(At least two clear days notice required, in writing, to the Proper Officer in accordance with Procedure Rule 11.3.)
1. Question to the Leader of the Council received from Councillor C Atkins:
“In the light of today’s arrangements for Full Council, what will be the future format of Full Council meetings in 2022?”
“It has been agreed by Group Leaders that tonight’s and December’s Full Council meeting will take place in a hybrid manner taking into account the data available with regards to the number of Covid cases locally (the Staffordshire Moorlands district currently has the highest 60 + years case rate in the West Midlands at 254 per 100,000 people – a 42% increase in the last 7 days). It has also been agreed with Group Leaders that the next cycle of meetings for the Council’s four Overview and Scrutiny Panels will also take place using the Council’s hybrid system.
It is anticipated that Full Council meetings from February 2022 will meet as normal. The arrangements for meetings will be reviewed at the end of 2021 with the involvement of all political groups and will continue to be discussed and agreed at Group Leader meetings. This will take into account the Council’s health and safety responsibilities and the latest Government data with regards to the number of Covid cases. The Council will also monitor the latest legislative requirements which may be subject to change following the Government’s call for evidence earlier this year with regards to the conduct of local authority meetings.” In response to supplementary questions the Leader of the Council explained that all members would be expected to be in attendance for consideration of the Council’s budget at its meeting in February 2022 and that there had been a great increase in the number of people in the Moorlands succumbing to Covid during the past week.
2. Question to the Leader of the Council received from Councillor J Salt:
“Can the Leader please provide a timeline for the restoration of the Miner’s lamps in Biddulph. Despite a multitude of emails and a question raised in February, they continue to rot. The Leader assured me two months ago that they’d be removed into storage until they could be restored, so why are they still there? Why haven’t the flower beds been tended to at the very least? Please can we see a timeline in response to this question that I can share with my constituents?”
Cllr Salt’s requests with regards to the maps had not been ignored. The Council has had to tender for the work to be completed. As the lamps were set in concrete a crane will be required to remove them. A company has been found and the lamps will be removed and stored at the Council’s Fowlchurch depot. There had been confusion with regards to the maintenance of the flowerbeds on the roundabout. Alliance Environmental Services were under the impression that Biddulph Town Council were responsible for this but this was wrong and they will address this as soon as the lamps are removed. In response to supplementary questions the Leader explained that the lamps could not be restored in their current location and could not provide assurance that the lamps could be restored to due to their very poor condition.