MEETING OF THE COUNCIL

 

7 July 2020

 

(7:30 pm – 10:12pm)

 

The Mayor (Councillor Margaret Thompson)

The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Sushila Abraham)

 

Councillors

 

  Zain Abbas

  Steph Archer

  Roy Arora

  Kim Bailey

* Tricia Bamford

  Rowena Bass

  Mark Beynon

  Fiona Boult

  Olivia Boult

  Tim Cobbett

  David Cunningham

  Emily Davey

  Kevin Davis

  Lorraine Dunstone

  Mark Durrant

  Simon Edwards

  Sam Foulder-Hughes

  Ed Fram

  Hilary Gander

  Ian George

  Dennis Goodship

  Liz Green

  Jason Hughes

 

  Lesley Heap

  Alison Holt

  Jason Hughes

  Caroline Kerr

  Andreas Kirsch

  Katrina Lidbetter

  Rebekah Moll

  Maria Netley

  Munir Ravalia

  Dave Ryder-Mills

  Anita Schaper

  Malcolm Self

  Nicola Sheppard

  Christine Stuart

  Sharron Falchikov-Sumner

  John Sweeney

  Thay Thayalan

  Jon Tolley

  Olly Wehring

  Diane White

  Annette Wookey

  Yogan Yoganathan

  Sharon Young

 

* Absent and sent apologies

 

The Mayor’s Chaplain opened the meeting with prayers.

 

 

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12.         Apologies

 

 

Apologies were received from Councillor Tricia Bamford.

 

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13.         Declarations of Interest

 

 

There were no declarations of interest.

 

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14.         Minutes

 

 

The minutes of the meeting of Extraordinary Council held on 19 May 2020 were approved as a correct record.

 

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15.         Mayor's Announcements

 

 

Charity Fundraising

 

The Council noted that two large Mayor's Charity fundraising events at the end of March (The Charity Ball and Let Me Entertain You) had been postponed due to the Covid-19 emergency situation. The Mayor announced that the fundraising committee had looked at whether these could be rescheduled to take place in the autumn 2020 or early 2021. It was explained that Virgin Money Giving was used for online donations and a number of virtual fundraising ideas and more details would follow as soon as arrangements were finalised.

 

Mayoral Engagements

 

The Mayor explained that the Council had also changed the way Mayoral engagements took place to adapt to the current circumstances, doing as much virtually as possible. The Mayor spoke to various Council led Covid teams that had worked over the last three months on the borough's response to the pandemic and thanked staff and volunteers for their efforts. The Mayor had recently had a virtual conference with staff and residents at Surbiton's Royal Star & Garter home during Armed Forces Week.

 

Mobile Mop Up Project

 

The Mayor announced that after the four week Mobile Mop Up project launched in borough at the beginning of the year (which ran from mid February) the Council was in discussion with Genuine Solutions to run the project again later this year over a longer period of time. People were encouraged to donate unwanted mobile phones to be reused or parts recycled, with the Mayor's Charitable Trust continuing to benefit from the proceeds raised. It was explained that more details would be available soon, including a competition to design a piece of artwork using some of the older mobile phones donated in February.

 

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16.         Petitions

 

 

The Council have received notice of two petitions to be submitted to the Council both of which were handed in electronically and the Lead Petitioners addressed the meeting. The first was from Mr Gaj Ragunathan, which contained 446 signatures, and was in relation to car parking on Burlington Road, New Malden and the request for the removal of four vehicle charging points.

 

The second petition was submitted by Karin Rattray and related to the halting of the redevelopment of Cumberland House site to allow for further consultation to take place. This petition had 163 signatures and there was also an electronic petition which was active on the Council’s website.

 

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17.         Public Questions

 

 

There were no public questions raised verbally at the meeting.

 

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18.         Motion: Black Lives Matter

 

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule 8(A)(5), the Council debated the following motion which has been submitted by Members of the Council the Administration (the Liberal Democrat Group) and proposed by Councillor Caroline Kerr and seconded by Councillor Foulder-Hughes.

 

‘Liberal Democrat Administration Motion: Black Lives Matter’

This Council notes:

1.    the understandable rage following police brutality that has led to many unnecessary deaths across the United States of America and the world - we support the Black Lives Matter Campaign;

 

2.    the depth of public concern expressed over the last few weeks about  ingrained, systemic racial profiling and racism that exists against BAME, especially black, people in Britain; and

 

3.    the Black Lives Matter flag has been raised over Kingston Council’s Guildhall building, signalling the council’s commitment to celebrating the diversity of the borough, and continue to learn more about how to help end racism and injustice.’

‘This Council believes:

1.    we are all equal, regardless of skin colour, culture or faith and that we should call out discrimination and racism. Racism or discrimination of any kind has no place in society. We are proud of being a community where diversity is valued and celebrated. We recognise there is a distance to go to have equal opportunities for all.’

‘This Council will:

1.    lobby the Government for immediate action to implement the recommendations in the report on the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on BAME people; lobby the Government to review the school curriculum, including teaching children about diversity and inclusion from a young age;

 

2.    give our support to the Black Lives Matter campaign and continue to celebrate our diversity, listen to our communities and work with minority groups to make space for conversations and thinking to take place that can shape our borough going forward;

 

3.    work with our local police force to ensure that stop and search incidents are not based on racial characteristics. At the moment black people are advised to allow the police to continue with their search with specific guidelines on how to behave so as not to antagonise officers such as maintaining eye contact and allowing clothing to be removed;

 

4.    work with BAME staff across the council and through the BAME staff network to actively listen to them about their experiences and start shaping ideas on what needs to change and improve. Our workforce is becoming increasingly diverse and we will continue to examine our HR policies and workplace values to ensure they enable us to attract staff that reflect the borough's diverse communities; and

 

5.    work with our local communities and organisations to review the appropriateness of existing artefacts (statues, plaques, street signs etc.) on public land in the 21st century.

 

6.    work with KREC to facilitate events such as Black History Month celebrations in October and virtual debates with guest speakers;’

 

Councillor Jason Hughes proposed an amendment to the motion, seconded by the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Kevin Davis.

 

After the debate, and on being put to the vote, the amendment was LOST.

 

Voting:

 

For:                 Councillors Arora, Bass, Cunningham, Davis, Fram, George, Hughes, Netley and Sheppard. (9)

 

Against:         Councillors Abraham, Archer, Bailey, Beynon, Fiona Boult, Olivia Boult, Cobbett, Davey, Dunstone, Durrant, Edwards, Foulder-Hughes, Gander, Goodship, Green, Ha, Heap, Holt, Kerr, Kirsch, Lidbetter, Moll, Ravalia, Ryder-Mills, Schaper, Self, Stuart, Falchikov-Sumner, Sweeney, Thompson, Tolley, Wehring, White, Wookey, Yoganathan and Young. (36)

 

Abstain:         None (0).

 

Councillors Abbas and Thayalan were unable to vote due to technical difficulties.

 

Councillor Caroline Kerr, the proposer of the original motion agreed to include the following aspect of the Conservative amendment into the substantive motion and this was seconded by Councillor Sam Foulder-Hughes:

 

·         demonstrate our progress on the issue of race equality by working with the Runnymede Trust to produce another assessment of the Race Equality Scorecard for Kingston, last produced in 2017, asking them to further assist us in understanding the divergence of equality amongst our community groups.

 

After debate a vote was taken on the substantive motion:

 

 

Voting:

 

 

For:                 Councillors Abraham, Archer, Bailey, Beynon, Fiona Boult, Olivia Boult, Cobbett, Davey, Dunstone, Durrant, Edwards, Foulder-Hughes, Gander, Goodship, Green, Ha, Heap, Holt, Kerr, Kirsch, Lidbetter, Moll, Ravalia, Ryder-Mills, Schaper, Self, Stuart, Falchikov-Sumner, Sweeney, Thayalan, Thompson, Tolley, Wehring, White, Wookey, Yoganathan and Young. (37)

 

Against:         None. (0)

 

Abstain:         Councillors Arora, Bass, Cunningham, Davis, Fram, George, Hughes, Netley and Sheppard. (9)

 

Councillor Abbas was unable to vote due to technical difficulties.

 

 

 

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19.         Member Questions

 

 

In accordance with Procedural Rule 6 (1&2) replies were given to the following questions:

 

 

By                   Councillor Dave Ryder-Mills

 

To                    Councillor Emily Davey

 

Question:

 

How successful has Kingston been during the coronavirus crisis in supporting our homeless with emergency accommodation for rough sleepers?

 

Reply:

 

Thank you to the officers and KCAH and volunteers involved. On 26th March Louise Casey announced that all rough sleepers should be accommodated under the ‘Everyone In’ initiative. Emergency hotel accommodation housed 17 rough sleepers from Kingston in a Surrey Travelodge and 6 in additional space in Cairn House from 27th March. Negotiation resulted in the re-opening of a Kingston Travelodge, and this was completed in Kingston and opened on Sunday 5th April contracting, in its entirety, to provide 60 bedspaces. The 17 people from Surrey were transferred on 5th April. By 7th April, 26 people were housed in the Travelodge and 32 by 9th April and the remainder of those contactable over 10th/11th/12th. Hot food was supplied from 5th April together with breakfast boxes with KCAH providing ongoing support to all residents. An Ethnographic survey has been undertaken of residents housed to understand their backgrounds and how they might best be supported going forward. The Council is working closely with MHCLG and CCG to explore the next stage of support for those housed.

 

There was no supplementary question.

 

By                   Councillor Olly Wehring on behalf of Councillor Zain Abbas

 

To                    Councillor Hilary Gander

 

Question:

 

LIP funding has been withdrawn by the Mayor of London due to TfL’s huge revenue losses. Now the London Streetspace programme has been established, how is Kingston responding to supporting active travel in our local areas and make pedestrian areas more able to accommodate social distancing?

 

 

Reply:

 

Since the changes to TfL’s funding allocation to boroughs was announced, the authority has worked hard to develop a revised programme of works that could address the London-wide and indeed national Streetspace priorities. Bids totalling £5.177m were submitted to TfL, and so far we have successfully been allocated £2.135m (as of 2nd July).  A bid was also made to draw down £100,000 of Active Travel funding from DfT (the maximum allocation in this tranche) and this has been fully awarded.  The largest value part of our bids has been to support the ongoing Go-Cycle programme but the bids also included significant interventions in town centres, low traffic neighbourhoods, and other cycling improvements.  The full revised programme for the first half of this financial year will be considered by Response and Recovery committee on 30 July.

 

By                   Councillor Fiona Boult

 

To                    Councillor Caroline Kerr

 

Question:

 

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis the council has been engaging in proactive screening of people on the shielding list. What proportion of Kingston’s shielded residents have been successfully contacted?

 

Reply:

 

There are currently 5991 on the RBK shielding list of which after checking through additional systems 120 have been identified as deceased. We have contacted all of the remaining 5871 residents (100%). Of these 1171 (20%) have opted out of further contact and the remaining 4700 (80%) have been receiving regular follow up contact or support from the Kingston Stronger Together Support Hub. We have made a total of 10,061 proactive calls including new calls and follow up calls, which we will continue at least until shielding pauses at the end of July.

 

By                   Councillor Falchikov-Sumner

 

To                    Councillor Caroline Kerr

 

Question:

 

Could the leader confirm how many times Contract Standing Orders or Financial regulations / system of delegated responsibility  have been waived in relation to the competitive tendering of services between 5th May 2018 and 22nd March 2020 (please provide copies of the CSO waiver report and commissioning log for each occurance), of these how many times was the Chair of Finance and Partnerships (formally Finance and Contracts) consulted and the waiver reported to the Commissioning Board - as laid out in Part 4D of standing orders - regulation 6?

 

Reply:

 

For the period 5 May 2018 to 28 February 2019, the Contract Standing Orders (CSOs) in place applied to contracts valued at £100k and above. Contract Standing Order 1.2 enabled the Chief Executive to authorise a waiver to the CSOs, in consultation with the relevant Committee Chairs. Between the period 5 May 2018 to 28 February 2019 there were no decisions waiving the requirement for competitive tendering for a contract valued at £100k and above.

 

For the period 1 March 2019 to 22 March 2020, the Contract Regulations in place applied to contracts valued at £150k and above. Under Regulation 6, the Executive Director Corporate and Communities may authorise a waiver to the Regulations in consultation with the Chair of the Finance and Partnerships Committee. All approved waivers are recorded on a corporate register and reported to the Commissioning Governance Board on a quarterly basis. Between the period 1 March 2019 and 22 March 2020, the requirement for competitive tendering was waived on one occasion for a contract valued at £150k or above. This was for the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme contract and the decision was approved in January 2020. The Chair of Finance and Partnerships was consulted and the waiver was reported to the Commissioning Board. The relevant report will be provided to the Councillor via email after the meeting.

 

Councillor Falchikov-Sumner’s Supplementary Question:

 

Thank you for response, however my question has not been answered. I very deliberately asked for information not just in relation to Contract Standing Orders but also the system of delegation for financing.

 

Bearing in mind that I have shown on a number of occasions that the Council has waivered procedures to commission work for prominent Liberal Democrat members and former and sitting Councillors. The Council has awarded work without any formal tendering process of competitive bidding and I have waited 6 months for a reply.

 

Today I released information of £450k worth for Covid grants which have been appropriated without any oversight to companies that do not supply us at all.

 

Ask the leader of the Council to Committee to two things:

1.    Bring back to Finance and Partnerships Committee the information on delegations.

 

2.    Have these instances deferred to the external auditors.

 

Reply:

 

Councillor Caroline Kerr stated that a written reply would be provided if there was a misunderstanding in the question.

 

 

 

 

 

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20.         Draft South London Waste Plan 2021-2036 - [Reference from Response and Recovery Committee - 25 June 2020]

 

Appendix A

The Council considered a report outlining the recommendations of the Response and Recovery Committee following its meeting held on 25 June 2020.

 

In 2012, the Royal Borough of Kingston, together with the three London boroughs of Croydon, Merton and Sutton, adopted the South London Waste Plan (Development Plan Document) 2011-2021 which allocated sites, created planning policies and designated areas for waste management development.

 

It was noted that the South London Waste Plan document had been prepared jointly with the London Boroughs of Croydon, Merton and Sutton and the recommendations were to carry out a statutory public consultation on the joint document and to submit the document to the Secretary.

 

 

Resolved that -

1.    The Draft South London Waste Plan and associated documents be approved for a Regulation 19 consultation;

 

2.    The Draft South London Waste Plan and associated documents be approved for submission to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, subject to no substantial modifications being required as a result of the consideration of the representations received;

 

3.    Any minor changes arising during or subsequent to the Examination-in-Public be delegated to the Assistant Director for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure in conjunction with the relevant Portfolio Holders.

 

Voting: Unanimous

 

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21.         Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) Warding Review - Delegation to Response and Recovery Committee

 

 

The Council noted that the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) was currently undertaking a three year programme of electoral reviews of London Boroughs. Stage 1 of its review of Kingston’s arrangements took place between November 2018 and March 2019 and concluded that the Council would in future continue to require 48 elected Members to satisfactorily fulfil its functions.

 

The second and final stage of the review examined the ward boundaries, ward names and the number of Members to be elected to represent each ward. It is designed to ensure that each Councillor represents approximately the same number of voters and the patterns of wards reflect the interests and identities of local communities and promote effective local government.

 

The Commission withdrew its original draft recommendations in respect of Kingston's warding arrangements in March 2020 after it established that it had overlooked a number of representations submitted by local residents in response to an initial consultation exercise. These recommendations were, however, re-issued unaltered on 16th June, triggering a further consultation period which expires on 27th July. In view of the consultation timescales it is recommended that the Response and Recovery Committee be authorised to agree the response to the recommendations on behalf of the Council. The LGBCE has indicated that it is prepared to extend its deadline to accommodate the agreement of the proposed response at the Committees scheduled meeting on 30th July.

 

The LGBCE would publish its final recommendations in November 2020, subject to Parliamentary scrutiny and approval of the new electoral arrangements were scheduled to come into effect at the Borough elections in May 2022.

 

RESOLVED that the Response and Recovery Committee be authorised to agree the Council's response to the Local Government Boundary Commission's draft warding arrangement recommendations.

 

Voting:

 

For:                 Councillors Abraham, Arora, Bass, Bailey, Beynon, Fiona Boult, Olivia Boult, Cobbett, Cunningham, Davey, Davis, Dunstone, Durrant, Edwards, Fram, Foulder-Hughes, Gander, George, Goodship, Green, Ha, Heap, Holt, Hughes, Kerr, Kirsch, Lidbetter, Moll, Netley, Ryder-Mills, Schaper, Self, Sheppard, Stuart, Sweeney, Thayalan, Thompson, Tolley, Wehring, White, Wookey, Yoganathan and Young. (43)

 

Against:         Councillor Falchikov-Sumner (1)

 

 

Abstain:         None (0).

 

Councillors Abbas, Archer and Ravalia were unable to vote due to technical difficulties.

 

 

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22.         Appointments of Members to Committees, Panels and other bodies

 

Appendix B

Members considered the appointments to Committees panels and other bodies as set out in the late material.

 

Resolved that the appointments to the Committees, Panels and other bodies be determined by the Leaders of the relevant Political Groups upon notification to the General Counsel.

 

Voting: Unanimous

 

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23.         Appointment  of Members to London Councils Committees and other London bodies for the 2020/21 municipal year

 

Appendix C

Resolved that the appointments to the London Council’s Committees, Panels and other London bodies for the municipal year be determined by the Leaders of the relevant Political Groups upon notification to the General Counsel.

 

Voting: Unanimous

 

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24.         Urgent Items authorised by the Mayor

 

 

There were no urgent items.

 

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Signed:…………………………………………………………Date:

                                      The Mayor