Question to: Councillor Taylor
Question from: Councillor Newton
Subject: Issues with the swimming pool in Spalding.
Councillor Newton stated that the leisure contractor, Parkwood had attended a meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel on 16 March 2022 to provide the Panel with an update on the current situation. With regard to staffing, the Panel had been assured that the pool was fully staffed. However, it was understood that very recently, several staff had left. In addition, there were reports that chlorine levels were too high, a situation that had allegedly not been addressed until the involvement of the area manager. Could the Portfolio Holder provide members with an update regarding the situation.
Councillor Porter responded that as Councillor Taylor had given his apologies and was not at the meeting, a written response would be provided to all members, and that officers would contact Councillor Newton promptly on this issue.
Question to: Councillor Porter
Question from: Councillor Newton
Subject: South Holland Parish Voluntary Car Scheme
Councillor Newton commented that she represented the Council on the South Holland Parish Voluntary Car Scheme and that one of its founders, Mr David Garnerwas 100 today. Councillor Newton believed that in 2023/2024, the Scheme would have been running for 50 years, and she requested that its start date be confirmed from any records held by the Council. She also commented that this anniversary should be marked in some way.
Councillor Porter responded that the archives would be interrogated to provide this information. He also stated that the South Holland Parish Voluntary Car Scheme did a marvellous job and that its 50th anniversary should be marked.
Question to: Councillor Coupland
Question from: Councillor Brewis
Subject: Council Tax charge for empty properties
Councillor Brewis reported that he had been made aware of a Council Tax charging anomaly relating to two properties that were empty whilst being renovated. One of the properties had received a charge from before the current owners had taken ownership of it, and the other had no charge at all. Could the Portfolio Holder explain this?
Councillor Coupland advised that he could not provide an answer without the full circumstances but that he was aware of a similar situation, details of which had been forwarded to the relevant department. He would confirm with Councillor Brewis outside of the meeting whether this was the same matter and if not, this case would also be looked into.
Question to: Councillor Gambba-Jones
Question from: Councillor Booth
Subject: Environmental Services Capital Vehicle Spend
Councillor Booth referred to the Environmental Services Capital Vehicle Spend item, listed within the Key Decision Plan, and asked what the Council’s policy was with regard to using more environmentally friendly vehicles.
Councillor Gambba-Jones replied that, although there was a will to use more environmentally friendly vehicles, their ability to cater to the extremes of the district was an issue. Even in relatively urban areas, there were issues around charge times, their ability to sustain very slow journeys and to manoeuvre backwards and forwards, and stop and start as required. Even relatively small vehicles used their charge quickly due to their heavy loads. The issue of environmentally friendly vehicles was actively being considered by members and officers, who were looking at users in urban areas to understand how well the vehicles worked there, and to consider if they could be used in a rural area. These vehicles were expensive to maintain and also depreciated in value significantly, and it was therefore important to be cautious in spending tax payers’ money.