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Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

246.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Councillor O’Sullivan for lateness

247.

Declaration of Substitute Members

Minutes:

None

248.

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

249.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 3 December 2020 be confirmed and the Chair be authorised to sign them

250.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

None

251.

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

252.

COVID 19 Update pdf icon PDF 234 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Sue Lukes, Executive Member Community Safety and Pandemic Response was present, together with Linzi Roberts Egan, Chief Executive

 

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

 

·         Since March Council’s emergency contingency plans have been routinely revised and updated for each service to ensure effective management of the pandemic in Islington. The Borough Emergency Control Centre continues to operate, together with the Islington Outbreak Control Board, together with the Fairer Together Partnership

·         Testing – the Assembly Hall test centre opened in December to provide Lateral Flow testing and in January the Vibast Centre opened in EC1V with the Arsenal Community Hub. From 18 January testing capacity across the 3 sites has increased to 10000-14000 per week and two further sites are planned

·         Vaccination role out – continue to work closely with neighbouring boroughs, and locally two primary care delivery sites Hanley and Bingfield opened in December 2020 focusing on vaccinations at present for the over 80’s. All acute hospitals across the borough have vaccine supply and are focused on health staff and outpatients. In addition roving teams have been launched and are focused on care home residents and staff. A mass vaccination site is ready, based at the Business Design Centre, and is planned to go live in February. As part of an initial wave of pharmacy led vaccination centres, planning is underway to assess the feasibility of a site at ARC Centre, and if this proceeds it will fill a geographical gap in local provision

·         Communication – continued to communicate extensively with residents, businesses and staff using a range of channels to reach target audiences. This has meant responding at pace to last minute Government guidance

·         Test and Trace support – the service operates 9.00 a.m – 5.00 p.m. 7 days a week, and brings together a range of services. Since March the We are Islington service has assisted over 15000 people, including help with food, financial assistance, medication support, fuel support and welfare concerns. In addition, We are Islington worked with NHS, Adult Social Care and Housing to design and implement a new Integrated Hospital Discharge Pathway as part of the We are at Islington offer. Discussions are underway to develop a similar offer to further support the NHS by preventing unnecessary hospital admissions and facilitating recovery of residents in the community

·         Workforce data and support – The percentage of staff unable to work peaked on 22 December at 23%, but this dropped to 21% in early January 2021. The percentage of staff working on site has remained approximately 30-40% throughout this period. On average 80.5% of critical services reported performing as normal

·         Public Health impacts – Islington came out of the second lockdown in early December with an average of 250 confirmed cases, and a positivity rate of 5-6%. Confirmed infections rose rapidly throughout December reaching a range of 1800-2000 per week and a positivity rate of 25% or higher. Noted that the underlying rate of infection would have been higher than this,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 252.

253.

Annual Budget 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 329 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Satnam Gill, Executive Member Finance and Performance was present for consideration of this report, and was accompanied by David Hodgkinson, Director of Corporate Resources

 

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

 

·         Welcomed the proposed Budget for 2021/22.  Despite a shortfall in government funding for COVID pandemic costs and 10 years of reduced funding due to government austerity measures, the committee congratulated the Executive Member Finance and Performance, and officers, for achieving a balanced budget under difficult circumstances

·         Noted that there is a projected funding gap of £34m over the next 3 years, which will need to be addressed in the medium term financial strategy

·         Welcomed the Council house building programme to provide 550 new homes, the investment in targeted youth support, and the commitment to invest £17m in a ‘greener/cleaner’ economy and in measures to achieve zero net carbon zero by 2030

·         Noted that, although there is confidence that the Budget for the next 12 months would be balanced, there are risks to the Budget in future years particularly in relation to the Collection Fund (Council Tax and Business Rates) due to the impacts of the COVID pandemic on employment and businesses

·         Noted that, in future years, the Budget could also be adversely affected by factors such as increased costs in Adult Social Care, Children’s Social Care, loss of parking income, and ongoing costs arising from the impact of COVID

·         Noted that the Council needed to plan for these future pressures, and to increase reserves, where possible, to ensure against pressures on the Budget in future years

·         Noted that Council Tax (excluding the Mayor’s precept) would be increasing by 4.99%, which would increase Band D Council Tax by £1.17 per week, and for those residents on Council Tax support by 10p per week

·         Reference was made to the Resident Impact Assessment (RIA), and that consideration should be given to the digital divide between certain sections of residents in the borough and that this should be included in the RIA in future, as this impacted on inequality in the Borough. This is particularly relevant in the current COVID pandemic, especially in relation to online learning for children in the borough. Councillor Gill stated that this could be considered by the Executive

·         Concern was expressed that it is unfair that Council tenants are facing increased charges to park on Council estates, whilst owners of larger electric vehicles were not facing comparable increases in charges. Councillor Gill indicated that this issue could be considered in future, in consultation with the Executive Member for Housing and Development and the Executive Member for Environment and Transport

·         The explanations for the savings proposals in relation to sexual health and alcohol and drug abuse services were noted

 

 

RESOLVED:

That the above comments be forwarded to the Executive for consideration

 

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Gill and David Hodgkinson for attending

254.

Performance Report - Quarter 2 pdf icon PDF 358 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Satnam Gill, Executive Member Finance and Performance and Ayesha Hakim Rahman, Head of Strategy and Change were present for discussion of the Quarter 2 Well Run Council item

 

Councillor Sue Lukes, Executive Member for Pandemic Response, and Keith Stanger, Service Manager for Community Safety and Crime Reduction

 

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

 

Well Run Council

 

·         A Member enquired as to the profile/demographic of those residents in arrears on Council Tax, and also of businesses in business rate arrears

 

Crime Statistics

 

·         Noted that the crime statistics had improved however there was no room for complacency given the recent tragic death of a young person

·         Good work has taken place in relation to domestic violence during lockdown, however there had been a rise in hate crime

·         There had been positive multi agency work in crime hotspots

·         A Member stated that drug crime has been rising, particularly in certain areas of the borough, and that mobile CCTV, when put in place, alleviates the problem, however when it is removed the problem returns. Drug crime is also related to other forms of crime, and there needed to be more action taken to identify and prosecute criminals

·         Reference was made to the fact that drug dealing was linked to gang crime, and that residents did not feel safe, despite improving statistics. The lack of effective neighbourhood policing exacerbated this. It was stated that there is funding available to upgrade CCTV in the borough, and a mobile CCTV van would shortly be available. ASB is reducing due to better partnership working, however more residents were at home, and this could be a reason for more crime being noticed. The CCTV offer in the borough is excellent, in comparison to other boroughs, and it was noted that upgrades were taking place, with mobile CCTV being focused on hot spot areas. Police CCTV also is available, however sharing of information by the Police on these cameras siting needs to be improved, and a multi-agency approach taken

·         It was noted that work is taking place in some hotspots, and that the EC1 newsletter was being produced to increase local intelligence and also to increase actions to combat crime, and to inform residents of the work taking place

·         In terms of neighbourhood policing, it was stated that there had been an increase of new Police officers in the borough, however these were new officers just from training college, and they needed to understand how to interact with communities, and engage with local Ward Partnerships and Safer Neighbourhood Boards

·         A Member referred to the huge increase in drug use/related crime in the EC1 area. This is affecting residents, particularly over the Xmas period in the Bunhill ward area. Concern was expressed that 14 people could have lost their lives, and that Peabody Housing Association, had failed to take appropriate action to address problems, and there needed to be more co-operation between Housing Associations and the Council. Incidents had been logged with the Council’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 254.

255.

Financial Monitoring - Month 8 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Gill, Executive Member Finance and Performance was present together with Paul Clarke, Director of Finance for this item

 

 

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Gill and Paul Clarke for attending

256.

Monitoring Report

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted and Members be informed of the date of the Committee to be held in May 2021