Agenda and decisions

Council
Monday 26 November 2018 6.00 pm

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

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

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

Apologies received from Councillors Afzal, M.Butt, Colacicco, Conneely, Crane, Denselow, Ezeajughi and Lo.

2.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 209 KB

To confirm as a correct record, the attached minutes of the previous meeting of the Council held on Monday 17 September 2018.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Minutes of the Council meeting held on 17 September 2018 agreed 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.

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:

·                Death of former Councillor Carol Shaw – with tributes paid by Councillors Colwill, McLennan and Maurice.

·                Kristallnacht

·                Hate attacks in Brent

·                Remembrance Sunday

·                Pride of Brent Awards

·                100th birthday celebration

·                United Albanian Community National Day

·                World Aids Day

·                Mayors Gala Fundraising Dinner

·                St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School

·                Petitions

5.

Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies and Appointment of Chairs/Vice Chairs (if any) pdf icon PDF 97 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 appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies, as detailed in the supplementary paper.

6.

Reports from the Leader and Cabinet pdf icon PDF 186 KB

To receive the report from the Leader and Cabinet in accordance with Standing Order 31 setting out any key or significant issues arising from matters within their portfolios.

 

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 Cabinet Members.

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED the report and accompanying updates provided by the Deputy Leader of the Council (on behalf of the Leader) in relation to the impact of Brexit on the borough; Lead Member for Regeneration, Highways and Planning in relation to the consultation on the Draft Borough Local Plan and encouraging support for Small Business Saturday on 1st December 18 and Lead Member for Housing & Welfare Reform on progress with the roll-out of Universal Credit across Brent and consultation currently being undertaken on the Housing Allocation Policy.

 

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

 

·                Councillor Knight seeking details on plans to include all parts of the borough (including Stonebridge) within the programme of activities being developed for the Borough of Culture.

·                Councillor Kansagra seeking support for the provision of free parking across all local high streets in order to support local businesses during the Christmas period.

·                Councillor Long requesting confirmation of the Council’s “no fault evictions policy in relation to housing rent arrears created as a result of delays in Universal Credit payments being made.

·                Councillor Choudhary regarding the parking and travel difficulties caused for local residents as a result of the traffic management measures in place during event days at Wembley Stadium.

·                Councillor Kennelly requesting support for the USDAWs Freedom from Fear campaign seeking to prevent violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers.

·                Councillor Daly seeking further details on the action being taken (including enforcement activity) by the Council to hold landlords and leaseholders to account in cases where properties leased to them by the Council are being poorly maintained.  The Lead Member for Housing and Welfare Reform advised that she would provide a written response on the action plan being developed in relation to leaseholder services.

7.

Deputations (if any)

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

None received.

8.

Questions from Members of the Public & the Youth Parliament pdf icon PDF 91 KB

8.1       To receive questions submitted by the public to Cabinet Members, in accordance with Standing Order 33.

 

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

 

8.2       To receive questions submitted from members of Brent 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 responses provided by the Lead Member for Environment to a question submitted from a member of the public relating to parking in the Wembley area.  No supplementary question was received.

 

2.      The written responses provided by the Lead Member for Environment to a question submitted from a member of the public relating to the policy on removal of textile clothing banks.  No supplementary question was received.

 

3.      The written and supplementary verbal response from the Lead Member for Schools, Employment and Skills in relation to a question submitted from the Brent Youth Parliament regarding the promotion and monitoring of quality work experience opportunities for young people.

 

4.      The written and supplementary verbal response provided by the Lead Member for Children's Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care in relation to a question submitted from the Brent Youth Parliament regarding the alternative measures being developed to respond to budget reductions in the Youth Service.

9.

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 petitions for debate.

10.

Non Cabinet Members' Debate pdf icon PDF 91 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, where required, on issues previously raised.

Additional documents:

Decision:

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

 

This Council notes:

 

The important work carried out by the Private Housing Enforcement team:

 

·         Brent has an estimated 36,000 privately rented properties. The Private Housing Enforcement team carry out between 30-40 planned inspections per week, plus an additional 10-15 unannounced inspection raids.

·         Brent Council has won 140 landmark prosecution cases against rogue landlords, agents and sub-letters since 2016. The convictions have resulted in more than £1.1m in court fines and costs.

·         A total of 901 PRS Properties have been improved as a consequence of their interventions, since January 2018.

·         Brent Council is registered with, and a member of the Housing Ombudsman Service. We also contribute to the renters’ advice service: Advice 4 Renters, and enforcement officers give A4R’s advice leaflets to tenants when they visit. They also signpost tenants to A4R’s website, or SSP Law (solicitor firm contracted by Brent Council to advise tenants).

 

This despite the Council operating against a backdrop of prolonged austerity. We therefore also note:

 

·         The average price paid for property in Brent in the last year stands at nearly half a million pounds. Consequently it is no small wonder that the proportion of people renting privately has doubled since 2004; half of 18-35s, 1 in 4 families with children, and growing numbers of older people now live in privately rented homes [1].

·         That most of England’s 11 million renters are on tenancies with fixed terms of six months or a year; after this period has ended, landlords can evict their tenants with just two months’ notice, without giving them a reason. These ‘no fault evictions’ were introduced under Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act; before this, renters had much greater security and it was difficult for landlords to evict tenants who paid the rent on time and looked after the property.

·         Evictions are the number one cause of homelessness with 80% of evictions on no-fault grounds, and 63% of private renters who were forced to move in 2016 evicted not due to any fault of their own but because the landlord wanted to sell or use the property [2,3,4].

·         The recent Guardian and ITV investigation into rogue landlords operating in Brent, and note how a number of these criminals wilfully exploit loopholes within existing legislation.

·         The London Mayor’s online “rogue landlord checker” is available to all Londoners and has received more than 1,000 entries from local authorities.

·         That Karen Buck MP’s private members bill on “Homes (fitness for human habitation)”, which seeks to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation. We also welcome the progress of the tenants’ fees bill through Parliament.

 

This Council believes:

 

·         That housing is intrinsically linked to poverty and life chances. Children need secure homes from which to excel in their schooling. Adults need a secure home in order to work, flourish, and take part in society to their fullest potential.

·         The Government has been  ...  view the full decision text for item 10.

11.

Questions from the Opposition and other Non-Cabinet Members pdf icon PDF 89 KB

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

 

Details of the four 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 at the meeting (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 Regeneration, Highways and Planning to a question submitted by Councillor Stephens regarding lobbying action to secure a more regular rail service from Sudbury & Harrow Road Station.

 

2.      The written and supplementary verbal response provided by the Lead Member for Regeneration, Highways and Planning to a question submitted by Councillor Hector regarding the information available and way in which local residents are able to submit requests or influence decisions regarding the installation or removal of street furniture.

 

3.      The written response provided by the Lead Member for Regeneration, Highways and Planning in relation to a question submitted by Councillor Colacicco on the promotion of sustainable construction methods ang green technology in new homes.  No supplementary question was asked.

 

4.      The written and supplementary verbal response provided by the Lead Member for Regeneration, Highways and Planning to a question submitted by Councillor Colwill on the timetable for works being undertaken to repair damaged pavements and potholes across the borough.

 

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 Chan seeking confirmation of the Cabinet’s position in relation to the policy on Academisation and support for teachers in opposing the process at Village School.

·                Councillor Kabir requesting an update on the contingency measures in place to ensure the continuation of social care for those adults whose packages are currently being delivered by Allied Healthcare, given the ongoing concerns regarding their financial position.

·                Councillor Nerva on the potential to introduce a community toilet facility scheme and free access to water fountains as part of plans to promote and support local high streets and businesses.

·                Councillor Kelcher on whether it would be possible to apply an amnesty in relation to penalty charge notices issued for vehicles making a right turn from Harvest Road into Chamberlain Road in Kensal Green, given problems experienced with illumination of the “No Right Turn” warning sign.  Whilst not able to provide any commitment in terms of an amnesty the Lead Member for Environment advised she would look at the issue in order to come back with a response.

·                Councillor Hassan seeking support for the Council’s participation in the “It’s our Turn” campaign being run by Safe Passage.

·                Councillor Ethapemi highlighting concerns regarding the potential closure of GP practices within the borough.

·                Councillor Kennelly raising concerns regarding the limited publicity and consultation undertaken by TfL on planned alterations to the 223 bus service given the impact on residents within his ward who relied on the service.

·                Councillor Ketan Sheth regarding the potential financial impact on Brent arising from the recent Court of Appeal decision in relation to the location of ATMs given its relevance to business rates.  The Deputy Leader advised she would need to come back with further details on the response currently being developed.

·                Councillor Long on the need to update the Brent Connect webpage to ensure access  ...  view the full decision text for item 11.

12.

Report from Chairs of Scrutiny Committees pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To receive reports from the Chairs of the Council’s Scrutiny Committees in accordance with Standing Order 46.  The reports have been attached as  follows:

 

12.1    Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee

 

12.2    Housing Scrutiny Committee

 

12.3    Resources and Public Realm 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 Community and Wellbeing, Housing and Resources & Public Realm Scrutiny Committees along with the responses provided by:

·                Lead Member for Children’s Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care in relation to the issues raised under the Community and Wellbeing update around the funding and restructure of Local Children’s Safeguarding arrangements as a result of the recent legislative changes and how these would be expected to drive forward further improvements and mitigate issues such as the impact of child poverty, on which the Lead Member advised she would provide a written response.

·                Lead Member for Adult Social Care in relation to an issue raised under the  Community and Wellbeing update around the monitoring and quality of care providers.

·                Lead Member for Housing & Welfare in relation to issues raised under the Housing update regarding renewal of the contract for tenancy advice, decision taken in relation to the landlord licensing fee and update on the programme for installation of fire sprinkler systems in Council high rise blocks (on which the Lead Member advised she would write to the Committee with further details).

·                Deputy Leader in relation to issues raised under the Resources and Public Realm update regarding the classification of savings proposals under the budget consultation process and anticipated outcome of the consultation exercise.

 

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

 

·                Councillor Ethapemi regarding the funding and review of street cleansing activities.

·                Councillor Choudhary regarding the review of funding for Adult Social Care as part of the budget consultation process

·                Councillor Nerva regarding the impact of proposed budget reductions in relation to the effective operation of the scrutiny function.

·                Councillor Chan on the need to ensure, as an outcome of the budget consultation process, that detailed impact assessments were provided for all savings proposals.

13.

Report from the Vice-Chair of the Audit and Standards Advisory Committee pdf icon PDF 88 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 Committee.

14.

Implications of Brexit pdf icon PDF 433 KB

To receive a report from the Director of Performance, Policy and Partnerships providing an overview, as requested at the last Council meeting, of the implications arising from the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED the content of the report providing an overview of the implications arising from the UKs departure from the European Union.

15.

Statement of Gambling Principles 2019-2022 pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To receive a report from the Strategic Director of Environment & Regeneration seeking approval, following its endorsement and referral by Cabinet (12 November 18), to the revised Statement of Gambling Principles 2019-2022.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED that Council approve the revised Statement of Gambling Principles 2019-2022 as detailed within Appendix 1 of the report.

16.

Changes to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 126 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 detailed within Appendices 1 – 5 of the report relating to:

 

(a)       Terms of Reference for the North West London Joint Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Appendix 1);

(b)      Members Allowance Scheme – Dependent Carers Allowance (Appendix 2);

(c)       Property Scheme of Delegation (Appendix 3);

(d)      Standing Order 41 – Motions (Appendix 4); and

(e)       Standing Order 15 – Developing proposals for the budget and capital programme (Appendix 5).

 

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

 

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

17.

Motions pdf icon PDF 78 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:

17.1  The following motion submitted by the Labour Group was approved:

 

This Council notes:

·                It is now twenty-eight months since the referendum in which 72,523 Brent residents voted by a clear majority, to maintain the current benefits Britons enjoy, by staying in the European Union.

·                In the months since, the “Vote Leave” campaign has been fined by the Electoral Commission, and, the Chancellor has conceded that leaving the EU without a deal would blast an £80bn black hole in the creaking public finances.

·                Those that voted to leave, did not vote to be poorer. But it is some of our poorest residents that will be hardest hit; with a squeeze in living standards brought on by increased inflation and the depreciation of the pound.

·                That, despite promises to the contrary, Government engagement of local political leaders has been virtually non-existent.

·                That the London Assembly, the neighbouring boroughs of Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham have all passed motions that back a “People’s Vote” on the final deal and an option to stay within the European Union.

 

This Council believes:

·                That Brent is better off together. And put simply, we are a global borough, united in opposition to any form of Brexit that has deleterious effects on our residents.

·                That leaving the EU will disproportionately impact Brent, not least because Brent has the second highest number of European residents in London. Moreover, many of the public services our residents rely upon, from their GP to their waste collection, are provided by dedicated European citizens.

·                That any deal which undermines the principles of the hard-fought “Good Friday Agreement” should face wholesale rejection.

·                It is evident that a calamitous Brexit will hurt all but the very richest, and that it will be our children, for the first time, poorer, less prosperous, with fewer opportunities than the generation before.

 

With this in mind, this Council resolves to:

·                Voice its concern against any arrangement that damages the rights or prospects of EU nationals in this proudly diverse borough.

·                Work with organisations representing EU nationals to help address the uncertainty that this careless Government has left in its wake.

·                To liaise with local businesses, public sector partners, trade unions and our colleagues at the West London Alliance to ensure that Brent remains open for business throughout any transition period.

·                Call upon Parliament to entrust the British people with a meaningful vote on the final deal; with options to remain in the European Union upon the ballot paper.

 

17.2  The following motion submitted by the Conservative Group was not approved:

 

This Council calls upon the Executive to undertake to repair all of the pavements across the Borough within the next 12 months, in light of the increasing numbers of residents being admitted to hospital after tripping on poor quality pavements.  Brent Council acknowledges that it has a duty of care to its residents, ensuring that the elderly can walk safely without fear of injury, that children can ride their bikes and scooters without being thrown off by rubbish  ...  view the full decision text for item 17.

18.

Urgent Business

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

None