Agenda and minutes

Council
Monday 27 February 2017 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Thomas Cattermole, Head of Executive and Member Services  020 8937 5446, Email: thomas.cattermole@brent.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence from the meeting from Members.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors A Choudry, Collier, Hoda-Benn, Hossain and Khan.

2.

Procedural Motions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the following procedural motions moved by Councillor Kabir and which related to three items on the agenda, be agreed:

 

1.     The Budget and Council Tax 2017-18 to 2019-20

 

i)          That the Leader of the Council be permitted to speak for up to 15 minutes in presenting the report on the 2017-18 to 2019-20 Budget and Council Tax to the meeting, setting out the Cabinet’s proposals for the Budget, after which, the following arrangements for the purpose of debating and voting upon the Budget and Council Tax 2017-18 to 2019-20 be as follows:

 

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

 

The Chair of the Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee be permitted to speak for up to 5 minutes;

 

Councillor Davidson, on behalf of the Leader of the Conservative Group, be permitted to speak for up to 15 minutes;

 

The Leader of the Brent Conservative Group be permitted to speak for up to 15 minutes;

 

A general debate to follow, during which the usual rules for debate would 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; and

 

ii)    That voting on each Group’s budget proposals be taken en bloc.

 

2.     Motion

 

That Standing Order 34(e) be suspended to allow for a cross-party motion to be considered this evening.

 

3.     Petition

 

That the lead petitioner be allowed to address Full Council for a maximum of five minutes and that the relevant Lead Member be allowed to respond for a maximum of three minutes.

 

Furthermore, a maximum of one speaker from each Group be allowed to speak for a maximum of three minutes should they wish.

 

3.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 187 KB

To confirm as a correct record, the attached minutes of the meeting of the Full Council held on 23 January 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 23 January 2017, be approved as an accurate record of the meeting, subject to the following amendments:

 

(i)           Present

 

That Councillor Warren be recorded as having been in attendance at that meeting; and

 

(ii)          Motions

 

That, under Minute No.15 (Motions) and, specifically, Minute No.15 (iii) (“Planning Shambles”) it be recorded that the Mayor, Councillor Ahmed and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Chohan, be recorded as having abstained from the voting on this matter.

 

 

Matters Arising

 

With reference to supplementary question (v), as detailed at Page 14 to the minutes, Councillor Nerva asked whether the Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, Councillor Hirani, was able to update Council on whether he had been successful in obtaining all party support to register Brent’s concerns about social care funding.

 

In response, Councillor Hirani advised Council that a joint letter had been drafted and was ready to be sent but it had still to be determined as to whether the letter was to be sent on behalf of Group Leaders or on behalf of the Lead Member and that this would become apparent before the next Council meeting.

 

NOTE:  It was noted that, as drawn to the Council’s attention by Councillor Kansagra at its January meeting, the Council received notification of nominations by the Conservative Groups, including nomination of  Councillor Colwill to the Senior Staff Appointments Sub-Committee.  The Council made appointments to committees in accordance with those nominations.  The appointment of Councillor Colwill to the Senior Staff Appointments Sub-Committee had been formally taken by the General Purposes Committee at its meeting held on 8 December 2016.

4.

Declarations of Interests

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, any relevant personal, prejudicial or disclosable pecuniary interests, and the nature of these, in any matter to be considered at this meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received from Members.

5.

Mayor's Announcements (including any petitions received)

To receive announcements from the Mayor.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor made the following announcements:

(i)        Brent Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Day

 

The Mayor announced that, on 26 January 2017, over 200 people had attended the Brent Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Day, which had had a full programme that included a holocaust survivor testimony from Manfred Goldberg.  The Mayor said that there had also been choirs, speeches and the lighting of memorial candles, which had added to the incredibly moving programme he had been honored to be a part of.

 

(ii)       Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month

 

The Mayor reminded Members that Brent Council and Brent Housing Partnership would be celebrating the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month with an event to be held in the Conference Hall at the Civic Centre on Tuesday 28 February 2017 from 6pm to 8pm.  He said that LGBT History Month had been celebrated since 2005 and the theme of this year’s event, which would be open to staff, allies and members of the public was ‘Pride NOT Prejudice’.

          The Mayor said that the event was also open to the public and was an ideal opportunity to learn more about relevant services provided by Brent Council, and to network with Brent residents, partners and colleagues.

 

(iii)      International Women’s Day – Wednesday 8 March 2017

 

The Mayor was pleased to announce that Brent would be celebrating International Women’s Day with an event to be held in the Conference Hall at the Civic Centre on Wednesday 8 March 2017 from 10.00am to 2.00pm.  He said that International Women’s Day was a global event that celebrated the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and added that the day also marked a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

 

The Mayor said that International Women's Day was all about celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action and that, on the day, attendees would be able to hear how to move to purposeful action - and with men and women joining forces – how, collectively women could be helped to realise the limitless potential they offered both locally and globally.

The Mayor encouraged all Members to attend these events.

(iv)      Mayor’s Final Fundraising Event of Municipal Year 2016-2017

 

The Mayor announced that he would be hosting his final fundraising event of his Mayoral year in the Grand Hall at the Civic Centre on Thursday 16 March 2017.  The Mayor extended his gratitude to Members for their continued support during his year in office and hoped that Members again would support this, his final event. 

(v)     Petitions

         

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

 

          In accordance with Standing Order 68, the Mayor drew to the attention of Members, a petition, which related to Islamia Primary School, and which had gathered over 1,200 validated signatures.

 

The Mayor invited the Lead Petitioner, Nur Enver, to address the Council.

Ms Enver said that she was attending  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies and Appointment of Chairs/Vice Chairs (if any)

To agree appointments to Committees (tabled), in accordance with Standing Order 37 (g).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no appointments to Committees and Outside bodies or appointment of Chairs and Vice-Chairs.

7.

Budget and Council Tax 2017-18 and 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider the Council’s Budget and level of Council Tax for 2017-18 and 2019-20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it a report by the Chief Finance Officer on the 2017-18 to 2019-20 Revenue and Capital Budgets and a proposal to increase Council Tax levels.

 

The Mayor announced that the DCLG had published the final local government finance settlement at 8.00pm on the evening of Monday 20 February 2017 and that it had been debated in Parliament on Wednesday 22 February 2017 and passed.

He said that the final settlement contained no changes to the figures published in the Budget Report for the Council meeting of 27 February 2017, which had been based on the draft settlement.  The Mayor said that, this being the case, no amendments to that report were necessary but he thought it would be helpful to confirm with Members before the meeting that the local government settlement had now been finalised.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Butt, presented the report, which set out the Cabinet’s proposals for the Budget and the setting of Council Tax for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.

 

Councillor Butt said that, at an organisational level, Council was doing well, given the near impossible circumstances the Council was having to work in.  He said he wanted to draw a distinction between being immensely proud of the collective responsibility and being unhappy at what the Council was here this evening to do.  He said that Brent, as a Labour authority was once again being forced to impose austerity cuts by the Conservative Government.  He said that this was a seventh year of pointless austerity and disproportionate cuts across each and every service the Council provided.  He was pleased that the Administration had managed to set a deliverable budget and said that it would offer as much protection as it could to services that were most vulnerable and which were most depended upon.  He added that the Administration was introducing a three-year capital investment programme.

 

Councillor Butt went on to say that that the Council was doing all of this with far less money.  He said that, at this point, public services in Brent had lost around £850m in cumulative funding and that, by 2020, this would rise to approximately £1.2bn, or £1,700 per household.  He said that this challenge had been made even greater by two factors.  Firstly, he said, the Government had given the Council more responsibility but had failed to provide adequate funding needed to carry out this additional responsibility.  Secondly, the Council continued to see high and rising demand both by volume and complexity for many of the essential but increasing expensive services the Council provided.  With this in mind, he said, in revenue terms, the Council was just about keeping its head above water, but to do so, the Council had to compromise in almost every aspect of what it did and that the Council had to find the least worst option.

 

Councillor Butt said that despite setting a deliverable budget, the coming years were not without risk and that the Council owed it to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Members' Allowance Scheme pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To consider the attached report, which sets out the allowances Members are entitled to receive for carrying out their responsibilities for the financial year 2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it, a report by the Chief Legal Officer, which sought the Council’s approval to the making of a Members’ Allowance Scheme, in the proposed terms, as set out in the report, for the 2017/18 Financial Year.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.            The Members’ Allowance Scheme in the proposed terms set out in the report, for the Financial Year 2017/18, be approved; and

 

2.            The Chief Legal Officer be authorised to comply with the statutory requirements to publicise the Council’s Members’ Allowance Scheme.

 

 

9.

Changes to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 50 KB

To consider the attached report, which proposes a change to the rules of debate at meetings of Full Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it, a report by the Chief Legal Officer, which sought the Council’s approval to proposed changes to the rules of debate at meetings of the Full Council.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.            With immediate effect, the changes to the Constitution proposed in the report, be agreed; and

 

2.            The Chief Legal Officer be authorised to amend the Constitution accordingly.

 

 

10.

Appointment of Deputy Electoral Registration Officer pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To consider the appointment of a Deputy Electoral Registration Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it, a report by the Chief Executive, which sought the Council’s approval to the appointment of a Deputy Electoral Registration Officer under Section 52(2) of the Representation of the People Act 1983, and that such appointed person be authorised to perform and exercise any of the duties and powers of the Electoral Registration Officer.

 

RESOLVED that the Council’s Electoral Registration and Services Manager be appointed as the Deputy Electoral Registration Officer, with the full powers of the Electoral Registration Officer in her absence.

11.

Review of New Scrutiny Committee Structure pdf icon PDF 159 KB

The report reviews the new Scrutiny structure, which came into effect in May 2016, and examines the impact the dual committee structure has had in addressing the challenges and strategic issues for Scrutiny.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Ketan Sheth introduced a report by the Director of Policy, Performance and Partnerships, which reviewed the new structure of the Council’s two scrutiny committees, which had come into effect on 18 May 2016, and which examined the impact of the dual structure on addressing the challenges and strategic issues for scrutiny at the Council.

 

By way of an amendment, Councillor Warren moved that the recommendation within the report be deleted and be replaced by the following:

 

“1.       This Council notes both the failure of its scrutiny arrangements and lack of any effective scrutiny since May 2014; and

 

2.         This Council instructs Officers to revisit the proposals and present to Council a new scrutiny structure with a minimum of four such committees.”

 

On a vote being taken by a show of hands, the AMENDMENT was declared LOST.

 

Accordingly, it was RESOLVED that the content of the report be noted and agreed.

 

12.

Localism Act 2011 - Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 102 KB

The Localism Act 2011, requires local authorities in England and Wales to produce a pay policy statement on an annual basis. The purpose of the attached report is to inform Full Council of the arrangements that have been put in place in Brent Council to meet the requirements of the Act.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it, a report by the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, which, in accordance with Section 38(1) of the Localism Act 2011 (requirement upon English and Welsh local authorities to produce a pay policy statement on an annual basis) sought the Council’s approval to the Pay Policy Statement attached to the report, as an accurate and factual representation of the Council’s pay arrangements for 2017/18.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.            The Pay Policy Statement attached to the report be approved as an accurate and factual representation of the Council’s pay arrangements for 2017/18; and

 

2.            Any amendments required during the year be brought back to a future meeting of the Council’s General Purposes Committee and Full Council for approval.

13.

Motion pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To debate the motion submitted in accordance with standing order 45.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the agreed procedural motion, the following motion was debated by Council:

 

Brent Council Condemns US Travel Ban

 

Councillor Shahzad OBE moved the motion by urging that this Council unanimously condemns recent unjustified and inhumane efforts by President Donald Trump to ban the men, women and children of predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, and objects in the strongest terms to the principle of any nation imposing arbitrary, discriminatory travel bans.

 

This Council holds that racism and xenophobia, for which there can be no place in civilised society, be challenged at every turn, and that the politics of hate and fear must always be robustly confronted and comprehensively rejected.

 

This Council draws attention to the recent commemoration of Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Day and implores President Trump to heed urgent warnings against allowing the catastrophic mistakes of our collective past to be repeated.

 

This Council celebrates our borough’s proud diversity and is testament to the immense and invaluable contribution afforded by the universal human right of global migration.

 

While recognising the need to prioritise national security, this Council calls on the UK government to continuing setting an international example of enlightened compassion, ensuring that our words are more than matched by our actions via a guarantee that this country will always be as much a place of sanctuary as it is a land of opportunity.

 

The motion was put to the vote and was declared CARRIED.

 

14.

Urgent Business

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

 

The meeting was declared closed at 9.35pm.