Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Lambeth Town Hall. 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.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 276 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the previous meeting held on 10 October, 2019

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2018 be signed and approved as a correct record of proceedings.

3.

Announcements

    Minutes:

    The Mayor congratulated Councillor Lib Peck on her appoint to the Mayor’s new violence reduction unit after six years of leading Lambeth Council and having been a Councillor for 17 years, he reminded Council that when she was elected she won by just five votes. The Mayor thanked Councillor Peck for all her support she gave him over the years including those many years when he was deputy for housing. He wished her every success in her new role.

     

    The Mayor reminded Council about his forthcoming events:

    On 4 February 2019 the Mayor will be hosting a small reception in the Mayor’s Parlour for friends and colleagues of past Mayor Mark Bennett to mark five years since his death.

     

    5 February 2019, the Mayor will be holding the first ever joint civic service with the Mayor of Southwark, at Southwark Cathedral.

     

    24 February 2019 the Mayor will be re-running the Gay Times tango that was first held in the assembly rooms in 1975 on 24 February by the Gay Liberation Front in what was a prelude to what went on to be London Pride. He was pleased that London Pride were working in partnership with the Council along with the Two Brewers and Gay Times.

     

    On 1 March 2019, another first, the Mayor will be hosting a Mayor’s Pokemon Go reception.

     

    The Mayor read out the following statement on behalf of Councillor Tim Briggs,

    “I accept that Councillor Bartley did not say that a vote for Brexit was racist. The recurrent theme of Councillor Bartley’s speech was that if Brexit went ahead, it would open the floodgates to a tide of racism and nationalism and that our country rejected and fought the hard right and fascism 80 years ago and we will not allow their poisonous politics to take hold in Britain today. This new piece of hysterical project fear nonsense led to my assumption that Councillor Bartley believed that the majority of people that voted for Brexit had racist motives for doing so and I apologise for any misunderstanding.”

     

     

    Councillor Ed Davie made the following statement on behalf of Councillor Valcarcel “As Disability Champion of the Council; I am delighted to show you tonight the plaque presented to the Council by Accessible to celebrate our support for promoting disabled access to buildings across the borough. Accessible, formerly known as Disabled Go, carry out very detailed audits of venues and publish the details on their website. This enables disabled people to plan visits confident in what they will find when they get there. Council buildings, schools, pharmacies, GPs and hospitals have already been audited. We hope that more community halls would be audited as part of the local investment plans / projects for each ward. The Southbank BID is commencing an audit of all its buildings and the public realm. The New Town Hall is listed on the Accessible website with full details of the steps list and the changing places toilet. I have asked the Chief Executive to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

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

    18 January 2019. Email: wchandai@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED:

    To suspend Committee Rules and Procedure 10.3, to allow three deputations (instead of two):

     

    Yvonne Ellis on Sexual Abuse awareness in the community, addressed Council and noted the following points:

    ·         She was a Lambeth resident and founder of Daughter Arise which supported survivors of sexual abuse. In 2010, she set up the Daughter Arise organisation to support sexual abuse survivors.

    ·         Over the last eight years, as a volunteer, she had seen how sexual abuse had negatively affected lives. People suffering from sexual abuse did not want to talk about sexual abuse because of its ugly nature. Most people suffered in isolation and silence because they felt shame and suffered from a fear of people finding out about their experience. Such experiences affected people’s mental health, self-esteem and confidence. 

    ·         The issue affected many communities and the situation was not improving and she wanted to seek a partnership with the Council to support residents as sexual abuse had an impact in all aspects of life.

    ·         She wanted to work in partnership with the Council to raise awareness of the issues and to challenge sexual abuse. More awareness was needed to be raised so that people were aware of the services available to them.

    ·         There was a requirement for such a service and more could be done to better advertise the services so people were aware of the services when they needed to use them.

     

     

    The Cabinet Member for Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Community Safety, Councillor Mohammed Seedat, responded and made the following points:

    ·         He thanked Ms Ellis for her heartfelt reminder of the issues survivors had to face on a regular basis. He could not imagine the difficulty that survivors go through especially considering a large number of the population had to live abuse in reality and online and lived in fear of themselves.

    ·         Often survivors of sexual violence felt like the incident from which they suffered was their fault and it was important to be clear that it was not.  The Gaia Centre was a service that the Council was proud of (and in which the Council had invested £6.5 million since 2012) and a service which was helping at least 1600 women every year but this was not enough.

    ·         The problem in relation to sexual abuse was far greater. At least 5,500 reports were made to the Police in relation to violence against women and at least a third of those related to sexual violence. 

    ·         It was important that the borough had champions and the Gaia Centre wanted to empower women so that they could remain champions. It was also important that men were aware of the issues.

    ·         There should never be taboos regarding the subject of sexual abuse, including social or cultural ones. There were other related problems in the community such as forced marriage, genital mutilation, “honour” based violence or sexual abuse. These issues needed to be dealt with and the Council would continue to work with its partners to resolve this issue.

    ·         Lambeth, the community  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Cabinet Statement

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, addressed Council and raised the following points:

     

    ·         It was a time of great uncertainty and anxiety due to the terrible chaos at Westminster. She believed the Council should be at the forefront of campaigning against Brexit and the party needed to re-double its efforts to campaign for a people’s vote.

    ·         It was important to support European Union (EU) citizens living in Lambeth who felt anxious and uncertain during current times.Lambeth was one of the first Councils to offer to pay for resettlement fees for EU nationals and now the government had belatedly agreed to do the same.

    ·         Despite the last eight years of austerity and Brexit uncertainty, she was proud of the recent achievements the Council had made since it last met. This was the Council delivering on its manifesto.

    ·         The Council would engage in discussion about climate change and the Council’s commitment to carbon reduction by 2030 and this would sit alongside its cleaner air measures and divestment.

    ·         There were new initiatives to stop smoking in playgrounds. Just before Christmas, a 24 hour shelter had been set up in Vauxhall, the Council had also opened an emergency shelter in Brixton Hill.

    ·         The Council was attempting to tackle root causes of homelessness through the recommendations of Equality Commission, Councillor Davie’s motion on poverty and building new homes.

    ·         She was in Lollard Street recently to celebrate 70 new homes which had been built at Council rent. This was the Labour Council delivering for local people and it was standing up for residents and the most vulnerable. Whether it was on home building, leading way on living wage, tackling inequalityor improving education, the Council had some excellent policies that it was implementing. 

    ·         She had been proud to lead the Labour Group and the Council for the last six years

    ·         She thanked the Mayor for his kind words and was excited by the new challenge as the first Director of the first Violence Reduction Unit and she would take the last 17 years of experience and new innovative work from the public health model into the role.

    ·         It would not be the last time she would speak in the Council Chamber but she could not pass up the opportunity to thank those who sent messages of support.

    ·         Many members of staff had taken time to send emails as well as residents of Thornton ward who she had seen for 17 years and was seeing even more of at present time. She thanked her colleagues for their support.

    ·         There had been many effective achievements made by the group and the Council. She had received messages from people working on Youth Justice,Young Offenders Centre (YOC), Advocacy Academy amongst others.It was working with these groups which she enjoyed the most as Leader.

    ·                     Lambeth’s strength was in its diversity and dynamism and this was the spirit she would take with her. Lambeth would remain a great place to live, work and represent. 

     

6.

Opposition Statement

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Jonathan Bartley, addressed Council, raising the following points:

     

    ·         He wanted to offer his congratulations to the Leader of the Council on her new job. 

    ·         It was disappointing that the Leader of the Council had announced her appointment on twitter before other Council officers had been informed.

    ·         The Council had lost its Chief Whip and its Leader in the space of few weeks which led to residents asking why Labour Members were deserting their constituents, months after promising to represent them for the next four years. Broken promises and a failure to engage were the hallmarks of the administration.

    ·         The Labour group had taken up symbolic consultations with residents regarding the Council’s budgets, which had taken place long after the budgets had been prepared. 

    ·         Fake assurances had been given to residents that nothing would be done to Cressingham Gardens that residents did not want.

    ·         The next Leader would do well to listen. 

    ·         In 2013, the Green Party warned Lambeth Labour that the six year freeze in Council Tax would leave the Council fewer options to tackle Tory austerity and protect the vulnerable.

    ·         Had Lambeth not frozen the Council Tax, Lambeth would have an additional £10 million per year in revenue; this was equivalent to the £43 million the Council was now cutting over the next four years.

    ·         The decision to freeze Council Tax was one of the most damaging decisions ever made by the Lambeth Labour Group and one for which vulnerable residents would pay for.

    ·         He would warn against the reckless Lambeth’s Estate Demolition Programme. The Council planned to underwrite the property speculation of Homes for Lambeth at a time of great uncertainty, cuts and a turbulent property market.

    ·         Cabinet had now given the go ahead for hundreds of millions in loans to fund this speculation. This would lock the Council into a risky and reckless venture.

    ·         If property market was to go into decline, then so would the Council. Maybe this was why senior members of the administration were leaving.

    ·         Every Labour member in the Council chamber would be held responsible for what would happen and he would urge them to think again.  

    ·         More truly affordable homes could have been built in less risky ways.

    ·         The Council may be losing a leader but did not have to forfeit its future. 

7.

Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 465 KB

    Minutes:

    1.    Councillor Becca Thackray to the Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Andy Wilson:

    Supplementary question

    Labour’s proposed cuts to children’s centres would save the Council £1.4 million over four years out of a total proposed saving of £43 million.This could be achieved by increasing the reserves by 9.6% rather than 10.1%. Will the Council do this? 

     

    Supplementary answer

    The Children’s Centres budgets were funded from the dedicated schools grant (which had been cut). The budget proposals put forward did not include Children’s Centres cuts as money for this as it did not exist. The Council was now coping with additional expenditure to come forward with well consulted plans for future budget proposals.  Consultation emails were sent to 100,000 people and the Council had over 4,000 responses.

     

    2.    Councillor Tim Briggs to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck:

    Supplementary question

    This year, would Labour Council follow the Conservative policies by removing cuts to Adult Social Care or cutting care and blame someone else?

     

    Supplementary answer

    The Councillor should visit Wandsworth and talk to them about the virtues of having a living wage and other Labour policies that he now supported. He was aware of plans of adult social care. No further comment was required.

     

    3.    Councillor Donatus Anyanwu to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck:

    Supplementary question

    How will there be an emphasis of continuity regarding the Equalities Commission after the Leader steps down and moves to her new job?

    Supplementary answer

    The Equalities Commission had been set up and this took the details of how residents felt about their life chances and this would be used to gain information. Some of the 80 recommendations in the report had already been adopted by the Council and would be made intrinsic to how the Council worked. Some of the progress has been captured in the report and there had been a raised awareness of particular challenges that disabled adults faced. Events had been held celebrating the achievement of Black Caribbean children and raising their attainment and this would be maintained.All of Lambeth’s contracts over 100k were paying over the London living wage and Lambeth was using its connections with businesses to make sure that this was continued. There were staff initiatives around the workforce ensuring the diversity at the higher end of the organisation and was more reflective of the community in the workforce. 

     

    4.    Councillor Ben Kind not present so the supplementary question fell

     

    5.    Councillor Pauline George to the Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care (job share), Councillor Ed Davie

    Supplementary question

    Could the Member confirm to the Council how the Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) programme had assisted in improving the mental health and life of young people?

     

    Supplementary answer

    LEAP was a ten year programme which had nearly £40 million invested in the four most deprived wards to support children and parents to get the best possible outcomes including around mental health. The social and emotional part of the programme  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Reports

8.a

In year constitution changes 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 86 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Tim Briggs stated that the change related to Homes for Lambeth was insular in the way it was set up. It increased risk to resident. Not having any opposition representation on the Equalities Impact Assessment Panel was not acceptable and the Labour Administration should review their decision.

     

    Councillor Pete Elliott was pleased with the changes to parental leave and it was a shame that the changes were presented as a whole as these would garner Green party support. The changes that remove public participation was not supported and the Green party wanted more engagement not less. The Council should focus on promoting methods of engagement rather than removing them if not used. He also expressed concern that the changes to the Ownership and Stewardship Panel meant that the Councillor receiving the special responsibility allowance for the relevant area did not need to be a member of the panel. It was disappointing that there was no opposition on the Equalities Impact Assessment Panel, and the opposition place was given to a ninth Labour Councillor. Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) relating to important decision were a weakness of the Council and having opposition representation could improve this.

     

    Councillor Jessica Leigh informed Council that the changes on parental leave were welcomed. Changes such as these would make becoming a Councillor more accessible while increasing diversity.

     

    Councillor Andy Wilson responded to the Green Party member by advising that the Homes For Lambeth business plan had been agreed by Cabinet and that the Labour group championed diversity and their Councillors represented this. Councillor Wilson also endorsed the changes on parental leave.

     

8.b

Adoption of Statement of Licensing Policy 2019-2024 pdf icon PDF 330 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Tim Briggs addressed Council and advised that a balance needs to be met on night time economies and needs of local residents. He also raised concern about the lack of information provided on licensed premises and that the cumulative impact area was not being upheld, as reported by residents. He also said that there was a perception that extensions were being granted without due consideration to the impact on residents. He urged the committee to visit premises rather than accepting written submissions.

     

    The Chair of Licensing Councillor Fred Cowell informed Council that Lambeth were proud to have over 1200 licensed premises in the borough and a good policy balanced the interest of all parties. The policy before council had been extensively consulted on and there was more information and clearer guidance for applicants to ensure better quality applications. Some enforcement issues have been addressed mainly around problem drinking, unlawful employment and adhering to opening/closing times. The saturation zones were being managed properly and conditions upheld contrary to Councillor Briggs’ statement. The Council were committed to maintain areas such as Brixton and Clapham as 24 hour economies and were working with venues to ensure the balance was met, and this policy delivered that.

     

    Councillor Mohammed Seedat advised Councillor Briggs that many of the points he raised were operational matters whereas the report before them focused on the Licensing Policy. This was a widely consulted policy and the Council had a unique cultural offer spread across six main destinations in the borough (including West Norwood). The changes clarified the responsibilities of the Licensee and ensured they demonstrated they met the conditions relating to modern slavery etc. We have also signed up to the night time safety charter. There may be a need for further amendments dependant on issues such as Brexit for example. He asked Council to support and approve the policy. 

     

9.

Motions pdf icon PDF 345 KB

    Minutes:

    Reports:

     

    In year Constitution Changes.

     

    VOTE TOTALS:

     

    YES:                42

    ABSTAIN:       5

    NO:                 1

    TOTAL:           48

     

    RESOLVED: The recommendations in the report were approved.

     

     

    Adoption of the Statement of Licensing Policy

     

    VOTE TOTALS:

     

    YES:                44

    ABSTAIN:       6

    NO:                 0

    TOTAL:           50

     

    RESOLVED: The recommendations in the report were approved.

     

     

    Motions:

     

    Motion 1: Green

     

    To declare a climate emergency

     

    Amendment 1: Labour

     

    VOTE TOTALS:

     

    YES                 44

    ABSTAIN        0

    NO                  6

    TOTAL            50

     

    The Labour Amendments was CARRIED

     

    Substantive Motion as amended by Labour

     

    VOTE TOTALS:

     

    YES                 49

    ABSTAIN        0

    NO                  1

    TOTAL            50

    The motion was CARRIED and Council RESOLVED:

     

    Motion to declare a Climate Emergency

     

    Full Council notes:

    1.       Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm). This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity;

    2.       In order to reduce the chance of runaway Global Warming and limit the effects of Climate Breakdown, it is imperative that we reduce our CO2eq (carbon equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible; [1]

    3.       Individual and collective action is needed to make this reduction. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure, etc., to make low carbon living easier and the new norm;

    4.       Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;

    5.       Unfortunately, our current plans and actions are not enough. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050; [2], [3]

    6.       In Lambeth, the consequences of government inaction to address this emergency will include:

    ·           Increased risk of flooding and damage to buildings and infrastructure.

    ·           Health problems, particularly for children, the disabled and older people.

    ·           Higher energy and food costs.

    ·           Increases in social injustice and inequality.

    7.       The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise, and told us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities; [3]

    8.       This administration has shown leadership by being one of the first local authorities to set out a clear plan to divest their pension portfolio from carbon intensive fossil fuel assets.

    9.       This council has already taken bold steps towards carbon neutrality, including changing street lights to LED alternatives; reducing council offices from 14 buildings to two; changing our parks maintenance fleet to electric vehicles and prioritising greener and healthier transport methods in our draft Transport Strategy.

    10.     The Council is also working with local organisations, such as Repowering London, to build community energy projects; building new, high-quality, energy-efficient Council homes through Homes for Lambeth and is continuing to lobby for the Ultra Low Emission Zone to be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.