Venue: Enfield Grammar, Market Place, Enfield EN2 6LN
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THE MAYOR'S CHAPLAIN TO GIVE A BLESSING
Rev. Matthew Harbage provided a blessing to the Council.
MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ORDINARY BUSINESS OF THE COUNCIL
The Mayor welcomed everyone to the meeting. The Mayor congratulated the England Team for making it to the Euro2020 finals and strongly condemed the racism that players suffered after the match.
The Mayor asked members and residents to continue being cautious about Covid-19.
The Mayor spoke of the events he had attended in the borough and looked forward to a summer of rest.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Huseyin, Barry, Chibah, David-Sanders, De Silva, Eren, Elif Erbil, Greer, Hasan, Hockney, Ioannou, Karakus, Keazor, Needs and Taylor.
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.
Councillors Aksanoglu, Laban and Dey all declared non-pecuniary interests relating to the motion on cladding.
Members are asked to agree the minutes of the meetings held on 19 May 2021, 20 May 2021 and 9 June 2021.
The minutes were agreed subject to the corrections set out in the Update Sheet, the correction of the spelling of Councillor Thorp’s name and the inclusion of the newly elected members attendance.
To receive the Annual Report of the General Purposes Committee 20/21.
Councillor Bedekova moved, and Councillor Leaver seconded the General Purposes Annual Report.
1. During her opening Statement Councillor Bedekova spoke of the wide range of topics considered by the Committee throughout the year. It was noted that the Statement of Accounts 19/20 publishing date had been postponed to September due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Officers were thanked for their support and contributions to the work of the Committee.
2. The comments of the majority groups included:
· The report is a record of all the work conducted by the General Purposes Committee.
· The external auditors (BDO) did not complete their work on time and have not fulfilled their duty so that is the reason the accounts were delayed. Enfield Council supplied additional resources to ensure the work was complete.
· The timeline set up by the Government for the financial accounts was unachievable from the beginning.
· Officers were thanked for managing the Council’s finances during a difficult year.
· Everyone raised concerns on the various topics covered and the report reflects that.
· The Annual report was agreed by the General Purposes Committee with a majority vote.
3. The comments of the majority opposition included:
· That the report does not reflect correctly the views or the frustrations of the opposition members on the Committee.
· Concerns were raised about the lack of audit trail and the oversight of the procurement for Meridian Water.
· Opposition members of the General Purposes Committee felt a lack of confidence in the administration and the Council’s finance department.
· It was felt the administration were not good at managing the affairs of the borough properly.
· The report lays clear of issues of the Council with departments receiving “no assurance”.
· It was accepted that the Council had provided additional resources and the auditor had not done their job. The issue was that this would be the fourth day that the finances had not been published on time.
· The report should highlight better the failings of the Council in order to improve it.
· The lateness of the statement of accounts and BDO should be punished.
4. The comments of the minority opposition included:
· The annual report does not accurately reflect the issues put before the General Purposes Committee.
· Representations were made to the external auditors outside of the Committee and no response was received.
· Councillor Lemonides requested his name be removed from the report.
· Felt the report shows a lack of integrity.
· Would like to have the opportunity to meet with auditors privately.
Following the discussion eleven members of the Conservative Group stood indicating the requirement for a roll call vote on the recommendations.
The General Purposes Committee Annual Report was AGREED.
Councillor Mahmut Aksanoglu
Councillor Chinelo Anyanwu
Councillor Kate Anolue
Councillor Tolga Aramaz
Councillor Guner Aydin
Councillor Ian Barnes
Councillor Mahym Bedekova
Councillor Sinan Boztas
Councillor Yasemin Brett
Councillor Nesil Caliskan
Councillor Alev Cazimoglu
Councillor Mustafa Cetinkaya
Councillor Birsen Demirel
Councillor Guney Dogan
Councillor Susan Erbil
Councillor Erbil Ergin
Councillor Achilleas Georgiou
Councillor Ayten Guzel
Councillor Christine Hamilton
Councillor ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Members are asked to note the questions submitted for written response.
Responses to the questions will be published the day before the meeting.
Members noted the written submissions to Councillor Questions.
The Constitution allows for each member present to ask one supplementary question, in line with this supplementary questions were asked. Jeremy Chambers, Monitoring Officer, confirmed councillors cannot ask a question on behalf of councillors who are absent.
1. Councillor Savva answered a question on what the selective licensing scheme for the Private Sector means for the borough. The scheme ensures every resident has a better quality of life. The scheme will come into force on the 1st September 2021.
2. Councillor Caliskan was asked whether the changes to her Cabinet were due to a problem with street scene in the borough. The Cabinet is altered annually and it is for the Leader to decide what the portfolios are.
3. Councillor Caliskan answered a question on how many of the 3,500 home development programme will be affordable. 2,970 of the homes will be affordable rent or shared ownership as it is importan that the homes built are affordable to residents.
4. Councillor Caliskan was asked whether following the Mayor of London’s response during recent Mayor’s Question Time meetings, will Enfield back the designation of the Green Belt. Councillor Caliskan encouraged Councillor Laban to watch the full clip of the meeting being referenced and maintained the commitment to affordable homes in the green belt.
5. Councillor Dogan answered a question regarding the price increase for cemeteries and whether this was to increase revenue. Councillor Dogan will be focusing on his new portfolio within the Cabinet and will ensure this is focused on in the coming months.
6. Councillor Caliskan answered a question on protecting the green belt as the Mayor of London does not want to desecrate the green belt. Residents do not want to live in sub-standard accommodation and there is a need to ensure there is an adequate supply of housing. Seven percent of the green belt is being proposed to be built in around transport hubs.
7. Councillor Maguire responded to a question on addressing the issues with the external auditors. The public sector is appointed their auditor. BDO complete 5% of all boroughs audits and Enfield remain in contract with them until 2022/23. There is limited action Enfield can take against BDO not meeting the Council’s capacity to complete the audit. Procurement is already being worked on to change auditors at the end of the contract.
8. Councillor Caliskan was asked about the language used for the draft Local Plan survey. The questions were drafted by the Leader with advice from senior officers. It was important that questions were not “dumbed down” for residents.
Members are asked to agree the motions set out in the agenda pack.
Councillor Chinelo Anyanwu moved and Councillor Caliskan seconded the following urgent motion:
“The Council would like to congratulate the England national football team on reaching the Euro 2020 final. Unfortunately, this massive achievement has been overshadowed by England players being subjected to racial abuse.
This Council condemns this behaviour witnessed following the England game. This racism on social media and in real life, as demonstrated by the defacing of the Marcus Rashford mural, should never be tolerated in society and Enfield Council will continue to fight racism by all mean necessary.
We call on the government to take further definitive action against racism and we call on the appropriate authorities to ban racists for life from all football matches in England and across the UK.”
Following the debate on this motion, it was approved unanimously.
Councillor Mary Maguire moved and Councillor Nesil Caliskan seconded the following motion:
The rise of Adult Gaming Centres, such as the one in Palmers Green, is a blot on our communities; endangers our children’s safety; causes untold hardship to families caught up in gambling addictions; and is a cause of crime and disorder on our streets.
It is outrageous that councils up and down the country are unable to prevent these establishments opening up. The law, as it stands, is loaded in favour of gambling businesses and is designed to “permit gambling” rather than permit the will of the people to prevail. Enfield council’s hands have been tied by the current legislation that is not fit for purpose.
Enfield Council acknowledges that the only solution is for a change in the law so that local councils can determine whether or not such establishments have a place, if any, in their communities. Enfield council agrees to write in the strongest possible terms to Government ministers demanding such a change in the law and further agrees to work with MPs, other politicians and community groups to achieve that change. Until such time as the law is changed, the council will, of course, continue to operate within the confines of current licensing legislation.”
Following the debate on this motion, it was approved unanimously.
Motions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11 lapsed under the guillotine arrangement
To confirm any changes to Committee memberships:
Changes to membership will be circulated prior to the meeting.
The below updates to the Council’s Committee memberships were agreed and noted:
· Crime Scrutiny Panel: One Labour Vacancy
· Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel: Cllr Orhan appointed to replace Cllr Barry
· Equalities Board: a) One Labour Vacancy.
b) Councillor Orhan appointed to replace Cllr Lemonides
· General Purposes Committee: Cllr Edward Smith appointed to replace Cllr Yasemin Brett
· Planning Committee: Cllr Peter Fallart appointed to replace Cllr Elif Erbil
· Environment Forum: Cllr Anne Brown appointed to replace Cllr Saray Karakus.
· Environment and Climate Action Scrutiny Panel:
a) Cllr Ayten Guzel to be appointed as Vice Chair.
b) Cllr Charith Gunawardena appointed.
· Finance and Performance Scrutiny: Cllr Ayten Guzel appointed to replace Cllr Christine Hamilton
date of next meeting
The next Council meeting is scheduled for 22 September 2021.
The next scheduled Council meeting is 22 September 2021.