Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday 13 July 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, SW2 1RW

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

Note: Information on how to access the meeting is set out in the agenda. However, if you just want to watch the live broadcast you can copy and paste the following link into your browser: https://bit.ly/3bKOh6Z The video will remain available to view for 180 days. 

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:

    None were declared.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 177 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 25 May 2022.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: unanimously that the minutes of the meeting dated 25 May 2022 be approved as a correct record of proceedings and signed by the Mayor.

3.

Announcements

    Minutes:

    The Mayor reported that she had attended the Henry Cavendish Jubilee Celebration and saw the pupils dressed as Princes and Princesses. There was a best dressed competition which she judged and felt privileged to be among the pupils. Further to this the Mayor welcomed Prince Charles and Camilla to the Borough.

     

    The Mayor also attended a Reggae music festival in Lambeth and appreciated the food and music there as well as the Windrush Memorial and hosted the dignitaries. 

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 Friday 8 July 2022. Email: wchandai@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Minutes:

    Two deputations were presented to Council.

     

    Deputation 1 – Living in Temporary Accommodation in Lambeth

    Sabine Mairey made a deputation on behalf of Charlie Harvey who was temporarily housed and had experienced being homeless in Lambeth.

     

    • She had been temporarily housed for 5 years and the housing conditions she lived in were not fit for purpose.
    • Charlie had panels in the bathroom that were not fitted correctly, the water leaked into the kitchen, her toilet was blocked and there was a disabled chair in the bathroom which had been there for two decades, despite Charlie not having a disability.
    • Charlie had never had a viewing over her tenancy and had an insecure tenancy. Due to this, Charlie and her children’s physical and mental health had been impacted and they did not have a say in where their home was located.
    • It was felt that the money was not reinvested into improving homes and living conditions and those who were living in temporary accommodation did not have a say in any redevelopment of their home.
    • It was noted that they were also unsure what role Homes for Lambeth (HfL) played in this and what their benefits were.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Better Homes and Reducing Homelessness, Councillor Maria Kay, responded, noting that:

     

    • She shared her concern for those who had not been given permanent accommodation in Lambeth and wanted to speak to Charlie and Sabine after the meeting to ensure Charlie’s case was dealt with appropriately.
    • The Cabinet Member further noted that she would be in discussion with the Assistant Director of Housing to understand more about the current situation. It was also mentioned that rehousing tenants into permanent accommodation could not be done without the support and help from central government.
    • Regarding HfL, the Councillor indicated she would respond to Sabine on that matter as it was not within her portfolio so she would need to speak to HfL representatives. Councilor Kay indicated that HfL were embarking on the biggest and most ambitious new homes programme for a generation, which would home residents and be of high quality. She encouraged Sabine Mairey to provide Councillor Kay with Charlie’s contact details.

     

    Deputation 2 – Equality of access to Woodmansterne Secondary School

    Naomi and George De Souza made a deputation on the entrance requirements for Woodmansterne Secondary School indicating that:

     

    • They were representing concerned parents due to the unfair admissions policy for gaining entry into the secondary school. They stated that children of secondary school age in the surrounding area had limited options for secondary schools due to pupils of  Woodmansterne Primary School being guaranteed a place at the secondary school.
    • The Year 6 cohort pupil size was 126 pupils, and the Year 7 cohort size was 150. This indicated that a majority of the secondary school places were taken up by pupils who went to the primary school.
    • Naomi and George further indicated that children who lived in the surrounding area therefore would not have access to their  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

School Debating Competition Awards

    Minutes:

    The Lambeth School debating competition took place on Saturday the 26 of March where participants from St Gabriel's College and Streatham and Clapham High School took part in a public speaking debate. The event was opened by former mayor, Councillor Annie Gallop and the panel was chaired by the mayor who also closed the debate.

     

    Councillor Dr Mahamed Hashi, one of the judges of the competition, noted that young people must be seen as a vital asset, and they were a resource for our development as a borough. It was also noted that young people must be empowered and encouraged to play a vital role and he thanked the children for their work and delivery and the adults who supported the children in taking part.

     

    Councillor Scott Ainslie, also one of the judges of the competition, indicated that Lambeth was an inclusive diverse borough which was represented in the school debating competition. He noted that the children of Lambeth were articulate and passionate and thanked them for taking part.

     

    The Mayor indicated that St Gabriel’s College was the winning school and presented a trophy to members of the team. They also were awarded three days of work experience at Lambeth legal services.  The mayor thanked all who had made the competition a great success and thanked all the judges who took part.

6.

Youth Council Annual Update

    Minutes:

    Melisa McArthur, Lead Commissioner – Vulnerable Children, and representatives from Lambeth’s Youth Council, provided the following information:

     

    • The Youth Council allowed young people to be heard and it needed a greater profile.
    • Children and young people were at the heart of what they did and they cared deeply about Lambeth.
    • The Youth Council induction event showed the well-being of young people in the borough and it allowed people to reach out to the young people in Lambeth.
    • During the Councillor training session, the Councillors had different opinions to the Youth Council which had sparked an interesting debate. The Youth Council thanked the Councillors who attended and had engaged with them.
    • They worked with officers who were leading on the Child Friendly Lambeth programme by conducting surveys, speaking to young people and children in the borough and offered their opinions to shape the programme.
    • They had worked on a project with the police to rebuild the confidence of the young people in the borough and to help build rapport with police officers. Some of the outcomes included assessing where the unsafe areas were, where there was not enough lighting and going into secondary schools to speak to young people about important issues.
    • Youth Councillors also shadowed Councillor Dr Mahamed Hashi, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, who had introduced him to children working in the office and his day-to-day role and responsibilities.
    • The council were able to discuss climate change, help young people regarding homelessness, black lives matter
    • The Youth Council invited all Councillors to the Youth Summit which was taking place on the 15 September 2022.

     

     

    Councillors Nicole Griffiths, Ben Curtis and Ben Kind then spoke:

     

    • Councillor Nicole Griffiths stated that young people were the future and thanked members of the Youth Council for an enjoyable and enlightening training event that had recently taken place. She applauded the Youth Council for their critical thinking and desire in bring about change in the borough and highlighted that the Green members were always available to provide a green view in whatever they wanted to discuss.
    • Councillor Ben Curtis stated the future of Lambeth Youth Council was in good hands and they were educating, inspiring and informing the future. He also assured the Youth Council that the Liberal Democrats would be willing to help them in anyway and looked forward to the summit in September.
    • Councillor Ben Kind thanked the Youth Council for coming and giving their annual update and said it was important for Lambeth’s children and young people to be involved in democracy. He echoed Councillor Dr Mahamed Hashi’s point about working with colleagues to find new ways to ensure young people have a voice.

     

7.

Cabinet Statement

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor Claire Holland, addressed Council noting the following:

     

    ·         The cost of living had increased inflation to a 40 year high. Energy costs would negatively impact residents in the winter months. The council were providing a £4.3 million package to provide free school meals during the summer holidays for struggling households. A cabinet report on the impact of inflation and service pressures would be deliberated at the Cabinet meeting on Monday 18 July 2022.

    ·         Cabinet would put forward a motion to call on the government to act which would help people through the most challenging of time. They rejected the Liberal Democrat amendments which it was stated would cause millions of pounds of cuts.

    ·         The Leader condemned the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe Vs Wade, which provided women access to safe and legal abortions, and welcomed the Council coming together to support abortion rights.

    ·         The Conservative government had provided no proposals for the public transport network in London which is why the council would launch a Stop Tory Bus Cuts campaign.

     

8.

Majority Opposition Statement

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Majority Opposition, Councillor Donna Harris, addressed Council noting the following:

     

    ·         The Liberal Democrats hoped to win more seats as the council had a large majority and needed scrutiny.

    ·         They had attended a Local Government Association (LGA) conference which had been inspiring and shared the best practise between councils. It brought new ideas and the discussion was informative.

    ·         Raising public recognition into the role of councillors was vital in standing together to tackle the abuse experienced.

9.

Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 465 KB

    Minutes:

    1.    Councillor Donna Harris to Councillor Rezina Chowdhury, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clean Air

     

    Supplementary Question

    Councillor Donna Harris asked what assurances the Cabinet Member could give in terms of losing mature trees across the borough and the timetable for new trees to be planted in relation to growing biodiversity needs.

     

     

    Supplementary Answer

    Councillor Rezina Chowdhury stated that the borough would get a net gain of 5000 trees in line with those in danger over the next few years. There would be 2000 in the first year, 4000 in the next and 6000 in the third year. She indicated that she would count on Liberal Democrat support to care for their trees and in response to the query in relation to 10 per cent biodiversity, she would get back to the councillor on this.

     

     

    2.    Councillor Nicole Griffiths to Councillor David Amos, Cabinet Member for Finance and Cost of Living

    Supplementary Question

    Councillor Nicole Griffiths asked to provide a timeline on when information and advice services would be available online.

     

    Supplementary Answer

    Councillor David Amos stated that there were a wide range of issues around housing and officers were working on the timeline for providing advice services and physical guidance documents. This included literature to help those in housing and would be available in other languages. Furthermore, he would speak to the fellow Cabinet Member who covered housing to ensure there was a comprehensive communication plan and would get back to Councillor Griffiths on the confirmed timeline.

     

     

    3.    Councillor Marianna Masters to Councillor Marcia Cameron and Councillor Jim Dickson, Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities (Job Share)

    Supplementary Question

    Councillor Marianna Masters congratulated the council for the summer holiday programme and noted that families housed in hotels were finding their way and asked for the play equipment to be supplied to asylum seeking hotels.

     

    Supplementary Answer

    Councillor Jim Dickson responded this was an amazing programme for those who needed food and a sanctuary for children. All those who fit the age bracket would receive that support and he would see that play equipment was installed which would hopefully be raised by private donations.

     

     

    4.    Councillor Diogo Costa to Councillor Ben Kind, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People

    Supplementary Question

    Councillor Diogo Costa asked what the future was for the Lambeth Schools Partnership Board project.

     

    Supplementary Answer

    Councillor Ben Kind stated that they would support schools to raise Portuguese attainment and include multilingual art installations. They would also work to recruit Portuguese school governors and staff.

     

     

    5.    Councillor Sonia Winifred to Councillor Marcia Cameron and Councillor Jim Dickson, Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities (Job Share)

    Supplementary Question

    Councillor Sonia Winifred asked what communication had taken with the Home Secretary on the council's position to refugees processing asylum and resettlement.

     

     

    Supplementary Answer

    Councillor Marcia Cameron stated that they had been communicating and wrote a letter to the Home Secretary indicating that the asylum policy was grossly unfair, and the government had failed to properly compensate councils across the UK. She  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Reports

10.a

Use of Special Urgency in respect of key decisions pdf icon PDF 352 KB

    Minutes:

    Councillor Scott Ainslie, Councillor Matthew Bryant and Councillor David Amos spoke on the use of special urgency in respect of key decisions, raising the following points:

     

    -       Councillor Ainslie queried why the procedures were still in place. It was noted that Canon contract did not fall under covid-19 related spending and that original award in 2016 reported a saving of 41%, however it was noted that costs had since increased. He questioned the usage of the service over the previous four years and indicated that the constant rolling over of the contract had reduced the amount of money saved compared to if the contract had been managed properly.

    -       Councillor Bryant questioned the checks that were put in place and wanted further explanation of why this was deemed necessary and would the new contract target employment for Lambeth residents.

    -       Councillor Amos stated he would be happy to pick up questions regarding the Canon contract and the use of special urgency.  It was stated that applying 28 days would have left a negative impact on the service and the cost of the contract had increased as the period had been extended. Members were advised that the council had agreed to extend this by one year and due to there being an insufficient volume of suppliers in the market. Furthermore, the decision was required after the election which the previous Cabinet Member did not stand in, and so was not available to take the decision, as such the council had decided to extend it by one year before going out to full procurement.

     

10.b

Constitution pdf icon PDF 208 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Ben Curtis and Councillor Scarlett O’Hara spoke on the constitution report, raising the following points:

    -       Councillor Curtis indicated that he was pleased that an additional Overview and Scrutiny Committee Sub-Committee was being formed, however noted that both the chair and vice chair were from the majority party and the consultation for remit of the sub-committee did not go outside of the council and could not have gone to many groups in the sector.

    -       Councillor O’Hara indicated that the Lambeth Labour commitment to provide high quality services and the new scrutiny committee would look at adult social care and included members of the opposition party. No members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee were whips and no Cabinet Members sat on those committees and were not involved in the decision of who sat on those committees. The generosity offered by Lambeth Labour to have members of the opposition on every scrutiny committee as well as other key committee of the council. 

     

    RESOLVED: by 40 votes in favour and two abstentions

     

    1.      To approve the Terms of Reference for the Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Sub-Committee, as set out at Appendix 1 of the report.

     

    2.      To appoint the representatives of the Council on other bodies and outside organisations, as set out at Appendix 2 of the report.

     

10.c

Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 233 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillors Nicole Griffiths, Councillor Ben Curtis and Councillor Liz Atkins spoke on Overview and Scrutiny Committee Annual Report, raising the following points:

     

    ·         Councillor Griffiths thanked Councillor Liz Atkins and officers for the report and indicated that it was a fair and objective assessment of the meetings. She had sat on the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) Commission and currently sat on Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Housing Scrutiny Sub-Committee.

    ·         Councillor Curtis welcomed the report as it was a vital way of holding Cabinet Members and senior officers to account and he applauded the topics that were under review. There were two points of contention however, the first was that there was no opposition chair, and there was no acknowledgement of the findings of these results of these committee reports.

    ·         Councillor Atkins stated that Lambeth leaders welcomed the constructive criticism and scrutiny worked best when led by cross party independent councillors. It was noted that the opposition councillors wanted to lead scrutiny, however it was felt that independent councillors focused on a better outcome which was unbound by party allegiance. Scrutiny worked best through working and listening to local people and the report had been informed by local people.

     

    RESOLVED: unanimously that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2021/22 be approved.

     

10.d

Corporate Parenting Board Annual Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 352 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillors Scott Ainslie, Matthew Bryant and Ben Kind spoke on Corporate Parenting Board Annual Report, raising the following points:

     

    ·         Councillor Ainslie viewed the earlier version of this report at a scrutiny meeting in December 2021 and stated it was difficult to get assurance that Lambeth had changed, and the regular dashboard report was welcomed. It was suggested that all Councillors should receive access to this data and assurance that children in care were regularly visited and supported.

    ·         Councillor Bryant indicated it was difficult to comment in detail but as an observation the report seemed to have a few sweeping statements and not enough data. He stated that this should be rectified in the next report. The publication of IICSA had highlighted the failings of the council and the council had accepted the report in full and committed that such failings never to happen again.

    ·         Councillor Kind stated that there was valuable scrutiny from the opposition and that no one in the council was complacent about the awful historical abuse. He indicated that corporate parenting was every councillors responsibility and welcomed the report. He recognised the hard work from former Councillors Ed David and Joshua Lindsey and officers.

     

    RESOLVED: by 41 votes in favour and one against that the Corporate Parenting Board Annual Report 2021/22 be approved, as set out at Appendix 1 of the report.

     

11.

Motions pdf icon PDF 435 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Emergency Motion – Abortion rights

     

    The Motion prepared by the Labour Party on behalf of the three Groups of the Council was CARRIED and Council RESOLVED, by unanimously

     

    Council notes:

    ·          With major concern, the ruling of the US Supreme Court to overturn the 1973 court decision that protected women’s right to an abortion. 

    ·          That access to safe abortions is a fundamental right, but that in the USA and many places across the world women, trans men and non-binary people are being denied basic rights to reproductive healthcare.

    ·          Criminalising abortion does not stop abortions, it pushes them underground and makes them less safe, putting women’s lives at risk 

    ·          Decisions in the USA represent a new threat to women’s rights, which has caused urgent concern in the communities we represent.

    ·          That those who would protest and harass women outside of abortion clinics in the UK may have been emboldened by recent events in the USA.

    ·          That research from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the UK’s largest abortion provider, have said that Britain’s outdated abortion law hampers their ability to provide the best care for women.

    ·          Abortions can legally be carried out within England, Scotland and Wales within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy and in line with the 1967 Abortion Act, and within the first 12 weeks in Northern Ireland following the repeal of restrictions in 2019 and the introduction of the current regulations in 2020.

    ·          Abortions are still deemed a criminal act in England, Scotland and Wales under the 1967 Abortion Act.

    ·          That earlier this year, the then Joint Cabinet Members for Health and Social Care wrote to the Minister for Vaccines and Public Health to raise deep and urgent concerns in regard to the announcement by government that telemedical abortion – allowing women to take both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation at home – was to be removed as an option in England after 29th August 2022.

     

    Council welcomes:

    ·          The work of the British Pregnancy and Advisory Service Clinic in Clapham and the Marie Stopes Clinic in Brixton for the work they do to provide safe access to medical treatment and abortions.

    ·          That services users, members of the public, and clinic staff are able to report incidents outside an abortion clinic directly to Lambeth council on their smartphone, tablet or computer, helping us to identify intimidation and harassment whenever they happen outside Lambeth’s clinics, so we can tackle them for the good of women attending the clinic, staff going about their work and the wider community.

    ·          The House of Lords amendment which reversed the government’s decision to end access to telemedical abortion after August this year.

     

    Council resolves:

    ·          To continue to support the delivery of sexual and reproductive care in Lambeth, ensuring that women are able to safely access abortions and make it clear that services across Lambeth are open to those who are seeking quality sexual and reproductive care - signposting to those services that continue to be available to any who would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.