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April Report from Cllr Penny Otton

25 April 2018

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New Chief Executive announced

Suffolk County Council has appointed a new chief executive, Nicola Beach, following a unanimous recommendation by the authority’s Staff Appointments Committee and decision by the full council. Nicola, who is currently executive director of infrastructure and environment at Essex County Council, will join SCC this summer.
Respublica commissioned to examine options for public sector reform in Suffolk

Cllr Noble, Leader of Suffolk County Council, announced that he has commissioned Respublica to look at public sector reform in Suffolk. The think-tank will examine the current arrangements for public service delivery in Suffolk and will report back on the merits of making a bid to the government for a reformed system.
The review will look once again at the possibility of a unitary county council in Suffolk. However, Cllr Noble has also insisted that other options will be considered, such as East and West Suffolk unitaries, an option including a Greater Ipswich unitary council, or enhancing the existing two-tier system.
County and district/borough councillors were not consulted, and the announcement has not been well-received by the leaders of Ipswich Borough Council and Waveney District Council. The review is expected to cost £68,000.

Potholes – funding boost and rise in insurance claims

Potholes continue to be a key issue for councillors and residents alike. There are two significant updates this month:
Suffolk County Council receives cash boost to deal with potholes
Following the bad weather in February and March, Suffolk County Council has received £2.5m of additional funding from the Government to help with road repairs.
Rise in insurance claims against Suffolk County Council
Insurance claims against Suffolk County Council due to “carriageway surface defects”, such as potholes, have risen in recent years, from 363 in 2013 to 647 in 2017. A total of 2239 claims were made in this five-year period, but 84.7% of these were successfully defended by the council. Despite this, between 2013 and 2017, Suffolk County Council paid out £226,432 in compensation and legal fees.

Suffolk Waste Partnership awarded £10,000

The Suffolk Waste Partnership has been awarded £10,000 from the Government’s Litter Innovation Fund, to run innovative local projects aimed at reducing litter.

The SWP plans to use the funding to:
Trial new style litter bins at key layby locations and improve labelling and signage of litter bins along the A11, A12 and A14 in Suffolk.
Trial new remote monitoring technology to help councils coordinate litter bin emptying more efficiently and effectively.
Ensure that any person taken to court and convicted for a littering offence anywhere in Suffolk is named and shamed publicly.
Run an awareness campaign to remind residents and visitors alike about the issues and the consequences of littering.
Educate residents and businesses about how to prevent their waste inadvertently escaping their control and ending up as litter.

MIDSUFFOLK;

The leaders of Mid Suffolk and Babergh have agreed to postpone the proposal to merge the 2 councils; interesting that this came after Cllr Nobles decision to review councils in Suffolk!!

COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY (CIL) ; the council is re-drawing up policies to deal with CIL payments. I am concerned that there will be no appeals process or that no public will be allowed to address the cabinet when any decisions are made