Greenwich Council

Agenda, decisions and 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, 5 December 2018 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ann-Marie Cousins, John Fahy, Mark James, Maureen O’Mara

 

Apologies for leaving early were given by Councillors Matt Clare and Spencer Drury

2.

Minutes

To agree the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 31 October 2018.

 

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:

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the Council Meeting held on 31 October 2018 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.

3.

Mayor's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor stated that she had decided to vary the items of business at future meetings of Council, starting from January, in that the petition responses report would now be heard after the submission of petitions. It was explained that this was so that members of the public who were only attending for that matter were not kept waiting.

 

The Mayor congratulated Councillor John Hills and his wife Pat on their 60th wedding anniversary.  The Mayor noted that they had lived in what was now the Royal Borough of Greenwich the whole time.

4.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 45 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:

Councillor Denise Hyland declared a Personal interest in agenda item 18, because she was Chair of Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site Partnership.

 

Resolved –

 

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

5.

Notice of Members wishing to exceed the 5 minute rule

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor agreed to a request from Councillor Christine Grice to extend the five minute rule, in relation to presenting her motion at Item 17.

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

Petition against illegal parking

84 signatures

Councillor

Angela Cornforth

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

Appeal of the residents for a parking zone in the Rippolson Road

27 signatures

Councillor

Angela Cornforth

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

Petition against speeding traffic in Floyd Road

40 signatures

Councillor

Gary Dillon

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

Campaign for adequate lighting in Charlton Park, London SE7 

344 signatures

Councillor

Linda Perks

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

To take decisivie action to reduce speeding and inconsiderate driving along Green Lane from Clare Corner/Footscray Road to the A20 Sidcup bypass

170 signatures

Councillor

Roger Tester

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

For girls to be given separate toilets to use at St Mary Magdalene School or an option other than the unisex toilets

127 signatures

Councillor

Denise Scott-McDonald

Directorate of Children’s Services

 

7.

Public Deputations on matters not otherwise on the agenda

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor noted that no requests for public deputations had been received.

 

8.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 128 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 10 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 266 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 35 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 Sarah Merrill asked the Leader of the Council whether the increased use of foodbanks, and the increased number of children going to sleep in poverty could be attributed to the rolling out of universal credit and what the Council was going to do about it. The Leader of the Council commented on the increase of children living in poverty, and the increase in the number of families accommodated by the Council in temporary accommodation; he said the Council was trying to understand if it was linked to benefit changes. The Leader explained that the Council was working to drive their housing agenda forward so that they could provide people with homes, and they were continuing to do as much as they could with the London Living Wage to get employers to pay decent wages.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley asked the Leader of the Council, to clarify if an internal Labour Group process called “the accord” existed to reduce the number of decisions called in by Labour backbenchers, and if it did could the Leader publish the details of it. The Leader of the Council stated that he did not recognise its existence at all. He noted that they were all governed by the Council's constitution. The Leader said that he had been speaking about the role of scrutiny and call-in with new members, he had talked to colleagues to make sure that they understood that they could raise questions with Cabinet Members on decisions, but if Members were not satisfied with the answers that they received they could call decisions in.

 

Councillor Spencer Drury asked the Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement whether the Wardens for Eltham High Street could be a bit more visible in future, as it was the police at the last Safer Neighbourhood Team meeting who had mentioned that they wanted Wardens on the high street. The Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement suggested that the SNT needed to pass their request up the organisational line if they had a particular problem, and the Council would do its best to accommodate their request.

 

Councillor Mehboob Khan asked the Cabinet Member for Housing, that as the Council had been severely limited by changes to the national planning policy framework in providing affordable decent housing while at the same time developers have poured tens of millions into the coffers of the Conservative party who had made it much more difficult for councils to deliver on their housing commitments, would he see that as a potential unethical action by the government which some residents in his ward were terming as fraud. The Cabinet Member for Housing said that he was not a legal  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

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.

Treasury Management Mid-Year Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed the Treasury Management Mid-Year Report for 2018/19

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that the report has been considered by the Audit and Risk Management Panel on 13 November and by Cabinet on 11 December and that neither body had any comments for consideration by Council. 

 

Councillor Christine Grice, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources introduced the report.  She highlighted that the Council’s approach to borrowing and investment remained prudent and placed security at the forefront of investment decisions.

 

Resolved –

 

That the Treasury Management Mid-Year Report for 2018/19 be agreed.

12.

Adoption of Revised Gambling Statement of Principles pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Adopted the revised Royal Borough of Greenwich Statement of Gambling Policy in respect of the Gambling Act 2005 at Appendix A of the report.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that the report had been considered by the Licensing Committee on 7 November and by Cabinet on 14 November and neither body had any comments for consideration by Council.  

 

Resolved –

 

That the revised Royal Borough of Greenwich Statement of Gambling Policy in respect of the Gambling Act 2005 at Appendix A of the reportbe adopted.

 

 

 

13.

Greenwich Young People's Council Priorities pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the activity undertaken by the Greenwich Young People’s Council

 

Noted the presentation from youth councillors.

 

Noted the proposals approved by Cabinet to improve the interface between Greenwich Young People’s Council and elected Members as stated in section 5 of the report.

 

 

Minutes:

The Mayor advised Council that Cabinet on 14 November had agreed that the Greenwich Young People’s Council (GYPC) would present to Council three times over their 2-year term of office.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Council welcomed the members of the GYPC to Council, noting that he himself had been a former chair of GYPC.

 

The Council received a presentation from the Chair, and four other members, of the Greenwich Young People’s Council. The presentation introduced who the GYPC were and their leadership team, stated their priorities for 2017-2019, their activities beyond Greenwich, and indicated who their partners were. They stated that they sought to engage more closely with Councillors and suggested as possible activities to achieve this: regular meetings with Cabinet Members; #YouthVoice walks with Ward Councillors around the areas around schools; ‘Tell us’ events for GYPC councillors and Ward Councillors to visit schools to talk to young people directly; and for GYPC councillors and Ward Councillors to deliver assemblies in schools about local politics and democracy.

 

Council gave the representatives of GYPC a round of applause.

 

Councillor David Gardner, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools, commented how inspiring it was to hear the voice of the GYPC. He said the GYPC needed visibility, to be seen by all Councillors. He noted the GYPC’s work with Cabinet Members. He asked Scrutiny Chairs to consider how they might involve young people on Scrutiny. He suggested all the Council’s policies should be influenced by young people.  He recommended that Members watch the video of the presentation to the youth parliament.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley, Leader of the Opposition, thanked the GYPC for their presentation. He said the video of the presentation to the youth parliament was impressive. He said all Councillors looked forward to working with GYPC.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Council, thanked the representatives of GYPC for participating and engaging with the Council.

 

On behalf of Council the Mayor thanked the representatives of GYPC for their presentation.

 

Resolved -

 

1.       That the activity undertaken by the Greenwich Young People’s Council be noted.

 

2.       That the presentation from youth councillors be noted.

 

3.       That the proposals approved by Cabinet to improve the interface between Greenwich Young People’s Council and elected Members as stated in section 5 of the reportbe noted.

14.

Appointment of Chief Executive pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed the recommendation of the Appointments Panel and appointed Debbie Warren as the Council’s Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service from 13 December 2018.

 

Noted that the appointment incorporates the responsibility for the roles of:

Clerk to the Eltham Crematorium Joint Committee

London Wide Local Authority Gold

Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer.

 

Agreed that the Chief Executive will continue to hold the statutory Section 151 Officer responsibility referred to in paragraph 4.3 of the report until such time as an alternative officer is put forward to Members for approval.

Minutes:

Debbie Warren left the meeting for the duration of the item.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Council, moved the recommendations in the report.

 

After the recommendations had been agreed Councillor Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Council, Councillor Matt Hartley, Leader of the Opposition, and Councillor Denise Hyland as former Leader of the Council, thanked Debbie Warren for her previous service and wished her well for the future.

 

On behalf of Council the Mayor congratulated Debbie Warren on her appointment.

 

Resolved -

 

1.       That the recommendation of the Appointments Panel be agreed and that Debbie Warren be appointed as the Council’s Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service from 13 December 2018.

 

2.       That the appointment incorporates the responsibility for the roles of Clerk to the Eltham Crematorium Joint Committee, London Wide Local Authority Gold, Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer be noted.

 

3.       That the Chief Executive continue to hold the statutory Section 151 Officer responsibility referred to in paragraph 4.3 of the report until such time as an alternative officer is put forward to Members for approval.

15.

Dispensation from the Six Month Rule: Councillor O'Mara pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed a dispensation for Councillor Maureen O’Mara from the six month rule until 12 December 2018

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Geoffrey Brighty, Chief Whip of the Opposition, requested that the well wishes of the minority party be passed onto Councillor O’Mara.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Council echoed the well wishes on behalf of the majority party and agreed to pass them on to Councillor O’Mara.

 

Resolved -

 

That a dispensation for Councillor Maureen O’Mara from the six month rule until 12 December 2018 be agreed.

16.

Appointments to Woolwich Creative District Trust pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Appointed Councillor Denise Hyland, Councillor Peter Brooks and Councillor Gary Dillon to serve on Woolwich Creative District Trust for the Municipal Year 2018/19

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Matt Hartley proposed, and was seconded by Councillor Geoffrey Brighty, that paragraph 2.5 of the report be amended to read “The Council is requested to appoint Councillor Denise Hyland, Councillor Peter Brooks and Councillor Nigel Fletcher to serve on this body”, on the basis that it was a Council not a Leader appointment and that there should be proportionality on Outside Body appointments.

 

The amendment was put to the vote and with the minority party in favour, and the majority party against it was not agreed.

 

Resolved –

 

That Councillor Denise Hyland, Councillor Peter Brooks and Councillor Gary Dillon serve on Woolwich Creative District Trust for the Municipal Year 2018/19

17.

Motion - "The Government's Spending Review" pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

Greenwich has a well deserved reputation for its sound financial management and resilience. Should the UK leave the European Union the economic prosperity of Greenwich and the nation becomes ever more uncertain the Government will be undertaking another Spending Review. With a commitment to put £20bn into the NHS the squeeze will be on other government departments including Local Government. The Government is also launching a Fair Funding Review which will determine the method by which the Local Government pot is distributed. Given recent experience it is not likely to favour London. 

 

We have already been informed that it is the Government’s intention that the new joint Children’s and Adults’ Social Care Support Grant will be distributed using a formula that takes no account of children as a factor and works against London. It will result in a loss of £900k for Greenwich. 

 

This is in addition to the resetting of the business retention London pilot scheme from 100% to 75% from April 2020. Such sustained resource reduction, at the same time as a significant demand for services, has created acute pressure on local services; notably adult social care, children services and homelessness. The current system is neither fit for purpose or sustainable. 

 

The Council is asked to urge the Government to:

·        Use the Spending Review to set out its long term vision for the sector and the Fair Funding Review as a long term finance system to put the sector on a sustainable footing;

·        Treat London in a fair way and ensure that like other parts of the country we can retain 100% business rates;

·        Grant more freedoms and flexibilities for the sector to raise revenue and use resources to cope with anticipated demands.

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Christine Grice moved the motion. She highlighted that the key message of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his budget speech was that austerity was ending. But far from it. By 2020 councils in London would have absorbed a 63% reduction in core funding which amounted to £4billion in real terms since 2010. She stated that the Spending Review needed to address this and find more money for local government.  She commented on the changes to the benefits system, noting that there were a further £4billion to welfare cuts still to come, which would mean that 8000 households Greenwich would be worse off. She commented that austerity was a political choice, and the poor could have been spared it if there had been the political will. She detailed the money the Council had spent on Nil Recourse and emergency support scheme, and to help families find their way through the Universal Credit mess.

 

The Cabinet Member noted the continuing crisis for both children and adult social care. Many local authorities were reduced to providing basic services which she said were damaging to society and eroding the sense of community. Going forward Greenwich’s position would become more precarious. The new joint adult and children social care support grant would be based on a formula unfavourable to London; Greenwich was set to lose £900,000 as a result.

 

The Cabinet Member said the Council needed to urge the government to firstly use the Spending Review to put local government finance on a long-term sustainable footing; addressing the shortfall and a long term vision for the sector with consideration given to business rates and council tax; secondly to recognise that London faced distinctive pressures because of its demography and the higher cost of delivering services; and thirdly to stop using one-off initiatives to stave off the crisis in social care but instead find a long term sustainable model.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Chris Lloyd.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley proposed the amendment to the motion, as detailed in the published Tabled Items agenda. He commented that much of what Councillor Grice had said was not in her motion. He refuted the claim that austerity was a political choice, and said that Labour went into the 2010 election on a platform to make cuts and London would not have been protected. He explained the amendment corrected inaccuracies, removed the misleading context and improved the call for action, which he detailed. He emphasised that the motion should focus on what the Council can do.

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor Nigel Fletcher.

 

Councillor Christine Grice did not accept the amendment.

 

Speaking against the amendment Councillor Mehboob Khan asked how were they going to rise to the challenge of reduced resources and increased public expectations and more demand for services. He suggested that they needed to set out their priorities, for example protecting adult social care, and investing in preventative services, so people did not need expensive statutory services, and that could include investing in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Motion - "Retaining the name of the Old Royal Naval College" pdf icon PDF 31 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

Council notes the huge contribution that the World Heritage site makes to our visitor economy every year.

 

The Council pays tribute to Greenwich Foundation for its stewardship of the Old Royal Naval College since 1998, including the recent restoration of the Painted Hall and looks forward to its reopening.

 

Council welcomes the renewed drive and determination of the Greenwich Foundation to ensure its own financial sustainability and its ambitious plans to improve the visitor offer to attract new audiences.

 

Council applauds the work of the Greenwich Society, Blackheath Society and Westcombe Society but notes their opposition to a name change of the Old Royal Naval College.

 
Council calls upon the Greenwich Foundation to meet with elected members from both sides of the chamber and representatives from key organisations to find a way forward, which addresses the concerns raised.

 

Council reiterates its commitment to work with the Greenwich Foundation and other stakeholders to help this treasured historic location continue to be economically viable to attract visitors from across Greenwich, the UK and the world.

 

 

Minutes:

Having declared an interest Councillor Denise Hyland left the meeting.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley moved the motion. It was accepted that there was a need to increase visitor numbers and that ought to be supported. There was a differing view on how to achieve that. A change to an inauthentic name would risk undermining the aim of improving visitor numbers and risk its financial sustainability. It would also affect the Borough’s Greenwich brand by the perceived loss of the naval association. The ‘Greenwich Palace’ name was tenuous, and Greenwich Borough already had a palace at Eltham. A meeting with Greenwich Foundation would be welcomed as better than nothing but it was felt that the motion should include the Council’s view on the name change.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Nigel Fletcher. He emphasised about the Council expressing a view on the name change. The original palace no longer existed. To call the site ‘Greenwich Palace’ would lead people to believe there was one there. It would cause historical confusion.

 

Councillor Miranda Williams proposed the amendment to the motion, as detailed in the published Tabled Items agenda. She did not feel it was the Council’s role to comment on the name change, but the Council could bring all parties together. Greenwich Foundation needed to grow, their ambition to be a cultural destination that was relevant and sustainable had to be supported for the benefit of the Borough’s residents.

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor Mehboob Khan.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley did not accept the amendment.

 

Councillor Aidan Smith spoke in support of the amendment. He recognised that there was not much of the palace left. A name change could be part of the rebranding, but maybe there could be an acceptable compromise. He felt the amendment was constructive in that it called for a meeting with Greenwich Foundation.

 

The amendment was put to the vote and with the majority party in favour and the minority party against the amendment was agreed.

 

Councillor Miranda Williams closed the debate

 

The motion was put to the vote and it was

 

Resolved –

 

Council notes the huge contribution that the World Heritage site makes to our visitor economy every year.

 

The Council pays tribute to Greenwich Foundation for its stewardship of the Old Royal Naval College since 1998, including the recent restoration of the Painted Hall and looks forward to its reopening.

 

Council welcomes the renewed drive and determination of the Greenwich Foundation to ensure its own financial sustainability and its ambitious plans to improve the visitor offer to attract new audiences.

 

Council applauds the work of the Greenwich Society, Blackheath Society and Westcombe Society but notes their opposition to a name change of the Old Royal Naval College.

 
Council calls upon the Greenwich Foundation to meet with elected members from both sides of the chamber and representatives from key organisations to find a way forward, which addresses the concerns raised.

 

Council reiterates its commitment to work with the Greenwich Foundation and other stakeholders to help  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.