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Agenda item

Public participation and Questions from Councillors

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public. This meeting is open to the public, who may ask a question or make a statement. Questions may also be asked by members of the Council.  Written notice of questions or statements should be given to Stuart Figini of Democratic Services stuart.figini@wiltshire.gov.uk  01225 718221 by 12.00 noon on Wednesday 23 March 2022. Anyone wishing to ask a question or make a statement should contact the officer named above.

 

Minutes:

General questions were submitted from the following members of public:

 

·       Mel Boyle – Road closures / landslides / flooding / future Chippenham / traffic lights and roads

·       Andrew Nicolson – future Chippenham

 

Cllr Laura Mayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Children’s Services, Education Skills explained that the above questions had received written responses which were published on the Council’s website prior to the meeting in the agenda supplement, which can be accessed here.

 

Questions were also submitted from Councillors, which received responses on the following topics, which can be accessed here:

 

·       Cllr Cape – Council investments.

Cllr Cape encouraged Councillors to respond to a consultation from the Department for International Trade on ethical investments.

·       Cllr Martin Smith – Planning applications data.

Cllr Smith commented on the non-determination of planning applications and the potential impact on residents and businesses. He asked if performance figures could be published every three months to demonstrate improvements within the service. Cllr Botterill, Cabinet member for Development Management, Strategic Planning and Climate Change explained that procedures had been updated and improvements made.

 

In addition, the following comments and questions were raised by Councillors at the meeting:

 

·       Cllr Ian Thorn

o   Commented on the number of residents and organisations flying the Ukrainian flag demonstrating support for Ukraine. He asked if the Council would also be flying the flag.  Cllr Laura Mayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Children’s Services, Education Skills explained that officers were concentrating their efforts in undertaking work to help people from Ukraine.

o   Requested an update in relation to housing for Afghan refugees.  A written update would be provided.

o   Requested an update on the Towns Recovery budget. Cllr Laura Mayes agreed that a written update would be provided.

o   Commented on residents’ eligibility for the Council Tax energy rebate for bands A-D. A detailed written response  would be provided.

o   Requested reassurances that applications for Omnicron grants would be settled prior to the deadline of 31 March 2022. The Corporate Director Resources confirmed that the Council were committed to settling grant applications by the deadline detailed above.

 

·       Cllr Richard Walters 

o   highlighted an issue where holiday accommodation would not be available to house Ukraine refugees due to a planning condition associated with holiday homes preventing this type of use. Cllr Botterill, Cabinet member for Development Management, Strategic Planning and Climate Change, confirmed that the condition would not be enforced in these circumstances.

o   Commented on an asset disposal in his division and subsequent public consultation. He expressed a concern that following 70 responses objecting to the proposals the Council would be approving the proposals. A written response would be provided.  

 

·       Cllr Brian Mathew – commented on a recent conversation with a GMB union representative and concerns about staff pay and conditions. A written response would be provided.

 

·       Cllr Jo Trigg – residents receiving care and future access to Lateral Flow Tests. The Director of Public Health confirmed that the Council were waiting for the availability of national strategy and guidance in order to determine a way forward.

 

 

(Note – Cllr Ian Thorn declared a personal interest in relation to his question at bullet point 5 above as he was part owner in a hospitality business).

 

Supporting documents:

 

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