Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes.

Venue: Committee Room 4 - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Jean Riddler  Email: or tel: 020 8921 5857

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Ian Hawking.


Councillor Angela Cornforth gave apologies for lateness.


Urgent Business

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


The Chair asked the Panel to note the tabled work programme extract from the Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting scheduled for 30 April 2019.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 46 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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Resolved –


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


Minutes pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2019 and 24 January 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.

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Resolved -


That the minutes of the meeting of the Community Safety and Environment Scrutiny Panel held on 29 November 2018 and 24 January 2019 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.


Cabinet Member's update on 2018/2019 priorities pdf icon PDF 51 KB

The Scrutiny Panel is asked to consider the written reports, submitted as appendices and not the on the progress on aspects of the Cabinet Members portfolios, relating to this Panel’s work programme, in line with the Royal Greenwich Corporate Plan 2018-2022.




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The Members noted the Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement’s (Appendix A) and the Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Public Realm and Transport (Appendix B) reports, without requiring a presentation. The Deputy Director of Communities and Environment and the Assistant Director for Community Safety and Environment were also present to answer questions. In considering the reports, the Panel put a number of questions to the Cabinet Members.


The Assistant Director advised that with regard to HMO licensing; the target had initially been six weeks but had now increased to twelve weeks, which would be the performance to be measured against going forward. The service have not been measuring average time for completion and instead had been concentrating on clearing a backlog of applications as a result of being a relatively new project and other challenges, including changes in legislation around payments. A new HMO strategy was being implemented and he confirmed that if a licence application was not completed within 52 weeks it was automatically granted.


The Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement said comparisons with other London boroughs showed Royal Borough of Greenwich was doing extremely well.


The Assistant Director explained civil penalties were used as a disposal method and were a main source of enforcement. He said he would advise the Panel what income was generated from the issue of civil penalty notices. He also confirmed that he would provide comparable HMO performance data from other London Boroughs.

Action: Assistant Director Community Safety and Environment


He continued the service was re-focusing, reviewing skill sets and moving towards a permanent staff but agency were currently used to ensure continuity.


The Deputy Director explained that every HMO has to have valid gas and electricity certificates. A proportion of the Rogue Landlord grant funding would be used to upskill staff to identify fraudulent certificates and enable prosecution. The Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement said additional funding, was always being sought, to improve service and continuity.


The Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Public Realm and Transport explained how the Council engaged with residents regarding the ‘Love Your Place’ priority. The Keep Britain Tidy campaign, via twitter, talking to community groups and holding volunteer events were employed to build pride in the community. It has been found that residents want to play a part. Greenwich Issue advertises events and local schools, had been approached, to find Junior Environmental Champions and to educate children. There were limited resources but they were being harnessed to build capacity.


A Panel member commented that particular residents tended to attend events and how could other residents be engaged. Had street based events been considered.


The Cabinet Member replied the launch of the Junior Environmental Champion initiative had highlighted children’s references to ‘The Blue Planet’, and the impact on them. It had started discussion on what local children could do in their areas and how to involve others.


The Deputy Director said it was a challenge and any opportunity was used to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Service Performance Report - Parks, Estates and Open Spaces pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To provide an update regarding the progress of specific planned actions to achieve the corporate plan objectives that relate to the Parks, Estates and Open Spaces Service.


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The Members noted the Service Performance report for Parks, Estates and Open Spaces, without requiring a presentation. The Deputy Director of Communities and Environment was also present to answer questions. In considering the report, the Panel put a number of questions to the Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and the Third Sector.


In response to questions regarding tree planting, the Deputy Director replied that the target to plant 2022 trees by 2022 would be met by replacement of damaged and dead trees, funding from the operational budget, putting in bids for funding on behalf of the Council and encouraging Friends of Parks groups to bid for funding, plus S106 and CiL. A Community Engagement Officer has been appointed, to work with friends groups and schools. Street trees were replaced when they were diseased or dead, but some were not under the jurisdiction of the Council but the responsibility of TfL. The service would work to provide diversity of species, including fruit trees in parks, trees that helped clean the environment on council roads and native species. Any groups of residents that were interested could approach Parks and Open Spaces who would work with them to plant and then for them to maintain these trees.


In relation to planting additional trees around social housing owned by the Council, Councillor Cousins would raise with Parks and Open Spaces who would work with Housing.

Action: Councillor Cousins / Deputy Director of Communities and Environment




That the Service Performance for Parks, Estates and Open Spaces report be noted.


Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 Update pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To note the use of powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (the Act) for the period 3 March 2017 to 31 January 2018.



The Head of Legal Services introduced the report. In response to questions she said that an inspection in 2017 had noted that the Council had made good use of the Act. Since 2012 applications had to be made to the Magistrates Court to undertake covert surveillance. It could be used for both staff and external parties. The Council’s policy has been revised since the change of legislation and implemented, and was the responsibility of Legal Services. At the request of the Panel she would provide a copy of the 2017 RIPA inspection report and a breakdown of how RIPA was used pre and post the introduction of the Protection of Freedom Act 2012 and which departments had requested to use RIPA powers.

Action: Head of Legal Services




That the use of powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (the Act) for the period 3 March 2017 to 31 January 2018 be noted.


Councillor Cornforth joined the meeting (8.00pm).


Municipal Year 2019-2020 work proposed work programme pdf icon PDF 42 KB

The Scrutiny Panel is asked to consider and comment on the proposed work programme for municipal year 2019-2020, to be submitted under separate cover and which item(s) the Panel wished to conduct a Scrutiny Review of and consider and agree the scoop of these.



The Panel reviewed the Work Programme 2019/20.


The following amendments were proposed:



Brief scope

Neighbourhood Watch

Safer Neighbourhood Board

What exists; promotion; what it covers; areas lacking; integration with RBG; police. Include impact Stop and Search

Hate Crime

What services we are commissioning and is it delivering for the community and RBG. includeGRiP. Good practice and monitoring

CCTV – In-Depth Scrutiny

2 of 3 police boroughs reducing to 12 hours.  RBG 24 hours.  How many CCTV units; where; hours of operation; pros & cons; crime prevention / resolution stats; in appropriate areas; trends; recordings reviewed, stored, disposal requirements; equipment used up to date; implications of reduced hours of neighbours on RBG.

Value to the community and effectiveness. Mobile CCTV

Stop and Search

The impact of stop and search on the community relations in RBG

Youth Violence

Greenwich Reset

An overview of youth violence and knife crime in Greenwich.

Also community groups supporting action against knife crime – what exists; how do they work – collectively and cohesively? what support from the Council. include Met Police Gang Matrix

Statutory Scrutiny of the Safer Greenwich Partnership (SGP)

To agree scope of review and outcomes of two reports

Cabinet Member Reports

·        Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement

·        Air Quality, Public Realm and Transport

·        Culture, Leisure and the Third Sector

Reports back on the progress of their priorities and any aspects of their portfolios that match the agreed reviews.

Public Realm

Thorough audit of all large and small areas of green space under RBG authority.  Maintenance and schedules of each per ward.

Charlton Community Trust – Youth Violence Scheme

Achievements, outcomes and integration with Council and Third Sector.

Greenwich Inclusion Project (GRIP)

Overall delivery outcomes and achievements. Move to Hate Crime

Met Police Gang Matrix

Move to Greenwich Reset

RBG figures and how used to inform action.

How do people get on and off the Matrix.

Integrated Enforcement Board

HMOs; fly tipping; parking etc.

Items carried over from 2018/19


Cleanliness and safety of the Public Realm including Parks and Open Spaces

Panel to receive a report on the findings of the in-depth scrutiny it undertook as part of its 2016/17 work programme to agree conclusions and recommendations.

The Police’s 3-Borough merger

A report on the impact of the 3-borough merger.

Parks & Open Spaces

Friends’ Groups – which exist; how we work with and encourage them; benefits; Use – safety, what they are doing, design etc.

Include performance data analysis for bin collection and recycling

Physical Activity and Sports Strategy and Action Plan

Report back on this once the Strategy and Action Plan have been completed and how the public realm is used to support this (living streets etc.)


The Panel agreed that an in-depth analysis of CCTV would be undertaken.




That the Panel considered and commented on the proposed work programme and agreed to conduct a scrutiny review of CCTV.