Skip to main content

Meetings

Meeting Details

Council
19 Jul 2016 - 19:00 to 22:00
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Declarations of Interests
  • Visitors

Documents

Agenda

Standard Items
1 Apologies for Absence
2 Urgent Matters
Any urgent matters that the Mayor has agreed should be considered at the meeting.

The Mayor read out the following statement.
“We note with concern and alarm the occurrences of verbal racial abuse, graffiti and other forms of hate crime in recent weeks, both in London and elsewhere in the country.
Ealing as a borough is proud of its diversity, of our centuries-long history of providing a welcoming home to people from all corners of the world, and of the way in which our communities live and work together in a spirit of tolerance and harmony. We are a stronger and more prosperous borough as a result.
All political parties on Ealing Council condemn, unequivocally and without hesitation, all forms of abuse, racism and xenophobia and we share a determination that Ealing should be a beacon of welcome, tolerance and diversity; we stand united in support of all of the borough’s communities from migrant backgrounds, who have contributed beyond measure to the economic, social, cultural and civic life of the borough.
Together, we urge residents to report instances of hate crime and to stand up to those responsible.
We support the work that the council is undertaking, alongside the Metropolitan Police and other partners, to ensure that hate crime is cracked down upon, that our communities feel reassured and secure, and that a message of welcome continues to be extended to all residents of the borough”.

Councillor Gordon moved a procedural motion

“Under Rule 12.8 I move to suspend Rule 14.5 for item 12A to allow the leader of the Council to speak for 10 minutes and the Leader of the Opposition for seven minutes.
I also move to suspend Rule 14.6 to permit the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the second minority party to sum up at the end of the debate”

Councillor G. Stafford seconded the motion.

The motion was agreed.

3 Declarations of Interest
To note any declarations of interest made by members
There were none
4 Matters to be Considered in Private

 

There were none
The minutes of the meeting were agreed.
6 Mayor's Announcements
The Mayor stated that in addition to the usual round of engagements she had been endeavouring to engage with our many local communities. The Chair of the Select Committee on Home Affairs, Mr Keith Vaz MP had asked her to accompany him to Sunday mass at the Polish Church. The Polish press reported that the congregation found it a moving experience. She had also visited the West London Homeless Hub, the Sri Lankan Society, the West London Tamil School prize giving and played boules with the Friends of Marcq- en -Baroeul: she would be attending the Afghan Festival at the weekend. The Mayor welcomed Elizabeth Kwakye, a student who was the Leader's guestand welcomed Seph Brown to the Council and wished him well in his new post
And finally she congratulated Councillor A. Stafford both on his recent engagement and his birthday which fell on the day of the meeting.<
7 Petitions from Members of the Public
Submitted under Council and Committee Procedure Rule 9.
Ms Ailis Gavan presented a petition containing over 2,500 signatures setting out the statement below
Build affordable housing on the Gurnell Leisure centre Site - West London
Ealing Council intends to allow developers to build luxury housing on the Gurnell Leisure Centre site in return for a contribution towards the cost of improving the swimming pool. This contribution is welcome, but it is wrong to allow development on public land which waives the usual requirement for at least 25% of new housing to be to be affordable/social stock, while we are so desperate for social and affordable housing in the area. This must not be allowed to happen. Ealing currently has over 10,000 people on its social housing waiting list and current property prices are out of the reach of the majority of people. The average house price in Ealing is now £650,000 and average room rents are £825 pcm (£1400pcm for a 1 bed flat).
Between 2014-15 the number of social houses increased by only 68 and affordable homes to buy by 480.
People who have grown up in the Borough are having to move out, something that is happening right across London. Where are our teachers, nurses, doctors, bus drivers, cleaners, police al going to live?
We are in desperate need of affordable housing and we must all be concerned about the mass sell-off of public land. We need genuinely affordable housing, not just a new swimming pool.
Please join with me by signing a petition to Ealing Council requesting that they reconsider their policy to abandon its commitment to affordable and social housing.

Councillor Bell responded
Let me begin by giving some context to this decision. Everyone in this chamber understands the financial pressures that this local authority and other across the country are under. We have significant cuts to our budgets and so it is a very challenging time for local councils. However, Ealing Council is continuing to invest in our sports, leisure and recreational facilities – around a £65 million programme across the Borough and this include this investment of an estimated £38m on the flagship leisure centre and outdoor sports and recreation provision at Gurnell.
We will provide a high-quality publicly accessible facility with activity programmes to meet customer needs, contributing to healthier lifestyles and the public health agendas. There will also be opportunities for outreach programmes to work with the community. Ealing’s commitment to a 50m pool has been longstanding as part of our leisure facility offer. Gurnell is home to the largest swimming club in the country with around 1800 members and 3,700+ enrolled in learn-to-swim schemes.
Gurnell leisure centre needs replacing and the Council is committed to a mixed use development to enable that delivery. Unless we had that support from that enabling development the Council could not provide a renewed Gurnell leisure centre. The capital we have has been committed to expanding our schools and we really do not have that level of funding to achieve the redevelopment of Gurnell alone. Therefore, because of the age of the facility, there is in the near future a risk of closure unless we do something about it.
As you said, the Council is investing £12.5m in the new facility and, while we had hoped the project would be cost neutral, as the business case was worked on and the project developed we had realised that we were not in that position and that we would have to put some funding in ourselves. However it will ensure a high-quality leisure facility for future generations to benefit from.
In terms of the housing that’s part of the enabling development. There is a desire to have social housing – and initial reports to council investigated this possibility. However, that was not possible and so we are looking for both private sale and private rent – and we are looking to ensure that some of the private rentals are affordable.
Let me explain how we are going do that and give some context on Ealing’s delivery of social housing units.
To date, Ealing has delivered 500 more units of affordable housing than our target. Between 2011 and 2016 our target was 1,418 and we have delivered 1,957 affordable units. Ealing has also recognised the importance of the private rented sector – as house prices have increased, the amount of private rented accommodation has increased significantly and we are looking to our private rented sector housing strategy to meet four key priorities up until 2019:
Increase supply of private housing
Support residents to access affordable, well-managed and private rented accommodation (we held a housing commission to look at these issues)
To improve the condition of private housing through regulations (we passed a private sector housing licensing scheme at Cabinet last week)
We are looking to develop strong partnerships to support the private rented sector
The Mayor of London is looking in to a London Living Rent cap – suggested at 40% of salary and what we are looking to do after initial analysis of what 40% per month of salaries would represent in Ealing that there are possibilities for us to set rents for key workers, for teachers for social workers and those significantly below the Ealing average salary to be able to rent some of the affordable units in the Gurnell enabling development.
There is further work to be done, but there is a current mix we are exploring which would allow us to provide 218 units in Gurnell that would be priced for workers for earning less than the Ealing average salary, accessible to key workers such as teachers and social workers.
Frankly, this is a good solution - If we don’t do the enabling development in this way – we don’t have the pool. But by looking at ways of having affordable rented accommodations we will be able to meet some of those needs for affordable homes in our Borough.
Ms Gavan commented briefly on the response.
8 Petitions from Members of the Council
Submitted under Council and Committee Procedure Rule 9.
There were none.
9 Questions from Members of the Public
Submitted under Council and Committee Procedure Rule 9. To consider any questions from members of the public, due notice having been received.
There were none
10 Questions from Members of the Council
To deal with questions of which notice has been given in accordance with Rule 10 of the Council and Committee Procedure Rules.
1. Councillor Raza asked the Portfolio Holder for (Community Services & Safety
“Would the portfolio holder please update us on the Council’s response to the increase in xenophobic and racist attacks across London in the wake of the Brexit vote?

Councillor Dheer replied
“I think it is very important that we reiterate our commitment to respecting all residents of the Borough, faiths cultures and creeds. It if a very welcome gesture we needed to make.
The past few months have not been a happy time for race relations in this country. Let me give you a quick overview of some of the incidents in London and in the country. The figures we have show that in the final two weeks of the referendum debate, hate crimes went up by 42%. On 25th June, after the results there were 389 incidents – that is one every 12 minutes. In the two weeks following Brexit there was a 300% increase in hate crimes.
Ealing has shown much greater resilience – because we have close relationships with our minority and faith groups and mercifully the incidents in Ealing are not as many as other parts of the country.
What did Ealing do? We are active engagement in our faith places and community groups, we were able to work with police to increase patrols around faith places and areas of migrant settlement, in order to take preventative action. Our community safety division officers made contact with community leaders and reassure them of our commitment to treating everyone equally.
However, we have to say that in spite of all the preventative action, incidents in the country did rattle minority ethnic groups in the borough. Let me give you a few examples.
There was a petrol bomb thrown into a halal shop in Walsall.
White powders were posted to mosques and to one Muslim member of the House of Lords.
A Polish community centre in Hammersmith suffered from obscene graffiti.
So there were many incidents but mercifully few across the Borough. The vast majority of British people have always shown great sense and we are a tolerant nation. We can maintain the good reputation this country has around the world. People want to come from all around the world to our country; why? Because of its tolerance, the rule of law and the decency of its people.

Councillors Raza and Mullins asked supplementary questions

2. Councillor G. Stafford asked The Leader of the Council 

“Who chaired the 4th July Dormers Well Ward Forum Meeting and why?

Councillor Bell replied
"Councillor Tej Bagha chaired the Dormer’s Wells ward forum at the meeting on the 4th of July. It is normal practice for Councillors to rotate the role as they are a united team."

Councillor G. Stafford asked a supplementary question.

3. Councillor R. Mann asked the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Performance

“What are the possible consequences for local government of Brexit?”

Councillor Johnson replied

“We do not the full implications of Brexit. Local government will want a place at the table when this is being negotiated. We know our legal responsibilities, procurement, health and safety and workers’ rights will be affected. We have lost 100,000s of pounds from our pension fund since Brexit. I am very concerned about this – it will affect our workers and will have a grave impact on the Borough. “

Councillors R. Mann and Proud asked supplementary questions

4. Councillor Young asked the Portfolio Holder for (Community Services & Safety

“Why is the Portfolio Holder proposing a 72% reduction in book stock, a 53% reduction in operational floor space and 69% reduction in study space at Ealing Central Library?” 

Councillor Dheer replied
“Let me first give a background to the whole question of Ealing Library before answering the three specific questions Cllr Young has asked. Ealing Central Library is located in the Ealing Broadway Centre which is owned by British Land. We were approached by British Land some time ago with an offer that if we relocate the library in the Centre they will take on all the costs in order to redevelop the centre to offer a much larger retail space to make it more competitive in West London. The Cabinet agreed in principle. The relocation will be of no cost to Ealing Council. In addition, the service charge will decrease from £116,000 to £28,000 – a saving of 88,000 a year. Which is not a small number in light of ongoing cuts from central government.
The operational floor space -The new relocated library will be smaller; but we are not comparing like with like. A number of functions in the current library will be relocated to different sites. The current library space is chronically under used – for example there are 13,000 reference books which are rarely if ever used; only 1% are used. We are going to move that stock. Similarly, only 37,000 of the 120,000+ books are actively borrowed so it makes sense in terms of stock management and rationalisation to remove some of this stock as is common practice in libraries across the country. We are also moving some of our archives to different locations so we won’t need so much space. Our residents will still have access to all relocated items.
In terms of study spaces; currently we have 155 study spaces and we will maintain this total number, albeit with 60 spaces in Acton library. Many students travel from Acton to Ealing so it makes sense to offer study spaces where the students are. If there is more demand we will review the situation.
In summary, yes we are reducing stock but residents will have access to all the books they want. We are part of the London and national hub of libraries – any book you want you can phone from home and order the book to collect from our libraries. Residents will be able to download books as well. Madam Mayor it is not the size of the building that is important but access to our services, books and learning materials and no resident will suffer as a result of these changes.

Councillors Young and R .Wall asked supplementary questions 

5. Councillor Mohan asked the Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People

“What progress has been made on the Brighter Futures project?

Councillor Rai replied
“ I am delighted to report that considerable progress has been made with our Brighter Futures programme – it is indeed a programme of innovation and service transformation in our Children and Families service.
Our aim here is to provide better support for families in difficulty, so as to prevent family breakdown. However, where breakdown does happen, our aim is to recruit more local foster carers and support them more effectively, in order to keep more Ealing children in placements that are within our borough. I am pleased to report that significant progress continues to be made on the Brighter Futures programme.
The programme has had two pilot teams – the first called the MAST Team, which is essentially a multi-disciplinary team that works with children on the edge of care – and this team has supported 256 children to date and this translates to 159 families.
The second team known as the Connect team, works with children in care – this team has worked with 46 children.
Early successes for the Connect Team includes a reduction in out-of-borough residential placements and enhanced support for local placements that are at risk of breaking down.
The Connect Pilot Team has moved 12 children into new fully supported local placements, with a further 24 placements having been stabilised to prevent their breakdown. This fostering approach has led to a (£1m) one million pound saving on our placement budget to date.
And there has been further success with the support provided by the MAST team – this has led to a reduction in the number of children on Child protection plans; an increase in the number of children in education, employment and training, and a decrease in the number of young people at risk of child sexual exploitation. This is excellent progress and I congratulate the staff in achieving this success.
Members will also be aware that children’s services has recently been subject to an intensive 4 week Ofsted Inspection of the services we provide to children in need of help and protection, as well as for those in care.
Whilst we have not yet received the formal final report I can confirm that Ofsted were impressed with the work of the Brighter Futures programme and other aspects of Children’s Services. The final report will be published at the end of August, however it is encouraging to get positive external scrutiny of our programme at this critical stage.

Councillors Mohan and Millican asked supplementary questions

6. Councillor Seema Kumar asked The Leader of the Council 

“As a result of the large number of complaints about the banning of turns at the Longfield Avenue / Uxbridge Road junction, and the consequent traffic congestion on the collateral routes, would the Portfolio Holder please end this experiment immediately?

Councillor Bell replied
“No”

Councillors Seema Kumar and Bagha asked supplementary questions

7 Councillor Ball asked The Leader of the Council

“How will the Leader ensure that the rights of Ealing residents who are citizens of other EU countries are protected?”

Councillor Bell replied

It was a subject that was discussed at the LGA conference in Bournemouth and I certainly welcome the seat at the table that local government will be given in terms of the Brexit negotiations. I will be talking to Nick Forbes the Labour LGA chair and making sure that any input I can give through the LGA will be used to the effect. Equally, any representations that come through Local Councils I will do the same.
We have three excellent Labour Members of Parliament in Ealing who I frequently talk with and have discussion on this very topic.
I also believe that we need to campaign. I welcome all those who campaigned to remain to continue to work together in order to make sure that we protect the rights of Ealing residents from European countries that are here and also to continue to give the message we that not only is London open but Ealing is open and give that very clear message that all EU residents are very welcome to our borough.

Councillor Ball asked a supplementary question.

12 Reports from Officers
Councillor Bell moved the report
Councillor Johnson seconded the report
Councillor G. Stafford responded
Councillor Malcolm responded
Councillor Jones responded
Councillor Sumner responded
Councillor Anand responded
Councillor Dabrowska responded
Councillor Mason responded
Councillor Busuttil responded
Councillor Rogers responded
Councillor Conti responded
Councillor Johnson responded
Councillor Young responded
Councillor Tailor responded
Councillor Malcolm summed up
Councillor G. Stafford summed up
Councillor Bell summed up. After a vote
Council:


(a) Considered the draft Corporate Plan Update for 2016-17 and approved the same subject to the outcome of the exercise at (b) below, and

(b) Authorised the Chief Executive, following consultation with the Leader, to make any amendments to the Corporate Plan Update required by Council prior to publication as a final document.

Councillor Sabiers moved the report
Councillor Young seconded the report
Council
i. Noted and commented on the effectiveness of and improvements to scrutiny during 2015/2016
ii. Noted and commented on the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2016/2017
12C pdf Urgent decisions (53Kb)
The report was noted.
13 Appointments to Committees and Other Bodies
There were none
14 Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on 11th October 2016.

Additional Meeting Documents

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Visitors

Visitor Information is not yet available for this meeting