In accordance the Council Procedural Rules, a total period of 30 minutes is allocated for members of the public to speak at Council meetings. Individual members of the public may speak for up to 2 minutes, but the Chair will have discretion to vary this requirement where they consider it appropriate.
Members of the public wishing to speak are required to provide notice of this at least three clear working days’ in advance of the meeting and should include the question with that notice. Questions should be submitted to: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms Laura Turner spoke in respect of the ‘Fight for Middlewich’ petition. Following her speech, she handed over the petition to an officer to pass on to the Mayor.
Mr N Cowie spoke in respect of anti-social behaviour taking place at Barnaby’s Park, Poynton. He asked if consideration would be given to the sale of the play area, owned by Cheshire East Council, to a developer and thus remove the anti-social behaviour. He outlined the anti-social behaviour in question and asked that if the sale of the park could not be achieved then, as a minimum, access to the play park be restricted from 4.30pm until 8am the following day. In response, Cllr C Browne stated that the Council was not currently considering the disposal of the public open space at Barnaby Park in Poynton. He acknowledged that there had been an escalation in anti-social behaviour in the park and this matter had been considered at the latest Multi Agency Action Group meeting which included representatives from the Council, the Police and Poynton Town Council. A working group had been established to consider the options available to reduce anti-social behaviour with the working group reporting back to the Multi Agency Action Group at the next meeting in September.
Mr S Redgard spoke in reference to a letter he had received, dated 26 November 2021, relating to the emptying of roadside gullies. He referred to comments which he said had been made by Cllr C Browne within the correspondence which stated: “We are carrying out an 18-month programme to attend to all gullies and collect asset and condition data to allow a more risk-based approach to be adopted for future schedules". However, Mr Redgard pointed out that the Council’s website stated that all gullies would be emptied before October 2022. He asked for clarification as to which statement was correct and whether the Council was on target to meet either of the dates. In addition, Mr Redgard asked when and what action the Council intended to take with regard to an alleged breach of condition 15 of planning application 15/0016M. In response, Cllr C Browne, the Chair of the Highways and Transport Committee, stated that he recognised that a number of gullies across the borough had not been emptied since the Council’s inception and therefore the Council would be investing significant funds in this area, including £1.1M towards drainage repairs and a further £305,000 in managing flood risk. Further to this, Cllr Browne advised that the Council’s commitment to empty all highway gullies at least once during an 18 month period commenced in April 2021 and was on target to be completed in late October 2022. During this undertaking, officers had identified gullies not previously included on the Council’s asset inventory system. It was anticipated that this would total approximately 9,000 additional gullies being included within the programme, which was an increase of nearly 10%. The additional asset and condition data collected during the programme would allow the Council’s highways service to prioritise future areas of intervention using a risk-based approach, both in terms of ongoing maintenance but also asset replacement. In response to Mr Redgard’s second question, Cllr Browne advised that the Ward Councillor had been in communication both with Mr Redgard and the Planning Case Officer in relation to planning application 15/0016M since July 2021. He advised Mr Redgard that the pre-commencement conditions for this application were discharged through planning application 21/5450D on 25 February 2022. Further to this, he advised condition 15 was not a condition that must be discharged prior to the commencement of development. The condition related to specific types of work undertaken during the bird nesting season from 1 March to 31August in any year. If work was undertaken within the date parameters, a survey would be required to identify nests in any building, hedgerow, tree or scrub or other habitat to be removed with a 4-metre exclusion zone around any nests being maintained until breeding was complete. Following receipt of Mr Redgard’s question, the Council had opened an investigation into the alleged breach of planning control and in due course Mr Redgard would receive an acknowledgement letter with the case reference number and assigned Planning Enforcement Officer details.