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 Chairman advised that a number of public issues had been submitted for the meeting:


A – Public Questions


Public Question from Nancy Curtis

Her Majesty The Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee this year, with events to take place in June.  Could the Council please advise what plans they have for celebrating this unique event across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, and how the community can get involved?


Reply from Councillor Beverley Dunlop, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Vibrant Places


Thank you to Mrs Curtis for her question and her perfect timing because today saw the first BCP press release to get us all in the mood to celebrate this remarkable occasion of Her Majesty's 70 years on the throne and highlight how residents can get involved.


The 4-day celebration culminates with The Big Lunch on Sunday 5th June, and we are encouraging our residents to get together for street parties. National Thank you Day, where we say thank you to our communities is also being held on the same day and is hoping to break the record for Britain's biggest ever national party as part of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.


Street parties are a fantastic opportunity to bring people together and say thank you to our neighbours and community after all we've been through over the last two years. It can be a small gathering, or you can go the Full Monty and have trestle tables right down the street, with a bit of entertainment. 


We are working with a variety of partners to encourage as many people as possible to join in and try our best to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to enjoy a party. And I encourage our hospitality sector to join in and host parties, too.


What we have done, is made it easy to apply to close your road and we are removing road closure charges for community street parties. But there is a deadline of April 22nd to get your application in.


So, to anyone thinking of organising a party I say go for it, but don't forget your elderly neighbour, the struggling family, or the people you don't normally speak to. Lets all sit down, share some food, mix it up and make new friends.


And finally, to my fellow Councillors I say, you've all got parks so go organise a party!


Public Question from Chrissie Morris Brady (read out by the Deputy Head of Democratic Services)

Why isn't wood being used in new builds? It is sustainable and absorbs carbon. Wooden buildings are proven to have health benefits too.


Students learn better in a wooden building as heartrates lower, and so stress is less. This is the same for homes.


I learnt these facts from 39 Ways To Save The Planet 29 01 22 but I knew before.


Our current building materials contribute 8% of carbon emissions. It has to stop. 


Reply from Councillor Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Development, Growth and Regeneration

Most new build development will already incorporate some use of wood within their construction. However, the Building Regulations were also updated at the end of 2021 to ensure that from June 2022, new build development will have to achieve a 30% reduction in carbon emissions on the current standards. Ultimately it is a choice for developers and builders what materials they use but with the forthcoming increase in standards, it is very likely that the use of wood and other sustainable materials will be a key part of the Industry’s response to meeting these updated and I think ambitious Building Regulations.


Public Question from Susan Stockwell

The safer cycling corridor from Sandbanks and Lilliput to Sterte and Holes Bay, across Poole High School catchment is currently on hold.


Will this council now restore this route as School Streets, filtering out through traffic at Keyhole Bridge, Bird's Hill and Tatnam Road?


This could allay fears for the future of other traffic calmed roads in Poole, including but not limited to Green Road, Alverton Avenue, Kingston Road, Shaftesbury Road, Danecourt Road, Valley Road, Livingstone Road and others. These are often in place to protect children and young adults walking or cycling to school or college.


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

The route from Sandbanks and Lilliput to Sterte and Holes Bay is one of 76 such corridors identified in the Draft Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure plan to be examined for potential interventions over the next decade or so.   None of those 76 are “On Hold”.


Nor has any part of this route ever been a School Street. School Streets are short closures to motor vehicles during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up, to improve the conditions immediately outside the school gates, and BCP Council is just in the process of introducing four of these at the moment as trials.  Should these trials prove successful, we would look to roll them out to further locations.  However, there are no main school entrances on any of the corridor mentioned by Ms Stockwell and it is therefore extremely unlikely that those roads would be considered as potential School Streets.


I would like to reassure Ms Stockwell that the Council carries out regular reviews of road traffic accidents on all BCP roads in line with the current highway legislation. The latest BCP road safety report is available online and it should be noted that no parts of this particular route are identified as Cycle Collision Cluster Sites.


Public Question from Steve Robinson

With the recognition of Age Friendly Communities in the Corporate Strategy we are working with the Lead Member for Communities, forming a partnership in applying to the WHO to become an internationally recognised Age Friendly Community, a benchmark of how the Strategy can be become actionable activities.


Working together, creating opportunities for Older People to remain part of their local community, living healthy and active later lives with knowledge and expertise, gained over many years, celebrated, and shared intergenerationally as they participate in activities that they value and enjoy.


Leader, will you on behalf of the Council, support the application?


Reply from Councillor Drew Mellor, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Transformation

Thank you, Mr Robinson, for your question.


BCP Council are committed to recognising and valuing local communities as being at the heart of everything they do.  Many Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole residents within our communities are in their mid or later life, or perhaps living with some kind of vulnerability which makes everyday life - and feeling that they belong to their local community - just that bit more challenging for them.


We are delighted to work with you at Prama, a local charity, well respected and known for your commitment to local older people.  We are also very pleased to support the joint application to WHO to become an Age Friendly Community as part of our Corporate Strategy to help people lead active healthy and independent lives, adding years to life and life to years.


Our strength-based approach to community work means that we embrace an inclusive ethos across all generations including those residents who have valuable experience and lifetime skills to share. 


Key features of an age-friendly community include;


·       good transport, communication and outdoor spaces,

·       volunteering and employment opportunities,

·       leisure and community services and, of course, 

·       health, dignity and social inclusion.

We know that the vision of Prama is for a world where no one is disadvantaged or excluded because of age or infirmity and where every person can enjoy life as they age. Our joint ambition would therefore be to work together towards making this area a place where older people are able to remain a key part of their local community as they live healthy and active later lives. Older people’s knowledge and expertise, gained over many years, will be celebrated, and shared intergenerationally as they participate in the activities that they value and enjoy.


Of course, many of these activities already exist across BCP but need to be more widely known. Our engagement with our Older Population needs to be developed, finding existing strengths - as well as gaps to be filled - and to listen to ideas and suggestions from the residents who have lived experience, and can thus contribute to future strategy.


The short answer to your question, Mr Robinson, is yes, we will give our full support to this application so that we can publicly celebrate our older population and enable them to fully enjoy their retirement years.


Public Question from Conor O’Luby (read out by the Deputy Head of Democratic Services)

Netting over the thatched buildings on Bridge Street, Christchurch have led to the death of several birds, either from stress, dehydration, starvation, or a combination of all these things. This is cruel and unacceptable. Can the Council please explain what they are going to do to prevent any further unnecessary deaths?


Reply from Councillor Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Development Growth and Regeneration

Thank you to Conor O’Luby for his question and for raising his concerns regarding the netting over thatched buildings on Bridge Street. We are currently reviewing the legislative position on this, although would highlight that the Council may not have any control over installation of netting as it appears a matter of how individuals want to maintain their own private property. We understand the concern, however, and have therefore referred the matter to Natural England as the lead for protection on the natural environment, and who may have greater influence on this matter at a national level.


Public Question from Roger West

It is not generally recognised the great debt we all owe to the Indian Army. Their courage particularly in Europe at the beginning of the Great War was of the utmost importance. In Bournemouth you have an opportunity to right this wrong. In November 2014 the Mont Dore Hotel, now Bournemouth Town Hall, was taken over by the Government and became a hospital for Indian Soldiers. Would you agree with me that this fact should be recognised by having a plaque fitted near the entrance?


Reply from Councillor David Kelsey

Thank you for the question, Mr West


The building in question was the Mont Dore hotel but in 1914 it was taken over by the war office to become a hospital for injured soldiers who served with the Indian Army Corps, in 1915 it became a British Military Hospital and in 1916 it accepted ANZAC troops in 1917 it became a convalescence home for British Officers.


As we can see the Building has served many Nationalities and faiths I believe that there is a plaque inside the entrance but I will check and will also look into whether one can be placed outside to commemorate its usage as a military Hospital.


Public Question from Susan Chapman (read out by the Deputy Head of Democratic Services)

Zero Carbon Dorset's vision gives us a chance of heading off the worst of the horror story ahead as small island nations and much of Africa can sadly already testify.  


BCP's climate report has strangely not been shared with residents. Yet firefighters on our incinerating home are overdue.  BCP's Plans so far are hopelessly inadequate and factual survival information for the public is missing. 


Please can BCP ensure the broadcasting of a public information programme enlightening all that the natural world is in crisis and that everyone's effort is needed to prevent the collapse of all living systems?


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

BCP Council has a robust Climate Action Plan to achieve Net Zero in its own operations by 2030, and to enable the area as a whole to become Carbon neutral by 2050 at latest.  Contrary to Mrs Chapman’s assertions, the Annual Report and Climate Action Plan were published last month, extensively challenged, discussed and supported by the Overview and Scrutiny Board in a meeting open to the public, and endorsed by the Cabinet in public too. It is included in today’s agenda, and I hope that it will be formally adopted by the Council later this evening.


Through press releases, email bulletins and BH Life Magazine, the Council frequently provides updates and information about Climate Action in what I believe is an appropriate manner.


The Chairman reported that the public questions not dealt with would receive a written response in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.


B – Statements


Public Statement from Jamie Dunn, which was read out by Graham Farrant, Chief Executive

Many residents living near to Upton Country Park’s perimeter continuously see many users choose not to park in the two car parks available. Instead finding free residential roads and impacting on accessibility for emergency vehicles. 


Lowering daily charges to respectable amounts and improved advertising of the yearly £40 charge, will see more vehicles using the main car park. Recent summers tend to be a quarter or half full, which I have evidence of. 

The main reason is high charges for short periods of time. It's understandable why many park in residential roads.


I kindly request these charges are reviewed.


Public Statement from the Branch Secretary, UNISON which was read out by Graham Farrant, Chief Executive

UNISON calls on the political leadership of the Council to reconsider its political choice not to raise the base rate of Council Tax. The Government assumes this increase when calculating the local government funding settlement figures for councils. These choices make clear investment in staff is not your priority. Expecting staff to do more with less while not investing in the workforce is leaving staff dismayed by your choice not to invest in levelling up wages. Cabinet made budget choices while staff are expected to deliver the Big Plan. The staff need fair pay now, not in 2024.


C – Petitions


There were no petitions submitted for this meeting.