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The Mayor's Chaplain to give a Blessing
The Mayor’s Chaplain was unable to attend the meeting.
Mayor's Announcements in Connection with the Ordinary Business of the Council
2. Mayor’s Announcements
The Mayor said that he trusted that everyone had had a good summer, despite this strange time when many people were living with the fear and isolation of the pandemic, that has hit the world this year.
He thanked all the staff at the Council who had worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to provide an excellent service to the public, both working alongside and supporting one another.
On 31 August 2020 he had been invited to Pymmes Park for the Enfield Stands Together - The Big Thank You – where certificates were given to many volunteers and helpers who had kindly given their time and support to help at the Enfield Food Bank. He said that he knew that there are many more people to thank and that this would be arranged. He was very grateful to everyone who had been involved and thought that the pandemic had shown that Enfield was a place of solidarity and respect. He was very proud to be the Mayor of such a vibrant and enthusiastic Borough.
My Mayoral charity was progressing well, and he had decided to dedicate his fund raising to the following well deserved causes:
1. The Felix Project (Food Bank)
3. Violence Against Women & Children
4. Under privileged, learning difficulty and special needs children.
5. Nightingale Cancer Support Centre
6. Eagles Boxing Club
The Mayor said that as the year progresses, he would be adding to these charities in the hope of helping as many residents of Enfield as possible. His plan was to launch a t-shirt campaign where he would personally fund the purchase and printing of t-shirts designed by companies and individuals who will hopefully go on to purchase these for friends and family members. All the money from the sale of the t-shirts would go directly the Mayors Charity.
The Mayor said that it was a particularly difficult time for fund raising generally and many charities were having difficulties gathering urgently needed funds. He hoped that his t-shirt idea would be a long running event which would be successful throughout the year.
The Mayor said that he knew that his friends and fellow members would support him and together they would look forward to better times when they could get together without isolation to enjoy their lives as before.
The Mayor concluded his speech by saying that he wished everyone health and happiness.
The Mayor then asked members to observe a minute’s silence in memory of Councillor Chris Bond, a longstanding and dedicated councillor who had recently passed away.
Councillors Caliskan, Laban, Taylor, Levy, Needs, Neville, Aksanoglu, Keazor, Leaver, Barnes, Yusuf and the young mayor spoke in tribute to Chris Bond and his 34 years of service as a councillor in Enfield.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 1 July 2020 as a correct record.
The minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 1 July 2020 were received and agreed as a correct record.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Brown, Chibah, Eren, David-Sanders, Lappage and Stewart.
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.
Councillor Rye declared a non-pecuniary interest in Motion 1 and Councillor Taylor declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in item 10 (Reardon Court Extra Care Housing Scheme – Adjustment to the Capital Programme) as he was a director of Energetik.
An issues paper prepared by the Opposition Group is attached for information.
The Council rules relating to Opposition Business are also attached for information.
Councillor Laban introduced the issues paper, prepared by the Opposition Group.
1. Issues highlighted by Councillor Laban were as follows:
· That Enfield had been slower to open up face to face services following the Coronavirus lockdown than other city centres and London boroughs.
· The Civic Centre has been closed since March and since July only 4 of the main libraries have been open for face to face enquiries.
· Works have been taking place in the reception area at the Civic Centre throughout and there is no clear signage to explain where to go to get help and support.
· This has had a detrimental effect on the local economy and retail outlets.
· If lockdown restrictions are to be re-imposed the Council needs to be more flexible and efficient at opening up.
· At the libraries that are open, residents have to book appointments weeks in advance to be able to browse the books, unlike in other places.
· The government lifted restrictions on opening of leisure centres on the 4 July 2020, but leisure centres were only opened during the week of the 17 August and some are still closed.
· The household waste and recycling centre at Barrowell Green is still only open via appointment. This has led to an increase in flytipping.
· The Council could and should do more to open up for business. The closure of the Civic Centre building had made the Council look as if it had been closed.
· A review should be carried out to find out why the response has been so slow and a plan of action produced to deal with any future lock downs. The Council should be ready and agile to do more to open up services and support the local economy.
2. Councillor Caliskan, the Leader of the Council, responded on behalf of the Majority Group highlighting:
· She had been astonished at how disingenuous, ineffective and out of touch the Conservative group had shown themselves to be in bringing forward this topic for opposition priority business.
· If the Civic Centre had been fully open during this time when Covid 19 infections were increasing it would have been unwise and been in contradiction to Central Government advice, that people should work from home wherever possible.
· The administration had taken the decision to keep Council staff safe.
· Despite this approximately 150 members of staff were attending the Civic Centre to provide vital services every day. During lockdown a supply centre had been set up to deliver food parcels where needed, the call centre has taken over 20,000 calls, £1,000m funds have been provided to support small businesses and local town centres.
· The Council had introduced an appointment system for the recycling centre and this had also been done at the leisure centres to help manage visitor flow. There has now been a significant reduction in no shows.
· Fusion is not run by the Council. It was outsourced by a previous administration. The Council had not been prepared to subsidise this private organisation. However, four leisure ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To receive a report from the Executive Director Place on Homelessness in Enfield. Key Decision Number: 4682
Council is asked to approve the Housing Allocations Policy.
This report was considered at Cabinet on 15 July 2020 and recommended onto Council for final approval.
Councillor Needs proposed and Councillor Yusuf seconded the report of the Executive Director Place on homelessness in Enfield.
1. That this report had been considered and recommended on to Council for approval at the Cabinet meeting held on 15 July 2020.
2. Councillor Needs in proposing this report highlighted the following:
· The country was in the middle of a national housing crisis, following a serious lack of investment in housing. Many people were moving out of Inner London into Outer London and many had been affected by the Government’s housing benefit cap.
· The Council planned to step in to prevent people becoming homeless at the earliest stage and to help equip people with the skills to manage their tenancies better to avoid becoming homeless.
· The Council had developed a bold housing strategy to help reshape the housing market and improve the quality of rented housing. As part of this they would also be running a professional ethical lettings agency for private sector properties.
· The final component of the Council’s recent work in this area was this Housing Allocations Policy which will, for the first time, reward residents who make a success of living in the private rented sector.
· The new scheme will increase transparency in the allocation of social rented homes, based on enduring housing needs: it increases priority for those living in overcrowded situations, increases access to a range of properties, introduces local lettings schemes for new build properties to enable local residents to directly benefit from regeneration activities, increases priority for homeless households who move into the private sector rather than remaining in temporary accommodation.
· It is anticipated that the scheme will go live in December 2020.
3. In order to ensure that residents are treated fairly during the implementation of the policy the following paragraph (included in the council update sheet) has been added to the report:
“We recognise that the gap between the approval of the scheme and its implementation will potentially have an adverse impact on some households where we are discharging our statutory homeless duties into the private rented sector. For households in this position we will award points at the time of implementation of the scheme based on the points that they would have been entitled to, had the scheme been implemented immediately”.
4. The comments of the Majority Opposition Group including:
· While welcoming the report and supporting the need for early intervention, there was regret that the majority opposition group could not support the new allocation scheme because of several issues which are set out below. They indicated that they would have to abstain on the report, if those concerns could not be resolved.
· They felt that the scheme discriminated against those in employment both full and part time.
· Concern about the change to the guidelines on local connection (the Government guidelines previously stated that local connections should be at least 5 years, the new policy was allowing 3 years). The three-year rule would make it easier for those with less ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
To receive a report from the Executive Director of Resources presenting the Council’s Annual Treasury Management Report for 2019 - 20 in accordance with Treasury Management Practices.
Council is asked to approve the recommendations in the report.
It is a regulatory requirement for Council to receive this report by 30 September each year. (Key Decision Reference Number: KD: 5152)
Councillor Maguire moved and Councillor Caliskan seconded the report of the Executive Director Resources presenting the Council’s Annual Treasury Management Outturn Report for 2019-20.
1. The report had been considered by Cabinet on 15 July 2020 and recommended onto Council for approval.
2. The points raised by Councillor Maguire proposing the report:
· The outstanding borrowing to 31 March 2020 was £968.9 including £240m long term borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) which had replaced higher interest loans.
· In March 2020 £80m PWLB borrowing was raised with an average rate of 1.45% - loans maturing in 50 years for HRA projects taking advantage of the low interest rate.
· Capital financing was £48.9m less than forecast and there had been no debt rescheduling.
· The table on the first page of the report summarises the Council position. Table 1 contains the balance sheet summary, table 2 the Treasury Management Summary, Table 3 the Treasury Management Borrowing Summary, Table 4 Capital Financing Requirements, Table 5 Cost of Borrowing.
· Capital finance had increased and would increase further to pay for capital projects
· The Council had 90 loans repayable over 50 years which helps to spread the risk.
· During the year the Council’s investment balance ranged between £5million and £147 due to timing differences between income and expenditure.
· Enfield had not invested in out of town shopping centres, an issue that had been highlighted by the Public Works Loans Board, unlike some boroughs
· Approving the removal of the 75% cap on total aggregate investments would give much needed flexibility and increasing money limits will enable the Council to earn more from cash deposits.
3. The following highlighted by the Majority Opposition Group:
· Concern about the high levels of borrowing which currently stood at nearly £1billion.
· Concern that the Council’s money belonged to the people of Enfield and should be spent prudently. Current debt averaged £3,500 per resident.
· The view that too much was being spent on projects such as Meridian Water and that the properties being built would be out of the reach of ordinary Enfield people.
· Concern that £3.2m was being spent from the current revenue account to service the debt. The view that this should be being spent on day to day services instead.
· Post Covid, there was a risk that interest rates would increase.
· Current levels of borrowing were felt to be unsustainable and could lead to financial problems in the future. The administration was leaving a legacy of debt which would have to be paid back by future generations.
· Concern that borrowing had increased by £147m in one year.
· That the Council should be looking to the private sector as a source of investment, rather than doing things themselves.
· The view that projects such as Meridian Water, Elizabeth House and Reardon Court were being poorly managed and would have succeeded better if the private sector had been involved.
· Commendation for the clarity of the report.
· Reprofiling and rescheduling debt was only putting things off into the future, at ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
To receive a report from the Overview & Scrutiny Committee setting out the Scrutiny Annual Work Programme and Workstreams identified for 2020/21.
Council is asked to approve the scrutiny work programme for 2020/21.
This report was agreed for recommendation to Council by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 15 September 2020 and by Cabinet on 16 September 2020.
Councillor Susan Erbil proposed and Councillor Greer seconded the report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee setting out the scrutiny annual work programmes for 2020/21.
1. The report was considered at Cabinet on 16 September 2019 and recommended to Council for approval.
2. The comments of Councillor Susan Erbil in proposing the report:
· The work programme included programmes for the new scrutiny panels which had been set up following the structural changes agreed at Annual Council in July.
· They would focus on those areas which were important to residents: four of the eight panels would be looking at the impact of Covid 19.
· They would enable members to make effective and constructive comment on Council policies and priorities, taking up concerns of the public in an independent and responsible way.
3. The comments from the Majority Opposition Group:
· Welcome and support for the programme and the new structure which was now more aligned with Council departments and services.
· It was the Council’s duty to scrutinise and to ensure Council funds were wisely spent in the best interests of the residents.
· The scrutiny function was a good way to ensure that all councillors were participating the in the running of the Council.
· Participation also enabled councillors to increase their knowledge on a wide range of issues.
Following the debate, the report was agreed unanimously.
AGREED to approve the scrutiny work programme and workstreams for 2020/21.
Change in Order of Business
Councillor Glynis Vince moved and Councillor Laban seconded a proposal under paragraph 4.2 of the Council procedure rules to propose that the time allowed for reports be extended.
This was not agreed.
Councillor Nesil Caliskan moved and Councillor Greer seconded a proposal under paragraph 4.2 of the Council procedure rules to change the order of items on the agenda so that Motion 9 under Item 12 motions should be taken as the next item of business.
This was agreed after a vote with the following result:
The minutes reflect the order of the meeting.
Motion 1 in the name of Councillor Edward Smith
This Council agrees to resist residential developments on Tube Station car parks in Enfield that are not in conformity with the existing local plan on the grounds that these car parks encourage commuters to use public transport.
Motion 2 in the name of Councillor Maria Alexandrou
Cervical screening is a way for women to protect themselves from cancer. The sad reality is that fewer women are now having cervical screening. Last year 1.3m women didn’t attend NHS screenings. There are 3,200 new cases of cervical cancer every year and of those 870 women die from it.
According to CANCER RESEARCH UK 99.8% of cases are preventable. When Jade Goody fought her cancer battle, nearly 80% of women went for smear tests.10 years later, only 72% of women go. If this rate falls any lower, the rise in deaths will shoot up. In the case of Jade Goody, she ignored letters about her abnormal cells. She needed to go to hospital for surgery to remove those abnormal cells, surgery which most probably would have saved her life.
Many young women in their 20s and 30s are dying from cervical cancer and the tragedy is they are leaving behind their partners and young children. We need to encourage everyone to look after their health and have regular check-ups.
Enfield Council therefore agrees to work together with other agencies for a local campaign on cervical cancer awareness and encourage women to attend that important screening test. It only takes 5 minutes at the doctor’s surgery and this test can save your life.
Motion 3 in the name of Councillor Aramaz
Enfield Council recognises that the Covid 19 Pandemic has disrupted the economy significantly. Lockdown measures have meant that the UK economy had shrunk over 20% by the end of August 2020 in comparison to the previous three months.
This will inevitably mean that certain reforms must be made to the economy in order to avoid exacerbating the economic crisis.
Since 2010, austerity measures were introduced and quantitative easing was used to stimulate the economy unsuccessfully. By 2016, up to £445 billion was created and given to the financial markets whereby a minuscule 8% of the wealth trickled down to the real economy, toppling the trickle-down economics argument. In June 2020, this figure now stood at a total of £745billion.
Realistically, quantitative easing should be used not to aid the financial markets but to aid the real economy by investing into building homes, developing infrastructure and creating jobs.
Currently, Enfield Council finds itself at breaking point because of austerity measures introduced by the government. Since 2010, the Council has lost more than 60% of its budget in real terms and cannot survive anymore.
Therefore, Enfield Council demands that the government does not reintroduce austerity measures post-pandemic and instead embraces the opportunity to change society for the better by investing in the real economy.
Motion 4 in the name of Councillor Aramaz
The Council recognises ... view the full agenda text for item 11.
Councillor Caliskan proposed and Councillor Uddin seconded the following motion:
As of the 16th September 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of Covid-19 related deaths in Enfield was 392. According to NHS Digital, the number of Covid-19 cases in Enfield between 31st August and 13th September was 169. The real figures may well be a lot higher.
National and local data is indicating that the country may well be heading towards a second wave.
Enfield Council is concerned that the national testing system is not working fully and that Enfield residents have struggled to secure a test in recent weeks. The country desperately needs a functioning test, trace and isolate system if we are to prevent a devastating second wave.
Enfield Council calls on the Government to urgently fix the testing system and ensure that there is both testing and laboratory capacity to ensure everyone in our community, including those in care homes, are able to access a test and receive the results quickly.
The impact on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities across the country has become increasingly clear with statistics from the Institute of Fiscal Studies and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing clear disproportionality. ONS figures show that black men and women are nearly twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than white men and women, after taking into account age and socio-demographic factors.
Enfield Council welcomes Public Health England’s recently published seven-point plan on how to better protect black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities from COVID-19. The Council urges / calls on the government to urgently implement the recommendations, before any future waves.
During the debate Councillor Caliskan proposed and Councillor Anolue seconded a proposal to extend the time allowed for the discussion of motions for 5 minutes.
This was agreed without a vote.
At the end of the debate, the motion was unanimously agreed.
The following motions lapsed under the guillotine arrangements: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,10 ,11 ,12.
Duration of Council Meeting
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 8 (page 4-8 – Part 4), the remaining items of business on the Council agenda were considered without debate.
To receive the report of the Executive Director Place on an adjustment to the Capital Programme for the Reardon Court Extra Care Housing Scheme.
Council is asked to approve an adjustment to the capital programme.
RECEIVED a report from the Executive Director People on an adjustment to the Capital Programme for the Reardon Court Extra Care Housing Scheme.
1. To approve an increase of £2.611m to the approved allocation of capital funding in the Council’s Capital Programme.
2. To note the additional borrowing requirement of £400k against the approved budget in KD 4898.
3. To note the GLA’s Care and Support Specialist Housing capital grant of £9,443,161 is time limited to 12 March 2020 by which date contractually the main works must commence. The grant funding will be paid in full on entering into the build contract.
4. To note the use of funds from the Kingsdown Charitable Trust as previously referenced in the July 2019 Cabinet report (KD 4898), and as detailed at para 22.
5. To delegate all other necessary approvals and consents required to deliver the project to the Executive Director of Place in consultation with the Executive Director of People.
The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Joanne Laban, advised that if there had been a vote on this decision, her group would have voted against.
12.1 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.
12.2 Councillors’ Questions (Part 4 – Paragraph 9.2(a) of Constitution – Page 4 - 8)
The list of questions and their written responses will be published on Tuesday 29 September 2020.
1. Urgent Questions
There were no urgent questions.
2. Questions by Councillors
1. The forty four questions on the Council agenda and the written responses provided by the relevant Cabinet Members.
To confirm changes to Committee memberships agreed since the last meeting.
Revised list attached.
Any changes received once the agenda has been published with be tabled on the Council update sheet at the meeting.
AGREED to confirm the changes to the committee membership list, as sent out with the agenda, as well as the following additional amendment:
· Councillor Savva to fill the vacancy on the Licensing Committee.
To confirm any changes to the nominations on outside bodies agreed since the last meeting.
Revised list to follow.
Any changes notified after the agenda has been published will be reported to Council on the update sheet tabled at the meeting.
AGREED to confirm the changes to the nominations to outside bodies put forward since the last meeting, as set out in the list circulated as “to follow”.
Date of Next Meeting
To note the date agreed for the next Council meeting:
· Wednesday 18 November 2020 at 7pm.
NOTED that the next ordinary Council meeting will take place on Wednesday 18 November 2020 at 7pm.