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Agenda and minutes

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149.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 192 KB

The Minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 July 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Ismail asked for it to be noted that she withdrew her questions at the previous meeting because councillors were not permitted to ask supplementary questions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 July 2021 be agreed as a correct record and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

 

150.

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:

It was noted that there were several interests to declare in relation to Motion 5, Supporting Public Sector Workers, and these would be dealt with at the start of the agenda item.

151.

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 for absence were received from Councillor Poole.

 

The Mayor explained that not all members could attend because the capacity of the Council Chamber had been reduced to accommodate social distancing measures.

 

(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 advised that he had attended a number of fantastic events celebrating the very best of Islington over the last few months.

 

At the end of August the Mayor attended the Go Africa Festival at the Ringcross Centre. This event showcased the talent, art and culture of the borough’s African communities and it was a privilege to attend.  The Mayor had also opened the Angel Canal Festival on 5th September. The Mayor commented that the event was well attended and he was pleased that the festival could go ahead after the difficulties of the previous 18 months. The Mayor had also attended the Whitecross Street Party and said it was fantastic to attend such a colourful and bold celebration of the diversity of our borough.

 

The Mayor was proud to attend the unveiling of the Windrush Statue at the Whittington Hospital. The Mayor spoke of the important contribution of the thousands of nurses and midwives who came to this country to work for the NHS and it was right that this was recognised through the statue.  

 

The Mayor commented on the work of his Mayoral Charities and the importance of fundraising and raising awareness of the serious issues they deal with.

 

The Mayor was honoured to attend the first conference on World Suicide Prevention Day and lead a minute silence on the steps of the Town Hall. The Mayor welcomed representatives of one of his charities, James’ Place, to the meeting, and commented that they would be speaking to the Council about their work in suicide prevention and supporting people through crisis later in the meeting.

 

The Mayor reminded councillors of the Mayor’s Inauguration Celebration on 1st October, the Freedom of the Borough Ceremony on 18th October, and the Remembrance Events in November.

 

The Mayor also paid tribute to Ken Watts, a D Day veteran from Islington, who passed away earlier in September. The Mayor said that the bravery of that generation should never be forgotten and the Council’s thoughts were with his family at this time.

 

(v)           Length of speeches

 

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

152.

Leader's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader spoke of her frustration at the current legislative position in relation to Council meetings and that councillors were not able to participate in meetings virtually. The pandemic was still ongoing and councillors should not be prevented from participatin council meetings if they are self-isolating, clinically vulnerable, or protecting family members with vulnerabilities. The Leader thanked the council staff working to ensure that council meetings are held as safely as possible. 

 

The Leader thanked the Mayor and said it was great to attend many events alongside him over the last couple of months. The Leader was delighted at the unveiling of the Windrush Statue at the Whittington Hospital and said that it was wonderful to have a permanent commemoration of the contribution they had made in the borough.  The Leader was also pleased to attend the Whitecross Festival and said it was brilliant event.

 

The Leader congratulated Councillor Champion and officers in the Environment department for winning an award at the Energy Awards for their innovative work on the Bunhill Energy Centre.

 

153.

Petitions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A petition was submitted by Nazir Ahmed in relation to the proposed development of housing for homeless people at Stacey Street.

 

A petition was submitted by Lucy Facer in relation to traffic on Liverpool Road.

154.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Question (a) from Ernestas Jegorovas to Cllr Ngongo, Executive Member for Children, Young People & Families: 

 

How many schools (as a percentage) in Islington have CO2 monitors installed, and how is the council supporting schools to increase ventilation in school buildings?

 

Response:

 

Thank you for a question. CO2 monitors are a vital tool for stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. Monitoring the levels of CO2 allows schools to identify locations that need more ventilation and take action to keep people safe. The Department for Education CO2 monitor programme is rolling out over the autumn term. Our special schools are given priority and should receive them from this month. However, this government has failed us as a local council by not giving us data on when schools will be allocated monitors. Officers are working closely with schools to provide advice on increasing ventilation in school buildings to ensure our young people can continue in education as safely as possible. Thank you again for your question; this Council will stand together with our schools and young people to make sure that their education is delivered in a safe environment.

 

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

 

In the absence of sufficient EV charging points, is there any provision for the council to provide a gunnel in the pavement to allow householders in street properties to safely charge an electric car from their home?  I've seen people putting out a cable with a plastic protector over it. Wouldn’t it be safer for vulnerable pedestrians to replace this with a gunnel, possibly paid for by the householder?

 

Response:

 

Thank you for your question. Enabling increased use of electric vehicles for journeys which can't be undertaken by walking or cycling or wheeling is a key part of our strategy to tackle both climate change and air quality. We are keen to support local people to switch to electric and we currently have 279 on-street electric vehicle charging points; we have a goal of installing 400 before the end of 2022.

 

I do appreciate that your suggestion sounds quite reasonable as a solution, particularly as, unlike other parts of the country, many people don't have access to private outside space to charge vehicles from. However, there are two main problems with your suggestion; if you cut gunnels into paving it creates weaknesses that can allow water in and can lead to the break-up of the paving thereby creating a trip hazard. Also, in Islington there are so many services under the pavements that it almost makes it impossible to dig on our pathways. We are trying to improve the condition of pathways, in particular for less mobile and disabled people who need them to remain clear and trip free, and cutting portions out on the pavement would make that task harder.

 

The following two questions received a joint response:

 

Question (c) from Roderik Gonggrijp to Cllr Champion, Executive Member for Environment & Transport:

 

It has come to our attention  ...  view the full minutes text for item 154.

155.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Question (a) from Cllr Convery to Cllr Ward, Executive Member for Housing & Development:  

 

Please can you report on progress towards Islington Housing signing Wayleave Agreements with telecommunications infrastructure providers such as

G Network and Community Fibre so that households on Islington Council's housing estates can benefit from the new generation of high speed 'fibre-to-the premises' broadband connection?

 

Response:

 

Thank you very much for your question. The pandemic has proven to us how important good internet access is to everyday life, as more and more people work from home or learn remotely. Many in our borough face a digital divide. The Council has worked hard to distribute laptops and broadband access devices to people who need them, but we must do more. Everyone should have access to high-speed broadband and this is a great way of doing it. We are currently in the process of requesting expressions of interest from companies for wayleaves to enable them to deliver community fibre services to our estates. Getting this process right is important for ensuring optimum service value for money and that the work is completed safely.  We've been working with a number of local authorities who have been through this process to learn best practice and ensure we provide the best possible service for local people. This is an exciting development that will bring high-speed broadband to estates across our borough. We aim to go out to market and October and will be keeping residents, members of the council, and stakeholders informed on progress and how they will be affected.

 

Supplementary question:

 

Thank you, I am delight to hear about the progress made. The Housing Scrutiny Committee is intending to have some oversight of this issue and I would ask that this is positively engaged with.

 

Response:

 

I’d be delighted to work with the Housing Scrutiny Committee on this issue. Thank you.

 

Question (b) from Cllr Poole to Cllr Comer-Schwartz, Leader of the Council: 

 

Will the Leader of the Council provide an update on efforts to save the Royal Northern War Memorial which is the only war memorial anywhere in this country on the at risk register.

 

As Cllr Poole was not present, the following written response was issued after the meeting:

 

I understand the significance of the Royal Northern War Memorial and the Council is committed to findings ways to save it.  The Council has already commissioned a report from a specialist heritage consultant which sets out what needs to be done.  A funding proposal is currently been worked on to support the appointment of a project manager to move this work forward including targeting potential external funding.  Governance will also be put in place to ensure all key stakeholders help to shape the programme of work as it moves forward, which I know you will play a key part in. Question (c) from Cllr Poyser to Cllr O’Halloran, Executive Member for Community Development:   

 

Many thanks to Cllr Shaikh and everyone in getting a sculpture stuck in the basement of the Town  ...  view the full minutes text for item 155.

156.

Presentation from Mayoral Charity - James' Place

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a presentation from Ellen O’Donoghue, CEO, and Dan Bracken, Head of James’ Place London, on the work of the charity James’ Place. The charity works to support men in suicidal crisis.  James’ Place had been selected by the Mayor as one of his charities for 2021/22.

 

Following the presentation the Mayor spoke about the importance of creating safe spaces for people to talk about their emotions and discuss difficult issues to ensure that people in crisis are able to receive help in the local community. Members of the Council then asked questions about the work of the charity and the services they provide.

 

The Council thanked James’ Place for their work and for their contribution to the meeting.

157.

A New Strategic Plan for the Council - Islington Together for a More Equal Future pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Comer-Schwartz moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Ward seconded.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)               That the new strategic plan be approved;
 

(ii)              That the approach to build on this plan over the coming year, by working with thought leaders and engaging with communities to capture lived experiences to enhance the delivery of our strategic programmes, be noted.

 

158.

Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Strategy pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Gill moved the recommendations in the report. Councillor Comer-Schwartz seconded. Councillor Russell contributed to the debate. Councillor Gill exercised his right of reply.

 

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

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)               That the ‘Impact on Prudential Indicators’ section of the report be noted;

(ii)              That the adoption of a Flexible Capital Receipts Strategy, as outlined in the ‘Proposed Usage’ section of the report, be agreed.

159.

Treasury Management Strategy pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Gill 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:

 

(i) That the following adaptions to the Council’s current approved borrowing counterparties be agreed:

(a) Individuals lending via a peer-to-peer platform where appropriate counterparty checks are conducted by the platform;

(b) Investors in capital market bonds and retail bonds issued by the council

 

(ii) That the updated Treasury Management Strategy Statement, attached at Appendix A to the report submitted, be approved.

160.

Constitution Report pdf icon PDF 184 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hyde moved the recommendations in the report.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the amendments to the Constitution set out in the appendices to the report be approved, to take effect from 1st October 2021. 

161.

Chief Whip's Report pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hyde moved the recommendations in the report.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)               That Councillors Ibrahim and Burgess be appointed to the Corporate Parenting Board with immediate effect for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed. 

(ii)              That Councillor Ibrahim be appointed as Young People’s Champion with immediate effect for the remainder of the municipal year or until a successor is appointed.

(iii)            That the appointment of Peter Fehler, Director of Law and Governance, as the Council’s Monitoring Officer be confirmed.

162.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 174 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.

 

·        Motion 1: An adaptation plan for climate resilience

·        Motion 2: Motion to support the Transport for All Equal Pavements Pledge

·        Motion 3: Islington Together let’s talk about a greener future

·        Motion 4: Opposing Central Government plans for voter ID

·        Motion 5: Supporting public sector workers

·        Motion 6: Equalities in Educational Outcomes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Motion 1: An adaptation plan for climate resilience

 

Councillor Russell moved the motion. Councillor Champion contributed to the debate. Councillor Russell exercised her right of reply.

 

The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

     (i)          To assess past and future risks to residents, organisations and the council from extreme weather events or hazards arising from a changing climate. This should include the impact of:

o   Surface water flooding from extreme rainfall

o   Extreme heat and cold in homes especially at night

o   Extreme temperatures in workplaces

o   Extreme wind, hail, rainfall, heat and drought

    (ii)          To identify risks to public health, social care, community resilience, natural assets, infrastructure and economic development including these in corporate plans and policies

   (iii)          To produce a plan and estimated costings for the adaptation and resilience measures required to protect the council, Islington residents, workers and organisations from the disruption due to future extreme weather events.

   (iv)          To identify methods of funding and delivering this work in consultation with London Councils, City Hall and national government along with local organisations and residents.  

Motion 2: Motion to support the Transport for All Equal Pavements Pledge

 

The Mayor noted that a proposed amendment had been circulated in the second despatch of papers.

 

Councillor Russell moved the motion. Councillor Champion moved her 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 the Transport for All Equal Pavements Pledge;

(ii)   To engage directly with organisations representing people with specific accessibility requirements;

(iii)  To call upon the Mayor of London through Transport for London (TfL) to respond to the Equal Pavements pledge with a comprehensive programme of support to boroughs to be delivered in this current term;

(iv)  To call on Central Government to fully fund the Council’s attempts to make Islington’s pavements more people-friendly.

 

Motion 3: Islington Together - let’s talk about a greener future

 

Councillor Champion moved the motion. Councillor Weekes seconded.

 

The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)          To hold a festival during COP26, to work together with local people on making our borough a greener, cleaner and healthier place by tackling the Climate Emergency;

(ii)         To continue to work with residents and local business, third sector and public sector bodies to cut the 91% of emissions generated by non-Council sources in the borough, promoting and incentivising efforts to reduce their carbon footprint;

(iii)        To continue to work with other local authorities and the Mayor of London to call on Central Government to fully fund the Council’s Vision 2030 strategy and demand a national plan to tackle the climate emergency.

 

Motion 4: Opposing Central Government plans for voter ID

Councillor Gill moved the motion. Councillor Ozdemir seconded. Councillors Lukes and Ismail contributed to the debate. Councillor Gill exercised his right to reply.

The motion was put to the vote and CARRIED.

RESOLVED:

(i)    To oppose the introduction of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 162.