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.
Contracts - Any current contract for
goods, services or works, between
(d) Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.
licence to occupy land in the council’s area for a
(f) Corporate tenancies -
Any tenancy between the council and a body
(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 substitute members.
Members requested an officer
update on the following actions listed below -
Comparison data for
neighbouring authorities on the number of apprentices moving into
employment. The officer’s
commitment that the Apprentice Strategy will be brought to
Committee for consideration at a future meeting was noted. (page 4
of the minutes)
The breakdown of sickness
data of Islington’s working-age population (page 5 of the
That the minutes of the meeting held on 5 November be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.
The Chair informed the meeting that as part of
the ongoing scrutiny review, a number of site visits have been
arranged and urged members to respond quickly if interested in
attending. A suggestion to include a visit to Penn Road as an
example of volunteer engagement was noted.
A briefing or update from the Recycling
Manager could be facilitated if members were interested in
attending such a session.
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.
In response to questions raised by a member of the public regarding the disposal and recycling of electronic devices, household solar installation and air quality measures in the borough, the Chair requested that the questions be sent to the Committee Clerk for officers’ responses.
The Chair informed Members that officers had not been asked to attend this meeting. Any issues or queries arising from the report should be sent to either the officers or the Committee clerk.
Scrutiny Witness: Role of the Assistant Parks Manager and Park Ranger Service
Members received a presentation from Bhupesh Thapa, Assistant Parks Manager, and Sally Oldfield, Nature Conservation Manager, on their roles, day to day operations and the management challenges in Islington parks. A copy of the presentation is interleaved with the agenda.
The following points were
noted in the presentation and in the discussion:
The Area Parks Team consists of
· the Nature Conservation Manager who manages the ecological centre and 3 nature reserves,
3 Assistant Park Managers who are responsible for
the day to day operations of the 124 parks across the borough, and
are supported by 2 Community Rangers and 3 apprentices.
· The Area Parks Team is the first contact for residents, the press and event managers on a range of issues such as events in parks, anti-social behaviour and rough sleeping. Last year, 129 events were held in Islington parks with over 65,000 people attended. Along with the ground maintenance works, the team has the responsibility for managing projects which have been commissioned by other council services in the park. The team facilitates fun fairs in the summer months, which can be a challenge, especially in terms of public attendance and health and safety issues.
The Nature Conservation team safeguards the
Biodiversity Action Plan by making sure that assets and
infrastructure are well maintained.
The Team regularly liaises with both internal and
external stakeholders from formal groups such as Friends groups to
institutions such as NHS in order to maximise the use of open
spaces and parks.
It plays an active role in facilitating community
engagement through volunteering as it recognises the benefit in
promoting public involvement in parks.
Currently there are 36 friends groups.
It engages with diverse groups and communities, in
particular vulnerable groups such as those with learning
difficulties, the NHS, schools and children. They also receive requests for work experiences
There is a regular programme of volunteering for
those who want to provide their services on a regular basis such as
nature conservation groups. In addition, Park Rangers offer ad hoc
volunteering session across the borough. Other volunteering groups
include the Friends groups and companies who want to carry out team
building activities for their staff.
The team supports gardening groups in parks and on
housing estates where residents offer to take up an area and
develop it by growing food or planting.
· Residents volunteer for many different reasons such as improving their health and physical well-being, especially retired people, learning new skills and meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures.
Volunteers are a positive benefit to the
Council. Their activities go a long way
towards achieving the objectives identified in the Fair Futures
Commission report, they help maintain community space and prevent
anti-social behaviour. Income is received from corporate
volunteering when companies use the parks for staff team building
exercises. Skills are acquired and shared by volunteers and the
positive engagement with the community can only be
· Managing the different activities in the parks can be challenging for staff as they are ... view the full minutes text for item 247.