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 expanding access to plant-based foods.


The Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Climate Change & Environment (Councillor Mark Roberts) responded that agriculture and the food that we eat did play a big part in the carbon emissions that were generated.  However, it was stated that it was important that in any endeavour you were able to community with you and the campaign outlined in the question went much further than simply promoting a climate friendly lifestyle.  Councillor Roberts welcomed the fact that it was now easier than ever to be vegetarian or vegan, however, this needed to be a choice and not be forced on people as the plant-based treaty seemed to get very close to.


·         Relating to housing issues at Hollywood Towers; the accountability of Stockport Homes; and the integration of newbuild Mayoral Development Corporation residential development within the Edgeley community.


Councillor Asa Caton responded that he had been involved in dealing with a number of issues at Hollywood Towers over the preceding twelve months and the matters raised by the questioner had been documented by Stockport Homes during various meetings with them over this period.  Councillor Caton stated that when issues were sufficiently escalated, activity did often take place to try and address them, however it was stated that it should not require the involvement of councillors for Stockport Homes to rectify problems raised by residents.


Councillor Matt Wynne further responded that the three Edgeley ward councillors shared the concerns expressed by the questioner in relation to the management of Hollywood Towers by Stockport Homes.  Particular issues were raised with regard to accountability, communication and responding promptly to building management problems.  Councillor Wynne further stated that it was important that as development within the area of the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation started to materialise, that this was fully integrated within the Edgeley community and that officers worked to ensure that investment in the Hollywood Towers area was secured through developer contributions.


·         Relating to fly-tipping in Reddish and the measures being taken to address this.


The Cabinet Member for Parks, Highways & Transport Services (Councillor Grace Baynham) responded that the Council was aware of the meat being dumped at a number of locations around the South Reddish and Heaton Chapel area and that its contractors had cleaned up the affected areas as quickly as possible.  Door-to-door enquiries had been made and local CCTV coverage was being assessed to try to identify those responsible.  The Council has also worked with colleagues and partner agencies including the police, Natural England and the National Food Crime Unit at Defra.


·         Relating to the potential for the area to the rear of St Matthews Terrace, Edgeley into a paid-for car park.


The Cabinet Member for Parks, Highways & Transport Services (Councillor Grace Baynham) responded that as part of the Medium-Term Financial Plan, proposals had been put forward to look at those car parks that were currently free of charge and whether it was viable to turn them into paid-for car parks.  This work was at a very early stage, however the issues raised by the questioner would be considered as part of the assessment process.


·         Relating to whether the Council would consider new testimonies relating to its 2019 declaration of a climate emergency and accelerated net zero policy.


The Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Climate Change & Environment (Councillor Mark Roberts) responded that the Council remained guided by the science on this matter and that if the international consensus changed, then the Council would re-examine its position.  However, it was stated that the questioner had not provided a compelling argument to change the current approach.


Four further public questions were submitted where the questioners were 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.