Greenwich Council

Agenda, decisions and draft 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, 10 July 2019 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Tonia Ashikodi, Peter Brooks, Ann-Marie Cousins, John Hills, Rajinder James, Adel Khaireh, Chris Kirby, Maureen O’Mara, Aidan Smith, David Stanley and Roger Tester

 

Apologies for arriving late were received from Councillor Angela Cornforth

 

Apologies for leaving for leaving early were given by Councillors Stephen Brain, Bill Freeman, Mehboob Kahn and Mariam Lolavar

2.

Minutes

To agree the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 26 June 2019

 

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 26 June 2019 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.

3.

Mayor's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that the Royal Borough has been awarded 13 Green Flags for 2019/20 for the high standard of management and maintenance of its Parks and Open Spaces. This included Eltham Crematorium groundsas a new addition to the open spaces that have received Green Flag status. It was noted that the Green Flag Award was the international standard endorsed by Central Government for well managed good quality parks and open spaces.

 

The Mayor called on Councillor Miranda Williams, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Voluntary Sector, to present the certificate to Robert Goring, Parks Strategy and Development Manager.

 

The Mayor agreed to two Members making an announcement. The Mayor invited Councillors David Gardner and Denise Hyland to address Council.

 

Councillor David Gardner explained that outdoor frontline staff were being issued with aluminium water bottles. He invited Members to purchase one with the money going to the Mayor’s charity, which was the Greenwich & Bexley Hospice.

 

Councillor Denise Hyland explained that Adult and Community Learning students had produced a calendar with their own paintings for next year, and she invited Members to purchase one. It was sponsored by London South-East Colleges, the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust.

4.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 110 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:

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 Mayor noted that that no requests to exceed the five minute rule had been received.

6.

Submission of 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

review of the CPZ to introduce controlled parking to the upper section of Beaconsfield Road

18 signatures

To address “rat running” and overall traffic volumes along Kidbrooke Gardens

41 signatures

Councillor          Leo Fletcher

 

 

 

Councillor

Geoffrey Brighty

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

7.

Public Deputations on matters not otherwise on the agenda

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor noted that that no requests for public deputations had been received.

 

8.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 232 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 189 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’ oral questions in line with procedure Rule A1.43.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor stated that 30 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 Mehboob Khan asked the Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Sustainability and Transport if she or the relevant Cabinet Member could look into the claim that Galliard homes might be obstructing the Port of London Authority from installing air quality monitoring equipment on their site adjacent to where cruise liners were moored in Greenwich West Ward. The Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Sustainability and Transport confirmed that they were definitely looking into it.

 

Councillor Matt Clare asked the Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Sustainability and Transport, with reference to CPZ ‘EC’, to confirm that when parking zone extensions were looked at that the individual streets were considered and not just the wider area, to best meet residents’ needs. The Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Sustainability and Transport replied that she would look into it and reply to Councillor Clare in writing.

 

Councillor Spencer Drury sought reassurance from the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Community Services that there would be no change to the existing policy for Special Guardian Allowance, which was to keep paying all of the special Guardians, until the report was presented to Cabinet. The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Community Services stated that there would be no change until Cabinet had made a decision.

 

Councillor Patricia Greenwell raised with the Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Sustainability and Transport the issue of cars with engines idling especially outside schools, and whether schools could be made aware of the issue. The Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Sustainability and Transport explained that they were currently looking at what other boroughs did and looking at it in terms of regulation. The Cabinet Member confirmed that they did talk to schools about it, noting that some schools were more proactive than others, and that they would continue to do so.

 

Councillor Nigel Fletcher suggested to the Leader of the Council that he agree that it was disappointing that Jeremy Corbyn had been seen  associating with a supporter of the protesters opposing LGBT inclusive education in schools in Birmingham. The Leader of the Council indicated that he was not aware of the specific occasion that Councillor Fletcher was alluding to and so could not make any comment. The Leader reaffirmed that LGBT education was a fundamental part of Greenwich’s curriculum.

 

Councillor Matt Clare asked the Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Sustainability and Transport why it was taking so long to get Car Clubs in place. The Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Sustainability and Transport stated she would look into the matter.

 

Councillor Mehboob Khan asked the Cabinet Member for Public Realm if he and colleagues within the Cabinet could ensure that the Deptford Creek paths on either side  ...  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:

The Mayor noted that no requests for matters to be taken early had been received.

 

11.

Statement of Accounts 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the Audit Findings Report (AFR) for the Royal Borough of Greenwich (Appendix 1b of the report) and the Pension Fund (Appendix 2b of the report)

 

Noted the comments of the Audit and Risk Management Panel and Pension Fund Investment and Administration Panel

 

Approved the Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2019 at Appendix 1d of the report, incorporating agreed amendments.

 

Agreed that the Mayor signs and dates the revised Statement of Accounts.

 

Minutes:

The Mayor advised Council that the Audit Findings Report had been considered by the Pensions Fund Investment and Administration Panel on Monday, and that Panel had had no comments. The Statement of Accounts had been considered by the Audit and Risk Management Panel on Tuesday, and their comments had been published on the “Tabled items 2 - supplementary agenda”.

 

The Mayor invited Paul Dossett, Engagement Lead from Grant Thornton to introduce the Audit Findings Report

 

Paul Dossett, Engagement Lead from Grant Thornton, presented his report. He commented on the effect of the McCloud judgement in relation to the pension fund. He highlighted that the Royal Borough of Greenwich had a strong reserves position compared to a number of local authorities, though it had areas of challenge or risk. He noted that like all authorities it faced a challenge with the high risk budget areas of adults and children services. While Grant Thornton were giving an unqualified conclusion it was emphasised that there was no room for complacency as the Royal Borough of Greenwich was still under pressure in terms of identifying efficiencies and savings and new sources of income as appropriate

 

Councillor Matt Hartley, Leader of the Opposition, thanked the external auditor and Finance Officers. He welcomed the change to the way reserves were represented in the accounts. He noted that the Council Tax collection rate had fallen and requested that the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources give it their personal attention in the coming months. He suggested one way to boost the Council Tax collection rate would be to lift the lowest income residents out of Council Tax altogether; he also suggested that they significantly reduce the number of debts that went out to bailiffs.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources thanked the external auditor and Finance Officers. In moving the recommendations in the report, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources noted the unqualified judgment and also the challenges that the authority faced. The Cabinet Member informed Council that there had been a meeting with the National Audit Office to look at how the Council’s governance arrangements could be strengthened in the years to come as they moved forward with fewer and fewer resources. The Cabinet Member said work had been undertaken to improve the council tax collection rate, and that was now showing in the first three months of the new financial year, likewise with the business rate collection. The Cabinet Member said that with regard to the McCloud judgment that the Council’s pension fund was performing well and was being re-evaluated that year and it was not until after that re-evaluation that they would know if they needed to make any adjustments to contributions, it did not mean that contributions would automatically go up. The Cabinet Member quoted the auditor’s statement “We would strongly recommend that use of reserves remains limited in future years other than for specifically earmarked schemes.” She advised Council that this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Treasury Management Outturn 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed the Treasury Management Outturn Report for 2018/19

 

 

Minutes:

The Mayor advised Council that report had been considered by the Audit and Risk Management Panel on Tuesday, and the Panel had no comments.

 

In moving the recommendation of the report the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources commented on the Council’s low risk and security first approach to treasury management interest rates, their ability to repay loans and their ability to temporarily support a significant capital investment programme. The Cabinet Member noted that the Audit and Risk Management Panel had undertaken training with regard to looking after the treasury.

 

The Mayor put the matter to the vote and it was unanimously

 

Resolved –

 

That the Treasury Management Outturn Report for 2018/19 be agreed.

13.

Resolution to Adopt Powers to Undertake Enforcement of Traffic Contraventions by CCTV pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the civil enforcement powers granted to the Council by the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003 relating to moving traffic contraventions.

 

Approved the transfer of powers from the Metropolitan Police to the Council to enforce moving traffic contraventions under the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003, with effect from 30th December 2019 (“the Appointed Day”).

 

Noted that London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee has approved the Council’s application for the implementation of enforcement of traffic contraventions by CCTV.

 

Noted the variation to the Council’s Parking Strategy (as approved by the Leader pursuant to his decision referred to in the first point above) that all moving traffic contraventions including bus lanes and bus stops / bus stands would be enforced and that that enforcement would not be limited to the contraventions listed in the Parking Strategy appended at Appendix 1 to the Cabinet report dated 6th December 2017;

 

Noted the authority delegated under the Leader’s decision as referred to in the first point above, to the Director of Regeneration Enterprise and Skills to be responsible for the exercise of the civil enforcement powers and to allocate responsibility to such officers as may be required to act on their behalf.

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Matt Clare noted the time taken for the matter to progress, and sought clarification on staff costs. He welcomed it as an excellent opportunity to improve road safety and deal with the selfish behaviour of a minority of motorists, and he hoped the Council would take full advantage of it.

 

Councillor Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Community Safety, replied that she would need to discuss the staff costs with Officers. The Cabinet Member commented on the complex approval process that had been required, and on the powers that the Council would now have.

 

The Mayor put the matter to the vote and it was unanimously

 

Resolved –

 

1.    That the civil enforcement powers granted to the Council by the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003 relating to moving traffic contraventions be noted.

 

2.    That the transfer of powers from the Metropolitan Police to the Council to enforce moving traffic contraventions under the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003, with effect from 30th December 2019 (“the Appointed Day”) be approved.

 

3.    That the London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee has approved the Council’s application for the implementation of enforcement of traffic contraventions by CCTV be noted.

 

4.    That the variation to the Council’s Parking Strategy (as approved by the Leader pursuant to his decision referred to in the first point above) that all moving traffic contraventions including bus lanes and bus stops / bus stands would be enforced and that that enforcement would not be limited to the contraventions listed in the Parking Strategy appended at Appendix 1 to the Cabinet report dated 6th December 2017 be noted.

 

5.    That the authority delegated under the Leader’s decision as referred to in the first point above, to the Director of Regeneration Enterprise and Skills to be responsible for the exercise of the civil enforcement powers and to allocate responsibility to such officers as may be required to act on their behalf be noted.

14.

Motion - "Improving support for Armed Forces members and veterans in Greenwich" pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved -  

 

Council notes the invaluable contribution that members of the Armed Forces and veterans make in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and re-iterates its support for the Armed Forces community expressed in various ways including through the Royal Greenwich Get Together, Armed Forces Day events and its support of the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

Council notes that Greenwich has:

 

·        The second highest number of Armed Forces pension recipients in London

·        The highest level of compensation for injury of any borough in the capital

·        160 pupils claiming the Service Pupil Premium in local schools, the second highest level in London

·        The high concentration of retired Gurkhas and their families in the Borough who have served gallantly but face additional challenges to enjoy a good quality of life

·        Appointed Councillor Hills as Armed Forces and Veterans’ Champion with Councillor Cornforth as Deputy

 

Council therefore requests that the administration takes the following practical steps to further improve support for Armed Forces members and veterans in Greenwich, in line with recommendations for local authorities developed by the Royal British Legion:

 

·        Complement the existing role of an elected member acting as the Council’s Armed Forces Champion by formally appointing, and making partner organisations and the public aware of,

1) an overall Armed Forces Officer Champion, and

2) an Armed Forces Directorate Champion working in each directorate, with all relevant details made available on a dedicated page on the Council’s website

 

·        Provide support to all Council staff to raise awareness of the specific support available to Armed Forces members and veterans from the Council and other agencies – including exploring the delivery of appropriate training to Council staff

 

·        Pledge to gather more data about the Armed Forces community in Greenwich, to improve targeted support interventions in the future

 

·        Take steps to raise awareness of the Service Pupil Premium in local schools to ensure that more families who are eligible for this scheme, but may not currently be accessing it, are able to benefit

 

·        Continue to support Remembrance activities and show the borough’s appreciation for our Armed Forces members and veterans at every opportunity

 

Council requests that the measures outlined above are implemented as soon as possible and no later than December 2019. 

           

Further, Council will continue to collaborate with military organisations, the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust, Old Royal Naval College, Royal Museums Greenwich, the Woolwich Garrison Church Trust and others to promote the unique military and naval heritage of Woolwich and Greenwich.  Moreover, we call on the Government to retain the 300-year old military presence in Woolwich and reaffirm our opposition to the closure of the Woolwich army station and fully support the campaign by Matthew Pennycook MP for a reversal of this decision

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Matt Hartley moved the motion as detailed in the agenda. He indicated that he was happy to accept the published amendment.

 

In seconding the motion, Councillor Nigel Fletcher commented on the borough’s military links and history. He noted the Council had signed the Armed Forces Covenant, and emphasised his support both for holding Armed Forces Day parade on the barrack’s field and for keeping the Army in Woolwich.

 

Councillor David Gardner proposed the amendment to the motion, as detailed in the published Tabled Items agenda. He noted the number of military serving constituents in Woolwich Common Ward. He explained that in proposing the amendment he wished to pay tribute to the great work of the Gurkhas, a great number of whom had retired within the borough, and he commented in the issues facing the Gurkha community. He said the Council took the Armed Forces Covenant seriously. He felt it was important that the borough celebrate its military history. He noted Matthew Pennycook MP’s campaign to keep the Army in Woolwich.

 

In seconding the amendment, Councillor Angela Cornforth emphasised the borough’s link with the military, and the role of the Gurkhas. She paid tribute to the work of Councillor John Hills, and of Gerry Armstrong of SSAFA the Armed Forces Charity.  She noted the importance of the Armed Forces Covenant and that it should be a living pledge.

 

The Mayor noted that Councillor Matt Hartley accepted the amendment.

 

Councillors Patricia Greenwell and Nigel Fletcher spoke on the amended motion. The support the families of armed forces personal needed was raised. It was highlighted that military presence also extended into Eltham at Eltham Palace for example.

 

In closing the debate, Councillor David Gardner added that the military presence also extended into Thamesmead, Plumstead, and Kidbrooke as well.

 

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

 

Resolved - 

 

Council notes the invaluable contribution that members of the Armed Forces and veterans make in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and re-iterates its support for the Armed Forces community expressed in various ways including through the Royal Greenwich Get Together, Armed Forces Day events and its support of the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

Council notes that Greenwich has:

 

·        The second highest number of Armed Forces pension recipients in London

·        The highest level of compensation for injury of any borough in the capital

·        160 pupils claiming the Service Pupil Premium in local schools, the second highest level in London

·        The high concentration of retired Gurkhas and their families in the Borough who have served gallantly but face additional challenges to enjoy a good quality of life

·        Appointed Councillor Hills as Armed Forces and Veterans’ Champion with Councillor Cornforth as Deputy

 

Council therefore requests that the administration takes the following practical steps to further improve support for Armed Forces members and veterans in Greenwich, in line with recommendations for local authorities developed by the Royal British Legion:

 

·        Complement the existing role of an elected member acting as the Council’s Armed Forces  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.