Agenda item

Questions from Councillors

Minutes:

1.    The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Tim Briggs, to the Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Matthew Bennett.

 

Supplementary Question

 

Councillor Briggs asked why foam masts had appeared at Bourne House on the Notre Dame estate, and what had become of the Cabinet’s commitment to resident involvement in housing decisions, as it seemed that consultations were being taken after decisions had been effectively decided in advance.

 

Supplementary Answer

 

Councillor Bennett responded that Councillor Briggs had not been in touch with him about the issue before the meeting, and that it was his party which was responsible for the shortfall in Council housing. He further added that Councillor Briggs was welcome to come to him outside the meeting with any concerns he has about this matter.

 

2.    Councillor Scott Ainslie to the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite.

 

Supplementary Question

 

Councillor Ainslie asked if earmarked recycling areas could be further encouraged as Lambeth was 21st out of 32 London boroughs when it came to recycling targets.

 

Supplementary Answer

 

Councillor Brathwaite responded that Lambeth’s recycling policy was a success and that she was committed to working on it further.

 

3.    Councillor Andrew Wilson to the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Tim Briggs

 

Supplementary Question

 

Councillor Wilson stated that the Government’s policy of encouraging building of so-called “starter homes” would force Lambeth to replace affordable housing with housing that cost £450,000, which would take somebody on the London Living Wage 50 years of saving £100 a month in order to afford a deposit. He asked Councillor Briggs if he defined “hard working” residents to only include the wealthy.

 

Supplementary Answer

 

Councillor Briggs responded that starter homes were homes which were priced at up to £450,000 and there had been a fundamental misconception as to their affordability. Furthermore, first-time buyers would get a 20% discount on market rates.

 

4.    Councillor Michelle Agdomar to the Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Matthew Bennett

 

Supplementary Question

 

Councillor Agdomar expressed concern about the plight of those suffering from mental health conditions and noted that there was a difficulty in moving them into housing so that they could live independently.

Supplementary Answer

 

Councillor Bennett responded that many of those with mental health issues needed to live in social housing as a result of their care. One of the reasons for bringing Lambeth Living back in-house was to focus on joining up care and housing in order to support those with mental health problems.

 

5.    Councillor Dany Adilypour to the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Tim Briggs.

 

Supplementary Question

 

Councillor Adilypour asked Councillor Briggs if he would support the Mayor of London’s scrapping scheme for used cars.

 

Supplementary Answer

 

Councillor Briggs responded that he was not aware of the scheme but would look at it further.

 

6.    Councillor Marcia Cameron to the Cabinet Member for Healthier and Stronger Communities, Councillor Mohammed Seedat.

 

Supplementary Question

 

Councillor Cameron asked what work was being undertaken over the summer to reduce youth violence.

 

Supplementary Answer

 

Councillor Seedat responded that youth violence doesn’t necessarily increase in summer time. The Mayor of London had pledged £400,000 to tackle knife crime which has increased in Lambeth. Youth violence as a whole, however, has declined in Lambeth. Councillor Seedat further added that he would work with partners from the Young Lambeth Co-operative and the Youth Council on this matter.

 

7.    Councillor Bernard Gentry to the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite.

 

Supplementary Question

 

Councillor Gentry asked if Councillor Brathwaite would seek help from Transport for London when quiet ways would be put in and further asked if there was a date set for a decision on quiet ways.

 

Supplementary Answer

 

Councillor Brathwaite responded that there was no date set but a report was upcoming. She thanked Councillor Gentry for co-operation on this issue and acknowledged his hard work in trying to find a solution to what was a long-standing problem. She further added that she would be speaking to TfL in order to ask them to pay for the cost of breaking up concrete surfaces in the future.

 

8.    Councillor Guilherme Rosa to the Cabinet Member for Investment and Partnerships, Councillor Paul McGlone.

 

Supplementary Question

 

Councillor Rosa asked what was being done to improve the representation of Portugese residents in Councils.

 

Supplementary Answer

 

Councillor McGlone agreed that this was an important issue but stated that Portugese representation was not included within equalities data, but that he would look into this in future.

 

9.    Councillor Malcolm Clark to the Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Matthew Bennett.

 

Supplementary Question

 

Councillor Clark stated that budgets on housing improvements were too small and further asked what was being done to improve support for housing blocks which were too small to warrant their own Tenants and Residents Associations.

 

Supplementary Answer

 

Councillor Bennett responded that with the Lambeth Housing Service investment program, Council was ahead of schedule in the work it had done. He further stated that he would talk to Councillor Clark after the meeting in order to address the issue of blocks lacking TRAs.

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