Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Monday 15 May 2017 5.00 pm

Venue: Bolney Meadow Community Centre, 31 Bolney Street, London, SW8 1EZ. View directions

Contact: Henry Langford, Senior Democratic Services Officer, Tel: 020 7926 1065 Email: hlangford@lambeth.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Pecuniary Interest

Under Cabinet Rule 1.5.2, where any Cabinet Member 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 of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 189 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 24 April 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 24 April 2017 be approved and signed by the Chair as a correct record of the proceedings.

3.

Lambeth Air Quality Action Plan 2017-2022 pdf icon PDF 297 KB

    Key decision

    All wards

     

    Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing

    Sue Foster, Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods and Growth

     

    Contact for enquiries: Andrew Round, Sustainability Manager ARound@lambeth.gov.uk, 020 7926 1253

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing, Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite introduced the report and noted:

    ·         The Lambeth Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) had taken on the greater significance since the government had published its unsatisfactory plans to tackle air pollution.

    ·         There was a disproportionately high number of deaths caused by air pollution in London and Lambeth specifically.

    ·         Lambeth had low levels of car ownership but was heavily affected by traffic pollution.

    ·         Poor air quality disproportionately impacted on the most vulnerable in society and the AQAP was an ambition plan to reduce air pollution and improve residents’ lives.

    ·         The AQAP was a living document and would continue to be developed over time. Councillors and officers would be required to give the plan proper consideration when delivering services and taking decisions. An AQAP Steering Group had also established to monitor the plan and ensure all actions were delivered.

    ·         Lambeth would hold a Clean Air Week in June 2017, launch an Annual Residents’ Air Quality Conference and host a business round table talk to address poor air quality.

    ·         If approved by Cabinet, the AQAP would be submitted to the Mayor of London for formal recognition.

    ·         The Council’s Sustainability Team and green champions were thanked for their considerable work developing the plan.

     

    The Sustainability Manager, Andrew Round, and Assistant Director for Neighbourhoods, Raj Mistry, then provided the following information:

    ·         The AQAP Steering Group helped develop the plan and comprised of local residents, green champions, NHS staff and representatives from the neighbourhood forums.

    ·         An extensive consultation process had been carried out on the proposed plan.

     

    Councillor Bernard Gentry then raised the following points on behalf of the Opposition:

    ·         There was a shortage of charging point for electric vehicles in the borough. Many residents would be willing to switch to electric cars should more be provided.

    ·         Speed restriction measures such as speed bumps and traffic lights led to increased traffic pollution.

    ·         The Council’s anti-idling campaign was commended but more could be done to focus these messages on commercial vehicles.

    ·         Changes to parking permit charges could be explored as a viable way to reduce traffic emissions.

    ·         Temporary road closures around schools could also be investigated.

     

    Officers responded to the points raised by Councillor Gentry, stating that:

    ·         Lambeth did indeed have very low numbers of charging points for electric vehicles; however, officers were working on a project to review and increase the number provided. The technology involved was very new and the Council need to consider all options carefully before implementing any changes.

    ·         There were a number of traffic calming measures used throughout the borough. The proportion of emissions caused by speed bumps was comparatively low when compared to other sources of air pollution in Lambeth.

     

    Cabinet Members then asked a range of questions and made the following comments:

    ·         The Lambeth AQAP brought together a range solutions for a multitude problems and was welcomed by Cabinet.

    ·         Much could to be done to improve roads for people with disabilities, particularly those aged 18-35. Pavements were currently inaccessible for many  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Incorporating and Mobilising Homes for Lambeth pdf icon PDF 531 KB

    Key decision

    All wards

     

    Councillor Paul McGlone, Deputy Leader of the Council (Investment and Partnerships)

    Sue Foster, Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods and Growth

     

    Contact for enquiries: Neil Vokes, Assistant Director Housing Regeneration, NVokes@lambeth.gov.uk, 020 7926 3068

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Leader of the Council (Investment and Partnerships), Councillor Paul McGlone, introduced the report and noted the following:

    ·         The Council was taking a bold step in establishing Homes for Lambeth, a council-owned house builder, housing association and private rented landlord. Homes for Lambeth would build quality homes and contribute towards the target of 1,000 new homes at council rent.

    ·         The demand for social housing in Lambeth far outstripped supply. By establishing Homes for Lambeth, social housing could be built in a way not possible for the Council to do directly under current legislation. The Council was prepared to use its legal powers to invest in affordable housing.

    ·         Homes for Lambeth would deliver housing for residents on a range of incomes and provide a more favourable deal for private renters.

    ·         Homes for Lambeth would act as the Council’s strategic housing delivery partner and seek to maximise partnership and special-funding opportunities. It would also ensure the viability of housing schemes and actively engage with communities to ensure the requirements of residents were met.

    ·         New council-led housing would also be built to modern standards with sustainable designs.

    ·         The report recommended the incorporation of the group of companies that would make up Homes for Lambeth. Cabinet was also asked to approve the proposed governance arrangements and the initial start-up loan.

     

    The Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods and Growth, Sue Foster, stated that this decision largely dealt with the incorporation of the series of companies and the governance arrangements. Another report on the initial schemes to be brought forward by Homes for Lambeth would be considered by Cabinet in due course.

     

    The Director of Finance, Christina Thompson, then noted an amendment to the report. Paragraph 2.9.2 should make reference to the Assistant Director of Finance for Capital Planning and Major Projects, rather than The Head of Finance, Capital and Tax.

     

    Mr Shemi Leira, the Chair of Leaseholders’ Council, was then invited to make a representation to Cabinet. He raised the following issues:

    ·         The decision was complicated and many matters remained unclear. For example, questions remained over what securities potential investors would be guaranteed for investing in new housing.

    ·         It was unclear whether adequate provisions had be made to guard against market failure.

    ·         Concerns were raised about the transparency of the decision-making and financial transactions carried out under Homes for Lambeth. Oversight from financial regulatory authorities was essential.

    ·         The interests of potential financial investors was uncertain. Homes for Lambeth could open up council homes and land to private investors, to the detriment of residents.

     

    The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Tim Briggs, then addressed Cabinet and raised the following concerns:

    ·         The structure of Homes for Lambeth was ill-defined and there was a lack of accountability, particularly in relation to financial transactions between the series of companies.

    ·         Cabinet was urged to make a commitment to allow contractual Right-to-Buy.

    ·         A range of governance issues remained problematic. For example, the selection process of the Independent Chair of the Homes for Lambeth Group Ltd Board was likely to compromise their  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.