Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions
Contact: Jonathan Moore 020 7527 3308
The Minutes of the previous meeting held on 30 June 2022.
That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 30 June 2022 be agreed as a correct record and the Chair 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 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.
(ii) Order of business
(iii) Declaration of discussion items
(iv) Mayor’s announcements
(v) Length of speeches
Apologies were received from Councillors Gallagher, Kay, Klute, Poyser, Shaikh and Wayne.
(ii) Order of Business
No changes were proposed to the order of business.
(iii) Declaration of Discussion Items
No items were declared.
(iv) Mayor’s Announcements
The Mayor said that it had been a very busy few months, during which she had been particularly proud to celebrate the achievements of our local residents and organisations. This has included attending awards ceremonies for the 329 (Finsbury) Squadron Air Cadets and also for young people in Islington who have graduated from Chance UK’s mentoring programme.
The Mayor had also congratulated Fatima Makalo, who works at Bridgeside Lodge, on being recognised with The Chief Nursing Officer Silver Award and the Octopus Community Network who were recently given a Queens Award for Volunteering.
However, a summer of celebration had turned into a September of deep reflection due to the death of Her late Majesty Elizabeth II and the accession of King Charles III. The Mayor reflected on the life of Her late Majesty and said she would be remembered with affection and gratitude for her unwavering devotion to our country. The Mayor had, on behalf of the borough, extended her deepest condolences to the Royal Family, and sent her very best wishes to King Charles III on his accession to the throne.
(v) Length of Speeches
The Mayor reminded all councillors to take note of the timer and stay within the permitted length for speeches.
The Mayor also reminded all present that the meeting was being webcast live on the council’s website.
The Leader expressed her sadness at the passing of her late majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and welcomed the accession of King Charles III. The Leader had met the King following the Finsbury Park terror attack and his support at such a difficult time was appreciated. The Leader also thanked the Mayor for leading the Council through the recent events to mark the Queen's passing and the proclamation of the new King. The Leader was proud to stand with so many Islington residents at these important events over the last couple of weeks.
The Leader was delighted to join the Mayor at the reception in recognition of the Octopus Community Network’s Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. This was in recognition of their work during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the Leader also noted the vital work of the organisation to support local people with the cost of living crisis.
The Leader commented on the cost of living crisis, noting the government’s role in the crisis through inaction and austerity. The Council’s budget had been cut by £171,000,000 since 2010, and the removal of the universal credit uplift, failure to implement a real living wage, no serious attempt to stop the reliance on fossil fuels, and a hard Brexit which had restricted supply chains and increased inflation had contributed to the current challenging situation.
The Council was doing all it could to support people, despite the lack of support from central government, including allocating £676,000 into cutting council tax bills for those on lower incomes, quadrupling the size of the childcare bursary to support people back into work, protecting free school meals for all primary school children, retaining the school uniform grant, helping 5,000 people into good jobs over the next five years, and encouraging more local businesses to pay a real London living wage. Meanwhile, the government was prioritising tax cuts to the richest in our society.
The Leader called on the government to increase universal credit payments in line with inflation, invest in retro-fitting homes to help people with their energy bills, provide support for local businesses to protect local jobs and high streets, implement rent controls, and invest in renewable energy so we are not put in this situation again.
The Leader of the Opposition responded and shared her own reflections on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The Leader of the Opposition noted the huge volunteer and policing operations to keep the public safe during events connected to the funeral and accession, however expressed concern some Police tactics to prevent protest, including the Police challenging people holding blank sheets of paper.
The Leader of the Opposition had attended a protest outside New Scotland Yard following the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba by a police officer. This has been portrayed by Sky News as mourners heading to Buckingham Palace rather than people standing with the family of Chris Kaba in seeking answers from the Metropolitan Police.
The Leader of the Opposition was glad that Islington had continued to hold scrutiny ... view the full minutes text for item 202.
The Council received a petition from Marie Hamon-Smith asking for a zebra crossing to be installed on Thorpedale Road.
Questions from Members of the Public PDF 183 KB
Question (a) from Rebekah Kelly to Cllr Woolf, Executive Member for Community Safety:
Between July and December last year, Islington Council ran the Safer Spaces consultation. I believe there was an insufficient amount of publicity and promotion to call it the largest community safety consultation of its kind. The results were broadcast in a series of community events at which the former Executive Member for Community Safety presented the Safe Haven scheme and stated the results of the consultation would be published and available, although I'm struggling to find evidence of this publication so am dubious of its existence.
Will the newly appointed Executive Member for Community Safety continue the Safe Haven scheme, working with communities to make the scheme effective, and actually hear our concerns?
Thank you very much Rebecca for your question and the very short answer is yes and yes to both. If I can elaborate slightly further I'd like to start by putting on record my thanks to the predecessor in my role Sue Lukes who did so much great work to make Islington a safer place for all.
We know that community insight into crime is an essential component of any community safety strategy and therefore the Council set out to listen to residents, partners and businesses to ensure that we understood the different experiences of crime, perceptions of safety, broader community insights, priorities and community aspirations for a safer for borough.
With this in mind from July to December last year the Council initiated work to address these concerns locally by consulting on a five-year violence reduction strategy, as well as running the safer places campaign. The safer spaces consultation was the largest community safety engagement programme in the country last year. I know you said that you believe there might have been insufficient publicity or promotion but the Council did write to every household and business individually, to get their views on what could be done to improve the local area.
In addition, we also held a Violence Reduction public launch event at Islington Assembly rooms with over 100 people in attendance, attended 19 library and community centre events, joined 8 virtual partnership meetings, convened 30 community led discussions, in conjunction with the voluntary and community sector, as well as parent champions, and developed an online reporting platform which received 1,700 public responses.
We are proud that a Labour run Council, through its wider Safer Islington Partnership, has been the first borough in London to undertake such consultation. Our approach is being adopted by other London boroughs with the work recognised as best practice.
The information we received from this consultation directly fed into the Council's five-year violence reduction strategy, as well as making sure that we were listening and responding to those issues raised. We look forward to continuing to work with local people to ensure we are making Islington the safe place for all. Thank you for your question.
Thank you for your reply. I was part of ... view the full minutes text for item 204.
Questions from Members of the Council PDF 273 KB
Question (a) from Cllr Poyser to Cllr Champion, Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality and Transport:
On 13 August 2022, at 12.10am, Police attended a serious road traffic collision outside the Shell Garage on Hornsey Rise, N19, in Hillrise Ward. Four people were injured, one with life threatening injuries. Our deepest sympathies are with the families of the victims. Obviously the incident will be investigated by the relevant authorities and blame cannot be apportioned until this has happened
Some local residents that have cars on this road drive too fast. Is there anything Islington can do to make this stretch of road safer in future?
Cllr Poyser was not present in the Chamber and a written response was sent, as follows:
I was very saddened to hear about the collision in your ward and the Council is working with the police to fully understand the circumstances surrounding it. The collision is currently still part of an active investigation by the police and we have recently attended a site meeting with them, as part of this investigation.
Whilst we wait the outcome of the police investigation, we are commissioning speed counts to understand the extent of speeding here and we will be reminding drivers of the speed limit through the installation of additional ‘SLOW’ and ‘20’ mph road markings. Once we’ve received the final police report and speed data, we will be in a position to discuss and consider additional speed reduction measures.
As you are aware, our Labour Council is committed to reducing road danger on the borough’s road networks to eliminate deaths and serious injuries by 2041 and the occurrence of other types of road collision and incident and work with the Mayor of London to achieve this.
We are clear that having fewer cars on the road, and reducing the speed of the cars that are on the road, are important aspects in making our roads safer. Our 20mph borough policy, as well as our people-friendly streets schemes, are intended to make our streets cleaner, greener and safer. I look forward to working with you and your Hillrise colleagues to make the streets safer in the ward.
Question (b) from Cllr Convery to Cllr Champion, Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality and Transport:
On Wednesday 17 August, heavy rainfall caused "flash" flooding in Islington on Upper Street and Pentonville Road at Kings Cross seemingly worsened by blocked drains on TfL roads. In the previous week, a Thames Water mains burst on Tollington Way caused extensive damage partly exacerbated by the slow speed at which drains could remove water.
With the risk of such extreme events recurring, please will you say whether Islington's preventative programme of gully maintenance will be adjusted to ensure that further episodes of very heavy rain do not cause flooding on Borough roads and residential streets?
Can I just thank officers who attended the events mentioned in the question so quickly and particularly the emergency planning team, who we all know always do ... view the full minutes text for item 205.
Chief Whip's Report PDF 171 KB
Councillor Hyde moved the recommendations in the report. The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.
(i) That Councillors Croft, Gill, Mackmurdie and Staff be appointed as substitute members of the Licensing Regulatory Committee;
(ii) That Councillor Heather be appointed as a substitute member of the Housing Scrutiny Committee;
(iii) That Councillor Heather be appointed as a substitute member of the Health and Care Scrutiny Committee;
(iv) That Councillor Williamson be appointed as a substitute member of the Planning Committee;
(v) That Councillor Croft be appointed as a substitute member of the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee;
(vi) That Councillor Zammit be appointed as a substitute member of the Audit Committee;
(vii)That Councillor Bell-Bradford be appointed as the Council’s representative to the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for the remainder of the municipal year, or until a successor is appointed.
(viii) That Councillor Bossman-Quarshie be appointed to the Board of St Luke’s Trustee Ltd for a four year term, 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: Declaration of cost of living emergency
· Motion 2: Bring water back into public ownership
· Motion 3: Cost of living crisis
Motion 1: Declaration of cost of living emergency
The Mayor advised that an alteration to the motion had been circulated in the second despatch of papers and this was formally noted by the Council.
Councillor Pandor moved the motion; Councillors O’Sullivan and Russell seconded.
The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.
To build an inclusive local economy that works for all, by calling on the Government to:
· Secure our energy future and support a new generation of skilled green jobs by investing in a rapid rollout of renewables and storage technology, held in common ownership for the public good.
· Increase the National Minimum Wage to the level of the real Living Wage, as identified by the Living Wage Foundation
· Uplift Universal Credit and all other benefit payments in line with inflation
· Introduce universal free school meals for all children, as Islington Council has done for primary school children since 2009.
· Allow the Mayor of London to bring in rent controls, saving tenants money and supporting people through the cost of living crisis.
· Implement the official national opposition’s proposal to freeze gas and electricity prices immediately to give people breathing space over the winter. This means the domestic energy price cap would stay at its current level of £1,971 from October to April rather than £2500 price cap announced by Prime Minister Liz Truss; it would mean no rise in household energy bills until April 2023 with pensioners and low to middle income families still receiving planned additional support with already elevated bills.
· Support a £1bn fund to help energy intensive industries with the higher cost of energy.
· Increase the business rates threshold for small business rates relief (from the current threshold of £15,000 to £25,000), to give SMEs a discount on their business rates bill for 2022/23, ahead of more fundamental reform proposed by the government.
· Fully fund a further investment in the Islington Council Tax Support Scheme
· Restore the £20 Universal Credit uplift along with a further increase taking the uplift to £40
· Urgently fund a national retrofitting scheme, to ensure every home has the insulation needed to keep people warm and reduce energy bills.
Motion 2: Bring water back into public ownership
Councillor Craig moved the motion. Councillor Nargund seconded. Councillor Hamdache contributed to the debate.
The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.
(i) To continue calling on Thames Water to invest further in water infrastructure to avoid the burst water pipes and leaks we have seen in Islington this summer;
(ii) To call on Thames Water, and all other water companies, to cease the release of raw sewage into seas and rivers, to keep our waters clean and safe;
(iii) To write to Central Government to ask for the water industry to be brought back into public ownership, delivering better services for the benefit of local people.
Motion 3: Cost of living crisis
As Motion 1 had been carried, Councillor Russell withdrew the motion.