Agenda and draft minutes

Full Council - Wednesday, 18th January, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Main Hall (1st Floor) - 3 Shortlands, Hammersmith, W6 8DA. View directions

Contact: David Abbott  Email: david.abbott@lbhf.gov.uk

Link: Watch the meeting on YouTube

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Sally Taylor, Max Schmid, and Amanda Lloyd-Harris.

 

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillors Andrew Jones, Laura Janes, and Trey Campbell-Simon.

 

Councillor Patricia Quigley attended the meeting remotely.

 

2.

Declarations of 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:

Councillor Rory Vaughan declared non-pecuniary interests in Special Motions 3 and 7 due to his employment as a financial regulator and left the room for the debates and votes on those motions.

 

Councillors Adronie Alford and Alex Karmel declared non-pecuniary interests in Special Motion 7 as deferred members of the LBHF pension scheme. The Councillors considered that this did not give rise to a perception of a conflict of interests, and it would be reasonable to participate in the debates and votes on the motions.

 

Councillor Jackie Borland declared a non-pecuniary interest in Special Motion 2 as the director of a company which owned LBHF leasehold property. Councillor Borland considered that this did not give rise to a perception of a conflict of interests, and it would be reasonable to participate in the debate and vote on the motion.

 

Councillor Dominic Stanton declared a non-pecuniary interest in Special Motion 2 as a resident of a property where LBHF was the freeholder. Councillor Stanton considered that this did not give rise to a perception of a conflict of interests, and it would be reasonable to participate in the debate and vote on the motion.

 

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 525 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 19 October 2022.

Minutes:

Councillor Rory Vaughan noted that the following declaration made at the previous meeting was missing from the minutes and asked that it be added under Declarations of Interests:

 

“Councillor Rory Vaughan declared non-pecuniary interests in Special Motions 5, 6, and 9 due to his employment as a financial regulator and left the room for the debate and voting on those items.”

 

7.07pm – With the amendment noted above, the minutes of the Full Council meeting held on 19 October 2022 were agreed as an accurate record.

 

4.

Mayor's/Chief Executive's Announcements

Minutes:

Death of Honorary Freeman George Cohen MBE

 

The Mayor noted, with great sadness, the death of Honorary Freeman George Cohen MBE who passed away on 23 December 2022.

 

The Leader, Councillor Stephen Cowan, and Councillor Alex Karmel made speeches of remembrance.

 

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

 

5.

Public Questions (20 Minutes) pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Minutes:

The Mayor thanked the residents who submitted questions. Questions 1 and 2 were addressed in the meeting. The Mayor explained that any questions not addressed in the meeting would receive written responses. All questions and responses can be found in Appendix 1.

6.

Items for Discussion/Committee Reports

6.1

Council Tax Support Scheme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

This report seeks approval for the council tax support scheme which helps those on low incomes to pay their council tax.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.28pm – The report and recommendations were formally moved for adoption by the Cabinet Member for Finance and Reform, Councillor Rowan Ree.

 

Speeches on the report were made by Councillors Ree and Daly (for the Administration).

 

The report and recommendations were put to the vote:

 

FOR                        UNANIMOUS

AGAINST                0

NOT VOTING         0

 

The report and recommendations were declared CARRIED.

 

7.37pm – RESOLVED:

 

That Full Council agreed:

 

  1. That the Council Tax Support Scheme in operation in 2022/2023 (included at Appendix 1) shall continue in 2023/2024.

 

  1. 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 2023/2024.

 

6.2

Council Tax Base and Collection 2023/24 and Delegation of the Business Rates Estimate pdf icon PDF 371 KB

This report sets the council tax base for the purposes of the 2023/24 revenue budget and delegates authority to the Director of Finance to determine the business rates tax base.

Minutes:

7.37pm – The report and recommendations were formally moved for adoption by the Cabinet Member for Finance and Reform, Councillor Rowan Ree.

 

The report and recommendations were then put to the vote:

 

FOR                        UNANIMOUS

AGAINST                0

NOT VOTING         0

 

The report and recommendations were declared CARRIED.

 

7.38pm – RESOLVED:

 

  1. That Full Council approved the following for the financial year 2023/24:

 

a.    The estimated numbers of properties for each Valuation Band as set out in the report.

 

b.    An estimated collection rate of 97.0%.

 

c.     The Council Tax Base of 83,936 Band “D” equivalent properties.

 

d.    The delegation of authority to the Director of Finance to determine the business rates tax base for 2023/24.

 

6.3

Review of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 194 KB

This report recommends amendments to the Council’s Constitution.

Minutes:

7.38pm – The report and recommendations were formally moved for adoption by the Cabinet Member for Finance and Reform, Councillor Rowan Ree.

 

The report and recommendations were then put to the vote:

 

FOR                        UNANIMOUS

AGAINST                0

NOT VOTING         0

 

The report and recommendations were declared CARRIED.

 

7.38pm – RESOLVED:

 

  1. That Full Council approved the revisions to the Constitution listed in the report.

 

  1. That Full Council approved the updates terms of reference for the North West London Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

  1. That Full Council noted the amendment to the responsibilities of the Assistant Director, Legal Services.

 

6.4

Council Calendar of Meetings 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 177 KB

This report presents the 2023/24 calendar of meetings for approval.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.38pm – The report and recommendations were formally moved for adoption by the Cabinet Member for Finance and Reform, Councillor Rowan Ree.

 

The report and recommendations were then put to the vote:

 

FOR                        UNANIMOUS

AGAINST                0

NOT VOTING         0

 

The report and recommendations were declared CARRIED.

 

7.38pm – RESOLVED:

 

  1. That the 2023/24 Council calendar of meetings at Appendix 1 be approved.

 

7.

Special Motions

To consider and determine any Special Motions:

 

Minutes:

7.39pm – Councillor Genevieve Nwaogbe moved, seconded by Councillor Patrick Walsh, a motion under Standing Order 15(e)3 to change the order of the special motions as follows: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, 2.

 

The motion was then put to the vote:

 

FOR                        33

AGAINST                9

NOT VOTING         1

 

The motion was declared CARRIED.

 

7.3

Special Motion 3 - Liz Truss pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Minutes:

7.40pm – Councillor Nicole Trehy moved, seconded by Genevieve Nwaogbe, the special motion in their names:

 

“The Council notes that the Resolution Foundation has calculated that the Truss Conservative government was responsible for causing at least £30bn of the fiscal hole now in the UK’s finances.

 

The Council calls on all the Conservative members who voted to make Liz Truss the Conservative Party leader and UK Prime Minister, and the Conservative MPs who served in her administration as ministers, to apologise for damaging Britain and wreaking havoc on Hammersmith & Fulham’s residents and businesses.”

 

Speeches on the motion were made by Councillors Trehy (who made her maiden speech), Lang, Miri, and Coleman (for the Administration) – and Pascu-Tulbure, Karmel, and Dinsmore (for the Opposition).

 

Councillor Trehy made a short speech winding up the debate before the motion was put to the vote:

 

FOR                        33

AGAINST                9

NOT VOTING         1

 

I declare the motion CARRIED.

 

8.10pm – RESOLVED:

 

The Council notes that the Resolution Foundation has calculated that the Truss Conservative government was responsible for causing at least £30bn of the fiscal hole now in the UK’s finances.

 

The Council calls on all the Conservative members who voted to make Liz Truss the Conservative Party leader and UK Prime Minister, and the Conservative MPs who served in her administration as ministers, to apologise for damaging Britain and wreaking havoc on Hammersmith & Fulham’s residents and businesses.

 

“Councillor Rory Vaughan declared non-pecuniary interests in the Special Motion due to his employment as a financial regulator and left the room for the debate”.

 

7.4

Special Motion 4 - The crisis in the NHS and the importance of having saved Charing Cross Hospital pdf icon PDF 196 KB

Minutes:

8.10pm – Councillor Ben Coleman moved, seconded by Councillor Patricia Quigley, the special motion in their names:

 

“This Council:

 

Deplores the crisis in the NHS.

 

Notes that the underlying causes of the crisis are not new and are the result of political choices made in the name of the Conservative government’s ideologically-driven austerity programme.

 

Notes that by 2010, the Labour government had reduced NHS waiting lists to 2.5m but that waiting lists rose to 4.4m over the next 10 years under the Conservative government, which included Greg Hands as Chief Secretary to Treasury.

 

Notes that since 2010, the government’s limited increases in funding for the NHS have failed to keep pace with the growth in demand from a rapidly ageing and ailing population.

 

Notes that the UK now has a lower overall health spend than comparable countries and that a lack of investment in recruitment, training and buildings has resulted in fewer doctors, nurses, beds and intensive care places per head of population than in comparable countries – for example, the UK has just a third of hospital beds by population of Germany.

 

Regrets that this meant the NHS entered Covid in a weaker state than comparable countries, with an existing shortage of beds and equipment and a 4.4m waiting list.

 

Notes that, as a Financial Times analyst put it on 23 December 2022, “The effects of the Conservative austerity programme during the Cameron-Osborne years have been steadily accumulating over the past decade, but this winter that trickle has become a torrent.”

 

Recalls the findings of the 2010 Marmot Review that the lower people’s social and economic status, the poorer their health, and that health is affected by “social determinants” such as housing, income, education, social isolation and disability.

 

Notes that the Conservative government, aided and abetted by Greg Hands while Chief Secretary to the Treasury, reduced benefits, introduced the bedroom tax, cut rent subsidy (increasing overcrowding and making families take children out of school and move away), cut councils’ funding, neglected social care, reduced the funding available for social housing and instigated a myriad of other damaging measures which made people poorer and less healthy.

 

Notes that real wages have now fallen to less than where they were 18 years ago, and that life expectancy is lower than in most other developed countries and avoidable mortality higher than in these.

 

Notes the essential role played by Charing Cross Hospital during the Covid crisis and the huge challenges facing the hospital now, and thanks its dedicated doctors, nurses and support staff for their ongoing care for H&F residents.

 

Notes that Charing Cross Hospital would not be able to play its essential role if the destructive plans signed off by the Conservative Health Secretary and supported by Conservative politicians in Hammersmith, Fulham and Chelsea had been realised to:

·      Demolish the hospital and sell off most of the site

·      Replace the hospital with a series of clinics on a site no more than 13% the size

·      Re-brand these clinics as a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.4

7.5

Special Motion 5 - The Conservative government’s failing justice system pdf icon PDF 193 KB

Minutes:

8.51pm – Councillor Rebecca Harvey moved, seconded by Councillor Lisa Homan, the special motion in their names:

 

“The Council is deeply concerned that crime is rising nationally.

·      Police-recorded violence is up 13% from nearly 1.8 million cases to more than 2 million in 2021.

·      Increases have been seen across most crime types, with levels of some, such as sexual offences, now exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

·      Sexual offences have increased by 32% compared with the previous year.

·      A similar pattern exists for most violent crime types, such as homicide, which up by 25% following a 20% fall the previous year.

·      37% of sexual offences recorded are rape and more rape is being reported, yet according to the Victims Commissioner for England and Wales the number of prosecutions has fallen nearly 60%.

 

The Council is concerned that there are insufficient police due to the government’s ideological programme of austerity. 

 

The Council notes that there is a disastrous court backlog of cases waiting to be heard, with closures of courts and underfunding of the criminal justice system, court buildings in disrepair and court estates being sold off when there is clearly a need for them.  Criminal trials are being delayed due to lack of barristers to prosecute and defend the cases.

 

The Council supports the proactive measures that Hammersmith & Fulham’s Labour administration has taken to mitigate the damaging performance of the Conservative government on crime and make our streets safer. These include:

·      Investing £5.5 million on CCTV to improve and grow the borough’s 24/7 network of CCTV cameras over the next five years

·      Creating the country’s largest council Law Enforcement Team, with 72 LET officers who are working to make our streets safer

·      Investing in a specialised Gangs Unit dedicated to safeguarding children and young people

·      Engaging dedicated officers to support women and girls.

 

The Council recognises the dedication and the effectiveness of its Community Safety and Law Enforcement Teams in working to make residents safer.

 

The Council calls on the Conservative government to fund the police and criminal justice system properly so that residents and those that come to work in and visit Hammersmith and Fulham feel safe and protected.”

 

Speeches on the motion were made by Councillors Harvey, Homan, Patel, and Cowan (for the Administration) – and Councillors Afonso and Dinsmore (for the Opposition).

 

Councillor Harvey then made a speech winding up the debate before the motion was put to the vote:

 

FOR                        33

AGAINST                9

NOT VOTING         1

 

The motion was declared CARRIED.

 

9.24pm – RESOLVED:

 

The Council is deeply concerned that crime is rising nationally.

·      Police-recorded violence is up 13% from nearly 1.8 million cases to more than 2 million in 2021.

·      Increases have been seen across most crime types, with levels of some, such as sexual offences, now exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

·      Sexual offences have increased by 32% compared with the previous year.

·      A similar pattern exists for most violent crime types, such as homicide, which up by 25% following a 20% fall the previous year.

·      37% of sexual  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.5

7.6

Special Motion 6 - Risk to voting rights from Conservative photo identification requirement pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Minutes:

9.24pm – Councillor Bora Kwon moved, seconded by Councillor Patrick Walsh, the special motion in their names:

 

“The Council regrets the Conservative government’s hurried plans to introduce photo identification for voters in national and local elections from May 2023 this year.

 

In a country where there is no existing form of compulsory identity documentation, imposing such a demand will be a barrier to participation in democracy for those who are not in possession of a passport or driving licence, both of which cost money to apply for and obtain. The move in particular imposes restrictions on, and disenfranchises, younger voters, who are less likely to have a qualifying photo ID.

 

Given the delays and long wait times to obtain passports due to shocking delays at the Home Office, the Council also has serious concerns about the Home Office’s ability to put in place and run an alternative photo ID scheme. The shameful experiences of the Windrush generation show what can happen when we take for granted the ability of the Home Office to maintain accurate records on identity of this country's citizens.

 

The proposed requirement for photo ID will impose demands on council officers and public officials who run elections and may lead to valid voters across the country being turned away from the polling stations and denied their right to vote.

 

The extra burden on officers presiding over elections will also push up costs at a time when local government budgets are under unprecedented pressure.

 

The Council notes that elections in this country are very well run, with extremely low levels of voter fraud, and that public confidence in the process is high. The borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has an extremely efficient, well-regarded elections team.

 

Should the scheme come in, the Council commits to taking every step to ensure that all Hammersmith & Fulham residents entitled to vote are able to in future local and national elections.

 

Rather than putting up barriers to democracy, the government should be encouraging participation in the democratic process. The Council therefore calls on the government to scrap its proposed voter identification scheme.”

 

Speeches on the motion were made by Councillors Kwon, Walsh, Holder, Chevoppe-Verdier, and Jones (for the Administration) – and Councillors Brocklebank-Fowler and Karmel (for the Opposition).

 

Councillor Kwon then made a short speech winding up the debate as the guillotine fell. The motion was then put to the vote:

 

FOR                        33

AGAINST                9

NOT VOTING         1

 

The motion was declared CARRIED.

 

10.05pm – RESOLVED:

 

The Council regrets the Conservative government’s hurried plans to introduce photo identification for voters in national and local elections from May 2023 this year.

 

In a country where there is no existing form of compulsory identity documentation, imposing such a demand will be a barrier to participation in democracy for those who are not in possession of a passport or driving licence, both of which cost money to apply for and obtain. The move in particular imposes restrictions on, and disenfranchises, younger voters, who are less  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.6

7.7

Special Motion 7 - Hammersmith & Fulham Pension Fund pdf icon PDF 170 KB

Minutes:

The special motion was withdrawn.

7.1

Special Motion 1 - Tackling Violent Crime pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Minutes:

The special motion was withdrawn.

 

7.2

Special Motion 2 - The Housing Department pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Minutes:

The special motion was withdrawn.