Agenda item

Public Question Time

Members of the public are invited to put questions to the Chair and Cabinet Members on any matters within the powers and duties of the Cabinet, subject to the exclusions set out in the Code of Practice.  (Questions must be submitted no later than 3 hours prior to the commencement of the meeting on the card provided.  These are available at the meeting. You can also submit via the Council’s website at


Members of the public were invited to submit questions to the Cabinet on any matters within its powers and duties, subject to the exclusions set out in the Code of Practice.


Three public questions were submitted as follows:-


·         Relating to the provision of a permanent encampment in Stockport for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people and when the proposed inclusion of such a site within the Stockport Local Plan would be discussed.


The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Devolution (Councillor Elise Wilson) responded that the matter would be considered as part to of the Local Plan process and work was actively ongoing on this.  It was stated that papers were likely to be published shortly with an update on where this was up to and it was confirmed that the Council needed to have a Local Plan in place by 2023.  The questioner was encouraged to contribute to the consultation on the Local Plan to ensure that their views were heard.


·         Relating to lack of a policy within the Council with regard to noise nuisance associated with the placing of road humps.


The Cabinet Member for Sustainable Stockport (Councillor Sheila Bailey) responded that the Council was satisfied that it does follow all due process with all consultation for traffic calming measures as set out in national legislation.  It was further stated that the Council was aware of the concerns raised separately by the questioner with regard to a specific scheme and representations had been made in the consultation on this matter, which would be considered prior to any final decision being made.


·         Relating to an options appraisal that would be undertake in relation to the future use of the Central Library building and why work had not been completed to demonstrate how a 21st century library facility could be accommodated within the existing building before the start of the consultation process.


The Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus & Engagement (Councillor David Sedgwick) responded that the Council had set out that there would be three parts to the process, the first of which that was due to start within the next few weeks would be to start to understand what people would like to see.  It was confirmed that no decision has been taken on the Stockroom part of the proposal.  It was stated that if there was general support for a 21st century library option, then that would be subject to a further consultation stage of which the options appraisal would be a part.  With regard to the reuse of the Central Library building, it was stated that the funding allocation was from within the ‘Future High Streets Fund’ which was designed to encourage more people into the town centre which precluded its use at the Central Library building.


A further eleven public questions were submitted in relation to Agenda 8 – ‘Woodford Development - New School Governance Decision (CFS&E5/ RCG32)’ as follows:-


·         Relating to the adjustment of catchment areas; whether sustainability assessments have or will be undertaken; whether expanding the existing Queensgate site had been considered; whether parking provision will be sufficient; the provision of improved sustainable travel routes; and why this proposal wasn’t mooted originally.

·         Relating to nursery provision at the new site; whether a mid-year school year would be considered; how realistic the risk of other school closures was; the impact of modal shift from walking to driving; and the provision of safe walking routes.

·         Relating to The legal basis and precedents for escaping the “free school presumption”; the introduction of delays by entertaining this route; the validity of the vote of the Governing Body of Queensgate Primary School; and what information had been provided by the Council to support the view that the relocation of Queensgate “would receive support of cluster Head Teachers”.

·         Relating to how capacity at the new school would be managed when Woodford Garden Village was fully constructed and occupied; and parking provision and road safety at the new site.

·         Relating to whether sustainable travel to the new school site would be possible; the loss of playground space resulting from an increased school size; and road safety resulting from increased vehicular movements.

·         Relating to whether the school would open in September 2022; the reliability of the data used; how places would be allocated in September 2022 to children in the area; potential larger class sizes; how the admission of children would be phased; and pre-school provision at the site.

·         Relating to traffic congestion; responsibility for maintenance of shared spaces and parks in Woodford Garden Village; and improvements to walking routes around the site.

·         Relating to whether the closure of Queensgate Primary School would be removed as an option in the light of the weight of opposition; how the views of the scrutiny committees had been considered; and if an application could be made for the new school for September 2022.

·         Relating to whether there was sufficient capacity within the locality for demand for school places; and parking provision at the new school site.

·         Relating to the fact that the original intention was for the new school to cater for children from Woodford Garden Village, and not the wider Bramhall area; the value for money of closing and relocating Queensgate Primary School; the flexibility of maintaining two school sites; foresight in school place planning; the robustness of the information provided to and the decision made at the meeting of the governing body of Queensgate Primary School; and whether a decision could be made now to allay residents’ concerns.

·         Relating to the potential for shortening or cancelling the intial formal consultation to approve a one form entry free school at this stage; why the recommendation hadn’t changed following the scrutiny committees; and why the retention of Queensgate Primary School alongside a new school in Woodford wasn’t being approved now.


The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Devolution (Councillor Elise Wilson) stated that the questioners would receive a comprehensive written response to their questions which would also be posted on the Council’s website.