To receive questions from members of the public who wish to ask a general question in respect of matters within the Council’s area of responsibility or influence.
Subject to the Chair’s discretion, members of the public may ask one question and one supplementary question, which should relate to the original question and answered received.
Councillors may also ask questions under this agenda item.
A question was received from Mr Smith who referred Cabinet to the minutes of 11th July, 2022, in particular the section on questions from members of the public. He indicated that Councillor Bennett-Sylvester raised a question in relation to the Council’s Housing Strategy regarding the loss of green space and section 6, in particular and what would be done in his area which had very little with regard to community facilities. That area had very much the same problems as his own, Dinnington; what was the intention of strategic housing and development to help address the imbalance in the loss of facilities and green space from house building in Dinnington.
The Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment explained that in terms of the adopted local plan, there were sites that were available for development, a number of which were on former greenfield sites, including in Dinnington, which then come forward into planning applications. In terms of mitigations, there were lots of policies both nationally and locally in terms of looking at protecting and mitigating against development. One of the new ones coming through was the biodiversity nett gain that was national; the Council was bringing that forward in terms of Rotherham. It looked at developments, protecting biodiversity and if that could not be done within the site, consideration was given to how it could be offset elsewhere.
Mr. Smith asked a supplementary question indicating Dinnington was one of the most deprived areas in the country with major health problems with both adults and children, with no sports and leisure facilities readily available to those who need them the most. In light of this, would the Council support Dinnington, St Johns Town Council’s bid for S106 funding?
The Leader explained that the Council was not able to comment regarding bids for S106 funding, but the Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment explained that there were mitigations in place within the planning rules, however, these challenges were faced everywhere. The Council could not comment on the S106 other than it would meet its legal responsibilities and its planning requirements.
A question was received from Councillor Tinsley who said earlier in the year the Council unanimously agreed to back a motion regarding lifesaving equipment and to write to the Secretary of State to make it an offence for any to tamper with that equipment; could an update be provided.
The Assistant Director, Community Safety and Street Scene explained that no response had yet been received, however, the Council continued to work with various partners to improve open water safety across the Borough. The Leader asked that a response be chased up from the Secretary of State regarding the original letter.
A question was received from Councillor Ball who mentioned that around 600 new houses were being built in Maltby, however, a decision on the traffic lights on Cumwell Lane regarding the planning application was still outstanding. It was queried if the extra traffic as a result of the additional housing had been factored into the decision on Cumwell Lane.
The Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment explained that any planning application submitted for consideration had to take account of traffic implications as part of its approval process.
For his supplementary question, Councillor Ball noted that the building work had now begun, however, the waste was unable to be removed because there were no traffic lights in place. He queried how long it would be before planning was considered and there was concern that the additional housing would not be included in the consideration.
The Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment offered to hold a meeting with Councillor Ball to discuss the specifics regarding Cumwell Lane.