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

Additional documents:

Decision:

Apologies received from Councillors Hector, Lloyd & Perrin.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that direct apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Hector, Lloyd and Perrin.

 

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillors Hassan and Murray.

2.

Mayors Statement Order of Business

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Before consideration of the formal agenda, the Mayor informed members of a change to the order of business set out on the original summons.  Given the need to consider the Appointments to Committees and Other Bodies in conjunction with the review of political proportionality, the Mayor advised that in accordance with Standing Order 30, he intended to move that item so it followed the report on the Representation of Political Groups on Committees.

 

It was therefore RESOLVED that:

 

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

 

·             Agenda Item 9 – Appointments to Committees and Other Bodies

 

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

3.

Procedural Motion - Conduct of Business

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

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

 

Debate on the Budget and Council Tax 2020-21 & 2021-22

 

The debate on the budget be structured as follows:

 

(1)    The Leader of the Council be permitted to speak for up to 15 minutes in presenting the 2020/2021 and 2021/22 Budget and Council Tax report to the meeting, after which the following arrangements would apply:

 

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

 

(b)        The Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Resources be permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes.

 

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

 

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

 

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

4.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To confirm as a correct record, the minutes of the previous meeting of the Council held on Monday 25 November 2019.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Minutes of the Council meeting held on 25 November 2019 agreed as a correct record, subject to the following amendment to Minute 4. Mayor’s Announcements (including any petitions received):

 

To add as an additional announcement:

 

Ochanja-Onitsha Fire

 

The Mayor offered his condolences, thoughts and prayers to the Government and people in his home state of Anambra in Nigeria affected by the Ochanja-Onitsha fire tragedy.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 25 November 2019 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting, subject to the following amendment:

 

Inclusion within the Mayors Announcements of reference made to the Ochanja-Onitsha fire disaster, on which the Mayor had offered his condolences, thoughts and prayers to the Government and people affected by the tragedy in his home state of Anambra in Nigeria.

5.

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:

Councillor Crane declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 6: Budget & Council Tax 2020/21 as council appointed representative on both the FWH and i4B Ltd Boards.

Minutes:

The Mayor invited Members to declare any personal or disclosable pecuniary interests in relation to matters due to be considered at the meeting, in accordance with the Members Code of Conduct.

 

(a)        Councillor Crane declared a personal interest in respect of Agenda Item 6 (Budget and Council Tax 2020/2021 and 2021/22) as a Council appointed Board Member on i4B and First Wave Housing.

6.

Mayor's Announcements (including any petitions received)

To receive any announcements from the Mayor.

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED the announcements from the Mayor in relation to:

·                A Royal visit by HRH the Duchess of Cornwall

·                Formally welcoming the newly elected councillors in Alperton, Barnhill and Wembley Central wards along with the Assistant Chief Executive

·                Mayors Christmas Charity Event

·                London New Year’s Day Parade

·                Flag Raising Event – Bangladesh Victory Day

·                Pride of Brent

·                Holocaust Memorial Day

·                LGBT+ Flag Raising Event and Rainbow Pedestrian crossing

·                Brent International Women’s Day 2020

·                Chinese New Year celebration

·                Support for those affected by and tackling Coronavirus

·                Abseiling Event for Mayors Charity

·                Petitions

Minutes:

The Mayor made the following announcements:

 

(i)     Royal Visit

 

The Mayor began by taking the opportunity to thank Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall for her visit to Brent earlier that day.  He informed members that the Duchess had joined the Borough’s Deputy Lieutenant, Chief Executive, councillors and representatives from the Borough of Culture team to tour the Granville Centre and Kiln Theatre.

 

The visit had provided an opportunity to showcase the Borough of Culture programme and also the young talent taking part in each event, with the Duchess hugely impressed by the Borough’s commitment to culture and the contribution of young people.

 

The Mayor thanked all those who had made the visit such a success and also everyone who had contributed towards the Borough of Culture RISE opening ceremony, which had taken place in January.

 

(ii)    Formal welcome of newly elected Councillors & Assistant Chief Executive

 

Following the by-elections held in January 2020, the Mayor moved on to formally welcome Councillors Akram, Georgiou, Lloyd and Shah as the four newly elected ward councillors for Alperton, Barnhill and Wembley Central.  He wished them well, highlighting the rewarding nature of the role.

 

In addition, a welcome was also extended to the Council’s newly appointed Assistant Chief Executive – Shazia Hussain.

 

(iii)    Mayors Christmas Charity Event

 

The Mayor advised members that he was grateful for their continued support in his fundraising activities and thanked everyone who had attended his Christmas Gala Dinner on 6th December.  This had been an extremely enjoyable evening and raised a substantial amount of money for his chosen charities.

 

(iv)   New Year’s Day Parade

 

The Mayor advised he had been pleased to attend the London New Year’s Day parade were he had been proud to support Mahogany in Harlesden, who had taken part on behalf of the Mayor’s office.  The Mayor was delighted to announce that Brent had won first place in the competition, resulting in a £1,000 prize donation to his charities.  Despite the cold, it had been a wonderful day and he congratulated all those who had taken part.

 

(v)    Bangladesh Victory Day Flag raising

 

The Mayor thanked the Deputy Mayor for standing in on his behalf at the flag raising ceremony for Bangladesh Victory Day on Monday 16th December in the Paul Daisley Gardens.

 

(vi)   Pride of Brent

 

The Mayor was pleased to advise that he and the Chief Executive had been able to invite many long serving staff, unable to attend the Pride of Brent awards, to tea in the Mayor’s Parlour.  This had been an enjoyable morning providing a further opportunity to recognise the hard work and dedication of staff across the Council, some of whom had completed 50 years service.

 

(vii)   Holocaust Memorial Day

 

The Mayor informed Members that he was honoured to have attended two memorial ceremonies to mark the Holocaust Memorial Day, one of which had taken place at the Civic Centre and the other hosted by the Greater London Assembly.

 

Providing a time for reflection, he felt  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

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

The purpose of this report is to set out the Council’s budget proposals for 2020/21 and business plans for 2021/22 and 2022/23.  The report also sets out the results of the consultation, scrutiny and equalities processes.  Alongside the overall financial position facing the Council for the medium term and highlights the significant risks and issues.

 

Members are asked to note that the recommendations in the report were approved by Cabinet on 10 February 2020 for reference on to Council.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED

 

(1)          To note the decisions made by Cabinet on 10 February 2020 in relation to the budget and Council Tax 2020/2021

 

(2)          An overall 3.99% increase in the Council’s element of council tax for 2020/21, with 2% as a precept for Adult Social Care and a 1.99% general increase

 

(3)          The General Fund revenue budget for 2020/21, as summarised in Appendix A of the report.

 

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

 

(5)          The budget savings proposals set out in Appendix C of the report.

 

(6)          To note the report from the Budget Scrutiny Panel in Appendix D of the report and approve the recommendation from Cabinet that any overall underspend across the General Fund at the end of March 2020 is ring fenced and that proposals are brought forward for spending on the climate change emergency

 

(7)          The HRA budget for 2020/21, as set out in section seven of the report.

 

(8)          The dedicated schools’ grant, as set out in section eight of the report

 

(9)          The Capital Programme as set out in section nine and Appendix E of the report and that the Chief Officers be authorised to take all the necessary actions for implementation of the programmes

 

(10)       The changes to the existing Capital Programme in relation to additions of new projects, as set out in Appendix E of the report.

 

(11)       The Director of Finance be authorised to make the necessary adjustments to the Capital Programme to account for the final 2019/20 outturn position and any associated programme slippage

 

(12)       The Capital Strategy, Investment Strategy, Treasury Management Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision Policy in Appendices G, H, I and J of the report and to note the pipeline schemes in Appendix F of the report.

 

(13)       To note he advice of the Director of Legal, HR, Audit and Investigations, as set out in Appendix K of the report.

 

(14)       The schedule of fees and charges, as set out in Appendix L of the report.

 

(15)       To note the results of the budget consultation, as set out in section six and detailed in Appendix M of the report.

 

(16)       The Pay Policy Statement for 2020/21, as set out in Appendix N of the report.

 

Council Tax recommendations

 

These recommendations only include a provisional council tax level for the GLA as its final budget was not agreed when the report was despatched.  This means that the statutory calculation of the total amount of council tax under Section 30(2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 cannot be carried out until the final GLA precept has been received.

 

(17)       In relation to the council tax for 2020/21 to resolve:

 

That the following amounts be now calculated as the Council’s element by the Council for the year 2020/21 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended:

 

(a) £1,029,121,285  being the aggregate of the amount that the Council estimates for the items set out  ...  view the full decision text for item 7.

Minutes:

The Council received a report from the Director of Finance setting out the Council’s budget proposals for 2020/21 and business plans for 2021/22 and 2022/23.  Included within the report were the results of the budget consultation, scrutiny and equalities processes along with a summary of the overall financial position, risks, issues and uncertainties facing the Council over the medium term.

 

In accordance with the procedural motion agreed at the start of the meeting, the Mayor invited Councillor Muhammed Butt (as Leader of the Council) to introduce and move the report setting out the budget and Council Tax proposals for 2020/21 – 2021/22.

 

Councillor Muhammed Butt began by welcoming the newly elected councillors to their debut Council meeting for one of most strategically important meetings of the year, given the difficult financial position faced by Council and need to consider setting yet another austerity constrained budget.  This was, he felt it important to highlight, despite the Conservative Government claiming the period of austerity was over.

 

Outlining what he felt had been the damage to public services inflicted over the last decade as a result of the current Conservative and previous coalition Government’s policies in respect of Welfare Reform, ending of the Decent Homes and Building Schools for the Future Programmes and introduction of tuition fees, he felt now more than ever there was a need to ensure councilors (whatever their political allegiance) continued to stand up for the local communities they represented.  Residents, he felt, had the right to expect maximum effort and the highest professional standards from their elected representatives and officers at all levels across the Council.

 

Whilst recognising the difficult choices faced, Councillor Muhammed Butt began by focusing on the positives, with Brent being London’s official Borough of Culture for 2020.  This would provide a real opportunity for the Council to reacquaint itself with the true wealth and real value that existed within its borders.  He pointed out that whilst Brent might not be the most affluent of boroughs in which to live, it was blessed with an unrivaled abundance of diversity, with this cumulative cultural wealth far exceeding the already considerable sum of the boroughs many and varied parts contributing to Brent truly being the Borough of Cultures.

 

Whilst the previous years had been draining, Councillor Muhammed Butt felt there was a need now more than ever, for everyone as residents, citizens and representatives, to continue playing their part as advocates and remain active as opposed to indifferent in terms of championing, defending and protecting public services and in standing up for a fair and just society.

 

Turning to the budget proposals, Councillor Butt highlighted the ongoing pressures faced by the Council and efforts required to be able to recommend yet another balanced budget.  This had, however, been achieved under increasingly difficult circumstances, with the aim being to minimise the negative impact on residents across the borough and to those more vulnerable members of society relying on public services for support.  In these cases, he felt a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Result of local by-elections: Alperton, Barnhill & Wembley Central Wards pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To note the outcome of the three local by-elections held in the Alperton, Barnhill & Wembley Central Wards on Thursday 23 January 2020.

Additional documents:

Decision:

NOTED

 

1.            the results of the local by-elections held in the Alperton, Barnhill and Wembley Central wards on 23 January 2020.

 

2.            The receipt of a petition to the Election Court regarding the Barnhill by-election result, which was being dealt with through the appropriate court process.  Members were advised that both councillors elected as a result of the by-election would remain as elected members until and unless the court ordered otherwise and that any decisions of actions they took as councillors would not be declared null and void should the election petition be successful.

Minutes:

Having concluded the budget debate, the Mayor then moved on to deal with the remainder of items on the agenda.  Members noted the results of the by-elections held in the wards of Alperton, Barnhill and Wembley Central on Thursday 23 January 2020, with the Mayor expressing thanks to the Chief Executive and her team for their efforts in delivering the by-elections so soon after the General Election in December 2019.

 

Having formally noted the results the Mayor advised he also needed to inform Members that the Chief Executive had subsequently received a petition to the Election Court, regarding the Barnhill by-election, which was being dealt with through the appropriate court process.  Members were advised that both Councillors Akram and Lloyd would remain as elected members until and unless the court ordered otherwise and that any decisions or actions they took as councillors would not be declared null and void should the election petition be successful.

9.

Representation of Political Groups on Committees pdf icon PDF 90 KB

This report details the outcome of a review of the representation of different political groups on committees following the change in political balance on the Council as a result of the three Council by-elections held in the Alperton, Barnhill and Wembley Central wards on 23 January 2020.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED that as a result of a review of the representation of political groups on committees, undertaken following a change in political balance on the Council as a result of three local by-elections held in January 2020:

 

(1)          The size of each existing committee remains unchanged, as set out in section 3.8 of the report, with the newly established Council Tax Setting Committee to comprise of 5 seats, as detailed in section 3.10 of the report.

 

(2)          To confirm (where the rules of political balance apply) the allocation of seats on committees to each of the Council’s political groups as detailed within the report.

 

(3)          That appointments be made, where required, to the committees in (2) above giving effect to the wishes of the political groups allocated the seats.

 

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

Minutes:

Councillor Muhammed Butt (as Leader of the Council) introduced the report from the Director of Legal, HR, Audit & Investigations, which he advised, fulfilled the Council’s duty to review and determine the representation of different political groups on certain Committees.  This was as a result of the membership and political balance on the Council having changed following the result of the by-elections held in the wards of Alperton, Barnhill and Wembley Central on Thursday 23 January 2020.

 

As no Members indicated that they wished to speak on the item, the Mayor put the recommendations in the report to a vote by show of hands and they were unanimously declared CARRIED.

 

It was therefore RESOLVED:

 

(1)        The size of each existing committee remain unchanged, as set out in section 3.8 of the report, with the newly established Council Tax Setting Committee to comprise of 5 seats, as detailed in section 3.10 of the report.

 

(2)        To confirm (where the rules of political balance apply) the allocation of seats on committees to each of the Council’s political groups as detailed within the report.

 

(3)        That appointments be made, where required, to the committees in (2) above giving effect to the wishes of the political groups allocated the seats.

 

(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.

 

10.

Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies and Appointment of Chairs/Vice Chairs (if any) pdf icon PDF 95 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 following changes in Committee & Outside Body memberships:

 

(1)     To confirm, following on from the review of political representation, the current membership on Council Committees and Outside Bodies, subject to the following changes:

 

(a)      Licensing Committee: Councillor Long to be appointed as Vice-Chair with Councillor Shahzad to fill current vacancy as a full member.

 

(b)      Fostering Panel: Councillor Thakkar to replace Councillor Dixon as a full member

 

(c)       Teachers Joint Consultative Committee: Councillor Agha to be appointed as Chair to full current vacancy with Councillor M.Patel to fill the second vacancy, both as full members.

 

(d)      Brent Connects – Wembley: Councillor Shah be appointed as a full member to fill the vacancy as Vice-Chair

 

(e)      Service User Consultative Forum – Voluntary Sector: Councillor Miller be appointed as full member to fill the current vacancy

 

(f)        Chalkhill Community Trust: Councillor Mansoor be appointed to fill the current vacancy



(g)      Hillside Housing Trust: Councillor Knight be appointed to fill the current vacancy
 

(h)      Wembley Educational Foundation: Councillor Shah be appointed to fill the current vacancy




(2) To appoint the following as members of the newly established Council Tax Setting Committee:

Labour Group: Councillors M.Butt, Hirani, McLennan and Tatler to be appointed as full members

Councillors Kabir, Knight and Nerva to be appointed as substitute members

Conservative Group: Councillor Kansagra to be appointed as full member

Councillors Colwill and Maurice to be appointed as substitute members


    

Minutes:

In accordance with the change on the order of business agreed at the start of the meeting the Mayor then referred Members to the list of changes to be considered in relation to appointments on Council Committees, Sub Committees and other bodies.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

(1)    To confirm, following on from the review of political representation, the current membership on Council Committees and Outside Bodies, subject to the following changes:

 

(a)        Licensing Committee: Councillor Long to be appointed as Vice-Chair with Councillor Shahzad to fill current vacancy as a full member.

 

(b)       Fostering Panel: Councillor Thakkar to replace Councillor Dixon as a full member

 

(c)        Teachers Joint Consultative Committee: Councillor Agha to be appointed as Chair to full current vacancy with Councillor M.Patel to fill the second vacancy, both as full members.

 

(d)       Brent Connects – Wembley: Councillor Shah be appointed as a full member to fill the vacancy as Vice-Chair

 

(e)        Service User Consultative Forum – Voluntary Sector: Councillor Miller be appointed as full member to fill the current vacancy

 

(f)         Chalkhill Community Trust: Councillor Akram be appointed to fill the current vacancy



(g)       Hillside Housing Trust: Councillor Knight be appointed to fill the current vacancy
 

(h)       Wembley Educational Foundation: Councillor Shah be appointed to fill the current vacancy




(2) To appoint the following as members of the newly established Council Tax Setting Committee:

Labour Group: Councillors M.Butt, Hirani, McLennan and Tatler to be appointed as full members

Councillors Kabir, Knight and Nerva to be appointed as substitute members

Conservative Group: Councillor Kansagra to be appointed as full member

Councillors Colwill and Maurice to be appointed as substitute members


    

11.

Submission of Draft Brent Local Plan for Examination pdf icon PDF 154 KB

This report sets out for consideration the representations received on the draft Brent Local Plan.  The report also seeks approval for its submission for Examination by a Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State and delegation to the Strategic Director Regeneration and Environment, in association with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Property and Planning, of authority to approve modifications required to the draft Local Plan.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED

 

(1)          To approve submission of the Draft Brent Local Plan, as detailed within Appendix 1 of the report and the Policies Map as detailed in Appendix 2 of the report for examination, together with the associated Proposed Modifications as set out in Appendix 4 of the report and the Integrated Impact Assessment as set out in Appendix 5 of the report.

 

(2)          To delegate authority to the Strategic Director Regeneration and Environment in association with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Property & Planning to make proposed modification to the Brent Local Plan throughout the examination process to ensure that it can be found “sound” by the Planning Inspector.

Minutes:

Councillor Tatler (Lead Member for Regeneration, Property & Planning) introduced the report of the Strategic Director, Regeneration & Environment detailing the representations received on the draft Brent Local Plan and seeking approval for its submission for Examination by a Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State.

 

In introducing the report Councillor Tatler highlighted the significant amount of work and consultation that had been undertaken to shape the draft Local Plan, which had been developed to complement higher-level policy of the National Planning Policy Framework and the emerging draft London Plan.  In setting out the policies governing development of the borough to 2041, the Plan had been developed to reflect the significant increase forecast in the boroughs population and associated challenges in terms of the provision of new homes, jobs and associated physical and social infrastructure and in terms of addressing the climate emergency.  In addition to the existing areas identified, the Draft Plan had identified three new Growth Area at Northwick Park, Staples Corner and Neasden Station.  In concluding her introduction, Councillor Tatler drew Members attention to the summary of responses received in relation to the consultation process, as detailed in section 3 of the report and thanked all those involved in development of such a key document.

 

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

 

Councillor Kabir open the debate by expressing her support for the Draft Local Plan, which she felt was a detailed and comprehensive document that reflected the changing needs and priorities within the Borough.  In terms of specific content she highlighted the need to ensure that the policies being developed in relation to the Plan remained sensitive to the needs of children and young people ,including those with special needs and specifically in terms of the provision of public spaces.

 

Councillor Denselow, expressing support for the Draft Plan, drew attention to the targets included in relation to affordable housing. He took the opportunity to thank Planning Officers (in his role as Chair of the Planning Committee) for their efforts to ensure that applications coming forward to the Committee reflected the necessary policy and Plan requirements.

 

As no other members indicated they wished to speak on the report, and Councillor Tatler advised she did not wish to exercise her right of reply, the Mayor then put the recommendations to the vote by a show of hands and they were declared CARRIED.

 

It was therefore RESOLVED

 

(1)        To approve submission of the draft Brent Local Plan as set out in Appendix 1 and Policies Map as set out in Appendix 2 of the report for examination, together with associated Proposed Modifications as set out in Appendix 4 and the Integrated Impact Assessment as set out in Appendix 5 of the report.

 

(2)    To endorse the officer responses to representations, as set out in Appendix 3 of the report.

 

(3)    To delegate authority to the Strategic Director Regeneration and Environment in association with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Property and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Members Allowance Scheme - Annual Review pdf icon PDF 107 KB

The report outlines the annual review of the Members Allowance Scheme and seeks approval on the allowances Members will be entitled to receive for carrying out their responsibilities during 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED

 

(1)         To approve and make a Members’ Allowance Scheme in the terms set out in the report for the financial year 2020/21.

 

(2)         To approve the change in level of Special Responsibility Allowance payable in respect of the following roles, to be payable with immediate effect:

 

(a)      Chair of Audit & Standards Committee (Vice-Chair of Audit & Standards Advisory Committee) – increase from £1,500 to £5,000; and

 

(b)      Leader of Principal Opposition Group – increase from £6,000 to £8,000

 

(3)       To authorise the Director of Legal, HR Audit and Investigations to comply with the statutory requirements to publicise the Council’s Members’ Allowance Scheme.

Minutes:

Councillor Muhammed Butt (as Leader of the Council) introduced the report from the Assistant Chief Executive seeking approval to the making of a Members’ Allowance Scheme, in the proposed terms set out in the report, for the 2020/21 Financial Year.

 

In introducing the report Councillor Butt highlighted the annual review had continued to be informed by the principles and guidelines within the most recent review of Members Allowances undertaken by the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) in 2018 on behalf of London Councils.  As part of the annual review process the Scheme included provision for an annual uplift in line with the inflationary pay award agreed under the Local Government Pay Settlement.  The review had also resulted in the recommendation of a proposed increase in the Special Responsibility Allowance payable to the Leader of the Opposition and Chair of the Audit & Standards Committee in order to bring these in line with the average provided for the same role across other London Boroughs.

 

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

 

Councillor Abdirazak, whilst understanding the review had been informed by the guidelines within the review undertaken by the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP), expressed concern at the proposed uplift being recommended in allowances given the decisions that had just needed to be taken on the budget and in relation to the increase in Council Tax.  As such, he advised he would not be supporting the proposals.

 

Similar concerns were also highlighted by Councillor Georgiou in his response on the report.

 

Whilst recognising the concerns raised, Councillor S.Choudhury felt there was a need to properly recognise the time involved in undertaking the role of ward councillor.  He also highlighted the additional responsibilities and commitment involved in serving as Chair of a Committee, such as the Pension Fund, which he also felt needed to be properly recognised in terms of the level of SRA payable.

 

The need to recognise the time commitment required to fulfil the role of local councillors was supported by Councillors Kelcher and Miller who also highlighted the difficulty in councillors being required to consider and set their own allowance schemes rather than for this to be undertaken independently.  It was also pointed out that any uplift in general allowances had been designed to mirror that provided for staff with members also not benefiting from access to the Local Government Pension Scheme.  In addition, both advocated the need for allowances to be set at a level that would enable people to undertake the role of councillor, whilst not acting as a purely financial incentive to do so, and to remove any barriers to ensure that those standing could be as representative of their local communities as possible.

 

Councillor Johnson, supported by Councillor Daly and Kennelly also highlighted the element of personal choice with members, they pointed out, not having to accept any uplift or able to donate their allowance to other causes.

 

Councillor Kansagra also supported the need to recognise the workload involved in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Changes to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 74 KB

This report informs Council of a number of small changes to the Council’s Constitution.  These are to reflect an increase in EU procurement thresholds and to remove some identified inconsistencies.

Additional documents:

Decision:

AGREED

 

(1)          To approve the changes to the Constitution, as set out within the report.

 

(2)          To authorise the Director of Legal, HR, Audit & Investigations to amend the Constitution accordingly, including making any necessary incidental of consequential changes.

 

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

Minutes:

At this stage in proceedings, the Mayor advised that as the remaining time available for the meeting was shortly due to expire he would be moving the suspension of Standing Order 44 (Council Guillotine Procedure) in order to extend the time of the meeting by 30 minutes and enable consideration of this as the final item on the agenda.  In accordance with Standing Order 42 (d) the procedural motion was put to the vote without further discussion and AGREED.

 

Councillor Muhammed Butt (Leader of the Council) introduced the report from the Director of Legal, HR Audit & Investigations which he advised detailed a number of small changes to the Council’s Constitution.  These had been designed to reflect an increase in EU procurement thresholds and to remove a number of inconsistencies in current wording.

 

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

 

It was therefore RESOLVED:

 

(1)        To approve the changes to the Constitution, as set out within the report.

 

(2)    To authorise the Director of Legal, HR, Audit & Investigations to amend the Constitution accordingly, including making any necessary incidental of 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.

14.

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.

 

As this was the final Council business meeting of his year in office, the Mayor ended by thanking all Members for their support and co-operation over the last year and advised that the next meeting would be the Annual Council and Mayor Making ceremony on Wednesday 27 May 2020.