To deal with any questions on notice from Members of the Council, in the order in which they have been received.
A period of up to 15 minutes is allocated for the asking and answering of questions. This may be extended at the discretion of the Chairman with the agreement of the majority of those present.
Question submitted by Councillor S. Hughes
”The Government is currently consulting over removing the right of local authorities to determine environmental standards in new homes as part of its Future Homes Standards. Does Cllr Kent agree that this could hamper our aspiration to become carbon neutral and limit our ability to set ambitious requirements for new homes as part of our review of the local plan? Will you write to the Secretary of State following the election in December to ask for a rethink?”
Councillor A. Kent, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regulatory Services responded that unfortunately he had been away on a course for the last few days and had not been able to speak to officers to get a response to this question; he therefore agreed to provide a written response outside of the meeting.
Question submitted by Councillor S. Douglas
“What is the best way to get these two vital items, appended to the Bromsgrove District Plan 2011-2030 without delay:
· Protected provision for walking and cycling, with dropped kerbs, linked to public transport, should have priority when planning the most convenient option or getting about, and
· That all new buildings including domestic housing be carbon neutral compliant and ECP Rating A, with run-off water storage, energy generation and appropriate EV points; these having now arisen given the urgency of holding back climate change and the reduction of air pollution?”
The Leader referred the question to Councillor A. Kent, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regulatory Services responded that unfortunately he had been away on a course for the last few days and had not been able to speak to officers to get a response to this question; he therefore agreed to provide a written response outside of the meeting.
The Monitoring Officer clarified that constitutionally the relevant Portfolio Holder was able to respond to a question in writing if it was felt more appropriate.
Question submitted by Councillor P. McDonald
“Would the Chairman of the Council please inform me of the total costs associate with the mothballing of the old Council House in Burcot Lane; for the last two years?”
The Chairman referred the question to Councillor G. Denaro, as Portfolio Holder for Finance and Enabling who confirmed that the total cost to date was £98k with a refund from the Valuation Office, following appeal, expected of £77k. This would bring the cost down to £21k.
Question submitted by Councillor A. Kriss
“The Council is obliged in law to provide public burials for residents who die having no known relatives. This work is undertaken by our team at Worcestershire Regulatory Services. Whilst there are often neighbours and occasionally friends who wish to attend to pay their last respects to the deceased, there are times where our officer is the only person present.
In recognising the contribution that all such individuals have made to life in our district can the Leader put in place a system which advises relevant ward councillors when any public burial takes place in their ward.”
The Leader responded that she had asked Worcestershire Regulatory Services to advise each Ward Councillor whenever a Public Burial of one of their Ward residents came forward so that the Member had the opportunity to attend if they so wished.
Question submitted by Councillor R. Hunter
“In recent days Bromsgrove has seen extraordinary levels of flooding. In Lickey End, for example, The Spadesbourne Brook has burst its banks. Do you share my concerns that we are not undertaking sufficient preventative work and will you commit to proving more resources for this work in next year’s budget?”
The Leader responded that everyone shared concerns about any resident who had suffered flooding in the District. However, North Worcestershire Water Management had a structure plan for maintenance. The Council was constantly reviewing this with its partners across North Worcestershire and the bulk of funding for flooding comes from Worcestershire County Council. The recent flooding in Hagley had triggered a Section 19; which meant that the County Council would do an in-depth investigation with any follow up actions required including funding. She would provide Members with an update in respect of this in due course.