Greenwich Council

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 6 - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Nassir Ali  Email: nassir.ali@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 6160

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

2.

Urgent Business

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

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 34 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:

With regards to item 5 Councillors McCarthy & Parker declared an interest as they sit on the boards of Greenwich Dance and the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust respectively. However, this did not constitute an interest.

 

Resolved –

 

That the list of Councillors’ memberships as Council appointed representatives on outside bodies, joint committees and school governing bodies is noted.

 

 

 

4.

2017/18 Work Programme Schedule pdf icon PDF 35 KB

To agree the attached schedule for the Panel work programme for 2017/18 as set out in Appendix 1.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair noted that as the previous meeting of 15 June 2017 was cancelled the use of the 02 suite item, scheduled for this meeting, had be moved to the October meeting. He also noted the Planning Process and Procedures review item was to be covered in meeting 3 and that he had discussions with the Assistant Director Panning and Building Control about his concerns and issues with planning. He added that he would like Panel Members to have more involvement and contribute to a planning enquiry to produce outcomes that can be of assistance to members, officers and the community. He added that this was in line with the request from Overview and Scrutiny for the panel to undertake a study programme.

 

Panel Members shared their concerns about the lack of previous minutes and wanted the answer to previous questions on the total value of the Council’s holdings/reserves.

Action DoF

 

Resolved –

The Panel agreed that 2017/18 Work Programme Schedule as set in Appendix 1 of the report.

 

5.

Culture and Creative Industries and Community Well-being - Progress against key priorities pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To update Members on the progress made against the key priorities for the Cabinet Members portfolio, as well as in relation to other key and significant projects within the scope of the portfolio.

Minutes:

The panel was The panel was addressed by the Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative industries and community Well-Being who gave an introduction into the purpose of the report. She confirmed that the priorities set by Cabinet was driven mainly by the Cultural Quarter and the Fairness Commission, the aims of which were to identify key issues in Housing, Education, Employment, Health and Finance. She stated that local community groups, members of the voluntary sector and the general public were consulted in an engagement process that included 5 workshops with experts in one or more of the themes. She added that the commissioners were excited to work with the Royal Borough of Greenwich having worked on different fairness commissions in the past and were positive about the borough as a whole.

 

In response to Panel Member’s questions on inequality and fairness issues, relating to the protected groups in the Borough, the Assistant Director of Community and Culture Services confirmed that the key issues where discussed and debated in the commissioner led panels which included experts in their respective fields. She gave the example of Baroness Lawrence who was an equalities activist and confirmed that the fairness commission report goes into detail on this topic. She confirmed she would provide Members with a copy.

Action: AD CCS

 

The Assistant Director confirmed that there were 61 recommendations on the Fairness Commission report which had been approved by Cabinet. She stated that some of the recommendations had been implemented and there was a need for further spend to action some of the others when identified. With regards to the financing she stated that some resources and investment were already in place while the rest would need to be financed by lobbying central government and initiating new partnerships. She also confirmed that would be a working party led by Councillor Lekau which would be developing an action plan that would feed into the Anti-Poverty Strategy and expected this to be completed by 2020 with the delivery of some recommendations starting as soon as possible.

 

The Panel noted that there were currently a number of voluntary groups in the Borough who are making strong contributions to the community but struggling financially. They stated that these organisations should receive more support and investment as part of the Fairness Commission and Anti-Poverty Strategy.

 

In response to questions on the Woolwich Creative District the Assistant Director confirmed that the since the project was agreed at the March Cabinet the focus had been on the procurement process leading to the appointment of a design team. She stated that there had been an extensive feasibility study which took the project to the Royal Institute of British Architects(RIBA) stages 1&2. She confirmed that the next stage was to appoint a full design team for which there were 96 expressions of interest which were reviewed by the project team involving members of the Capital Projects Team, Consultants, The Director of Communities & Environment and herself. Further that 8 of the companies had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

2016/17 Quarters 3 & 4 Performance monitoring Directorate Regeneration, Enterprise & Skills pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To provides an update on the Business Critical Indicators together with the latest performance outcomes.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was introduced by the Director of Regeneration of Enterprise & Skills who in response to questions from the Panel on the Eltham Cinema Project confirmed that there had been issues resulting in a higher ground water level which needed to be pumped out. She stated the works were being carried out by Erith Contractors with the necessary collateral warranties in place. 

 

The Director added that the relocation of the Waterfront Leisure Centre project was underway and the key issue was to resolve the relocation of the Wilko store. She confirmed that although this was challenging, the Council can consider exercising a Compulsory Purchase Order as a last resort albeit the preferred approach is always to try to negotiate by agreement.

 

In response to questions relating to parking income the Deputy Director of Transportation confirmed that there were no planned projections around increased income from Controlled Parking Zones due to variations in the number of residents taking up permits. Further that it was difficult to forecast and is therefore monitored upon implementation. He stated that resident satisfaction with parking enforcement varied across the borough and there was a movement towards increasing enforcement during the night and weekends.

 

In response to questions from the Panel on the apprenticeship levy the Director confirmed that the Finance Directorate are currently looking into this in more detail.

 

In response to questions on the Skills Centres the Director confirmed that a review was being undertaken to assess the number of people attending the centres. The Director agreed to provide a written response as to how many of the residents that completed the training attained full time employment as a result.

Action – DRES

 

With regards to planning applications and the time frames for determination the Director confirmed that these were set by the Government and are due to change in September 2017.  She added that targets were currently being met however high volumes of applications remain an issue.

 

In response to a question on an application in Plumstead the Director confirmed that the Council had refused the application and the decision was overturned at the point of appeal.  A review was underway and she noted that planning processes was a future agenda item for the Panel. 

 

The Panel raised concerns about the specific Town Centre vacancy rates, mentioned 3.27 of the report, and the need to attract more business to the areas such as Eltham.

 

Resolved –

The Panel noted the update on the Business Critical Indicators that are monitored by the Directorate of Regeneration Enterprise & Skills (Quarters 3 & 4 2016/17 & year end outturn)