Agenda item

Responses to Public Questions and Open Discussion on Local Issues

Minutes:

9.1.       The Chair reported that one question had been submitted in advance of the meeting.

Question 1: Mr Debman
“How does the South East Area Committee propose to represent residents of the South East re: the Upper Orwell Crossings, and will it produce a report for its next meeting in July on issues that they see as important to residents; if not, will it allow residents the chance to raise their concerns so that they can speak on their behalf?”

The South East Area Committee has received reports about the Upper Orwell Crossing on 3 occasions over the past Municipal Year (27 July 2017, 10 January 2018 and 14 March 2018) and residents have been able to put their views directly to the Suffolk County Council Officers working on the project at these meetings. It was anticipated that further reports on the Upper Orwell Crossing would be brought to the South East Area Committee at appropriate stages of the project and residents would be able to raise any issues they wish to then. Residents were also welcome to raise any issues during the standing item on ‘Responses to Public Questions and Open Discussion on Local Issues’ and could also contact their Councillors about concerns outside of the Area Committee structure. It was not therefore considered necessary to bring an additional report for the purpose of confirming the Committee’s understanding of residents’ views on the project.

 

Councillors on the South East Area Committee, including the Suffolk County Councillors co-opted onto the committee – Councillor Kim Clements, Councillor Mandy Gaylard and Councillor Bill Quinton – were aware of the serious concerns that many residents have about the impact of the Upper Orwell Crossings on their area and Councillors would consider the views of their residents when they were consulted on issues related to the Upper Orwell Crossings.

 

While Councillors on the Area Committee were unlikely to be consulted except in the ways that were also open to residents, the Area Committee did have formal powers to:

- make comments on strategic planning matters affecting either its own area or the Borough as a whole;

- act as a consultee in respect of consultations carried out by outside organisations in respect of issues affecting its area and reporting to the Executive on any responses given on such consultations.

 

Borough Councillors on the South East Area Committee would be able to determine whether they wish to use these powers at the appropriate stages of the project.

9.2.       The Chair invited further questions from the floor.

9.3.       Local resident: I previously raised the issue of the burnt out car on Ravenswood that took a long time to be removed after contacting the Council/Police.  However, when it was removed, there was a lot of debris (broken glass, burnt bits of car) left behind that remained there for 8 weeks in the place where the Community Playbus usually parks.  We have bagged up the debris and brought it with us – please can someone now take responsibility for this and dispose of it?
Cars were frequently being abandoned, not just on Ravenswood, but across the country, instead of the owners disposing of them correctly, thus putting the onus on Councils to deal with the abandoned vehicles.  As abandoned vehicles still have some value, the Council cannot just remove and dispose of them, as the Council has to give notice to the owner of any intention to remove the vehicle.

The car was taken away, but the debris was left behind.
Councillor Knowles offered to progress this matter with the resident.

9.4.       Local resident:  The door of the Ravenswood Community Centre was repaired 18 months ago, but the Centre has never been used.
The building was intended to be used both as a Community Centre and a Children’s Centre, and was initially leased to SCC to provide this dual function.  The management of the building was in the hands of the Children’s Centre, and it was their responsibility to make arrangements for access when it was to be used by the community. There needed to be greater promotion of the public use of this building for Ravenswood.

County Councillor Quinton reported that the Ravenswood Residents Association would be holding their AGM there.

9.5.       Local resident:  Following the incident, members of the community reported that they felt they had been neglected.  There was a flurry of proposed actions and commitments, but what long-term commitment would there be that these initiatives would be sustainable and enhance people’s livelihoods?
The Council and other agencies were committed to delivering the proposed initiatives and engaging better with the community. It was imperative that any initiative to be provided would be sustainable in the long-term, not just for a few weeks.

9.6.       Local resident: The route map provided in the road closure information for the Great East Run 2018 was not correct, as the route would be going through Holywells Park this year.  This information needs to be available 3 months ahead of the event.
This information would be obtained from the event organisers and circulated when available.

9.7.       Local resident: Who from the South East NPG visited Benacre Road to determine that deploying the Speed Indicator Device (SID) was not appropriate on this road?  Cars drive so fast along Benacre Road that they have to brake at Avondale Road in order to stop in time when they reach Clapgate Lane.
This issue would be referred onto SCC as a Highways matter.