Greenwich Council

Agenda and decisions

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

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

Note: The deadline for public questions is 12 noon on Wednesday, 11 October 2017 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

2.

Minutes

To agree the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 19 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.

Additional documents:

3.

Mayor's Announcements

Additional documents:

4.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 39 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:

5.

Notice of Members wishing to exceed the 5 minute rule

Additional documents:

6.

Petitions

Presentation to the Council of petitions for consideration.

Additional documents:

7.

Public Deputations on matters not otherwise on the agenda

Additional documents:

8.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 64 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:

9.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 102 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:

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:

11.

Amendment to Licensing's Terms of Reference and amendment to the Council's Statement of Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Amended the Terms of References for the Licensing Sub-Committees, as set out in Appendix Aof the report

 

Amended the Statement of Licensing Policy, pages 31-32, as set in Appendix Bof the report

12.

Appointment of Head of Paid Service pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Appointed Debbie Warren as the Council’s Head of Paid Service

13.

Review of parliamentary and local government polling districts and polling places - interim review pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Approved changes to the designation of polling places and polling districts for UK parliamentary and local government elections, as set out in this report as the recommended change options, with effect from the publication of the next revised register of electors (scheduled for 1 December 2017 or later if any by-elections occur).

 

Instructed the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer to inform affected households of the changes to polling arrangements before the next scheduled elections.

14.

Dispensation from the Six Month Rule: Councillor Morrissey pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed a dispensation for Councillor Paul Morrissey from the six month rule until 21 March 2018

15.

Decisions on Executive Functions taken under Urgency Procedures pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the decision on Executive Functions taken under Urgency Procedures

16.

Petition Responses pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

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

17.

Motion "The future of Avery Hill Winter Garden and Mansion" pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Motion proposed by Councillors Nuala Geary, Matt Clare and Mark Elliott

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

Council notes public concern over the future of Avery Hill Winter Garden and Mansion following the decision of the University of Greenwich to vacate the site in 2018. Council believes this unique and listed heritage asset must be protected and restored, with a revival of the bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund forming part of any redevelopment, and proper involvement of the local community in the future of the site.

 

Council has long recognised the existence of three education covenants on the site and expects that an education tenant would be part of any redevelopment. Moreover, Council notes that the Leader of the Council is requesting a meeting with the University, the Winter Garden campaign lead, and others, to push the case to relaunch a new Heritage Lottery Fund bid aimed at ensuring that the future of this hidden gem is assured.

 

18.

Motion "Public sector pay cap" pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Motion proposed by Councillors Chris Kirby, Denise Hyland, Sarah Merrill, Danny Thorpe, Aidan Smith, Maureen O’Mara, Averil Lekau, Denise Scott-McDonald and Christine Grice

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

This Council notes that public sector pay has been restricted since 2011/12 when the Conservative-led government imposed a two year pay freeze. Council also notes that this pay freeze has been followed by a pay cap that restricted public sector pay rises to 1%. Council further notes that the pay cap has led to a real-terms pay cut of between 3 and 7 per cent for front-line staff across the public sector.

 

This Council asserts that the austerity policies of the Conservative government have led to severe cuts to Local Government budgets around the country, adding ever more pressure onto frontline services.

 

Therefore, Council is mandated to write to the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer to make the case for:

 

        The lifting of the public sector pay cap

        A financial settlement from central government that provides the funds for local authorities to meet the additional costs associated with the lifting of the pay cap

        The government to work with Local Authorities and Trade Unions to fully fund the ‘pay-spine review’, to ensure that Local Government pay structures are fit for purpose

 

19.

Motion "Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union" pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Motion proposed by Councillors Averil Lekau, Matthew Morrow

Sarah Merrill, Olu Babatola, Rajinder James, Sizwe James, Jackie Smith,

Gary Parker, Christine May, David Gardner, John Fahy, Steve Offord,

Don Austin, Mehboob Khan, Angela Cornforth, Clive Mardner, Claire Morris, Stephan Brian, Christine Grice, Cherry Parker, Chris Kirby, Norman Adams, Chris Lloyd, Linda Bird, David Stanley and Matt Hartley

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

Council notes the excellent work that Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union carries out in providing savings and loans to people living and working in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and the role it plays in advancing the financial inclusion agenda.

 

Council is concerned by the potential impact of the Bank of England’s new 10% capital requirement for credit unions with more than £10m in assets, which is due to be implemented in 2018 by the Prudential Regulatory Authority.  Council notes that while this new regulation intends to prevent the risk of credit union failures, it is likely to have a negative impact on those credit unions which are smaller but sustainably financed, such as Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union, hindering their development and ability to serve their local communities.

 

Council notes that credit unions like Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union provide a highly valued service to thousands of ordinary people in their local areas, supporting some of the most vulnerable in society who are at risk from high cost payday lenders, loan sharks, and the worst practices of the high street banks.

 

Council therefore calls on the Government to ask the Bank of England to reconsider its new 10% capital requirement for credit unions, to ensure that smaller, sustainably-financed credit unions like Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union can continue to grow and develop unhindered.

 

Council also re-iterates its support for the work of Greenwich & Bexley Credit Union, and thanks the staff, volunteers and members that are central to it success in providing savings and affordable loans for local people.

 

20.

Motion "Returning Building control powers to local authorities" pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Motion proposed by Councillors Sarah Merrill and Danny Thorpe

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

Council recognises the devastating impact the huge increase in the number of houses in the borough being converted to Homes of Multiple Occupation is having on local communities; further recognises that many developers do not comply with building control regulations or health and safety procedures during construction; states that this situation has come about as a direct consequence of the government allowing developers to select their own building control officers thereby taking away the power of the local authorities to routinely inspect the quality of building works and ensure the proper minimum standards are being met. 

 

Council further recognises that Government policies over the past 6 years have produced the conditions that have made this situation worse; changes in Housing Benefit Allowance raising the age at which people qualify for single room rate for Housing Benefit to 35 years of age therefore increasing the demand for rooms in HMOs; housing policy which led to house building falling to the lowest annual rate since the 1920s, which has led to rents in London rocketing, which in turn encourages developers to buy properties at higher rates than local people can afford to convert to HMOs; relaxing of planning legislation allowing HMOs to be created abusing permitted development rights. 

 

Council notes that Building Control Inspection paid for itself through the fees it charged developers, and the impact of this loss of income has meant that building control teams in local authorities such as Greenwich now lack the capacity to inspect the amount of properties under conversion.

 

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is doing its utmost to address as many of these issues as it can; maximising the provision of social housing; applying for an article 4 exemption from permitted development rights for HMO's; introducing borough wide mandatory licensing for HMO landlords.

 

The Council calls on the Government to end the right of developers to appoint their own building control officers and to restore the power to local authorities to enter HMOs under construction to inspect the quality of the building works; further calls on the Government to enable councils to introduce Article4 exemptions without fear of financial risk of legal challenges from developers who are prevented from carrying out already planned HMO conversions.

 

 

21.

Motion "Organ Donation" pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Motion proposed by Councillors David Stanley, Cherry Parker,

David Gardner, John Fahy, Stephen Brain, Chris Lloyd, Aidan Smith, Mehboob Kahn, Don Austen, Norman Adams, Sizwe James, Rajinder James, Mark James, Gary Parker and Averil Lekau

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved -

 

This Council notes:

 

Three people die every day in the UK whilst waiting for an organ transplant and many others lose their lives before they even get on to the transplant list. Currently in Greenwich there are 17 people on the waiting list but there is a serious shortage of organs and the gap between the number of organs donated and the number of people waiting for a transplant is increasing. In London 69% of those waiting are from black and ethnic minority communities and there is an urgent need to increase the number of people from these communities to register as donors.

 

Transplants are very successful and the number of people needing a transplant is expected to rise steeply due to an ageing population, an increase in kidney failure and scientific advances which mean that more people are now able to benefit from a transplant.

 

The consent rate for organ transplants in England is one of the lowest in Europe, with four in ten families saying no to allowing their loved one’s organs to be donated. This is exacerbated because many people have not recorded their wishes about donation or discussed it with their families in advance.

 

One donor can save the life of several people, restore the sight of two others and improve the quality of life of many more. Each year 3,500 people give organs - saving and transforming lives. In Greenwich 15 people had their lives saved by a transplant in 2016/17 but more lives can be saved if the number of donors increases.

 

In 2015 the Welsh Assembly introduced a soft opt-out system where every person is assumed to have agreed consent for deceased organ and tissue donation unless they have opted out. Only 6% have opted out resulting in a significant increase in the number of organs and tissue available for transplant. The Scottish Government are now proposing to introduce legislation for a similar system in Scotland.   In the House of Commons in July Geoffrey Robinson MP introduced a Private Members Bill which received all party support and is due for a Second Reading and full debate in February 2018.

 

This Council resolves:

 

To promote and support a campaign with our NHS partners to raise awareness about how organ donation can save and transform lives and increase the number of donors in Greenwich.

 

To encourage the Government to consider implementing a nationwide soft opt-out organ donation system in line with the model introduced by the Welsh Assembly.

22.

Motion "Full review into problems in the Planning Department" pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Motion proposed by Councillors Matt Hartley, Mark Elliott, John Hills, Mandy Brinkhurst, Charlie Davis, Nuala Geary, Spencer Drury and Geoffrey Brighty

Additional documents:

Decision:

The motion was not carried.