Venue: Committee Room 4, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions
Contact: Ola Adeoye 020 7527 3044
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Councillor Clarke-Perry.
Declarations of Substitute Members
There were no declarations of substitute members.
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.
There were no declarations of interest.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 10 September 2018 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.
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.
The Chair informed the meeting that public questions will be taken during consideration of each item on the agenda.
Scrutiny Review Witnesses - Garden Class Room & Octupus Network
Marnie Rose, Director of Strategy & New Programmes of The Garden Classroom, and Julie Parish and Anita Gracie of Octopus Network, informed Members of the work carried out by their organisations, its challenges and future plans.
During discussion the following main points were made.
Julie Parish informed the meeting that Octopus
Network, a small charity, initially carried out most of its
activities in community centres, offering and hosting a range of
services and events. Over the years, however, it has expanded into
the use of open spaces and parks. Julie Parish welcomed the support
provided by the Parks Department.
The meeting was informed that Octopus Network had
received more than £900,000 external funding over a number of
years, which enables it carry out a range of activities across the
borough. It supports residents in designing gardens and open
spaces, growing food to eat and running workshops in community
centres for residents. One of the notable and successful activities
is the Environmental Summer Schools, which are run in partnership
with Islington Green Space for Children, from ages 5-11, and their
The “Trail Blazer”, which is run in
partnership with Islington Community Hubs Network, aims to create
unique living/learning spaces that provide new outdoor learning
environments for local communities to develop, design learning
activities, manage and enjoy.
In response to a question about promoting
“Urban Wild Places” in parks, the meeting was advised
that, with the support of Islington Parks, Octopus would endeavour
to establish an area within the park where wildlife could thrive,
so that young children could visit, observe and learn about bees,
butterflies, frogs, etc.
The Garden Classroom (TGC) comprises volunteers who
help deliver high-quality hands-on sessions in green spaces across
Islington. TGC works with individuals who have an understanding of
outdoor life and have a passion for nature and the
TGC works in partnership with Islington Council, and
other councils, community gardens, schools and businesses, to bring
real benefits to the community, which it believes will boost staff
morale, and engage client or customer bases. Members were advised
that TGC works with schools to deliver its curriculum through
outdoor learning in parks and gardens.
The meeting was informed that more than 62,000
children had been engaged in various outdoor activities over the
years, which accounts for 28.5% of what TGC provides. Since there
is a recognition that city dwellers experiencing myriad challenges,
such as overdevelopment, pollution and insufficient open spaces,
are missing out on outdoor activities, TGC also engages with
disadvantaged children and visits schools.
Although TGC works with other departments, it
currently has a positive working relationship with Public Realm: it
helps to deliver more than 200 hours of activities in the
Ecological Centre, instead of the 60-70 hours agreed in the
Challenges include lack of shelter and toilet
facilities for schoolchildren in the park. Anti-social behaviour
and dog fouling is an issue in some of the parks, there is a
noticeable decrease in such activities particularly after community
engagement in the space.
· With ... view the full minutes text for item 235.
The Committee considered the Q1 Performance
Members were informed that the number of residents supported back
into work is above target compared with last year. To minimise
duplication, partners now share details of their local offer,
consult with the partnership when changing or adapting delivery,
share data on their outcomes, and work collectively to identify and
The Council recognises the essence of supporting parents into work
as a means of breaking the cycle of poverty, particularly in light
of the very high levels of child poverty that is related to parents
on out-of-work benefits. Members were advised that although the
Council, with 119 outcomes, has exceeded the profiled target for
quarter 1, council services and partners aim to support at least
425 parents into employment this year.
iWork continues to trial different
models of outreach so that support is effectively targeted at the
economically inactive residents, including parents who don’t
claim unemployment benefit, under 25s, and residents on disability
It continues to be a challenge to engage unemployed young adults
aged 18-25, but council services and partners will continue in the
council’s aim to support at least 360 young people into
employment during the year. The meeting was informed that Network
Aspire, in conjunction with employers such as Nando’s and Caffe
Nero, provides hospitality masterclasses to address this
In relation to issues around the night-time economy, the Executive
Member for Economic Development acknowledged that this had not been
looked into but that it would be an area of interest in the future.
Members were advised that the Council will continue to encourage
employers to introduce the London Living Wage, and increase the
skill of its residents to prepare them for better-paid
In response to a request for comparison data about the increasing
number of apprentices that had moved into further employment or
training, the Executive Member for Economic Development indicated
that it would be circulated. In addition, the Director Employment,
Skills and Culture informed the meeting that a progress report on
the Apprentice strategy, which highlights the progress in, and
challenges of, retaining apprentices, would be brought to Committee
Members were informed that the Council continues to embed social
value in its council commissioning/procurement exercises by
creating apprenticeships and entry-level jobs with its suppliers
for local residents. Members were informed that a Task and Finish
Group, headed by the Corporate Director Housing and Adult Services,
is reviewing the number of Islington residents who have gained
apprenticeships with council-contracted suppliers.
On concerns over the low skills and poverty levels of its
residents, the meeting was informed that the Council’s Adult
and Community Learning Service is planning to make lifelong
learning more accessible by offering night schools and establishing
a Joint Directorate Outreach Team to address the issue.
· In response to an observation that children of West Indian origin, and white working-class children, had not been participating in the summer reading challenge held in libraries, the Executive Member indicated that she would have a ... view the full minutes text for item 236.
The Committee received a presentation on the 2017/18 Annual Report. A copy of the presentation would be interleaved with the agenda.
In the discussion, the following points were
The Executive Member for Economic Development informed the meeting
that 1,334 Islington residents had been supported back into paid
In comparison with other central London boroughs, Islington Council
had the highest proportion of school leavers going into
The Council had launched its health and work programme, which is
More than 43,000 sq ft of space has been secured from developers to
support local businesses and entrepreneurs. In addition, the
£1 million funds received from the Mayor of London will
enable the Council to deliver a £2 million affordable
workspace programme in Finsbury Park.
As a local economic agent, Islington Council continues to initiate
internal work to co-ordinate and increase the Council’s
approach to social value through its procurement process and
In a recognition that local residents enjoy the benefit of a
thriving local economy, a new Inclusive Economy Team had been
created to manage the process.
On the reported 8% of Islington’s working-age population that
is identified as sick and of ill-health, Members requested a
further breakdown of the sickness data to be provided.
In response to concerns about the increasing gentrification of the
market area by neighbouring Hackney Council, the Service Director
Planning and Development informed Members that she would raise the
issue with her counterpart in Hackney.
On the question of whether Council data existed on the number of
people engaged in the night-time economy, the Executive Member for
Economic Development reiterated that, although the Council has no
data, it will continue to encourage employers to sign up to the
London Living Wage and to consider measures of improving in-work
In response to a suggestion that the favourable business
arrangements of charities in town centres should be reconsidered
because other small businesses were disadvantaged, the meeting was
informed that this was a planning policy issue and could be
addressed only through national legislation. The Executive Member
for Economic Development indicated, however, that she would
investigate as to what could be done to support other
The meeting was informed that although the Preston Model is
recognised as a good example in terms of supporting and
revitalising the local economy, and lessons have been taken on
board, over the years Islington Council has introduced measures,
such as some of its services being brought back in-house, to
improve the wages and income of staff. In addition, the Executive
Member reiterated that the Council’s Planning Policy has
resulted in the Council being able to secure a commitment from
developers of 50% of affordable housing for residents and of
affordable workspace for emerging businesses – peppercorn
rents for up to two years.
· It was noted that the Council continues to work with anchor institutions, such as the NHS, large public sectors, and universities, to deliver apprenticeships and ... view the full minutes text for item 237.
Councillor Webbe gave a presentation on the work of the Environment & Transport Directorate. A copy of the presentation would be interleaved with the agenda.
In the discussion the following points were
The meeting was advised that residents should continue to be
supported by initiatives such as “Energy Doctor in the
Home’, “Warmth on Prescription” and “Warm
Home Discount”, which had resulted in lower energy
2,600 residents had switched their energy supplier from one of the
six main providers to the Council’s Angelic Energy, which was
launched in October 2017. In addition, approximately 72% of those
who signed up have switched to pre-payment meters.
In 2017/18, 2,548 vulnerable residents had been referred, with each
being offered an average of four to five interventions. Members
were reminded that, through SHINE, Islington Council has achieved
an estimated average annual saving of £213 and, most
important, as a result of its success SHINE funding has tripled and
expanded across all London boroughs.
The meeting was advised that through the Solar Together London
initiative, more than 400 residents had registered interest and
over 100 properties had accepted the formal offer, thereby
increasing solar energy in the borough by 25%. Members were
informed that with more than 700 LED light fittings installed at
the Town Hall had reduced electricity consumption.
Air pollution monitors have been placed outside schools to protect
the health of the school children, and the Council, in partnership
with Hackney, had introduced the first Ultra-low Emission Vehicle Zone to help tackle the
city’s air pollution. In addition, the anti-idling campaign
is being promoted around a number of key hotspots.
Members were informed that road junctions in the borough that are
identified as dangerous are being transformed: Archway gyratory had
been reconfigured and construction around Highbury Corner is
ongoing, solely to improve pedestrian safety and to create safer
cycle routes. In response to concerns about other dangerous
junctions in the borough, the meeting was informed that where a
junction is identified as dangerous, it will be included in the
schedule of work. The Service Director, Planning and Development
indicated that she would look into the Drayton Road
The Executive Member for Environment and Transport highlighted the
Council’s plan to install a further 100 electric vehicle
charging points over the next 12 months to add to the 87 units
already in place.
The meeting was informed that although recycling rates fell in
2017/18 from 31.6% to 29.5%, the residual waste per household
figure remains the lowest it has ever been. Members were also
advised that the new fleet vehicles had resulted in a substantial
and consistent reduction in missed collections.
Members were advised of the new street cleaning service, launched
in June 2018, which covers every road in the borough five days a
· In response to a question regarding Islington’s transport strategy, the Executive Member advised that, despite the Mayor of London’s tight submission deadline of February 2019, opportunities would be provided to ensure that councillors and various stakeholders would ... view the full minutes text for item 238.