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 notified by the due date of 14 September 2022;


(b)           Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 9 September 2022;


(c)           Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 9 September 2022;



21.1 Christopher Hawtree was invited to ask his question on page 23 of the agenda.


21.2 The Chair gave the following response:


Thank you for your question, Chris and always good to see you. I can confirm that the Council has always had full time cover for the Head of Libraries post, which currently is through a job share arrangement that has been in place now for some years.  I confirm that going forward, we will continue to have a full-time Head of Libraries post in place. 


21.3 Christopher Hawtree asked if the Chairs of the TECC Committee would be given a place on the interview panel and selection process if a new head of libraries post was being recruited


21.4 The Chair responded that if it were the case that a new head of the libraries service, she would hope that members of the Committee would be included in the recruitment process.


21.5 Mark Strong was invited to ask his question on page 23 of the agenda.


21.6 The Chair gave the following response:


Thank you for your questions and comments Mark. As the report notes it appears that no other council is taking a council wide, integrated, holistic, best practice led approach to accessibility. The strategy is seeking to put accessibility at the heart and at the front of service planning and delivery, policy development and community engagement.


Discussions are underway with each directorate of the council about what this would mean for their services and their priority area for year one of the strategy. Bearing in mind, akin, to our anti-racism strategy, it will take some time to achieve our goal.  I would have envisaged that public realm would be one of these priorities without a doubt.  Obstructed pavements are a major issue for disabled people and cannot be overlooked.  I would say that the detail of the strategy is still being worked through to ensure that the priorities we commit to can be delivered.   I have been informed that the external stakeholder feedback during this set up phase for the strategy included concerns about the public realm and that this feedback is being used to inform the strategy, as well as engagement with the Disability Panel and the wider reference group.


Teams across Directorates within the Council have been working closely together when taking into account this proposed strategy. For example, the council has been lobbying central government for powers to tackle pavement parking where there are no enforceable parking restrictions, similar to the powers that have existed in London since the seventies. The Department for Transport carried out a consultation on providing these powers to councils outside London in November 2019. We have been told that the government has reviewed responses to this consultation and will be making an announcement about powers to tackle pavement parking for councils outside London shortly.

I appreciate your expertise in transport matters, so in short Mark, I think you have made some cogent points which I fully take on board and support. 


21.7 Mark Strong asked a supplementary question regarding the fact that the Council’s local plan for inclusive mobility has been superseded by national policy guidance, giving the green light for developers to continue making sub standard footway obstructions, and asked if it would be possible for the Council to amend their local plan to ensure inclusive mobility.


21.8 The Chair responded that she took on board the comments and that the Council would do what it can, and to keep this important conversation going.




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