Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
1. Question to Councillor Williams from Councillor Tindall:
Q1: Given the misinformation and falsehoods that abound on Facebook and other Social Media, it would be good for the Council to ensure that residents of Dacorum have the opportunity to access accurate knowledge of the Council’s proceedings and deliberations. Please can the Leader of the Council inform us when video film of those proceedings and deliberations will be made available on the Council’s website, or on other means accessible to residents?
Response: I do agree that there’s lots of misinformation and rumours can start on social media and in some cases that’s not helpful when people who do have access to that information post stuff which they could research and get more accurate information before posting. But that is the nature of social media. The recording and showing of council meetings and procedure is something which I discussed with the previous Chief Executive and you might recall at the beginning of this year we talked about trying a recording of a council meeting and found that the equipment in the council chamber wasn’t sufficient to enable that to be done with any degree of quality that residents would find useful to follow. I agreed with the previous Chief Executive that we would upgrade the equipment in the council chamber and conference rooms one and two. That work has been completed in the last couple of days and we now have the capacity to record and broadcast meetings live. We also have the capacity within the new system to hold hybrid meetings where some members of the council can be in the chamber and some members can be remote. So we are in a position now to broadcast and have the equipment for that but of course that is dependent on us being able to get back into what you might consider to be a more normal routine of proceedings. Whilst we’re currently using Microsoft Teams and we’re very grateful for this so that we can order some degree of normality and business to proceed, I do not think the quality of nature of these recordings are sufficient for our website as records of our proceedings. It is our intention when we begin to move forward with a more normal cycle of meetings to make use of the newly installed equipment and make those meetings available in both live and recorded forms.
2. Question to Councillor Williams from Councillor Symington:
Q1: Given the recent advice from the Dacorum Borough Council Legal Department regarding the Council's responsibility to maintain the unadopted road at Broadwater, Berkhamsted, could the portfolio holder assure the residents, other landowners and users of the DBC-owned car park that the Council will commit to a clear, transparent and long term resolution to the recurring maintenance issue?
Response: As Councillor Symington has referred to legal advice received from our legal department, advice that she has benefitted from that I haven’t, I think it would be inappropriate of me to make any comment upon the situation or the advice which she has received before also seeing that advice. He requested a copy of that document from the legal department so he could be in a position to reply to Councillor Symington in writing.
Councillor Symington advised that she had two supplementary questions that she would also like answered by Councillor Williams once he had sought advice from the legal department, which were as follows:
Q2: Now that the potholes have been fixed and the road is on a good state of repair, would the Portfolio Holder be willing to enter into discussions with Herts County Council about having the road adopted? (the poor state of repair was given by HCC as a reason for not considering adoption).
Q3: What are the Portfolio Holder’s intentions for the longer term use of the car park (viz: charges, free parking allowance – currently 4 hours- etc) and how will he work with other stakeholders (such as the tennis and bowls clubs who need the free parking) to find an inclusive way forward?
3. Question to Councillor Graham Sutton from Councillor Symington:
Q1. What can the portfolio holder do to help expedite the delivery of the now HCC-owned Durrants Lane pitches for use by the community given that DBC was originally taking on the lease and subsequently decided not to?
Response: Councillor G Sutton said he would need to provide Councillor Symington with a written response.
Councillor Symington advised that she had two supplementary questions that she would also like answered by Councillor G Sutton, which were as follows:
Q2. Could the portfolio holder explain the reasons for the council deciding in July 2020 that it would not take the lease from HCC for the playing fields on behalf of the community, thereby failing to provide much needed additional football pitches for youth clubs?
Q3. How does the portfolio holder intend to restore the resident’s confidence in the planning process and delivery of Section 106 agreements in light of the failure of this one?
Publication date: 26/11/2020
Date of decision: 18/11/2020
Decided at meeting: 18/11/2020 - Council