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Agenda and draft minutes

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

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223.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 399 KB

The Minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 December 2022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 December 2022 be agreed as a correct record and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

 

224.

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:

None.

225.

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 Councillors Graham, Khondoker, Ozdemir, Nargund, and Nathan.

 

(ii) Order of Business

The order of business would be as per the agenda.

 

(iii) Declaration of Discussion Items

None.

 

(iv) Mayor’s Announcements

The Mayor had attended many important events across the borough over the last few months. The Mayor and Mayoress enjoyed celebrating Lunar New Year with Islington Chinese Association. They had received a very warm welcome and loved watching the impressive dragon dancing.

 

In January, The Mayor attended the Holocaust Memorial Day event in the Assembly Hall, along with many other councillors. The Mayor said it was a very moving event, and the theme of ‘Ordinary People’ was an important reminder of the ordinary people who were persecuted by the holocaust and other genocides, the ordinary people who perpetrated them, and also our own responsibility to create a fairer and more equal society.

In February, the Deputy Mayor attended the launch of Islington and Camden’s LGBT History Month. The Mayor thanked Forum+ for organising such an exciting programme of events to celebrate Islington’s LGBT communities.

 

Recently, pupils from Ashmount Primary School had visited the Town Hall, and The Mayor had also hosted the newly elected Youth Council in the Parlour. The Mayor commented that the young people asked great questions about the Council and the role of the Mayor. The Mayor congratulated Ameera Abdi on her election as the Islington Young Mayor.

 

The Mayor thanked those who had participated in the recent Charity Choir Event. Five school choirs and the Whittington Hospital’s “Sing for your Lungs” Choir had performend to raise money for the Mayor’s charities.

 

Finally, the Mayor reminded all councillors about the upcoming Civic Awards evening in the Assembly Hall on Tuesday 14 March.

 

(v) Length of Speeches

 

The Mayor reminded all councillors to take note of the timer and stay within the permitted length for speeches. The Mayor also reminded all attendees that the meeting was being webcast live on the Council’s website.

 

226.

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 began her remarks by expressing her joy in joining the Mayor recently at Highbury Roundhouse for the Octopus Network event celebrating Islington’s voluntary and community sector.

 

The Leader also thanked the Mayor for her words at the vigil held last week to remember the victims and all those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. The Leader was proud of Islington’s communities for coming together during this time, with donations from the public and mosques in the borough.

 

The Leader commented on the tragic murder of Jamaly Samba Baibu in Bunhill before Christmas; her thoughts were with his friends and family at this difficult time. The Leader said the council would do all it could to keep young people safe.

 

The Leader commented on the council’s work to tackle the cost of living crisis over the past year. This included investment in the Council Tax Support Scheme, the SHINE team that assists local people to save money on their energy bills, and investment in the IMAX team which helped residents access over £5 million of benefits they were entitled to in the last year.

 

The Leader commented on the budget proposals recommended by the Executive. These included a £1 million Hardship Fund, investing in building even more genuinely affordable homes, and prioritising vital services such as free school meals, libraries, and youth clubs. The Leader noted the £300 million of budget savings the council had been forced to make since 2010 due to government cuts, and emphasised that the council would keep campaigning to make the borough a more equal place.

 

The Leader was proud to be moving the Islington Together 2030 plan this evening. This would set out what the Council will aim to deliver over the coming years, concentrating on the issues local people care about, listening to residents, and being relentlessly focused on creating a more equal Islington for all.

 

The Leader of the Opposition responded by expressing her sadness over the devastating events in Turkey and Syria and gave thanks to Councillor Cinko-Oner for giving such a moving speech at the vigil held last week. Islington was home to many Turkish, Kurdish, and Syrian people and the borough had come together in a collective effort to fundraise and show support for all those effected by the devastating events.

 

The Leader of the Opposition remarked on the divisive language used in the media currently and how this had contributed to violent disorder at a protest outside of a Merseyside hotel housing asylum seekers. The Leader of the Opposition also reflected on the tragic murder of Brianna Ghey and expressed her condolences to her family and the LGBTQ+ community.

 

The Leader of the Opposition said that Green councillors stood with all those taking industrial action in this cost-of-living crisis.

Finally, the Leader of the Opposition stated that she was pleased to attend the reopening of the community centre at Highbury Roundhouse, a community space providing support to local people.

227.

Petitions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received 3 petitions.

 

The first petition was from Marcus Evans and related to the deaf provision at Laycock School.

 

The second petition was from Leyla Boulton and related to fitting energy saving measures on homes.

 

The final petition was from Amy Batten and related to mould and drains at Fieldview Court.

 

228.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 322 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Question (a) from Sebastian Sandys to Cllr Ward, Executive Member for Finance, Planning and Performance:  

How many Islington council taxpayers had the Single Person Discount to which they are entitled removed from their account in December after they failed to notice or respond to a single email sent in November that had no follow up. And might officers time be better used in future years by making short reminder telephone calls than by first removing the discount and issuing a new bill and then reinstating it and issuing a third bill once people notice.

 

Response:

Thank you for your question, Sebastian. Of the 4,645 residents sent an email review notice at the start of November 2022, a total of 1,692 were removed at the end of November 2022 as they were ineligible or did not respond to the review request.  We reinstated 697 following later representation from residents. The Service intention is to issue reminder alerts after the initial notices for future reviews. The review highlighted approx. 1k residents in band E to H range properties were no longer eligible for the reduction. Thank you again for your question.

 

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

As the new Liveable Neighbourhood schemes are rolled out across the borough, what is the plan for the existing 7 Low Traffic Neighbourhoods? Will they also benefit from investment to make them into Liveable Neighbourhoods?

 

Response:

Thank you for your question, Rebekah. As you know, our council is committed to creating a cleaner, greener, healthier Islington. Poor air quality kills thousands of Londoners every day and the time to tackle the climate emergency has long passed. Our people-friendly streets schemes are having a real positive impact. Air quality is improving, the number of people cycling has increased and traffic is falling within the neighbourhoods and on most boundary roads.

 

In our manifesto for the 2022 Local Elections, we committed to fully consult and co-design a range of Liveable Neighbourhoods across the borough, making changes to reduce car use and introduce more greening. Hundreds of people have joined recent meetings to hear about our plans and have their say on their local area. Thank you for joining me at some of them.

As part of these plans, the council is committed to uplifting the 7 PFS neighbourhoods which were delivered to make them liveable neighbourhoods. This will include implementing greening improvements, people-friendly pavements, child friendly pavements public realm improvements, boundary road improvements, and improvements near businesses.  The council has already started with some of this work with the delivery of Clerkenwell Green Public realm scheme, Charlton Place environmental improvements scheme, Cleveland Road Islington Greener together scheme and the improvements of numerous pavements across the 7 areas. The council is working on the delivery of the new liveable neighbourhoods schemes with the intention to return to the already delivered areas in 2025 to make them even better. Thank you again for your question Rebekah.

 

Question (c) from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 228.

229.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Question (a) from Cllr Pandor to Cllr Woolf, Executive Member for Community Safety:

How is the Council seeking to challenge inequality in the delivery of our VAWG services while addressing the impacts of intersectionality for survivors of VAWG?

 

Response:

Thank you for your question. As set out in Islington’s VAWG strategy, Islington Council is determined to challenge inequality throughout the delivery of our VAWG services, to prevent discrimination and to address the impacts of intersectionality. We need to build on the experiences of and listen to those that have been victims of domestic violence as their opinion is extremely important.

 

Recently we have recommissioned our Black, Asian and minoritised women’s IDVA service and have increased the funding to this service. Islington is committed to ensuring that Black, Asian and minoritised women’s needs are acknowledged and addressed through an intersectional lens, when providing support around the VAWG they face.

 

The partnership is committed to ensuring that key agencies working with survivors are fully trained in Black, Asian and minoritised women’s intersectional experiences and needs and actively encouraged to adopt a more inclusive approach. This is particularly important for the statutory agencies who have the most impact and influence on those survivors and their children’s lives. Just as we adopt a zero tolerance approach to VAWG, so too we take a zero tolerance approach to racism and discrimination, and we call on all agencies to do the same. We are working with our partner agencies to deliver training and workshops on anti-racist practice and intersectionality including at the VAWG conference in November 2022.

We are working to end all forms of violence and we provide VAWG support services that work with all genders. Thanks again for your question.

 

Question (b) from Cllr Burgess to Cllr Turan, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care:

I read with concern that private care brokers are making millions from arranging social care beds for people who are medically fit for discharge from hospital.  This is a terrible use of public funds.  The situation would not have arisen had the government properly funded social care over the past twelve years.  Please could I have your assurance that this is not happening in Islington.


Response:

I must firstly say I am very proud to be carrying the flag that you flew before me and thank you for all the great work you did and continue to do for our borough. I agree, public funds should not be used to line the pockets of private care brokers whose sole concerns are around profit. Islington Council does not work with private brokers. We have an in-house Brokerage team for adult services and a placements team for children and young people services whose role it is to arrange placements on the council’s behalf for our residents. They also broker all the care for adults and children’s needs, both in the community and when being discharged from hospital.  

Thank you again for your question.

 

Question (c) from Cllr Hamdache to Cllr  ...  view the full minutes text for item 229.

230.

Islington Together 2030 Plan pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Councillor Hamdache contributed to the debate.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:  

That the new strategic plan be adopted.  

 

231.

Budget Proposals 2023/24 and Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 607 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Councillors Hayes, McHugh, Ibrahim, Jegorovas-Armstrong and Convery contributed to the discussion.

 

Councillor Russell exercised her right to reply on the amendment. Councillor Ward exercised his right to reply on the budget report.

 

The amendment was put to the vote. Voting was recorded as follows:

 

For: Councillor Russell, Hamdache, Jegorovas-Armstrong

 

Against: Councillors Bell-Bradford, Bossman-Quarshie, Burgess, Champion, Chapman, Chowdhury, Cinko-Oner, Clarke, Comer-Schwartz, Convery, Craig, Croft, Gallagher, Gilgunn, Gill, Hayes, Heather, Hyde, Ibrahim, Jackson, Jeapes, Kay, Khurana, Klute, Mackmurdie, McHugh, Ngongo, North, O’Halloran, O’Sullivan, Ogunro, Pandor, Poyser, Shaikh, Spall, Staff, Turan, Ward, Wayne, Weekes, Williamson, Woolf, Zammit

 

The amendment was LOST.

 

The recommendations in the report were put to the vote. Voting was recorded as follows:

 

For: Councillors Bell-Bradford, Bossman-Quarshie, Burgess, Champion, Chapman, Chowdhury, Cinko-Oner, Clarke, Comer-Schwartz, Convery, Craig, Croft, Gallagher, Gilgunn, Gill, Hayes, Heather, Hyde, Ibrahim, Jackson, Jeapes, Kay, Khurana, Klute, Mackmurdie, McHugh, Ngongo, North, O’Halloran, O’Sullivan, Ogunro, Pandor, Poyser, Shaikh, Spall, Staff, Turan, Ward, Wayne, Weekes, Williamson, Woolf, Zammit

 

Against: Councillors Russell, Hamdache, Jegorovas-Armstrong

 

The recommendations in the report were CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

The General Fund Budget 2023/24 and MTFS (Section 3 of the report)

(i)    That the MTFS and balanced 2023/24 budget, including the underlying MTFS principles, in-year monitoring position (to date) and the  budget assumptions. (Paragraphs 3.1-3.46, Table 1, and Appendix A of the report), be agreed as recommended by the Executive.

(ii)   That the proposed 2023/24 net budgets by directorate (Paragraph 3.3, Table 2, and Appendix A of the report) be agreed as recommended by the Executive. 

(iii)That centrally held demographic growth be allocated to service budgets in-year once a more evidenced assessment is available and has been approved by the Section 151 Officer (Paragraph 3.18 of the report) be agreed as recommended by the Executive.

(iv)That the 2023/24 budget incorporates budget provision for manifesto commitments and provides additional support to residents in the current cost-of-living crisis (Paragraph 3.26-3.36 of the report) be noted.

(v)   That a one-off £1m Hardship Fund to support residents focussing on working households, with low incomes, who are facing large rent rises, for launch in advance of the 2023/24 financial year (Paragraph 3.28-3.32 of the report) be agreed as recommended by the Executive.

(vi)That the annual budget for the London Councils Grants Committee, following consideration by the London Councils Leaders’ Committee on 13 December 2022, be agreed as recommended by the Executive, and that this will be reported to the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Committee on 20 March 2023 for noting (Paragraph 3.39-3.40 of the report) be noted.

(vii)                    That the 2023/24 savings be agreed as recommended by the Executive, and it be noted that individual savings may be subject to individual consultation before they can be implemented. Further, that the draft savings proposals for 2024/25 and 2025/26 (Paragraphs 3.42-3.46, Table 4, and Appendix B of the report) be noted.

(viii)                  That the funding assumptions following the announcement of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 231.

232.

Chief Whip's Report pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hyde moved the recommendations in the report.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

(i)              To note that Councillor Burgess has stood down from the Grievance Committee and to appoint Councillor Ogunro as her successor;

(ii)             To appoint Councillor Heather as a substitute member of the Grievance Committee;

(iii)           To appoint Councillors Burgess, Chapman, Hamdache and McHugh as substitute members of the Investigating and Disciplinary Committee;

(iv)           That Councillor Ogunro be appointed as a member of the Grievance Committee for the remainder of the municipal year, or until a successor is appointed;

(v)            That Councillor Heather be appointed as a substitute member of the Grievance Committee for the remainder of the municipal year, or until a successor is appointed;

(vi)           That Councillors Burgess, Chapman, Hamdache and McHugh be appointed as substitute members of the Investigating and Disciplinary Committee for the remainder of the municipal year, or until successors are appointed.