Greenwich Council

Agenda item.

Questions from Members

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.



The Mayor stated that 24 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 Pat Greenwell asked the Leader of the Council, I now understand that it has been agreed that Wide Horizons charity will return the lease on the Bexley Road Centre to the Council as soon as possible.  I also understand that if the charity goes bankrupt Greenwich Schools are at risk of losing £17,000 pounds in deposits which have already been lodged with the charity.  Can we please have an update on what the current position is with Wide Horizons and what the Council is doing to help them? 

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Council, responded that no lease had been returned and we are in ongoing discussions with Wide Horizons about the situation that they find themselves in and there is a risk to paid deposits.  It is necessary for Wide Horizons to find a solution to the situation but we are talking to them about a range of options. 


Councillor Matt Hartley asked the Leader of the Council, given his recent statement calling for the cruise liner terminal to be more environmentally green, does he as Leader of the Council want to see onshore power, yes or no?

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Council, noted that onshore power was one option that could be pursued but as I understand it, there are no onshore power supplies anywhere in this country and cruise liners are moving into more on board solutions to reduce emissions from ships.   It is not down to the Council to determine how the developer responds but we have been calling on them to ensure that a green terminal is delivered or that they consider another option to come forward.


Following on from Maria Freeman’s public question on webcasting meetings Councillor Matt Hartley felt that both webcasting and direct engagement were to be encouraged but I would remind the Leader of the Council that he voted for a motion giving a commitment to seriously consider rolling out web streaming to Cabinet, Planning Board, Highways Meeting and other key meetings. Whilst the viewer number are one aspect, the principle of openness and transparency are as important and be of real value to residents who want to engage in this way.  Will you reconsider?

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Council,thanked Councillor Hartley for raising the point on openness and transparency, noting that at the last couple of Planning Board Meetings the room were full, so there's not an issue with people attending Planning Board to engage directly.  People do not want to be at home watching it on the television they would like to be in the room making the points you made the point about openness and transparency.  


Councillor Matt Clare noted that Norfolk Council are trialling a new technology which detects mobile phone use within vehicles that are moving and similarly,  mobile phone use is a big problem in South-East London.  Noting that Norfolk has less density of vehicles than the South-East London would the Council consider working with the local police, as part of the move to start enforcing moving traffic regulations, to see if this is something we can also adopt.

The Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement, CouncillorJackie Smithresponded that the Council would need to carefully consider any investment in infrastructure in order to undertake actions that was not in our purview.  Having said that I will have a discussion with the Police about how we can support them in this area.


Councillor Nigel Fletcher asked if the Leader could be clear and give a commitment that the policy of the Council and his desire is that the Peninsula gas holder should be repurposed and retained as part of a new development as per the Council's planning policy?

The Leader of the Council, Councillor DannyThorpe commented that he felt he had been clear on this matter and recommended that Councillor Fletcher read the Peninsula site planning brief which would answer his questions.  Further, his personal views about planning policy were irrelevant as the Council set the policy which is used.

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