MEETING OF THE COUNCIL

 

15 December 2020

 

(7:30 pm - 10:23 pm)

 

The Mayor (Councillor Margaret Thompson)

The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Sushila Abraham)

 

Councillors

 

 

  Zain Abbas

  Sushila Abraham

  Steph Archer

  Roy Arora

  Kim Bailey

  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

  Jaesung Ha

 

  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

  Chris Stuart

  Sharron Falchikov-Sumner

  John Sweeney

  Thay Thayalan

* Jon Tolley

  Olly Wehring

  Diane White

  Annette Wookey

  Yogan Yoganathan

  Sharon Young

 

* Absent

 

 

The Mayor’s Chaplain, Reverend Luke Wickings, opened the meeting with prayers.

 

 

<AI1>

39.         Global Teacher Prize

 

 

The Mayor, Councillor Margaret Thompson and the Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services including Education, Councillor Diane White, gave a presentation to recognise the achievements of Jamie Frost, a maths teacher at Tiffin School, who had been featured on a shortlist of the ten most outstanding teachers in the world in the annual Global Teachers Prize competition, which was run in partnership with UNESCO.

 

The Council expressed its appreciation for Jamie’s inspirational work with school children in Kingston and, indeed, across the world. It was explained that as well as teaching at Tiffins, Jamie had also created and ran a free online learning platform for maths that was originally designed to support lower attaining students but became an essential resource across the globe whilst schools were closed during lockdown. It had quickly reached 1.3m page views a day and the site was used in some capacity by over half of all secondary schools in the UK alone.

 

</AI1>

<AI2>

40.         Apologies

 

 

Apologies were received from Councillors Jon Tolley and Munir Ravalia.

 

</AI2>

<AI3>

41.         Declarations of Interest

 

 

The Mayor, Councillor Margaret Thompson, declared an interest in relation to the question posed by Councillor Sharron Falchikov-Sumner at Item 8 on the agenda.  She therefore left the meeting for the duration of that question and the Deputy Mayor took the Chair in her absence.

 

</AI3>

<AI4>

42.         Minutes

 

 

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 October 2020 were approved as a correct record.

 

</AI4>

<AI5>

43.         Mayor's Announcements

 

 

The Mayor paid tribute to Councillor Patricia Bamford, who had stood down as a member for Chessington South Ward at the beginning of December. It was explained that Councillor Bamford had been first elected to the Council in 1998 and served in numerous leadership roles, including Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People, and for Better Homes and, most recently, Chair of the Development Control Committee. The Council joined the Mayor in thanking Councillor Bamford for her long and dedicated service to the residents of Chessington South and the wider Borough and wished her and her family every happiness in the future.

 

The Mayor also thanked everyone that took part in the Great Christmas Quiz on Thursday 10 December, which included several Councillors and their families too.  She announced that over 60 people attended virtually and raised just over £900 for the Mayor’s Charitable Trust.

 

It was explained that the Mayor’s Ball was provisionally scheduled to take place on Friday 23rd April and more details would follow nearer the time.

 

The Mayor reminded Members that the Mobile Mop Up project which had been run in the borough earlier in the year in partnership with Genuine Solutions would be returning after Christmas. The Mayor called for donations of unwanted mobile phones so that they could be reused or the parts recycled, so the Mayor's Charitable Trust could continue to benefit from the proceeds raised.

 

</AI5>

<AI6>

44.         Petitions

 

 

The Council received notification of two petitions.

 

Councillor Rowena Bass presented a petition on behalf of the Lead Petitioner Jane Ramsey, signed by 384 residents, which concerned development at Roupell House.

 

There was also a request for the Council to hear a petition concerning the Go Cycle lane on Ewell Road, where notice of which was received after the deadline.

 

The Council unanimously agreed on this occasion to suspend the requirement to provide notice of a petition as outlined in the Petitions Scheme (Part 4G of the Council’s Constitution). 

 

The Lead Petitioner, Jayne Lomanto presented the petition, signed by 84 residents, which objected to the Go-Cycle Scheme at Ewell Road and the subsequent reduction of car parking affecting local businesses. It was explained that there were no parking spaces on surrounding streets and this was significantly affecting the small businesses in the area, especially during the covid situation.

 

It was confirmed that the petitions would be dealt with in accordance with the Petition’s Scheme as set out in the Council’s Constitution.

 

</AI6>

<AI7>

45.         Public Questions

 

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule 17(A) replies were given to Public Questions (as set out in Annex 1 to the minutes) and supplementary questions (as set out in Annex 2 to the minutes).

 

 

</AI7>

<AI8>

46.         Motion: White Paper, ‘Planning for the Future’

 

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule 8(A)(5), the Council debated the following motion which was submitted on behalf of the Administration of the Council (Liberal Democrat Group), as proposed by Councillor Rebekah Moll and seconded by Councillor Caroline Kerr.

 

‘Motion: White Paper, ‘Planning for the Future’

 

This Council notes:

 

      i.        The Royal Institute for British Architects called the proposals in the White Paper ‘shameful, and which will do almost nothing to guarantee delivery of affordable, well-designed and sustainable homes.’  RIBA also said, ‘proposals could lead to the next generation of slum housing.’

    ii.        The proposals to reform the planning process seek to blame councils and communities for the root cause of issues with the planning system and yet, it’s clear the housing delivery system is broken; not the planning system.

a)    90% of planning applications are approved by councils and more than one million homes with planning consent in the past decade are yet to be built according to figures from the LGA; and

b)    Kingston Council has permitted 2753 homes over the past five years which are not yet built.

 

This Council is concerned that the proposals seek to:

 

      i.        Significantly increase housing targets in Kingston from 964 pa to 1526;

    ii.        Provide less affordable housing, taking no account of housing land supply;

   iii.        Take away many of the opportunities for communities and their locally elected representatives to have a final say on how their areas develop; .

   iv.        Reduce or remove the right of residents to object to applications near them by giving automatic rights to build in ‘growth’ areas, and increase permitted development rights, risk unregulated growth and unsustainable communities;

    v.        Remove Section 106 payments and the Community Infrastructure Levy for infrastructure and replace them with a national levy; it is unclear how the new level of developer contributions would work; and

   vi.        Minimise the climate emergency as the reforms do not make it a key priority that would enable the planning system to respond to the climate crisis.

 

Calls on the Government to reform its current rules on development to give local authorities more powers to:

·         Challenge unrealistic targets;

·         Insist on improved infrastructure with new developments;

·         Challenge viability assessments that allow developers to get away without   providing adequate affordable housing for local people;

·         Remove those permitted development rights that lead to substandard homes being built;

·         Require new development to meet high sustainability standards.; and

·         Prevent loss of biodiversity, threatening species of fauna, insects and other wildlife.

 

This Council resolves to:

 

      i.        Object to the Government’s proposals for arbitrary housing targets and the reduction of local control proposed in the consultation paper;

    ii.        Highlight our concerns over these proposals with the public and local residents; and

   iii.        Campaign for a planning framework that provides for our residents and our communities and puts people not developers at the heart of any solution.”

 

Councillor Sharron Falchikov-Sumner proposed an amendment to the motion, seconded by the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Kevin Davis, that inserted the words “on the Royal Borough of Kingston to use its current powers to the full as well as” after the word “calls” within the original motion. Furthermore a fourth item was added under the section “This Council Resolves to” which read as follows:

 

“iv. Commit to fully discharging its duties to ensure biodiversity net gain in ALL its decisions in line with the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act”.

 

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

 

Voting:

 

For:                 Councillor Falchikov-Sumner (1).

 

Against:         Councillors Abbas, 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, Schaper, Self, Stuart, Sweeney, Thayalan, Thompson, White, Wookey, and Yoganathan. (32)

 

Abstain:         Councillors Arora, Bass, Cunningham, Davis, Fram, George, Hughes, Netley, Sheppard and Wehring (10).

 

Councillors Ryder-Mills and Young were unable to vote due to technical difficulties.

 

The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Kevin Davis, proposed an amendment to the original motion, seconded by Councillor David Cunningham, which deleted all content prior to 'this Council resolves to’.

 

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, Sheppard and Falchikov-Sumner (10).

 

Against:         Councillors Abbas, 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, Schaper, Self, Stuart, Sweeney, Thayalan, Thompson, Wehring, White, Wookey, Yoganathan and Young. (34)

 

Abstain:         Councillor Ryder-Mills abstained as he missed part of the debate due to technical difficulties. (1)

 

After debate a vote was taken on the original motion:

 

 

Voting:

 

 

For:                 Councillors Abbas, 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, Schaper, Self, Stuart, Falchikov-Sumner, Sweeney, Thayalan, Thompson, Wehring, White, Wookey, Yoganathan and Young. (35)

 

Against:         None. (0)

 

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

 

Councillor Ryder-Mills was unable to vote due to technical difficulties.

 

 

</AI8>

<AI9>

47.         Member Questions

 

 

In accordance with Procedural Rule 6 (1&2) replies were given to Member Questions (as set out in Annex 1 to the minutes) and supplementary questions (as set out in Annex 2 to the minutes).

 

 

</AI9>

<AI10>

48.         Achieving for Children Governance Arrangements

 

Appendix A

Members considered the recommendations of the Response and Recovery Committee at its meeting on 30 July 2020regarding adjustments to the Achieving for Children (AfC) governance arrangements.

 

It was noted that AfC had been initially established by the London Borough of Richmond and the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames to undertake and provide a range of services to children and young people and an Inter Authority Agreement (IAA) had been entered into on 31 March 2014. On 1 August 2017, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead was admitted to the Company as a new member and entered into an IAA with the other authorities and AfC. The three councils established a Joint Committee to agree and assess the operation and performance of the Company.

 

 Following a review of AfC governance arrangements it was proposed that functions in relation to Band 3 Reserved Decision Making Matters be transferred from the AfC Joint Committee to relevant bodies of the three constituent authorities with the Joint Committee becoming an ad-hoc dispute resolution committee.  In the case of this Council it was proposed that the functions be transferred to the Children’s and Adults Care and Education Committee. This would strengthen governance arrangements and ensure that each Council had direct oversight and influence over a number of significant AfC functions.

 

It was noted that similar reports had been considered and approved by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (on 27 October 2020) and the London Borough of Richmond (on 24 November 2020).

 

Resolved that the amendments to the Constitution detailed in Appendix A be approved.

 

Voting: Unanimous

 

 

</AI10>

<AI11>

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

 

 

Resolved that the following appointments to Committees, Panels and other bodies be approved -

 

1.    Councillor Sushila Abraham to be appointed as Chair of the Staff Appeals Panel to replace Councillor Patricia Bamford;

 

2.    Councillor Anita Schaper to be appointed as a member of the Blue Badge Panel to replace Councillor Patricia Bamford;

 

3.    Councillor Olly Wehring to be appointed as a member of the Scrutiny Panel to replace Councillor Patricia Bamford;

 

4.    Councillor Diane White to be appointed as a member of the Response and Recovery Committee to replace Councillor Katrina Lidbetter;

 

5.    Louise Gallagher to be appointed as alternate to Majid Mafi as the RBK Staff Representative on the Pension Fund Panel.

 

Voting: Unanimous

 

</AI11>

<AI12>

50.         Urgent Items authorised by the Mayor

 

 

There were no urgent items.

 

</AI12>

<AI13>

51.         Exclusion of the Press and Public

 

 

 

</AI13>

<TRAILER_SECTION>

Trailer_Section

 

 

</TRAILER_SECTION>

 

<LAYOUT_SECTION>

FIELD_SUMMARY

 

</LAYOUT_SECTION>

<TITLE_ONLY_LAYOUT_SECTION>

</TITLE_ONLY_LAYOUT_SECTION>

<HEADING_LAYOUT_SECTION>

</HEADING_LAYOUT_SECTION>

<TITLED_COMMENT_LAYOUT_SECTION>

 

FIELD_SUMMARY

 

</ TITLED_COMMENT_LAYOUT_SECTION>

<COMMENT_LAYOUT_SECTION>

FIELD_SUMMARY

 

</ COMMENT_LAYOUT_SECTION>

 

<SUBNUMBER_LAYOUT_SECTION>

FIELD_SUMMARY

 

</SUBNUMBER_LAYOUT_SECTION>

 

<TITLE_ONLY_SUBNUMBER_LAYOUT_SECTION>

</TITLE_ONLY_SUBNUMBER_LAYOUT_SECTION>

 

 

 

Signed:………………………………………………………………Date:

                                      The Mayor