Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3 Civic Suite, London SE6 4RU

Contact: Clare Weaser 

No. Item


Election of Chair and ViceChair pdf icon PDF 24 KB


RESOLVED     that


(i)   Councillor Kelleher be elected Chair;     and

(ii)   a Vice Chair be appointed at the next meeting of this Committee


Minutes pdf icon PDF 25 KB


RESOLVED     that the minutes of the meeting of the Health and Safety Committee, which was open to the press and public, held on 4 March 2019 be confirmed and signed.



Declaration of interests pdf icon PDF 208 KB


The Chair declared that she is a member of UNITE

Councillor Kalu declared that she is a member of UNITE.

Councillor Hall said that he is a member of UNITE, and Lewisham Trades Council TUC.



Corporate Health and Safety team Update pdf icon PDF 646 KB
























































































Mr Austin presented the report. He said that the Kier contract was taken over by this Council last year. All of the working arrangements were revisited to ensure that they are all compliant ensuring public and officer parts of the building are managed.


An incident involving a tree felling is still under investigation. A contractor had been employed by this Council to undertake the work. Officers are confident that the work was procured correctly. Councillor Hall said that a report has been prepared following this incident; he asked for a copy of the report to be sent to all members of this Committee. Officers said that there may be an ongoing HSE investigation on the incident but Mr Austin agreed to look in to this matter.


Mr Austin referred to the statistics in the report. He said that the more significant figures are the Riddor incidents, they report to the HSE. He said that the dangerous occurrences are all Asbestos related and have been referred to the HSE.


Councillor Best asked about the Asbestos related incident and where it was. Mr Austin said that It was not on the asbestos related register, it relates to a void in the Abbey Manor School. The work was commissioned, it was not expected that contractors would go into the void. However, they took it on themselves to go in to the void. It should not have been entered and investigations are being undertaken now.  Learning good practice and how to avoid a similar situation in the future, will be concluded as part of the investigation.


Mr Austin said that Lewisham have an asbestos register and there are surveys but Lewisham do not pay for intrusive surveys because there would be high costs for something that may not be needed.


Councillor Hall said with regard to the incident involving the tree which took place in October 2018. There was an allegation at the time that there had not been any traffic control. He understood that the Council commissioned an internal report into the incident. He asked whether the report will be available to members of this Committee. Mr Austin is not aware of this report; it could be that the HSE have not completed their investigation. Ms Der Man said that the findings could be confidential. Officers agreed to look into the matter and take a view.


Councillor Hall asked to see a copy of the asbestos register. Mr Austin agreed to look into the matter.


Councillor Millbank asked where responsibility for schools begins and ends with regard to Health and Safety. Mr Austin gave a brief outline of these responsibilities. Mr Cummins had raised unions concerns that as more schools are not under the control of local authorities it is becoming more difficult to obtain information regarding health and safety within these schools. Ms Der Man said that this subject had been discussed at the last meeting of this Committee and the minutes had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Addition on the Community Library Provision pdf icon PDF 285 KB

Additional documents:
































Mr Rizzo said that in March this year, this committee asked for information regarding the number of visits made by council workers in the exercise of monitoring health and safety in libraries. A copy of schedules which set out the responsibilities of each library was also requested. He said that two outreach officers made 13 visits in April 2019. The total visits outlined in paragraph 2.3 do not include the visits that he and other senior library officers made.


Officers visited Pepys Community Centre and met with Hyde Housing, who own the freehold and are committed to supporting local community provision in the building. However, the lease expired some time ago, and other organisations have established themselves in this community space. Given the a lack of clarity regarding this space, officers asked Hyde Housing to act in this area, possibly issuing a Tenancy at Will or similar tenancy to formalise the occupation arrangements. Officers could also confirm that Hyde Housing acknowledged the need for some essential works. Mr Rizzo said that he would keep members informed of any updates in this respect.


Among other practical problems at Pepys Library, Mr Rizzo mentioned the hole in the ceiling, which resulted from damage to a water pipe in the flat above the library and the electrics which keep tripping.


Mr Cummins asked who undertakes a risk assessment for Pepys Library and whether the building is open. Mr Rizzo said that the building is open and Hyde manage the risk assessment for the building. Members agreed that this library is a valuable resource for the local community and should be discussed with ward members. Councillor Hall asked for a copy of the risk assessment.




Verbal Briefings on Management of hazardous substances; and Recent (planned or emergency) works in the theatre





















































Management of Hazardous Substances and Recent works in the Broadway Theatre


Mr Austin said that residents in Hatfield and Gerrard Tower blocks voted on their preferred design for the re-clad of the blocks and the colour chosen. The works, are due to commence from early August 2019 and are expected to take 1 year.


Councillor Hall said that he had asked for this topic to be discussed because of the ongoing investigations into dangerous cladding on both social and private housing blocks. The LGA has recently published a document on this subject; Barking is calling for more powers and a wider brief into the removal of dangerous cladding on public buildings. He asked whether the Chair could write to the LGA to look at fire safety in tower blocks.Mr Austin said that officers are aware of this and are waiting for legislation to change Councillor Millbank suggested that that this is outside the terms of reference of this Committee.


Mr Austin said that there are four tower blocks with ACM cladding, now removed.  The block in Barking that went up in fire it appeared that the balconies were made of wood. Officers need to be assured that tower blocks in Lewisham do not contain dangerous materials. Mr Austin agreed to investigate whether there has been independent verification on the fire risks in these blocks.


Councillor Hall asked whether Roundup is used in parks. Mr Austin confirmed that it is. He asked for a report on the management of health and safety risks in parks including the use of Roundup and other chemicals. He said that he had heard that Asbestos has been seen flying around Beckenham Place Park in the air. Lewisham own this park and it should be a safe place for park users. Mr Austin said that he had not heard about this but would investigate the matter.


Ms Knappett said that she understood that there were residents in the block during the management of the Asbestos on the Excalibur Estate. Mr Austin agreed to find out how the asbestos risk to the public from Council properties in the demolition of the Excalibur estate was risk assessed and then managed safely.


RESOLVED that the report be noted and the request for further information be actioned.


Broadway Theatre




























































































Mr Austin said that works at the theatre had been slow and it is hoped that this will improve. Consideration is being given to rewiring and a report will be submitted to Mayor and Cabinet for re-investment. Councillor Best said that minor repairs are required to the broken frosted windows at the front of the building.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.


Areas for further work


Mr Austin identified the following areas for further work:


  • A copy of the asbestos register be circulated to all members of the Committee before the next meeting if appropriate.
  • Depending on the ongoing HSE investigation the internal tree incident report referred  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.