Agenda item

Public Questions and Petitions

To receive any questions or petitions from members of the public.


(NOTE: There is a time limit of up to 30 minutes for the above item of business. In accordance with the arrangements published on the Council’s website, questions/petitions at the meeting are required to be submitted in writing, to, by 9.00 a.m. on Thursday 21st September 2023).




A petition was received from Sarah Saunderson who did not attend the meeting. The Chair read out the petition details which were as follows:


P: We the undersigned petition the council to either allow daily access for the public to the buildings in Meersbrook park (building at top with carpark, or pavillion at the bottom) to allow them to use the toilet facilities there or provide public toilets near the playground either in the form of permanent or a couple well maintained portaloos.


The park is heavily used by parents and families and many others who just can't make it back up the big hill when caught out and can't afford to go to a cafe and buy something just to use the toilet.
It would be a huge asset which would be appreciated by all. Even if just allowed to use one toilet in the building at the top. There's nothing worse than busting for the loo but not being able to go due to screaming children who won't leave the playground fast enough so you can make it.

There's a toilet in the walled garden that can only be accessed at times when it is opened to the public, there are toilets I'm the other building but we can't access them.


The Chair responded with:

R: Thank you for your petition regarding toilets in Meersbrook Park. Toilets are an important part of green spaces as we know that they facilitate people being able to visit our green spaces and potentially stay longer than they might otherwise. We are reviewing the arrangements in Meersbrook Park, in our different areas and buildings, to see whether there are options to provide toilet facilities more regularly in the park. We hope this will be possible, but need to make sure that we can do so safely.

Cllr Marieanne Elliot commented on this petition and said she was happy to support the petitioner and contact her as the ward Councillor.



Questions were received from Janet Smith who did not attend the meeting. The Chair read out the question on their behalf and gave responses which were as follows:


The main grassed areas of Hillsborough Park – not just the main large field – remain fenced off and are likely to remain so for several weeks. This means that a large part of the park will have been inaccessible to the public for over 3 months. SCC have already confirmed that Tramlines will take place in Hillsborough Park in July 2024, “because Tramlines operates on an 18-month cycle”.


Q1. Are there currently any limits - in terms of the level of damage, the area affected, and how long the area remains inaccessible whilst remedial work is done – to how much damage an event can do to a park before that and similar events are stopped from happening in the future?

A1. No, there is no limit as this is hard to quantify. However, the council has given its commitment to learning lessons from this year’s event and not allowing this level of damage to happen again.


Q2. If no such limits exist, will they be put in place before Tramlines 2024?

A2. Please see answer to 1. In addition, our strategy for 2024 will be prevention, rather than rectifying after the event.


Q3. If limits were in place, and Tramlines breached these limits in 2024 or subsequent years, would the need to give Tramlines 18 months’ notice mean that the festival could take place for a further year, irrespective of the damage caused?

A3. This is a hypothetical question that cannot be directly answered because limits are not in place. Tramlines have an obligation to rectify damage at their own costs and they have fulfilled these obligations.


Questions were received from Andy Chaplin who did not attend the meeting. The Chair read out the question on their behalf and gave responses which were as follows:


Q1. By agreeing to Tramlines in Hillsborough Park the council is approving 16 days of construction and generator noise then 3 days of music at 75dB. What does the council – not Tramlines – give back to the residents of Hillsborough in compensation for this disruption? A1. As with any major event, there is unavoidable disruption and the council works closely with its event partners, in this case Tramlines, to reduce disruption as far as possible for residents. Of the customers who attended the 2023 event, over the 3 days, 16.5% had an address registered in the S6 area; this is in addition to those who received tickets through the resident’s scheme, meaning over 8,000 people attended from the Hillsborough area. In 2023, 1614 free or discounted tickets were distributed, an increase of 16% from 2022, at a cost of £171,440 to the festival. Since its move to Hillsborough, Tramlines has donated over £560,000 worth of tickets to the Hillsborough residents. Tramlines has parking schemes in place to mitigate disruption to residents, holds resident drop-in sessions and also provides a dedicated resident’s web page.


Q2. Will the Council increase the fee for Tramlines to use Hillsborough Park by £200k per year given that Tramlines could easily recoup that on ticket prices as these sell out well in advance of the event?

A2. The fee is and will be negotiated on a commercial basis and in consideration of other similar events.


Q3. Will the Council also increase the fee by a further £150k on the basis that Tramlines could recoup that by not giving away residents’ tickets?

A3. The council would not advocate for Tramlines ending the resident ticket scheme as this helps to mitigate some of the disruption felt by local residents.


Q4. Will the council insist on re-entry in order to boost the economic benefit to the local economy?

A4. We know that some people who go to Tramlines need to re-enter the festival. In 2022, 929 requested to re-enter, 916 were granted and 13 were denied. In 2023 the number of requests dropped to 587 and 12 were denied