Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday 19th January, 2022 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 Paul Swaddle, that Councillor Louise Hyams be elected as Relief Chairman.

 

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

 

2.

Minutes

To sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council meeting held on 10 November 2021.

Minutes:

2.1      The minutes of the proceedings at the Council meeting held on Wednesday 10 November 2021 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 Friday October 29th he attended an Honorary Stewards' Evensong and Reception at The Abbey & Westminster School.

2.     The Lord Mayor to report that, on Tuesday 2nd November he attended a screening of 'Shongram' at the Everyman Cinema Maida Vale.

 

3.     The Lord Mayor to report that, on Wednesday 3rd November he attended a CAPCO Armistice Day Commemoration & Reception at Covent Garden Piazza.

 

4.     The Lord Mayor to report that, on Saturday 6th November he attended a Film Screening for Westminster Libraries' Summer Reading Challenge at the Odeon Leicester Square.

 

5.     The Lord Mayor to report that, on Monday 8th November he attended the Soho Parish School Christmas Lights Event at the Ham Yard Hotel and Soho Parish School.

 

6.     The Lord Mayor to report that, on Tuesday 9th November he attended the High Sheriff’s Thanksgiving Service at           Southwark Cathedral and the Past Overseers’ Dinner at                

the In and Out Club.

 

7.     The Lord Mayor to report that, on Wednesday 10th November he attended the Merry Marylebone Christmas Lights and Shopping Event in Marylebone.

 

8.     The Lord Mayor to report that, on Thursday 11th November he attended a visit to Field of Remembrance & the Remembrance Sunday Rehearsal at Westminster Abbey.

 

9.     The Lord Mayor to report that, on Friday 12th November he attended the New West End Company Christmas Lights Event in the West End.

 

10. The Lord Mayor to report that, on Saturday 13th November he attended the Lord Mayor’s Show & Luncheon at Mansion House and the Royal Albert Hall’s Festival of Remembrance.

 

11. The Lord Mayor to report that, on Sunday 14th November he attended the Remembrance Sunday Service at Westminster Abbey and the Paddington Remembrance Service in Lancaster Gate.

 

12. The Lord Mayor to report that, on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th November he was in Oslo for the Tree Felling engagement.

 

13. The Lord Mayor to report that, on Wednesday 17th November he attended the HM The Queen's Green Canopy Planting Event in Hyde Park and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry Reception in Lincoln’s Inn.

 

14. The Lord Mayor to report that, on Thursday 18th November he attended the Westminster Property Association Annual Lunch at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane and the NWEC Reception Event at Fenwick.

 

15. The Lord Mayor to report that, on Friday 19th November he attended the St Clement Danes Commemoration Service at St Clement Danes Church and the Active Westminster Awards at Porchester Hall.

 

16. The Lord Mayor to report that, on Sunday 21st November he attended the AJEX Remembrance Parade & Ceremony at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

 

17. The Lord Mayor to report that, on Wednesday 24th November he attended the Bryanston and Dorset Square Lights event at St Mary’s Church.

 

18. The Lord Mayor to report that, on Thursday 25th November he attended the Royal Engineers Awards Dinner at the  ...  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 chairman 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.

Petitions and Deputations, if any

Minutes:

6.1      (a)      Petitions

 

Councillor Nafsika Butler-Thalassis presented a petition calling on the Council to consult with residents of Lauderdale Road about the best way to reduce speeding on their street. The petition was referred to the Executive Director for Environment and City Management for reporting to the relevant Cabinet Member.

 

Councillor Geoff Barraclough presented a petition calling on the Council to improve the safety of people on foot and reduce air pollution by upgrading the junctions of Shirland Road, Kilburn Park Road and Chippenham Road. The petition was referred to the Executive Director for Environment and City Management for reporting to the relevant Cabinet Member.

 

Councillor Maggie Carman presented a petition from the residents of the Collonades calling for the Council to address noise issues experienced from a nearby commercial property. The petition was referred to the Executive Director for Environment and City Management for reporting to the relevant Cabinet Member.

 

(b)      Deputations

 

There were no deputations.

 

7.

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 his questions.

 

Minutes:

7.1      The questions, supplementary questions and replies are included as an audio recording on the Council’s website.

 

8.

Councillor Issues

Councillor Lorraine Dean – Diverse Recruitment at Westminster City Council and with our Community Business partners. 

 


Councillor Barbara Arzymanow – Opportunities for young people during the pandemic.

 

Minutes:

(a)        Diverse Recruitment at Westminster City Council and with our Community Business Partners.

 

Councillor Lorraine Dean spoke and Councillor Rachael Robathan replied.

 

(b)       Opportunities for Young People during the Pandemic.

 

Councillor Barbara Arzymanow spoke and Councillor Tim Barnes replied.

 

9.

Future Policy Plan pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider items for debate from the attached Future Policy Plan.

 

Minutes:

9.1      The meeting accordingly debated the item chosen from the Future Policy Plan by the Majority Party:

 

Anti-Social Behaviour

 

9.2      The Majority Party had selected item number 8 on the Future Policy Plan: Anti-Social Behaviour. The debate would be referred to the relevant Executive Director for consideration when reporting on the subject.

 

10.

REPORT FOR FULL COUNCIL: COUNCIL TAX DISCOUNTS (INCLUDING COUNCIL TAX LOCAL REDUCTION SCHEME) AND COUNCIL TAX BASE pdf icon PDF 333 KB

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

 

Minutes:

10.1    RESOLVED:

 

1)          That the Council accepted the recommendations of the Cabinet and that the Council approved the following recommendations for the financial year 2022/23:-

 

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

(ii)             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 continued at the maximum percentage allowed for by the current legislation, which is for 2022/23:

- Properties empty between 2 years - 5 years: 100% Increase

- Properties empty between 5 years – 10 years: 200% Increase

- Properties empty over 10 years: 300% Increase

(iv)           that the Director of Revenues & Benefits be given delegated authority to determine any individual local discount applications received from Council Taxpayers during the 2022/23 financial year under section 13A(1)(c) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

 

2)          That the Council approved the same Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2022/23 which had operated successfully since 2013/14. 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.

 

3)          That the Council resolved that the Council Tax Base for 2022/23 for the Whole City was 135,056.32 equivalent Band D properties, for Montpelier Square alone 91.68 equivalent Band D properties and for Queen’s Park 3,519.72 equivalent Band D properties.

 

4)          That the Council resolved that the figures set out above for the Council Tax Base for 2022/23 be used by the Council to make a determination pursuant to the requirements of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

 

11.

Notices of Motion

To be moved by Councillor David Boothroyd and seconded by Councillor Geoff Barraclough:

 

This Council acknowledges the embarrassment caused to Westminster residents by the failed Marble Arch Mound, its unexpected £6 million pound cost to local taxpayers, as well as the political and management failures exposed by the Council’s internal review.

 

This Council notes the significant delays in delivering promised improvements to the Oxford Street District. £20 million has so far been spend on consultants while little has changed on the ground, even though this time hasn’t been used to properly consult residents on important measures such as the Oxford Circus piazzas.

 

This Council notes the slow progress in obtaining private sector support for schemes in the Oxford Street District and the failure to obtain substantial contributions for other major capital projects such as the £32m Strand Aldwych scheme.

 

This Council notes the protracted discussions around the future of Huguenot House and concerns over emerging plans to turn it into a £100m casino.

 

This Council notes the use of CIL and Section 106 funding to support the poorly thought-out vanity projects such as the Sir Simon Milton University Technical College and the Minerva Free School

 

This Council believes the failures of the Marble Arch Mound project have damaged public confidence in Westminster Council’s ability to deliver major projects. 

 

This Council believes it is imperative that public realm schemes which deliver increased property values for major landowners are properly supported with substantial financial contributions from those who stand to benefit, including ensuring the Oxford Street District project achieves at least matched funding against the Council’s contribution. 

 

This Council resolves to commission an independent audit of its major capital projects to ensure taxpayers get value for money.

 

This Council further resolves to cease exploratory work on the conversion of Huguenot House into a casino.

 

Minutes:

11.1    The Minority Party had selected for debate the notice of motion as set out on the agenda. The notice of motion was moved by Councillor David Boothroyd and seconded by Councillor Geoff Barraclough.

 

11.2    Following debate, the Lord Mayor put the Motion to the vote and on a show of hands declared the Motion HAD NOT BEEN CARRIED.