Questions to the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member (Health, Leisure and Wellbeing).
Questions to the Cabinet Member (Finance, Property and Assets)
Councillor Jacky Alty commented that whilst attending a meeting of Farington Parish Council it had been reported that £24,000 had been earmarked by South Ribble Council to part fund a road crossing in the parish and she asked Councillor Matthew Tomlinson to confirm if this was the case.
Councillors Michael Green and Karen Walton both declared an interest in this matter.
The Cabinet Member, Councillor Matthew Tomlinson, responded as follows:
The Statutory Finance Officer of the Council can find no record of this amount of money being allocated for such a purpose. The installation of road crossings are the responsibility of Lancashire County Council and as such, the district council has no power. It had come to his attention that Councillor Paul Wharton-Hardman had reported on social media, that the new administration of the Council had decided to reallocate this money for the purchasing of a new Mayoral car and the Cabinet Member provided assurances that this was not the case.
In response to a second question from Councillor Jacky Alty, the Cabinet Member explained that there was no, nor had there ever had been, measures in place to replace or refurbish a number of bus stops in the Farington wards.
Councillor Caroline Moon, had however, authorised the relocation of a bus stop to the end of Mill Street, from a disused route last year, under her portfolio responsibilities.
Councillor Caroline Moon explained that discussions of this nature had taken place last year and asked the Cabinet Member, if he would consider using the Section 106 monies allocated for highways/road mitigation for such a purpose. The Cabinet Member responded to say that he would be shortly undertaking a review of all the Section 106 monies to ensure that they are spent effectively for the benefit of residents across the Borough.
Questions to the Cabinet Member (Planning, Regeneration and City Deal)
Councillor Caroline Moon asked the Cabinet Member to advise Council when the completion of the Local Plan would be concluded. The Cabinet Member, Councillor Bill Evans provided the following response:
The Central Lancashire Local Plan has to go through a number of statutory stages prior to it being adopted. Issues and Options are scheduled to be consulted upon in the Autumn of 2019 with the plan aiming for submission to the Secretary of State for Examination in Spring 2021 and adoption in Summer 2022.
In response to some Members’ concerns the Cabinet Member provided assurances that there was no predetermination of any decision by any Labour Councillor who sat on Planning Committee.
Questions to the Cabinet Member (Environment)
Councillor Alan Ogilvie asked for further details in relation to the closure of the overflow car park at Worden Park and asked, if when repaired, it would be opened up again for use by students of Runshaw College. Students parking on the roads surrounding the college had long been an issue for local residents that ward councillors were keen to avoid in the future.
The Cabinet Member, Councillor Susan Jones gave the following response:
The closure of the overflow car park had been taken by use of a delegated decision as the groundwork repairs were urgent, due to considerable damage to the surface and the Council are unsure as to how long the repairs will take.
The Council have tried to work with Runshaw College but they have not responded and it is the intention that, once repaired, the car park will be kept purely as an overflow car park for visitors to the park. Students from Runshaw College will not be able to use this facility and enforced restrictions will be put in place.
Questions to the Cabinet Member (Community Engagement, Social Justice and Wealth Building)
Councillor Karen Walton asked the Cabinet Member why the residents of Farington East, Farington West and Lostock Hall had not been consulted upon before the decision was taken to change the demographics of the My Neighbourhood Areas. Councillor Walton had attended a recent meeting of the Older People’s Forum where people had mentioned that they felt that they had lost their identity and were not happy with the change.
The Cabinet Member, Councillor Aniela Bylinski Gelder reported that she had also been present at the meeting and had received positive feedback about the changes. The cross-party Community Involvement Member Working Group would look at making improvements to all aspects of community engagement and she urged all Members to get involved.
In response to a question from Councillor Caroline Moon, the Cabinet Member explained how the consultation of the proposed amendments to the Council Tax Support Scheme would be undertaken and gave assurances that it would be a thorough process.