Agenda item

Questions to Portfolio Holders, if any


Question from Councillor Atkins:


Q1.      Following the very positive meeting between Leek Town Council and relevant District Officers regarding the use of the trestle market building for town events on Sundays, can I be reassured that the formal approval is being sought quickly, so that planning and marketing for these events can go ahead?


Response – Councillor Ralphs, Leader of the Council


Leek Town Council requested a meeting with SMDC Officers to discuss the promotion of VE day activities, tourism promotion and use of the Trestle market building for Leek Town Council events and activities. The meeting was held on 31st October when officers explained the current restrictions regarding capacity for events and the cost implications for hiring the Trestle Market. Leek Town Council members were advised that this meeting was to gather information and the discussion would be presented to Cabinet for a decision.


Leek Town Council were asked to present details of the proposed events in writing for consideration by Cabinet. This has now been received and officers are considering the issues regarding capacity and costs before presenting the information to the Cabinet.”


Supplementary 1 - Cllr. Atkins stressed that events were booked months in advance and the need for a timescale of approval was evident.


Cllr. Ralphs explained that, once the refurbishment and redecoration process was complete, there would be specialised stalls in place around the perimeter, with some traders’ goods left in situ. The possibility of other organisations using the Trestle Market for entertainment would be virtually non-existent.


Supplementary 2 – Given the level of investment involved and the fact that the building was unused for most of the week, this was disappointing. When would a final decision be made?


Cllr. Ralphs confirmed that a report would be presented for Cabinet and an immediate decision would be made.


Question from Councillor Yates:


Q2.      Considering the potential ongoing impact over the coming winter of heavy rainfall, and the fact that all local reservoirs are already at capacity, what additional resources are being deployed by relevant agencies including SMDC to ensure that stream beds, drainage channels and soakaways are being checked and adequately cleared?


Response – Councillor Ralphs, Leader of the Council


A number of organisations are responsible for managing flood risk in the District.  Staffordshire County Council is the Lead Local Flood Authority which maintains a strategy for local flood risk management in the area. The Environment Agency is responsible for the main rivers in the District whilst individual landowners are responsible for maintaining reservoirs, ditches, watercourses and culverts etc. The District Council is responsible for Hales Hall Pool in Cheadle for which it has a management plan in place which is regularly reviewed.


The District Council is also ready to provide support in cases of localised flooding which is provided by our Forward Control team. Residents are urged to sign up to the Government’s flood warning service for the latest information.  This can also be done by telephoning 0345 988 1188.


Supplementary 1 – With regard to potential problems in Biddulph, were any direct conversations taking place with Staffs County Council?


Cllr. Ralphs confirmed that discussions were ongoing with SCC and a response would be sought as soon as possible for the next Resources Panel meeting.


At this point, as the original questioner was not present, it was felt best that any further supplementary question be deferred until Cllr. Yates was able to ask it. Members would then be notified of it and any response.


Question from Councillor Plant:


Q3.      SMDC gave out funding in 2018 to commemorate the end of World War One.  Will the Council be making similar funds available to towns and parishes in the Staffordshire Moorlands to help them mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day in 2020?


Response:   Councillor Ralphs, Leader of the Council


The Council is considering what type of support it may provide to town and parish councils in the District with regards to marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day in 2020.  The nature of such support will be determined following discussions with the various stakeholders concerned.”


Councillor Plant expressed his satisfaction with the response.