Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday, 25th September, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall

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

Items
No. Item

29.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 906 KB

To sign as a true record the minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 10 July 2019 (attached).

 

Decision:

AGREED as a correct record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on 10 July 2019 were before the Council for approval.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 10 July 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

30.

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.

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest.

31.

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

To receive announcements (if any).

Minutes:

A minute’s silence was held in memory of former Councillor Harry Bygate who had sadly passed away recently. Tributes were paid to Councillor Bygate from all sides of the Chamber.

 

The Mayor also congratulated staff involved in the recent London in Bloom Awards in which Havering had been highly successful and gave congratulations and thanks to his Mayoral Support Officer who would be retiring shortly.  

 

The Leader of the Council made several announcements including that the Local Plan would be refreshed to allow New Zealand Way the same protection as Hornchurch Country Park and that the planning application for Gooshays Green would be withdrawn. Protections for the Green would also be proposed in the refresh of the Local Plan.  A report to Cabinet would also be brought forward outlining the delivery of affordable housing across Havering.

 

A consultation would be launched concerning parking charges and the work of the Highways Advisory Committee would now focus on systematically reviewing every parking restriction across havering.

 

 

32.

PETITIONS

To receive any petition presented pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 14.

 

Councillor John Mylod has given notice of intention to present a petition.

 

Decision:

Received from Councillor Mylod.

Minutes:

A petition was presented by Councillor Mylod concerning a request for traffic calming measures in Mill Park Avenue and Mavis Grove, Hornchurch.

33.

UPDATE REPORTS ON THE 2021 BUDGET AND MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY (MTFS) pdf icon PDF 125 KB

NOTE: The deadline for receipt of amendments to all reports issued with the final agenda is midnight, Monday 23 September 2019.

 

Report attached (subject to agreement by Cabinet).

Additional documents:

Decision:

Two questions by Residents’ Group and three questions by Labour Group answered by Leader of the Council.

 

Report AGREED without division.

Minutes:

It was confirmed that a report had been agreed by Cabinet at its meeting on 18 September 2019 concerning an update of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) and budget for 2020/21. The report summarised the Council’s current financial situation, updated on the MTFS and proposals to close the funding go and also gave an update on the 2019/20 capital programme.

 

Questions on the report were submitted by the Residents’ and Labour Groups and were responded to by the Leader of the Council as shown below.

 

From The Residents’ Group with reference to paragraph 1.5 of the report

 

 

Question:

1.         Would the Leader of the Council confirm why there is a £818K overspend in the Neighbourhoods budget and how this has been allowed to happen?

 

Answer:

 

The Neighbourhood Team are working to reduce the current overspend before the end of the year. The current projected overspend for the end of the year has reduced to £485k. As set out in the report, the pressure is partially due to the delayed delivery of the Keep Havering Moving Strategy. Work streams within the strategy are underway but there has been slippage in some timescales. It is not unusual for new strategies to take longer to bed in than anticipated which is why the Council holds a contingency budget and reserves.

 

There has also been a reduction in income from cremations compared to previous years.

 

The Neighbourhoods Team are identifying savings in other areas to mitigate the overspend e.g. from an over-recovery of garden waste income and lower planning and business support costs.

 

All departments aim to be within budget by the end of the year.

                                                                                                                           

 

 

Question:

2.         Would the Leader of the Council confirm what action he is taking to rectify the overspend situation in the Neighbourhoods budget?

 

Answer:

 

The Leader and the Cabinet monitor the Council’s budget on a monthly basis and hold Directors to account when there are overspends. Potential mitigations are discussed on a monthly basis.                                                                                                                 

 

 

 

 

From The Labour Group in relation to Appendix A of te report.

 

 

Question:

1.         In the service improvement programme and efficiency proposals there are 42 items listed to meet the saving target - a draft budget for each area must have been established. Please could this be added to the report so that the impact on services could be better understood by members?

 

 

Answer:

 

The proposals listed in Appendix A are to inform Councillors and other key stakeholders of the areas being considered for savings and efficiency in order to balance the budget. As explained at the Cabinet meeting on 18 September, these proposals are in the process of being fully analysed and quantified to enable recommendations to be made to the November 2019 Cabinet and ultimately to full Council in February 2020. At this stage the full analysis of each proposal has not been fully completed so it would be misleading to add figures which will inevitably change.                                                                                                                 

 

 

 

Question:

2.         A number of these items refer to the reduction in use  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

SMART WORKING PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Report attached (subject to agreement by Cabinet).

Additional documents:

Decision:

Report AGREED without division.

Minutes:

It was confirmed that a report had been agreed by Cabinet on 18 September 2019 concerning the Smart Working Programme. The report gave details of proposals for a corporate Smart Working programme across all services to advance the Council’s corporate aspirations towards becoming a digital-enabled organisation.

 

The report was APPROVED without division and it was RESOLVED:

 

That additional capital budget of up to £4.637 million be approved, funded from borrowing for the proposed rollout of the Smart Working programme, across the 19/20 and 20/21 financial years, to deliver all elements of the programme, which will support delivery of the Council’s digital and efficiency aspirations as set out within the Havering Vision and Corporate Plan and will be funded by invest to save.

 

 

35.

POLLING DISTRICT AND POLLING PLACES REVIEW pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Report of Governance Committee attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Report AGREED without division.

Minutes:

A report of Governance Committee summarised the consultation process and responses received to the recent review of parliamentary polling places and polling districts in Havering.

 

The report was AGREED without division and it was RESOLVED:

 

  • Polling District BL2 – That there are to be no changes to Brooklands Ward at this time.
  • BL5 – That Romford and Gidea Park Rugby and Football Club becomes a double station.
  • CM1 and CM2 – That there are to be no changes in the Cranham Ward at this time.
  • GS6 – Drapers Pyrgo Priory School – That there are to be no changes to the Gooshays Ward at this time.
  • HP8 – Dame Tipping School (Havering Park Ward) – That investigations be made following the suggestion at the Committee that the local Community Hall and Church Hall be considered as viable alternatives in order to potentially provide greater accessibility for all including disabled voters.  Should these venues turn out not to be suitable following investigation, the venue to revert back to the Pepperell Education Centre, as recommended in the report.
  • HT1and HT2 – That there be no changes to the Heaton Ward at this time.
  • SQ1 – The Royal Liberty School – That there be no changes to the Squirrels Heath Ward at this time.
  • ST4 – The Herons – That there be no change to this Polling Station at this time.
  • ST3 – Olive Academy. That that HOPWA House be used as an alternative Polling Station for Polling District ST3.
  • Upminster Ward – UP1, UP4 and UP6 – That there be no changes to the Upminster Ward at this time.

 

36.

BOUNDARY COMMISSION REVIEW PART 1 (COUNCIL SIZE) pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Report of Chief Executive attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Amendment by Labour Group NOT CARRIED by 42 votes to 5; amendment by Conservative Group CARRIED by 39 votes to 4.

Minutes:

A report of the Governance Committee gave details of the proposed submission by the Council to a review of the local government electoral arrangements in the London Borough of Havering. This detailed the borough’s governance arrangements, scrutiny functions and the representational role of Councillors. The Council’s submission recommended that the Council size remained at 54 Members.

 

Amendment on behalf of the Labour Group

That the report be amended as follows:

Council takes the view that in view of the population increases taking place and projected to 2025 and beyond the number of Councillors should increase from 54 to 60.

 

The summary of the report and its conclusions should be amended to delete references to “sufficient capacity and resilience in the existing cohort number”. In addition references to “limiting the financial burden on taxpayers” should also be deleted as the burden on individual residents will not increase as population increase should lead to additional Council Tax receipts i.e. each individual household should remain the same in terms the burden of tax payable.

 

In addition to the deletions above reference in report to the BCR should be made to the increase in workload for Members leading to additional Case Work in the wards with areas of deprivation and high levels of social housing. The housing developments in the areas such as South Hornchurch are likely to give rise to a significant rise in Member enquires.

 

Finally there is an inaccuracy in part  2.17 (JV Working Party). The Working Party was set up after the Local Election in 2018, it has only met on 1 occasion i.e. not “approximately two month intervals” The report be amended to read “that it is proposed to meet at two months intervals”

 

Amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group

 

The following amendments to be added under section 2.1 – the Havering Vision:

 

 

The digital council

Since the last review in 2002, there have been major advancements in ‘digital tools and solutions (which) enable councils to improve service design and delivery, to better meet the needs of their residents and improve productivity’ (LGA, 2017).

The Local Government Association’s (ibid.) article entitled, ‘Digital’, highlights that ‘as councils face the twin challenges of decreasing funding and increasing demand, they have to find new ways of using technology to deliver services more effectively and enable their staff and members to work in new ways, increasing productivity and reducing costs’.

In a digital world, more residents are choosing to interact with the Council online rather than face to face, and the authority is ever-evolving and -changing, to interact and advise residents through their preferred method of communication.

Locally, the use of technology has proved to be an enabler for a more immediate interaction with council services, staff and members. For example, the Council’s website allows transactions to be fulfilled faster and more effectively. This will continue to improve into the future, with the greater use of wider technology such as the Love Havering app and replacement of the complaints and members enquiry  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

AUTHORITY TO CHANGE FULL COUNCIL MEETING DATE pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Report attached.

Decision:

Amendment on behalf of Residents’ Group NOT CARRIED by 30 votes to 21; deemed motion on behalf of Administration AGREED without division.

Minutes:

A report of the Chief Executive proposed that the Mayor be given the authority to revise the date of the November meeting of full Council, should this be required.

 

Deemed motion on behalf of the Administration

 

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

 

Amendment on behalf of the Residents’ Group

 

That only Members of this Council agree to a change of the date of full Council. A date should only be changed in exceptional circumstances after the full details are discussed with Group Leaders.

 

Following debate, the amendment on the Residents’ Group was NOT CARRIED by 30 votes to 21 (see division 3) and the deemed motion ion behalf of the Administration was AGREED without division.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Mayor be given authority to change the November date of full Council and determine a revised date, should the need arise.

38.

MEMBERS' QUESTIONS pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

10 questions asked and answers given.

Minutes:

15 questions were asked and 9 questions responded to at the meeting. The text of all questions submitted with answers and, where asked, supplementary questions and answers is attached at appendix 1 to these minutes.  

39.

PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ON OPEN GREEN SPACES pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Attached.

Decision:

A.   PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ON OPEN GREEN SPACES

 

Procedural motion on behalf of Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Association Group to withdraw motion NOT CARRIED by 28 votes to 16.

 

Procedural motion on behalf of North Havering Residents’ Group to withdraw motion CARRIED by 30 votes to 7.

 

Amendment by Conservative Group CARRIED by 30 votes to 4; amendment by Labour Group NOT CARRIED by 30 votes to 4; amendment by Conservative Group AGREED as substantive motion, without division.

 

B.   ITEMS LEFT IN COMMUNAL RESIDENTIAL AREAS

 

Amendment by Conservative Group CARRIED by 32 votes to 5 and AGREED as substantive motion, without division.

 

C.   MINUTE’S SILENCE AT COUNCIL MEETINGS

 

Amendment by Conservative Group CARRIED by 34 votes to 3 and AGREED as substantive motion without division.

Minutes:

A procedural motion on behalf of the Independent Residents, Residents’ and Upminster and Cranham residents’ Groups to withdraw this motion was NOT CARRIED by 28 votes to 16 (see division 4).

 

A procedural motion on behalf of the North Havering Residents’ Group to withdraw that Group’s amendment was CARRIED by 30 votes to 7 (see division 5).  

 

 

Motion on behalf of the Independent Residents’, Residents’ and Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Groups

 

 

This Council views with concern the lack of protection and the rise of planning and development proposals on Havering’s high value public open green spaces. Currently at risk and under threat are the Upminster Pitch & Putt, Gooshays Green and Dover’s Farm Green.

 

Whilst we are under pressure from the Mayor of London and the Government to deliver unsustainable housing targets, our green and open spaces including green belt, must be preserved on health and wellbeing and air quality grounds. Council therefore agrees that the focus must turn to the mapping and development of the borough’s brownfield sites before consideration is given to the development of the borough’s green spaces.

 

 

Amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group

 

This Council welcomes the administration’s approach of safeguarding Havering’s Greenbelt through the local plan process and commends its programme of estate regeneration, which will deliver a significant increase in affordable housing, whilst helping to meet the current housing targets.

 

Amendment on behalf of the Labour Group

 

 

Delete the words “we are under pressure from the Mayor of London and the Government to deliver unsustainable housing targets”

 

Insert in place thereof “recognising the urgent need to increase the supply of affordable homes”

 

For clarity, amended motion would read as follows:

 

 

This Council views with concern the lack of protection and the rise of planning and development proposals on Havering’s high value public open green spaces. Currently at risk and under threat are the Upminster Pitch & Putt, Gooshays Green and Dover’s Farm Green.

 

Recognising the urgent need to increase the supply of affordable homes, our green and open spaces including green belt, must be preserved on health and wellbeing and air quality grounds. Council therefore agrees that the focus must turn to the mapping and development of the borough’s brownfield sites before consideration is given to the development of the borough’s green spaces.

 

The amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group was CARRIED by 30 votes to 4 (see division 6); the amendment on behalf of the Labour Group was NOT CARRIED by 30 votes to 4 (see division 7) and the amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group was AGREED as the substantive motion without division.

 

RESOLVED:

 

This Council welcomes the administration’s approach of safeguarding Havering’s Greenbelt through the local plan process and commends its programme of estate regeneration, which will deliver a significant increase in affordable housing, whilst helping to meet the current housing targets.

 

40.

ITEMS LEFT IN COMMUNAL RESIDENTIAL AREAS

Minutes:

Motion on behalf of the Independent Residents’ Group

 

 

Following the Grenfell disaster the government ordered local councils to review the safety of all their social housing and as a result Havering tenants were told to remove all mats and flowers from communal areas. The Council Leader (then Cabinet Member for Housing) said this followed advice from the Fire Brigade to keep communal areas clear of clutter (obstructions), but it shows an absence of common-sense for this sensible advice to be interpreted as an order to remove all mats and flowers, as these don’t undermine safety but improve tenants quality of life.

 

To assist the council in taking proportionate and appropriate safety measures this Council calls on the Executive to insist the government release details of the actual cause of the Grenfell fire, which for some reason is being withheld, and inform tenants that sensible mats and flowers are once again allowed in communal areas?

 

 

Amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group

 

 

This Council endorses the Administration’s fire safety approach to Council estates which is based upon guidance from the London Fire Brigade.

 

 

The amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group was AGREED aby 32 votes to 5 (see division 8) and AGREED as the substantive motion without division.

 

RESOLVED:

 

This Council endorses the Administration’s fire safety approach to Council estates which is based upon guidance from the London Fire Brigade.

 

 

 

41.

MINUTE'S SILENCE AT COUNCIL MEETINGS

Minutes:

Motion on behalf of the Independent Residents’ Group

 

 

It’s custom and practice for members to hold a minutes silence for former councillors, but at the Annual Meeting of Council the Mayor’s agenda papers included calling for a minute’s silence to honour those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks that took place in New Zealand and Sri Lanka! The Council Leader said it was Mayoral discretion rather than an Executive decision to mention these attacks and he fully supported the Mayor’s decision!  

 

However Council agrees extending tributes beyond former councillors can be contentious and therefore calls on the Mayor to seek agreement from group leaders beforehand to avoid the practice being brought into disrepute.

 

Amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group

 

This Council recognises the discretion of the Mayor of Havering in allowing moments of respect during meetings of Full Council; it also welcomes the minute silence in honouring the victims of New Zealand and Sri Lanka terrorist attacks.

 

 

The amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group was AGREED by 34 votes to 3 (see division 9) and AGREED as the substantive motion without division.

 

RESOLVED:

 

This Council recognises the discretion of the Mayor of Havering in allowing moments of respect during meetings of Full Council; it also welcomes the minute silence in honouring the victims of New Zealand and Sri Lanka terrorist attacks.

 

42.

VOTING RECORD pdf icon PDF 206 KB

Minutes:

The record of voting decisions is attached at appendix 2 to these minutes.