Agenda item

Public Question Time

Public questions of which due notice has been given and which are relevant to the business of the Cabinet.


The Chief Executive reported that Ms Shirley Sheppard had registered to ask a question in respect of Agenda Item 10, Demolition of the Futurist Theatre, adjoining buildings and stabilisation of the cliff.  The questions with corresponding answers (in bold) provided by Councillor Cockerill are set out below.

Questions part 1

The final cost for the demolition of the Futurist Theatre and adjoining buildings including stabilisation is £3.913m, howeverthere is no full breakdown of these costs within the report.

  1. Which councillors have been presented with the comprehensive breakdown of this latest full cost?
  2. If so when did they receive this? 

A cost summary was presented to the Major Project Board on 9 October 2017 which Councillor Cockerill attended.  Since then, this information had been shared with all Cabinet Members.

  1. In the aim of openness and transparency would Cabinet please advise SBC that nearby residents have a copy of this breakdown immediately, so as to be able to compare it with previous costs before any decision is made? 
  2. If Cabinet deems this unallowable, can they defend the late publication of this document which does not allow one time to apply through the necessary ‘freedom of information’ channels.

We believe this to be of utmost importance as in previous tables many costs were not included in the main breakdown.

The detailed costs remain commercially sensitive. However, we accept that the design is of most importance to nearby residents and businesses, hence the consultation events which have taken place including through the planning process.

  1. Have councillors been presented with the possible costs of these things not included?
  2. If so what is the total of these costs?

All costs for the demolition and stabilisation works are included.  There are no known other costs.

  1. Have preliminary costs that have already been incurred been included in this £3.9m breakdown?

Yes, they have.

  1. Does this cost breakdown still include the cost saving, but noisy, plan of ‘crushing on site’ instead of using the old gas works site?


  1. If so is the cabinet aware that these so called low noise crushers are ‘outside the jurisdiction of noise controls’?

The contractor will be required to comply with all noise control legislation.

  1. Can this cutting of costs be justified when around 60 residences will be affected by this noise?

Yes, as during the finalisation of any scheme my officers work with prospective contractors to see if there are benefits of any kind – financial, time, disruption etc- which can be achieved by the decision to keep the crushing on site.

 Questions part 2

The risk matrix states that claims for compensation for damage to buildings from adjacent owners is  C3- Likely of medium impact.

  1. Are the councillors aware of which properties have been included in the ‘Schedule of condition of properties’   to be conducted?
  2. My business at 9 Blands Cliff has received  notification, but our home at number 6, only 20m further up the cliff has not.
  3. Due to the stacking nature of all of the buildings up the steep Cliff, does the cabinet think this is a fair appraisal of the properties that will be affected?

It is the contractor, experienced in such work, who decided which properties are visited.  Further consultations have been undertaken through the planning process.

Questions part 3

The risk matrix states in 5.12.16 Disruption to sea front businesses caused by demolition programme over a full year  is. A3- Very Low of medium impact

  1. Why have the two business at the bottom end of Blands Cliff not been include? (They are at more risk as with such activity and noise visitors are very unlikely to want to walk up the cliff, or visit premises close to the noise).

The two properties were either issued with a party wall notice or invited to a drop-in session.  However, the risk register will be changed to state disruption to ‘neighbouring’ businesses as well.