Agenda item

Questions by Councillors

Questions to the Leader, Cabinet Members and Committee Chairs covering aspects for their areas of responsibility or concern by councillors in accordance with Part B, paragraph 12 of the constitution.







Councillor Darren Winter

Councillor Mark Lowry

Last year residents within  the St Budeaux Ward were consulted and as a result of this consultation they advised that they would like something to be done in relation to the public toilets located in St Budeaux square, can you update us on the future of the site. 


Response: St Budeaux Ward Councillors have contributed financially and agreement has been given to remove the current toilet facilities and to replace them with new ones, this is important to residents and to the transport hub within the square. 


Councillor Brian Vincent

Councillor Pete Smith

In relation to Item 5 on today’s agenda and specifically the announcement in relation to improving the city’s parks, can you clarify whether or not Efford and Lipson ward will be subject to this?


Response: The two playgrounds on Douglass Road and Severn Place will be upgraded and both Councillor Vincent and the residents of the ward will be consulted.


Councillor Jonathon Drean

Councillor Sue Dann

There is a build up of litter along the A38, who is responsible for the verges, Plymouth City Council or Highways England?


Response: Highways England are responsible for the main trunk road and as a Local Authority we are responsible for cleaning on their behalf. Plymouth City Council had planned to do this however due to the unforeseen large volume in traffic during lockdown Plymouth City Council had to change plans and undertake the work at night. The team have been out on consecutive nights and have so far removed three tonnes of material along the roadside. This has consisted of normal littering but also fly tipping, this puts staff at risk as they have to work at night and Plymouth City Council are required to put in regulation orders to close the lanes. Councillor Sue Dann reiterated that it is a crime to dump waste and asked for more camera’s along the A38 to help catch those individuals.

Supplementary: What are the frequencies of the planned tidy up’s during the year?


Response: There is no set frequency, however Plymouth City Council are attempting to undertake the clearing of waste twice a year. This is dependant on Highways England and when they are undertaking their cutbacks. When they close the roads, it is the aim to align our schedule of works with theirs in order to prevent closing the roads twice and also to save money especially in traffic management costs



Councillor Chaz Singh

Councillor Mark Lowry

It is reported that the cost of the statue on the waterfront was £425,000 with the installation costing £339,000. Within the planning application it mentioned CCTV. How much is the CCTV costing the citizens of Plymouth for both the statue and West Hoe Pier.


Response: The specific figure is not attainable during this meeting and it depends on the nature of the camera and whether the camera was placed on a structure or alternatively installed. Generally the cost for a new camera would range from £40,000 to a couple of hundred pounds. If Councillor Singh writes to Councillor Lowry he will respond with the exact costings.


Councillor Sarah Allen  

Councillor Due Dann

Councillor Allen would like to pass on her thanks to the team cleaning team that undertook work at the top of the Peverell Ladder road, they undertook the work during the pouring rain but completed a thorough job and swept it up afterwards.


Response: Councillor Dann will pass on Councillor Allen’s thanks. At the back end of summer 2020 the back lanes across Plymouth were causing problems due to not being cleaned for decades and as a result were overgrown. There are 435 service lanes across the city and as a result of the ‘back lane project’ 55% of them have been cleaned and are maintained, residents are pleased with the result. Moving forward the Council will try to keep this going for longer and will seek to tie this in with even more enforcement to prosecute environmental criminals as it will be easier to find them as a result of the project. It is hoped that the rest of the project will be completed by the end of May 2021. The winter sweep teams aligned at the same time a this project, Councillor Dann will also pass thanks to this team for their work. 


Councillor Gareth Derrick  

Councillor Sue Dann

All residents across Plymouth are looking forward to the Garden Waste Collection scheme, however some residents are advising they have not been in receipt of their bin, please can you update as to when this will be completed. 


Response: The scheme is currently going to plan and 46,000 bins have been delivered with further bins to be delivered shortly. If residents applied during phase 1 of the scheme they would likely have received their bin. Second phase bin deliveries are hoped to be completed by the end of March 2021. Registration has opened for phase three, however it cannot be guaranteed those bins will be delivered prior to April 2021. The scheme has sought to provide residents that are unable to have a bin to be provided with garden waste bags instead. Plymouth City Council have made contact with those that have assisted collection to ensure they have registered with the scheme.  


Councillor Nick Kelly

Councillor Tudor Evans OBE

Confirm whether the figure of £764,038 for the Mayflower monument statue and its installation as stated in the Full Council Budget figures which were released on 22February 2021 are correct and if they are not, state what the cost did cover.


Response: The money reported to the budget was the total budget line, this included a number of other interventions associated with that budget and was not solely for the sculpture and it’s installation.

Supplementary: Why did the expenditure of £425,000 on the pier works not go through the competitive tendering process?


Response from Councillor Mark Lowry: There is a legal requirement to undertake the tendering process and in this instance the project went through a framework contract process which the Council has been undertaking for many years.



Councillor Rebecca Smith

Councillor Mark Lowry 

In light of the murder of Sarah Everard, it is proposed to highlight how much CCTV is Plymouth City Centre and how much it covers and to use the Communications channels to highlight this in a sensitive way to provide reassurance to women and girls.


Response: The Council’s website which shows a map which locates every camera in the city. There are 473 cameras in the city and a control centre which operates 24/7. Councillor Mark Lowry is very happy to work with Councillor Rebecca Smith to highlight the coverage of the camera’s and work a way to communicate to residents.


Councillor Eddie Rennie

Councillor Tudor Evans OBE

A Conservative Plymouth City Councillor mocked the safety of women following the murder of Sarah Everard. Can you give a reassurance that this is not the view of the Council and we do not support the views of that Councillor.


Response: Everyone has been shocked at the news of the murder and if you look at the current state of the Country there are 233 rapes a day committed in the UK and womens safety has never been more under the spotlight. I found the il judged statement of Councillor Deacon to be in poor tstate, I was shocked by it, but glad he has withdrawn it and that Councillor Nick Kelly has suspended him. However we need to make it clear today that it is unacceptable and is not fitting of a Councillor. Womens safety is not humorous and we need to be seen as a Council that we take this with the upmost seriousness. It is reight the Councillor Deacon has been condemned and I hope in time that he understands what he has done. I hope that the strongest possible action will be taken in order to send a clear message women’s safety is not a joke.

Supplementary: National press has put Plymouth in a bad light and a lot of people have found that the picture of Councillor Mark Deacon to be offensive and insulting. Can you give assurances to the trans community that no other councillor has these views.


Response: I cannot give that assurance, however it is very important that the Council sends out a strong message to the trans community and to women that the Council takes the issue of safety very seriously. It is the hope that Councillor Kelly’s investigation is done fairly and swiftly and that the appropriate action is taken.



Councillor Andrea Loveridge

Councillor  Mark Lowry

The disabled toilet located in the café at Central park is closed, what toilet facilities have been put in place to accommodate disabled children.


Response: Since the pandemic hit, it was the instruction of the government to close all public toilets. Since this time temporary solutions have been opened because residents have not been able to go out elsewhere. New facilities are locaed on the Hoe in support of disabled access, there is an additional toilet facility at West Hoe. With respect to Central Park they have remained closed as they form part of the café and we have not been able to provide additional disabled facilities that the Councillor is referring to as they are not available due to the complexity of need as a temporary solution. The facilities at Central Park will be reopened on 12April as well as the facilities in the Life Centre.


Councillor Chaz Singh

Councillor Tudor Evans OBE

Has Tudor Evans OBE read the comprehensive research into Freeports and associated Free Zones have little impact on the local economy and require high levels of investment in local education and training alongside providing significant financial incentives which are open to criminality and money laundering. This is from reports on Freeport’s that existed in 2012.


Response: We are pleased to have secured the Plymouth and South Devon Free zone after a quick bidding process. This is not a Freeport in the sense that your research paper pictures from 2012 -14. These will be different and in the case of Plymouth this will be partnered by Babcock and Princess Yachts which are two or the largest employers in the City. This is not a container port proposition, ours will be focused on skills, Marine and Marine development which will build on the work being completed Oceansgate. In a years time the tax advantages in the enterprise zone will disappear and replaced with the free zone. We are not proposing to turn Plymouth into a Rotterdam of smugglers paradise, however we are keen that the border post for Plymouth will be ahead of schedule and Plymouth is trying to be the first border completed post Brexit and put us ahead of everyone else.


Supplementary: If I provide the links to the reports and research would you read them.


Response: I have already spent time reading them and I have had a long conversation with the TUC for South West general secretary who had been working on the Bristol project. I was able to reassure him that the projects that we would be working on would not be the same and our project would be focusing on a pipeline of apprenticeships and qualified workers. Please provide the links but I think we have the same source.



Councillor Kevin Neil

Councillor Mark Lowry

Thank you for the visit to Stoke village and some exciting plans to revitalise stoke village and to improve the local environment, are you able to provide an outline on works undertaken and still to come. 


Response: Made an agreement to undertake significant tree planting. The Council is engaging with residents with where they would like the additional trees, benches and planters to go. Work is on-going  to bring forward an initiative for a ‘Welcome to Stoke Village’ sign which I am happy to support. Business and the residential community have asked for the existing toilets to be removed from their current location due to Anti-Social behaviour which it has been attracting and also because the facilities are not being well used. Café’s and restaurants have been allowing residents to use their facilities and in the coming months those toilet facilities will be removed.


Councillor Terri Beer

Councillor Pete Smith

There are no facilities within Children’s play parks for disabled children. Is it your intention to include improving parks for disabled children. 


Response: Response: Yes, we are talking to disability groups to find a way forward.

Supplementary: I am happy to engage in the plans and have a family that are interested in the disabled facilities for children.



Councillor Nick Kelly

Councillor Tudor Evans OBE

The Dome is a prominent financial assess for the City of Plymouth, can we have an update on prospective tenants. 


Response: We are currently in negotiations with successful new tenants and we ought to have the paperwork signed in the next four weeks and we will make an announcement thereafter. 



Please note that questions, answers, supplementary questions and supplementary answers have been summarised.