Greenwich Council

Agenda item

Petition Responses


Noted the action taken in response to petitions presented at recent meetings of the Council


The Mayor stated he had received requests from two of the lead petitioners to speak.


The Mayor invited Daryl Seamons to address Council in relation to the petition response set out in section 4 of the report.


Daryl Seamons, Assistant Head Teacher at Haimo Primary School, explained that the school children were unable to be present but that she would feedback to them. She reiterated the problems experienced which had given rise to the petition. She said that they were happy with the response and were keen to get things moving forward as it was a major safeguarding issue.


Councillor Sizwe James, the Cabinet Member for Transport, Economy and Smart Cities thanked Daryl Seamons for her comments. He advised Council that at the Highways Committee on 21 September 2017 it was agreed that a feasibility study would be undertaken and the matter reported back to the Committee. They would try and make that process as speedily as possible.


The Mayor invited Maggie and Emily Bell to address Council in relation to the petition response set out in section 6 of the report.


Maggie and Emily Bell clarified why they created the petition. They queried whether the fire doors would be installed by 31 October, why sprinklers could not be retrofitted, and why there was no emergency lighting. They suggested the ‘sit and wait’ policy would not actually happen. They requested that the Council be more proactive.


Councillor Averil Lekau, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Anti-Poverty thanked Maggie and Emily Bell for their comments. She indicated that she had visited the buildings and would do so again. They were doing their best to follow the regulations. She explained that the Fire Brigade advised them to maintain the ‘stay put’ policy; they were the experts and the Council had to take that advice. She stated that she understood the concerns, and they did ask the Fire Brigade whether they were reviewing their position but they had not told the Council otherwise. The Cabinet Member stated that Officers had informed her that the fire doors would be installed in the time specified.


Councillor Christine Grice added that it was important to recognise the understandable high level of anxiety among residents. She recognised the ongoing work to develop better communication between the Council and residents, and said it was an important part of the work of the Council to reach out to residents and support them as much as possible.


In relation to the petition response set out in section 7 of the report Councillor Matt Hartley noted the amount that the national funding formula would deliver for Greenwich schools, and said that he looked forward to seeing Labour Councillors at school gates handing out leaflets to parents with these actual figures to correct the dubious figures that had been debated previously in Council.


Councillor Chris Kirby said it was in part because of Labour Councillors’ campaign that the cuts had been reversed. Residents’ and teachers’ concerns had been very real and they were based on the figures from the schools themselves. Labour Councillors would be keeping an eye on the Government to make sure that they deliver on their promise.


Councillor Danny Thorpe said what had been clear from talking to people at those school gates was how much they valued their work with schools, and how difficult life had become for so many people. He said they were happy to take Councillor Hartley to the school gates if he wanted to find out what life was really like in Greenwich.


Resolved –


That the action taken in response to petitions presented at recent meetings of the Councilbe noted.

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