Agenda item

Public Question Time

So as to provide the best opportunity for the Committee to provide the public with the fullest answer, questions from the public should be submitted by 12.00pm Tuesday 12 July 2022


Where relevant notice of a question has not been given, the person presiding may either choose to give a response at the meeting or respond by undertaking to provide a written response within three working days.


Questions should be submitted to Democratic Services


(Note: Public Question Time will operate for a maximum of 30 minutes.)


The Leaders of the Council were present at the meeting and questions had been submitted by the Council for their attention.


A Member of the public asked the following question: One of the most household recyclable things is garden waste. Why then do the council charge such a large amount, compared to other councils, for a green bin. If the council are really committed to being "green" then surely by not charging for a green bin this would encourage household to help achieve the targets. Comments please? The Adur Leader stated that the subscription service was popular. Not everyone had a garden and it was unfair for those residents to subsidise the service for those that had gardens. The Worthing Leader stated that all things would be reviewed but echoed the Adur Leaders comments about a universal service leading to those without gardens subsidising those with gardens.


A Member asked the following question to the Adur Leader: The Leaders list of responsibilities includes responsibility for 'public consultation, including community engagement and citizens panels.' Therefore could the Leader give a progress report on community consultation and involvement and information on any citizen’s panels that have taken place?  The meeting was told that the Council was shaping a more strategic approach to participation and how we can develop more effective ways of consulting , engaging and involving residents and local businesses in local democratic decision making. This included shaping roles within the Council To help further this work. The Leader gave examples of the work including participatory work in Lancing to reimagine what Lancing should be, the Citizen’s assembly on climate change had been a success. There was engagement in New Salts Farm to develop a partnership and a five year plan. There were also other programmes including programmes on the Southwick Estate and the recruitment of a Community Participation Lead to help with engagement with residents of Adur Homes.


A Member of the Public asked the following question: Can the Leader explain the Council strategy to ensure that the waiting list for social homes is steadily reduced over the next 5 years and can he confirm that plans factor in potential increase in levels of need as a result of cost of living increases? The Adur Leader told the Committee of the Council’s construction of a number of socially rented homes including Albion Street, Cecil Norris House and Ashcroft. Members were also told of homes delivered through the planning process which included those on New Monks Farm and the old civic centre site.


A Member asked the following question: The Strategic Housing Market Assessment analysis 2020 of older persons housing needs in Adur up to 2036 states that due to considerable growth in the population of over 65s there will be an increase of 414 residents with dementia and 976 with mobility problems. Adur will need 490 units of housing with support, 430 units with care and 188 homes for wheelchair users. The authors of the report, Iceni, recommended that some of these units should be included within large developments where appropriate. What plans does the council have for meeting these needs given the dwindling amount of available building space, particularly in town centre locations, the lack of inclusion so far within the larger developments and the lack of progress on the Pond Rd site? Members were told that there were a number of units being constructed with disabled adaptations. There were a number of purpose built sheltered accommodation properties including at Ashcroft. In relation to Pond Road the Leader stated that there had been frustrations in relation to this. There were continuing meetings with the NHS and other partners. However ultimately it was within the gift of the NHS as to final decisions.


A Member of the public asked the following question: West Sussex County Council is failing to deliver the primary strategic routes so vital to the network identified in Adur & Worthing Councils’ Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan. This strategic document was developed through extensive consultation and expert input, before being unanimously accepted in 2020 and strongly endorsed by you, Cllr Parkin. Will you (along with ADC’s Executive Member for the Environment Cllr Evans) make representations to WSCC to challenge its selective interpretation of its own consultation results, and its lack of evidence-based decision-making? Would you agree that WSCC’s lack of rigour and quality design ambition for primary routes like Upper Shoreham Road appears to be standing in the way of Adur District Council achieving the goals and targets you have set around sustainable travel routes for the expanding population of our district - as well as the council’s net zero ambitions? The Leader told Members that temporary cycle route erected during lockdown had muddied the water. Executive Members were pursuing the matter with West Sussex ‘ferociously’.


A Member of the public asked the following question: After Worthing Borough Council declared publicly that it is replacing Glyphosate-based herbicides with environmentally-friendly, non-chemical products, will Adur Council please follow suit? Glyphosate is recognised as deadly for pollinators as they visit dying plants, and dangerous to us as it is carcinogenic.  Let us follow the example of Worthing, Brighton, Hampshire, and 38 other Councils, and ban its use for cosmetic purposes.  Let the Council adopt safe ways of maintaining our pavements and verges, without the use of toxic chemicals. The Adur Leader told the meeting that pavements and verges were the responsibility of West Sussex.


A Member of the public asked the following question: Is it possible to abandon party politics in local government. All candidates should be independent and live in the area that they intend to represent for at least 5 years. Therefore they could truly represent the interests of the people of their area without the shackles of party dogma. Do you agree? The Leader told the Committee that legislation was in place that set out the rules concerning Councillor selection. The Leader did not think that it would be possible to abandon Party Politics in Local Government.