Agenda and minutes
- Attendance details
- Agenda frontsheet PDF 123 KB
- Agenda reports pack
- Supplementary Agenda - Appointment to Committes and Amendment to Motion PDF 448 KB
- Final wording of Conservative Group Motion on Antisemitism as amended and approved by Full Council on 18 Septemebr 2017 PDF 161 KB
- Printed minutes PDF 217 KB
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayors Statement - Order of Business
Before the formal meeting began, the Mayor informed members of a change to the order of business set out on the original summons. The Mayor advised that notice had been received, during the day, that Councillors Davidson and Maurice had joined the Brent Conservative Group and this required a formal review of the representation of political groups on committees. Given the late notice of this change, the Mayor advised that he had agreed to include this on the agenda as an urgent item. An urgent supplementary report had been published, which would be taken prior to Item 5 on the agenda (Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies and Appointment of Chairs/Vice-Chairs).
In addition, as a number of questions from members of the public had been received and there had been significant public interest in the Motions listed for consideration along with accompanying requests for deputations the Mayor advised that, in accordance with Standing Order 37, he also intended to move these items up the agenda for consideration in advance of Agenda Item 9 (Motions).
As a result it was RESOLVED that
(1) The business to be considered at the meeting be re-arranged in the following order:
· Agenda Item 5 – Urgent Item: Representation of Political Groups on Committees;
· Agenda Item 6 - Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies and Appointment of Chairs/Vice-Chairs;
· Agenda Item 7 – Questions from Members of the Public
· Agenda Item 8 – Deputations
· Agenda Item 9 - Motions
(2) The rest of the business for the meeting follow in the same order as listed on the agenda.
(Please note the minutes reflect the order in which the items were considered at the meeting).
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence for Members.
The Mayor advised that direct apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Hector, Khan, Marquis, Pavey and Pitruzella.
In addition it was noted that Councillor Collier was also unable to attend the meeting. As notice of his absence had not been received by the Head of Executive & Member Services in advance of the meeting Carolyn Downs (Chief Executive) advised it would not be possible to record this as a formal apology for absence.
To confirm as a correct record, the attached minutes of the previous meeting of Full Council on 10 July 2017.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous Council meeting held on 10 July 2017 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting.
Declarations of interests
Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, the nature and existence of any relevant disclosable pecuniary, personal or prejudicial interests in the items on this agenda and to specify the item(s) to which they relate.
The Mayor invited Members to declare any personal, prejudicial or disclosable pecuniary interests in relation to matters due to be considered at the meeting, in accordance with the Members Code of Conduct.
(a) Councillor Nerva declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 17 (Motion – Adoption of International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of Antisemitism) as he was a member of the Jewish Labour movement.
(b) Councillor Stopp declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 17 (Motion – Adoption of International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of Antisemitism) as he was a member of the Jewish Labour movement.
Mayor's Announcements (including any petitions received)
To receive any announcements from the Mayor.
The Mayor made the following announcements:
(i) London Terror Attack
The Mayor referred to the recent terror attack in London and felt that once again the public had shown that those who attempted to use terror to hurt their way of life would not succeed.
The Mayor advised that the Council’s thoughts were with those affected by the tragedy, their friends and families along with the emergency services who had responded so well to it.
(ii) Mary Turner - Condolences
With sadness, the Mayor announced the recent death of Mary Turner, a former school dinner lady at Salusbury Primary School in Brent, who had risen to become president of the GMB for 20 years.
Paying tribute, he advised Members that she had been born in Ireland but her parents had moved to the UK in the early 1950s and later settled in Kilburn, where Mary had attended Carlton Vale School.
Mary was survived by John and Denise, and five grandchildren and the Mayor advised she would be sorely missed.
(iii) Death of a former Councillor Jack Sayers
The Mayor also announced with sadness the recent death of former Councillor Jack Sayers. Members were advised that his cremation would take place at 10am on Thursday 28 September at Golders Green Crematorium. A reception would follow at the Railway Club, Cricklewood Broadway to which all Members were welcome to attend.
He asked everyone present to join him in observing a minutes silence in memory of former Councillor Sayers.
(A minutes silence was observed).
(iv) GCSE and A - level results
The Mayor announced he was proud to highlight the recent GCSE and A level results across Brent and congratulated all students, on behalf of the Council, on their fantastic results. He recognised that these results represented many years of hard work and wished all students well in the next steps of their lives.
(v) Mayors Charity Fundraising event – 1 September 17
The Mayor thanked everyone who had attended his first Fundraising Event on 1 September 2017. He was grateful for all the artists, musicians, comedians and singers who had filled the Grand Hall and given their time to raise money for his two chosen charities.
(vi) Former Mayor – Fundraising Total
The Mayor took the opportunity to congratulate his predecessor, former Mayor Councillor Parvez Ahmed, who had recently announced the fundraising total for his year in office. He advised that Councillor Ahmed had raised a total of £51,000, which would be shared equally between his three chosen charities.
(vii) Pakistan and India Independence Day
The Mayor advised he was delighted to have been able to join fellow councillors at the celebrations to mark Pakistan and India Independence Days in August. He also thanked Councillors Hirani and Agha for organising and hosting events at the Civic Centre, which he was pleased to observe had been enjoyed by many Members and staff.
(viii) Mayors Civic Service – 17 October 2017
Members were reminded that the Mayors Civic Service would be ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Representation of Political Groups on Committees
The Mayor advised that pursuant to s100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act he had agreed to accept a report from the Chief Legal Officer regarding a change in political representation on the Council as an urgent item for consideration at the meeting. This was in view of the fact that there was a statutory duty on the Council to undertake a review of the arrangements for the representation of political groups on committees as soon as was practical following any change in arrangements being notified.
Members were reminded that the report from the Chief Legal Officer had been published as a supplementary agenda item, with the change in political representation involving Councillors Davidson and Maurice moving from the Conservative Group to join the Brent Conservative Group. Members noted the change in membership would mean that the Brent Conservative Group would now form the principal opposition group on the Council.
In terms of the outcome of the review, it was RESOLVED:
(1) that the size of each committee to which the political balance rules would apply should remain unchanged;
(2) that where the rules of political balance apply, the allocation of seats to each of the Council’s political groups on committees would be as detailed within section 3 of the report;
(3) that as a result of (2) above appointments to committees would be made giving effect to the wishes of the political group allocated the seats;
(4) to note that the political balance on sub-committees would be reviewed at the next meeting of the General Purposes Committee.
To agree any appointments of Members to Committees, in accordance with Standing Order 37 (g).
Following on from the change in political representation on the Council and outcome of the subsequent review, the Mayor again referred Members to the supplementary pack circulated in advance of the meeting, which contained a list of changes to appointments on Council Committees, Sub Committees and other bodies.
It was RESOLVED that the following appointments be approved:
(1) Appointment of Simon Goulden (United Synagogue) as co-opted Member of the Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee.
(2) Resignation of Councillor Naheerathan as a full Member of the Council’s Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Main Committee with Councillor Duffy nominated to take his place, as full Member.
(3) Resignation of Councillor Warren as a full Member of the Council’s Corporate Parenting Committee with Councillor Kansagra nominated to take his place, as full Member.
(4) Resignation of Councillor Ms Shaw as substitute Member of the Council’s Corporate Parenting Committee with Councillor Colwill nominated to take her place, as substitute Member.
(5) Resignation of Councillor Warren as full Member of the Council’s Standards Committee with Councillor Colwill nominated to take his place, as full Member.
(6) Resignation of Councillor Ms Shaw as substitute Member of the Council’s Standards Committee with Councillor Kansagra nominated to take her place, as substitute Member.
(7) Resignation of Councillor Davidson as substitute Member of the Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board.
(8) Resignation of Councillor Kansagra as full Member and Vice-Chair of the Council’s Community & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee with Councillor Warren nominated to take his place, as full Member and Vice-Chair.
(9) Resignation of Councillor Colwill as substitute Member of the Council’s Community & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee with Councillor Ms Shaw nominated to take his place, as substitute Member.
(10) Resignation of Councillor Colwill as substitute Member of the Council’s Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee with Councillor Warren nominated to take his place, as substitute Member.
(11) Resignation of Councillor Kansagra as substitute Member of the Council’s Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee with Councillor Maurice nominated to take his place, as substitute Member.
(12) Resignation of Councillor Colwill as full Member and Vice-Chair of the Council’s Housing Scrutiny Committee with Councillor Ms Shaw is nominated to take his place, as full Member and Vice-Chair.
(13) Resignation of Councillor Davidson as substitute Member of the Council’s Housing Scrutiny Committee with Councillor Warren is nominated to take his place, as substitute Member.
(14) Resignation of Councillor Kansagra as substitute Member of the Council’s Housing Scrutiny Committee with Councillor Maurice nominated to take his place, as substitute Member.
(15) Resignation of Councillor Colwill as substitute Member of the Council’s Planning Committee with Councillor Davidson nominated to take his place, as substitute Member.
(16) Resignation of Councillor Kansagra as substitute Member of the Council’s Planning Committee with Councillor Ms Shaw nominated to take his place, as substitute Member.
(17) Resignation of Councillor Kansagra as substitute Member of the Council’s Equalities Committee with Councillor Warren nominated to take his place, as substitute Member.
(18) Resignation of Councillor Kansagra as substitute Member of the Council’s Audit Advisory ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
To receive questions from members of the public to be put to members of the Cabinet in accordance with Standing Order 39A.
The Mayor advised that in accordance with Standing Order 39A four questions had been received from the following members of the public:
Question 1 from Mr Wadhwani to Councillor Tatler, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Growth, Employment and Skills relating to the strategies in place to address demand on housing and other local services as a result of regeneration activity in Wembley Park.
Question 2 from Ms Dowell to Councillor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Environment regarding the costs and action being taken to deal with fly-tipping, with specific reference to the area in and around Selwyn Avenue, Bruce Avenue and Alric Avenue.
Question 3 from Mr Adow and Mrs Macolin to Councillor Farah, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform regarding operation of the Housing Allocation Policy.
Question 4 from Mr Grigg to Councillor Mili Patel, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People regarding the adoption of a Council Tax exemption for care leavers up to the age of 25.
Members noted the written responses provided on each question, which had been circulated with the agenda. The Mayor advised that each questioner had been invited to attend the meeting in order to ask a supplementary question and as a result welcomed Mr Wadhwani (Question 1) and Mr Grigg (Question 4) to the meeting.
He advised that Mr Wadhwani had indicated in advance that he did not wish to ask a supplementary question. The Mayor therefore invited Mr Grigg to put his supplementary question to Councillor Mili Patel.
Supplementary to Question 5 from Mr Grigg to Councillor Mili Patel, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People
Mr Grigg thanked Councillor Patel for her positive response and also Councillor Kelcher and Hector for their support in pursing this matter. He advised that working for the Children’s Society he had been involved with a number of Councils in seeking agreement to the adoption of Council Tax exemptions for care leavers up to the age of 25. The written response provided had implied that Brent, as corporate parent to a number of care leavers, would also be looking at this. Keen to build on the positive response, Mr Grigg asked if it would be possible to confirm an anticipated date for considering the exemption and also whether it would be possible, as other Councils had done, to back date and also apply any exemption from mid-year.
In response Councillor Mili Patel advised that as part of the Children’s and Social Work Act 2017 the Local Authority was required to produce a Local Offer and she was pleased to confirm that for care leavers this would include a proposed exemption for Council Tax. Whilst not able to provide a specific date, it was anticipated that Cabinet approval would be sought towards the end of the year and this would be likely to include any exemption being back dated.
Deputations (if any)
To hear any deputations received from members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 39.
The Mayor advised that one deputation had been received within the timescale set out under Standing Order 39(c). The deputation had been requested by Rabbi Dabba Smith and related to the motions due to be considered on Hate Crime and Antisemitism.
In addition, two further deputation requests had been received in relation to the motion on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHR) definition of Antisemitism, although the Mayor advised these had been submitted after the formal deadline had expired. These requests had been from Mr Peter Firmin and Mr Padraic Finn. Given that both of these requests had been received late, the Mayor advised Members that if they were minded to accept both deputations there would be a need to suspend Standing Order 39(c) in order to allow them to be heard.
Given the subject matter of both of the additional deputations, Members indicated that they would be willing to make an exception in order to allow them to be heard. It was therefore RESOLVED that Standing Order 39(c) be suspended to enable the two additional deputations from Mr Firmin and Mr Finn to be heard.
The Mayor then welcomed Rabbi Dabba Smith and invited him to address the meeting.
Rabbi Dabba Smith began by thanking the Mayor for allowing him to address the meeting, advising that he was speaking in support of the motions listed on the agenda relating to Hate Crime and the IHR definition of Antisemitism. He began by highlighting the difficult times in which he felt people were now living given the enhanced forms of nationalism and exploitation of hatred now being experienced in many countries. He felt that both motions complimented each other and advised that whilst he shared concerns about the actions of the Israeli Government he was also concerned at the level of hatred being directed towards the Jewish community. Rabbi Dabba Smith felt there was nothing in the text of the motion on Antisemitism that would deter legitimate or reasoned criticism of the policies of Israel and outlined his close work with colleagues in the region on a cross border basis, as part of his relationship with the Eco Peace organisation. He also supported the concerns highlighted in the motion on Hate Crime around the increase in religious hatred and supported inclusion of the specific reference towards Islamophobia, which he felt was even more of an issue than antisemitism. He highlighted work he was involved in locally to tackle this issue, particularly in relation to Muslim women, and supported the need to continue working collaboratively in addressing these concerns.
Rabbi Dabba Smith ended his deputation by highlighting the positive atmosphere within Brent which encouraged sharing and tolerance between different cultures, ethnicity and religions and generated a stronger feeling of community. He urged members not to take this for granted and to continue working together with the local community to encourage and support this approach.
The Mayor thanked Rabbi Dabba Smith for his comments and then invited Mr David Kaye (speaking on behalf ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
To debate the motions submitted in accordance with Standing Order 45.
10.1 Motion from Labour Group – Challenging Hate, Championing Cohesion
The Mayor invited Councillor Nerva to move the motion from the Labour Group who began by highlighting what he felt was one of the main benefits about living in Brent, which was the strength of cohesion between the different and diverse communities across the borough. He recognised, however, that whilst a positive this did not prevent problems such as hate crime being experienced and in these instances the Council would have a role in not only supporting victims but also in seeking to tackle and prevent these type of problems. Whilst the motion being moved was therefore a statement on hate crime, he felt it also needed to be considered alongside the motion on antisemitism, which had already been approved by a number of other neighbouring boroughs.
Adopting both motions would not, he pointed out, prevent the Council from focussing on other groups affected by hate crime or mean the Council had any form of hierarchy for dealing with hate crime. He also referred to a letter sent to all Councillors by the Board of Deputies which had urged them to support the motions on both hate crime and antisemitism. In addition Councillor Nerva took the opportunity to highlight the outstanding co-operation and joint working already in existence between Muslim and Jewish communities within the borough. He also felt it was important to recognise, as highlighted within the motion, the increase in hate crime being reported against EU nationals since the EU Referendum. In summing up, he urged Members to support both motions and also the activities planned during the forthcoming Hate Crime Week.
Councillor Warren, speaking on behalf of the Brent Conservative Group, advised that his Group had no concern about supporting the motion as a measure designed to maintain and enhance the strong community relations across the borough. He felt it was important for all Members to condemn and for the Council to continue to challenge and tackle hate crime in whatever form it was experienced.
Finally the Mayor invited Councillor Colwill to respond to the motion on behalf of the Conservative Group. Councillor Colwill advised that he fully supported the comments already made by Councillors Nerva and Warren and felt it important to also highlight the strong community relations within the borough and need to continue to tackle all forms of hate crime.
The motion (as set out below) was then put to the vote by a show of hands and declared CARRIED.
“Brent Council expresses grave alarm and concern at the upswing in hate crime, discriminatory acts and violations of dignity in the last year across the United Kingdom.
We condemn racism and xenophobia as well as all other forms of discrimination (including but not limited to discrimination on the grounds of disability, sex, acts of homophobia, religious intolerance, ageism and any other violations of human rights such as modern slavery) as flagrant breaches of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The council is deeply ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
Reports from the Leader and Cabinet
To receive reports from the Leader and Cabinet in accordance with Standing Order 38.
In accordance with Standing Order 38, the Council received reports from the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members, as follows:
(i) Councillor Butt (Leader of the Council)
Councillor Butt, whilst welcoming Councillor Warren as the Leader of the new principal Opposition Group on the Council also highlighted as an issue the frequency of change between membership of both Opposition Groups. He also advised Members that a response was still awaited from the Secretary of State to the request from the Council for financial flexibility and assistance in terms of undertaking additional fire safety works in tower blocks identified as a result of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower. Concern was expressed that no response had yet been provided and he suggested that Opposition Members may also wish to call on their Government colleagues for a response, given the importance of the issue in terms of resident safety.
In accordance with Standing Order 16(b) Councillor Butt also reported use of the urgency procedure in relation to the following two decisions:
· Extension of Reed Contract; and
· Brent Domestic Abuse Advocacy and MARAC Coordination – Contract Variation
(ii) Councillor McLennan (Deputy Leader of the Council)
Councillor McLennan advised she was pleased to announce that despite a challenging position it was now possible to report that the Council had achieved a balanced budget for 2017/18 and was moving towards a balanced position for 2018/19. She thanked all involved for their ongoing efforts in relation to the budget position but felt it important to recognise that further difficult challenges would need to be faced when setting the budget for 2019/20 and beyond. The decision to move to a two year budget setting cycle had, however, helped to manage the reductions needing to be achieved and she felt represented a sensible planning approach.
In concluding her update, another significant area of work which Councillor McLennan drew Members attention to was the progress being made on introduction of pilot Business Rate pooling arrangements across London which she advised was something that would continue to be kept under review.
(iii) Councillor Tatler (Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Growth, Employment and Skills)
In response to concerns regarding the adverse impact that legislation relating to Permitted Development rights was having on the local economy and on the Council’s role at the heart of the planning process, Councillor Tatler advised she was pleased to announce that Cabinet had recently approved the pursuit of an Article 4 Directive. The Directive would cover the Wembley and Alperton area and assist the Council in preventing developers seeking to by-pass the planning process.
In addition Councillor Tatler took the opportunity to remind Members of the review currently being undertaken on the Local Plan and the importance of ensuring as wide engagement as possible in the consultation process. Members had been provided with a leaflet detailing the various consultation events and were asked for support in encouraging as many people as possible to participate.
(Councillor Allie left the meeting at 8.15pm)
(iv) Councillor Southwood (Cabinet Member ... view the full minutes text for item 11.
Annual Report from the Leader
To receive an annual report from the Leader in accordance with Standing Order 42.
The Mayor invited Councillor Butt, Leader of the Council, to present (in accordance with Standing Order 42) his first annual report on the work of the Council.
By way of introduction Councillor Butt referred to the difficult year faced by London, as a city, during 2017 and way in which the capital always managed to not only recover but thrive.
As an example of the energy and renewal locally, he outlined the continued success of GCSE and A-Level students across the borough, with students and teachers congratulated for their performance. In addition, Councillor Butt advised that he took great pride in knowing that 96% of the boroughs schools were currently rated as good or outstanding.
Having focussed on the present, he also highlighted a need to take a longer term, with particular concern expressed around what he regarded as a broken housing market given the limited opportunities for home ownership and cost/insecurity associated with renting, the current Government’s attitude towards public services and lack of detailed funding plan beyond 2020. As well as the huge challenges these represented he also highlighted the opportunities available, which the Council was keen to take advantage of. Specific examples highlighted included:
· The steps being taken by the Council to address the housing issue through regulation of the private rented sector and tackling rogue landlords; setting up a company to provide good quality affordable rented homes; tackling and preventing homelessness; bringing the Council’s social housing back under the control and management of the Council and also a significant programme for building new homes;
· The creation, as part of the house building programme, of new jobs; investment in the local economy and growth of the Council Tax base. He felt the massive contribution that new homes and residents could provide was often forgotten with regeneration also having significant benefits in terms of increasing funding available through the collection of Council Tax and in turn assisting the Council in addressing its funding deficit and protection of essential services;
· A willingness and track record of being able to build strong partnerships;
Another major area of concern highlighted was Adult Social Care, which Councillor Butt advised the Council were again looking to challenge. This would be through the provision of alternative provision designed to not only provide a better standard of care but also ensure personal independence and cost less money, again helping to tackle the budget deficit.
In terms of education, whilst having already highlighted and celebrated the excellent level of attainment by students he felt there was also a need to recognise that some were still leaving school having underachieved, with the risk of exclusion having a major impact on life chances particularly amongst certain communities. The challenge for the Council to address was therefore to break that cycle and ensure that the progress and success already being enjoyed by so many children and young people across the borough was available to all.
In terms of the greatest and most difficult challenge facing the Council, however, the ... view the full minutes text for item 12.
For Councillors to refer to petitions received and debate any petition with more than 200 signatures in accordance with the Council’s petition rules and Standing Order 68.
The Mayor informed Members that there were no petitions to be debated in accordance with the Council’s petition procedure and Standing Order 68.
Non Cabinet Members' Debate
To enable non-Cabinet Members to debate an issue of relevance to Brent in accordance with Standing Order 39B and to receive any reports from Cabinet Members on issues previously raised.
The Mayor advised that due to the number of deputations on the agenda, no subject for debate had been submitted for consideration at this meeting.
For Questions to be put to members of the Cabinet in accordance with Standing Order 40.
The Mayor advised that seven questions had been submitted by Members for response by the relevant Cabinet Member. The written responses supplied had been circulated with the Council agenda and the Mayor then invited supplementary questions from those Members who had submitted a question.
15.1 Councillor Harrison thanked Councillor Hirani (Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing) for his response on her question relating to the recruitment and retention of medical professionals in Brent. The response had made clear the impact that the high cost of housing and lack of affordable housing was having on the ability to recruit and retain medical professionals across the region and Councillor Hirani was therefore asked if there were any schemes being developed within Brent to help alleviate the problem.
Councillor Hirani responded by thanking Councillor Harrison for highlighting the extent of the problem in Brent and across London as a whole. He advised that the Council was continuing to work with their NHS partners in order to identify sites for the development of key worker housing, which he felt was one of the main ways of tackling the current problems being experienced.
15.2 Councillor Kelcher thanked Councillor Miller (Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities) for his comprehensive response, highlighting the considerable impact that noise nuisance could have on resident’s quality of life. In terms of the steps being taken to tackle late night noise nuisance he asked, as possible additional suggestions, whether consideration could be given to extending the operation of the reactive service beyond 2am and to the extension of the service on Saturdays and Sundays beyond 8 hours given the intensification of issues reported at weekends when compared to the 15 hours a day the service was currently available Monday to Friday. Having noted that the late night reactive service would on occasions have to be suspended in order to deal with a backlog of cases further detail was also sought on the way in which this was communicated to local residents needing to use the service.
In response Councillor Miller advised that the noise control team was currently comprised of five officers with one post having recently been lost due to budget reductions arising directly as a result of government funding restrictions. Whilst the level of service currently being provided was similar to that within other comparator boroughs, such as Waltham Forest there was also a need to recognise the significant increase in number of incidents being reported, which had almost doubled since 2010 (3061 in 2010 compared to 5670 in 2016). Against this background, Councillor Miller advised that he would be happy to discuss the suggestions made in more detail with Councillor Kelcher.
15.3 Having noted the response provided by Councillor Farah (Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform) in relation to Brent Housing Partnerships Infill Development scheme at Frontenac and Donnington Road, Councillor Ms Shaw once again asked whether the scheme could be scrapped in order to recognise residents’ concerns about the loss of the only amenity space available to them. ... view the full minutes text for item 15.
To receive reports from the Chairs of the Council’s Scrutiny Committees in accordance with Standing Order 41.
16.1 Resources & Public Realm Scrutiny Committee
Councillor Kelcher (as Chair of the Scrutiny Committee) provided Council with the following update on matters considered by the Committee since the last update to Council on 10 July 2017:
· The Committee had undertaken a useful visit to Harlesden High Street as part of its work around measures being used to boost business on local high streets, with a specific focus on initiatives relating to the role of town centre managers and litter patrols. The Committee had been reassured in terms of the role being developed by the town centre managers and were keen to see the promising start made in terms of the litter patrols further developed.
· The Committee were also pleased to have been able to review and help shape and influence the direction of the two Outcome Based Reviews relating to Gangs and Domestic Violence. This had included a number of recommendations being put forward for consideration around the importance of early prevention.
· Members had also received two call back reports monitoring progress on the implementation of reviews undertaken by Task Groups established by the Committee. One area in which the Committee would be undertaking further work (in support of the ongoing budget review) was in relation to Business Rates. This would involve a more detailed review of the way in which the London pooling arrangements in relation to Business Rates would operate and how funding would be allocated. This work was being undertaken on a cross party and cross committee basis.
16.2 Community & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee
Councillor Sheth (as Chair of the Scrutiny Committee) provided Council with the following update on matters considered by the Committee since the last update to Council on 10 July 2017:
· On the basis that Brent was well below the national and London average for children’s oral health and incidents of tooth decay the Committee had received an update from NHS England on steps being taken to address the issue. Members were pleased to note the award by the NHS of a new five year Community Dental Health contract covering the borough which included funding for oral health promotion activity. In addition the Committee was advised of activity and funding being provided through the Council’s Public Health Service to assist in raising awareness and tackling the issue. Whilst noting these improvements, members had agreed to continue monitoring the position.
· Having recognised safeguarding as one of the most important areas of partnership working, the Committee had also considered both of the Local Safeguarding Adult and Children Boards Annual Reports. Whilst Members had previously noted the effective safeguarding arrangements in place they had also identified the need to ensure that all partners were fully engaged in relation to their role and funding of the Boards, which was an issue the Committee would continue to monitor.
· Finally the Chair commended Councillor Shahzad for the Task Group he had led reviewing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service provision within the borough. The review had generated a number of recommendations, ... view the full minutes text for item 16.
To receive a report from the Vice-Chair of the Audit Advisory Committee in accordance with Standing Order 41A.
Councillor Choudry (as Vice-Chair of the Audit Advisory Committee) began by advising Members that the organisation responsible for Public Sector Audit appointments had recently concluded their procurement exercise for Brent’s external audit lead for 2018/19 onwards, with Grant Thornton due to be appointed as the Council’s new external auditor. This would be expected to generate a saving of up to £40k in terms of future audit fees. Given the important role undertaken by the Council’s external auditor the appointment would be considered in more detail at the next meeting of the Audit Advisory Committee. In the meantime, he reported that the current auditor (KPMG) were due to report to the next Committee on their audit of the Council’s 2016/17 statement of accounts, with the Vice-Chair keen to thank KPMG for their support.
In addition, Members were advised that the Audit Advisory Committee would be receiving a report from the Directors of I4B Holdings Ltd (I4B) (an investment company wholly owned by the Council) which the Committee had been given responsibility for holding to account in terms of governance matters.
Finally Councillor Choudry advised that he was keen to draw Members attention to the ongoing efforts being made to tackle fraud through the work of the Audit Investigation Team. Examples of activity and success included work to tackle social housing fraud which had recently resulted in five properties being bought back into use and blue badge fraud and he congratulated the team for their ongoing efforts.
The Mayor thanked Councillor Choudry for his update and it was RESOLVED that the content of the report be noted.
Full Council is asked to agree the changes to the Constitution as specified within the attached report.
Councillor Butt introduced the report from the Chief Legal Officer which proposed a number of changes to the Constitution designed to reduce its length and complexity as part of an ongoing process of review.
As there were no other members who indicted they wanted to speak on the report, the Mayor put the recommendations to the vote by a show of hands and they were declared CARRIED.
It was therefore RESOLVED that:
(1) the changes to the Constitution, as detailed within the report be approved; and
(2) the Chief Legal Officer be authorised to amend the Constitution accordingly, including the making of any necessary incidental or consequential changes.
This report updates Members on Treasury Management activity and confirms that the Council has complied with its Prudential Indicators for 2016/17. The report was approved by Cabinet on 24 July 2017 and has been forwarded to Council, in compliance with CIPFAs Code of Practice on Treasury Management.
Councillor McLennan introduced the report from the Chief Finance Officer which provided an update on Treasury Management activity and confirmed that the Council had complied with its Prudential Indicators for 2016/17. Members noted that the report had been approved and referred on to Council for consideration by Cabinet on 24 July 2017 in compliance with the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management.
As there were no other members who indicted they wanted to speak on the report, the Mayor put the recommendations to the vote by a show of hands and they were declared CARRIED.
It was therefore RESOLVED that Council note the 2016/17 Treasury Management Outturn Report.
At the discretion of the Mayor to consider any urgent business, in accordance with Standing Order 37 (r).
The Mayor advised that following consideration of the report on the Representation of Political Groups on Committees earlier in the meeting there was no other urgent business to be transacted.
The meeting was therefore declared closed at 8:57pm