Agenda item

Questions from Councillors

Minutes:

1.    Councillor Becca Thackray to the Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Andy Wilson:

Supplementary question

Labour’s proposed cuts to children’s centres would save the Council £1.4 million over four years out of a total proposed saving of £43 million.This could be achieved by increasing the reserves by 9.6% rather than 10.1%. Will the Council do this? 

 

Supplementary answer

The Children’s Centres budgets were funded from the dedicated schools grant (which had been cut). The budget proposals put forward did not include Children’s Centres cuts as money for this as it did not exist. The Council was now coping with additional expenditure to come forward with well consulted plans for future budget proposals.  Consultation emails were sent to 100,000 people and the Council had over 4,000 responses.

 

2.    Councillor Tim Briggs to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck:

Supplementary question

This year, would Labour Council follow the Conservative policies by removing cuts to Adult Social Care or cutting care and blame someone else?

 

Supplementary answer

The Councillor should visit Wandsworth and talk to them about the virtues of having a living wage and other Labour policies that he now supported. He was aware of plans of adult social care. No further comment was required.

 

3.    Councillor Donatus Anyanwu to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck:

Supplementary question

How will there be an emphasis of continuity regarding the Equalities Commission after the Leader steps down and moves to her new job?

Supplementary answer

The Equalities Commission had been set up and this took the details of how residents felt about their life chances and this would be used to gain information. Some of the 80 recommendations in the report had already been adopted by the Council and would be made intrinsic to how the Council worked. Some of the progress has been captured in the report and there had been a raised awareness of particular challenges that disabled adults faced. Events had been held celebrating the achievement of Black Caribbean children and raising their attainment and this would be maintained.All of Lambeth’s contracts over 100k were paying over the London living wage and Lambeth was using its connections with businesses to make sure that this was continued. There were staff initiatives around the workforce ensuring the diversity at the higher end of the organisation and was more reflective of the community in the workforce. 

 

4.    Councillor Ben Kind not present so the supplementary question fell

 

5.    Councillor Pauline George to the Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care (job share), Councillor Ed Davie

Supplementary question

Could the Member confirm to the Council how the Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) programme had assisted in improving the mental health and life of young people?

 

Supplementary answer

LEAP was a ten year programme which had nearly £40 million invested in the four most deprived wards to support children and parents to get the best possible outcomes including around mental health. The social and emotional part of the programme supported family’s, nurses, health visitors and others and focused on improving the wellbeing of parents to help the wellbeing of the children. Service users and evaluators had provided good feedback.

6.    Councillor Joanna Reynolds to the Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture, Councillor Sonia Winifred

Supplementary question

Would some of the hard surfaces in Clapham Common be used instead of the green space area for events like Winterville? 

Supplementary answer

The Council managed 72 parks and green spaces and 42 highways so the Council was committed to green spaces. Events were enjoyed by local residents and benefitted to the communities and green spaces.  Winterville 2018 provided work experience for young people, providedconcessions for schools, people living locally on lower incomes, residents living in the area which generated a £70,000 ring fenced funding via a parks investment levy. Event organisers were asked for damage depositand had to pay for ground restoration. Working with grounds staff for the reinstatement of the ground following the Winterville event. Where it was felt that work was not progressing, a company had been hired to accelerate the work.The event organisers would continue to work with Lambeth. Following feedback from Winterville 2018, the Council was aware of how to put in place measures to deal with potential damage.  Following the evaluation of Winterville in 2017, changes were made to deal with the potential issues that may arise in 2018 and there was a 20% reduction in the footprint of the event. The Council was in the process of a wholesale regeneration of the site in 2020. The Council was also reviewing the event strategy and this would take place in mid February 2019. 

 

7.    Councillor Joseph Corry-Roake to the Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Paul Gadsby

Supplementary question

What steps did the Council take to ensure current and future refurbishments were completed to a high standard? 

 

Supplementary answer

There were a set of procedures before, during and after the Lambeth Housing Standard. Meetings were held with residents who had access to resident liaison officers, monthly meetings were held with residents, inspections were made to homes during and after works were completed, resident’s satisfaction surveys were completed and residents had a handover pack where they could advise on a 12 month defect period.  The vast majority of Council tenants in Lambeth were happy with the works produced and many homes built were safe, secure, dry and liveable. The Council was committed to fix any problems residents experienced and visits would be made to Clapham residents who had communicated their issues. 

 

8.    Councillor Jackie Meldrum to the Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care (job share), Councillor Ed Davie

 

Supplementary question

How is the local Sustainability Transformation Partnership (STP) converting into an integrated care system taking local political decision making and engaging local communities in the 6 boroughs that made up the STP?

 

Supplementary answer

The South East London boroughs made up the National Health Service (NHS) South East London STP which formed an integrated care system. The integrated care system in Lambeth would be the first one of its kind in London and move away from the STP.  This policy encouraged the NHS further cooperation between itself, local government and the trusts and not the market based model which was competitive in nature. In relation to addressing the democratic deficit, a Joint Overview and Scrutiny was in place that was attended by Councillor Normal and Councillor Adilypour as representatives. This was in addition to Councillor Ed Davie and Councillor Jim Dickson who were part of the Health and Wellbeing Board. The South East London Health and Wellbeing Board Chairs met regularly. The Cabinet members for Health also met regularly and had met recently at Southwark Town Hall, but more engagement was needed from local people and the Council. It was important to note that there were cultural working differences between the NHS and the Council. However, the Council could support the NHS to get the NHS closer to the people and this was something that the Council was committed to doing. Work had been completed with communities and partners and the Council was hoping to introduce the Local Care Networks. There would be 9-12 in Lambeth which would have a population of 30,000-50,000 each bringing more services to work with communities and local people, voluntary groups and ward Councillors to bring services closer to members of the public. Doctors would have an expanded ability to prescribe social programmes to patients in addition to traditional medicine.  

 

9.    Councillor Nicole Griffithsto the Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck

Supplementary question

Is the Council reassured that enough is being done to prevent further tragedies?

Supplementary answer

In relation to the Tulse Hill Estate and the issues raised at the community meeting, there was intensive work going on between officers and community groups and residents. This was supported by ward Councillors. In relation to some of the estate based improvements, these were scheduled to take place and some had already been completed.The young people that had raised the importance of the death of the young person by a plaque and consideration had been given with regard to how to further commemorate the person and post traumatic therapy individuals needed.It was also important to consider the neighbourhood work which had produced greater sustainability plans.However, there was no room for complacency, either. It was important to ensure that the issues were being actively dealt with and that there was constant engagement with the community. The three ward Councillors in the area had done well to engage with the community in the way that they did. Councillor Peck would also do this more in London in her new role. It was important to respond as quickly as possible whilst also doing longer term preventative work.

 

10.  Councillor Scarlett O’Hara to the Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and New Homes, Councillor Matthew Bennett

Supplementary question

What reassurances could the Cabinet Member provide an inclusive opportunity for all residents to thrive?

Supplementary answer

He was pleased to welcome Mayor Khan into the Town Hall to announce Brixton as the first Creative Enterprise Zone. It was central to the Council’s approach that while austerity was still prominent, the Council would work to provide more opportunities to local people. This meant affordable workspace both here and at International House. Ensuring that jobs were paid at London Living wage (17% of Lambeth residents were still paid below the Lambeth Living wage), attracting organisations into the those buildings like Business Launchpad and Capital Enterprise who would provide investment support and growth for businesses led by women and members of the Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) and Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities.

 

11.  Councillor Pete Elliott to the Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Paul Gadsby

Supplementary question

Does the Cabinet Member think that the Metropolitan and Thames Valley Housing (MTVH) were indifferent to the housing crisis as the government?

 

Supplementary answer

There had been a lot of work done by Thornton Councillors to protect vulnerable residents on the estate. The answer provided was factually correct and Thornton councillors would work to protect the vulnerable residents in the area.  

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