Agenda item

Member Questions

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.


To answer any written member questions about matters which are within the powers and duties of the County Council.


The closing date for receipt of questions is 10am on Wednesday, 8 May 2019. Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Stephen Bace (email


Questions received and proposed responses do not accompany this agenda but will be available prior to the meeting.


Nine questions had been received.  A copy of the answers was circulated and is attached to the signed copy of the minutes.


The following supplementary questions were asked:



Question 1 –  Cllr Andrew Miller asked whether the Cabinet Member would be writing to schools to inform them of the opportunities for cycling.


Cllr Vernon Smith replied that all schools would be made aware of the opportunities and he provided some detail of the strategy for cycling moving forward over a five year period. He thanked the Highways Advisory Board for their input and urged members to use their Highways Local money to improve cycling areas across the county.



Question 2 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked why it had taken a year to get to the point of discussing the removal of tables and seats from outside of restaurant.


Cllr Vernon Smith suggested that dialogue was the answer and that the member could meet with the Council’s Legal Team and restaurant owner to discuss the matter further.



Question 4 -  Cllr Colin Hay asked how the Council could stop Thomas Keble School from reducing SEN numbers as this was against the law.


Cllr Richard Boules firstly commented that fairer funding was really important. Parents of children with an Education Health and Care Plan could choose their school and the school had a legal duty to meet their needs. A meeting had been held with the Regional Schools Commissioner to ensure that Thomas Keble were complying with their legal requirements. There were further issues regarding a breach of the academies funding handbook.



Q5 – Cllr Colin Hay asked for confirmation that all new and refurbished schools would have sprinklers.


Cllr Dave Norman commented that the member had received a factual answer and that there had been an ongoing debate on the issue for a number of years. It was worth noting that a sprinkler activated incorrectly could cause a lot of damage so they had to be installed appropriately. The professional advice had been given and he suggested members should be comfortable with that.



Q6 – Cllr Eva Ward asked how the Council could avoid a situation such as the 68 minute discussion on highways at the previous meeting which she suggested was not a good use of time.


Cllr Ray Theodoulou replied that he did not want to curtail discussion and it was important members felt they could have their say.



Question 7 – Cllr Rachel Smith referred to a school safety zone had had been promised for March 2019 but it had become apparent in April that design process was not complete. She asked for clarification around the situation.


Cllr Vernon Smith replied that the previous contractor Amey had only been paid for work completed. Agreement on the scheme had been reached in 2017 but design work had not been completed by Amey. The scheme had fallen between the two contractors. The work was due now in the Summer once Atkins as the new contractor had completed the design work.


Question 8 – Cllr Rachel Smith asked whether there were any other ways of communicating the opening hours of the household recycling centres.


Cllr Nigel Moor replied that this was something he was looking at.



Question 9 – Cllr Lesley Williams asked whether the Council could start looking for a date for the Peer Review team to visit to the Council.


Cllr Mark Hawthorne replied that a date could be scoped out.



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