Agenda and minutes

Online meeting, Council
Thursday 29 April 2021 7:30 pm

You can view the individual reports for this meeting by selecting the headings from the numbered list of items at the bottom of this page. Alternatively you can view the entire agenda by selecting 'Agenda Reports Pack' below.

Watch Council meetings here

Venue: a virtual meeting which members of the public can view online at this link: https://www.youtube.com/user/KingstonCouncil

Contact: Sam Nicholls tel. 020 8547 5533  e-mail:  sam.nicholls@kingston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

60.

Minute's silence for HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh

Minutes:

The Mayor invited Members to observe a minute’s silence in memory of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

61.

Apologies

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

62.

Declarations of Interest

Members are invited to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests and any other non- pecuniary interests (personal interests) relevant to items on this agenda.

 

Minutes:

Councillors Lorraine Dunstone and Simon Edwards declared interests in relation to item 11 which outlined the recommendations of the Response and Recovery Committee on the Cambridge Road Estate programme delivery. Both Members were Council representatives on the Joint Venture company and although they did not believe this gave rise to any conflict of interest they nevertheless left the meeting for the duration of the item and took no part in the proceedings thereon.

 

63.

Minutes

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 25 February 2021.

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 25 February 2021 were approved as a correct record.

64.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor congratulated two Housing Officers, Jacqueline Farrier and Jane Mellard, who had been nominated for a commendation from the Metropolitan Police  BCU Commander for their dedication and professionalism in ensuring the safety of  the residents of the Borough, as well as their enthusiasm for partnership working  with the Police and particularly for their work on the Cambridge Road Estate. It was noted that they had worked tirelessly to safeguard the most vulnerable and improve the lives of all the residents on the estate, building up outstanding levels of trust and confidence within the community.

 

It was announced that the Mayors Ball which had been provisionally scheduled to take place on 23rd April, would be cancelled. The Mayor extended her sincere thanks to those who had agreed to nevertheless donate the value of their ticket to the Mayors Charitable fund.

 

Members were reminded about the Mobile Mop Up project which had been running in the borough in partnership with Genuine Solutions. The Mayor was seeking donations of unwanted mobile phones so that they could be reused or the parts recycled, with the Mayor's Charitable Trust continuing to benefit from the proceeds raised.

65.

Petitions

To receive petitions submitted by Councillors, or by members of the public who live, work or study in the Borough, on a matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the Royal Borough. The petition must contain at least 20 signatures, and notice of the intention to submit the petition must be given in writing to democratic.services@kingston.gov.uk by 10am the day before the meeting. The petitioner will have up to 2 minutes speaking time to present the petition. Up to 5 petitions can be presented at the meeting which will be presented in order of the number of signatories. (Any remaining petitions can be submitted, without speaking.)

 

 

Petitions will be processed in accordance with the Council’s Petition Scheme.

 

 

Minutes:

There were no petitions submitted.

66.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 199 KB

The following public questions were received by the deadline as set out in the Council’s Meeting Procedure Rule 17(A):

 

Children in Care Council representative (name withheld upon request)

 

Activities for young people post Covid restrictions

Maria Grazia Zingale

 

European Union Citizens

 

A period of up to 30 minutes shall be allowed at each Ordinary Meeting of the Council during which any person who resides, studies or works in the Borough other than Members of the Council may ask questions of the Mayor, the Leader of the Council, Leaders of the other Party Groups, any Portfolio Holder, Chairs of` the Strategic and Neighbourhood Committees, and members representing the Council on outside bodies any question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the Royal Borough.

 

At any one meeting no person may submit more than one question and no more than one such question may be asked on behalf of one organisation.

 

Questions will be asked in the order in which notice of them was received, unless the Mayor decides otherwise in the interests of the efficient conduct of the meeting.

 

One supplementary question shall be allowed provided it is for clarification, arises directly out of the original question/response and is not a statement.

 

Any question which cannot be dealt with during public question time, either because of lack of time or because of the non attendance of the Member, to whom it was to be put, will be dealt with by a written answer and a copy of the answer will be recorded with the minutes of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

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

67.

Motion pdf icon PDF 95 KB

In accordance with Procedure Rule 8(A)(5), the Council will debate a motion which has been submitted by Members of the Council.

 

This will alternate, from meeting to meeting, between a motion submitted on behalf of the Administration and a motion submitted on behalf of Opposition Members of the Council.

 

The following Motion has been received from the Opposition Group (Conservative Group):

 

Proposed by Councillors Kevin Davis

Seconded by Councillor David Cunningham

 

This council acknowledges that;



  1. the Coronavirus pandemic has brought a sharp focus on the issue of public health and specifically the health and wellbeing of the residents of the Borough,
  2. residents in Kingston are more healthy overall than the national or London population (measured using a variety of measures including life expectancy which is greater than the England average by 1.9 years for Kingston men and 1.4 years for Kingston women), 
  3. health outcomes and life expectancy in Kingston are generally good because of the overall affluence of the area
  4. good overall health outcomes hide specific areas of deprivation where average life expectancy is not so good - Male life expectancy ranged from 77.1 years in Norbiton to 84.1 years in Tudor. Female life expectancy was also lowest in Norbiton (80.5 years) but highest in Old Malden (87.4 years)
  5. since the start of the Go Cycle scheme in 2014 this council has made progress in the provision of healthy opportunities for short journeys and the use of exercise equipment in a small number of parks and in its support of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

 

This council believes that;



  1. the pandemic has shown that there is significant demand and a new understanding of public health and the need for good access to open spaces as part of a healthy lifestyle,
  2. access to public space and the enhancement of the public realm should be a priority for the council in supporting the greater health and wellbeing of residents.

 

This council resolves to;



  1. encourage the provision of public exercise in our parks by working with businesses and exercise providers to licence a greater range of exercise and meditation classes,  
  2. explore with our adult education provider what additional health and fitness provision could be made through the established adult education provision and at a wider range of venues,
  3. lobby the Royal Parks Agency to not introduce excessive car parking charges that could lead to the lessening of opportunities for public exercise by preventing access to the park by lower-income families and in any scheme ensure they do not penalise regular visits by families and dog walkers,
  4. work with the Royal Parks Agency to find measures that will further enhance the enjoyment and access to exercise presented by the park without damaging the health and wellbeing of those Kingston residents living close to the park and impacted by its measures,
  5. present a report to the Autumn 2021 meeting of the Place committee on the provision of public exercise equipment in a wider number of public locations, including wayside gardens, public parks and  ...  view the full agenda text for item 67.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with Procedure Rule 8(A)(5), the Council debated the following motion which was submitted on behalf of the Opposition Group of the Council (Conservative Group), as proposed by Councillor Kevin Davis and seconded by Councillor David Cunningham.

 

“This council acknowledges that;

  1. the Coronavirus pandemic has brought a sharp focus on the issue of public health and specifically the health and wellbeing of the residents of the Borough,
  2. residents in Kingston are more healthy overall than the national or London population (measured using a variety of measures including life expectancy which is greater than the England average by 1.9 years for Kingston men and 1.4 years for Kingston women), 
  3. health outcomes and life expectancy in Kingston are generally good because of the overall affluence of the area
  4. good overall health outcomes hide specific areas of deprivation where average life expectancy is not so good - Male life expectancy ranged from 77.1 years in Norbiton to 84.1 years in Tudor. Female life expectancy was also lowest in Norbiton (80.5 years) but highest in Old Malden (87.4 years)
  5. since the start of the Go Cycle scheme in 2014 this council has made progress in the provision of healthy opportunities for short journeys and the use of exercise equipment in a small number of parks and in its support of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

 

This council believes that;

 

  1. the pandemic has shown that there is significant demand and a new understanding of public health and the need for good access to open spaces as part of a healthy lifestyle,
  2. access to public space and the enhancement of the public realm should be a priority for the council in supporting the greater health and wellbeing of residents.

 

This council resolves to;

 

  1. encourage the provision of public exercise in our parks by working with businesses and exercise providers to licence a greater range of exercise and meditation classes,  
  2. explore with our adult education provider what additional health and fitness provision could be made through the established adult education provision and at a wider range of venues,
  3. lobby the Royal Parks Agency to not introduce excessive car parking charges that could lead to the lessening of opportunities for public exercise by preventing access to the park by lower-income families and in any scheme ensure they do not penalise regular visits by families and dog walkers,
  4. work with the Royal Parks Agency to find measures that will further enhance the enjoyment and access to exercise presented by the park without damaging the health and wellbeing of those Kingston residents living close to the park and impacted by its measures,
  5. present a report to the Autumn 2021 meeting of the Place committee on the provision of public exercise equipment in a wider number of public locations, including wayside gardens, public parks and other areas with community access,
  6. present a report to the Autumn 2021 meeting of the People committee establishing what further provision of public exercise equipment can be made to our publicly owned housing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

Member Questions

In accordance with Procedural Rule 6 (1&2) replies will be given to questions of which notice has been given  which may be addressed to the Mayor, the Leader of the Council, Portfolio Holders, the Leader of the Opposition, Chairs of the Standing and Neighbourhood Committees and Members representing the Council on Outside Bodies.

 

Minutes:

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

 

69.

Constitutional Changes - Planning Arrangements pdf icon PDF 434 KB

To consider proposed changes in respect of procedures and protocols relating to the consideration of planning applications and recommendations outlined in Appendix A.

Minutes:

Members considered a report, at Appendix A of the agenda, which set out proposed amendments to the Planning Protocol and Responsibility for Functions sections of the Council’s Constitution following a review of the Council’s procedures around the determination of planning applications. It was noted that a review had been conducted in order to facilitate better engagement with those committees with planning related functions.

 

The proposals set out in the report had been considered by each Neighbourhood Committee and the Development Control Committee during January 2021, prior to submission to Council on 29 April 2021. It was noted that a number of amendments and clarifications had been made as a response to comments and recommendations arising from dialogue with the respective committees and these were identified in the report, annexes and appendices.

 

RESOLVED that –

 

1.    the revisions to Part 3A of the Constitution, Responsibility for Functions, in respect of the Neighbourhood Committees and Development Control Committee as set out at Annexes 1 and 2 of the agendarespectively, and the revised Planning Protocol including Planning Procedure Rules at Annex 3 of the agendabe approved;

 

2.    Part 4A of the Constitution, Meeting Procedure Rules, be amended to cross reference with the detailed Planning Procedure Rules referenced in 1) above; and;

 

3.    the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make any further consequential minor changes arising from these proposals as may be required in consultation with the Portfolio Holders for Planning Policy & Culture and Community and Governance.

 

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, Ravalia, Ryder-Mills, Schaper, Self, Stuart, Sweeney, Thayalan, Thompson, Tolley, Wehring, White, Wookey, Yoganathan and Young. (37)

 

Against:         Councillors Arora, Davis, Falchikov-Sumner, Fram, George, Hughes and Sheppard (7).

 

Abstain:         Councillor Bass, Cunningham and Netley (3).

 

 

70.

Review of Constitutional Arrangements - Recommendations of the Response and Recovery Committee 25.03.21 pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To consider the recommendations of the Response and Recovery Committee, held on 25 March 2021, relating to proposals to streamline the Strategic Committee structure and a number of minor amendments to the Council’s Constitutional arrangements and Contract Regulations as set out in Appendix B.


Since the date of the meeting, it has been confirmed that the regulations permitting virtual meetings will not be extended and this is the subject of a report which is set out in Item 12 on the agenda. This may require a number of amendments to the proposed calendar of meetings.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report at Appendix B of the agenda, which set out recommendations of the Response and Recovery Committee held on 25 March 2021 that sought to streamline the Council’s Strategic Committee structure, through a reduction in the number of Committees from five to three.

 

Members noted that the proposals were designed to better fit current and anticipated volumes of business, enhance the quality and effectiveness of the decision making process and increase the capacity of Members through the release of time for casework and training and development activities. It would also enable both Members and Officers to better focus on the achievement of corporate priorities.

 

It was noted that the three Committees, which would replace the established Strategic Committees and the temporary Committees operating during the Covid-19 pandemic, were based on the separation of functions into Place and People based services together with a Committee with oversight of corporate resources and policy direction.

 

It was proposed that 13 Members would serve on each Committee rather than 11 with the existing structure, which would provide a total of 39 seats, thereby ensuring that almost all Members who might wish to serve on a Strategic Committee could do so while still achieving a reduction from the present total of 55 seats. The political proportionality requirements would be waived to provide sufficient seats to the Conservative Group with a view to all Opposition Spokespersons in receipt of a Special Responsibility Allowance being able to sit on the relevant Committee and also to enable a seat to be allocated to the Member representing the Green Party.

 

The report also set out a number of proposed changes to the Council’s constitutional arrangements, including the Meeting Procedure Rules and Call-In Procedure Rules as well as a recommendation that the State of the Borough meeting no longer be a formal meeting of Council. A refresh of the Contract Regulations to ensure alignment with amendments to the Public Procurement Regulations following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU is also reported.

 

RESOLVED that –

 

1.    the Corporate and Resources, Place and People Strategic Committees be established with the membership arrangements set out in paragraphs 22-26 and the terms of reference at Annex 1 (of the agenda report) to replace the current Strategic Committees and the temporary Response and Recovery Committee and Culture, Housing, Planning and Environment Committee with effect from the commencement of the 2021/22 Municipal Year;

 

2.    the rules of political proportionality be disapplied in respect of the seats allocated on the Strategic Committees as set out in paragraph 24.

 

3.    the timetable of meetings for the 2021/22 Municipal Year, as set out at Annex 2, of the agenda report, be approved.

 

4.    the Corporate Head of Democratic and Electoral Services, in consultation with the relevant Committee Chairs, be authorised to make any amendments to the timetable of meetings as prove to be necessary during the course of the Municipal Year;

 

5.    the proposals set out at Annexes 4 and 5 of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.

71.

Cambridge Road Estate Programme Delivery - Recommendations from the Response and Recovery Committee 25.03.21 pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To consider the recommendations of the Response and Recovery Committee held on 25 March 2021 namely relating to the exercise, in the last resort, of Compulsory Purchase powers to facilitate the delivery of the Cambridge Road Estate regeneration programme, as set out in Appendix C.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report at Appendix C of the agenda, which set out recommendations in relation to the use of Compulsory Purchase powers (CPO), as a last resort, to acquire land within the boundary of the proposed CPO1 area of the Cambridge Road Estate regeneration scheme, following consideration at the Response and Recovery Committee held on 25 March 2021.

 

It was noted that the majority of the Cambridge Road Estate was already in the ownership of the Council. However there were a number of third party interests that needed to be acquired in order to enable the regeneration to be delivered. The majority of these were dwellings that had been acquired through use of the right to buy with some limited commercial interests.

 

The Council had the power to make a Compulsory Purchase Order under Section 226 (1) (a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004). This provided that the Council may exercise its statutory powers to compulsorily acquire land where it believed that such acquisition would facilitate the carrying out of development, redevelopment or improvement on or in relation to the land. In order to exercise that power, the Council would also be satisfied:

that the development, redevelopment or improvement is likely to contribute to the achievement of one or more of the following objectives: (a) the promotion or improvement of the economic wellbeing of their area; (b) the promotion or improvement of the social wellbeing of their area: (c) the promotion or improvement of the environmental wellbeing of their area (Section 226 (1A).”

 

Having considered the project requirements, programme duration and phasing it was not considered appropriate to make a single CPO covering the whole Estate. Instead there would be a series of CPOs, the first of which will be CPO1 which will focus on the earlier phases.

 

It was noted that the CPO would need to be confirmed by the Secretary of State for the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Government (MHCLG), who would consider any objections to the making of the Order before reaching a decision.

 

RESOLVED that –

 

1.    Subject to the Executive Director of Place being satisfied in relation to the progress of the planning application for the development, authorise the making of a CPO (“the Order”) under Section 226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 ("the 1990 Act") to acquire the outstanding interests in the land shown edged red on the plan attached at Appendix 1 (“the Order Land”) and the submission of the Order to the Secretary of State for confirmation, and authorise the confirmation of the Order if the Council is given the power to do so by the Secretary of State under Section 14A of the Acquisition of Land Act 1981.

 

2.    Authorise the Executive Director of Place, after consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Public Health, to make any minor changes considered necessary to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.

72.

Review of Emergency Decision Making Arrangements pdf icon PDF 115 KB

The purpose of this report is to identify options for the delivery of meetings of the Council and its Committees upon the expiry of temporary Regulations which permit meetings to take place virtually.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report which identified options for the delivery of meetings of the Council and its Committees upon the expiry of temporary Regulations which permitted meetings to take place virtually.

 

Members were informed by way of late material that in the days prior to the meeting the High Court had dismissed a claim that remote attendance at meetings was nevertheless still lawful under the established legislation. It would therefore be necessary for formal meetings of the Authority to resume in person.

 

Members examined options for the safe conduct of the Council’s meetings in the period to July 2021. A series of measures set out in the late material to enable the return of face to face meetings with Covid-19 safety mitigations in place were approved.

 

RESOLVED that –

 

1.    all Committees due to meet between 7 May and 21 June 2021 which are not time critical be rescheduled to a date after 21 June, at which point it is anticipated that they will be able to meet in person without restrictions. This would include the rescheduling of Council from 13 to 20 July;

2.    the adjusted calendar of meetings for the period between May-July 2021 attached at Annex 1 to the agenda report be approved:

3.    the Annual Meeting of Council on 18 May be held at the Guildhall with only the 12 Members sufficient to form a quorum present in person with Groups invited to nominate attendees based on their overall representation on the Council (ie: 10 seats for the Liberal Democrat Group and 2 seats for the Conservative Group)

4.    a separate Mayor Making ceremony be held in the grounds of the Guildhall on 18 May, prior to the Annual Meeting;

5.    a meeting of the Licensing Committee be held at the Guildhall immediately upon the rising of the Annual Meeting of Council with only the four members sufficient to form a quorum present in person with Groups invited to nominate attendees based on their overall representation on the Council (ie 3 seats for the Liberal Democrat Group and 1 seat for the Conservative Group);

6.    those meetings of Committees which cannot be rescheduled be held on the dates proposed in the draft calendar of meetings for the 2021/22 Municipal Year considered by the Response and Recovery Committee on 25 March 2021 with the application of all risk mitigation measures as may be appropriate including those set out in paragraphs 25-26 of the agenda report;

7.    The 20 July meeting of Council and other meetings which by virtue of the number of individuals who need to be in attendance cannot be accommodated in the Guildhall be held at suitable venues elsewhere in the Borough;

8.    All meetings of Neighbourhood Committees prior to 31 July 2021 be held at the Guildhall;

9.    all meetings of Council and Committees up to and including the July Council meeting continue to be live streamed;

10.the arrangements be further reviewed at the meeting of Council in July; and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.

73.

Election of the Mayor for 2021/22

At the Council meeting on 20 March 2001 it was agreed that, other than in an Election Year, the Mayor should be elected at the Ordinary Council meeting immediately preceding the Annual Meeting.  (In an Election Year the Mayoral election takes place at the Annual Meeting.) Accordingly, the Council is now asked to elect the Mayor for the Royal Borough for the Municipal Year 2021/22. 

 

At the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on 19 May 2020 it was noted that in view of the disruption to meetings arising from the public health emergency the serving Mayor for the 2019/20 Municipal Year, Councillor Margaret Thompson, would remain in office to the end of 2020/21, at which point the Council would be invited to elect the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Sushila Abraham, as Mayor for the 2021/22 Municipal Year. 

 

The formal installation of the Mayor will take place at the Annual Meeting on 18 May 2021.

 

Council is therefore now asked to RESOLVE that –

 

Councillor Abraham be elected as Mayor for the Royal Borough of Kingston for the 2021/22 Municipal Year.


Background Papers - None

 

Minutes:

At the Council meeting on 20 March 2001 it was agreed that, other than in an Election Year, the Mayor should be elected at the Ordinary Council meeting immediately preceding the Annual Meeting.

 

One nomination was submitted - from the Liberal Democrat Group - in the name of Councillor Sushila Abraham.

 

There being no other nominations, the Mayor duly declared Councillor Sushila Abraham elected as Mayor of the Royal Borough for the Municipal Year 2021/22.

 

[The formal installation of Councillor Abraham as Mayor would take place at a Mayor Making ceremony immediately prior to the Annual Meeting on 18 May.]

74.

Appointment of Honorary Tipstaff and Town Crier

At the meeting of Council on 17 April 2018 Mr Michael Seigel was appointed to the position of Honorary Tipstaff and Town Crier with effect from the Annual Council meeting on 22 May 2018 for a period of three years to expire on the date of the Annual Council meeting in 2021. Mr Seigel has indicated that he is prepared to continue in office at the expiry of his current term and Council is therefore now asked to approve his reappointment for a further three years.

 

The role of the Tipstaff is that of a uniformed official of the Council who takes part in Civic processions and performs the function of regulating the pace, as well as generally attending on Members. The Council combined the role of the Tipstaff with that of the Town Crier, who assists with civic events and acts as Toastmaster at civic functions, in 1984. As this is an honorary position there are only very limited resource implications arising from any necessary repairs and adjustments to the uniform that is provided.

 

The Council is asked to RESOLVE that -

 

Mr Michael Seigel is re-appointed to the position of Honorary Tipstaff and Town Crier with effect from the Annual Council meeting on 18 May 2021 for a period of three years to expire on the date of the Annual Council meeting in 2024.

 

Background Papers - None

Minutes:

The Council considered the reappointment of Mr Michael Seigel to the position of Honorary Tipstaff and Town Crier for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames for a three year term.

 

Mr Michael Seigel had been a Borough resident for 33 years with a background in the education sector in Kingston, including as Head Master of Rokeby School, and a record of community involvement within the Royal Borough over three decades, including chairing the Canbury Area Residents' Association (CARA) when it was first set up in 1991

 

RESOLVED that Mr Michael Seigel be re-appointed to the position of Honorary Tipstaff and Town Crier with effect from the Annual Council meeting on 18 May 2021 for a period of three years to expire on the date of the Annual Council meeting in 2024.

 

Voting: Unanimous

75.

Appointments of Members to Committees, Panels and other bodies pdf icon PDF 63 KB

The Council is RECOMMENDED to make the following appointments:

 

1.    Councillor Caroline Kerr to be appointed as Chair of the Property Investment Company Shareholders’ Committee. (The remit and functions of the Committee are set out for information at Appendix E)

 

Minutes:

Members considered the appointment of the Leader of the Council, Councillor Caroline Kerr, as Chair to the Property Investment Company Shareholders’ Committee and noted the terms of reference of the Committee as set out in Appendix E of the agenda.

 

RESOLVED that Councillor Caroline Kerr to be appointed as Chair of the Property Investment Company Shareholders’ Committee.

 

Voting: Unanimous

 

 

76.

Armed Forces Community Covenant - Information item

The Council customarily receives an annual progress report on delivery of the Armed Forces Community Covenant in Kingston. Activity in relation to the Member Officer Group which oversees the Council’s activities in respect of the Covenant has necessarily been reduced in the past 12 months because of the pandemic but a short statement from the Group is set out below for information pending submission of a full report via the relevant Strategic Committee in the next Municipal Year.

 

Despite the constraints imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic the three members of the Working Group, namely the Mayor Councillor Margaret Thompson, Councillor Maria Netley and the Council’s Senior Strategy and Performance Officer, Francis Arokiasamy, continue to ensure that the Armed Forces Covenant, renewed in 2018, is embedded in Council practice. There is training on the Council website, and this will form part of every new employees’ induction. The Mayor attended the re-launch of the Covenant by the Royal British Legion, and the Group is in the process of updating the information gained.

 

Every homeless person assisted by the Council during the pandemic was asked if they had ever served in the Armed Forces, as that will be taken into account for housing allocation. No-one fitted that criterion. The question on the Census form asking for any Service history will give a clearer picture of ex-Servicepeople in the Borough.

 

The Armed Forces Day flag was raised over the Guildhall as usual this year. Remembrance ceremonies were much more low key than usual, but were observed in a dignified manner. The Group was unable to meet our local units this year but hope to do so as soon as possible.

The Group continues to work together to ensure the well-being of our local serving and former service men and women.

 

For information

 

Minutes:

Members noted that the Council customarily received an annual progress report on delivery of the Armed Forces Community Covenant in Kingston.  However activity in relation to the Member Officer Group which had oversight of the  Council’s activities in respect of the Covenant had necessarily been reduced in the  past 12 months due to the pandemic. A brief interim update on the work of the Group was therefore presented to Council. It was noted that a full report would be taken to the relevant Strategic Committee in the next Municipal Year 2021- 22.

77.

Urgent Items authorised by the Mayor

To consider any items which, in the view of the Mayor, should be dealt with as a matter of urgency because of special circumstances in accordance with S100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.