Agenda and minutes

Wednesday, 3 October 2007 7:00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Barking

Contact: Alan Dawson, Democratic Services Team Manager, Civic Centre, Dagenham  Telephone - 020 8227 2348 / Fax - 020 8227 2171 / e-mail -

No. Item


Declaration of Members' Interests

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


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes (5 September 2007) pdf icon PDF 40 KB




Petition: Asbestosis Victims' Memorial pdf icon PDF 33 KB


Received a report on the action taken by the Council in response to a petition from the Barking and Dagenham Asbestos Victim Support Group requesting a memorial to victims of asbestosis. 


A number of Members spoke on the issue and it was also suggested that the location of the memorial should take into account the petitioners’ wish for it to be in the area of the former Cape Asbestos Factory while also meeting the general desire for such a tribute to be sited in a location of fitting prominence.


Agreed to endorse the way forward agreed with petitioners’ representatives to jointly commission a memorial to the victims of asbestosis at one of three potential sites in the Abbey ward.


Petition: Rippleside Cemetery pdf icon PDF 34 KB


Received a report on the action taken by the Council in response to a petition entitled “Petition against the deterioration of Rippleside Cemetery”.


The Corporate Director of Regeneration outlined the action plan agreed with petitioners’ representatives to bring about the improvements being sought, a number of which have already been implemented, and the longer term arrangements for site monitoring and consultation with relatives.


Agreed to endorse the way forward agreed with petitioners’ representatives.


10th London Local Authorities Bill pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Additional documents:


Received a report on proposals to address environmental concerns of London Local Authorities that are to be promoted via a new London Local Authorities Bill.  Noted the costs associated with supporting the Bill through the legislative process and the non-mandatory nature of any new powers.


Agreed to:


(i)  Support in principle the proposals contained within the 10th London Local Authorities Bill, as set out in the report; and


(ii)  The draft resolution as set out at Appendix I to these minutes.


The Divisional Director of Legal and Democratic Services also agreed to provide Members with further information relating to the decriminalising measures contained within the proposals.


Report of the Standards Committee - Changes to the Member and Employee Relations Protocol pdf icon PDF 19 KB

Additional documents:


Received a report on proposed changes to the Member and Employee Relations Protocol, which forms part of the Council’s Constitution.


Agreed to adopt the revised Protocol as set out at Appendix A to the report.


Appointment of Monitoring Officer pdf icon PDF 22 KB


Agreed to:


(i)  appoint Nina Clark, Divisional Director of Legal and Democratic Services, as the Council’s Monitoring Officer; and


(ii)  note that Bill Murphy, Corporate Director of Resources, will deputise as the statutory Monitoring Officer in Ms. Clark’s absence.


Customer Service Presentation - Resources Department pdf icon PDF 359 KB

Presentation by Bill Murphy, Corporate Director of Resources


Received and noted a presentation from Bill Murphy, Corporate Director of Resources, on customer service issues relating to the Council’s Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) service.


(Note: A copy of the presentation is available at )




Agreed to appoint Councillor McCarthy onto the Barking & Dagenham Partnership Inclusion, Equalities and Diversity Sub-Group.


Leader's Question Time


Question from Councillor Bailey

“Is the Leader of the Council aware that the majority of the 100,000 people moving to Barking and Dagenham over the next ten years will be immigrants? Can I ask the Leader if he thinks this will improve community relations and community cohesion? Can I also ask the Leader if he is looking forward to the day when the white indigenous British people of Barking and Dagenham will be a minority and if so why he and the Labour Party thinks this will be a good thing?”


Response and Debate:


Councillor L Smith, Deputy Leader of the Council, responded in the absence of the Leader of the Council.  He sought clarification of who Councillor Bailey believed to be the “indigenous population” and referred to the many new communities that had moved to and settled in the borough over the last 50 years.  He pointed out that even the highest official forecast of population growth for the borough, by the Greater London Authority, projected an increase of just 23,000 over the next 10 year period and that much of this would be as a result of the Council’s regeneration plans for the borough.


Councillor Smith made reference to the constant movement of people between communities as they seek to improve their standard of living and welcomed the Council’s commitment to good community relations which he believed were achieved not as a result of the make-up of the local population but by the actions we take together to build a strong community. 


In reply, Councillor Bailey stated that the white indigenous population are in the minority in the neighbouring borough of Newham and that this borough is going the same way, to which Councillor Smith replied that he was unable to answer as he was still not clear what was meant by “indigenous population” of the borough.


Question from Councillor Steed

“Despite an initial instruction by the Chair at the July meeting of the Assembly, Executive Members in general, and the Leader of the Council in particular, continued to both make statements and interrupt other Members during question time without censure from the Chair.  However opposition Members were quickly reprimanded and allowed no leeway whatsoever. As one of this Council’s much publicised mandates is promoting equality, would the (Deputy) Leader agree that surely then it should be seen to be leading by example?”


Response and Debate


Councillor Smith stated that in his opinion the Chair of Assembly had consistently, and very firmly, applied fairness in his control of the meetings since his appointment and he could recall several occasions where he had reminded Labour Members of constitutional limitations including the Leader of the Council himself.  He did not, therefore, agree with Councillor Steed’s statement.


Councillor Bailey commented that Labour Members should be leading by example and Councillor Smith replied that as Councillor Bailey had been quiet during this discussion he had done just that.


The Chair confirmed that he has and would continue to treat all Members  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.


General Question Time


Question from Councillor Denyer

“At the last Assembly, Councillor Barnbrook raised the issue of a constituent of his that had submitted forms to the Revenue and Benefits Department and that the Department had lost the forms. Whilst I appreciate that this Assembly cannot be involved in discussing individual constituency issues, I would like to ask the relevant lead Member what action he and the Revenues and Benefits Department have taken to address the situation generally?"


Response from Councillor Bramley


“Members will recall the Revenues and Benefits Customer Service presentation given by Bola Odunsi, Head of Barking and Dagenham Direct, at the last Assembly meeting. Questions were asked regarding security of correspondence and following on from that Councillor Barnbrook claimed that the Department had lost papers of one of his constituents. I gave an explanation of the use of the scanning and IT equipment and Mr Odunsi invited Councillor Barnbrook to provide him with the details of his particular case and he would investigate.


I can confirm that at close of business today no contact had been made by Councillor Barnbrook to Mr Odunsi, nor could Mr Odunsi find that any of his senior managers had been contacted by Councillor Barnbrook.


My question is straightforward. Has Councillor Barnbrook made up this situation - if so, Richard that is very, very naughty of you - or has he just not bothered to follow up the matter?


In any case, I would say to anyone at this meeting and all of our residents that if they have a problem with the revenues and benefits service then go straight to me and cut out the middle man, who might not do anything anyway."


In reply, Councillor Barnbrook stated that he had passed the relevant constituent's details to Andrea Catlin, Members' PA, a week or so ago and had asked her to forward them on to Mr Odunsi.


Question from Councillor White

“Given the recently reported statements of a Member of this Council, could the portfolio holder for Children’s Services inform us whether or not it is the policy of this Council to advocate, or tolerate, the use of violence against children?”


Response from Councillor Alexander


“The Council does not advocate, tolerate or support the use of violence against children. The Council is a key partner of the Barking and Dagenham Local Safeguarding Children Board which is the statutory body overseeing how agencies work together to safeguard children and young people in the borough.


Through the application of the London Child Protection Procedures the Board makes sure that policies and procedures are in place to protect children from harm. Furthermore, it is expected that all agencies represented on the Local Safeguarding Board comply with the London Child Protection Procedures.


These procedures state that physical abuse can include hitting and evidence of this would be regarded as an indicator of possible harm. This could generate a referral to the Council’s Children’s Services and/or the Police.


It is inappropriate for any members and officers of this Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.



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