Agenda and minutes

Council
Monday, 15th July, 2019 6.30 pm

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

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

Items
No. Item

41/19

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 20May 2019 as an accurate record.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 May 2019 were agreed as an accurate record.

 

 

 

42/19

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 pecuninary interests. Members confirmed their disclosure of interest forms were accurate and up-to-date.

 

 

 

43/19

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:

The Leader, Councillor Newman, provided the Council with an urgent update regarding those services for which there was no recourse to public funds, specifically citing the example of the lack of funding for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children which left a £17m hole in the Council’s budget. It was reported that London Councils, comprising all parties across all London boroughs, was supportive of Croydon’s approach in taking a tough position with the Government. This was to continue as part of the anticipated local government spending review and reflected the Council’s determination to ensure fair funding for Croydon and its vulnerable children and young people.

 

 

 

44/19

Announcements

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

Minutes:

The Mayor, Councillor Kabir, provided Council with his announcements. It was noted that he had undertaken 93 Mayoral events during the preceding seven weeks including a multi faith remembrance event with the Croydon Sri Lankan Society for the victims and families of the Easter Sunday terror attacks. The Mayor had also hosted an international business delegation and was hopeful of successful working relationships as a result. Members were encouraged to participate in the Mayor’s forthcoming fundraising activities and a Mayoral newsletter providing more information on his activities was anticipated.

 

The Mayor then took the opportunity to acknowledge Colonel McRobbie who had recently retired after 23 years of service as Croydon’s Deputy Lieutenant. The Colonel was warmly thanked for the invaluable support and guidance he had given to Councillors and Council officers on many areas of civic life. His role in establishing the Military Community Covenant in Croydon and involvement in the organisation of the borough’s Remembrance and Armistice commemorations was noted along with his work with a number of Croydon charities including Home-Start Croydon, of which he was the Chair.

 

The Mayor invited the Leader, Councillor Newman, to make his own tribute to Colonel McRobbie. The Leader ascribed the many attendances at events in Croydon by members of the Royal Family to the Colonel’s success as Deputy Lieutenant along with his achievement in raising £1.5m for local charities. The Colonel was described as part of the fabric of Croydon who would be very much missed.

 

Councillor Tim Pollard, the Leader of the Opposition Group, was also asked by the Mayor to make a speech in honour of the Colonel. In this, Councillor Pollard noted that the Colonel had worked with 26 Mayors and would be particularly remembered for his contribution to the Remembrance Day parade. He was described as having made an immense contribution to Croydon and was wished a long and happy retirement.

 

The Mayor provided the Colonel with a gift in thanks and invited him to make a speech in response. The Colonel apologised for not being able to attend Annual Council and offered his thanks for the kind words that had been spoken. He noted how much he had enjoyed the honour of working with Croydon and that it had been wonderful to work with all 26 Mayors. The Colonel described how he had reached out to many Councillors and officers and had always been provided with support, particularly in connection with the honours process. He reiterated his thanks for having received the Freedom of Borough and stated that he would maintain his links with the borough.

 

 

 

45/19

The Croydon Debate pdf icon PDF 98 KB

a)    Borough Petition Debate

For Members to debate a Borough Petition.

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Council that a Borough Petition had been received for Debate. As required by the Constitution in order to be valid, this had been reviewed in accordance with the provisions in Part 4A of the Constitution. As a result it was determined that some wording of the original petition was invalid due to a lack of material accuracy and it having been debated by Council in the previous six months.

 

The Mayor asked the Chief Executive to read out the permitted wording of the petition: “We the undersigned call on Croydon Council to pursue a brownfield First policy”.

 

The Mayor invited the Lead Petitioner, Mr Sony Nair, to address Council. Mr Nair explained that whilst the need for more housing was understood across the borough it was asked that this be developed in a tasteful and appropriate way in order to preserve Croydon for the future. It was stressed that by law Croydon was required to have a brownfield land register and that this should be given the priority for development. It was asked that those making planning decisions listen to local people who felt planning permission was being given disproportionality for intensification of Croydon’s suburbs. Croydon was described as wonderful and the Council was called on to act to ensure this remained the case for future generations.

 

The Mayor called on Councillor Scott, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Regeneration (Job Share) to respond. The Cabinet Member highlighted the housing crisis that was affecting Croydon meaning that there simply was not enough housing to meet needs with extra homes urgently needed. It was noted that all those attending the meeting were Croydon residents and were at the Council meeting because they cared about their local area. However, providing for the accommodation needs of all of Croydon’s residents meant the provision of new homes and consequently that every Croydon neighbourhood needed to change and grow. Councillor Scott described how thousands of new homes were being built in the town centre. Conversely, Croydon’s Brownfield register was full of open retail and employment sites. Croydon did not have lots of derelict sites that could be used for building the new homes needed. Technically, Croydon did have a Brownfield first policy as the definition of Brownfield includes sites which have been subject to any previous development including residential homes.  A Brownfield only policy would actually mean all development would be in the suburbs. However, the Administration felt that a gradual change would be much more preferable enabling planning policy to respect and enhance the local character of Croydon’s communities. It was highlighted that work was happening to look at schemes to avoid intensification.

 

Councillor Perry, who was called by the Mayor to speak on the motion, expressed his disappointment that the motion had been amended using constitutional rules. The Administration was described as not listening or caring and that Croydon residents were suffering as a result of planning policy that was determined locally rather than nationally. Councillor Perry noted that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45/19

46/19

Croydon Question Time pdf icon PDF 68 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:

The Mayor explained that Croydon Question Time would commence with thirty minutes of public questions to the Leader and Cabinet Members with preference being given to those who had questions who were in attendance at the meeting.

 

Croydon resident, Mr Bernard Mickelburgh asked the Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Regeneration (Job Share) about the ambiguity of the parking signage at the Surrey Street Pedestrian Zone.  Councillor King responded that he would be brief given that he had previously answered the same question at a recent Council meeting. It was stressed that the signage was correct, legal and this had been checked a number of times with officers.

 

In his supplementary question, Mr Mickelburgh asked why 22,000 Penalty Charge Notices had therefore been issued for this area. In response, the Cabinet Member noted that the use of Automated Number Plate Recognition technology to enforce the parking policy and restrictions had enabled enforcement to be more effective. It was also noted that changes to the parking restrictions in the area had been introduced to prevent parking by those using night clubs in the area affecting market traders from setting up in the early morning. It was also explained that adjudications had found in favour of the Council almost 80% of the time.

 

Mr Peter Underwood asked the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources by when the Croydon Pension fund would achieve its objective of completely divesting of its investments linked to carbon. In response, Councillor Hall promised to provide precise details outside of the meeting but noted that a clear commitment had been made. It was noted that the Pension Committee was working with the London CIV, the pool through which investments had to be made, to identify suitable products whilst also providing the returns to which pensioners were entitled.

 

In his supplementary question, Mr Underwood stated that the Council would be judged by its deeds and not words. He suggest that no real progress had been made in achieving the object of carbon divestment. In response, Councillor Hall emphasised that the instruction had been given to divest and that this was clearly stated in the investment strategy. However, given the size of the Pension Fund (£1.2billion) this would take some time to implement. The Cabinet Member stated that he would be happy to provide regular updates on achieving this objective at every full Council meeting.

 

Croydon resident, Mr Kosta Dexiades asked the Cabinet Member for Clean Green Croydon by when fly tipping was going to be cleared in the borough. He highlighted the issue of rubbish being dumped by the borough’s trees and called for prosecutions to be used. In response, Councillor Collins noted that he had previously met with Mr Dexiades to discuss fly tipping in Ampere Way. It was described how an enforcement exercise had recently been conducted in that area leading to a Penalty Charge Notice being issued. The Cabinet Member stressed that whilst previously there had been no prosecutions for littering there had recently been 232  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46/19

47/19

Governance Review Panel pdf icon PDF 2 MB

For Members to receive an update report and presentation on the work of the Governance Review Panel.

Minutes:

The recommendations contained in the Governance Review Panel were subject to the Guillotine procedure as detailed in para 3.3 of Part 4A of the Council’s Constitution, put immediately to the vote and were approved.

 

RESOLVED: Council AGREED the recommendations in the report to:

 

1.    Note the work undertaken to date and activities planned by the Panel; and

2.    Agree to extend the completion date of the Panel’s review, to report their recommendations to all Members in December 2019 and note the Panel’s increased membership as detailed in paragraph 3 of the report.

 

 

48/19

Member Petitions pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To receive notice of petitions presented by Members on behalf of local residents.

Minutes:

The Member petitions from Councillors Bains, Fitzsimons and Ryan were subject to the Guillotine procedure as detailed in para 3.3 of Part 4A of the Council’s Constitution. These were noted by the Mayor who stated that he would ensure that the Members would receive written responses within three weeks which would also be published on the Council’s website.

 

 

49/19

Annual Reports pdf icon PDF 462 KB

For Members to receive the following annual reports for 2018 – 2019:

 

a.    Scrutiny and Overview Committee;

b.    Corporate Parenting Panel;

c.    General Purposes and Audit Committee; and

d.    Health and Wellbeing Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Scrutiny and Overview Committee

 

The Mayor invited the Chairs of each of those bodies presenting Annual Reports to introduce these to Council initially asking Councillor Fitzsimons in his capacity as Chair of the Scrutiny and Overview Committee and Health and Social Care Scrutiny Sub-Committee to speak. Councillor Fitzsimons highlighted key achievements were that scrutiny was being conducted on a cross party basis, there was adherence to the principles of good scrutiny to hold the executive and senior officers to account. In total, 24 meetings had been held with all Cabinet Members being subject to a dedicated question time and the Leader being subject to two question times. There had been one call-in during the year on the subject of the purchase of the freehold of Croydon Park Hotel. Scrutiny had been used effectively to undertake pre-decision scrutiny of the policy on the night time economy and violence reduction. Overall, scrutiny had generated 118 recommendations all of which had been accepted. Twenty six residents had actively participated in the scrutiny process. Croydon was actively participating in the Joint Health Committees and had taken an active and detailed involvement following the Children’s Services Ofsted inspection. Councillor Fitzsimons described how new national scrutiny guidance had finally been released in May 2019 which was well timed with Croydon’s own Governance Review.  The Councillor went on to anticipate a focus for scrutiny on timely access to information, undertaking more pre-decision scrutiny and developing a more transparent decision-making structure. He was pleased to commend the report.

 

Councillor Ward was invited to speak by the Mayor in his capacity as Chair of the Children and Young People Sub-Committee. It was described how the preceding year had been busy, with a new team delivering a major change programme resulting in additional meetings and visits to different settings including schools and Pupil Referral Units. It was described how users had attended Sub-Committee meetings with a positive impact. It was highlighted that scrutiny of Children’s Services had been a priority and as such was covered in detail in the Annual Report. A task and finish group was undertaking in-depth scrutiny on children coming off the school roll. Thanks was given to the scrutiny team in addition to those Councillors and officers who had appeared before the Sub-Committee with specific mention being given to Councillor Fitzsimons for his support. Councillor Ward closed by appealing to more Councillors to come to meetings and to participate in visits.

 

Councillor Ben-Hassel was invited by the Mayor to speak in her capacity as the Chair of the Streets, Environment and Homes Sub-Committee. The Councillor stressed that she was new in the role, having been elected shortly before the start of the municipal year. She expressed her commitment to bring as many members of the public into the scrutiny process as possible and that she had already found it enlightening when residents had the opportunity to talk to rail operators. It was planned to build on the work of Councillor Fitzsimons and to continue the work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49/19

50/19

Constitution Report pdf icon PDF 94 KB

For Members to receive a report and recommendations with proposed updates to the Council’s Constitution.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The recommendations contained in the Constitution Amendments report were subject to the Guillotine procedure as detailed in para 3.3 of Part 4A of the Council’s Constitution, put immediately to the vote and were approved.

 

RESOLVED: Council AGREED the recommendations in the report to:

 

1.    Approve the amendments to the Constitution detailed in sections 3 and 4 of the report and detailed more specifically in Appendices 1 and 2; and

2.    To note the updated Corporate Parenting Panel terms of reference in Appendix 3 and that these will be appended to the Constitution for Members’ ease of reference.

 

 

 

51/19

Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Care Plan pdf icon PDF 1 MB

For Members to receive a report and recommendations regarding the adoption of a Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Care Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The recommendations contained in the Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Care Plan report were subject to the Guillotine procedure as detailed in para 3.3 of Part 4A of the Council’s Constitution, put immediately to the vote and were approved.

 

RESOLVED: Council AGREED the recommendations in the report to:

 

1.    Agree the Health and Wellbeing Strategy (“the Strategy”) for the Borough (Appendix 1);

2.    Agree Croydon’s Health and Care Transformation Plan (“the Plan”) which is the delivery plan of the Strategy (Appendix 2);

3.    Delegate authority to the Health and Wellbeing Board, once Full Council has approved the Health and Wellbeing strategy for the relevant period, to agree the delivery plans of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy;

4.    Delegate to the Health and Wellbeing Board the authority to and responsibility for monitoring the delivery plans in fulfilment of the Strategy, the outcome of which shall be reported back to full Council as part of the annual report of the Board;

5.    Authorise the Monitoring Officer to make consequential changes to the Constitution, Part 4 L, contingent upon the delegations in recommendation 1.4 and 1.5 above;

 

 

52/19

Council Debate Motions

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

Minutes:

The Mayor requested that the Chief Executive read out the first Council Debate Motion made on behalf of the Administration: “This Council fully recognises the importance of all our residents living in the Private Rented Sector and their right to healthy, safe and secure accommodation.  We also note the rise in the numbers of families, older people and those living on lower incomes in this sector.  Nothing can be more important than the place you call home and given the support from landlords, tenants and other residents, the Council recommends that all necessary steps are taken to ensure there is a renewed landlords’ licensing scheme beyond 2020”.

 

The Mayor invited Councillor Butler, the Cabinet Member for Home and Gateway Services, to propose the motion. The Cabinet Member stressed that there was nothing more important than having a home. Councillor Butler described the increase in numbers in privately rented homes and how there were landlords who took pride in their business and those who didn’t. The importance of the Council holding landlords to account was stressed; those in the private rented sector should be open to the same scrutiny as social landlords. The importance of allowing concerns with how properties were managed to be raised was noted and that this was about ensuring housing was safe. The Cabinet Member explained that the majority of landlords pay £350 for a five year registration to the Landlords’ Licensing Scheme. This allowed important advice to be given to some landlords whilst others had been banned from renting their properties and some homes had been judged too small for renting.

 

The Cabinet Member detailed how the Landlords’ Licensing Scheme provided powers of entry and the ability to tackle issues at a time of considerable cuts. The scheme allowed macro information on the scale of the private rented sector to be collected on which basis it could be determined where intervention was needed. It also allowed the Council to work in partnership with the private rented sector to address issues such as anti-social behaviour, demonstrating the Council was listening to landlords and on their side. The Cabinet Member recommended the motion to the Members of Council.

 

Councillor Clark seconded the motion and reserved the right to speak.

 

The Mayor invited Councillor Hale to speak on the motion who noted that the scheme had been based on a selected consultation conducted in 2015 and had subsequently failed to drive up quality or to address anti-social behaviour effectively. Councillor Hale noted that the 36,000 registrations had raised £15m but that thus far the scheme had not been evaluated and so it was not possible to demonstrate the positives of the scheme. The call to make the scheme robust and targeted based on an evaluation was made. Councillor Hale described how 20% of those in housing covered by the scheme had raised issues but that only 19 financial penalties had been imposed as a result of the scheme and just two licenses revoked. Whilst this was evidence  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52/19

53/19

Recommendations of Cabinet or Committees to Council for decision pdf icon PDF 331 KB

To consider the recommendations made by Cabinet or Committees since the last ordinary Council meeting relating to the following matters:

 

1.     Cabinet: adoption of the Croydon Libraries Plan 2019 – 20;

2.     Ethics Committee: amendments to the Protocol on Staff-Member relations; and

3.     Cabinet: adoption of the revised Tenders and Contracts Regulations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor invited the Leader, Councillor Newman, to move the recommendations contained in the Climate Change report. The Leader moved the recommendations stating that these were needed to respond to the public health and ecological emergency being caused by climate change and would ensure action to address climate change would be embedded straight into the policy making process. It was emphasised that this wasn’t about charging more for parking permits for larger vehicles but rather about the young and elderly being admitted to hospital with breathing related difficulties and other health concerns linked to air quality.

 

The Leader emphasised that the purpose of the recommendations wasn’t just about addressing the effects of climate change in Croydon but about acknowledging what happened locally could also affect communities around the world with reference being made to flooding in places such as Bangladesh. It was stressed that the recommendations would allow the needs of future generations to be put before shareholder gains and that it was time for action in Croydon, on which basis the Leader stated that he was proud to move the recommendations.

 

The recommendations in the report were seconded by Councillor King, the Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Regeneration (Job-Share).

 

The Mayor informed the Members of Council that in accordance with Part 4A of the Constitution, notification had been received from the Majority Group of its request for the Climate Change recommendations to be deferred for debate. The Chief Executive read the referral request: “We move the amendment of recommendation 1.5 to reflect the declaration of a climate change and ecological emergency”.

 

The Mayor invited Councillor Sirisena to move the amendment to the recommendations contained in the report. Councillor Sirisena explained how it was the action that would be taken immediately that would ensure the survival of the planet and was an intergenerational mission. It was highlighted that there was a need to do locally what must be done nationally. A Green New Deal for Croydon was described and it was stressed how this couldn’t be imposed from above but rather needed to be developed in partnership with local residents. Councillor Sirisena envisioned workers, employers, unions and residents working together to develop a Green Deal that would also deliver well paid jobs and bring Green Industry and pride to Croydon. It was noted that this would see a move away from the domination of the carbon industry with congratulations being given to the administrators of the Croydon Pension Fund who had already signalled their intention to make this change. It was suggested that Croydon could set-up its own green energy firm as had been done by Islington Council. Councillor Sirisena called for a borough-wide consensus to prioritise spending on green energy and to build solidarity across all communities. It was noted that it was black communities who were suffering most from the effects of poor air quality and therefore how those communities should be front and centre of a Green New Deal which was required to achieve racial equality  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53/19

54/19

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:

The motion was not required.