Last Wednesday night's council meeting was the last full meeting before elections take place in May.
The current Leader of the Council, Chris Roberts, was not in attendance although former Council Leader and current London Assembly member for Greenwich & Lewisham, Len Duvall, was seated in the Public Gallery.
The session began on a sombre note as tributes were paid to former Councillor, John Antcliffe, whose death Greenwich.co.uk reported on last week. Councillors from all parties paid tribute to him before a one minute silence was held in his memory.
Tributes were also paid to Councillors who are standing down at this election, with the fondest words of all probably reserved for Councillor Peter King (Con, Eltham South) who has served on the Council since 1978 and has the distinction of being the only Councillor to ever represent the now-abolished Palace ward.
Deputy Leader of the Council, Peter Brooks (Lab, Thamesmead Moorings), was asked by Councillor Paul Webbewood (Lib Dem, Middle Park & Sutcliffe) for an update on the town centre pedestrianisation proposals.
Cllr Brooks told the meeting that the Council is "a way off" from having a finalised scheme, and that it would most likely be a "hybrid" of the options floated in the recent consultation.
Councillors voted to accept a freeze in their member allowances for 2010/11. The basic member allowance for Greenwich Councillors next year will continue to be £10,210.
The Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) for the Council Leader (£52,458) was criticised by Cllr Paul Webbewood, who said Greenwich was a "below average borough in performance" but was "above average in what we pay our leader".
This raised the hackles of Councillor Peter King (Conservative, Eltham South) who said it was an "appalling suggestion" that the Council Leader should be paid less. "A Council Leader does a lot more than an MP", he added.
There was howls of laughter in the chamber when Conservative group leader, Spencer Drury (Conservative, Eltham North) noted that the SRA for the leader of the second largest minority party meant that the leader of the two-man Liberal Democrat group, Councillor Brian Woodcraft (Lib Dem, Middle Park & Sutcliffe), who wasn't present, is "paid £5,000 to lead Councillor Webbewood".
Designated Public Place Order
Councillors voted through an urgent extension to anti social drinking controls in the borough. Designated Public Place Orders (DPPO) are already in place for Greenwich and Woolwich town centres but this will now be extended to cover the whole of the London Borough of Greenwich.
give Police and accredited community officers the power to stop people from drinking in public spaces, confiscate alcohol and issue fines to non-compliant drinkers.
This was brought before the Council as an urgent item in advance of this summer's World Cup.