Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX
Contact: Annette Wiles
020 8726 6000 x64877 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 9 July 2018 as an accurate record.
The minutes of the meeting held on 9 July 2018 were agreed as an accurate record.
Disclosure of Interests
In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to register disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and gifts and hospitality to the value of which exceeds £50 or multiple gifts and/or instances of hospitality with a cumulative value of £50 or more when received from a single donor within a rolling twelve month period. In addition, Members and co-opted Members are reminded that unless their disclosable pecuniary interest is registered on the register of interests or is the subject of a pending notification to the Monitoring Officer, they are required to disclose those disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting. This should be done by completing the Disclosure of Interest form and handing it to the Democratic Services representative at the start of the meeting. The Chair will then invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3. Completed disclosure forms will be provided to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion on the Register of Members’ Interests.
There were no declarations of pecuniary interest. Members confirmed their disclosure of interest forms are accurate and up-to-date.
Urgent Business (if any)
To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.
There were no items of urgent business.
To receive Announcements, if any, from the Mayor, the Leader, Head of
Paid Service and Returning Officer.
Madam Mayor, Councillor Bernadette Khan, made the following announcements:
· She had visited the city of Arnhem in September which had provided the opportunity to see how children continue to be involved in commemorative activities;
· This year’s remembrance activities would mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. Those activities would include a civic service at the Croydon minster, parade and wreath laying at the war memorial in Katharine Street;
· She had attended the fourth Annual Croydon Business Excellence Awards that had included the new category of Inspirational Young Person of the Year;
· There would be an event to mark Eid on 25 October 2018; and
· A fundraising gospel concert for the Major’s Charity was to be held on 23 November 2018.
Warm congratulations were given to Councillor Chatterjee and five other Croydon residents for their successful channel swim raising funds for Croydon Community Against Trafficking and a local Scouting project.
The Leader, Councillor Newman, announced that in addition to Roy Hodgson, the Crystal Palace Manager, being awarded the Freedom of the Borough, former World and Commonwealth Games athlete, Donna Fraser was also to be awarded the Freedom of the Borough at the same time. The Leader highlighted that Ms Fraser was born in Thornton Heath, trained with the Croydon Harriers and campaigned on the issue of breast cancer awareness. Both were to be awarded the Freedom of the Borough at the December 2018 Council meeting and this would provide an exciting opportunity to recognise sporting achievements in the borough.
a) Public Questions (30 minutes)
To receive questions from the public gallery and questions
submitted by residents in advance of the meeting.
b) Leader and Cabinet Questions (105 minutes)
To receive questions from Councillors.
The Mayor began the item with questions from the public.
Reflecting the number of public questions received on the issue of bin collections and waste services, Madam Mayor, Councillor Bernadette Khan, announced that to maximise the efficient use of the time available, these had been grouped together and would be put directly to Councillor Collins, Cabinet Member for Clean, Green Croydon.
Madam Mayor put the first question on behalf of residents to Councillor Collins, raising concerns about the costs of purchasing the new bins with further detail sought.
Councillor Collins responded that the primary objective of becoming a partner in the South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) was to make efficiency gains. Whilst the cost of purchasing the bins totalled £2.3m, Croydon would receive an annual overall cost saving of £5m compared to the previous level of cost with a £2.7m saving in first year. Additionally, there would be further efficiency gains from items such as reducing landfill costs. The objective of the new service was for a £60m saving to be achieved during the eight years of the SLWP contract. However, most importantly this contract was about saving the planet. This was about Croydon playing its part through increased recycling and decreased residual waste.
Madam Mayor put a second question to Councillor Collins on behalf of residents, asking about missed bin collections and the difficulties experienced in reporting them.
Councillor Collins responded that the SLWP contract was a massive undertaking involving 245,000 bins and 130,000 households, making this one of the largest undertakings in Europe. Likely difficulties in implementing the contract were described from the outset. A period of 12 weeks had been allowed for the new arrangements to bed in. The difficulties experienced had been fewer than were thought likely with less than 1% of bin collections missed from the outset of the new service. Additionally, staff had shown diligence in dealing with 6,000 enquiries received about the new service. The reasons for missed bin collections were being explored with the contractor.
On behalf of residents, Madam Mayor asked Councillor Collins about concerns raised regarding the suitability of the larger bins and how requests that had been received for different sized bins were being considered.
Councillor Collins responded that one of the difficulties of implementing such a large service change was allowing for differentiation. Added to which there was always going to be an on-going turnover in residents as well as needing to future proof the system to be able to accommodate changes to needs and habits over time. For example, that there had been a rise in packaging waste as there had been an increase in online shopping. However, when implementing such a large service change, it was clear that it was important to start with a uniform system.
A key aspect of the new service was containerisation. This was to stop spillage and animals getting into waste containers. Both had caused a lot of on-street waste contamination. This would also allow for a greater volume of recycling ... view the full minutes text for item 28/18
To receive notice of petitions presented by Members on behalf of local residents.
The Mayor invited Councillor Pelling to read out the title of the submitted Member petition which read:
Grindall Close Petition: “We the tenants of Grindall Close have written this petition to ask for three more parking bays, so that each property will have one of its own, (two for number 5, with two rooms, tenants and cars) and conflicts between us as neighbours can cease. Parking is essential for all of us we all have a variety of complex mobility issues and live at the bottom of the hill. Access to a car nearby is a lifeline for us. We ask that they not interfere with the access bay we already have, and are clearly marked for each household. We also ask that they are not positioned where they will increase noise or pollution, as small stresses like these can have sever impacts on the physical and mental wellbeing of disabled people like ourselves.’’
Councillor King responded to the petition by highlighting that the Housing Department had looked at a similar proposal in 2015. In that instance, the proposal had not gone forward due to lack of support specifically from residents. However, the latest petition had been signed by all residents and the ongoing parking issue was known. A full response would be provided.
The Mayor invited Councillor Clancy to read out the title of the submitted Member petition which read: Petition to Croydon Council regarding the New Wheelie Bins (Magpie Close & Lodge & Part Ashbourne): “We, the undersigned, wish to register our objections to the new wheelie bins on the estate where we live (Ashdown Park in Coulsdon). The houses all have small frontages and they do not have the facilities for storing 2 large bins, one medium sized bin and a food caddy in a discreet way. While you state that the houses have the necessary space at the front, this space belongs to the houseowners and should be used in accordance with their wishes. In the 2005, the estate was granted an exemption from the Council’s requirement for landfill collections to be from medium sized wheelie bins, as these would not fit inside the bin cupboards.
These cupboards are small and integrated with the buildings. When the additional recycling bins were added to the bins, they were modest in size, could be stacked and were easier to conceal. The new requirement will mean that they will generally be very difficult to hide and are likely to become an eyesore. All the houses on the estate have covenants that the associated grounds be maintained in a good and tidy condition, and the front gardens be open plan, the latter making it more difficult to store them out of sight. All owners of the property and land on the estate are beneficiaries to the covenants. We request that a solution for collecting waste be found which leaves the frontages of the properties as clear of visible bins as possible.’’
Councillor Collins noted the petition ... view the full minutes text for item 29/18
To hear maiden speeches from Councillors newly elected at the local elections held on 23 May 2018.
Councillor Roche, Member for Shirley South, was committed to ensuring the voices of residents were heard and listened to. He paid tribute to his Mother, a single parent and victim of Multiple Sclerosis and noted that her reliance on her care team had given him experience of the process of setting up this support and the difficulties involved. He aimed to campaign for change in this area and was pleased to be a member of the Scrutiny Health and Social Care Sub-Committee. He was also a Member of the Planning Committee which was exciting and challenging. Councillor Roche highlighted the plans for intensification in Shirley ward and the need to ensure residents had their concerns addressed.
Councillor Campbell, Member for West Thornton, paid tribute to her Grandfather, who fought in the 1st and 2nd World Wars, her Grandmother who was the first black female booking clerk on the London Underground and her Father who was a tube driver. Councillor Campbell stated her sadness at witnessing the recent treatment of the Windrush Generation and highlighted that she was a mother and a foster carer who was honoured to serve her community. In her role as a mental health campaigner and Deputy Chief Whip, she wanted to achieve change and provide services for residents that were right first time. Councillor Campbell emphasised her belief in the manifesto which was drawn from the residents of Croydon.
Councillor Redfern, Member for Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown, highlighted her aim to serve all residents and paid tribute to the previous Councillors for the ward, noting that these demonstrated three versions of how to be a good Councillor. Councillor Redfern then provided a spoken tour of her ward including the Common, the Collegiate School and Harris Purley Academy. Councillor Redfern highlighted the need for development in the ward to be appropriate and to not damage the community.
Councillor Clarke, Member for Fairfield, highlighted his appointment as a Councillor was an immense honour and that while he wasn’t born or raised in the borough, this hadn’t prevented him from putting down roots in Croydon. Councillor Clark highlighted his background in standing up against hatred and his support for Windrush Day. He emphasised that he saw his role as a Councillor was to represent all including those who over the coming years would move to the borough and, like their predecessors, would make a contribution to the life of the community.
Councillor Streeter, Member for Shirley North, paid tribute to Andrew Rendle, his predecessor. He noted the beauty and diversity of his ward and his desire that local government be on the side of residents. Councillor Streeter highlighted his criticism of the Croydon Local Plan and his desire to restore the relationship with residents and listen to their voices.
To consider the report of the Director of Law and Monitoring Officer proposing amendments to the Council’s Constitution.
The Leader, Cllr Newman, proposed the recommendations in the report which were seconded by Cllr Tim Pollard.
Council RESOLVED to approve the recommendations in the report.
Council Debate Motions
To debate any motions submitted in accordance with Council Procedure
The item began with the Administration motion which read:
“This council believes strongly that a secure home is at the very heart of all of our lives, it gives security and therefore enables aspiration to grow. It gives children a stable home in which to grow up in and because of this we will be ending the use of fixed-term tenancies in our council homes.
“This council also believes that residents living in the private rented sector should have the security to build their lives and their futures and to become an active part of their community. We are aware that the largest reason for homelessness within this borough is eviction from the private rented sector. As well as security, homes must be of a decent standard which is why Croydon Council is proud to have introduced a Landlords’ Licensing Scheme right across the borough
“Insecurity harms the quality of life for tenants, with private renters less likely than either owners or people in social housing to say they know lots of people in their local area, but more worried that they will have to move within the next year. The threat of being evicted also gives landlords huge power over tenants, who may decide not to complain about disrepair, big rent increases or other problems in case they are kicked out.
“We therefore call on the government to abolish Section 21and the use of no-fault evictions, which would help to make renting more secure, improve standards, increase tenant confidence and ultimately contribute towards making renting a viable long-term alternative to home ownership or social rent for the millions who currently cannot access either.”
Councillor Butler proposed the motion and highlighted the importance of having a place to call home at heart of all our lives – that this was the foundation to belonging. The Councillor noted that for far too many it’s not their choice to be in the private rented sector and that this was becoming an increasingly difficult option caused by the use of evictions. The damage caused by evictions was noted. For example in the resulting school moves. Emphasised that those in the private rented sector had very few rights and many lacked security of tenure making it harder to become part of the community. Croydon was therefore to end fixed term tenancies for its residents. The Councillor called on the Government to take action including lowering the cap on deposits and for the Housing Minister to listen to the needs of tenants and not just landlords.
Councillor Sirisena seconded the motion and reserved the right to speak.
The Mayor then called on Councillor Tim Pollard, who firstly declared a personal interest having been a landlord for over a decade but one who had never evicted or increased the rent on a sitting tenant. Highlighted that he had no need to do either with rent abiding tenants. Emphasised the lack of good properties to rent and the failure to provide new council houses. Noted ... view the full minutes text for item 32/18
To consider the recommendations made by Cabinet since the last ordinary Council meeting relating to the following matters:
1. Corporate Plan 2018/22
2. Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018/22
3. Governance Review
The meeting had reached the time specified in the constitution for it to conclude. The guillotine procedure was therefore used to close the meeting.
The recommendations as set out in the report were put to the vote and carried. Council RESOLVED:
1. To approve the Corporate Plan for Croydon, 2018 – 2022.
Medium Term Financial Strategy
2. To approve the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2018/22 including the establishment of a £100m asset acquisition fund as referenced in the MTFS which is set out in the report; and
3. To agree that the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, acting in consultation with the Leader, be given authority to approve asset acquisitions made pursuant to the Asset Investment Strategy referenced in the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018/22.
4. To approve the establishment of a cross party governance review panel to assess and review the Council’s governance arrangements as set out in the draft scoping document and terms of reference for the governance panel;
5. To appoint a maximum of 7 councillors (4 Labour 3 Conservative) and 1 independent member to the governance review panel (together with independent external chair and such other expert independent members external to the Council as the panel may wish to co-opt in a non-voting capacity); and
6. To require the governance review panel to report its findings and make recommendations within the 2018/2019 municipal year on options and improvements to the Council’s governance arrangements, and in any event to report on progress to the Cabinet and Council, as advised.
Exclusion of the Press and Public
The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:
“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”
The motion was not required.