A period of 20 minutes is allocated for questions to be put to Cabinet Members by members of the Council. A maximum period of two minutes will be allowed for each member wishing to ask a question. The Leader will have discretion to vary this requirement where he considers it appropriate. Members wishing to ask a question at the meeting should register to do so in writing by not later than 4.00 pm on the Friday in the week preceding the meeting. Members should include the general topic their question will relate to and indicate if it relates to an item on the agenda. Questions must relate to the powers, duties or responsibilities of the Cabinet. Questions put to Cabinet Members must relate to their portfolio responsibilities.
Where a question relates to a matter which appears on the agenda, the Leader may allow the question to be asked at the beginning of consideration of that item.
Councillor R Fletcher referred to a response given to a public question at the previous meeting regarding the decision to proceed with the trial active travel scheme on Lodge Road, Alsager. The Deputy Leader had been minuted as saying that the three ward councillors had been consulted by email on 4th August when in fact the email had stated that ward councillors were being advised in advance of public advertising. The Deputy Leader briefly reprised the timeline involved. He indicated that he would be proposing a minor amendment to the minutes to state that local ward members were advised of the scheme on 4th August rather than consulted on it, but he refuted any suggestion that the information he gave at the previous meeting had been incorrect. The Portfolio Holder for Highways and Waste added that whilst the word ‘consultation’ may not have been used, there had been an opportunity for ward members to feed back their comments.
Councillor P Williams sought clarification on claims that the Council aimed to remove bus subsidies on services around Congleton and Alsager. He also asked if the Deputy Leader had received a response to his representation to East Midlands Rail asking them to resume stopping services at Alsager station. The Deputy Leader responded that the bus services in question were being supported by the time limited Covid bus service support grant from central government which was in addition to the funding provided by this Council in supporting the local bus network, and the two should not be confused. With regard to Councillor Williams’s second question, the Deputy Leader indicated that he had not as yet received a response to his letter.
Councillor S Pochin referred to the government’s Covid policy of the ‘rule of six’ which was potentially in place until next March, and asked if the Council would do everything it could to support the events industry in Cheshire East. The Portfolio Holder for Environment and Regeneration responded that since March the Council had been doing all that it could to support the entertainment, leisure and hospitality sector by providing grant funding to support local businesses and it had asked the government to make additional funding available to support the sector.
Councillor N Wylie asked if schools had been asked about the new winter gritting routes. The Portfolio Holder for Highways and Waste responded that the area highways groups would be meeting over the next couple of weeks and that local ward members had the opportunity to ensure that local residents and stakeholders were able to feed their comments into those meetings.
Councillor H Faddes referred to a proposed bid to the Next Steps fund to encourage the private rented sector to provide accommodation for those wishing to move on from emergency accommodation. She asked if this scheme would be cost-effective in comparison with the current arrangements for accommodating the homeless. The Portfolio Holder for Environment and Regeneration undertook to provide a written response.
Councillor Fletcher had submitted a second question regarding temporary speed restrictions. The Leader indicated that Councillor Fletcher would receive a written response.