Verbal report by Ian Kershaw, Locality Lead Officer. The draft committee work plan is an ENCLOSURE.
Ian Kershaw, Locality Lead Officer, outlined the arrangements for the new committee. The four area committees had been replaced by six local committees and this one would cover the wards of Cheam, Belmont and Sutton South. The committee could consider most issues in its area, notable exceptions being licensing and planning applications.
The committee would have a public realm budget to spend over two years. The money could be spent on capital projects that improved the lives of people who lived, worked and pursued leisure activities in the area. In addition, Section 106 monies from planning agreements would be available and the local committees would have a say in how they should be spent. Further detail of both of these issues would be included in the presentation later on in the meeting.
Ian Kershaw emphasised that a primary aim of the new committees was to involve local people, including businesses, in decision making. As Locality Lead Officer he would be the main point of contact for the public and act as a link with the committee members. There was information about the new arrangements on the Council’s website and this included the e-mail address where the public could direct queries relating to this particular Committee.
The Chair said that the introduction of the new committees was an indication of the willingness of both political parties on the Council to give local people a greater say in matters affecting them. He expected this committee to be listened to and that any differences with the Council could be resolved by negotiation. He confirmed that there would be the opportunity for the public to ask questions. For items that were not on the agenda he asked that questions be submitted by noon on the Monday before committee. Residents could still submit questions up until the start of the meeting but they may well not get a detailed answer that evening. He intended to allow 15 minutes for such questions initially.
The Chair permitted a question from Matthew Connolly under this item:
“In terms of the re-provision for people with learning disabilities at Orchard Hill, other than Cheam Day Centre have any other sites within the physical boundaries of this committee been identified as possible options for new community homes?”
As there was no one present who was able to answer the question, Ian Kershaw would arrange a reply to be sent to Mr Connolly.
The committee considered the draft work plan that had been circulated with the agenda. It was noted that a number of supplementary planning documents had been included, which were considered to have Borough-wide impact. The Chair said that he was prepared to receive such documents on the agenda only as information items.
The Committee agreed that the following items should be included on the work plan for the next meeting:
Councillor Peter Geiringer said that the Belmont Ward councillors had issued their own questionnaire about parking in Belmont Village and had asked for the matter to come to the former area committee. The Council had applied to Transport for London for funding but TfL had refused. There was an intention to apply again for next year. On this basis Alan Carroll, Head of Transport and Traffic, suggested that the matter be put on this committee’s work plan for January.
Both Councillors Pamela Picknett and Tony Shields mentioned 6-12 Dorset Road, which were properties on the Council’s disposal programme. The site was tied up with the issue of access to Avenue Primary School and traffic congestion that occurred in the vicinity during school drop-off/pick-up times. Whilst the issue was already on the work plan for the November meeting, Councillor Shields pointed out that the Sutton Area Committee Minutes said that the properties were due to be auctioned before then. He said that the committee should consider the issue before the disposal went ahead. Ian Kershaw said he would investigate the current position and come back to Councillor Shields the following day.
Resolved: (i) That the arrangements for the new committee as outlined be noted;
(ii) That the work plan be noted and the items referred to be added;
(iii) That Ian Kershaw pursue the query regarding 6-12 Dorset Road and contact Councillor Shields the next day, and arrange a response to Mr Connolly’s question.