You are here: Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Jonathan Moore  Tel: 020 7527 3308

Items
No. Item

27.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 144 KB

The Minutes of the previous meeting held on 20 September 2018

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 20 September 2018 be confirmed as a correct record and the Mayor be authorised to sign them.

28.

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.

 

Minutes:

None.

29.

Mayoral Announcements

(i)            Apologies

(ii)           Order of business

(iii)          Declaration of discussion items

(iv)          Mayor’s announcements

(v)           Length of speeches

 

Minutes:

(i)            Apologies for Absence

 

Apologies for absence were received from councillors Khondoker, Woodbyrne, Champion, Mackmurdie, Spall, O’Sullivan, Clarke-Perry, Hyde and Ward.

 

(ii)          Order of Business

 

No changes were proposed to the order of business.

 

(iii)         Declaration of Discussion Items

 

None.

 

(iv)         Mayor’s Announcements

 

The Mayor led a minute’s silence for former councillor Edna Griffiths, who passed away on 19th October 2018. Edna was a former mayor of Islington and served two terms on the Council in the 1990s, representing residents in the Holloway ward.

 

The Mayor thanked all of those who attended the Remembrance events. It was an honour to attend the wreath laying at Islington Green, Spa Green and Manor Gardens. The events were very well attended by local residents and representatives of all of Islington’s communities; the Islington Green service was an Inter-Faith Service, attended by a Rabbi, an Imam, a Vicar, representatives of the Buddhist and Hindu faiths, and presided by a Baptist.

 

The Mayor had also attended a wreath laying service for veterans at Camden and Islington Cemetery and a special centenary beacon lighting ceremony at Dartmouth Park. The Mayor thanked the council staff, the emergency services, the Islington Veterans Association, Cllr Poole as Armed Forces Champion, the Pageant Master Peter McCafferty, Reverend Nigel Williams and David Dade from the Poppy Appeal for their work in supporting the Remembrance events.  The Mayor personally thanked Islington Veterans Association and the Deputy Lieutenant for encouraging him to wear the First World War military cross that belonged to his grandfather, Leonard Oscar Parkes.  The Mayor also thanked the many Islington residents who supported the events, including those who knitted the hundreds of poppies which were displayed outside the Town Hall.

 

The Mayor had recently attended local libraries to take part in the Islington Reading Challenge. The Mayor thanked the Library Service and Councillor Clarke, the Council’s Reading Champion, for supporting the events.

 

The Mayor thanked everyone who attended the charity dinner at Fish Central on Tuesday of the same week. The event raised £1,500 for the Mayor’s charities. The Mayor highlighted the work of one of his charities; the CARIS Cold Weather Shelter which provides homeless people with shelter in a local church, an evening meal and breakfast. The Mayor thanked all of those who give their time to support homeless people, particularly those who offer support over the Christmas period.

 

The Mayor noted that Islington Town Hall was a Food Bank collection point and encouraged everyone present to donate generously to help those in need.

 

The Mayor reminded everyone that nominations for the Mayor’s Civic Awards had opened. This included the Ben Kinsella Award which recognises the positive contribution that young people make to the local community.

(v)          Length of Speeches

 

The Mayor asked all members to be mindful of the timer and keep within the

permitted length for speeches.

 

30.

Leader's Announcements

Minutes:

The Leader congratulated Cllr Sara Hyde and her partner on the birth of their twins and Cllr Ward and his partner on the birth of their daughter.

 

The Leader expressed his disappointment at the government’s delay in publishing the local government finance settlement. The settlement was due to be published on 6th December 2018 however had been delayed until after Parliament’s ‘meaningful vote’ on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal. It was not known when the final settlement would be published, however the Leader expected more cuts, more misery for Islington residents, and more challenges for the council to overcome. The Leader said that delaying the settlement added insult to injury by not allowing councils sufficient time to prepare their budgets for the next financial year. The Leader urged the government to tell councils how bad the settlement would be as soon as possible.

 

The Leader and Cllr Burgess had visited Highbury Leisure Centre today. The Centre was affected by a major fire in September 2018 and the Leader thanked all of the staff who had evacuated the Centre within 90 seconds for their professionalism. The fire was very serious and the fact that there were no injuries should not be taken for granted. The damage to the pool building was very substantial and the timetable for repairing the damage would not be known until next year, however the council was committed to getting the pool back up and running. The Leader was pleased that the adjoining gym suite, the most popular local authority gym per square metre in the country, would reopen the following week. A lot of work had been carried out to make the gym areas operational and it was fantastic news that the gym was able to reopen only a matter of months after such a serious incident.

 

The Leader and Cllrs Lukes, Burgess and Comer-Schwartz had attended a Safe Passage event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Kindertransport, which rescued young Jewish children from the horrors of the Nazi regime. The actions of those who did so much to safeguard those children were incredible. The Leader was proud that Islington was only one of three councils in the country to accept Safe Passage’s challenge to take in 100 more refugee children over the next ten years, to give them the same hope that the Kindertransport gave children 70 years ago. The council was now waiting for the government to announce that it would be properly funded and that the council had permission to take in unaccompanied asylum children at all, given that the previous scheme was abruptly and wrongly ended the previous year.

 

The Leader said he would never forget taking his son to school and seeing a Syrian family taking their child to the school for the first time in their first week in the country. The Council had made a real difference by agreeing to take 30 Syrian families under the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme; this was life-changing for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

Petitions

Minutes:

Ann Devine presented a petition objecting to a licensing application for Nag’s Head Covered Market.

32.

Questions from Members of the Youth Council pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Minutes:

 

Question (a) from Youth Councillor Arkan to Councillor Caluori, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families:

 

This autumn, we asked young people to vote for issues which matter to them. I am really pleased to say that 2,594 Islington young people voted. Tackling knife crime and serious youth violence was the number one issue with which over 800 young people voted for. As YCllrs we were very disappointed by London Mayor saying recently that it would take 10 years to tackle this problem, what is the council doing to reduce both knife crime and the fear of knife crime in the borough?

 

Response:

 

Thank you for your question. First of all, I think it’s incredible to reflect on the fact that the turnout in the Youth Council elections is higher than it is for our elections. You have a bigger mandate than we have!

 

On knife crime, we are taking an early intervention approach, what we are also trying to do is further understand the kind of trauma that young people experienced early on in life that leads them to more violent behaviour as they get older. We have some training in our primary schools at the moment to help teachers work with young people, even really young children, to learn how to self-regulate and manage anger, so we don’t have kids getting excluded from school, going down a bad pathway and picking up a knife.

 

Our Integrated Gangs Team is doing some great work, involving Health colleagues and partners from the voluntary sector. There is also great work from the Ben Kinsella Trust and Victim Support. We have loads of people working together to try and keep young people safe. I’m not going to read out all of the statistics I’ve been given, but the statistics in Islington are moving in a better direction than they are in other boroughs, which I think is due to the approach we have taken and the investment we have made. But it is still a real problem. You know that when you go out on the street there are young people around you carrying knives, and for me the real question is; how can we get to a situation where it’s not normal for young people to pick up a knife? How can we get to a situation where that is not an acceptable thing to do? I think to get to that point it will require us to understand more and listen more to young people about the reasons why they take knives out with them, because we all know if you carry a knife you are more likely to be a victim of knife crime. We need to get that message across. We need to work together to understand the reasons why young people carry knives so we can address it properly.

 

Question (b) from Youth Councillor Tsedenia to Councillor Shaikh, Executive Member for Inclusive Economy:

 

With less than 114 days to Brexit, what plans have Council Leaders made  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Minutes:

 

Question (a) from Gill Weston to Councillor Ward, Executive Member for Housing and Development: 

 

Regarding Islington Council's scheme for a large building on Windsor Street to accommodate adults with learning disabilities:  In 2014 council officers calculated that the scheme would cost £1.98 million; in September 2015 the costs had risen to 2.72 million; there was then a further increase in September 2016 to £3.2 million; and by December 2017 costs had climbed to £4.12 million.  Will the Council please share the latest calculated/estimated costs of this scheme and explain the year on year increases at a time of austerity?

 

As Gill Weston was not present, a written response was sent after the meeting, as follows:

 

In Islington, we believe that it is vitally important that as many of our residents with additional needs are able to live in Islington, close to friends and families and where they can benefit from personalised support from Social Services, who have statutory responsibilities for them wherever they may be placed in the country. 

 

National and local best practice has for many years shown that local accommodation services, which offer alternatives to out-of-area residential care, improve outcomes by offering greater independence, more choice and control and offer better value for money through access to Housing Benefit and other entitlements.  The development at Windsor Street will help us provide homes within the borough for people who need them, and I am very proud of the Council for delivering this project.

 

The last review of the costs of this project was undertaken in July 2017 by the quantity surveyor on the project. This was quoted in the financial appraisal, as requested by residents in 2017, despite a financial appraisal not being required for planning on this scheme. 

 

At the time of the July 2017 cost plan review, the scheme had not yet been subject to a Design Review Panel.  This took place in September 2017, and the recommendations of the Panel resulted in further changes to the design and materials used in the scheme in order to ensure a greater likelihood of planning approval. 

 

Incorporating the recommendations of reports, such as the fire safety strategy, had also not been included in the July 2017 cost plan.  All of these changes resulted in additional costs to the developing project. 

 

Since planning permission has been achieved, further, more detailed work has been done on the design, learning disabilities commissioner requirements, and in conjunction with other services required for the project have been further specified. These changes have also contributed to the increase in costs of the project.  

 

In addition, since July 2017, tender prices have also risen by 11 %.  These factors taken together have all contributed to the increase in build costs from £3,459,000 as detailed in the July 2017 cost plan to £3,836,000 in July 2018.  This figure will not include the other development costs such as additional consultant fees which would form part of the total development costs.

 

The proposed Windsor Street development is a key  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Minutes:

 

Question (a) from Councillor Heather to Councillor Hull, Executive Member for Finance, Performance and Community Safety:

 

There is a growing awareness and concern about the rise of drug related criminal activity in Finsbury Park Ward and also across Islington more generally. As a local councillor, I share local residents’ and businesses concerns about this and call on the police to act urgently to address it. Can Cllr Hull provide details of what police action with regards to this serious issue the Council has been made aware of, including any more police officers, and how the Council is playing its part in tackling drug related crime?

 

Response:

 

Thanks for your question, Cllr Heather. We are certainly aware of the growing drug-related issues around the wider Finsbury Park area and recently undertook detailed analysis with the Met, Haringey and Hackney councils to understand the true nature and scale of the problem. This included collating evidence from research, councillors, residents, businesses and colleagues. The results of this analysis was presented to senior leaders from the police and councils in all three boroughs and it was agreed that the police would lead a tri-borough multi-agency partnership response with our active support.

 

As a result, last month, Islington Police Supt Nick Davies chaired a meeting with his equivalents from Hackney and Haringey, alongside Heads of Community Safety and Enforcement Services from each of the three boroughs. A partnership plan of action was drawn up with lead officers from all sides. The plan has two primary prongs. First, the further development of our intelligence picture around the drugs markets in question, which the police are leading. And, second, monthly Days of Action where partners from all three boroughs will carry out joint visits, inspections and patrols in the area, led by the Community Safety Team here in Islington. The first of these Days of Action was today. It has involved visits to local businesses to offer reassurance and advice, promoting our antisocial behaviour services, British Transport Police activity at Finsbury Park station, compliance work on littering and fly-tipping, support for those with substance abuse problems through Better Lives, support for street homeless people through Street Link, early morning outreach by St Mungo’s, licensing visits, 13 Parkguard weapons sweeps, promotion of our Safe Havens scheme, extra CCTV coverage, visits from trading standards and environmental health (including issuing fixed penalty notices), and police enforcement activity, including 13 stop-and-searches in areas where drug-dealing has been taking place. A knife like the one in this photograph was confiscated around the back of Morrison’s, an area where drug-dealing is known to take place, as we heard from a resident of the Nag’s Head earlier this evening.

 

On top of this, the police have deployed additional officers to the area until further notice to tackle the issues you raise, day-in, day-out, such as the two extra PCs recently assigned to the Safer Neighbourhood team in Highbury West. You and other local councillors and residents, myself included, have pushed these issues high up  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Approval of the Revised North London Waste Plan for Publication, Consultation and Submission pdf icon PDF 174 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Watts moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Burgess seconded. Councillor Russell contributed to the debate. Councillor Watts exercised his right of reply.

 

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

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            That North London Waste Plan be approved for publication and formal statutory consultation, and subsequent submission to the Government;

(ii)           That the Corporate Director of Environment and Regeneration, in consultation with the Executive Member for Housing and Development, and in conjunction with the other north London boroughs, be authorised to submit appropriate changes to the North London Waste Plan in the run up to, and during, the Independent Public Examination of the document, in response to objectors' submissions, requests from the Planning Inspector and any emerging evidence, guidance or legal advice.

36.

Council Tax Support Scheme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hull moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Burgess seconded. Councillors Russell and Lukes contributed to the debate. Councillor Hull exercised his right of reply.

 

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

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            That the Council Tax Support Scheme for 2019/20, as contained in Appendix A to the report submitted, be adopted;

(ii)           To note that the Council is retaining a cap of 8.5% for council tax support – despite the unprecedented central government funding cuts both for this scheme and for the council generally – as part of our ongoing commitment to provide support throughout the different stages of residents’ lives, where it is needed;

(iii)          That the retention of the amendments to council tax agreed at full Council on 7 December 2017 be agreed. This means that from 1 April 2019, the following will continue to apply:

1)    council tax exemption classes A and C 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 on the council tax of all properties that have remained empty for over 2 years in all cases.

37.

Quarterly Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Watts moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Burgess seconded.

 

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

 

RESOLVED:

 

To note the decision taken on 22 November 2018 to approve receipt of funding for the Recladding of 251-253 Hungerford Road, London, N7 9LD and Braithwaite House, Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8NQ.

38.

Constitution Update pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Gill moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Hamitouche seconded.

 

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

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            That the proposed amendments to the Constitution, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report submitted, be approved;

(ii)           That the Director of Law and Governance be authorised to make any consequential amendments to the Constitution considered necessary.

39.

Chief Whip's Report pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that a revised Chief Whip’s Report had been circulated in the additional despatch.

 

Councillor Gill moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Hamitouche seconded.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)     That Cllr Troy Gallagher be appointed to St Luke’s Trustee Ltd for a four year term, or until a successor is appointed;

 

(ii)  That Cllr Spall be appointed to the Sadlers Wells Foundation for a three year term from February 2019, or until a successor is appointed;

 

(iii)That Cllr Shaikh be appointed as the Council’s substitute member on the Central London Forward Partnership Board until May 2020, or until a successor is appointed;

 

(iv)That Cllr Hyde be appointed to the University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for a three year term, or until a successor is appointed;

 

(v)  That Cllr Hamitouche be nominated to the Cloudesley Charity for a four year term, or until a successor is appointed;

 

(vi)That Cllr Cutler be appointed to the Richard Reeves Foundation for a four year term, or until a successor is appointed;

 

(vii)        That Cllr Cutler be appointed to the Richard Reeves Foundation for a four year term, or until a successor is appointed;

 

(viii)       That Cllr Graham be appointed to the Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee for the remainder of the 2018/19 municipal year or until a successor is appointed;

 

(ix)That Cllr Ismail be appointed as a substitute member of the Health Scrutiny Committee for the remainder of the 2018/19 municipal year or until a successor is appointed.

40.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 88 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.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

MOTION 1: SCRAP UNIVERSAL CREDIT

 

Councillor Gallagher moved the motion. Councillor O’Halloran seconded. Councillors Hull and Russell contributed to the debate.

 

The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            That this Council has no confidence in Universal Credit;

(ii)           To call on the Leader of the Council to make representations to the Prime Minister to urge her to scrap Universal Credit and to replace it with a social security system that supports people and ensures that nobody is worse-off, rather than driving them into poverty;

(iii)          That Council officers be authorised to commit appropriate resources from within the Council’s budget to continue supporting local residents affected by Universal Credit.

 

 

MOTION 2: THE CUTS DON’T WORK

 

The motion was moved by Councillor Hull. Councillor Chapman seconded. Councillor Russell contributed to the debate.

 

The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            To support calls by the Local Government Association for the Government to close the funding gap facing local councils;

(ii)           To support the Leader of the Council to continue making representations to Government that the upcoming Government Spending Review and ‘Fair Funding Review’ for local government must reflect genuine need;

(iii)          To ask the Leader of the Council to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Prime Minister, and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government setting out the funding pressures faced by our local council, and calling on the Government truly to end austerity in local government.

 

 

MOTION 3: PEOPLE’S VOTE MOTION

 

The Mayor advised that a proposed amendment to the motion had been circulated in the additional despatch of papers.

 

Councillor Russell moved the motion. Councillor Watts moved the amendment. 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.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            To support calls for an immediate General Election, should Parliament vote down the Prime Minister’s EU exit deal;

(ii)           That, if a General Election is not called, the Council will support all options remaining on the table that best protect Islington residents, including making representations for a public vote to take place, with a specific option to remain in the EU.