Agenda, decisions and minutes

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

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

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

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.  The Mayor advised that as the report on Changes to the Constitution included a number of proposals relating to the way Council meetings operated, he was intending to take this as the first main item enabling any changes agreed to be implemented from the start of the meeting.

 

In addition, he advised of the need to complete a review of the representation of political groups at the start of the meeting, in order to reflect the outcome of the countermanded election in the Willesden Green ward prior to any membership changes being agreed and also highlighted that members of the public and Youth Parliament were also present for the public question session.

 

As a result he intended, in accordance with Standing Order 30, to move these items forward on the agenda 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 – Changes to the Constitution

·                Agenda Item 7 – Representation of Political Groups on Committees

·                Agenda Item 8 – Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies

·                Agenda Item 9 – Questions from Members of the Public & Youth Parliament

 

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

2.

Apologies for Absence

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

Apologies received from Councillors Conneely, Hector, Marquis, Miller, Mitchell-Murray, Pavey and Perrin.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that direct apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Conneely, Hector, Marquis, Miller, Mitchell-Murray, Pavey and Perrin.

 

Apologies for lateness had been received from Councillor Ethapemi, Hassan and Patterson.

3.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 127 KB

To confirm as a correct record, the attached minutes of the Annual Council meetings held on Monday 14 May 2018.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 14 May 2018 agreed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on Monday 14 May 2018 be approved as a correct record.

4.

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:

There were no interests declared by Members at the meeting.

5.

Result of countermanded election - Willesden Green Ward pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To note the outcome of the countermanded election for Willesden Green ward held on Thursday 21 June 2018.

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED the results of the countermanded election held in the Willesden Green ward on 21 June 2018 with the Chief Executive and her team thanked for their work in managing the poll.

Minutes:

NOTED the results of the countermanded election held in the Willesden Green ward on 21 June 2018 with the Chief Executive and her team thanked for their work conducting the poll.

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:

·                NHS 70th Birthday

·                Windrush Celebrations

·                Annual Remembrance Service at the Jewish War Memorial, Willesden

·                Armed Forces Day

·                Mayors Civic Service

·                Love Chalkhill Festival 2018

·                Pride Celebrations

·                Claremont High School Teachers Award

·                World Cup; and

·                Petitions

Minutes:

The Mayor made the following announcements:

 

(i)           NHS 70th Birthday

 

The Mayor reminded Members that the National Health Service had celebrated its 70th anniversary on 5 July 2018 and asked Members to join him in thanking the NHS for the vital role it had played and would continue to play in everyones lives.

 

He also took the opportunity to personally thank all the extraordinary NHS staff for the support and care provided to those in need and stated how pleased he had been to attend a number of celebratory events over the past few weeks in Brent.

 

(ii)          Windrush Celebrations

 

Following the Government’s recent announcement of a national Windrush Day, the Mayor was pleased to advise that a number of celebrations had taken place on 22 June 2018 to mark 70 years since the Empire Windrush had landed at Tilbury docks, carrying 492 passengers from the Caribbean.

 

As part of the celebrations, Willesden Green Library was currently hosting an exhibition of Brent’s Caribbean heritage, which he reminded Members would be open until October 2018.

 

The Mayor advised he, like many other Members, had been pleased to attend events across the borough to celebrate the windrush community’s contribution to Brent.

 

(iii)         Annual Remembrance Service at the Jewish War Memorial

 

The Mayor informed Members that he had been honoured to attend a Service of Commemoration at the Jewish War Memorial held in Willesden on 10 June, along with the Deputy Lieutenant, Mei Sim Lai.

 

(iv)         Armed Forces Day

 

The Mayor informed Members that Armed Forces Day had been held on 30 June 2018, which had provided an opportunity to show support for the men and women from the Armed Forces community.  He was pleased to advise that the Council had proudly flown the armed forces flag above the Civic Centre in order to honour serving troops, their families, veterans and cadets.

 

(v)        Mayor’s Civic Service

 

The Mayor reminded Members that his Civic Service, hosted by the Chief Executive, would be taking place at the Civic Centre on Monday 30 July 18, starting at 6.30pm.

 

Members wishing to attend were asked to contact the Mayor’s Office to reserve a ticket.

 

(vi)    Love Chalkhill Festival 2018

 

The Mayor reminded all Members of an open invitation for them to attend the Annual “Love Chalkhill Festival 2018” on Saturday 14 July 2018.  He hoped as many Members as possible would be able to attend.

 

(vii)   Pride Celebrations

 

The Mayor advised that he had been delighted to see so many thousands of people lining the streets of central London for the city’s annual LGBT Pride celebration, which had involved about 30,000 people from almost 500 LGBT groups.

 

(viii)  Teaching Award

 

The Mayor took the opportunity to congratulate Shalina Patel of Claremont High School, who he advised had recently won a national teacher award.  He also advised that, as a result, Shalina had been entered into a national teaching award in October for which he wished her well, on behalf of the Council.

 

(ix)    World Cup  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Changes to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 93 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED

 

(1)     To approve the changes to the Constitution as set out in the report and appendices, with the changes effective for the meeting;

 

(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;

Minutes:

Councillor Muhammed Butt (as Leader of the Council) introduced the report from the Director of Legal and HR Services which proposed a number of changes to the Constitution.  As the changes involved a number of procedures in relation to the way Full Council functioned, Members were being asked to consider the recommended changes at the start of the meeting enabling any changes approved to come into effect for the meeting.  In addition, the report also included changes to the way Executive functions were exercised (including the introduction of delegated decision making to individual Cabinet members).  The Leader advised that the proposals had been designed to enhance and provide more opportunities for Members to engage and participate in Council meetings and make the most effective use of time available at meetings.

 

As there were no other members who 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 unanimously CARRIED.

 

It was therefore RESOLVED:

 

(1)     To approve the changes to the Constitution as set out in the report and appendices, with the changes in relation to Full Council effective with immediate effect;

 

(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.

8.

Representation of Political Groups on Committees pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To receive a report from the Director of Legal and HR Services reviewing the representation of political groups on the Council’s Committee following the recent change in Council membership and political balance as a result of the countermanded election in the Willesden Green ward.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED

 

(1)     To approve the size of each Committee following the review, which it was noted would remain unchanged from the review undertaken in May 18;

 

(2)     To confirm the allocation of seats on committees to each of the Council’s political groups, as detailed within the report;

 

(3)     To make appointments (where required) to the committees listed giving effect to the wishes of the political group allocated the seats; and

 

(4)     To note that the political balance on sub-committees for the General Purposes Committee and Licensing Committee would be reviewed at the first available meeting of both bodies.

Minutes:

Councillor Muhammed Butt introduced the report from the Director of Legal and HR Services which he advised fulfilled the Council’s duty to review and determine the representation of different political groups on certain Committees as a result of the membership and political balance on the Council having changed following the result of the countermanded election in the Willesden Green ward on 21 June 18.

 

No Members indicated that they wished to speak on the report so the Mayor put the recommendations in the report to a vote by show of hands and they were unanimously CARRIED.

 

It was therefore RESOLVED:

 

(1)     To approve the size of each Committee following the review, which it was noted would remain unchanged from the review undertaken in May 18;

 

(2)     To confirm the allocation of seats on committees (where the rukes on political balanced applied) to each of the Council’s political groups, as detailed within the report;

 

(3)     To make appointments (where required) to the committees listed giving effect to the wishes of the political group allocated the seats; and

 

(4)     To note that the political balance on sub-committees for the General Purposes Committee and Licensing Committee would be reviewed at the first available meeting of both bodies.

9.

Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies along with the appointment of Chairs/Vice Chairs (if any) pdf icon PDF 105 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:

AGREED the changes in appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies as detailed in the supplementary paper.

Minutes:

The Mayor 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)     To note the appointment by the Leader of Councillor Tom Miller as Cabinet Member for Community Safety
 

(2)     Councillor Tom Miller to replace Councillor Neil Nerva as a substitute Member of General Purposes Committee.
 

(3)     Councillor Elliot Chappell to replace Councillor Abdi Abdirazak as full Member of Planning Committee.
 

(4)     Councillor Abdi Abdirazak to replace Councillor Kieron Gill as a substitute Member of Planning Committee.




(5) Councillor Suresh Kansagra to replace Councillor Reg Colwill as a full Member of the Health and Wellbeing Board
 

(6)     Councillor Tom Miller to replace Councillor Eleanor Southwood as a substitute Member of the Health and Wellbeing Board

 

(7)     Councillor Tom Miller appointed by Leader to replace Councillor Shama Tatler as a full Member of the Joint Boroughs IT Committee (Brent, Lewisham and Southwark).

 

(8)     Appointment of Councillor Fleur Donnelly-Jackson to the vacant position as Vice Chair of Brent Connects Willesden

 

(9)     Councillor Ahmad Shahzad to replace Councillor Keith Perrin as a full Member of the Pensioners Service User Consultative Forum.

 

(10)   Whilst noting the following appointments would need to be made by the General Purposes Committee, Council agreed to amend Standing Order 51 of the Constitution to allow two additional members to be appointed as substitutes to the following Sub Committee in line with the increase in size of the Cabinet from 8 to 10 members:

 

(a)       Senior Staff Appointments Sub Committee – to note the proposed increase in the number of substitute members by two with General Purposes Committee to agree the appointment of Councillors Tom Miller and Shama Tatler as the additional substitute members.
 

(11)   To note the recommendation to General Purposes Committee that:

 

(a)  Councillor Mary Daly and Councillor Thomas Stephens replace Councillor Ahmad Shahzad and Councillor Erica Gbajumo as full members of the Brent Pension Fund Sub Committee; and
 

(b) Councillor Shafique Choudhary replace Councillor Keith Perrin as a full Member of the Brent Pension Board with Councillor Keith Perrin to replace Councillor Shafique Choudhary as a substitute member of the Pension Board.

 

(12)   To appoint Councillors Elliot Chappell, Fleur Donnelly-Jackson and Tom Miller to the three current vacancies on the Willesden Consolidated Charities for a four year term of office.

 

(13)   To appointCouncillors Elliot Chappell, Fleur Donnelly-Jackson and Tom Miller to the three current vacancies on the Willesden District Scout Committee.

 

(14)   To confirm the ongoing appointment of Councillor Amer Agha as the Council’s representative on South Kilburn Trust 




Before moving on, Councillor Abdi advised he wished to raise a number of concerns regarding his removal as a member of the Planning Committee, given what he felt to be the detrimental impact on his constituents and residents of the borough. The Mayor advised Councillor Abdi that his concerns had been noted and then moved on to the next item ... view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Questions from Members of the Public & the Youth Parliament pdf icon PDF 316 KB

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

 

One question has been received under this item, which has been attached along with the written response provided.

 

9.2       To receive questions submitted from members of the Youth Parliament to Cabinet Members, in accordance with Standing Order 33(d)

 

Two questions have been received under this item, which have been attached along with the written responses provided.

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED

 

1.      The written response and supplementary verbal response provided by the Leader of the Council in relation to a question submitted from a member of the public relating to action being taken to combat crime and anti-social behaviour linked to phone boxes on Harlesden High Street and the surrounding area.

 

2.      The written response from the Deputy Leader and supplementary verbal response provided by the Leader of the Council in relation to a question submitted from a member of the Youth Parliament in relation to activity being undertaken by the Council to bring communities together across the Borough and reduce discrimination.

 

3.      The written and supplementary verbal response provided by the Leader of the Council in relation to a question submitted from a member of the Youth Parliament in relation to activity being undertaken by the Council to prevent and tackle the culture of youth violence.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that in accordance with Standing Order 33 one question had been received from the following member of the public:

 

Question 1 from Ms Kalb to Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of the Council regarding the action being taken to combat crime and anti-social behaviour associated with phone boxes on Harlesden High Street and the surrounding roads.

 

Members noted the written response to the question, circulated with the agenda.  The Mayor advised that Ms Kalb had been invited to attend the meeting in order to ask any supplementary question and as a result welcomed her to the meeting.  He then invited Ms Kalb to put her supplementary question to the Leader.

 

Supplementary Question from Ms Kalb to Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of the Council

 

Ms Kalb thanked Councillor Butt for his written response and took the opportunity to again highlight the way in which phone boxes in the Harlesden area were being used as a haven for crime.  As part of wider links between economic deprivation and crime, she also referred to the continued placement of vulnerable and homeless families in the area and what she felt was a lack of planning and environmental enforcement activity in the area in relation to shops and illegal clubs which were all contributing towards residents not feeling safe to use the high street and surrounding area at night.  She therefore asked if the Council had considered the possibility of pursuing BT in relation to their corporate social responsibility relating to use of the phone boxes.

 

In response Councillor Muhammed Butt thanked Ms Kalb for her question and attending the meeting and assured her that the issues raised were being taken seriously by the Council.  In terms of planning and environmental enforcement activity he confirmed action was taken to follow up on reports received, however he recognised this may not always be as quickly as hoped by residents given the volume of issues being reported and need to obtain sufficient evidence to enable action to be taken.  In terms of BT, he advised that he was in discussion with senior partners about the removal of some of the phone boxes in the area and would also continue to explore the option of holding them to account in relation to their corporate social responsibility, maintaining pressure to ensure a collective and holistic approach towards addressing the concerns raised on which he would ensure Ms Kalb was kept informed on progress.

 

As a local ward member, Councillor Mili Patel followed up the Leader’s response by highlighting the corporate values referred to on BT’s website  which she also felt had been forgotten when it came to o their phone boxes in the Harlesden area.  There was no demand by local residents for such a dense collection of phone boxes in the area with evidence having been provided on the criminal and anti-social behaviour associated with their use particularly at night.  She was therefore grateful for the response which had been provided by the Leader and advised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Reports from the Leader and Cabinet

To receive reports from the Leader and Cabinet in accordance with Standing Order 31.

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED the updates provided by the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members for Children’s, Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care in relation to Ofsted and Housing & Welfare Reform in relation to extension of the private sector landlord licensing scheme;

 

Under the new arrangements introduced as part of the changes to the Constitution responses were also provided by the relevant Lead Members on the following additional questions raised during this session of the meeting:

 

·                Councillor Donnelly-Jackson regarding enforcement of the private sector landlord licensing scheme;

·                Councillor Denselow regarding controls and impact of highways work by utilities companies;

·                Councillor Nerva regarding the Council’s Tree Management Policy;

·                Councillor Shafique Choudhary regarding the Olympic Way Pedway;

·                Councillor Kelcher regarding the issue of traffic penalty charge notices for infringement of a new traffic management system;

·                Councillor Chan regarding concerns about the delay in repair of a burst water pipe and impact on local residents;

Minutes:

Before moving on to consider this item, the Mayor advised that as part of the revisions to the Constitution agreed earlier in the meeting a number of changes had been made to the way in which these updates would be considered with effect from tonight’s meeting.  The time set aside for this item remained as 15 minutes with up to six minutes being provided for the Leader and other Cabinet to speak in order to highlight any significant issues within their portfolios  and on which written reports would be circulated at future meetings.  Once these updates had been provided, the remaining time available would then be opened up for any non-Cabinet members to question (without the need for advance notice) Cabinet Members on matters relating to their portfolios.

 

The following updates were provided by the Leader and Cabinet Members:

 

(i)      Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of the Council

 

In accordance with Standing Order 14 (f) Councillor Butt reported use of the Key Decision and Forward Plan urgency procedure in relation to the following decisions:

 

(a)       Re-examination of the funding decision for Olympic Way Improvements following the announcement of the possible sale of Wembley Stadium to a private individual/company; and

(b)       Award of contract for Merchant Acquiring Services.

 

Members were also advised of the intention to focus the Non Cabinet Member debate at the September Council meeting on the Windrush Controversy. Having completed his update the Leader then invited Councillors Mili Patel (Cabinet Member for Children’s, Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care) and Eleanor Southwood (Cabinet Member for Housing & Welfare Reform) to present additional updates in relation to their portfolios.

 

(ii)     Councillor Mili Patel (Cabinet Member for Children’s, Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care)

 

Councillor Patel was pleased to announce that despite the significant cuts in Government funding for Children’s Services, Brent’s Children’s Service had been officially rated as ”Good” following its recent Ofsted inspection.  She was proud to announce this had been the best rating ever achieved in Brent for Children’s Services and was keen to recognise the hard work and efforts of all involved.  Despite further recent warnings from the LGA and children’s charities in relation to the ongoing impact that the widening budget gap would have on the provision of services, she was also pleased to report that Inspectors had praised the effective and sensitive delivery of services in Brent identifying a range of good practice around forced marriage, female genital mutilation and gangs.  Having highlighted these excellent results, Councillor Patel felt it was important to end her update by recognising the significant challenge that remained in terms of the continued delivery of these services, given the reduction in funding being provided by Government.

 

(iii)    Councillor Southwood (Cabinet Member for Housing & Welfare Reform)

 

Councillor Southwood took the opportunity to update Members on the recent extension of the Private Landlord Selective Licensing Scheme, which she advised now covered (with an addition of five wards) the following areas – Willesden, Harlesden, Wembley Central, Queens Park, Dudden Hil, Kilburn, Mapesbury  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Deputations (if any)

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

None received.

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Members that no requests for deputations had been received for the meeting.

13.

Petitions (if any)

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

No petitions identified for debate.

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Members that there were no petitions to be debated in accordance with the Council’s petition procedure and Standing Order 66.

14.

Non Cabinet Members' Debate pdf icon PDF 70 KB

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 on any issues previously raised.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The following motion was agreed as an outcome of the non-cabinet member debate:

 

There have been a series of tragic incidents across our borough and capital since the beginning of the year. This escalation in violent crime is a scourge on our borough, and our city. We share the anger of our residents at the trail of destruction these abhorrent acts wreak upon families, friends and our communities.

 

Government funding for the Metropolitan Police has been cut by £700 million since 2010, with a further £325 million of cuts expected over the next three years. This means that there are 2,495 fewer police staff posts and 3,261 fewer support officers keeping our streets safe. London has grown as a city, leaving expenditure per head of the population reduced from £423 in 2012/13 to £337 in 2016/17.  It is the deepest cut nationally at 20 percent, compared to 6 per cent across the country.

 

The average number of Metropolitan Police Officers in the last year of the Labour Government was 33,260. In 2016 it was 31,720 and if cuts to funding from Government are not reversed, it is estimated that number of officers will be below 27,000 by 2021.

 

This Council believes that:

 

Crime is keenly associated with economic deprivation and inequality within communities.  London has the highest levels of income and wealth inequality in the country, exacerbated by years of prolonged austerity.

 

The reduction in police service funding has created a perfect storm for crime, where public services fight to mitigate the social conditions that are driving this surge in violence on our streets.

 

Cuts to police and rehabilitation services are a false economy, and have contributed to a rise in crime since 2014, starting under the previous Mayor.

 

This Council resolves:

 

To press the Government to reconsider their cuts to the Metropolitan Police to ensure that we have a properly resourced police service, with better support for prevention and rehabilitation programmes.

 

If we are to seriously tackle this wave of violence, we need a robustly funded police force equipped to be proactive, and have the correct services to empower communities and stamp out the root causes of crime.

 

To press the government to reconsider their cuts to Brent council so that we can tackle the financial crisis that we are now facing and the growing crisis in adult social care and child protection services.

Minutes:

In accordance with Standing Order 34 the Mayor advised that the subject chosen for the Non Cabinet Member debate had been funding for the police and other services to assist in tackling crime.

 

Members were advised that the motion submitted as the basis for the debate had been circulated with the second supplementary agenda for the meeting and that as part of the changes agreed to the Constitution earlier in the meeting the time now available for the debate was 30 minutes, with any Member wanting to contribute having up to two minutes to speak.

 

The Mayor then invited Councillor Dixon to introduce the motion, who opened the debate by highlighting the recent series of tragic incidents and escalation in violent crime across the borough and capital since the start of the year alongside the impact upon the families and friends of those involved and also in terms of the local communities affected.  In order to tackle these issues, she felt there was a need not only to ensure that the police were properly funded and resourced but also that partners and the local community were empowered to assist in addressing the root causes of crime.  Having attended a recent public meeting on the recent surge in violent crime she had been impressed by the quality of contributions and efforts being made to tackle these issues, especially within schools and was keen to see this type of proactive engagement, preventative and rehabilitation work continue.  It was, however, recognised that this would require strong and properly resourced public services and engagement by local communities as well as a robustly funded police service equipped to take more proactive action, which remained an issue in terms of the reduced level of Government funding being made available.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Knight, who felt the issue was a timely one to consider given recent incidents in her ward (Stonebridge) and the reality of the impact on those affected.  Alongside a focus on resourcing of the police, she felt there was also a need to recognise the links between crime and the level of economic deprivation within local communities with specific reference made to the issues within Stonebridge which had one of the highest deprivation rankings both nationally and within Brent and had been made worse by the Government’s ongoing programme of austerity.  As a Council she advised there was, however, a need to recognise the actions being taken to address these issues focussed around housing, education, regeneration and employment attempting to build out crime hotspots and enhance life opportunities through employment and training opportunities.  Whilst of concern, it was not felt that the current surge in violent crime reflected the true and dynamic nature of local communities and the borough as a whole but there was a need to ensure that public services, including the police, were properly resourced and local communities empowered to tackle and mitigate its main causes.

 

The Mayor then opened up the debate to other Members, with the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Questions from the Opposition and other Non-Cabinet Members pdf icon PDF 305 KB

For questions to be put to members of the Cabinet in accordance with Standing Order 35.

 

Details of the four questions received have been attached along with the written responses provided.

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED

 

1.      The written and supplementary verbal response provided by the Leader of the Council in relation to a question submitted by Councillor Nerva on the West London Orbital Rail Scheme.

 

2.      The written and supplementary verbal response provided by the Lead Member for Regeneration, Highways and Planning to a question submitted by Councillor Gill on the prioritisation of Neighbourhood CIL applications.

 

3.      The written and supplementary verbal response provided by the Lead Member for Environment to a question submitted by Councillor Kelcher on the introduction of a mattress tagging scheme for private sector landlords under the licensing scheme.

 

4.      The written and supplementary verbal response provided by the Lead Member for Environment to a question submitted by Councillor Mashari regarding the grass cutting schedule for public parks, recreation and other open spaces.

 

Under the new arrangements introduced as part of the changes to the Constitution responses were also provided by the relevant Lead Members on the following additional questions raised during this session of the meeting:

 

·                Councillor Colacicco on the timetable for implementation of the West London Orbital Rail scheme and specific proposals for a station at Gladstone Road;

·                Councillor Daly on proposals to introduce electric buses by TfL on the No. 18 and 245 bus routes;

·                Councillor Donnelly-Jackson on the need to ensure the proposals being developed on the West London Orbital Rail scheme included accessible and step free access at all stations;

·                Councillor Lo seeking an update on the potential sale of Wembley Stadium;

·                Councillor Kabir on the measures available for the Council to tackle street drinking in public places;

·                Councillor Long on plans being considered to improve the highways environment for pedestrians across the borough;

·                Councillor Kelcher regarding the potential impact of any sale of Wembley Stadium on its rateable valuation;

·                Councillor Ethapemi on any potential benefits for Brent as a result of the potential sale of Wembley Stadium; and

·                Councillor Colwill seeking to support and maintain use of Wembley stadium as a public asset.

Minutes:

Before moving on to consider the questions submitted by non-Cabinet members, the Mayor advised that as part of the amendments to the Constitution agreed earlier in the meeting a number of changes had been made to the way in which this item would now be dealt which would be effective from this meeting.  In terms of the changes, 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 available would then be opened up for any other non-Cabinet members to question Cabinet Members (without the need for advance notice) on matters relating to their portfolio.

 

The Mayor advised that four 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 then invited supplementary questions from the Members who had submitted the original questions.

 

15.1  Cllr Nerva thanked Councillor Muhammed Butt for the update provided on the plans being developed by the West London Alliance (WLA) to deliver the West London Orbital rail scheme and as a supplementary asked what further action would be taken to ensure the line was opened as soon as possible, given the interest now being shown by TfL and also what could be done to ensure the operation of the line (if not electrified) was carbon neutral utilising alternative fuel options.  He also took the opportunity to recognise Councillors Colacicco and Choudhary for their longstanding efforts in seeking to progress the scheme.

 

In response, Councillor Muhammed Butt also recognised the efforts of those Councillors involved, reminding members that it had been Councillor Choudhary who had first presented a motion to Council on the scheme which had acted as a catalyst within Brent for its further development.  In terms of progressing the scheme, he advised that discussion were ongoing with TfL following the scheme having been included in the Mayor for London’s Transport Strategy and the new Deputy Mayor for Transport.  In addition to the benefits arising from the improved access to transport, the scheme also had the potential to unlock significant housing, employment and workspace opportunities not only for residents in Brent but from across west London as a whole.  In relation to operation of the line, he advised that options were already being reviewed in relation to battery rather than diesel powered trains which would continue to be explored and with efforts being progressed to bring the scheme to reality as soon as was practicably possible.

 

15.2  Councillor Gill advised that he was grateful to hear about the review of the Neighbourhood CIL programme and asked if the Lead Member could provide some examples regarding successful use of the funds to date.

 

In response Councillor Tatler (as Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Highways and Planning) outlined the background and use of Neighbourhood CIL and advised that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Report from Chairs of Scrutiny Committees pdf icon PDF 112 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:

 

13.1    Resources & Public Realm Scrutiny Committee

 

13.2    Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee

 

13.3    Housing Scrutiny Committee

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED the update reports provided by the Chairs of the Resources & Public Realm, Community and Wellbeing and Housing Scrutiny Committees.

 

Under the new arrangements introduced as part of the changes to the Constitution responses were also provided by the relevant Scrutiny Chairs on the following additional questions raised during this session of the meeting:

 

·                Councillor Choudhary regarding fire safety in tower blocks across the borough;

·                Councillor Nerva in relation to the introduction of the rapporteur concept by Resources and Public Realm Committee;

·                Councillor Daly on the work planned across the scrutiny function to review all enforcement activity by the Council;

·                Councillor Choudry regarding the approach towards budget scrutiny; and

·                Councillor Donnelly-Jackson on any review activity planned by scrutiny in relation to life chances for adults with learning difficulties.

Minutes:

Before being presented with the updates from each Scrutiny Chair, the Mayor advised that as part of the amendments to the Constitution agreed earlier in the meeting a number of changes had been made to the way in which the updates from each Scrutiny Chair would be considered with effect from tonight’s meeting.  These changes involved the time set aside for this item being extended to a total of 20 minutes, with each Chair having up to three minutes n which to highlight any significant issues arising from the work of their Committees and on which they would like the relevant Cabinet Member to respond. Once these updates had been provided, the remaining time available would then be opened up for any other non-Cabinet members to question (without the need for advance notice) the Scrutiny Chairs on matters relating to the work of their Committees.

 

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

 

16.1    Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee

 

Councillor Kelcher (as Chair of the Scrutiny Committee) introduced the report from his Committee.  In terms of work planned for the coming year he advised that whilst the initial meeting of the Committee had needed to be rescheduled for later in July, the following Task Groups had already identified, in which he was keen to encourage maximum engagement and participation from both Members and key stakeholders:

 

·                Affordable Elements in New Developments (building on the previous review of Permitted Development and involving a representative from Housing Scrutiny Committee);

·                Budget Task Group (which would involve cross working with the other Scrutiny Committees);and

·                Knife Crime.

 

16.2  Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee

 

Councillor Ketan Sheth (as Chair of the Scrutiny Committee) introduced the report from his Committee, which had again been circulated with the agenda and outlined the work undertaken since the last update provided to Council in January 2018.

 

Whilst his Committee was also still to hold their initial meeting, he advised that key areas of focus within their work programme for the coming year would be as follows:

 

·                Having celebrated the 70th anniversary of the NHS the Committee would be monitoring concerns around the continued fragmentation of service provision and impact of funding restrictions on health service delivery within Brent as well as the significant challenges created by the increasing demand on health services;

·                The management of specific health issues within Brent – including TB; Child obesity and diabetes.  The activity in relation to diabetes would involve the establishment of a specific Task Group including representatives from the NHS and a local Diabetes Charity;

·                A review of measure in place to address the Mental Health and wellbeing of young people, under the “Every Opportunity to Succeed” Programme

 

Councillor Ketan Sheth ended his update by also taking the opportunity to congratulate Children’s Services for the outcome of the recent Ofsted inspection.  He was particularly pleased to note that Inspectors had rated services for children in care and young care leavers as outstanding.

 

16.3  Housing Scrutiny Committee

 

Councillor Long (as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Report from the Vice-Chair of the Audit & Standards Advisory Committee pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To receive a report from the Vice-Chair of the Audit and 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 Committee.

Minutes:

Before inviting Councillor Choudry to present his update, the Mayor advised that as part of the amendments to the Constitution agreed earlier in the meeting, the time available for the Vice-Chair to present this item would, with effect from this meeting, be three minutes.

 

Councillor Choudry (as Vice-Chair of the Audit & Standards Advisory Committee) thanked the Mayor for his reminder and began his update by referring Members to the report circulated with the main agenda which had provided a summary of the main activities carried out by the Committee since the last update to Council in January 2018.

 

Whilst the Advisory Committee was still to hold its initial meeting, he advised that a useful training session had already been held involving members of the Committee and the independent co-opted members who had joined following the merger between the Audit Advisory and Standards Committee.

 

The Advisory Committee, at their first meeting were due to receive the Statement of Accounts for 2016/17 and would also be reviewing the Council’s Risk Register on which he advised comments would be welcome from Members.

 

In terms of the merger between the Audit Advisory and Standards Committee he advised that he was looking forward to working with the independent co-opted members in ensuring the merger was a success and in delivering the work programme for the coming year.

 

In concluding his update, Councillor Choudry advised Members that he would also be looking to meet with the Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer in order to provide feedback on development of the internal audit work programme and on which further updates would be provided during the year.

 

The Mayor thanked Councillor Choudry for his update and it was RESOLVED that the content of the report be noted.

18.

Local Government Boundary Review - Council Size Submission pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To receive a report from the Chief Executive setting out, for consideration and approval, the Council’s proposed submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England(LGBCE) in relation to Council size as part of the London Borough of Brent’s local government boundary review.

 

Please note this report has been marked as “To Follow” and will be circulated as a supplementary paper in advance of the meeting.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED

 

(1)     the Council size submission attached as Appendix A to the report for submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England on the basis of a recommended reduction in councillors to 57 for the Council,

 

(2)     the amendment of the list of membership bodies included within Appendix 2 of the submission to include reference to the Brent Connect User Forums and Public Transport Consultative Group.

Minutes:

Councillor Muhammed Butt introduced the report from the Chief Executive seeking approval of the submission prepared on behalf of the Council regarding its future size (in terms of the number of councillors) as the first stage of Brent’s local government boundary review being undertaken by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE).  The Leader of the Council drew Members’ attention to the trigger for the review and key criteria on which preparation of the submission had been based, which had included a review of the Council’s governance arrangements and representational role of councillors alongside an electoral forecast to 2023 based on current and planned future developments.  As a result of the review, the submission was recommending to the LGBCE a reduction from 63 to 57 councillors within Brent.

 

Briefings had been provided for Members on the submission which, subject to approval, would then be submitted to the LGBCE Commissioners for consideration.  This would then be followed by a formal consultation process undertaken by the LGBCE which all residents, key stakeholders and political groups would have the opportunity to engage with, seeking views on potential warding patterns.

 

The Mayor then invited comments from other Members with Councillor Nerva highlighting what he felt was a need for the LGBCE, as part of their consultation process, to take account of the unique nature of different areas of the Borough and also the various natural boundaries in considering the final warding proposals.  In terms of the governance review within the submission, he also highlighted a need to ensure reference was included to both the Brent Connect User Forums and Public Transport Consultative Group within the list of Committees and Outside Bodies detailed in Appendix 2.

 

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

 

It was therefore RESOLVED:

 

(1)     To amend the list of membership bodies included within Appendix 2 of the submission to include reference to the Brent Connect User Forums and Public Transport Consultative Group;

 

(2)     To agree the Council size submission attached as Appendix A to the report for submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England on the basis of a recommended reduction in councillors to 57 for the Council.

19.

2017-18 Outcome Based Reviews - Final Report pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To receive a report from the Director of Performance, Policy and Partnerships detailing the outcome of the second phase of Outcome Based Review (OBR) work which has been focussed on domestic abuse, gangs and young people at the edge of care.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED

 

(1)     To note the Outcome Based Review (OBR) process and outcomes, as detailed within the report;

 

(2)     To note and endorse the interventions which have been developed through the OBR process, the benefits associated with the interventions and steps for taking these forward.

Minutes:

Councillor Muhammed Butt introduced the report from the Director of Performance, Policy and Partnerships which he advised detailed the outcomes of the second phase of Outcome Based Reviews (OBRs) that had been focussed on domestic abuse, gangs and young people at the edge of care.

 

Members noted that the OBRs had been based on a design-led approach with the aim of facilitating closer cross council and inter-agency working in order to maximise the use of more limited resources and deliver more joined up, innovative and sustainable services.  As a specific example of the outcomes achieved through this approach, the Leader highlighted the successful trial of the Harlesden Community Hub initiative.  He advised Members it would be possible to arrange separate briefings, if required, on the planned actions outlined within the report.

 

The Mayor then invited comments on the report from other Members, with Councillor Kabir keen to know whether the OBR had taken account of the results of a previous Task Group review looking at violence against young women; and also ensure that the voluntary and community sector were fully engaged in development of the action plan to tackle the key outcomes identified in relation to the domestic abuse OBR..  In response Councillor Muhammed Butt advised that the Task Group report had been factored in to the review process which had also involved a wide range of stakeholders, including the Voluntary and Community Sector, as part of the process for looking at best practice and seeking a more joined up approach to service delivery referring, as an example, to the Community Hub initiative.

 

Councillor Donnelly-Jackson highlighted the importance of early intervention as a theme she felt ran through all three of the OBRs and was keen to ensure that the need to effectively engage with schools was also recognised as part of this approach.  Councillor Muhammed Butt confirmed this had been recognised with schools having been involved in the review process and in ongoing discussion with the relevant Lead Members designed to identify opportunities to further extend the range of engagement wherever possible.

 

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

 

It was therefore RESOLVED:

 

(1)     To note the Outcome Based Review (OBR) process and outcomes, as detailed within the report;

 

(2)     To note and endorse the interventions which have been developed through the OBR process, the benefits associated with the interventions and steps for taking these forward.

20.

Motions pdf icon PDF 64 KB

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

 

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

The following motion submitted by the Labour Group was AGREED:

 

“This council joins international condemnation of the recent killings of 130 Palestinian protestors by Israeli forces – firing live ammunition into crowds of unarmed civilians is illegal and must not be tolerated; any escalation in this long-running dispute is deeply regrettable.

 

This council is appalled that more than two thirds of Palestinians are reliant on humanitarian assistance, with limited access to essential amenities such as water and electricity.

 

This council supports the right to protest against such awful conditions, against the continuing blockade of Gaza, and occupation of Palestinian land, and in support of a viable two state solution.

 

This council calls upon the UK government to encourage the UN Secretary General to renew his call for an independent international inquiry into these killings, and review the sale of arms that could be used in violation of international law.”

 

The following motion submitted by the Conservative Group was NOT AGREED:

 

“We call on the Council to return our fields back into parks and do some studies on the way in which leaving the grass as meadows to grow long is affecting more and more people who suffer from hay fever and asthma.

 

Our residents pay a lot of money in council tax and surely a basic requirement of the Council is to keep our streets clean and tidy and at minimum risk to the health and safety of everyone.”

Minutes:

 

20.1  Motion from the Labour Group – Palestinian Conflict

 

Prior to the consideration of this item, Councillor Kabir moved a procedural motion seeking to suspend Standing Order 41 (h) in order to allow additional members to contribute to the debate on the Motion.  In accordance with Standing Order 42 the procedural motion was put to the vote by the Mayor without discussion and declared CARRIED.

 

Before inviting Councillor Gill to move the Motion, the Mayor took the opportunity to remind  Members of the Council’s statutory duty to have “due regard” to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between persons who shared protected characteristics and those who did not.  He advised this represented the public sector equality duty and that the protected characteristics referred to included any race, religion or beliefs relevant to the motion.  He concluded by reminding Members that they would, however, be free to express their own political opinions.

 

The Mayor then invited Councillor Gill to move the motion he had submitted on behalf of from the Labour Group who thanked Councillors Shahzad and Chan for their assistance in preparing the motion which he then read through and urged Members to support.

 

As a result of the changes to the Constitution agreed at the start of the meeting, the Mayor advised that the usual process would now be to invite up to three further members to speak (two from the Labour Group and one from the Conservative Group).  In view of the procedural motion agreed at the start of the item he advised it would, however, now be possible to allow additional members to speak on this item if they so wished.

 

The Mayor then invited members to speak, with contributions received as follows:

 

Councillor Shahzad began by advising he was supporting and seconding the motion and supporting the concerns raised about reports from various Human Rights organisations that children killed during the recent protests had been unarmed.  He advised he fully supported the call for these actions to be condemned alongside the need for work to continue in order to identify a viable solution towards ending the conflict and encouraging a peaceful two state solution.  In support of this approach he also advised that he fully supported the call on the Council to urge the Government to review and cease the sale of arms that could be used in violation of international law.

 

Cllr Choudry recognised the strength of feeling generated around such a long running and sensitive issue and advised that he would also be supporting the motion.  He highlighted concerns from a humanitarian perspective around the conditions in which ordinary citizens living in Gaza found themselves which he felt were being ignored and needed to be addressed with the motion recognising the key role of the British Government, given their historical involvement and current influence in the region.

 

Councillor Hassan whilst supporting the motion felt that it was not strong enough in terms  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Urgent Business

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

None.

Minutes:

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

 

The meeting was therefore declared closed at 8:30pm.