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Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Jonathan Moore - Email: jonathan.moore@islington.gov.uk 

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Items
No. Item

102.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 111 KB

The Minutes of the previous meetings held on 27 February and 12 March 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 27 February 2020 and the Awards Council meeting held on 12 March 2020 be agreed as a correct record and the Mayor be authorised to sign them.

103.

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.

104.

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 on behalf of Councillors Hamitouche, Klute, Comer-Schwartz, Wayne, Champion and Chowdhury.

 

(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 the Council in a minute’s silence as a mark of respect for former councillor Wally Burgess, former Mayor Anna Berent, and former Mayoress Jean Trotter who had all recently passed away.

 

The Mayor also expressed her shock at the shooting of a young man on Roman Way the previous week and said her thoughts were with the family of the victim.

 

The Mayor paid tribute to all of the Council and NHS staff who were working hard to support local people during this pandemic. Their efforts to keep us safe were heroic and the Mayor was proud of the local response to coronavirus. The Mayor also thanked the community and voluntary sector, who worked tirelessly to support the most vulnerable people in our borough.

 

The Mayor said that Covid-19 had affected all aspects of our lives, and the mayorality was no different. Since March almost all mayoral engagements had been cancelled, and the Mayor had to adapt to working virtually.  The Mayor had taken part in a number of virtual events, including events to mark V.E. Day, Refugee Week and Windrush Day.

 

Thankfully, some important events had been held recently, albeit in a socially distanced way, as some of the lockdown restrictions had eased. The Mayor said it was an honour to attend the Armed Forces Day flag raising at the Town Hall last month. The Mayor was proud to be able to show support to our veterans, who are such an important part of the local community.

 

The Mayor also attended a small gathering outside the Town Hall to take a knee for the Black Lives Matter movement. This movement highlighted the racial inequalities and injustices in our society and the Mayor welcomed that Motions on these issues would be discussed at this evening’s meeting. 

 

Finally, the Mayor noted the third anniversary of the Finsbury Park Terror Attack. The Mayor would never forget how our communities came together after the awful attack; we must never allow those who want to spread hate to divide us.

 

(v)           Length of speeches

 

The Mayor reminded all councillors to keep within the permitted length of speeches.

105.

Leader's Announcements

Minutes:

Cllr Watts thanked the Mayor and thanked the many members of the public who were in attendance at the first virtual Full Council meeting.

 

Cllr Watts said his thoughts were with the many people across the borough who had been affected by the pandemic, especially those who had lost loved ones in such horrible circumstances.

 

Cllr Watts passed on his condolences to the families of former Mayor Anna Berent and former Mayor Consort Jean Trotter, who both gave so much to the communities of Islington. Cllr Watts also paid special tribute to former councillor Wally Burgess, a friend and respected colleague, and husband of Cllr Janet Burgess, who sadly passed away in early April.

 

Cllr Watts also commented on the awful shooting of a young man on Roman Way the previous week and said his thoughts were with the family of the victim.

 

Cllr Watts said the current crisis was extremely challenging, but he had never been prouder to represent such a fantastic community. Mutual aid organisations had formed across the borough and the borough’s community centres had been transformed into food distribution hubs. Community organisations, faith groups, Arsenal FC and others had all worked to make sure that everyone in the borough was supported. Cllr Watts also thanked the public service staff and key workers who had sacrificed so much to keep us safe, keep vital services running, and care for those who need it.

 

Cllr Watts said that the crisis was far from over and the top priority of the council was keeping everyone safe. However, Cllr Watts said that the government continued to let local people down by failing our care homes and frontline staff, failing to take meaningful action to tackle systemic racism, and failing to support local councils.

 

 

 

106.

Petitions

Minutes:

Cllr Gary Heather presented a petition in objection to the planning proposals submitted in relation to Nag’s Head Covered Market.

 

Pamela Jouven presented a petition calling for the implementation of a low traffic neighbourhood in the Highbury area.

 

Helena Farstad presented a petition calling on the council not to remove planters installed by residents in a parking space in Mayton Street.

107.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Minutes:

Question (a) from Helena Farstad to Cllr Champion, Executive Member for Environment & Transport.

 

The Mayon street traffic improvement project - as documented in the Finsbury Park community plan - was consulted on through autumn last year and finally approved by the residents in early December 2019. Since then, a senior officer from the Traffic & Engineering team at Islington Council, confirmed that the scheme, that will stop motor vehicles, vans, and lorries using Mayton street as a rat run, leading to illegal levels of pollution in this residential street, was expected to be implemented by the end of that financial year (April 5th 2020).

 

On the 20th March there was still no date communicated for the scheme and a string of correspondence commenced raising concerns that due to the developments of the Covid-19 pandemic we might experience delays in the implementation. A response from the senior traffic officer was received on the 24th March that confirmed this concern, and we are now, albeit several written requests, repeatedly told that we need to wait for further information.

 

Lockdown is now easing, meaning traffic is increasing, and our street is rapidly returning to the unsafe, polluted, and noisy cut through that we so intently campaigned for with invaluable support from our local ward councillor, Cllr Heather.  In a public health crisis, that is Air Pollution, augmented by the Covid-19 pandemic, we do not have the luxury of time and our patience has run out. 

 

I therefore found it very difficult to celebrate the recent announcement of the conversion of St Peter's Ward, becoming a Low Traffic Neighbourhood during the first weeks of July,  when 'our scheme', signed off last year, is still without a date.

 

Please can the Councillor explain how she thinks this is acceptable, why the Mayton street traffic improvement project and our health & safety is not seen as priority and confirm when we will receive a date for implementation of the scheme?

 

As Cllr Champion was not present the question was answered by Cllr Watts:

 

Thank you Helena for your question and I am pleased to hear about the strong support for the planned improvements for Mayton Street. This reflects the feedback from the public consultation that we carried out in the area late last year. I’d also like to thank the Finsbury Park councillors for driving forward these plans, and their commitment to improving the area for everyone, in the local community. 

 

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 public health emergency all engineering schemes were suspended at the end of March 2020 when we had intended to implement the changes at Mayton Street.  In line with guidance on social distancing, it was unsafe to continue to implement schemes where social distancing could not be adhered to.

 

As you have hopefully been made aware, the works to deliver the changes at Mayton Street will now be carried out next month, between 10 August and 15 August 2020.

 

Together with other initiatives being delivered across the borough as part of our people-friendly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 107.

108.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Minutes:

Question (a) from Cllr Heather to Cllr Ward, Executive Member for Housing and Development:

 

A maintenance problem has been ongoing concerning the security gates at Haden Court in Finsbury Park Ward for longer than I care to remember - but certainly since January 2017. I have raised this matter with council officers as a problem on many occasions previously - but it is still not resolved.

 

Not only must this problem be an enormous inconvenience to residents, and compromise their security and safety, but it must also be costing someone a fortune – and I sincerely hope that is not residents or the council. For these reasons we really need to get this problem fixed once and for all. Can you therefore please look into this matter and report back to me on your findings.

 

Response

 

Thank you Cllr Heather for your question, and for continuing to be a true community champion for the residents of Haden Court by bringing this matter to my attention.

As part of our commitment to make sure everyone in our borough has a decent, safe and genuinely affordable home, when issues arise, we must respond in a timely way. As you know, whilst we have made good progress to improve the number of repairs completed first time, which now 87% - we are committed to increasing that rate, so that local people are not unnecessarily, inconvenienced by faults in their home or communal areas.

 

The security gate at Haden Court has unfortunately required considerably more repairs than would be expected given its age and it has also been upgraded following changes in the regulations governing automated gates. The amount of work needed has been compounded by repeated vandalism.

 

Council officers report that the gate is now working without issue. As we strive to do better, it’s important that we learn from past mistakes. I have asked council officers to look at the specifics issues on the Haden Court security gate, and learn the lessons so this does not happen again. We will continue to monitor its operation and if further issues arise we will consider putting it into a programme of planned works so it can be replaced with a stronger mechanism, with more security features.

 

Supplementary question

 

This issue has been ongoing since 2017 and the gate has needed to be fixed many times. Who is responsible for the cost of that, and how much money has been spent on this? The council should be a champion of efficiency and we need to learn from such issues. 

 

Response

 

I agree that the situation has not been acceptable and we need to put it right. I’m had to say that the council is responsible for the cost of the works and I will get the exact figure for how much has been spent on this. There are lessons to be learnt.

 

Question (b) from Cllr Clarke-Perry to Cllr Burgess, Executive Member for Health and Social Care

 

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance and value  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108.

109.

Islington Armed Forces Community Covenant: Annual Update pdf icon PDF 231 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Poole moved the recommendation in the report. Cllr Watts seconded.

 

The recommendation in the report was put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

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

110.

Resolution to extend six month rule pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Turan moved the recommendation in the report. Cllr Burgess seconded.

 

The recommendation in the report was put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

In accordance with Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972, Councillor Mouna Hamitouche MBE’s non-attendance at meetings be agreed until the end of the 2020/21 municipal year on the grounds of continued ill health and that the Council’s best wishes be conveyed to her.

111.

Constitution Update pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Turan moved the recommendations in the report. Cllr Burgess seconded.

 

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

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            That the amendments to the Constitution set out in the appendix to the report be approved;

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

112.

Chief Whip's Report pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Turan moved the recommendations in the report. Cllr Burgess seconded.

 

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

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            That Laura Eden be appointed as the substitute member for Carmel Littleton on the Health and Wellbeing Board for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.

(ii)          That an Independent Panel be established by the Council be agreed.

(iii)         That the Terms of Reference of the Independent Panel, as detailed in the report, be agreed.

(iv)          That Rosalind Stevens, Margaret Redfern and Ashuk Hussain JP MBE be appointed as members of the Independent Panel until the conclusion of the process.

113.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 152 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: ATONEMENT AND REARATIONS FOR THE UNITED KINGDOM’S TRANSATLANTIC TRAFFIC IN ENSLAVED AFRICANS

 

Councillor Russell moved the motion. Councillor Ozdemir moved the amendment. Cllr 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 the innovative work which has been carried out by the Runnymede Trust, the Black Curriculum and others to engage young people and teachers with more expansive, representative and inclusive histories of Britain,  to overhaul the curriculum to better educate about the United Kingdom’s role in slavery, and to support calls from the National Education Union to ‘review the curriculum to ensure it embraces the fact that Britain is rooted in Black and global history, achievement and culture and includes the achievements of Black Britons; as recommended by the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.’

(ii)  To continue to use the Council’s fantastic libraries and heritage services to further educate local people on key issues of Black history, slavery and systemic racial injustice;

(iii) To call on the UK government to urgently establish a commission to study the impact of the United Kingdom’s Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Africans on social, political and economic life within the UK and the rest of the world in order to begin understanding the legacy of slavery on the society we live in and to start conversations on how to address it, and within twelve months enact changes to learn the lessons of the commission and combat the impact of slavery on our society, including committing to holistic reparations taking into consideration various proposals in accordance with the United Nations Framework on Reparations;

(iv)To support City University’s review of ties to figures in the slave trade and to support a change to the name of Cass Business School. 

 

 

MOTION 2: MOTION ON CEASING SPRAYING GLYPHOSATE IN ISLINGTON

 

Councillor Russell moved the motion. The amendment was moved by Councillor Watts in the absence of Councillor Champion. Councillor Clarke contributed to the debate.

 

The amendment was put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

The motion as amended was put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)    To bring forward an action plan and timetable for an integrated approach to phase out the spraying of herbicides such as glyphosate, wherever possible, in the borough;

(ii)  To learn from London boroughs conducting trials and, look to implement alternative treatments if results prove cost effective, efficient at removing weeds, and offer increased environmental benefits;

(iii)To encourage more residents in Islington streets to take control of weed management and opt their street out of being sprayed, to help further reduce the use of glyphosate or other herbicides in the borough;

(iv)To continue to use glyphosate to tackle invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed, where there is a duty to eradicate, and no acceptable non-chemical alternative is available and seek to use stem injection rather than spraying where possible and practical.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 113.