Agenda, decisions and minutes

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

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

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence from members of the Council.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Apologies received from Councillors Agha, Pavey and Krupa Sheth.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that direct apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Agha, Pavey and Krupa Sheth.

 

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillors Abdirazak, Aden, Chan, Donnelly-Jackson and Mashari.

2.

Mayor's Statement - Order of Business

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Before consideration of the formal agenda, the Mayor informed members of a change to the order of business set out on the original summons.  Given its relevance to the budget setting process, the Mayor advised that, in accordance with Standing Order 30, he intended to move the report on the Borough Plan  2019-2023 forward for consideration following the Mayor’s Announcements.

 

It was therefore RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       The business to be considered at the meeting be re-arranged in the following order:

 

·                Agenda Item 6 – Borough Plan 2019 - 2023

 

(2)     The remaining items of business follow in the same order as listed on the agenda

3.

Procedural Motion - Conduct of Business

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that as this was the Council’s formal budget and Council Tax setting meeting he would be inviting Councillor Kabir (as Majority Group Chief Whip) to move a procedural motion, in accordance with Standing Orders, relating to the conduct of the debate on the budget report.

 

RESOLVED that the following procedural motion moved by Councillor Kabir, be agreed:

 

Debate on the Budget and Council Tax 2019-19

 

The debate on the budget be structured as follows:

 

1.      The Leader of the Council be permitted to speak for up to 15 minutes in presenting the 2019-2020 and 2020/21 Budget and Council Tax report to the meeting, after which the following arrangements would apply:

 

(a)       The Leader of the Conservative Group be permitted to speak for up to 15 minutes.

 

(b)       The Deputy Leader of the Council be permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes.

 

(c)       The Chair of the Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee be permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes.

 

(d)       A general debate follow during which the usual rules for debate would apply as set out in Standing Orders.

 

2.      At the end of the general debate, the Leader of the Council be permitted to speak for up to 5 minutes to submit his closing remarks prior to a recorded vote being taken on the budget proposals (to be moved en bloc)

4.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 264 KB

To confirm as a correct record, the attached minutes of the previous meeting of the Council held on Monday 28 November 2018.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 26 November 2018 agreed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 26 November 2018 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting.

5.

Declarations of Interest

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.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Councillor Crane declared a personal interest as a Council appointed Board Member on i4B and First Wave Housing.

 

Councillor Nerva declared a personal interest as Vice Chair of the Local Government Information Unit & Shared Leaseholder Brent Housing.

Minutes:

The Mayor invited Members to declare any personal 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 Crane declared a personal interest in respect of Agenda Item 6 (Budget and Council Tax 2019/2020 and 2020/21) as a Council appointed Board Member on i4B and First Wave Housing.

 

(b)       Councillor Nerva declared a personal interest in respect of Agenda Item 6 (Budget and Council Tax 2019/2020 and 2020/21) as Vice Chair of the Local Government Information Unit and as a shared leaseholder Brent Housing.

6.

Mayor's Announcements (including any petitions received)

To receive any announcements from the Mayor.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the announcements from the Mayor in relation to:

·                Queens New Year’s Honours List 2019

·                Holocaust & Genocide Memorial Day

·                Lest We Forget Bench

·                Pride of Brent

·                Rainbow Flag raising event

·                Mayor’s Gala Fundraising Dinner

·                London Marathon – participation of a Brent Councillor

·                International Delegation visits to Brent

·                Petitions

Minutes:

The Mayor made the following announcements:

 

(i)      Queens New Year’s Honours List 2019

 

The Mayor announced he was delighted to see so many Brent residents having been rewarded in the New Year’s Honours List.  Members were asked to join him in congratulating the following individuals:

 

·                Vera Schaufeld 88, who he advised lived in Barnhill and had been made an MBE for services to Holocaust Education, having dedicated her life to teaching adults and children with little or no knowledge of the English language.

 

·                Mustafa Field, Director of Faith Forum for London who had been made an OBE for services to faith communities and social cohesion.

 

·                Jashu Vekaria, Deputy Head Teacher of Uxendon Manor Primary who, having been voted best teacher in the Pearson Teaching Awards 2016, had now also received an MBE for services to primary education.

 

·                Andria Zafirakou, who taught at Alperton Community School, and had been awarded an MBE for services to education and young people, having also recently won the global competition to find the world's best teacher.

 

·                Jamshaid Ahmad, a home office immigration officer who had been recognised with an MBE for services to law and order.

 

·                Councillor Tariq Dar who had received an MBE for the work done over four decades with communities across Brent and whose award he felt was highly deserved.

 

(ii)     Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Day

 

The Mayor informed Members that he was honoured to have attended the Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Day event, which had taken place at the Civic Centre to remember the victims of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides.

 

He felt the memorial had highlighted the importance in ensuring events like these were never able to happen again and reinforced the need to continue challenging hatred and prejudice at every level.

 

(iii)    Lest We Forget Bench

 

The Mayor was pleased to remind Members of the unveiling, back in December 2019, of the Lest we forget Bench in order to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One. The bench, located in the Paul Daisley Garden, had been designed to create space for reflection in memory of all conflicts past and present and to honour service personnel in the sacrifices they and their families had made.

 

(iv)    Pride of Brent

 

The Mayor was pleased to advise that he and the Chief Executive had been able to invite many long serving staff, unable to attend the Pride of Brent awards, to tea in the Mayor’s Parlour.  This had been an enjoyable afternoon providing a further opportunity to recognise staff for their valuable contribution.

 

(v)     Rainbow Flag

 

The Mayor advised he had been delighted to join staff, councillors and residents to celebrate diversity, inclusion and tolerance at the recent rainbow flag raising ceremony on 19 February 2019 in honour of LGBT+ History Month.

 

Members were reminded that LGBT+ History Month took place in February each year and provided an opportunity to recognise the achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and to raise awareness of matters affecting the LGBT+  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

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

To agree any appointments to Committees, Joint Committees, Forums, Panels and Outside Bodies (if any); and the appointments of Chairs/Vice Chairs (if any) in accordance with Standing Order 37 (g).

Additional documents:

Decision:

None

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that there were change in appointments to be considered at the meeting.

8.

Borough Plan 2019-2023 pdf icon PDF 82 KB

The report presents the draft Borough Plan 2019-23 which sets out Brent’s vision, strategic themes and priorities.

 

Members are asked to note that the Plan was approved and referred on to Council for formal adoption by Cabinet on 11 February 2019.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED the Borough Plan (as detailed in Appendix 1 of the report) and Delivery Plan (as detailed in Appendix 2 of the report) for adoption.

Minutes:

Following the change in order of the agenda agreed at the start of the meeting, Councillor Butt (Leader of the Council) was invited to introduce the report of the Director of Performance, Policy & Partnerships which set out the Borough Plan, presenting the Council’s vision, strategic themes and priorities over the next four years 2019-2023,

 

In introducing the report Councillor M.Butt highlighted that the Plan had been developed on the basis of Brent’s Labour Party Manifesto with an emphasis on culture, empathy and ensuring that opportunities in Brent were shared amongst all communities.  The Plan included a number of high-level desired outcomes for residents focussed around the following themes – every opportunity to succeed; a future built for everyone, an economy fit for all; a cleaner more considerate Brent; a borough where everyone can feel safe, secure, happy and healthy; and strong foundations.  Councillor M.Butt advised that the Borough Plan, in conjunction with the budget, would provide the focus to deliver the aspirations and outcomes identified whilst also providing an opportunity for residents to be able to hold the Administration to account.  He concluded by advising that he was proud of the commitments set out within the Plan, which the Administration had accepted the significant challenge and responsibility for delivering, and thanked all involved for their efforts in its preparation.

 

As no other members indicated they wanted to speak on the report, the Mayor put the recommendations to the vote by a show of hands and they were unanimously declared CARRIED.

 

It was therefore RESOLVED to adopt the Borough Plan (as detailed in Appendix 1 of the report) and Delivery Plan (as detailed in Appendix 2 of the report) 2019-2023.

9.

Budget and Council Tax 2019/2020 and 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 243 KB

To consider the Council’s budget and level of Council Tax for 2019/20 and 2020/21.

 

Members are asked to note that the recommendations in the report were approved for reference on to Council by Cabinet on 11 February 2019.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED

 

(1)       To note the decisions made by Cabinet on 11 February 19 in relation to the budget and Council Tax 2019/2020 and 2020/21.

 

(2)     An overall 4.99% increase in the Council’s element of council tax for 2019/20 with 2% as a precept for Adult Social Care and a 2.99% general increase.

 

(3)     The General Fund revenue budget for 2019/20, as summarised in Appendix A of the report.

 

(4)       The cost pressures and technical adjustments detailed in Appendix B of the report.

 

(5)       To note the report from the Budget Scrutiny Panel and addendum from the Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee, as detailed in Appendix D of the report.

 

(6)       To note and agree for inclusion in the overall budget for 2019/20 the HRA Budget as set out in section eight of the report.

 

(7)       The dedicated schools grant, as set out in section nine of the report.

 

(8)     The capital programme as set out in Appendix E of the report.

 

(9)     The Treasury Management Strategy, Capital Strategy, Investment Strategy and MRP Policy as set out in Appendices F, G, H and I of the report.

 

(10)    To note the advice of the Director of Legal and HR as set out in Appendix J of the report.

 

(11)   The schedule of fees and charges as set out in Appendix K of the report.

 

(12)   To note the results of consultation as set out in section 7 and detailed in Appendix L of the report.

 

(13)   The Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20 as set out in Appendix M of the report.

 

Council Tax recommendations

 

Council noted that the recommendations agreed below only included a provisional Council Tax level for the GLA as its final budget had not been agreed at the time the Councils budget report was despatched.  As a result it was noted that the statutory calculation of the total amount of Council Tax under Section 30(2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 may be amended by the final Greater London Authority precept.

 

(14)    To resolve in relation to the council tax for 2019/20:

 

That the following amounts be now calculated by the Council for the year 2019/20 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended:

 

(a) £1,027,149,293        being the aggregate of the amount that the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act.

(b) 905,158,017             being the aggregate of the amounts that the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act.

(c) £121,991,275           being the amount by which the aggregate at (a) above exceeds the aggregate at (b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act, as its Council Tax requirement for the year.

(d) £1,262.34                 being the amount at (c) above, divided by the amount for the tax base of 96,639, agreed by the General Purposes Committee on the 21January 2018, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B  ...  view the full decision text for item 9.

Minutes:

The Council received a report from the Chief Finance Officer setting out the Council’s budget proposals for 2019/20 and business plans for 2020/21 along with the overall financial position facing the Council over the next four years.

 

In accordance with the procedural motion agreed at the start of the meeting, the Mayor invited Councillor M.Butt to present the report setting out the budget and Council Tax proposals for 2019/20 – 2020/21.

 

Councillor M.Butt began by highlighting the difficult financial position faced by the Council, as a result of Central Government’s austerity programme with Brent’s funding continuing to fall short of what was needed and he felt could reasonably be considered as adequate.

 

As a result of the ongoing funding limitations being placed on local authorities by the Government he pointed out that the coming years would require a further round of £ multi-million transformation, efficiencies and cuts in order to deliver the additional £40m identified as required to meet the shortfall in funding over the next 2 years and on top of the funding already lost to government austerity.

 

In terms of the budget presented for approval at the meeting, this had been designed to provide a detailed plan for the year ahead whilst also reinforcing the longer term strategy to address the ongoing pressure and cuts to public sector funding.  Whilst the position moving forward was made even more difficult to predict due to the uncertainty over Brexit one thing it was possible to be clear about was that spending on core services had once again fallen, this time in cash terms by 11%.  Whilst this would be difficult enough it wasn’t felt to represent the full picture as if failed, Councillor M.Butt pointed out, to take account of:

·                the cumulative damage caused by the Government’s ongoing programme of austerity and what the Council’s current position might have been without almost a decade of funding cuts;

·                population growth and the increasingly complex nature and volume of demand for local services along with the true costs of being able to meet these.

 

Councillor M.Butt went on to highlight the budget report had identified that for the Council to stand still in terms of its finances and in terms of being able to deliver the same quality and quantity of services as provided in 2018/19, would require a growth in core service spend of more than £17m as opposed to the reductions proposed.  If funding had been maintained at the same level as set immediately prior to austerity the budget being set now would have been upwards of £370m, without taking account of public health, as a result highlighting a shortfall of almost £100m.

 

Whilst the level of cuts had been criticised by some, Councillor M.Butt felt that things may get even worse, given what he considered to be the move away nationally from the principles of informed and inclusive government and a rise in less tolerant behaviour and views.

 

Notwithstanding the current position, the Council had however been keen once  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Changes to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To receive a report from the Director of Legal & HR seeking approval to a number of changes to the Constitution.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED

 

(1)       To approve the changes to the Constitution as detailed within Appendices 1 – 3 of the report relating to:

 

(a)       Procedural Rules & Order of Business for Full Council meetings (as set out in Appendix 1 of the report);

(b)       Procedural rules for the recruitment of Operational and more senior officer posts (as set out in Appendix 1 of the report)

(c)       Scrutiny Committee structure and Terms of Reference (as set out in Appendix 2 of the report)

(d)       Petition scheme relating to Planning (as set out in Appendix 3 of the report).

 

(2)     To authorise the Director of Legal and HR Services to amend the Constitution accordingly, including the making of any necessary incidental or consequential changes.

 

(3)     To note that, to the extent that the changes relate to executive functions of the Council, they have been approved by the Leader.

Minutes:

Councillor M.Butt (Leader of the Council) introduced the report from the Director of Legal and HR Services which he advised proposed a number of changes to the Constitution relating to Full Council meetings; the scrutiny committee structure; senior management appointments and Planning Petitions.

 

As no other members indicated 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:

 

(1)     To approve the following changes to the Constitution as detailed within the report and Appendices 1-3:

 

(a)       Procedural Rules & Order of Business for Full Council meetings (as set out in Appendix 1 of the report);

(b)      Procedural rules for the recruitment of Operational and more senior officer posts (as set out in Appendix 1 of the report)

(c)       Scrutiny Committee structure and Terms of Reference (as set out in Appendix 2 of the report)

(d)      Petition scheme relating to Planning (as set out in Appendix 3 of the report).

 

(2)     To authorise the Director of Legal and HR Services to amend the Constitution accordingly, including the making of any necessary incidental or consequential changes;

 

(3)     To note, to the extent that the changes relate to executive functions of the Council, they have been approved by the Leader.

11.

Members Allowance Scheme - Annual Review pdf icon PDF 106 KB

The report outlines the annual review of the Members Allowance Scheme and seeks approval on the allowances Members will be entitled to receive for carrying out their responsibilities during the 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED

 

(1)     To approve and make a Members’ Allowance Scheme in the terms set out in the report for the financial year 2019/20.

 

(2)     To authorise the Director of Legal and HR Services to comply with the statutory requirements to publicise the Council’s Members’ Allowance Scheme.

Minutes:

Councillor Butt introduced the report from the Director of Legal and HR Services seeking approval to the making of a Members’ Allowance Scheme, in the proposed terms set out in the report, for the 2019/20 Financial Year.

 

In introducing the report Councillor M.Butt highlighted the annual review had continued to be informed by the principles and guidelines within the most recent review of Members Allowances undertaken by the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) in 2018 on behalf of London Councils.  As part of the annual review process the Scheme included provision for an annual uplift in line with any inflationary pay award agreed under the Local Government Pay Settlement.  Members noted the importance of the Scheme in recognising and supporting individuals in being able to undertake their role as local councillor.

 

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.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     To approve and make a Members’ Allowance Scheme in the terms set out in the report for the financial year 2019/20.

 

(2)     To authorise the Director of Legal and HR Services to comply with the statutory requirements to publicise the Council’s Members’ Allowance Scheme.

12.

Urgent Business

At the discretion of the Mayor to consider any urgent business, in accordance with Standing Order 37 (r).

Additional documents:

Decision:

None.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised Members there were no urgent items of business for consideration.

 

As this was the final Council business meeting of his year in office, the Mayor ended by thanking all Members for their support and co-operation over the last year and advised that the next meeting would be the Annual Council and Mayor Making ceremony on Monday 1 May 2019.