Agenda and minutes

Wednesday, 21 November 2018 7:00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Barking

Contact: David Symonds, Democratic Services Officer, Ground Floor, Barking Town Hall, 1 Town Square, Barking, IG11 7LU 

No. Item


Declaration of Members' Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Members are asked to declare any interest they may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes - To confirm as correct the minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2018 pdf icon PDF 84 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2018 were confirmed as correct.


Minutes of Sub-Committees - To note the minutes of the JNC Appointments, Salaries and Structures Panel held on 15 October 2018 pdf icon PDF 45 KB


The Assembly received and noted the minutes of the JNC Appointments, Salaries and Structures Panel held on 15 October 2018.


Leader's Statement

The Leader will present his statement.


The Deputy Leader of the Council (Cllr Ashraf) presented a verbal statement on behalf of the Leader, updating the Assembly on a range of matters since the last meeting including:


-The appointment of two Member Champions, working closely alongside Cabinet Members: Councillor Freeborn (Quality in Care) and Councillor Chris Rice (Mental Health). A work programme is being organised for these posts.


-The Innovation in Politics Award was held in Vienna, won by the Deputy Leader for Community Leadership and Engagement for the work the Council was undertaking in promoting community participation, although was no complacency about the work that lay ahead. The Council were the first UK project that has won the Innovation in Politics Award.


-The Chancellor’s Budget & its impact on the borough-There was a need to maintain pressure on the Government to fund the NHS, social care and all public services after years of underfunding. The Government’s Budget on 29 October 2018 would provide little relief for the Borough’s residents at this difficult time.



The Labour Group Secretary will announce any nominations to fill vacant positions on Council committees or other bodies.


The Assembly resolved to appoint:


·  Councillor Rahman to the Office for Raising Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (OFSTED) Panel;

·  Councillor Khan as a trustee of the Chadwell Heath Community Trust Board; and

·  Councillors Akwaboah and Saleem to the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE)



Annual Report 2017/18 -Safeguarding Adults Board pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care Integration introduced a report on the Annual Report 2017/18 for the Safeguarding Adults Board.


The Annual Report described the work and priorities of the Barking and Dagenham Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) from April 2017 to March 2018 and set out how the Board had worked to improve the protection of vulnerable adults across Barking and Dagenham along with its achievements in 2017/18 and key priorities into the future.


The annual reports contained contributions from a range of organisations who were involved in safeguarding vulnerable adults in Barking and Dagenham. Joint working has been effective over the past year, and the membership of the Board has strengthened.  During the year, the Board had appointed a new Independent Chair.  The statutory partners provided financial resources to support the SAB a to fulfil their functions and to support the undertaking of Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs).


The Annual Report had been agreed by the Safeguarding Adults Board at its meeting on 17 July 2018 and was presented and discussed at the Health & Wellbeing Board on 5 September 2018.  The Health & Wellbeing Board noted the need to improve awareness across frontline teams and the wider community about safeguarding concerns, especially around issues of exploitation and modern slavery, and on how to report concerns for attention by statutory agencies. 


The Cabinet Member for Health and Social Integration considered that one of the Safeguarding partners, the East Basic Command Unit (BCU) needed to improve its transparency and she would be inviting the Borough Police Commander to address a future meeting of the Assembly for an update on crime and violence safeguarding issues.


In answer to a question, the Cabinet Member advised that records of care are kept including those of inspections and quality assurance.


Members welcomed the report and in particular agreed that it was a priority to help and support vulnerable adults. They were concerned to ensure that partnerships and agencies continued to work together in light of 1,632 safeguarding concerns that had been raised to the Council which was an increase on the previous year.  They also noted that work on awareness of mental health was on-going and the Serious Case Review contained in the report. They were also concerned about the adult social care budgets and the effect of the introduction of Universal Credit (UC), which is was felt had put vulnerable residents at risk and raised the level of homelessness.



(i)  The Assembly resolved to note the contents of Annual Report of the Safeguarding Adults Board for 2017/18; and

(ii)  Noted the discussion at the Health & Wellbeing Board and add further comments to shape the priorities of the SAB through its Strategic Plan.


Annual Reports 2017/18- Adoption and Corporate Parenting- a new approach pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care Integration introduced the annual reports on Adoption and Corporate Parenting. They described the new approach that will be taken to producing these in future, highlighting key achievements and priorities for the coming year. One of the critical things Looked After Children needed was stability and clear permanence and this approach cut across children’s care and support and not just children in care and the Council were developing a Permanency Strategy, which would underpin plans for performance through every child’s journey and be developed over the next two months.


The Cabinet Member stated that greater improvement (targets) was necessary in dealing with adoption and corporate parenting however the Council was doing the best it could at a time of severe financial constraint. This included the Government’s reductions in funding the Adoption Support Fund.


Members welcomed the report and considered that targets needed to be improved, also that in terms of adoption and corporate parenting, siblings should be kept together as far as possible.


The Assembly received a short video presentation in relation to Skittlz, Barking and Dagenham’s Children in Care Council, made up of a range of Looked After Children that are actively consulted regarding being in care.


Members welcomed the report and video presentation.


The Assembly resolved to:


(i)  Note the contents of the two annual reports on adoption and corporate parenting respectively; and

(ii)  Note developments in children’s social care over the last 6 months and support their reflection in a more useful, timely and purposeful strategy.


Corporate Plan 2018 - 2022 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement introduced a report on the Corporate Plan 2018-22. Over the past few years, the Council had undergone a period of significant change, focussing on establishing a new kind of council and had transformed the way it delivered services, introduced new ways or working and facilitating a change in the relationship that the Council has with residents.  These changes were made as the Council was required to make savings of £48K by 2021.


In consultation with residents, the Council had shaped and defined the vision for Barking and Dagenham through the production of the Borough Manifesto. This provided a clear direction for the Council over the coming years. As an enabler and facilitator, the Council’s job was to make the community’s vision a reality. The Corporate Plan 2018-2022 set out the Council’s contribution over the next four years to deliver the Borough Manifesto.  It clearly articulated the Council’s vision and priorities as it continued its journey and the transformation programme.


The Cabinet Member placed on record that the Council were delivering on the themes in the Corporate Plan, namely: a new kind of Council, Empowering People, Inclusive Growth and Citizenship and Participation. She was pleased that despite severe financial constraints, it had won the award of Council of the Year at the Local Government Chronicle Awards in 2018.


The Assembly resolved to approve the Council’s Corporate Plan 2018-2022 as set out at Appendix 1 to the report.


Report of a Decision of the Standards (Hearing) Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 69 KB


The Assembly noted the outcome of the Standards (Hearing) Sub-Committee held on 28 September 2018.


Councillor Butt was invited to address the Assembly and provided an oral statement to Assembly and apologised to fellow Members and the borough’s residents for breaching of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct. She contended that she did not know she was required to register disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of two properties and stated that she did not mislead the Leader of the Council and Monitoring Officer. In reference to a press report in the Barking and Dagenham Post, she confirmed that she was advised and not instructed to apologise to Assembly as part of the decision of the Standards (Hearing) Sub-Committee.


Motions pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:


Moved by Councillor Alasia and seconded by Councillor Channer:


“Barking and Dagenham’s migrant communities contribute a huge amount to the borough and are the heart of the borough’s cultural identity.


Approximately 21% of the borough’s population is of African or Caribbean heritage and although the Council does not have precise figures, it is believed the borough is home to hundreds if not thousands, of the Windrush generation and many more come from other Commonwealth countries across the globe.


Barking and Dagenham Council expresses dismay at the ‘hostile environment’ initiated by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary and at the financial and emotional impact this has had on the Windrush generation and their families, including children and grandchildren.


This Council welcomes:


·  the contribution that Eastside Heritage have undertaken over many years to capture the history and legacy of the Windrush Generation, particularly those that worked in the NHS

·  the work of organisations the JCWI, BME Lawyers 4 Justice, the Runnymede Trust, MPs and the All Parliamentary Group on Race who have been campaigning on these issues, and

·  the role the Caribbean High Commissions have played in lobbying the Government.


In response Barking and Dagenham Council resolves to:


·  call on the Government to implement a fair compensation scheme for the emotional, financial and physical trauma the Windrush generation suffered whilst their immigration status was undefined

·  Celebrating Windrush Day in Barking and Dagenham on the 22 June each year with an annual celebration to recognise and honour the enormous contribution of those who arrived between 1948 and 1971

·  press the Prime Minister to call for an independent public enquiry into the Windrush scandal,

·  demand the Government fully supports advice agencies in their work to achieve justice (and compensation for all losses, injury and damages to date where necessary) for all Barking and Dagenham residents of the Windrush generation,

·  review our own policies and procedures to ensure we support those affected,

·  support the call for fees for naturalisation to be waived for all those who have been affected, and

·  oppose the criminalisation of Windrush families.”


Members of the Assembly spoke in support of the motion.


The motion was carried unanimously.


Questions With Notice



Question 1


From Councillor Martins


Can the Cabinet Member for Finance explain what impact the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s recent Budget Announcement will have on residents in Barking and Dagenham?




The Government’s Budget did provide some good news for Local Authorities including Barking and Dagenham. For example, capital funding has been made available to improve roads (£0.42m for this borough in 2018/19) and additional funding has been promised to support Social Care for both Adults and Children’s social care in 2019/20 which will allow the Councilto support the most vulnerable in our community, although it will not be sufficient to compensate for many years of austerity and cuts to Local Government budgets, particularly social care.  In addition, the social care funding is one off and the Government have not provided any long-term solutions to the growing issues in Social Care.


The Government has removed the borrowing cap on the Housing Revenue Account which allows Local Authorities to build some additional housing, however, it does not in itself create any new funding for Local Authorities or Housing Associations. 


The Government budget made no long-term announcements about Schools funding.  Although there is a small one-off capital payment for all schools (£10,000 to £50,000 per school, there is no new permanent investment in either Schools or High Needs with a likelihood of very small sub-inflation increases in funding. 


The Government is still committed to the implementation of Universal Credit although they have introduced a number of measures have been introduced to mitigate the impact on individual claimants including those in Barking and Dagenham. 


Question 2


From Councillor Perry


After 8 years of Tory austerity, coupled with continued increases in the cost of living in London, can the relevant Cabinet Member explain what the Council is doing to ensure that key public sector workers are not priced out of Barking & Dagenham?




Whilst Barking and Dagenham is one of London’s most affordable boroughs, it is still very difficult for many residents to buy or rent homes on the market. Our residents and the jobs they do are vital to the London economy.


When housebuilders stopped building during the credit crunch, the Council created its own housing company, Reside, to deliver genuinely affordable homes for local people. There are now 810 households living in affordable Reside homes and we have ambitious plans to triple this to 2,529 by 2022/23. In addition, we are building an additional 397 homes for sale and 290 homes for students.


In addition to the new affordable housing being developed for Reside, the Council has also recently completed 34 new shared ownership homes at the Leys, via the HRA and 32 of those recently released have been snapped up by Barking and Dagenham residents. Rents on Reside homes will vary from 50%-80% of a market rent and we will build shared ownership homes too. The Reside and HRA homes will be affordable to those people whose households are on the London Living Wage.


Such an ambitious home building programme  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.