Agenda and minutes

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 123 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 15 May 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the previous meeting held Monday 24th April 2017 be approved and signed by the Chair as an accurate record of the proceedings.

3.

Housing Fire Safety Update pdf icon PDF 244 KB

    Urgent item

    All wards

     

    Councillor Jennifer Braithwaite, Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing

    Sue Foster, Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods and Growth

     

    Contact for enquiries:

    Rachel Sharpe, Director Strategic Programmes

    SumitraGomer, Assistant Director-Housing Capital Programme and Asset Management, Neighbourhoods and Growth, 0207 926 4208, SGomer@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chair and Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, introduced the urgent report and thanked all Lambeth staff who had assisted the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) with their operations since the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower. London Councils was now analysing the initial response of RBKC and the Chair would report any future developments to Cabinet.

     

    The report had the goal of providing reassurance to Lambeth residents that the council was taking all necessary and appropriate steps to ensure their safety. The council had worked collaboratively with external partners and other public bodies, including the London Fire Brigade, when responding to new demands that had emerged since the fire. Further appreciation was expressed to members of the Fire Brigade and other emergency services who had worked tirelessly and shared information with officers willingly.

     

    The Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods and Growth provided the following information when updating Cabinet:

    ·         This was a fast moving situation and the Council was responding to new developments on a daily basis. Since the fire, officers had worked proactively to understand the implications for Lambeth.

    ·         Lambeth Council had provided support for RBKC as well as Camden Council. It had also worked jointly the DCLG, the London Fire Brigade and the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

    ·         The Council owned 31 medium and high-rise residential blocks with some form of cladding and had submitted samples from each of these to the BRE for fire testing. One of the buildings, Southwyck House, had been found to have a similar type of cladding to that used on Grenfell Tower and the council had been managing this case as a matter of urgency. 

    ·         At present, the safety of people living in the 31 cladded blocks was paramount and officers had communicated with all residents. Information had also been provided advising residents how to keep themselves safe.

    ·         All Lambeth-owned housing blocks had up-to-date Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) and additional Level 4 FRAs had been commissioned for the 31 cladded buildings.

     

    Cabinet members then made the following comments:

    ·         The council had collaborated well with external partners and actively engaged with local MPs, councillors and residents.

    ·         Thanks were expressed to the London Fire Brigade local command who had supported the actions of the council.

    ·         Lambeth officers were commended for their work ensuring the safety of local people. The organised question and answer sessions had been helpful for residents.

    ·         Residents were thanked for cooperating fully with officers and supplying information when required. Local communities had also displayed compassion and generosity to those affected by the fire. 

    ·         It was important that Lambeth Council continued to be open and transparent with all information relating to fire safety in the borough.

    ·         Lambeth should continue to assist other London Councils whenever possible.

    ·         Further consideration was required of the specific risks of fire to vulnerable residents living in sheltered accommodation.

    ·         The Government had clearly indicated that local government should make all necessary changes to prevent fires. This needed to be backed up with a clear funding commitment.

    ·         The Grenfell  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

New resident engagement structures pdf icon PDF 527 KB

    Key decision

    All wards

     

    Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment

    Sue Foster, Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods and Growth

     

    Contact: Mark Howarth, Governance & Resident Engagement Manager, 0207 926 8319, mhowarth@lambeth.gov.uk

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing, Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, introduced the report and thanked the Deputy Cabinet Member for Housing for her work alongside officers in developing the new resident engagement structures. The Tenants and Residents Associations (TRAs), Area Housing Forums, Tenants’ Council and Leaseholders’ Council had all played an important role in developing the new arrangements. Just two main issues of contention remained and therefore it was disappointing that both Tenants’ Council and Leaseholders’ Council had rejected the proposals. A more flexible approach was now required that enabled a greater diversity of views to feed into resident governance structures.

     

    The Governance & Resident Engagement Manager, Mark Howarth, then provided the following information:

    ·         Tenants’ Council and Leaseholders’ Council had rejected the proposed engagement structures but had acknowledged the need for change.

    ·         The new structures would initially be piloted for a period of 12 months.

    ·         Officers had worked to widen the engagement process and enable more to be facilitated online, for example through the Lambeth 500+.

     

    The Deputy Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Anna Birley, thanked residents for their comments on the proposals and confirmed they had been taken on board. The new engagement structures were more flexible and would ensure residents’ interests were at the heart of the service. The focus would be on service improvement and performance monitoring.

     

    The Vice Chair of Tenants’ Council, Nicholas Greaves, then addressed Cabinet and raised the following issues:

    ·         Tenants’ Council and Leaseholders’ Council had been involved in the process since November 2015 but some issues of concern remained unresolved. Tenants’ Council Executive would for example be dissolved despite this having been one of the most effective mechanisms for change.

    ·         There would no longer be separate bodies for tenants and leaseholders. This could lead to the interests of one group becoming dominated by those of the other.

    ·         Delegating more authority to Area Managers carried significant risks.

    ·         The emphasis on online working was welcomed but only 58% of tenants were currently online and public meetings were still necessary.

    ·         There was a diverse mix of people engaged in the current process. It was not necessary to take replace the entire structure and risk losing the input of those currently involved.

    ·         Despite the focus on ‘Walkabout Wednesday’ sessions, many residents remained unaware of them.

    ·         Tenants must be able to raise and pursue service improvements without having to navigate complex governance structures. 

     

    The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Tim Briggs then raised the following points:

    ·         The main problem with the existing structures was that none of the various residents’ meetings had any significant decision making or scrutiny power. The proposed resident engagement structures also failed to devolve any authority to residents. They would also fail to facilitate any accountable decision making.

    ·         The alternative resident engagement structures proposed by the Conservative Opposition Group were preferable. This centred on a Borough Residents’ Forum which was fed into by a number of other bodies, including the Lambeth 500+ and three Housing Area Panels. Power would be partially devolved to resident  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Application to designate Norwood Planning Assembly Neighbourhood Forum and Neighbourhood Area pdf icon PDF 226 KB

    Key decision

    Knight’s Hill, Gipsy Hill, Thurlow Park, Herne Hill, Tulse Hill

     

    Matthew Bennett: Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and Jobs

    Sue Foster: Strategic Director Neighbourhoods and Growth

     

    Contact: Catherine Carpenter: Delivery Lead Planning Strategy and Policy Neighbourhoods and Growth, 020 7926 1251, ccarpenter@lambeth.gov.uk

     

     

    Note added July 2018:

     

    Personal email addresses were included in the public agenda which was an error, the information should have been exempt from public disclosure under Section 12A of the Local Government Act para 1. Information relating to any individual, and para 2. Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual.

     

    Following a request from the Planning, Development and Transport team the documents were removed and replaced on 20 July 2018. For queries please contactdemocracy@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Note added September 2019:

     

    Personal details were included in the public agenda which was an error, the information should have been exempt from public disclosure under Section 12A of the Local Government Act para 1. Information relating to any individual, and para 2. Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual.

     

    Following a request from the Planning, Development and Transport team the documents were removed and replaced on 25 September 2019. For queries please contactdemocracy@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Jackie Meldrum, introduced the report and noted that the recommendations had been arrived at following much positive work from the local action groups in Norwood.

     

    Graham Pycock, Chair of the Norwood Planning Assembly, then addressed Cabinet and made the following points:

    ·         This would be the fourth neighbourhood area designated by Lambeth Council.

    ·         The Norwood Plan would sit as a new tier of local planning policy and would ultimately need to be passed by a referendum. It was an opportunity to involve local people meaningfully in the planning process and engage the community.

    ·         Many parts of the local area would benefit as a result of the designation.

    ·         Under the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 the local council was required to set out how it would support the neighbourhood planning process.

    ·         The Norwood Planning Assembly looked forward to working with council officers.

     

    Cabinet members then made the following comments:

    ·         Local action groups had engaged well with the local community up to this point. Meetings had been well attended and the process had been positive.

    ·         The designation of the neighbourhood area and neighbourhood forum was an important part of the journey towards establishing a new neighbourhood plan.

    ·         It was important that all groups in the local area were represented on the forum and the Norwood Planning Assembly was encouraged to provide information about the make-up its members.

    ·         The Norwood Planning Assembly should reach out to the local black and minority ethnic (BME) community and actively encourage people from under-represented groups to get involved.

     

    The Chair thanked Mr Pycock for his contribution and stressed the importance of diverse representation on the forum.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1.    To note the responses to the publication of the Norwood Planning Assembly neighbourhood forum and neighbourhood area combined application as set out in Appendix 3 of the report.

    2.    To designate the Norwood neighbourhood area as shown in the map ‘Norwood Planning Assembly boundary’ at Appendix 1 for the reasons set out in the report.

    3.    To approve the application for designation by the Norwood Planning Assembly as the neighbourhood forum for the area recommended to be designated in recommendation (2).

    4.    That Cabinet instructs officers to publicise its decision in relation to recommendations (2) and (3) in accordance with the statutory requirements.

6.

Financial Planning and Medium Term Strategy Report 2017/18 to 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 500 KB

    Key decision

    All wards

     

    Deputy Leader of the Council (Finance & Resources), Councillor Imogen Walker

    Strategic Director Corporate Resources, Jackie Belton

     

    Contact: Rachel Harrison, Group Manager (Strategic Finance), RHarrison1@lambeth.gov.uk, Tel: 0207 926 2027

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Leader of the Council (Finance & Resources), Councillor Imogen Walker, introduced the report and highlighted a number of achievements and service improvements the Council had delivered recently despite unprecedented cuts to its funding. The Council would continue to support the most vulnerable members of society, set balanced budgets, and lobby Government for additional finance to support the services that local people relied upon.

     

    The Director of Finance, Christina Thompson, then provided the following information to the committee:

    ·         The General Election in June had appeared to have an impact on the Government’s legislative agenda. For example, the Government had seemingly backtracked on its previous commitment for local government to be fully funded by local business rates from 2019/20. 

    ·         There were increased pressure on the Council’s Budget, with a further £11.5m of additional savings required.

    ·         There would be a refreshed financial planning report brought to Cabinet in November 2017. Officers hoped for further information about the future of local government funding by this time.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care asked for clarification about last year’s over-spend before highlighting the increased costs and complex needs which made the delivery of adult social care ever more difficult. The Director of Finance explained that the amount of over-spend on adult social care was calculated once balanced against the under-spend in senior management, strategic commissioning and public health. She also confirmed that there was, as yet, no formal indication that Government had reconsidered the school funding formula.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1.    To re-affirm the Council’s commitment to delivering the agreed revenue savings planned for 2017/18 (£16.861m) and 2018/19 to 2019/20 of (£29.756m), as set out in Table 1 of the report.

    2.    To approve the revised cash limit for 2017/18 to 2019/20 as set out in paragraph 2.2 of the report.

    3.    To note the key risks set out in paragraphs 2.23 to 2.49 of the report.

    4.    To approve the change to the funding deficit as set out in Table 1 and the consequent amendment to the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy.

    5.    To note the update on the Council adopting the arrangements for flexible use of capital receipts to support investment intended to generate savings as detailed in paragraphs 3.20-3.21 of the report.

    6.    To note the 2016/17 General Fund outturn of £281.814m against a budget of £281.902m in Table 3 paragraph 2.59.

    7.    To note the 2016/17 outturn for the HRA of a breakeven position in Table 4.

    8.    To note the capital investment outturn of £222m against the 2016/17 budget of £287m as detailed in paragraphs 3.1-3.2 of the report.

    9.    To note the proposed three year Capital Investment Programme for the period 2017/18 to 2019/20 of £294.6m as described in paragraphs 3.7 – 3.9 and summarised in Appendix 1.

    10.  To note the changes to the Capital Investment Programme for 2017/18 as set out in paragraphs 3.7 – 3.10.

     

7.

Performance Report - Q4 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 428 KB

    Non-key decision

    All wards

     

    Deputy Leader of the Council (Finance): Councillor Imogen Walker

    Chief Executive, Sean Harriss

     

    Contact: Tim Weetman, Head of Performance, Corporate Resources, 020 7926 6438, tweetman@lambeth.gov.uk

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Leader of the Council (Finance & Resources), Councillor Imogen Walker, introduced the report and noted that it very clearly set out the Council’s performance and direction of travel. Whilst there were some areas of concern that required improvement, generally performance had been good overall.

     

    The Head of Performance & Service Improvement, Tim Weetman, highlighted the performance against outcome indicators and service indicators that had worsened since the previous quarters. In some cases performance had dropped since the last quarter but was still up on the performance 12 months previously.

     

    In response to questions from members, officers stated that the decrease in the number of children being adopted was symptomatic of national trends. Courts had become more inclined to issue Special Guardianship Orders than adoptions. Compared to other London boroughs, Lambeth had the second highest adoption placement rate.

     

    The Chair thanked officers for their comprehensive report.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1.    To endorse the conclusions and recommendations for improvement activity.