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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Jonathan Moore  Email: democracy@islington.gov.uk

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260.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 410 KB

The Minutes of the previous meeting held on 28 September 2023

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 28 September 2023 be agreed as a correct record and the Mayor be authorised to sign them.

261.

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:

Councillor Flora Williamson and Councillor Toby North’s details of interests remain published on the website and a copy of the register remains  available for inspection at the Town Hall during working hours in relation to agenda item 11 and their register of interests has been updated.

 

262.

Mayoral Announcements

(i)           Apologies

(ii)          Order of business

(iii)         Declaration of discussion items

(iv)        Mayor’s announcements

(v)          Length of speeches

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(i) Apologies

 

Apologies were received from Councillors Weekes, Poyser, Bossman-Quarshie, Spall, Gallagher and Nargund.  

 

(ii) Order of business

 

The order of business was as per the Agenda.

 

(iii) Declaration of discussion items

 

No items were declared.

 

(iv) Mayor’s announcements

 

The Mayor expressed their condolences for the recent passing of former Hillrise Councillor Lorraine Constantinou, acknowledging their significant contributions as a campaigner in the Elthorne community.

 

The Mayor updated the Council on their activities since the last Council meeting in September. The Mayor highlighted their attendance at numerous community events, emphasising the joy of connecting with Islington residents. Some notable events include recognising a firefighter's long service at Upper Street fire station, participating in citizenship ceremonies in the council chamber, attending the Andover Estate fun day, and witnessing the formal opening of the south Family Hub on the Bemerton Estate. The Mayor also shared experiences from art projects in Bunhill Fields and at Angel Central. The Mayor mentioned awarding recognition certificates to children and volunteers, visiting schools, youth centres, churches, and attending carol services in the borough and engaging with food projects at community centres, recognising their vital role in the current cost-of-living crisis.

 

The Mayor reported on the success of a recent fundraising dinner at Fish Central, which raised over £2,000 for Voluntary Action Islington. They expressed support for the Poppy appeal, attending Remembrance Day ceremonies, and commended the diversity, community, tolerance, and solidarity in Islington. The Mayor was also involved in switching on festive season lights in six town centre areas,

 

The Mayor encouraged nominations for the upcoming Civic Awards, which spotlight local individuals and organisations making significant contributions to the community.

 

263.

Leader's Announcements

·        The Leader will address the Council;

·        The Leader of the Opposition will then be invited to respond.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader expressed condolences for the tragic murder of Mohamed Abdi Noor in Tufnell Park. The Leader said her thoughts were with his family and friends and emphasised the need to prioritise the safety of local residents. Reassurance patrols were taking place in the area.

 

The Leader condemned an antisemitic attack at Islington Green during Hanukkah, asserting that hate crimes had no place in the borough. The Leader underscored Islington's commitment to standing against all forms of hate crime.

 

The Leader commented on the successful Remembrance services held in November, and thanked all those involved in the events.

 

The Leader addressed the impact of the Israel-Palestine conflict on local residents and highlighted the council's efforts to support the community, advocating for a motion promoting peace in the region.

 

Turning to healthcare, the Leader expressed concern about the Whittington Hospital's maternity services facing potential changes due to inadequate government funding. The Leader commended efforts to save the Whittington Maternity Unit and encouraged support for the cause.

 

The Leader expressed pride in the proposed scheme that would exempt 8,000 households from paying Council Tax and reduce the bill for another 6,000 households, particularly in the context of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

 

The Leader highlighted the council's commitment to supporting the community, emphasising the importance of community spirit and caring for each other in making Islington special.

 

The Leader of the Opposition began by expressing the difficulty they had faced in finding suitable words for the evening. They reflected on the tragic loss of Mohamed Abdi Noor to knife violence and the desecration of a menorah.

 

The Leader of the Opposition called for the Council's support for a lasting ceasefire in Gaza, emphasising the need for genuine negotiations and justice. They noted the Prime Minister and government had not adequately addressed these pressing issues, highlighting a perceived lack of commitment to peace-making and humanitarian efforts.

 

The Leader of the Opposition acknowledged the challenges faced by residents in Islington, addressing instances of abuse based on race, faith, or values. They expressed solidarity with those who had suffered such abuse and wanted for Islington to be a borough that promotes safety, sanctuary, acceptance, and equity.

 

The Leader of the Opposition condemned the Home Secretary for prioritising the next leadership election over her responsibilities and the Prime Minister for scapegoating migrants and protesters to save his job. They asserted that the government had failed on various fronts, including justice, peace, and climate action. The Leader of the Opposition also commented on the Labour Party, particularly its stance on international law in Gaza, and its policies on migration, austerity, and green investment. The Leader of the Opposition acknowledged and supported colleagues within the Chamber who had been working to improve the Labour Party. They expressed hope for positive change, both within the party and in addressing the broader challenges facing the community.

 

264.

Petitions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a petition from Pauline Cartwright related to the proposed redevelopment of the Oasis Café on Highbury Fields.

265.

Questions from the Youth Council pdf icon PDF 258 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a) YCllr Eva to Cllr Champion, Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality and Transport:

 

We recently attended a Youth Debate organised by Islington Faith Forum and Islington Council. What measures has the Council taken in 2023 to minimize the impact of climate change and what plans are in place for next year?

Response:

Thank you for your question, Eva. The council is committed to tackling climate change and is working hard to deliver against the commitments made in our Vision 2030: Building a Net Zero Islington strategy. The latest data on the council’s own direct carbon emissions (correct at end of financial year 2022/23) shows an overall 6% reductionin the council’s operational emissions (buildings and transport) between 21/22 and 22/23, and a 43% reduction within the last five years.

 

Our own carbon emissions reduction has been supported by the council switching the electricity supply of most of its corporate buildings to a renewable tariff in 2021, resulting in the electricity related emissions of those buildings reducing to zero.  A key milestone this year was the installation of solar panels on 5 council sites. The new panels will save approximately 18 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. We have also progressed work to decarbonise housing estates and our first school.  In addition, over the past year we have improved the energy management of our corporate buildings, as well as completing Heat Decarbonisation Plans for more of our buildings to support external funding bids to fund the decarbonisation measures. 

 

Our people-friendly streets programme is the cornerstone of our transport strategy and we have delivered seven Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and are continuing the programme by developing proposals for liveable neighbourhoods and cycleways, alongside electric vehicle charging infrastructure and our active travel programme.

 

We are also supporting the green economy through the green skills hub in partnership with Peabody, and our Energising Small Business Grants scheme.

 

We have been delivering our Greener Together programme in partnership with the community, and our Waste and Recycling Team has delivered repair and reuse workshops and are focused on increasing recycling on our estates.

 

Our new local plan includes strengthened policies on low carbon development and retrofit, and we have supported this with free planning advice for householders interested in retrofit and engagement workshops on how to develop net zero guidance for householders and developers.

 

In terms of finance, we have continued to decarbonise the council’s pensions and investments.

 

We work with London Councils, the GLA and other boroughs to share best practice and develop collaboration. The 6 week Go Zero campaign this spring was our first campaign delivered in partnership with our Anchor Institutions Network. 

 

We will continue to deliver and further develop all of these initiatives next year, as well as:

 

  • Launching climate awareness training for all staff
  • Working with Public Health to understand our climate risks and climate adaptation needs.
  • Launching a citizens panel to focus on climate change
  • Publishing our draft net zero Supplementary Planning document

 

We report on our progress towards  ...  view the full minutes text for item 265.

266.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 287 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a) James O’Doherty to Cllr Champion, Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality and Transport

 

Please explain the legal basis for parking e-bikes on pavements in Islington.  I am asking for the explicit legal permission that e-bike companies have that allows the dumping on e-bikes on pavements. How does this reconcile with Rule 64 of the Highways Code which states, “You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.” I understand the need to promote cycling however why does the Council allow this kind of irresponsible dumping on pavements of e-bikes and why do resident have to deal this nonsense?

 

As the questioner was not present in the Council Chamber, a written response was sent:

Thank you for your question, James. You are correct to point out that Rule 64 of the Highways Code states “You must not cycle on a pavement.” Cyclists should dismount and walk with their bikes when on a pavement. However, the Highways Act 1980 permits bikes to be parked anywhere they do not cause nuisance or obstruction on the public highway so that pedestrian access is maintained. In order to try and regulate the scheme the council has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with three operators (Lime, Forest and Tier).

 

We do believe that they provide a good option for local people to use sustainable ways of travelling in Islington and beyond.  They are certainly very well used. In the past year there have been 1.5 million trips made by dockless hire bikes in Islington alone.

 

But, with the strong uplift in trips last year there has also been an uplift in the number of poorly parked bikes causing very significant issues for people walking and wheeling especially those with visual or mobility impairments. This is something we do take very seriously. The Lime bike hack did not help. 

 

Officers work with the hire bike companies to require them to take what steps they can to make sure that bikes are not causing problems and that includes fining people who part their bikes inconsiderately as this does lead to behaviour change.  It includes ensuring badly parked hire bikes are either removed or relocated as soon as possible. 

 

It also includes setting up exclusion zones where there are particularly sensitive locations, such as near the RNIB offices on Pentonville Road or where there are particular problem areas.However, we recognise that we need to do more and are also rolling out the introduction of bays where users who park on the pavement outside of a designated space will be subject to penalties. A pilot of up to 10 locations are expected to be installed in the coming weeks, with a further 50 to follow in summer 2024.

 

Thank you again for your question.

 

(b) Rebekah Kelly to Cllr Champion, Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality and Transport

 

The latest proposals for the Barnsbury and Laycock Liveable Neighbourhood shows clear winners and losers, where some benefit from a "Liveable Neighbourhood" and some do not. How does this create a more equal  ...  view the full minutes text for item 266.

267.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 248 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a) Cllr McHugh to Cllr Woolf, Executive Member for Community Safety:

 

The Casey Report found the Met Police to be institutionally sexist, racist and homophobic. Cllr Woolf, we passed a motion calling on the Met to adopt and implement the Casey review at September Council. What have you done since September to push for policing that is fair and safe for people of all genders, races, and sexual orientations in Islington?

 

Response:

Thank you for your question, Hannah.

 

Since our last Full Council in September, we have been working hard alongside the Met to deliver on our 10-point action plan. I am proud to say we are the only BCU in the Met area to have a 10-point action plan in place with the police, which shows our commitment as a council to be bold and innovative in how we push for policing that is fair and safe for our residents.

 

On action point 2 of the plan, ‘Enhancing Professionalism’, we established the Central Professional Board which will ensure effective grip and governance of all professionalism matters. Dealing with discrimination will be a key priority of the BCU & the Board. This will ensure that our borough is anti-discrimination of all kinds including being anti-racist, anti-misogynist, anti-ableist and anti-homophobic. Senior leadership across the BCU and the Board will deliver visible leadership and daily check ins and role model behaviours that communities of Islington expect.

 

We are also working with Islington’s Young Black Men and Mental Health programme and delivering Cultural Competency Training to enhance knowledge and compassion. Met officers will be trained on taking a Trauma informed approach to Policing.

 

We’ve developed a Memorandum of understanding which has helped to guide us in our relationship and building this work in partnership. Colleagues and I here have also contributed to the Stop & Search Charter Consultation, giving us space to tell the Met what our communities expect from local policing and more broadly how to better engage with residents.

As well as the uplift in neighbourhood policing officers, there has been a commitment to align the locality of police teams to that of the Community Safety team in a North, Central and South Cluster arrangement.

 

Other pieces of work we have been delivering include:

                 Conversations around the Youth IAG

                 Recruitment of School Safety Officers

                 Weekly Walk & Talks

                 Ward Panel Partnership Promise

                 Tri-borough work regarding Love Finsbury Park

 

There is a lot of work going on to ensure we create a safer Islington, and I am pleased that we are able to work collaboratively with the Met and other key stakeholders to achieve our ambitions.

Supplementary Question:

Can you commit to ongoing collaboration with the police to enhance trust and confidence, ensuring the safety of the borough? Specifically, can you continue to advocate for increased diversity within the police force in Islington, addressing the urgent need for representation that reflects the population, encompassing individuals of different genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and backgrounds?

 

Response:

Yes, I can.

 

(b) Cllr  ...  view the full minutes text for item 267.

268.

Council Tax Support Policy 2024-25 pdf icon PDF 476 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Ward moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Ozdemir Seconded. Councillor Hamdache contributed to the debate. Councillor Ward exercised their right of reply.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

(i) To agree to adopt the Council Tax Support Scheme for 2024/25 as contained in appendix C. For working age households this is model three from the consultation (see appendix A). Model three provides the most overall total financial support to households of the three models that were part of the consultation. Model three was the preferred model with respondents to the consultation.

 

(ii) To retain the amendments to council tax agreed at full Council on 8 December 2022. With number four below updated to properties that have remained empty for over 1 year rather than 2 years. Number five updated to reflect that the bill has now been enacted. The council will charge the premium on second homes from the earliest date possible.

 

1.     Council tax exemption classes A (unoccupied and unfurnished property that requires or is undergoing major repairs) and C (unoccupied and unfurnished property) 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; and

 

4.     A premium will be charged at the maximum percentage allowed of 100% on the council tax of all properties that have remained empty for over 1 year but less than 5 years in all cases. A premium will be charged at the maximum percentage allowed of 200% on the council tax of all properties that have remained empty for over 5 years but less than 10 years in all cases. A premium will be charged at the maximum percentage allowed of 300% on the council tax of all properties that have remained empty for over 10 years in all cases.

 

5.     With effect from 1 April 2025, a premium will be charged at the maximum percentage allowed of 100% on the council tax for Second Homes (also known as "dwellings occupied periodically"). A Second Home is substantially furnished but is not the main or principal home of any resident.

 

(iii) To note that the savings of £250k attached to the implementation of a banded CTSS for 2024/25 will be delivered upon full implementation of the new CTSS policy.

269.

Treasury Management Outturn Report 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 535 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Ward moved the recommendations in the report.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

To note the Treasury outturn for the year.

270.

Adjustment to the Capital Programme - Purchasing 410 Ex Right to Buy properties pdf icon PDF 324 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor O’Halloran moved the recommendations in the report.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i) To approve the addition to the capital programme funded by borrowing of £111,663,000 within the Housing Revenue Account to supplement the funding provided by the DLUHC and the GLA to enable the council to purchase 410 Ex Right to Buy properties.

 

(ii) To approve the addition to the capital programme funded by £102,316,260 allocated to Islington Council by the DLUHC and the GLA for the purchase of 410 Ex Right to Buy properties in Islington to accommodate homeless households with a local connection to Islington.

 

(iii) To note the two Executive reports attached to the report.

271.

Constitution Report pdf icon PDF 306 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hyde moved the recommendations in the report. The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

To approve the amendments to the Constitution as set out in the appendix to the report.

 

 

 

272.

Council Appointments Report pdf icon PDF 224 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hyde moved the recommendations in the report.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Cllr Williamson be re-appointed to the Board of the Cloudesley Charity from February 2024 for a period of 4 years, or until a successor is appointed.

273.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 685 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.

Members have given notice that they intend to move the following motions in accordance with paragraph 20 in Part 4 of the Constitution:

1.   A Call for Peace

2.   Standing in solidarity with Islington’s diverse community in times of conflict by supporting the cessation of hostilities on all sides

3.   Protecting Islington’s families through the Childcare Crisis

The Courts have made it clear that the Public Sector Equality Duty applies to the Council when it is considering these motions, even if they are motions without legal effect. There is not a general requirement for an equality impact assessment but regard should be had to the equality duty when considering motions.

 

The equality duty requires Council to have due regard to the need to:

a)   Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other behaviour prohibited by the Act. In summary, the Act makes it unlawful to discriminate etc on the grounds of a protected characteristic.

b)   Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

 

c)    Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not including tackling prejudice and promoting understanding.

 

The protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, gender, and sexual orientation. The Act states that ‘marriage and civil partnership’ is not a relevant protected characteristic for (b) or (c) although it is relevant for (a).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Motion 1: A call for peace

 

This motion was withdrawn.

 

Councillor Russell moved the withdrawal. Councillor Hamdache seconded.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the motion be withdrawn.

 

Motion 2: Standing in solidarity with Islington’s diverse community in times of conflict by supporting the cessation of hostilities on all sides.

 

A cross-party amendment to this motion was circulated in a second despatch of papers.

 

Councillors Khondoker and Russell moved the joint amendment. Councillors Cinko-Oner, Hamdache, Woolf and Pandor seconded the amendment.

 

Councillors Chowdhury, Shaikh, Graham, Gilgunn, Williamson and Nathan contributed to the debate.

 

Councillor Khondoker and Russell exercised their right of reply on the amendment.

 

Councillor Nathan requested a recorded vote. This was supported by several members of the council.

 

The Amendment was put to a vote and CARRIED.

 

FOR:

Councillors Bell-Bradford, Burgess, Champion, Chapman, Chowdhury, Cinko-Oner, Clarke, Comer-Schwartz, Convery, Craig, Croft, Gilgunn, Gill, Graham, Hamdache, Hayes, Heather, Hyde, Ibrahim, Jackson, Jeapes, Jegorovas-Armstrong, Kay, Khondoker, Khurana, Klute, Mackmurdie, McHugh, Nathan, Ngongo, North, Ogunro, O’Halloran, O’Sullivan, Ozdemir, Pandor, Russell, Shaikh, Staff, Turan, Ward, Wayne, Williamson, Woolf, Zammit.

 

AGAINST:

None.

 

ABSTENTIONS:

None.

 

The Amended Motion was put to a vote and CARRIED.

 

FOR:

Councillors Bell-Bradford, Burgess, Champion, Chapman, Chowdhury, Cinko-Oner, Clarke, Comer-Schwartz, Convery, Craig, Croft, Gilgunn, Gill, Graham, Hamdache, Hayes, Heather, Hyde, Ibrahim, Jackson, Jeapes, Jegorovas-Armstrong, Kay, Khondoker, Khurana, Klute, Mackmurdie, McHugh, Nathan, Ngongo, North, Ogunro, O’Halloran, O’Sullivan, Ozdemir, Pandor, Russell, Shaikh, Staff, Turan, Ward, Wayne, Williamson, Woolf, Zammit.

 

AGAINST:

None.

 

ABSTENTIONS:

None.

 

RESOLVED:

 

This Council resolves to:

 

       i.          Support those in Islington with loved ones in the affected region by writing to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to support calls - made by the Mayor of London, a number of trade unions including Unite and UNISON, the UN General Assembly, over 200 countries and many global humanitarian aid agencies - for an immediate cessation to hostilities in Israel and Palestine, including an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the release of hostages and political prisoners. Also to support calls for an embargo on the sale of offensive weapons for this conflict, an investigation by the International Criminal Court into alleged breaches of international law during this conflict and to begin a political process for permanent peace.

      ii.          Write to our local MPs and ask they use every avenue to pursue peace and to call for ceasefire.

    iii.          Continue to work with faith and community leaders from across Islington to preserve and celebrate our borough’s diversity and cohesion, this will include working with the Islington Faiths Forum to organise an inter-faith event in early 2024, allowing people from all parts of Islington to come together and celebrate our community’s shared values.

    iv.          Further promote the work of the Council’s Hate Crime Prevention Champions, encouraging more local people to take ownership and support our drive to tackle hate crime in Islington.

     v.          Continue to promote the work of Islington-based charities working to support those affected by the humanitarian crisis in Israel and Palestine.

 

 

Motion 3: Protecting Islington’s families through the Childcare Crisis.

 

Councillor Ngongo moved  ...  view the full minutes text for item 273.