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Agenda and minutes

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

Note: Lx 


No. Item


Apologies for Absence

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Councillors Jeapes, Gallagher, Khondoker, Nathan, O’Sullivan, Gantly, Ismail, Chowdhury due to COVID restrictions and need to limit numbers attending


Declaration of Substitute Members

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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  

(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.




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Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 341 KB

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That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 2 December 2021 be confirmed and the Chair be authorised to sign them


Chair's Report

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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.


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The Chair outlined the procedure for Public questions


Presentation Executive Member Finance, Policy and Resources pdf icon PDF 621 KB

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


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


·         Key achievements and ongoing work – HR -Leadership and staff development, staff engagement and inclusion, and changes to systems processes and policy

·         Key challenges HR – HR vacancies to be filled following implementation of new HR structure. Most vacancies will be filled by Quarter 4. System improvements cannot take place until cloud migration has occurred June 2022. Challenging candidate driven recruitment market and impact of COVID on workforce

·         Noted key achievements for Digital Services and key challenges especially recruitment issues and supply chain issues. Next steps to continue the 2 year programme to migrate all IT services to cloud delivery

·         Democratic services – delivered a full annual programme of in person, COVID safe committee meetings, implemented a webcasting system, reinstated in person advice surgeries, completed induction for 6 new Councillors and managed increased casework. Key challenges noted, included induction may be impacted for new Members due to COVID. Next steps implementing hybrid technology and induction plans post May

·         Information Governance – Noted key achievements and successful implementation of new case management system. Key challenges note including demands on staff increased and compliance with FOI’s and SAR’s below ICO target of 90%. Next steps – procurement of a new system to manage mandatory paperwork for data protection, and increase pro -active publication of information

·         Legal Services - noted key achievements including successful defence of claim by OCADO , resisted threats of legal action over People Friendly Streets, and enabled Housing to be built on Dixon Clark Court. Key challenges include managing increased workload, fully implementing cloud based legal case management system, recovery of income due to pandemic and preparing for PFI 2 legal work to come back in house. Next steps include cloud based CASE legal management system, continue to promote development of staff, continue to work collaboratively with clienst to achieve best outcomes for residents

·         Electoral Services – Noted key achievements including delivery of GLA elections, full borough polling districts and polling places review following boundary revisions , successful delivery of ANGEL bid ballot renewal. Key challenges include delivering elections in a COVID safe environment, the annual canvas delivery, and the Election Bill implementation. Next steps to deliver household notification letters to all households

·         Delivery successfully local elections in May 2022

·         Transformation – Key achievements include establishment of Directorate Delivery Boards and Transformation Board to provide assurance and oversight of organisational change proposals, support a wide range of transformation programmes. Key challenges include strengthening key priorities and resources to achieve best impact for residents, difficulty in recruitment and funding. Next steps include embedding corporate approach to project and programme management, horizon scanning to help shape future direction, support allocation of resources in best possible way

·         Revenues – Key achievements include successful distribution of over £19M COVID  restart grants to 2,000 businesses, volume of outstanding customer  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Budget 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 219 KB

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Councillor Satnam Gill, Executive Member Finance, Resources and Performance was present, and outlined the report


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

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


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


·         Welcomed the proposed Budget for 2022/23.  Despite a shortfall in government funding for COVID pandemic costs, and 10 years of reduced funding due to Government austerity measures, the committee congratulated and thanked the Executive Member Finance and Performance, all Councillors and officers for achieving a balanced budget and fair budget under difficult circumstances.

·         Noted that the COVID crisis has had a massive impact on the Council’s work and how it delivers services to residents

·         Noted that the Council has had to make new savings of £3.530m in 2022/23, in addition to those previously agreed, with local government funding failing to keep up with rising costs and demand for local services

·         In addition, COVID funding from the Government had led to a shortfall in the budget necessitating further budget reductions

·         Noted the proposed Council Tax, and social care precept increases, plus the Mayor of London’s proposed increase, and that this will result in a total increase of 4.27% for Islington Council Taxpayers, although only 1.99% of this was a rise in additional Council Tax

·         The Committee noted the increases in fees and charges, and the HRA and capital programme proposals

·         The Committee expressed concern at rising energy costs, plus high current and projected inflation rates, and that this would place financial pressures on both residents and the Council. In addition, pay increases for staff may impact on the budget, however it was felt that it in the circumstances it was a prudent budget, and contingencies and reserves were available if necessary in 2022/23, however if these pressures persisted this would impact on future budgets

·         The Committee were of the view that the Fair Funding review when published may impact Islington and other London Boroughs adversely, and that co-ordinaton should take place with other similarly affected Local Authorities to lobby the Government in this regard

·         Welcomed the extra investment in the budget and in particular –

An extra £676000 into the Council Tax support scheme

Quadrupling the size of childcare bursary scheme to £160000

Investing an extra £1m per year through Fairer Together

Investing an extra £13.3m in a host of net zero carbon projects

Committing an extra £500k for an improved youth offer

£2m programme to tackle all forms of violence and abuse against women and girls

Another 228 Council home starts by the end of the year

·         Welcomed the proposal to share community levies amongst wards

·         Noted the increase in the NLWA levy, linked to fluctuating tonnages and balances and that this was expected to ‘even out’ over a period of 2/3 years

·         Noted the COVID 19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the Council’s work and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Scrutiny Review - Employment, Business and Council Finances

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Paul Clarke, Director of Finance presented a verbal update on this item, and during consideration the following main points were made –


·         Noted that from the last witness evidence submitted in month 3 that in month 8 there had been an overall COVID movement of an additional £36k and the budget was relatively stable at month 8, compared to month 3. The pressure resulting from when the two periods were compared shows a modest increase in forecast despite significant additional costs in relation to Community Wealth Building fire cladding works. When this ‘one off’ item is set aside, the overall movement has been positive between the periods. COVID spend had increased by £230k over the period, however the costs were mainly in connection with increasing the vaccination programme. There had also been a reduction in waste collection income, and the additional costs in relation to community wealth building fire cladding works



That details of the £957k overspend on fire cladding works in the Community Wealth Building, referred to above, be circulated to Members



The Committee thanked Paul Clarke for attending




Financial Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 267 KB

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Paul Clarke, Director of Finance was present and outlined the report


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


·         Noted that overall the Council is estimating budget General Fund pressures of +£24.096m. This is an increase of £1.315m since the previous reported position, due to adverse movement within the Community Wealth Building Directorate

·         After allocation of available resources from contingency budgets and COVID 19 funding, this reduces to a net overspend of £0.447m on the General Fund

·         The Housing Revenue Account is currently forecasting an in year deficit of £+9.27m, an increase of +£0.464m since the previous reported position. This deficit is predominantly in relation to capital financing costs. This is a timing issue and not a reflection of the viability of the schemes and represents slippage in the programme

·         At the end of month 8 the non- housing programme had incurred £8.2438m of capital expenditure, and the non-housing programme had incurred £45.936m. Total capital expenditure of £54.4m had been incurred against a revised capital budget of £228.748m. This means that there is a forecast re-profiling of £65.35m into future financial years. There is a risk of further slippage over the remainder of the financial year





The Chair thanked Paul Clarke for attending


Monitoring Report

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That the report be noted