Greenwich Council

Agenda, decisions and minutes.

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, 20 June 2018 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Tonia Ashikodi, Bill Freeman, Mark James, Rajinder James, Mehboob Khan, Chris Kirby, Gary Parker, Aidan Smith, David Stanley, and Roger Tester.

 

Apologies for leaving for leaving early were given by Councillors Stephen Brain, Christine Grice and Maureen O'Mara.

 

Apologies for lateness were given for Councillor Olu Babatola.

2.

Minutes

To agree the Minutes of the Council Meetings held on 21 March 2018 and 23 May 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:

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the Council Meeting held on 21 March 2018, and of the Council Annual Meeting held on 23 May 2018, be agreed and signed as true and accurate records.

3.

Mayor's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor reminded Members that June was LGBT Pride Month.

 

The Mayor noted that the annual Great Get Together was to be held on the 30 June and she hoped Members would be in attendance.

 

The Mayor also encouraged everyone to attend the Greenwich and Docklands Festival events that were currently taking place, the details of which were advertised on the Council’s website.

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 Peter Brooks stated that he was a trustee of Wide Horizons.

 

Resolved –

 

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

5.

Notice of Members wishing to exceed the 5 minute rule

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that there had been no requests to exceed the five minute rule.

6.

Petitions

Presentation to the Council of petitions for consideration.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following petitions were presented at the meeting:

 

Subject and Number of Signatures

Presenting Councillor

Lead Department

Call upon RBG to consult on introducing a CPZ for 2-64 & 1-67 Bloomfield Road and Cambridge Row

26 signatures

Councillor David Gardner

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

Save the nationally important East Greenwich gas holder from demolition

1057+ signatures

Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

Help us sink plans for London's toxic cruise port

7240 signatures

Councillor Stephen Brain

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

Make the parking behind 170-220 Bexley Road available for customers of the shops and businesses based there

363 signatures

Councillor Matt Clare

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

Parking allocation or parking permit for car owners of, 1 Hawthorne Crescent SE10

18 signatures

Councillor Chris Lloyd

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

7.

Public Deputations on matters not otherwise on the agenda

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor agreed to receive a deputation from Colin Fancy regarding John Roan School.

 

The Council was addressed by Colin Fancy, representing a number of parents of children at John Roan School. He spoke on the issues of the headteachers and substitute teachers at the school, the recent Ofsted report and the resultant forced academisation. He noted the money spent by the Council on Halley Academy, on Greenwich Trust School, and on temporary classrooms, and said that demonstrated that the Council could  and did fund local schools that were in need. He called on the Council to put together a fully funded emergency strategic plan to address the issues at John Roan school, to help the school so it could work toward receiving a genuine Ofsted report and so remain as a local authority school. He noted the turn around achieved at Plumstead Manor school. He referred to the local Labour Party's manifesto of resisting academies and academisation and said they needed to make it a reality.

 

Councillor David Gardner, the Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools, thanked Colin Fancy for his deputation. Councillor Gardner recalled that he himself had been a governor at John Roan school between 1990 and 2015. He said that nobody in the Labour party in the Chamber supported forced academisation. He noted that the Conservative Government's Education and Adoption 2016 Act meant that there had to be an academy order when a school was judged inadequate; he commented that if the money spent on enforcing that could be spent on education then they would be in a very different position. Councillor Gardner highlighted the improvements made at Plumstead Manor school and said that was the model they would like to adopt. Councillor Gardner commented on the challenges faced by John Roan School, that it had one of the lowest levels of progress of any secondary school in London and he said they could not ignore the scale of that challenge. He said the priority must be to rally behind the new head teacher, and the improvement plan that had been agreed; he said the local authority had put in a significant amount of support, which was detailed in the answers to the questions given later in the meeting. While agreeing with the sentiment of the deputation the Council had a legal duty under the legislation to facilitate the academy order. Councillor Gardner called on everyone to focus on getting behind the head teacher and improving the school for the outcomes and opportunities of all the children.

 

The Mayor agreed to receive a deputation from Laura Eyres and Sheila Keeble regarding the cruise liner terminal.

 

The Council was addressed by Laura Eyres of East Greenwich Resident Association and Sheila Keeble of the Greenwich Society. They appreciated the Leader of the Council's intentions to get developers back round the table and his resolve to tackle air quality issues in Greenwich. It was noted that the Royal Borough of Greenwich was the first London borough  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 177 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.

9.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 370 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 35 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.

 

Councillor Sarah Merrill asked the Leader of the Council, considering the impending visit to the UK of President Donald Trump, how the Royal Borough of Greenwich might be reaffirming its commitment to the Council motion which stated that Trump would not be welcome in the Borough. The Leader of the Council commented on President Trump's behaviour and said his values were not theirs and certainly not the values that many of them knew to be American values and stated that the Council's position still stood. The Leader of the Council added that they were also concerned that up to ten thousand Police Officers were going to be taken off the streets to protect him.

 

Councillor Pat Greenwell asked the Leader of the Council what the Council was doing to help prevent the planned closure of the Wide Horizons facility on Bexley Road which was due to take place in July. The Leader of the Council replied that it was premature to say that it was closing at the end of July as the Council was currently in conversation with Wide Horizons about finding a way forward.

 

Councillor Spencer Drury asked the Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement, considering previous indicted interest in the future sale of the property in case its purchase would prove advantageous for long term plans did she consider retaining Eltham Police Station to be beneficial. The Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement said the decision had been taken by the Police to close the station, that was their decision, it was not the decision of the Council. There was a commitment to assist the Police with locating Police Officers as near to where they needed to be as possible. She suggested that Councillor Drury was confusing the issue, the Council might have looked at a property for sale that would have helped with the wider development of Eltham but it had not been the intention to keep a Police station open.

 

Councillor Charlie Davis asked the Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement in relation to keeping Police Officers as close to the area they are representing as possible would she therefore change her mind about not offering the Police a peppercorn rent in the Eltham Centre as otherwise they would have to come in from Plumstead every day once the Police station at Eltham was closed. The Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement retorted that the Home Office had cut funds to the Metropolitan Police Service, as a result they were making cuts and were closing stations. It was not up to the local authority, which already had its own cuts to make to put Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

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:

Council noted that Mayor had a request from the party whips to consider the Petition Responses, Item 14, first.

 

NB. Item 14 was heard before Item 11.

11.

Overview and Scrutiny - Annual Work Programme 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the proposed work programme for the Overview and Scrutiny

Committee and its Scrutiny Panels for 2018-19 as set out at Appendix 1 of the report, put forward in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.

 

Agreed that the Chief Executive be given delegated authority to vary the programme in consultation with the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The report was presented by Councillor Chris Lloyd, the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny. Councillor Lloyd thanked his predecessor as Chair, Councillor David Stanley, for his work on strengthening and growing scrutiny over the past four years.

 

Resolved -

 

1.       That the proposed work programme for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and its Scrutiny Panels for 2018-19 as set out at Appendix 1 of the report, put forward in accordance with the Council’s Constitution, be noted.

 

2.       That the Chief Executive be given delegated authority to vary the programme in consultation with the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee be agreed.

12.

Report on the work of the Audit and Risk Management Panel during 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the report, setting out the issues considered by the Audit and Risk Management Panel during 2017/18

 

 

 

Minutes:

The report was presented by Councillor Chris Lloyd, the Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Panel.

 

Resolved -

 

That the report, setting out the issues considered by the Audit and Risk Management Panel during 2017/18

13.

Member questions at Council meetings pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed that the timescales for providing advance written notice for public questions and Member questions at Council meetings are standardised as far as possible, as described in paragraph 2.4 of the report.

 

Delegated authority to the Head of Legal Services/Monitoring Officer to make the changes to the Council Procedure Rules in Part 4 of the Constitution as set out as follows:

 

Members’ Questions

A1.39 Notice of written questions must be received by the Chief Executive:

 

a.  in the case of agenda items, no later than noon three working days before the meeting;

 

b. in the case of all other items, no later than noon five working days before the meeting.

Minutes:

As an Officer’s report the Mayor moved the recommendation.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley, the Leader of the Opposition, stated the opposition did not support the proposed changes. He said it would hamper their ability to hold the administration to account because by bringing forward the notice period for questions not on the agenda it brought it before Cabinet meetings on the preceding Wednesdays so they would not be able to raise questions based on what occurred at a Cabinet meeting;  bringing forward the notice period for questions on agenda items brought forward the deadline to before party group meetings so giving them less time to put questions. He said the opposition also objected to the way it had been brought forward. He noted that the report referred to consultation; they had been asked and they had not supported it but had offered to put questions in earlier than the deadline by at least one day in advance, but they had heard nothing else. Councillor Hartley requested that the report be withdrawn so that the matter could be discussed.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe, the Leader of the Council, said it was not about hampering anyone's ability to do their job, it was down to the opposition to manage the formation of their questions, it was about being more efficient.

 

Councillor Spencer Drury said he found it astonishing that the first thing that the new Leader of the Council and the majority group should seek to do was to limit the ability of the opposition to hold them to account. He called for the report to be withdrawn.

 

Councillor Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement, commented that if they wanted to ask questions about the Cabinet meetings on the previous Wednesday they could attend that meeting and ask questions about the things that were on its agenda which was published in advance.

 

Councillor Sizwe James, Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Growth and Strategic Development highlighted that the ten minutes for oral questions could be used for any urgent issues.

 

Councillor Matt Clare accepted Councillor James' point but suggested that there should then be more flexibility on the period for oral questions if the report was accepted.

 

The Leader of the Opposition asked the Mayor that as the report was brought forward without consensus could it be withdrawn. The Mayor declined to withdraw the report.

 

The Mayor put the matter to the vote and with 28 votes in favour, 8 votes against, and 1 abstention, it was

 

Resolved –

 

1.       That the timescales for providing advance written notice for public questions and Member questions at Council meetings are standardised as far as possible, as described in paragraph 2.4 of the report, be agreed.

 

2.       That authority be delegated to the Head of Legal Services/Monitoring Officer to make the changes to the Council Procedure Rules in Part4 of the Constitution as set out as follow:

 

Members’ Questions

A1.39 Notice of written questions must be received by the Chief  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Petition Responses pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

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

 

Requested that an updated response to the petition “One-Way traffic system on St Margaret’s Grove” be submitted to Council on 18 July 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Mayor advised Council that there was a clerical error at section 7.2 of the report, in that it should state 525 signatures, and that it should be clear that it was a joint petition from Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple and St Margaret's CE Primary School.

 

The Mayor stated she had received requests from various lead petitioners to speak.

 

The Mayor invited Ray Lambert on behalf of Patricia Roberts to address the Council in relation to the petition response as set out in section 4 of the report.

 

Ray Lambert said that problems in West Hallowes had gone from bad to worse. He asked if residents could be furnished with the results of the traffic surveys and be given some idea as to what the Council could do to help them.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley, as the Ward Councillor who submitted the petition, thanked Officers for looking into the issue. He noted a 20mph zone would be in place within the financial year and he said it was important that the Council stuck to the commitment it had made at the Highways Committee and be  prepared to consider more radical measures if it turned out that the speed restrictions did not reduce both speed and volume of traffic. He said residents were keen for some assurance that the information will be published and shared with them and he wondered if the Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Public Realm and Transport might provide further reassurance on that.

 

Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald, Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Public Realm and Transport, thanked Ray Lambert for his comments. She stated that the Council were committed to improving the situation and improving the road conditions in the area and that they were going to go forward with the proposal.

 

The Mayor invited Dr Jonathan Blower to address the Council in relation to the petition response as set out in section 6 of the report.

 

Dr Jonathan Blower thanked the Council, Officers and the Highways Committee for looking into the matter. He requested that Councillors visit Mulgrave and St Mary Magdalene primary schools and their proximity to the South Circular and then look at the traffic on John Wilson Street. He said it seemed rather embarrassing to have such a dangerous road so close to the heart of local government. He commented that he had read that a speed camera on a main road was said to be able to generate enough revenue in its first three months to cover the cost of three speed cameras and questioned why the Mayor of London was not installing any new speed cameras anywhere at the moment when it would relieve pressure on the Police and generate revenue.

 

Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald, Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Public Realm and Transport, and Councillor Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement thanked Dr Jonathan Blower for his comments. It was noted that it was a TfL road not a Council road. Officers were pushing TfL and the Mayor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Motion - "The value of opposition, pluralism, openness and transparency" pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The motion was not carried.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Matt Hartley moved the motion. He explained the rationale of the motion and he detailed its aims. He concluded that while the Labour party had a mandate to run the Council, the Conservatives as the opposition had a mandate to hold them to account.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Nigel Fletcher. Councillor Fletcher said his contention was that opposition mattered. He said that whenever a decision was made there would be some people who disagreed and it was the job of any political system to properly recognise and reflect that. He held that good governance required good opposition; effective scrutiny ensured that minority views were heard, that arguments were tested and that those in positions of power were held to account, and that openness and transparency meant there were fewer places to hide, mistakes and abuses of power were brought to light. He accepted that made the process more time-consuming and occasionally troublesome for the administration.  He said it was not a party political issue it was a structural one, it was about the administration versus the opposition. He suggested at Cabinet meetings Members nodded through controversial and complex issues. Councillor Fletcher said they were not there to rubber stamp the decisions made behind closed doors in Labour Party Group meetings, and that all Councillors had a duty to their electors to tolerate and encourage scrutiny.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe said that from day one he had been listening to the views of local residents and businesses. He listed examples of activities undertaken with residents and communities. He highlighted that his fellow Labour Councillors were likewise engaged with residents across the borough. He said that they had shown in their first thirty five days that they would be an engaging and listening administration that worked with all of their communities. He commented that in contrast the Conservatives had spent the first thirty five days planning motions and focusing on constitutional geekery. He suggested it was just time wasted to avoid the difficult debates, such as, for example, capacity at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the cancellation of the Government's green paper on social care, cuts to the Police budgets, the over six thousand food parcels handed out by Greenwich food bank to families in crisis. He said he had listened to concerns from the public and that was why, for example, he had made sure Planning Board was comprised entirely of backbench Councillors, and that the Mayor's Inauguration was moved back to the Town Hall; and that was why he would do more to engage and to involve and to open up the Council to the people of the Borough. Despite winning the local election the majority party were not complacent. He commented that the opposition had chosen to focus their first efforts on what positions they might secure for themselves rather than what they could do for the people that they represent. Councillor Thorpe referred to the motto of the Royal Borough of Greenwich  "We Govern by Serving  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Motion - "Levy for Tobacco Companies" pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved -

 

This Council calls on the Government to introduce a levy on tobacco companies. Smoking remains the largest preventable cause of death in Greenwich and is responsible for 1,718 hospital admissions per year. Further, new figures show that tobacco costs Greenwich £67m per year including £10m in direct NHS costs.

 

The tobacco industry should be made to pay for the damage it causes in line with a polluter pays principle. It is estimated that tobacco companies in the UK make a collective annual profit of over £1 billion. This Council calls on the Government to place a levy on the tobacco industry with the money raised being used to fund tobacco control measures to reduce smoking prevalence and support smokers quit.

 

This Council provides evidence-based support and medication to help smokers quit, and the money raised from the levy could help ensure that specialist support is available to all smokers who want to quit. A levy could also help protect children by funding enforcement activity by local trading standards, preventing trade in illicit tobacco and sales to children.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Averil Lekau moved the motion.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Denise Hyland.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley proposed the amendment to the motion,

given in the published Tabled Items agenda. He explained the amendment was because the motion did not identify solutions the Council could undertake in Greenwich to address the problem. He noted that the Government had already considered a levy in 2014 but concluded that all it amounted to was the same effect as raising tobacco duty which was something the government was already doing. He listed other actions by the Government such as standardised packaging,

banning smoking in cars with children, and more prosecutions for adults who buy cigarettes for those under 18 years of age. Councillor Hartley detailed the proposed amendment.

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor Matt Clare.

 

The amendment was not accepted by Councillor Averil Lekau.

 

Councillor David Gardner spoke against the amendment. He commented that the Council had an excellent record on stopping smoking in Greenwich including among Council and GSplus staff. He said that while the proposals in the amendment in relation to children's play areas were worth considering he objected to the amendment because it deleted the whole section about a tax on tobacco companies. He said those companies were not only responsible for the largest cause of death but also  exploited children throughout the world, including the use of child labour in some countries in order to feed their profits. He noted in comparison that there was a tax on the profits of oil companies above and beyond the normal tax rates, and that they had had windfall taxes on banks and utilities. Councillor Gardner suggested a windfall tax on tobacco companies would put more money into NHS and social care and into smoking prevention and public health, ensuring the better health of future generations.

 

Councillor Matt Clare said that nobody would condone the practices of tobacco companies but those practices fell completely outside the control of the Council. He asked if the amendment was not accepted could its measures be considered outside of the debate.

 

Councillor Jackie Smith speaking against the amendment,  commented that they often heard the argument that an issue was outside of the Council's control. Councillor Smith drew Members' attention to the campaign against  fixed-odds betting terminals undertaken by local authorities even though it was not something that could be altered locally, and she noted that they had been successful in making the Government listen.  She commented that while supporting the proposed no-smoking areas the problem was the cost of enforcing them would fall on the Council. Councillor Smith said the motion was simply saying to the Government that it was the tobacco industry that caused the problems so let them pay for it.

 

Councillor Averil Lekau closed the debate on the amendment. She noted that high tobacco tax was recommended by the World Bank and was recognised as a good health and economic policy. Councillor Lekau explained that raising tax was the only tobacco control  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Motion - "Ward Budget Scheme" pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved -

 

Council congratulates the Cabinet on the last administration for the introduction of an innovative Ward Budget Scheme in October 2015 which lasted until early 2018.

 

Council considers the scheme to be an enormous success, enabling Councillors to make a real difference in their Wards and support local projects which may otherwise have been overlooked. Council considers that Officers did an excellent job keeping bureaucracy to a minimum and applying the eligibility rules in a fair, transparent way.

 

Hence Council requests Cabinet to continue the Ward Budget Scheme for this administration, and recommends they consult Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the guidelines for operating the scheme.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Spencer Drury moved the motion.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Matt Clare.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe proposed the amendment to the motion, as detailed in the published Tabled Items agenda. Councillor Thorpe paid tribute to Councillor Denise Hyland for introducing the scheme originally.

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor David Gardner.

 

Councillor Spencer Drury accepted the amendment.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe closed the debate.

 

The amended motion was put to the vote and it was unanimously

 

Resolved -

 

Council congratulates the Cabinet of the last administration for the introduction of an innovative Ward Budget Scheme in October  2015 which lasted until early 2018.

 

Council considers the scheme to be an enormous success, enabling Councillors to make a real difference in their Wards and support local projects which may otherwise have been overlooked. Council considers that Officers did an excellent job keeping bureaucracy to a minimum and applying the eligibility rules in a fair, transparent way

 

Hence Council requests Cabinet to continue the Ward Budget Scheme for this administration, and recommends they consult Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the guidelines for operating the scheme.

18.

Motion - "Number 1 Gas Holder" pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The motion was not carried.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Nigel Fletcher moved the motion. He noted that a petition had just been submitted to Council which indicated the Gas Holder was a matter of significant public concern. He noted the work of former Councillor Mary Mills in relation to Greenwich's industrial heritage. He clarified why he thought the Gas Holder should be saved, and he highlighted the Council's planning policy. He emphasised that retention did not preclude regeneration on the site. He commented on the position that they were now in; he felt it was unsatisfactory for prior approval consent for the demolition of the gasholder to be done under delegated powers without Councillors being asked to determine it.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Geoffrey Brighty.

 

Councillor Sizwe James acknowledged the work of former Councillor Mary Mills and the Greenwich Industrial History Society. Councillor James opposed the motion. He explained that the planning brief did not expressly agree retention or demolition, it left the issue open to be addressed by any developer.  He clarified the legal difference between planning permission and a prior notification approval granted by the General Permitted Development Order 1995 (GDPO). He explained the legal parameters that were placed on the determining authority.  He indicated that the power to revoke under s97 of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act did not apply to permission granted under the GDPO. He advised on what was possible under an Article 4 direction, and added he was not aware of any legislation that allowed a prior notification approval to be revoked once granted.

 

Councillor Norman Adams spoke against the motion. He felt the motion was essentially an implied attack on the conduct of planning officers. He noted that Members had just heard that the decision was lawfully made in accordance with standard planning practice and legislation.

 

Councillor Nigel Fletcher closed the debate. He said in response to Councillor Norman Adams' point, that the criticism was of the way the decision had been made as it was taken under delegated powers without any Member level body having a say on it and that seemed to be inappropriate for a decision of such significance. Councillor Fletcher said they had been blinded by bits of legislation from Councillor Sizwe James, instead he felt the Article 4 direction could have been made at any point in the last few years to ensure that a proper planning application would have needed to have been made. Councillor Fletcher rejected the distinction that the prior approval consent had not given permission for demolition, saying the developer did now have permission to pull it down. Councillor Fletcher said the planning officers' decision was based on flawed assumptions, it made no reference to the policy adopted by Cabinet in November, and it stated as a fact that the removal of the gasholder was necessary for regeneration when they can be incorporated into regeneration projects. He felt the authority had the right to send the permission back to the developer stating their documentation was not satisfactory  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.