To receive any questions relating to items on the Agenda from members of the public and replies thereto.
Note: A maximum of 30 minutes is allowed for this item.
Public questions were received from Ms Coffin:
1. Item 8 – motion 582, Why can’t all public meetings be audio recorded and of course this one. To enable the working public and those unable to attend or zoom the opportunity to understand and progress, how local governance decisions are made.
2. Appendix A Document 2, Councillor Barnell. I strongly support all five points for following reasons:
a) I have been refused permission to ask a question because subject not on the agenda; even though it did relate to an ongoing scrutiny sub-committee investigation. Therefore, was unable to progress proposal November 2021 from Cllr Barnell into anaerobic digesters. I still have no clarity as to whether it’s still ongoing or whether there was a conclusion.
b) Councillors on committees are not obligated to raise matters on behalf of non ward constituents.
Appendix A Document 3, Planning committee – 1,2 and 3 I support all italics in red fully, all committees – 1,2,3,4,5 support italics in red.
Specifically and absolutely: Number 3, it has been obvious at planning meetings that members have not understood complicated applications. Developers and officers obviously failing to present sufficient evidence and clarity to enable balanced decision making. Not all speakers are objectors or vexatious many are often requiring clarification and assurance that the council has identified all potential detriment and imposed all necessary and enforceable mitigating conditions.
Absolutely 5, I have attended other LPAs in other districts and counties where more consideration is given to members of the public. So, if this council wishes to hold any credibility as to democracy, then the public must be allowed to speak without any additional restrictions.
Item 9 on the agenda, public complaints. I understand that this is not actually relevant on this agenda but I would like to make my comments anyway.
a) Given this council’s insistence that it takes all complaints – I’m talking about public ones now – and enforcement matters very seriously – is the present procedure sufficiently robust and effective?
b) How can public access and progress registered complaints? This need not require sensitive info only identify number, initial date and classification whether commercial or anti-social noise/odour.
c) How does the Council monitor and assess the effectiveness of present complaints system and against what standards.
d) What are projected timelines for progress from complaint to abatement notice and then to enforcement, if required?
e) Standards committee minutes 19 October page 7 item 9 complaints. Monitoring Officer refers to three complaints requiring review by independent person. Does one of these three cases refer to crossparks.
The District Solicitor & Monitoring Officer responded to question 1 and explained that the Council recorded the audio of its public meetings. In addition, in answer to question 2 it was explained that as part of the constitution, there was a requirement for public questions to relate to an agenda item. Finally in response to a question on Complaints, it was explained that the Standards Committee reviewed code of conduct complaints as opposed to public complaints.
The District Solicitor & Monitor Officer acknowledged comments on the complaints process and noted that someone would be contact in order for the process to be explained.