Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Civic Suite

Contact: Jasmine Kassim 


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the minutes of the open meeting held on

16 November 2021 be confirmed as an accurate record.



Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 208 KB


Councillor Maslin declared an interest in respect of item 4. He said that the report details a scheme for the delivery of new and affordable homes at the Shaftesbury Christian Centre. The site is in his ward and he was a strong supporter of the scheme. He intended to leave the meeting physically for the duration of the consideration of this item.



Key Decision Plan pdf icon PDF 25 KB

Additional documents:


The Head of Committee Business introduced the Key Decision Plan report to the Panel, and it was


RESOLVED that the report be noted.


Open Session - Decision by Mayor and Cabinet on 12 January 2022 pdf icon PDF 251 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Paul Maslin, the Chair of the Panel, welcomed Members and Officers present at the meeting, including Councillor Patrick Codd, the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport.


The Chair informed the meeting that he had made a request for the Panel to consider the decision taken by the Mayor and Cabinet on 12 January 2022 relating to “Lewisham and Lee Green Low Traffic Neighbourhoods: Consultation report and next steps”.  The questions and requests made by the Panel in relation to this Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) topic are attached as an annex to these Minutes.


In response to questions from Councillor Octavia Holland, the Cabinet Member informed the Panel that at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, he was often approached by residents about the LTNs when on the streets, and at his doorsteps, and he responded to enquiries accordingly.  It was stated that the Council also received and responded to approximately 150 emails and several telephone calls from residents during the experimental introduction of the LTNs.  The Panel was advised that residents were provided with information about the practicalities of the LTNs, and their views were considered during the implementation, particularly from those living in the affected areas in Lewisham.


The Panel noted that only about 16 emails were received by the Council after the recent proposals were agreed by the Mayor and Cabinet at its meeting on 12 January 2022 and of those, 40% of residents informed that they were supportive, and the remainder 60% asked further questions about the implementation, with fewer notifications against.  The Cabinet Member expressed a view that fewer people seemed to want to take about the LTNs nowadays, apart from residents living in the Lee Green Ward, where implementation remained a concern.  Notwithstanding that, Council would be assessing and responding to recent emails and any other enquiries from residents in relation to the revised scheme.


The Cabinet Member also responded to questions from Councillor John Muldoon, advising that there should be no reason why scrutiny Members should not be privy to the same advice provided by officers to the executive.  The Cabinet Member confirmed to the Panel that the information and advice given in relation to the LTNs had been considered in the published officers’ report in the form of options to inform the proposals upon which the Mayor and Cabinet’s decision on 12 January 2022 as based.


In response to a question from Councillor Luke Sorba, the Director of Public Realm (the Director) advised the Panel that responses to consultation about the LTNs were considerably low because the scheme was introduced very quickly.  It was stated that a breakdown on ethnicity of residents in favour or against the scheme would be circulated to Members in due course.  Notwithstanding that, the Panel should note that it was not an unusual experience for councils across London to receive lower rates of responses to consultations from the local Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community.  The Panel was advised that the Council had acknowledged that more effort  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Open Session - Decision Taken by Executive Director of Community Services pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Additional documents:


Scrutiny Update Report pdf icon PDF 247 KB

Additional documents:


The Panel received an update report presented by the Head of Overview and Scrutiny as follows:


Select Committees


The Panel noted the penultimate round meetings were underway.   Those Committees with budget proposals to consider had considered them, or were in the process to do so.  It was stated that the Public Accounts Select Committee would be meeting on Thursday, 27 January 2022 to consider the budget in the round, and make a collective scrutiny referral to Mayor and Cabinet. 


The Panel was further advised that the Committees had been appointing Climate Change champions to ensure that work programmes take into account climate emergency considerations


Overview and Scrutiny Committee


The Panel noted that the next meeting would take place on 22 February, and the focus would be on the Future Lewisham priority “An Economically Sound Future”.

Also noted was that the Chief Executive of the New Economics Foundation would address Members on the sustainable local economic growth.  It was stated that the Committee would also receive information form officers on the local context and activity relating to supporting residents into work, and attracting and supporting businesses.


Task and Finish Groups


The Panel was pleased to note that the work of all the groups were progressing well.  It was noted that the groups would meet in February to agree their final reports and recommendations.  The full Overview and Scrutiny Committee would consider the Mayor and Cabinet response to any recommendations made by those groups.


In response to a question from Councillor Joan Millbank, the Head of Overview and Scrutiny advised the Panel that once the current Task and Finish Groups had concluded, steps would be taken to learn from the exercise about what had gone well and what did not, with a view to improve scrutiny work practice in the next municipal year.  The Chair commented that there would be a separate political discussion amongst Members as well.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.


Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime Drug Diversion Scheme Pilot - Verbal Briefing


The Director of Communities, Partnerships and Leisure gave a verbal report to the Panel, highlighting the work undertaken by the Council in research about the impact of the criminal justice system relating to low level drugs offences in Lewisham.


The Panel noted the report.  It was recognised that the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime was undertaking a similar piece of work.  Thus, there was a possible of partnership working with the Council on the issue.


In response to question from Councillor Muldoon, the Director informed the Panel that given the street nature of the activities undertaken by cannabis users and sellers, the responsibility for undertaking diversion work rested with the Metropolitan Police.  The Director also quoted an extract from the National Drug Strategy to highlight to the Panel that local discussions were consistent with the national approach:

“Sanctions will be proportionate and relevant to the circumstances.  For example, those who are caught in possession of drugs for the first time may be required to attend drugs awareness courses, so they have the opportunity to understand the harms of drugs and change their behaviour.  In some cases, an individual may need more than one opportunity to make this change in their lifestyle and police forces will have discretion to support this.  Those who do not engage will continue to offend.  The police will be able to impose further requirements including living a fine or requiring them to do work in their community or agree to undertake drug treatment for this pattern of drug use.  Ultimately, they could receive a caution or face prosecution”.


The Panel noted details about the value of diversionary activities that was keeping young people outside of the criminal justice system in regards cannabis usage.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.