Agenda and minutes

Venue: Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, London NW4 4BQ. View directions

Contact: Maria Lugangira 020 8359 2761  Email: maria.lugangira@barnet.gov.uk

Note: Public questions or a request to make a public comment must be submitted by 10am on Thursday, 4 April 2019 

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 86 KB

2.

Absence of Members

3.

Disclosable Pecuniary interests and Non Pecuniary interests

    Minutes:

    Member

    Item

    Interest Declared

    Councillor Barry Rawlings

     

    8 – Constitution Review

     

    Terms of

    Reference of the

    Safer Communities

    Partnership Board

    Non-Pecuniary interest by virtue of the fact that Councillor Rawlings does some work for CommUNITY Barnet who are represented on the Board.

     

     

4.

Report of the Monitoring Officer (if any)

5.

Announcement by the Chairman

    Minutes:

    The Chairman announced that the items list below were being withdrawn from the agenda. The items would be given more detailed consideration before being brought back to future meeting of the Committee.

     

     

    No.

    Section

    Reference

    4.

    Full Council Procedure Rules

    Sections 18.7 – 18.8

    A provision for public questions to the Leader at Full Council has been in-situ for several years.  There have been no public questions to the Leader at an ordinary council meeting since this provision was added.  It is therefore recommended that this provision be deleted.

     

    12.

    Article 7 (Committees, Forums, Working Groups and Partnerships)

    Terms of Reference of Area Planning Committees

    Barnet has a relatively low threshold for the number of objections which trigger an application being referred to committee for determination.  Consequently, two out of the three area planning committees usually have a high volume of planning applications to be determined.  For example, the Finchley & Golders Green Area Planning Committee regularly receives between 10 and 20 applications per meeting.  It is proposed that the threshold be increased from 5 to 10 objections. 

     

     

6.

Public Question and Comments pdf icon PDF 63 KB

    Minutes:

    Details of the questions asked and the answers provided were published and circulated at the meeting.

     

    Mr Levy addressed the Committee, in relation to his public comment submitted below

     

    Constitution Review (Appendix B)

     

    “I have found that where the Chairman of a Residents Forum instructs an officer to provide information within 20 days (item 3.5), it is currently often unsatisfactory because;

     

          i.        if information is not provided within 20 days, it can then be very protracted to obtain the information because then officers have no further deadline to fulfil; and

     

    if this provision is used to obtain a response or part response to a tabled question that was not provided in time for the printed response/meeting, then;

     

        ii.        other interested residents will not see the response and will have to inquire separately to obtain the information;

     

       iii.        the resident loses the opportunity to address the Forum with the light of the deferred response until six months have elapsed, which may mean waiting for another 9-12 months.

     

    I am therefore seeking that the following text be considered for insertion into the Constitution, Appendix B, 3.5:

     

    1.  After "within 20 days to provide an additional response", add "; if this occurs or if an officer has undertaken to follow up with such full response, this response shall also be printed in the final draft and published minutes of that Forum, captioned as a NOTE, within the minuting of that agenda item"

     

    1. At end of paragraph beginning "The Six Month rule", add "An exception is that where additional time following a Residents Forum is required to provide a full response to an issue tabled at a particular Forum, the same resident will promptly be advised that (s)he may speak for 3 minutes in response to that response at any subsequent Residents Forum for the same area within the six month period following the said Forum, or appoint another Barnet resident to do so, other than a Councillor, MP or Assembly Member.  At least three working days' notice must be given of such intention to speak; the original issue and proceedings to date shall be appear in full in the agenda and noted as a deferred item; and the Chairman will determine the issue in the same manner as other issues at the Forum, see below, save that (s)he shall seek to avoid duplication within the six-month period."

     

    Following Mr Levy’s representation the Committee agreed that the proposal is referred to officers for consideration and that a report with proposed amendments is brought back to the next meeting of the Committee [ACTION Head of Governance]

     

7.

Members Item (if any)

8.

Constitution Review pdf icon PDF 267 KB

9.

Local Government Boundary Commission for England - Electoral Review of Barnet Council - Draft Recommendations pdf icon PDF 172 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chief Executive presented the report which set out the LGBCEs draft recommendations of the new electoral arrangements for Barnet. In summary, the raft recommendations propose that:

    ·         Barnet’s council size should remain at 63 councillors - as at present.

    ·         Barnet should move to having 25 wards - four more than there are now.

    ·         The 63 Councillors will represent; 14 three-councillor wards, 10 two-councillor wards and 1 one-councillor ward

    ·         The boundaries of all wards will change, none will stay wholly the same.

    Member’s raised a number of queries on the above, with regards to understanding the constitutional implications these changes will have on:

    ·         Planning and Area Committees which are currently appointed to on the basis of ward

    ·         Ensuring fair representation for the single ward member

    The Chief Executive agreed to ensure that the officers response to the LGBCE would capture the proposal implications for committees and other bodies that are constituted on an area basis. 

     

    Following consideration of the report the Committee RESOLVED:

     

    1.    That the Committee note the Local Government Boundary Commission for England consultation timescales.

     

    2.    That the Committee notes the officers approach to responding this stage of the Electoral Review consultation and are asked to offer any feedback on the practical and technical aspects of the proposals, to inform officers submission.

     

     

10.

Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) and Housing Ombudsman Summary of Upheld Complaints report - 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 182 KB

11.

Campaign for Freedom of Information - Report on FOI good practice in London Boroughs pdf icon PDF 157 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chief Executive presented the report which set out the findings of a recent report by the Campaign for Freedom of Information on Freedom of Information (FOI) performance and good practice in London Boroughs. 

     

    Various elements of the report referred to best practice examples with Barnet Council being cited as one of the leading local authorities in this area.  The report also included an update on Barnet’s FOI performance in 2018/19.

     

    The Committee wished to convey their thanks and congratulations to the officers involved in achieving this recognition.

     

    Following consideration of the report the CommitteeRESOLVED to:

     

    1.    To note the report, and the recognition from CFOI of the positive and effective approach Barnet has taken in order to be an exemplar of FOI good practice.

     

    2.    To note the council’s commitment to maintaining continuous improvement in this regard, as evidenced by current high levels of performance

12.

Committee Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 124 KB

13.

Any item(s) that the Chairman decides is urgent

14.

Vote of thanks

    Minutes:

    With this being the last meeting of the municipal year 2018/19, the Vice-Chairman and the Committee thanked the Chairman, for his hard work and the fair manner in which he has conducted the meetings of the Committee over the past year

     

    Councillor Cohen thanked both Members for their work and officers for their support