Question ‘A’ – Councillor R Shipman to Councillor C Renwick, Portfolio
Holder for Housing and Community Safety
On 18th February 2020, I made an enquiry on behalf of a group of local residents to lease land off Ankerbold Road, Tupton to be turned into a community orchard and wildlife area. After much delay because of ‘volume of work’, I was told this would be on the Asset Management Group meeting in January 2021. It eventually made in on that groups meeting in July 2021, where it was refused because of an ongoing Asset Management Review.
The only reason it fell inside any asset management review was because of NEDDC not dealing with the request in good time. I was told by the then Director this would take up to 12 months. For over 2 years this as resulted in NEDDC spending thousands of pounds maintaining this land, when there are willing volunteers to take it on.
Can the cabinet member inform me and the group of residents who are keen to progress this project, when the Asset Management Review was started and due to be completed, so that we can make use of this dormant piece of land in Tupton for residents to use and help the environment?
Question ‘B’ – Councillor O Gomez Reaney to Councillor A Powell, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Communities and Communications
Recently, I have started working with the charity, the National Tremor Foundation.
The National Tremor Foundation, founded in 1992, is an organisation that aims to provide help, support and advice to all those living with all forms of tremor irrespective of age.
The foundation is a charity dedicated to people with tremors – its mission is to provide advice, support, publish information and promote research.
I would like to ask the Council if they would support the National Tremor Foundation in their efforts to spread awareness of tremors and provide advice and support for those who need it?
Question ‘C’ – Councillor J Birkin to Councillor M Foster, Portfolio Holder for Council Services
On June 6th Cllrs received an e-mail cancelling the Full Council meeting scheduled for August 1st. This was the latest in a line of cancellations over recent months.
The Labour Group is very concerned about the consequent lack of democratic scrutiny of Council decisions. We are also concerned that constant cancellations of official meetings lead to a perceived lack of accountability of the Council and Councillors.
This decision means that there are only 5 Full Council Meetings scheduled between now and the end of the Financial Year.
Will the Portfolio Holder reassure the Council and the residents of North East
Derbyshire that our concerns will be heeded and that meeting times and dates will continue to be undertaken as per the agreed schedule?
Question ‘D’ – Councillor T Reader to Councillor J Kenyon, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Transformation and Climate Change
Would the Cabinet Member tell Council how much of the £24M Clay Cross Town Deal Fund has now been spent or committed, including detailing how much has been spent on employing external consultants?
The Chair of the Council confirmed that four questions had been received.
Question ‘A’ from Councillor R Shipman to Councillor C Renwick, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety
Councillor R Shipman explained that as he had now received a response to his question from the relevant officer in advance of the meeting, which had been set out and marked as Question ‘A’, on the Agenda. Consequently, he would now withdraw his question. He felt that future questions from Members to Portfolio Holders, which had been included on the Council Agenda, should be answered by them at the meeting.
Question ‘B’ from Councillor O Gomez Reaney to Councillor A Powell, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Communities and Communications.
A question had been submitted by Councillor O Gomez Reaney to Councillor A Powell, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Communities and Communications, on whether the Council would support the work of the National Tremor Foundation, in their efforts to spread awareness of this medical condition and to provide advice and support for those who need it. The full text of the question from Councillor O Gomez Reaney, marked as Question ‘B’, was set out on the Agenda for the meeting.
As Councillor A Powell could not be present at the meeting, the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor C Cupit, answered the question on his behalf.
Councillor C Cupit thanked Councillor Gomez Reaney for his question. She expressed her support for the aims of the National Tremor Foundation and its important work. The Deputy Leader made clear that she would be happy for the Council to work with Councillor Gomez Reaney to also help raise awareness of the issue locally.
Question ‘C’ from Councillor J Birkin to Councillor M Foster, Portfolio Holder for Council Services
A question had been submitted by Councillor J Birkin to Councillor M Foster, Portfolio Holder for Council Services, on the cancellation of Council meetings and whether future meetings would be held according to the agreed schedule. The full text of the question from Councillor J Birkin, marked as Question ‘C’, was set out on the Agenda for the meeting.
As Councillor M Foster could not be present at the meeting, the question was answered by the Leader of the Council, Councillor A Dale.
The Leader of the Council thanked Councillor Birkin for his question. He explained that only one Council meeting had had to be cancelled. Group Leaders had been informed of the reasons for this. He also explained that although the dates of some scheduled meetings of the Council’s various Committees had to be re-arranged they had met and discharged their own decision making responsibilities. Councillor A Dale reminded Members that under the Constitution they could call for Extraordinary Meetings of Council to take place, if they felt this would be appropriate.
Councillor J Birkin asked a supplementary question about what additional work had been undertaken.
Councillor A Dale explained that the progress had been made on a range of issues over the summer, which was reflected in the extensive Agenda for the current meeting.
Question ‘D’ from Councillor T Reader to Councillor J Kenyon, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Transformation and Climate Change
A question had been submitted by Councillor T Reader to Councillor J Kenyon, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Transformation and Climate Change, on the proportion of the Clay Cross Town Deal funding which had been committed and the amount spent on external consultants. The full text of the question from Councillor T Reader, marked as Question ‘D’, was set out on the Agenda for the meeting.
The Portfolio Holder, Councillor J Kenyon, thanked Councillor T Reader for her question. He informed Council that £9.41M (39%) of the Fund had now been committed. Of this, £7m would be used for the Sharley Park Leisure Centre and Community Hub, with funding allocated for a range of other projects. The Portfolio Holder provided details of the support received from Government so that specialist consultants could be brought in to help prepare the Business Cases for specific projects. He also explained the expenditure which had been incurred to clear sites, so that the re-development work could now take place.
Councillor T Reader asked a supplementary question, requesting that Clay Cross Parish Council should receive regular updates on the use of the Fund.
Councillor J Kenyon agreed to look at ways of ensuring that further update information was provided regularly to the Parish Council. He confirmed that those Clay Cross Parish and District Council Members, who already serve on the Clay Cross Town Deal Board, would continue to receive the information in that capacity.