Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Wednesday, 27th February, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Penelope Williams  Email: penelope.williams@enfield.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

The Mayor's Chaplain to give a Blessing

Minutes:

The Mayor’s Chaplain, Dede, Ali Dereli, and Greg Ryan from the Alevi community gave the blessing. 

2.

Mayor's Announcements in Connection with the Ordinary Business of the Council

Minutes:

The Mayor welcomed everyone to the meeting.  

 

1.            Death of Former Councillor and Freeman of the Borough – Brian Grayston

 

The Mayor regretfully advised members of the death of freeman of the borough and former councillor, Mr Brian Grayston, who had passed away on Friday 15 February 2019. 

 

She sent members’ thoughts and prayers to his family and friends, and invited Councillor Taylor to say a few words in remembrance. 

 

Councillor Taylor praised Brian Grayston and the contribution he had made to the borough, particularly in the field of education.  He had first joined the Council in 1961 and had been elected to the Council on 6 separate occasions including as a founder member of the new borough of Enfield in 1964. 

 

Brian Grayston had been a powerful orator, a true socialist, committed to social change, equality of opportunity and fairness.  He had believed in public service and its ability to empower and improve.  He had made a real difference in Enfield, not only on the Council, but also through his work with Enfield in Bloom.

 

Councillor Vince echoed the comments of Councillor Taylor and said that although she did not agree with his politics, she had respected Brian Grayston and recognised his care for the children of Enfield.  Her memories included a very dapper dresser and she had personally appreciated his calm support when they had travelled together to a conference in Ashford, returning in monsoon rain. 

 

Councillor Achilleas Georgiou said Brian Grayston had been fiery and full of passion.  A lasting memory he had had of Brian Grayston had been the speech he had made at the last Council before the 1994 elections which, Achilleas Georgiou had thought, was one of the best speeches he had ever heard.  He had spoken with such heartfelt passion about education. 

 

Brian Grayston had been Mr Education, as well as a good friend.  Councillor Georgiou had personally learnt a lot from him and he hoped that members would raise a glass to him in the parlour, after the meeting. 

 

A minute’s silence was held in his memory. 

 

2.            Thank yous

 

The Mayor began, as this was her last formal Council meeting as chair, by thanking the Council officers and her fellow councillors for the hard work that had gone into the preparations for the evening and into all previous Council meetings.

 

The Mayor thanked all the members of the community that she had met during her term as Mayor:  the many individuals who worked tirelessly and voluntarily for the community that had touched her heart.  She commended the work that they did saying without these people, many vulnerable and isolated residents would suffer quietly.  She sent them her best wishes. 

 

3.            Together we are Enfield

 

The Mayor spoke about her show “Together We Are Enfield” which had taken place at Millfield Theatre on the previous evening.  For the last few months she had been busy producing the show with Platinum Performing Arts.  It had been a very successful evening, completely sold  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

Minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 243 KB

To receive and agree the minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2019. 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2019 were confirmed as a correct record. 

4.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Aydin, Eren, Hayward, Hockney and Uddin and for lateness from Councillor Elif Erbil. 

5.

Declaration of Interests

Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non pecuniary interests relating to items on the agenda. 

Minutes:

Before inviting members to declare any interests, the Mayor asked Jeremy Chambers (Director Law and Governance) to make a short statement on the declaration of interests’ requirements, in relation to agenda item 6 (Budget Report 2019/20 and Medium-Term Financial Plan). 

 

NOTED

 

1.            Under guidance issued by the Department of Communities and Local Government there was no requirement for members to declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (DPA) in relation to item 6 on the budget or setting of the Council Tax. 

 

2.            The requirements within Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 would, however, still applied, which required any Member who was two or more months in arrears on their Council Tax to declare their position and not vote on any issue that could affect the calculation of the budget or Council Tax.  No declarations in this respect were made at the meeting.

 

3.            Having noted the advice provided, the following interests were declared:

 

·         Councillors Maguire and Stewart declared non-pecuniary interests in item 10 the review and adoption of the pay policy statement.    

 

·         Councillor Taylor declared a non-pecuniary interest in Items 6, 7, and 8 as a director of Energetik.  

 

·         Councillor Laban declared a non-pecuniary interest in Motion 11.8. 

 

·         Councillor Alex Georgiou declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 9. 

 

·         Councillor Rawlings declared a non-pecuniary interest in Motion 11.2 as a member of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. 

6.

Budget report 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 to 2022/23 (General Fund) pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To receive the report of the Director of Finance, presenting for approval the Budget for 2019/20 and Medium-Term Financial Plan 2019/20 to 2022/23  (General Fund). 

                                                                                                   (Report No:160)

                                                              (Key Decision – Reference No: 4744)

 

The report will need to be considered in conjunction with Report No: 172 on the Part Two Council agenda.

 

Members are asked to note that Cabinet considered the report at their meeting on 13 February 2019 and recommended it to Council. 

Minutes:

Councillor Maguire moved and Councillor Caliskan seconded the report of the Director of Finance, (Report No: 160) presenting for approval the Budget for 2019/20 and the Medium -Term Financial Plan. 

 

NOTED

 

1.            Recommendations 2.1 – 2.10 had been endorsed and recommended onto Council for formal approval by Cabinet on 13 February 2019.

 

2.            The tabled note setting out how the discussion of the item would be considered at the meeting.

 

3.            The following comments highlighted by Councillor Maguire, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement when moving the report. 

 

a.            The Cabinet Member thanked officers for all their hard work in putting together the budget and for putting up with the rigorous interrogation of the available options.

b.            The budget sets an increase in the core Council tax of 2.99% plus a 1% increase for adult social care and an increase in the GLA precept of 8.93%, making an increase overall of 4.92%.  This equated to 97p per week for a Band D property. 

c.            This is a robust, realistic and balanced budget set in extremely challenging circumstances.  By 2020 Enfield will have a £187m funding gap due to austerity.  £18m has had to be saved this financial year. 

d.            Savings and cuts have had to be made because of the level of the Local Government Financial Settlement, the lowest for years, and the increasing cost pressures in children and adult services, increasing homelessness and poverty and deprivation.

e.            The local government grant across London has been cut in real terms by 6.5% this year which will make a total of 63% by 2020. 

f.             The Capital Programme and Treasury Management Strategy had been included in separate reports for greater transparency.

g.            The Government’s new fair funding formula with be unfair to Enfield because the deprivation indicators were being removed.

h.            The collection fund was currently in surplus.

i.              The proposed budget was balanced, sustainable and resilient whilst continuing to support those on low incomes, address crime and youth violence and improve street cleansing and fly-tipping.

j.              Costs have been reduced and money saved through reducing agency staff, providing temporary accommodation through Housing Gateway and bringing contracts back in house. 

 

4.            Councillor Vince moved and Councillor David-Sanders seconded an amendment proposing an alternative budget for 2018/19. 

 

5.            A debate took place on the substantive report and the amendment. 

 

6.            The comments of the Majority Group: 

 

a.         The budget was balanced, resilient, responsible and protecting services for the most vulnerable.  It was a Labour budget with Labour values providing for residents’ needs in difficult circumstances.

b.         Enfield residents were each poorer by £800 because of the Conservative cuts.  Public services had been decimated.  Local government had lost 60p in every £1 since 2010.  In all councils there was a risk to the viability of services.  All councils were very close to the edge. 

c.         If weekly collections were important to the Government, why had they cut the £2.4m grant which had funded them.  £2.8m would have had to have been found to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 679 KB

To receive a report from the Director of Finance seeking approval of the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20.                (Report No:  161)

(Key Decision Reference:  KD:  4829)

 

Members are asked to note that Cabinet considered the report at their meeting on 13 February 2019 and recommended it to Council. 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Maguire moved and Councillor Caliskan seconded the report of the Director of Finance on the Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20.  (Report No:  161)

 

NOTED

 

1.            That Cabinet had considered the report and recommended it to Council for approval at their meeting on 13 February 2019.

 

2.            Councillor Maguire’s comments highlighted from the report:  

 

·         The Strategy determines the cash flow management, use of banks, investments and borrowing strategies for the 2019/20 financial year. 

·         It was a key strategy, apart from but linking into the budget report.  It has been separated out from the main budget report for greater transparency. 

·         There was little change from last year.

·         Loans were made against Council owned properties and on the advice of external advisors.

·         The Council needed to borrow, but limits were set and the Council was well within Capital Finance Requirements.

·         At the end of December 2018 the Council had £804m of borrowing in total: some long term and some short term.  The Council would not borrow in advance of or more than it needed to.

·         There were also £65m of investments. 

·         Cash was kept to a minimum.

 

3.            The response of Councillor Lee David-Sanders

 

·         Concern about the amount of borrowing and that if the interest rate were to change rapidly, the Council could be in trouble.

·         Concern that the Council was due to borrow a further £600m and was in danger of hitting or exceeding their borrowing limits.

·         Recent company business plans had been sent back because of concerns about the risks. 

 

4.            Comments of the majority group: 

 

a.       A Cabinet Sub Committee shareholder board had been set up to monitor the company business cases and the lending to the Council’s companies.  Governance arrangements had been strengthened. 

b.      The Council had had to strike a balance between the short term borrowing and borrowing to invest in the future. The strategy covered spending in both the short and long term. 

c.      A recent treasury management training session had been well received by members. 

d.      The strategy was highly regulated and fully complaint with CIPFA rules.

e.      Welcome for the more transparent way that the report had been presented

f.       Concern that as 80% of Council funding came from central government, the loss of £178m worth of Government funding since 2010 has meant that services were being stripped of support.

g.      Praise for the sound management of decimated resources.   

h.      Investment in capital improvements support front line services for local residents.   

i.       The strategy has ben externally analysed and passed by the Section 151 officer. 

 

5.            Comments of the Opposition Group

 

a.    Acknowledgement that the company governance arrangements were more robust.

b.    Concern that every year borrowing went up, but so did the borrowing limit. 

c.    Concern about capitalised salary costs which added to borrowing pressures.

d.    Concern at what were seen as unsustainable levels of borrowing, a rise from £186m to 1,437m in 21/22 and the increasing levels of interest being paid from revenue sources. This money could have been spent on front line  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Capital Strategy (2019/20) and Four- Year Capital Programme (2019/20 -2022/23) pdf icon PDF 459 KB

To receive the report of the Director of Finance asking Council to agree the Capital Strategy 2019/20 and set the four-year Capital Programme (2019/20 – 2022/23).                                             (Report No:  163A)

(Key Decision Reference:  KD: 4828)

 

Members are asked to note that this report was considered by Cabinet on 13 February 2019 and recommended to Council. 

Minutes:

Councillor Maguire moved and Councillor Stewart seconded the report of the Director of Finance on the Capital Strategy 2019/20 and the four-year capital programme (2019/20 – 2022/23) (Report No: 163A). 

 

NOTED

 

1.            The report had been considered and recommended on to Council for approval by Cabinet on 13 February 2019. 

 

2.            The comments made by Councillor Maguire in moving the report:

 

·         The report set out the four-year capital programme and next year’s capital strategy.

·         This was a new requirement as part of the update of the prudential code.  Its purpose was to give an overview of the how the Council’s capital expenditure contributed to the delivery of its objectives and to ensure effective investment of the Council’s capital resources.

·         The Council was in the process of refreshing its Asset Management Strategy to ensure that capital assets continue to be of long-term use.  A major review is taking place.

·         In the four years of the strategy the Council is planning capital expenditure of £343,498m financed from council borrowing and grants. 

·         Income was being generated through the Council companies, Enfield Innovations, Energetik and Housing Gateway. 

·         Ambitious building programmes including at Meridian Water, (the station and the 725 homes planned), estate regeneration plans, school improvements, increasing places in the borough for SEN pupils, Reardon Court, independent living grants.

·         ICT improvements were also planned to enable smarter working. 

 

3.            Response from Councillor Laban

 

·         Support for some of the proposals in the strategy including support for Forty Hall and libraries but concern about other parts including Energetik.  She felt that not all households offered the opportunity wanted to sign up to receive heating from the company. 

·         Concern about the future of the Meridian Water project, if houses were not built soon.

·         Concern that Housing Gateway had only bought 4 houses last year and that more was not being done to house people outside the borough. 

 

4.            Comments from the Majority Group:

 

a.    In 2019/20 it was proposed to spend £81m to build the local economy including improving town centres, highways and street scene. 

b.    The Council was working closely with local communities to help make Enfield a successful place to live, to provide good homes in well-connected neighbourhoods and in carrying out place based change.

c.    The Council were investing in people in Enfield including £1.5m for mental health and wellbeing including new tennis courts.  Despite the challenges the Labour administration was investing the borough. 

d.    The Council were determined to improve housing and provide good children’s services.  Spending was ambitious, but it was spending with a purpose to regenerate estates such as Ladderswood, to provide a new autism unit at Garfield School and a new extra care facility at Reardon Court. 

e.    That the private sector were not interested in developing projects such as Reardon Court. 

 

5.            Comments from the Opposition

 

a.    Whilst acknowledging the need for investment in roads, schools and in IT to improve customer service, there was also concern about the money spent on consultants and on buying land  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) 30 Year Business Plan, Budget 2018/19, Rent Setting and Service Charges pdf icon PDF 328 KB

To receive the joint report of the Executive Director of Place and Director of Finance Services presenting for approval the revenue estimates of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) for 2019/20, Business Plan Budget 2019/20 and rent setting and service charges.                                  (Report No: 163)

(Key Decision – Reference No: 4741)

 

Members are asked to note that this report was considered by Cabinet on 13 February 2019 and recommended to Council. 

Minutes:

Councillor Lemonides proposed and Councillor Needs seconded the report of the Executive Director Place and Director of Finance, on the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan Budget 19/20, Rent Setting and Service Charges.  (Report No: 237)

 

NOTED

 

1.            That the recommendations in the report had been endorsed and approved for recommendation onto Council by Cabinet on 13 February 2019.

 

2.            Issues highlighted by Councillor Lemonides in presenting the report: 

 

a.    The report presents the Council’s 30 year business plan, the revenue budget for 2019/20 the five year capital programme, the right to buy one to one receipts programme and the service charges for 2019/20. 

b.    The report reflects changing government legislation allowing the borrowing cap to be lifted which will enable the Council to borrow  more money to provide affordable housing.

c.    The Council will also be investing £125m over the next 5 years in major works to stock on fire safety, decent homes and environmental improvements and £44.7m on estate renewal. 

d.    The government needs to listen more to reverse the roll out of universal credit, prevent homelessness and take away the need for food banks.

e.    Increases in heating charges were as a result of rising costs. 

 

3.            Issues highlighted by Councillor Smith in responding to the report:

 

a.    While being happy to support the report and agreeing with the methodology and investment proposals he had some concerns about the slow progress being made and the quality of the project management.

b.    To acknowledge that it was a Conservative Government which had lifted the borrowing cap.

c.    Concern that the administration should have asked for more grant from the GLA as £18m was significantly less than other London boroughs.

d.    Concern that more money should be being channelled to housing associations which had the expertise to provide housing, rather than for in house projects.

e.    Increased borrowing will reduce revenue. 

 

4.    Comments from the Majority Group:

 

a.    The Labour administration was investing in improving the lives of many residents by providing decent homes and investing in fire safety.  Estate renewal helped local people. 

b.    Improvements were being made on the estates and stock levels were increasing. 

c.    The new in house team would work with contractors to ensure a better service.  This would be cost neutral.  

 

5.            Comments from the Opposition Group:   

 

a.    Concern about the poor performance in housing over the last 8 years and the poor management and the poor standard of the work carried out on repairs.

b.    Concern about the increase in borrowing.   

c.    Concern about the many problems reported by residents living on the estates. 

d.    Concern about the delays to projects such as the small housing sites.                             

 

6.            The response from the Cabinet Member for Housing that the Council had received money from the GLA in grants and that the Council had never had to return any of their right to buy receipts.  That while he recognised the issues raised he highlighted that 70% of council homes were now up to decent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Duration of Time allowed for the Council Meeting

Minutes:

The Mayor advised, at this stage of the meeting, that the time available to complete the agenda had now elapsed so Council Procedure Rule 9 would apply.

 

NOTED that in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9 (page 4-8 – Part 4), the remaining items of business on the Council agenda were considered without debate.

11.

Review and Adoption of Pay Policy Statement - 2019 pdf icon PDF 309 KB

To receive the report of the Director of Law and Governance presenting the Council’s Statutory Pay Policy Statement for consideration and approval.

(Report No: 181)

 

Members are asked to note that the Pay Policy Statement was considered and approved for recommendation onto Council by the Remuneration Committee on 21 January 2019.  

Minutes:

Received the report of the Director of Law and Governance on the review and adoption of the Council’s statutory pay policy statement.  (Report No: 181)

 

AGREED the amendments to the statutory pay policy statement as included in appendix 1 to the report. 

12.

Motions

Motion 11.1 in the name of Councillor Joanne Laban

 

“The officers who work in the group offices do an exceptional job supporting past and present councillors. Enfield Council wishes to thank officers in both groups for their tireless dedication to the borough and its residents over many years. Their work has been greatly appreciated by councillors and residents.”

 

Motion 11.2 in the name of Councillor Joanne Laban

 

“Female Genital Mutilation is a cruel practice and has no place in our country. Enfield Council supports the Let Us Protect Our Girls campaign which is being carried out in partnership between HM Government and the NSPCC. FGM, including pricking, piercing and cutting, has lifelong consequences. This chamber agrees that it is crucial that we continue to raise awareness of this issue and support those women and girls who have undergone this practice in our borough.”

 

Motion 11.3 in the name of Councillor Joanne Laban

 

“Enfield Council is committed to delivering fairness and equality. However, it currently has one of the highest levels of nepotism in Local Government. This council agrees to deliver on its promise to tackling inequality by reducing the level of nepotism that exists within the organisation. This act will give a strong signal to the local community as well as Officers that we are truly committed to delivering fairness and equality.”

 

Motion 11.4 in the name of Councillor Joanne Laban

 

“The current and draft London Plans both advocate strong protection of the green belt and do not support the re-designation of it. Enfield Council agrees with this view and commits to supporting the green belt so that future generations can enjoy it.”

 

Motion 11.5 in the name Councillor Joanne Laban

 

“The small sites project has been an unmitigated disaster for Enfield Council. Nine years on from the start of the scheme it has yet to be finished. Enfield Council’s incompetent management of it has led to delays and overspends with residents picking up the bill for them. This Chamber agrees that an Enfield Council housing scheme should never be mismanaged in this way again and action will be taken to prevent this reoccurring.”

 

Motion 11.6 in the name of Councillor Chris Dey

 

“Enfield has the worst crime rates in London, of particular concern is the volume and increase of serious youth violence which is the highest of any other London borough. That the Council writes to the Mayor of London asking that he stops wasting money on public relations and funds additional police officers to address this as outlined by Mayoral Candidate Shaun Bailey.”

 

Motion 11.7 in the name of Councillor Stephanos Ioannou

 

“In light of the uncertainty felt amongst schools in our borough about increased petty crime, particularly against young people, will the Council look to set up a new ‘Youth and Crime Committee’- for an initial period that allows pupils from across our borough to come together, raise the concerns they have about crime, and provide potential solutions to fix the challenges our borough faces?”

 

Motion 11.8  ...  view the full agenda text for item 12.

Minutes:

Motions 11.1 to 11.15 lapsed under the guillotine arrangements. 

13.

Councillor Question Time pdf icon PDF 383 KB

11.1    Urgent Questions (Part 4 - Paragraph 9.2.(b) of Constitution – Page 4-9)

 

With the permission of the Mayor, questions on urgent issues may be tabled with the proviso of a subsequent written response if the issue requires research or is considered by the Mayor to be minor.

 

Please note that the Mayor will decide whether a question is urgent or not.

 

The definition of an urgent question is “An issue which could not reasonably have been foreseen or anticipated prior to the deadline for the submission of questions and which needs to be considered before the next meeting of the Council.”

 

Submission of urgent questions to Council requires the Member when submitting the question to specify why the issue could not have been reasonably foreseen prior to the deadline and why it has to be considered before the next meeting. 

 

11.2    Councillors’ Questions (Part 4 – Paragraph 9.2(a) of Constitution – Page 4 - 8)

 

Please note that the list of questions and their written responses will be published on Tuesday 26 February 2019. 

Minutes:

1.            Urgent Questions

 

There were no urgent questions. 

 

2.            Questions by Councillors

 

NOTED the forty questions on the Council agenda and the written responses provided by the relevant Cabinet Members.

14.

Committee Membership

To confirm any changes to Committee memberships:

 

No changes have been received to date.  Please note that any changes received once the agenda has been published will be tabled on the Council update sheet at the meeting. 

Minutes:

There were no changes to committee memberships.   

15.

Nominations to Outside Bodies

To confirm the following changes to the nominations to outside bodies:

 

·         Royal Free NHS Foundation Hospital Trust – Council of Governors – Councillor Christine Hamilton to replace Councillor Elif Erbil. 

 

Please note that any changes notified after the agenda has been published will be reported to Council on the update sheet tabled at the meeting. 

Minutes:

AGREED the following changes to nominations to outside bodies:

 

·         Royal Free NHS Foundation Hospital Trust – Council of Governors – Councillor Christine Hamilton to replace Councillor Elif Erbil. 

 

·         London Housing Consortium - Councillor Chibah to be appointed as the Council’s second representative. 

16.

Date of Next Meeting

To note the date agreed for the next Council meeting, Annual Council:

 

·         Wednesday 8 May 2019 at 7pm at Enfield Civic Centre. 

Minutes:

NOTED that the next meeting of the Council would be Annual Council on Wednesday 8 May 2019 at 7pm. 

17.

Budget 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 to 2022/23 (General Fund)

To receive a report from the Director of Finance, seeking approval, as part of the 2019/20 Budget and Medium-Term Financial Plan 2019/20 – 2022/23, to fees and charges.

 

The report will need to be considered in conjunction with Report No:160 on the Part One Council agenda.                                               (Report No: 172)

 

(Key decision – reference number KD: 4744)

 

Members are asked to note that this report was considered by Cabinet on 13 February 2019 and recommended to Council. 

 

(This document contains exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 (information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)) of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 as amended).

Minutes:

RECEIVED the report of the Director of Finance, seeking approval, as part of the 2019/20 Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan to fees and charges.  (Report No: 172)

 

NOTED

 

1.            The recommendation set out in the report was endorsed and recommended for approval to Council at the Cabinet meeting held on 13 February 2019. 

 

AGREED . to approve the Pest Control, Commercial Waste, Schedule 2 waste, clinical waste, Planning pre-application service, Parks events and outdoor facilities, People Transport Services, Fleet services fees and charges for the place Department; as well as the Schools Health & Safety charges and Print Services charges within the Chief Executive’s Department as set out in Section 3 and Appendices 1 & 2 of the part 2 report. In addition, reference is made in Appendices 3 & 4 to the potential discounts available within Resources and People (Children’s) Services Departments where appropriate to market conditions.