There will be an opportunity for Members to ask questions of individual Cabinet Members and Committee Chairmen.
Members had the opportunity to ask questions of individual Cabinet Members and Committee Chairmen about issues affecting their portfolios/Committee activities:-
(a) Bicester Cycle Routes (Councillor Hunter-Watts) – the Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure informed Members that he was aware of a series of new mapped cycling routes that had been introduced across Bicester, funded by an NHS scheme, and aimed at encouraging people of all ages and abilities to take up cycling. The Cabinet Member would pass on this information to the County Council who were responsible for cycling routes infrastructure.
(b) Environmental Initiative: Tree Planting (Councillor Branston) – the Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure informed Members on the tree planting projects that he hoped to instigate as part of the Environmental Initiatives referred to earlier during the meeting. In due course, Councillors would be able to apply for funding for tree planting in their Wards.
(c) Street Cleansing (Councillor C Adams) – the Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure gave an undertaking to provide the Member with a schedule of street cleansing for the Vale.
(d) Highways Maintenance (Councillor C Adams) – the Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure informed Members that there was no integration between the ‘Fix My Street’ reporting system on the Count Council’s website (whereby members of the public could report a highways issue relating to roads, footways, traffic lights and street lights) and AVDC’s systems. As such, there wasn’t a system for AVDC to automatically feed back information. However, such functionalities were being explored as part of the work to establish the new unitary Council.
(e) HS2 (Councillor Chilver) – the Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure confirmed that AVDC would continue to lobby HS2 to cease all clearance work in the north of the Vale while the project was being reviewed by the Government, and to ensure that meaningful community engagement was undertaken before any further works were done. Members were informed that the Council had written to local MPs on these matters and had also written to HS2 requesting a meeting.
(f) Whizz Fizz Festival, Aylesbury (Councillor Lambert) – the Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure explained how visitor numbers to events such as the Whizz Fizz Festival in Aylesbury were calculated. The numbers were partly informed by footfalls through the shopping centres in the town centre and it was acknowledged that not everyone that had been shopping would have attended the festival.
(g) Fly Tipping (Councillor Lambert) – the Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure informed Members that he had spoken to Officers at the County and District Councils, who were not aware of any increase in instances of fly tipping since the County Council had introduced charges for disposing of some waste at Household Recycling Centres.
(h) Electrification of East West Rail (Councillor Powell) – the Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure informed that there had been cutbacks to electrifying all of the EW rail line. However, she believed that this situation would be rectified retrospectively for passenger and freight traffic.
(i) Waste Collections post Brexit (Councillor Powell) – the Cabinet Member for Waste and Licensing informed Members that the Council was taking all possible steps to ensure that the Council’s waste and recycling collections were not disrupted post Brexit.
(j) Aylesbury Vale Broadband (Councillor Monger) – the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources informed Members that while AVB was dormant, the final position in relation to its liabilities would not be known until the company was wound up.
(k) Planning Department (Councillor Monger) – the Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure informed Members that there were two senior Officers who were responsible for managing the Planning Department. Responsibility for the running of the service now sat with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Enforcement who would be happy to respond to any queries raised by Members.
(l) Tree Planting / Section 106 (Councillor Mrs Jenkins) – the Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure informed Members that the Council was proactive in asking for ecological mitigation and improvements to be provided with new planning applications, where this was possible.
(m) Bucks Home Choice Revised Allocations Policy (Councillor Stuchbury) – the Deputy Leader of the Council informed Members that the Bucks Home Choice Revised Allocations Policy would come into effect from 1 October, 2019. Further information could be found on the Bucks Home Choice website at www.buckshomechoice.org.uk .
(n) Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) (Councillor Stuchbury) – the Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure informed Members that CIL was not part of the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan. CIL would need to be agreed within the first 2 years of the VALP having been adopted and, as such, this would likely be after 1 April 2020.
(o) Oxford-Cambridge Expressway (Councillor Everitt) – in respect of the Notice of Motion: To oppose the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway that had been agreed earlier, the Deputy Leader of the Council agreed that the Leader of the Council or himself would similarly write also to the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Transport.