Agenda item

Questions from the public

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 19 July at 12 noon.


Questions to be submitted to


A member of the public asked the following question:


In 2019 an announcement was made concerning a tranche of money allocated to the regeneration and improvement of Millfield Estate in North Cokeham and this was welcomed by Councillor Albury at that time.


Why was this money then reallocated to Eastergate? What plans are now in place to carry out the deferred Millfield improvements?


The Cabinet Member explained that Funding was earmarked for capital improvement works to Millfield Estate in the Capital Improvement Works Programme 2017 - 2019.


For clarity, the Council does not have Eastergate Estate within its social housing stock. It may be that the resident meant to refer to Fishersgate Estate. Notwithstanding, It is not correct that these funds were reallocated to any other estate. Following the tragic Grenfell fire incident and subsequent guidance on fire safety obligations of social landlords, the Capital Improvement Works Programme was refocused on fire safety measures. A number of projects were put on hold, including the proposed works to Millfield Estate.


A revised programme of works for Millfield Estate was the Capital Improvement Works programme for the current financial year. The works had been designed based on a visit to the estate by Officers, Councillor Mansfield and I (Councillor Albury) last year, and subsequent meetings with residents of the estate. 


The Chairman read out a question on behalf of a member of the public as follows:


According to Imperial College London, the air quality throughout Shoreham-by-Sea exceeds WHO levels meaning all residents, including children, are exposed to dangerous air pollution. What is the councils plan to bring air quality within internationally recognised safe levels?


The Cabinet Member told the meeting that the Council declared an Air Quality Management Area in Shoreham in 2005 and since then has been working in partnership with West Sussex County Council, Sussex Air and other agencies to implement a number of measures to improve air quality in the District. The authorities had successfully worked in collaboration with neighbouring authorities to bid for additional funding from DEFRA to deliver an education programme with schools and develop air quality emissions mitigation planning guidance. Currently the Council were continuing to work with WSCC on a county wide electric vehicle charging strategy for the provision and roll out of charge points across West Sussex including Adur. Work was currently underway to provide a car club and the erection of anti-idling signs at traffic hotspots. The Council is in the process of producing a revised Air Quality Action Plan which will set out further measures to tackle air pollution.


The Chairman read out a question on behalf of a member of the public as follows:


There are hardly any trees in Shoreham which provide a sanctuary for wildlife, soak up CO2, produce oxygen and provide shade. What are the councils plans to increase tree cover in Shoreham?


The Cabinet Member told the meeting that the authority planted native trees wherever possible verge planting schemes were the responsibility of West Sussex County Council.


A Member of the public asked the following question:


Adur’s work to green up and enhance the environmental habitats of the district is well received by the community. However, we bring to your attention a 6 acre site which is located north west of the NMF. Known locally as the Horsey Fields, it lies behind Bens Car Wash and the run of housing along the Lancing stretch of the westbound A27. Its southern boundary is shared with Cala homes first phase development.


This 6 acre site is an existing, brilliant natural habitat for wildlife with multiple species of birds, bats, badger, foxes and foraging for deer.


The current local plan has clearly designated the site as a Biodiversity Action Plan area resulting from Shiells Flynn evidence and recommendations for the plan. Dense woodland of around 1 acre sits within the site. Both north and south of the wood are key drainage ditches which are vital to the drainage of N. Lancing and the A27.


There are Tree Preservation Orders on a number of rare cypress trees.


The question we ask is :


There has been no move by the council to put into action that Biodiversity Action Plan. The whole site vitally needs protection. It’s a pathway to particularly wildlife corridors which link with the National Park and what habitat is left in NMF. This is a quick win for improving our natural green spaces.


To comply with the Local Plan 2017, will the council please set this BAP in motion to preserve and enhance this rich-in-wildlife site, protect drainage and, as part of the plan, consider placing a Tree Preservation Order on the whole of the wood?


The Cabinet Member told the Council that the horsey fields formed part of the wider New Monks Farm in the Local Plan. The Local Plan was currently being reviewed and any application on that site would need to address the ecological and drainage constraints identified in the Local Plan. An application had been submitted to make the area a local greenspace which would be considered as part of the Local Plan review.


A Member of the public asked the following question:


Why does it take so long for a void to be reallocated? A property in Fishersgate has been handed back to the council since 6th June and nobody has been to clean it out and since the person has died (his body was not found  for at least 2 days) nobody has been in to see what state the bungalow is in. Why? Is there not a shortage of housing in the Adur area.


The Cabinet Member responded as follows: It is not unusual for a family member who does not have the authority to surrender the tenancy to hand back the keys with the deceased’s belongings still in the property. Dealing with the death of a relative can be a difficult time for most families therefore the Council is considerate, empathetic and approaches return of the property with sensitivity, as it can sometimes take time for the bereaved family to resolve the belongings particularly if probate is required. The Council has a significant number of long term voids due to a number of issues. Long term voids are where turnaround takes longer because major works are required. Often this is the case where we have to deal with asbestos, carry out major refurbishment due to the age of the property and where the previous tenant has left the property in a poor condition among other reasons.

Until recently, the Council has had issues with energy companies refusing to restore power to a property because the previous tenant has left a significant energy bill unpaid. The energy company often wants the Council to clear this bill before restoring power. An arrangement is now in place to deal with this therefore it is no longer an issue. We also now have additional capacity from an external repairs company, therefore we expect to see the turnaround time of the long time voids improve.