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: Rescheduled from 29 October 2014 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received for Councillors Bill Freeman, Averil Lekau, Clare Morris and Ray Walker.

2.

Minutes

To agree the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 30 July 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:

Council agreed to consider the minutes of the Special Meeting of Council, held on 23 July 2014, as circulated on a supplementary agenda prior to the meeting.

 

The Mayor drew Council’s attention to the revised appendix B, setting out the Members’ supplementary questions, as considered at Council on 30 July 2014, as published on a supplementary agenda.

 

Resolved –

 

1.    That the Minutes of the meeting of Special Meeting of Council, held on 23 July 2014, be confirmed and signed as a true and accurate record.

 

2.    That the Minutes of the meeting of Full Council held on 30 July 2014 be confirmed and signed as a true and accurate record.

3.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor made the following announcements;

 

That Mary Ney retired from the position of Chief Executive on Friday 31 October.  The Council joined the Mayor in sending best wishes for Ms Ney for her retirement.  Thanks were given for her significant contribution to the Council’s achievements in the last 14 years.

 

The Mayor was pleased to announce that the Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) had won the Beyond Sports ‘Sports Team of the Year’ award.   Over 350 organisations entered the 2014 Beyond Sport Awards, the Global Awards, supported by Sport Relief, are Beyond Sport's flagship reward scheme.  The Mayor stated that the award added to the impressive acknowledgements and honours the Trust had received in the past, including the 2013 Football League Community Club of the Year.

 

The Mayor advised that, as Members would be aware, the Minimum Wage and the London Living Wage were both increased this week.  The Leader had asked that it be confirmed to Council that all Royal Borough of Greenwich staff were in receipt of; at least, the London Living Wage and the increase, which is effective from 3rd November, would be paid to staff in their December pay packets.

 

It was with sadness that the Mayor informed the Council of the death of former Councillor Alec George Miles, who passed away in August this year.    The Mayor highlighted Mr Miles’ service to the Borough and that between May 1968 and 1974 he was an appointed serving Alderman, returning to Greenwich Borough as a Councillor in 1982 until 2002, serving the residents of Well Hall and then Deansfield Wards.  Alec sat on a number of Committees, including Planning, Licensing, and the Staff Consultancy Board.

 

Councillor Brighty, Councillor Brooks and Councillor O’Mara spoke in memory of former Councillor Alec George Miles highlighting his service to the community and the Council.

 

(The Council held a minutes silence in memory of former Councillor Alec George Miles)

 

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:

Councillor Peter Brooks made a personal declaration on the Motion at Item 19 on the agenda, as chair the Chair of GSS and GSPlus.

 

Councillor Clive Mardner made a personal declaration on Item 14, as an employee of Healthwatch Greenwich, which has a representative on the Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

Councillor Chris Lloyd made a personal declaration on Item 9, Members Questions; specifically Questions 5 and 6 as an employee of National Rail.

 

Resolved –

 

1.    That the list of Councillors’ memberships as Council appointed representatives on outside bodies, joint committees and school Governing Bodies be noted.

 

2.    That the personal declarations made by Councillor Brooks, O’Mara and Lloyd be noted.

5.

Notice of Members wishing to exceed the 5 minute rule

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.

Minutes:

The following petitions were presented at the meeting;

 

Subject and Number of Signatures

Presenting Councillor

Lead Department

Petition seeking support for the Chinese School, Plumstead

153 signatures

 

Councillor

Don Austen

Director of Children’s Services

Request for Controlled Parking in Charlton Park Lane

27 signatures

 

Councillor

Norman Adams

 

Director of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

Request for traffic calming on Little Heath and Hill Reach

1044 signatures

Councillor

John Fahy

Director of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

Request for installation of noise/pollution barriers along the A102

231 signatures

 

Councillor

Paul Morrissey

 

Director of Community Safety and Environment

Woolwich Cemetery; collapse of boundary wall

6 signatures

 

Councillor

Angela Cornforth

 

Director of

Community Safety and Environment

Request to save the Rochester Way Club

553 signatures

 

Councillor

Spencer Drury

 

Director of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills

Request to restore our memorials

669 signatures

Councillor

Spencer Drury

Director of Culture, Sport and Media

 

7.

Public Deputations on matters not otherwise on the agenda

Minutes:

The Mayor informed the Council that he had agreed to receive deputations from the Unite the Union, in respect of Library Services and local residents in respect of The Rochester Way Social Club.

 

In making his deputation on behalf of Unite the Union, Onay Kasab stated that he had planned to ask the Members to support staff library staff in their dispute with Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), a company the Council transferred its library services over to.  Mr Kasab stated that union members had been successful in their action and he now wished to highlight to the Council his concern that two thirds of GLL’s staff were on zero hour contracts; and that GLL were using the Parkwood Case to change staff terms and conditions after transfer and in particular with regard to not receiving pay increases received by local government officers.

 

Mr Kasab advised the Council that both Unite and Unison would continue to oppose any proposals for the Greenwich Living Options and Care of Vulnerable People services to be transferred to a not-for-profit or social enterprise company, as they were concerned about the impact on the services and also employees.  He appealed to all Members of the Council to join with both unions to build on Council services and not to privatise services. 

 

In response, Councillor Williams, Cabinet Member for Culture and Creative Industries, stated that she was concerned that the libraries dispute had resulted in industrial action and urged that Unite and GLL to continue their negotiations. 

 

The Mayor thanked Mr Kasab. 

 

The Council also received a deputation from Richard Shields and Lean Wright regarding The Rochester Way Social Club. 

 

Mr Shields and Ms Wright addressed the Council providing a brief history of the Rochester Way Club and the community events that had been conducted there for the benefit of both young and elderly residents in the area.  They stated that the proposed alternative community facility, Turning Pages, was not suitable as it was not easily accessible for many of the residents in the area, particularly older people, who were not always keen on using public transport, especially after dark. Further, Turning Pages was neither a pub nor a club and made a charge for using the facilities, which prohibited a number of small events.

 

Mr Shields and Ms Wright questioned why when the leaseholder had asked to build affordable homes on the land, in addition to the social club, he was refused, yet now that the Council had the lease the building of new homes was an agreeable proposal. 

 

Council was advised that the petition to save the Rochester Way Club had now received over 800 signatures.  It was stated that the local community was not requesting financial assistance but asking that further consideration be given to the future of the Club so it could continue as a valuable community hub particularly for older residents.

 

Councillor Kirby, Cabinet Member for Housing, in response to the deputation stated that there had been problems which had recently culminated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 103 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 fourteen 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 157 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 three 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 question, the Mayor invited questions to Members of the Cabinet for response.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Hartley, asking if a target date by when all contractors and sub-contractors to the Council will be paid the London Living Wage (LLW) rate, Councillor Hyland, Leader of the Council, responded that the Royal Borough was a London Living Wage Council and it was a joint aspiration to eradicate poverty.  However, in relation to contractors and sub-contractors meeting the LLW obligations there was a need to wait for contracts to be retendered and for a responsible approach to be taken.

 

Councillor Clare sought confirmation as to what steps were underway to prepare for any travel disruptions, should there be another harsh winter.  Councillor Hyland, Leader of the Council, confirmed that the Council did have winter preparedness and the Chief Executive could provide the Conservative Group with a briefing on this should one be requested.  Councillor Thorpe, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, added the Council’s Winter Services was a 24 hour service and the action plan had been activated on 1 November 2014 and would run until 31 March 2015, it was confirmed that highways and Cleansweep staff worked closely with the Emergency Planning Team. 

 

Councillor Drury asked if the advert to let a contract to publish statutory notices meant that the Leader had accepted that Greenwich Time should no longer be published.  Further, why was the contract for £400,000 when officers had, earlier in the year, advised that it would cost £2million to publish Notices elsewhere.  Councillor Hyland, Leader of the Council, responded that the authority was planning ahead but intended to contest any decision by the Secretary of State to prevent the continued publication of Greenwich Time.  She confirmed that she would write to Councillor Drury in respect of the tender. 

 

In response to a question for Councillor Drury asking for confirmation of how much the Council had budgeted for legal fees to fight to save Greenwich Time, Councillor Hyland, Leader of the Council, asked if the Conservative Group wished to make a contribution.

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:

The Mayor advised that no requests from the party whips for, matters to be taken early had been received. However, as a member of the public had requested to speak on Item 16 – Petition Responses report and this would be taken as the first item of business.

11.

Appointment of Chief Executive pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Appointed John Comber, as recommended by the Member level Appointment Panel, as Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service with immediate effect

Agreed that the salary for the post is £187,000 per annum for the post.

Noted that the appointment incorporates the responsibility for the roles of:

Clerk to the Eltham Crematorium Joint Committee

London Wide Local Authority Gold

Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer.

Minutes:

In moving the report Councillor Hyland, Leader of the Council, stated that it gave her great pleasure to propose Mr John Comber for the position of the Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

 

Councillor Drury, Leader of the Opposition, expressed his appreciation of the professional service provided by the former Chief Executive, Mary Ney, in her 14 years with the Authority.  He welcomed the appointment of John Comber and offered the support of the Conservative Group to his appointment.

 

Councillor Hyland formally closed the debate welcoming John Comber on behalf of the entire Council, as the new Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service.

 

Resolved Unanimously –

 

1.    That it be agreed that, as recommended by the Member level Appointment Panel, John Comber be appointed as Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service with immediate effect.

 

2.    That it be agreed that the salary for the post be £187,000 per annum.

 

3.    That it be noted that the appointment incorporated responsibility for the following roles:

 

Clerk to the Eltham Crematorium Joint Committee

London Wide Local Authority Gold

Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer.

12.

Treasury Management Outturn Report 2013/2014 pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed the Treasury Management Outturn Report for 2013/2014.

 

Minutes:

In moving the recommendations Councillor Hyland, Leader of the Council, confirmed that both Council borrowing and the average rate of debt had reduced. Further, that whilst the approach to borrowing had remained the same, the main area of borrowing related to the Building Schools for the Future programme to secure new facilities and additional school places.

 

Councillor Drury, Leader of the Opposition, sought clarification as to whether the figure quoted in the report, in respect of the under borrowing relating to schools, was going to be increased to the maximum of £12million or would some under borrowing be for the long term.   Councillor Hyland, Leader of the Council, confirmed the retention of under borrowing for the long term.

 

Resolved –

 

That the Treasury Management Outturn Report for 2013/2014 be agreed.

13.

Waterside Close - making up of the highway pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed the specification, cost estimate and provisional apportionment of costs, as set out in the report, for street works at Waterside Close.

Agreed that, on completion of the works, Waterside Close should be adopted as public highway, maintained at public expense.

Minutes:

In introducing the report, Councillor Hyland, Leader of the Council, advised that paragraph 5.2 of the report should read ‘to commence in late January 2015’.  She commended the decision to Council highlighting this was a good example of joint work between Members and officers to provide residents with a decent place to live.

 

Councillor Hartley spoke in support of the report and asked if residents could repay their share of the cost of the works in instalments as well as in full.  Councillor Hyland confirmed that both would be available.

 

Resolved Unanimously –

 

1.    That the specification, cost estimate and provisional apportionment of costs, as set out in the report, for street works at Waterside Close be agreed.

 

2.    That it be agreed that, on completion of the works, Waterside Close should be adopted as public highway, maintained at public expense.

14.

Revised composition of the Health and Wellbeing Board pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed the revised composition of the Health and Wellbeing Board as attached at the appendix to the report.

Directed, following consultation with the Board, that Chief Officer members of the Board will not have voting rights

Minutes:

Councillor Hyland, Leader of the Council, moved the recommendations stating that the proposals ensured equal representation on the Board between the Council and NHS Greenwich and ensured that relevant partners were involved fully.

 

Councillor Drury, Leader of the Opposition, welcomed the report and the inclusion of additional health trusts on the Board.  In response to a question, Councillor Hyland confirmed that in legislation it fell to the Leader of the Council to nominate the Council’s representatives but these had to be agreed formally by Council.

 

Resolved Unanimously -

 

1.    That the revised composition of the Health and Wellbeing Board, as set out below and attached at the appendix to the report, be agreed.

 

(a)   Four Members nominated by the Leader

(b)   The Director of Adults and Older People’s Services

(c)   The Director of Children's Services

(d)   The Director of Public Health.

(e)   A representative from the local Healthwatch Management Committee

(f)    Up to Four representatives of the Greenwich CCG (the statutory minimum being one),

(g)          Other Senior Officers as required to conduct the business of the Board, and

(h)   Such other persons, or representatives of such other persons, as the Council (in consultation with the Health and Wellbeing Board) thinks appropriate including a representative of Oxleas Trust and NHS Lewisham & Greenwich

(i)    Such additional persons as the Health and Wellbeing Board thinks appropriate.

 

2.    That it be agreed that, as directed following consultation with the Board, the Chief Officer members of the Board will not have voting rights.

15.

Parent Governor appointments to Overview and Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Decision:

Appointed Gabriel Hall and Alexander Seadon as the parent governor representative to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee until November 2016.

Minutes:

Councillor David Stanley, Chair of Overview & Scrutiny, welcomed the election of the two parent governors and the linkages this would bring with schools.

 

Councillor Spencer Drury, Leader of the Opposition, welcomed the appointment and asked that they be kept under review in terms of continued attendance.

 

Councillor David Stanley formally closed the debate.

 

Resolved –

 

That it be agreed to appoint Gabriel Hall and Alexander Seadon as the parent governor representative to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee until November 2016.

16.

Petition Responses pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

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

 

Minutes:

The Mayor invited Mr Paul Ursell to address the Council on the petition relating to the effect of Wi-Fi on school children and drew Members’ attention to additional documentation circulated at the request of the petitioner.

 

Mr Ursell spoke about his concerns on the effect of Wi-Fi use, within schools and other areas, on children.  He accepted that it was not realistic to expect the Council to turn off Wi-Fi signals but urged the Council to consider all the evidence provided and not to disregard those who did not concur with the prevalent view that there were no adverse effects and take mitigation action, accordingly.  He stated that it had been known for over 50 years that Wi-Fi signals could cause damage and urged the Council to thoroughly assess all the research and information in their consideration of continued use of Wi-Fi in schools.

 

Councillor Harpinder Singh, Cabinet Member for IT, noted the strong feelings on the subject and the need for Public Health England to carry out further research.  Councillor Singh stated that he understood Mr Ursell’s concerns and that the Council had a duty of care based on the best information available to it.

 

Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald read out a statement on behalf of the Robert Owen Early Years Provision petitioners.  She stated that the petitioners were grateful for the response and understood that the proposal to end provision for under twos was, largely, financial driven.  However, many remain concerned at the quality of care and space available in the area for under twos, which would only increase with the expanding housing developments.

 

Councillor Matt Clare spoke on the petition, presented regarding Colepits Wood Road.  He stated that he would like to have seen the painting of the white lines undertaken for free, but was grateful of the offer of a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) for the area. 

 

Resolved -

 

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

17.

Constitution: Amendments to Council Procedure Rules (Part 4A) pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Agreed the amendments to the Council Procedure Rules, Part 4A of the Constitution, as detailed in the appendix to the report.

Minutes:

Councillor Drury, Leader of the Opposition, welcomed the proposed deletion of the Procedure Rule restricting the right of members of the public to film or record meetings of the Council. 

 

In relation to the changes to voting and the requirement to hold a recorded vote on budget proposals Councillor Drury asked if it could be clarified whether one would be required in relation to amendments moved by the Opposition as well as the final vote.

 

Resolved unanimously -

 

That the amendments to the Council Procedure Rules, Part 4A of the Constitution, as detailed in the appendix to the report, be agreed.

18.

Changes to the Executive Functions Scheme of Delegation pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Decision:

Noted the change made to the executive functions scheme of delegation.

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the change made to the executive functions scheme of delegation be noted.

19.

Motion Signed by Councillors O'Mara and Cornforth pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Council notes the involvement of the Royal Borough of Greenwich as one of the Growth Boroughs across London looking at issues such as childhood obesity, sugar intake and the promotion of a healthy school agenda facilitating walking and cycling by their pupils and the promotion of healthy eating in schools.

 

Council notes the work of the Food and Drink Federation in particular its Health and Wellbeing Steering Group whose aim (according to the FDF website) is to work with Government regulators and others to help find solutions “to the complex issues as part of the diet and health challenge in the UK”. 

 

Such initiatives are to be welcomed but there is still a reluctance by some parts of the food industry to tackle big health issues such as alcohol abuse and obesity. 

 

We call upon the government to continue to put pressure on the food industry to address these concerns.

Decision:

Council notes the involvement of the Royal Borough of Greenwich as one of the Growth Boroughs across London looking at issues such as childhood obesity, sugar intake and the promotion of a healthy school agenda facilitating walking and cycling by their pupils and the promotion of healthy eating in schools.

Council notes the work of the Food and Drink Federation in particular its Health and Wellbeing Steering Group whose aim (according to the FDF website) is to work with Government regulators and others to help find solutions “to the complex issues as part of the diet and health challenge in the UK”. 

Such initiatives are to be welcomed but there is still a reluctance by some parts of the food industry to tackle big health issues such as alcohol abuse and obesity. 

We call upon the government to continue to put pressure on the food industry to address these concerns.

Minutes:

The Mayor, Councillor Hayes, drew the Council’s attention to an amendment to the Motion which had been laid round the Chamber in advance of the meeting.

 

In moving the Motion Councillor O’Mara noted that a lot of work had been carried out with partners to challenge childhood obesity.  She felt that the Council could not be oblivious to the implications of childhood obesity on an individual’s health, through childhood into adult life.  She noted that this had been a long campaign which had not been helped by, sometimes conflicting messages in the press, when clarity was needed.  She added that the food industry had a vested interest in stopping any restrictive legislation, as they saw it, but it was important that this was an area that was pursued.

 

Councillor Cornforth seconded the motion stating that in 2010 the National Institute for Health Care Excellence (NICE) reported that many deaths could have been avoided by the removal of Trans Fats from diets. She noted that many diets also included hidden salts, sugars, fats and calories, leading to weight gain and obesity, which could lead to medical problems, including diabetes and cancer.  She felt that the Council should call upon the Government to increase the pressure for legislation to put the consumer’s health first.  She added that the Council also had a duty to encourage, support and enable people to make healthy lifestyle choices.

 

Councillor Drury, Leader of the opposition, moved the following amendment:

 

At end of first paragraph add the following:-

 

‘Council considers that promoting sport in schools and to young people more widely is essential in helping to deal with childhood obesity and promoting healthy lifestyles and notes the creation of the “For the Girls, By the Girls’ programme funded by Sport England to encourage girls 14 years and over to take up sport.  However, Council notes that no Royal Borough of Greenwich Secondary School plays netball or hockey and the North West Kent Netball League has recently been forced to stop playing at the Coldharbour Leisure Centre as three netball courts are being converted into a football pitch.  Hence Council commits to:-

 

·        Encouraging the development of sports which will allow the Royal Borough of Greenwich to enter competitive teams in all sections of the London Youth Games.

·        Creating a number of intra school competitions within the Royal Borough of Greenwich to further encourage the development of school sport.

·        Investigating why the decision has been taken by GLL to end the involvement of the North West Kent Netball League, which seems completely counter to the ‘For the Girls, By the Girls’ programme.’

 

In moving the amendment Councillor Drury stated that Councillor O’Mara presented the motion more powerfully than it read and could not argue with her comments on obesity.  He stated that it was hard to disagree with the proposal but ultimately it did propose practical measures to address childhood obesity.  Councillor Drury stated that he felt that the original motion did not include the promotion of sports in school,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Motion Signed by Councillors Brighty, Brinkhurst, Clare, Drury, Elliott, Geary, Hartley, Hills pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Council notes that in December 2012 and December 2013 it agreed unanimously to motions intending to ensure that the Royal Borough’s war memorials were properly restored for the centenary of World War One and containing paragraphs stating that Council was concerned “that some of the Borough’s war memorials may not be being maintained to the standard which residents expect and are suffering the effects of ageing and weathering.”

 

Council further notes that the Minutes of the December 2013 meeting state that the previous Leader of the Council stated “there was a desire to address the issue of the condition of the Memorials effectively and quickly.”  Furthermore in December 2012 the Minutes state that

 

“Councillor Kotz moved an amendment to the Motion stating that as the centenary of the commencement of World War 1 approached the Royal Borough should make sure that the Memorials were in the best condition they could be…”

 

Hence Council is disappointed that despite widespread agreement that the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s war memorials should be restored prior to the centenary of World War One, this has did not happen.

 

To rectify this oversight, Council calls upon the Leader of the Council to take personal responsibility for ensuring that all of the War Memorials in the care of the Royal Borough and those in the control of the Greenwich Heritage Trust are restored prior to the centenary of the Battle of the Somme (July 2016).

Decision:

Council notes that in December 2012 and December 2013 it agreed unanimously to motions intending to ensure that the Royal Borough’s war memorials were properly restored for the centenary of World War One and containing paragraphs stating that Council was concerned “that some of the Borough’s war memorials may not be being maintained to the standard which residents expect and are suffering the effects of ageing and weathering.”

Council further notes that the Minutes of the December 2013 meeting state that the previous Leader of the Council stated “there was a desire to address the issue of the condition of the Memorials effectively and quickly.”  Furthermore in December 2012 the Minutes state that

“Councillor Kotz moved an amendment to the Motion stating that as the centenary of the commencement of World War 1 approached the Royal Borough should make sure that the Memorials were in the best condition they could be…”

"Hence council recognises the complexity of such a heritage venture and is gratified that a programme of renovation is well underway. This programme has included a condition survey and dialogue with the War Memorials Trust, the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust and English Heritage to ascertain the most appropriate method to conserve these well-loved memorials, in the Royal Borough’s care. 

Council notes that the programme has prioritised the deep cleaning of the First World War memorials in Royal Greenwich’s care with 60% already complete. Repairs have been done where needed, whilst the remaining 40% will be deep cleaned by the end of the calendar year, a pre-requisite to any repairs being identified.

A 21st Century Living Memorial has been established and complemented by a programme of engagement with Borough events for the Great War commemorations. This programme aims to foster interest, respect and understanding of our local military heritage as well as the important industrial and social developments in this borough which played such a crucial role in the war. Through this community engagement project, our Borough’s residents, especially our young people, will learn about the impact of war.

Council honours those service personnel and civilians who have given their lives in the sacrifice of their country.”

Minutes:

The Mayor, Councillor Hayes, drew the Council’s attention to an amendment to the Motion which had been laid round the Chamber in advance of the meeting.

 

Councillor Drury, Leader of the Opposition, moved the following motion:

 

‘Council notes that in December 2012 and December 2013 it agreed unanimously to motions intending to ensure that the Royal Borough’s war memorials were properly restored for the centenary of World War One and containing paragraphs stating that Council was concerned “that some of the Borough’s war memorials may not be being maintained to the standard which residents expect and are suffering the effects of ageing and weathering.”

 

Council further notes that the Minutes of the December 2013 meeting state that the previous Leader of the Council stated “there was a desire to address the issue of the condition of the Memorials effectively and quickly.”  Furthermore in December 2012 the Minutes state that

 

“Councillor Kotz moved an amendment to the Motion stating that as the centenary of the commencement of World War 1 approached the Royal Borough should make sure that the Memorials were in the best condition they could be…”

 

Hence Council is disappointed that despite widespread agreement that the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s war memorials should be restored prior to the centenary of World War One, this has did not happen.

 

To rectify this oversight, Council calls upon the Leader of the Council to take personal responsibility for ensuring that all of the War Memorials in the care of the Royal Borough and those in the control of the Greenwich Heritage Trust are restored prior to the centenary of the Battle of the Somme (July 2016).

 

In moving the Motion, Councillor Drury stated that he had thought that cross-party agreement had been reached in 2012 in respect of preserving the Borough’s War Memorials.  He felt that, after two years, there was now a need for a deadline to be given and would like to see the completion of the preservation programme by the centenary of the commencement of the Battle of the Somme (1 July 2016).

 

Councillor Hartley formally seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Williams proposed an amendment to the motion, advising that the preservation and deep cleaning works to the War Memorials was underway. She added that preservation had been made difficult by the vandalism of the Eltham War Memorial and the Council was in dialogue with the War Memorial Trust and other partners on the best practice in terms of preservation and re-carving and adding names to the Memorials.   She added that there had been no Government funding towards the preservation or restoration of War Memorials and any works had to be met from the Councils existing budget.

 

Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Council, seconded the amendment requesting that the opposition embrace the amendment.  She added that there were complications, in that a number of the Memorials were on private land and a lot of work was being undertaken to establish who was responsible for their upkeep and support the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Motion Signed by Councillors Drury, Brinkhurst, Geary, Merrill, Thorpe, Kirby, Hyland, Fahy, Davies, Smith (J), Morris, Smith (A), Grice, Brighty, Gardner, Stanley, May, Brain

Council notes that the Mayor of Greenwich Councillor Mick Hayes formally re-opened Severndroog Castle in October.

 

Council wishes to congratulate the Severndroog Castle Building Preservation Trust (SCBPT) on the successful reopening of the monument this summer.  The hard work of volunteers and trustees since 2002 to secure, restore and re-open the building is particularly worthy of note and Council is grateful to all the individuals and organisations who have contributed to the success of this project.

 

Council values the reintroduction of Severndroog Castle to the Royal Borough's visitor attractions and hopes to support to its long-term survival where possible.

Decision:

Council notes that the Mayor of Greenwich Councillor Mick Hayes formally re-opened Severndroog Castle in October. 

Council wishes to congratulate the Severndroog Castle Building Preservation Trust (SCBPT) on the successful reopening of the monument this summer.  The hard work of volunteers and trustees since 2002 to secure, restore and re-open the building is particularly worthy of note and Council is grateful to all the individuals and organisations who have contributed to the success of this project.

Council values the reintroduction of Severndroog Castle to the Royal Borough's visitor attractions and hopes to support to its long-term survival where possible.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Spencer Drury, Leader of the Opposition, proposed the Motion highlighting that it had cross party support.  He stated that it had been a challenge to bring Sevendroog Castle back into public use and Councillor Fahy, in his time as a Cabinet Member and Ward Members, past and present, must be commended for their support.  Further, that it was the members of the community, volunteers and the Sevendroog Buildings Preservation Trust who deserve the greatest credit and who have given so freely of their time.  He felt that specific commendation needed to be given to Dr Barry Gray, as the driving force behind the restoration project. 

 

Councillor Hyland, Leader of the Council, stated it was a privilege to second the motion, adding her congratulations and praise to Dr Gray and the trustees.  She was aware of its long and varied history and that there had already been 4,000 visitors to Sevendroog Castle since it opened.  Councillor Hyland stated that she felt that this was an excellent example of local action and community cohesion.

 

Councillor Merrill echoed the previous comments adding her praise to those who had worked to raise the funds to renovate Sevendroog Castle and the work they have achieved.  She gave special mention to a number of the people who had driven the project over the past eleven years.

 

Resolved unanimously -

 

That the Council notes the Mayor of Greenwich Councillor Mick Hayes formally re-opened Sevendroog Castle in October. 

 

That Council wishes to congratulate the Sevendroog Castle Building Preservation Trust (SCBPT) on the successful reopening of the monument this summer.  The hard work of volunteers and trustees since 2002 to secure, restore and re-open the building is particularly worthy of note and Council is grateful to all the individuals and organisations who have contributed to the success of this project.

 

That Council values the reintroduction of Sevendroog Castle to the Royal Borough's visitor attractions and hopes to support to its long-term survival where possible.

22.

Motion Signed by Councillors Davies, Morrow and Smith (J) pdf icon PDF 49 KB

This council notes:

 

1.    The prevalence of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in betting shops, often referred to in the media as “the crack cocaine of gambling” .It is estimated there are 196 FOBTs operating across 53 betting shops in Greenwich.

 

2.    That, unlike fruit machines in pubs, bingo halls and amusement arcades where cash stakes are limited to a maximum of £2, gamblers can bet with cash or via a debit card up to £100 every 20 seconds on digital roulette at more than four times as fast as the rate of play in casinos.

 

3.    That in 2013 over £12.1 million was lost on FOBTs across Greenwich.

 

4.    That a recent analysis of FOBT gambling losses by Landman Economics estimated the net impact across Greenwich is a reduction of 157 local jobs.

 

5.    That the Government are currently considering the results of a consultation on amending the planning laws relating to betting shops.

 

This council is not anti-gambling but opposes the exploitation and damage caused to our community by the proliferation of betting shops and the high speed, high stake, addictive gaming machines they house.

 

This council believes that the government has not acted sufficiently to deal with the issues caused by the proliferation of betting shops driven by FOBT gambling. 

 

This council therefore believes that the Government should use existing legislative framework to reduce the stakes on FOBTs to £2 per spin.

 

This council therefore :

 

1.    Endorses fully the decision of the Leader of the Council to write

to Sir Robin Wales, the Mayor of the London Borough of Newham, declaring this Council’s support for their proposal under the Sustainable Communities Act, which calls on the Government to reduce the maximum bet per spin on FOBTs to £2

 

2.    Requests the Leader of the council write to Helen Grant MP, the Minister responsible for gambling, relating the ideas expressed in this motion and in particular calling for the reduction in the maximum stakes allowed on FOBTs to £2 per spin and supporting the proposal that local authorities be given the planning powers to stop the proliferation of betting shops.

 

Decision:

This council notes:

 

1.    The prevalence of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in betting shops, often referred to in the media as “the crack cocaine of gambling” .It is estimated there are 196 FOBTs operating across 53 betting shops in Greenwich

2.    That, unlike fruit machines in pubs, bingo halls and amusement arcades where cash stakes are limited to a maximum of £2, gamblers can bet with cash or via a debit card up to £100 every 20 seconds on digital roulette at more than four times as fast as the rate of play in casinos.

3.    That in 2013 over £12.1 million was lost on FOBTs across Greenwich.

4.    That a recent analysis of FOBT gambling losses by Landman Economics estimated the net impact across Greenwich is a reduction of 157 local jobs.

5.    That the Government are currently considering the results of a consultation on amending the planning laws relating to betting shops.

 

This council is not anti-gambling but opposes the exploitation and damage caused to our community by the proliferation of betting shops and the high speed, high stake, addictive gaming machines they house.

 

This council believes that successive governments have not acted sufficiently to deal with the issues caused by the proliferation of betting shops driven by FOBT gambling. 

 

This council therefore believes that the Government should use existing legislative framework to reduce the stakes on FOBTs to £2 per spin This council also supports the Campaign for Fairer Gambling’s other recommendations for regulation to reduce the number of FOBTs per shop from 4 to 1, and to reduce the frequency of spins to once every 60 seconds.

 

This council therefore :

 

1.    Endorses fully the decision of the Leader of the Council to write

to Sir Robin Wales, the Mayor of the London Borough of Newham, declaring this Council’s support for their proposal under the Sustainable Communities Act, which calls on the Government to reduce the maximum bet per spin on FOBTs to £2

 

2.    Requests the Leader of the council write to Helen Grant MP, the Minister responsible for gambling, relating the ideas expressed in this motion and in particular calling for the reduction in the maximum stakes allowed on FOBTs to £2 per spin and supporting the proposal that local authorities be given the planning powers to stop the proliferation of betting shops.

3.    Commits to exploring the possibility of clear signposting on the council’s website to gambling charities, and to review how signposting to advice can be embedded into the council’s customer contact processes, where appropriate.”

 

Minutes:

The Mayor, Councillor Hayes, drew the Council’s attention to an amendment to the Motion which had been laid round the Chamber in advance of the meeting.

 

Councillor Davies moved the motion stating it built upon the motion, agreed at Council in December 2013.  He stated was concerned at the number of betting shops which were operating solely on the basis of offering Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBT), despite opposition from residents and Ward Members.  He understood, from betting shop companies, that if they were not able to install FOBT or the betting stakes, on these machines, were lowered, they would not be seeking to open as many shops.  Councillor Davies stated that he was aware that all Members were concerned about the proliferation of betting/gambling shops and the effect on the vulnerable residents within communities and that the current planning legislation did not give the Council enough powers to address these concerns.

 

Councillor Morrow formally seconded the motion drawing attention to the economic consequences of having a large number of FOBT which removed money from the local economy.

 

Councillor Hartley moved the following amendment:

 

Paragraph 7, replace “This council believes that the government has not acted sufficiently to…” with “This council believes that successive governments have not acted sufficiently to…”

 

Paragraph 8, after “to £2 per spin.” add the following sentence;

 

“This council also supports the Campaign for Fairer Gambling’s other recommendations for regulation to reduce the number of FOBTs per shop from 4 to 1, and to reduce the frequency of spins to once every 60 seconds.”

 

At the end of the motion, add the following additional bullet point;

 

“3.     Commits to introducing clear signposting on the council’s website to gambling charities, and to review how signposting to advice can be embedded into the council’s customer contact processes, where appropriate.”

 

 

 

 

Councillor Hartley stated that the amendment sought to support the original motion but also to stop the spread of further machines in the Borough.  The amendment was formally seconded by Councillor Clare.

 

Councillor Davies indicated that he accepted the amendment subject to the proposed new paragraph 3 to read ‘Commits to exploring the possibility of clear signposting ...’.  This was agreed by the mover and seconder of the amendment.

 

The motion as amended was put to the vote and carried.

 

Resolved unanimously -

 

That this Council notes:

 

1.    The prevalence of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in betting shops, often referred to in the media as “the crack cocaine of gambling”.  It is estimated there are 196 FOBTs operating across 53 betting shops in Greenwich

 

2.    That, unlike fruit machines in pubs, bingo halls and amusement arcades where cash stakes are limited to a maximum of £2, gamblers can bet with cash or via a debit card up to £100 every 20 seconds on digital roulette at more than four times as fast as the rate of play in casinos.

 

3.    That in 2013 over £12.1 million was lost on FOBTs across Greenwich.

 

4.    That a recent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.