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.


60.1    As a supplementary question to question 1, Councillor Hilton asked what would be the ‘break even point’ regarding agreed tenancies at the forum. Councillor Cook responded that this was not detail that he had to hand but that the Council were striving for greater occupancy rates.


60.2    Councillor Hilton asked in respect of question 2, would the administration guarantee continued liaison with Roots café and rescue support of requested. Councillor Padilla noted that Roots played an important role in the community and that it was difficult in the context of Council resources to provide direct financial support. It had been a board decision to close the café but the Council would extend any form of practical assistance.


60.3    With regard to question 3, Councillor Pullen asked the Leader of the Council if he was disappointed that it had been two years since the decision to erect a Covid Memorial had been taken and it had not been sourced. Councillor Cook responded that numerous parties had been involved which had resulted in the slow progress previously described.


60.4    Councillor Pullen asked in respect of question 4 how the administration envisaged reaching carbon neutrality by 2030 when the Climate Change Action Plan had not been published. Councillor Cook explained that the forthcoming plan would provide a basis for change but that the correct strategy needed to be adopted.


60.5    Councillor O’Donnell queried that given the Herbert Kimberley Phillpotts Warehouses were vacant, whether they could be converted into accommodation. Councillor S. Chambers stated that to do so, would overreach the Council’s physical position and that there were significant practical challenges when dealing with buildings which were deemed to be conservation buildings.


60.6    In respect of question 6, Councillor O’Donnell asked if a consultation could be conducted in Abbeydale regarding converting a house for multiple occupancy. Councillor S. Chambers responded that the property in question was not managed or owned by the City Council and was happy to receive correspondence regarding this matter.


60.7    With regard to question 7, Councillor Chambers-Dubus asked when the Council would meet traders at Eastgate market. Councillor Lewis stated that he had conducted various meetings on new leases with traders and that any changes would be negotiated with tenants.


60.8    With regard to question 9, Councillor A. Chambers asked what priority was given to military veterans in bidding for housing. Councillor S. Chambers stated that veterans did deserve favourable conditions and were provided as such.


60.9    Councillor Field asked if it was policy to replace a number of trees in Tuffley Park. Councillor Cook advised that it was his intention to plant many trees and that Members with such queries could contact the Council’s tree officer.


60.10  With regard to question 11, Councillor Trimnell asked if the Cabinet saw the prospect of any redundancies. Councillor Norman advised that the administration was doing everything it could to restore the fiscal position and that redundancies were always a measure of last resort.


60.11  As a supplementary question to question 14, Council Castle asked what the difference in cost between contractors and Council staff engaged in the removal of Christmas lights. Councillor Norman advised that she would provide a written response.


60.12  With regard to question 15, Councillor Hilton asked if the Council’s financial position was in a poor state. Councillor Norman shared his concern and advised that she had received assurances that audited accounts for 2021-22 would be available by the end of the month.


60.13  Councillor Norman advised in respect of question 16 that the HKP Warehouses had been remarketed and it was hoped that a buyer would be found soon.


60.14  With regard to whether the Council would consider action against CICs where allegations of mistreatment of clients had been made, Councillor S. Chambers advised that action could only be taken with accurate information and encouraged Councillor O’Donnell to pass any details on.


60.15  In respect of question 19, Councillor Padilla assured Members that measures could be initiated to assist with anti-social behaviour and that work undertaken in the wider City should be considered also.


60.16  Councillor Norman advised Councillor Field in respect of question 20 that expressions of interest by prospective tenants for the Club at Tuffley Park would be considered shortly with himself and that there was a commitment to have a new tenant prior to the pre-election period.


60.17  With regard to question 21, Councillor Trimnell asked if the Cabinet Member would seek to repair damage to barriers at the Docks. Councillor Norman stated that she would and asked Members to provide photographs of any damage they had witnessed.


60.18  Regarding question 22, Councillor Hilton asked if the administration intended to compare tenders for leisure facilities and include a Council provided service also. Councillor Lewis stated that the Council did not have the financial resources to make this viable.


60.19  Councillor Pullen asked if it would have been preferable to not use contractors in general and for the Council to provide various services in house. Councillor Norman stated that she did agree and that many contracts were for nominal figures which would not be prudent to deliver in house.


60.20  With regard to question 24, Councillor O’Donnell asked why the Council provided some organisations with premises gratis. Councillor Norman advised that all such requests were determined on a case by case basis.


60.21  Councillor Cook advised Councillor A. Chambers that the proposed changes to Group Leaders and Deputy Leader’s allowances was of zero cost to the Council.


60.22  With regard to question 32, Councillor Trimnell asked that further information be provided on what contact had been made to the County Council to better conduct highways enforcement activity. Councillor Cook advised that he would seek clarity on what could be shared.


Question to Chairs of Committees


60.23  In respect of Councillor A. Chambers’ questions to the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Field clarified that Members were welcome to suggest what the Committee considered whether Members of the Committee or not. He further advised that the Committee did not seek to involve itself in operational matters conducted by Officers.


60.24  In respect of Councillor A. Chambers’ questions to the Chair of the Licensing and Enforcement Committee, Councillor Brooker advised that investigations would take place when allegations against taxi drivers had been made. She also advised that she would respond in due course with further detail on the matter of the length of time it took for new drivers to receive license plates.

Supporting documents: