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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Civic Suite. View directions

Contact: Charlotte Dale (020 8314 8286)  Email: charlotte.dale@lewisham.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes of the meetings held on 22 January, 23 May and 18 July 2018 pdf icon PDF 222 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meetings held on 22 January, 23 May and 18 July 2018 be agreed as accurate records.

Minutes:

1.1       RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meetings held on 22 January, 23 May and 18 July 2018 be agreed as accurate records.

2.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 201 KB

Decision:

The following non-prejudicial interests were declared:

 

Cllr Aisling Gallagher: Trustee of the Albany

Cllr Jim Mallory: Chair of Lee Green Lives

Cllr Pauline Morrison: Chair of the Ackroyd Community Association and a volunteer at Crofton Park Library

Cllr Jacq Paschoud: Trustee of the Ravensbourne Trust and a member of Lewisham Seniors

Cllr John Paschoud: Member of the Steering Group for the Voluntary Action Lewisham Children and Young People Forum and a member of Lewisham Seniors

Cllrs Jacq and John Paschoud each declared the interests of the other (as required to do so as spouses).

 

 

Minutes:

2.1       The following non-prejudicial interests were declared:

 

            Cllr Aisling Gallagher: Trustee of the Albany

Cllr Jim Mallory: Chair of Lee Green Lives

Cllr Pauline Morrison: Chair of the Ackroyd Community Association and a volunteer at Crofton Park Library

Cllr Jacq Paschoud: Trustee of the Ravensbourne Trust and a member of Lewisham Seniors

Cllr John Paschoud: Member of the Steering Group for the Voluntary Action Lewisham Children and Young People Forum and a member of Lewisham Seniors.

Cllrs Jacq and John Paschoud each declared the interests of the other (as required to do so as spouses).

 

 

3.

Mayoral response to referral pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the response be noted.

Minutes:

3.1       RESOLVED: That the response be noted.

4.

The Budget pdf icon PDF 566 KB

 

The following proposals are due to be considered by this Committee:

 

COM 9 – Cut to intensive housing advice and support service          Page 119

 

COM 12 – Cut to mains grant budget                                                       Page 135

 

COM 14 – Local Assemblies Fund                                                           Page 146

 

RES 12 Catford complex office rationalisation                                               Page 265

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)  a referral be made to the Public Accounts Select Committee as follows:

 

COM 09: Cut to intensive housing advice and support service

 

The Committee was concerned about the additional work that this proposal might generate for the Housing Options Service and the SHIP (Single Homeless Single Intervention and Prevention) Service, notwithstanding the additional resource that might become available via new burdens funding attached to the Homelessness Reduction Act; and felt that it should not be progressed until the associated impact and risks had been fully assessed.

 

COM 12: Cuts to main grants budget

 

It is clear that a number of other proposed budget cuts are reliant, to some extent, on the Voluntary and Community Sector meeting needs that are currently being met by council funded provision.  The Committee was therefore of the opinion that this proposal should not be progressed until an analysis has been carried out of the impact that this will have on the sector’s capacity to meet the additional need that might be generated from other proposed budget cuts, should they be accepted.

 

COM 14: Local Assemblies Fund

 

            The Committee felt that this proposal was not yet fully worked up and clarification on the exact parameters within which Neighbourhood CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) money could be spent was required. Members felt that it might be helpful if the proposal to remove or reduce Local Assembly funding was disaggregated from the mitigating proposal for Local Assemblies to be involved in spending Neighbourhood CIL money.

 

 

(2)  A briefing note providing more information on the £160m of earmarked reserves and the £60m over which there is some discretion, be provided to Members.

 

 

Minutes:

4.1      The Mayor introduced the context for the budget report; described the budget cuts process; and spoke about the need to speak out against austerity which was having a significant detrimental impact across the local government sector. Cllr De Ryk echoed his points and spoke further about the need to transform and reconfigure the way in which council services were delivered.

 

4.2         David Austin introduced the report and outlined that the medium term financial strategy had identified that the Council would need to make further cuts to balance the budget in the coming years; that pending the Comprehensive Spending review in summer 2019, the level of cuts needed were estimated at £30m (this year), £17m (next year) and £13m ( 20/21); that the proposals in the report totalled just under £21m over two years, leaving a gap of just over £24m over those two years, or more should all the proposals not be agreed; and that following the decisions made at the Mayor and Cabinet meeting on 21 November 2018, any further work required to finalise the proposals would be undertaken ahead of the budget report for 2019/20 being presented to Mayor and Cabinet in February 2019.

 

4.3         In response to questions from the Committee on the process/ the budget as a whole, the following was noted:

 

·         If there remained a gap when the 2019/20 budget was agreed in February 2019 reserves could be used on a one off basis to fund the gap.

·         The Funding Review involved complex metrics and Lewisham might lose out on sparsity. However, London Councils was making representations on this point, as although London was densely populated, travel between short distances could take considerable time due to heavy traffic.

·         The proposed cuts did not account for the current in-year overspend which was being dealt with separately as part of financial monitoring, with money being put in, in-year.

·         The four proposals being considered this evening were being considered by all scrutiny councillors, rather than the scrutiny councillors sitting on a single committee as they were strategic and/or cross-cutting proposals. This would not preclude individual select committees from giving them further consideration should they wish to do so.

 

4.4         It was suggested that the Reserves Strategy could be more detailed and transparent as there had been a number of recent overspends which had required funding to be provided from reserves and any invest to save initiatives needed to be considered in relation to this strategy.

 

COM 09 – Cut to intensive housing advice and support service

 

4.5         James Lee introduced the proposal and made the following points:

·         The proposal related to the funding of non-statutory hostel, supported housing and homelessness prevention services and only related to non-accommodation services as officers were recommending that accommodation based services be protected.

·         Additional resources should become available via new burdens funding attached to the Homelessness Reduction Act, which would assist in mitigating the impact of this cut (possibly 8 to 10 new staff members).

·         By fast tracking the most complex  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Q&A session with the Mayor and Cabinet Members for Finance, Skills and Jobs pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the responses provided be noted.

Minutes:

5.1       The Mayor was invited to give a brief summary of his first six months in office and his priorities for the rest of the municipal year/administration. It was noted that the manifesto upon which the Mayor had been elected contained over 100 policy commitments, all of which were being actively tracked; assigned to a specific Cabinet Member and lead officer; and showing significant progress. The public had been particularly interested in the Greening Fund and the range of projects for which it could be used. Brief information was provided on:

 

·         the ethical care charter

·         the refugee resettlement programme

·         balloting residents on estate regeneration

·         building 1000 social homes

·         developing a private renters charter

·         launching a borough wide licensing scheme

·         promoting affordable housing

·         improving school results

·         plans for a publically owned homecare service.

 

It was further noted that there had been a change in delegations to allow collective decision making at Mayor & Cabinet.

 

5.2       In response to questions from Members of the Committee, the following key points were noted:

 

·      Affordable housing: Developers were beginning to understand that Lewisham was committed to the goal of 50% affordable housing in all developments and it was becoming unusual for schemes with less than 35% to be submitted. It was important that Planning officers were confident about the Council’s political priorities when speaking to developers and did not recommend schemes with very low levels of affordable housing for approval, notwithstanding the results of financial viability assessments.

·      New Bermondsey: The Mayor was actively seeking a meeting with John Berylson, the Chairman of Millwall Football Club, in relation to plans for the development of the new Bermondsey area; and had already spoken to leading officers at Renewal and the Chief Executive of Millwall FC. The architects appointed by Millwall and Renewal had also held a recent meeting.

·      Communications: This would be a key area of focus for the new Head of Strategy, once appointed. Thought would be given as to whether the Council’s current strapline was still fit for purpose and the Mayor was keen to get across to residents the urgency of breaking down barriers and increasing opportunity for all.

 

5.3       Councillors De Ryk and Dromey were invitedto give a brief summary of their first six months in office and their priorities for the rest of the municipal year/administration.

 

5.4       Councillor De Ryk reported that a large proportion of her first six months in office had been spent on the budget but she had also been involved in regular manifesto tracker meetings for the commitments she had been assigned, including reducing the number of agency employees, becoming a timewise accredited employer, tackling modern slavery and making advances in income generation. In terms of priorities, these included reducing the CYP Social Care Budget overspend and ensuring the improvement plan and budget plan were aligned; and building in  more transparency and member involvement into the budget process.

 

5.5       Councillor Dromey outlined the importance of improving both the quantity and quality of local employment opportunities, doubling the number  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Items to be referred to Mayor and Cabinet

Decision:

RESOLVED: That a referral be made to the Public Accounts Select Committee for onward referral to Mayor and Cabinet in relation to item 4 (The Budget).

Minutes:

6.1       RESOLVED: That a referral be made to the Public Accounts Select Committee for onward referral to Mayor and Cabinet in relation to item 4 (The Budget).