Agenda and draft minutes

Full Council - Wednesday, 20th January, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Online - Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Kayode Adewumi  Email: kayode.adewumi@lbhf.gov.uk

Link: Watch the meeting on YouTube

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Adam Connell.

2.

Roll call and declarations of Interests

The Mayor will carry out a roll call of Councillors to confirm attendance. Councillors will have an opportunity to declare any interests.

 

If a Councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a particular item, whether or not it is entered in the Authority’s register of interests, or any other significant interest which they consider should be declared in the public interest, they should declare the existence and, unless it is a sensitive interest as defined in the Member Code of Conduct, the nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.

 

At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest or other significant interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter.  The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken.

 

Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance and speak, then the Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration. Councillors who have declared other significant interests should also withdraw from the meeting if they consider their continued participation in the matter would not be reasonable in the circumstances and may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest.

 

Councillors are not obliged to withdraw from the meeting where a dispensation to that effect has been obtained from the Standards Committee.

 

Minutes:

All members were present at the start of the meeting except for Councillors Adam Connell, Lisa Homan, David Morton, Lucy Richardson, Ann Rosenberg, and Frances Stainton. Councillors Homan, Morton, Richardson, and Rosenberg joined later. Councillor Stainton attempted to join the meeting but had technical difficulties.

 

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 323 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on the 25th of November 2020.

Minutes:

6.37pm – RESOLVED

 

The minutes of the meeting held on the 25th of November 2020 were agreed as a correct record.

 

4.

Mayor's/Chief Executive's Announcements

Minutes:

Queen’s Birthday Honours List

 

The Mayor noted the Council’s congratulations to the following people who were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for their outstanding achievements:-

 

Michael Clarke, H&F’s former Director for Libraries, who was awarded an MBE for services to Public Libraries and to voluntary service in London during Covid-19.

 

Sheila Hancock CBE who was made a Dame for her services to drama and to charity.

 

Wasfi Kani OBE, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Grange Park Opera, who was awarded a CBE for services to music.

 

The Leader then made a speech thanking them all for their hard work and service to the community.

 

Death of a former Councillor

 

The Mayor announced the death of former Councillor Araminta Birdsey, who recently passed away. Ms Araminta Birdsey was elected as a Labour Councillor for Margravine ward in 1998, and for Fulham Reach ward in 2002.

 

The Leader and Councillor Alex Karmel made speeches of remembrance.

 

The Council then observed a minute of silence in her memory.

 

5.

Public Questions (20 Minutes) pdf icon PDF 310 KB

The Leader / relevant Cabinet Member to reply to questions submitted by members of the public.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor thanked all of the residents who submitted questions. He noted that public question time was limited to 20 minutes and it would not be extended as there were 35 public questions and a full agenda.

 

Under Standing Order 15(e)(12), Councillor Alex Karmel moved a motion to suspend the standing orders but the motion was denied by the Mayor as he had already ruled that public question time would not exceed the allotted 20 minutes.

 

Questions 1, 3, 4, and 5 were addressed in the meeting. The Mayor noted that any questions not addressed in the meeting would receive written responses which would also be published in the minutes. All of the questions and responses can be found in Appendix 1.

 

6.

Items for Discussion/Committee Reports

6.1

Council Tax Support Scheme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 201 KB

This report details the Council Tax Support Scheme, setting out how the Council will help people on low incomes to pay their council tax.

Minutes:

7.13pm – The report and recommendations were formally moved for adoption by the Cabinet Member for Finance and Commercial Services, Councillor Max Schmid.

 

Councillor Max Schmid made a speech (for the Administration) and Councillor Andrew Brown made a speech (for the Opposition).

 

Under Standing Order 17(e) the Opposition requested a recorded vote.

 

FOR

AGAINST

NOT VOTING

Cllr Aherne

Cllr Alford

Cllr Brocklebank-Fowler

Cllr Brown (Andrew)

Cllr Brown (Daryl)

Cllr Caleb-Landy

Cllr Cassidy

Cllr Coleman

Cllr Cooper

Cllr Cowan

Cllr Culhane

Cllr Donovan

Cllr Fennimore

Cllr Harcourt

Cllr Harvey

Cllr Holder

Cllr Homan

Cllr Johnson

Cllr Jones

Cllr Karmel

Cllr Kwon

Cllr Leighton

Cllr Lloyd-Harris

Cllr Loveday

Cllr Macmillan

Cllr Murphy

Cllr Perez

Cllr Qayyum

Cllr Quigley

Cllr Ree

Cllr Richardson

Cllr Rosenberg

Cllr Rowbottom

Cllr Sanderson

Cllr Schmid

Cllr Siddique

Cllr Smith

Cllr Stanton

Cllr Thorley

Cllr Uberoi

Cllr Umeh

Cllr Vaughan

Cllr Vincent

None

None

 

FOR                        UNANIMOUS

AGAINST                0

NOT VOTING         0

 

The report and recommendations were declared CARRIED.

 

7.21pm – RESOLVED

 

That Full Council approves the following recommendations:-

1.    That the Council Tax Support Scheme in operation in 2020/2021 shall continue in 2021/2022.

2.    That the Council shall apply the annual uprating of allowances, applicable amounts and income set out in the DWP Housing Benefit circular to the Council Tax Support scheme for 2021/2022.

 

 

6.2

Council Tax Base and Collection Rate 2021/22 and Delegation of the Business Rate Estimate pdf icon PDF 305 KB

This report sets the council tax base for the purposes of the 2021/22 revenue budget. The report also delegates authority to the Director of Finance to determine the business rates tax base for 2021/22.

Minutes:

7.21pm – The report and recommendations were formally moved for adoption by the Cabinet Member for Finance and Commercial Services, Councillor Max Schmid.

 

Councillor Max Schmid made a speech (for the Administration) and Councillor Andrew Brown made a speech (for the Opposition).

 

Under Standing Order 17(e) the Opposition requested a recorded vote.

 

FOR

AGAINST

NOT VOTING

Cllr Aherne

Cllr Alford

Cllr Brocklebank-Fowler

Cllr Brown (Andrew)

Cllr Brown (Daryl)

Cllr Caleb-Landy

Cllr Cassidy

Cllr Coleman

Cllr Cooper

Cllr Cowan

Cllr Culhane

Cllr Donovan

Cllr Fennimore

Cllr Harcourt

Cllr Harvey

Cllr Holder

Cllr Homan

Cllr Johnson

Cllr Jones

Cllr Karmel

Cllr Kwon

Cllr Leighton

Cllr Lloyd-Harris

Cllr Loveday

Cllr Macmillan

Cllr Morton

Cllr Murphy

Cllr Perez

Cllr Qayyum

Cllr Quigley

Cllr Ree

Cllr Richardson

Cllr Rosenberg

Cllr Rowbottom

Cllr Sanderson

Cllr Schmid

Cllr Siddique

Cllr Smith

Cllr Stanton

Cllr Thorley

Cllr Uberoi

Cllr Umeh

Cllr Vaughan

Cllr Vincent

None

None

 

FOR                        UNANIMOUS

AGAINST                0

NOT VOTING         0

 

The report and recommendations were declared CARRIED.

 

7.34pm – RESOLVED

 

That Full Council approved for the financial year 2021/22:

1.    That the estimated numbers of properties for each Valuation Band as set out in this report be approved.

2.    That an estimated collection rate of 97.0% be approved.

3.    That the Council Tax Base of 80,930 Band “D” equivalent properties be approved.

4.    To delegate authority to the Director of Finance in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Commercial Services, to determine the business rates tax base for 2021/22.

5.    To note the provisional in-year 2020/21 council tax collection fund deficit of £6m and that the estimate will continue to be reviewed. The overall deficit, taking account of prior years, is estimated at £5.550m.

6.    To note that the pan-London business rates pool is unlikely to continue in 2021/22. Should it be possible for the pool to continue the decision to participate is delegated to the Director of Finance in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Commercial Services.

 

 

6.3

Review of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 260 KB

This report recommends changes to Article 11 of the Constitution, the Departmental Register of Authorities, and Contract Standing Orders.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An amendment to the report was published online and circulated to members.

 

7.34pm – The amended report and recommendations were formally moved for adoption by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Stephen Cowan.

 

Under Standing Order 17(e) the Opposition requested a recorded vote.

 

FOR

AGAINST

NOT VOTING

Cllr Aherne

Cllr Alford

Cllr Brocklebank-Fowler

Cllr Brown (Andrew)

Cllr Brown (Daryl)

Cllr Caleb-Landy

Cllr Cassidy

Cllr Coleman

Cllr Cooper

Cllr Cowan

Cllr Culhane

Cllr Donovan

Cllr Fennimore

Cllr Harcourt

Cllr Harvey

Cllr Holder

Cllr Homan

Cllr Johnson

Cllr Jones

Cllr Karmel

Cllr Kwon

Cllr Leighton

Cllr Lloyd-Harris

Cllr Loveday

Cllr Macmillan

Cllr Morton

Cllr Murphy

Cllr Perez

Cllr Qayyum

Cllr Quigley

Cllr Ree

Cllr Richardson

Cllr Rosenberg

Cllr Rowbottom

Cllr Sanderson

Cllr Schmid

Cllr Siddique

Cllr Smith

Cllr Stanton

Cllr Thorley

Cllr Uberoi

Cllr Umeh

Cllr Vaughan

Cllr Vincent

None

None

 

FOR                        UNANIMOUS

AGAINST                0

NOT VOTING         0

 

The amended report and recommendations were declared CARRIED.

 

7.39pm – RESOLVED

1.    That Council approve the update to Article 11 of the Constitution in Appendix 1.

2.    That Council agree the updates to the Departmental Register of Authorities in Appendix 2.

3.    That Council agree the updates to Contract Standing Orders in Appendix 3.

4.    That Council agree the following changes to committee memberships:

a.    Appoint Councillor David Morton to the Finance, Commercial Revenue and Contracts Policy and Accountability Committee to replace Councillor Fiona Smith.

b.    Appoint Councillor Fiona Smith to the Community Safety and Environment Policy and Accountability Committee to replace Councillor David Morton.

7.

Special Motions

To consider and determine any Special Motions:

 

Minutes:

At the start of the meeting the Mayor noted that amendments had been circulated and if the guillotine fell, all special motions and amendments would be taken as moved and seconded.

 

7.1

Special Motion 1 - Limiting the second bigger wave of pandemic infections pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Minutes:

7.39pm – Councillor Ben Coleman moved, seconded by Councillor Patricia Quigley, the special motion in their names.

 

“This Council:

 

Expects swift, clear government action to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences, and recognises that anything less costs lives, damages the economy, causes business failures and unemployment, and threatens the NHS.

 

Agrees that in managing any epidemic or pandemic, the government must act upon the best scientific advice that not only explains what has happened but predicts what is likely to happen.

 

Notes that at a meeting on 13 December, London’s council leaders heard from Public Health England that since early December the pandemic had been growing exponentially in London's population and that unless immediate lockdown action was taken the virus could grow out of control within days.

 

Notes that all London’s council leaders called at that meeting for tough measures to be introduced immediately to control the virus by effectively “cancelling Christmas”.

 

Regrets that the government resisted that call for five crucial days, leaving tens of thousands of asymptomatic but infected people to travel freely about the country and spread the infection.

 

Recognises that from the earliest days of the pandemic the Prime Minister and his government have frequently failed to act on the best scientific advice. Instead, they have dithered and prevaricated, too often focused on the politics above all else, and on too many occasions have acted too late and done too little. The Council calls on the government to urgently change its approach.

 

Notes that on 20 December, Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted the virus was now “out of control”.

 

Notes that at a meeting on 31 December, ministers, London council leaders and chief executives were told by a government public health expert that every class in every London school was estimated to contain at least one infected student.

 

Notes that the virus is largely being spread by people who are asymptomatic and that the consequences of this new peak in infection are likely to continue to 21 March at the earliest.

 

Recognises that the only solution now available to the government is a full lockdown.

 

Advises residents to do the following:

·       Stay home. To stop the spread of the virus and cut the length of time a lockdown is needed, which will save lives, protect our NHS and save businesses and job

·       Get tested. The more we know about who has the disease and how they got it, the better we can fight it. Hammersmith & Fulham has capacity to test 74,000 local residents over the next six weeks and urges residents to book via www.lbhf.gov.uk/gettested for a test at one of our three locations

·       Get the vaccine. This is being rolled out to priority groups but the sooner everyone is vaccinated, the sooner life will begin to get better. People should get it as soon as they are offered it.

·       When out exercising: always wear a mask, practice strict social distancing and sanitation. This means keeping a car’s length away  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.1

7.2

Special Motion 2 - Protecting the finances of Hammersmith & Fulham residents and businesses pdf icon PDF 354 KB

Minutes:

8.11pm – Councillor Max Schmid moved, seconded by Councillor Wesley Harcourt, the special motion in their names.

 

“The Council notes recent demands made by Government that the borough’s residents and businesses face the consequences of paying an unprecedented £64million towards the repair of the 133-year-old Grade II* listed Hammersmith Bridge.

 

It also notes the £8.6million LBHF has been investing to repair the bridge since residents elected the current administration into office in 2014 and how that is ten times more than the previous administration spent during the whole of its eight years in office.

 

The Council recognises how the £64m demanded by the government is substantially more than any other London Council has paid for bridge maintenance noting: it is twenty-five times greater than the £2.6m the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was required to invest in the repair of Albert Bridge; and that data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government demonstrates how, since 2010, only £100m has been spent by London Councils in total maintenance and repair of London road and river bridges – equivalent to less than £400,000 a year for each borough which, even then, saw most of that money eventually paid by the government or Transport for London.

 

The Council notes that the government has advised the Council that because the residents of Hammersmith & Fulham enjoy the third lowest Council tax in the country, they should and can afford to pay a significant increase (£800+ per taxpayer) in Council tax to meet their £64m demand.

 

The Council supports the Labour administration’s commitment to keep Council tax and all resident charges low with H&F’s Council tax remaining the third lowest in the country. It recognises that this is particularly important as residents face the consequences of a difficult recession which will see business failures and unemployment affecting many people’s livelihoods across our borough and agree that our residents must remain our priority.

 

The Council recognises that Hammersmith & Fulham’s low Council tax and improved services has been achieved despite a decade of Austerity which was introduced in 2010 by the Conservative/LibDem government, and which cut LBHF’s budget as follows:

 

·       in 2010/11 LBHF’s total net budget was £184.345m

·       in 2020/21 LBHF’s total net budget is £121.003m

 

And it notes that the pandemic has caused the Council to spend millions of pounds keeping people safe and that these sums have not been fully repaid by government despite government’s promises to do so.

 

The Council is therefore dismayed to note that on 7 December 2020, Lord Greenhalgh (Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) called for Hammersmith & Fulham’s residents and businesses “to stump up the cash” to repair Hammersmith Bridge over just five years. He said: “Surely £50 million over 5 years is a reasonable contribution from the Council that owns the bridge”. He also made the inaccurate statement that “LBHF has £61m in unearmarked Council reserves + a £20m general fund balance!”

 

The Council recognises that Lord Greenhalgh appears to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.2

7.3

Special Motion 3 - Council Consultations pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Minutes:

9.00pm – Councillor Matt Thorley moved, seconded by Councillor Mark Loveday, the special motion in their names:

 

“This Council acknowledges the huge contribution local residents make to towards all aspects of life in Hammersmith & Fulham. The Council is committed to working with local residents, not doing things to them. The Council recognises that local residents have a deep understanding of their local area, its needs, shortcomings and importantly what improvements can and need to be made to make H&F an even better place to live.

 

The Council plays a vital role in formulating and implementing policies and change in H&F. However, the Council understands that there are other important local stakeholders involved in this process as well. Local residents in particular have an invaluable role given their deep understanding of their local area. As such the Council regrets that many residents recently have felt that the Council is doing things to them, not with them.

 

This Council regrets recent examples of their failure to properly consult with local residents, including over the South Fulham Traffic Scheme, the hugely unpopular Wheelie Bin fiasco and the controversial proposals to sell off playgrounds and redevelop two primary schools, and resolves to put right these situations that have caused such anger with local residents.

 

The Council’s resolves to adopt a LBHF Code of Good Practice to ensure that all future consultations with local residents and other local stakeholders are undertaken in a consistent manner that promotes genuine, wide public engagement. Such an approach will ensure all residents impacted by any scheme are properly consulted which will hopefully result in future schemes, when implemented, having the widest possible level of local support.”

 

Speeches on the special motion were made by Councillors Matt Thorley and Mark Loveday  (for the Opposition).

 

Under Standing Order 15(e)(6), Councillor Ben Coleman moved, seconded by Councillor Wesley Harcourt, an amendment in their names:

 

“Delete all after “As such...” in para 2, and insert:

 

“this Council notes the significant levels of engagement with local residents in developing the South Fulham Traffic, Congestion and Pollution Reduction Scheme. It further notes the involvement of Keep Britain Tidy in speaking to residents regarding the prototype waste collection scheme, the number of information leaflets provided and the continued direct contact with residents before, during and after the start of the scheme.

 

The Council is extensively consulting and listening to residents on rebuilding two primary schools in the absence of government funding since the Conservative-led coalition scrapped Building Schools for the Future.

 

The numerous resident-led commissions are also testament to this Council’s determination to put residents at the heart of decision-making and policy in the borough in a wide range of policy areas, including Disabled People, Older People, Biodiversity, Climate and Ecological Emergency, Air Quality, Parks, Policing and Crime, Teaching, Women’s Equality, Poverty and Worklessness, Business, Airport Expansion, Council Housing, and Rough Sleeping.””

 

Speeches on the amendment were made by Councillors Ben Coleman, Wesley Harcourt, and Lisa Homan (for the Administration) – and Mark Loveday  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.3

7.4

Special Motion 4 - Hammersmith Bridge Engineering Reports pdf icon PDF 190 KB

Minutes:

The special motion was withdrawn.

 

7.5

Special Motion 5 - Covid 19 Vaccination Programme pdf icon PDF 197 KB

Minutes:

The special motion was withdrawn.