Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday 13 July 2016 7.00 pm

Venue: Main Hall - The Elmgreen School, Elmcourt Rd, London SE27 9BZ. View directions

Contact: Wayne Chandai, Tel: 020 7926 0029 Email: wchandai@lambeth.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

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.

     

     

    Minutes:

    There were none.

2.

Announcements

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, led tributes on behalf of the Council to the late former Councillor Rob Roach, outlining his dedication to working with and for the community in Lambeth. Councillor Florence Eshalomi AM also led tributes to the late Sam King MBE.

     

    The Mayor announced that as part of her official duties, she would be supporting Faiths Together in Lambeth, a multi-faith charity which worked to build community cohesion between different groups of faith. She further announced her support for the Streatham Drop-In Centre for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

     

    The Mayor further highlighted the results of the Gipsy Hill by-election and welcomed Councillor Luke Murphy on behalf of the Council.

3.

Special Item: Uniting our Communities

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, introduced the item and highlighted the need for such a debate following a rise in hate crime after the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. She further expressed Council’s sadness at the death of Jo Cox MP.

     

    The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Tim Briggs, gave the following statement:

     

    Madame Mayor, many changes have taken place since our last meeting, one of which was the death of Jo Cox MP, whereby someone who was loved by many people, was tragically and unnecessarily taken from them.

     

    I am aware that Jo Cox was especially committed to the rights of refugees particularly from Syria. I once wrote in a Lambeth Weekender article that how we treat people coming from abroad is a sign of our humanity as a society. Jo Cox clearly was committed to helping people from abroad, and it is desperately sad that she is now gone, and can no longer do that.

     

    But we must distinguish between the sense of danger, and its reality. The sense of danger can get blown out of proportion to the randomness of a crime committed by an individual, and the sense of danger can also be blown out of proportion considering the unlikeliness of something so unpleasant ever happening again.

     

    I understand from officers when I last asked a week or so ago that there have been no hate crime incidents in Lambeth targeted at minorities. I hope that is still true.

     

    The result of Britain voting to leave the EU has also left people feeling vulnerable.

     

    We are a very pro-EU borough, and a pro-EU city, so perhaps the shock was greater here than elsewhere. And Lambeth is so diverse, and we all enjoy that diversity so much, perhaps we allowed ourselves to forget about the bigger picture of people outside London.

     

    I grew up outside London and I do not believe that the vast majority of people outside London are racist or anti-diversity (if I can put it that way) for one second.

     

    So with regard to uniting our communities, let me say this on behalf of our Group and perhaps some other members.

     

    Wherever you are from, wherever your parents or grandparents came from, whatever your sexuality, or religion, or whatever is important to you and your identity and your happiness, we are privileged to serve you as your representatives here in Lambeth.

     

    The Conservative Group believe strongly that residents are not here to pay tax and support the council, but the council is here to support you, as best it can, in living your lives with as much freedom and opportunity as possible.

     

    And within the work we do as Councillors, we will continue to adhere to the values of the Rule of Law, due process, and the protection of minorities that allow our Lambeth diversity to flourish.

     

    And I am sure that is what Jo Cox would have wanted.”

     

    Rabbi Janet Darley addressed Council and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 116 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the previous meeting held on 13.04.16 and 18.05.16.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meetings held on 13 April and 18 May 2016 be approved as accurate records of the proceedings.

4.a

Youth Council Annual Report pdf icon PDF 185 KB

    Minutes:

    The Lambeth Youth Mayor, Diogo Costa, introduced the Lambeth Youth Cabinet. Points raised included the following:

     

    ·         There was a forthcoming jobs fair which would seek to raise aspirations among young people in the Borough;

    ·         Youth Cabinet had been working with the Youth Offending Service Management Board in order to help young people move away from crime;

    ·         Many young people were not urged to better themselves because of mental health issues.

     

    The Member of the Youth Parliament addressed Council and highlighted the forthcoming 11 November 2016 annual sitting of the Youth Parliament. There would be one motion debated which would be chosen by young people around the country. She further challenged the notion that young people were apathetic and encouraged all in attendance to help young people become involved.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Families and Youth People, Councllor Jane Pickard, addressed Council and thanked the youth representatives for their contribution. She reiterated Lambeth Council’s support for lowering the voting age to 16, as it would encourage political involvement and furthermore pressure schools to offer political education. She also stated that Cabinet were exploring the possibility of a work shadowing scheme for Cabinet Members.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the Youth Council Annual Report be approved.

5.

Petitions, PNQs and Deputations

    No public notice questions were received.

     

    Petitions will be presented at the meeting by Councillors.

     

    The deadline for the receipt of requests for a deputation is 5pm

    8th July 2016. Email: wchandai@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Minutes:

    a)    Petitions

     

    A petition was received from Councillor Marsha De Cordova concerning pavements on Gauden Road, with 509 signatures.


    A petition was also received from Councillor Anna Birley concerning school catchment areas in Lambeth, with 160 residents.

     

    b)    Public Notice Questions

     

    There were none.

     

    c)    Deputations

     

    A deputation was received from Laura Swaffield. Points raised included the following:

     

    ·         The crisis in the libraries had gotten worse, and a conservative estimate suggested that roughly £82,000 had been spend on maintaining and securing the Carnegie and Minet libraries since 18 May 2016, which was 2-3 times the cost of running both libraries for a year;

    ·         The libraries were in deprived wards and united diverse communities;

    ·         The usage of Carnegie library was going up by 31% a year, and the closure had occurred during exam time, leading to overcrowding in other libraries;

    ·         The timeline is stretching beyond what the Council initially projected, and some communities would be left without library provision for a year;

    ·         Therefore, Council were urged to re-open the Carnegie and Minet libraries.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Business, Regeneration and Culture, Councillor Jack Hopkins, responded and made the following points:

     

    ·         The costs of security were being reduced, and many of the increased costs were a result of the recent occupation of the libraries;

    ·         Temporary costs of maintaining the buildings were not representative and did not take into account accumulated savings from the re-purposing of the buildings. He added that it was not the case that it had cost the Council as much money to provide security in the closed buildings as it would have done to keep them running as fully functioning libraries;

    ·         The buildings could not be re-opened. Savings have had to be made from the library budget this year;

    ·         He further stated that he would share with Laura Swaffield the figures he had seen which gave him confidence that the decision was the correct one.

     

    The Mayor thanked those who presented the deputation and advised that a full written response would be sent in 10 days.

6.

Cabinet Statement

    Minutes:

    Due to time constraints, this item was deferred.

7.

Opposition Statement

    Minutes:

    Due to time constraints, this item was deferred.

8.

Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 340 KB

    Minutes:

    1.    The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Tim Briggs, to the Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Matthew Bennett.

     

    Supplementary Question

     

    Councillor Briggs asked why foam masts had appeared at Bourne House on the Notre Dame estate, and what had become of the Cabinet’s commitment to resident involvement in housing decisions, as it seemed that consultations were being taken after decisions had been effectively decided in advance.

     

    Supplementary Answer

     

    Councillor Bennett responded that Councillor Briggs had not been in touch with him about the issue before the meeting, and that it was his party which was responsible for the shortfall in Council housing. He further added that Councillor Briggs was welcome to come to him outside the meeting with any concerns he has about this matter.

     

    2.    Councillor Scott Ainslie to the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite.

     

    Supplementary Question

     

    Councillor Ainslie asked if earmarked recycling areas could be further encouraged as Lambeth was 21st out of 32 London boroughs when it came to recycling targets.

     

    Supplementary Answer

     

    Councillor Brathwaite responded that Lambeth’s recycling policy was a success and that she was committed to working on it further.

     

    3.    Councillor Andrew Wilson to the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Tim Briggs

     

    Supplementary Question

     

    Councillor Wilson stated that the Government’s policy of encouraging building of so-called “starter homes” would force Lambeth to replace affordable housing with housing that cost £450,000, which would take somebody on the London Living Wage 50 years of saving £100 a month in order to afford a deposit. He asked Councillor Briggs if he defined “hard working” residents to only include the wealthy.

     

    Supplementary Answer

     

    Councillor Briggs responded that starter homes were homes which were priced at up to £450,000 and there had been a fundamental misconception as to their affordability. Furthermore, first-time buyers would get a 20% discount on market rates.

     

    4.    Councillor Michelle Agdomar to the Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Matthew Bennett

     

    Supplementary Question

     

    Councillor Agdomar expressed concern about the plight of those suffering from mental health conditions and noted that there was a difficulty in moving them into housing so that they could live independently.

    Supplementary Answer

     

    Councillor Bennett responded that many of those with mental health issues needed to live in social housing as a result of their care. One of the reasons for bringing Lambeth Living back in-house was to focus on joining up care and housing in order to support those with mental health problems.

     

    5.    Councillor Dany Adilypour to the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Tim Briggs.

     

    Supplementary Question

     

    Councillor Adilypour asked Councillor Briggs if he would support the Mayor of London’s scrapping scheme for used cars.

     

    Supplementary Answer

     

    Councillor Briggs responded that he was not aware of the scheme but would look at it further.

     

    6.    Councillor Marcia Cameron to the Cabinet Member for Healthier and Stronger Communities, Councillor Mohammed Seedat.

     

    Supplementary Question

     

    Councillor Cameron asked what work was being undertaken over the summer to reduce youth violence.

     

    Supplementary Answer

     

    Councillor Seedat responded that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Reports

9.a

Scrutiny Annual Report pdf icon PDF 93 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Gentry stated that there had been concerns that scrutiny’s purpose was to rubber-stamp what the administration had already agreed prior to the meeting, and consequently people were losing faith in the process. He further added that there should be a review of what happened at the Garden Bridge Overview and Scrutiny Committee, as members were given false information regarding employment provision at the Garden Bridge.

     

    Councillor Davie stated that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had involved over 500 residents over the past year. He further outlined the committee’s work in reducing acute mental health admissions by 80% and noted that the fact that Labour members has called-in decisions proved that it was not a mere rubber stamping exercise.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the Scrutiny Annual Report 2015-16 be approved.

9.b

Constitution 2016 - 17 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Briggs questioned the use of taxpayer’s money for the payment to members for Special Responsibility Allowances and Special Neighbourhood Leads. He stated that it was unclear what these Special Neighbourhood Leads are useful for, given that it was part of a Councillor’s remit to be involved with their communities. He further added that these extra payments were perceived by residents as being unfair when the Council was making the decision to close the libraries.

     

    Councillor Gadsby stated that the SRA budget had fallen this year. SNLs carried out specific key responsibilities within their neighbourhoods. He also added that the Conservative Group had themselves requested extra staff support from taxpayers’ money despite this not being set out in the Constitution.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the changes to the Constitution set out in the agenda pack be approved.

9.c

Pay Policy 2016 - 17 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor McGlone stated that it was vital that salaries paid to senior officers and managers were disclosed. Lambeth had 2750 employees in 2016, when in April 2010 it had 3900. These cuts to staff had come about as a result of the 50% cuts to the Council’s budget from the Conservative Government. There was therefore a need to deliver services that cost less and this required talented managers that could do this. He further added that the number earning in excess of £100,000 remained the same as the previous year and the new Chief Executive was on a salary 7% less than his predecessor.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1)    That the Pay Policy Statement for 2016/17 be approved;

    2)    That the appointments made to posts attracting remuneration in excess of £100,000 per annum and severance packages in excess of £100,000 in the year 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 be noted;

    3)    That the proposed new legislation in relation to recovery of public sector exit payments be noted;

    4)    That the proposed new legislation in relation to a “cap” on public sector exit payments be noted.

10.

Motions pdf icon PDF 242 KB

    Minutes:

    Emergency Motion

     

    The Mayor invited speakers from all parties to address Council from a list submitted by the Whips. The speakers, in order were:

     

    ·         Councillor Mohammed Seedat

    ·         Councillor Bernard Gentry

    ·         Councillor Scott Ainslie

    ·         Councillor Adrian Gardner

    ·         Councillor Jack Holborn

    ·         Councillor Tim Briggs

     

    Voting:

     

    Amendment 1

     

    For: 46

    Against: 2

    Abstention: 2

     

    Substantive Amended Motion:

     

    For: 46

    Against: 2

    Abstention: 2

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    This council notes the concern in our community about an increase in reports of hate crime across the country since the end of the recent divisive European referendum campaign.

    "This council, which is proud of our borough's long history of diversity and toleration, resolves to reassure all people living in this area that they are valued members of our community by:

    1. Continuing to work with our residents, local community groups and police to prevent racism and xenophobia.

    2. Welcoming the reassurance from the leader of the council that European citizens are welcome in our borough irrespective of the referendum result.

    3.  Sending a clear message that racism, xenophobia and hate crimes have no place in Lambeth or in our country.

     

    4. Committing to support freedom of movement for EU nationals.

     

    Motion 1 – Parks and Green Spaces:

     

    The Mayor invited speakers from all parties to address Council from a list submitted by the Whips. The speakers, in order were:

     

    ·         Councillor Bernard Gentry

    ·         Councillor Donatus Anyanwu

    ·         Councillor Amelie Treppass

    ·         Councillor Scott Ainslie

    ·         Councillor Jack Hopkins

    ·         Councillor Tim Briggs

     

    Voting:


    Amendment 1

     

    For: 47

    Against: 2

    Abstention: 1

     

    Substantive Amended Motion:

     

    For: 47

    Against: 2

    Abstention: 1

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    This Council agrees that the revised events strategy builds on Lambeth’s record as one of the only boroughs in London that gives back to local parks.

     

    Notes that the volume, frequency and length of music events in the parks and green spaces across the borough has been developed with input from local residents and businesses, as well as event organisers over five years and is set out in the report.

     

    It also notes that the events strategy includes a new formula to ensure that revenue taken from events is reinvested back in to the space the event was held and reflects the council’s need to use its resources to plug gaps in funding. Further notes that the strategy includes strengthened governance arrangements to ensure that councillors and resident's opinions are taken in to account during the event approval process

     

    The Council notes that increased sound levels will be limited to a maximum of eight event days per zone per year, helping to limit the negative impact of such events.

     

    Notes that the Council adheres to the current legislation that governs the use of metropolitan parks and open spaces including Article 7(1)(vii) of the Greater London Open Parks and Open Spaces Order 1967 and will continue to work within the parameters of all relevant legislation.  

     

    Motion 2 – Schools in Lambeth:

     

    The Mayor invited speakers from all parties to address Council from a list submitted by the Whips.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.