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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Waltham Forest Town Hall. View directions

Contact: John Williams, Democratic Services Officer  020 8496 4344 Email: |john.williams@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

15.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors H Ali, Halebi, Isa, A Mahmood, Pye, Seesunkur, Strathern and Walker.

 

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillors Ahmad and P Edwards.

16.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members are required to declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they or their spouse/partner may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting. Interests are defined on the inside cover of this agenda.

Minutes:

None.

 

17.

MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 30 MAY 2019 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To approve the minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council held on 30th  May 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Annual Meeting held on 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

18.

ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE MAYOR, COUNCIL LEADER, CABINET MEMBERS AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE pdf icon PDF 729 KB

Minutes:

(a)   The Mayor made the following announcements:

 

Dave Knight: The Mayor was sad to announce the untimely passing of Dave Knight, the former Branch Secretary of UNISON, whom he and many Members knew well.  Dave retired from Waltham Forest only in 2015, following an 18-year career both as a social worker and senior trade union official. After his retirement he was still active on the Council’s Pension Committee. It was fitting that the Council should send its condolences to his wife Ann, a former teacher in the borough, and his children.

 

The Council stood for a minute’s silence as a mark of respect.

 

Linzi Roberts-Egan, Deputy Chief Executive: TheMayor announced that the Council would wish to say goodbye Linzi Roberts Egan, who has gained promotion to be Chief Executive of the London Borough of Islington.

 

Everyone knew that she had done a wonderful job for Waltham Forest and she would most definitely be missed. The Council joined the Mayor in sending their very best wishes to Linzi.

 

Councillors Flowers and Lacey-Holland: The Mayor was delighted to announce that Councillors Ros Flowers and Joe Lacey-Holland became parents the previous month with the birth of their daughter Mae. He welcomed Mae, who was at the meeting, and offered the Council’s congratulations to Ros and Joe, and best wishes for the future.

 

Councillor Simon Blackburn – The Mayor welcomed to the meeting Councillor Blackburn, the Leader of Blackpool Council.

 

(b)  Councillor A Khan, Portfolio Lead Member for Community Safety and Voluntary Sector, made the following announcements:

 

Homophobic Incident: Councillor Khan referred to the incident of homophobic abuse that occurred at Waltham Forest Pride on 27 July 2019, which received widespread publicity on social media.  He condemned the abuse, noted that an arrest had been made and was pleased that the Crown Prosecution Service would press charges.

 

Hate crime and intolerance: Although the incident at Pride was isolated, it was a fact that all types of hate crime were on the rise nationally and in the borough.  Officers have therefore been asked to establish a Citizens’ Assembly, to explore ways of fostering tolerance and tackling crime of this nature.  It would report in early 2020 and he would update the Council.

 

19.

PUBLIC STATEMENTS

Minutes:

The Council received public statements as follows:

 

(a)  Town Square Trees: Ms Linda Green made a statement on behalf of local artists in relation to the Town Square development asking the Council to prevent the felling of the trees.

 

Councillor Simon Miller responded and said that although the loss of trees was a matter of regret, the Walthamstow Town Centre could not remain as it was and redevelopment was a priority bringing with it a range of benefits.  He referred to improved public transport, access to the Tube, and the Council’s programme to plant 4,600 trees over the next three years.

 

(b)  Blue Badges in CPZs: Kay Hinds made a statement on the risks of being required to display blue badges in controlled parking zones (CPZs).

 

Councillor Loakes responded and thanked Ms Hinds for bringing the matter to the Council’s attention.  He added that the number of disabled bays in CPZs was being increased.

20.

PETITIONS

A petition has been received containing more than 4,000 signatures, organised by the Parent Council at Chingford Church of England Primary School, seeking traffic calming measures outside the Infant Site in Kings Road as a matter of urgency: specifically the speed limit reduced to 20 mph outside the school as  ...  view the full agenda text for item 20.

Minutes:

Mr Jason Dickinson, Chair of Chingford Church of England Primary School Parent Council presented a petitioncontaining more than 4,000 signatures, seeking traffic calming measures outside the Infant Site in Kings Road as a matter of urgency: specifically that the speed limit be reduced to 20 mph outside the school as a priority matter, and a raised Pelican crossing replace the current Zebra crossing.

 

The number of signatures was enough to trigger a debate. 

 

It was therefore moved by Councillor Loakes and seconded by Councillor Williams:

 

(i)             That the Council notes the petition

(ii)           This Council is committed to introducing 20 mph speed limits in all residential streets in the borough. A three-year programme has been developed to review, consult, and implement 20 mph zones in all remaining residential streets. The section of Kings Road by Chingford CofE School has been prioritised as part of the first zone to be designed and implemented. The design process has been initiated and the Council is committed to undertake consultation within the current financial year

(iii)          The Council cannot install permanent signalised pedestrian crossings as all traffic signals in London are installed, maintained and operated by Transport for London (TfL). However, justification for the crossings must be demonstrated by the Council. The Council must therefore undertake the required traffic and pedestrian surveys, analyse collision history, and then identify and resolve potential issues before a signalised crossing can be commissioned.

(iv)          This Council will prioritise the feasibility study in the upcoming financial year (2020/21), which will help us secure funding for the following financial year so that a crossing can be installed in Financial Year 2021/22 subject to approval from TfL.

There was debate in which Councillors Best and Berg spoke, following which Councillor Loakes exercised his right of reply.

One being put to the vote, the motion was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.

21.

LEADER'S AUTUMN STATEMENT

Minutes:

The Mayor invited the Leader to make her Autumn Statement.

 

The Leader echoed the sentiments expressed by the Mayor in relation to the arrival of Ros and Joe’s baby daughter, and praise for the achievements of Linzi Robert-Egan and warm wishes for the future.

She added her sincere condolences to family and friends of David Knight, who would be sorely missed.

 

Councillor Coghill introduced her Autumn Statement by welcoming recognition as Local Authority of the Year at the MJ Awards.

 

The Council was innovating in response to the challenges the borough and its residents face in a rapidly changing world, and despite the austerity policies of central Government.  She praised the work of officers which, along with strong leadership, had enabled difficult decisions to be taken early on.  As a result the borough is in a strong financial position, described by LGA finance peer reviewers as one “which other councils would envy”.

 

The Leader referred to a number of significant achievements:

 

·       Purchase of the former EMD Cinema, working in partnership with Soho Theatre.

·       The new Leyton Cricket Hub in partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board, creating opportunities for the whole of the community and especially young women and girls.

·       A quick response to the fire at the Mall in Walthamstow, which reopened the previous week.

·       Welcoming residents into over 40 new 100% affordable homes at Warburton Terrace.

·       Starting work at Juniper House to provide more than 90 new homes and a new nursery.

·       Beginning the first phase of the Town Hall campus redevelopment, creating over 450 new homes and a new neighbourhood in the heart of the borough.

The Leader contrasted the ambitions and achievements of the Council with the political situation at Westminster, in particular the handling and potential impact of Brexit.  She noted that Waltham Forest is home to thousands of EU residents, and acknowledged their contribution to the community.  She made clear that that EU residents were valued and voiced her determination that Waltham Forest would always be home.

 

The Council was welcoming ten families as part of the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme, and committed to host twenty-five refugees as part of the next resettlement programme in 2020-21.

 

The Borough of Culture events have showcased the diversity that makes the borough special.  The Leader commended Councillors Best and Williams for their cross-party approach on the issue of RSE.


 

Events such as Waltham Forest Pride showed the borough at its best, and the Leader was glad to see that the isolated incident of homophobic abuse was being dealt with. The community would not be divided, and the Council stood against all forms of prejudice. There was no place for hatred and homophobia, and she expressed solidarity with LGBT residents.  The idea was unacceptable that children need to be in some way ‘protected’ from knowing about LGBT relationships and the fundamental right to love, and to live out and proud.

 

Waltham Forest was one of the first London boroughs to declare a climate emergency. The Enjoy Waltham  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

LEADER'S REPORT - CABINET APPOINTMENTS pdf icon PDF 229 KB

Minutes:

The Council noted the changes to Cabinet membership and portfolios made on 28 June 2019.

23.

MEMBERS' QUESTIONS

Minutes:

Nine questions from Members received replies as set out in the Order Paper in Appendix A.

 

Question 1 from Councillor Baptiste to Councillor A Khan – Portfolio Lead Member for Community Safety and Voluntary Sector.

 

The Council noted the supplementary question put by Councillor Baptiste, which was to ask what recommendations Councillor Khan intended to put to Cabinet.  He replied that 400 representations that had been made on the Chingford Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) of which 92 per cent were in support of the PSPO.  The demand for PSPOs across the borough is fairly even and it represents a new tool in promoting community safety and tackling anti-social behaviour.  Accordingly the recommendation would be put to Cabinet on 10 October with implementation set for 1 November 2019. 

 

Question 2 from Councillor to Councillor Williams – Portfolio Lead Member for Children and Families.

 

Question 3 from Councillor Osho to Councillor Loakes – Deputy Leader.

 

Question 4 from Councillor Moss to Councillor Coghill – Leader of the Council.

 

The Council noted the supplementary question put by Councillor Moss, which was to ask the Leader whether similar checks were carried out for other commissions given to OMG Media Ltd.

 

The Leader referred to the written response and urged all Councillors to support local businesses.

 

Question 5 from Councillor Seesunkur to Councillor Loakes – Deputy Leader.

 

Question 6 from Councillor Seesunkur to Councillor Loakes – Deputy Leader.

 

Question 7 from Councillor Best to Councillor Coghill – Leader of the Council.

 

The Council noted the supplementary question put by Councillor Best, which was to ask the Leader whether she thought the amount spent on the recent legal challenge to the Government on Waltham Forest News could have been better spent, for example on a school crossing patrol as referred to earlier.

 

The Leader defended the use of the money as she believed communication with residents, especially those who might be isolated, to be important.

24.

NOTICES OF MOTION

Minutes:

Notice of the above Motion was given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.   The Council noted that the mover of the motion, Councillor Best, had submitted an amendment and gave its consent to the amended motion as set out below to be debated.

25.

DIVERSITY AND SRE (SEX AND RELATIONSHIPS EDUCATION)

Notice of the above Motion was given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.

 

Councillor Emma Best will move;

Councillor Jemma Hemsted will second:

This Council welcomes the Government’s new statutory Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) and fully supports all aspects of the curriculum.

In diverse communities where some pupils  ...  view the full agenda text for item 25.

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Best and seconded by Councillor J Hemsted seconded:

 

This Council welcomes the Government’s new statutory Relationships, Sex and Education (RSE) guidance and resolves to support and reassure schools in providing a fully inclusive curriculum.

 

In diverse communities where families take many and different forms, some pupils have one parent, others have two parents of the same sex and some are looked after primarily by grandparents or foster carers, it is important children understand the different make-up of every family and that each family unit is legitimate and accepted.

 

In our schools and playgrounds, we want children to happily play with each other, with respect for each other’s faith, background and culture and specifically be happy and comfortable with their own identities.

 

We welcome the new RSE curriculum for primary schools, which will play an integral part alongside religious education and the promotion of ‘British values’ in ensuring children understand each other’s background, culture and practices.

 

This will help achieve a truly tolerant and understanding environment, in turn fostering better learning and a kinder society.

 

This Council understands the importance of an environment which recognises different family units and resolves to urgently rectify its maternity and paternity documents to reflect the diverse nature of families in the UK.

 

This Council is proud of the way the Borough’s schools already promote equality and acceptance in their approach to relationship and sex education; with safeguarding at its heart and in partnership with parents, the community and the Local Authority. We are proud that many Waltham Forest schools are early adopters and have already begun delivering their new RSE curriculum.

 

This Council commends the Government for bolstering spending on tackling homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools by £4 million since 2016 and seeks the Secretary of State’s assurances that the necessary resource to support the implementation of the new guidelines for RSE will be available.

 

This council recognises the part early education plays in mitigating intolerance and hopes that the Government will build on these changes to make teaching relationship and sex education mandatory for all primary schools.

 

There is no place for hate in Waltham Forest and we will not stand for homophobic protests like those seen in Birmingham. This council will stand strong alongside schools and not allow any similar behaviour at school gates in this borough where pupils and teachers should feel safe.

 

The negative effect on school staff in Birmingham is clear to see with many employees having received counselling as a result of harassment seen at school gates. This council will consult schools and review its anti-harassment policy to ensure that what forms acceptable and unacceptable means and location of protest is clear and that teachers and staff employed by this borough will be protected from harassment.

 

This Council resolves to:

 

·     Write to all schools in the Borough outlining our commitment to fully inclusive RSE education and support schools in communicating with parents how they will teach these subjects and what it will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

ANNUAL YOUTH JUSTICE PLAN FOR 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor A Khan and seconded by Councillor Williams, that the Councilagree the Youth Justice Plan for 2018/19 as at Appendix A to the report.

 

On being put to the vote, the motion was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

27.

CORPORATE PARENTING BOARD ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Williams and seconded by Councillor N Asghar, that the Council note the Annual Report of the Corporate Parenting Board 2018-19.

 

On being put to the vote, the motion was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

28.

AUDIT AND GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 536 KB

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Lacey-Holland and seconded by Councillor Doré, that the Council note the Audit and Governance Committee’s 2018-19 Annual Report.

 

On being put to the vote, the motion was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

29.

AMENDMENT TO THE CHIEF OFFICER STRUCTURE AND PAY POLICY STATEMENT pdf icon PDF 238 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Coghill and seconded by Councillor Loakes,

that the Council

(a)approve the new chief officer pay scales and the consequential amendment to the Pay Policy Statement 2019/20 from 1 October 2019

(b)Note the amendment to Part 11 of the Constitution (Management Structure) as set out in Appendix 2 of the report and the resulting savings as set out in Appendix 3.

On being put to the vote, the motion was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

30.

APPOINTMENTS

Details of appointments to be made will be set out in the Order Paper for the meeting.

Minutes:

The following appointments were agreed:

 

Committees:

 

Growth Scrutiny

Councillor Terry to replace Councillor Lyons

 

Neighbourhoods Scrutiny

Councillor Saima Mahmud to replace Councillor Osho

 

Corporate Parenting Board

Councillor Saima Mahmud to replace Councillor Osho

 

Outside Bodies:

 

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority

Councillor Wheeler to replace Councillor Rayner (appointed under urgency procedures on 12 July 2019)

 

 

 

London Councils – Committees and Forum

Grants Committee (associated Joint Committee)

Councillor Ahsan Khan to replace Councillor Mitchell

 

The following appointment was noted:

 

John Turnbull, Strategic Director of Finance & Governance has been appointed by the Pension Committee as Deputy to the London CIV (Pension Collective Investment Vehicle)