Greenwich Council

Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Rooms 4 & 5, Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Daniel Wilkinson  Email: daniel.wilkinson@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5102

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Chris Kirby, Averil Lekau, Jackie Smith, and Miranda Williams.

 

Apologies for leaving early were given by Councillor Sizwe James.

2.

Urgent Business

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

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 33 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’ Membership, as Council appointed representatives, on outside bodies, joint committees and School Governing bodies be noted.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To agree, as a true and accurate record, the Minutes of the Cabinet Meeting held on 12 July 2017.

 

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.

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the Minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 12 July 2017 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.

5.

Proposed New Article 4(1) Direction with non-immediate effect to remove permitted development rights to a use falling within Class C4 (House in Multiple Occupation). pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Members are asked to agree to give 12 months’ prior notice of a new Article 4 Direction with non-immediate effect, under Article 4(1) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended. 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.       Agreed to give 12 months’ prior notice of a new Article 4 Direction with non-immediate effect, under Article 4(1) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended. 

 

2.       Noted the Article 4 Direction relates to development comprising of a change of use from a use falling within Class C3 (dwellinghouse) of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) to a use falling within Class C4 (house in multiple occupation) of that Order, and removes Permitted Development rights for this type of development from the date when the Direction comes into force. 

 

3.       Noted planning permission will therefore be required for change of use from Class C3 to Class C4 once the Article 4 Direction is in force. The Article 4 Direction would apply to the whole of Royal Greenwich.

Minutes:

The report was introduced by the Director of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills.

 

With the agreement of the Chair, Cabinet was addressed by two members of the public.

 

The Cabinet was addressed by Deborah Boyle who raised concerns as to the necessity of the 12 month period and whether it was supported in law, and suggested based on what had happened in neighbouring boroughs that the delay could lead to an acceleration of the problems being experienced, particularly in Plumstead. She did not understand why the proposals had changed from a near contemporaneous implementation to a future date, and queried whether it might be linked to systematic problems across various Council departments. She related her own experience of a neighbouring conversion to a HMO. She referred to comments made at a meeting in April 2017, which had been attended by Councillors and Officers, indicating there was a lack of communication and different objectives between departments and that this had contributed to rampant levels of HMOs. She requested that there be no delay in the implementation of the Article 4 Direction and that there be publication of a summary of steps which would be taken to deal with departmental shortcomings.

 

In response to questions from the Cabinet, Deborah Boyle stated she would email the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability with details of who had made the comments at the meeting in April. She added that the pressures to provide housing contradicted planning/building controls.

 

In response to questions from the Cabinet the Assistant Director Planning and Building Control (Regeneration Enterprise and Skills) advised that planning enforcement was used to investigate and monitor HMOs. Planning enforcement also worked with other departments and services to provide a joined up approach to tackling the matter from both a planning, environmental health and licensing perspective. But to enforce they needed to be aware of such properties; they were investigating and monitoring about 200 properties at the moment. They could only act when the property was occupied and a breach of planning had occurred and the premises was not being used as a bone fide HMO.  one of the tests they had to apply was whether it had meaningful shared facilities or was self-contained units.

 

The Cabinet was addressed by Eileen Glover. Eileen Glover indicated her support for the Article 4 Direction. She related her personal experience of a HMO being built next door to her, and thanked Officers for their work in the matter. She requested that Cabinet agree Option 3 and implement the Article 4 Direction immediately to prevent people rushing through HMOs during the 12 month period.

 

The Assistant Director Planning and Building Control (Regeneration Enterprise and Skills) confirmed that government’s guidance allowed for either immediate implementation if the authority accepted liability for compensation, or for non-immediate implementation. Officers recommended non-immediate implementation because the liability for compensation claims would be a prohibitive cost which it was estimated could run into tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds. The Assistant Director stated any increase in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Community Learning Ofsted Inspection pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Cabinet is requested to note the outcome of Ofsted’s inspection of the Council’s Adult and Community Learning provision in May 2017 which continues to be good.

Decision:

Noted the outcome of Ofsted’s inspection of the Council’s Adult and Community Learning provision in May 2017 which continues to be good.

 

Minutes:

The Chair of Cabinet commented that the Council had invested about a quarter of a million pounds in adult education, which was the premium gained from the Council’s budgeting, and that had impressed the Inspectors, and was indicative of the Council’s commitment to skills, employment and lifelong learning.

 

The Chair thanked the Cabinet Member for Transport Economy and Smart Cities, and Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills for their work on the matter.

 

Resolved -

 

That the outcome of Ofsted’s inspection of the Council’s Adult and Community Learning provision in May 2017 which continues to be good be noted.

7.

Annual Report on the Effectiveness of Safeguarding Children in Royal Greenwich 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Cabinet is requested to note the 2016-17 Annual Report from the Independent Chair of the Greenwich Safeguarding Children Board about the effectiveness of local arrangements for safeguarding children.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the 2016-17 Annual Report from the Independent Chair of the Greenwich Safeguarding Children Board about the effectiveness of local arrangements for safeguarding children

Minutes:

Nicky Pace, Independent Chair of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Safeguarding Children Board, presented the 2016/17 Royal Borough of Greenwich Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report. She drew Members’ attention to the priorities of the Board and that a new priority had been added.

 

The Deputy Leader of the Council, in the absence of the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, advised Cabinet that the Council’s Corporate Parenting Board was now in operation, updates on the work of the Board would be provided to Members, and noted there was some things from there that would make a difference in how the Council performed its role of corporate parent. He commented that it was good that so many young people had been involved and had their say on the Safeguarding issues. While recognising it was not a ‘numbers game’ he noted that the number of Looked After Children had fallen below 500 for the first time in a long while, he added children were best served in a home setting and that was a drive for they work they did.

 

The Chair of Cabinet emphasised the importance of the issue of licensing of cab drivers in relation to children sexual exploitation and that they had to ensure that the Mayor of London was scrutinising the licensing of cab drivers.

 

The Chair of Cabinet thanked the Chair of the Independent Greenwich Safeguarding Children Board for the Board’s report, and, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, and Children’s Services for their work. The Chair gave thanks to Andrew O’Sullivan, Senior Assistant Director Safeguarding and Social Care who had recently retired.

 

Resolved -

 

That the 2016-17 Annual Report from the Independent Chair of the Greenwich Safeguarding Children Board about the effectiveness of local arrangements for safeguarding children be noted.

8.

Conversion to Academy Status: Greenacres and Nightingale Primary Schools pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Cabinet is requested to note the decision of the Secretary of State to approve the application from Greenacres Primary School to convert to academy status and that Nightingale Primary School, now intends to convert to academy status as part of the Maritime Academy Trust.

Decision:

1.       Noted the decision of the Secretary of State to approve the application from Greenacres Primary School to convert to academy status and that the Council has a duty under law to facilitate the conversion process.

 

2.       Noted that Nightingale Primary School, which received Secretary of State approval to convert to academy status and was included in a report received by Cabinet in June 2016 now intends to convert to academy status as part of the Maritime Academy Trust. The school had previously intended to convert in 2016 as part of the Inspire Partnership Academy Trust.

 

3.       Agreed to delegate to the Director of Finance authority to complete the formal agreements for the transfer of staff at Greenacres Primary School under TUPE arrangements.

 

4.       Agreed to the grant of the leases of the Greenacres and Nightingale Primary School sites to the Martime Academy Trust, for a term of 125 years at peppercorn rent, in accordance with the relevant standard documentation produced by the Department for Education.

 

5.       Agreed to delegate to the Director of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills, authority to negotiate the detailed terms of the leases referred to in1.4 above and to enter into a sub-lease of the Children’s Centre at Greenacres School in the event that this tenure arrangement is agreed as the most appropriate.

 

6.       Agreed to delegate to the Director of Finance, authority to finalise all other legal agreements as detailed in paragraphs 4.2 and 4.4 of the report.

Minutes:

The report was introduced by the Director of Children’s Services.

 

In response to questions from Cabinet the Director of Children’s Services advised Cabinet that that all contractors, commissioning processes and academies were requested to supply information on the provision of the LLW, and it was understood that all providers did pay it, but the tendering of school meals for the Maritime Trust would be checked. The Cabinet Member for Children and Young People had been leading on work on best standards for conversion to academies, and those guidelines would be circulated to all schools. If TUPE applied then the Council insisted that the LLW was paid and that stipulation would be added into all future contracts.  The academy trusts recognised Trade Unions and were working with them, and the Unions had spoken positively of that relationship. The three primary academy trusts had retained community and parent governors; all of the secondary academies had parent governors, some had local authority governors but it was not known if all of them had community governors.

 

With the agreement of the Chair, Cabinet was addressed by Carl Parsons, who indicated he was a member of Greenwich Campaign for State Education. He said Greenwich had good schools. He noted that under the current legislation schools which converted could not revert. He expressed his concern that there would be a splintering of the system. He asked was there scrutiny arrangements across all schools in the borough to check the provision of education, and he asked if at the first suggestion of conversion there could be a discussion with governors on the conversion process and what the local authority could offer if the school chose to remain with the local authority.

 

The Director of Children’s Services said Greenwich had a strong partnership with schools and they scrutinised the performance and safeguarding arrangements of all schools irrespective of their type. They could not compel academies to be part of that partnership but the academies were involved and engaged in the scrutiny arrangements. There were discussions between the authority and schools with regard to the conversion process and what the local authority offered. There were differing reasons as to why a school might convert to an academy. Greenwich’s offer included school improvement and safeguarding which was their most important offer. The Director added that there were no other school in the pipeline for conversion.

 

The Chair of Cabinet thanked Carl Parsons for his comments.

 

Resolved -

 

1.       That the decision of the Secretary of State to approve the application from Greenacres Primary School to convert to academy status and that the Council has a duty under law to facilitate the conversion process be noted.

 

2.       That Nightingale Primary School, which received Secretary of State approval to convert to academy status and was included in a report received by Cabinet in June 2016 now intends to convert to academy status as part of the Maritime Academy Trust, and that the school had previously intended to convert in 2016 as part  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Cabinet is requested approve the adoption of the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Strategy and Action Plan owned and managed by the Council, shown at Appendix A.

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.       Approved the adoption of the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Strategy and Action Plan owned and managed by the Council, shown at Appendix A of the report.

 

2.       Agreed to receive an annual report on progress made on delivering the strategy.

 

3.       Recognised community centres are the lifeblood of our community, supporting some of our most vulnerable and deprived communities, tackling priorities for the Council in fostering community cohesion and well-being.

 

4.       Agreed to work with the sector to promote financial resilience and sustainability using S106/CIL monies and other funding sources to tackle the widespread premises issues that are impeding the success of our centres.  Notwithstanding recognising limitations and competing demands on Council resources.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative Industries and Community Well-Being thanked staff, and also the voluntary sector partners, for their work on the strategy.

 

The Chair of Cabinet thanked the Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative Industries and Community Well-Being, and Communities and Environment for their work on the matter.

 

Resolved -

 

1.       That the adoption of the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Strategy and Action Plan owned and managed by the Council, shown at Appendix A of the report, be approved.

 

2.       That it be agreed to receive an annual report on progress made on delivering the strategy.

 

3.       That community centres are the lifeblood of our community, supporting some of our most vulnerable and deprived communities, tackling priorities for the Council in fostering community cohesion and well-being be recognised

 

4.       That it be agreed to work with the sector to promote financial resilience and sustainability using S106/CIL monies and other funding sources to tackle the widespread premises issues that are impeding the success of our centres.  Notwithstanding recognising limitations and competing demands on Council resources.

10.

Cabinet Performance Report - High Level Objectives pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Cabinet is asked to note the Appendices to this report which provide an overview of the Council’s performance across its high-level objectives and request any additional information to be included in the next quarterly report; and specific performance information to be circulated to Cabinet, following a consideration of the performance information attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the Appendices to the report which provide an overview of the Council’s performance across its high-level objectives

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the Appendices to the report which provide an overview of the Council’s performance across its high-level objectives be noted

11.

Royal Borough of Greenwich Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Cabinet is arequested to note the 2016/17 Royal Borough of Greenwich Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report, and make any comments on the report which may assist the Safeguarding Adults Board in assuring itself of the effectiveness of safeguarding for adults in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the 2016/17 Royal Borough of Greenwich Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report, which informs Cabinet of the effectiveness of local arrangements for safeguarding adults and actions being taken across agencies to strengthen them.

Minutes:

Mark Godfrey, Independent Chair of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Safeguarding Adults Board, presented the 2016/17 Royal Borough of Greenwich Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report. He drew Members attention to the priorities of the Board and highlighted that trafficking and modern slavery was an area they sought to address.

 

The Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Anti-Fraud commented that a recent news story on trafficking had revealed a case in the Borough.

 

In response to questions from Cabinet the Chair of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Safeguarding Adults Board said they did not know the extent of trafficking and modern slavery in the Borough, they only knew about the cases which came to light. He indicated that an issue was that people did not understand it was happening. The Chair of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Safeguarding Children Board added that children were also trafficked.

 

The Director of Children’s Services advised the Cabinet that there was a ‘unique pupil number’ for schoolchildren but it did not correlate with the ‘unique patient identifier’ for children in the NHS so there was not one unique number which cut across both education and health so that they could know where children were and that they were safe.

 

The Chair of Cabinet suggested a letter be sent to the Minister requesting consideration be given to making the unique pupil number and NHS Number one for children.

Action: DCS

 

Publicity to be given to raise awareness of the issue of trafficking and modern slavery.

Action: DCE

 

The Chair of Cabinet thanked the Chair of the Independent Greenwich Safeguarding Adults Board for the Board’s report, and thanked the Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, and Health and Adult Services for their work on the matter.

 

Resolved -

 

That the 2016/17 Royal Borough of Greenwich Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report, which informs Cabinet of the effectiveness of local arrangements for safeguarding adults and actions being taken across agencies to strengthen them be noted.