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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Ola Adeoye  020 7527 3044

Items
No. Item

12.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Debono and Lukes.

13.

Declaration of Substitute Members

Minutes:

Councillor Nathan substituted for Councillor Lukes.

14.

Declarations of Interests

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:

There were no declarations of interest.

15.

Minutes of Previous Meeting

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 21 June 2018 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

16.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

The Chair set out the procedure for public questions and the filming of meetings.

 

17.

Order of Business

Minutes:

The order of business would be as per the agenda.

18.

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:

None

19.

Fire Safety on the Whitecross Estate - Witness Evidence

Minutes:

The Committee received verbal evidence from residents on the Whitecross Estate regarding Peabody’s response to the fire safety concerns.

 

The following main points were noted in the discussion:

  • The Chair informed the meeting that although the Council had limited amount of influence over Peabody’s activities the committee would gather evidence and submit its conclusions to Peabody.

  • Committee heard evidence that residents became aware of Peabody’s plans to evacuate vulnerable residents only through letters posted through their letter boxes on 11 June 2018 with no specific details as to when it would occur or the reasons. In addition no messages had been left on their landlines or mobile phones,  nor had any Peabody personnel  immediately attended the tower blocks to explain the situation.

  • Residents acknowledged that in the last two weeks since the intervention by ward councillors, communication has improved between the landlord and its residents. However,  residents had not seen or received correspondence from their Estate Manager

  • Peabody’s responses and actions regarding safety had caused anxiety not only among elderly and vulnerable residents but able residents especially as further enquiries only resulted in further confusion as Peabody staff had not been briefed or aware of the evacuation plans.

  • Members were informed that as fire alarms had not yet been installed in flats, Peabody had installed a Klaxon, an electronic horn in the landings as a further prevention measure in case of any fire outbreaks. In response to a question regarding its misuse, the meeting was informed that the units are monitored by fire marshals so as to avoid any incidents of false alarms.

  • Councillor Ward acknowledged that although the Council had taken over the management of the waking watch in the towers, Peabody would cover the costs.

  • A resident in describing the state of affairs was concerned that for over 6 days no information had been made available to residents and was alarmed when she walked into the building and noticed a waking watch personnel which then increased over the next few days on all floors.

  • A resident was concerned that Peabody having convened a meeting for residents had not offered transport to the venue especially as some of the residents were elderly with different disabilities. In response to a question about the vulnerable residents, the meeting was informed that Peabody had assured Members at the previous meeting of the Committee that they had been in touch with all the vulnerable residents and had been assessed and had Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans.

  • With regards to the evacuation time of 15 minutes as suggested by the assessor, residents were concerned that this was not practicable for those residents who were physically disabled and those with mental health issues. The meeting was informed that Peabody had offered to decant the vulnerable residents

  • A Member suggested that it would have been appropriate for Peabody to have set up a temporary office within the estate manned by their staff to respond to resident’s enquiries and placing a notice in the lobby advising of additional  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.