Agenda item

Question 1

Question from Councillor Lee Anderson to the Deputy Leader – Place and Economic Growth:-

 

“What was the full cost of the Indoor Market re-furbishment and what is the current stall take up rate?”

 

Question 2

Question from Councillor Lee Anderson to the Portfolio Holder for Environment:-

 

Could you please advise on how long it will be before the New Cross area of Sutton is cleared and cleaned to a standard that is fit for its residents?

 

Minutes:

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13, the following questions were submitted:-

 

Question 1

From Councillor Lee Anderson to the Leader of the Council:

 

“What was the full cost of the Indoor market refurbishment and what is the current stall take up rate?”

 

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, Leader of the Council , responded as follows:-

 

“Thank you Chair.  I’d like to thank Councillor Anderson for his question.  He will appreciate the brevity in which I’ve been the post holder but to answer your question fully Councillor Anderson, the total, final spend on the project was £1,899,527.19 of which of that £375,000 was secured from the local enterprise partnership and £1.525 million came from the capital programme of this Council.  Also, I can report to you that the current occupancy is 53%, 16 out of 33 stalls.

 

Councillor Anderson will be aware, as I am, that I am incredibly disappointed in that our Members will have seen the recent spread in the press trying to drum up support and say that the Council’s got ambitious targets to fill the Indoor Market to 75% in a certain time frame.  I am certainly not happy with that and under my tenure we will be incredibly more ambitious to make sure that economic regeneration is a vital part of Ashfield and the Indoor Market is a vital part of Sutton-in-Ashfield.

 

So, I’ll be working tenaciously to make sure that those stalls are filled and I’m particularly disappointed with the number of people who have relocated outside; good stall holders who have been pushed outside and who have not been attracted back.  Of particular upset is the enormous increase in rent for the small businesses and I’ll be reviewing that.  I have booked the entire day with the Chief Executive on Monday and you can rest assured that it is one of my top priorities.”

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.5, Councillor Anderson was invited to ask a supplementary question as follows:-

 

“Why is the rent for the flower stall holder, who’s been there for nearly 40 years, increased from £8,000 a year to £21,000 a year?”

 

The Leader of the Council again responded as follows:-

 

“Chair, I was not part of the decision making process.  In fact, the gentleman who owns that stall lives in my ward and I’ve heard his tale of woe and in fact some months ago I brokered a meeting between the Chief Executive and that stall holder to try and find a way, a route map out of this problem.

 

As I said in the first answer Mr. Chairman, I’m not happy with the level of rent and I certainly think they need to be reviewed immediately so that we can attract businesses back in and then look at the viability of it.  I would rather have a lower rent than no rent at all from an empty stall.  We need businesses back in there, small businesses that create jobs in Ashfield.  We should be proud of them and backing them, this Administration will be.”

 

Question 2

From Councillor Lee Anderson to the Deputy Leader of the Council (Outward Focus):

 

“Could you please advise on how long it will be before the New Cross area of Sutton is cleared and cleaned to a standard that is fit for its residents?”

 

Councillor Helen-Ann Smith, Deputy Leader of the Council (Outward Focus), responded as follows:-

 

“Yes, thank you for your question Councillor Anderson.  As my colleague has just stated we haven’t been in these positions very long, so forgive me for my brevity, but the department tells me that the New Cross area is regularly cleaned…..cleansed by our street sweepers on a daily basis where possible, as well as street sweeping, litter picking and reacting to service requests. 

 

They have also proactively placed anti dog fowling stencils on Chatsworth Street and St. Michael’s Street to try and influence residents’ behaviour, so I have been informed.  The work Council has done is much of a sticking plaster in the aftermath of shrinking bins, cuts to the number of people who clean our streets and poor local representation.

 

As the new Cabinet Member I want to assure you there are a raft of new proposals that will benefit not just New Cross residents but the wider communities of Ashfield, but we can and do take action against individuals and businesses that flout our laws and blight our neighbourhoods.  For example, we can take stronger enforcement action against individuals and businesses who flout our laws, be it dog fouling, waste on land, littering or fly tipping.  We should robustly be issuing fixed penalty notices to those that litter and to those who walk their dogs but who do not carry waste bags.

 

We should pursue commercial and retail proprietors and landlords who leave large amounts of waste on their land.  We need to take a zero tolerance towards fly tippers and prosecute those who can gather the evidence.  I also want to take the opportunity tonight to say that I will be immediately instructing officers to reintroduce community skips and extra waste collection days to help our struggling families.

 

Finally, I will be working with Mike Joy, the Scrutiny Manager, to commission a review into the failure of the bin changes.  This will pass to the Special Scrutiny Commission which I invite you to Chair to appraise all options to fix the broken mess in this department that we have now inherited.” 

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.5, Councillor Anderson was invited to ask a supplementary question as follows:-

 

“Can you please assure me and the members of the public that are in here tonight from the New Cross area, that you will meet with them as soon as possible to discuss the problems in the New Cross area with the litter and the rubbish.”

 

The Deputy Leader of the Council (Outward Focus) again responded as follows:-

 

“I’d like to respond to Councillor Anderson just to say that I have been made aware of a committee meeting at New Cross at 7.00 p.m. on Monday night of which I will be in attendance at.”