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Agenda item


To consider the Executive and Cabinet Member Decisions within the remit of the Committee, taken since the last meeting.


The Committee considered the Executive and Cabinet Member decisions taken, within its remit, since the last meeting of the Tourism, Economy and Communities Scrutiny Committee on 5 February 2020.


Members queried Cabinet Member Decision PH08/2020 regarding Kerbside Green Waste collection charges. It was noted that there had been an increase of £5 for the collection of green waste and the Committee asked why this had been the case. Councillor Jim Hobson, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, responded that the decision had been taken by the previous responsible Cabinet Member and that they would be able to provide a written response to the query.


The Committee also queried if, in respect of PH16/2020, an announcement regarding the Nickelodeon Slimefest event for 2020 had been made. Councillor Gillian, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Place, confirmed that Nickelodeon had announced that the Slimefest event would not be taking place during 2020.


Plans for William Lyons House, following its purchase outlined in the decision PH17/2020, were also queried by Members of the Committee. Councillor Lynn Williams, Leader of the Council, explained that the original intention was to use the property to house care leavers. However in response to the Covid-19 lockdown and the need to protect vulnerable people the property had instead been used as emergency accommodation.


Members also queried PH21/2020, Parking Fees and Charges 2020/2021, asking if the reduction in usage of the town centre during lockdown meant that the agreed charges would need to be revised. Councillor Mark Smith, Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Job Creation, responded that there had been reduced enforcement during the lockdown and that Council staff had been allowed to use town centre car park free of charge. However he also stated that there were no current plans to reduce parking charges. The Committee further queried if the introduction of free parking could encourage more people back into the town centre to help support it. Councillor Smith replied that it was apparent that free parking would not help support the town centre as experience had shown that it would mainly be utilised by those already working in the town rather than visitors. Mr Alan Cavill, Director of Communications and Regeneration added that revenue from car parking had increased and that officers welcomed any suggestions to improve the service.


The Committee referred to the decision to remove pre-application charges for significant major applications outlined at PH23/2020, Planning Fees and Charges 2020/2021. Mr Cavill explained the rate for planning fees were set nationally and that the purpose of removing the charge was intended to encourage developers to talk to the Council prior to submitting planning applications.


The Committee also asked if an update could be provided on the proposal to relocate the Courts following the Purchase of Land at Devonshire Road outlined at decision EX24/2020. Mr Nick Gerard, Growth and Prosperity Programme Director, responded that the site had been bought for the relocation and that discussions with the Courts and Tribunal Service were ongoing and that it was planned that the relocation would take place to enable the final stage of the Blackpool Central Scheme in due course.

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