Agenda item

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution, which is available to view at the following link:


The deadline for the submission of a public question is 4 clear working days before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a public statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting



The Chair advised that a number of public issues had been submitted.

A – Public Questions

Public Question from Hilary Trott

Why does the council think they can re-define disabled parking? The Law is that disabled bays need space all round. It is not solely for wheelchair users, who naturally DO need this. Those with ANY limited mobility also need the side space so we can open the car door fully, enabling egress and re-entry.

The spaces in the first bay in the South Car Park by AFCB’s ground do NOT all have this facility, so CANNOT be called spaces for the disabled.

If I used one of these spaces, I would be trapped in the car. They are NOT legal.

Response from Councillor Mike Greene, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Transport

The Council does not think that it can re-define disabled parking and is fully aware of the need to provide clear space all around. 

Guidance is that disabled access parking spaces should be 2400mm x 4800mm with a 1200mm wide marked access zone between spaces and a 1200mm zone for boot access.  

I would like to thank Ms Trott for highlighting that there was an issue with the first of the 14 disabled bays in the row at the northern end of the Car Park, which did not have a sufficiently wide access zone on its left-hand side. The other 13 bays were fully compliant. 

On receipt of Ms Trott’s message, the Parking Team inspected the location and ordered alterations to the markings within the car park to ensure that this end also has the required access zone on both sides of it. This work has been completed. 

Public Question from Zoe Keeping (read by Mr Freeman)

On 19 January 2021 BCP Council were granted planning permission to demolish the existing park building in Churchill Gardens and erect a community/cafe building.  We ask the Head of Planning to remove the condition to demolish the existing park building within 2 months of the new building being open to the public, applied to the grant of planning application, on the basis that is no longer relevant or reasonable.  Churchill Gardens cannot afford to lose such a valuable community resource that has the potential to be repurposed to serve the community as a sustainable living centre under community management. 

Response from Councillor Bobbie Dove, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services

Thank you for the request, although please note that the Head of Planning nor any other officer is able to unilaterally remove planning conditions without an application being first made.

In order to facilitate this matter through the correct procedure, the planning department would like to consider and understand the request through a pre-application enquiry. The local planning authority will then be able to consider the planning merits of the proposed retention of the building. The planning merits will take into consideration positive community value of this building so that the full impact of any decision made is fully considered and understood.

We would request that the Parks Department, who run the facility, are contacted so that a preapplication can be made.


Public Question from Zoe Keeping (read by Mr Freeman)

Will Bournemouth Youth Service (who own the building) grant The Friends of Churchill Gardens a lease to occupy the existing park building (on the same terms as currently offered to The Coastline Vineyard Church i.e. rent free) if it is possible to prevent the demolition of the building.

Response from Councillor Jane Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Communities, Health and Leisure

‘The ASPIRE project is a European Regional Development Funded project working with partners across Southern England and Northern France.  In BCP we were awarded funding for a new community hub in Churchill Gardens and funding to support activities around health and wellbeing and growing, cooking and eating in a healthy way.

As part of the project, consultation was undertaken on the location of the new building and wider feedback around local residents view on the park. A park masterplan was developed with the local community that encompassed the whole area.

We welcome any interest from the community to engage with us about the management of community facilities, but until such time as we have seen a detailed proposal from the group it would be inappropriate for us to comment on an individual building. The council needs to be able to satisfy itself that any group taking on a facility will do so with the intention of continuing to invest in it and the community that it serves.

Members will be interested to know that the Council has made funding of £115,000 available to replace the current play area and support new landscaping of this area, further helping to transform Churchill Gardens in to a modern, accessible, high-quality space for the everyone to enjoy.  I am pleased to announce that plans for the new play area will be developed over the autumn and construction is timetabled for the winter and early Spring.’


Public Question from Alex McKinstry 

FuturePlaces confirmed earlier this year that they were looking to appoint three independent non-executive directors (NEDs). It sounded promising: a recruitment agency was involved, and one of the directors would be taking over from the deputy leader as independent chair of the company. I've since read the company minutes (24 March), which state that due to the recruitment agency's "limited reach", board members "would reach out personally to inform suitable candidates of the opening". To what extent will the leader and deputy leader of the Council - both board members - be involved in the selecting and hiring of these independent NEDs?

Response from Councillor Drew Mellor, Leader of the Council

I can confirm that a recruitment agency Berwick Partners has been appointed to manage this process for the advertising and selection of BCP FuturePlaces Chair and Non Exec Director roles. The opportunity has been advertised on the agency website and a variety of other websites such as The Guardian, Linked In, WomenonBoards,, and The Ned Exchange to ensure the widest possible reach.

The opportunities are attracting strong interest from a diverse range of high calibre applicants, and we are confident of being able to appoint suitably experienced independent candidates to the company board. The closing date for applications was the 8 July.

The appointment of any director, including NEDs or the appointment of a Chair are reserved matters under the shareholders agreement, therefore Full Council approval will be required to be sought.

As previously intended, upon the appointment of these independent directors this will allow the leader and the deputy leader to step down as directors after completion of the successful launch of the Future Places. This will leave Future Places in the hands of one of the most capable regeneration and stewardship focused executive and director teams in the country.

You’ll be glad that Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are perceived to be leading the way nationally in terms of regeneration.


The Chairman advised that a public question had also been received from Katie Cousins, who was unfortunately unable to attend the meeting. Council were advised that a written response from Councillor Nicola Greene would be forwarded to Katie Cousins following the meeting.


B – Public Statements

Statement from Susan Chapman on the climate emergency (read out by the Director of Finance)

Evidence-based presentations were given throughout the covid crisis. Given the very visible, international, escalating threats to well-being as the world of nature continues to be sacrificed to deadly industries Sir Patrick Vallance's MP briefing should be conveyed to all councillors, officers and to the public so everyone can best brace themselves for the baked-in chaos ahead. Angus Rose's 37-day climate hunger strike has not yet reached the parts other briefings reach.

Preparation for reduced harvests, self-reliant clean energy, for limited, salvaged resources and for climate migration is essential.  A public information programme is well overdue.


Statement from Philip Stanley-Watts on national cut the clutter on our streets week

This week is national cut the clutter on our streets week. Our pavements should be assessable to all, which is not the case for many of our streets in the BCP area. Many with poorly placed bins and aboard and excessive signage. badly parked vehicles and beryl bikes. accidents happen, it's hazardous for pedestrians. l should know as l broke my collar bone whilst out jogging falling over signage. there needs to be a BCP task and finish group to look into the clutter in our streets.


Statement from Philip Gatrell on the contravention of law report (read out by the Director of Finance)

REGARDING CONTRAVENTION OF LAW REPORT BY MONITORING OFFICER (MO) concerning: Substantially incorrect information originally published for Allowances & Expenses Payments to Members & Co-Optees 2019/20 & 2020/21in contravention of Regulation 15(3) of Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003

Attention is drawn to the revised information & accompanying “Informative Notes” shown on the Council’s website regarding the above. The revisions followed a “forensic examination” concerning substantial inaccuracies in amounts & categories I had notified including by Public Issue at Audit & Governance’s meeting 3.2.22.The MO is “taking advice” as she is unsure this contravention of law requires obligatory reporting to Members under the Local Government & Housing Act 1989.However, the facts of the matter unquestionably warrant the MO’s report to comply with the 1989 Act, given the nature & extent of the original misleading information. Hence also this Statement for general awareness.


Statement from Patricia Williamson on the buffer zone

"If a buffer zone is created, and politely offering an information leaflet is called "intimidation/harassment"...  .   then we cannot offer a pregnant woman a real choice i.e. the option of support to keep her baby, when she may have been co-erced or does not really want it killed.

If silent prayer is criminalised, then clearly the power of prayer is recognised. I now appeal to you, in the name of Jesus, who loves these mothers and their babies, to allow us to try, even in the last minutes, to save babies and their mothers from the trauma of abortion.”