Report of the Strategic Director of Housing, Environment and Healthy Communities
The Committee received a report providing a full update on the current and planned programme of improvement of green spaces in Gateshead.
It was reported that the Committee had received an introductory report outlining the areas and themes that would be covered in detail within the report. The Committee received a breakdown of the current and planned programme of improvements, this information was also appended to the report for information.
The Committee acknowledged the importance of green spaces within the borough; it was noted that there had been increased usage of such space throughout the pandemic.
A discussion took place on the use and definition of allotments; it was confirmed that plots allocated as an allotment must be 75% cultivated with the remaining 25% being used for related storage. A comment was made noting that there are some allotment plots being misused across Gateshead; the Committee noted frustration that there are many people on the waiting list for an allotment whilst many of those currently being used are being left in disrepair or being used wholly for storage.
Officers advised the Committee that a new allotments officer had been appointed to the Council; it was highlighted that this role had been established to ensure that allotment space across Gateshead is being used appropriately. It was noted that the allotments officer would also be conducting a review of the current waiting list.
The Committee also discussed the use and maintenance of cycle paths within Gateshead. It was noted that information relating to cycle routes within Gateshead can be accessed online via the Go Active website.
A question was raised on the use of TTRO’s at Riverside Park to control traffic; it was confirmed that event organisers bear the cost for these when they are used. It was asked whether alternative powers could be used instead of TTRO’s, such as Police powers; officers advised that it is dependent on the nature of the event as to whether the Police would support with a road closure or the diversion of traffic. It was further noted that TTRO’s are most appropriate for events planned in advance.
A further question was asked regarding the
environmental investment scheme as detailed within the report. It
was highlighted that all Councillors had received a briefing on the
matter earlier in the year. The Committee were advised that seven
new members of staff had been appointed with a foreman to clear up
‘unloved’ areas of land across Gateshead. It was
confirmed that this team would also be deployed to support in the
removal of fly tipping.
It was asked what flood alleviation works are in pace at Eslington Park; officers advised that they would provide an update on this at a future meeting once more details are established.
The Committee enquired about the Council’s use of volunteers to support with the maintenance of open and green spaces, the Committee also acknowledged the success of asset transfers, particularly to those who use Gateshead’s bowling greens. It was stated that the Council’s neighbourhoods and volunteering service are proactive in recruiting volunteers for various roles to support the Council.
(i) The Committee considered and noted the updates provided within the report.
(ii) The Committee agreed to receive further updates at a future meeting.