Greenwich Council

Agenda, decisions and minutes.

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

Contact: Nassir Ali  Email: committees@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5102

Note: The deadline for public questions is 12 noon on Wednesday, 20 February 2019 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Christine Grice, Maureen O’Mara and Tonia Ashikodi.

 

Apologies for arriving late was received from Councillor Angela Cornforth.

 

Apologies for leaving for leaving early were given by Councillors Mehboob Khan and John Hills.

 

2.

Minutes

To agree the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 30 January 2019.

 

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:

The Mayor noted that due to an administrative issue it was not possible to submit the minutes of the January meeting.

 

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the Council Meeting held on 30 January be taken to the March meeting.

 

3.

Mayor's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor announced the results of the Royal Greenwich Business Awards, which were presented by Breakfast TV’s Stephen McGovern.

 

·        Micro to Small Business - BeGenio   

·        Culture and Creative Excellence – Greenwich + Docklands Festivals

·        Greener Greenwich - The O2

·        Medium to Large Business – Paul Rhodes Bakery

·        High Street Retailer – The Curious Comb

·        Online Business – Deaf Umbrella

·        Business Champion –  Raymond Sheehy & Michael Finlay – who were also the joint overall winners

·        Social Enterprise –  GCDA

·        Apprenticeship Employer –  M J Rooney Construction

·        Young Entrepreneur – Back-a-Yard Grill

 

The Mayor advised that Councillor Thorpe, Leader of the Council and Councillor Hartley, Leader of the Opposition would be joining the Mayors Consorts and staff in running the London Marathon to raise money for the Mayors Charities – Demelza Hospital and Emmaus Greenwich. The Mayor encouraged everyone to get involved and contact her assistant for more information.

 

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 Hartley declared an interest in item 12 - Budget and Council Tax Setting 2019/20 as a director of Greenwich and Bexley Credit Union.

 

Resolved –

 

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

 

That Councillor Hartley’s declaration be noted.

 

5.

Notice of Members wishing to exceed the 5 minute rule

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor noted 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 petition was presented at the meeting:

 

Subject and Number of Signatures

Presenting Councillor

Lead Department

To prioritise the consultation and potential implementation of the proposal to close the north end of Colomb Street on the assumption funding becomes available.

28 signatures

Councillor

Chris Lloyd

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 Hubert Enright to address the Council in relation to the petition response set out in Appendix 2 of the report.

 

Hubert Enright advised that Rippolson Road was being used as a Car Park by commuters since the introduction of Controlled Parking Zones on the neighbouring roads. He felt the Council would benefit from the introduction of a CPZ on Rippleson Road as they would see an increase in resident permit fees and penalty charges from illegal parking.

 

The Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Public Realm and Transport stated that Rippolson Road could be included in a new CPZ consultation and residents should contact their Ward Councillors to stay informed of any updates.

 

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

 

Annie Drewry, speaking on behalf of Friends of Charlton Park, welcomed the opportunity to work closely with the Council in pursuing the possible installation of floodlights at Charlton Skate Park and added that improvements to the park would help people get and stay fit.

 

The Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and the Third Sector stated she was happy to be working with the Friends group and that any works to the park would have to be from external funding and subject to consultation and the planning process. She advised that she had met with the Charlton Athletic Women’s team and discussed the need to get more women runners in the parks by increasing safety. She added it would be great to see a positive outcome.

 

The Mayor invited Councillor Tester to address the Council in relation to the petition response set out in Appendix 5 of the report.

 

Councillor Tester welcomed the response and the decision to carry out a full traffic survey. He stated that the residents of Green Lane had put up with drivers travelling at illegal speeds for too long and often felt frightened when crossing the narrow railway bridge. He added he was looking forwarded to the results of the review on the road layout over the bridge.

 

 

 

 

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 166 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 30 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 162 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 28 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.

 

The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Hartley confirmed that he and Councillor Nigel Fletcher had emailed Labour Councillors the Conservative amendment to the budget proposals and asked the Leader of the Council if he was worried that they were minded to support the Conservative amendment. The Leader of the Council replied that it was an interesting strategy from the Leader of the Opposition to look for more support from the other side of the Chamber than his own group and advised him that there had been an increase in the recycling facilities in the Town Hall following the circulation of his email. He stated he had advised the Labour Members to not respond so the debate on both proposals was in public.

 

Councillor Greenwell asked the Cabinet for Culture, Leisure and Third Sector for an update on a residents query regarding the use of plastic grass in Avery Hill Park. Councillor Miranda Williams, the Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Third Sector confirmed that this was a planning matter, as previously advised, and had been raised with officers and the relevant Cabinet Member. She confirmed she would chase this up for the resident.

 

Councillor Nigel Fletcher asked the Leader of the Council if he could explain what LIM was, who was invited to it, what was the purpose of the meeting and was it the reason for the lack of discussions at Cabinet meetings. The Leader of the Council, Councillor Thorpe replied that had Councillor Nigel Fletcher been present at last weeks Cabinet meeting he would have witnessed discussions on the budget proposals. He added that LIM was the Leaders Informal Meeting.

 

Councillor Brighty asked the Cabinet Member for Housing to comment on how 2 care nurses from the Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospital, who were attending to terminally ill patients on council estates, received parking fines from Wings Parking and have had their appeals refused when they clearly displayed their purpose for parking there. Councillor Kirby, the Cabinet Member for Housing agreed that it did not sound right and requested the details so he could look into it.

 

Councillor Brighty asked the Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Transport and Public Realm for an update to her response at January Council in which she advised there would be an officer monitoring the traffic situation at Ikea. Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald, the Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Transport and Public Realm replied that data was still being collected and the situation was being monitored closely. She added the IKEA would be contacted regarding any issues that needed addressing however, as the store had only been open for 3 weeks, there was a need to collect more data.

 

Councillor Drury asked  ...  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.

Budget and Council Tax Setting 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the authority’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) is balanced through to 2019/20 and acknowledge that significant pressures are being experienced across services (Section 5 of the report)

 

Noted that, subject to the relevant decision making processes, the Council will extend its participation in the London Business Rates Pilot Pooling Arrangements by one year, with the government offering a reduced incentive of 75% retention (Section 6 of the report)

 

Agreed that the Council’s budget for 2019/20 as set out in the report be approved.

 

Agreed a council tax rise of 2.99% in support of service delivery pressures, at a cost of 65p per week at Band D (Section 8 of the report)

 

Noted that the GLA precept for 2019/20 is due to increase by £26.28 per year at Band D, a rise of 8.9% (Section 8 of the report)

 

Agreed the addition to the council tax in 2019/20 on the taxpayers in premises surrounding the garden in Gloucester Circus SE10 (Section 8 of the report)

 

Approved the overall council tax level and the relevant statutory calculations and resolutions (Section 8 of the report and Appendix B)

 

Agreed the schools funding formula for use in 2019/20 as presented to Schools Forum on 16 January 2019 (Section 9 of the report)

 

Noted the level of Dedicated Schools Grant for Education purposes and that the budget proposals for 2019/20 were agreed by the Schools Forum on 16 January 2019 (Section 9 of the report)

 

Noted that the Prudential Code requires the setting and revision of the indicators to be carried out by the body that takes decisions in respect of the Borough’s budget

 

Agreed the Prudential Indicators (Section 10 of the report and Appendix C) for the period 2017/18 – 2021/22

 

Agreed that the indicators, other than the authorised borrowing limit, which must be set and revised by Council, are initially set each year by the authority as part of its budget setting process and are monitored and revised as appropriate during the year by Cabinet

 

Agreed the arrangements for determining the Minimum Revenue Provision (Section 10 of the report Appendix D) from 2019/20 onwards

 

Noted the comments on financial standing, future risk and robustness of the budget process, including those specifically relating to the risk posed by the Fair Funding Review (Section 11 of the report Appendix E).

 

Noted the comments of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 19 February 2019.

 

Noted that the contents of the addendum report should be read as part of the report with the same title being considered by Council on 27 February 2019

 

Noted that following receipt of new information relating to the pooling of business rates in London for 2019/20 an additional sum of circa £2m one off resources is available for 2019/20 (Section 4) and is applied:

 

·     to ensure the continuity of the Emergency Support Scheme (£0.750m)

·     to be held against overspend pressures (£1.250m)

 

Agreed the revised budget, including approval of the revised statutory calculation (Appendix 1 to the addendum report).

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Thorpe, Leader of the Council, moved the recommendations in the report. He thanked Councillor Grice, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources who had been a driving force in the preparation of the budget and also described her as an inspiration in relation to her personal challenges.

 

In moving the recommendations, Councillor Thorpe advised on the difficult decisions that needed to be made as a result of 9 years of austerity and cuts to local government funding. He noted the Council was not in a position to provide the same service that it once did in 2010 as its core funding had been cut by 63%. That the Council had £1400 less to spend per household in the Borough and, as with all local authorities, some services could no longer just be transformed and have had to be cut. He described the Conservative Government policies as shameful and exampled the affects austerity had had on the residents of the borough.

 

With regards to the budget setting process, he stated that from the offset it was clear there was not enough resources and referred to Februarys Budget Monitoring report which highlighted a forecast overspend pressure of £10m and a corporate overspend pressure of £2.9m related to “No Recourse to Public Funds”. He also confirmed that residents were given the opportunity to have their say on the budget proposals.

 

Councillor Thorpe advised on the amendment to the initial budget proposals, as per the tabled item, which resulted from new information on the pooling of business rates in London for 2019/20 and allowed the council to fund the Emergency Support Scheme for another year.

 

Council Hartley, the Leader of the Opposition, moved an amendment to the decisions, as per the tabled item;

 

In moving the amendment Councillor Hartley welcomed the consultation taken as part of the budget setting process and hoped this would become a permanent feature. He supported the 3 priorities selected for one of spending, in the main report, and was happy to see back office efficiency savings which the opposition had been calling for all along. He described further savings that could be made including ending the Greenwich Information publication and subsidies for Trade Union Activities as well as reversing the increases to Members Allowances introduced in July 2018 and reducing the number of Cabinet Members to 6.

 

With the additional savings, Councillor Hartley proposed spending more money on the Council Tax Support Scheme and increasing the proposed funding for the Universal Credit Support Team for 2019/20. He described the Conservative budget as more progressive and redistributive than its counterpart and thanked the Council’s Finance team for its work on the budget.

 

In seconding the amendment Councillor Nigel Fletcher stated that it focused on local issues and highlighted the proposed Parks Investment Fund for 2019/20, with spending subject to public consultation. He described the proposal to add the lowering procurement costs to the Council’s corporate review of procurement processes as a solution to some of the financial pressures  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed the Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/20.

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

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

 

There was no debate.

 

The matter was put to the vote and unanimously

 

Resolved –

 

That the Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/20 be agreed.

 

 

 

 

 

14.

Corporate Capital Strategy pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Approved the 2019/20 Corporate Capital Strategy (Appendix A)

 

Approved the Capitalisation Policy (Appendix B)

 

Approved the Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Policy (Appendix C)

 

Noted the comments of the Cabinet on 20 February 2019 (to follow) in respect of the following;

·                    Adoption of the Property Asset Strategy (Appendix D)

·                    Approved disposals (Appendix E)

·                    Capital Programme through to 2028/29 (Appendix F)

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

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

 

The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Hartley stated he supported the Corporate Capital Strategy which would lead to better governance adding that there was a need for early Member involvement, by way of a formal mechanism, regarding the use of Capital Funds.

 

Councillor Drury referred to Appendix E of the report, which contained the disposals list, and questioning the reasoning behind selling some of the sites that were currently housing the homeless to then buy new homes to house homeless families. He also questioned why the Halley Academy site was bought for £1.5m to only then be resold and asked that Members are kept informed on the Orangery Lane site which has been identified as a site for a New Build Programme.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Kirby advised that Members would be invited to a meeting on the Orangery Lane site and requested details on the other sites Councillor Drury was referring to so he could provide more information.

 

The Leader of the Councillor, Councillor Thorpe confirmed that the decision process on the use of capital funds would remain the same and Members would still have the opportunity to lobby Cabinet and Lead Members. He added that Audit and Risk Management would continue to have a role in scrutinising the strategy and a new council officer board would be convened to bring forward options.

 

The matter was put to the vote and unanimously

 

Resolved -

 

That it be agreed to Approve the 2019/20 Corporate Capital Strategy (Appendix A).

 

That it agreed to approve the Capitalisation Policy (Appendix B).

 

That it be agreed approved the Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Policy (Appendix C)

 

That the comments of the Cabinet on 20 February 2019 in respect of the following be noted;

·                    Adoption of the Property Asset Strategy (Appendix D)

·                    Approved disposals (Appendix E)

·                    Capital Programme through to 2028/29 (Appendix F)