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:- 


The deadline for the submission of:


Public questions is Tuesday 11 February 2020.


A statement is midday, 17 February 2020.


A petition is midday, 17 February 2020.


The Chairman advised that 5 public questions and 3 statements have been submitted for the meeting.

Public Question from Graham Chandler

In June 2019 the Public Toilets at Lake Pier were closed in respect of maintenance issues. An Election Pledge, made by the now Leader of BCP, was to refurbish and open closed toilets. Lake Pier was one of those specifically identified. Visitors to Rockley park use the beach at Lake Pier and the car park is invariably full to capacity with people who come to enjoy water sports. Can the Leader provide detailed assurance of when the refurbished building will be brought back in to use, or new facility, will be affected? 

Response by Councillor Vikki Slade (Leader of the Council)

The agreed re-opening and refurbishment programme has been formulated to avoid peak periods such as school holidays as it is preferable to not carry out works during these periods and utilise ‘windows of opportunity’ in early and late Spring and Autumn.  All refurbishments are extensive and not just decoration due to the serious deterioration in the infrastructure of buildings such as walls, roofs, plumbing and electrics.

The Quay toilet was refurbished and re-opened in October 2019, works are currently in progress to re-furbish Poole Park toilets and The Haven is programmed to be refurbished in the Autumn.

Lake Pier was essentially condemned and closed due to notice being served by Building Surveyors resulting from roof failure and extensive damage to the internal electrics. The pumping station outside the building which is integral to the process of conveying waste up the nearby steep slope to connect with the water company’s sewage system is also defective.

The funding allocation provides a one off opportunity to improve the facilities for residents and visitors at Lake Pier and, rather than extensively refurbish and re-open a toilet block that is potentially too large for its actual need, it could be linked with an adjacent café; either in its current position or in another part of the car park. Due to the nearby Site of Special Scientific Interest any change in this area has to be agreed with Natural England and Planning Authority and these discussions are taking place. Work is also well underway on potential designs, together with contingency plans to refurbish and re-open the public toilet block and to replace the sewage pumping station in the event that agreement is not reached.

It should also be noted that temporary toilets have been in place at this location since it was closed.

Public Question from Ian Clark

Wessex Fields Development and Consultation

The funding for phase 1 of the Wessex Fields development includes provision for 500 jobs. The current plan is to only build the road from the A338 up to the boundary line of the development until a decision is made as to the use of the site which is currently out for consultation.

Can the council answer:

a)    How much funding is going to be received for phase 1 of the development and what is the projected cost of building the road to the boundary line.

b)    What is the timeframe for utilising all the phase 1 funding.

c)    When will the result of the consultation be made public.

Response by Councillor Andy Hadley (Portfolio Holder for Transport and Infrastructure)

Thank you Ian for your questions concerning Wessex Fields.

a)    How much funding is going to be received for phase 1 of the development and what is the projected cost of building the road to the boundary line.

Phase 1 of the development, which includes the junction from the A338 and the road to the boundary of the development site, has a budget of £3.2M which will be funded by DLEP. Currently, the projected construction costs for phase 1 are within budget.

b)    What is the timeframe for utilising all the phase 1 funding.

The timeframe for utilising all of the Phase 1 funding, set by DLEP, is March 2021. However, these works are currently programmed to be completed by September 2020, well within the funding window.

c)    When will the result of the consultation be made public.

A cabinet paper is being prepared which analyses the results of the public consultation, which closed on 31 January 2020. The paper will be considered for recommendation at the cabinet meeting on 18 March 2020. The agenda and papers for consideration will be published by close of business on 10 March and will be available online. Minutes showing the result of the cabinet meeting will be published afterwards in the same location on the BCP website.

Public Question from Melissa Byers (the question was read out Marion Burgess)

I’m a parent of a child with Special Educational Needs.  Myself, and charity “Parent Carer Foundation” ask: Will Council request and support a Scrutiny Commission Review to assess the impact of 20 percent funding cuts created by Banded funding for all children with Special Educational Needs and hold a full review of the current state of SEND. Failing to consider issues is having grave consequences and raises accountability questions.  In “Overview and Scrutiny Board Minutes” (item 6a) submitted to Council, the Portfolio Holder presents a focus on reduced funding.  Families and schools need to be independently assessed.

Response by Councillor Sandra Moore (Portfolio Holder for Children and Families)

I thank you for your question.

I would like to assure you that improving services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities represents one of the highest priorities for BCP council and the Health and Wellbeing Board has already adopted the SEND agenda as one of its key priorities.

To support future improvements in this important area, the council invited the LGA to undertake a 4 day review on all matters linked to SEND.  This involved the council, partners, including Health and the CCG, schools, parents/carers, children and young people.  The review identified areas of strength but did also identify areas where improvements are required.  The LGA will be producing a full report and when it is received, we will be able to provide more detailed feedback to partners and stakeholders, including parents, on the findings of the review.

A peer review of the virtual school, who oversee outcomes for children in care, has also just taken place and we await the outcome.  These reviews, I believe, show this council is intent on improving its services for vulnerable children across the whole system.

Significant work has already been planned to support more immediate improvements in SEND and these are captured in the SEND & Inclusion Development Plan which is overseen by a multi-agency group, including a rep from the Parent Carer Forum, and chaired by the Director for Inclusion and Family Services.

The new Family Support strategy will also help support the more vulnerable children and families, including those with SEND.

Regarding the Overview and Scrutiny Board Minutes (item 6a) this refers to the government funded ring-fenced Dedicated Schools Grant and the underfunding of the High Needs Block which, of course, links to the SEND issue.  However, there are no proposals to reduce services, support or arrangements to SEND services from this council.

There are plans in place, however, to address the causes that sit behind the High Needs Block funding, and to ensure we have more, high quality, local provision.  There has also been a refocusing of BCP resources in this area to ensure a priority response to those children and families who are most challenged, for whatever reason. 

In conclusion, I would like to reassure you that improving SEND services does represent one of the highest priorities for BCP council.

Again, I thank you for your question.

Public Question from Susan Chapman

With the latest desperate warnings of "global systemic collapse" I highlighted to Cabinet last week yet with widespread ignorance and paralysis as YouthStrike4Climate demonstrated on Valentine's Day please can BCP act on the recommendations (for greater BCP ambition) of East Dorset Friends of the Earth's Climate Action Plan Report and 

a.  circulate it to all councillors and council officers 

b.   welcome the help of the Centre for Alternative Technology who are planning zero carbon courses locally this year

c.  communicate the following slideshow and other information to all councillors and officers with a user-friendly version for the general public

Response by Councillor Felicity Rice (Portfolio Holder for Environment and Climate Change)

Thank you for your question and for highlighting the excellent work done by the Centre for Alternative Technology.  I know people that have worked at the centre and I have visited the site, and would thoroughly recommend a trip to all councillors.  Set in a beautiful spot in Wales, it’s a long trip, but very interesting. 

The Council welcomes all engagement on the subject of the Climate & Ecological Emergency and we will be engaging with residents shortly on how we can best tackle this important subject. In the meantime we will continue to encourage all officers and Members to consider how they might contribute to the solutions necessary to meet this agenda.

We have arranged for a presenter from Zero Carbon Dorset, the local advocate for the Centre of Alternative Technology’s 'Zero Carbon Britain' initiative, to speak to Members and officers on the scale of the climate problem and ways to address the Emergency, and the Council will be taking part in their next conference, which is currently being planned for 20th March at Bournemouth University. The report and slideshow referred to will be made available to our Climate Action Members Working Groups for consideration for making it available to all officers within the council along with other climate emergency material. Many thanks for the suggestion and your on-going support and dedication to help the council achieve the necessary steps to tackling climate change urgently.

Public Question from Graham Tuffin

Talbot Village Residents Association and Neighbourhood Watch is concerned about the way the Community Infrastructure Levy Fund will be apportioned by BCP Council in the future.  There are many changes due to take place in our Neighbourhood (likely to require local infrastructure projects), some as a result of our close proximity to the Universities.  Will the "CIL" raised by each Council Ward be "ring fenced" to be used by that ward, as happened in Bournemouth Council in the past?  

Response by Councillor Margaret Phipps (Portfolio Holder for Strategic Planning)

Cabinet has agreed a new system for distribution of the CIL Neighbourhood Portion from 1st October 2020, that will enable communities to bid into a central pot for local infrastructure projects rather than retaining money on a ward basis.  This is a proven system which has been operating successfully in Poole.  Bournemouth individual wards can still currently submit bids to spend the money available to them.  After 1st October any left over funds will be transferred into the central pot.

Cabinet will be closely overseeing the setting up and bidding arrangements for the new BCP system to ensure that the CIL Neighbourhood Portion is distributed in a fair and equitable way that addresses the demands development puts on BCP’s communities. Once the new system has been in operation for a year, it will be reviewed to check its effectiveness.

The Council is also starting work in its first Infrastructure Funding Statement for the part of the CIL monies which is available for strategic use.   We will work directly with infrastructure providers, Councillors and communities to identify and prioritise strategic infrastructure needs across BCP.  These wider CIL monies will then be directed towards delivering the key infrastructure projects needed to support areas where development is planned, such as at the Universities.

In addition, the Council will ensure that the direct impact of development will be mitigated through Section 106 planning obligations to provide necessary infrastructure and support existing communities where new development will be located.

Overall, the new approach to distributing CIL funding is expected to deliver the right balance between delivering both local and more strategic infrastructure projects, to ensure that new development can be accommodated without harm to our existing communities.

A Public Statement had been received from David Brown on 5G but he was not in attendance to read out the statement.

Public Statement from Emma Johnson on 5G

In the words of Dr Martin Pall: “Putting in tens of millions of 5G antennae without a single biological test of safety has got to be about the stupidest idea anyone has had in the history of the world.”

273 independent scientists and doctors signed the 5G Appeal urgently calling for the EU to halt the rollout of 5G due to serious potential health effects from this new, untested, unregulated and uninsurable technology.

On 22 February we have the second 5G & EMFs Community Meeting for BCP at the Beaufort Community Centre in Southbourne.  I urge you all to consider attending to learn more about this very real issue.

Public Statement from Amy Tarr on 5G

BCP Council are relying on ICNIPP guidelines to set exposure levels but these levels were based on the heating effects of devices on adults and their test case was a US military man. They don’t take into account:

 - prolonged exposure

-  non-ionising radiation which has been proven to cause DNA damage and oxidative stress

- Children, who have much thinner skulls than a US military man and developing systems that are much more susceptible to this radiation 

- the effect on the animals, insects and plants

- 5G will be deposited in the skin where sweat glands will act as antenna.

There were no petitions submitted for this meeting.