Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Nassir Ali  Email: or tel: 020 8921 6160

Note: Moved from 21 Dec 2017 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.


There were no apologies for absence.


Urgent Business

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


There was no urgent business.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 34 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:


Resolved –


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


Minutes pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2017.


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.


Resolved -


That the minutes of the meeting of the Regeneration, Transport and Culture Scrutiny Panel held on 31 october 2017 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.



Planning processes and procedures review pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To note the outline of the planning processes in place and the steps being taken to improve the service.


The Chair introduced the item and stated he was contacted by members of the Derrick & Atlas Gardens Residents Association who requested to contribute to the review. He confirmed the contribution would be allowed and invited the members to present to the Panel.


The Panel was addressed by members of the resident association who provided those present with copies of the agenda for the Charlton Riverside Stakeholder forum. They shared concerns regarding the agenda itself and the time between its issue and the meeting. They felt this did not give residents enough time to prepare and began to talk in depth about a specific application and the issues surrounding it.


The Chair stated that the Panel welcomed the engagement with the public however the focus of the item was on the overall planning process and the panel could not scrutinise specific ongoing applications. He added that public engagement leading to transparency and trust was one of the aspects being looked at in the review and was a continuing process.


The Director of Regeneration confirmed the stakeholder forums were not part of the official planning process but had been added to give the local community further access. She took on board the concerns relating to the delay in the publication of the agenda however noted that the invitations for the meeting had been sent well in advance. She added there were lessons to be learnt and the publication of Stakeholder Forum agendas would be monitored moving forward.


The Director of Regeneration introduced the report confirming that a draft structure was circulated to Members to ensure that the key points discussed in the previous meeting of the Panel were covered.


In response to a question, the Assistant Director (planning & Building Control) confirmed that since her appointment the focus of the planning department was on implementing short-term measures to stabilise the service and create a rolling program of improvement that would be reviewed. She added this allowed managers to concentrate on long-term strategies to improve performance and the pre-application process.


The Assistant Director (Planning & Building Control) confirmed that Urban Vision and Capita were no longer being used to clear any backlogs with applications as temporary staff were recruited to manage the workload. She stated that processes were implemented to deal with the steady increase in applications e.g. weekly monitoring of both minor and major applications and case officer reviews in the form of 1-1s to identify any challenging applications. She added that the use of checklists during the validation process allowed for better management and made it easier to work to deadlines.


In response to a question on staffing, the Assistant Director (Planning and Building Control) confirmed that permanent appointments to senior posts over the last year had added stability to the management of the service. However, the high number of temporary agency staff was a concern as the notice period was only a week, the aim was to extend this.  she added that temporary agency staff were given the opportunity to apply for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Review of Community Engagement and Access at The O2 pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To consider the use of the Royal Borough’s suite at The O2


Additional documents:


The report was introduced by the Director of Communities & Environment who confirmed that during the period 24 June 2016 to 23 June 2017 the use of the O2 Suite resulted in a loss of £20, 913.93 adding that it was hard to predict revenue from ticket sales as this was dependent on the events and acts performing at the O2.


The panel noted the tickets used to raise funds for local charities and felt this overshadowed the loss during the period.


The Director Communities & Environment confirmed the cost of the suite was unlikely to reduce due to the 5% increase in price each year. She added that a new contract was being negotiated and would be reported back to members.


In response to a question regarding the use of empty seats, the Director (Communities & Environment) stated that AEG monitor how the Council sells its tickets and state they must not be sold for lower than the price they sell it for. She gave the example of an ATP tour promotor taking legal action for the sale of reduced tickets. She also confirmed that Royal Borough of Greenwich are the only suite allowed to sell tickets.


In response to a question on how the new General Data Protection Regulation will affect the data held on Greenwich One Card users, the Director (Communities & Environment) confirmed the Royal Borough of Greenwich do not hold any data once people sign up.


Resolved –

That the report be noted.



Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To note an update on the performance of Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) as Royal Greenwich’s contracted provider.

Additional documents:



The Interim Head of Sport, Liesure, Libraries & Playgrounds introduced and summarised the report.


The Greenwich Leisure Limited representatives gave a brief history of the company and highlighted they were entering into the 6th year of a 15 year contract with the Royal Borough of Greenwich. They stated they manage 25 different venues in partnership with the Borough and have had a successful 12 months.


The GLL Representatives confirmed the key headlines for the last 12 months included: an increase in the Greenwich centres learn to swim program, challenges in membership caused by an increase in competition and leisure centre ratings being at least good with 2 achieving excellent ratings. They added that the Waterfront Leisure Centre membership had increased to over 5000 members however the issues surrounding the closure of the car park could have an impact on the membership.


In response to questions, the GLL representatives confirmed they were reviewing leisure centre membership prices and looking at a single product offer, such as gym only memberships that would compete with lower priced gyms. They added however, that 24 hour gyms have a unique selling point because of the opening times and this has led to GLL Leisure Centres opening earlier and later across the Borough. They were also closely monitoring the impact of budget gym operators driving the market price as this could have an impact on other GLL services, raising concerns about the safety of such premises.


The Panel requested information on the planning application criteria for new gyms including health and safety issues.



In relation to the Waterfront car park closure, the GLL representatives confirmed they were offered use of alternative car parks but were seeking a like for like replacement. They added there were discussions taking place regarding the use of the 2 cars on Powis Street.

The Panel agreed that the closure of the family Leisure Centre car park could have a negative impact on membership and noted that they should express their concern officially to Berkely Homes and the relevant Council officers.



In response to questions on the complaints process & cleanliness of the Leisure centres, the GLL representative confirmed there was a section on the GLL website which allowed customers to submit complaints about specific centres. They added GLL took cleanliness seriously and had scheduled cleaning which was monitored at the centres. They added they would contact GS Plus, their cleaning contractor, to discuss improvements and understood that overall responsibility was with GLL.


In response to a public question on the Plumstead Library, The Interim Head of Sport, Liesure, Libraries & Playgrounds confirmed that section 5.17 the report was incorrect and that the Plumstead Library would continue to remain open during the development of the new Plumstead Centre. He continued that prior to any changes to this agreement local residents would be consulted at the stakeholder forum.


The Chair requested that a formal response be provided to the residents who submitted questions regarding the future operation of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Woolwich Creative District - Update Report pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To note the progress in relation to establishing the Woolwich Creative District.


The report was introduced by the Director of Communities & Environment who confirmed the open procurement for Architects, of the Woolwich creative district, was completed and the design team were progressing to RIBA stage 2. She added the next phase of the process was the submission of planning applications in early 2018 and stated that the Woolwich Creative District was projected to open in 2019.


In response to a question on the culture bid, the Cabinet Member of Culture, Creative industries & Community well-being confirmed the launch was successful and deadlines had been met. She stated that the bid was focused on the east of the Borough as the west received funding already. she added that the bid was based on the guidance from the London Mayor’s Office which placed an emphasis on creating culture in an area that lacked funding. She confirmed that all Members received notification of the bid and a link to the guidelines stated on the Mayors website.


Resolved –


That the update on the Woolwich Creative District be noted.



Commissioning Future Reports - Specification of Requirements pdf icon PDF 45 KB

To note the next scheduled meeting and commissioned reports.

Additional documents:


The chair highlighted that the Cabinet Member (Transport, Economy and Smart cities) briefing item had been moved to the February meeting.

Panel Members requested that the representatives from TfL, Southeastern Trains and Network Rail include managers involved in decision making. They asked for the meeting to be advertised to the general public and questions to be sought in advance.


Resolved –


That the report be noted