Agenda, decisions and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Anthony Clements tel: 01708 433065  Email: anthony.clements@oneSource.co.uk

Items
No. Item

52.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 660 KB

To sign as a true record the minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 21 November 2018 (attached).

 

Amendment on behalf of Independent Residents’ Group

 

 

AMENDMENT:- The show of hands voting record for votes 4, 5 and 6 are unreliable and should be deleted from table and replaced in minutes with:- Motion C Amendment by IRG  NOT CARRRIED by a majority, motion by Conservative Group CARRIED without division. Motion E Amendment by Conservative Group CARRIED by a majority and AGREED as substantive motion without division. Motion F Amendment by Conservative Group CARRIED by a majority and AGREED as substantive motion without division.

 

EXPLANATION. At last Council the voting machine broke and votes 4, 5 and 6 was by show of hands. On vote 4 anti-Semitism the published record shows the IRG amendment was lost by 43 to 3 with 8 abstentions. The minutes shows all Con/HW3, UPRA, RA voting against the amendment, all Labour and 3 IRG abstaining and 3 IRG voting in favour of the amendment and the substantive motion was agreed without a vote.

 

However on the webcast the Democratic Services Officer announces vote 4 was lost by 40 to 3. As this is a clear discrepancy and as it can now be no longer certain how everyone voted by show of hands the voting record for vote 4, 5 and 6 in the table needs to be deleted and the minutes changed.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Amendment by Independent Residents’ Group NOT CARRIED by 37 votes to 15; minutes AGREED as a correct record.

Minutes:

Amendment on behalf of Independent Residents’ Group

 

 

AMENDMENT:- The show of hands voting record for votes 4, 5 and 6 are unreliable and should be deleted from table and replaced in minutes with:- Motion C Amendment by IRG  NOT CARRRIED by a majority, motion by Conservative Group CARRIED without division. Motion E Amendment by Conservative Group CARRIED by a majority and AGREED as substantive motion without division. Motion F Amendment by Conservative Group CARRIED by a majority and AGREED as substantive motion without division.

 

EXPLANATION. At last Council the voting machine broke and votes 4, 5 and 6 was by show of hands. On vote 4 anti-Semitism the published record shows the IRG amendment was lost by 43 to 3 with 8 abstentions. The minutes shows all Con/HW3, UPRA, RA voting against the amendment, all Labour and 3 IRG abstaining and 3 IRG voting in favour of the amendment and the substantive motion was agreed without a vote.

 

However on the webcast the Democratic Services Officer announces vote 4 was lost by 40 to 3. As this is a clear discrepancy and as it can now be no longer certain how everyone voted by show of hands the voting record for vote 4, 5 and 6 in the table needs to be deleted and the minutes changed.

 

The amendment on behalf of the Independent Residents’ Group was NOT CARRIED by 37 votes to 16 (see division 1).

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 21 November 2018 be agreed as a correct record.

53.

DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS

Members are invited to disclose any interest in any of the items on the agenda at this point of the meeting. 

 

Members may still disclose any interest in an item at any time prior to the consideration of the matter.

 

Decision:

There were no disclosures of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

54.

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE MAYOR, BY THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL OR BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE

To receive announcements (if any).

Minutes:

The Mayor made announcements concerning:

 

·         The Havering entry achieving second place in the New Year’s Day Parade

·         The forthcoming Mayor’s variety show

 

The Leader of the Council made some announcements concerning:

 

·         Thanking staff and residents who had worked on the New Year’s Day parade entry

·         The Council’s cold weather protocol

·         Christmas entertainment that took place in Romford market

·         The Joint Venture regeneration work in the borough

·         The receipt of funding for improved internet connection in the south of the borough

·         The Holocaust Memorial Day service, 27 January

 

55.

PETITIONS

 

To receive any petition presented pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 23.

 

Councillors Clarence Barrett, Jeffrey Tucker, Philippa Crowder and Denis O’Flynn have given notice of intention to present a petition.

Decision:

Received from Councillors Barrett, Tucker, Philippa Crowder and O’Flynn.

Minutes:

The following petitions were presented:

 

By Councillor Barrett relating to parking provision in Plover Gardens, Cranham

By Councillor Tucker relating to Chafford Sports Complex

By Councillor Philippa Crowder relating to traffic issues in Havering Road and Mashiters Hill

By Councillor O’Flynn relating to proposed budget cuts impacting on Havering Music School

56.

BRIDGE CLOSE, ROMFORD - PURCHASE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES ON WATERLOO ROAD AND OLDCHURCH ROAD pdf icon PDF 69 KB

NOTE: The deadline for receipt of all amendments to reports including nominations relating to the report at agenda item 12 is midnight, Monday 21 January.

 

Report attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Report agreed without division.

Minutes:

A report of Cabinet recommended the purchase of all residential properties in the Bridge Close area not already in Council or Joint Venture public ownership and that these be acquitted in accordance with the terms of the Joint Venture legal agreement signed in April 2018. This required the agreement by Council of an adjustment to the HRA Capital Programme to provide sufficient funding for the council to acquire the privately owned residential properties through private treaty.

 

The report was AGREED without division.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Council agree to include sufficient financial provision as set out in Appendix A of the report to Cabinet on 29 November 2018 to enable the private treaty purchase of the 23 residential properties on Waterloo Road and Oldchurch Road, Romford.

 

57.

UPDATE ON THE COUNCIL TAX SUPPORT SCHEME 2019 AND COUNCIL TAX SURCHARGE ON EMPTY HOMES pdf icon PDF 17 KB

Report attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Amendment by Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Group NOT CARRIED by 29 votes to 24; deemed motion by Administration CARRIED by 29 votes to 24.

Minutes:

A report of Cabinet gave details of the proposed Council Tax Support Scheme from 1 April 20196 as well as of a proposal to increase from 50% to 100% the surcharge rate of Council Tax for properties that have been empty for more than two years, with effect from 1 April 2019.

 

In accordance with Schedule 1A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, Council was asked to consider and approve the proposed Council Tax Support Scheme to take effect from 1 April 2019. In addition to the Cabinet papers, the full proposed Council Tax Support Scheme was included in the Council agenda papers, for Members’ information.

 

Deemed motion on behalf of the Administration

That the report be adopted and its recommendations carried into effect.

Amendment by the Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Associations Group

That recommendations 1 and 2 of the Cabinet report be replaced with the following:

  1. Given the adverse response to the consultation, along with the stated negative equality impacts on claimants, Council agrees the Council Tax Support Scheme remains unchanged for 2019/20 with a continued contribution of 15% towards the Council Tax Bills from eligible working age claimants.

 

  1. Approve and recommend to Council an increase from 50% to 100% as a surcharge rate of Council Tax for the properties that have been empty for more than two years with effect from 1 April 2019.

 

Following debate, the amendment by the Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Association Group was NOT CARRIED by 29 votes to 24 (see division 2) and the deemed motion on behalf of the Administration was CARRIED by 29 votes to 24 (see division 3).

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. That the proposed Council Tax Support Scheme as summarised in Appendix C of the Cabinet report of 29 November 2018 be adopted, with effect from 1 April 2019.
  2. That an increase from 50% to 100% as a surcharge rate of Council Tax for the properties that have been empty for more than two years be agreed, with effect from 1 April 2019.

 

 

 

58.

COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULES pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Report attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Procedural motion that the report be referred back to Governance Committee AGREED without division.

Minutes:

A report of Governance Committee proposed some changes to the Council Procedure Rules aimed at improving the efficient and effective conduct of business transacted at meetings of full Council within the time available. This included amending the number of Council meetings held each year, limited the consideration of Council questions at the meeting to a maximum of 45 minutes and of motions to a maximum of 75 minutes.

 

Deemed motion on behalf of the Administration

That the report be adopted and its recommendations carried into effect.

 

Amendment by the Residents Group

That all the recommendations contained in the report be replaced with the following:

 

This Council agrees to a cross party review of the Council Procedures Rules with a view to reporting back to the next Governance Committee in March 2019 with any suggested changes.  

 

A procedural motion that the report be referred back to Governance Committee to allow further consideration of the issues was AGREED without division.

 

59.

ALLOCATION OF SEATS ON THE COMMITTEES OF THE COUNCIL pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Report attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Report agreed without division.

Minutes:

A report of the Chief Executive sought to address a recent change in the make-up of the Council and the effect on allocation of committee seats caused by Councillor Wallace ceasing to be a member of the Conservative group and becoming and independent member of the Council.

 

The report was AGREED without division and it was RESOLVED:

 

That the seat allocation for political balance as set out in appendix 1 to these minutes be agreed.

60.

VACANCIES FOR THE POSITIONS OF CHAIRMAN, STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE AND VICE-CHAIR, PENSIONS COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Report attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Councillor Jason Frost ELECTED as Chairman, Strategic Planning Committee by 29 votes to 20; Councillor Martin Goode ELECTED as Vice-Chair, Pensions Committee by 28 votes to 25.

Minutes:

A report of the Chief Executive advised that following the resignation of Councillor Melvin Wallace from the Conservative Group, vacancies had arisen for the positions of Chairman of Strategic Planning Committee and Vice Chairman of Pensions Committee and that nominations be received for these positions.

 

The following votes were recorded for the vacant positions:

 

A.   Chairman, Strategic Planning Committee

 

Councillor Jason Frost

30 votes

Councillor Graham Williamson

20 votes

 

(see division 4)

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor Jason Frost be appointed Chairman, Strategic planning Committee

 

 

B.   Vice-Chair, Pensions Committee

 

Councillor Martin Goode

28 votes

Councillor Stephanie Nunn

25 votes

 

(see division 5)

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor Martin Goode be appointed Vice-Chair, Pensions Committee

61.

MEMBERS' QUESTIONS pdf icon PDF 234 KB

To follow.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Fifteen questions asked and answers given.

Minutes:

Fifteen questions were asked and replies given. The text of all questions submitted and their answers, as well as a summary of the supplementary questions and answers is shown as appendix 2 to these minutes.

62.

USE OF BUS LANES BY MOTOR CYCLES

Minutes:

Motion on behalf of the Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Associations Group

 

While motorcyclists make up 1% of traffic volume across London, they account for 27% of all killed and seriously injured casualties, with 33 fatalities over the last year.

 

Permitted use of bus lanes across London is inconsistent with some councils allowing motorcyclists to use the lanes, some not (Havering do not), and some partially.

 

Allowing motorcyclists to use bus lanes would not only improve the safety of motorcyclists and other road users but would add clarity over the potential to receive a £160 fine for entering a bus lane which may change from one borough to the next.

 

While this would ideally be a London wide aspiration, this Council calls upon the Executive to undertake measures, including the necessary consultations, to allow motorcyclists to use bus lanes in Havering.

 

Amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group

 

Amend motion to read:

 

This Council recognises the different approaches across London and calls upon the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Sub-Committee to investigate the matter and report back to the Cabinet in due course. In readiness for that report, Council also calls upon the Mayor of London to bring forward guidance on the use of bus lanes by non-bus traffic as to create a consistent approach across the capital.

 

The amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group was CARRIED by 53 votes to 0 (see division 6) and AGREED as the substantive motion, without division.

 

RESOLVED:

 

This Council recognises the different approaches across London and calls upon the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Sub-Committee to investigate the matter and report back to the Cabinet in due course. In readiness for that report, Council also calls upon the Mayor of London to bring forward guidance on the use of bus lanes by non-bus traffic as to create a consistent approach across the capital.

 

 

63.

SIZE OF PLANNING COMMITTEES

Minutes:

Motion on behalf of the Independent Residents’ Group

The March 7th Governance meeting and subsequent March 21st Council approved a Governance report proposing changes to the council’s planning regime. The report included a recommendation to create two planning committees, a Strategic Planning committee with 7 members and a Planning committee with 11 members, but did say the actual size of the committees (and all committees) would be a matter for Annual Council on May 23rd.

 

At Annual Council it was proposed to create two size 8 planning committees as part of item 9 on the Council agenda. Item 9 was approved without debate following a procedural motion to go vote only. Following the meeting the Monitoring Officer advised the creation of size 8 committees was to “assist with proportionality”, except it doesn’t and neither does the Planning Advisory Service provide specific advice on size of committees.

 

Due to the quasi-judicial importance of planning committees, the overall creation of two new planning committee positions is welcome, however this motion calls upon Council to agree to change the size of the two planning committees from size 8 to size 7 (strategic) and 11 (planning) as recommended in the approved March 7th  Governance Committee report, subsequently approved at March 21st Council.

 

Council is further asked to agree to increase the total number of seats on committee to 136 (from 134), and to ensure political balance rules are adhered to, agrees to the allocation of seats as set out in the appendix to this motion.

 

Amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group

 

This Council notes the decision taken by full council on 23rd May this year to establish the committees of the authority having regard to political balance.

 

 

This motion was withdrawn by the Independent Residents’ Group and resubmitted to the March 2019 meeting of Council.

64.

SEXUAL HARRASSMENT

Minutes:

Motion on behalf of the Independent Residents’ Group

 

Senior councillors and officers recently held the LGBT flag in front of the Town Hall, albeit up-side down, to mark LGBT month. The Council Leader attended this worthy event, but Council now calls on the Executive to show support for the female and wider community by condemning sexual harassment, bullying and misogyny?

 

Amendment on behalf of the Labour Group

 

Delete the motion and insert the following in its place:

 

This Council condemn all forms of sexual harassment, bullying and misogyny and reaffirms its commitment to upholding the Equality Acts and those protected by its provisions.

 

Amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group

 

This Council welcomes the steps taken by the administration in spreading inclusion through the adoption of the first community cohesion strategy of Havering Council and looks forward to the official launch of the community cohesion strategy and engagement forum. Furthermore, this Council notes that the LGBT flag will be flown at the Town Hall to mark the start of LGBT month.

 

This motion was withdrawn by the Independent Residents’ Group.

65.

PARKING MACHINES

Minutes:

Motion on behalf of the Independent Residents’ Group

 

Parking meters cost money to remove, buy and install. A few years ago the council removed the old flag meters and replaced them with 215 digital machines costing between £4000 - £5000 each. The councils new parking strategy proposals include removing, at a cost, of £70,000 154 machines valued @ between £616,000 - £770,000 and converting the remaining 61 to cashless card/phone machines at a cost of £244,000!

 

As this reduces maintenance costs it’s forecast, by reducing staff, to make an annual revenue saving of £244,000 which means it will take over 4 years of revenue saving to recoup the £1m capital cost of removing and converting the parking meters.

 

However going cashless will deter many people from parking and these upgraded machines will still be subject to vandalism and so could result in a big drop in income! And staff reductions could mean no enforcement of parking restrictions in the areas where machines have been removed, to the detriment of local shops.

 

Council calls on the Executive to drop these proposals as a false economy as going cashless will reduce income and result in deserted shopping centres and parades outside Romford.   

 

Amendment on behalf of the Labour Group

 

Delete the motion and insert the following in its place:

 

The Council recognises the benefits of cashless card/phone parking machines and calls on the Executive to incorporate within its new parking proposals the replacement of exiting machines with the gradual introduction of cashless machines.

 

Amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group

 

 

This Council welcomes the proposed upgrading of parking park and display machines across the borough as part of the new parking strategy; and welcomes the addition of contactless payment to reduce running costs and to provide greater ease for users.

 

Following debate, the amendment on behalf of the Labour Group was NOT CARRIED by 33 votes to 14 (see division 7); the amendment by the Conservative Group was CARRIED by 32 votes to 16 (see division 8) and the amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group was CARRIED by 31 votes to 15 (see division 9).

66.

VOTING RECORD pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Minutes:

The record of voting decisions is attached as appendix 3 to these minutes.