Agenda item

Members' Question Time

a)    Leader and Cabinet Members’ Question Time (45 minutes) 


Any member of the Council may ask the Leader of the Council or any Cabinet Member any question upon: 


·       Any matter relating to the Council’s administration

·       Any matter relating to any report of the Cabinet appearing on the Council’s summons

·       A matter coming within their portfolio of responsibilities


b)    Questions to Chairs of Meetings (15 Minutes) 


Questions and responses will be published at least 24 hours before the meeting. Supplementary questions will be put and answered during the meeting, subject to the relevant time limit.


67.1    Councillor Hilton asked, as a supplementary to question 1 if efforts could be redoubled the ensure Spread Eagle Court was weatherproof. Councillor Cook advised that the Council continued to engage with those charged wo restoring the site and he was hopeful progress could be made.


67.2    In respect of question 2, Councillor Hilton asked what was being done to find a new tenant to occupy the former Chambers pub in Kings Square. Councillor Norman stated that discussions with the current tenant were ongoing with a view to an improved position on a new tenancy.


67.3    Councillor Pullen stated that he had previously requested additional funding for Aspire. He asked for a guarantee that GL1 and Aspire would remain open. Councillor Lewis advised that the Council had given the funding that had been requested.


67.4    With regard to question 4, Councillor Pullen asked how much the consultants formulating the climate change strategy would cost and what the anticipated timescale was. Councillor Cook informed Members that his understanding was that it would cost in the region of £85k and that he believed it would take approximately six months.


67.5    Councillor A. Chambers asked Councillor Cook in respect of question 5 whether the Ubico contract had been understood by the administration. Councillor Cook advised that the contract had been drawn up in partnership between both Ubico and the City Council.


67.6    In respect of question 6, Councillor O’Donnell asked if the Council would receive CIL monies as part of the new Barretts development. The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy advised that the development itself would improve the economy in Matson and that numerous contributions were available from other sources.


67.7    Councillor Chambers-Dubus asked what the monies from Fixed Penalty Notices in respect of fly-tipping would be used for. Councillor Cook advised that it was used for improving the enviro-crime service.


67.8    In respect of question 9, Councillor Wilson asked what would the position be if one agency advised that the inquiry into the cyber incident could be publish and another advised that it should not be publicly published. Councillor Norman provided an assurance that as much information would be public but that on some occasions there would be security information which would need to be private.


67.9    Councillor Norman advised Councillor Radley with regard to question 10 that officers were working with the City Farm in relation to leasing arrangements. In respect of questions 11 and 12, Councillor Norman advised that she was not currently in a position to confirm whether a 25 year lease could be considered either as a usual proposal or under special circumstances.

67.10  Councillor J. Brown asked for detailed plans for Barnwood Park and to be involved in work going forward. Councillor Cook stated that he would pass this request onto officers.


67.11  As a Member appointed to the Board of Aspire, Councillor Castle declared an interest in respect of question14.


          Councillor Castle asked if the Council should have been aware there were issues at GL1. Councillor Norman stated that she would follow up on what was reported in October 2022.


67.12  With regard to question 18, Councillor Hilton asked if restoring the collections database at the museum had added to the cost of the cyber recovery. Councillor Norman advised that as the recovery was not yet fully complete this was difficult to say.


67.13  Councillor A. Chambers asked in respect of question 19 what the Council would do if a significant number of newly planted trees were to die. Councillor Cook advised that this was a matter for the County Council and that the question would be better directed to that place.


67.14  Councillor O’Donnell asked if residents would receive an apology for wet paper and cardboard being collected. Councillor Cook advised that in many case, such recycling was contaminated through other means and could not be collected in that event regardless.


67.15  With regard to question 21, Councillor Chambers-Dubus asked what steps were being taken to mitigate placing homeless families in hotel accommodation. Councillor S. Chambers stated that it was being addressed as part of the housing strategy and was always looking for ways to improve.


67.16  Councillor D. Brown asked when the audit of access arrangements to the King George V playing fields would commence. Councillor Cook advised that officers would consult on this as soon as was possible.


67.17  Councillor Hilton asked in respect of question 23 what plans there were to improve autumn street sweeping. Councillor Cook advised that he was in discussions regarding whether to purchase a sweeper specifically for this purpose.


67.18  With regard to question 24, Councillor A. Chambers asked whether additional CCTV would be sought to assist in crime prevention. The Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods informed Members that there would soon be improved lighting which would improve the situation.


67.19  Councillor A. Chambers in relation to question 26 if the administration would consider rethinking the recent changes to parking tariffs in Council owned car parks. Councillor Norman stated that the cost of operating the car parks had increased through matters such as staffing, electricity and cleaning and that the impact of the changes would form part of the usual financial monitoring undertaken as a matter of course.


67.20  With regard to question 27, Councillor A. Chambers asked whether the matter of unoccupied council owned units could be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Norman stated that if a paper was sought, this would be possible. She advised that the administration was attempting to reframe the City Centre and that was not something that would ever see instant results but that there was growing interest from business to occupy sites.

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