Agenda item - Member Involvement

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Agenda item

Member Involvement

To consider the following matters raised by Members:

 

(a)           Petitions: To receive any petitions;

 

(b)           Written Questions: To consider any written questions;

 

(1)       Green Flag Status- Councillor Platts

(2)       Bins at Saltdean Oval- Councillor Fishleigh

(3)       Ovingdean Waste Bins- Councillor Fishleigh

(4)       Car Free City- Councillor Fishleigh

(5)       Valley Gardens- Councillor Fishleigh

(6)       Wish Park Disabled Access- Councillor Nemeth

(7)       Mallory House Tree Removal- Councillor Bagaeen

(8)       Camera Fines- Councillor Nemeth

(9)       Parking Permits- Councillor Nemeth

(10)    Pavement Renewal in Conservation Areas- Councillor Nemeth

(11)    Hangleton Park budget measures- Councillor Lewry

 

(c)           Letters: To consider any letters;

 

(d)           Notices of Motion: to consider any Notices of Motion referred from Full Council or submitted directly to the Committee.

 

(1)           Hangleton Link Road- Councillor Janio

(2)           Re-evaluating the current scheme for Valley Gardens Stage 3- Councillor Fishleigh

(3)           Poor condition of pavements in Brighton & Hove- Councillor Nemeth

(4)           Strike Preparedness- Councillor Nemeth

(5)           Old Shoreham Road Cycle Lane- Councillor Nemeth

(6)           Southern Water Investment- Councillor Hills

Minutes:

(B)     Written Questions

 

(1)           Green Flag Status

 

68.1      Councillor Platts read the following question:

 

“I would like to commend the work of Council staff and the community on the award of prestigious Green Flags for seven of our parks and open spaces because they are well maintained, provide a good community focus and have excellent facilities. What steps are being taken to secure Green Flag status for East Brighton Park?”

 

68.2      The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Thank you for your question.

Currently, there are no resources identified to increase the number of Green Flag parks in the City.

Despite the impact of Covid on the overall condition of parks, City Parks has managed to maintain all our Green Flags accreditations.

It is hoped that the imminent restructure of City Parks will attract some additional skilled gardeners which, combined with the level of additional funding received to City Parks, could open up opportunities to seek more Green Flag accreditations.

Brighton & Hove has a spread of Green Flag parks across the city. If further accreditations are sought, this committee will need to decide which parks to put forward as it is not realistic in the current economic climate to expect to get all parks to this standard.

There will be a report to committee on this when the budget situation is clearer for next year”.

 

(2)           Bins at Saltdean Oval Park

 

68.3      Councillor Fishleigh read the following question:

 

“I have been requesting new bins for Saltdean Oval Park since being elected in May 2019. Sadly, none have been forthcoming and in fact 2 have been removed. Please don’t refer to the binfrastructure survey in your answer. I don’t need a survey to know that new bins are needed in a park which is 50m from my home. If I buy bins to put by the skate park and the football court, will BHCC empty them on a regular basis please?”

 

68.4      The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Thank you for your question and for your offer to buy bins for Saltdean Oval Park.

Sadly, and as has been mentioned at previous committees, it’s not as simple as just placing the bins.

City Environment must have the capacity and resources to empty the bins on a regular basis and, at present, is unable to do so. You referred to Bin Infrastructure in your question and it is through delivery of this Action Plan (not survey), that Cityclean is looking at how to create additional capacity without the need for additional resources.

A project is in place to progress this, and senior officers have recently told me that the service has not had the capacity or resources to move things as quickly as we would have liked”.

 

68.5      Councillor Fishleigh asked the following supplementary question:

 

“If I buy the bins and I ask residents to pick up and put the turquoise bags next to the existing bin, will the council take those bins away please?”

 

68.6      On behalf of the Chair, the following response was provided:

 

“I can’t give a response here but would be happy to speak with Councillor Fishleigh outside the meeting”.

 

(3)           Ovingdean Waste Bins

 

68.7      Councillor Fishleigh read the following question:

 

“Residents of Ovingdean have repeatedly come to committee to ask for general waste bins to be provided on the village’s main pedestrian routes. They have even provided suggested locations - and the residents association has said it has funds to contribute. Please would you give me an update on progress?”

 

68.8      The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Thank you for your question.

My response is based on answers to previous similar questions and to the reply provided to the previous question.

The sites suggested by residents have been reviewed and feedback on these was provided to this committee in September 2021. The locations that are possible will be considered as part of the wholescale review of the bin infrastructure across the city.

As I said earlier, Cityclean needs to ensure it has the resources to empty these bins once they are installed, which is why it is not possible to implement immediately. The potential locations will be included as part of this”.

 

68.9      Councillor Fishleigh asked the following supplementary question:

 

“What are the timescales for the completion of the Binfrastructure survey and the rollout of new bins in Ovingdean, Saltdean and Rottingdean?”

 

68.10   On behalf of the Chair, the following response was provided:

 

“That’s not something I have to hand; we’ll have to get back to Councillor Fishleigh”.

 

(4)           Car Free City

 

68.11   Councillor Fishleigh read the following question:

 

“Do you agree that a car-free city is not the same as a liveable city and therefore the terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably by officers or councillors at BHCC?”

 

68.12   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“A report on options for a Liveable City Centre was presented to ETS Committee in January last year and made clear the move away from using the term ‘Car Free City Centre’ which had previously been used. Additionally, the city’s local theme to mark the annual World Car Free Day last September, was ‘A liveable city for everyone’, paying recognition to the aims of becoming a liveable city and promoting travel that is active and inclusive.

In order for us to create a liveable city which can be carbon neutral by 2030, requires a shift in travel habits away from car use, particularly for shorter journeys. These are principles outlined in the draft Local Transport Plan 5”.

 

68.13   Councillor Fishleigh asked the following supplementary question:

 

“Are you familiar with the Mobility Index produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit that ranks cities across five critical capacities: stability, healthcare, education, culture and environment. Therefore, to use this phrase is just another buzzword the council has latched onto and is using incorrectly”.

 

68.14   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“I have heard of it but I’m happy to look into it further”.

 

(5)           Valley Gardens

 

68.15   Councillor Fishleigh read the following question:

 

“Could you confirm the relationship between the company that manages the cameras and the fines at the Valley Gardens Bus Gates - and Project Centre, the company that managed the detailed design and delivery of the first two parts of the Valley Gardens scheme and has been awarded a similar contract for Phase 3 too?”

 

68.16   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“There is no relationship between the consultant that designed the first two phases of Valley Gardens and the management of Bus Lane camera income.

Bus lane CCTV camera installation and enforcement is managed by Council Officers within the Council rather than by any external company. All Bus Lane PCN’s are issued through CCTV and are reviewed first by Council Officers within the Traffic Control Centre. Any appeals are also dealt with in-house by the Council’s PCN Appeals team and any unsuccessful appeals can then be dealt with independently through the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. All income from Bus Lane PCN’s and Parking Income goes to the Council, not to any external organisation”.

 

68.17   Councillor Fishleigh asked the following supplementary question:

 

“Please will you investigate further and make sure that you give me the correct information in written format within the next seven days?”

 

68.18   On behalf of the Chair, the following reply was provided:

 

“We are aware that Marston Holdings are a parent company but the answer is absolutely correct in that the management of the PCN’s for bus lanes are managed in-house by the council not by Project Centre or NSL or Marston Holdings. Any income from PCN’s whether it is on-street parking or bus lane camera enforcement comes straight to the council and not any private organisation or third party. Project Centre are a designer, they were appointed through a competitive tender using our framework and were successful in their bid to undertake the detailed design work on Valley Gardens Phase 1, 2 and 3”.

 

(6)           Wish Park Disabled Access

 

68.19   Councillor Nemeth read the following question:

 

“What work has been carried out to restore access around the perimeter of Wish Park to all members of the community following the removal of public access along the pathway outside the Saxon Road pavilion?”

 

68.20   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Thank you for your question.

Following a similar question being asked at this committee in September 2021, I asked officers to review the situation.

Officers have reviewed again the costs and benefits of installing a new footpath within the park around the existing fencing.

The cost is at least eight-thousand-pounds which City Parks advise would not be advised expenditure at this time given there is an existing route on the western side of the nursery building”.

 

68.21   Councillor Nemeth asked the following supplementary question:

 

“Could this be expedited and looked into as it is a council created issue?”

 

68.22   On behalf of the Chair, the following reply was provided:

“We will look into this further and hold a meeting with Councillor Nemeth”.

 

(7)           Mallory House Tree Removal

 

68.23   Councillor Bagaeen read the following question:

 

“At the last ETS meeting, members were told that the cost of replacing one tree could run into thousands of pounds sterling. This month, the Council agreed that trees can be felled, as opposed to reducing their height, and officers issued a remedial notice to this effect. How has it become acceptable to fell healthy trees in Hove under your watch?”

 

68.24   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Thank you for your question.

The trees in question do not fall within a conservation area and are not covered by a Tree Preservation Order. This means the owner had no obligation to obtain the council’s permission to fell and has chosen to fell the trees.

Closely adhering to the government’s guidelines on high hedges, a remedial notice was served on the owner to reduce the height of a row of Lawson Cypress on the site.

This remedial notice stipulates a maximum height but the owner is entitled to cut to a lower height or totally remove the row of trees, if they choose.

An emergency area order TPO 2022 (1) was served on the 7th of January to prevent further removal in the short term. Officers will return to the property in the spring to confirm the TPO and identify the specific trees covered.

The high hedge legislation falls under part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003”.

 

68.25   Councillor Bagaeen asked the following supplementary question:

 

“Can I request officers to investigate whether what was felled or cut back constitutes a breach of the Town & Country Regulation Order 2012”.

 

(8)           Camera Fines

 

68.26   Councillor Nemeth read the following question:

 

“Please provide an up-to-date breakdown of camera fines to motorists, by all camera locations, detailing numbers of fines, amount raised, detail of offence, and numbers of appeals won/lost for each of the last three years”.

 

68.27   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“The information requested is very detailed and not something that can be read out with context or clarity in this meeting. I earlier provided an update on the situation for the CCTV cameras in Valley Gardens and I’ll send you all of the information and data in regard to this request subsequent to the meeting”.

 

68.28   Councillor Nemeth asked the following supplementary question:

 

“Can I have that information quickly?”

 

68.29   On behalf of the Chair, the following reply was provided:

 

“The information is almost ready so hopefully it can be sent to you very soon”.

 

(9)           Parking Permits

 

68.30   Councillor Nemeth read the following question:

 

“What consideration has been given to extending the expiry date of visitor parking permits to take into account COVID restrictions?”

 

68.31   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“It was agreed at the end of 2020 to extend visitor permits that had expired in 2020 for a further year as a large amount of the year was spent in lockdown and there were restrictions on having visitors due to measures implemented by central government.  The Council publicised this accordingly and residents have had the time to manage the amount of visitor permits they purchased.

Given things have settled down and travel patterns by vehicles have recovered to pre-pandemic levels and in some cases exceeded these, it has been decided not to extend visitor permits that expired in 2021 for a further period. It should be for residents to plan and manage their visitor permit requirements rather than building up stocks that are carried forward into following years. It’s important to clarify residents don’t have to buy all their allocation of residents in one go. If the national picture changes in terms of new restrictions then we will review this accordingly”.

 

(10)        Pavement renewal in Conservation Areas

 

68.32   Councillor Nemeth read the following question:

 

“Following several recent controversial incidents that have led to much protest from residents and amenity societies locally, what is the Council’s policy on replacing pavement slabs with tarmac in Conservation Areas and why does it appear to have recently changed?”

 

68.33   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“A policy has been in place for many years that sets out the approach to repair /replacement of footway materials.  This policy has always promoted the use of asphalt as a material that is both long lasting and more economical in use. 

The policy does include reference to conservation areas, but no specific direction and each scheme has to be considered when it is being planned.  This policy is due for review and in light of the need to reduce carbon and meet the council’s objective of carbon neutrality it is clear that things need to change.  The full life cycle of footway construction has to be considered and ultimately the carbon footprint for obtaining materials and then future life. 

The recent schemes used asphalt as the replacement material as the existing footways suffered from trip hazards and different types of slabs, particularly where continuous vehicle overrunning adjacent to crossovers led to badly cracked slabs, asphalt is more flexible and able to (more easily) withstand vehicle damage .  Each site was considered in light of the policy and the material selected to meet the sustainable low carbon objectives”.

 

68.34   Councillor Nemeth asked the following supplementary question:

 

“When the new plan is done, however it is done, can consultation be a large factor in whatever plan is made?”

 

68.35   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“I’ve had a similar problem in my ward actually so this is something we will need to address”.

 

(11)       Hangleton Park budget measures

 

68.36   On behalf of Councillor Lewry, Councillor Nemeth read the following question:

 

The following expenditure item was agreed to at the City Budget in March 2021:

£0.090m capital investment for: A) tree planting around phone masts; replacement play equipment in Patcham parks; resurfacing of Hangleton Park multipurpose play area; £0.020m replacement of the zip wire at Saltdean Oval Park and additional pothole repair funding. B) £0.010m invest in open space sports infrastructure such as tennis court nets and basketball hoops. The open spaces to include Hangleton and Hove seafront. C) £0.010m capital investment in replacement bins in open spaces including Hove Park, Hove Recreation ground, Greenleas Park and Knoll Park.

Please can the Chair advise the current status of the following budget expenditure projects referred to above:

i)      Resurfacing of Hangleton Park multipurpose play area.

ii)     New basketball hoops at Hangleton Park.

 

68.37   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Investment is needed in our outdoor sports facilities and the additional funds allocated by council last year is very much appreciated to supplement S106 funding where it is available.

Hangleton Park Baseball hoops and back board are planned for replacement by end of April 2022.

Stoneham Park and Knoll Park Basket Ball hoops have already been completed.

Stoneham Park MUGA has been replaced this year costing approx. £113k. In March 2022 we will be commencing work amounting to £300k in two MUGAs at Carden Park and Wild Park.

Hove Park Basket Ball court and Saunders Park will be reviewed for investment in May 2022.

We will review Hangleton Park MUGA surface but please be aware that the cost of this may exceed £10k in itself. However we will look at what the options are for improvements of this and all of our outdoor sports facilities. Further to this the works will be prioritised based on need to prevent the loss of the facility and where we can raise sufficient funding to undertake the required work – for example we may be able to progress works sooner in parks where S106 funding is available”.

 

(D)      Notices of Motion

 

(1)           Hangleton Link Road

 

68.38   Councillor Janio moved the following Notice of Motion:

 

This council requests:

 

1.      A report be submitted to the ETS Committee, detailing the funds required to fund a pedestrian bridge, and any necessary support infrastructure, across the Hangleton Link Road (A293) as near to the Hangleton Lane/Hangleton Link/Fox Way roundabout as practically possible; and

 

2.      A report be submitted to the ETS Committee, detailing possible developments in the vicinity of the Hangleton Lane/Hangleton Link/Fox Way roundabout, that might be channelled into the crossing in 1. Above.

 

68.39   For the purposes of procedure, the Chair formally seconded the Notice of Motion.

 

68.40   Councillor Hamilton moved an amendment to the Notice of Motion as shown in bold italics below:

 

3.     A report be submitted to the ETS Committee that considers all options available to provide safe forms of crossing on the Hangleton Link Road.

 

68.41   Councillor Wilkinson formally seconded the amendment.

 

68.42   The Chair then put the amendment to the Notice of Motion to the vote that passed.

 

68.43   The Chair then put the Notice of Motion as amended to the vote that was approved.

 

68.44   Resolved-

 

This council requests:

 

1.    A report be submitted to the ETS Committee, detailing the funds required to fund a pedestrian bridge, and any necessary support infrastructure, across the Hangleton Link Road (A293) as near to the Hangleton Lane/Hangleton Link/Fox Way roundabout as practically possible; and

 

2.    A report be submitted to the ETS Committee, detailing possible developments in the vicinity of the Hangleton Lane/Hangleton Link/Fox Way roundabout, that might be channelled into the crossing in 1. Above.

 

3.    A report be submitted to the ETS Committee that considers all options available to provide safe forms of crossing on the Hangleton Link Road.

 

(2)           Valley Gardens

 

68.45   Councillor Fishleigh moved the following Notice of Motion:

 

This Council notes that there are a multitude of problems with the current plans that need to be resolved prior to work starting on VG3 including this small sample:

?           The economic and health consequences of creating a five-lane road on the east side of the Old Steine directly in front of two city centre medical surgeries, homes and businesses

?           The disbenefit of narrowing pavements by more than three metres

?           How the bus loop works without a confusing, dangerous and slow filter system against oncoming traffic

?           How buses and other vehicles will share lanes without causing vehicles to have to switch lanes or wait for passengers to get on and off

?           Pedestrians have been placed in direct conflict with the new two-way cycle lane across the whole scheme including at Palace Pier and the planned new entrance to Pavilion Gardens.

This Council agrees that:

1.      VG3 will happen but it is our responsibility to ensure that the scheme is implemented in the way that works for all users - and that there are no oversights or unintended consequences.

This Council agrees to:

Request the ET&S Committee to appoint a third-party and genuinely independent traffic consultant to evaluate the scheme as it stands at the moment. This consultant should then meet with all the stakeholders to hear their concerns about the current scheme and prepare a report that will be evaluated at a future full council.

 

68.46   The Chair then put the Notice of Motion to the vote that failed. Councillor Bagaeen and Councillor Nemeth requested that the official record reflected that they were in support of the Notice of Motion.

 

(3)           Poor Condition of Pavements in Brighton & Hove

 

68.47   Councillor Nemeth moved the following Notice of Motion:

 

This Council:

1.        Reaffirms concerns that have been raised in the past about excessive use of glyphosate herbicides;

 

2.        Notes widespread condemnation from residents and visitors alike of the current state of the pavements in Brighton & Hove;

 

3.        Further notes that allowing weeds to take hold discourages active travel; raises the chance of injury to members of various vulnerable groups; increases costs for maintenance and compensation claims; and fosters a sense of neglect in the public realm; and

 

4.        Calls for an urgent Officer Report to be presented to Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee that sets out how pavements in the city can be rapidly brought to a high standard without excessive use of glyphosates.

 

68.48   Councillor Hills moved the following amendment to the Notice of Motion as shown in bold italics below:

 

This Council:

1.     Reaffirms concerns that have been raised in the past about excessive the use of glyphosate herbicides;

2.     Notes widespread condemnation from some residents and visitors alike have raised concern about of the current state of the pavements in Brighton & Hove

3.     Further notes that allowing weeds to take hold may discourage discourages active travel; raises the chance of injury to members of various vulnerable groups; increases costs for maintenance and compensation claims; and fosters a sense of neglect in the public realm; and

4.     Notes that the parking of motor vehicles on pavements is a threat to residents’ safety. It leads not only to cracks in pavements, allowing more opportunities for weeds to grow, but also makes pavements dangerous for people on foot and in wheelchairs; and reaffirms council’s position that Government must fast-track legislation to ban pavement parking.

5.     Recognises recent key challenges in removing weeds; including a shortage of manual workers caused by both Brexit and the pandemic;

6. 4.Calls for an urgent Officer Report to be presented to Notes that an upcoming report to Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee will set out how pavements in the city can be rapidly brought to a high standard without excessive use of glyphosates the council manages weeds in the future, learning from the past few years of pesticide free removal; and

7.     Further notes that improvements to walking in the city were recently consulted on as part of the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).

 

68.49   Councillor Fowler formally seconded the amendment.

 

68.50   The Chair then put the amendment to the vote that passed.

 

68.51   The Chair then put the Notice of Motion as amended to the vote that passed.

 

68.52   Resolved-

This Council:

1.      Reaffirms concerns that have been raised in the past about the use of glyphosate herbicides;

2.      Notes some residents and visitors have raised concernabout the current state of the pavements in Brighton & Hove

3.      Further notes that allowing weeds to take hold may discourageactive travel; raises the chance of injury to members of various vulnerable groups; increases costs for maintenance and compensation claims; and fosters a sense of neglect in the public realm;

4.      Notes that the parking of motor vehicles on pavements is a threat to residents’ safety. It leads not only to cracks in pavements, allowing more opportunities for weeds to grow, but also makes pavements dangerous for people on foot and in wheelchairs; and reaffirms council’s position that Government must fast-track legislation to ban pavement parking.

5.      Recognises recent key challenges in removing weeds; including a shortage of manual workers caused by both Brexit and the pandemic;

6.      Notes that an upcoming report toEnvironment, Transport & Sustainability Committee will set out how the council manages weeds in the future, learning from the past few years of pesticide free removal; and

7.     Further notes that improvements to walking in the city were recently consulted on as part of the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).

 

(4)           Strike Preparedness

 

68.53   Councillor Nemeth moved the following Notice of Motion:

 

This Committee:

 

1.    Calls for an Officer Report detailing what measures are now in place to deal with future refuse strikes to ensure continuity of service and safety to the public.

 

68.54   Councillor Bagaeen formally seconded the Notice of Motion.

 

68.55   The Chair put the Notice of Motion to the vote that failed. Councillor Bagaeen and Councillor Nemeth requested that the official record reflected that they were in support of the Notice of Motion.

 

(5)           Old Shoreham Road

 

68.56   Councillor Nemeth moved the following Notice of Motion:

 

This Committee:

 

1.    Reaffirms its position that it will not support the reinstatement of the removed cycle lane, or similar creation, on the Old Shoreham Road.

 

68.57   Councillor Bagaeen formally seconded the Notice of Motion.

 

68.58   The Chair put the Notice of Motion to the vote that failed.

 

(6)           Southern Water

 

68.59   Councillor Hills moved the following Notice of Motion:

 

The Committee notes the critical health and environmental concerns around the dumping of raw sewage in our rivers and seas by water companies. Despite being fined £90m for illegally discharging sewage into our waters, Southern Water used the Portobello Storm Outfall near Saltdean to dump raw sewage more than 50 times last year, posing a significant threat to human health and marine ecology.
The Committee notes local residents pay to ensure water is effectively managed and considers Southern Water is not fulfilling its duty to update drainage systems to cope with the impact of climate change.

The Committee therefore requests that the Chief Executive writes to Southern Water

·       asking for clarification on plans to stop sewage overflows as soon as possible, by 2030 at the latest.

·       Inviting their CEO to a meeting of Health Overview Scrutiny Committee to explain recent actions and to discuss workable ways forward to improve water quality.

·       Asking them to engage with local government, the public and community groups to identify investment to improve our city’s drainage, in order to reduce flooding and dependence on the combined sewer capacity

 

The Committee resolves to:

·       Work with Southern Water and partners to design and implement a citywide SuDS strategy to reduce surface water flooding by 2030.

·       Investigate whether funds from Southern Water’s recent fines can be redistributed to pay for works.

 

68.60   Councillor Lloyd formally seconded the Notice of Motion.

 

68.61   The Chair put the Notice of Motion to the vote that was approved.

 

68.62   Resolved-

 

The Committee notes the critical health and environmental concerns around the dumping of raw sewage in our rivers and seas by water companies. Despite being fined £90m for illegally discharging sewage into our waters, Southern Water used the Portobello Storm Outfall near Saltdean to dump raw sewage more than 50 times last year, posing a significant threat to human health and marine ecology.
The Committee notes local residents pay to ensure water is effectively managed and considers Southern Water is not fulfilling its duty to update drainage systems to cope with the impact of climate change.

The Committee therefore requests that the Chief Executive writes to Southern Water

·       asking for clarification on plans to stop sewage overflows as soon as possible, by 2030 at the latest.

·       Inviting their CEO to a meeting of Health Overview Scrutiny Committee to explain recent actions and to discuss workable ways forward to improve water quality.

·       Asking them to engage with local government, the public and community groups to identify investment to improve our city’s drainage, in order to reduce flooding and dependence on the combined sewer capacity

 

The Committee resolves to:

·       Work with Southern Water and partners to design and implement a citywide SuDS strategy to reduce surface water flooding by 2030.

·       Investigate whether funds from Southern Water’s recent fines can be redistributed to pay for works.

Supporting documents:

 


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