In accordance with paragraph 3.33 of the Cabinet Procedure Rules, a period of 10 minutes is allocated for members of the public to address the meeting on any matter relevant to the work of the Cabinet. Individual members of the public may speak for up to two minutes. The Chairman or person presiding will have discretion to vary this requirement where he/she considers it appropriate.
Members of the public wishing to ask a question or make a statement at the meeting should provide at least three clear working days’ notice in writing and should include the question with that notice. This will enable an informed answer to be given.
Paul Duffy asked how a decision to review household waste and recycling centres could be taken during the ‘purdah’ period.
Kay Wesley asked Cabinet to convene a task and finish group to evaluate all possible options before taking a decision to remove household waste and recycling services from Congleton. She also said that the closure of the Congleton site would disproportionately impact elderly and disabled residents and those on a low income without their own transport.
Robert Douglas asked why the later, February report on responses to the recent consultation on household waste recycling centres had not been included with the report on the agenda, and why no reference had been made in the report to the recommendations of the Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Suzy Firkin asked why there was no reference in the report on household waste recycling centres to the recommendation of the Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee that a task and finish group be appointed to consider all options for a new recycling centre in Congleton.
The Portfolio Holder for Highways and Waste commented that as the report on Household Waste Recycling Centres had been deferred it would be inappropriate for her to respond to the questions in detail at the meeting. She therefore undertook to respond to each question in writing.
James Law asked what traffic studies had been made to inform and direct the active travel proposals for Congleton, and why the proposals were being put forward now rather than waiting until the changes to traffic flow caused by the imminent opening of the Congleton By-Pass could be studied.
The Portfolio Holder for Highways and Waste responded that the timing of the consultation had been determined by the requirement for the Council to confirm its intended use of the Active Travel funds by the end of the last financial year.The results of the recent consultation had shown a clear majority against the proposals. Therefore, the Council did not intend to take them forward, and Active Travel funding would be deployed in other areas where such proposals had received widespread support.
Sue Helliwell asked if the 317 bus service from Alsager to Leighton Hospital, which ran on Mondays to Fridays, could be extended to Saturdays to enable Alsager residents to use a bus with a direct route to attend hospital appointments on Saturdays.
The Deputy Leader responded that it was important to remain vigilant for Coronavirus as lockdown measures eased, with national guidelines still affecting the use and provision of bus services. As the entire bus industry was supported by government funding, now was not the right time to commence new services.A number of towns in Cheshire East had no direct bus service on Saturdays, although trips could be made by interchanging, and concessionary passengers would incur no additional costs by using two different routes.
David Mayers referred to the road accident figures for Cheshire East and asked if the Cabinet would promote and organise at least one event, or issue a press release or other public statement, to support the UN Global Road Safety Week which called for policymakers to limit speeds to 20 mph where people walked, lived, shopped, worked and played. He asked if such measures could also be incorporated into the current speed management strategy review.
The Portfolio Holder for Highways and Waste responded that the Council’s Safer Cheshire East Partnership report showed that since 2016 there had been a decline year-on-year in the number of road traffic collisions and the number of killed and seriously injured as a result of these collisions. The Council was considering how best to promote road safety during the UN Global Road Safety Week in May and would be engaging with key stakeholders to have a shared approach where possible. The revised speed management strategy would cover a number of measures that could be utilised in the management of vehicle speed.