Greenwich Council

Agenda, decisions and minutes

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

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

Note: PLEASE NOTE, THE DEADLINE DAYS FOR THE SUBMISSION OF PUBLIC QUESTIONS AND DEPUTATIONS ARE DIFFERENT FROM THE NORM, DUE TO THE BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND. The deadline for the submission of questions from members of the Public is 12 noon on Monday 21 March 2016. All requests to make a public deputation to Council should be received by Committee services, by end of business on Monday 21 March. 

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Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Don Austen, Nuala Geary, Mick Hayes, Paul Morrissey, Maureeen O’Mara, Gary Parker, David Stanley

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 524 KB

To agree the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 24 February 2016.

 

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the full Council held on 24 February 2016 be confirmed and signed as a true and accurate record.

3.

Mayor's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor made the following announcements:

 

·        That Radha Rabadia had resigned her seat on the Council, and that a by-election to elect a new member for Glyndon Ward was to be held on 5 May 2016.  The Mayor paid tribute to Ms Rabadia’s contribution to the Council.

 

·        That Eleanor Penn, the Council’s Chief Planning Solicitor, had been ranked 2nd among local authority planning lawyers in England by the Planning Magazine in their 2016 survey of planning consultants, planning officers, developers and local authority lawyers; this was on top of Eleanor and her colleagues successfully defending a judicial review of the Planning Board’s decision to grant approval to the Enderby Wharf application.

 

·        That the Rockliffe Gardens Restoration Partnership had been recognised at the prestigious Improvement Efficiency Awards Ceremony, which recognises excellence in the Public Sector.  The award independently recognised and validated the dynamic partnership working between the Council, voluntary and private sector.  The Mayor invited Councillor Jackie Smith, the Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Services to present the award to Dawn Squires, Head of Parks, Estates and Open Spaces.

 

·        That the Safer Greenwich/Safer Neighbourhood Board had been established and its work included holding the police to account, supporting Safer Neighbourhood Panels and, Developing Neighbourhood Watch.  The Mayor informed the Council that funding was available for a number of small number of community projects which sought to break down barriers and enable positive engagement with the Police. 

 

The Mayor reminded Council that at the previous week’s special meeting a minute’s silence was held in memory of those murdered and injured in Brussels.  It saddened the Mayor greatly that there have been yet further outrages including the murder of over 70 women and children celebrating Easter in Pakistan and the Mayor called on the Council to join him in a minute’s silence.

 

(A minute’s silence in memory, and support, of all those affected by terrorism was held)

4.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 35 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’ memberships as Council appointed representatives on outside bodies, joint committees and school governing bodies is noted.

5.

Notice of Members wishing to exceed the 5 minute rule

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that there had been no requests to exceed the five minute rule.

6.

Petitions

Presentation to the Council of petitions for consideration.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following petitions were presented at the meeting;

 

Subject and Number of Signatures

Presenting Councillor

Lead Department

Oppose the Council’s proposal to close the Mobile Library Service

1,286 signatures

Councillor

Peter Brooks

Director of Community Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.

Public Deputations on matters not otherwise on the agenda

Additional documents:

Minutes:

They Mayor advised Council that he had received two requests for deputations from Unite the Union and John Roan School parents.

 

The Mayor informed Council that he had not agreed to these deputations as it would be more appropriate for Unite to address Cabinet regarding the mobile library service once the consultation responses have been considered; and with regard to John Roan the Council had received a similar deputation at its last ordinary meeting.

8.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 97 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 14 written questions by members of the public.  The questions and replies, together with the supplementary submissions made during the meeting were attached as Appendix A to the minutes.

9.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 120 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 19 written questions. The questions and replies, together with the supplementary questions made during the meeting, were attached as Appendix B to these minutes.

 

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

 

In response to questions from Councillor Matt Harley as to the date of the decision on the proposed closure of the mobile libraries, Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald, Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative Industries and Community Well-being, indicated that the earliest a decision could be expected was early summer. 

 

In response to a question from Councillor Matt Harley about the number of individuals who had benefited from the Living Wage Incentive Scheme and if the information was not available whether it was possible to collect it, Councillor Sizwe James, Cabinet Member for Business, Employment and Skills said there were 62 accredited businesses who had agreed to pay the London Living Wage and a further 108 in the pipeline.   The number of individuals now receiving the London Living Wage would be circulated.  Councillor Denise Hyland, the Leader of the Council, clarified that the Incentive Scheme was being extended into 2016/17.

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. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that no requests from the party whips for matters to be taken early had been received. However, as members of the public had requested to speak on Item 12 – Petition Responses report, this would be taken as the first item of business.

11.

Members' Allowances Scheme 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted that all Councils are required to make annually a scheme for the payment of allowances to Councillors and the scheme must include a basic allowance payable equally to all Councillors, and may include provision for special responsibility allowances. 

 

Noted that the Council in July 2014 agreed to re-adopt the London Councils’ Independent Remuneration Panel to advise the Royal Borough on its allowances schemes as each authority must have regard to the recommendations of such an independent panel.  

 

Agreed that the basic allowance and special responsibility allowances should be frozen at the 2015/16 level.

 

Agreed the Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2016/17 as attached at appendix 1of the report and agreed that Part 6 of the Council’s Constitution be updated accordingly

Minutes:

Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Council, moved the report and was seconded by Councillor John Fahy, Deputy Leader of the Council.

 

There were no requests to speak on the matter.

 

The Mayor put the matter to the vote and it was unanimously

 

Resolved -

 

1     That it be noted that all Councils are required to make annually a scheme for the payment of allowances to Councillors and the scheme must include a basic allowance payable equally to all Councillors, and may include provision for special responsibility allowances. 

 

2     That it be noted that the Council in July 2014 agreed to re-adopt the London Councils’ Independent Remuneration Panel to advise the Royal Borough on its allowances schemes as each authority must have regard to the recommendations of such an independent panel.  

 

3     That it be agreed that the basic allowance and special responsibility allowances should be frozen at the 2015/16 level.

 

4     That it be agreed the Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2016/17 as attached at appendix 1of the report and that it be agreed that Part 6 of the Council’s Constitution be updated accordingly

12.

Petition Response pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

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

Minutes:

The Council was addressed by two members of the public in respect of the petition response relating to the Harvey Road Playing Fields. It was stated that the field was a safe and secure place for dog walkers and this should be protected.  Furthermore, the current proposal for dogs be kept on a lead was detrimental for the well-being of the animal, and that the proposed use of the field primarily for Blackheath Rugby Club was not inclusive of the community. The Council was requested to consider allowing dog walkers to continue to use the field after dark and that dogs be allowed off their lead while on the field.

 

Councillor Spencer Drury commented that he felt there was a bias against dog owners in the Council and suggested there had been a lack of engagement with dog owners.  He questioned the actual number of professional dog walkers said to be using the field, and if there were so many why were they not being fined.  It was stated that all dog owners appeared to be being blamed for the actions of a few.  In relation to the Harvey Road Playing Fields it was stated that dog walkers had kept the site in public use but were now being rewarded with restrictions. He contended that putting forward these proposals rather than enforcing its own policy was an admission of failure by the Council; he suggested the use of CCTV as part of the investment to monitor the fields.

 

Councillor Christine Grice noted that the development of the Playing Fields had been welcomed by the local community as its future had been secured.  Councillor Grice stated that there were different perspectives about appropriate uses for the site and any controls to be imposed.  It was proposed that local groups needed to come together to agree a scheme as they had done at the previous consultation.  Councillor Grice confirmed that she would be happy to facilitate any meetings between the various parties to reach such an agreement again.  Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald, Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative Industries and Community Well-being added that she would assist in any such meetings.

 

Resolved –

 

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

13.

Motion on Sugar Reduction and Obesity pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

Council is concerned at the very high levels of childhood and adult obesity in the Royal Borough, currently the 5th. highest rising from 21% to 25% obese Year 6 children in 2013/14 with 24% of adults being obese and 64.4% overweight, the 4th. highest level in London.  We support the Health and Well Being Board Strategy making tackling obesity a top priority and welcome the review of obesity being conducted by the Healthier Communities and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Panel.  We recognise that poor diet and, in particular, high sugar intakes are a significant contributor to excessive weight and welcome the award winning “Good Food in Greenwich” programme supported by a wide range of partners, schools and food outlets and the Healthy Catering Commitment adopted by a growing number of food retailers, cafes, pubs and restaurants in the Borough.

 

The council welcomes the Chancellor’s Budget announcement on 16 March 2016 that the Government will introduce a two-tier sugar levy on soft drinks in two years and notes that the long awaited national Child Obesity Strategy is now delayed until the summer and calls on Government to implement the full range of evidence based measures (below) identified in the Public Health England report ‘Sugar Reduction: The Evidence for Action’ (Oct 2015) in order to have an effective strategy for tackling child obesity. This included:

 

1.       Reduce and rebalance the number and type of price promotions in all retail outlets including supermarkets and convenience stores and the out of home sector (including restaurants, cafes and takeaways)

2.       Significantly reduce opportunities to market and advertise high sugar food and drink products to children and adults across all media including digital platforms and through sponsorship

3.       The setting of a clear definition for high sugar foods to aid with actions 1 and 2 above. Currently the only regulatory framework for doing this is via the Ofcom nutrient profiling model, which would benefit from being reviewed and strengthened

4.       Introduction of a broad, structured and transparently monitored programme of gradual sugar reduction in everyday food and drink products, combined with reductions in portion size

5.       Introduction of a price increase of a minimum of 10-20% on high sugar products through the use of a tax or levy such as on full sugar soft drinks, based on the emerging evidence of the impact of such measures in other countries

6.       Adopt, implement and monitor the government buying standards for food and catering services (GBSF) across the public sector, including national and local government and the NHS to the ensure provision and sale of healthier food and drinks in hospitals, leisure centres etc.

7.       Ensure that accredited training in diet and health is routinely delivered to all of those who have opportunities to influence food choices in the catering, fitness and leisure sectors and others within local authorities

8.       Continue to raise awareness of concerns around sugar levels in the diet to the public as well as health professionals, employers,  ...  view the full decision text for item 13.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that there were two amendments to the motion, the first from Councillor Sarah Merrill and the second from Councillor Matt Hartley. The Mayor stated he understood that the amendments were acceptable to the mover of the motion and so he proposed that there be one debate on the motion.  The Council was informed that copies of the agreed amendments had been published in advance of the meeting and that copies were available.

 

Councillor David Gardner moved the motion as amended.  He explained that the motion was drafted before the budget so he had been unaware of the sugar tax but it had been revised to take that into account.  It was stated that the motion was not saying people should not enjoy products with sugar but only in moderation, like alcohol. He noted the Public Health England Report indicated virtually all age groups were consuming far too much sugar, but particularly 11-18 year olds who were consuming three times the daily recommended intake. Councillor Gardner highlighted the links with obesity, diabetes Type 2 and dental decay and that Greenwich had the fourth highest rate of obesity in London, and the fifth highest among children.  The Council was informed that Public Health and partners had worked together successfully to reduce smoking and teenage pregnancy, now they needed the same level of co-operation to tackle obesity. The financial costs of obesity to the NHS were highlighted.

 

Councillor Sarah Merrill stated that the Borough urgently needed to tackle the issue. Whilst the introduction of a sugar tax was welcomed it was stated that it was important that the Government did not give in to pressure from the industry.  The importance of education and information on the consumption of sugar and the impact on obesity and poor health being made available was stressed.   Members were informed of the importance of food labelling so that people knew the amount of sugar contained in a product.

 

Councillors Scott-McDonald, Davies, Hyland and Lekau spoke in support of the amended motion highlighting the health impact of obesity and the urgent need for measures to be taken to address the high rates in the Borough.  The social and economic impact of obesity on the Borough and its residents were highlighted.   The Council was also informed that the proposed sugar tax was only one of the measures that should be taken to reduce sugar in-take and that there was a need for a wider approach, e.g. reviewing the content of Council vending machines, education programmes, increased participation in sport and physical activity and the proliferation of fast food take-aways.  The Council noted that the Healthier Communities and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Panel was undertaking an in-depth review on the issue of obesity and its report would be published in due course.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley stated that he had some concerns regarding the impact of the proposed sugar tax on poorer communities and whether it would achieve the stated aims.  It was stated that there were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.