Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2

Contact: Salena Mulhere  Email:

No. Item


Minutes of the meeting held on 24 October 2016 pdf icon PDF 211 KB


1.1       RESOLVED: That the minutes of the last meeting be agreed as a correct record of the meeting.


1.2       The Chair advised the committee that he had written to Barry Quirk on Friday requesting an independent inquiry into matters relating to New Bermondsey and the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation.


1.3       The Chair asked members to agree to note that action for the record. This was agreed.



Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 200 KB


2.1       RESOLVED: That the following declaration of interest be recorded.


·         Cllr Michael declared that he was a member of the Lewisham Safer Neighborhood  Panel.


Emergency Services Update pdf icon PDF 262 KB


3.1         The Chair welcomed the guests from the London Ambulance Service (LAS), the London Fire Brigade (LFB)and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).


3.2         Graham Norton and Philip Powell addressed the Committee. The key points to note were:


·           20,000 more incidents in 2015.

·           An increase from 59.2% to 63.3% of calls being category A calls in 2015/16.

·           Implications for performance this year: it is challenging to maintain performance with unprecedented demand.

·           There are three areas of growth: 111 calls forwarded to 999 where need be, healthcare professionals calling and the Met calling in. These 3 areas represented 27% of call volume in 16/17.

·           Efforts to “Hear and treat” (and manage those calls where appropriate on the phone only) have been made, LAS has the highest numbers in the country of “frequent callers”,

·           LAS are working with NHS England to improve handover with Accident & Emergency and are also working with the MPS to understand activity.

·           LAS has more people and vehicles out this year than last year, are being proactive to help manage demand via social media, and have adjusted staffing plans leading up to winter pressure, working with the wider health system to minimise delays in hospitals.

·           There is now a dedicated team helping to manage the pressures and redirect ambulances to hospitals as effectively as possible. 

·           There was a systems failure with logging calls on 1st Jan 2017 from 12.30 am to 5.15 am. Some callers waited longer than they should have and LAS apologise. An external investigation, carried out by NHS England, has been launched to look at the impact on patients. LAS will share the findings with OSC when the investigation has concluded.

·           LAS was previously placed in special measures by the CQC, there are a range of projects in place to address this. There is a process in place now to ensure the right kit is always in ambulances. 140 new ambulances are being built and will start being delivered in March. LAS are also looking at the needs of increasing numbers of bariatric patients to identify if LAS need more specialist equipment, and more vehicles that can transport this group of patients. Governance was also highlighted by the CQC. A new duty of candour has been put in place to support openness. Graduate recruitment been redesigned to give a clear outline of what recruits can expect. There have been improvements in medicines management with enhanced staff training and the encouraging of incident reporting.

·           Recruitment was previously a weakness but 700 front line staff were recruited last year. SE London sector is now fully staffed, last time performance was reported to this committee this was not the case.

·           There are improved personal development plans for staff development: over 60% have had an appraisal so far this year.


3.3         In response to their questions, Members were advised of the following:


·           Previously, lots of paramedics were leaving to go to Australia and New Zealand, but currently the posts are fully recruited to in Lewisham. However, because of demand  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Thames Water incidents in Lewisham pdf icon PDF 133 KB


4.1     The Chair welcomed the guests from Thames Water to the meeting. The officers addressed the committee and provided a handout. The following key points were noted:


·         Thames Water apologises for the recent floods in Lewisham, to councillors and to the public. The impact was devastating and Thames Water has been trying to speak to as many residents affected as possible to give apologies and make sure they are not out of pocket as a result.

·         In the last 6 months there have been a number of similar high profile incidents. An internal review has been carried out and no single cause found. There are a range of issues related to old assets and also access issues.

·         A wider strategic external review is being carried out and Thames Water will act on its findings.

·         In Lewisham last year Thames Water repaired 1448 leaks equating to 39 million litres of water: 16-18 Olympic pools were fixed in last 12 months in Lewisham.

·         In the next 12 months Thames Water are going to invest in 95000 metres of network and continue to work with TfL and highways officers in boroughs.


4.2       Sarah Hurcomb gave an overview of the two incidents in Lewisham:


·         On 26 November 2016 Thames Water were notified that a 24inch trunk main had burst in Lee High Road, which resulted in significant flooding and closure of a TFL red route for 11 days. The devastation was awful.

·         There was additional media interest as, as a result of a sink hole, a coach got stuck and it was a significant exercise to remove people from the coach.

·         When Thames Water were finally able to control and isolate the water supply this resulted in 3000 customers without water for 7 hours, although alternative water supplies were made available.

·         This main does not directly feed any customers, but indirectly feeds about 118,000 people and Thames Water had to be mindful of that when closing the supply. This main needs 4 valves to be shut to isolate it, 24 inch mains require a turn a minute to shut them slowly and safely.

·         There were additional challenges because the valves were buried under a 4 way traffic junction so engineers had to be escorted onto the junction to do that.

·         There were also high voltage cables and gas pipes, so UK power networks had to be on site to facilitate safe access.

·         There then followed a complex clean up exercise. Loss adjustors and a flood response team were on site within 2 hours, one of Thames Water’s directors was on site for the first day to manage and respond to media requests and a senior manager was on site every day.

·         Three residents meetings were held in 11 days after the incident to answer questions and Thames Water did all it could to support customers. The support continues now depending on the needs of the customer.

·         Work is still ongoing to return customers’ lives back to how they were before the incident, Thames Water  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Devolution update pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Additional documents:


5.1       RESOLVED: That the update be noted.


Items to be referred to Mayor and Cabinet