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Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

314.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors Gantly, Ismail, Shaikh and Wayne. Councillors Heather, Jeapes, Gallagher for lateness

An apology also received from Paul Clark – Director of Finance

315.

Declaration of Substitute Members

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None

316.

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

317.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 29 July 2021 be confirmed and the Chair be authorised to sign them

318.

Chair's Report

Additional documents:

319.

Public Questions

For members of the public to ask questions relating to any subject on the meeting agenda under Procedure Rule 70.5. Alternatively, the Chair may opt to accept questions from the public during the discussion on each agenda item.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair outlined the procedure for Public questions and that any questions should be forwarded to the Clerk following the meeting for a response due to social distancing requirements

320.

Scrutiny Review - Employment, Business and Economy/Council's Financial position pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Maxine Holdsworth – Director of Corporate Housing, Matt West Director of Property Services, David Hodgkinson – Director of Corporate Resources, and Stephen Biggs, Corporate Director Community Wealth Being, and Caroline Wilson – Head of Inclusive Economic Development  made presentations and presented reports in relation to this item. Councillor Satnam Gill, Executive Member Finance, Performance and Resources was also present

 

During the presentations and consideration of the reports the following main points were made –

 

Maxine Holdsworth/Matt West – Housing Services

 

·         Housing services – adapting to the pandemic – normally 1000 staff all site based, in pandemic first lockdown 400 on site. 85% staffing availability at all times, high levels of staff dealing with sickness, caring responsibilities etc.

·         Staffing Spring 2021 – since June staffing levels remained stable at 90%. Regular testing, sickness levels average, 500 staff on site

·         Estate services and communal repairs – caretaking services able to provide services as normal throughout most of pandemic period, cleaning and disinfecting increased, PPE required for staff, adapted ways of working, Team ran logistics hub for food distribution and did We are Islington deliveries

·         Planned works and new build – many of contractors for new build and planned maintenance furloughed staff, external works and new build started after first lockdown, slower delivery on some sites, risk assessments carried out with contractors focused on resident safety, site by site visits by Council staff throughout, let new partnering contracts and mobilised new contractors

·         Gas safety – duty to carry out 100% safety checks remained but legal process closed down, guidance for shielding households, staff required to wear PPE in residents homes

·         Income collection – rent arrears increased but have stabilised, numbers moving to UC accelerated substantially, residents offered support  and information about accessing debt and support services

·         Tenancy management – call handling moved to home working, significant management an office presence maintained for face to face and transactions that could not be switched to remote. Processes adapted to safe introductory virtual viewings, sign ups mainly by phone, first point of contact for tenancy issues, the Triage service experienced high call volumes over several months in 2021 and service standards fell over a 3 month period. New systems monitoring capacity were introduced for more responsive and better quality Triage services. Call handling standards are now high, and service improvement recovery plan in place

·         Homelessness – accommodated over 350 people under Everyone in, Procured new good quality accommodation and wraparound services for rough sleepers. All rough sleepers in at once, increased demand on supported housing and support services. Accommodation had to be sourced quickly and costs relatively high. Additional NRPF households who would not usually qualify for services

·         New challenge – funding provided by Government not designed to cover costs of move from temporary accommodation, exit strategies into long term accommodation, developing a long term holistic support pathway for rough sleepers, including funding for new accommodations, and multi-disciplinary support

·         Housing allocations – social distancing stopped viewings, and Choice Based Lettings suspended April to July 2020. Properties  ...  view the full minutes text for item 320.

321.

Financial Monitoring pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

David Hodgkinson – Director of Corporate Resources was present and outlined the report. Councillor Satnam Gill Executive Member Finance, Performance and Resources was also present

 

During consideration of the report the following main points were made –

 

·         Noted the budget forecast remains uncertain at this early stage of the  financial year and COVID will have a continuing significant ongoing impact on the Council’s budget for the foreseeable future

·         The HRA is currently forecasting an in year surplus predominantly in relation to capital financing costs that are now expected to be incurred in future financial years

·         Overall the Council is currently estimating total General Fund budget pressures of (+22.731m). At present there are no forecast Council Tax or business rates income budget variances. After the allocation of available COVID 19 funding and an assumed allocation from contingency, this reduces to a forecast overspend of (+£0.181m) on the General Fund

·         At the end of month 3 capital expenditure of £17.442 had been incurred against a 2021/22 full year forecast of £176.211m against a 2021/22 full year forecast of £203.203m

 

 

 

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Gill and David Hodgkinson for attending

322.

Corporate Performance Report pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ayesha Hakim Rhaman,  Head of Transformation was present and outlined the report

 

Councillor Satnam Gill, Executive Member Finance, Performance and Resources was also present

 

During consideration of the report the following main points were made –

·         Noted that there had been a considerable rise in ASB and race/hate crime offences

·         Noted that Islington has the second high free school meals eligibility in England

·         Noted that there had been 86 new care home admissions

·         Reference was made to the excellent work in keeping Libraries open during the pandemic and that there had been an additional 2897 additional library joiners and the fact that libraries and leisure centres had been kept open

      should be emphasised

·         Discussion took place as to the KPI’s where the Council had little/partial control such as crime and employment and it was stated that the Council did have partnership involvement in these areas however this was a challenge

·         In response to a question as to reporting on PI’s to relevant Scrutiny Review Committees it was stated that this was unlikely to change however any proposed changes in reporting would be notified to relevant Scrutiny Committees

·         Noted that there had been 53 new Council houses built however targeting of 93 new  builds in 2021/22

·         Noted 67 residents had been assisted into employment with an outside employer

·         Noted that Leisure centre income target had not been achieved during the pandemic, however income was starting to increase

 

 

 

 

RESOLVED:

That the Annual Performance report 2020/21 be noted and that the Council priorities are being reviewed as part of the development of a new Corporate Plan, with the 7 new priorities at Appendix A to the report being refreshed to reflect the new priorities. In the interim reporting by Directorate may be a sensible option

 

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Gill and Ayesha Hakim Rahman for attending

323.

Performance update - Quarter 1 Resources pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ayesha Hakim Rahman Head of Transformation was present and outlined the report

 

Councillor Satnam Gill Executive Member Finance, Performance and Resources was also present

 

During consideration of the report the following main points were made –

 

·         The Corporate Plan was taking account of the new Directors and allocation of KPI responsibility but this had not yet been agreed

 

 

 

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted and that the Council’s priorities are currently being reviewed as part of a development of a new Corporate Plan with the 7 outcomes set out at Appendix A being refreshed to reflect the new priorities. In the interim reporting by Directorate may be a sensible option

 

 

 

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Gill and Ayesha Hakim Rahman for attending

324.

Monitoring Report

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A Member expressed the view that the meeting had been very lengthy that evening and that in future agendas should be shorter in order to enable adequate consideration to be given to later items on the agenda

 

The Chair stated that she would look at agendas in future, however with the items on the agenda that evening it had been anticipated that there would be a long meeting.

The Chair added that at the last meeting the Committee had decided to not consider the regular COVID 19 item to enable more time for consideration by the Committee of other items on the agenda

 

A Member stated that Members also had a responsibility to ensure that they kept questions to a minimum and not ask multiple questions on each report, and that this should be borne in mind at future meetings

 

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted