To receive a report from the Chief Executive presenting, for agreement and adoption by Council, the new Council Plan: A Lifetime of Opportunities 2020 – 2022.
Councillor Caliskan moved and Councillor Barnes seconded the report of the Chief Executive presenting the new Council Plan 2020/22: A Lifetime of Opportunities in Enfield, for agreement and adoption.
1. The Leader, Councillor Caliskan’s presentation of the updated plan highlighting that:
· During the last two years the Labour administration had pushed ahead with bold and ambitious plans for the borough.
· Their considerable achievements were detailed in the plan. Now was a good time to reflect.
· The new agenda of improvements and investments would be pursued with energy and determination
· The plan acknowledged the state of continued uncertainty and reiterated the need to support the vulnerable.
· It contains clear and transparent information about the current financial situation.
· It was hoped that the Government would honour its commitment to cover Covid 19 related expenditure.
· Local government had responded to the pandemic needs in a way above and beyond the normal, working with partners to ensure needs were met and that those who were shielding and needed extra support received it. She praised the efforts of the officers and members involved.
· The Council was ambitious for the borough. It was determined to provide housing for those in need and would intervene in the markets when necessary.
· The administration was looking to create a new leadership role for the Council to facilitate the necessary changes to cope with new demands.
· The Council would be standing up for those that the Government would not.
2. Councillor Laban, Leader of the Opposition, endorsed the Leader’s words which related to the officers who had done outstanding work to ensure those in need received support, but could not endorse the plan itself. She felt that it needed clear measurable targets and that the Council should listen and learn from residents and work with them.
3. Councillor Barry thanked officer for the excellent work carried out as part of the pandemic response.
4. The comments from the majority group
· There was focus in the plan was on providing good homes in well-connected neighbourhoods and on the money to be invested in the housing stock, improving the quality of homes and the lives of residents.
· The plan would help the Council meet the goals to address climate change issues.
5. The comments from the Opposition Group:
· Concern that the plan was too much about aspiration and not enough about when and how things would be achieved.
· The view that it would not be a success.
· That Council tax was rising at a time when services were being reduced.
· That the Government had provided large amounts of funding to support the extra costs of Covid 19 and to pay the wages of furloughed staff.
· That the Opposition shared the desire to improve housing in the borough but felt that the administration was not doing enough. Only 551 homes had been built last year, half the amount required and not enough of these were affordable. The key issue was a lack of delivery - shown by the delays to work on the small housing sites and at Meridian Water.
· Concern about the increasing density of housing proposed on the Alma and New Avenue estates which was felt would reduce residents’ quality of life.
6. The summing up by the Leader, Councillor Nesil Caliskan, that the plan set out the Council’s vision and priorities and that this would be underpinned by action plans. The Local Government Association had acknowledged that local authorities were chronically underfunded. The Council would deliver the homes needed, safe and healthy neighbourhoods and an economy which worked for everyone in a fairer Enfield. The administration was proud to present a Council Plan that was ambitious and aspirational for the whole borough.
After the debate, the report was put to the vote and agreed with the following result:
1. To adopt the new Council Plan: A Lifetime of Opportunities 2020/22.