Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Civic Suite, Catford Road

Contact: Simone van Elk (02083146441) 

No. Item


Minutes of the meeting held on 11 May 2016 pdf icon PDF 75 KB


1.1 RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting held on 11 May 2016 be agreed as an accurate record.


Declarations of interest pdf icon PDF 58 KB


2.1 RESOLVED: that the following interests were declared:


Councillor Colin Elliot is the Council’s representative at the Lewisham Disability Coalition

Councillor David Michael is a working patron of the Marsha Phoenix Trust


Library savings programme update pdf icon PDF 116 KB


3.1 Liz Dart (Head of Culture and Community Development) introduced the report. The following key points were noted:


·      The outcome of the consultation on the proposals for the libraries had been presented to this committee in autumn 2015. Mayor and Cabinet had then decided to ask officers to develop more detailed plans for Catford Library and to agree to extend the community library model to three libraries: Manor House, Forest Hill and Torridon Road.

·      Twenty organisations had registered an interest in running a community library but many fewer had submitted a full proposal. The potential partners for the new community libraries had been assessed using the following criteria: proposed use of building including library service; organisational capacity; capital funding plan; ability to take financial responsibility; and plans to involve the community.

·      Two organisation had submitted a bid for Forest Hill library. One organisation wanted ongoing revenue support which the Council was unable to provide so the proposals could not be progressed further. The proposal from V22 was let out spaces on the first and second floor as artists’ studios. The ground floor would largely be kept the same. V22 hold the lease on Louise House.

·      Only Greenwich Leisure Limited submitted a full proposal for Manor House library. The proposal had a strong focus on income generation by providing a nursery in the building. This would have required extensive alterations to the lower ground floor and a part of the grounds to be sectioned off to create a play area. The play area was a Ofsted requirement for a nursery. Manor House and its grounds are Grade II* listed. It was felt to be unlikely that the required planning consent could be obtained for these plans. The Council was now without a partner organisation for Manor House library and would go out again to a partner.

·      Some of the lessons learned were that for a particularly challenging building such as a Grade II* listed one, the Council should be more explicit about where it can be flexible about the exact terms of the lease agreements. A partner organisation would not necessarily need to take a full lease on Manor House but could take on the role of a premises manager, similar to the structure of some of the community centres in the borough. Previously, the Council had not been explicit about what a less than full lease would look like.

·      Greenwich Leisure Limited had also submitted a bid for Torridon Road library but had felt it was not feasible to take this on without also managing Manor House library. The Archibald Corbett Society and the Archibald Corbett Resident Association had been discussing a merger, and had now presented a late bid for the Torridon Road library. The bid provided enough content to warrant further investigation but needed to be developed further. Mayor and Cabinet would be asked to approve the Archibald Corbett Society and the Archibald Corbett Resident Association as the preferred partners for Torridon Road library and to delegate authority  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Lewisham metropolitan police service update pdf icon PDF 47 KB


4.1 Chief Superintendent Kate Halpin (Borough Commander, Metropolitan Police Service, Lewisham) introduced herself and presented information to the Committee. The following key points were noted:


·      There will be some changes to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) due to decisions in the Comprehensive Spending Review from autumn 2015 and due to the newly elected Mayor of London. Plans were still being developed.

·      The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime had recently outlined her priorities for the MPS at a meeting at the Greater London Authority. These priorities were: serious youth violence and knife crime; hate crime; and organised criminal networks. These priorities align to a large extent with the priorities set out in the Safer Lewisham Plan.

·      A new police and crime plan for the MPS was expected to be published in the autumn for consultation.

·      Lewisham was one of the few boroughs that have reached the targets set by the previous Mayor of London, known as the 20:20:20 challenge. This challenge consisted of targets to: reduce key neighbourhood crimes by 20%; boost public confidence in the police by 20%; and cut costs by 20%. The key neighbourhood crimes were defined as: burglary; vandalism (criminal damage); theft from and theft of motor vehicles; violence with injury; robbery; and theft from the person. As Lewisham had met these targets, this had meant a reduction of about 5,000 and 6,000 victims of crime in the borough in 4 years. The detection rate for Lewisham had gone up by 1,5%.

·      Lewisham Police service had been working with GPs, social workers and staff from Greenwich University to tackle domestic abuse. Some support was being offered by research staff from the office of Len Duvall OBE AM. The criminal justice system did not always offer the best solutions to instances of domestic abuse, which is why cooperation with different services was helpful.

·      The MPS had been tasked with finding £500m of savings over the next 4 years in the 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review. Some plans developed before the election of the Greater London Assembly and Mayor of London had been based on merging borough police services. This would mean there would no longer be one Borough Commander with responsibility for the police service in the borough. The suggestion for South East London had been that the services in Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley could be merged. The current London Deputy Mayor for Policing had indicated plans for an extensive consultation on proposals to remodel police services in London.

·      One area where Lewisham police could improve was access to public for its services and the work being done. At the end of the calendar year there should be an improved website which should allow more functionality online for residents. MPS had helped to develop a mobile phone application for reporting hate crime. It had increased the numbers of recorded crime by making it easier to report crimes.

·      Police Community Support Officers were the most diverse part of the MPS’s workforce with a higher percentage of people from BAME  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Main Grants Programme 2017-18 Outcome of consultation pdf icon PDF 127 KB


To follow as the consultation does not close till 30 June 2016

Additional documents:


5.1 Standing orders were suspended at 21.15.


5.2 James Lee (Head of Culture and Community Development) introduced the report. The following key points were noted:


·         Mayor and Cabinet had decided to reduce the Main Grants Programme by £1m from 1 April 2017. A consultation had been organised to identify the best approach to making this saving. The only option supported by the voluntary and community sector was for pro-rata cuts to the awarded grants.

·         An open consultation meeting on 1 June had been attended  by 60 people from 43 different organisations currently in receipt of grant funding. The suggested approach was broadly supported although there specific issues identified for individual groups.

·         There had been requests made for a 6 month notice period for organisation that would lose funding but this would not be possible given when the saving needs to be implemented by. If Mayor and Cabinet agree the suggested approach, all organisations would receive a letter warning them that they may be faced with a 25% reduction in grant funding from 1 April 2017. The ultimate decision of the exact grant to be awarded to each organisation would not be decided till the end of the calendar year.

·         A request was made for the Council to employ a specialist to support organisations with fundraising. The Council employs staff to provide this support but their time was spent in evaluating the grants programme and grant applications. The budget for the community section would be reviewed to see if this support could be provided in the short term.

·         At least 2 officers have attended a meeting with each organisation in receipt of grant funding to discuss their initial proposals.


5.3 The Committee asked a number of questions. The following key points were noted:


·         The performance of grant funded bodies was difficult to assess given the nature of organisations and the work they performed. If a group does not perform, the Council would move to remove their funding. A report had recently been taken to Mayor and Cabinet to remove grant funding from an organisation which was underperforming although through no fault of their own.

·         Some targets for mergers have been identified by organisations, although this may not all have happened by 1 April. Officers were talking with organisations about what a 25% reduction in funding would mean for them and how they could adjust. Organisations were also being asked consider whether they could merge with organisation working in a completely different field but in the same area of the borough. Some organisation that did not receive grant funding in the last savings rounds had successfully merged and were doing well.

·         The figure of £1m reduction had been agreed by Mayor and Cabinet in September 2015. Officers had been tasked with identifying large sums of money in their areas for savings as the Council had to save a large sum of money overall. The proposal may not be more palatable if the total saving would be £10,000 more or  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority - Decision to save £6.4m in 2016-17 & Sixth London Safety Plan (INFORMATION ITEM) pdf icon PDF 90 KB


6.1 RESOLVED: that the report be noted.


Council employment profile 2015-2016 (INFORMATION ITEM) pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:


7.1 RESOLVED: that the report be noted.


Select Committee work programme pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Additional documents:


8.1 Simone van Elk (Scrutiny Manager) introduced the report. The Committee discussed the report and agreed:


·         That an update report on the Manor House library be added to their work programme for September.

·         That the rest of the work programme for the September meeting be agreed.


8.2 RESOLVED: that the report be noted, that an update report on the Library savings programme for Manor House library be added to the 15 September Committee meeting, and that the work programme for the 15 September Committee meeting be agreed.


Items to be referred to Mayor and Cabinet


9.1 RESOLVED: that the Committee’s views under items 3 and 4 be referred to Mayor and Cabinet.