Agenda and minutes

Council
Monday, 1st April, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX

Contact: Annette Wiles 020 872 6000 x64877  Email: annette.wiles@croydon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

22/19

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2019 as an accurate record.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the Council meeting held on 4 March 2019 were agreed as a true and accurate record.

 

23/19

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.

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of pecuniary interests. Members confirmed their disclosure of interest forms were accurate and up-to-date.

 

24/19

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.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

 

25/19

Announcements

To receive Announcements, if any, from the Mayor, the Leader, Head of Paid Service and Returning Officer.

Minutes:

Madam Mayor, Councillor Bernadette Khan, lead the Members of Council in observing a minute’s silence to demonstrate solidarity with those affected by the terror attacks that had occurred in Christchurch, New Zealand.

 

Madam Mayor informed Members that since the last Council meeting she had held two fundraising events and had hosted the Chinese community in the Town Hall. She was looking forward to hosting the Turkish and Kurdish communities to celebrate the Festival of Spring and would be visiting China with three Croydon head teachers to explore potential for collaboration. Madam Mayor noted her plan to finish her visits to all departments in the Council.

 

Madam Mayor notified the Council that Pratima Solanki had left her post as Director of Adult Social Care and All-Age Disability. Councillor Louisa Woodley, the Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, addressed Members on the contribution made by Pratima. Councillor Woodley noted that it had been a privilege to work with an officer whose determination to turnaround the lives of vulnerable residents was so strong. It was specifically noted that the approach taken by Pratima had been to ensure that everyone needing care was to have a life plan as opposed to a care plan, that the former director had brought the equipment service back in-house and had been instrumental in setting up the One Croydon Alliance. Councillor Woodley placed on the record her debt of gratitude toPratima. Madam Mayor and Councillor Hopley, on behalf of the Minority Group, took the opportunity to make their own tributes and thank the former director.

 

Madam Mayor invited the Leader of the Council, Councillor Tony Newman, to make his announcements. The Leader noted that whilst the Parliamentary debates on leaving the EU were continuing, preparations were being made for the outcome of Brexit whatever the terms of the final deal. It was noted that officers were working with others in Councils across London and were described as standing poised whilst looking to National Government for support especially in the event of a no deal scenario. The Leader stated that the Council was doing everything possible to support the residents of Croydon including advice sessions on rights for EU citizens.

 

Madam Mayor invited the Returning Officer to make her announcements. It was recorded that, following the sad passing of Councillor Maggie Mansell earlier in the year, Councillor Leila Ben-Hasell had been elected as the representative for Norbury and Pollards Hill at the by-election held on 14 March 2019 which had a turnout of 25.6%. The Returning Officer also advised Council that preparations were being made for holding European Parliamentary elections on 23 May 2019.

 

Given the high level of public interest in the meeting, a cross party proposal was received to vary the order of business to take first those items of greatest public interest. The proposal was put to the vote and passed.

 

(Note: for the purposes of the minutes, the business of the meeting is reported in the order as set out in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25/19

26/19

Croydon Question Time pdf icon PDF 125 KB

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 Member Questions (105 minutes)

To receive questions from Councillors.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Madam Mayor introduced public questions; priority was given to those who had submitted questions in advance or on the night and were in attendance. Those who had submitted questions in writing who were not able to attend the meeting were to be provided with a written response within three weeks of the meeting. Those responses were also to be published on the Council’s website. 

 

Question: Croydon resident, Loraine Gomes asked why the extent of the asbestos in Fairfield Halls had not been detected previously.

 

In response, Councillor Butler, Cabinet Member for Homes & Gateway Services highlighted that the full extent of the asbestos could only be known after intrusive works had taken place and that the costs of rectification were to be fully funded from the returns from the surrounding development. The Cabinet Member also noted that the costs of removing and disposing of the asbestos were actually £4m and not the £11m that had been reported.

 

In her supplementary question, Ms Gomes asked why residents had been misinformed about the costs of the asbestos and queried if it was correct for the Council to continue to sign-off the costs of the development. In response, Councillor Butler stressed that the Council was not paying for the redevelopment. Rather that this was being paid for by Brick by Brick, with the profit from the development being used to carry out £41m of works. Councillor Butler noted that the borough deserved a first class entertainment venue and that this was being delivered without residents paying.

 

Question: Croydon resident, Donna Luetchford shared her experience of recycling in the borough. With no recycling facilities provided to her flat, she had received a Fixed Penalty Notice for leaving recycling next to full bins at a recycling centre where the bins were not being emptied regularly. Ms Luetchford asked how often bins should be emptied at recycling centres and if it was appropriate that she be fined when she was doing her best to recycle responsibly.  

 

In response, Councillor Collins, Cabinet Member for Clean, Green Croydon, reported that he had taken a personal interest in this case, that recycling centres should be regularly cleared but problems had been experienced over the Christmas period. As a result it had been decided to rescind the Fixed Penalty Notice on this occasion although it was noted that most fines issued in similar cases are for residents inappropriately taking household and bulky waste to recycling centres. It was noted that all recycling centres feature clear signage detailing the alternatives for collection of those items. The Cabinet Member acknowledged the difficulties in recycling for those residents in flats and noted that he was exploring potential options to address that issue. 

 

In her supplementary question, Ms Luetchford highlighted difficulties being experienced with general waste collections that are made on different days to those advertised.  In response, Councillor Collins noted that he was aware of this issue and had personally visited to make sure Veolia was doing its job. It was acknowledged  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26/19

27/19

Maiden Speech

To hear the maiden speech from Councillor Leila Ben-Hassel, newly elected at the by-election held in Norbury & Pollards Hill Ward on 14 March 2019.

Minutes:

Notification was given that Councillor Ben-Hassel would not take up the opportunity to give her Maiden Speech at the meeting.

 

28/19

Special Council - 20 May 2019

For Members to agree to convene a Special Meeting of the Council, in accordance with paragraph 6 of Part 4A of the Constitution, to take place on 20 May 2019 to consider any recommendations from the Mayoralty and Honorary Freedom Selection Sub-Committee regarding the admission of former Members to the Roll of Honorary Aldermen and Alderwomen.

Minutes:

RESOLUTION: the Members AGREED to convene a Special Meeting of the Council, in accordance with paragraph 6 of Part 4A of the Constitution, to take place on 20 May 2019 to consider any recommendations form the Mayoralty and Honorary Freedom Selection Sub-Committee regarding the admission of former Members to the Roll of Honorary Aldermen and Alderwomen.

 

29/19

Council Debate Motions

To debate any motions submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.

Minutes:

Madam Mayor requested that the Chief Executive read out the first Council Debate motion made on behalf of the Administration: “Following the joint statement from the CBI & TUC, that the Brexit crisis is now a “national emergency”, this Council reaffirms our commitment to supporting all our EU citizens, protecting local jobs and the economy, and that Croydon will always celebrate our diversity and be open to all

 

Madam Mayor invited the Leader to propose the motion.

 

The Leader stated that this was not about the mistake of the referendum but rather about complex issues being reduced down into a binary in/out choice. It was highlighted that 55% of Croydon residents had voted to remain in the EU. The Leader stressed his concern about increasing hate crime in the borough and across London since the EU referendum. It was noted that the Council took pride in standing with all its residents. The support offered to the Windrush Generation was cited in example. It was therefore important for the Council to stand with EU citizens in the borough and for politicians, locally and nationally, to lead by example.  The Leader highlighted how the community had come together in Christchurch in the face of and to oppose violence. It was reported that this had been emulated at the Croydon Mosque in the wake of the events in Christchurch and had moved all who had been involved. The Leader called for hate never to divide the Croydon community. It was noted that even if Brexit were to happen there would be continued debate during the withdrawal period. It was therefore important for the Council to give out the clear message that it will not allow division and that the contribution of all was valued regardless of background.

 

Councillor Ben-Hassel seconded the motion and reserved the right to speak.

 

Councillor Quadir spoke on the motion highlighting the diversity of the borough and his belief in Croydon’s residents meaning that he did not fear Brexit. Councillor Quadir noted improvements in healthcare, record levels of employment and the increase in the minimum wage and how these are benefiting Croydon’s residents. Councillor Quadir stressed that everyone has a common goal to do what was best for Croydon and therefore reported that he was happy to support the motion.

 

Councillor Pollard, the Leader of the Conservative Group, also spoke on the motion noting that a similar motion had been discussed two months previously and that he had hoped that the terms of the Brexit withdrawal agreement would be known by this point. Councillor Pollard noted that he appreciated how destabilising it must be to EU citizens and called on Parliament to come together to find a solution. It was stressed that Croydon Conservatives joined with the Labour Group to reinforce the need to continue to be good friends with and trade with the EU. Councillor Pollard agreed with the need to stand together as one. A plea was issued to Westminster to resolve the current Brexit hiatus.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29/19

30/19

Recommendations of Cabinet to Council for Decision pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To consider the recommendations made by Cabinet since the last ordinary Council meeting relating to the adoption of the Supplementary Planning Document  - Suburban Design Guide.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Madam Mayor invited Councillor Scott, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Regeneration (job share) to move the motion relating to the adoption of the Supplementary Planning Document – Suburban Design Guide.

 

Councillor Scott introduced the new guide describing how this will help the Council, householders and developers to grow and develop new homes in the borough and end the housing crisis whilst providing the necessary additional amenities for the community. Thanks was given to the dedication of officers who produced the new guide and for the feedback received from hundreds of residents who helped shape it. A video presentation introducing the new guide was provided with all being encouraged to go online to watch this in more detail. Councillor Scott commended the Supplementary Planning Document – Suburban Design Guide for adoption.

 

Councillor Muhammad Ali seconded the motion.

 

Madam Mayor informed the Council that notification had been received from the Opposition Group of a request that these recommendations be referred back to Cabinet for further consideration. Madam Mayor requested that the Chief Executive read out the referral request in full: “We move the reference back for the adoption of the Suburban Design Guide - Supplementary Planning Document (SPD2) for further debate. The document sets out key principles at 2.2.1 which set the context that development should provide the right mix in the right location that contributes to character and minimises impact on neighbouring amenity.

 

The document that follows does not live up to these principles. It does not improve or positively contribute to character, does not allow for cumulative impact and is open to interpretation. Many hundreds of residents responded to this consultation and yet they have been widely ignored. We request that this document is referred back to Cabinet to review the responses and ensure that the document truly works for the people of Croydon

 

Madam Mayor invited Councillor Perry to move the reference of the recommendations contained in the report back to Cabinet.

 

Councillor Perry stated that it was a disappointment that responses received from the public to the consultation had not been fully considered and whilst these had been acknowledged in the design guide, very little had changed as a result. The work of officers was described as excellent and efforts to protect character were praised. However, it was highlighted that the design guide was open to interpretation and as a result this was not an evolutionary document but a revolution focused on optimisation of sites with ‘megablocks’ that would be taller, wider, deeper and with no recognition of impact on existing communities. Councillor Perry described residents as willing to accept an evolutionary approach but not supportive of a total change to what was happening in their areas. Planning policy was described as anything being allowable anywhere, whether or not it responded to the character of the area. Parking was highlighted as an issue. This was described as a necessary part of life which if decreased would have a knock-on impact. It was noted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30/19

31/19

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.”

 

Minutes:

There were no exempt items and therefore this item was not required.