Agenda item

Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 


Three members of the public had registered to speak at the meeting. 


(1)       Lizzie Pugh made a statement and gave a presentation, requesting Cabinet to provide a splash park in Faringdon.  The presentation set out the need for a splash park, provided estimated costs, and suggested the best location for the facility. 


The Cabinet member for healthy communities thanked Lizzie for her statement and welcomed the idea for a splash park in Faringdon.  However, the council would be unable to fund the installation and ongoing costs alone.  Instead, the Cabinet member suggested ways in which a splash park could be progressed by raising funds from other sources and working together with other partners.  The Cabinet member reported that the council would bear this idea in mind when working on plans and strategies for leisure activities across the Vale.  Councillors encouraged Lizzie to contact the council’s enablement team to provide details of funding sources.  There would be a need for partnership working to achieve this, in which the council could take part. 


(2)           Julie Mabberley had submitted a question on behalf of the Wantage and Grove Campaign Group.  The question, which was read out in her absence, related to the Active Communities Strategy, which was on the agenda for this Cabinet meeting.  It asked when performance indicators, targets and measures would be produced for the council’s strategy. 


The Cabinet member for healthy communities reported that following the adoption of the strategy, the council would prepare a delivery plan, with targets and performance measures.  It was hoped that this would be brought to Cabinet for approval by the end of the year.  In the meantime, the council continued to provide a range of active communities’ initiatives and opportunities, particularly supporting residents with long-term health conditions post-Covid and for families that needed support with children’s activities. 


(3)       Honorary Alderwoman Joyce Hutchinson asked a question regarding the new leisure strategy, which was due to be published approximately one year ago, and as this had not happened, was the Active Community Strategy a replacement?   If so, was the section 106 money to be allocated according to the original legal agreements made by the council and the developers? 


The Cabinet member for healthy communities reported that the impact of Covid-19 had required the re-allocation of resources and therefore work on this had been delayed.  The active communities’ strategy was one of a suite of strategies that would be part of our overarching healthy communities strategy and address many of the health and wellbeing priorities of the council’s Corporate Plan.  Officers were working with Sport England to secure relevant external support and expertise to develop a district wide leisure facilities strategy that would sit within the same suite of strategies.  This would outline needs across the district and would provide evidence to inform the new Joint Local Plan. 


Section 106 funds earmarked for terminated Wessex Leisure Centre project remained allocated until the most appropriate, beneficial and deliverable uses of the funds were determined.  The council was engaging with stakeholders on this.  The section 106 funds had to be spent in accordance with the original spending criteria, for example funds allocated towards swimming could only be spent on swimming-related projects.