Agenda item

Public Question Time

To receive any questions from and provide answers to the public in relation to matters relevant to the Council’s activities.


Members of the public were invited to put questions to the Mayor and councillors on matters within the powers and duties of the Council.


Five public questions were submitted as follows:-


·         Relating to whether it was proposed to introduce 15 Minute Neighbourhoods, Active Neighbourhoods, Planters, Roadblocks, NPR surveillance cameras or other such measures in the borough, and whether any reintroduction of a Clean Air Zone in Stockport would be ruled out, and any extant infrastructure removed.


The Leader of the Council (Councillor Mark Hunter) responded that the Council, along with the other districts of Greater Manchester, had pushed back on the government’s view that there needed to be a central changing zone and that progress could made on the issue of clean air without the need for charging at all.  It was confirmed that there were no plans to resurrect the clean air zone in Stockport and it was further stated that the Leader had asked the Mayor of Greater Manchester when the infrastructure associated with the clean air zone would be removed.


Councillor Dena Ryness further response that she did not believe that a clean air zone of any type should necessarily be ruled out as the levels of air pollution in some parts of Greater Manchester was severe and contributed to many health problems. 


·         Relating to the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation and how it was achieving its goal of reinvigorating the town centre.


Councillor Elise Wilson responded that the Mayoral Development Corporation enjoyed the full support of all parties represented on the council and that she was proud of the progress that it had made.  Councillor Wilson highlighted the ongoing work at Stockport Interchange and the delivery of 100% affordable homes at the St Thomas’ site.  Councillor Wilson stated that the corporation was national recognised and was delivering new green space, protecting existing greenspace and was taking a brownfield first approach.  Finally, Councillor Wilson commented that she was confident that there would be continued improvement because of the cross-party support for the work of the corporation.


·         Relating to whether the Council would commit to holding an open meeting to discuss its commitment to the UK100 pledge to achieve the government’s plan to hit net zero five years ahead of schedule.


The Leader of the Council (Councillor Mark Hunter) responded that he did not intend to spend public money on creating a platform that would deny climate change.  It was further stated that the science on this matter was beyond reasonable doubt and that urgent work was needed locally, nationally and internationally to tackle the issue.


The Cabinet Member for Climate Change & Environment (Councillor Mark Roberts) further responded that public council meetings were the correct forum for residents to raise concerns with members.  Councillor Roberts stated that he disagreed with the questioner’s position on the matter of climate change and that the council was united in its view of the climate change emergency and the need to act. 


·         Relating to what was meant by the statement “enforcing against poor quality housing, buildings and the environment” contained within the borough plan.


The Leader of the Council (Councillor Mark Hunter) undertook to respond to the questioner in writing.


·         Relating to whether there would be a commitment to fully funding the necessary works to ensure Reddish Library and Community Centre could to provide services to residents.


The Cabinet Member for Highways, Parks & Leisure Services (Councillor Grace Baynham) responded that the provision of services in Reddish was important to the council, and that it was aware that there were issues with the roof at Reddish Library and Community Centre.  It was further stated that a bid had bene put in for the first round of levelling up funding that had been well received and which had got good feedback from the panel.  It was confirmed that it was the council’s ambition to improve th4e situation at the library and that Councillor Baynham was working closely with the council’s estates and capital projects teams to come with a solution.


Councillor Christine Carrigan further responded that the Labour Group would commit to providing funding so that the necessary repairs could take place to ensure that the building could remain a part of the fabric of Reddish into the future.


A further public question was submitted where the questioner was not in attendance at the meeting, and in accordance with the Code of Practice, the Chief Executive was requested to respond to the questioners in writing.