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Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

224.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Councillor Bell-Bradford and Councillor Gallagher for lateness

225.

Declaration of Substitute Members

Minutes:

None

226.

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

227.

Membership/Terms of Reference 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted

228.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 17 September 2020 be confirmed and the Chair be authorised to sign them

229.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

The Chair stated that the order of business would be as follows –

Annual Crime and Disorder report

COVID 19 update

Financial Monitoring

Monitoring report

230.

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.

 

Minutes:

The  Chair outlined the procedure for Public questions

231.

Annual Crime and Disorder Report/Questions to Borough Commander/Executive Member pdf icon PDF 705 KB

Minutes:

Raj Kohli, Borough Commander, Catherine Briody, Keith Stanger, Curtis Ashton and the Executive Member Community and Pandemic response, Councillor Lukes were present and outlined the presentation, during which the following main points were made –

 

·         There were 27,333 total notifiable offences in 2019/20 representing a 7.8% decrease on 2019/20

·         Islington recorded a decrease in violence against the person in 2019/20, compared to 2019/20. Islington has also recorded a 18.5% decrease in knife crime in 2019/20, and a 30.5% decrease in knife crime with injury offences

·         Islington recorded a 4.9% decrease in youth violence, and no change in serious youth violence. Reductions in all main crime types, with the exception of drug offences and public order offences

·         Domestic violence offences have recorded increases in Islington, however there are larger increases across the MPS

·         Overall Islington has seen an increase of 13% in hate crime flagged offences, which is line with MPS as a whole

·         Policing Islington – Successes, Changes, Challenges – 9,594 stop and searches over the last 12 months with 2,045 positive outcomes and approximately half amounted to an arrest

·         Creation of violence suppression unit to focus on violent crime, and co-located officers in Public Protection and Street Population teams

·         Pedal cycle theft has increased significantly – has been investment in a Police cycle team

·         Operation Perch ran over Summer with 16 arrests, 64 stop and search, 21 weapons sweeps, 11 seized vehicles, 6 warrants, and numerous dispersals

·         During COVID an increase of 6% in domestic abuse. Sexual offences showed a significant reduction, and there has been a return to designated investigation units, which has had a significant impact on detection rates

·         Council invested £2m additional funding over 3 years against Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) to increase support, work with perpetrators, provide homelessness and housing support, and enhance skills and knowledge of frontline practitioners

·         There has been a comprehensive partnership response in Islington during the pandemic to VAWG, which has meant that services have been able to cope

·         Youth crime – main highlights - Youth safety strategy is in the process of being finalised, and the number of YOS young people attending school or AP is not as high as would be liked, but is increasing. i work coach has been recruited to increase the numbers in training and employment of at risk young people, and there are gangs borough briefings available for relevant practitioners and now include cross borough incidents

·         Key partnerships initiatives – co-ordinated plan for business compliance and social distancing guidance still ongoing, Review of ASB, Hate Crime, Drugs, and Prevent strategies for 2021-24 underway. Finsbury Park initiative focusing on Blackstock Road and EC drug market days of action agreed. New Orleans gang/group partnership response under review, knife crime bins being installed, and hate crime awareness week and links to Council’s Equalities programme. Modern day slavery awareness online training and CCTV improvements and control room upgrades, and Domestic Violence daily safeguarding progressing with full partner support

·         Tackling rough sleeping -  Sucesses – managed to prevent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 231.

232.

COVID 19 Update - Verbal

Minutes:

Linzi Roberts – Egan made a verbal report to the Committee during which the following main points were made –

 

·         It was reported that London had now moved to Tier 2 restrictions, and the 7 day incident rate was now 113 cases per 100,000 population. The positive case rate has remained steady at 6.1%, and more testing was taking place, and there is now a test site at Sobell for residents

·         Council staffing available for work remained steady at 86%/87%, and local outbreaks were small, and had mainly be seen in the student accommodation. However, successful work had taken place with Universities and this had managed to contain the outbreaks. There had been only 0.18% of the school population affected by COVID

·         It was stated that the Council were trying to get a second test site in the south of the borough, as it was felt that there was a different demographic

·         It was stated that work is taking place with businesses, and where enforcement was used it had been used appropriately, and there was a high level of communication with partners

·         Financial assistance continues to be offered to residents and businesses

·         In response to a question, it was stated that discussion were taking place with the Camden and Islington Mental Health Trust on increases in mental health problems and the Council are carrying out staff surveys to see the support that staff need and have the necessary support available

 

The Chair thanked Linzi Roberts-Egan for attending

233.

Financial Monitoring update pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Gill, Executive Member for Finance and Performance and David Hodgkinson, Director of Corporate Resources were present for discussion of this item during which the following main points were made –

 

·       Overall the Council is currently estimating total COVID related budget pressures of approximately £62m. This is a decrease of £2.4m from month 4 forecast. The Council has received a non-specific government grant funding of £18.5m as a contribution towards extra costs to the response to the pandemic crisis, which leaves a total funding gap of £43m. However it is now forecast that following Government funding there will be a deficit of £20m after grant funding

·       The Government has announced an income loss scheme whereby Local Authorities can claim back funding for 75% of lost income from sales, fees, and charges where these losses are greater than 5% of the Council’s planned income receivable. Any additional monies the Council will receive is not included in the budget monitoring forecast, and the Council will need to plan for losses in future years

·       The forecast for ring-fenced HRA is a deficit of £3.990m which relates to COVID 19 pressures

·       The COVID crisis is expected to lead to significant slippage of the 2020/21 capital programme into future years due to the pause in construction activity during the COVID crisis

·       Noted that there will be an additional Tier 2 payment of £700,000 which will show an improved financial position in month 6, and an additional payment of £8m, which had been confirmed that day, however this was not the full amount the Council had requested. It was noted that it was felt that the budget would cope in this financial year, but there would be problems if London went into Tier 3, and the Council would need to set a balanced budget in 2021/22

·       A Member referred to paragraph 4.7 of the report, and enquired as to the additional costs of agency staff in E&R and that he would e mail the Director of Corporate Resources on this

·       In response to a question as to how Islington’s financial position compares to other London Boroughs, it was stated that it was roughly comparable

·       A Member referred to whether additional help could be given to residents who had difficulty paying their Council Tax. It was stated that the Council provided £22m in Council Tax support to residents, and to provide further support would not be possible in the current financial situation. However, Council Tax collection in Islington is not decreasing at the same level as in many other London Boroughs

·       In response to a question it was stated that additional support for businesses would be dependent on the level of support provided by the Government, however if further funding was provided details of this would be advertised

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Gill and David Hodgkinson for attending

234.

Monitoring Report/Work programme etc.

Minutes:

The Chair stated that in view of the proposed number of items on the agenda for the next meeting she would look at revising the agenda for such meeting, and would inform Members thereon

 

Councillor Heather referred to the proposed item at the next meeting on determination of Scrutiny topic for 2020/21 and requested that this should be considered at the next meeting. The Chair stated that she would consider this and contact Councillor Heather in this regard