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, 23 January 2019 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Olu Babatola,

Bill Freeman, Rajinder James, Ivis Williams, and Maureen O’Mara.      

 

Apologies for arriving late were received from Councillors Angela Cornforth.

2.

Minutes

To agree the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 12 December 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 12 December 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 of the meeting and would be taking item 15 directly after item 8.

 

The Mayor thanked all Councillors who took part the Mayor’s Charity Appeal by wearing Christmas jumpers at the last meeting of full Council in aid of, the Emmaus Greenwich and Demelza Hospice Care for children and young people in Eltham confirming that £338.50 was raised.

 

The Mayor was pleased to announce in the New Year’s Honours List, there were two recipients with connections with the Royal Borough of Greenwich:

 

        The Borough’s former Chief Executive, Mary Ney, was made a Dame,

        and a resident of the Borough Dr. Gertrude Seneviratne, Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Perinatal Faculty, who was made an OBE.

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:

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:

 

Councillors’ Norman Adams, Matt Clare, Denise Hyland, Sizwe James,  Clive Mardner and Jackie Smith declared a financial interest in agenda item 12, as owners of a second property in the Borough.

5.

Notice of Members wishing to exceed the 5 minute rule

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor noted that that no requests to exceed the five minute rule had been received.

6.

Submission of 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 for an urgent reconsultation on the parking enforcement on Chevening Road.

34 signatures

Councillor

Stephen Brain

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

7.

Petition Responses pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Response to petitions presented previously to Council

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor stated she had received requests from various lead petitioners to speak.

 

The Mayor invited Michael Diamond to address the Council in relation to the petition response set out in Appendix 1 of report.

 

Michael Diamond welcomed the efforts made by the Council in respect to the petition. He said there were 2 points of correction with regards to the response, that in paragraph 2.5 the problem was not about school runs but was about commuter traffic turning off the A20. Secondly, that the LiveLee proposal was only a trial which dealt with the eastbound morning peak and they had detailed proposals that dealt fully with parking, east and westbound traffic, road safety for pedestrians and cyclists and levels of pollution. He believed swift action was achievable and would like to see Greenwich, Lewisham and TfL meet during the coming month. He added that the LiveLee proposals were very low cost and gave very high positive impact. 

 

Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald, the Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Public Realm and Transport, thanked Michael Diamond for his comments. 

She stated that she was very impressed by their campaign and by how much Lewisham, Greenwich and TfL had been working on to resolve the issue that was very important. She would keep pursuing it and would take his comments back to Officers.

 

The Mayor invited Kate Heath to address the Council in relation to the petition response set out in Appendix 4 of report.

 

Kate Heath said demolishing the Spray Street area would lead to the permanent loss of 173 jobs from local businesses, most of whom were from black and ethnic minority communities. They felt that Spray Street needed to be included in the new village conservation area along with many other local buildings and not excluded from listing because of the proposed development. They acknowledged that the area was in desperate need of development but it needed to be one that included the people and not forced them out. She refuted that there were inaccuracies in the petition.  She said it was a fact that only 14.5% percent of homes would be at affordable social rent levels the remaining 20% so-called affordable homes were shared-ownership, which was an intermediate product. The Council was urged to support both local people and local businesses in its Core Strategy Policies.

 

Councillor Sizwe James, the Cabinet Member for Growth and Strategic Development, thanked Kate Heath for her comments and provide a written response to the lead petitioner.

 

Councillor Matt Clare, as the Ward Councillor who submitted the petition at Appendix 5, thanked the Cabinet Member and Officers for their response to that petition. He welcomed the confirmation that the 20 mile per hour zone would be implemented in 2021 and urged that it be adhered to as residents had waited over 10 years.

 

Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald, Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Public Realm and Transport said she would be pursuing this and that it was on the agenda.

 

The Mayor invited Claire Busby to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Public Deputations on matters not otherwise on the agenda

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

9.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 114 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 16 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.

10.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 166 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 36 written questions had been received from Members of the Council.  The questions and replies, together with the supplementary submissions made during the meeting were 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 offered to help the Leader of the Council with examples of waste and inefficiency with regards to making efficiency savings to Council back office functions. The Leader of the Council stated that the issue of finances and budget setting was extremely serious and the idea that there was anyone left in the organization being wasteful and inefficient was a disgraceful assertion to make. He offered to walk the floors of the buildings with Councillor Hartley to see the efficiency programme in action as well as take him to Charlton Manor to see the impact of school cuts. 

 

Councillor Pat Greenwell asked the Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and the Third Sector what plans the Council currently had for the Tarn as local residents had voiced concerns about the water quality. The Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and the Third Sector stated that she would speak with officers and look into this matter.

 

Councillor Nigel Fletcher asked the Leader of the Council whether he welcomed the Mayor of London’s decision to support the Planning Board’s decision to reject planning consent for the Rockwell Development, Charlton (sic – VIP Trading Estate & VIP Industrial Estate, Anchor & Hope Lane, Charlton, SE7) and join him in sending a message to developers that whilst there was desire for more housing in the Borough it could not be at any cost. The Leader of the Council commented that he thought it was a great example of the Planning Board’s assessment of applications to hold people to account for their application in a very robust and very public way. It was a great example of the Council and the community working together to make those arguments.

 

The Leader stated he would like to place on record his thanks to all the Planning Board Members and Ward Members who had been involved, the GLA Member and the MP for making representations.

 

Councillor Charlie Davis asked the Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement that given the GLA Conservatives proposed alternative budget, which would have seen an extra 1378 police officers on our streets was voted down by GLA Labour Members, would she agree it was worth the Council writing a cross party letter to the Mayor of London and GLA Labour to get those police officers on the street.

 

The Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement replied that the Conservative Group should lobby the Government and not the Mayor of London or the Council who did not have control over the budgetary allowances.

 

Councillor Geoff Brighty asked the Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Public Realm and Transport who would be monitoring the Travel Plan for Ikea and what recourses  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

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.

 

12.

Council Tax Base 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed a council tax base for the whole authority area for 2019/20 of 82,847.64 in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

Agreed an additional council tax base for the Gloucester Circus Garden Square area of the authority for 2019/20 of 96.18.

 

Agreed a continuance in 2019/20 of the Council Tax discount of 0% on Class A & Class B dwellings (second homes) and Class C & D dwellings (empty homes).

         

Agreed a Council Tax premium of 100% in 2019/20 in respect of the Long Term Empty dwellings (previously 50%).

 

Agreed a continuance in 2019/20 of the Council Tax discount of 100% in respect of Royal Borough of Greenwich resident care leavers, aged under 25, in line with the decision of Council in March 2017.

 

Agreed that no changes will be made to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme adopted by the Council on 30 January 2013 and the Scheme will be continued for 2019/20.

 

Noted that the council tax base relevant to the Southern Region of the Environment Agency for flood defence levy apportionment purposes in 2019/20 is 5,387.60.

 

Noted that the council tax base relevant to the Thames Region of the Environment Agency for flood defence levy apportionment purposes in 2019/20 is 77,460.04.

Minutes:

Councillors Norman Adams, Matt Clare, Denise Hyland, Sizwe James, Clive Mardner and Jackie Smith declared a financial interest as owners of a second property in the Borough and left the meeting for the duration of this item.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley, Leader of the Opposition proposed the Conservative Group amendment, as detailed in the published Tabled Items Agenda.

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor Nigel Fletcher.

 

Councillor Christine Grice did not accept the amendment noting that the Council had a commitment to the recommendation in the Fairfunding report however the financial circumstances of the Council had changed and the details of the spending review of 2019 was not yet known which would affect the overall funding available.

 

Councillors Danny Thorpe and Mehboob Khan spoke against the amendment commenting on Government reductions to Council funding.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley refuted the claims made stating that some Local Authorities were doing what was proposed in the amendment and formally closed the debate.

 

In accordance with The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England)

(Amendment) Regulations 2014, the Chief Executive called a recorded vote for the proposed amendment and decisions required.

 

In respect of the proposed Conservative Amendment.

 

G. Brighty, C. Davis, S. Drury, N. Fletcher, P. Greenwell, M. Hartley, J. Hills, R. Tester voted for the recommendation.

 

Councillors T. Ashikodi, L. Bird, S. Brain, A. Cornforth, A. Cousins, G. Dillon, L. Fletcher, D. Gardner, C. Grice, M. Hayes, I. Hawking, M. James, A. Khaireh, M. Khan, C. Kirby, A. Lekau, C. Lloyd, M. Lolavar, C. May, S. Merrill, M. Morrow, A. Okereke, G. Parker, L. Perks, D. Scott-McDonald, A. Smith, D. Stanley, D. Thorpe, M. Williams voted against the recommendations.

 

The amendment was lost.

 

Councillor Christine Grice, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, moved recommendation of the report, advising that this was largely a technical report outlining the proposed Council Tax Base which was a matter reserved for Council agreement.

 

Councillor Spencer Drury queried the removal of discounts on second homes and the doubling premium on long term empty homes.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources stated she would respond in writing.

 

The Mayor formally closed the debate

 

In accordance with The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England)

(Amendment) Regulations 2014, the Chief Executive called a recorded vote for the proposed amendment and decisions required.

 

In respect of the decisions required.

 

Councillors T. Ashikodi, L. Bird, S. Brain, A. Cornforth, A. Cousins, G. Dillon, L. Fletcher, D. Gardner, C. Grice, M. Hayes, M. James, A. Khaireh, M. Khan, C. Kirby, A. Lekau, C. Lloyd, M. Lolavar, C. May, S. Merrill, M. Morrow, A. Okereke, G. Parker, L. Perks, D. Scott-McDonald, A. Smith, D. Stanley, D. Thorpe, M. Williams voted for the recommendations.

 

No Members voted against the recommendations.

 

G. Brighty, C. Davis, S. Drury, N. Fletcher, P. Greenwell, M. Hartley, J. Hills, R. Tester abstained.

 

Resolved

 

1.               That a council tax base for the whole authority area for 2019/20 of 82,847.64 in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) (England) Regulations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Motion - "To support the implementation of the Red Box Project" pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

This Council recognises that poverty affects the lives of 33% of our child population here in Greenwich. This figure is increasing, and data from our food banks reflects the rise in need. However this Council recognises that the need is not only for food, but for toiletries and other personal necessities.

 

We recognise the need to provide free access to period products for all young women in schools. This Council will increase the number of collection points for the donations of period products and new underwear. We will utilise Libraries, Community Centres, Children’s Centres and Leisure Centres to provide access to free period products. We will work closely with the Red Box volunteers and recruit further volunteer help here in Greenwich.

 

This Council will raise the profile of Period Poverty, and we will set out an action plan to implement this.

 

The Red Box Project is a community project set up to tackle period poverty and provide period products to any young person who needs them. This is done by collecting donations of period products and new underwear from members of the public and taking them into schools and colleges. The items are delivered in Red Boxes which schools keep in a safe place for students who need them.

 

The project has been supported by local authorities throughout the UK. For example:

   Scotland has identified £5.2 million to put free products into all secondary schools, colleges and universities from August 2018.

   In England £1.5 million has been invested into the project “Let’s Talk Period”. This money comes from the revenue on the VAT charged on women’s sanitary products hence named the Tampon Tax. This VAT currently stands at 5%, which although better than the 20% charged on most goods still puts these essential items into the category of luxury items, and therefore not exempt from VAT. The annual cost of a woman’s period is £500, which some women simply cannot afford.

 

To date over 320,000 people have signed a petition to scrap the Tampon Tax.  petition found on Change.org  scrap the Tampon Tax.

 

In 2016 Parliament accepted an amendment proposed by MP Paula Sheriff that would end Tampon Tax once and for all in the UK.

 

We are all aware of the growing use of our food banks for essential food supplies for low income families and those families identified by schools and GP and churches as being in food poverty. The use of food banks in Lewisham and Greenwich is reported as having a 500% increase. In 2017 there were 586,907 3 day emergency food supplies given out nationally from 423 food banks.  Our own Foodbank gave out 6,433 3 day emergency food supplies during this time. This is a rise of 13% from 2016, and the figure in 2018 is set to increase again.

 

Families are experiencing poverty due to delayed benefit payments and low wages.

It is astounding to find that part of this poverty now impacts directly on the women in  ...  view the full decision text for item 13.

Minutes:

Councillor Linda Bird moved the motion, which she detailed.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Miranda Williams who gave examples of discrimination faced by women from across the globe in relation to periods and it was clear society still had a problem with dealing with the natural function. She said period poverty was a very real issue in this country, and whilst things were changing as to how society talked about periods it was not happening at fast enough pace. She advised that in December 2017 there was a march on Parliament Square demanding an end to period poverty, which was organised by an A Level student after being incensed by women resorting to unacceptable alternative measures because they could not afford proper sanitary provision. She stated that the Council should be determined that no girl in the Borough missed school because of her periods or be forced into using improper solutions because of lack of money.

 

Councillors Pat Greenwell and Jackie Smith spoke in support of the motion. It was said that having a Red Box in primary schools would provide children, teachers and parents with a way to start the conversation about periods giving reassurance and help to address the stigma that still existed around menstruation. It was felt the government should immediately reconsider Value Added Tax (VAT) on sanitary products and do more to ensure they are more accessible to women and girls, so that nobody suffers as a consequence of natural body function.

 

Councillor Nigel Fletcher proposed a verbal amendment to the motion as follows, that the final paragraph be changed from I arrangedto Councillor Bird arrangedand rather than this motion is asking council toit read the Council agrees.   

 

Councillor Linda Bird accepted the amendment and formally closed the debate.

 

The motion was put to the vote and it was

 

Resolved

 

This Council recognises that poverty affects the lives of 33% of our child population here in Greenwich. This figure is increasing, and data from our food banks reflects the rise in need. However, this Council recognises that the need is not only for food, but for toiletries and other personal necessities.

 

We recognise the need to provide free access to period products for all young women in schools. This Council will increase the number of collection points for the donations of period products and new underwear. We will utilise Libraries, Community Centres, Childrens Centres and Leisure Centres to provide access to free period products. We will work closely with the Red Box volunteers and recruit further volunteer help here in Greenwich.

 

This Council will raise the profile of Period Poverty, and we will set out an action plan to implement this.

 

The Red Box Project is a community project set up to tackle period poverty and provide period products to any young person who needs them. This is done by collecting donations of period products and new underwear from members  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Motion - "Obesity" pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

This Council supports and applauds the excellent work to promote healthy eating and good food awareness which already exists in our schools, Children’s Centres, Community Centres and youth organisation.

 

This Council is also pleased to be using the Government Sugar Smart initiative, and we are working hard to support the success of the sugar tax levy used to directly reward establishments involved in monitoring and limiting the amount of sugar products available.

 

We are one of the most proactive councils in London in terms of embracing initiatives in order to improve the lives of our residents.

 

However, this Council also recognises that the obesity agenda is now of major concern nationally.

 

Recent figures show Greenwich has a steadily rising percentage of children & young people with obesity, and therefore at risk of diabetes.

 

We recognise we need to take even more action to improve this situation.

 

This motion proposes that vending machines found in our Leisure Centres, libraries and community centres should contain only healthy snack options. Water and sugar free drinks and sugar free snacks.

 

This motion also asks that future high street developments need closer scrutiny in terms of number of fast food outlets and those establishments offering only sugar deserts on their menu.

 

This motion calls on Council to review policy in terms of these two major issues.

 

We cannot expect the excellent work in our schools alone to make the lifestyle differences unless we address the environment which provides too much easily accessible unhealthy food options.

Minutes:

Councillor Linda Bird moved the motion which she detailed.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor David Gardner.  As Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools he had visited many primary schools and he wished to pay tribute to all the schools that considered tackling obesity as a priority. He said there were plans to take forward, the recent initiative led by the Leader of the Council and Councillor Scott McDonald, to promote School Streets and that the month of May would be walk to school month. He said other schools were following the example of Charlton Manor School who were doing a brilliant job in terms of putting food at the heart of education. He advised it was entirely possible for children to have healthy diets that were also affordable but it was not just about food or exercise. It was also about having an environment that encouraged walking, where children felt safe to play in the streets, to go cycling, which very much meant there needed to be a focus on healthy streets as in the Mayor's draft transport strategy. He stated that the Council had to try again to overturn the Planning Inspector's decision that had thrown out the proposals in the Councilslast Core Strategy to stop having junk food outlets within 400 metres of schools.

 

Councillors Mehboob Khan, Mark James and Averil Lekau spoke in support of the motion. It was said that the Council might be able to learn from the successful work of Lewisham Councils progress towards the banning of junk food advertisement within their Borough. It was felt that obesity was an indicator of other factors of deprivation and targeted interventions were necessary in order to make rapid progress in the communities most affected. It was suggested that in order to bring about behavioural change, peers and community leaders needed to work with the Council to make change happen from within those communities. It was said that there were a number of cross cutting themes that contributed to a successful healthy weight strategy which as part of the Live Well Greenwich process, included infant nutrition, accessibility of healthy food, journeys by foot and bike, the physical environment and supporting people to be active. It was noted that GS Plus was providing gold standard Food for Life accredited school meals to schools within the Borough but regrettably some academies had moved away from engaging their services. That notwithstanding the financial pressures faced there are positive signs in Greenwich of measures to tackle this major health crisis notwithstanding the financial pressures that this Authority faces Greenwich.

 

Councillor Charlie Davis stated that the Conservative Group agreed with the sentiment behind the motion. He said it was important the Council took seriously the challenge it faced and considered everything within its power to tackle the rising obesity levels amongst children and young people in Greenwich. He reminded Members that a motion was passed 13 months ago in support of the sugar smart Greenwich campaign  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Motion - "To adopt the definition of antisemitism as set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance" pdf icon PDF 31 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

This Council expresses alarm at the rise in antisemitism in recent years across the UK. This includes incidents when criticism of Israel has been expressed using antisemitic tropes. Criticism of Israel can be legitimate, but not if it employs the tropes and imagery of antisemitism.

 

We therefore welcome the UK Government’s announcement on December 11th 2016 that it will sign up to the internationally recognised International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) guidelines on antisemitism which define antisemitism thus:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

 

The guidelines highlight manifestations of antisemitism as including:

  Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

  Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

  Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non- Jews.

  Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).

  Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

  Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

   Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

  Applying double standards by requiring of it behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

  Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.

  Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

      Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

 

This Council welcomes the cross-party support within the Council for combating antisemitism in all its manifestations. This Council hereby adopts the above definition of antisemitism as set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and pledges to combat this pernicious form of racism.

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that Councillors Anthony Okereke and Mehboob Khan wished to be formally recorded as in support of the motion. 

 

Councillor Ian Hawking moved the motion. He said that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism that had a clear 38 word basic working definition of antisemitism and 11 contemporary examples which may serve as illustrations. He said he was proud to live and represent a Ward in a multi-faith Borough that remembered and commemorated the atrocities of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. He said a disconcerting recent survey by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust had highlighted 45% of those polled did not know how many people were killed in the Holocaust, 19 % believed fewer than 2million Jews were murdered, 8% believe the scale of the Holocaust had been exaggerated and 5% believed the Holocaust never actually happened. He commented that these shocking statistics highlighted a lack of knowledge and understanding that combined with repeated misinformation from groups and individuals had led to a growing rise in antisemitism and hate crime against the Jewish people in the UK. He stated that according to the last census in 2011 only around 0.5% of the population of England and Wales identified as Jewish and were the second most targeted group for religious hate crime. He said it was clear there was a rise in antisemitism in the UK and that it needed to be addressed and eradicated, that the passing of this motion would send a message loud and clear in the Royal Borough of Greenwich that there was no place for antisemitism.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Danny Thorpe. He commented that in this time of great uncertainty and debate about who we were as a nation and a country, we should never forget the role that Britain had played over many years to offer safe passage and protection to those people who were being persecuted around the world. He said that we had a moral duty to resist polarisation and continue to build understanding of what united, to stand up for equality and tackle injustice. That we were not just a country of leavers and remainers but people who come from a kaleidoscope of different backgrounds and for all of our individual differences and personal stories we must never forget that we always have more in common than we may think. That we needed to be clear about our fundamental British values and ensure that the ideals of equality and the fight against discrimination continues whether it's homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia or sexism we needed to redouble efforts to ensure that discrimination was tackled in all of its forms to ensure that we learned the lessons of the past and did not make the same mistakes in the future.

 

Councillors Mehboob Khan and Chris Lloyd spoke in support of the motion. 

 

Councillor Matt Hartley stated that the Conservative Group would be supporting the motion and clarified that they were first aware of it on seeing the agenda,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Motion - "Replacing Greenwich Info with cheaper, more effective alternatives" pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The motion was not carried.

Minutes:

Councillor Matt Hartley moved the motion which he detailed.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Nigel Fletcher.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe stated that the Council would not stop communicating with residents about the good work that it was doing and it would not stop offering them housing and jobs. That they were not going to take access to information away from people as was being proposed.

 

In closing the debate, Councillor Hartley said it was an appalling waste of Council taxpayer's money that was clearly going to continue and the issue was not about not communicating with residents but rather communicating effectively.

 

The motion was put to the vote and with the minority party in favour and the majority party against the motion was not carried.

 

Decision:

 

The motion was not carried.