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Agenda item

Member Questions

A Member of the Council may ask the Chair, the Leader, a Cabinet Member or the Chair of any Committee a question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the Cotswold District. A maximum period of fifteen minutes shall be allowed at any such meeting for Member questions.


A Member may only ask a question if:

a)    the question has been delivered in writing or by electronic mail to the Chief Executive no later than 5.00 p.m. on the working day before the day of the meeting; or

b)    the question relates to an urgent matter, they have the consent of the Chair to whom the question is to be put and the content of the question is given to the Chief Executive by 9.30 a.m. on the day of the meeting.


An answer may take the form of:

a)    a direct oral answer;

b)    where the desired information is in a publication of the Council or other published work, a reference to that publication; or

c)    where the reply cannot conveniently be given orally, a written answer circulated later to the questioner.



The following questions were submitted in advance of the agenda publication:


Question 1 from Councillor Nikki Ind to Councillor Tony Dale, Cabinet Member for Economy and Council Transformation

Following the recent Local Government Association survey, which found that most councils are aware of the agreement between mobile operators and the Government to switch off 2G and 3G mobile networks by 2033, can you please confirm to what extent is Cotswold District Council reliant on these networks, as opposed to the faster 4G and 5G technologies, and if we are currently reliant, what is the plan for upgrading systems to avoid loss of service? Clearly, any upgrades will have a financial impact on our already stretched budget, and I would like to be assured that provision has been made for this work.

I am thinking primarily about parking meters, public toilets and alarm systems, but also waste in-cab technologies and telecare devices which may be being used by our residents.


Question 2 from Councillor Chris Twells to Councillor Mike Evemy, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance:


The Leader appointed seven Cabinet Members following last year's local elections. Will the Deputy Leader tell us on how many days each Cabinet Member spent time on site here at Trinity Road since their appointment? I understand this data will be stored by the council via our security passes.


Question 3 from Councillor Chris Twells to Councillor Joe Harris Leader of the Council:


Many residents have contacted me to express their concern at the lack of progress with the Dolphins Hall project in Tetbury, which lies in my ward. The project was supposed to have been funded mainly via Section 106 contributions. There has been little obvious progress on site and the latest reports from Tetbury Town Council suggests that the project now requires at least another £50,000. In addition, the Town Council has admitted that a number of title deeds and other legal documents relating to the project have gone missing. Many residents share my frustration that TTC has failed to manage this expenditure or provide updates to residents.


Given that it was this authority that originally provided the S106 monies to TTC, will either the Leader or the relevant Cabinet Member chair a meeting with Town Councillors to discuss a way forward? It may be that we will have to commission an investigation by an external body.


Question 4 from Councillor Len Wilkins to Councillor Juliet Layton:


Under the revised local plan CDC is working closely with several partners, including the National Trust, to increase access to the countryside. A new policy EN18 is to be provided for the Sherborne Park Estate near Northleach. The policy enables the production of a masterplan for the estate, which encourages more people to experience and enjoy Sherborne. 10.20.4 of the plan states that this will offer a sustainable tourism offer close to Bourton-on-the-Water which could help mitigate its ‘honey pot’ status.


This particular honey pot has a large number of business owners who are worried about the effect of this new policy. Having just recovered from the effects of the Covid pandemic they are now suffering from the loss of the villages coach parking facilities and face have coaches banned from the village all together. What support, if any, can these business hope to receive from CDC as the local planning authority to ensure a level playing field and to ensure that any future development at Sherborne Park is supplementary to, rather than detrimental to, the vitally important businesses in Bourton?


Question 5 from Councillor Tom Stowe to Councillor Mike McKeown


Please can you confirm the number of households who have signed up to a contract for solar panel installation via “Cotswold Home Solar”, the partnership between “” and CDC?


Question 6 from Councillor Len Wilkins to Councillor Juliet Layton


At the Council's meeting on 24th January, changes were agreed to the planning scheme of delegation following recommendations by the Planning Advisory Service. These changes involve introducing a 28-day call in limit and will come into force on 1st April. These changes will involve significant changes to the way members work with, and engage with, Officers and Parish and Town Councils. Please can you confirm that an all member briefing by Senior Officers on the new process will be scheduled and confirm what engagement with Town and Parish Councils is planned?


Question 7 from Councillor David Fowles to Councillor Mike Evemy


At the recent budget meeting, the Council approved capital expenditure in excess of £150,000 to make urgent repairs to the Council owned Old Station building which is in a very poor condition and will continue to deteriorate and cost a lot more money if nothing is done to secure its future. Over the years various approaches about the future of this important asset have been made to the Council by local organisations including the now defunct approach from New Brewery Arts. What plans does this administration have to secure the future of this building?


Question 8 from Councillor Daryl Corps to Councillor Juliet Layton


Regarding the Local Plan update and the recent area ‘open sessions’ for members of the Public. Firstly, I want to thank James Brain and Mathew Britton, two fantastic officers. From 10am until 8am they stood valiantly answering hundreds and hundreds of questions from very concerned Residents of Moreton in Marsh and the surrounding Villages in the Redesdale Hall on Wednesday 6th March. 


The feedback I have been receiving from Residents is twofold.


One, they really want a clear and structured presentation of the proposed changes to the Local Plan, a properly structured meeting, chaired and minuted. They worry that the questions and concerns raised at the open day session were not properly documented. They worry this is not a genuine consultancy with Residents. They also saw the detailed, illustrated, clear and concise Masterplan for Cirencester and asked the question, why are we not getting one for Moreton? All they had were vague ‘possible’ proposals. For many residents the local plan document is confusing, its huge, it’s not clear and concise, for many this can create suspicion over what’s being hidden from them. A presentation in many resident’s minds would at least go some way to giving the clarity that they want. The drop-in session was arranged with the best intentions, but is not enough for Residents, they deserve a proper presentation. Secondly, they are also asking why so many houses without a mention of any infrastructure? No environmental study or assessment on the potential impact on our services - our Doctors Surgery, Hospital, sewage treatment and the effect on our already heavily polluted Evenlode River? Cllr Layton, can the District Council reassure the people of Moreton:- 


a)    This is not a done deal? 

b)    They can have what they deserve, a properly chaired local plan update presentation?

c)    There will be a concise Town “Masterplan” including all the relevant public Health assessments for Air quality and water?

d)    this really the only option in CDC’s mind for Moreton as the scale is just staggering. Residents have been very clear with me that this is not NIMBYism, it’s the eyewatering scale and numbers of the housing being proposed and without a single mention of INFRASTRUCTURE or a proper presentation to them?


The Member Questions and responses can be found at the attached Annex A.




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