Agenda and draft minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 1st December, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

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No. Item




Councillor Susan Erbil (Chair) welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained the process to be followed in respect of receiving a petition.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Elif Erbil, who was substituted by Councillor Hass Yusuf. Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Mahmut Aksanoglu.



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



There were no declarations of interest in respect of any items on the agenda.



To receive the petition from the Lead Petitioner, and in accordance with the Councils Petition scheme, allow consideration of the views expressed in the petition.


RECEIVED a petition from members of the community which asked the Council to: remove from the Local Plan the proposal to build a crematorium / burial ground in Firs Farm.


NOTED the report of the Director of Law and Governance, confirming that the petition was compliant and had sufficient numbers of signatures to trigger a debate at Overview and Scrutiny Committee, having 2,259 verified signatures.




1.    The statement of Chris Ferrary (on behalf of the Lead Petitioner Toni Guiver and the Friends of Firs Farm).

a.    Firs Farm was an important community resource. The site was valuable for flood prevention and for biodiversity. It was an environmental and social resource.

b.    This proposal would undermine the work to improve the wetlands, and the ongoing campaigns for further improvement. The Friends of Firs Farm had worked with the Council on schemes which had received significant financial investment and a recent planning permission grant for a community hub on site. This investment of time and money would be wasted.

c.    The proposal was not consistent with planning policies at a local or national level, including the London Plan. There would not be environmental gain. The special circumstances to justify development on Metropolitan Open Land would not be met. The proposal would be at odds with the draft Local Plan and the Council’s vision and strategies. The need for a crematorium had not been demonstrated, or that Firs Farm was a suitable place.

d.    The proposal would have a significant effect on a local Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC). The boundaries would encroach into the SINC and compromise its status. There would be adverse effects from traffic and subsequent air pollution, and additional impacts on wildlife and biodiversity, and on residents’ enjoyment of local spaces.


2.    The response of Councillor Nesil Caliskan, Leader of the Council, and Sarah Cary, Executive Director Place.

a.    Councillor Caliskan thanked the petitioners for the clear statement, and wanted to take the opportunity to hopefully provide reassurance to residents.

b.    The site identified as part of the draft Local Plan did not include the wetlands, which were recognised as playing an important environmental role. Therefore, the commitments around the wetlands area, and the investments and planning permission, were not undermined. The Council would reiterate those commitments.

c.    The draft Local Plan was at the draft stage and, following the planning policy requirements, it must identify sites to deliver a number of different things, including adequate after-life provision in the borough. At this stage of Local Plan development it was not expected that all the sites identified would be appropriate sites. It was accepted that residents would want to feed back that some sites would not be appropriate, but the Council had to follow the legal process for consultation and the responses were being carefully considered by officers.

d.    The next iteration of the Local Plan would be released in Summer 2022. The likelihood was that some sites would be eliminated. The Local Plan was also  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.



To receive the reports of Angela Bent, Head of Practice Improvement, Sharon Burgess, Head of Strategic Safeguarding Adults, Partnerships, QA and DoLS and Bharat Ayer, Safeguarding Service Manager (Adults and Children’s Partnerships)


Additional documents:


RECEIVED the reports of Angela Bent, Head of Practice Improvement, Sharon Burgess, Head of Strategic Safeguarding Adults, Partnerships, QA and DoLS, and Bharat Ayer, Safeguarding Service Manager (Adults and Children’s Partnerships).




1.    The introduction by Angela Bent, providing an overview of Children’s Social Care activities in 2020/21 and of the processes in place to scrutinise this work.

2.    The Self Evaluation Framework (SEF) report was presented annually at Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

3.    The update on the Safeguarding Children’s Partnership was introduced by Bharat Ayer and Councillor Mahtab Uddin, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services. The layers of scrutiny and assurance were clarified.

4.    In response to the Chair’s queries, the work of the domestic abuse team was highlighted, to safeguard children as well as victims. In respect of looked-after children during Covid-19 lockdowns, it was advised that there had been increased levels of contact and ensuring educational needs were met. It was confirmed that the social work apprenticeship programme had started, with the first cohort in September 2021.

5.    In response to Councillor David-Sanders queries, the support given to newly qualified social workers during the pandemic was confirmed.

6.    In response to Councillor Demirel’s queries, the work done with care leavers and support towards employment and training was clarified.

7.    In response to Councillor Aksanoglu’s queries in respect of audits, the plans put in place to improve practice were set out, and the building of staff resilience during the pandemic, and future workforce recruitment provision.

8.    In response to Councillor Levy’s queries, the regular interaction between the executive officers and executive Members was confirmed, including shadow Cabinet Members. The Cabinet portfolio holder was invited to observe risk management panel meetings. Councillor Uddin confirmed the open communication and exchange of information.

9.    In response to Councillor Greer’s queries, the continued delivery of care and services during lockdowns was described. The diversity of the workforce was confirmed, and potential for overseas recruitment. The joint working in respect of youth offending was clarified.

10. Officers welcomed the political oversight on safeguarding and the Chair thanked them for the helpful reports and attendance at this meeting.


WORK PROGRAMME 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 252 KB

To note the Overview & Scrutiny Work Programme 2021/22


NOTED the updated Overview and Scrutiny work programme 2021/22.



To note the date of future meetings as follows:


Budget Meeting

Wednesday 12 January 2022


Business Meeting

Tuesday 18 January 2022


NOTED the future meeting dates and that the next meeting of Overview and Scrutiny Committee would be the Budget Meeting on Wednesday 12 January 2022.