Venue: Committee Room (B6) - Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton, London, SW2 1RW. View directions
Contact: Wayne Chandai Head of the Chief Executive's Office and Democratic Services Manager, Tel: 020 7926 0029 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
There were none.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meetings held on 18 September and 07 October 2019 be signed and agreed as an accurate record of proceedings.
The report was introduced by the Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance, Councillor Andy Wilson. He highlighted that:
· Local government financing was uncertain, with Government’s Fair Funding Review and Business Rates Retention both stalled; and further compounded by the unpredictable political landscape.
· The expected four-year Government spending review had not occurred, instead there had been a one-year cyclical spending round causing difficulties in planning for the future.
· Lambeth was currently overspending in Children’s Services and was managing Adults and Health pressures with one-off funding; with both areas having uncertainty of future income.
· The last Budget review identified a £38m spending gap and Lambeth was still required to find an additional £6m savings, but aside from £100,000, no savings would impact on frontline services and was to come from efficiencies and improved income generation.
Cabinet next heard from Councillor Liz Atkins, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC):
· The protection of frontline services and the most vulnerable was welcomed, but the difficulty of setting financial strategies with one year funding commitments and Brexit impacts was noted.
· Further information was required on addressing climate change, business rates pooling, and the forthcoming business rate evaluation.
· The effects of the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) 1% rate increase on the capital programme was queried.
· The focus on growth was welcomed, especially given the difficulties of meeting savings in Adults’ and Children’s Social Care.
· Reviews of council tax and voluntary contributions were needed.
· Resident Services covered most savings, but were failing to recover income on waste and events.
· The impact of cuts on the most vulnerable concerned the OSC, which did not want to see funding balanced on those suffering the most and requested that service delivery offer value for money and positive outcomes. Evidence of progression on the proposals would also be required.
· It was requested to include CIPFA benchmarking on future reports to compare with peers and assess whether the Council was meeting its residents’ needs.
Councillor Pete Elliott, Green Party Opposition Standards and Monitoring Member, noted that:
· The absence of frontline Adults and Children’s Social Care savings was welcomed, but it was queried why more savings from Policy and Communications, and Legal and Governance, could not be made.
· There was little evidence of resources being used for the climate emergency; with the cycling infrastructure capital investment too low to create liveable neighbourhoods and car-free roads.
· High levels of incinerated waste meant increasing investment in waste and recycling was negated.
· Lambeth’ Housing Standard was poor and needed improvement, and raised questions on the Council’s contractor relationships, whilst empty properties investment and not estate regeneration was required.
In response to the above representations, Cabinet Members advised that:
· Cabinet, nor the Council, was complaisant with contractors and put the interests of residents first.
· Lambeth had upgraded 23,000 homes over the last five years, improving residents’ lives.
· The housing focus and priorities had been decided by residents, with the considerable investment the first in 30 years and Lambeth could be proud of its delivery.
· Voluntary ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
The report was introduced by the Deputy Leader (Environment and Clean Air), Councillor Claire Holland. She highlighted that:
· Lambeth had responded to feedback and continued to make improvements, noting the considerable input from organisations like Mums for Lungs in tackling toxic air and the Council’s declaration of a climate emergency in January 2019.
· Lambeth was working with the Mayor of London and other boroughs to decarbonise transport and improve road safety, and had signed up to the Mayor’s Zero Carbon Plan by 2025.
· Cabinet wanted to stop road use by non-residents and had instigated low-traffic neighbourhoods and 10 miles of healthy routes to reclaim local areas for local businesses and residents.
· More initiatives and proposals would arise from future implementation plans.
· Thanks were offered to partners and residents, who provided invaluable, critical challenge.
Cabinet next heard from Simon Still, Lambeth Cyclists; Sarah Richard, Valley Road Residents’ Group; and, Sally Warren, Vauxhall Gyratory residents group; who gave the following representations:
· The Strategy set out implementation and would address many issues disproportionately affecting young people, primarily on their health and safety, with 50% of London air pollution and a third of carbon emissions caused by traffic.
· Work to improve traffic was urgent and consultation needed to be short.
· The Council was thanked for its response to decrease rat-running, noise and air pollution, and safety; and Valley Road Residents’ Group were keen to assist with local engagement, support other initiatives in the borough and Strategy, and lobbying to improve bus and train services.
· The Vauxhall area had significant traffic problems, with increasing volumes and speeds ruining residents’ quality of life, and the gyratory expected to compound issues.
Councillor Scott Ainslie, Green Party, provided the following comments:
· There was considerable improvement from the draft strategy and the new initiatives were welcomed, however, it was believed that the climate emergency should entail greater urgency, a thorough and bolder review of approach, and mention of CO2 reduction.
· Electric vehicle charging points were embraced, but further work with Transport for London (TfL) to limit through traffic and a commitment to the working parking levy was required.
· Cycling routes circumnavigated the borough, but more routes were needed within the borough; additionally two junctions (between A205-A23 and A24 and A3) were of concern and officers were asked to detail proposals to make these safe.
Cabinet Members provided the below representations:
· The Strategy would have positive impacts on public health and wellbeing, clean air, and the community; however, it needed to counter cultural influences, including the rise of SUV sales.
· The Strategy was filtered down throughout the Council and had seen pro-cycling measures, cleaner transport, improved recycling, and review of electrical charging on estates.
· The Strategy did note CO2 reduction and air quality, and would help deliver the Healthy Routes plan.
· The Strategy inputted into the Brixton Neighbourhoods Plan to reshape transport moving within Brixton and improve community safety.
· The input of children and young people into consultation was of the utmost importance.
· The Strategy was welcomed ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
The report was introduced by the Deputy Leader of the Council (Environment and Clean Air), Councillor Claire Holland. She highlighted that:
· The Waste Strategy ran from 2011-2031 and this report provided a framework for continuous improvement and review given the climate emergency, with proposals for achievable targets, improved customer access and digital services; whilst responding to resident consultation.
· Waste was a universal service and there had been a considerable consultation response.
Cabinet next heard from Councillor Pete Elliott, Green Party Opposition Standards and Monitoring Member, who gave the following representations:
· It was welcomed that the report referred to tackling pollution and filtered throughout the Council’s activities; but targets lacked ambition with a less than 6% decrease in residual waste per household.
· There was no mention of Lambeth’s high levels of waste incineration.
· The Council was committed to removing single-use plastics, but needed to lobby and work with local businesses beyond Lambeth’s remit and prospective event organisers. The report only detailed six additional water fountains, but more would be needed to have an effect.
· It was hoped that Lambeth would be a trailblazer and set bolder targets.
Cabinet Members provided the following representations:
· The challenging Strategy was commended, with the good recycling for street properties noted; however, increasing recycling and use of fixed-charge penalty notices were needed.
· Further work with street champions and education could improve recycling rates in flats.
· It was queried if the Western Riverside Waste Authority was in synchronisation with the Strategy.
· Officers would respond to Councillor Elliott on measures to improve incineration of waste.
In response to questions, officers and Cabinet Members advised that:
· The targets were ambitious, but the difficulty of recycling from flats and estates was noted, and there were trials in place and review of other boroughs’ policies. However, the Strategy included increasing recycling targets from 32% to 37% whilst other boroughs had decreased theirs.
· There were further review periods in 2022, and ongoing through 2025-2030.
· Carbon reduction formed a significant part of the Waste Strategy.
· The Council was focused on reducing single-use plastics, and had an action plan and working groups to do so, but it was noted the Council could apply further pressure on businesses. The importance of and current projects on working in partnership, in addition to the events strategy review detailing that organisers met policies, was noted.
· The Western Riverside Waste Authority was generally aligned and had state-of-the-art recovery for materials, but was not aligned on food waste recycling, although the contract allowed for this to be taken elsewhere. There were also plans to develop the Belvedere site to handle more recycling and would provide greater alignment with the borough’s proposals.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Jack Hopkins, summarised the discussion as follows:
· He noted that Lambeth was one of the first boroughs to declare a climate emergency, and had been improving food waste collection, LED light installation, and other climate-friendly measures for a considerable time and had an impressive track record.
· He concluded by thanking officers and ... view the full minutes text for item 5.