Agenda and minutes

General Purposes Committee
Wednesday 17 October 2018 5.00 pm

Venue: Members Suite - 4th Floor, Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ. View directions

Contact: James Kinsella, Governance Manager  Tel: 020 8937 1348, Email:  nikolay.manov@brent.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence and clarification of alternate members

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

2.

Declarations of interests

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, the nature and existence of any relevant disclosable pecuniary or personal interests in the items on this agenda and to specify the item(s) to which they relate.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests made by Members.

 

3.

Deputations (if any)

To hear any deputations received from members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 67.

Minutes:

There were no deputations received.

 

4.

Local Government Boundary Review - Draft Warding Pattern Proposals pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To consider draft warding pattern proposals being developed in response to the current Local Government Boundary Review for Brent.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair provided a brief introduction to the report, noting that the Council at its meeting on 9 July 2018 had unanimously supported a submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) which proposed a future council size of 57 councillors - a reduction of six councillors from the current council size of 63.  The LGBCE subsequently announced in August 2018 that it was minded to recommend a council size of 57 councillors. The LGBCE was now consulting on ward patterns to match this reduced council size and the report before the committee set out two proposals developed by council officers for members’ consideration. Carolyn Downs (Chief Executive of the Council) highlighted that the council was not obliged to make a submission regarding future ward boundaries but noted that if a proposal could be agreed and supported by members, it represented an opportunity to influence the final LGBCE recommendation.

 

Drawing members’ attention to the detail of the proposals, Carolyn Downs advised that proposal one comprised 19 wards, each to be represented by three councillors, whilst proposal two comprised 20 wards, with 17 of those to be represented by three councillors and the remaining three wards to be represented by two councillors. Thomas Cattermole (Head of Executive and Member Services) emphasised that both proposals met the statutory criteria which included ensuring that: each councillor represents roughly the same number of voters; arrangements avoid splitting local ties; boundaries are easily identifiable; and, wards can be represented effectively. In developing the proposals officers had taken into account projected population figures, geographic factors and community identities. Officers had been mindful of LGBCE guidance which stated that existing boundaries and ward names should be used where possible.

 

The Chair invited comments and contributions from the audience.

 

Councillor A Choudry stated that the proposed Neasden Ward ( ward number 16) included in both proposals did not incorporate the centre of the Neasden Community which was the area adjacent to The Crest Academy. He strongly advocated for a revision of the boundaries for Neasden Ward and further expressed that the proposed Dollis Hill ward would be better named Gladstone Ward. Councillor A Choudry advised that he disagreed with the suggested dissolution and division of the current Dudden Hill Ward.

 

Addressing the committee, Councillor S Choudhary advised that he spoke with the support of his ward councillor colleagues and expressed concern that the Barnhill community had been overlooked and its long history disregarded. Noting that the proposed Neasden Ward incorporated parts of the existing Barnhill Ward, Councillor S Choudhary stated that the Neasden Ward did not accord with the LGBCE criteria, there being no natural boundary, cohesive community identity, or landmark included. Furthermore, the obstacle of the North Circular Road which separated one section of the ward from another appeared to have been ignored. In concluding his statement, Councillor S Choudhary emphasised that the proposals should not disrupt the established community identity of the Barnhill area.

 

Councillor Long expressed concerns regarding the proposed Neasden Ward,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Appointments to Sub-Committees / Outside Bodies

To consider any appointments needing to be made in relation to General Purposes Sub Committees.

 

Members are asked to note that details of any appointments to be considered will be tabled at the meeting.

Minutes:

The committee made no appointments to sub-committees or outside bodies.

6.

Any other urgent business

Notice of items to be raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Head of Executive and Member Services or his representative before the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 60.

Minutes:

None.

7.

Exclusion of Press and Public

There are currently no items listed that will require the exclusion of the press and public.

Minutes:

The committee did not consider any information that was exempt from publication under schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.