Greenwich Council

Agenda item.

Petition Responses

Decision:

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

Minutes:

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

 

The Mayor invited Terry Powley, on behalf of John Webb, to address Council in relation to the petition response set out in section 3 of the report.

 

Terry Powley, of the Save Avery Hill Winter Garden Campaign, said the campaign group were encouraged that progress had been made, and noted the actions taken. However, they were disappointed that no reference had been made to the restoration of the Winter Garden or the revival of the lottery bid, which was odd as the restoration was the focus of the petition and of the motion at the Council of 18 October 2017. It was hoped this omission was not a change in policy. He commented on a meeting with the Council and the University of Greenwich that month with regard to relaunch of the  lottery bid and the maintenance of the Winter Garden, and looked forward to the next meeting in February. There remained issues to be resolved: firstly was the Winter Garden an integral part of the offer made by the ESFA, secondly if so was the new putative owner aware of urgency of submitting a revived lottery bid, thirdly how much funding was needed to restore the Winter Garden, and fourthly will the new owner accept public access to the listed parts of the mansion.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability, thanked Terry Powley. He explained that the Council had requested all documentation to do with the bid from the University, they had not done so, so the Council had asked them again. All of them wanted to see the Winter Garden restored, the question of funding was to be debated, but the University having acquired the site for £1 had a moral obligation to invest some of their profits into it.

 

Councillor Nuala Geary noted the steps outlined to hold the University to account, but she was concerned that the University continued to blatantly ignore their responsibilities in terms of maintaining the fabric of building. Councillor Geary wondered what action the Council could actually take if the University continued to ignore the essential works that needed to be carried out.

 

The Mayor invited Caroline Smith and Ed Delegano, on behalf of Vito Marino, to address Council in relation to the petition response set out in section 5 of the report.

 

Caroline Smith and Ed Delegano spoke in support of the business and requested that the Council review the situation.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability thanked Vito Marino and his supporters.  He acknowledged that the premises had been popular. He said the fundamental issue was the land ownership, it was not a piece of land that the Council was bringing forward to be marketed, but they would be happy to support Vito Marino to find an appropriate place elsewhere in Woolwich Town Centre. Location was the issue.

 

Councillor David Gardner noted that a lot of his constituents had signed the petition. He commented that the premises had been well kept, helped address anti-social behaviour in front of Tesco, and provided good food. He suggested that the presence provided by the Rust Bucket Pizza was the kind of thing they needed to see throughout Woolwich Town Centre and in Love Lane and he hoped that the Council could work together with the petitioners to move the matter forward.

 

Resolved –

 

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

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