Greenwich Council

Agenda, decisions and minutes

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, 14 March 2018 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Olu Babatola, Chris Kirby, Rajinder James, Averil Lekau, Paul Morrissey, Maureen O’Mara, David Stanley, and Miranda Williams

 

Apologies for arriving late were received from Councillors Linda Bird and Steve Offord

 

Apologies for leaving for leaving early were given by Councillor Bill Freeman.

2.

Minutes

To agree the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 28 February 2018.

 

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:

That the minutes of the Council Meeting held on 28 February 2018 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.

3.

Mayor's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor recalled that at the last meeting the Council had paid their respects to former Councillor Michael Simpson but that there had been no time for anyone to say a few words. He invited Councillor Brighty to say a few words in remembrance

 

Councillor Geoffrey Brighty spoke in memory of former Councillor Michael Simpson. He detailed Simpson’s personal history, his various local community activities, and his work for his constituents.

 

The Mayor reminded Members that the Civic Awards were to be held the following night and that they were welcome to attend.

 

The Mayor gave personal thanks to the Members who were retiring from the Council: Councillors Don Austen, Barbara Barwick, Mandy Brinkhurst, Mark Elliott, Nuala Geary, Ambreen Hisbani, Allan MacCarthy, Clare Morris, Paul Morrissey, Cherry Parker, Harry Singh and Ray Walker.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley, leader of the minority party, extended well wishes to all the Councillors who were coming to the end of their service and he gave a special mention for Councillor Elliott who had had served as Deputy Leader of the Opposition and who had been an indispensable source of advice and counsel to him.

 

Councillor Denise Hyland, leader of the majority party, thanked all of the Councillors who were retiring. She noted their service on various committees and panels. Councillor Hyland also gave thanks to Councillor Peter Brooks for his time as Mayor.

 

The Mayor recalled that he had given a Lifetime Achievement Civic Award to the 56 (Woolwich) Squadron ATC in December.  He said he had had a great evening listening to the Drum Corp and Choir, and to mark that achievement he invited the cadets to give a rendition to Council.

 

The Drum Corp and Choir cadets gave a musical performance in the Chamber.

 

The cadets received a round of applause from those in the Chamber. The Mayor thanked the cadets.

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:

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 Mayor noted that no requests to exceed the five minute rule had been received.

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

traffic problems in West Hallowes

49 signatures

Councillor

Matt Hartley

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

 

 

demand reject planning application 17/4120/F

63 signatures

Councillor Christine Grice

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

 

 

speed cameras on the South Circular Road between Grand Depot Road and the Woolwich Ferry Roundabout

864 signatures

Councillor Jackie Smith

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

 

 

would like St Margaret's Grove to be transformed into a one way road

525 signatures

Councillor Don Austen

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

 

 

 

 

7.

Public Deputations on matters not otherwise on the agenda

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor agreed to receive a deputation from two residents of New Capital Quay in Greenwich

 

The Council was addressed Charlotte Bull and Annabel Parsons. They highlighted that New Capital Quay was the largest development in the UK with flammable cladding, the cladding having failed all fire safety tests. The advice of the London Fire Brigade was to remain in place until evacuated despite all parties agreeing that it was an inadequate measure. Galliard the owners were subject to repeated notices of deficiency from the London Fire Brigade, in addition to issues of broken rubbish chutes, obstructed fire hydrants, untrained staff, and broken smoke panels.  Due to the potentially lethal risk residents were doing everything they could to gain clarity and reassurance but were being met by a wall of silence and resistance. Thousands of residents were living in fear, families with children, and also the disabled or those with mobility issues.  It was considered incredible that in the nine months since Grenfell there had been no effective action to put the situation right when so many residents were in danger. They stated that Greenwich had not yet communicated with residents nor offered direct support, and they had had to submit freedom of information requests in order to ascertain the Council's position on critical issues.  Residents wanted the Council specifically to: communicate with residents and be active in addressing issues on their behalf; carry out inspections and ensure that all the fire efficiency issues were addressed immediately and that the management met their legal obligations by enforcement if necessary; ensure that fire procedures were communicated to all residents specifically the elderly, children and disabled; join residents in calling for the cladding to be removed immediately.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Denise Hyland, thanked Charlotte Bull and Annabel Parsons for their deputation. The Leader stated that Councillors had immense sympathy with residents in New Capital Quay, and with other developments across the country which were affected by a similar cladding to that used in Grenfell Tower. With regard to the Royal Borough of Greenwich not responding, the Leader of the Council stated she had been monitoring e-mail traffic from New Capital Quay, and that the three Greenwich West Ward Councillors were involved in this issue and had given a lot of support to the residents of New Capital Quay. Councillors were aware that residents were stuck there as they could not sell their property. The Leader stated that the Council had to take advice from the London Fire Brigade, and they had written to both the Borough Commander and to the Fire Chief of London. The Leader was to meet with the Borough Commander the next day, and with residents of New Capital Quay the following week. The Leader commented on the Government's responsibility, for example having privatised building regulations and not updated them; she questioned that if the cladding was so flammable why had it been allowed to be marketed in the UK and why did it pass the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Public Questions and Answers deferred from the Meeting of Council on 28 February

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council noted the questions and replies deferred from the meeting of Council on 28 February 2018, together with the supplementary submissions made.

 

NB. Subsequent to the publication a correction was made to an error to the reply to the supplementary question 10, with the first line replaced with “The Council notes the request for adequate time to review the planning application.” 

 

 

 

9.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 67 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 stated that Council had received 6 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.

 

10.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 157 KB

Members’ Questions and Answers deferred from the Meeting of Council on 28 February

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor stated that 17 written questions from Members of the Council had been deferred from the February meeting of Council.  The questions and replies, together with the supplementary submissions made during the meeting were attached as Appendix B to the minutes.

 

 

 

11.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 197 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 stated that 13 written questions had been received from Members of the Council.  The questions and replies, together with the supplementary submissions made during the meeting were attached as Appendix 3 to the minutes.

 

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

 

Councillor Sarah Merrill asked the Leader of the Council if during the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia's visit to Britain he had asked to visit a primary school in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and if so what the response had been. The Leader of the Council replied that he been interested in visiting one of their schools which specialised in robotics, the school had taken the local authorities advice, and there had been no robotics on that day, nor would there be on any other day he might want to visit.

 

Councillor Matt Clare asked the Cabinet Member for Transport, Economy & Smart Cities about proposals for extending the Bakerloo line into the Borough, whether TfL had been consulted, and the resources put into it rather than into alternative proposals. The Cabinet Member for Transport, Economy & Smart Cities clarified that Cabinet had just agreed to put the Transport Strategy for the Royal Borough of Greenwich out to consultation, and it gave a framework for the implementation of new transport policies and schemes to manage existing and future demand. When they decided to allocate resources they would use the framework to make a decision, but they were not looking at any particular initiatives at that moment.

 

Councillor Mehboob Khan asked the Leader of the Council what

pressure had been brought to bear on the National House Building Council and Galliard's in order to try and get them to co-operate with each in relation to New Capital Quay, contingency planning for the area, and allegations that the cladding was still being used in the UK after it had been withdrawn from the market after a fire in France. The Leader of the Council thanked Councillor Khan and his fellow Ward Councillors for supporting the residents of New Capital Quay. She said she had spoken at length already on the matter in responding to the deputation. The Leader stated she had no reason at that point in time to believe that the developer had not acted in good faith and that she was not in a position to make a judgement on allegations around timelines. It was recognised that the matter of the replacement of the cladding was going to be protracted because of the cost and that is why she felt the Government should intervene.

 

Councillor Christine Grice asked the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability to comment on the situation which had developed with Charlton Manor Primary School over the weekend and the distress caused to staff of that school. The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability noted that Charlton Manor Primary School was an outstanding school and they were proud to have it in the Borough. He said  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

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 Council noted that the Mayor had received a request from the party whips to consider the Petition Responses, Items 16 and 17, before Item 13.

 

13.

Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Deferred from the meeting of Council on 28 February

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed to adopt the revised CIPFA Treasury Management Code of Practice 2017 (Appendix 7 of the report)

 

Agreed that the Authority retains its ‘professional client’ status under MiFID II (Appendix 8 of the report)

 

Agreed the Treasury Management Strategy Statement for 2018/19.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council moved the report.

 

Councillor Matt Clare commented he was a bit concerned about the phrase 'delayed borrowing', with that number going up in the future and its potential for increasing debt.

 

The Leader of the Council noted the connection between government cuts and homelessness doubling in four years and the Borough having to purchase temporary accommodation because they had lost so many homes through Right to Buy. The Leader noted that the Borough was subject to a cap on Right to Buy Receipts yet the Prime Minister was calling for more housing but the Government would not give the local authority the tools to do the job.

 

The matter was put to the vote and it was unanimously

 

Resolved -

 

1.       That the the revised CIPFA Treasury Management Code of Practice 2017 (Appendix 7 of the report) be adopted

 

2.       That the Authority retains its ‘professional client’ status under MiFID II (Appendix 8 of the report)be agreed

 

3.       That the Treasury Management Strategy Statement for 2018/19. be agreed

 

14.

Pay Policy Statement for 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Adopted the Pay Policy statement for 2018/19 as outlined at Appendix A of the report

 

Agreed to its publication on the Council’s web site.

Minutes:

The Mayor moved the report.

 

The matter was put to the vote and it was unanimously

 

Resolved -

 

1.       That the Pay Policy statement for 2018/19 as outlined at Appendix A of the report be adopted

 

2.       That its publication on the Council’s web site be agreed

 

15.

Members' Allowances Scheme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 92 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.

 

Agreed to re-adopt the London Councils’ Independent Remuneration Panel for the purposes of advising the Royal Borough of Greenwich in formulating its Members’ Allowances Scheme for the next four municipal years (2018/19–2022/23) 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 2017/18 level.

 

Agreed the Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2018/19 as attached at Appendix 1 of the report and Agreed that Part 6 of the Council’s Constitution be updated accordingly.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Council, proposed, and was seconded by Councillor Danny Thorpe, Deputy Leader of the Council, that the basic allowance and special responsibility allowances should be frozen.

 

Councillor Matt Hartley, Leader of the Opposition, indicated the Conservative members’ support of the proposal.

 

The matter was put to the vote and it was unanimously

 

Resolved -

 

1.       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 be noted.

 

2.       That the London Councils’ Independent Remuneration Panel for the purposes of advising the Royal Borough of Greenwich in formulating its Members’ Allowances Scheme for the next four municipal years (2018/19–2022/23) as each authority must have regard to the recommendations of such an independent panel. be re-adopted

 

3.       That the basic allowance and special responsibility allowances should be frozen at the 2017/18 level be agreed

 

4.       That the Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2018/19 as attached at Appendix 1 of the report be agreed and that Part 6 of the Council’s Constitution be updated accordingly be agreed

 

16.

Petition Response pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Petition responses deferred from the Meeting of Council on 28 February

Additional documents:

Decision:

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

Minutes:

The Mayor stated he had received a request from one of the lead petitioners to speak.

 

The Mayor invited John Edwards to address Council in relation to the petition response set out in section 5 of the report. The Mayor advised everyone present that it was in reference to a live planning application which would be decided in due course by the Planning Board and not by the full Council, and that there would be no detailed discussion about the application at full Council as those members of the Planning Board who eventually determined this application would need to keep an open mind on the application.

 

John Edwards indicated he was the representative of the Speak Out Woolwich Group. He clarified they opposed the development by Meyer Homes as unacceptable as it had little or no social housing when there were so many on the housing waiting list in the borough, that it had barely any family sized homes when thousands were living in overcrowded accommodation, and that it involved the loss of the little green space they had. He suggested there had been token community engagement, a lack of transparency, and a breakdown of trust in the democratic process when the Planning Board meeting with a recommendation to reject the proposal was cancelled at the last minute due to the threat of legal action by Meyer Homes to gain them more time.

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability, Councillor Danny Thorpe, thanked John Edwards for his comments. He clarified it was the decision of the applicant to issue a legal challenge and in order to protect the interests of the Council when dealing with the application the Council had had no choice but to act in the way that it had. The Cabinet Member stated that the Council was determined to make sure that regeneration did involve all local people and was about delivering social and affordable housing for local people.

 

Resolved -

 

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

 

17.

Petition Response pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

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

Minutes:

Councillor John Fahy commented on the response set out in section 3 of the report. He felt it was inappropriate to imply that residents would have to wait for the proposed development of the area which was subject to a planning application and he hoped that the Highway Section would take the opportunity of taking action now on behalf of residents rather than wait three or four years for the planning process to conclude.

 

Resolved -

 

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

18.

Motion - "The Principle of Community Led Housing" pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

The Royal Borough of Greenwich supports the principle of Community Led Housing (CLH) and welcomes the Housing Commission report recently published by the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network (CCIN). The Housing Market and national policies are failing to meet the needs of those in the greatest housing need. The Council is committed to harness the energy, commitment and resources in the community.

 

The Council:

 

Recognises the growing contribution of Meridian Home Start to our genuinely affordable housing offer and sees the value of CLH working in potential partnership;

 

Will develop practical responses to help support and encourage CLH including providing help and guidance for the identification of appropriate sites and work with all housing providers to achieve our objective;

 

Will work with CLH schemes to identify opportunities to contribute to affordable Housing delivery within the area;

 

Will work with CCIN and other Local Authorities involved in similar projects and will commit the Council to signing the CCIN’s pledge on CLH.

Minutes:

Councillor David Gardner, gave apologies for Councillor Averil Lekau not being there to move the motion.

 

Councillor David Gardner moved the motion. He highlighted the national and London housing shortage, and the increasing numbers in temporary accommodation. He noted the numbers on the housing register, and the government constraints on building new social housing. He detailed the decreasing amount spent on social housing over the last nine years. He spoke on the impact of the shortage of social housing on people's personal lives and on their mental and physical wellbeing. He noted the increasing problem of homelessness.  He recognised the work of Meridian Home Start in providing new homes for low income families, and also that of Chisel housing co-operative,  the co-operative model of the Walpole Estate management board, and the Charlton Triangle model. This emphasised that the Borough had a great history of community-led housing and co-operatives and that there was a role for them in the delivery of new housing.

 

In seconding the motion Councillor John Fahy gave appreciation for the work of the Officers in developing a housing strategy. He emphasised the Government's cuts in Council budgets and to supported housing disability benefits, the benefit cap and the bedroom tax. He noted the recent transfer back to the Government of unused money. He said as they could not rely on government or housing developers to meet the housing need the Council needed to develop a strategy with the community to develop community-led housing initiatives.

 

Councillor Spencer Drury proposed the amendment to the motion, as detailed in the published Tabled Items agenda. He stressed his concerns with the lack of democratic control over Meridian Home Start, which was a private company. He highlighted that the amendment introduced a clear commitment to building council housing. He commented that there was not actually a CCIN pledge, rather there was a template for each Council to develop its own pledge and so it made more sense that Greenwich develop its own pledge in line with the CCIN guidance.

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor Matt Hartley.

 

The amendment was not accepted by Councillor Gardner.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe challenged the claim about lack of democratic control over Meridian Home Start, highlighting that Councillor Steve Offord was and had been an independent observer on its Board, and that they had been brought before Scrutiny so that Members could be clear with Meridian about its priorities, and that in his role as Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability he met with Meridian very month to make sure that they were delivering on the Council's agenda. He explained that they had had to create the company in order to build housing. He commented that in the Government's last budget they had said they would be prepared to do a deal with Councils over the HR recap but having written to the relevant Minister, the Royal Borough of Greenwich had received no response

 

Councillor Gary Parker commented that the over £800 million underspend last year was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Motion - “BT InLinks for Eltham High Street" pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

Council notes that there has been a pre-existing date in the diary this month for Officers to meet the company promoting BT InLinks after an initial approach to the Leader’s Office.

 

Council recognises the innovative technology of BT InLinks and potential benefits to our residents and visitors but believes it should not commit to a pilot in advance of the meeting in mid-March, as it would be premature to do so. Council needs to undertake the financial due diligence necessary in advance of agreeing any such proposals.

 

Council will, however, commit to fully investigate the feasibility of deploying BT InLinks or a similar product at locations across the borough, which could help deliver the priorities of our digital strategy.

Minutes:

In moving the motion Councillor Spencer Drury said he would concede the amendment.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Charlie Davis.

 

Councillor Denise Hyland moved the amendment, noting they needed to examine the benefits and see if it could benefit all areas of the borough, and to see if there were any financial costs to the Council.

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor Aidan Smith.

 

Councillor Spencer Drury accepted the amendment. He clarified the focus had been on Eltham because they were on the point of putting in old-style phone booths there.

 

The amended motion was put to the vote and it was unanimously

 

Resolved –

 

Council notes that there has been a pre-existing date in the diary this month for Officers to meet the company promoting BT InLinks after an initial approach to the Leader’s Office.

 

Council recognises the innovative technology of BT InLinks and potential benefits to our residents and visitors but believes it should not commit to a pilot in advance of the meeting in mid-March, as it would be premature to do so. Council needs to undertake the financial due diligence necessary in advance of agreeing any such proposals.

 

Council will, however, commit to fully investigate the feasibility of deploying BT InLinks or a similar product at locations across the borough, which could help deliver the priorities of our digital strategy.

20.

Motion - “Landlords who lock tenants out" pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

This Council condemns the atrocious practice of some landlords who lock tenants out of their so-called homes from early morning until sometime in the evening.

 

This is the practice that affects some of the most vulnerable in our society.

 

Often those most vulnerable are those for whom English is not their first language, elderly and/or newly arrived in Britain.

 

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is operating a landlord licensing which has been brought in to drive up standards in HMOs. The Council also has powers it can use to prosecute landlords who harass tenants which may include locking them out at any time of the day or night or renting rooms for only a few hours a day, or a bed share scheme. RBG also provides services to ensure that everyone is aware of their rights.

 

This Council will undertake to find all of these landlords and to ensure they comply with the licensing regulations.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Tonia Ashikodi spoke in support of the motion. She said she been working with the Gurkha community. For her the main focus was not the prosecutions but actually getting them help. A lot of them now understood that they can get help and she hoped that many of them would start to use the opportunities that the Council offered in terms of support so that hopefully there would be less of them on the streets.

 

Councillor Sarah Merrill closed the debate.

 

The motion was put to the vote and it was unanimously

 

Resolved –

 

This Council condemns the atrocious practice of some landlords who lock tenants out of their so-called homes from early morning until sometime in the evening.

 

This is the practice that affects some of the most vulnerable in our society.

 

Often those most vulnerable are those for whom English is not their first language, elderly and/or newly arrived in Britain.

 

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is operating a landlord licensing which has been brought in to drive up standards in HMOs. The Council also has powers it can use to prosecute landlords who harass tenants which may include locking them out at any time of the day or night or renting rooms for only a few hours a day, or a bed share scheme. RBG also provides services to ensure that everyone is aware of their rights.

 

This Council will undertake to find all of these landlords and to ensure they comply with the licensing regulations.