Venue: Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, SW2 1RW
Contact: Wayne Chandai, Tel: 020 7926 0029 Email: email@example.com
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.
To approve and sign the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 16 October 2019
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 16 October 2019 be approved as a correct record of proceedings and signed.
The Council noted the results, set out below, from the December 2019 general election:
Councillor Tim Briggs paid tribute to the many years of service offered to residents by Kate Hoey who had stood down as the MP for Vauxhall, and highlighted that the Conservatives had won a majority in the House of Commons with 365 MPs.
Councillor Jonathan Bartley, Leader of the Opposition, reflected on the election results across the UK and highlighted that the Green Party was looking forward to building cross-party relationships with the boroughs MPs, especially in relation to taking action to address the climate emergency.
Councillor Jack Hopkins, Leader of the Council, congratulated the newly elected MPs and thanked the Acting Returning Officer and election staff for their hard work in conducting a well organised election. Councillor Hopkins highlighted the important work that was taking place locally in relation to climate change and stated that more needed to be done by central government to tackle the emergency.
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 17 January 2020.
1. A deputation was made to the Council requesting more openness and community participation in Lambeth’s citizens’ assembly on climate change. The speaker specifically requested an update on progress in relation to the remit of the assembly and opportunities for local outreach. A number of other issues were highlighted, including:
· The fact that Lambeth Council had become the first local authority in London, and one of the first in the country, to declare a climate emergency.
· Concerns relating to delays in setting up the citizens’ assembly.
· A request for the Council to confirm who had been commissioned to facilitate the assembly.
· The need for further information to clarify how and when residents could engage with the assembly in order to develop a strategy / set of recommendations to reduce carbon emissions across the borough.
· The importance of ensuring local planning policy, including the Lambeth Local Plan, adequately addressed climate change issues.
· A request for the Council to confirm how the assembly would be funded.
The speaker concluded his presentation by stating he was looking forward to working with the Council moving forward to ensure the assembly delivered on its objectives.
The Deputy Leader of the Council (Environment and Clean Air), Councillor Claire Holland responded. Council noted that:
· The speaker was thanked for his speech.
· Following regular meetings with a wide range of environmental groups, including Extinction Rebellion and Mums for Lungs, it had been decided to delay setting up the assembly to ensure it was organised robustly.
· A steering group, involving a wide range of representatives including community groups, some of the borough’s biggest institutions, young people and climate groups, had been established
· An independent organisation would be commissioned to run the citizens’ assembly. It was highlighted that this organisation would be appointed in due course.
· Assembly meetings would be open to the public and information would be provided to clarify how residents’ could contribute.
· Despite the positive work that was taking place across Lambeth greater leadership was required from central government to tackle the climate emergency.
2. A deputation was made to the Council in relation to the need to address issues relating to school exclusions in Lambeth. Speakers from the Advocacy Academy and representatives from Dunraven school shared personal stories, statistics concerning the impact of exclusions and raised concerns about stop and search and racism within the Education and Criminal Justice System.
The Deputy Leader of the Council (Children and Young People), Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite responded. Council noted that:
· The speakers were thanked for their powerful contributions, both at the meeting and in bringing about social change by challenging agencies across the borough to do more to reduce school exclusions in Lambeth.
· Initiatives such as Raising the Game had made a positive contribution to tackling both the attainment gap and disproportionately high exclusion rates faced by Black Caribbean pupils across the borough.
· Reducing inequalities in exclusions was a priority for the Deputy Leader (Children and Young People).
· Despite provisional figures for 2018/19 highlighting that school exclusion ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Councillor Jack Hopkins, Leader of the Council introduced the report and highlighted, that the programme had only existed for one year but there had been considerable progress with implementation. He believed one of the most powerful parts of the strategy was the engagement and was complimentary of Councillor Jacqui Dyer and Councillor Mohammed Seedat for their hard work on this programme.
The external speakers highlighted some of problems faced by young people in Lambeth, these included:
· The work on the Tulse Hill estate to reach out and engage with young people.
· The impact on the mental health of young people who were caught up in the system.
· More support should be provided to young people who were involved with or affected by violent events.
· The services provided by the Gaia Centre mainly targeted those that were aged 11 to 17 who had experienced sexual or domestic violence.
· That networks and partnerships for grassroots organizations in order to provide support be expanded.
Councillor Briggs, Conservative Member, discussed the report explaining the appendices were the most helpful in terms of understanding the strategy and the work stream of the strategy. He felt that parts of the main report were confusing and too broad and some of it needed further clarification. He also advised that the report generally lacked evidence around arguments on inequality and racism.
Councillor Nicole Griffiths, Co-Leader of the Green Group believed that the report was easy to understand and was clear that a lot of effort had gone into the development of the strategy which had the full support of the Green Group and were thankful to the Cabinet Members for taking on their feedback and recommendations. However, Councillor Griffiths advised that they would like to see the following included:
· greater use of youth outreach teams to reach young people; encourage children to attend youth clubs from a younger age;
· extensive, realistic, and relatable education in schools about drugs; better communication with the Police and the Community on Police school visits;
· accessible advice on the Lambeth website that offers guidance to parents that are concerned their child might be involved in dangerous activities
· all school should have access not just to social workers, but also pupil referral units, counselling, experienced youth workers and family support.
Councillor Jacqui Dyer, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Community Safety advised that this strategy was an excellent step forward, collectively working together, in a collaborative way to address a difficult change. She explained that every part of the system needed to be involved in order to make progress. The Council needed to continue to involve community members, giving them a voice to help them co-create and co-deliver strategies like these.
RESOLVED: That (1) the progress in relation to the serious youth violence strategy be noted; and that (2) the current and planned future approach be endorsed.
Youth Council Annual update
Verbal update from Lambeth Youth Council
The Youth Council presented their annual report to Council and highlighted various activities throughout the past year. This included discussion on the various fairs and events that the Youth Council attended and hosted throughout 2019.
Councillor Tim Briggs commended the Youth Councillors for being involved in the Youth Council, their out-of-the-box thinking, and the controversial topics/discussions they lead within the community.
Councillor Nicole Griffiths thanked the Youth Councillors for their report and the amazing work they were doing and showed interest in future collaboration.
Councillor Jenny Brathwaite thanked the Youth Councillors for being the voice of the young people in the Lambeth Community. She then went on to praise the Youth Councillors on how talented, capable, and driven they were. She ended by agreeing with Councillor Briggs that having radical ideas and discussing controversial topics were the way to move forward and spread the message.
RESOLVED: That the Youth Council Annual update be noted.
Councillor Tim Briggs discussed changes in relation to the housing content of the report, particularly the resident engagement section. He stated that this part should not have been a reference within the Constitution and instead should have been a separate and more detailed terms of reference.
Furthermore, judgment on whether members were abiding to certain actions was currently seen as too vague and subjective. He also saw the Labour Council as too weak to get on top of what was happening to the Housing Department. Councillor Briggs was looking forward to further discussions with Councillor Gadsby, Cabinet Member for Housing, on the matter.
RESOLVED: That the changes to the Council’s Constitution, set out in Appendix 1 of the report presented, be approved.
Councillor Becca Thackray thanked the team responsible for the report and all the hard work and research done over the years to accumulate the level of details found within it. She went on to discuss the Carbon Emissions Report and that she would like for it to be shared with members of the Planning Committee as well as the developers. She hoped that the Lambeth Local Plan would be used as the basis for the community to be at the forefront of tackling climate emergency. Councillor Thackray claimed the Lambeth Local Plan Report demonstrated all the requirements at a very high level. To further support the initiative, Councillor Thackray would like to see the formation of a Carbon Budget for the Council.
Councillor Bennett explained that this was the third version of the Local Plan and was due back later in the year. He further advised that since the last round of consolation, 300 responses were sent in and over 2000 points were raised.
Councillor Bennett stated that a huge amount of progress had been made for the planning policies, pointing out three in particular: 1) carbon neutral efforts for Lambeth Council would be pushed 20% beyond current requirements to be even more energy efficient, including entrenching car-free development wherever possible. 2) Affordable housing currently had a strong track record and would continue to do so in the new Local Plan. The Mayor was also making strides in including the current housing mandates in the London Plan as they were a priority for Lambeth. 3) Building an inclusive economy was a key area of the Local Plan. This included making sure the London living wage was paid, having affordable work spaces, and providing spaces in big commercial developments for local businesses, social enterprises, and local charities.
Councillor Wilcox noted that planning needed to continue to adapt and change and the new Local Plan aimed to instil that for the community all whilst treading lightly on both London and National policies. This new plan aimed to: drive the creation of more homes, boost local economy, create places Lambeth can be proud of, safeguard Lambeth green spaces and heritage, and promote sustainability in the face of climate emergency. She continued by discussing the process that the Planning Committee undertook to clarify why decisions and amends could take so long and how each topic of the Plan varied in complexity. Councillor Wilcox also expressed concern about the members of the public and members of the Council not only having the opportunity to share their opinion but to also actually be heard.
(1) That the Draft Revised Lambeth Local Plan Proposed Submission Version at Appendix 1 and the Proposed Changes to the Policies Map at Appendix 2 be approved for pre-submission publication and submission to government for independent examination.
(2) That any minor amendments (typographical edits and formatting) of the documents in Appendices 1 and 2 prior to the start of pre-submission publication be delegated to the Assistant Director Planning, Transport and Development, ... view the full minutes text for item 5.d
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Jack Hopkins, addressed Council and highlighted:
· He had visited the North Brixton Islamic Cultural Centre in January, with Florence Eshalomi MP and other councillors, to offer support following anti-Islamic graffiti being spray painted on a building near the centre.
· The Council would work in partnership with the borough’s diverse community to eliminate hate crime.
· The importance of working together and collaborating to address issues affecting the borough. This included updates on the work of the Lambeth Schools Partnership and activities that were taking place with other stakeholders, including a diverse range of community organisations, to improve outcomes for local people on matters relating to violence affecting young people, housing, and climate change.
The Leader of the Council concluded by stating that the borough’s greatest asset was its diversity and by working together, and putting differences to one side, much more could be achieved in the year ahead.
The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Jonathan Bartley, addressed Council and highlighted:
· That the Green Party had reflected on the results of the December 2019 general election and the uncertainty that local authorities, including Lambeth, would face following Brexit.
· Support for a letter that had been sent to EU citizens in January, by the Leader of the Council, encouraging local residents to apply for settled/pre-settled status. In order to make the process as smooth as possible it was noted that the Council had waived any fees for verification checks.
· The Constitutional Working Group had asked for the European Flag to be flown at the Town Hall on Friday 31 January 2020 (“Brexit Day”).
· The progress that had been made since the Council declared a climate emergency in January 2019 was welcomed. However, it was emphasised that more still needed to be done across a wide range of areas including procurement, transport, housing, the corporate reduction plan, and the need for the citizens’ assembly to be given real teeth. The importance of setting an annual carbon budget was also highlighted.
· Support for the Future Generations Bill which provided an opportunity to embed long-termism, prevention and the interests of future generations at the heart of government policy-making. It was hoped that these principles would be used by the Council to improve local policy moving forward.
1. Councillor Jonathan Bartley to the Deputy Leader of the Council (Environment and Clean Air), Councillor Claire Holland:
Councillor Bartley asked whether the Council would set a carbon budget for each of the 10 years to 2030?
Councillor Holland responded by stating work was already underway to better understand the Council’s carbon emissions baseline. As a result, until this analysis had been completed, the Council was not in a position to commit to such budgets. It was also stressed that tackling the climate emergency went beyond setting an annual allocated carbon budget and required work and decision-making across the council and beyond based on a sound evidence base.
2. Councillor Tim Briggs to the Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Community Safety, Councillor Jacqui Dyer:
Councillor Briggs wanted to understand why Labour councillors in Lambeth had refused to condemn the Mayor of London for his failure to address rising crime across London. Councillor Biggs asked the Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Community Safety to explain why, when City Hall staffing costs had increased by 82%, they had failed to put pressure on the Mayor to use his budget more effectively, especially when crime in London had increased by 21% while figures for the rest of the country had reduced by 8%.
It was noted Councillor Dyer had left the meeting and that a written response would be provided.
3. Councillor Nanda Manley-Browne to the Deputy Leader (Children and Young People), Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite:
Councillor Manley-Browne asked whether the Council, specifically in relation to the Raising the Game project, had done any work to develop an inclusive curriculum and whether the Deputy Leader (Children and Young People) would be open to working with other groups such as the Black Curriculum Project as part of this.
Councillor Brathwaite agreed that this was an important issue and confirmed that an important work stream for the Raising the Game project was the development of a toolkit to help create an inclusive diversified curriculum for schools across the borough. Reflecting on her recent visits to schools, who had introduced a more diverse curriculum, Councillor Brathwaite highlighted such changes had improved the learning experiences for children. The Deputy Leader (Children and Young People) concluded by stating that the Council would be willing to work with any organisation who shared the Council’s values and commitments to deliver a more inclusive education for all children and young people in Lambeth.
4. Councillor Marianna Masters to the Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, Councillor Ed Davie:
It was noted that Councillor Masters was not in attendance, so the Mayor moved to the next question.
5. Councillor Tim Windle to the Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Paul Gadsby:
Councillor Windle asked whether the Cabinet Member for Housing was aware of any standout examples in relation to projects that had used funding for green spaces and growing so that lessons learnt could ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
Motion 1: Green
The Labour amendment to the motion was CARRIED and Council RESOLVED:
Lambeth Living Rent
Lambeth Council notes:
1) Current high costs of Rent as a result of our broken housing market are unaffordable for any but higher income earners (the average wage is £26-30,000 whilst average rents are half that). High rents within the private rented sector in London are pricing people out of homeownership and pushing people into debt. Hardest hit are the younger generation, women, people from low income backgrounds and BAME communities.
2) The proportion of households who own their own home is at its lowest level for 30 years. Polling conducted by Shelter in 2017 found that one in three low earning private renters had to borrow money to pay rent.
3) Since 2010 the average rent has risen three times as fast as average incomes.
4) One in four families are now raising children in a private rented home, compared to just one in ten a decade ago.
5) Research by Generation Rent has found that measures, such as rent controls, which sets rents at 30% of local income would make renting affordable for those on average incomes and would also allow renters to save.
6) Genuinely affordable rents give people the freedom to live a decent life, helping lift families out of poverty and not ‘just manage each month.
7) The failure of the current Conservative government to listen to local authorities like Lambeth and address other important aspects of the housing crisis, particularly the limited funding available to build more council level rent homes and genuinely affordable homes for sale.
Council further notes:
1) Local authorities’ currently have limited influence on private sector rental values or powers over private landlords.
2) Lambeth’s corporate parenting responsibility and duty under the Homelessness Reduction Act in preventing homelessness, including towards those who despite losing their home are not deemed to be in priority need.
3) The prevalence of eviction on the grounds of rent arrears, leading to so-called “intentional homelessness” and the council’s duty to help all who are homeless to secure suitable accommodation, regardless of whether they are intentionally homeless'.
4) Lambeth Labour’s council motion of January 2019 which called for the abolition of Section 21 evictions which are at the heart of many unfair evictions.
5) Lambeth councillors’ high level of casework on housing issues including evictions, arrears, homelessness, temporary accommodation and the resulting physical and mental health issues caused by housing insecurity, high costs and poor standards.
6) The launch of Lambeth Homelessness and rough sleeping strategy which has been welcomed by the sector and partners in the borough and which aims to support those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
7) The success of the London Living Wage campaign in raising awareness of low pay and encouraging more employers to follow Lambeth council’s lead and pay a living wage.
8) The London Living Rent levels set for every ward in London by the Mayor ... view the full minutes text for item 9.