Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX
Contact: Annette Wiles 020 872 6000 x64877 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To approve the minutes of the Special and Full Council meetings held on 3 December 2018 as an accurate record.
The minutes of both the Special and Full Council meetings held on Monday 3 December 2018 were accepted as a true and accurate record.
Disclosure of Interests
In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to register disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and gifts and hospitality to the value of which exceeds £50 or multiple gifts and/or instances of hospitality with a cumulative value of £50 or more when received from a single donor within a rolling twelve month period. In addition, Members and co-opted Members are reminded that unless their disclosable pecuniary interest is registered on the register of interests or is the subject of a pending notification to the Monitoring Officer, they are required to disclose those disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting. This should be done by completing the Disclosure of Interest form and handing it to the Democratic Services representative at the start of the meeting. The Chair will then invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3. Completed disclosure forms will be provided to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion on the Register of Members’ Interests.
There were no declarations of pecuniary interests. Members confirmed their disclosure of interests forms were accurate and up-to-date.
Urgent Business (if any)
To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.
There were no items of urgent business.
To receive Announcements, if any, from the Mayor, the Leader, Head of Paid Service and Returning Officer.
Madam Mayor made tribute to Councillor Maggie Mansell whose death was announced earlier in the month. The Councillor’s long service to her residents, the Council and her contribution to the Pension Board, Planning Committee, Health and Wellbeing Board and as the Council’s Dementia Champion were highlighted. It was also noted that Councillor Mansell was a previous Mayor of the Council.
A minute’s silence was held to honour Councillor Mansell lead by Madam Mayor.
Both Councillors Newman, Leader of the Council, and Tim Pollard, Leader of the Conservative Group, were invited by Madam Mayor to make their own tributes.
Councillor Newman described Councillor Mansell as a colleague, friend and one of the family who had been part of the very fabric of the Council. Her contribution to public life through her powerful advocacy for public health and the NHS was highlighted along with her commitment to working for the rights of individuals. She was noted for having offered her support to all new Councillors regardless of their party.
Councillor Pollard remembered Councillor Mansell as a bundle of energy who was passionate about public health. Through serving on the Health and Wellbeing Board she had worked for the betterment of health in Croydon. The Dementia Alliance Award recently received by the Council was testament to her work as Dementia Champion. Councillor Mansell’s support for careers and women in science was also highlighted and she was described as having left big shoes to fill and that she had held the respect of all in the Chamber. Councillor Pollard’s thoughts were with Councillor Mansell’s friends and family.
a) Public Questions (30 minutes)
To receive questions from the public gallery and questions submitted by residents in advance of the meeting.
b) Leader and Cabinet Member Questions (105 minutes)
To receive questions from Councillors.
Madam Mayor introduced public questions and noted that due to a full agenda and limited time, it would not be possible to take supplementary questions from members of the public. Additionally, those questions submitted in writing by those not able to attend the meeting were to be provided with a written response within three weeks. Those responses were also to be published on the Council’s website.
Question: Croydon resident, Alan Poole asked a question about the standard of rubbish collections in Rylandes Road, Selsdon, providing the details of the service experienced. He highlighted that despite bins being placed for collection on the correct day it was variable whether or not the collection actually happened. He described how bins had been thrown on the road with rubbish spilt and bins broken. On one occasion, having challenged one of the collection crew, his rubbish was then not collected. Mr Poole went on to detail his experience of the complaints process and having sent 10 emails before receiving a response. The phone had been put down on him when he called the Council’s customer care team. He had then spoken to Councillor Helen Pollard, his ward councillor. He had canvassed his neighbours who had a similar experience of the waste collection service. Finally, it was noted that he still had not received a replacement bin.
In response, Councillor Collins, Cabinet Member for Clean, Green Croydon, apologised on behalf of Veolia, the waste contractor. The Councillor requested that further details be provided so that he could look further into the matter. He noted that most other complaints of missed collections had been resolved satisfactorily. He reported that incidents of more than one missed collection were being explored with the Waste Services Manager.
Leader and Cabinet Member questions
Madam Mayor introduced questions to the Leader of the Council and noted that this item has a time allocation of 15 minutes. She then proceeded to ask a number of Councillors to put their questions to the Leader. They were all invited to ask a supplementary question.
Councillor Tim Pollard noted that the London Borough of Bromley had its Children’s Services judged inadequate by Ofsted a year before the same had happened in Croydon. Bromley’s Children’s Services had been reinspected in November 2018 and had been judged to be good. The Leader was invited to congratulate Bromley on its achievement.
Councillor Newman accepted Councillor Tim Pollard’s invitation and confirmed he was always pleased to have the opportunity to congratulate officers for their successes. The Leader went on to congratulate Croydon’s own frontline Children’s Services workers and noted the positive indicators being achieved in delivering the Council’s improvement plan, while highlighting that Bromley’s improvement journey was 18 months ahead of the work being done in Croydon.
In a supplementary question, Councillor Tim Pollard noted his comparison made between what Bromley was achieving 18 months ago and the recent feedback provided by Ofsted to Croydon’s Children’s Services. He highlighted the feedback received by Bromley at ... view the full minutes text for item 5/19
To receive notice of petitions presented by Members on behalf of local residents.
There were two Member petitions presented.
Councillor Parker, Member for Coulsdon Town Ward, stood and read his petition out: Post Office Dangerous Crossing: I have started this petition to put forward a safer crossing in front of the Coulsdon Post Office.I feel crossing here with my children is extremely dangerous and feel the drivers car more than often jump the lights and not abide the speed limit. Please sign this petition to help make Coulsdon a little safer for everyone.
Madam Mayor invited Councillor King to respond. Councillor King, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Regeneration (Job-Share) thanked Councillor Parker and the petition signatories. The Cabinet Member noted that improvements had been make to the junction in 2012/2013. However, the then policy of Transport for London had prevented a signalised all red-phase on the basis that this was thought likely to cause queuing traffic at the junction. However, it was thought that the approach of the Mayor of London had changed and as a result officers had been asked to request an all red-phase. It was hoped that this would get cross party support with the role of Councillor O’Connell as a member of the London Assembly Transport Committee noted.
Councillor Tim Pollard, Member for Sanderstead Ward, stood and read his petition out: We, the undersigned residents of Balfont Close, Sanderstead CR2 9LL, request that ‘wheels up’ parking be permitted to enable this narrow road to be more easily accessed by its residents and larger vehicles.
Balfont Close is a short cul de sac of 12 houses. Whilst residents park with consideration to other users, occasional vehicle parking by tradesmen, delivery drivers and local visitors can often mean the width available when cars park opposite each other is insufficient to allow anything other than very small cars to pass. Service vehicles such as Recycling & Refuse collection Lorries sometimes have to work from the end of the road as they are unable to get down, and on one occasion an Ambulance suffered from restricted access.
Permission to park ‘wheels up’ will relieve this problem, and the residents of Balfont Close are in unanimous agreement. We respectfully request the general parking restriction of not having wheels on the pavement is lifted.’’ Hope prove uncontentious.
Madam Mayor invited Councillor King to respond. Councillor King thanked Councillor Pollard and the petition signatories. The Cabinet Member noted both the narrow carriage and pavements and that all the dwellings in Balfont Close had off street parking for one or more vehicle. Due to the narrowness of the footways it would not be possible to permit wheels up parking. This was contrary to the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act and would prevent the safe use of pavements. It would be possible to use yellow lines to restrict parking to one side of the carriageway and therefore to safeguard access to Balfont Close. Councillor Pollard was asked to ascertain if residents would support this proposal.
To hear maiden speeches from Councillors newly elected at the local elections held on 23 May 2018.
Madam Mayor invited Councillors Parker, Croos, Millson, Fraser and Hoar to make their Maiden Speeches, having been newly elected on 23 May 2018.
Councillor Parker, Member for Coulsdon Town Ward, gave his Maiden Speech. He paid tribute to the other candidates in the ward including those who had stood in opposition to him. Specific mention was made of Charlie King with thanks given for all he had done for the town. Councillor Bains, who had previously been a Councillor in Coulson Town Ward, was also mentioned along with his victory in own ward. Councillor Parker referenced his late father who had been a Labour Party Member and Unionist who he thought would be appalled by today’s Labour Party. The party’s record on antisemitism, affordable housing, flytipping and recycling rates were all cited. The Administration was accused of riding rough shod over residents. Increase in Member allowances whilst care for vulnerable residents was decreasing was highlighted.
In response, Councillor Butler invited Councillor Parker to undertake a visit of Brick by Brick sites.
Councillor Croos, Member for Fairfield Ward, gave her Maiden Speech highlighting she was pleased by her win for three reasons; first, Labour had won the seat from the Conservative Party; second, this had meant Labour had achieved a clean sweep in the ward as the party that speaks for the many and not the few; and finally, that she had lived in the ward for 17 years and was a proud part of the community. Councillor Croos emphasised that Croydon was at a crossroads in becoming an economic powerhouse based on its retail offer and economic development. Croydon was a fantastic place to live, work and play; the Administration was transforming the ward for the better after years of neglect. Whilst never easy the progress all round was noted. This was becoming a reality through initiatives such as the new Westfield shopping centre which would offer jobs and other opportunities. Councillor Croos gave her thanks to her Labour colleagues for all the team work that had enabled her to win seat. She stressed the need for all Members to work together for the benefit of residents.
Councillor Millson, Member for Selsdon Vale and Forestdale Ward, gave his Maiden Speech and highlighted that it was a great honour to represent the ward. Whilst his ward was seen to bridge two distinct communities, it was noted that they were linked by Selsdon woods. Councillor Millson gave his thanks to the Friends group that helped to maintain this. It was noted that many residents had moved to Croydon from elsewhere in London and from around the world with many motivated by their aspiration to own a home and garden. This was an aspiration that the Council shared with its residents and which needed to be supported. Councillor Millson noted that his mother was also a Councillor for the Liberal Democrat Party. He wanted to achieve what was best for Croydon and best for residents, and where Labour and Conservative Members agreed, there ... view the full minutes text for item 7/19
To consider the report of the Director of Law and Governance proposing amendments to the Members’ Scheme of Allowances, as part of the Council’s Constitution, to establish a Parental Leave Policy.
The amendment to the Scheme of Members’ of Allowances to establish a Parental Leave Policy, as part of Council’s Constitution, was proposed by Councillor Newman. The Leader noted his great pride in the initiative and thanked all those involved in its development. The amendments were seconded by Councillor Tim Pollard.
RESOLVED: Council resolved to agree the amendment to the Scheme of Members’ Allowances to provide maternity, adoption, shared parental, paternity and sickness leave as detailed in the report and as appended in full at Appendix 1.
To consider the proposals regarding the transfer of property to the Pension Fund.
Councillor Hall expressed his delight in proposing the transfer of property, highlighting the benefit this would provide to the pension fund.
RESOLVED: Council resolved to the break in the leases in 40 years, subject to all linked outstanding debt having been cleared, to transfer the 346 homes leased to Croydon Affordable Homes LLP and Croydon Affordable Tenures via an additional lease to the London Borough of Croydon Pension Fund, or any successor body, via a Pension Fund nominee company as part of meeting the Council’s liability to the Pension Fund as a scheme employer.
To consider the report from the Chief Executive on the appointment of an Interim Chief Finance and Section 151 Officer and Interim Executive Director of Resources.
Councillor Newman proposed and Councillor Tim Pollard seconded the recommendations as set out in the report.
RESOLVED: Council resolved that subject to the appointment notification process as set out in Section 3.4 of Part 4J of the Council’s Constitution (Staff Employment Procedure Rules):
1. The resignation of Richard Simpson from his role as the Council’s Executive Director of Resources and Chief Finance Officer and Section 151 Officer be noted;
2. The appointment by the Chief Executive under delegated authority of Lisa Taylor to the statutory post of Chief Finance and Section 151 Officer on an interim basis for a period of up to 6 months from 1 February 2019 be noted;
3. The extension of the appointment of Lisa Taylor to the statutory post of Chief Finance and Section 151 Officer on an interim basis for a period beyond 6 months be agreed should this be necessary pending recruitment to the role of Chief Finance and Section 151 Officer on a permanent basis;
4. The appointment by the Chief Executive under delegated authority of Jacqueline Harris Baker to the post of interim Executive Director of Resources on an interim basis for a period of up to 6 months from 1 February 2019 be noted;
5. The extension of the appointment of Jacqueline Harris Baker to the post of interim Executive Director of Resources for a period beyond 6 months be agreed should this be necessary pending recruitment to the role of Executive Director of Resources on a permanent basis;
6. To note that Jacqueline Harris Baker will retain her current functions as Council Solicitor and Monitoring Officer; and
7. To delegate authority to the Council Solicitor and Monitoring Officer to make all necessary consequential changes to the Constitution arising from these interim appointments.
Madam Mayor led the Members of Council in congratulating Jacqueline Harris Baker and Lisa Taylor on their appointments.
To consider the annual report of the Health and Wellbeing Board.
Madam Mayor invited Councillor Woodley, in her capacity as Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, to introduce its annual report to Council.
Councillor Woodley opened by paying tribute to Councillor Mansell who was described as an active and tenacious member of the Board who had been its Chair from 2014 until 2017. Councillor Mansell’s championing of dementia was specifically noted; this was a subject on which Councillor Mansell had been passionate and committed. Her attendance at every Dementia Alliance meeting was highlighted.
Returning to the subject of the Board itself, Councillor Woodley explained this had been reconstituted in 2017 to focus on reducing health inequality and increasing prevention and integration. Health and social care integration was specifically described as going from strength to such strength that targets were being exceeded. The Council and the local NHS were developing a plan for health and social care which would be published in July 2019. It was noted that an engagement event to support the development of the strategy had been held in November 2019 which had attracted 166 attendees.
Councillor Woodley also noted the focus on mental health service provision and the importance of local planning; a young people’s mental health strategy was in the final stages of development.
Councillor Hopley requested to know what Councillor Woodley considered her greatest achievement in the role of Chair of the Board.
In response, Councillor Woodley acknowledged the work of Councillors Hopley and Bird as members of the Board, their having been instrumental in working toward the Council’s Dementia Friendly status. The Councillor described how since being appointed, she had lead on the review of the Board’s constitution, put in place a workshop on children and young people’s mental health service provision and looked at the mismatch of services and how this might be generating longer waiting lists. The contribution of partners to get this work right was stressed.
In her supplementary question, Councillor Hopley noted how she was looking forward to working with Councillor Woodley on the Board and asked if the voluntary sector would be better represented on the Board. Councillor Hopley stressed that the Board only had one voluntary sector member. She recommended an increase to ensure a more open and transparent view from the voluntary sector was made available to the Board.
In response, Councillor Woodley noted that the Board already had 27 members and expressed her concern that any further increase would start to undermine its effectiveness. She explained that her strategy was to bring in additional contributions as these were needed through the use of evidence gathering sessions. The Board would invite appropriate contributors to attend or engage with the Board for example, through workshops.
Councillor Campbell asked what progress has been made to improve services to support young people’s emotional wellbeing.
Councillor Woodley explained that a workshop on children and adolescent mental health and emotional wellbeing had been held in December 2018. Thanks were given to Councillor Campbell and her daughter for their support, the experience of ... view the full minutes text for item 11/19
Council Debate Motions
To debate any motions submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.
Madam Mayor requested the Chief Executive read the first Council Debate Motion made on behalf of the Administration: This council regrets the continuing uncertainty for Croydon residents, workers and employers arising from the government's inability to deliver a Brexit deal that will leave this country better off.
This council laments the wasted years of government chaos since the EU referendum in June 2016, and resolves to continue to seek to mitigate the worst effects of that government incompetence by continuing to work closely with the business community to invest in our borough and our people, and to send a clear message that Croydon is, and will remain, open.
Madam Mayor invited Councillor Wood to propose the motion.
Councillor Wood stated that it had been 949 days since the Brexit vote took place and that this was enough time to plan for the Brexit. However, with 64 days until the UK’s exit from the EU, there was no greater clarity on the terms of this departure. Further, the lack of understanding of those politicians who had supported and who were responsible for delivering it was noted. Councillor Wood therefore stated that the current situation did not come as a surprise. The impact this was having was noted: for example, medicines were being stockpiled, the negative effect on GDP, rising unemployment, increased costs of food and electricity. This was described as resulting from the incompetence of the Government which was acting in its own narrow self-interest. It was called on to rule out a no deal exit. Those that had created this situation were described as being inoculated from what they had created. Councillor Wood moved the motion saying it was based on what the Administration wanted to achieve for Croydon’s future.
Councillor Shalul-Hameed seconded the motion and reserved her right to speak.
Councillor Jason Cummings was invited by Madam Mayor to speak.
In response, Councillor Jason Cummings spoke against the motion and noted the hypocrisy of the Labour Party. The efforts being made to get a deal were highlighted and the Administration was called on to support those endeavours. Brexit may be criticised but it was still supported by the British public. In truth it was only the Conservative Party that was putting a solution forward.
Councillor Tim Pollard was then invited to speak by Madam Mayor.
Councillor Tim Pollard also spoke against the motion highlighting that Brexit was the biggest issue facing the country during all our lifetimes; the country was at a crossroads in seeking to deliver what the people had voted for. Councillor Tim Pollard called on all to work together in the national interest to deliver the commitments made by both parties in the 2017 General Election. The Councillor called on this to not be about making cheap political points and reminded Council that the Labour Party had voted in favour of holding the referendum and that its current sitting MPs had all been elected on a manifesto supporting the outcome of the referendum. Similarly, its ... view the full minutes text for item 12/19
To consider the recommendations made by Cabinet or Committee since the last ordinary Council meeting relating to the following matters:
1. Ethics Committee: amendment to Assessment Criteria for reviewing complaints against Councillors
2. Cabinet: Education Estates Strategy
The recommendation from the Ethics Committee held on 18 October 2018 was proposed by Councillor Fraser and seconded by Councillor Clouder, respectively the Chair and Vice Chair of the Ethics Committee. The recommendation was put to the vote and carried.
RESOLVED: Council approved the amendment of the Assessment Criteria for reviewing complaints against Councillors as set out in Appendix 1 of the report
The recommendations from Cabinet held on 21 January 2019 regarding the Education Estates Strategy and Admissions Arrangements for 2020/21 were proposed by Councillor Newman, seconded by Councillor Flemming and put to the vote and carried.
RESOLVED: The Council approved the proposed changes to the admission arrangements for the 2020/21 academic year:
i. Acceptance of first preference offers as part of the coordinated admission arrangements;
ii. Pan-London primary and secondary coordinated admissions schemes and post offer process (main rounds of admissions); and
iii. The processing of overseas applications for admission to school within the normal admissions rounds (excluding Crown servants).
iv. To approve the proposed Community schools Admission Arrangements for the 2020/21 academic year (Appendix 2b):
v. Adoption of the proposed Pan London scheme for co-ordination of admissions to Reception and Junior schools (Appendix 2c); and
vi. Adoption of the proposed Pan London scheme for co-ordination of admissions to secondary schools (Appendix 2d).
Madam Mayor closed the meeting with a reminder to all Councillors to complete their online governance survey by 31 January 2019.
Exclusion of the Press and Public
The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:
“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”
This item was not required.