Venue: Council Chamber - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions
To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2017.
The minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2017 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
Please declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or personal interests that you may have relating to any specific matters which may be discussed at the meeting by signing the form that is available at the back of the Council Chamber. Completing this form will be acceptable as a declaration, but members may also declare the interest orally if they so wish.
A copy of the declarations of interest is attached to the signed copy of the minutes.
a) Queen’s New Year Honours
To congratulate the people living in Gloucestershire who received awards as part of the Queen’s New Year Honours. The Chairman of the Council has written to the individuals included in the list attached to the agenda.
b) A417 ‘Missing Link’
Highways England is launching a consultation into options for the A417 ‘Missing Link’. Public consultation on the route options launches on 15 February and runs until 29 March 2018. There are a number of events taking place in the county, where information will be available along with an opportunity to speak to Highways England representatives about the project and the consultation.
c) ICT support
Staff from ICT will be on hand over the lunch break to provide advice to members.
a) Queen’s New Year Honours
The Chairman congratulated the people living in Gloucestershire who had received awards as part of the Queen’s New Year Honours. He said that he had written to the individuals included in the list attached to the agenda. He paid particular tribute to Dame Janet Trotter, the Lord Lieutenant, who had received the Royal Victoria Order for services to the Monarchy.
b) A417 ‘Missing Link’
The Chairman advised that Highways England was launching a consultation on the route options for the A417 ‘Missing Link’ on 15 February 2018.
c) Women’s suffrage at 100
The Chairman paid tribute to the Suffragette Movement 100 years on from the 1918 Representation of the People Act.
In paying their own tributes, Group Leaders recognised that although society had come a long way over the last 100 years there was still more to be done to ensure that all groups were represented fairly.
Fourteen public questions had been received. The following supplementary questions were asked:
Question 7 – David Willingham explained that concerned residents he represented wanted to know when plans would be brought forward to resolve parking issues in Cheltenham. He was concerned that there was no hint of a timescale for the analysis of survey results or for the rest of the work that needed to be carried out. He asked what date the survey results would be made public?
Cllr Nigel Moor explained that the information would be provided after ‘race-week’ as there were a number of changes the Council wished to consult on.
Question 8 – David Willingham asked why a better attempt hadn’t been made to engage with the public given local residents knowledge of parking problems. He suggested an open and transparent consultation.
Cllr Nigel Moor replied that there had been considerable engagement and that he had heard from many residents in Cheltenham. The Council was aware of the concerns and issues expressed.
Question 9 – David Willingham suggested that with regards to parking in Cheltenham, the Council had no vision, no strategy, plan or timescale for delivery. He asked whether the Council would commit to consultation and implementation of a funded town wide on-street parking strategy for Cheltenham.
Cllr Nigel Moor stated that it was important to look at the intrinsic problems and what worked for individual communities rather than a Cheltenham wide approach.
Question 11 – Max Wilkinson asked whether the Leader of the Council would take the opportunity to ask which members had attended the Conservative political fund raising event?
Cllr Mark Hawthorne responded by stating that he would not and that he did not have a broader list of attendees. He spoke about the success of the fund raiser.
Question 12 – Max Wilkinson expressed concern about a Conservative Government ‘starving the NHS of cash’, and he suggested that the Cheltenham MP was campaigning for a downgrade to Cheltenham General Hospital. His question related to how this would be perceived by onlookers.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne replied that NHS spending in the Country had increased year on year under a Conservative government.
Question 13 - Max Wilkinson referred to a ‘pot hole summit’ in 2015 attended by Cllr Vernon Smith and County Council officers. He asked that Cllr Vernon Smith confirm that he is politically responsible for fixing potholes in Cheltenham.
Cllr Vernon Smith stated that there was additional investment for re-surfacing highways within the budget proposals. He encouraged members to report any defects on Highways.
Report from Cllr Richard Boyles, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People.
Cllr Richard Boyles, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, referred to the issues facing children-in-care in terms of their healthcare. He provided information on the services that were in place including the introduction of dedicated children-in-care nurses from January 2018.
A member expressed concern that the recent press release on Children’s Services did not reflect the concerns expressed by Ofsted. He did not believe that members were being kept informed of developments and questioned whether the Improvement Board was working as it should be.
Cllr Boyles advised that regular reports were provided in Members’ Matter to ensure that all members were kept up-to-date on the latest developments. He assured the member that there was no complacency amongst the members of the Improvement Board or senior staff. He said that nothing was being hidden and the issues identified by Ofsted were being addressed.
Answering further questions, Cllr Boyles advised that all the agencies involved had signed up to a data sharing agreement. This meant there should be no delays in providing information as a result of the requirements of the Data Protection Act and related legislation. He said that efforts were being focused on the needs of individuals which followed the core principles of the NHS England pilot ‘My plan, my life’. He explained that the number of children in custody was falling and the Police were aware of the need for children to be dealt with in an appropriate manner with proper representation. He stated that he did not wish to interfere with the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner but the Council was prepared to provide support where necessary.
In light of the importance of the issue, two members called for oral updates on the Ofsted Improvement Plan to be made at each full Council meeting.
Cllr Brian Robinson, the Chairman of the Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee, advised that the committee looked at the Improvement Plan at each meeting with members given the opportunity to ask questions of the Cabinet Member.
Cllr Boyles said that he would seek guidance on the best approach to reporting to members in future.
RESOLVED to note the report.
Cllr Rachel Smith to present a petition from the No Monster Incinerator in Gloucestershire (NoMoinGlo) Group relating to public confidence in the Council.
To receive other petitions presented by members without discussion.
Cllr Rachel Smith presented a petition from the No Monster Incinerator in Gloucestershire (NoMoinGlo) Group relating to public confidence in the Council.
Cllr Joe Harris advised that he would shortly be receiving a petition relating to gritting routes in the Cotswold area.
Policy and Budget Framework - Medium Term Financial Strategy and the Council Strategy
The report before members included the Budget recommendations, Medium Term Financial Strategy, Council Strategy, Budget consultation report, Scrutiny Budget report and Due Regard Statement.
The Chief Executive explained the procedure that would be followed at the meeting for setting the budget. First, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of the Council, and Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, would be asked to present the budget recommendations from the Cabinet.
Second, in order to reach a position where a substantive motion could be debated, the other political groups would be invited to propose amendments to the budget but there would be no debate at that stage. This would be a departure from the normal procedure where only one amendment could be moved and discussed at any one time. The Chairman therefore proposed that under procedure rule 23.1 the following part of procedure rule 12.5 be suspended for the duration of the budget debate:
‘Only one amendment may be moved and discussed at any one time. No further amendment may be moved until the amendment under discussion has been dealt with.’
The Vice-chairman seconded the motion and, on being put to the vote, the motion was supported.
Once the amendments had been presented, the Chairman would call for an adjournment to provide an opportunity for the Group Leaders to reach a common position.
After the adjournment, the Leader of the Council would advise members of those areas where it had been possible to reach agreement. Any amendments which had not been accepted or withdrawn would then be presented by the groups, debated and voted upon.
Thereafter all members would have an opportunity to debate the budget in line with the normal rules of debate. At the end of the debate, the Leader of the Council would have the right of reply.
Finally, a recorded vote would be proposed from the Chairman on the substantive motion, seconded by the Vice-chairman.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, the Leader of the Council, and Cllr Ray Theodoulou, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, presented the recommendation from the Cabinet meeting held on 31 January 2018.
Cllr Hawthorne recognised that the financial position was challenging with reductions in grant funding at the same time that demand for services was increasing. He said that the extra income from Business Rates and additional grant funding announced by the Government in the final settlement was helping to protect the Social Care budgets. He publicly thanked members and officers for the work they had undertaken to put the building blocks in place to improve Children’s Services. He believed that there had been great strides but he recognised that there was a way to go in terms of improving social work practice and ensuring that there was a consistent approach across the county. The Children’s budget was being increased by 28% to allow the improvement process to continue.
Referring to the Council’s commitment on roads, he stated that £150 million would be invested over five years to keep the county ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.
To answer any written member questions about matters which are within the powers and duties of the County Council.
The closing date for receipt of questions is 10am on Wednesday, 7 February 2018. Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Stephen Bace (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Questions received and proposed responses do not accompany this agenda but will be circulated prior to the meeting.
Ten member questions had been received. The following supplementary questions were asked:
Question 2 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked, following the Emergency Services Collaboration Governance Board meeting, what new schemes were being planned with the Police and Crime Commissioner to share estates?
Cllr Nigel Moor stated that he would be happy to share with scrutiny members the collaboration arrangements that had been secured. Estates was one of the big areas to look at with a feasibility study being undertaken to identify the possibility of tri-service facilities at sites such as Cirencester.
Question 4 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked that a more detailed report be brought to scrutiny on prevention of drowning incidents, such as initiatives to warn people of the dangers of rivers and canals.
Cllr Nigel Moor stated that he would be happy to bring a report to scrutiny.
Question 6 - Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked, with the expected Home Office inspection of the Fire and Rescue Service in Spring 2019, would the Council be looking to take advantage of an LGA Peer Review.
In response, Cllr Nigel Moor stated that this was a sensible suggestion and it was a good opportunity to consult with the LGA prior to the inspection.
Question 9 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson stated that he had specifically asked for the total cost to the Council of the trip to China.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne explained that this question had been previously asked and that he would ask officers to direct Cllr Hodgkinson to the previously released answer which he believed was around £12,000.
Question 10 - Cllr Colin Hay referred to the ‘appalling state’ of the section of Cheltenham High Street from Rodney Road to Bath Road. He asked how much would it cost to reinstate that area of the High Street?
Cllr Vernon Smith stated that the total cost would be around £700,000 with the Council offering to put forward half the amount for the whole scheme to be delivered.
Cllr Patrick Molyneux, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, to present the scrutiny report.
In presenting the report, Cllr Patrick Molyneux, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, advised that the one day budget scrutiny session had worked well. He noted that some of the issues raised had influenced the budget recommendation put forward by the Cabinet. He said that an all member briefing would be arranged on the Business Rates Retention Pilot and the allocation of funding.
Referring to changes being made to the Road Safety Team, a member asked what the position was relating to the Drive for Life Programme and support for road safety liaison groups across the county.
RESOLVED to note the report.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of the Constitution Committee, to present the recommendations from the meeting held on 15 January 2018.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, the Chairman of the Constitution Committee, presented the recommendations from the meeting held on 15 January 2018.
10.1Recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP)
a) To increase the Special Responsibility Allowance for committee chairs and group leaders to £6,000 for the 2018-19 financial year.
b) To increase the Basic Allowance from £10,000 to £10,100 (1%) for the 2018-19 financial year.
c) To increase all other special responsibility allowances by 1% in line with the recommendation for the Basic Allowance.
d) To note the revised Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2018-19 at Annex C to the report.
10.2Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee
RESOLVED that the Constitution be amended, as set out in Annex D, to include the arrangement for the Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee to be drawn from outside the group or groups forming the administration.
10.3Urgent questions at Cabinet
RESOLVED that the Cabinet Procedural Rules in Section 9 of Part 4 of the Constitution be amended as indicated in Annex E to the report.
10.4Length of speeches for motions at Council
RESOLVED that Procedural Standing Orders in Section 12 of Part 4 of the Constitution be amended as indicated in annex F to the report.
10.5Monitoring Officer changes to the constitution
RESOLVED that the changes to the Constitution by the Monitoring Officer shown at Annexes G, H and I be ratified.
To consider the decision statements for the Cabinet meetings held on 13 December 2017 and 31 January 2018 including the recommendation from the meeting held on 31 January relating to the Minerals Local Plan.
Please refer to the agenda supplement for the report on the Minerals Local Plan presented to the Cabinet on 31 January 2018.
In presenting the recommendation from the Cabinet meeting held on 31 January 2018 relating to the Minerals Local Plan, Cllr Nigel Moor, the Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure, explained that the plan had been through a number of stages of consultation. Changes made in response to the consultation included the removal of two mineral extraction sites. He advised that there was no specific policy relating to the extraction of oil and gas but, in the unlikely event of an application, the position would be reviewed.
A final round of consultation would be undertaken before an Examination in Public took place later in the year. The cost of the Examination in Public was expected to be around £150,000 and funds were available in a dedicated reserve that had been set up for this purpose.
a) To note the Cabinet Decision Statements from the Cabinet meetings held on 13 December 2017 and 31 January 2018.
b) To note the consideration given to the consultation representations made to the draft Minerals Local Plan for Gloucestershire 2018–2032 and the proposed changes to the plan. Details of the representations made, the responses provided and proposed changes have been made available separately and can be review via the relevant County Council web pages accessed from: - http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/planning-and-environment/planning-policy/minerals-local-plan-for-gloucestershire
c) To approve the Minerals Local Plan for Gloucestershire 2018 –2032 (included at Appendix 1 to the report).
d) To authorise the Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure in consultation with Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure to make minor amendments to the Minerals Local Plan for Gloucestershire 2018 – 2032 (included at Appendix 1 to the report) and any accompanying documents prior to its publication in accordance with the requirements set out under Regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (England) (Local Planning) Regulations 2012.
e) To authorise the Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure to publish for inspection the Minerals Local Plan for Gloucestershire 2018 – 2032 in accordance with the requirements set out under Regulations 19 and 35 of the Town and Country Planning (England) (Local Planning) Regulations 2012.
f) To authorise the Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure to receive any representations made to the published Minerals Local Plan for Gloucestershire 2018 – 2032, to make any minor corrections and clarifications as necessary, and decide whether to submit the plan to the Secretary of State for independent examination.
g) To authorise the Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure in consultation with Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure to submit the Minerals Local Plan for Gloucestershire 2018 – 2032 and supporting information to the Secretary of State in accordance with the requirements set out under Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (England) (Local Planning) Regulations 2012.
h) To authorise the Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure to make all necessary arrangements and preparations for the independent examination for the Minerals Local ... view the full minutes text for item 11.
To consider the decision statements for the period 1 December 2017 to 31 January 2018.
RESOLVED to note the Individual Cabinet Decision Statements for the period 1 December 2017 to 31 January 2018.