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;


(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.




b)       Written Questions


1)             Bulky Waste Charges


39.1      Councillor Shanks read the following question:


“Your manifesto states that your party intends to bring about an end to collection charges for bulky waste. Can the Chair explain how this proposal fits with the recent independent auditor’s report which encouraged the council to consider increasing fees and charges wherever possible to address the looming budget deficit facing the city?”


39.2      The Chair provided the following reply:


“We would love to see charges for the collection of bulky waste reduced. In fact these charges are included in today’s report on Fees and Charges, and you will no doubt have seen that these will remain frozen, while most other things are increasing.

If the charges for bulky waste collection are too high, it is highly likely that fewer people will use the service. Residents who don’t have access to a vehicle are then more likely to dispose of items in other ways, and we would likely see an increase in fly-tipping.

Cleaning up the city after years of the basics being neglected is a top priority for this administration, and so you would expect allocation of budgets to reflect that. We will be looking at bringing the charges for bulky waste down but, as you are aware, we are currently in the process of finding an unprecedented amount of savings in order to bring a balanced budget for 24/25”.


2)             Dogs Being Poisoned on the Beach


39.3      Councillor Shanks put the following question:


“I was concerned to read recent reports of dogs becoming seriously unwell after visiting the seafront in Hove. I understand the council has launched an investigation. Can you update us to any findings, and outline what form this type of investigation takes?”


39.4      The Chair provided the following reply:


“Thanks for your question. Yes, this was a very worrying incident and I hope the dogs involved have made a full recovery.

Seafront Officers carry out daily patrols of the seafront providing safety advice for beach users and identifying hazards.

If the Seafront Office find or have high concerns about pollution on any beach in Brighton and Hove they will work alongside the Environment Agency, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Marine Management Organisation and other stakeholders to put safety measures in place and investigate the cause.

This has been done in the past and involved collecting samples to be sent to the EA for testing.

However, in this case there was nothing found on inspection and no sign of anything untoward on any of our beaches. Clearly though, there was something untoward and we will continue to try and ascertain what happened.

The Seafront Officers have been monitoring the area daily and have no reasons to currently be concerned”.


3)             Pocket Park Street Planters


39.5      Councillor Shanks read the following question:


“The council committed to establishing a series of pocket parks around the city, particularly in areas where cars are being parked on pavements. These pocket parks are being funded by residents. However, I am aware that currently, none are being approved due to the understandable worry that the council will have to take on the costs for maintenance and possible removal at a later date as has happened in the past. I understand a Department for Transport report, that includes a Manual for Streets, is being drafted to include legal agreements between the council and resident groups, that might include a deposit to cover future costs. When can we expect this report and action to get more planters in place as many residents are keen to improve their car-heavy areas with natural planting?”


39.6      The Chair provided the following reply:


“Planter and Pocket Parks are an important part of the street scene and, when supported, can improve the visual appearance of an area. Due to limited budgets, the council is unable to install and maintain planters but welcomes applications from Resident groups or organisations who wish to support a planter or pocket park on the public highway.

A Street Scene Policy report is being presented to the next Transport and Sustainability committee. The report includes proposals to consult with various stakeholders so a clear and workable policy to allow Planters and pocket parks to be installed is developed. Once consulted on and approved, this policy will set out how community groups can apply to install a planter and the requirements needed to protect council budgets, whilst making sure any planters installed are well maintained and safe”.

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