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Declaration of Pecuniary Interests
Under Standing Order 4.4, where any councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (as defined in the Members’ Code of Conduct (para. 4)) in any matter to be considered at a meeting of the Council, a committee, sub-committee or joint committee, they must withdraw from the meeting room during the whole of the consideration of that matter and must not participate in any vote on that matter unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Monitoring Officer.
There were none.
Wayne Chandai, Head of Chief Executive’s Office and Democratic Services provided an explanation as to why the Extraordinary meeting was called. Councillor Jim Dickson introduced the report and highlighted the following key points;
· The Members Working Group had worked on the Boundary Commission Review since late 2019. The Group had ensured cross-party transparency by taking into account opinions from all groups that wanted to contribute. Throughout the process, the Working Group had ensured continuous communications outreach and exposure to local communities about the review, taking in their feedback.
· The Submission represented the view on the majority of the cross-party working group. It was therefore noted that individual parties would submit their own submissions. It was made clear that the Green Group did not agree with the proposals from the cross-party working group.
· The LGBCE proposed 26 wards, where Streatham Common had one member.
· The Lambeth Submission proposed 23 wards with majority three member wards; the report offered wider and better member representation, this would therefore enable members to work collaboratively and grow specific skill sets.
· The report argued against having one member wards. Rationale included: discontent from the Streatham community itself, the lack of political appeal for prospective Councillors to stand for public office, and the heightened risk of leaving residents vulnerable and un-represented should the member have to take long leave.
· The report highlighted four key areas with boundary changes. This consisted of 1) Clapham and Stockwell, 2) Clapham park and Thornton, 3) St Martin’s and Streatham Hill and 4) Streatham areas.
· The boundary changes focussed on strengthening community identity and to provide effective and efficient local government all whilst creating good electorate equality.
In response to questions, Councillor Jim Dickson replied to the committee as follows;
· Page 4, the covering report and page 18 of the Submission had typos which would be noted and amended.
· The order of the four key changes in the Lambeth Council Submission was in geographical order North to South.
· The Member’s Working Group would like to note to LGBCE that their current methodology for forecasting the electorate appeared to be flawed as it had only taken into account planning numbers and projections. It had not included the current pandemic nor any current statistics which could have shown a decline in electorate. It was noted that LGBCE could not amend the forecasted numbers at this point, however, wished to express concern given the current unprecedented times.
· The Clapham Wards were revisited in the Lambeth Council Submission to showcase a mixture of social housing areas and prosperous areas, whereby arguing for larger more socially representative wards.
· That the reference to cross-party Member Work Group was only within the Corporate Committee Report and this would not be submitted to LGBCE. The Committee was reassured that the submission would be reviewed once more to ensure consistency.
· The Council Submission had not accepted changes around Brixton Water Lane area suggested by the Brixton Water Lane Society. The Member’s Working Group believed that residents would submit their own submission ... view the full minutes text for item 2.