You are here: Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 4, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Ola Adeoye  020 7527 3044

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Nathan.


Councillor Ismail submitted apologies for lateness.


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.





Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 97 KB


It was agreed to amend minute 262 to insert the words ‘and class’, as follows:


With regard to the questions on the ethnicity and class of children participating in the summer reading challenge and the number of apprentices supported into fulltime employment, members were advised that responses were with the Director Employment, Skills and Culture for sign off.




That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 26 February 2019 be agreed as a correct record and the Chair be authorised to sign them; subject to the amendment set out above.


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.



The Chair advised that questions from members of the public would be taken in relation to each agenda item.


Overview - Support for Residents with long term conditions including learning disabilities and mental health


The Chair advised that this item would be taken together with Item B2, the Quarter 3 Performance Report for Employment, Skills and Culture.  


Quarter 3 Performance Report (2018/19)- Employment & Skills pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Shaikh, the Executive Member for Inclusive Economy and Jobs, presented the report summarising performance of the services within her portfolio. The Executive Member also presented on the employment support services available to residents with long term conditions, including learning disabilities and mental health issues. Andrea Stark, Director of Employment, Skills and Culture, and Nicky Freeling, Head of iWork, also contributed to the presentation.


The following main points were noted in the discussion:


·         900 residents had been supported into paid work between April and December 2018; exceeding the target of 750 by 20%. The Executive Member commented that the “Team Islington” approach of working closely with partner organisations had contributed to this success.

·         The Executive Member advised that the offer of employment support services had developed considerably since the Employment Commission concluded in 2014 and would continue to evolve further in future. It was thought that local employment support services had benefitted from shared marketing and communications and the development of an online directory.

·         The number of young people aged 18 to 25 supported into paid work was below target, however it was explained that accurate statistics were not available. Work was underway to address this.

·         The Committee welcomed that the number of residents with disabilities and long term health conditions supported into paid employment was above target.

·         Employment support services worked closely with adult social care to commission suitable support and create appropriate placements for those with long term conditions, including learning disabilities. This included adult community learning programmes, flexible employment opportunities with wrap around support, and wellbeing therapies for the long term unemployed.

·         Flexible work placements were particularly beneficial to those who did not have experience of regular employment, as it was important to build the confidence of residents who may have previously struggled to access employment.

·         The council’s iWork service had brokered work placements in a nursing home that were ring-fenced for residents with learning difficulties. These placements made use of an adjusted recruitment process which included one-to-one support in completing an application form and attending a work trial instead of a formal interview. Applicants were then assessed on their ability to complete tasks rather than their interview responses.

·         The council had set a target of supporting 20 adults with learning disabilities into paid employment each year. This target was set due to the intensive support that these residents required to maintain employment.

·         The Committee watched two short video case studies of Islington residents who had been supported into paid employment through the council’s support services. A member asked how effective the videos had been as an outreach tool. It was advised that this would be taken up with the Communications Team.

·         The council was reviewing how adult community learning courses were promoted. It was hoped that better targeting of communications would help to increase participation, particularly among parents of children aged 0 to 18.

·         The Committee welcomed that 900 young people had taken part in the Summer Reading Challenge. An ambitious target of 1000 participants had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 271.


Update on the Accelerator Fund bid - Officer and next step


Andrew Bedford, Head of Greenspace and Leisure Services, provided an update on the Heritage Lottery Fund “Accelerator Fund” bid.


It was advised that Islington was one of 11 organisations shortlisted. If the council received an award, then this would assist with delivering the vision of transforming the borough’s parks and greenspaces into spaces which promote health and wellbeing.


A discussion was had on the cultural and historic role of parks in promoting health and wellbeing.


It was suggested that greater partnership between parks, the NHS and others would be beneficial in helping to tackle loneliness, social isolation, obesity and related long term conditions. It would be crucial to develop the workforce to carry out this role; at present park keepers were asset focused, however it was thought that they could have a real impact on health and wellbeing by adopting a people focused approach. For example, it was thought that park keepers could be informal sports facilitators, could host coffee mornings, and could support community events.


The additional funding would support the council in transforming the parks service. It was essential that any service change adopted a sustainable model that could be continued after the Accelerator Funding expired.


In response to a question, it was advised that park keepers could discourage anti-social behaviour by fostering a positive community atmosphere in parks, developing relationships with the local community, and facilitating more cross-generational activities.


It was intended to train park keepers on facilitating community activities by developing greater partnerships with Islington Play Association, Arsenal in the Community and others. Officers accepted that this could be challenging for some staff, however it was intended to build on staff passions and enthusiasms and it was hoped that staff would welcome the opportunity to work differently.


The Committee thanked Andrew Bedford for his contribution.






Scrutiny Review: Draft Recommendations


The Chair provided an update on the status of the draft recommendations of the scrutiny review. The recommendations were currently being drafted but would partly depend on the outcome of the Accelerator Fund bid.


A discussion was had on possible recommendations. The recommendations would focus on maximising the potential of volunteers, gardening groups and “Friends of” groups. Greater skill sharing, networking and coordination between groups could be beneficial. It was thought that the council could provide a more consistent offer of support to these groups. This may include facilitating mentoring, providing practical support, training, and developing relationships with key officers. The recommendations would also focus on promoting the “Parks for Health” agenda and developing a sense of ownership of parks and greenspaces in the local community.


It was suggested that committee members could visit the Tufnell Park Community Plant Nursey run by the Octopus Network and hold a further evidence gathering session with officers in the Homes and Communities division about the role of estate groups.


The Committee discussed examples of estate groups that worked to maintain and improve the local environment and considered how the council could offer practical support to those groups. In particular, was suggested that the council could offer communications support and promotion of their activities.  


A member highlighted that some parks were poorly utilised and attracted anti-social behaviour, suggesting that such parks would benefit from improved safety features, refreshed play and sports equipment and provision of basic facilities. It was suggested that such improvements would need to be made before local residents embraced the park as an area for health and wellbeing activities. Officers advised that different parks had different needs and it was important for parks to meet the needs of their local communities. Officers provided examples of parks which had been significantly improved over recent years in partnership with their local communities.


It was advised that suggested recommendations should be communicated to the Chair prior to the next meeting.


Officers agreed to circulate the Islington Play Association survey on young people’s perceptions of local parks.


It was suggested that committee members should visit Bingfield Park.






Quarter 3 Performance Report (2018/19) - Environment & Transport pdf icon PDF 149 KB



Kevin O’Leary, Corporate Director of Environment and Regeneration, summarised performance of the council’s environmental services.


The following main points were noted in the discussion:


·         Staffing levels in the planning service had impacted on performance.

·         Angelic Energy was progressing well.

·         The installation of on-street bike storage facilities was on target.

·         The Committee requested that members be provided with further information on the parking appeals process.

·         Highbury Leisure Centre was able to partially re-open in December 2018 following the fire which significantly damaged the pool area in September 2018. Matters related to the fire were still with the insurers and a detailed structural survey had been scheduled. The re-build project would be a complex project and would not be completed for at least a couple of years. Despite the disruption, the centre had 3,700 registered members compared to 4,000 before the fire. All swim classes that were held at the centre had been rescheduled elsewhere. Officers were impressed with how GLL had handled the response to the fire.

·         The Committee asked if there were opportunities to improve Highbury Leisure Centre in the re-build. In response, it was advised that minor improvements could be made, and the installation of solar panels would be considered, however it was not expected to significantly upgrade the facilities. Planning consent would be needed for the demolition and rebuild of the centre.

·         A member highlighted some customer service and management issues at local leisure centres. Officers advised that their experience of working with GLL was very positive, however would investigate any issues as required.

·         It was suggested that the results of air quality monitoring in schools should be communicated to parents.

·         Members commented on local School Street campaigns. Whilst these had been received positively by some schools, others were more cautious about the implementation of new traffic restrictions. Further work was needed to communicate the benefits of such measures to parents.




That progress to the end of Quarter 3 be noted.  


Recycling Workshop - Member Feedback


Members provided feedback on a recent workshop on the council’s recycling service. It was agreed that the Committee’s views would be communicated to officers.


Work Programme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 38 KB