Questions to Members of the Cabinet.
Arising from a question by Councillor Mrs S A Giles on how many of the District’s ‘rough sleepers’ had been assisted by the Council to find shelter during the colder weather and any discussions that had taken place with housing providers, whereby the Managing Director undertook to provide a full briefing note on how the Council managed such instances and policies to manage when the temperature reached below thresholds.
In response to a question by Councillor D A Giles on the St Neots Master Plan and likely timescale for involvement from Ward Councillors, as well as the Town Council, in the project, Councillor G J Bull, Executive Leader, reported that work had commenced on bringing the Master Plan to a deliverable stage and was clearly aware of the need to involve local Members and community.
Councillor T D Sanderson raised a question in relation to comments at the recent National Association of Local Council’s Annual Conference by the Secretary of State and suggestion that local authorities had not been passing enough of their local tax support to towns and parishes. Whereby Councillor Bull indicated his disagreement with the comment and until arrangements were in place it was not possible for him to comment upon it.
Following a question from Councillor P Kadewere on the Post Office at threat of closure on the Oxmoor, together with issues surrounding the ability of the post master to sell certain goods within his store, in accordance with his lease and what assistance and support the Council could offer as landlord, Councillor J A Gray, Executive Member for Strategic Resources, explained that the premises had been leased from the Council as part of its commercial estate. There existed a dispute between the leasehold selling goods that the lease prevented him from selling, this was designed to support other shops in the area and prevent goods from being sold in direct competition. Councillor Gray explained that discussions were on-going with the leaseholder to reach an amicable resolution on the matter. The Managing Director undertook to look into the issue in association with the Estates Team and report back to Councillor Kadewere.
Councillor T Hayward raised a question in relation to recent email correspondence sent to all Members suggesting a different course of action for specific questions to Members or Officer before raising at Council meetings and his concern for stifling debate, whereby the Managing Director explained that the purpose of the email was to remind Members that if they required a detailed answer or matter that required more urgent attention there were other choices and options available.
Councillor J E Corley raised a question in relation to the requirement to undertake repairs to paving on St Neots Market Square and statement from Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways that funding was not available as they were unable to confirm where £100K collected on behalf of the District Council. He asked as to the whereabouts of the County Council car park proceeds and whether this could be made available to the Highway’s team to enable to essential repairs. Councillor Bull undertook to provide a full response after the meeting.
Arising from the County Council’s recent disclosure of underspend on street lighting, Councillor B S Chapman asked that representation be made to the County Council for the re-instatement of removed lighting and not reallocated to Fenland District Council. In response Councillor Bull explained that he had no influence on how the County Council allocated its budget but undertook to ensure that the interests of the District’s residents were enhanced.