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: Special Meeting 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bill Freeman, Denise Hyland, Maureen O’Mara, Gary Parker, Linda Perks, David Stanley,  Norman Adams, Sizwe James, Ivis Williams, Mehboob Khan, John Hills

 

Apologies for arriving late were received from Councillors Geoffrey Brighty, Charlie Davis and Anthony Okereke.

 

2.

Mayor's Announcements

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Minutes:

The Mayor explained that he had agreed to hold a special meeting of Council following a request from the Leader of the Council.

 

He announced the death of a former Councillor and previous Mayor Thomas Carter. Thomas Carter was a Councillor from 1982 to 1990 and Mayor in 1986 and 1987. He understood that during his term of office, Thomas married in the Town Hall wearing his Mayoral badge. He represented Coldharbour ward and served on the Leisure Committee and Social Services Committee. He also served in the Navy in arctic convoys during the Second World War and was awarded the Arctic Medal at the Russian Embassy.

 

A minutes silence was observed for Councillor Thomas Carter.

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 52 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.

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Minutes:

Resolved –

 

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

4.

Notice of Members wishing to exceed the 5 minute rule

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Minutes:

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

5.

Impact of No-Deal Brexit on the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Council's Brexit Preparations pdf icon PDF 164 KB

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Decision:

Noted the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

 

Noted the preparations being taken by the Council to prepare for the impact of Brexit.

 

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council opened the debate. He said he had written to the Chief Executive on 28 August 2019 to request the special meeting of the Council so that the very real risks faced by both the Council and residents of a No Deal exit from the European Union could be discussed. He thanked Officers and partners for the report and ongoing preparation for all eventualities. He drew Members attention to a few of the challenges.

 

He continued that no deal would have significant immediate and negative impact on the Borough in particular our most vulnerable residents. Including advice from the Governor of the Bank of England that food prices would rise by 6/10%. He highlighted the table on page 12 of the report that modelled this risk. There was also concern regarding the supply of food, that up to 50% of fresh fruit and vegetables used by GS Plus and in school meals were sourced from Europe. He continued that medical supply issues were already being experienced for some medicines and the borough was working closely with the Clinical Commissioning Group. There was also the potential of disruption of the supply of community equipment, such as hoists and other adaptations. This in turn might affect hospital discharge and health outcomes for residents. Hospital capacity issues and any further pressure on the system could have major consequences. The Leader drew Member’s attention to comments provided by local businesses, including the Greenwich Cooperative Development Agency. Transport issues were also of major concern given reduced flow rates due to changes in custom controls.

 

The Leader explained that of the 32,000 European nationals residing in Greenwich, only 10,000 had applied for settled status. This was due to a number of factors including not being able to understand the process, the system does not work or they are judging the mood of the country. They have until 31 December 2020 to apply. The Council were working with young people and children in our care to assist with their applications.

 

Community tensions were being closely monitored. There was an indication that there has been an increase in both local far-right and extreme right wing activity. The Somali community had raised a significant number concerns as a large number were nationals of the Nordic countries.

 

He continued that a Brexit Task force has been set up chaired jointly by the Leader and Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Sustainability and Transport. This brought together key partners across the Borough. The Task Force would assess risks and analyse contingency plans and discuss proactive actions to minimise the impact to services and residents. A Gold group would be convened 21 October 2019 that would meet daily with key partners.

 

The Mayor called upon the Cabinet Members for their comments.

 

The Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and the Third Sector explained the detrimental impact no-deal would have on tourism and culture sectors both in Greenwich, across London and nationally. She highlighted that the Borough had 19 million visits  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.