Agenda item - Public Involvement

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Agenda item

Public Involvement

To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:


(a)          Petitions: To receive any petitions presented by members of the public to the full Council or at the meeting itself:


(i)     Ban Animal Circuses in Brighton – Petition referred from the full Council meeting held on the 6th April, 2017 (copy attached).


(b)          Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 15th June 2017.


(c)          Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 15th June 2017.



5a        Petitions


5.1       The Chair stated that he wasaware that there was a petition referred from the Council meeting on the 6th April, however as a report on the matter was due to be brought to the committee in September, he was minded to defer this item so that it could be considered in conjunction with the report. He had been in touch with the lead petitioner who had indicated that they were also happy for it to be considered in September.


5.2       RESOLVED - That the position be noted.


5b       Written Questions


5.3       The Chair noted that two public questions had been received and invited Mr Hawtree to come forward and to put his question to Committee.


            Provision of Daily Newspapers in Libraries


5.4       Mr Hawtree asked: “Would Councillor Robins please tell us what publicity methods will be used to inform readers that, after so long an absence, daily newspapers return to the Carnegie and other libraries, and explain why there has been this woeful lapse?”


5.5       The Chair replied: To advertise to customers that the newspapers are now back there are announcements on our website (newspapers page), Twitter and Facebook, and there are also notices in all the libraries concerned.


5.6       There has been a problem with the provision of hard-copy newspapers to Hove Library and some community libraries which are supplied from Hove and we are sorry for the inconvenience that this has caused customers. Please be aware that this is a common problem for public libraries who are all dependent on the willingness of local newsagents, and that a number of libraries elsewhere in the country have had to stop providing newspapers altogether for this reason.


5.7       Newsagents have become reluctant to supply newspapers to libraries as it can be difficult for local newsagents to submit regular invoices and wait for payment, and they are also reluctant to issue itemised bills which are needed for corporate credit card payments. It is no longer feasible to ask staff to collect the papers for libraries on their way in to work as we no longer use petty cash.


5.8       A number of local newsagents in Hove and Tescos were approached, but all of them have either declined to supply us, or did not reply when the manager was contacted. Eventually a supplier was found from further away but time was needed to get them set up on the council’s finance system so we can pay them and to arrange transport and access as they have to deliver before any staff are on site.


Throughout this time anyone could still read the papers in all the affected libraries every day they were open by using our free online resources - and they can even use their library membership card and PIN number to read these papers online for free at home if they want to.


5.9       By way of a supplementary question Mr Hawtree asked whether in the light of references to Library Provision contained in the recently published Labour Party Manifesto the level of charges to borrowers could/would be reviewed.


5.10    The Chair explained that this was reviewed annually and that it was anticipated that a report providing information on usage levels and the level of charges which were appropriate would be brought forward to the scheduled January meeting of the Committee.


            Need to Incorporate Significant Bookable Community Space Within King Alfred Redevelopment


5.11    The Chair referred to a question which had been received from Ms V Paynter and invited Ms Paynter to come forward and to put her question to the Committee.


5.12    Ms Paynter, asked: “Does BHCC recognise the need to incorporate significant bookable community space within the King Alfred redevelopment to replace what Hove has already lost over and above what will also be lost in demolishing the street-access 400 seat ballroom?”


5.13    The Chair replied:The loss of existing community facilities is an important planning issue and this will be considered as part of the consideration of future development proposals for the King Alfred site. The council’s priorities for the site are to secure the replacement of new indoor public wet and dry sports facilities which will provide for the local Hove communities and to the wider mix of facilities in the city. Alongside this, other ancillary leisure and health uses are supported together with the provision of new homes. This is reflected in Policy SA1 in the adopted City Plan.


5.14    As part of the procurement exercise, leading in January 2016 to the appointment of the Preferred Developer, bidders were invited to put forward additional uses which they considered would complement the sport and leisure uses and the Preferred Developer’s scheme includes community space.


5.15    By way of a supplementary question Ms Paynter referred to the capacity figures at different council venues including the King Alfred Leisure Centre and the need for more bookable spaces asking whether an audit had been carried out by the council and if not, whether it would be possible for consideration to be given to doing one.


5.16    The Chair explained that whilst funding to carry out such an exercise were limited that could certainly be looked at as part of the City Plan Part 2 subject to the requisite funds being available if it was considered appropriate to do so.


5.17    The Chair noted that there were no further items listed under Public Involvement.

Supporting documents:


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