Agenda item

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these is available to view at the following link:-

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeID=151&Info=1&bcr=1

The deadline for the submission of a public questions 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.

 

Minutes:

A – Public Questions

Public Question from Soo Chapman

“Well-being is at its heart" of BCP's Big Plan, while neighbourhood plan aims are environmentally "educating, encouraging and assisting the local population". Yet the terms "Anthropocene" and "decarbonisation at speed and scale" are negligently absent.

Addressing deforestation, pollution, oceanic dead zones, loss of biodiversity, mass extinctions, collapsing ecosystems, weakening Gulf Stream, overfishing, overpopulating, resource constraints and accelerating climate migrations are NOWHERE to be seen. Despite "final warning" alerts from the UN, the King, the Pope and global scientists.

Don't the Nolan principles mean exposing and confronting carbon bombing projects so that "children will flourish" as BCP claim?

 

Response by Councillor Mike Greene

Tackling climate change continues to be an unprecedented global challenge, and through our climate and ecological emergency ambitions we have a solid foundation from which we are continuing to strive to make a real difference.

In March, Members of the Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be presented with a new draft Climate Action Strategy, which will address many issues raised in this question. This will aim to ensure that the actions being taken will reduce the impact of climate change and its effects on residents, businesses and organisations, as well as our natural environment and biodiversity in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Ensuring we have a sustainable environment underpins all our decision making, and this holds true in how we are addressing the significant challenges posed by climate change. Activities include our Transforming Travel programme, reducing air pollution through initiatives like School Streets; and our Cleaner, Greener, Safer programme where over 10,000 trees have been planted across the area.

 

Public Question from Daniel Parkin

Will the current leader commit to an inquiry, ideally external, on the Bayside Restaurant, which lost the Council £176,000 when swingeing financial constraints were being imposed elsewhere. Questions would include: was there, or was there not, a business plan; why was this not open to tender to experienced restaurateurs; why was it set up in a flood zone without planning consent; why was it only open for four weeks, when most businesses need at least that to identify teething problems; and why only open at the tail-end of summer? Any immediate answers would be welcome.

 

Response by Councillor B Dunlop

A mixed management model is used for the various seasonal catering offers along the seafront; this helps share the risk and introduces external expertise with the intention to generate longer term proposals for these types of facilities on the beach. Doing this allows the Council to identify the best way to deliver operations moving forward.

Bournemouth Air Festival has had a hospitality marquee for many years. In 2019, the Council upgraded the offer, and continued to work with the same external, experienced event company in order to provide a higher quality hospitality offer. The new marquee offer has been very successful.

Given the high spec of the marquee and the fact that the infrastructure was going to be in place for the Air Festival, there was clearly an opportunity to extend the time and pilot a fine dining experience during the busiest time of the season.

A series of budget scenarios and projections were produced for Bayside, to inform financial decision making. However, a site-specific business plan was not produced as it formed part of the overarching commitment to create a more vibrant environment.

There were several unpredictable factors that led to the loss in this location and in light of this we will commit to reviewing the process of tendering for pop-up catering in the future to ensure we always get value for money.

Whilst Bayside did not deliver as expected, it is this bold approach to seafront enhancement over the years that has steadily increased the surplus delivered back to the Council to fund other essential services to benefit all residents, this year, predicted at £6m.

 

B – Public Statements

Statement from Natascha McAllister Chief Executive of Sedcat (South East Dorset Community Accessible Transport) (read out by the Chief Executive)

  • Sedcat contributes towards BCP Community Strategy Priority - Fulfilled lives.
  • Sedcat provides a personalized Community Transport service to BCP’s most vulnerable residents, relieving future long-term financial pressures on BCP health and social care services.
  • Sedcat has been receiving a modest grant of the same amount for the past 10 years whilst continuously expanding services.

Should funding be cut from BCP, Sedcat would find itself in financial difficulties and this would lead to a reduction in services to the most vulnerable community members resulting in an increased demand on health and social care services and loss of income to local businesses.