Greenwich Council

Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Daniel Wilkinson  Email: daniel.wilkinson@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5102

Note: The deadline for public questions is 12 noon on Wednesday, 11 October 2017 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Don Austen, Norman Adams, Barbara Barwick, Mandy Brinkhurst, Mehboob Khan, Allan MacCarthy, Clare Morris, Paul Morrissey and Miranda Williams

 

Apologies for leaving early were given by Councillors Christine Grice, Sarah Merrill and Harpinder Singh

 

Apologies for lateness were given for Councillor Tonia Ashikodi.

2.

Minutes

To agree the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 19 July 2017.

 

No motion or discussion may take place upon the Minutes except as to their accuracy, and any question on this point will be determined by a majority of the Members of the body attending who were present when the matter in question was decided.  Once confirmed, with or without amendment, the person presiding will sign the Minutes.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council noted that due to a clerical error Councillor Geoffrey Brighty’s name had been omitted as a proposer for the Motion at Item 18

 

Resolved -

 

That the minutes of the Council Meeting held on 19 July 2017 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.

3.

Mayor's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor was pleased to announce that the Royal Borough of Greenwich and its staff have recently won a number of awards. At the London In Bloom Awards Ceremony held on 22nd September, Greenwich won two awards:

        2017 Silver Gilt Award for the Royal Borough of Greenwich

        2017 Silver Gilt Award for Well Hall Pleasance.

The Borough had also won a number of Green Flag Awards. The scheme recognised and rewarded well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world. The Parks, Estates and Open Spaces Department had secured 12 Green Flags again that year and supported community groups to secure 4 Community Green Flag Awards. In addition the Parks Estates, and Open Spaces Department had been awarded ISO 14001 certification for grounds and tree maintenance services, and ISO 9001 certification for tree maintenance service. Also, the Parks, Estates and Open Spaces Department had secured a Gold Award for the Charter for the Bereaved for the Cemetery and Crematoriums services that it manages on behalf of the Council.

 

The Mayor asked Councillor Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment to present the awards to Dawn Squires, Head of Parks, Estates and Open Spaces.

 

Councillor Jackie Smith presented the awards.

 

The Mayor announced that on the 10 October Greenwich won two EDUcatering excellence awards: ‘Primary School Caterer of the Year’ which went to Flavio Herendes Chef Manager from Charlton Manor Primary School, and ‘Secondary School Caterer of the Year’ which went to Paul Yung, Chef Manager from Woolwich Poly Secondary School

 

In the absence of Councillor Miranda Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, the Mayor asked Councillor Chris Kirby, Cabinet Member for Human Resources, to present the awards to Flavio Herendes and Paul Yung and Lee Newton- Assistant Director GS Plus.

 

Councillor Chris Kirby presented the awards.

 

The Mayor announced that on 13 October at the Sustain Good Food for London event which was supported by the Mayor of London and which measures actions on 11 different good food measures from school food catering, Fairtrade, food growing and fair pay as an example, Greenwich along with GS Plus topped the Good Food for London league table for 2017.

 

The Mayor asked Councillor David Gardner, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care to present the award to Catherine Hannanfin, Public Health, RBG and Claire Pritchard, Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency.

 

Councillor David Gardner presented the award.

 

The Mayor informed Council that Councillor Harpinder Singh was participating in a ‘sleeping out’ to raise funds for the Weekend Service Users Project on 21st October 2017 at Woolwich Central Baptist Church. The Mayor hoped Members would be able to make a donation.

 

The Mayor informed Council that Woodlands Farm was to plant some trees later in the year, two of which were to represent the memory of former Councillors, Barry Taylor and Dermot Poston. The Mayor trusted that Council agreed with him  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Members to declare any personal and financial interests in items on the agenda.  Attention is drawn to the Council’s Constitution; the Council’s Code of Conduct and associated advice.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

1.       That the list of Councillors’ memberships as Council appointed representatives on outside bodies, joint committees and school governing bodies is noted.

 

2.       That the following declarations of interest be noted:

 

·        Councillor Angela Cornforth declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 19, because she was a public sector employee.

·        Councillor Bill Freeman declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 19, because he was a public sector employee.

·        Councillor Cherry Parker declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 19, because her partner was a public sector employee.

·        Councillor Chris Lloyd declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 19, because his partner was a public sector employee.

·        Councillor Danny Thorpe declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 19, because he was a public sector employee.

·        Councillor David Gardner declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 19, because his partner was a public sector employee.

·        Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 19, because she was a public sector employee.

·        Councillor Gary Parker declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 19, because his partner was a public sector employee.

·        Councillor Mark James declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 19, because he was a public sector employee.

·        Councillor Matt Hartley declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 19, because his partner was a public sector employee.

·        Councillor Olu Babatola declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 19, because he was a public sector employee.

·        Councillor Stephen Brain declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 19, because his partner was a public sector employee.

 

·        Councillor Chris Kirby declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 20, because his partner was a member of credit union.

·        Councillor Clive Mardner declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 20, because he was a member of the credit union.

·        Councillor Denise Hyland declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 20, because she was a member of the credit union.

·        Councillor Gary Parker declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 20, because he was a member of the credit union.

·        Councillor Jackie Smith declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 20, because she was a member of the credit union.

·        Councillor John Fahy declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 20, because he was a member of the credit union.

·        Councillor Matt Hartley declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 20, because he was a Director of Greenwich and Bexley Credit Union.

·        Councillor Rajinder James declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 20, because he was a member of the credit union.

·        Councillor Ray Walker declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 20, because he was a member of the credit union.

·        Councillor Sizwe James declared a Personal and Financial interest in agenda item 20, because he was a member of the credit  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Notice of Members wishing to exceed the 5 minute rule

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that there had been no requests to exceed the five minute rule.

6.

Petitions

Presentation to the Council of petitions for consideration.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following petitions were presented at the meeting:

 

Subject and Number of Signatures

Presenting Councillor

Lead Department

Save and renovate the Avery Hill Winter Garden

4000+ signatures

Councillor Nuala Geary

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

Residents of Hardy Road call for parking controls to be introduced in Hardy Road on the same basis as those proposed in neighbouring Coleraine, Beaconsfield and Mycenae Road

41 signatures

 

Councillor Geoffrey Brighty

 

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

Rust Bucket Pizza Co. to be granted the temporary use of the derelict land on the corner of Love Lane for the interim period of the greater regeneration plan for the Greenwich and Woolwich is executed

630 signatures

 

 

Councillor David Gardner

 

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

Residents of Fingal Street request the Council to accede to the installation of a Bike Hangar at the beginning of Fingal Street, opposite No.1

8 signatures

Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

Ridgeway Users ask Thames Water, Bexley and Greenwich Councils in install litter bins

186 signatures

Councillor Matthew Morrow

Directorate of Communities and Environment

 

 

7.

Public Deputations on matters not otherwise on the agenda

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that there had been no requests for public deputations.

 

8.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Up to half an hour will be allowed for questions by Members of the Public.

 

Questions will be taken in the order notices are received by the Chief Executive.  Each question to have no more than one part.  No member of the public shall ask more than 2 questions at a meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor stated that Council had received 9 written questions by members of the public.  The questions and replies, together with the supplementary submissions made during the meeting are attached as Appendix A to the minutes.

 

9.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 102 KB

a.      To receive written responses to questions submitted by Members in line with procedure Rule A1.38.

b.      Up to 10 minutes will be allowed for Members questions.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor stated that 21 written questions had been received from Members of the Council.  The questions and replies, together with the supplementary submissions made during the meeting are attached as Appendix B to the minutes.

 

Under procedures for oral questions, the Mayor invited questions to Members of the Cabinet for response.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley asked the Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment did she have a view on the £38 million that the Mayor of London had removed from the Police staffing budget and the vote of Labour GLA members not to restore that money, and did she agree that ultimately it was the Mayor of London’s budget to manage and that it was Mayor of London’s decision that the Council should have been opposing more strongly than they did. The Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment agreed that it was the Mayor of London’s decision on how to manage that budget but that budget was given to him from the Home Office of the Conservative Government.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley asked the Leader of the Council to comment on the rumour that Greenwich Weekender had stopped its news coverage section after a discussion on its editorial tone at a Labour Group meeting. The Leader of the Council commented that it was a Conservative Government which had stopped the Council producing Greenwich Time, and so the Council now produced Greenwich Info. Greenwich Weekender tendered for the Council’s advertising which they got, and from that the Council also got some advertorial space. The Leader was proud that Greenwich had both Greenwich Weekender and Greenwich Info; the Leader stated that the Council did not gag them, they were a free and independent press.

 

Councillor Matt Clare asked the Cabinet Member for Transport, Economy and Smart Cities in connection with the extension of cycle hire into Greenwich what the Council’s view was about encouraging private sector cycle hire providers. The Cabinet Member for Transport, Economy and Smart Cities said the Council would look at them on an individual basis, and if Councillor Clare were to send the details of any provider they would look at it.

 

Councillor Spencer Drury asked the Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment why the Chief Executive’s response to the Metropolitan Police consultation was not on the Council’s website.  The Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment noted there was no requirement to publish the decision but stated that she was happy to ask the Chief Executive to publish it.

 

Councillor Matt Clare asked the Leader of the Council that as the Greater London National Park City initiative now had five boroughs involved, and it was supported by Mayor of London, would the Royal Borough of Greenwich now be supporting it. The Leader of the Council replied that the initiative was not in the Council’s top ten priorities as the borough had, for example, homeless people, people needing affordable housing, not enough police on the street, to consider.

10.

Matters for early debate

Up to 3 items of business may be prioritised for consideration under this section.  Each political party may select an item of business, from the list of items on the agenda, for early debate. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor noted that no requests for matters to be taken early had been received.

11.

Amendment to Licensing's Terms of Reference and amendment to the Council's Statement of Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Amended the Terms of References for the Licensing Sub-Committees, as set out in Appendix Aof the report

 

Amended the Statement of Licensing Policy, pages 31-32, as set in Appendix Bof the report

Minutes:

Councillor Jackie Smith, the Chair of Licensing, moved the recommendations.

 

The matter was put to the vote and it was unanimously

 

Resolved -

 

1.       That the Terms of References for the Licensing Sub-Committees, be amended as set out in Appendix Aof the report

 

2.       That the Statement of Licensing Policy, pages 31-32, be amended as set in Appendix Bof the report

12.

Appointment of Head of Paid Service pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Appointed Debbie Warren as the Council’s Head of Paid Service

Minutes:

Councillor Denise Hyland, the Leader of the Council, moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley, as Leader of the Opposition, joined Councillor Denise Hyland, the Leader of the Council, in supporting the recommendation.

 

The matter was put to the vote and it was unanimously

 

Resolved –

 

That Debbie Warren be appointed as the Council’s Head of Paid Service

13.

Review of parliamentary and local government polling districts and polling places - interim review pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Approved changes to the designation of polling places and polling districts for UK parliamentary and local government elections, as set out in this report as the recommended change options, with effect from the publication of the next revised register of electors (scheduled for 1 December 2017 or later if any by-elections occur).

 

Instructed the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer to inform affected households of the changes to polling arrangements before the next scheduled elections.

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

1.       That the changes to the designation of polling places and polling districts for UK parliamentary and local government elections, as set out in the report as the recommended change options, be approved with effect from the publication of the next revised register of electors (scheduled for 1 December 2017 or later if any by-elections occur).

 

2.       That the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer be instructed to inform affected households of the changes to polling arrangements before the next scheduled elections.

14.

Dispensation from the Six Month Rule: Councillor Morrissey pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed a dispensation for Councillor Paul Morrissey from the six month rule until 21 March 2018

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That a dispensation for Councillor Paul Morrissey from the six month rule until 21 March 2018 be agreed.

15.

Decisions on Executive Functions taken under Urgency Procedures pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the decision on Executive Functions taken under Urgency Procedures

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the decision on Executive Functions taken under Urgency Proceduresbe noted.

16.

Petition Responses pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the action taken in response to petitions presented at recent meetings of the Council

Minutes:

The Mayor stated he had received requests from two of the lead petitioners to speak.

 

The Mayor invited Daryl Seamons to address Council in relation to the petition response set out in section 4 of the report.

 

Daryl Seamons, Assistant Head Teacher at Haimo Primary School, explained that the school children were unable to be present but that she would feedback to them. She reiterated the problems experienced which had given rise to the petition. She said that they were happy with the response and were keen to get things moving forward as it was a major safeguarding issue.

 

Councillor Sizwe James, the Cabinet Member for Transport, Economy and Smart Cities thanked Daryl Seamons for her comments. He advised Council that at the Highways Committee on 21 September 2017 it was agreed that a feasibility study would be undertaken and the matter reported back to the Committee. They would try and make that process as speedily as possible.

 

The Mayor invited Maggie and Emily Bell to address Council in relation to the petition response set out in section 6 of the report.

 

Maggie and Emily Bell clarified why they created the petition. They queried whether the fire doors would be installed by 31 October, why sprinklers could not be retrofitted, and why there was no emergency lighting. They suggested the ‘sit and wait’ policy would not actually happen. They requested that the Council be more proactive.

 

Councillor Averil Lekau, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Anti-Poverty thanked Maggie and Emily Bell for their comments. She indicated that she had visited the buildings and would do so again. They were doing their best to follow the regulations. She explained that the Fire Brigade advised them to maintain the ‘stay put’ policy; they were the experts and the Council had to take that advice. She stated that she understood the concerns, and they did ask the Fire Brigade whether they were reviewing their position but they had not told the Council otherwise. The Cabinet Member stated that Officers had informed her that the fire doors would be installed in the time specified.

 

Councillor Christine Grice added that it was important to recognise the understandable high level of anxiety among residents. She recognised the ongoing work to develop better communication between the Council and residents, and said it was an important part of the work of the Council to reach out to residents and support them as much as possible.

 

In relation to the petition response set out in section 7 of the report Councillor Matt Hartley noted the amount that the national funding formula would deliver for Greenwich schools, and said that he looked forward to seeing Labour Councillors at school gates handing out leaflets to parents with these actual figures to correct the dubious figures that had been debated previously in Council.

 

Councillor Chris Kirby said it was in part because of Labour Councillors’ campaign that the cuts had been reversed. Residents’ and teachers’ concerns had been very real and they  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Motion "The future of Avery Hill Winter Garden and Mansion" pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Motion proposed by Councillors Nuala Geary, Matt Clare and Mark Elliott

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

Council notes public concern over the future of Avery Hill Winter Garden and Mansion following the decision of the University of Greenwich to vacate the site in 2018. Council believes this unique and listed heritage asset must be protected and restored, with a revival of the bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund forming part of any redevelopment, and proper involvement of the local community in the future of the site.

 

Council has long recognised the existence of three education covenants on the site and expects that an education tenant would be part of any redevelopment. Moreover, Council notes that the Leader of the Council is requesting a meeting with the University, the Winter Garden campaign lead, and others, to push the case to relaunch a new Heritage Lottery Fund bid aimed at ensuring that the future of this hidden gem is assured.

 

Minutes:

The Mayor agreed to two members of the public addressing the Council on the motion.

 

The Council was addressed by Terry Powley, the convener of the Save Avery Hill Winter Garden campaign group. He described the context, and related the history of the site. He explained that the campaign group was critical of the implications of the sale on three grounds: the refusal of the University to consider investment in the future of the gardens after it leaves the site; the abandonment of a promising bid to the heritage lottery fund which would have restored the Garden; and, its disregard of the local community by failing to enter into dialogue with it on its future plans. The group was pleased that the Council would try and assert its influence on the University to make them honour their responsibilities; the group noted that the Leader of the Council had responded positively to the suggestion of a task group made up of representatives of the Council, Greenwich Heritage Trust, and the campaign group, should be set up to revive the heritage lottery bid. He commented on the role the Council had to play: it was the custodian of the historical legacy of the Borough's heritage; it was the planning authority for any development on the site; it was a potential acquirer of assets for the cultural good; and, it could have the role of guarantor of the Garden if it remained unsold when the University left the site. He concluded that they, Council and community, should all ensure the maintenance of the Garden for the benefit of a future generation.

 

The Council was addressed by Eileen Glover. She noted the Council had sold the site for £1 on the understanding that the University would maintain it and keep public access. She considered that the Council had the moral high ground and should request the University to sell it back for £1 and that the University also give a cash dowry as compensation for the lack of maintenance. Once back under the Council it could be given to the Greenwich Heritage Trust, who as a charity could revive the heritage lottery bid and could also launch a public appeal for funding.

 

Councillor Nuala Geary moved the motion.  Councillor Geary acknowledged the work of Terry Powley, and the Friends of Avery Hill park group. She commented on the history of the house and site, and of the campaign. Councillor Geary drew Council’s attention to the public support expressed to ensure this Borough gem was protected and restored.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Mark Elliott.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability, proposed the amendment to the motion, as detailed in the published Tabled Items agenda. He thanked all members of the campaign and the petitioners. He clarified the reason for the proposed amendment to the motion, detailing the covenants affecting the site and said that the University as the legal owner of the site must respect them and uphold them in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Motion "Public sector pay cap" pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Motion proposed by Councillors Chris Kirby, Denise Hyland, Sarah Merrill, Danny Thorpe, Aidan Smith, Maureen O’Mara, Averil Lekau, Denise Scott-McDonald and Christine Grice

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

This Council notes that public sector pay has been restricted since 2011/12 when the Conservative-led government imposed a two year pay freeze. Council also notes that this pay freeze has been followed by a pay cap that restricted public sector pay rises to 1%. Council further notes that the pay cap has led to a real-terms pay cut of between 3 and 7 per cent for front-line staff across the public sector.

 

This Council asserts that the austerity policies of the Conservative government have led to severe cuts to Local Government budgets around the country, adding ever more pressure onto frontline services.

 

Therefore, Council is mandated to write to the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer to make the case for:

 

        The lifting of the public sector pay cap

        A financial settlement from central government that provides the funds for local authorities to meet the additional costs associated with the lifting of the pay cap

        The government to work with Local Authorities and Trade Unions to fully fund the ‘pay-spine review’, to ensure that Local Government pay structures are fit for purpose

 

Minutes:

Councillors who had declared a Personal and Financial interest in the item left the meeting for the duration of the item.

 

The Mayor agreed to a member of the public addressing the Council on the motion.

 

The Council was addressed by Danny Hoggan, a representative of Unite trade union.  He commented on some of the Council’s achievements; he highlighted in comparison that neighbouring Bexley Council would not pay the living wage. He said that in real terms the workers had actually lost 20% since 2010.  He said there needed to be a change and the Labour Manifesto had been a progressive change which had been rewarded by increased majorities at the election. He said the real fault lay with those who did not pay their share of taxes. He felt that Grenfell gave the Conservatives no moral right, while that Conservative Council was sitting on £300 million of reserves instead of paying their workers and looking after social care. He commented on the Conservative Government’s maladministration and said they were morally bankrupt. He said the Royal Borough of Greenwich should be a benchmark, and should remedy the conditions of the GSPlus workers. He fully supported the motion.

 

Councillor Kirby, Cabinet Member for Human Resources, Co-operatives and Social Enterprise moved the motion. He thanked Danny Hoggan and the others present in the gallery and who had been outside the Town Hall. He spoke of the effect of systematic cuts to local authority services, and suggested they were designed to fundamentally alter the shape of local government. He said the cap on wages was an effective pay cut for public sector workers. He said it increased stress, drove recruitment and retention pressures, and was bad for business. Councillor Kirby said the motion explicitly said it was time for the pay cap to end and called on Government for the money for the pay rise.

 

Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Council, seconded the motion. She noted the effect of the pay freeze over 7 years She noted the Government’s proposed offer but as it was below the rate of inflation it was not really a pay rise. She detailed the benefits of lifting the pay cap, in particular with regard to recruitment and retention, and the effect on the NHS. Councillor Hyland commented that Greenwich was a fantastic place to live and work and study but if you were a care worker on very low wages it was not tenable.

 

Councillor Mark Elliott proposed the amendment to the motion, as detailed in the published Tabled Items agenda. He explained that the amendment was proposed because it was felt it had left out the context of the economic strategy to reduce the deficit, that those on the lowest income in the public sector had not been subject to the pay cap, and that the cap prevented further greater cuts and greater job losses. It was highlighted that Government in September had agreed to a more flexible approach to public sector pay from April  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Motion "Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union" pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Motion proposed by Councillors Averil Lekau, Matthew Morrow

Sarah Merrill, Olu Babatola, Rajinder James, Sizwe James, Jackie Smith,

Gary Parker, Christine May, David Gardner, John Fahy, Steve Offord,

Don Austin, Mehboob Khan, Angela Cornforth, Clive Mardner, Claire Morris, Stephan Brian, Christine Grice, Cherry Parker, Chris Kirby, Norman Adams, Chris Lloyd, Linda Bird, David Stanley and Matt Hartley

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

Council notes the excellent work that Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union carries out in providing savings and loans to people living and working in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and the role it plays in advancing the financial inclusion agenda.

 

Council is concerned by the potential impact of the Bank of England’s new 10% capital requirement for credit unions with more than £10m in assets, which is due to be implemented in 2018 by the Prudential Regulatory Authority.  Council notes that while this new regulation intends to prevent the risk of credit union failures, it is likely to have a negative impact on those credit unions which are smaller but sustainably financed, such as Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union, hindering their development and ability to serve their local communities.

 

Council notes that credit unions like Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union provide a highly valued service to thousands of ordinary people in their local areas, supporting some of the most vulnerable in society who are at risk from high cost payday lenders, loan sharks, and the worst practices of the high street banks.

 

Council therefore calls on the Government to ask the Bank of England to reconsider its new 10% capital requirement for credit unions, to ensure that smaller, sustainably-financed credit unions like Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union can continue to grow and develop unhindered.

 

Council also re-iterates its support for the work of Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union, and thanks the staff, volunteers and members that are central to it success in providing savings and affordable loans for local people.

 

Minutes:

Councillors who had declared a Personal and Financial interest in the item left the meeting for the duration of the item.

 

Councillor Averil Lekau moved the motion, and detailed the reason for the motion.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Danny Thorpe.

 

Councillor Mark Elliott spoke in support of the motion.

 

Councillor Averil Lekau closed the debate.

 

The motion was put to the vote and it was unanimously

 

Resolved –

 

Council notes the excellent work that Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union carries out in providing savings and loans to people living and working in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and the role it plays in advancing the financial inclusion agenda.

 

Council is concerned by the potential impact of the Bank of England’s new 10% capital requirement for credit unions with more than £10m in assets, which is due to be implemented in 2018 by the Prudential Regulatory Authority.  Council notes that while this new regulation intends to prevent the risk of credit union failures, it is likely to have a negative impact on those credit unions which are smaller but sustainably financed, such as Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union, hindering their development and ability to serve their local communities.

 

Council notes that credit unions like Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union provide a highly valued service to thousands of ordinary people in their local areas, supporting some of the most vulnerable in society who are at risk from high cost payday lenders, loan sharks, and the worst practices of the high street banks.

 

Council therefore calls on the Government to ask the Bank of England to reconsider its new 10% capital requirement for credit unions, to ensure that smaller, sustainably-financed credit unions like Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union can continue to grow and develop unhindered.

 

Council also re-iterates its support for the work of Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union, and thanks the staff, volunteers and members that are central to it success in providing savings and affordable loans for local people.

 

20.

Motion "Returning Building control powers to local authorities" pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Motion proposed by Councillors Sarah Merrill and Danny Thorpe

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

Council recognises the devastating impact the huge increase in the number of houses in the borough being converted to Homes of Multiple Occupation is having on local communities; further recognises that many developers do not comply with building control regulations or health and safety procedures during construction; states that this situation has come about as a direct consequence of the government allowing developers to select their own building control officers thereby taking away the power of the local authorities to routinely inspect the quality of building works and ensure the proper minimum standards are being met. 

 

Council further recognises that Government policies over the past 6 years have produced the conditions that have made this situation worse; changes in Housing Benefit Allowance raising the age at which people qualify for single room rate for Housing Benefit to 35 years of age therefore increasing the demand for rooms in HMOs; housing policy which led to house building falling to the lowest annual rate since the 1920s, which has led to rents in London rocketing, which in turn encourages developers to buy properties at higher rates than local people can afford to convert to HMOs; relaxing of planning legislation allowing HMOs to be created abusing permitted development rights. 

 

Council notes that Building Control Inspection paid for itself through the fees it charged developers, and the impact of this loss of income has meant that building control teams in local authorities such as Greenwich now lack the capacity to inspect the amount of properties under conversion.

 

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is doing its utmost to address as many of these issues as it can; maximising the provision of social housing; applying for an article 4 exemption from permitted development rights for HMO's; introducing borough wide mandatory licensing for HMO landlords.

 

The Council calls on the Government to end the right of developers to appoint their own building control officers and to restore the power to local authorities to enter HMOs under construction to inspect the quality of the building works; further calls on the Government to enable councils to introduce Article4 exemptions without fear of financial risk of legal challenges from developers who are prevented from carrying out already planned HMO conversions.

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Sarah Merrill moved the motion. She emphasised this matter was making lives miserable in Greenwich and across London and other cities.  She commented on the housing market, and the creation of so-called HMO’s which were in effect squalid tiny bedsits, and which were breaking laws in construction and health and safety, and causing maximum nuisance to neighbours during construction. She commented on the relaxing of planning legislation and observed that private inspectors might do little just the minimum required by statute, and the risks this potentially caused. Councillor Merrill said they should ask the Government to reconsider basic safety on moral grounds, and give back to the Council building control.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Danny Thorpe

 

Councillor Mark Elliott proposed the amendment to the motion, as detailed in the published Tabled Items agenda. He said the motion identified there are problems arising from HMOs, but did not focus on what the Council could do and instead shifted responsibility to the Government. Councillor Elliott detailed the measures proposed in the amendment.

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor Spencer Drury.

 

Councillor Sarah Merrill did not accept the amendment.

 

Councillors Danny Thorpe, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability, spoke against the amendment. He addressed each of the bulleted points in the proposed amendment. 

 

Councillors Jackie Smith, David Gardner, Sarah Merrill and Gary Parker spoke against the amendment. They commented on the changes made to the housing policy and benefits system and to the building control system, and the issue of objectivity of private inspectors.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley spoke in support of the amendment. He suggested that the motion sought to shift responsibility, while the proposed amendment looked at what the Council could actually do.

 

The amendment was put to the vote and with 8 votes in favour and 27 against it was not carried.

 

Councillor Sarah Merrill closed the debate.

 

The motion was put to the vote and with 27 votes for and 8 against it was

 

Resolved –

 

Council recognises the devastating impact the huge increase in the number of houses in the borough being converted to Homes of Multiple Occupation is having on local communities; further recognises that many developers do not comply with building control regulations or health and safety procedures during construction; states that this situation has come about as a direct consequence of the government allowing developers to select their own building control officers thereby taking away the power of the local authorities to routinely inspect the quality of building works and ensure the proper minimum standards are being met. 

 

Council further recognises that Government policies over the past 6 years have produced the conditions that have made this situation worse; changes in Housing Benefit Allowance raising the age at which people qualify for single room rate for Housing Benefit to 35 years of age therefore increasing the demand for rooms in HMOs; housing policy which led to house building falling to the lowest annual rate since the 1920s, which has led to rents in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Motion "Organ Donation" pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Motion proposed by Councillors David Stanley, Cherry Parker,

David Gardner, John Fahy, Stephen Brain, Chris Lloyd, Aidan Smith, Mehboob Kahn, Don Austen, Norman Adams, Sizwe James, Rajinder James, Mark James, Gary Parker and Averil Lekau

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved -

 

This Council notes:

 

Three people die every day in the UK whilst waiting for an organ transplant and many others lose their lives before they even get on to the transplant list. Currently in Greenwich there are 17 people on the waiting list but there is a serious shortage of organs and the gap between the number of organs donated and the number of people waiting for a transplant is increasing. In London 69% of those waiting are from black and ethnic minority communities and there is an urgent need to increase the number of people from these communities to register as donors.

 

Transplants are very successful and the number of people needing a transplant is expected to rise steeply due to an ageing population, an increase in kidney failure and scientific advances which mean that more people are now able to benefit from a transplant.

 

The consent rate for organ transplants in England is one of the lowest in Europe, with four in ten families saying no to allowing their loved one’s organs to be donated. This is exacerbated because many people have not recorded their wishes about donation or discussed it with their families in advance.

 

One donor can save the life of several people, restore the sight of two others and improve the quality of life of many more. Each year 3,500 people give organs - saving and transforming lives. In Greenwich 15 people had their lives saved by a transplant in 2016/17 but more lives can be saved if the number of donors increases.

 

In 2015 the Welsh Assembly introduced a soft opt-out system where every person is assumed to have agreed consent for deceased organ and tissue donation unless they have opted out. Only 6% have opted out resulting in a significant increase in the number of organs and tissue available for transplant. The Scottish Government are now proposing to introduce legislation for a similar system in Scotland.   In the House of Commons in July Geoffrey Robinson MP introduced a Private Members Bill which received all party support and is due for a Second Reading and full debate in February 2018.

 

This Council resolves:

 

To promote and support a campaign with our NHS partners to raise awareness about how organ donation can save and transform lives and increase the number of donors in Greenwich.

 

To encourage the Government to consider implementing a nationwide soft opt-out organ donation system in line with the model introduced by the Welsh Assembly.

Minutes:

Councillor David Stanley moved the motion, and detailed the reason for the motion.

 

Councillor Cherry Parker seconded the motion, and spoke in support of it.

 

The motion was debated with Councillors Matt Hartley, Chris Lloyd, and Nuala Geary speaking in support of the motion.

 

Councillor David Stanley closed the debate.

 

The motion was put to the vote and with 31 votes in favour and 1 abstention it was

 

Resolved -

 

This Council notes:

 

Three people die every day in the UK whilst waiting for an organ transplant and many others lose their lives before they even get on to the transplant list. Currently in Greenwich there are 17 people on the waiting list but there is a serious shortage of organs and the gap between the number of organs donated and the number of people waiting for a transplant is increasing. In London 69% of those waiting are from black and ethnic minority communities and there is an urgent need to increase the number of people from these communities to register as donors.

 

Transplants are very successful and the number of people needing a transplant is expected to rise steeply due to an ageing population, an increase in kidney failure and scientific advances which mean that more people are now able to benefit from a transplant.

 

The consent rate for organ transplants in England is one of the lowest in Europe, with four in ten families saying no to allowing their loved one’s organs to be donated. This is exacerbated because many people have not recorded their wishes about donation or discussed it with their families in advance.

 

One donor can save the life of several people, restore the sight of two others and improve the quality of life of many more. Each year 3,500 people give organs - saving and transforming lives. In Greenwich 15 people had their lives saved by a transplant in 2016/17 but more lives can be saved if the number of donors increases.

 

In 2015 the Welsh Assembly introduced a soft opt-out system where every person is assumed to have agreed consent for deceased organ and tissue donation unless they have opted out. Only 6% have opted out resulting in a significant increase in the number of organs and tissue available for transplant. The Scottish Government are now proposing to introduce legislation for a similar system in Scotland.   In the House of Commons in July Geoffrey Robinson MP introduced a Private Members Bill which received all party support and is due for a Second Reading and full debate in February 2018.

 

This Council resolves:

 

To promote and support a campaign with our NHS partners to raise awareness about how organ donation can save and transform lives and increase the number of donors in Greenwich.

 

To encourage the Government to consider implementing a nationwide soft opt-out organ donation system in line with the model introduced by the Welsh Assembly.

22.

Motion "Full review into problems in the Planning Department" pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Motion proposed by Councillors Matt Hartley, Mark Elliott, John Hills, Mandy Brinkhurst, Charlie Davis, Nuala Geary, Spencer Drury and Geoffrey Brighty

Additional documents:

Decision:

The motion was not carried.

Minutes:

The Mayor noted that due to an email error Councillor Matt Clare's name had been omitted from the names of the proposers.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley moved the motion. He detailed the motion and clarified what was sought. Councillor Hartley stressed that the motion was not a reflection on the work of Officers, instead it was a question of process and accountability and the need to ensure the problems in Planning came to an end.

 

Councillor Geoffrey Brighty seconded the motion. He suggested that

Planning’s reputation had been at risk over the past year or so. He recognised there was a huge number of applications to be dealt with, and that there had been a turnover of staff. Councillor Brighty felt a good start had been made in trying to overcome problems, such as with the appointment of the new Assistant Director Planning and Building Control.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability, spoke against the motion. He explained to Council the work he was doing with the Director of the Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills and with the Assistant Director Planning and Building Control on the matter.  He informed Council that through July-September 2017, 98% of non-major planning applications had been processed in time, which was an increase on the 89% through April-June 2017, which was demonstrable progress that the issues were being addressed. He informed Council that all appeals were now subject to sign off by the Assistant Director or the Director as he had requested so that Councillors could be assured that the quality of appeal responses were of the standard expected. He commented on the challenges the Council faced in relation to staff retention. He said that Planning Enforcement was taken very seriously and he gave examples of the work undertaken on that matter. Councillor Thorpe said that the review to be undertaken by the Regeneration, Transport and Culture Scrutiny Panel was the proper place for the issues to be discussed, members of the public were welcome to attend the meetings, and he looked forward to participating in that review.

 

Councillor Mark James, Chair of Planning, urged that the motion be rejected. He noted the sheer complexity and volume of work that Planning did. He agreed with the actions taken by the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability.  He said the review at the Regeneration, Transport and Culture Scrutiny Panel was the correct place for the issues to be addressed.

 

In closing the debate, Councillor Matt Hartley hoped the Scrutiny Panel review would address the errors and not just the backlog.

 

The motion was put to the vote and with 8 votes in favour and 24 against the motion was not carried.