Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX. View directions
Contact: Annette Wiles 020 872 6000 x64877 Email: email@example.com
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 15 July 2019 as an accurate record.
The minutes of the meeting held on 15 July 2019 were agreed as an accurate record.
Councillor Ryan raised a point of order regarding receipt of the response to the Beulah Hill petition presented at the Council meeting on 15 July 2019. It was confirmed that the response had been made available online on the Council’s website. Democratic Services were to ensure that the Councillor was aware of this response.
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 disclosures of interests. Members confirmed their disclosure of interest 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.
The Mayor, Councillor Kabir, provided Council with his announcements. These included an overview of the 102 engagements the Mayor had undertaken since the previous Council meeting in July 2019. Specific mention was made of the Mayor’s trip to Arnhem for the annual commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden. Other events mentioned included the openings of Fairfield Halls and the Legacy Youth Zone. The Mayor described how he had hosted of a number of seminars to raise awareness of topical issues such as domestic violence, social prescribing and mental health.
The Mayor’s forthcoming charitable events were detailed including a dinner night at Chat House (28 October 2019), a West End Gala event at Fairfield Halls (3 November 2019), an Asian cultural evening (9 November 2019) and a One Croydon concert in the Phoenix concert hall at Fairfield Halls (27 November 2019). All Members were encouraged to attend.
The Mayor's Civic Awards were promoted. These provided recognition for volunteers and community organisations in the borough. Nominations were to open on 15 October 2019 with Members urged to consider who from their wards should be entered.
The Mayor invited the Leader, Councillor Newman, to make his announcements. Councillor Newman informed Council of the sad news of the death of Stephen Aselford. The powerful contribution Mr Aselford made as a disability and transport campaigner was recorded and sympathies from across the political divide extended to his family.
The Leader updated Council on the cross party efforts to lobby the Government to address the funding gap for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC). Regret and disappointment were expressed that the latest action involving Councillor Butler and Chris Philp MP had not been successful with a letter received in response from the Minister stating the same position. Thanks were expressed for the support received across the Chamber. The Leader stressed the need to address the underfunding of UASC and highlighted that until this happened it was Croydon’s tax payers who were funding this provision on behalf of all tax payers across the country.
The Chief Executive
The Mayor invited the Chief Executive to make her announcements in her capacity as the Head of Paid Service and Returning Officer for the Borough of Croydon.
The Chief Executive, Jo Negrini, made three announcements:
i. A by-election in Fairfield Ward was to be held on Thursday 7 November 2019 as per the published notice of election following the resignation of Councillor Niroshan Sirisena. Residents living in Fairfield Ward who were British, Commonwealth, Irish or European Union Citizens and aged 18 or over on Thursday 7 November 2019 would be able to vote in the by- election but only if they were registered to vote. The deadline for new applications to register to vote in the election was midnight on Tuesday 22 October 2019. The venue for the count would be Braithwaite Hall. Access to the election count was restricted to candidates, their guests and agents. Appointments as a counting agent or guest were ... view the full minutes text for item 58/19
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.
The Mayor explained that Croydon Question Time would commence with thirty minutes of public questions to the Leader and Cabinet Members with preference being given to those who had questions who were in attendance at the meeting.
Croydon resident, Mr Tim Coombe asked the Leader, Councillor Tony Newman, about the Council’s continued support for the expansion of Gatwick Airport within the context of having declared a climate emergency at the Council meeting held in July 2019. Mr Coombe noted that whilst airlines were making claims of increased efficiency, emissions from aviation were continuing to climb.
The Leader thanked Mr Coombe for his question and reiterated the Council’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency including the need to reduce demand at airports. However, Councillor Newman also noted the need for the Council to work with Gatwick to benefit from the economic and employment advantages that would result from the airport’s expansion. It was noted that an expansion of Gatwick was preferable to Heathrow which was far more of an immediate climate emergency.
Mr Kosta Deiades asked Councillor Collins, the Cabinet Member for Clean, Green Croydon, why it takes the intervention of a Councillor to get jobs completed by the Council.
Councillor Collins thanked Mr Deiades for his question. The Cabinet Member noted that officers had a strict rotation for tree cutting and that the request made by Mr Deiades would be completed in the first week of November 2019. It was acknowledged that the overgrowth had attracted rubbish. Councillor Collins described how it was right for him to be involved with staff in the Department. It was explained that there was often a multitude of agencies involved in fulfilling resident requests and therefore these can appear to take time. The Cabinet Member recommended use of the Council’s App to report cases and informed Council that 97% of cases reported using the App were addressed within 24 hours. It was noted that cases involving private land could take longer to address as legal permission would be needed to give the Council the right to act. The Cabinet Member praised the Council’s workers but noted it could be more of a challenge when a third party such as Veolia was involved.
In his supplementary question, Mr Deiades highlighted that reports to the App didn’t always result in action within 24 hours and called for this to be addressed by the Cabinet Member. In response, Councillor Collins explained that it was part of his role to ensure the Council was delivering the right service and that he would consult with the Director as well as ensuring Veolia staff were monitored in the same way as those workers directly employed by the Council.
Croydon resident, Mr Bernard Mickleburgh asked Councillor Muhammad Ali, the Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Urban Regeneration if the replacement of signage in Surrey Street meant that the Council had recognised the original signage wasn’t adequate. Mr Mickleburgh went on to state that in his opinion the upgraded ... view the full minutes text for item 59/19
To receive notice of petitions presented by Members on behalf of local residents.
There were three Member petitions presented at Council. The Mayor invited Councillor Fitzpatrick to read out his petition. This was noted as stated in the agenda report: ‘‘In order to prevent the further misuse of the parking bays on the northern side of Gordon Crescent and to ensure their use by residents as is intended, we the affected residents, would like to recommend a gate be installed across the car park entrance to prohibit entry which would put us in the same position as residents on the southern side of Gordon Crescent who already have the benefit of a parking gate”. Councillor Allison Butler, Cabinet Member for Homes and Gateway Services, thanked Councillor Fitzpatrick for his petition and noted that she would look with officers at alleviating the problems.
The Mayor invited Councillor Perry to read out his petition. This was noted as stated in the agenda report: “Please introduce traffic calming measure into St Peter’s Street, South Croydon, in order to reduce speeding vehicles which are causing accidents and could lead to the loss of life”. Councillor Muhammad Ali, the Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport & Urban Regeneration, thanked the Councillor for his petition. However, it was noted that physical traffic calming was not always the best solution and could cause more issues in terms of noise and vibrations as well as restricting access by emergency vehicles. The Deputy Cabinet Member committed that officers would contact the police to request additional enforcement of existing restrictions be undertaken. It was reported that data had been requested on personal injuries resulting from traffic incidents in St Peter’s Street but none had been recorded. The Deputy Cabinet Member explained that officers would look at the road signage in St Peter’s Street to ensure this was sufficient to make motorists aware of the speed limit.
The Mayor invited Councillor Shafi Khan to read out his petition. This was noted as stated in the agenda report: “We, the residents of Oakhill Road, Norbury [SW16 5RG], call on Croydon Council to:
1. implement a trial one way traffic scheme for Oakhill Road [southwards from Croindene Road to Stanford Road];
2. erect two large 20 mph speed limit signs at the northern entrance of Oakhill Road; and
3. create a narrowing of the exit of Oakhill Road into Stanford Road with a large ‘No entry’ sign and a 10 yard wide ‘Keep Clear’ boxed area painted onto the surface of Stanford Road next to the exit of Oakhill Road. This would allow cars exiting Oakhill Road to turn right when there is queuing traffic in Stanford Road towards the London Road.
These measures are to reduce congestion and bad tempered incidents which are now happening on a daily basis due to vehicles being unable to pass each other resulting from parking on both sides of the road. During week day rush hour periods over 1,200 vehicles use Oakhill Road with many of them speeding. These measures will help protect our elderly residents and the ... view the full minutes text for item 60/19
Council Debate Motions
To debate any motions submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.
The Mayor requested the Chief Executive read the first Council Debate Motion made on behalf of the Administration:
“October 2019 marks 25 years since the FAIRTRADE Mark was launched in the UK.
Croydon was the first London Borough to obtain Fairtrade status in 2003, and has renewed it ever since. Today, Croydon Council is proud to renew its Fairtrade status, and agrees to an annual programme and review of Fairtrade activity, to include:
· Actively promoting Fairtrade locally, through support for local groups, in the media including social media, and events, including during Fairtrade Fortnight.
· Supporting local Fairtrade Schools and Universities, and actively promote Fairtrade teaching materials in local schools, and educational institutions
· Promoting Fairtrade in Council sponsored Youth Centres and Cultural venues.
· Celebrating and incentivising businesses championing Fairtrade products in the local community.
· Continuing to promote Fairtrade as part of its procurement policy, including its catering offer.”
The Mayor invited Councillor Fraser to propose the motion.
Councillor Fraser stated Croydon had been the first Fairtrade borough, a status that had been held for 25 years. He emphasised that those communities benefitting from Fairtrade were all represented in the borough and that support for Fairtrade had been driven by consumer choice. Fairtrade was described as an internationalist socialist movement driven by local demand. Councillor Fraser highlighted how the Council was supporting the movement through procurement with examples given of the Clock Tower restaurant, Fairfield Halls and the borough’s schools. The Councillor described himself as being a proud Fairtrade champion.
Councillor Patsy Cummings seconded the motion and reserved the right to speak.
The Mayor invited Councillor Chatterjee to speak who recommended the motion describing it as a way of being kind to people you don’t meet. He called for platform signs in Croydon to acknowledge the borough’s Fairtrade status, described his experience of Fairtrade wine tasting and how the movement allowed for better bargaining power.
Councillor Streeter was invited to speak by the Mayor and described how he was proud to support the motion and that he was pleased both parties were standing together on the issue of Fairtrade. He gave thanks to the Churches for their early work on getting Fairtrade adopted and also acknowledged the work of past Prime Ministers Major, Blair and May who had promoted the movement.
Councillor Patsy Cummings exercised her right to speak and highlighted how Fairtrade had brought stability to production for many. It had allowed producers to learn about market conditions and trends and to take more control over their lives. The link between Fairtrade standards and action to address environmental damage along with better working conditions was stressed and how this was preventing the use of force and/or underage labour. It was noted that by buying Fairtrade support was being given for brothers and sisters around the world.
The motion was put to the vote and carried unanimously.
The Mayor requested the Chief Executive read the second Council Debate Motion made on behalf of the Opposition:
“This Council recognises the huge contribution ... view the full minutes text for item 61/19
To consider the recommendations made by Cabinet since the last ordinary Council meeting relating to the following matters:
1. Cabinet: Quarter 1 Financial Performance 2019/20.
The Mayor invited Councillor Hall, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, to move the recommendations referred from Cabinet on 19 September 2019 relating to the Quarter 1 Financial Performance for 2019/20. The Cabinet Member explained that as part of the action being taken to address Government cuts to the budget, it was being proposed to increase the budget of the capital programme. This had been used to invest in Croydon Park Hotel with income being generated from long leases. It was planned to increase this budget so that the Council could act on additional schemes coming forward. Additionally, the recommendation to increase borrowing limits was about borrowing for a purpose for income generation and development. This would enable the Council to unlock investment in the borough for the benefit of Croydon’s economy by increasing the asset investment fund.
The recommendations in the report were seconded by Councillor Patsy Cummings, the Deputy Member for Finance and Resources.
The motion was put to the vote and carried.
RESOLVED: Council AGREED the recommendations and approved:
i. the increase to the capital programme by £112.816m as set out in Table 6 of the officer’s report; and
ii. the increase to the Operational Boundary for borrowing and Authorising Borrowing Limit of £219.296m as set out in Table 7 of the officer’s report.
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.