Cllr Symington: Can I raise a point of order,
Mayor: If you must.
Cllr Symington: Yes, thank you. These are written
questions, which obviously we've submitted. I can't see they've
been circulated, and furthermore, you mentioned earlier in the
meeting that the resident who attended-, question has been
circulated to us all. I can't see it either on the documents I have
or by email.
Mayor: If I spoke in error, it was because I was assured
that that had happened, Cllr Symington.
Mayor: Okay. In this case, apparently, these questions are
not circulated in advance, that is why they are read out at the
Cllr Symington: Okay, and the resident who attended, who
you said-, his question had been circulated to us all. Can we have
a clarification of whether that is true because I haven't received
it, and I can't see any evidence that it was.
Mayor: I'm told that it was not circulated but that is why
he was asked to read it out.
Cllr Symington: Please could we have an apology for the
resident who attended, when you said that his question had been
circulated to everybody, and it hasn't been?
Mayor: I can certainly apologise that I was mislead on that
matter, but I won't apologise for asking him to read out the
question, in the light of what you have just said, that it wasn't
6.1 The following question was submitted to Cllr
Williams from Cllr England
Cllr England: The Cabinet have set out priorities for
addressing the Climate Emergency, based on a "Fabric First"
Please provide the following information:
a. The number of DBC homes
retro-insulated in the 3 and/or 6 years to 2019 and the comparative
number of homes retro-insulated in the last 3 years.
Mayor: Cllr Williams, I'm assuming that we have here three
substantive questions, so you may answer the first.
Cllr Williams: The answer to the first question is in the
three years, between 2016 and '19, the number is 920, and the three
years between 2019 and '22, the number was 786.
b. The estimated heating
savings generated from the available insulation projects (above),
and from typical examples of the five most effective and most
widely available insulation interventions available across DBC
Cllr Williams: The annual estimated fuel savings and carbon
savings from those above interventions, is £206,515 and
662,850 kilograms of CO2. Then, I think you went to ask that
c. A breakdown of the numbers
of each main type of insulation intervention (in homes insulated
and cost per home) available and planned as part of the published
Climate Emergency Action Plan claim of 90% of stock which is
planned to be completed by 2030.
Cllr Williams: Number of each type of installation, the
number of propositions we've retro-fitted to hit the 90% target, is
that the question? Because I'm a bit confused about what it is that
Cllr England is asking. Right okay, and this is based upon a three
bedroom semi-detached house. Double glazing, we have met the 90%
target, on our properties, we will continue to upgrade individual
properties as and when required. For wall insulation, there are 64
properties to hit the target. Loft insulation, there are 1,728 at a
cost of £691,200. Cavity wall insulation, there are 396
properties, at a cost of £237,000. I think that was the
Mayor: Thank you Cllr Williams. Do you have a
supplementary, Councillor England?
Cllr England: I do have a third question, can I ask, with a
fabric first policy, that since declaring a climate emergency, the
number of properties retro-insulated has gone down?
Cllr Williams: As I've not been the housing portfolio
holder, I think that question will be more relevant to-, I can only
get a written answer, Mr Mayor. And I think this is a very good
example of a question with so much detail, it would have been more
appropriate for an emailed exchange rather than a question at full
council, Mr Mayor.
Action: Cllr Williams to provide written answer.
Mayor: Thank you Cllr Williams. Cllr England, that is your
number of questions that is allowed.
6.2 The following question was submitted to Cllr Banks
from Cllr Hobson
Cllr Hobson: This is a question about the Gadebridge Park
toilets. I appreciate I didn't actually put that on the written
question, so for the avoidance of doubt, this is about the
Gadebridge Park toilets. Given the huge
success of events held at Gadebridge Park including the Jubilee
celebrations and the Armed Forces Day, plus the popular water park,
can the portfolio holder provide an update on:
1. How often the toilets have been open
to the public
2. How often they are cleaned/checked for
3. What plans if any the council has to
Cllr Banks: CllrHobson, this is not my portfolio, but
acknowledging the link you're trying to make with the town centre
PSPO, I am able to offer you an update. Anyone familiar with
Gadebridge Park will know that there are three sets of toilets. In
addition, there are also toilets available on the old town high
street. The toilets have been open throughout all the recent
events, such as our fantastic Jubilee celebration and Armed Forces
Day, and extra cleans are arranged to cover the extended opening
times. When an event is taking place, the toilets are cleaned and
restocked every two hours. If no event is taking place, then the
toilets within the park, and the old town for that matter, are
cleaned three times a day. As part of event planning, consideration
is also given as to whether or not we need additional porta-loos,
this is part of the health and safety risk assessment that's
undertaken, and for any event that's held within the area. I'm not
aware of any current plans to refurbish them.
Mayor: Thank you, Cllr Banks. Did you want to ask your
second question on this matter, Cllr Hobson
Cllr Hobson: Given the PSPO is in place to stop defecating
and urinating in public together with the fact that the Council is
encouraging many older and younger people to visit the park, does
the Portfolio Holder accept that improving facilities and ensuring
they are available for every large event should be a
Cllr Banks: The administration encourages everyone,
residents and visitors, to enjoy our open spaces, including
Gadebridge Park. I do not accept that it should be a priority. It
is a priority.
Mayor: Thank you Cllr Banks. Do you have a supplementary
question, Cllr Hobson?
Cllr Hobson: Yes, I do. Just very quickly, I just want to
apologise for not getting the right portfolio holder, I was assured
that you were the person to do this, so thank you for answering the
question, thank you for working with your colleagues. This
supplementary was prompted by Cllr Anderson's presentation, so
again, apologies if this isn't the right person, but just to say,
is quality toilet provision included in the plans to draw people
away from Ashridge, for improving locations for other people to go
and enjoy green spaces. Thank you. And I'm happy to take a written
answer if that's not your portfolio. Thank you.
Cllr Banks: Mr Mayor. Indeed, that is beyond what I know
the answer to. Absolutely, I'll get a response, probably from Cllr
Anderson. Thank you.
Banks to liaise with Cllr Anderson to provide written
Mayor: Thank you Cllr Banks.
6.3 The following question was submitted to Cllr
Barratt from Cllr Symington
Cllr Symington: CllrBarrett, just before I address you, I
just want to address Cllr Williams. This question has already come
forward in an email form twice, so, you know, we do try to do our
best to work with you, and sometimes, things just need to come to
the council because we're not getting responses.
Cllr Symington: The
Wildflower Meadows Map at
is a welcome addition to the Dacorum Borough Council
website. The site in Buckingham Road,
Tring, is the only site with no map attached identifying the exact
Can you clarify the
location of the site and for completeness have it added to the
Cllr Barratt: Thank you
Cllr Symington. I can confirm that the map has now been updated to
reflect this location, and the location is a triangular piece of
open space on the corner of Buckingham Road and Weavers Road. I
would add that I would agree, this should have been a written
question, and I certainly haven't seen it as a written question.
Had I have done, I would have responded to it. Thank
Mayor: Do you have a
supplementary question, Cllr Symington?
Cllr Symington: Yes, so
my supplementary questions are to do, obviously, with the same map.
Thank you. So, can you confirm how many of the DBC wildflower
sites, with locations, can you confirm how many are DBC planted,
i.e. is planted by Dacorum Borough Council wildflower sites, with
their locations, and how many effectively just no-mow
Cllr Barratt: Again, if
I'd have seen that in advance, I could have got the information for
you. I don't know, I shall find out and respond with a written
Action: Cllr Barratt to provide written
Cllr Symington: Yes,
I'm asking that on behalf of a colleague and she and I will be
happy to get an email on that. Sorry-, this is actually the third
one. How many are DBC, are Dacorum initiatives, and how many are
the result of requests from ward councillors?
Cllr Barratt: My
response is exactly the same to the last question.
Action: Cllr Barratt to
provide written response
Cllr Symington: Thank
you. I'm happy to take written responses, and also to my co-ward,
Mayor: You've got the
request to circulate it to Cllr Foster as well did you, Councillor
Cllr Barratt: Yes, I'll
certainly make those adjustments
following question was submitted to Cllr Williams from Cllr
Cllr Symington: Yes,
thank you Mr Mayor. Cllr Williams, I haven't emailed this one to
you in advance but it is a Herts County Council initiative, so I'm
sure you're aware of it. Given the growth of electric vehicles and
the need to ensure that residents have access to charging points,
how do you, as the portfolio holder, intend to work with
Hertfordshire County Council following their change and stance to
facilitate on-street electric vehicle charging points?
Cllr Williams: Thank
you. I did become aware of it when I got the questions, I have done
a brief bit of checking, but understand there isn't a policy for
Herts County Council-, for us to firm up on. But I understand there
is a meeting between Herts officers, our officers-, well, HCC are
setting up a meeting for officers across Hertfordshire in August,
to discuss their new EV strategy before it goes to the Environment
and Transport panel in September. I'm sure there we'll gain more
details of how it's going to work. As such, then we will have sight
of the document and be able to feed into this. We have our own EV
strategy, as I said earlier, for our own car-parks, and we'll weave
that in with the HCC strategy, which I understand is likely to be a
scheme will permit installation of EV chargers on streets, but I
don't think HCC are likely to be undertaking that, and I think it's
unlikely that DBC would then be undertaking that. I suspect it will
be for private providers to look at locations where it's feasible
to do so, under a scheme that HCC permits, which I think is a
relaxation from their previous stance.
Mayor: Thank you,
Cllr Williams. Do you have a
Cllr Symington: Yes,
thank you. I think it's been partially answered. So, the council's
been, I would say, pretty secretive about the car-parks that have
been put forward to the programme, which you've now given us the
names of the contractors for, so that's useful, thank you. I think
lots of residents will welcome that they're good names. But, the
reason given, is that the residents who don't get their EV charging
points in the car-parks, they then will be very upset and
disappointed. Presumably, you don't know the answer to this because
we're waiting for the DNO, can you give a reassurance that those
residents who are disappointed, and cannot have EV charging points
in car-parks near them, that Dacorum will facilitate and work with
Herts County Council and external people, external providers, to
give them on-street access? Given that 40% of houses in the borough
have no off-street parking.
Cllr Williams: I think
I take objection to the tone of that question, to say that it's
secretive. What I said in answer to the previous question was all
DBC car-parks are on the list. So, if you can't work out for
yourself where the locations of DBC car-parks are, then I'm sorry
but I just don't think I need to write them all down for you, but
it will be subject to, as I said before, a decision of the
commercial operators. Whether that car-park is viable, whether that
will generate enough traffic to generate an income from that
particular charge. And, yes, it may be that some car-parks will not
be found to be commercial, the supply can be too far away, the
potential number of chargers can be too small, and it's very
likely, to be fair, to be a network rolled out over time. It isn't
going to be a big bang and they're all going to be there in the
first week because there won't be a demand there for 100 chargers,
or whatever it is, in the first week. Some people will have further
to travel, and I'm sure when they're purchasing an electric
vehicle, they'll factor those considerations in. We will work and
facilitate the installation chargers where it's practical to do so
on-street, within the framework of Hertfordshire County Council
schemes. So, they'll decide where it's safe, if you can attach it
to a lamppost, where the supply comes from. What I don't expect
Dacorum to be doing is funding that process.
Cllr Symington: I won't
ask any more supplementary questions on that item, but-, you'll be
relieved to hear.
Mayor: Very kind of you
but I see that you're going to make another appearance. Question
for Councillor Anderson, from Councillor Symington.
6.5 The following question was submitted to Cllr
Anderson from Cllr Symington
Cllr Symington: Yes,
this is my final question, thank you very much. You'll appreciate
that actually I'm just bringing forward the concerns of residents
when I'm raising these questions, and I think it is important that
actually they are aired in council, and that people have the
opportunity to hear the answers from the portfolio holders, so I
appreciate this opportunity.
Given the need to ensure that common policies apply across
the Borough, what measures is the Portfolio Holder undertaking to
ensure that the moratorium on development relating to the discharge
of conditions is applied fairly and consistently across the
Cllr Anderson: The
restrictions requested by Natural England to protect the Chiltern
Beechwoods affects developments in different ways depending on the
specifics of the proposal. When discharging planning conditions,
the council is required to review the precise wording of each
condition, on a case-by-case basis, to determine whether it can be
discharged or not. The council works closely with its legal team to
ensure its approach is consistent in what is a complex area of
planning law. The council's published detailed FAQs, and will keep
these on the website, and will keep these under review.
Cllr Symington: I'm
sorry, I do have a supplementary actually, Mr Chairman. Yes. Can
the portfolio holder explain why Dacorum has a different policy
relating to reserve matters, from other planning
Cllr Anderson: I'm not
sure I can, because I'd need evidence of that before I can
Cllr Symington: Okay,
so thank you. So, the evidence has obviously been provided by
residents, who've had to get the advice from Queen's Council. Do
you think it's fair and reasonable that residents are having to
seek that advice to basically work their way through the process,
and get these reserved matters discharged?
Cllr Anderson: If we
are talking about the email that you sent me-,
Cllr Symington: No,
Cllr Anderson: Support
from Long Marston?
Cllr Symington: We're
not talking about that.
Cllr Anderson: It's a
different case then. Okay, well-,
Mayor: Excuse me, Cllr
Symington is entitled to a supplementary.
Cllr Anderson: Yes, I'm
sorry, I struggle to accept the motivation behind the question. As
I've already explained, the council has to follow legal advice
itself and has done so. We're not in a position to bend the rules
just because of a particular case.
Mayor: Thank you, Cllr
Cllr Tindall: Point of
order, Mr Mayor. I believe the question was, why had we a different
understanding of how the moratorium should apply to our
neighbouring boroughs and neighbouring authorities. Now, it's
legitimate for Cllr Anderson to say that he hasn't got the answer
to hand and he's happy to provide a written answer. What I regret
the portfolio can't do, is actually say that he's not going to
answer it, or actually make comments about why the question was
posed. Cllr Symington was entitled to ask the question, Cllr
Anderson is entitled to say, 'I will provide a written answer.' I
believe that's as far the exchange should go.
Cllr Anderson: I'm
sorry, I'm entitled to provide the answer I provide, and I don't
accept we're looking at things in different ways to neighbouring
authorities. One has to remember that we're the one that's closest
affected by the issue, they may not be under the same constraints
we are, but I don't accept that we're being
Mayor: I'm sorry, when
you say, 'inconsistent,' you mean as between us and other
Mayor: Thank you, Cllr
Mayor: Thank you very
much for those questions and answers. We now move on to agenda item