Greenwich Council

Agenda and decisions

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:

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:

3.

Mayor's Announcements

Additional documents:

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:

5.

Notice of Members wishing to exceed the 5 minute rule

Additional documents:

6.

Submission of Petitions

Presentation to the Council of petitions for consideration.

Additional documents:

7.

Petition Responses pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Response to petitions presented previously to Council

 

 

Additional documents:

8.

Public Deputations on matters not otherwise on the agenda

Additional documents:

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:

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:

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

16.

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

The motion was not carried.