To answer questions submitted by Councillors under Standing Order No. 11(2)
a) Question from Councillor Jones to Councillor Robinson
“Given the Conservative Government’s undertaking to take 20,000 Syrian refugee adults and children from the camps by the end of 2019 and Rushcliffe Council pledged to take only 41 based proportionately on population despite being a relatively wealthy area – what numbers will the Council take by the end of this year?”
Councillor Robinson responded that Rushcliffe Borough Council has to date accepted 27 individuals in seven families since June 2016 under the UK’s resettlement schemes, including the County’s first contribution to the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme. This is well on the way to our commitment number of 41.
Councillor Jones asked the Leader to commit to meeting the target by the end of the year.
Councillor Robinson replied that the Council would continue to work with partners working towards the targets set.
b) Question from Councillor Jones to Councillor Mason
“What action will the Cabinet Member for Environmental Health take to dissuade food outlets in Rushcliffe, large and small to seriously reduce their use of single-use plastic?”
Councillor Mason responded that the Council has no statutory powers to formally require food businesses to reduce single use plastics. However, building upon our own initiative, we look forward to responding to the Government’s consultation scheduled for later in the year.
c) Question from Councillor Jones to Councillor Mason
“Given the national increase in hate crime what action will the Council take on its own or with partners to monitor and report to Councillors on the experiences of religious and other minority groups in our community?”
Councillor Mason responded that in contrast to the national picture the latest data for January 2019 shows a 20.3% reduction in reported hate crimes in Rushcliffe.
Councillor Jones asked if there would be regular reports to councillors to keep them informed.
Councillor Mason replied that the Council will continue to refer any reported hate crimes to the Police and will work to support investigations as part of our strong community safety partnership working.
d) Question from Councillor Sue Mallender to Councillor Edyvean
“Given that some councils have assigned their emergency planning officers to deal with the possible impacts on residents and businesses arising from uncertainty over when, if or how the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, what plans does the Rushcliffe borough have in place to manage this?”
Councillor Edyvean responded that the Chief Executive and his management team have been working closely with the Nottinghamshire Local Resilience Forum, Nottinghamshire County Council, other districts and key government departments regarding any impacts of Brexit locally.
Councillor Mallender asked is there was a role for individual councillors as community leaders.
Councillor Edyvean replied that it was up to individual councillors to get involved in the various local forums and community events.
e) Question from Councillor Sue Mallender to Councillor Upton
“In order to further Rushcliffe Borough Council's commitment to the reduction of single use plastics, and in particular to help reduce the demand for plastic water bottles, will the borough council investigate the provision of public water fountains and consider using planning advice to introduce them in major developments?”
Councillor Upton responded that the Council already has a commitment to promote the Refill Rushcliffe scheme which is progressing well and also helps to support footfall into local businesses.
Councillor Mallender stated that if businesses were closed then a public water fountain would be more helpful.
The Mayor informed Councillor Mallender that she had not asked a question.
f) Question from Councillor Richard Mallender to Councillor Moore
“Nottingham City Council have indicated that they are withdrawing funding for the Local Link L22/L23 bus service. This provides a vital service to the residents of West Bridgford, as the sole direct public transport link from Gamston, Lady Bay and central West Bridgford to the GP Surgeries on Wilford Lane. Will the borough council seek discussion with the City and County Councils and local bus companies to secure funding in order to retain this service?”
Councillor Moore responded that the Borough Council does not fund bus services and it is for the City and County councils to determine which bus services will be funded. However, a meeting was held this afternoon with new providers as Nottinghamshire County Council are committed to keeping that service going but we have not yet been updated on the outcome of that meeting.
Councillor Mallender asked councillors to consider spending s106 funding on supporting local bus services.
Councillor Moore replied some rural areas had no buses and that s106 monies are secured for bus services but s106 funding is finite – it will run out.
g) Question from Councillor Richard Mallender to Councillor Mason
“Given Rushcliffe Council's commitment to sustainability with initiatives such as the reduction of single use plastics and high levels of recycling, will the borough be creating a Rushcliffe Good Food partnership in order to create an economically vibrant, sustainable food culture enjoyed by citizens and visitors alike?”
Councillor Mason responded that the Council already delivers a well-supported Taste of Rushcliffe event each year which attracts existing and new food businesses to participate. This is further supported by the Rushcliffe Business Partnership which includes many local food businesses.