Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Microsoft Teams
Contact: Ruth Rimmington Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Decision: The minutes were approved as a correct record.
Welcome by the Chair
The Chair, Councillor Gordon France, welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Demonstration of the new council website
Simon Charnock, Digital Transformation and Information Officer will give a demonstration of the new council website which went live on Monday, 1 February 2021.
A lot of work has taken place over the last 12-18 months to get to this stage. The new improved website:
• has an improved customer journey and experience
• improved structure and search functionality
• content has been rewritten to make it easier for our users to understand
• is mobile responsive meaning it is equally as accessible on a mobile phone and tablet as it is on a laptop or computer
• is compliant with new accessibility regulations to enable users with disabilities equal access to our website
In this session Members will receive a demonstration of the new website, go through the importance of encouraging members of the public to interact with the council online, as well as an opportunity to provide any feedback or ask questions about the new website.
Simon Charnock provided members a demonstration of the new Council website, the improvements in the interface, search functionality and accessibility were highlighted, noting that improvements would be ongoing based on user feedback and searches made.
The new website met accessibility legislation, and further assistance would be offered to Parish Council’s to ensure they met the legislation, but it was noted that there was a clause of ‘disproportionate burden’ that may prevent the need if the cost would be too high.
It was raised that on the website, a way could not be found how to report a missed bin collection from communal bins. This would be taken away and followed up.
Item requested by Anderton Parish Council
One of our councillors who has previously been helping out with the Chorley Health Walks has been told by the Ramblers Association that Chorley Council no longer supports these. Can the Council please tells us what the current position is regarding these organised walks and if they are likely to resume once the current Covid 19 restrictions are relaxed enough for group activities to take place.
Response from Angela Barrago, Service Lead - Communities
We do still support the Health Walks in Chorley however the scheme it operates under was requesting some monitoring that was felt to be over burdensome. We were working with the group to continue the walks but under an independent arrangement.
We have not met with the Walk Leaders due to CoVid restrictions but we do plan to arrange a get together to regroup and look at how we re-start the walks once the time line is clearer from government on removing some restrictions.
Question was submitted relating to Health Walks, and the answer provided was acknowledged to be satisfactory.
Cllr Peter Fenemore has suggested a project to improve the River Yarrow and tributaries as part of an effort to improve the environment in this area.
The document enclosed details the suggestion.
The suggestion below naturally sites within the remit of the Douglas Catchment Partnership with regard to aims, project ideas and partnership working. This also links strongly to the Climate Change remit. We are already doing much of what is suggested on a small scale.
There is a meeting with all partners on 17 where it could be discussed further and the outcome reported back to a future meeting.
Councillor Paul Sloan spoke on behalf of Peter Fenimore about the tributaries, the litter along it, dealing with native spaces and plants and improvements to the environment in the area.
Jennifer Mullin, Director (Early Intervention) read out the response to the question from Lindsay Blackstock to Members.
Questions from Members of the Liaison and the public
In order to allow members of the Liaison and members of the public to raise issues of local concern, a period of 20 minutes has been set aside.
A member of the public may speak for no more than 3 minutes. Members of the public are not required to give notice of the issue they intend to raise, although it is expected in the case of service issues that the appropriate mechanisms for resolving the issue have been explored.
Where a question is raised which cannot be answered at the meeting, a record will be kept by officers supporting the meeting and it will be responded to via the appropriate mechanism.
Colin Evans raised if CCTV was being extended from Chorley to Whittle-Le-Woods, particularly in the Polo due to concerns of vandalism.
It was stated that Chorley Council was in the middle of revising the CCTV strategy and were currently exploring locations and devising potential work to be completed. A draft strategy would return when created.
It was added that if Parish Councils could contribute CIL money, and cooperation with Chorley Council to advance projects.
A schedule setting out deadlines for items to be requested on the agenda for the Chorley Liaison and dates for future meetings is enclosed.
Any requests or ideas to be emailed to Ruth Rimmington, Democratic Services Team Leader.
An issue was raised regarding the town centre post office and the decreasing number in villages. Councillor Bradley said that discussions were ongoing but recounted that he felt that it was a poor decision originally for the Post Office to team with WhSmiths. It was hoped that a mobile Post Office would open in an unoccupied space in Chorley Town Centre and there were aspirations for the Council to facilitate the presence of post offices in villages, but there was difficulty due to the involvement of various decentralised franchises.
It was queried if there had been an increase in flooding since the turn of the century. It was agreed that it had worsened in recent years at Eccleston and St Mary’s. It was suggested that the flood defense barrier solved problems on the Yarrow but it pushed flooding to farmland instead of houses.
Councillor Paul Sloan explained that after a meeting with United Utilities, they were exploring opportunities to stop the flow, as water came from the hills faster and there needed to be something in place to deal with high rain fall events and slow the flow.
A questions were asked about the HSBC branch closing in Chorley, what the Council were doing to retain businesses and about the £2m put a side to look after the M61 interchange road structure.
Chorley Council was not consulted by HSBC prior to the announcement of the branch closure but conversations were underway. There were other bank branches in the town centre and there was no concern about access to banking. Covid-19 reduced the use of physical cash and measures put into place to encourage contactless payments were likely to continue. Many Councils across the country were looking to the government to put constraints on banks ensuring an adequate level of service.
The planning proposal for the Interchange had changed and was scaled down, the level of commitment honoured depended on the new plans.
The progress of the Local Plan had been delayed due to Covid-19 and the consultation and interaction work could not be completed, but work would resume following lighter restrictions, and an update would be provided at the next meeting.
Terry Dickinson wished for sport and recreation to be revised in the area as a future agenda topic.