There were ten member questions. The questions and responses were published as a supplement to the agenda.
With regards to his first questions Will Forster queried what this said about Surrey’s influence or lack of influence with the government and if the governments levelling up agenda could mean levelling down places like Surrey. The Leader responded saying that he did not believe this said anything about Surrey’s level of influence. Surrey had good representation from Surrey MPs and had received positive response to our expression of interest. Surrey had not been chosen for the pilot but Surrey would continue with representations.
With regards to his first question, Lance Spencer queried if there was a timescale for the green fleet strategy. The Cabinet Member for Environment said that there was no date at the moment but would be meeting with the Green Fleet Manager in the first week of January. The Cabinet Member invited the member to one of her member surgeries where the matter could be discussed further. With regards to his second supplementary questions, Lance Spencer asked if there had been any response from the Cabinet Ministers. The Cabinet Member for Environment explained there had been no response as of yet but would share the response once it had come through and was happy to share the letters that had been sent to them.
With regards to Lance Spencer’s question regarding mental health waiting lists, the Cabinet Member for Children and Families confirmed that the average waiting time from referral to the start of assessment was 147 days and at the beginning of this month there were 1512 children and young people waiting between referral and assessment. It was explained that the number of young people that were coming forward for assessment was higher than was expected and as a result of that, Mindworks Surrey had taken on additional capacity and extended contracts with external partners to help to deal with that number of young people and reduce the time that families are waiting.
With regards to her member question Catherine Baart asked if it was possible to have a copy of the travel plan which came up with the recommendations. The member also mentioned that there were very few public buses that travelled up Cockshot Hill to Reigate Station and when a daily shuttle bus was established if this would also be open to members of the public to use. The Leader stated that he was happy to share the travel plan. The plan was to introduce an on demand bus service which was being piloted in Mole Valley and would be open to the public but this would depend on whether this was being provided by a community transport provider or not which the Leader would need to check.
With regards to his member question, Jonathan Essex stated that the Cabinet Member’s response mentioned a retrofit of homes and asked if there was a stocktake of Surrey housing underway across the county. The Cabinet Member for Environment explained that there was data which had been pulled together by Atkins although the robustness of this data had been questioned and as a result more work has been asked to be done on this. The Cabinet Member explained that one of the priorities was how the council worked with the rented sector in order to drive retrofits through as this was probably going to be one of the hardest areas to drive going forward. Jonathan Essex explained that some of the London boroughs were working together to deal with high rise building retrofits.