Agenda item

Councillor Question Time

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:  The list of questions and their written responses will be published on Monday 18 September 2017. 


1.               Urgent Questions


There were no urgent questions.


2.               Questions by Councillors




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


2.               The following supplementary questions and responses received for the questions listed below:


Question 1 (Edmonton Green Library Refurbishment) from Councillor Abdulahi to Councillor Orhan, Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services and Protection


Councillor Abdullahi asked whether the Cabinet Member would be inviting all councillors from both sides to the re-opening of Edmonton Green Library.    


Reply from Councillor Orhan


Councillor Orhan replied that all councillors from both sides would be invited and she would be honoured if the entire council would attend the re-opening of the refurbished Library.  


Question 3 (Boyfriend Material Campaign) from Councillor Doyle to Councillor Fonyonga, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Health


What warning signs do you flag to young women in the campaigns?


Reply from Councillor Fonyonga


“The common warning signs include jealous and possessive behaviour, if he knows different ways to hit you that won’t show, if the problem isolates you from family and friends”. 


Question 4 (Mayor of London’s Plans for Police Front Counters) from Councillor Laban to Councillor Fonyonga, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Health


Councillor Laban asked why will not Councillor Fonyonga join me in condemning the Mayor of London’s plans to leave just one police front counter in Enfield.  Policing in London is the responsibility of the Mayor, not the Government.  How can it be fair that Enfield has the same number of police counters as Islington?”


Reply from Councillor Fonyonga


Councillor Fonyonga said that you can talk about how the Mayor chooses to slice the cake but when the Government refuses to give enough cake, that is to provide sufficient funding for the Metropolitan Police Service, then you are talking about a share of nothing. 


Since 2010, because of lack of funding from Central Government, the Metropolitan Police has had to make cuts of £600m, with a further £400m demanded by 2020. There is not enough money to allow the Metropolitan Police to provide all services. The priority therefore has to be providing enough police officers to protect our streets.


Question 6 (Disposal of Enfield Town and Southgate Police Stations) from Councillor Laban to Councillor Taylor, Leader of the Council


Council Laban asked what has the Mayor done for Enfield, since being elected, that makes it impossible for Leader of the Council to join her in writing a letter in response to the Mayor’s MOPAC (Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime) Consultation?  She felt that the Mayor had a choice about how many police counters he had in each borough and asked why he had chosen to give Enfield the same number as Islington? 


Reply from Councillor Taylor:


Councillor Taylor referred Councillor Laban to the response to Question 2.  He said that there was a debate to be had on the adequacy of funding provided for the Metropolitan Police.  He felt that it was a national shame that, at a time of increased terrorism, the Government would not provide the funding that was required to protect the safety and security of the capital. 


He felt that Number 10 and the Secretary of State for the Home Office were responsible for funding.  Previously the Administration had asked the party opposite to write to ask for more funding and the Opposition had refused.  He was willing to write and would be happy to ask Councillor Laban to join him in a joint letter to ask for more funding.


Question 7 (Paintings on Park Railings) from Councillor Stewart to Councillor Brett, Cabinet Member for Community, Arts and Culture


Councillor Stewart thanked Councillor Brett for her response highlighting the great partnership which had bought arts out into the open in Southgate Green Ward.  She then asked if Councillor Brett would share the information with other friends of park groups including perhaps Ponders End Recreation Ground Group.


Reply from Councillor Brett


Councillor Brett said that she would be happy to share the idea with other friends of park groups in both Enfield and Edmonton. 


Question 8 (Pressure on Secondary School Places) from Councillor Rye to Councillor Orhan, Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services and Protection


Councillor Rye thanked Councillor Orhan for her response and asked if she could tell him in writing the number of forms of entry for Year 7 that would be required in Enfield in 2019 and 2020.


Reply from Councillor Orhan


Councillor Orhan agreed to provide a written response.  


Question 10 (Sufficiency on Secondary School Places) from Councillor Rye to Councillor Orhan, Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services and Protection


Councillor Rye asked what contingency plans had been put in place for 2019 and 2020 to make sure that there were enough secondary school places. 


Reply from Councillor Orhan


Councillor Orhan said that she had already given a full response.  It was well documented that the new academy that was to have been built for 2018 would have provided many of the new places required.  However as this had now been postponed, officers had been working with secondary school heads, on contingency plans, to ensure that there were enough places.  It fell to Government and its agencies to make sure that when they made a commitment they honoured it.  She asked the Opposition to support the administration in their strategies and to help them make sure that the Government delivered on their promises. 


Question 11 (Public Spaces Protection Orders) from Councillor Pite to Councillor Anderson


Councillor Pite thanked Councillor Anderson for his full and comprehensive answer.  The residents and the CAPE had welcomed the consultation.  But she raised the question as to whether the PCSOs were really needed and whether the police and the Council did not already have enough powers to tackle anti-social behaviours. 


Reply from Councillor Anderson


Councillor Anderson replied that public consultation had taken place last year and some concerns had been expressed. The majority were in favour of the provision, but the public’s views had taken on board and in response the range of powers had been narrowed.  Those behaviours left were of concern and there was evidence that they had an impact on the community.  There was existing legal provision to deal with some of these issues, but this does not allow for issuing of Fixed Penalty Notices, only prosecution.  The use of FPN was a timely and effective means of enforcement for those antisocial behaviours for which there was no other means of redress. 


Question 12 (Foxmead Close and Slades Hill derelict site) from Councillor Smith to Councillor Oykener, Cabinet Member for Housing and Housing Regeneration.


Councillor Smith thanked Councillor Oykener for his response and asked if he could tell him who owned the site. 


Reply from Councillor Oykener


Councillor Oykener said that the site had been sold in 2007 and he personally did not know currently who owned it. He had asked officers to find out who did and what their plans were.  In 2009 the owner had applied for planning permission to turn place into a health centre.  However the place was still empty which was not acceptable.  If there was no response the Council could consider Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers but these were limited if the owner was attempting to turn the site into something useful and stronger powers were needed. 


Question 13 (Removal of Copper Beech Tree at Chase Green Gardens) from Councillor N Cazimoglu to Councillor Anderson


Are there any plans for replacing the beech tree? 


Reply from Councillor Anderson


Councillor Anderson said he was not an agriculturalist and so not familiar with the reasons why it has to come down but understood that the pathogens of the fungai will remain in this area for a few years and therefore it would not be ideal to place another specimen in the same area.  And so they were looking at the entirety of the area and would be planting new trees to increase the crown canopy following the loss of the tree. 


Question 14 (Cycle Enfield Delays) from Councillor Neville to Councillor Anderson


Councillor Neville thanked Councillor Anderson for his reply but would like to know when the 6 month time estimate was given to Cabinet and if it was linked into the £8.5m cost of the scheme.  He felt that the doubling and more of the estimated length of time for the project must have had an effect on the cost and so he asked what the current cost was.


Reply from Councillor Anderson


Councillor Anderson said that he would be happy to respond in due course, if Councillor Neville wanted him to, with details broken down as appropriate.  The whole programme was budgeted and contractors were obliged to meet the demands of the contract.  Therefore he had complete assurance that they would meet the terms and any extra costs would not be coming from Enfield’s funding. 


Question 16 (Contractor Delays to A105 works) from Councillor Neville to Councillor Anderson


Councillor Neville asked why Councillor Anderson saw tendering for specific works, which Cycle Enfield was in the context of the A105, as being a duplication of a tender at least 3 years old at the time of entering into agreement with Ringway Jacobs and which was in fact originally for a much wider highways maintenance contract, linked but different.


Reply from Councillor Anderson


Councillor Anderson responded that he did not agree with the premise of the question.  The works had gone through a full procurement process and were always to have been tendered in that way.  The contractor had met the demands of the process using LoHAC.  This had enabled the Council to better manage the phasing of the work programme, to fit in with available funding and to respond to unforeseen challenges such as the need to move utility connections.  A LoHac contract was easier to budget for.  A standard contract would have required extensive procurement and tendering as well as requiring the Council to take faith on staged payments.  He felt that this was the better way to proceed. 


Question 18 (Accident Data for A105) from Councillor Neville to Councillor Anderson


Councillor Neville said that from the answer to this question and the previous one to his question in June he had wanted to know how many accidents there had been on the A105, but his questions had been met with obfuscation.


Freedom of information requests had revealed the number of accidents which had resulted in personal injury up until May this year to be 16.  He wanted to know what the number, of accidents, was, involving personal injury, to date.


Reply from Councillor Anderson


Councillor Anderson replied that he thought that Councillor Neville was trying to suggest that the Cycle Enfield scheme was less safe than previous arrangements.  But there was no evidence to support this.  In 3 years to September 2016 there were 91 collision reports on A105 between Palmerston Crescent and Palace Exchange Car Park Exit (I fatality and 5 serious injuries).  Only of these 16 involved cyclists, none of which involved serious injury. 


Stage 1 and 2 road safety audits had taken place and a stage 3 audit commissioned for when the scheme was complete.  As with any major scheme he said we will be keeping the number and type of collisions under review but there were a multitude of reasons as to why collisions occurred.  As well as improving conditions for cyclists, the Cycle Enfield scheme is designed to reduce speed along the A105 and should ensure that the number and severity of collisions were reduced. 


Question 19 (Activities and Events planned to mark World Mental Health Day) from Councillor Kepez to Councillor A Cazimoglu


What activities were taking place in Edmonton on World Mental Health Day? 


Reply from Councillor A Cazimoglu


Councillor A Cazimoglu said that she thought that it was important to explain why mental health day should be important to employers.  Mental health had both a human and an economic impact.  Over 70m working days were lost due to poor mental health. Although the impact of poor mental health on individual employers can have severe repercussions, most companies don’t have confidence to communicate about or to handle these issues in the work place.  Employers were not spotting the signs that something might be wrong or putting the right support and resources in place to support those suffering from mental ill health. 


Question 21 (Safeguarding processes) from Councillor Keazor to Councillor A Cazimoglu


What should someone do if they had concerns about vulnerable adults?


Reply from Councillor A Cazimoglu


Anyone who had concerns about an adult in Enfield should report it to the MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) - contact details on the Council website.  The hub would then be able to decide what the most appropriate actions to take were and the agencies would be able to act quickly in a co-ordinated and consistent way to ensure that adults at risk were protected.


Question 23 (Domestic Violence - Impact on Young Women) from Councillor Lappage to Councillor Fonyonga


Councillor Lappage thanked Councillor A Cazimoglu for her comprehensive response, but asked why the campaign was focussing on young women in particular. 


Reply from Councillor Fonyonga


Councillor Fonyonga responded that the latest evidence showed that young women were a key group that was likely to face the risk of becoming a victim of domestic abuse.  The exceptional communications team had put together an effective campaign to raise awareness about what constituted domestic violence and where the young women could go to find help. 


Question 25 (Reducing Smoking Rates) from Councillor E Erbil to Councillor Fonyonga, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Health


How was Enfield doing at reducing smoking rates amongst young people?


Reply from Councillor Fonyonga


Enfield was doing exceptionally well.  It now had the third lowest prevalence of smoking amongst 15 year olds across London.  We had come a long way, following an extensive campaign involving the public health team working with the communications team to target specific groups.  Given that smoking continues to be one of the main preventable causes of premature death and diseases, this is a worthwhile cause. We will continue to work towards reducing it further. 


Question 26 (Business Profits and Cycle Enfield) from Councillor Celebi to Councillor Anderson, Cabinet Member for Environment


Does the Cabinet Member seriously believe that there is direct link between the economic down turn in Palmers Green and Winchmore Hill as a result of the UK preparing to leave the European Union rather than Cycle Enfield?


Reply from Councillor Anderson:




Question 28 (Bid for London Borough of Culture Funding) from Councillor Delman to Councillor Brett, Cabinet Member for Community, Arts and Culture


Councillor Delman thanked Councillor Brett for her answer and asked her if she would consider setting up a panel or working party to assist in submitting the bid to the Mayor of London.


Reply from Councillor Brett


Councillor Brett said that they were actively considering setting up a working group but were waiting on news from GLA, which they hoped to receive on the following day, that they had secured funds to work up the bid.  If funds were secured discussions about setting up a working group would take place. 


Question 29 (Combatting Anti-Social Behaviour in South East Enfield) from Councillor Savva to Councillor Fonyonga, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Health


How has the Council funded police team helped to combat anti-social behaviour?


Reply from Councillor Fonyonga


The police team has been extremely helpful in tackling crime in Eastern Enfield.  This year 285 arrests had been made on council estates as well over 173 arrests in Eastern Enfield with the help of a dedicated problem solving team.  Due to these targeted interventions there has been a 32% reduction in violence against the persons across 5 Enfield estates.  This is testament to the good work of a Labour administration, prioritising the safety of local residents. 


Question 32 (Sale of Holly Hill Farm) from Councillor Dines to Councillor Lemonides, Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency


Councillor Dines asked for confirmation that the sale of the property to Halo Dogs had now been cancelled.


Response from Councillor Taylor in Councillor Lemonides absence


Councillor Taylor said that he understood that the sale had been cancelled, but he would provide confirmation in writing. 

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