Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes.

Venue: Committee Room 4 - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Jasmine Kassim  Email: jasmine.kassim@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5146

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chair

Members to appoint a Chair for the Meeting.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Linda Bird nominated Councillor Peter Brooks as Chair of the Sub-Committee.  The nomination was seconded by Councillor Matt Hartley, and voted upon.  The Sub-Committee unanimously

 

Resolved –

 

That it be agreed that Councillor Peter Brooks be appointed Chair of the Sub-Committee.

2.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Committee.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received on behalf of Councillor Rajinder James.

3.

Urgent Business

The Chair to announce any items of urgent business circulated separately from the main agenda.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business for consideration at the meeting.

4.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 62 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 Brooks declared a personal interest in Item 6 “Margaret McMillian – Update Report”, advising that he was a Board Member of Wide Horizons Trust.  Dr Jennifer Patterson also declared a personal interest on the item, advising that she was involved early year’s group with the Trust via the University of Greenwich. A funded research project.

5.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Members of the Margaret McMillan Field Study Centre Trust Sub-Committee are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny meeting held on 10 May 2011.

 

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.

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Margaret McMillan Field Study Centre Trust Sub-Committee held on 10 May 2011, be noted.

 

6.

Margaret McMillan Field Study Centre - Update Report pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To update Members of the Committee on the current position regarding the Margaret McMillan Field Study Centre following the decision of Wide Horizons Trust to go into insolvency.

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee received a report introduced by the Director of Communities and Environment, with a request that it notes the current position regarding the Margaret McMillan Field Study Centre (Study Centre), following the decision of Wide Horizons Trust to go into insolvency.

 

In light of a concern, the Deputy Head of Legal Services informed the Sub-Committee that a borough-wide injunction was issued to prevent the Insolvency Practitioner (IP) from taking ownership of the building in which the Trust operated its business from.  Thus, in accordance with provisions in the ‘Deed of Trust’, the Council’s status as the leaseholder had remained unchanged.  The Director of Children’s Services suggested that it may be necessary to identify the mix of properties held in the Trust’s Deed.

 

The Director of Communities and Environment also responded to questions raised, advising the Sub-Committee that in the last few years, the Trust requested funding from the Council, which was granted.  However, earlier this year, an application by the Trust was rejected because officers who considered the details concluded that it would not be feasible for the Council to grant the funds.  It was stated that the Trust subsequently went into liquidation in August 2018.

 

The meeting was addressed by a resident who advised that he was an ex-employee of the Trust.  The Sub-Committee heard that the Trust had been unsustainable since 2014 because it was under-staffed, and under-funded. Margaret McMillan House was underfunded.

 

The Sub-Committee noted further information from the resident that it would be worthwhile to continue with the adult education service because of the positive impact it had made in equipping residents’ for employment.  The Sub-Committee also heard that the University of Greenwich was working with early-years groups, with a view of delivering projects to support children who were experiencing HIV, and others with a range of special needs. Wide Horizons Trust had asked and undertaken to fund a University of Greenwich evaluation of a project for children with special needs in September based on a smaller one undertaken the previous year, for children who were experiencing HIV.

 

Continuing with its enquiries, the Sub-Committee received an assurance from Deputy Head of Legal Services that at the present time, the Insolvency Practitioners (IP) was responsible for securing the building in which the Study Centre had operated its business from.  However, the timescale in which the arrangement should continue had not be clarified.

 

The resident who had addressed the meeting earlier informed the Sub-Committee that parts of the building was recently renovated, and that a new system was installed at a substantial cost.  The Sub-Committee was advised that it was therefore necessary for the Council to ascertain the level of security measures provided by the IP, in order to ensure that the building would not fall into disrepair during the liquidation process.

 

In considering submissions made at the meeting, the Sub-Committee was of a view that the report lacked options for future of use of the building, including cost and associated implications.  Thus, it was difficult to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.