Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Suite

Contact: Kevin Flaherty 


No. Item


Declaration of Interests pdf icon PDF 205 KB


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 26 KB


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on November 24 2021 be

confirmed and signed as a correct record.


Petitions pdf icon PDF 128 KB


No petitions were presented.


Announcements or Communications pdf icon PDF 278 KB


(i) Obituaries


Councillor Andre Bourne paid tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Council

Freeman, and former resident of the Borough. Archbishop Tutu was

recognised as an internationally known opponent of apartheid who maintained

strong links to Lewisham.


Councillor Obajimi Adefiranye added that Archbishop Tutu was the first

African to be made a Freeman of the Borough in 1994. He said he was proud

to have met him and he praised his efforts for the contribution he had made to

the continuing struggle for justice and equality.


The Mayor remembered Jack Dromey MP for Birmingham Erdington. Jack

Dromey was the father of former Cabinet Member and Councillor Joe

Dromey. The Mayor offered his condolences to Jack’s family at this sad time.


Councillor John Muldoon added that he had known Jack Dromey for several

decades having first met him in the 1970s thanks to their joint involvement in

the Trade Union movement. Councillor Muldoon praised him as a people’s

politician serving diligently the residents of his Birmingham constituency since

2010 and acting as Shadow Immigration Minister.


All present observed a minute of silence in memory of Archbishop Desmond

Tutu and Jack Dromey MP.


(ii) Borough of Culture


Councillor Andre Bourne updated the Council on the Borough of Culture

programme which was due to commence on Friday January 28. Details of the

programme could be viewed at


(iii) New Years List 2022


The Speaker congratulated Alex Yee, Ezechi Britton and Emma Redding on

their awards.


(iv) New Cross Fire Anniversary


The Deputy Mayor, Councillor Brenda Dacres, reported on the 41st

anniversary of the New Cross Fire and the commemorative service she had

attended the day before.


(v) Holocaust Memorial Day


The Mayor commenced this item by recounting the long history of support the

Borough had given to Holocaust Memorial Day. He placed his thanks on

record to his predecessor as Chair of the Memorial Committee, the Deputy

Speaker, Councillor Pauline Morrison. He said it was crucial that

commemorative work continue given that society had clearly not learned

lessons from the terrible acts of the past. The continuing strands of anti-

semitism had been recently demonstrated by the attack on a synagogue in

Texas by a British citizen. The Mayor looked forward to the online launch of

Holocaust Memorial Day and reported the theme would be ‘one day’.


The Mayor introduced Gerald Rose, the Warden of Catford & Bromley

Synagogue who reminded the Council that January 27 each year was

Holocaust Memorial Day. He spoke about the life of Holocaust survivor,

Rachael Levy whose portrait had been commissioned by Prince Charles and

was shortly to be unveiled on a BBC 2 programme.


Mr Rose concluded by saying a memorial prayer in English which was

followed by a video.


The Mayor and the Speaker then both lit memorial candles to commemorate

the victims of all holocausts. All present then observed a minute of silence.


(vi) Mayor’s Winter Appeal 2021


The Mayor thanked all who had contributed to the raising of over £15,000.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.


Public Questions pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Additional documents:


53 questions were received from members of the public which were

answered by the Cabinet Member indicated. Thirty minutes were made

available at the meeting for questioners to raise supplementary questions.

A copy of the questions and answers was circulated separately and can be

viewed on the Council website with the meeting papers.



Member questions pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Additional documents:


12 questions were received from Councillors which were answered by the

Cabinet Members indicated. A copy of the questions and answers was

circulated separately and can be viewed on the Council’s website with the

meeting papers.



Council Tax Base 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 523 KB


Councillor Amanda De Ryk, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources

moved that the recommendations be approved and this was seconded by

Councillor Mark Ingleby, the Chair of the Public Accounts Select Committee.


Under the provisions of the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England)

(Amendment) Regulations 2014, a recorded vote of those physically present

in the Council Chamber was conducted on this item with the following result:


In favour 23


Damien Egan (Mayor), Obajimi Adefiranye, Tauseef Anwar (Speaker),

Chris Barnham, Paul Bell, Kevin Bonavia, Patrick Codd, Brenda Dacres, 

Amanda De Ryk, Colin Elliott, Alan Hall, Octavia Holland, Mark Ingleby,

Samantha Latouche, Paul Maslin, Joan Millbank, Hilary Moore,

John Muldoon, Jacq Paschoud, John Paschoud, James Royston,

Eva Stamirowski, and James-J Walsh.


Against nil


Abstention nil


and it was unanimously:




(1) the recommendations arising from Mayor and Cabinet on the 12 January

2022 be received;


(2) the Council Tax Base calculation for 2022/23, as set out in the annual

Council Tax Base government return, attached at Appendix A be approved;


(3) a Council Tax Base of 88,904.9 Band D equivalent properties for 2022/23 be approved;


(4) a budgeted Council Tax collection rate of 95.0% be approved;


(5) no changes be made to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) for

2022/23, that eligible claimants make a minimum contribution of 25% towards

their council tax;


(6) the continuation of the discretionary Council Tax discount of 100% for care

leavers up to the age of 25, as set out in section five be approved;


(7) the existing policy of a 0% discount for second homes for 2020/21 be

continued for 2022/23, as set out in section five be approved;


(8) the existing policy of a 0% discount for empty homes Class A (an empty

property undergoing structural alteration or major repair to make it habitable)

be continued, as set out in section five be approved;


(9) the existing policy of a 100% discount awarded for a period of four weeks

and then a 0% discount thereafter, for empty homes – Class C (a substantially

empty and unfurnished property) be continued, as set out in section five;


(10) the existing Long Term Empty Property homes premium of 100% for

properties empty between 2 and 5 years, and 200% for those empty for over

five years be continued, and a 300% premium be introduced for properties

that remain empty for 10 years or more, as set out in section five;


(11) the introduction of a 25% ‘sanctuary’ discount to ensure residents eligible

for a single person discount are not financially worse off as a result of housing

a refugee, be appoved, as set out in section five;


(12) the proposed 2022/23 National Non Domestic Rate (NNDR) estimated

net yield of £70m, based on current information available and excluding any

potential additional Covid reliefs or rateable value changes be noted; and


(13) the approval of the final 2022/23 NNDR1 form be delegated to the

Executive Director for Corporate Resources for submission by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.


Motion pdf icon PDF 124 KB


The motion was moved by Councillor Kevin Bonavia and seconded

by Councillor Samantha Latouche. The motion was then put to the vote and

declared to be unanimously carried.


RESOLVED that the following motion be agreed:


This Council notes that: 


(i)            Lewisham has a proud history of welcoming people seeking safety

and is the first local authority in the UK to be recognised as a

Borough of Sanctuary by the City of Sanctuary;


(ii)           there are significant problems with the UK asylum system that

affect people in Lewisham, including a record backlog of cases

awaiting a decision, an effective ban on working, and enforced

poverty and homelessness;


(iii)          the Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill does not address

these issues, and will instead create a two-tier system, penalising

people seeking safety based on the journeys they make;


(iv)         people seeking sanctuary, including Afghan refugees, who reach

the UK via unofficial routes will be criminalised and threatened

with deportation under this Bill;


(v)          the Bill will create longer backlogs, warehouse people in large

accommodation centres, and leave many refugees with a

temporary and precarious status;


(vi)         the Government’s proposals have been condemned by

organisations in Lewisham that comprise the Lewisham Migration

Forum as well as the City of Sanctuary Local Authority Network

and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in the UK.

This Council believes that:


(i)            the UK needs an asylum system that empowers people seeking

safety to rebuild their lives and enables communities to welcome

and encourage them to play their full part in society;


(ii)          this Bill undermines the essential human right to seek safety as

expressed in the United Nations Refugee Convention of 1951 and

that the UK should uphold its obligations in international law and

its responsibilities as a global nation;


(iii)         this Bill will lead to greater poverty and homelessness in

Lewisham and emergency destitution support that is provided for

those with No Recourse to Public Funds will place an unfair

burden on council resources that have already been brutally

slashed by over a decade of Government austerity.


This Council resolves to:


(i)            call on the UK Government to withdraw the Nationality and

Borders Bill;


(ii)           call on the UK Government to work with local authorities and

communities to build a fairer and more effective asylum system.



The meeting closed at 9.46pm.