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1.1 There were no changes to the membership.
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations by Members and Officers of the existence and nature of any pecuniary interests or any other significant interest in matters on this agenda.
2.1 There were no declarations of interest.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 15 July 2019.
3.1 RESOLVED: The Chairman, with the consent of the Members present, signed the minutes of the meeting held on 15 July 2019 as a true and correct copy of the proceedings.
Report of the Executive Director, Policy, Performance and Communications.
4.1 Councillor Richard Beddoe, Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning, introduced the item. He thanked residents for taking the time to organise the petition on a matter of local importance and acknowledged the additional representations that had been submitted from the Cathedral Area Residents Group, Queen Anne’s Gate Residents’ Association and Protect Our Pimlico to Cabinet following the publication of the report.
4.2 Councillor Beddoe advised that his recommendation to Cabinet is to agree with the request in the petition not to extend the current Victoria Opportunity Area (VOA) boundary in the new City Plan 2019-2040 beyond the one adopted in the London Plan.
4.3 He clarified the definition of the VOA in the current City Plan (2016) and London Plan given the apparent misunderstanding in the petition and further correspondence about where the actual boundary currently lies and when it was set. He explained that parts of Belgravia, Westminster Cathedral, Christchurch Gardens and Broadway are already within the existing VOA boundary which was agreed in 2011 as part of the council’s Core Strategy. This was the local plan before the City Plan and was approved following a full consultation process. Therefore, this meant that Westminster’s current VOA complies with the Mayor’s London Plan.
4.4 Julia Corkey, Executive Director, Policy, Performance and Communications, confirmed the Cabinet Member's comments. She advised that the description and map of the VOA boundary has remained the same between the adoption of the council’s Core Strategy in 2011 and the current City Plan in 2016. The GLA confirmed to the Council in 2011 that the Core Strategy was in conformity with the London Plan. She further advised that the GLA has not made any comments regarding the VOA boundary during the Council’s recent consultation on the draft City Plan 2019-2040.
4.5 The Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning hoped that these explanations clarified the situation for local residents groups. He advised that he would be sending more detailed responses to specific points raised in the additional representations that have been received on this matter.
RESOLVED: Agreed to revert to the VOA boundary as defined by the current Westminster City Plan (November 2016)
REASONS FOR DECISION
The changes to the Victoria Opportunity Boundary proposed in the City Plan have been reviewed in light of the concerns raised by the petition as well as by comments received as part of the City Plan consultation. Officers have agreed that there is not a compelling case for such changes in light of the reasons for the opposition and recommend reverting to the boundary set by the current Westminster City Plan (November 2016).
Report of the Executive Director of Policy, Performance and Communications
5.1 Councillor Richard Beddoe introduced a report that presented the responses to the recent Regulation 19 consultation on the draft City Plan policies and set out the policies where minor modifications will be made to improve the clarity, understanding and application of these policies. He acknowledged that a late representation on the report had been circulated to Cabinet from the Cathedral Area Residents Group.
5.2 Councillor Beddoe explained that, subject to Cabinet’s approval, the full schedule of minor modifications would be published alongside a finalised draft of the City Plan and other supporting documents required for Regulation 22 submission to the Secretary of State. The Plan would be submitted for agreement by Full Council at its meeting on 13th of November. If approved at that point, the plan will then be formally submitted to the Secretary of State for inspection.
5.3 Councillor Rachael Robathan, Cabinet Member for Finance, Property & Regeneration, welcomed the ambitious affordable housing targets in the plan.
5.4 Councillor Tim Mitchell, welcomed the useful consultation responses from residents, amenity societies and residents’ associations as well as professional bodies.
5.5 The Leader thanked the officers of the council for their considerable work over the past 18 months to revise the policy framework which will help deliver the council’s corporate strategy, City for All. She believed that the plan will help retain neighbourhoods, mixed communities and deliver more affordable housing and growth.
1. Cabinet considered the public responses to the Regulation 19 consultation on the draft City Plan policies and noted the schedule of policies where minor modifications will be made in response to the consultation feedback.
2. Agreed to delegate to the Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning responsibility for the preparation of the draft City Plan and the supporting documents required for Regulation 22 submission to the Secretary of State. This will include publication of the schedule of minor modifications as well as addressing in full the other responses to the Regulation 19 consultation (including the legal compliance of the draft Plan and the duty to co-operate in producing the draft plan).
Reasons for Decision
1. The council’s corporate strategy, City for All, sets an ambition for Westminster to be a place where people are born into a supportive and safe environment, grow and learn throughout their lives, build fantastic careers in world-leading industries, have access to high quality, affordable homes and retire into the community with dignity and pride.
2. The City Plan is the spatial interpretation of this strategy, providing a framework for all future development in the city. To provide a robust and up to date policy framework for the taking of planning decisions across the city, the council has undertaken a full revision to the City Plan pursuant to Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.
Report of the Acting Bi-Borough Executive Director of Children’s Services
6.1 Councillor Heather Acton, Cabinet Member for Family Services and Public Health, introduced the report on the corporate parenting strategy. The strategy outlines the Council’s commitment to meeting the needs of Westminster’s Looked After Children, young children and care leavers. It set out the partnerships between the local authority departments, services and associated agencies who are collectively responsible for delivering the commitments.
6.2 Ian Heggs, Bi-Borough Director of Education, explained that the strategy had been developed with young people in care and care leavers.
6.3 Councillor Acton referred to the recent Ofsted inspection of the Council’s Children’s Services directorate which has been assessed as excellent and along with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was the first authority to have sustained and improved upon its previous ‘outstanding’ rating.
6.4 The Leader congratulated the Bi-Borough Executive Director of Children’s Services and her service for the excellent result particularly given the challenging budget pressures over recent years.
1. That the Corporate Parenting Strategy be recommended to the full Council for adoption.
2. That the corporate parenting plan is reviewed and refreshed annually to drive the Council’s corporate responsibility to ensure looked after children and care leavers get the very best experiences in life.