Agenda item

Questions asked without notice under Standing Order 7

Minutes:

Question to: Leader of the Council

Question From: Councillor Newton

Subject: Covid-19 situation within the district

 

Councillor Newton requested an update on the current Covid-19 situation within the District.  The Leader responded that as of 18 January 2021, the last 3 weeks’ figures had shown a week on week decrease in numbers, but there had been one fatality reported today.  Unfortunately, the decrease in numbers was not always reflected in the figures reported in the media, due to older cases sometimes being included within the real-time numbers.  The figures for the district were at around half of the national average. However, this was no reason to become complacent, and the Leader re-iterated the advice to stay at home unless there was a good reason not to.  Vaccination centres were being set up in the area with the centre based at Springfields doing a very good job, and a new site in Boston opening very shortly.  There had been some confusion over where people should go for their vaccination – it was confirmed that where individuals received a letter, they could choose themselves where to go but that where letters provided options around the country, people should not have to travel that far and should go to Boston if possible.  If individuals were prepared to wait, their GP surgery would contact them with arrangements closer to home.

 

Question to: Leader of the Council

Question From: Councillor Brewis

Subject: Covid-19 vaccination – distance to travel within rural locations

 

Councillor Brewis voiced the concerns of residents who did not wish to travel great distances to receive their vaccination, and asked that the Leader use his influence to encourage vaccinations in more accessible places for local, rural residents.  The Leader acknowledged that the rural nature of the area did make it difficult for some people to access vaccination sites.  Although larger sites had been set up to get as many people vaccinated as possible, he had raised with the CCG the need for sites to accommodate all in the district, and not only those in the larger settlements.  He advised that there was a roving service in the district which would capture individuals wanting the vaccination within a 10 mile radius.  He also agreed that there should be a vaccination centre in the Long Sutton area, and that he had fed this into the CCG.

 

Question to: Councillor Lawton

Question from: Councillor Astill

Subject: Concern of Deeping St Nicholas residents – excess surface water/sewage

 

Councillor Astill thanked Councillor Lawton for her help with regard to a recent incident at Campains Lane in Deeping St Nicholas.  He raised the concerns of residents in three areas of the village who were serviced by a Council-owned sewage system, and issues that arose when there was heavy rainfall.  Excess surface water resulted in some flooding that could contain excess sewage - could these and other locations in the district be looked at to ensure this didn’t happen in the future.  Councillor Lawton confirmed that, with regard to the recent incident at Campains Lane, the contractor had been on site and would remain on site whilst ‘tankering out’,  and that an environmental health clean up would take place after it stopped raining.  Moving forward, the Authority would carry out a full CCTV survey to determine any excess surface water entering the system, and could also carry out the same survey at other problematic sites.  An officer was on site working with the Council’s contractor.  A second treatment works had been installed at Chapel Road/Coronation Avenue to alleviate any surplus ingress of water.  A full drainage report had been undertaken at the start of lockdown, and the Authority planned to undertake remedial works once a drainage contactor had been appointed.

 

Question to:  Councillor Worth

Question from:  Councillor Rudkin

Subject:Holbeach regeneration

 

Councillor Rudkin requested an update regarding Holbeach regeneration, and whether the town would be included in any future bids.  Councillor Worth confirmed that the recent bid had been unsuccessful– in his view, the proposal had demonstrated a positive financial and economic return, but had not met MHCLG’s view of what they believed to be a suitable return on investment.  The bid for Holbeach had been compared with similar bids elsewhere in the country.  Moving forward, a conversation had taken place with MHCLG and more formal feedback from them had been requested, along with clarity regarding future funding, should any towns that had been awarded high street funding drop out.  It was felt that this was quite likely as some bids may not have received the amount of money they required.  Councillor Worth would also be speaking with the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and the County Council regarding alternative funding, particularly around Highways to resolve issues around the Market Hill junction.  Conversations were also taking place with the private landowners at Chequers Yard regarding alternative sources of funding.

 

Question to:  Leader of the Council

Question from:  Councillor Alcock

Subject:  Plan to improve traffic issues in Spalding, caused by the railway

 

Councillor Alcock highlighted the ongoing problem with traffic when large trains passed through the town – in light of the Council’s wish to rejuvenate the town, what was the Authority’s plan to improve the situation? A bridge over the railway had been a suggestion for many years – could the LEP provide a source of potential funding to bring together the variety of adverse issues around the traffic problems in Spalding?  The Leader acknowledged the issues that an increase in rail traffic caused to the road traffic situation in the town (effectively splitting it in half), and that this was a major consideration in the town’s regeneration.  The Western Relief Road, and the road bridge that was part of the scheme, was an important part of dealing with the town’s traffic problems, and it was important that the scheme was delivered.  The Authority had already secured £12million, from the LEP and Central Government.  Work on the bridge over the railway line was due to start in March.  It would take some time to secure the various other sections of the road and it was important to work with the LEP, LCC, Homes England and the Government to achieve forward funding to complete the project.  It was a medium to long term project, and the Leader shared members’ frustrations at the length of time it would take to deliver the road, from its first inception many years ago, to when it would be ultimately delivered.  

 

Question to:  Leader of the Council

Question from:  Councillor Newton

Subject: Johnson Hospital – withdrawal of Outpatients service

 

Councillor Newton stated that at a previous meeting, she had advised that a letter had been received giving six months’ notice of the withdrawal of the Outpatients service at the Johnson Hospital, and that the Leader had stated that he would be writing a letter voicing concerns around this, and taking the issue up with the local MP – had he received a response? The Leader confirmed that a letter had been sent but that no response had yet been  received. In response to Councillor Newton stating that LCC were looking into the situation, and the importance of not losing the service, the Leader requested that any intelligence on the matter be shared, and that it would be foolish for the service to be withdrawn from what was a relatively new hospital.

 

Question to:  Councillor Casson

Question from:  Councillor Gibson

Subject: Opening of Moulton Park to the public

Councillor Gibson was aware that the development of Moulton Park was under consideration and asked whether the space could be opened up in the meantime for local people to enjoy.  Councillor Casson responded that surveys of the space were currently being undertaken, but that it could not be opened up to the public until it was safe to do so.