To receive any questions from members of the public addressed to Members of the Executive in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11. There is up to 5 minutes for each question, one supplementary question may be asked arising from the original question.
Questions must relate to any matter the Council has power or which affects the District except no questions may be asked on
a) A specific planning or licensing application
b) A specific staffing appointment or appeal or Standards determination
Public question time will last up to 30 minute; questions will be taken in order of receipt. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 18 February at 12 noon.
Questions to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
A Member of the Public asked the following question: Page 71 of the recent JSC meeting indicates a reduction in the joint parks budget of £159,130. In Adur flower beds have disappeared, and I am advised that cuts will be made in the Allotment budget. Most of the Adur allotment sites have 'Overseers' who reduce costs considerably but can more reductions be justified? The member of the public was told that the joint parks budget covered a wide range of areas of service, including our cemeteries and the crematorium in Worthing as well as our parks and open spaces across both Adur and Worthing. The majority of this reduction comes from removing budgets for posts no longer required, primarily in Worthing. While the reduction to the Adur parks and open spaces budget was relatively small (£1,920). The reduction in cemeteries budget related to attracting additional income. Over the coming year the parks and open spaces team was looking at ways to improve efficiency, procuring services and generating income. There was no significant reduction planned in Adur’s allotments budget. A small saving is anticipated through the continued allotment self management programme, which results in the Council no longer charging allotment holders.
A Member of the public asked the following question: My question concerns the Motion on Notice regarding the Local Electricity Bill tabled by Councillor Neil Parkin (Agenda Item 12 and Annex A). Councillor Parkin’s Motion should be supported. If it is enacted the Bill, which should receive cross-party support, would be a significant step forward in achieving viability for local sustainable electricity supply companies, helping to overcome the prohibitive costs currently faced by small businesses interested in becoming involved in this field. The Council’s lead in installing photovoltaic arrays on civic buildings is commendable, but I believe the Council’s role needs to extend beyond action on its own buildings and landholdings. What steps will the Council take to encourage other potential contributors to sign up to the necessity for local electricity provision, and please outline what steps the Council, and indeed other organisations in Adur, will take to encourage a strong local groundswell of support for the Local Electricity Bill? The member of the public was told that the Council could only adopt measures which it has direct control over, therefore the adopted motion had to be limited in scope. Nor was the motion the only means we are pursuing with our communities to improve how they use energy. Support of the Local Electricity Bill also lined-up with the commitment to become carbon-neutral following the declaration of a Climate Emergency last July. The Councils had adopted its Carbon Neutral Plan to provide a clear pathway to achieve that goal. Nevertheless, the resident was right on initiatives that will help our communities to address Climate Change need support from across the community. The Council was committed to working across the Council’s properties and partners, to increase local renewable energy production. As part of UK100 Cities the Councils had committed to work to become carbon-neutral across Adur 2030. Ideas on how that will be achieved would be presented at the climate conference - Zero2030 on the 4th March in Worthing, which was being hosted by the Councils and local community partners. This could include support for the Local Electricity Bill. Officers engaged with communities through various means on the issue of sustainability. The Strategic Sustainability Manager had led the way in conveying a group of local authority sustainability officers from across Sussex and Hampshire, and this forum was being used to encourage neighbouring local authorities to consider the Bill. In Spring, the Councils would also be producing an updated ‘Sustainable AW’ to share what the Councils were doing and what local stakeholders have also committed to doing in terms of action on Climate Change and protecting our natural environment. The Councils were also committed to holding a Climate Assembly over a number of sessions over the coming year. In addition, the Councils had tremendous success in improving the energy efficiency and reducing energy cost for our residents through the LEAP energy advice programme. In Adur, we have had some of the highest participation numbers with 200 residents benefiting from over 1500 installations of energy efficiency measures in their homes.
A Member of the Public asked the following question: At present, there is only one public electric-car charging site in the whole of Adur, this is located in the Pond Road car park in Shoreham, which, in any case, is subject to car parking charges. What plans does the council have to increase and extend the availability of public electric-car charging points across Adur? The resident was told that the Council was working with West Sussex County Council to provide additional charge points across the District. A public rapid charge point is currently awaiting commissioning at Lancing Manor Leisure Centre, we hope this will be available next month. The Council was also working with developers through the planning process to introduce charge points into new developments. Where possible, this would also include publicly available charge points.
The Chair of the Adur Consultative Forum purported that there had been inadequate consultation with the forum concerning the responsive repairs policy and asked if consultation in future would include the forum at an earlier stage. The Executive Head of Customer Services explained that there had been an earlier miscommunication and stated that there would be better communication in the future.
A resident stated that there had been flooding across the County. The resident stated that a development was due to begin on a flood plain in Lancing and asked what the Council was doing to protect Adur residents, particularly Lancing from flooding and was told that a response would be given in writing after the meeting
A resident told the Council that parking was a serious problem in shoreham. The area from Cecil Norris to free wharf there were a number of new homes that would exceed the number of parking spaces by at least 300. There were also other parking pressures from the Focus building and a proposed development at Free Wharf. It was argued that Car clubs and travel plans would only dissuade a few people from owning cars which was different from dissuading people from using cars. Until there was progress in securing safer cycle routes and improved public transport there would be only limited decreases in car ownership. The resident asked how the Council could justify such an extreme underprovision of car parking spaces for new developments knowing that it would lead to more cars circling looking for on street parking, an increased demand for paved front gardens leading to a loss in flowers trees and shrubs which would lead to an increase in water runoff. There would also be an increase in on street parking. The resident was told that an answer would be provided in writing
A resident stated that as part of the focus travel plan a meeting should take place with the travel plan manager and a representative of the council six months after occupation. What was the result of that meeting if it has occured? The resident was told that an answer would be provided in writing