Agenda item


To receive questions from members of the public who may wish to ask a general question of the Mayor, Cabinet Member or the Chairman of a Committee in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.


Question 1: From: Sallyanne Kenny


Do you think it is acceptable for places and venues to not be accessible for disabled and wheelchair users, such as people with MS (Multiple Sclerosis)?


Councillor Lelliott responded that public buildings were required under the Equality Act 2010 (which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act) to provide access for people with disabilities. Disabled people have the right to ‘reasonable adjustments’ that make jobs and services accessible to them. Building regulations also required all new buildings to be fully and easily accessible to everyone who needs to use them.


In her supplementary question Ms Kenny described how she went to a private establishment the previous day and could not access the building. Councillor Lelliott said she would be happy to meet with Ms Kenny to discuss what the Council could do to support work with private operators.


Question 2: From: Keith Ollivant


Planning and Adult Social Care Departments are allowing Rhodus Properties with Heathcotes Care Group to operate from 24 Spinneyfield. This was opened on covenant protected land without consultation with residents and disregard to Council procedures. We request both Directors consider the legality of this business and act to close it. Civil proceedings will commence if this business continues operating. 


Councillor Lelliott responded and advised that the building does not need planning permission so does not look like there’s anything from a planning point of view that can be done.


It was understood that the house was being used by no more than six adults living together as a single household which does not result in a change of use that would require planning permission. 


If there are aspects that you would like us to look into then please leave your contact details so we can pick this up with you.


In his supplementary question, Mr Ollivant stated that he believed there to be a change in appearance that required planning permission. Councillor Lelliott stated that if that was the case, the Council could look into this, but all authorities are under a national building and compliance framework. The rules changed recently for permitted developments and planning was not always required.


Question 3: From: Michael Norton


RBC is allowing business operations since October without planning permission on residential land that does not allow it. The owner dishonestly purchased the house, has not consulted residents and has intentionally mislead RBC. Social Services place vulnerable residents in there with minimal overnight care. Will both department heads review this business and take immediate action to suspend all operating licences?


Councillor Lelliott responded by stating that the house was being used by no more than six adults living together as a single household which did not result in a change of use that would require planning permission; there was therefore no planning breaches in place.


The Council had a statutory duty to meet an adult's needs for care and support where the relevant eligibility criteria was met. It was good practice for adult social care providers to engage, as appropriate, with local residents to build positive relationships. It was the responsibility of the developer and/ or provider to ensure all legal restrictions are met.


The service had been operational since October 2022. The provider was registered with the Care Quality Commission and is monitored as part of the Council's Quality Assurance Process.


In his supplementary question, Mr Norton advised that no objections had been made at the time of the application as nobody had advised them that six adults would be living there.


The Mayor advised that questions 4 – 6 would receive a written response.