local people into good, well-paid green jobs.

 

Our Biodiversity Action Plan for 2020-25, also sets out our strategy for protecting and improving the borough’s biodiversity, which includes protecting Islington’s network of green spaces, creating more areas of planting in parks, housing estates, and our built environment, and converting some areas of amenity grass in parks and housing estates into meadows.

 

We must continue to work together across our communities to do all we all can to tackle the Climate Emergency and push for real and radical change from Central Government, who frankly, are utterly failing to get to grips with this important issue.

 

 

Question (b) from Lucy Facer to Cllr Champion, Executive Member for Environment & Transport:

 

Toxic air is killing 25 people prematurely every day in London alone. Recent reports show air pollution is damaging male and female fertility and pollution particulates have even been found in foetuses. The largest single source of inner city toxic air (NO2 and PM) is caused by vehicle movements. Does the councillor think it’s time to for Islington to demonstrate it’s commitment to its pedestrian priority policy by being the first borough to commit to being an anti-car borough, and leading the way in tackling air pollution issues?

 

As Councillor Champion was not present, the question was answered by Cllr Comer-Schwartz:

Thank you for your question.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 143.

144.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Due to COVID-19 safety procedures it was not possible to accommodate all members of the Council in the Council Chamber. There was no opportunity to ask supplementary questions and Procedure Rule 19.2 was suspended accordingly.

 

Question (a) from Cllr Heather to Cllr Shaikh, Executive Member for Inclusive Economy and Jobs: 

 

I have been raising for some time now the problems being caused in the borough by the platform business model when it is used, in the main, to deliver fast food to customers’ premises.

 

In my ward the activities of the moped delivery drivers who are used to provide this service late into the evening and early morning are causing anti-social behaviour and safety hazards for local residents and the public, including: noise, road traffic offences, unsafe driving, illegal parking, riding on the pavement, pollution, urination and defecation in public spaces, and fighting and threatening behaviour. This is proving a particular problem at the Nags Head Town Centre in relation to deliveries from the 24 hour McDonalds store in Seven Sisters Road, where the council is conducting a licence review due to the high level of complaints made by local residents and the Finsbury Park ward councillors.

 

The underlying cause of the problem here is the platform business delivery model being operated from business locations that do not have the infrastructure to provide the service without causing vast negative impacts on the people who live and shop in the surrounding area. There is also an issue in that the delivery drivers are not employed by the fast food stores themselves, making it very difficult for them to manage and control the drivers. It is very clear that currently the council do not have sufficient powers to regulate this type of business activity to protect the amenity and safety of residents and the public. And this business model operated in inappropriate locations also presents problems for the delivery drivers too.

 

What steps are the council taking to address these issues?

 

Response:

 

Thank you Cllr Heather for your question on this important issue, and thank you for your work in trying to resolve these issues for local residents.

 

The council is attempting to use the powers it has to encourage McDonald's on Seven Sisters Road to take responsibility for the management of the delivery of its food; as you'll be aware this is a problem caused by the gig economy and the business models developed by digital delivery platforms. The issues are complex as the sector is largely unregulated, so what's happening around McDonald’s is a classic example of the difficulties we face. You've got a restaurant that wants to maintain profits, and an increased demand for takeaway food through lockdown,  so they use delivery rider platforms. These platforms promise speedy delivery, contract riders on zero hour contracts using a pricing system which forces riders to be as quick as possible and encourage them to behave in ways that causes disruption in our local areas. In this scenario McDonald’s make money,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 144.

145.

Annual Update on the Armed Forces Community Covenant pdf icon PDF 222 KB

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Minutes:

Councillor Poole moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Comer-Schwartz seconded. Councillor Russell contributed to the debate.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the activity over the past year to celebrate and support Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families be noted.

146.

Resolution to extend Six Month Rule pdf icon PDF 139 KB

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Minutes:

The Mayor advised that this item had been removed from the agenda.

147.

Chief Whip's Report pdf icon PDF 71 KB

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Minutes:

Councillor Hyde moved the recommendations in the report.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)               That Councillor Gilgunn be appointed to the Licensing Committee for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.

(ii)              That Councillor Gilgunn be appointed as a substitute member of the Planning Committee for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.

(iii)            That Councillor Gilgunn be appointed as a substitute member of the Housing Scrutiny Committee for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.

(iv)            That Councillor Bossman-Quarshie be appointed to St Lukes Trustee Ltd until 29 June 2022 or until a successor is appointed.

(v)             That Councillor O’Halloran be appointed to Islington Community Chest Panel for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.

148.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 103 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.

 

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Minutes:

Motion 1: Making Islington a Borough of Sanctuary

 

Councillor Bell-Bradford moved the motion. Councillor Bossman-Quarshie seconded. Councillors Ismail and Russell contributed to the debate. Councillor Bell-Bradford exercised his right of reply.

 

The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

(i)   To join a network of cities and towns which promote the inclusion and welfare of people who are fleeing violence and persecution in their own countries and become a recognised “Borough of Sanctuary”

(ii)  To work with community groups to harness public support to help and support refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in Islington.

(iii)To continue to celebrate the contribution of refugee and migrant communities to Islington.

(iv)To continue to work with organisations in the borough who support refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in the borough.

(v)  To challenge anti-refugee and anti-migrant attitudes wherever they are found.

(vi)To continue to lobby the government to reform the No Recourse to Public Funds condition so that people are no longer blocked from fully participating in society for years while they wait for their status to be resolved. We will continue to put pressure on Central Government to put in place a fully-functional Windrush Compensation Scheme.

(vii)       To work with local businesses and community partners to further tackle the digital divide, provide affordable access to online services and look at ways to donate IT devices locally to those in need, rather than scrapping them.

 

 

Motion 2: Keeping the NHS in public hands 

 

Councillor Turan moved the motion. Councillor Khurana seconded. Councillors Ismail and Russell contributed to the debate. Councillor Turan exercised his right of reply.

 

The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)   To continue campaigning to keep the NHS in public hands and to stop the backdoor privatisation of NHS services, because public services are always best run in public hands

(ii)  To work with local MPs and the local CCG to stop any further Conservative Government selling off of local NHS services following Operose’s takeover of 49 GP surgeries

(iii) To continue supporting our local NHS services to roll-out the Covid-19 vaccine to local people and keep Islington safe

(iv)To work with North Central London CCG to inform local people of the pooling of patient medical records and ensure patients are aware of how they can opt-out

(v)  To continue seeking to bring local services back in-house where possible, such as housing repairs, including Partners for Improvement

(vi)To write to the Secretary of State for Health again, to set out local people’s concerns regarding the Centene takeover of AT Medics and to call for local NHS services to be run for the benefit of the public, not for profit.

 

 

Motion 3: Making Islington Homes Safe and Secure  

 

Councillor North moved the motion. Councillor Jackson seconded. Councillors Klute and Russell contributed to the debate. Councillor North exercised his right of reply.

 

The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)   Continue pressure on Central Government, including working with our local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 148.