Agenda and minutes

Venue: Conference Hall - Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ. View directions

Contact: Peter Goss, Democratic Services Manager  020 8937 1353, Email: peter.goss@brent.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Minutes:

Councillor J Moher felt that minute number 9.3 on Council Tax benefit did not accurately reflect the debate and he put before the Mayor an amended version to the latter part of the printed minute that he had prepared and he read this to the meeting.   Councillor Kansagra argued that the minute was a brief account of the debate and that if Councillor Moher’s amendment was to be accepted he would want the list of questions Councillor Colwill put forward in debate also listed.  He also referred to the other debates recorded in the minutes and asked why this particular one should be changed in this way. The Mayor explained that the debate on a motion allowed the opportunity for members to express a view either for or against the motion and to move amendments before voting on the motion.  It was not customary to record in detail exactly what was said by each councillor and the minute reflected the opposing views on the motion.  The Mayor acknowledged the views expressed by Councillor Moher.

 

RESOLVED:

 

that subject to noting the views expressed by Councillor J Moher on minute number 9.3 - Council Tax benefit – the minutes of the previous meeting held on 20 January 2014 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting.

2.

Declarations of personal and prejudicial interests

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, any relevant financial or other interest in the items on this agenda.

Minutes:

The following LEA school governor and children centre positions were noted and treated as declared as a non prejudicial interest by those members indicated:

 

Councillor:

School Governing Body

Arnold

Kilburn Park School Foundation

Bacchus MBE JP

Chalkhill Primary School

Colwill

Brent Education Tutorial Service (BETS)

Chohan

Federation of Lyon Park Infant and Junior Schools

Choudry

Islamia Primary School

Colwill

St Gregory's Catholic Science College

Gladbaum

The Willow Children's Centre

Gladbaum

Curzon and Fawood Children's Centre Partnership

Gladbaum

Harlesden Primary School

Harrison

Preston Park

Hossain

Uxendon Manor

John OBE

Brentfield Primary School

John OBE

Stonebridge Primary School

Jones

St Andrew & St Francis C of E Primary S

Kabir

The Village School

Long

Newfield Primary School

Lorber

Barham Primary School

Mashari

Wykeham Primary

McLennan

Anson Primary School

Mitchell-Murray

Phoenix Arch  School

R Moher

Fryent Primary School

R Moher

Wembley High Technology College (Academy)

J Moher

Wembley High Technology College (Academy)

Moloney

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Willesden

Naheerathan

Roe Green Junior School

BM Patel

Federation of Lyon Park Primary Schools

R Patel

Roe Green Infant School

BM Patel

Federation of Lyon Park Junior and Infants' Schools

HM Patel

Byron Court Primary School

HM Patel

Federation of Lyon Park Junior and Infants' Schools

HB Patel

Preston Park Primary School

Pavey

Wembley Primary School

Ketan Sheth

Federation of St Joseph's Catholic Junior and Infants' School

Ketan Sheth

Woodfield School (Secondary Special)

Ketan Sheth

College Green Nursery School

Krupa Sheth

Braintcroft Primary

Singh

Woodfield School (Secondary Special)

Thomas

Harmony Children's Centre & St Raphael's

Van Kalwala

Mitchell Brook Primary School

 

The following membership of the Board of Brent Housing Partnership were noted and treated as having declared a non prejudicial interest:

 

Councillor Colwill

Councillor Jones

Councillor Ogunro

Councillor Long

 

The following declarations made at the meeting were recorded:

 

Councillor

Declaration

Chohan

Brent Indian Association

Kabir

Trustee to CVS Brent

Lorber

Director and trustee of Friends of Barham Library

BM Patel

Trustee of the Patidar Centre

HB Patel

Brent Indian Association

Shree Sattavis Gam Patidar Samaj (Europe)

HM Patel

Trustee of the Patidar Centre

 

3.

Mayor's announcements (including any petitions received)

Minutes:

On behalf of the Council the Mayor thanked the following councillors, who were not standing in the forthcoming elections, for all their hard work serving the Council over the years:

 

Councillors

Emad Al-Ebadi

Mary Arnold

Javaid Ashraf

Joyce Bacchus

Eddie Baker

Jack Beck

Lincoln Beswick

Helga Gladbaum

Simon Green

Sami Hashmi

Ann Hunter

Ann John

Chris Leaman

Hayley Mathews

Jim Moher

Colum Moloney*

Benjamin Ogunro

Chandubhai Patel

James Powney

Harbhajan Singh

Gavin Sneddon

 

He made a special mention of Councillors Bacchus, Beswick, Gladbaum, John and Moloney* who had all served for 20 years or more on the Council.

[*Councillor Moloney subsequently stood in the 2014 elections)

 

The Mayor announced that at a recent award ceremony held by Asian Voice the Leader of the Council had picked up an award as councillor of the year and congratulated him on this.

 

The Mayor wished Councillor Cheese a speedy recovery from his recent operation and hoped to see him back very soon.  He also wished former councillor, Irwin Van Colle, a speedy recovery from major heart surgery and wished him well.

 

The Mayor announced that the previous week celebrated the 10th anniversary of Citizenship Ceremonies in the borough with a special ceremony in the Grand Hall.

 

The Mayor reminded members that he was taking part in the London Marathon on 13 April.   He had a money giving page set up and stated that he would appreciate everybody’s support to raise as much money as possible for his charity.

 

The Mayor announced other upcoming events for his charity:

·         end of year party on 9 May

·         Thanksgiving Service on 1 June at St Catherine’s Church

·         various events in the process of being organised

 

The Mayor pointed out that in accordance with Standing Orders a list of current petitions showing progress on dealing with them had been circulated around the chamber.

4.

Procedural motion

Minutes:

The Chief Whip moved a procedural motion in relation to debating the item on the 2014/15 Budget and Council Tax.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)         that paragraph (d) of Standing Order 46 be suspended;

 

(ii)        that the Leader of the Council be permitted to speak for up to 30 minutes in presenting the report on the 2014/15 budget and Council Tax to the meeting, setting out the Executive’s proposals for the budget, after which the following arrangements be agreed for the purpose of debating and voting upon the 2014/15 Budget and Council Tax:

 

the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group be permitted to speak for up to 30 minutes;

 

the Leader of the Conservative Group be permitted to speak for up to 30 minutes

 

the Chair of Budget and Finance Overview and Scrutiny Committee be permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes;

 

the Deputy Leader of the Council be permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes;

 

a general debate to follow during which the usual rules for

debate will apply as set out in Standing Orders 46 and 47 save

as set out in this procedural motion;

 

the Leader of the Council be permitted to speak for up to 5 minutes to submit his closing remarks

 

(iii)       that voting on each Group’s budget proposals shall be taken en bloc.

5.

Appointments to committees and outside bodies and appointment of chairs/vice chairs

Minutes:

None.

6.

The 2014/15 Budget and Council Tax pdf icon PDF 199 KB

The circulated report sets out the detail of the budget proposed for 2014/15 and how this has been developed as well as the medium term financial outlook.  The report also sets out the council's planned capital programme to 2016/17 and sets out an appropriate level of technical detail on the ring fenced Dedicated Schools' Grant, Housing Revenue Account and Prudential Treasury Indicators.

 

The Appendices referred to in the report are circulated separately.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it a report seeking approval of the 2014/15 revenue and capital budgets and to the Council Tax to be levied.  It set out the process for developing the budget, a breakdown of service area budgets and the overall budget requirement in 2014/15.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Butt, addressed the meeting in support of the proposed budget.  He drew attention to the need for the Council to make £18 million savings next year and £53 million savings in the two years following meaning that by 2017 the Council would have £133 million less to spend on vital services relied on by local people.  He stated that the picture beyond these figures was of families struggling to get by as wages were frozen, benefits cut and rising household bills.  He submitted that the unprecedented cuts imposed on the Council were a matter of political choice by the coalition Government.  However he felt that local councils could still make things better for their residents by protecting the poorest and by working together the aim was to build a fairer and more prosperous borough.  Although the cuts being made were not out of choice, Councillor Butt stated that the Council would not defer from making the difficult decisions it was forced to make whilst also trying to protect frontline services.  He outlined initiatives within the budget including a freeze on Council Tax for the fifth year running, supporting the Big London Energy Switch, paying the London Living Wage to all staff and restricting the ability of payday lending firms to advertise in the borough.  He added reference to the support provided for keeping open every Sure Start centre in the borough despite a 50% fall in government funding, the achievements of young people in gaining qualifications and seeking further education or employment.  The volume of the borough’s waste recycled had increased from 21% to 43% and new facilities provided in parks and sports centres helped reduce health inequalities.  One priority was to help local businesses grow to create more jobs for local residents, as seen in the Wembley regeneration area and another being to provide new homes such as in Kilburn.  Councillor Butt saw an opportunity for the Council to renew the borough’s sense of community make it a fairer place with jobs for local people.  He commended the budget to the Council.

 

Councillor Lorber responded by criticising Councillor Butt for blaming somebody else when the past Labour government was responsible for the war in Iraq, bailing out the banks and reducing the number of Police Community Support Officers.  Locally the Labour council had stopped parking scratch cards, overseen a reduction in the condition of the local environment and lost the trust of local communities by closing half the borough’s libraries. He referred to his tabled amendments to the budget which proposed additional expenditure on libraries, highways, parking, street cleaning and waste management, festivals and events, school crossing patrols and the introduction of a Council Tax discount for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Potential impact of HS2 on regeneration proposals in Brent pdf icon PDF 150 KB

The report attached seeks the approval of Full Council to, if considered expedient, resolve to oppose the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill ('HS2 Bill') introduced into the House of Commons on 25 November 2013 and also, if deemed expedient, that to consider the passing of the further resolutions set out in the report to authorise the deposit of a petition against the Bill in either or both Houses of Parliament.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Crane introduced the report before Members on taking action if considered expedient to oppose the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill and if deemed expedient to deposit a petition against the Bill in either or both Houses of Parliament.  He stressed that the Council was not being asked to accept or reject the HS2 project but to take action to protect the Council’s interests.  He proposed a further resolution committing the Council to engage and consult with local residents in respect of emerging proposals for HS2. 

 

Members commented that the proposed new interchange at Old Oak Common presented the potential for the biggest change to take place in the borough for many years.  The proposed vent shaft on the Queens Park car park site was opposed by local residents who had not been consulted and there did not appear to be any clear explanation for why this land needed to be acquired.  The Council was urged to keep residents informed of developments.  Reference was made to the expense of petitioning a Bill and the benefit of supporting Transport for London to share the costs.  Councillor Kansagra felt that in due course a further report should be submitted to General Purposes Committee in order to keep members informed. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

that in considering the potential impacts of the current proposals for HS2 in Brent:

 

(i)         in pursuance of section 239 of the Local Government Act 1972, it is expedient for the Council to oppose the High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill introduced into the House of Commons on 25 November 2013;

 

(ii)        that the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Growth, in consultation with the Lead Member for Regeneration and Major Projects, be authorised to take all such steps as may be necessary or expedient to action the above, including taking all steps required for the Council to deposit a petition against the Bill and thereafter to maintain and, if considered appropriate, withdraw its opposition to the Bill;

 

(iii)       that the Common Seal of the Council may be affixed to any documents required to be sealed in connection with the submission of any such petition and the subsequent opposition to the Bill and that the Council's Parliamentary Agents be authorised to sign and deposit the petition on behalf of the Council;

 

(iv)       that the Council continues to engage and consult with local people in the area in respect of emerging proposals for HS2.

8.

Localism Act 2011 - Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 92 KB

The purpose of the circulated report is to inform councillors of the arrangements that have been put in place within the council to meet the requirements of the Localism Act, which requires a pay policy statement to be approved by a meeting of the Full Council on an annual basis.  The pay policy statement for Brent is attached to the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

that the draft Pay Policy Statement attached to the report submitted be approved as an accurate and factual representation of the Council’s pay arrangements for 2014/15.

9.

Joining a collective investment vehicle for London pension funds and commitments for capital pdf icon PDF 91 KB

The report circulated seeks agreement for the Council to become a shareholder in a private company limited by shares which will be incorporated to be the Authorised Contractual Scheme Operator (the ACS Operator”) of the Collective Investment Vehicle and to agree to join the London boroughs’ “Pensions CIV Joint Committee”, to be formed under section 102 of the Local Government Act 1972.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the report before them on the Council becoming a shareholder in a private company to be the Authorised Contractural Scheme Operator of a Collective Investment Vehicle and to agree to join the London boroughs’ Pensions CIV Joint Committee.

 

Councillor Brown expressed concern that it was proposed to delegate to the Chair of the Pension Fund Sub-Committee authority to act for the Council and sought to amend the recommendation to delegate this role to the Chief Finance Officer.  Officers explained that the proposal for an elected member to be authorised to act on behalf of the Council followed normal arrangements whereby they would be acting on the advice of officers.  It was stressed that decisions on whether to invest in the ACS would remain with the Council.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)         that the Council:

 

become a shareholder in a private company limited by shares which will be incorporated to be the Authorised Contractual Scheme Operator (the ACS Operator”) of the Collective Investment Vehicle;

 

contribute £1 to the ACS Operator as initial capital;

 

(ii)        that the Chair of the Pension Fund Sub-Committee be delegated authority to act for the Council in exercising its rights as a shareholder of the ACS Operator, and to authorise the Vice Chair of the Pension Fund Sub-Committee to act in their absence;

 

(iii)       that the Council joins the London boroughs “Pensions CIV Joint Committee”, to be formed under section 102 of the Local Government Act 1972 and to delegate to the Joint Committee those functions necessary for the proper functioning of the ACS Operator, including the effective oversight of the ACS Operator and the appointment of Directors.

10.

West London Waste Plan pdf icon PDF 170 KB

The report circulated presents a revised draft of the proposed submission version of the Joint West London Waste Plan which was agreed by the Executive in January 2014 for statutory public consultation across west London in March/April.  Subject to representations made, Full Council is asked to agree that it be submitted for Examination.

The amended draft proposed submission version of the West London Waste Plan is circulated separately.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members had before them a report presenting a revised draft of the proposed submission version of the Joint West London Waste Plan which had been agreed by the Executive in January 2014 for statutory public consultation across west London in March/April.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)         that the Proposed Submission Draft Joint West London Waste Plan, be submitted for Examination, subject to representations made;

 

(ii)        that the Stratgic Director of Regeneration and Growth be  delegated authority to make minor editing and textual changes to the Proposed Submission Draft of the West London Waste Plan after consultation with the other 5 London Boroughs involved.

11.

Motions

To debate any motions submitted in accordance with Standing Order 45.

Minutes:

Councillor S Choudhary moved a suspension of standing orders to allow the late submission of a motion.

 

Councillor Lorber spoke against suspending standing orders and stated that if this was done he would no longer take part in any cross party co-operation on reviewing the constitution.

 

Councillor Kansagra stated that by passing the suspension of standing orders it showed a lack of respect for the constitution.  He stated that the motion had been submitted late and should therefore not be taken.

 

RESOLVED:

 

that standing orders 34(e) relating to motions being taken at the Council Tax setting meeting and 45(c) relating to the prior circulation of motions to be debated be suspended to allow the following item to be debated.

11a

Youth unemployment

Minutes:

Councillor Arnold moved the motion circulated in her name which read:

 

“With a million young people unemployed throughout the UK – 50,000 more than at the 2010 elections – and numbers rising, Brent Council recognises the scale of the challenge faced by young people in our borough. In the wake of the Coalition Government’s failed economic policies and gross mismanagement of the Work Programme and £1 billion Youth Contract, it is all the more important that councils do everything in their power to promote youth employment.

 

Following David Cameron’s disastrous decisions – nodded through by the Liberal Democrats – to cancel the Education Maintenance Allowance, double university tuition fees and terminate the Future Jobs Fund, it is hardly surprising that young people feel that this Government is letting them down. Labour local authorities across the country including Brent are delivering innovative solutions to support young people to find work.

 

Brent Council is proud that:

 

Brent schools students’ educational achievement is above national average and our young people have attained one of the highest rates of university entry of any UK local authority area. 15% of Brent pupils gain admission to Russell Group universities compared to 9% nationally.

 

The Brent 14–19 Partnership and Connexions outreach work has achieved the second lowest NEETS rate for 16- 18s in the country.

 

The Brent Youth Parliament provides a strong voice for our borough’s young people, particularly through their campaign for better careers guidance and a skills-for-life curriculum to improve preparation for work.

 

The Council has committed to recruit 100 new apprentices over three years.

 

The Council Employment and Enterprise Team is recruiting young people into work through employer partnership schemes such as Wembley Works; and is providing digital tools and training for young entrepreneurs through the Brent Business Hub.

 

This Council is committed to promote new programmes to tackle youth unemployment. By strengthening strategic employer partnerships, we will deliver the radical action necessary to get young people into work. This agenda builds on the Council’s good work in directly recruiting young people into job opportunities at the new London Designer Outlet as well as local construction companies in South Kilburn and Wembley; developing the new Roundwood Centre skills and enterprise training hub; and increasing the supply of quality apprenticeships within the borough through including local labour clauses within council contracts.

 

We cannot afford to wait to reverse the rise in youth unemployment for 18-25s and we must prevent further damage to communities and families in Brent in keeping with the Council’s commitment to early intervention and prevention”.

 

RESOLVED:

 

that the motion submitted be adopted.

 

12.

Absence from meetings

Minutes:

Members considered a late report concerning attendance at meetings by Councillor Beswick.  The law expressly provided that where a council member fails throughout a period of 6 consecutive months from the date of their last attendance to attend any meeting of the authority then, subject to certain exceptions, they cease to be a member of the authority unless failure was due to some reason approved before the expiry of that period. 

 

Councillor Beswick had last attended a Council meeting on 18 November 2013 and would cease to be a councillor on 19 May 2014 if he was unable to attend a meeting before then. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)         that Councillor Beswick’s absence from meetings of the Council since 18 November 2013 be approved on the basis of his ill-health and should this prevent him from attending any future meetings up to the date of his natural retirement as a councillor such absence be authorised by the Council;

 

(iii)       that the Council’s wishes for a speedy return to good health be passed on to Councillor Beswick.

13.

Urgent business

At the discretion of the Mayor to consider any urgent business.

Minutes:

None.