Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote via Microsoft Teams - The Public are welcome to observe this meeting via the Council's website at

Contact: Jasmine Kassim 


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 26 KB

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RESOLVED that the Minutes of the last meeting held on 26 May 2020 be confirmed and agreed as an accurate record.


Declarations of Interests pdf icon PDF 224 KB


The meeting noted personal interests in relation to Item 3 “Scrutiny of the Council’s Covid-19 Response – Update Report” as follows:

·                     Cllr Joan Millbank – declared that she is a member of the Lewisham Local Collaborative;

·                     Councillor Sakina Sheikh – declared that she is a trustee on the board of the British Sign Language Voluntary Services in Lewisham.


Scrutiny of the Council's Covid-19 Response - Update Report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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The Chief Executive gave an overview of the report.  She recommended to the Panel to note efforts by the Council in response to the Covid-19 crisis, and consider and comment on the anchoring principles of recovery outlined in paragraph 5.6.


Members noted the report, commended officers for their hard work, and expressed an appreciation that efforts made by the Council’s Shielding Outreach Team had been effective.


Commenting on the details in the report, Members stated that the internal processes were useful but insufficient because there was not much evidence to suggest that local people who should benefit from them were aware of the available support.  Thus, collaboration with partners should underline the anchoring principles as an assurance to residents that were receiving the best possible services that the Council was able to deliver during the crisis.  Members also expressed a concern about health inequalities revealed by Covid-19 reports across the country, and suggested that officers should perhaps consider implementing some national recommendations into the work of the local recovering group, such as those from the Marmot Review on health.



·           Officers to publicise services that the Council was delivering with its partners to respond to the crisis, including information about continuity of provision to vulnerable people, so that local people are aware of them.


In response to questions raised, the Chief Executive advised the Panel that the co-ordination of efforts with the voluntary sector and local community groups was vital in enabling the Council to invent and reinvent its approaches to deliver and sustain critical services into the transition phase.  However, to maintain up-to-date data on activities about shielding and the distribution of food was a challenge because residents’ demands were constantly changing.  Furthermore, most foods distributed by national government to residents were inappropriate.  Notwithstanding that, staff in the Shielding Telephone Support Team were contacting residents on the shielding list within 24 hour of registration to check that their needs were being met.  Members also received confirmation that employees would continue to be deployed in accordance to demand. 


In light of a concern about aspects of the local place-shaping programme, the Chief Executive advised Members that the Council had implemented an online package support for its staff.  It was stated that the Black and Minority Ethnic Group (BAME) network of staff had sent a survey to their members.  Members were further advised that regular staff surveys would shortly be implemented across the board, with a view to collate responses for an assessment of support that might be required by individuals.  On aspect about roads, the Chief Executive stated that a safe and sustainable transport system would in no doubt benefit users, but that she would consult with engineers to investigate whether a re-design of current highways plans were necessary in light of the Government’s recent revised announcement relating to social distancing rules.



·           Officers to share the Council’s approaches of possible review to Lewisham’s highway programme with partners in the voluntary sector and local community centres.


Members noted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Key Decision Plan pdf icon PDF 25 KB

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The report was introduced to the Panel by the Head of Business and Committees.  He requested that Members note and comment on upcoming key decisions.



·           Officers to clarify how the Homeless Strategy scheduled for consideration in September 2020 would impact on support currently provided by the Council to rough sleepers as a result of the crisis.

·           Officers to provide timetable for public consultation on the Local Plan, together with implementation date.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.


Decisions Made by Mayor on 10 June 2020 - open session pdf icon PDF 229 KB


The Chair of the Panel, Councillor Bill Brown, informed the meeting that Councillor Jim Mallory would provide a feedback following his attendance at the meeting of the Mayor and Cabinet on 10 June 2020 to address on matters relating to the “Council’s response to Covid-19 – Financial update”.


Councillor Mallory gave a summary of the recommendations he presented to the Mayor and Cabinet.  The recommendations were welcomed by Members as relevant to help shape the future of the Council’s services post the initial impact of Covid-19 crisis.  Councillor Mallory pointed out that equally important was a need for the local community to know and understand how the Council’s current financial situation would impact on service provision.


In response to questions raised, the Interim Director of Corporate Services (CS) advised the Panel that the Council’s capital programme was focused on delivering sustainable and affordable housing for residents.  Thus, although it was sometimes necessary to review viability of approved schemes to ensure that value for money continued to be achieved, creating opportunities for jobs and skills remained part of the Council’s regeneration commitments.


The Interim Director CS clarified to Members that possible actions against the Government should it not meet its commitments to reimburse local government for the added responsibilities resulting from the coronavirus outbreak was unclear.  However, from officers’ perspective, the Council would continue to access relevant networks and forums to learn and share best practice, with a view to deal with the current financial pressures, and forecast and identify risks that might occur post Covid-19 crisis.  Members were also advised that steps were currently being taken b officers to submit returns to the Government in a timely fashion on costs associated with Covid-19 activities.


Continuing with her response, the Interim Director CS advised Members that the Council’s procedures and processes for budget setting would provide a consistent message to residents about its financial position.  She highlighted achievements and plans in working with partners as evidence of the Council’s community engagement efforts.  Specific to current priorities, the Interim Director CS informed Members that consultation on the budget setting arrangements would commence in the autumn of 2000 for considering by the Mayor and Cabinet prior to submitting at full Council meeting in February 2021. 


Councillor Amanda De Ryk, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources expressed a concern about uncertainties as a result of inconsistent messages from the Government regarding reimbursement of money spent on Covd-19 activities at a time when councils were emerging from austerity measures.  Councillor De Ryk gave an assurance to the Panel that various London local government networks would continue to lobby the Government about the refunds, in order to help councils deal with potential financial gaps in their budgets.


The Panel also noted statement by Councillor De Ryk in support of views by the Interim Director of CS that the budget setting process would provide a meaningful engagement with residents about the Council’s financial priorities.  Councillor De Ryk informed the meeting that as part of the democracy review  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Exclusion of the press and public pdf icon PDF 45 KB


RESOLVED that members of the public and press be excluded from the consideration of the remaining items on the agenda.


Decisions Made by the Mayor on 10 June 2020 - closed session


Decision by the Executive Director for Community Services on 12 June 2020