(maximum of 40 minutes duration)
Questions to members of the Cabinet and responses given were as follows:
a) Question: air pollution in Chichester
Following a recent news report stating that not enough was being done in Chichester to reduce kerbside pollution Mrs Apel asked whether this would affect the decision regarding Whitehouse Farm.
Response: Mrs Purnell had received a letter from Dr T Coffey MP requesting information about air quality management issues, to which a response was being prepared. There were three air quality areas in Chichester – Orchard Street, St Pancras and Stockbridge – where emissions had reduced over the last five years. Rumbolds Hill was currently being monitored but needed to be under review for period of three years before it would be allocated as an air quality area.
Air quality impacts were specifically raised during the Whitehouse planning application process and addressed. Air quality required a multi-faceted approach. Slow moving and stationery/waiting traffic on the A27 traffic was a big issue along with diesel vehicles, which were still subsidised by the Government. It was suggested that an article be published in the Initiatives magazine in order that residents could understand the issues.
b) Question: evening car parking charges at Northgate and New Park car parks
Mr Plowman requested the Leader to consider the withdrawal of evening car parking charges at Northgate and New Park car parks in light of protests by residents.
Response: Charges had not yet been implemented. The Chichester District Parking Forum had considered an increase in car parking charges in these two city car parks to ensure that all users of car parks contributed equally to the maintenance and initiatives such as the Safer Car Park award. New machines offering different payment options were being introduced; disabled car parking spaces was free. The Cabinet had made a decision to put the charges out to consultation and to delegate the decision to the Executive Director and the portfolio holder.
Members requested that a further report with the results of the consultation and a charging proposal be considered by Cabinet following conclusion of the consultation period.
c) Question: progress of devolution
Mr Oakley questioned the progress made on devolution.
Response: Little progress had been made. The mayoral model would be required to advance devolution options however this model of governance was not in favour by many of the 26 Councils involved. The Chief Executive was keeping a watching brief on this area and no further work on devolution was being resourced at this stage.
d) Question: poppy services attended by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman
Mr J F Elliott was concerned that the Chairman had not mentioned the poppy services which she and the Vice-Chairman had attended and asked her to name the services she had attended in early November.
Response: The Chairman advised that she and the Vice-Chairman had attended a number of events recently. A full list of these events is attached to these minutes.
e) Question: Despatch of printed Council papers
Mr Shaxson was concerned that committee agendas (some with exempt information) were being delivered in the post in flimsy envelopes which had split open during transit.
Response: This would be investigated.
f) Question: effect of appointment of additional Cabinet member on the budget
Mr Shaxson asked what impact the appointment of an additional Cabinet member had on the budget.
Response: Mr Ward advised that the cost would be absorbed into the Member Services budget this year and built into next year’s budget.
g) Question: consultation on phone boxes in the district
Mr Shaxson asked whether the Council was taking a lead on developing a response on the consultation on phone boxes in the district.
Response: Mrs Lintill would be progressing this shortly with the Communities team.