ModernGov

Draft minutes

Proposed venue: Zoom - to be streamed live to Youtube.

Items
No. Item

1.

Questions from the public

Minutes:

 

1.            From Mr M Herd (answered by Councillor Monk)

 

As someone that lived in London for 20 years then moving to Folkestone for 6, many friends and visitors are amazed by Folkestone and didn't previously know anything about the town. With Kings Cross being such a huge working hub with Facebook and Google, shouldn't the council start promoting the town and its regeneration to start putting the town on the map? Attracting people to live in Folkestone out of choice is a great way to build a strong community that contributes locally. 

 

ANSWER:

 

Thank you Mr Herd for your question.

 

You are absolutely right that our proximity and connectivity to London, and especially the digital and creative sector at Kings Cross is a real opportunity for the district. As we ease out of lockdown we also anticipate people will be attracted by our coastline, fresh air, open spaces and quality of life.

 

We have invested in the creation of a place marketing campaign to promote the district as a destination to live, work, visit and invest in. This launched in autumn of last year and encourages people to ‘experience the extraordinary’, highlighting the unique and distinctive experience that people will find here – arts and culture, food and drink, independent shops, our world-class visitor attractions.  

 

You can find out more about our place campaign at folkestoneandhythe.co.uk or by following @FHExtraordinary on Twitter or LinkedIn. COVID-19 has put some of the planned activities on hold but the campaign will be picking up pace once more as our district opens for business.

 

Our economic development team actively promote inward investment from companies outside the district through direct contact and via our business website Folkestone.works.  As part of the market research conducted last autumn, London businesses were engaged to understand their current perception of Folkestone as a place to relocate their business, which has provided much needed insight. Looking ahead, the commercial space incorporated into the plan for Otterpool Park is a further opportunity to attract creative and digital companies.

 

2.    From Mr T Cooper (answered by Councillor Monk)

 

We have a couple of district council playgrounds in St Mary`s Bay which have over the years been neglected, not maintained and closed as a consequence of your council ignoring complaints and consistently under funding the maintenance and replacement of children's play equipment in the Bay. In light of this, and excluding the current pandemic, can you please tell me when your council will provide the children and families of the village with play equipment in a safe place to play 

 

ANSWER:

 

Thank you Mr Cooper for your question.

 

This council has given a renewed focus in play provision and in recent years the Council has progressively increased the revenue budget from £5,000 to £15,000 per annum.  This does not include the costs of the officers who undertake the work, their training, vehicles, fuel and tools, etc.  In general most repairs can be undertaken quickly and cost effectively using our internal maintenance team, however  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

2.

Questions from Councillors

Minutes:

 

1.   From Councillor J Martin (answered by Councillor Monk)

 

We need more bins on West Parade Promenade in Hythe, the recent fine weather means bulging bins which the seagulls pillage and scatter rubbish across the promenade and onto the beach. The real risk is the amount of rubbish entering the sea at high tide - what is being done to address this issue?

 

ANSWER:

 

The Council has made a strong commitment to ‘appearance matters’ and has over 800 litter bins within the district. In preparation for the summer extra bulk bins have been added at several locations along the coast including Hythe.

 

I understand that the Waste Team have already contacted you with regard to the West Parade and have put in place additional arrangements for the emptying of the litter bins at that location, which have already made a difference. Beach cleaners are employed to reduce the risk of rubbish entering the sea and any remaining non-seagull proof bins at this location will be swapped out.

 

This will be kept under review to see if it resolves the issues raised. If not, subject to budgets, we will look to install more litter bins if needed.

 

I would add that this problem seems to have increased in lockdown.

 

SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION:

 

The waste team from Veolia have been excellent, and there hasn’t been a question unanswered. They are aware and engaged.  Obviously the risk of rubbish getting into the sea is the real problem. The promenade at West Parade is narrow, and the sea is close, and so the rubbish blows into the sea. What priority do you and the council place on preventing this disaster, which occurs on a daily basis?

 

ANSWER:

 

If the litter bins provided are used, then the problem goes away. Those that are open topped can empty out, and we are gradually replacing these with bins with flaps on to stop things blowing away. This is an ongoing situation.

 

2.       From Councillor J Martin (answered by Councillor Godfrey)

 

How can the severe congestion for walkers, runners, cyclists, push chairs, wheelchairs along the promenade in Hythe (same applies in Sandgate) be better managed?

 

ANSWER:

 

Exceptional weather such as experienced recently has always caused the promenade through Hythe and indeed Sandgate to be busier than normal and we have had very few previous complaints; however with social distancing requirements, a huge increase in visitors to the district and locals looking for activities to undertake we have seen a marked increase in use of the promenade.  The council recognises and understands that visitor levels are indeed higher than normal, but believes these will subdue as other facilities and leisure activities elsewhere re-open. Having said this, FHDC officers are working with KCC to refresh the cycle lanes and put other measures in place (such as signs asking cyclists to dismount during busy periods) where they would be effective. This will be kept under review moving forward.  We would like to hope that those using the promenade respect those signs, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.