Written Question from Cllr Howarth
“Given the assurances that “all alternatives would be explored” before green waste charges were introduced to the borough; and that at the council meeting on 19th July, the Cabinet Member for Finance declined to give a verbal answer as to what alternatives had been considered as she had not had the question in writing; and that after ten weeks the written answer that the Cabinet Member for Finance stated would be provided has as yet not been forthcoming; having now been given the written question that she requires, will she now state whether any other alternatives were actually explored, and if so what was considered?”
The Cabinet Member provided assurances that all options had been considered and would provide a full written response to Councillor Howarth and all Councillors outside the meeting.
(b) Neighbourhoods and Streetscene
(i) Written Question from Cllr Martin
“During the council meeting of 16th November 2016, when asked what measures you were putting in place to prevent a third break in into Penwortham Holme you replied;
"in order to prevent further access to this site, a height barrier had been commissioned and would be installed in the near future"
Q1, What measures will you be putting in place to prevent a fourth break in to Penwortham Holme?
Q2, I believe there are two acts of Parliament that could have been used to help remove the trespassers with greater speed, Sec 30 of the Highways Act 1980 and Section 171E of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990, were these considered?
Q3, When you were dealing with the same travellers at the Lostock Hall Football pitch, as they left, why were measures not in place, given the past history and movements of the travellers, to prevent entry to Penwortham Holme?
Q4, How many times in the past 10 years have we seen travellers occupy South Ribble Borough Council land?”
The Cabinet Member responded that officers were currently evaluating options to prevent further illegal gypsy/traveller encampments at Penwortham Holme whilst still allowing public access. Officers had fully investigated any potential legislation in place and none would have assisted in this particular case.
With regards Lostock Hall football pitch, gypsy and travellers were moved on by the Police who then notified the Council.
The Council’s records, going back 8 years shows that there has been 4 occasions that there has been gypsy/traveller encampments on the Council’s land.
The Cabinet Member responded to questions about whether a dedicated gypsy and traveller site was needed in South Ribble. As part of the lengthy local plan process a need for South Ribble had not been identified as sites were allocated in both Preston and Chorley.
(ii) Written Question from Cllr Hancock
“Could the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Street scene inform council of the cost of the clean-up operation, reinstatement of the playing fields, and lost revenues from cancelled bookings on Penwortham Holme following the latest traveller encampment; and could he explain why adequate action was not taken to prevent what is now an annual occurrence at the same location, at the same time every year; and will he visit All Hallows playing fields at Howick Cross, who didn’t suffer any damage or cancellation of weekend football fixtures, to see the simple but effective measures they took in blocking the entrance gates, with a view to adopting similar measures next year?”
The Cabinet Member referred to his previous answer to Councillor Martin and referred to the action taken in 2016 to try to secure the site with height barriers to deter gypsy and travellers. The clear up costs were currently being established. The Cabinet Member would happily look at the approach taken at All Hallows School.
(iii) Green Waste Charging
The Cabinet Member was asked whether there was any reduction of the charge for those on benefits and would he create an all party task group to consider issues such as this.
The Cabinet Member responded that there was no exception to the charge for those on benefits.
(iv) Car Parking
The Cabinet Member was asked for an update on last year’s car parking consultation.
The Cabinet Member responded that the consultation was complete and discussions were taking place with Lancashire County Council.