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.


85.1    In respect of question 2, Councillor Hilton asked if the Cabinet Member was disappointed that accounts were unaudited. Councillor Norman expressed disappointment and clarified that it was a widespread national issue with multiple reasons for delay.


85.2    With regard to question 3 and the engagement of consultants, Councillor Pullen asked how would services function without consultants, as such suggested by Central Government, and what be reduced to achieve such functionality.  Councillor Norman advised that much of this expenditure was for specialisms and/or smaller, short term tasks which did not warrant larger scale financing.


85.3    Councillor A. Chambers asked, in relation to question 5, if ways to inform residents of reporting fly-tipping could be examined. Councillor Cook encouraged Members to raise issues and they would passed on to be dealt with. He would also check what mechanisms there were for Members to report such issues.


85.4    In relation to question 8, Councillor Chambers-Dubus asked how long it might be before a marked difference was seen in the numbers of those on the housing waiting list. Councillor S. Chambers advised that this was difficult to predict but that there had been improvements in the emergency and gold bands.


85.5    Councillor O’Donnell asked how homeless person would be helped with appointments. Councillor S. Chambers advised that agencies did conduct outreach work but that some homeless people were reluctant to take up offers of accommodation.


85.6    In relation to question 11, Councillor Trimnell asked if communications to Sainsbury’s could be arranged to express concern that the pharmacy and café at the St. Ann’s way site were closed. Councillor Cook advised that it was a local, commercial matter but that he would be happy to liaise.


85.7    Councillor Wilson asked if the Council should have checked the status of the company erecting masts and if there was anything that needed to be done. Councillor S. Chambers advised that she was satisfied that no further action was required and that officers were liaising with the planning inspectorate.


85.8    With regard to question 22, Councillor O’Donnell asked how many officers were involved in managing contracts. Councillor Norman advised that a written response would be provided.


85.9    As a supplementary question to number 25, Councillor Radley asked if it would be possible to discuss with the County Council the possibility of providing a park and ride. Councillor Cook stated that, whilst discussions could take place, such services were often under-used and questioned whether the County Council would be willing or able to provide such resource.


85.10  Councillor Hilton asked with regard to question 26 if it was right to consider reducing parking provision. Councillor Norman advised that the parking team was monitoring capacity and promoting other car parks.


85.11  With regard to question 27, Councillor A. Chambers asked if the cited pay increases were only related to those agreed by the National Joint Council. Councillor Norman that it included on-costs and were negotiated by trade unions.


85.12  Councillor Radley asked as a supplementary question to question 31 if it was considered acceptable that some had been advised to phone for council tax appointments but with little response. Councillor Norman advised that if no arrangement was in place, the intercom at the Gateway could be used and that some queries required more detailed knowledge.


85.13  Councillor Hilton asked if there was frustration regarding the sale of HKP and the Fleece remaining undelivered. Councillor Norman advised that historic buildings were often difficult to maintain and to sell and that there was much for the Council to be proud of in terms of its property portfolio.


85.14  With regard to question 34, Councillor Chambers-Dubus asked where was a reluctance to disclose how many days in a week heads of department worked from Council offices. Councillor Norman advised that officers worked from multiple locations and the key aspect was success in output rather than location.


85.15  Councillor O’Donnell asked, in respect of question 35 if an audit of social housing in Matson, Robinswood and White City be undertaken. Councillor S. Chambers responded that improvement was sought across all housing and meetings had been arranged with providers.

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