Merton Council

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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council chamber - Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden SM4 5DX

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor David Dean.  Apologies for lateness were received from Councillors Caroline Cooper-Marbiah and Hamish Badenoch.

 

2.

Declarations of Pecuniary Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of pecuniary interest were made.

 

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2017 are agreed as an accurate record.

 

4.

Announcements by the Mayor, Leader of the Council and Chief Executive

Minutes:

The Mayor provided a brief update on her activities and advised that she would be hosting a Peace and Memory Walk at Canons Leisure Centre on Sunday 17 September 2017, to which all were encouraged to attend.

 

There were no announcements from the Leader or the Chief Executive.

 

The Mayor presented 8 awards. The first was to the 210 Squadron, 151 Regiment, to commemorate its 50th anniversary and in recognition of its strong links to local churches and other local organisations in the Borough.

 

The following 7 awards were to staff from the Children, Schools and Families Directorate, which had achieved 5 “good” and 2 “outstanding” awards in the Ofsted inspection which took place between 12 June and 6 July 2017.

 

5.

Public questions to cabinet members pdf icon PDF 123 KB

The questions and written responses will be circulated at the meeting.

Minutes:

The responses to the written public questions were circulated prior to the meeting.  The Mayor then invited each of the questioners in turn to ask (if they wished) a further question to the Cabinet Member.  A copy of the supplementary questions and responses will be included in the ‘public questions to Cabinet Members’ published document.

6.

Councillors' ordinary priority questions to cabinet members pdf icon PDF 80 KB

The questions and written responses will be circulated at the meeting

Minutes:

The responses to the written member ordinary priority questions were circulated prior to the meeting.  The Mayor then invited each of the members in turn to ask (if they wished) a further question to the Cabinet Member.  A copy of the supplementary questions and responses will be included in the ‘member ordinary priority questions to Cabinet Members’ published document.

 

7a

Strategic theme: Councillors' questions to cabinet members pdf icon PDF 71 KB

The questions and written responses will be circulated at the meeting.

Minutes:

The responses to the written member strategic theme priority questions were circulated prior to the meeting.  The Mayor then invited each of the members in turn to ask (if they wished) a further question to the Cabinet Member.  A copy of the supplementary questions and responses will be included in the ‘member strategic theme priority questions to Cabinet Members’ published document.

 

It was also noted that a copy of the member non priority questions and responses will be published after the meeting, in line with Constitutional requirements.

 

7b

Strategic theme: Main report pdf icon PDF 4 MB

Minutes:

The Strategic Theme report on Sustainable Communities was moved by Councillor Martin Whelton and formally seconded by Councillor Stephen Alambritis.

 

Councillors Stephen Crowe and Mary Jane Jeanes also spoke on the item.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Strategic Theme report is agreed.

 

7c

Strategic theme: motions pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Minutes:

The motion was moved by Councillor Daniel Holden and seconded by Councillor Suzanne Grocott.

 

The Labour amendment as set out in agenda item 13 was moved by Councillor Ross Garrod and seconded by Councillor Joan Henry.

 

The Labour amendment was put to a vote and was carried – votes in favour: 36, votes against: 22, abstentions: 1.

 

The substantive motion (as amended) was then put to a vote and was carried – votes in favour: 36, votes against: 23, abstentions: 0.

 

RESOLVED:  This Council recognises that street cleanliness and reliable weekly bin collections are important universal services greatly valued by residents. Indeed residents frequently tell their local councillors that they expect high standards for our street scene here in Merton and that, as a council, we should aim to make our borough a clean and tidy place to live. Keep Britain Tidy found that 50% of street litter in Merton is due to the current black sack and open box collection system and this is why Merton is replacing the current messy black sack collection with a wheeled bin solution that will reduce litter on our streets.

 

This Council understands that Merton’s residents expect streets to be swept regularly; food waste and recycling bins to be reliably emptied on a weekly basis; fly-tipping cleared promptly and the perpetrators fined or prosecuted; seasonal leaf-fall cleared; weeds removed; and drains to be cleared pro-actively in order to reduce surface flooding. Council regrets that these expectations have sometimes not been met, such as when Merton was judged the dirtiest borough in London in 2009.

 

Since Veolia took over delivery of these services across south west London at a much lower cost than the council could offer on 1st April 2017, a business-like decision which was taken to protect services at risk from significant government cuts, this Council notes that some Councillors have seen an increased volume of complaints.   To some extent this would be expected in any transfer of a contract of this size ad the level of disruption to the service has been far lower than experienced by other authorities entering into new street cleaning and waste contracts.  Nonetheless council is disappointed that some elements of the service have are not yet being delivered to the standard agreed.  In order to hold the contractor to account we have created a new Neighbourhood Client Team who undertake site inspections and work closely with the contractor’s Area Managers to ensure that service standards are maintained. Senior officers also hold regular contract meetings, together with the South London Waste Partnership, with senior managers from Veolia to address any underperformance on the contract.  Where permitted within the framework of the contract, the council applies financial penalties where performance has been below the required standard.

 

Furthermore, figures from the last Council meeting indicate that, owing to the complex nature of enforcing against fly-tipping where, in the absence of a witness, Enforcement Officers have to find evidence which is admissible in court, payment has so far been received  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7c

8.

Notices of motion - Conservative Motion pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Minutes:

The motion was moved by Councillor Abdul Latif and seconded by Councillor Oonagh Moulton.

 

The Labour amendment as set out in agenda item 14 was moved by Councillor Abigail Jones and seconded by Councillor Brenda Fraser.

 

The Labour amendment was put to a vote and was carried – votes in favour: 39, votes against: 19, abstentions: 0.

 

The substantive motion (as amended) was agreed.

 

RESOLVED:  This council notes the metropolitan police has already seen £600m of cuts as part of the government’s austerity agenda and faces £400m more of cuts up to 2021 as the cost of policing the capital increases but government funding has been frozen. The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has condemned this failure to properly resource policing in the capital, with the Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick making clear that London’s police service is particularly stretched in the light of terror attacks. 

 

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime has proposed that, rather than make police officers redundant, a less harmful approach of closing and selling some police offices might achieve the level of savings the government’s cuts to the police budget since 2010 require.   However, this Council recognises the very considerable concern among residents in Merton about the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime’s proposal to close Wimbledon police station and sell the land and similar concern in Mitcham about previous proposals to close that station, which was downgraded from a 24/7 police office by the previous Mayor Boris Johnson.

 

This Council believes that Wimbledon police station is well located in Wimbledon town centre, which has a large night-time economy (the largest in the borough) and is a major South West London transport hub that needs policing. Mitcham police station is also well located and is in an area where the residents’ survey showed residents are significantly less likely to feel safe after dark compared to other parts of the borough.  This Council therefore resolves to:

 

1)    Write to the Home Secretary making clear that the residents Merton expect our police services to be properly resourced and to demand that she allocate funding for the Metropolitan police to reflect the increased strain the capital is under; and 

2)    Write to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, making clear the London Borough of Merton’s complete opposition to any proposed police station closures in Merton and asking him to reconsider any plans to sell off Wimbledon or Mitcham’s police station; and

3)    Encourage as many residents, residents’ associations and local community groups as possible to respond directly to the Mayor’s consultation document before the deadline of 6 October 2017 and to write to the Home Secretary demanding adequate resources for the Metropolitan Police.

 

 

9.

Notices of Motion - Labour Motion pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Minutes:

The motion was moved by Councillor Tobin Byers and seconded by Councillor Kelly Braund.

 

The Conservative amendment as set out in agenda item 15 was moved by Councillor Suzanne Grocott and seconded by Councillor Gilli Lewis-Lavender.

 

The Conservative amendment, with the wording originally proposed for the paragraph relating to the funding, was put to a vote and was unanimously carried.

 

The substantive motion (as amended) was agreed.

 

RESOLVED:  This council notes that the future of St Helier hospital is again subject to debate with the Chief Executive of St Helier & Epsom NHS Trust having launched an “involvement document”, Providing high quality healthcare services: 2020 to 2030 over the summer months. This sets out possible options for the re-configuration of acute services in the area, including three options to be taken forward for further investigation, two of which would move critical services currently at St Helier hospital to Belmont or Epsom.

 

Council has a long-standing commitment to ensuring that the residents of Merton have access to a full range of NHS acute services on the St Helier Hospital site, including a blue light A&E and consultant-led maternity service. Any attempt to relocate acute services away from an area of relative deprivation in St Helier in favour of a more affluent area such as Belmont or the Royal Marsden site would be incompatible with the statutory duty on the Merton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to have regard to the need to tackle health inequalities because it would make accessing acute health services significantly more difficult for those in our population who suffer the greatest level of inequality. Instead, council supports re-building St Helier hospital on its current site with its full range of services intact.

 

Council notes that:

 

·        much of the engagement period fell over the school summer holidays whilst both parliament and the council were in recess, reducing the potential for democratic involvement;

·        the Trust has not published criteria or weightings for their engagement process and the options they are asking the public to comment upon nor has it published the financial cost of this process;

·       formal consultations regarding the future of hospital services are required by law to be carried out according to the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 as amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and that this exercise may not conform to these legislative requirements;

·       it is for Merton’s Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) to firstly identify the local health and social care services required in our area through a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and then to agree a joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy. Merton’s CCG then needs to outline its commissioning priorities giving due regard to both of these documents.

 

Council notes that the engagement document moots a possible £400m new hospital for Surrey but there is currently no funding in the Treasury “red book” for this and it seems unlikely - in a time of continued austerity when hospitals are being earmarked for downgrade or closure elsewhere  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Changes to membership of committees and related matters pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Minutes:

The report was formally moved by Councillor Stephen Alambritis and seconded by Councillor Mark Allison.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Council notes the changes to the memberships of committees that were approved under delegated authority since the last meeting of the Council.

 

2.    That the Council notes that there are no changes proposed to the political composition of the Council’s committees.

 

11.

Petitions pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Minutes:

The report was formally moved by Councillor Stephen Alambritis and seconded by Councillor Mark Allison.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Council

 

1.    Notes the update on the petition received at the last meeting,

 

2.    Accepts receipt of the following petitions presented by

 

a.    Councillor Suzanne Grocott on Wheelie Bins and residents’ 5 point proposal

b.    Councillor Oonagh Moulton on Unauthorised traveller encampments on Cannon Hill Common.

c.    Councillor Abdul Latif on New development on the corner of Tennyson Road and Haydons Road.

d.    Councillor Janice Howard on Traffic calming in the Cromwell and Haydons Park area.

 

12.

Business for the next ordinary meeting of the Council

Minutes:

Councillor Stephen Alambritis announced that the Strategic Theme for the next ordinary meeting of the Council, being held on 22 November 2017 shall be Corporate Capacity with a focus on Bridging the Gap.

 

17.

Supplementary Questions and Replies pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents: