This is an opportunity for Members of Council to ask the Mayor, Members of the Executive or the Chairs of any Committee or Sub-Committee a question on notice under Procedure Rule 10.2.
The Mayor reported that 3 questions had been received under Procedure Rule 10.2.
(a) Councillor Butt had given notice of the following question:
“Regarding the temporary pop up lanes on the A56, the Council sent out a press release launching the consultation which contained the line “The consultation is not intended to be a referendum.” Residents feel it should be a referendum so if residents choose the third option of ‘to remove the temporary cycle lane and revert to the pre-Covid-19 structure with all lanes open for motorists’; what confidence should residents have that that option would be implemented?”
In response, Councillor Adshead, Executive Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services advised that the consultation was in an open format with no firm design proposals at that stage and it was an opportunity for the people of Trafford to give their views on the options at that stage. It was a chance for people to make suggestions and submit their ideas about what they would like transport to look like through the heart of the Borough, based around a framework of three possible scenarios. At the second stage of the consultation, when proposals had been firmed up, there would be a further opportunity for residents to comment about what they wanted. The results of those two consultations would be taken into consideration along with the clean air plan and Transport for Greater Manchester’s wider transport plan for the region.
(b) Councillor Chalkin had given notice of the following question and this was put by Councillor Lamb:
“Further to the question asked at the full Council meeting on 13 October, can the Executive Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services address the state of Stamford Park? In the eyes of residents, the conditions in the park have deteriorated over the past few years.
Will the Executive Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services and the Executive Member for Culture and Leisure commit to both a full and transparent planned maintenance strategy to improve the equipment and the infrastructure of the park, and to supporting the friends of Stamford Park with additional resources to bring the park back to the standard residents expect?”
In response Councillor Patel, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure advised that on 11 November a walking meeting took place at Stamford Park with Councillors Chalkin and Mrs. Young to discuss how best to move standards of the park forward. A list of points were raised on site as follows:
- Swings in the playpark were removed and the Council was in the process of arranging for the swings to be reopened in the current financial year.
- Sign by Tennis Court – considered that it was not possible to “police” the area afterhours, however, signs had been ordered as an attempt to deter anti-social use of the courts.
- Children’s play park – it has been pointed out that there was a need for more benches in the area and the Council was working towards placing a new bench in the play park area in the current financial year.
- Fencing – the Council was discussing the issue with the Bowling Club and the Executive Member had personally met with the Club and it had been agreed to invite Hale Ward Councillors to future meetings.
- Flooding – concerns regarding a puddling of water around the main pond area had been raised and a request had been made for a drainage team to clear the gulley area to assist the flow of water by the main pond.
- Path surfaces – it had been pointed out that the surface of one of the paths needed attention which was an issue right across the borough’s park footpaths with many of the surfaces dating back to the original construction. A capital bid had been made to review the footpaths in all parks and if successful the Council would hope to see an improvement with Stamford Park included in the condition survey.
- Friends – everyone was in agreement that the “Friends of Stamford Park” should be encouraged to start up again and the Council would provide whatever support it could. It has also been agreed to continue with regular park walking meetings, every two/three months.
Acknowledging that much of the maintenance work was expected to be undertaken by the end of the current financial year, Councillor Lamb asked as a supplementary question whether more specific timescales could be provided. Indicating that some of the work was subject to tender processes, Councillor Patel agreed to liaise with the Parks Team with an aim of providing Councillor Chalkin, as the originator of the question, with a more detailed timeframe.
(c) Councillor Miss Blackburn had given notice of the following question:
“Would the Executive Member tell me when the Children's play area will be fully open and useable at Timperley Green?”
In response, Councillor Patel, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure advised that the Timperley Green play area had recently had 3 pieces of play equipment installed, a Hula Rotator, two seat swing and Wipe Out. These type of installations were not often opened immediately and in this instance the grassed areas need time to re-establish. The Parks Team have recommended waiting until early spring 2022 before opening up for play, as any earlier would risk seeded areas turning to mud. The contractor had the final fix items stored to go on in the spring, at which time some reseeding work will also be done where the grass had not taken.
As a supplementary question, Councillor Miss Blackburn asked whether the Executive Member could provide a ward by ward schedule for the repair and refurbishment of play equipment in the Borough’s parks that could be accessed by the public. Councillor Patel recognised the importance of parks as critical green spaces to all residents and weekly safety inspections were undertaken of each park and through that process there was a rolling programme of refurbishment and renewal which was set out in the capital programme. It was not always easy to account for vandalism, however, the Executive Member agreed to liaise with the Parks Team on whether information regarding repair or replacement could be publicised more widely. Unfortunately, due to the budget situation when pieces of equipment fail or are vandalised there were not always funds immediately available to remedy matters.