Agenda item


(a)        To receive announcements from the Lord Mayor, Chief Executive, Service Director for Finance or Head of Legal Services;


(b)        To receive announcements from the Leader, Cabinet Members or Committee Chairs.


The Lord Mayor made the following announcements to Members –



she took this opportunity to with the best of luck for those councillors standing in the forthcoming Elections and would also like to recognise those Councillors who were retiring from service –


Councillors Dr Pam Buchan, Margaret Corvid, Derrick and James;




she extended her personal thanks and thanks on behalf of the Council for the many years of service they had all given; in that time they had made a vast contribution to the Council, communities and the City of Plymouth.


Councillor Tudor Evans OBE wished to pay tribute to –



the following Councillors who were retiring from the Council, Councillors Margaret Covid,  Dr Pam Buchan, Gareth Derrick and Jonny Morris and thanked them for their service to the city and the Labour Party;




Councillor Ian Bowyer; when he first came onto the Council he had been quite disruptive and had led a change movement but now he had become more of an elder states person; he wished to thank him for his cross party working, as well as his leadership of the Council in tough times and under difficult circumstances; they managed to work together on the important issues for the city which they felt strongly about such as co-designing The Box; that was the depth of trust they had in each other and their determination for Plymouth; there were also many other achievements;




Councillor Kevin Neil who had been through some challenging health issues and thanked him for his service to the Stoke Ward and also the City Council; he also thanked Councillor Mrs Johnson for her services to the Compton Ward.


Councillor Patrick Nicholson took this opportunity to pay tribute to Councillor David James who had served this authority for 25 years.  Councillor David James had indeed worked hard for the authority and tirelessly for the people of Plymouth and in his role as chief scrutineer.  He thanked him for his service as a Councillor, Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor and wished him a happy retirement.


Councillor Bingley (Leader of the Council) made the following announcements to Council –



wished to record his thanks for all those Councillors that took part in the earlier debate, whilst it had been turbulent it was also cathartic;




it was a privilege to be the Leader of this Council and serving this wonderful city sandwiched between Dartmoor and the ocean; when he first came down to study, he definitely left his heart in Plymouth;




he considered that Councillor Nick Kelly’s passion as Council Leader over the past 10 months had demonstrated how much all Councillors cared about the city and how they wished to drive it forward;




he emphasised stability over the next few weeks; the line of business that had been planned before the pre-election period which had already been debated and agreed by Council, would absolutely take place; moving forward, he would lead the Council based on the Nolan seven principles of public life selflessness, integrity,  objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership; the buck stopped with him; he would hold himself to those standards and he expected that other Councillors to do the same; his door was always open and he hoped that Councillors were now all able to move forward professionally;




in the short time he had known Councillor David James, he had become a mentor to him on scrutiny; he wished him and his wife Diane a happy retirement; with regard to the scrutiny function he would considered that this could be resourced better and the process ‘beefed up’, in order to be able to ask more far reaching questions; he was also looking forward to working with both sides of the Council.


Councillor Mrs Maddi Bridgeman (Cabinet Member for Environment and Street Scene) made the following announcements to Council -



grass Cutting -





the grass cutting season was now commencing with a new digitised system taking into account the agreed operational policy and optimisation of cuts; digital scheduling would enable improved compliance to ensure areas were not missed, help to become more efficient and look for further opportunities to improve; all Councillors were given the opportunity to feedback on the Council’s planned approach for the 2022 season and how it planned to provide the right balance for the needs of both people and nature;





tree planting -






Plymouth City Council teams and Street Services, together with community members and partners Plymouth Tree Partnership, Plymouth Open Space Network, Woodland Trust, National Trust, South Hams and West Devon Councils had planted 2978 trees so far this year;





storm -






following Storm Eunice and the following weather events, the Council had received over 220 reports of trees and branches down which had caused disruption around the city blocking roads, footpaths and driveways and in one case trapping a disabled resident in their property;


the tree team with the aid of private contractors, Plymouth City Council Highways and South West Highways co-ordinated an immediate response to keep the city moving and to help residents; intense work continued over the weekend following the Friday storms to co-ordinate the different sites with the focus being to clear obstructions leaving all other remaining material on site in a safe condition;


the clean-up was expected to last several weeks but there had been no reports of personal injury and although there was damage to sheds, cars, fences etc; it is worth noting that the authority manages and cares for 10,000s of trees within its estates;





A38 cleansing -






the Council was working closely with the National Highways to identify planned lane and road closures to enable its cleansing teams to collect litter and fly-tipped items; the cost of commission of the Council’s closures could run into tens of thousands of pounds;






over the past couple of weeks cleansing had taken place in the following areas -







Manadon – Leigham east bound (2 and 3 March 2022)







Camels Head up to the A38 west bound (7 March 2022) collected 130kg of rubbish;








St Budeaux to Camals Head bypass east bound (7 March 2022) collected 260kg of rubbish; Councillor Jonathan Drean had helped with the clean for a few hours;







a full litter pick of the A38 (east and west bound, slips roads and central reservations) had been pencilled in for 24 – 29 April 2022;





playgrounds -






the playground improvement at Lancaster Gardens in Whitleigh was not completed and awaiting sign off; this included a new climbing frame;






contractors were now starting work at Staples Close, Beliver; this was part of the 2021/22 improvement of 10 parks in total.


Councillor Patrick Nicholson (Deputy Leader) made the following announcements to Council –



with Covid prevalence increasing throughout the city, the Council continued to support the whole health care market; it had managed 380 outbreaks working closely with all facilities to ensure business continuity and the impact on the quality of care residents received was minimised; where staffing challenges had been identified commissioned services were provided to ensure resilience; Covid cases in residential homes had significantly increased over the last few weeks and there was the need to be careful that this did not spread;




the Council had opened 60 dementia step-down beds to support University Hospitals Plymouth in discharging patients; there was also a care facility at Future Inns to support the local hospital; the impact of Covid on staff availability continued to be under pressure;




as part of the continued drive to support access to meaningful work for the city’s neurodiverse community, the Council had been working with Pluss and had recruited an activity co-ordinator at the Council’s in-house facility at the Vines;




the contract had been awarded for the provision of two respite bungalows at Douglass House which would provide additional provision in the city.


Councillor Nick Kelly (Portfolio Holder for Finance and Transformation) made the following announcements to Council –



the Council had hosted Sail GB which had been a truly spectacular event showing off Plymouth’s beautiful waterfront to a global audience of millions; against all the odds the Council had won a bid again to host the event this year; the event had also won the Gold Award at this year’s Devon Tourism Awards; the event would be even bigger this year with a programme of live music events along the foreshore and the waterfront and would include Tinside Pool;




Plymouth had become the only city to have won the Heritage Lottery national funding twice with £10m for the National Marine Park; the Council had launched the largest ocean based pubic engagement which was taking place at the National Marine Aquarium at the beginning of April 2022; the tickets had sold out in five minutes so a further chance to win special golden tickets ‘money can’t buy experiences’ had been launched;




the Council had also won Freeport status for the region and was working hard on the submission of the full business case in April; from June 2022 the Freeport would start to unlock £10m worth of investment in the first two years alone working with Babcock and Princess Yachts;




the Council had handed out over £100m in grants which had supported nearly 8,000 businesses; the team had worked incredibly hard in getting grants out as quickly as possible and had received high praise from the business sector;




the Council had continued with its industrial developments at Belliver and Plymouth Medical and Technology Park and had also secured Marks and Spencer and Aldi as tenants for the city’s newest district shopping centre on the former Seaton Barracks site at Derriford; the Council was also working hard with a new purchaser for the former Debenhams building;




the Council had secured an opportunity for a county deal for levelling up, as part of the devolution paper, in the first wave which could provide councils across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay with additional powers and influence to improve social and economic conditions for all communities; the Government had also recognised and highlighted Plymouth’s excellent scientific research capability and its internationally recognised expertise in marine and micro-electronics and its ambitious initiatives;




the Council had also secured one of the world’s leading hotel brands for a prominent and historic location overlooking Plymouth Hoe; whilst delivering this outcome had been challenging, it was brilliant news for Plymouth and the tourism industry;




steady progress was being made on the Brunel Plaza project, as set out in the administration’s manifesto; work would be commencing on the station’s car park, as part of the plans to completely transform and ensure those traveling to city received a vibrant and fitting welcome;




work would be starting on the Civic Centre and Guildhall redevelopment, working with Urban Splash; refreshing and reviving work had commenced on Old Town Street and New George Street, as part of the multi-million pound investment in the city centre;




as part of the expansion of the regeneration of the West End, Colin Campbell House would be renovated to bring in new tenants; people had wondered about the building’s future and the Council was now making sure of its future;




there would be a new lease of life for the empty community centre; the Council was working with the charity Shekiah to swap its current location in Bath Street; it had been part of the city for 30 years had had made a massive difference  to so many people’s lives and the Council looked forward to them taking up their new base and transforming more lives; 




he was delighted to announce that the former Reel Cinema and Gala Bingo building would be developed into a new entertainment and live music venue; he had been keen to unlock this middle sized venue as it had been the missing link in Plymouth’s music scene; it was hoped that the new venue would draw some class acts to the city.


Councillor Smith (Chair of the Planning Committee) made the following announcement to Council -



the Council had been successful in its joint bid, together with South Hams and West Devon Councils, to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and had been awarded £285,000 from the PropTech Engagement Fund to develop an interactive mapping tool to explore how community infrastructure was being used by residents;





over £3.25m from the PropTech Engagement Fund would be spent on 28 projects across England trailing cutting edge digital tools to make the planning system more open, engaging and accessible;






modernising the planning system and using digital technology would help increase community participation in local decision making; by empowering communities and giving local people a greater say in shaping their neighbourhoods, towns and cities in this way supported the Government’s efforts to level up across the country.