Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
(1) The following motion submitted by the Conservative Group was declared lost:
Granville New Homes Independent Inquiry
“This Council notes with grave concern the issues raised by the Ridge Report on the Granville New Homes build by Brent Council.
This matter was briefly discussed at the Community & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee and Audit and Standards Advisory Committee. Because of time constraints, the matter has not been fully aired. There still remains very large and serious questions the Administration needs to answer, for example:
· When and who commissioned the Ridge Report?
· When did the serious defects in the structure of the construction come to light?
· What was the Building Contractors and Councils Building Control Department’s involvement during construction and issue of Completion Certificate?
There are various estimates circulating as to the amount of money required to remedy the defects. One source reports that £18.4 million will be required. This amount is larger than the Council potentially lost by investment in Icelandic Banks.
This Council therefore agrees to request that the Cabinet commissions an independent inquiry into the matter.”
Councillors Colwill, Kansagra and Maurice voted in favour of the above motion.
All other members present at the meeting voted against the above motion.
(2) The following Motion submitted by the Labour Group was AGREED:
The Big Issue Campaign – Stop mass homelessness
“This Council notes:
Thatthousands offamilies arefacing evictionsand repossessionsas measuresto protectresidents put in place during Covid-19, end; Universal Credit is reduced; the furlough scheme ends; and electricity, gasand the cost of living rises at pace.
This Council believes that:
Now is not the time to unravel the interventions that the government has introduced to protectpeople during this unprecedented period.
Unless urgent action is taken by this government, the UK will face a homelessness crisisthis winter, on ashameful scale.
Over the last year, nearly 6,000 residents approached Brent Council because they feared being made homeless. While our officer’s work tirelessly to offer assistance to as many residents as possible, the sheer scale of demand sadly outstrips supply. The pandemic has shown that mass homelessness is a political choice – the government averted it once with the Everybody In initiative and they can do so again; simply by making additional funding available to this Council.
This Councilresolves to:
1. Support the Big Issue’s plan to Stop Mass Homelessness and call on the Lead Member for Housing & Welfare Reform to write to the relevant Secretaries of State asking them to keep people in their homes and in sustainable jobs. They could do this by committing to pay off £360m in rent arrears; suspend no fault evictions until a Renters’ Reform Act is passed; make permanent the £20 Universal Credit uplift; improve access to Discretionary Housing Payment; unfreeze Local Housing Allowance; improve support for financial literacy education and invest to create new green jobs.
2. Express its support for a Wellbeing of Future Generations Act requiring public bodies to consider how decisions made now affect future needs, and tackle persistent problems such as poverty, homelessness, health inequalities and climate change.
3. Call on the Lead Member for Housing & Welfare Reform to Commission a report to be heard at the appropriate committee outlining options to amend the decision-making process to ensure that the impact of Council decisions on future generations are properly considered.
4. Tackle the root problem head on, by forging ahead with our ambitious programme to build 1700 council homes by 2028 and to maximise affordable housing options through the council’s own company I4B, pan-London Capital Letters scheme and by working with trusted developers across the borough.”
Councillors Colwill, Kansagra and Maurice abstained from voting on the above motion.
All other members present at the meeting voted in favour of the above motion.
(3) The following Motion submitted by the Labour Group was AGREED unanimously:
Towards greener energy
“This Council notes:
In July 2019, Brent Council declared a climate and ecological emergency and committed to do all in its gift to strive for carbon neutrality by 2030. This target is borough-wide, not just council-only emissions, because of how urgent this issue is – and therefore more ambitious goals are required. We are one of only 12 councils in London who have adopted this 2030 target.
This council has recently joined the UK100, a network of radical local authorities that wish to do more to confront the climate emergency and call on government for urgent action.
Brent Council has cut its emissions by 63.7% since this Labour Administration took control – this exceeds the government’s targets and our own ambitious goals.
This Council further recognises:
§ the efforts that this Council has made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy;
§ the surge in wholesale gas and electricity prices to almost five times the level of a year ago has resulted in suppliers defaulting and putting pressure on household bills;
§ that currently, very large financial setup and running costs are involved in selling locally generated renewable electricity back to local customers, making it near impossible for local renewable electricity generators to get a foothold in the market,
§ that making these financial costs proportionate to the scale of a renewable electricity supplier’s operation would create significant opportunities for local companies and community groups to be providers of locally generated renewable electricity directly to local people, businesses and organisations;
§ that revenues received by such local companies or community groups that chose to become local renewable electricity providers could be used to help improve the local economy, local services and help reduce local greenhouse gas emissions; and
§ the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, recommended that a Right to Local Supply for local energy suppliers be established to address this.
This Council resolves to:
§ Support the Local Electricity Bill, currently supported by a cross-party group of 266 MPs. If made law, this would establish a Right to Local Supply and promote local renewable electricity supply by making the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate to the size of the supply company.
§ Turbo-charge the transition to renewable energy in the Council, by bringing forward a report to outline options to fully switch to sustainable energy sources significantly in advance of our 2030 target.
§ To support residents with grant funding for projects to confront the climate & ecological emergency through the Brent Together Towards Zero Grant and the recently launched Carbon offset fund, called for by this chamber.”
Publication date: 24/11/2021
Date of decision: 22/11/2021
Decided at meeting: 22/11/2021 - Council