Greenwich Council

Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW

Contact: Jean Riddler  Email: jean.riddler@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5857

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Barwick, MacCarthy, Morris, Offord and Pennycook.  Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Rabadia.

2.

Minutes

To agree the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 26 March 2014 and the Annual meeting held on 11 June 2014.

 

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 Council held on 26 March 2014 and of the Annual Meeting of the Council held on 11 June 2014 be confirmed and signed as true and accurate records.

 

3.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor, Councillor Mick Hayes, made the following announcements:

 

·                     ThatGreenwich’s integrated system of health and social care – which is making services more responsive to local people while reducing hospital admissions and cutting costs – had won a top national award for innovation in social care. Greenwich Coordinated Care has been developed as a partnership between the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and local voluntary groups. The scheme is one of 14 pioneer programmes across the country that are developing new methods for integrating health and social care. Greenwich’s scheme has already won praise from within the care and health sectors, from Government ministers and from healthcare experts. Last week it received the top award for innovation in social care, at the MJ Achievement Awards 2014, hosted by the Municipal Journal.

The Mayor invited Councillor David Gardner, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care to present the award toJane Wells -Director of Community Health Services at Oxleas Foundation Trust and Jay Stickland, the Council’s Senior Assistant Director (Care Management).

 

·                     That Mrs Linda Ann Corbell had received the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s 2014 Birthday honours ‘For services to the community in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, particularly through the Middle Park Community Centre’.

 

·                        That twelve schools in the Royal Borough of Greenwich had won Gold in an awards scheme designed to highlight exceptional work in schools across London.   The Mayor of London’s Gold Club scheme spotlights schools that go the extra mile to ensure that all their pupils do well – particularly those that have ‘bucked the trend’ in raising achievement among disadvantaged students and those who were once lower achievers.  The Mayor congratulated all those involved in achieving this milestone.

 

·                        That 2 August Councillor Clare will be completing the London Triathlon to raise funds for the Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice.  The Mayor asked if anyone wished to sponsor Councillor Clare they should contact him direct.

 

·                                That item 15 which sought the Council’s agreement to award the Freedom of the Borough to Mr Jim Turkington was to be considered as an urgent item of business.  The Council was informed that, in advance of agreeing that this should be considered as urgent business both Party Group Leaders had been consulted and were in agreement.  Attention was drawn to the report which had been published on a second supplementary agenda, and that copies had been laid round the Chamber.  Council was reminded that should the recommendations be agreed a special meeting of the Council would need to be called to make the award to Mr Turkington.

 

·                                  That this Saturday was the annual Great Get –Together Festival and Armed Forces Day.  The Festival was being held at the Royal Artillery Barracks and is one of the UK's largest Armed Forces Day events.  As 2014 is the centenary of World War I, the Mayor stated that the event will feature the BBC World War One at Home  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 48 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:

A revised appendix to the report detailing the outside bodies and school governorships that each Member had been appointed to by the Council was circulated at the meeting.

 

Resolved -

 

That the list of Councillors’ Membership, as Council appointed representatives, on outside bodies, joint committees and School Governing bodies, as circulated at the meeting, be noted.

 

5.

Notice of Members wishing to exceed the 5 minute rule

Minutes:

There were none.

6.

Petitions

Presentation to the Council of petitions for consideration.

Minutes:

The following petitions were presented at the meeting:

 

Subject and Number of Signatures

Presenting Councillor

Lead Department

 

 

 

Objection to the decision to Withdraw Funding for Under Twos at Robert Owen Early Years Centre

217 signatures

Denise Scott-McDonald

Director of Children’s Services

 

 

 

Objection to Planning Application (14/0623/F) to consolidate the existing industrial buildings (Hoskins Street)

27 signatures

Denise Scott-McDonald

Director of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

 

 

Traffic Calming Measures in Spekehill

34 Signatures

Matt Hartley

Director of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

7.

Public Deputations on matters not otherwise on the agenda

Minutes:

There were no deputations.

8.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Up to half an hour will be allowed for questions by Members of the Public.

 

Questions will be taken in the order notices are received by the Chief Executive.  Each question to have no more than one part.  No member of the public shall ask more than 2 questions at a meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor advised the meeting that notice had been received of six written questions by members of the public.  The questions and replies, together with the supplementary submissions made during the meeting, are attached as Appendix A to these minutes.

 

9.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 140 KB

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.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor advised the meeting that notice had been received of twenty two written questions. The questions and replies, together with the supplementary questions made during the meeting, are attached as Appendix B to these minutes.

 

Under procedures for oral questions, the Mayor invited questions to Members of the Cabinet for response.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Hartley regarding the Government’s announcement of additional funding to repair pot holes, the Leader of the Council stated that this was welcomed and would be added to the funding already identified by the Royal Borough to repair pot holes on the one hundred worse roads in the Borough.  Furthermore, the Council’s scheme had also created a number of apprenticeships.

 

Councillor Drury asked whether the Leader of the Council now felt that she had misled the Mayor of London on the Authority’s support for the Silvertown proposals in the Bridge the Gap Campaign.  In response, Councillor Hyland stated that Mayor was to consult on his River Crossings proposals in July.  The Council would consider the economic and environmental impact assessments before responding to this consultation.

10.

Matters for early debate

Up to 3 items of business may be prioritised for consideration under this section.  Each political party may select an item of business, from the list of items on the agenda, for early debate.  The order in which early debate items are taken will be based on each party in rotation choosing the 1st, 2nd and 3rd items.

Minutes:

There were no matters for early debate.

11.

Report on the work of the Audit and Risk Management Panel during 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted that the draft report of the work of the Audit and Risk Management Panel during 2013/14 that was considered at the Audit and Risk Management Panel 30 January 2014.

 

Noted the report setting out the issues considered by the Audit and Risk Management Panel during 2013/14.

Minutes:

The recommendations were moved by Councillor Stanley, Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Panel.  

 

Councillor Drury stated that in relation to the role of the Panel further consideration needed to be given to the development and monitoring of the Council’s Risk Register; and, that the Panel should receive, on a confidential basis, regular detailed reports on the outcome of Internal Audit investigations.  The success of Internal Audit in relation to the illegal sub-letting of Council properties was welcomed.

 

Resolved –

 

a.            That it be noted that the draft report of the work of the Audit and Risk Management Panel during 2013/14 was considered at the Audit and Risk Management Panel 30 January 2014.

 

b.            That the report setting out the issues considered by the Audit and Risk Management Panel during 2013/14 be noted.

12.

Appointment of Honorary Recorder pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Decision:

Appointed His Honour Judge Kinch QC as the Honorary Recorder for the Royal Borough of Greenwich for the duration of tenure as the Resident Judge at Woolwich Crown Court pursuant to Section 54 of the Courts Act, 1971.

 

Minutes:

The Mayor stated that he looked forward to working with His Honour Judge Kinch QC on upcoming civic engagements.

 

Resolved –

 

That His Honour Judge Kinch QC be appointed as the Honorary Recorder for the Royal Borough of Greenwich for the duration of his tenure as the Resident Judge at Woolwich Crown Court pursuant to Section 54 of the Courts Act, 1971.

 

13.

Appointment of an Independent Person to Advise the Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Decision:

Agreed to extend the appointment of Professor James Emerson as the Independent Person to advise the Standards Committee.

 

Noted that at the Annual Meeting of the Council on 11 June 2014 Dr Susan Blackall was appointed Chair of the Standards Committee, Sir Michael Pike as its Vice-Chair and Sandra Mottoh as the third independent member for 2014/15.

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

a.            That it be agreed to extend the appointment of Professor James Emerson as the Independent Person to advise the Standards Committee.

 

b.            That it be noted that at the Annual Meeting of the Council on 11 June 2014 Dr Susan Blackall was appointed Chair of the Standards Committee, Sir Michael Pike as its Vice-Chair and Sandra Mottoh as the third independent member for 2014/15.

14.

Motion Signed by Councillors Brighty, Brinkhurst, Clare, Drury, Elliott, Geary, Hartley and Hills pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Council notes that a submission has been sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government defending the continued production of Greenwich Time on a weekly basis.

Council further notes that Greenwich Time appears to be in breach of the “C
ode of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity” on at least two fronts as it emulates a commercial newspaper and is produced on a more than quarterly basis.

Council further notes that the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Brandon Lewis MP wrote to the Council in the following terms:

 

“I can see no reason for any council not to comply with the Code – non-compliance would, I believe, invariably involve an unacceptable waste of taxpayers’ money and council resources.”

 

Hence Council requests that the new Leader immediately cease publication of Greenwich Time to avoid incurring further legal costs as it is clearly in breach of the law.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

Council notes that a submission has been sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government defending the continued production of Greenwich Time on a weekly basis.

Council further notes that a reply is awaited from the Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, and the matter will considered at that time.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Mayor advised the meeting that advice from the Head of Law and Governance in relation to the Motion had been published on a supplementary agenda; and that notice had been received of a written question. The question and reply is attached as Appendix C to these minutes. 

 

In moving the motion as detailed below Councillor Drury, in accordance with Procedure A1.77, stated that he wanted to amend the motion to delete ‘Law’ (last sentence) and replace it with ‘Code’.  This amendment was supported by the seconder, Councillor Hartley, and agreed by the Council without discussion.

 

‘Council notes that a submission has been sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government defending the continued production of Greenwich Time on a weekly basis.

Council further notes that Greenwich Time appears to be in breach of the “C
ode of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity” on at least two fronts as it emulates a commercial newspaper and is produced on a more than quarterly basis.

Council further notes that the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Brandon Lewis MP wrote to the Council in the following terms:

 

“I can see no reason for any council not to comply with the Code – non-compliance would, I believe, invariably involve an unacceptable waste of taxpayers’ money and council resources.”

 

Hence Council requests that the new Leader immediately cease publication of Greenwich Time to avoid incurring further legal costs as it is clearly in breach of the Code (law).’

 

Councillor Drury in moving the motion stated that it was clear to him that the Council in continuing to publish Greenwich Time was in breach of the statutory Code.  In particular two aspects of the Code had been breached, namely publishing a Council newsletter more than quarterly and emulating a newspaper.   The Council was informed that the Secretary of State had written to the Council inviting the Authority to stop publishing Greenwich Time.  Councillor Drury stated that if a decision was taken this evening it would enable time for any contract matters to be resolved and due notice given.

 

Councillor Drury welcomed the publication of the advice of the Head of Law and Governance and questioned the veracity of the costing detailed in paragraph 4.2.  He stated that it would be possible to publish Public Notices, recruitment adverts and other information at significantly less cost by using the local newspapers, which was the practice in neighbouring authorities.  It was stated that ceasing publication of Greenwich Time would realise significant savings.

 

With regard to distribution Councillor Drury stated that it should be possible for the Council, if it was placing its advertising in a local newspaper, to negotiate more extensive coverage.

 

In seconding the Motion, Councillor Hartley stated that there was a need to protect the freedom of the press.  He stated that at present Greenwich Time was in breach of the Code and presented a biased view of local affairs, with no coverage of Opposition Parties and it was not objective.  Two London  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Freedom of the Royal Borough of Greenwich pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Decision:

Agreed to hold special meeting of the Council, on a date to be determined, to consider awarding the Freedom of the Borough to Mr Turkington. 

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that he had agreed that this matter should be considered as an urgent item of business and that the report had been published on a second supplementary agenda, copies of which had been circulated round the Chamber.  The Mayor further advised Council that he had today received a petition from the Eltham Hill Club and the Eltham and Well Hall Branch of the Royal British Legion in support of awarding the Freedom of the Borough to Mr Turkington.

 

Councillors Hills, Hyland and Cornforth spoke in support of the proposal highlighting the contribution that Mr Turkington had made in raising funds for the Royal British Legion and other charities and confirming that he would be a worthy recipient of the Freedom of the Borough.   The Leader of the Council also stated that the request had the support of Clive Efford MP.

 

Resolved unanimously –

 

That it be agreed to hold special meeting of the Council, on a date to be determined, to consider awarding the Freedom of the Borough to Mr Turkington.