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Minutes

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Items
No. Item

362.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Graham, Hamitouche and Ozdemir.

363.

Declarations of Substitute Members

Minutes:

There were no declarations of substitute members.

364.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

365.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 9th and 16th March 2020 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

366.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

Cllr Poyser expressed the Committee’s thanks to council officers for all their efforts in ensuring that  work was carried out during the lockdown period, and for updating members.

The Chair informed members that he had written articles in the local press and on a national website about Covid-19 and global warming with the hope that this would result in everyone taking up the opportunity to address the environment challenges that lie ahead and recognising society’s responsibilities going forward.

 

The Chair had also written a description of the Environment Committee’s meeting in public about the 2030 carbon neutral target in Hazards Magazine

 

informed the meeting that Ben Griffiths of Extinction Rebellion had submitted written questions relating to the development of the new incinerator in Edmonton. The questions had been circulated to members and officers of both North London Waste Authority (NLWA) and Islington Council were in attendance to respond.

 

367.

Order of Business

Minutes:

The order of business would be as per the agenda.

368.

Public Questions

Minutes:

The Chair invited Ben Griffith of Extinction Rebellion (XR)to address the Committee. Mr Ben acknowledged that written questions had been submitted and he added the following comments.

 

 

Mr Griffiths questioned the rationale of building an infrastructure with a capacity to handle 700k tons of waste a year an increase of 30% to its current arrangement, that will be in place for 30-40 years. The incinerator will result an increase of fine particles into the environment and only result into concerns about global warming and not in sync with the council’s commitment to reduce carbon emission and that the data to which the proposal is based was questionable.

In response Martin Capstick, the Managing Director of NLWA acknowledged the questions raised by XR as important, reassuring members that NLWA continues to work hard with the London boroughs, reminding members that presently the capacity of the unit is unable to deal with the volume of waste with the result that tons of waste is currently being transported outside the London area for disposal. The  decision to proceed has gone through the statutory requirement and has been consulted upon and that 195 responses were received of which only 3 were against the proposed facility. The proposal was advertised in Islington local papers, government development consent was given and the proposal is going forward.

The Managing Director reassured members that the needs of the facility will remain under review and issues of global warming will be addressed. Members were informed that although the facility will generate over 300,000 tons of gas, however it is important to note that the facility
 will supply power to over 127,000 homes and importantly avoid the need of transporting waste across London which is to be welcomed .

The Corporate Director of Environment and Regeneration acknowledged the work of NLWA, reminding members that in as much Islington Council is keen on building on the work it is currently doing in terms of increasing recycling, there is recognition that residual waste is still on the increase.

In response to how the facility fits into the Council’s zero carbon draft strategy, the meeting was reminded that the Council’s priority is currently focussed with addressing emissions produced within the borough, however as the strategy evolves scoping will be extended to addressing emissions produced outside the borough. Members were reminded that although the Council has taken on board the impact of the project in its draft strategy, it is important to note that the borough’s huge residual waste needs to be managed effectively, reiterating the environment benefit of NLWA to the borough in comparison to having vehicles transporting waste across London to dispose.

 

 

369.

Quarters 3 & 4 Performance Indicator Report (2019/2020) -Employment and Skills pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shaikh, Executive Member for Economic Development presented the Quarter 3 & 4 Performance Indicator Reports 2019/2020. 

In the discussion, the following points were made:

·       The meeting was informed that prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, the Service was well ahead in meeting its Q3 targets among its priority groups such as residents with long term conditions, parents of young people in the 18-24 age group and hard to reach groups such as BAME. Measures are in place to continue encouraging parents to seek employment support.

·       Members were advised that since the Covid-19 pandemic, it was noticeable within the Quarter 4 figures that in the last 3 months there had been an increase in the number of unemployment claimants in Islington, so the Service has had to expand the support among its priority groups.

·       Executive Members informed the meeting that since the pandemic, the Council’s iWork, ACL and Library Services had to quickly adapt on how they delivered their day to day tasks contacting their residents online or over the phone, which is to be commended. The Service recognises that some residents are digitally excluded but have taken a blended approach by getting people to phone the library service staff on their behalf. 

·      With regard to employment support, the Service has been supported by colleagues in social services to recruit staff for those affected in retail and the hospitality sector. The Service in the initial 6-7 weeks period was inundated with requests for support from its residents, however this has now dwindled. 

·       Services have continued online, adult residents have been encouraged to sign up to ACL courses online and an increase in new learners interested in improving their personal circumstances by retraining and re skilling themselves to prepare for other types of employment or careers post pandemic  has been noticed.

·       With regards to young people, the Service has kept in contact with those identified by schools as being at risk of being NEET by continually engaging with the young people and their parents either by phone or Skype.

·      The meeting was informed that within a short period of the commencement of lockdown, the online library service has been expanded, and that residents are now reading books and literature online. The switch to online library service has demonstrated that going forward the future prospects for libraries is promising. 

·       The pandemic has resulted in an increase in Universal Credit claimants, and with the furlough scheme coming to an end soon, the meeting was advised of an expectation of an increase in unemployment. The Council is  having conversations within its Employment board on what type of support available in conjunction with the other 17 Employment Support Partners (Team Islington).

·       In addition to the above the Service continues to work with its skills partners such as Camden and Islington college, London Met university and City university, especially as the Service recognises that support will be required for young people when schools resume in September 2020. The Director, Employment and Skills, advised that a report will be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 369.

370.

Work Programme 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 30 KB

Minutes:

It was noted that as meetings are now being held remotely, it is important that items be managed well to allow members sufficient time for full consideration of the agenda.
Member raised concerns about too many items being scheduled for the September meeting and requested that in light of the public interest in transport and road closures, that it be the only item for the meeting and that  Cllr Shaikh’s Annual Report be rescheduled later in the year.
 
A request for Democratic Services to send out potential dates for the Council’s AGM to councillors to avoid clashes of meetings was noted.

 

RESOLVED:
That Cllr Shaikh’s report be considered later in the year

That the People Friendly Streets be considered at the September meeting