Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday 24th January, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Westminster Council House, 97-113 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5PT

Contact: Janis Best, Committee and Councillor Support Manager  Email:  jbest@westminster.gov.uk Tel: 07971 920521

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Relief Chairman

To appoint a relief Chairman.

Minutes:

1.1      Motion moved by the Lord Mayor and seconded by Councillor Ellie Ormsby, that Councillor Concia Albert be elected as Relief Chair.

 

1.2      Motion put, and on a show of hands, declared CARRIED.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 15 November 2023.

Minutes:

2.1      The minutes of the proceedings at the Council meeting held on Wednesday 15 November 2023 were, with the assent of the Members present, signed by the Lord Mayor as a true record of the proceedings.

 

3.

Lord Mayor's Communications

1.      The Lord Mayor to report that, on Thursday 16th November, she attended the Westminster Property Association Lunch at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

2.      The Lord Mayor to report that, on Friday 17th November, she attended the Active Westminster Awards at Porchester Hall.

3.      The Lord Mayor to report that, on Saturday 18th November, she attended the AJEX Remembrance Service and Reception at St John’s Wood Synagogue.

 

4.      The Lord Mayor to report that, on Sunday 19th November, she attended the AJEX Remembrance Parade and Ceremony at the Institute of Civil Engineers.

 

5.      The Lord Mayor to report that, on Tuesday 21st November, she attended the State Visit of the President of Korea at Horseguards Parade and turned on the Christmas Lights at Circus Road, St John’s Wood.

 

6.      The Lord Mayor to report that, from Wednesday 22nd November until Saturday 25th November, she travelled to Oslo for the tree felling ceremony.

 

7.      The Lord Mayor to report that, on Sunday 26th November, she attended the Albanian Independence Day celebrations at St Augustine’s School.

 

8.      The Lord Mayor to report that, on Monday 27th November, she turned on the Dorset Square Christmas Lights.

 

9.      The Lord Mayor to report that, on Tuesday 28th November, she turned on the Queensway Christmas Lights.

 

10.  The Lord Mayor to report that, on Thursday 30th November, she attended the Friends of St Mary’s Hospital Christmas Bazaar, at St Mary’s Hospital and the Rifles Awards Dinner at Guildhall.

 

11.  The Lord Mayor to report that, on Friday 1st December she turned on the Tachbrook Market Christmas Lights and attended the North Paddington Foodbank Fundraising Carol Service at St John’s Hyde Park Church.

 

12.  The Lord Mayor to report that, on Saturday 2nd December, she attended St Luke’s Christmas Fair, the Ultra Education Showcase at 180 Piccadilly and turned on the Harrow Road Christmas Lights.

 

13.  The Lord Mayor to report that, on Tuesday 5th December, she attended the Diplomatic Corps Reception at Buckingham Palace.

 

14.  The Lord Mayor to report that, on Wednesday 6th December, she attended the Songs that Changed the World event at The Conduit Garden, the Trafalgar Square Tree Lighting Ceremony and a reception at the Norwegian Embassy.

 

15.  The Lord Mayor to report that, on Friday 8th December, she attended the Royal Carol Concert at The Abbey.

 

16.  The Lord Mayor to report that, on Saturday 9th December, she attended the Queen’s Park Winter Festival and the Churchill Gardens’ Pantomime.

 

17.  The Lord Mayor to report that, on Sunday 10th December, she attended the Sir Simon Milton Foundation Tea Dance at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

 

18.  The Lord Mayor to report that, on Monday 11th December, she attended the Westminster South Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team Carol Concert at St Barnabas Church.

 

19.  The Lord Mayor to report that, on Tuesday 12th December, she attended the opening of the Premier Inn London  ...  view the full agenda text for item 3.

Minutes:

3.1      The Lord Mayor referred to these as set out on the agenda.

 

4.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

4.1      There were no declarations of interest.

 

5.

Statement on Urgent Matters

With the approval of the Chair of the meeting, the Leader of the Council may make a statement on an urgent matter and the Leader of the Opposition will have an equivalent right of reply.

 

Minutes:

5.1      There were no urgent matters.

 

6.

Councillor Presented Petitions and Deputations, if any

Minutes:

6.1      There were no petitions or deputations received.

 

7.

Public Participation

The Lord Mayor will invite members of the public who have been chosen to present their question or petition.  After which the relevant Cabinet Member or Committee Chair will respond.

 

Minutes:

7.1      Members of the public asked five questions which were responded to by the relevant Cabinet Members. The questions and responses are available on the Council’s website.

 

8.

Questions

The Lord Mayor will call Members who have indicated that they wish to ask a question after the Leader of the Opposition has asked their questions.

 

Minutes:

8.1      The questions, supplementary questions and replies are included as a recording on the Council’s website.

 

9.

Councillor Issue

Councillor Jim Glen – ‘Housing Repairs in Pimlico’

Minutes:

9.1      Housing Repairs in Pimlico

 

Councillor Jim Glen spoke, and Councillor Liza Begum replied.

 

10.

Party Business

Minutes:

10.1    The Majority Party selected to debate the topic of ‘A new public realm CCTV network for Westminster’. The debate would be referred to the relevant Executive Director for consideration when reporting on the subject.

 

10.2    The Opposition Party selected to debate the topic of ‘Tackling Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour in Westminster’. The debate would be referred to the relevant Executive Director for consideration when reporting on the subject.

 

11.

Safer Westminster Partnership Strategy 2024-27 pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To receive, consider and debate, if chosen, the following report from the Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Protection which contains a recommendation to the Council for approval.

 

Minutes:

11.1    RESOLVED:

 

That the Safer Westminster Partnership Strategy 2024 -2027 be approved.

 

12.

Report to Full Council: Council Tax Discounts (including Council Tax Local Reduction Scheme) and Council Tax Base Report pdf icon PDF 170 KB

To receive, consider and debate, if chosen, the following report which contains recommendations to the Council for approval and adoption.

 

Minutes:

12.1    RESOLVED:

 

1)    That the following recommendations for the financial year 2024/25 be approved:-

 

(i)              that the Council Tax discount for second homes remains at 0%

 

(ii)            that the Council Tax discounts for empty properties, including the  discounts that replaced the previous Class A and C Council Tax exemptions, remain at 0%.

 

(iii)           that a Long-Term Empty Property Premium continues at the maximum percentages allowed for by the current legislation for the 2024/25 financial year. which includes commencing the premium a year after a property has been empty, rather than the current 2 years.

 

(iv)      that the Director of Revenues & Benefits be given delegated authority to determine any individual local discount applications received from Council Taxpayers during the 2024/25 financial year under section 13A(1)(c) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

 

2)   That the same Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2024/25 which has operated successfully since 2013/14 be approved. The scheme was based on the Default Scheme Regulations, updated to reflect changes made via the Prescribed Requirements Amendment Regulations and with War Disabled Pensions, War Widow, Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation scheme payments disregarded in full when calculating a claimant’s income. The same disregards should also apply to Housing Benefit and claims for Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

 

3)    That the Council Tax Base for 2024/25 for the Whole City is 137,295.64 equivalent Band D properties, for Montpelier Square alone 96.96 equivalent Band D properties and for Queen’s Park 3,700.40 equivalent Band D properties.

 

4)    That the figures set out in paragraph 2.3 above for the Council Tax Base for 2024/25 be used by the Council to make a determination pursuant to the requirements of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

 

5)    That it be determined to implement a 100% Second Home Premium for the 2025/26 financial year, which is the earliest date allowed for under the new legislation.

 

13.

Notice of Motion

This Council notes that:

·       The Co-operative Council’s Innovation Network (CCIN) is a Local Government Association (LGA) Special Interest Group and is open to all UK Councils. It is a non-party political organisation.

·       The CCIN’s stated aim is to drive innovation and reform within the framework of Cooperative values and principles, building an equal partnership with local people.

·       By the 9 January 2024, there were already 47 Full Council Members, 24 Associate Members (including 13 Town, Parish & Community Councils), and 53 Affiliate Members. Co-operative Council Members (excluding GMCA) represent 12.35m citizens and control a budget of £21.4bn.

·       Under the new Labour administration, and its Fairer Westminster Strategy, the Council has already made great progress in embedding the ‘Co-operative difference’ into the way the Council works with its residents. For example, through Westminster’s Charter Against Dirty Money, revised Responsible Procurement Strategy, Fairer Economy Plan, Local Area Panels and reform of resident consultation – to name just a few examples of change.

This Council believes that:

·       The unprecedented challenges facing the public sector and local communities mean that traditional models of top-down governance and economic growth are no longer fit for purpose.

·       We urgently need to create a new approach, and that the founding traditions of the co-operative movement – collective action and co-operation, empowerment and enterprise – offer a foundation for fresh and innovative solutions which can be built on to tackle the challenges of today.

·       The Co-operative Values developed by the International Co-operative Alliance should be at the heart of this new approach. The core values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.

The Council resolves to:

·       Play an active role as a new member of the CCIN and be part of a growing and influential network committed to developing a new relationship with citizens.

·       Further embed the ‘Co-operative difference’ into the way this Council works with its residents, and adhere to the principles of the CCIN as part of our Fairer Westminster Strategy:

o   Social Partnership - We will strengthen the co-operative partnership between the Council, citizens, communities and enterprises, based on a shared sense of responsibility for wellbeing and mutual benefit.

o   Co-production - We will develop systems that enable citizens to be equal partners in designing and commissioning Council services and in determining the use of public resources.

o   Democratic Engagement - We will support the active engagement of the full range of residents in decision making and priority setting.

o   Enterprise and Social Economy - We will promote community-based approaches to economic development that focus on supporting the creation of jobs, social enterprises and other businesses and providing an environment for co-operative and mutual enterprises to thrive.

o   Maximising social value - We will support the development of a framework and criteria for social value, giving substance to the concept, to ensure better local social and economic outcomes.

o   New models of meeting priority needs - In exploring new ways of meeting the priority needs of our communities we will encourage models, such as co-operatives and  ...  view the full agenda text for item 13.

Minutes:

Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network

 

13.1    The Majority Party submitted the notice of motion as set out on the agenda. The notice of motion was moved by Councillor Ellie Ormsby and seconded by Councillor Jason Williams.

 

13.2    The Lord Mayor put the motion to the vote and following a show of hands declared the motion CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That

 

This Council notes that:

 

·    The Co-operative Council’s Innovation Network (CCIN) is a Local Government Association (LGA) Special Interest Group and is open to all UK Councils. It is a non-party political organisation.

 

·    The CCIN’s stated aim is to drive innovation and reform within the framework of Cooperative values and principles, building an equal partnership with local people.

 

·   By the 9 January 2024, there were already 47 Full Council Members, 24 Associate Members (including 13 Town, Parish & Community Councils), and 53 Affiliate Members. Co-operative Council Members (excluding GMCA) represent 12.35m citizens and control a budget of £21.4bn.

 

·    Under the new Labour administration, and its Fairer Westminster Strategy, the Council has already made great progress in embedding the ‘Co-operative difference’ into the way the Council works with its residents. For example, through Westminster’s Charter Against Dirty Money, revised Responsible Procurement Strategy, Fairer Economy Plan, Local Area Panels and reform of resident consultation – to name just a few examples of change.

 

This Council believes that:

 

·    The unprecedented challenges facing the public sector and local communities mean that traditional models of topdown governance and economic growth are no longer fit for purpose.

 

·    We urgently need to create a new approach, and that the founding traditions of the co-operative movement – collective action and co-operation, empowerment and enterprise – offer a foundation for fresh and innovative solutions which can be built on to tackle the challenges of today.

 

·    The Co-operative Values developed by the International Co-operative Alliance should be at the heart of this new approach. The core values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.

 

The Council resolves to:

 

·    Play an active role as a new member of the CCIN and be part of a growing and influential network committed to developing a new relationship with citizens.

 

·    Further embed the ‘Co-operative difference’ into the way this Council works with its residents, and adhere to the principles of the CCIN as part of our Fairer Westminster Strategy:

 

o   Social Partnership - We will strengthen the cooperative partnership between the Council, citizens, communities and enterprises, based on a shared sense of responsibility for wellbeing and mutual benefit.

 

o   Co-production - We will develop systems that enable citizens to be equal partners in designing and commissioning Council services and in determining the use of public resources.

 

o   Democratic Engagement - We will support the active engagement of the full range of residents in decision making and priority setting.

 

o   Enterprise and Social Economy - We will promote community-based approaches to economic development that focus on supporting the creation of jobs, social enterprises and other businesses and providing an environment for co-operative and mutual enterprises to thrive.

 

o  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.