Agenda, decisions and minutes

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

Contact: Thomas Cattermole, Head of Executive and Member Services  tel. 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 Crane, Gill, Mahmood, Marquis, Mashari, Pavey and Perrin.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that direct apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Crane, Gill, Mahmood, Marquis, Mashari, Pavey and Perrin.

2.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 248 KB

To confirm as a correct record, the attached minutes of the previous meeting of the Council held on Monday 8 July 2019.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Minutes of the Council meeting held on 8 July 2019 agreed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Council Meeting held on Monday 8 July 2019 be approved as a correct record.

3.

Declarations of Interest

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

No interests declared.

Minutes:

No interests were declared by Members at the meeting.

4.

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:

·                Pride of Brent Youth Awards

·                Harlesden Festival

·                Mayors Civic Ceremony

·                125th Anniversary of Willesden Library and Great British High Street Awards 2019

·                Opening of Brent Hub Kilburn

·                Flag Raising Ceremonies – Jamaican Independence, Pakistan Independence, Indian Independence and Emergency Services Day

·                Visits from student groups from The School for Ethics and Global Leadership (USA) and E-associates Educational Consulting (Nigeria)

·                Brent Summer Reading Challenge

·                Success of Brent students in their GSCE, A Level and Vocational Qualification results

·                Mayoral Charity Events – Football Competition (15 October 19) & Christmas Party (6 December 19)

·                Support for biodiversity work

·                Brent named as joint friendliest borough in London

·                Brent Black History Month 2019 – Celebrating Black Excellence (17 October 19)

·                Minutes silence in memory of former Councillors Pat Harrison and John Detre

·                Petitions

Minutes:

The Mayor made the following announcements:

 

(i)          Pride of Brent Youth awards

 

The Mayor opened his announcements by expressing his delight in having attended the Pride of Brent Youth Awards in late July. He highlighted the importance of honouring young people across Brent who were making a difference in their communities, often putting others before themselves.

 

(ii)         Harlesden Festival

 

The Mayor reported that he had attended the 4th Annual Harlesden Festival with Councillors Muhammed Butt and McLeish and was happy to see so many residents there. He congratulated those who had organised the day.

 

(iii)       Civic Ceremony

 

The Mayor gave his thanks to those who had attended the service in July to mark and celebrate his Civic Year. He took the opportunity to remind Members of his Mayoral charities; the Jason Roberts Foundation and the Sickle Cell Society.

 

(iv)       125th Anniversary of Willesden Library

 

The Mayor advised that he had enjoyed attending the celebration for the 125th anniversary of the library at Willesden Green. He commemorated the fact that in 1894 the local community had voted to pay more tax in order to fund the building of a library for local people.

 

On the subject of Willesden, the Mayor advised that Willesden Green had recently received a visit from the judges of the Great British High Street Awards, a competition celebrating high streets across the UK. He added that Willesden Green was competing with 27 other UK high streets in the ‘Rising Star’ category for 2019 and urged Members to take part in the vote.

 

(v)        Brent Hub Kilburn Opening

 

The Mayor said he was very proud to officiate at the opening of the Brent Hub, Kilburn, which followed on the heels of the successful Harlesden Hub. He advised that the centre was a facility for local residents to contact Brent Council and local community organisations.

 

(vi)       Flag Raisings

 

The Mayor thanked everyone who had attended the flag raising events held during the summer to celebrate Jamaican Independence Day, Independence Day of Pakistan, Indian Independence Day and, most recently, Emergency Services Day.

 

(vii)     Visits from Students from Abroad

 

 

The Mayor reported that during the summer, along with the Council Leader and Chief Executive, he had played host to groups of students visiting from the School for Ethics and Global Leadership in the USA and from E-associates Educational Consulting in Nigeria. He added that both visits were well received and gave the opportunity to showcase Brent’s achievements in many areas.

 

(viii)    Brent Summer Reading Challenge

 

The Mayor advised he was delighted to see children taking part in the Brent Libraries Summer Reading Challenge and congratulated those achieving gold medal success, along with everyone who participated in the challenge.

 

(ix)       Student Success

 

The Mayor asked Council to join him in congratulating students across Brent on a brilliant set of GCSE, A Level and vocational results, which he said had bucked the national trend. He advised that Brent’s overall A Level pass rate (grades A*- E) rose to 97.9%.  This had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies and Appointment of Chairs/Vice Chairs (if any) pdf icon PDF 90 KB

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 30(g).

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED that under the new London West Regional Adoption arrangements the requirement for Brent to operate its own Adoption and Permanency Panel would cease after 30 September 2019.

Minutes:

The Mayor referred Members to the supplementary agenda circulated in advance of the meeting, which contained details of the changes to appointments on Council Committees, Sub Committees and other bodies.

 

It was RESOLVED to note that under the new London North West Regional Adoption arrangements the requirement for Brent to operate its own Adoption & Permanency Panel would cease after 30 September 2019, as the Council would join new regional arrangements.

6.

Deputations (if any)

To hear any deputations received from members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 32.

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED the following deputations received at the meeting:

 

(a)        Dawn Butler MP in support of the Labour Group motion relating to health services in Brent and expressing concern at the proposed reduction in opening hours of the Urgent Care Centre at Central Middlesex Hospital.  The concerns raised were supported by Councillor Farah, responding to the deputation as Lead Member for Adult Social Care.

 

(b)        Fiona Mulaisho highlighting public health concerns regarding air quality and pollution along the Kensal Rise Corridor (with specific reference to Chamberlain Road and Station Terrace) and seeking details on what action the Council was taking with other partners such as TfL in order to protect the health and wellbeing of local residents in the area.  Councillor Krupa Sheth, responding to the deputation as Lead Member for Environment, took the opportunity to highlight the work being undertaken by the Council to monitor and tackle air quality with specific reference to the promotion of sustainable transport initiatives, introduction of a diesel surcharge, increase in electric vehicle charging points and work with TfL to encourage the roll-out of electric buses and to introduce an anti-idling policy.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that, in accordance with Standing Order 32, he had received requests for two deputations. The first had been received from Dawn Butler, MP for Brent Central, and related to the motion submitted for consideration later during the meeting on health services in Brent and the proposals to reduce the opening hours at the Urgent Care Centre, Central Middlesex Hospital. The second deputation had been received from Ms Fiona Mulaisho who had requested to speak about public health concerns regarding pollution.

 

The Mayor welcomed Dawn Butler MP to the meeting and invited her to introduce the deputation.  Ms Butler began by paying her own tribute to the two Councillors who had been commemorated earlier in the meeting and particularly remembered Pat Harrison as a formidable campaigner.  She introduced her deputation on the future of healthcare services in Brent, noting that it was the first time a sitting MP had addressed Full Council.

 

Ms Butler spoke about the strains on local healthcare services as a result of sustained cuts since 2010, including the closure of the A&E facility at the Central Middlesex hospital in 2014.  She noted that the loss of the Sickle Cell Unit from Central Middlesex to Northwick Park Hospital had also affected many people in the Borough suffering from the disease, given the increased distance they needed to travel for treatment.  Ms Butler continued that the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was now proposing to reduce the opening hours of the Urgent Care Centre located at Central Middlesex Hospital between the hours of midnight and 8am, with the nearest alternative overnight facility being over an hour away.  Highlighting strong concerns about the proposal, she felt there was a need for a full public consultation and for the CCG to be held to account in relation to the long-term strategy behind the reduction in resources.

 

The Mayor thanked Ms Butler for her comments and then invited Councillor Farah, as Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care to respond to the deputation.

 

Councillor Farah, took the opportunity to thank Ms Butler for her deputation highlighting his shared concerns about the continued reduction in local health services and important need to protect the NHS as one of the nations and Labours proudest achievements.  In concluding, Councillor Farah pledged the ongoing support of the Council’s Cabinet in campaigning to protect local health services for all residents.

 

The Mayor thanked Councillor Farah for his response and then moved on to invite Fiona Mulaisho to present the second deputation.

 

Ms Mulaisho introduced herself as a Kensal Rise resident and former Chair of Clean Air for Brent and went on to highlight a number of concerns regarding air pollution, particularly in Kensal Rise, where she felt traffic volumes were exacerbating the problem. Ms Mulaisho advised that Chamberlayne Road was one of the worst polluted streets in London and Ark Franklin Primary Academy, a school on Chamberlayne Road, was named as one of the 50 worst polluted schools in London, according to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Questions from Members of the Public

To receive questions submitted from members of the public to Cabinet Members, in accordance with Standing Order 33.

 

Members are asked to note that no questions have been submitted for this meeting of the Council.

Additional documents:

Decision:

No questions were received from the public.

Minutes:

The Mayor confirmed that no questions had been received from members of the public.

 

8.

Petitions (if any)

For Members to refer to petitions received and debate any petition with more than 200 signatures, where such a request has been submitted in accordance with the Council’s petition rules and Standing Order 66.

Additional documents:

Decision:

No requests were received for debates on any petitions.

Minutes:

The Mayor confirmed that no requests for debates on any petitions under the Council’s petition rules and Standing Order 66 had been received.

 

9.

Annual Report from the Leader

To receive an annual report on the work of the Council from the Leader of the Council, in accordance with Standing Order 38.

 

Members are asked to note that the Leader of the Council will have up to 5 minutes to present his annual report with a period of 20 minutes then provided for debate.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the annual report provided by the Leader of the Council on the work of the Council.

Minutes:

The Mayor invited Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of the Council, to present (in accordance with Standing Order 38) his Annual Report on the work of the Council and State of the Borough.

 

Councillor Muhammed Butt began by reflecting on last year’s report in terms of the challenges and also untapped opportunities therein.  He lamented that the challenges remained and focussed on the financial hardship that the Council continued to face, highlighting the current crises in Adult Social Care, Housing and the NHS brought about by a decade of central government cuts to public services.

 

The Leader expressed his views on the forthcoming Government Budget and stressed how he felt local authorities continued to be bypassed, while the current Government continued to waste money, particularly on Brexit. The Leader was happy to confirm that Brent had the highest number of European residents in London and the largest number to gain pre-settled status in England and, as the local population continued to grow, he expressed his pride in so many people wanting to make Brent their home.

 

The Leader highlighted the many accolades the Borough had received throughout the year, including Friendliest Borough in London, the nomination for the Best High Street in England and the many celebrations of its culture.

 

In summing up, the Leader felt that the Council was taking radical steps towards delivering on its ambitious manifesto, with empathy, a shared vision of prosperity and with culture at its heart. He reaffirmed the declaration of a Climate Emergency, agreed at the last Full Council meeting, along with the pledge not to penalise tenants in debt as a result of delays in Universal Credit payments; to fight NHS cuts; to bring more Council services in-house; to build more affordable housing; invest in the boroughs highways and support the ongoing development of the transport infrastructure; create more Community Hubs and to foster community wealth building in Brent.

 

Concluding his annual report and commenting on the state of the borough, Councillor Muhammed Butt felt it was possible to highlight a huge amount as being achieved but also much more to do based on an ambitious, but at the same time pragmatic set of priorities and commitments with an enormous financial challenge to continue to manage and overcome.

 

The Mayor thanked Councillor Muhammed Butt for his annual report and then advised that he would open up the debate for contributions from other members, starting with a response from the Conservative Group.  Councillor Colwill (as Leader of the Conservative Group) advised that he did not intend to response, so the Mayor moved on to invite contributions from other members, with the following comments raised:

 

·             Councillor Ethapemi sought clarification as to whether the additional spending review announced by the Government was based on national reserves or whether the Council was expected to make contingency plans.

 

·             Councillor Kelcher commented that this was the second year that the Leader of the Opposition had not responded to the Leader’s Annual Report and suggested there should be an obligation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Reports from the Leader and Cabinet pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To receive the report from the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members in accordance with Standing Order 31 setting out any key or significant issues arising from any matter within the responsibility of Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED the report and accompanying update provided by the Lead Member for Housing and Welfare Reform highlighting the following in relation to her portfolio:

·             Successful completion of the Estate Cleaning service being bought back in-house;

·             The ongoing consultation being undertaken in relation to proposed changes to the Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme along with the Council’s commitment to maintain the current level of investment at £28.9m in recognition of the important assistance being provided through the scheme for many residents;

·             The celebrations being planned to mark the 100-year anniversary of the Addison Act having been passed;

·             The recent and planned provision of additional council and affordable social housing across the borough.

Minutes:

The Mayor referred Members to the written report which had been circulated with the agenda providing updates from the Leader and Cabinet Members related to their portfolios. He then invited Councillor Muhammed Butt, as Leader of the Council, to present the update report reminding Members that once completed he would move straight on to deal with questions from opposition and other non-cabinet members, which would include the opportunity to ask questions of relevant Cabinet Members.

 

Councillor Muhammed Butt thanked the Mayor for his introduction and advised that he would be asking Councillor Southwood, as Cabinet Member for Housing & Welfare Reform, to lead on the update with a focus on housing related issues.

 

Councillor Southwood began her update by advising that she was delighted to be able to report that the Council had now completed the process of bringing the estate caretaking service back in-house, enabling better conditions for staff and better services for tenants.  She then moved on to highlight the progress being made with regard to consultation on the Council Tax Support Scheme with the Council committed to maintaining the current level of investment in recognition of the important assistance being provided through the scheme for many residents.  Members were also advised of the celebrations being planned to mark the 100-year anniversary of the Addison Act before finally being informed about the delivery of new council homes in Queens Park as part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to the provision of additional council and affordable social housing across the borough.

 

Having completed her update, the Mayor advised that the time available for this item had expired and it was therefore RESOLVED to formally note the updates provided by the Leader and Cabinet prior to moving on to the councillor question session.

11.

Questions from the Opposition and other Non-Cabinet Members pdf icon PDF 142 KB

For questions to be put to members of the Cabinet by opposition and non-Cabinet Members in accordance with Standing Order 35.

 

Details of the three questions submitted in advance have been attached along with the written responses provided.

 

Members are asked to note that this session will also include an opportunity (within the time available) for other non-Cabinet members to ask questions of Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED

 

1.     The written and supplementary verbal response provided by the Lead Member for Housing & Welfare Reform to a question submitted by Councillor Thakkar confirming the Council’s policy in terms of non-eviction of tenants experiencing rent arrears as a result of delays in receiving Universal Credit and work being undertaken with other housing providers to encourage the adoption of a similar approach with their tenants.

 

2.     The written response provided by the Lead Member for Regeneration, Property & Planning to a question submitted by Councillor Ahmed regarding the level of Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) funding allocated since inception of the scheme to voluntary groups, residents and other stakeholders for community infrastructure projects. No supplementary question was asked

 

3.     The written response provided by the Deputy Leader in relation to a question submitted by Councillor Chappell detailing the total financial value of Non-Domestic Rate Relief provided for small businesses and non-profit making bodies under the Council’s current policy.  No supplementary question was asked.

 

Responses were also provided by the relevant Lead Members on the following additional questions raised during the open session of this part of the meeting:

 

·             Councillor Kelcher requesting urgent consideration be given to a licensing issue identified in relation to operation of a car boot sale at Newman Catholic College and enforcement action in relation to illegal street trading activity in the surrounding area when the boot sales take place.

·             Councillor Choudhary regarding:

Ø   a review of the Council’s Housing Allocation Policy and potential to extend the offer of bidding rights to those categorised as on Band B in relation to housing need;

Ø   the policy in relation to the use of materials for footway repairs and replacement in the Barn Hill Conservation Area;

·             Councillor Long regarding:

Ø   Housing Key Performance Indicators and the action being taken to secure a sustained turnaround in performance, with a particular focus around customer service;

Ø   The action being taken through the West London Economic Prosperity Board to support and encourage the creation of Green Jobs;

·             Councillor Chan seeking support for the ongoing lobbying of TfL regarding the upgrade of the Bakerloo line with a specific focus on the accessibility of station facilities within the borough and on the provision of step free access at Kensal Green.

Minutes:

Before moving on to consider the questions submitted by non-Cabinet members, the Mayor reminded Members that a total of 30 minutes had been set aside to deal with this item, which would begin with consideration of the written questions submitted in advance of the meeting along with any supplementary question.  Once these had been dealt with, the remaining time would then be available for any other non-Cabinet members to question Cabinet Members on matters relating to their portfolio.

 

The Mayor advised that three written questions had been submitted in advance for response by the relevant Cabinet Member. The written responses supplied had been circulated with the Council agenda. The Mayor invited supplementary questions from the Members who had submitted the written questions.

 

11.1      Councillor Thakkar thanked Councillor Southwood, as Cabinet Member for Housing & Welfare Reform, for reaffirming the Council’s intention not to evict tenants falling into rent arrears due to delays in the payment of Universal Credit.  As a supplementary question, she asked whether the Council, in the context of early intervention, would also be working with private and social housing providers in order to encourage them to adopt a similar arrangement and ensure monitoring of arrears and evictions.

 

Councillor Southwood responded by confirming that the Council met regularly with all social housing providers in the Borough and a major topic of discussion was around the difficulties encountered by those tenants in receipt of Universal Credit.  Whilst the Council could not impose its own policies on other providers, Councillor Southwood advised that she would continue to work with them and to highlight emerging issues with the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) in order mitigate the risks to those falling into arrears.

 

11.2    Councillor Ahmed thanked Councillor Tatler, as Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Property & Planning, for her written response in relation to the allocation of funding under the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) scheme for community infrastructure projects and confirmed that he did not have a supplementary question.

 

11.3    Councillor Chappell thanked Councillor McLennan, as Deputy Leader, for her written response on the impact and financial value of the policy adopted by the Council in relation to the application of its business rate relief scheme and confirmed that he also did not have any supplementary question.

 

The Mayor thanked Members for their written questions and Cabinet Members for the response provide to any supplementary questions.  He then advised that the remainder of the time available would be used for an open question time session to the Leader and Cabinet.  The following questions were raised and responses provided:

 

(i)           Councillor Kelcher raised a query regarding the Sunday Car Boot Sale at Newman Catholic College in Kensal Green and whether the current issues with related paperwork could be expedited to allow sales to resume and also whether action could be taken against the illegal street traders operating in the area at the same time.

 

In response, Councillor Miller, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, confirmed that if the issue highlighted was related  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Report from Chairs of Scrutiny Committees pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To receive reports from the Chairs of the Council’s Scrutiny Committees in accordance with Standing Order 36.  The reports have been attached as follows:

 

12.1    Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee

 

12.2    Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee

 

Members are asked to note that this session will include an opportunity (within the time available) for non-Cabinet members to ask questions of relevant Scrutiny Chair’s in relation to the remits of their Committees.

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED the update reports provided by the Chairs of the Resources & Public Realm and Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committees, along with an additional update provided by the Chair of the Knife Crime Scrutiny Task and Finish Group.

 

Responses were also provided by the relevant Scrutiny Chairs on the following additional questions raised during the open session of this part of the meeting:

 

·             Councillor Nerva regarding:

Ø   the approach towards scrutiny of the police and Safer Neighbourhood arrangements following introduction of the tri borough command structure;

Ø   the inclusion of the funding position of North West London CCG and impact on patient care and waiting times as part of the work programme for the North West London Joint Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee;

·             Councillor Long:

Ø   regarding scrutiny around the provision of public toilet facilities across the borough; and

Ø   supporting the need identified for further scrutiny in relation to the financial position of the North West London CCG and impact on residents within the borough;

·             Councillor Dar highlighting the ongoing campaign to oppose the closure of the Cricklewood GP Walk-In Centre.

Minutes:

Before inviting the Chairs of each Scrutiny Committee to present their reports, the Mayor reminded Members that as part of the changes to the Constitution agreed in February 2019, a total of 12 minutes had been set aside for this item. He explained that the Chair of each Scrutiny Committee would have up to three minutes to present their report, highlighting any issues felt to be of significance to the Council.  Once the updates had been provided, the remaining time available would then be opened up for any other non-Cabinet Members to question the Scrutiny Chairs on matters relating to the work of their Committees.

 

The following updates were provided by each of the Scrutiny Chairs:

 

Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee

 

Councillor Kelcher introduced the update report from his Committee, highlighting the following issues, with the Mayor advising that he had also agreed for the update to include (within the time available) a report from Councillor Kabir on progress of the Knife Crime Scrutiny Task Group.

 

·                     Councillor Kelcher began his update by highlighting two pre-scrutiny exercises the Committee had recently undertaken, one of which involved consideration of the Draft Statement of Licensing Principles.  Issues identified had included the potential use of unit pricing in driving good behaviour in off licences, and the Purple Flag scheme promoting the night-time economy in local high streets.  The other pre-scrutiny opportunity had involved a review of proposals relating to the Council Tax Support Scheme, which the Committee had supported overall. He concluded by reporting on the progress update received in relation to the Carlton and Granville Centre, following on from a previous call-in, with a particular focus on the housing element and design of the scheme.

 

·                    Councillor Kabir was then invited to provide an update on progress of the Scrutiny Task Group she was chairing on Knife Crime.  Referring to the final report of the Task Group, which she urged Members to read, Councillor Kabir advised that the recommendation was to take the Public Health approach which involved investigation of the causes of knife-crime and developing actions to prevent its increase through collaboration between relevant departments of the Council as well as with the external partners – schools, police, NHS, CCG, faith groups, the justice system, probationary services and the wider community. In conclusion, Councillor Kabir felt that too many lives had been lost or blighted by knife crime and, noting the increasingly young ages of both victims and perpetrators and the effect on families and communities, she asked members for their support in taking urgent action.

 

The Mayor thanked Councillors Kelcher and Kabir for their updates

 

Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee

 

Councillor Ketan Sheth was then invited to introduce the update from his Committee:

 

·                     Councillor Ketan Sheth began his report by referring to the proposed closure of the Cricklewood Walk-in Centre brought to Scrutiny’s attention by Councillor Dar, which had been discussed at the last Committee meeting.  He thanked Councillor Colacicco for speaking at the meeting on behalf of her ward residents  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Report from the Vice-Chair of the Audit and Standards Advisory Committee pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To receive a report from the Vice-Chair of the Audit & Standards Advisory Committee in accordance with Standing Order 37.

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED the update report provided by the Vice Chair of the Audit & Standards Advisory.

Minutes:

The Mayor invited Councillor Aslam Choudry, as the Vice Chair of the Audit and Standards Advisory Committee, to introduce his report updating Members on the work of the Committee.

 

Councillor Choudry reported that there had been one Committee meeting since his last update at which the Council’s Statutory Accounts had been approved with some minor amendments.  He advised that a further update on the excellent investigation work being carried out by the internal audit team, would be provided for the next meeting.  The Committee had also reviewed the Council’s Treasury Management activity and noted the good management of the treasury and cash function.  Councillor Choudry ended his update highlighting the work being undertaken by the Committee in relation to the valuation of the Council’s Pension Fund and Investment Scheme, which he advised the Committee would keep under review.

 

The mayor thanked Councillor Aslam Choudry for his update and it was RESOLVED that the report be noted.

14.

Non Cabinet Members' Debate

To enable non Cabinet Members to debate an issue of relevance to Brent for which notice has been provided in accordance with Standing Order 34 and to receive reports from Cabinet members, where required, on issues previously raised.

Additional documents:

Decision:

No subject was identified for debate.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that no subject had been identified for debate and therefore moved to the next item on the agenda.

15.

2018/19 Treasury Management Outturn Report pdf icon PDF 132 KB

The report updates members on Treasury Management activity and confirms that the Council has complied with its Prudential Indicators for 2018/19.

 

Members are asked to note that this report was noted by the Audit & Standards Advisory Committee on 10 July 2019 and is due to be considered by Cabinet on 9 September 2019.  It has been forwarded to Council in compliance with CIPFAs Code of Practice on Treasury Management.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED to note the 2018-19 Treasury Management outturn report, in compliance with the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management.

Minutes:

Councillor McLennan introduced the report from the Director of Finance, which provided an update on Treasury Management activity and confirmed that the Council had complied with its Prudential Indicators for 2018/19.  Members noted that the report had been approved and referred on to Council for consideration by Cabinet on 9 September 2019 in compliance with the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management.

 

The Mayor then opened the debate inviting other Members to speak on the report.

 

Councillor S Choudary welcomed what he felt was a good report. In spite of ongoing economic difficulties and the effects of Brexit he noted all the positive aspects highlighted in relation to the management of the Council’s reserves and investment policy but felt there remained scope to consider the level of cash balances being held and how these was managed.

 

As no further issues were raised Councillor McLennan, in exercising her right of reply, felt it important to clarify that the majority of reserves held were capital rather than revenue in nature.  Whilst recognising that the Council was in a relatively healthy financial position she pointed out this had only been achieved because of the prudent financial management approach adopted by the Administration.

 

The Mayor then put the recommendations to the vote by a show of hands and they were unanimously declared CARRIED.

 

It was therefore RESOLVED that Council note the 2018/19 Treasury Management Outturn Report in compliance with the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management.

16.

Motions pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To debate the motions submitted in accordance with Standing Order 41.

 

Members are asked to note that the motions submitted will be circulated as a supplementary paper in advance of the meeting, in accordance with Standing Order 41(c).

Additional documents:

Decision:

16.1    The following motion submitted by the Conservative Group was approved:

 

Protecting and Raising the Quality of Adult Social Care in Brent

 

This Council notes:

 

·             The unprecedented times that the country is facing and the role local government has in providing local stability and leadership in these tumultuous times.

 

·             The irreplaceable role that local council plays at the heart of communities, providing key public services that protect the most defenceless in society – children at risk, disabled adults and vulnerable older people and the services we all rely on, like clean streets, libraries and children’s centres.

 

·             That councils up and down the UK are at breaking point, with disproportionate reductions in local council funding and comparison to the rest of the public sector.

 

·             That councils had to spend an extra £800m in the last financial year to meet the demand on vital services to protect children and that, with an ageing population and growing demand, adult social care faces a gap of over £2bn in the next financial year.

 

·             In Brent, as with all other council departments, adult social care has had to make significant budget savings in the past, and continues to need to make savings in the future, with a target of reducing the overall spend by £4.1m on adult social care by 2021. This is in the context of an aging population and increasing demand for services.

 

·             Brent has an estimated prevalence of 2,470 patients living with dementia, of whom only 1,834 (74.2%) are diagnosed. This leaves an estimated 1034 undiagnosed patients living with dementia who could benefit from early diagnosis and follow up and support in the community. Brent seeks to address this gap in service with a view to providing early interventions to support people with dementia and their carers to live longer in their own homes.

 

·             The extra £1.5bn for social care in the Government’s recent spending round - £1 billion through a new grant and £500 million through the adult social care precept.

 

·             To implement reform – which will involve difficult choices about how to raise money to pay for services – the Government must set up an independent, cross-party inquiry on social care funding, as the Institute for Government recommended last year. This would be the best mechanism to build the public and parliamentary support needed to deliver change, with the last major attempt to reform social care funding. Then, once political support is secured, legislation will have to be passed.

 

·             This council also notes and commends the work done with partners progressing Brent as a Dementia Friendly Borough which has been recognised nationally. This will include GP practices, leisure services, libraries, the Alzheimer’s Society, supermarkets such as Tesco, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, London Ambulance Service, Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade, local cinemas and art venues.

 

The Council therefore resolves:

 

To write to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid MP.

 

The Council requests that the Leader of the Council:  ...  view the full decision text for item 16.

Minutes:

Before moving on to consider the motions listed on the summons, the Mayor reminded members of the changes agreed last year to the way in which the debate on motions would be undertaken.  He advised that a total of 30 minutes would be set aside for the consideration of all three motions submitted for debate, based on an initial allocation of 10 minutes per motion.  Should the time taken to consider the first motion be less than 10 minutes the remaining time available would be split between the other motions on a rolling basis.

 

16.1    Motion from the Conservative Group – Protecting and Raising the Quality of Adult Social Care in Brent

 

The Mayor invited Councillor Colwill, Leader of the Conservative Group, to move the Motion on behalf of the Conservative Group.

 

Councillor Colwill stated that the Conservative group recognised that there were unprecedented circumstances related to adult social care with over 2,470 Brent residents diagnosed with Dementia and Learning Difficulties.  He welcomed and felt it important to recognise the additional Government funding that had been allocated to local authorities in respect of adult social care, which he would be seeking to ensure was ring-fenced in order to protect those most vulnerable and support carers. Councillor Colwill concluded that there were a great many people suffering from Dementia and resources should be encouraged toward early diagnosis.

 

Councillor Muhammed Butt advised he would be formally seconding the Motion.

 

The Mayor then invited other Members to speak on the motion, with the following contributions received.

 

Councillor Farah, responding on behalf of the Labour Group as Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, advised that he welcomed the motion, which he felt represented a rejection of austerity and highlighted the issue of the national lack of funding for social care. He thanked Councillor Colwill for submitting the Motion and confirmed he would be willing to write to the Minister outlining the concerns raised and explore how best to take forward the other recommendations.

 

As no further Members had indicated they wished to speak, the Mayor invited Councillor Colwill to exercise his right of reply.

 

In summing up, Councillor Colwill thanked Councillor Farah for his support and reiterated the seriousness of the issue.

 

The Mayor then put the motion (as set out below) to a vote, by show of hands, which was unanimously declared CARRIED.

 

“This Council notes:

 

·             The unprecedented times that the country is facing and the role local government has in providing local stability and leadership in these tumultuous times.

 

·             The irreplaceable role that local council plays at the heart of communities, providing key public services that protect the most defenceless in society – children at risk, disabled adults and vulnerable older people and the services we all rely on, like clean streets, libraries and children’s centres.

 

·             That councils up and down the UK are at breaking point, with disproportionate reductions in local council funding and comparison to the rest of the public sector.

 

·             That councils had to spend an extra £800m  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Urgent Business

At the discretion of the Mayor to consider any urgent business, in accordance with Standing Order 30 (s).

Additional documents:

Decision:

None

Minutes:

The Mayor advised Members there were no urgent items of business for consideration and the next Full Council Meeting would be on 25 November 2019.

 

The meeting was declared closed at 8:15pm