Agenda item

Members question time under Council Procedure Rule 12

Members question time will last up to 30 minutes, questions will be taken in order of receipt, in rotation from each political group on the Council. The deadline for submission of questions is Tuesday 19 July at 12 noon. Questions to be submitted to


Questions received can be asked of the following:


a)        The Chairman

b)        A Member of the Executive

c)        The Chairman of any Committee

d)        The Councils representative on any outside body


Questions cannot be asked on the following


a)        A specific planning or licensing application

b)        A specific staffing appointment, appeal or Standards determination


A Member asked the following question:


Your portfolio encompasses waste. Please can you update the meeting on the progress of the food waste collection scheme, following the recent pilot? The Cabinet Member told the Council that the commercial food waste scheme was piloted last summer and was popular with customers. With regards to residential collection the Councils had received funding to run a feasibility study. Results were being waited upon and the results would be shared with everyone.


A Member asked the following question:


Highways liaison - How does ADC work with WSCC and Highways England on road safety schemes? There have been a number of serious collisions on many roads in Adur over recent weeks. How does ADC as a whole and individual ward councillors most effectively engage with road safety issues and the relevant authorities to reduce the incidence, frequency and severity of harmful accidents in our area? The issue was more relevant for West Sussex County Council. During the Planning process ward councillors had the opportunity to raise concerns regarding highways matters, parking excess cars etc. The Councils worked with the Fire Service through the Joint Action Group which included a number of other bodies and authorities. Members worked with groups such as Shoreham by-cycle and overall there was a collaborative approach although ultimate authority rested with West Sussex.


A Member asked the following question


Foreshore management - does your portfolio encompass the Adur Estuary SSSI? If so can you explain how ADC works with all stakeholders to maintain the SSSI? Recently it has been designated as 75% degraded and deteriorating. There is a lot of illegal activity in the SSSI, including industrial and commercial bait digging (not just the permitted 100 worms/1 litre/1 kg for personal use) plus damage to the salt marsh by recreational users unaware that they are harming ground nesting and roosting birds. The Cabinet Member told the Council that the Land that the Council directly manages borders right onto the SSSI location. The Council does receive reports of bait diggers / Cockle Pickers and worked closely with Sussex Police, Food Standards Agency, Natural England and the Border Police in response to those complaints. Natural England have placed enforcement notices in relation to damage to the saltmarsh and take the lead on enforcement matters in this regard.


A Member asked the following question:


Your portfolio encompasses emergency and contingency planning. Can you tell us what contingencies were put in place to manage the recent extreme heat across the Adur District? From the recent experience what lessons have been learnt for future extreme weather events?  The Cabinet Member stated that Adur District Council was a member of the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) which was a Local Resilience Forum (LRF) which was a partnership of all local authorities who work together to prepare and respond to emergency situations and warnings. The SRF had an Adverse Weather Plan that includes heatwave. A Heatwave Plan for England was also in place and issued by the UK Government/NHS. With the recent very high temperatures (Red Heatwave Warning), a Tactical Coordination Group met daily with partners of the SRF present. The Councils Safety & Resilience team attended these meetings. Following these meetings advice to all managers and staff was given especially those staff who are front line and work outdoors.


A Member asked the following question:


Environmental protection - air quality. The air quality monitors in the high street regularly record harmful levels of PM10, PM 2.5 and NOx. As you will be aware 36,000 excess deaths in the UK are attributed to poor air. Can you outline what ADC is planning to do to reduce congestion, idling, traffic and to improve air quality locally? As an asthmatic recovering from long covid clean air is something that is of utmost importance to my health and wellbeing, and that of hundreds of other local residents. The Cabinet Member told Members 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 Cabinet Member found the matter challenging as it was the responsibility of the Authority, however, the issues arose from areas of responsibility form other authorities such as roads (managed by West Sussex and Government Policy etc). Currently the Council was 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 which will be out for consultation in the coming months.


A Member asked the following question:


Your portfolio encompasses housing needs register. Can you update us on the number of households currently awaiting homes? What is the timescale for reducing this list to as near zero as is possible? How many of these households are in category A, the most severe need? Adur Council’s housing register currently has 809 households, with 120 on Band A, 39 on Band B, 405 on Band C and 245 on Band D

The Council is actively working to increase the number of affordable rented homes to households on the housing register. Though the Council was actively working to increase the number of affordable homes available to those who need one including those on the Council’s housing register, the severe shortage of housing across the Country, especially in the South of England means it is unlikely that the housing register will be reduced any time soon. Last year, the Council delivered 15 new social rented homes in the new Cecil Norris Building. All homes went to households on the housing register. Construction was already at an advanced stage on the Albion Street site which would deliver 49 new homes, the Council had nearly finalised plans to deliver nearly 40 homes through our small sites programme and was working to deliver a new Ashcroft Sheltered Housing. All these units would go to Adur Residents on the Council’s housing register. More affordable homes would be delivered through the planning process and the Council’s Local Plan. The New Monks Farm would deliver about 75 homes and the Old Civic Centre will deliver over 100 homes. Residents were already successfully bidding for the New Monks Farm homes on the housing register.


A Member asked the following question:


Adur Tenants forum comes under your portfolio. There is a significant need for AH tenants to have their concerns and issues heard and acted upon. Yet there continue to be communication problems across AH. The tenants forum has not met for a while and had very limited engagement. At the last zoom meeting (which I attended with 2 other cllrs, 3 officers and only 3 tenants) there did not appear to be an effective residents voice. Can you advise how you plan to get better engagement with AH tenants? Is this something that the new participation manager could work on? What models are being looked at to improve engagement and rebuild trust? Members were told that it was important that all residents of Adur Homes had an effective voice. For residents' voice to be effective, the representation must be independent of Councillors and Council influence. Like other Adur Homes residents groups such as the Sheltered Housing Action Review Panel (SHARP) and the Adur Leaseholders Forum, the Adur Tenants Forum (ATF) is independent. Officers have been working with leaseholders to reconstitute the Leaseholders Forum and it is now a vibrant forum. SHARP already provides effective representation for sheltered housing residents. The Resident Engagement Officer role has just been reviewed and the process to recruit into the role is about to commence. Once in post, the officer will support Adur Homes tenants and the ATF to become more effective.


A Member asked the following question:


Sewage pollution in the river and the sea- how is the Environment team working with Southern water to improve sewerage at Laning West Beach and prevent the regular discharges into the Adur at Ropetackle? The Council worked with SWS and EA and meet regularly to discuss ongoing improvements to water quality. This included identifying misconnections of sewage and grey water. Southern Water were currently undertaking a bathing water enhancement program at Lancing West Beach. Southern Water had advised that they wanted to reduce storm overflow discharges by 80% by 2030.  The Environment Agency takes seawater samples every week during the summer bathing season (May to September). These were then analysed and the results were used to help classify the bathing water quality as either excellent, good, sufficient or poor. This regular monitoring helped protect public health and identify any areas where water quality needs to be improved. The Council used results to update bathing water quality public information signs each week. The Environment Agency tested seawater for bacteria to identify Escherichia coli (E.coli) and Intestinal Enterococci (colonies per 100ml). These bacteria could be found in faecal matter. Their presence may suggest the water has recently been contaminated with sewage or livestock waste.