Members of the public are invited to put questions to the Chair of the Area Committee on any matters within the powers and duties of the Area Committee, subject to the exclusions set out in the Code of Practice (Questions must be submitted prior to the commencement of the meeting on the cards provided. These are available the meeting. You can also submit via the Council’s website at www.stockport.gov.uk/publicquestions.
Members of the public were invited to put questions to the Chair of the Area Committee on any matters within the powers and duties of the Area Committee, subject to the exclusions set out in the Code of Practice.
Seven public questions were submitted as follows:-
· Relating to an update on the proposed new leisure centre in Marple.
In response, it was commented that Members were united in their wish for work to commence as soon as possible on this project and frustrated by the delay in the decision making over Levelling Up funding bids until 2023, which had been announced by central government. It was noted that a specific timescale could not be provided for the project, but that the planning process would be beginning imminently in the hope of receiving the necessary funding next year.
· Relating to blocked drains causing surface water on Garth Road, Winnington Road and others in the Ley Hey area, and how the Council intended to solve these issues.
· Relating to the recently updated Council system for reporting blocked drains, which prevented the reporting of blocked drains unless they were causing serious flooding, and whether there was a point to reporting issues if the Council would not act on the report.
In response, it was commented that the questioners’ frustrations were understandable and that Councillors were now inundated with reports of blocked drains directly due to the change in the reporting system. It was reported that the Council would be implementing a new system that would assess drains and give each one a period in which it will be cleared on a case-by-case basis. It was noted that some issues, such as those on Garth Road, were difficult for Council officers to solve as they involved issues on private property, which would need to be fixed by the property owner. Furthermore, it was commented that local Councillors had campaigned for an extra drain cleaner for Stockport, as there were currently only 2 in the borough.
· Relating to whether there would be a public consultation in the near future addressing plans for transport in Marple District Centre.
In response, it was commented that a report in relation to this was currently being worked on. Members were supportive of action being taken on this issue as soon as possible, with a meeting of stakeholders on this issue due to take place on November 7th.
· Relating to the Council policy on the installation of heat pumps on private homes, and whether it addressed the potential issues of visual intrusion and noise to neighbouring properties.
In response, it was commented that a formal response would be provided by the relevant planning officers. It was commented that some renewable energy schemes did not require planning permission, and that issues of visual intrusion and noise could only be looked at if planning permission was required.
· Relating to the removal of traffic calming measures on Windlehurst Road, and whether Members could confirm which speed humps would be removed and provide a date by which the work would be completed.
In response, it was commented that this issue would be discussed during Item 8 of the meeting. Members noted that this was a contentious issue among local residents and needed to be looked at with due care and regard to the relevant legislation.
· Relating to the Council’s energy use in public buildings such as libraries, as well as in private businesses that leave their lights on overnight in Marple and whether lights could be switched off overnight to save energy.
In response, it was commented that this was a good point to raise and that Members would encourage better energy use in the local area. It was noted that public buildings such as libraries would play an important role in keeping people warm over the winter, so may have high energy use due to this. However, other improvements to buildings such as the installation of solar panels, turning down of thermostats and installing motion sensor lighting were all mentioned as ways to reduce energy usage.