Agenda and minutes
Venue: Conference Hall - Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ
Contact: Natalie Connor, Governance Officer Tel: 020 8937 1506 ; Email: email@example.com
Apologies for absence and clarification of alternate members
Apologies were received from Councillors Conneely, Miller, Mitchell and Shah with Councillor Molloy in attendance as an alternate member for Councillor Conneely.
Councillor Ahmadi Moghaddam was present for the majority of the meeting, however had to leave due to unforeseen circumstances prior to the final decision being made on the outcome of the call-in.
Declarations of interests
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 item on this agenda and to specify the item(s) to which they relate.
The following interests were declared by members of the Committee in relation to Item 3 (Call-In Cabinet Decision (16 November 23) – Sudbury Town Residents Association (STRA) application for Neighbourhood Forum status):
· Councillor Georgiou declared a personal interest as one of the Councillors who had signed the call-in request form.
· Councillor S. Butt declared a personal interest as a former Sudbury Ward Councillor from 2018-2022.
No other interests were declared at the meeting.
To consider a call-in in respect of the following decision taken by Cabinet on 16 November 2023:
· Sudbury Town Residents Association application for Neighbourhood Forum Status.
In opening the item, the Chair advised that the meeting had been arranged, in accordance with Standing Order 14, to consider a call-in submitted by five members of the Council in relation to a decision made by Cabinet on 16 November 2023 to refuse the Sudbury Town Residents Association’s application for Neighbourhood Forum status.
In considering the call-in the Chair reminded the Committee that lines of questioning must remain specifically within the remit of the call-in and that issues raised on anything wider would not be valid and ruled out for consideration.
Having clarified the basis of the call-in, the Chair then proceeded to invite Councillor Lorber to outline the reasons for the call-in as representative of the members who had supported its submission.
In presenting the call-in, Councillor Lorber highlighted the following key issues for the Committee as a basis for the call-in which had been submitted:
· The decision taken by Cabinet had meant there was currently no authorised Neighbourhood Forum in Sudbury.
· Sudbury Town Resident Association (STRA) had previously been very active in the community, not only in terms of developing a local plan in collaboration with Brent Council officers but also in representing local people in relation to planning issues and environmental improvements, as well as protecting Barham Park.
· Concerns were raised that consultation in relation to making the decision on STRA’s status as a Neighbourhood Forum was not carried out with due diligence as it was felt ward councillors had not been adequately informed or included within the process.
· The limited number of responses to the reported consultation was felt to be representative of the fact that there had not, in the view of the members who had called-in the decision, been inadequate wider consultation with the public.
· Concerns were also raised about STRA not having been invited or informed about the Cabinet meeting on 16 November 2023 when the final decision to refuse their application had been decided.
· It was highlighted that STRA and Brent Council officers had previously enjoyed a positive working relationship until complaints from local councillors had been made in 2018/19. It was felt that after this point a communication breakdown had occurred; as such, it was questioned whether local politics had played a part in undermining STRA as a local Neighbourhood Forum.
· It was queried why council officers had not made a more concerted effort to discuss concerns with STRA ahead of their Neighbourhood Forum application having been recommended for refusal.
· It was felt that the separate application from Sudbury Matters to create a new Neighbourhood Forum covering the area should have been considered at the same time as STRA’s application so that both parties could be considered equitably.
· On the basis of the concerns raised Councillor Lorber felt the original decision taken to refuse the application needed to be referred back to Cabinet for re-consideration.
The Chair thanked Councillor Lorber for presenting the call-in and invited Committee Members to ask any clarifying queries they had.
The following points were discussed: ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Any other urgent business
Notice of items to be raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Head of Chief Executive and Member Services or her representative before the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 60.