Agenda item

Public Question Time

To answer any questions asked by the public which are relevant to the functions of the Cabinet.


Public Question Time will be concluded by the Chair when all questions have been answered or on the expiry of a period of 15 minutes, whichever is the earlier.


Q1.  Dawn Corrie (Bewbush)

I have a special interest in climate change, and it is the biggest issue for the world and should be at the heart of everything the Council and the Government does. My questions, relating to the report on the agenda (Climate Emergency Action Plan) are whether it would be possible to talk to Councillors over the outcome of COP climate change conference and how the target with your Action Plan for 2050 should as a result be changed based on the view of the IPCC?


Councillor Jhans – (Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability)

The target to reduce carbon emissions generated by Council activities by at least 45% by 2030 and to zero by 2050, those targets were the minimum, and the Council should and would be striving to meet them as early as possible. When the targets were set in 2019 there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing as to what the targets should be, however it was realised that there was the need for a lot of feasibility studies to take place to fully understand the implication, including the likely cost to achieve net zero and then plan how that could be funded along with our other services.


Q1.  Supplementary Question –

I understand it not cheap, but the consequences for Crawley residents and for the world such as climate refugees migrating cannot be underestimated. Please take this subject matter seriously and prioritise finances on this. Let me talk to Councillors on this matter.


Councillor Peter Lamb – (Leader of the Council)

As a Council we are legally required to have a balance budget and provide services to our residents. We can’t spend what we don’t have, the Council is doing what it can to meet the proposed targets and to exceed through targets. But we have not costed at lot of the elements within the action plan and we might have to stop or reduce some service to fund the action plan. However residents need to come on the journey with us so they understand the sacrifice required. Otherwise there is an election 3 out of 4 years and they can then change the administration who may not do it full stop.


Councillor Jhans – (Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability)

We as the Cabinet and the Council are taking this seriously. Within the action plan is that requirement to have a communication strategy and I’m more than happy to discuss this with you on how we engage with our residents and get across your passion on the importance of climate change.



Q2.  Robin Burnham (Bewbush)

On what date has the Council decided to make a final decision on the fate of the adventure playgrounds?


Councillor Peter Lamb – (Leader of the Council)

The final decision was taken at the budget meeting in February 2021.


Q2.  Supplementary Question –

At the last Full Council meeting a petition was put forward with a plan of action and I spoke about ways of potentially finding saving to save the adventure playgrounds. So there are two action plans with the financial to be sent in. When will that be decided?


Councillor Peter Lamb – (Leader of the Council)

In terms of the other options such as the Delta Security option, once they were fully submitted to the Council, they would be worked through by officers to see their viability and then decisions would be taken on them at that point. It was not a process where you could put set dates on it as it relies on a back-and-forth communication over their proposal.



Q3.  Iain Dickson (Gossops Green)

This relates to the adventure playgrounds. At the last Full Council the Leader asked for any options for saving the adventure playgrounds and making them viable. So the proposal I wish to raise was potential options for the building at the adventure playgrounds that might bring in a new revenue stream.

·      Use them as a local community repair hub

·      Information centre for the Council or the community

·      Community run café

·      Education centre including cooking lessons

·      Set up as a charity to attract further funding and get local business to help fund them.


Those could be ways of bring revenue in whilst keeping the facilities open and they were there for you consideration.


Councillor C Mullins – (Cabinet Member for Wellbeing)

Thank you for the question and the interest. It was important having community interest in those facilities.


Please can you send me an email of your suggestions I would be happy to review them with officers. We were not intending for the building to be abandoned. To be clear Mill Pond and Cherry Lane were not closing they were changing. We are currently looking to ensure that there were toilets and freely accessible water also.


We have had some approach over the buildings already involving revenue streams for the Council, but still open minded.


Q.3  Supplementary Question –

With the Council’s problem of net zero by 2050, which should be earlier, repair hubs would help with this as our society is too quick to throw things away. In the past we used to repair and reuse items and we could tie this in to schools and the college as part of their learning.


Councillor C Mullins – (Cabinet Member for Wellbeing)

I don’t disagree with that concept, please send through your ideas and we’ll look at them.