Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday 16 May 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Items
No. Item

25.

Election of chair

Cllr Shaun Parsons, the outgoing Chair, will address the Council.

 

To elect the Chair of the Council for the 2018-19 civic year.

 

Following the election, the Chair will make the Declaration of Acceptance of Office, sign the Roll of Members as Chair and address the Council.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Shaun Parsons thanked members and officers for their support over the last year.  He made special mention of Michelle Pidgeon in Democratic Services, who had provided day-to-day support to him in his role as Chairman, and Cllr Andrew Gravells, his Vice-chairman, for the support that he had provided over the course of the year.  He said that it had been a great privilege to represent the Council at events across the county. He referred to a number of events he had attended and made special mention of the rededication of the Wayside Cross in South Woodchester, a memorial service organised by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and the regular Citizenship Ceremonies.

 

Cllr Parsons invited nominations for the position of Chair of Council for 2018-19. Cllr Andrew Gravells was proposed and seconded. 

 

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, requested that in future years consideration be given to sharing the position of Chair of the Council with the opposition groups.

 

There being no other nominations, it was:

 

RESOLVED that Cllr Andrew Gravells be elected as Chairman of Council for the 2018-19 civic year.

 

Cllr Gravells made the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and signed the Roll of Members as Chairman.

 

Cllr Gravells thanked members for their support.  He stated that he had enjoyed his year as Vice-chairman supporting Cllr Parsons.  He asked members to work with him in managing full Council meetings.  He hoped that members would be courteous to each other and refrain from shouting across the chamber.  He said that he preferred to be referred to as Chairman rather than Chair, although this was not a big issue for him.

 

He stated that he had been diagnosed with cancer just over two years ago and he had been treated by the Oncology Team at Cheltenham General Hospital.  He said that he hoped to raise funds to support their work during his year as Chairman.  He noted that an event was being planned with Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service in the late Summer and Cllr Pam Tracey had also offered to run a charity dinner.  He welcomed invitations from other members to attend events to raise funds.

26.

Election of vice-chair

To elect the Vice-chair of the Council for the 2018-19 civic year.

 

Following the election, the Vice-chair will make the Declaration of Acceptance of Office, sign the Roll of Members as Vice-chair and address the Council.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited nominations for Vice-chair of Council for the 2018-19 civic year.  Cllr Patrick Molyneux was proposed and seconded.

 

There being no other nominations, it was:

 

RESOLVED that Cllr Patrick Molyneux be appointed as Vice-chairman of Council for the 2018-19 civic year.

 

Cllr Molyneux made the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and signed the Roll of Members as Vice-chairman. 

 

Cllr Molyneux thanked members for their support and said that he was looking forward to his year as Vice-chairman. 

 

A member said that she was disappointed that a woman had not been put forward for either the position of chair or vice-chair.  She hoped that this would be addressed within the term of the Council.

27.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 28 March 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 28 March 2018 were confirmed and signed as a correct record subject to noting the following amendment at the top of page 6 (Motion 505 – New homes for rent):

 

‘In seconding the amendment (replacing motion), Cllr Moor advised that the Council was working closely with the Districts and improved its capacity for strategic development.’

28.

Declarations of Interest

Please declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or other interests that you may have relating to any relevant matters due to be discussed at the meeting.  You should do this by signing the form at the back of the Council Chamber and you may also make an oral declaration if you so wish.  If you become aware of an interest you have during the course of the meeting, you should declare it orally at the time you become aware of it and sign the form at the back of the Chamber at the end of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

A copy of the declarations of interest is attached to the signed copy of the minutes.

29.

Announcements

a)    Street lighting

The street lighting service in partnership with its service provider for street lighting (Skanska) will be presenting an update on the LED replacement project. The display will include the benefits of LED to the Council, progress to date and a programme for completion.

 

b)    Growing our Community Fund

Council officers will be on hand over the lunch break to answer members’ questions on the new Growing our Community Fund.  Information on the fund has already been published in Members’ Matter.

 

c)    ICT support

            Staff from ICT will be on hand over the lunch break to provide advice to

members.

 

d)    Member development

The following events have so far been arranged for May to July 2018. Please refer to Members’ Matter for venues and timings.

·      Business Rates Retention Scheme – 18 May

·      Dementia awareness – 23 May

·      Member essentials (Standards and Conduct) – 25 May

·      Children’s Services one year on – 5 June

·      SkillZone and Gloucester South Fire Station – 14 June

·      Adults Single Programme – 18 July

 

Minutes:

a)    Street lighting

During the lunch break, officers from the Street Lighting Service and Skanska, the Council’s service provider, would be available outside the Council Chamber to provide an update on the LED replacement project.

 

b)    Growing our Community Fund

Council officers would be on hand over the lunch break to answer members’ questions on the Growing our Community Fund.  Information on the fund had already been published in Members’ Matter.

 

c)    ICT support

Staff from ICT would be available over the lunch break to provide advice to

members.

 

d)    Member development

The Chairman informed members that the following events had so far been arranged for May to July 2018.

·      Business Rates Retention Scheme – 18 May

·      Dementia awareness - 23 May

·      Member essentials (Standards and Conduct) – 25 May

·      Children’s Services one year on – 5 June

·      SkillZone and Gloucester South Fire Station – 14 June

·      Adults Single Programme – 18 July

 

e)    International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBT)

On 17 May 2018, the Chairman advised that the County Council’s staff group PRISM would be painting the front steps of Shire Hall in rainbow colours as a visual message that the Council was a supporting and accepting employer.

 

f)     British Academy Television and Film Awards (BAFTAs)

The Council congratulated Daisy May Cooper and her brother, Charlie Cooper, on their success at the BAFTAs.  Their comedy series ‘This Country’ had won two awards at the prestigious event in London on 13 May 2018.

30.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.

 

To answer any written public 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, 9 May 2018. Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Stephen Bace (email stephen.bace@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

 

Questions received and proposed responses do not accompany this agenda but will be available prior to the meeting.

Minutes:

Five questions had been received.  A copy of the answers was circulated and is attached to the signed copy of the minutes.

 

The following supplementary questions were asked:

 

Question 2 – Max Wilkinson asked whether the Cabinet Member would commit to reviewing youth provision where there had been reductions since 2012. In addition he asked whether he would send a letter to government suggesting more funding for community policing.

 

Cllr Richard Boyles stated that the Police and Crime Commissioner had an input into the Youth Support Teams work. He provided examples of activities provided in Gloucestershire, in particular in Cheltenham such as youth outreach locations throughout the summer and sports projects. Over 6,000 young people benefited from youth activities.  He suggested that members should engage with and understand what was on offer in local communities.

 

 

Question 3 – Max Wilkinson asked whether the Cabinet Member could confirm that of the £150 million investment into highways, none of that would be spent in Cheltenham over the next year.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith stated that this was incorrect. He emphasised the large investment being made into highways in Gloucestershire, including for example improvements to Tewkesbury Road, and stated that the detail could be provided through a conversation with local highways managers.

 

 

Question 4 – Max Wilkinson stated that the answer to his question reflected a lack of ambition around connections within the county through bus, coach and train connections. He commented on the ‘Oxford, Milton Keynes, Cambridge Corridor’ and noted that this stopped close to the Gloucestershire boundary. He asked whether the Council was looking at joining up.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor stated that the opportunity to consider options would be in the review of the Local Transport Plan later in the year. He stated that Vision 2050 provided the opportunity to look at adjoining areas and expand on plans.

 

31.

Political balance and appointment of members pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To make the following appointments:

 

a)     Committees, Pensions Board, Fostering Panel and Police and Crime Panel.

b)     Chairs of the overview and scrutiny committees including the Audit and Governance Committee.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered appointments to the committees, Pension Board, Fostering Panel and Police and Crime Panel. 

 

Cllr Lesley Williams, Leader of the Labour and Green Cooperative Alliance, advised that Cllr Steve Robinson would fill the vacant position for the group on the Safety and Licensing Committee.

 

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, noted that the Local Government Association (LGA) had recently undertaken a study of the effectiveness of scrutiny within local government.  The study had identified that there was too much influence from ruling groups.  With the LGA Peer Challenge coming up for the Council, he believed that the ruling Conservative Group should show that it was open and accountable by allowing opposition members to chair some of the overview and scrutiny committees. He said that he was not in any way criticising the current scrutiny chairs but it was an issue of fairness and ensuring proper representation for the people of Gloucestershire. 

 

Cllr Lesley Williams supported Cllr Hodgkinson in calling for opposition chairs for the overview and scrutiny committees. She said that this approach looked healthier and encouraged a critical friend approach.

 

Referring to the Audit and Governance Committee, Cllr Hodgkinson stated that an agreement had been reached between the opposition groups that Cllr Brian Oosthuysen would continue as chair of the committee for 2018-19 and the Liberal Democrat Group would nominate a member to be chair in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, the Leader of the Council and Leader of the Conservative Group, noted the excellent work undertaken by the scrutiny committees over the last year. He said that scrutiny at the Council had been acknowledged nationally as best practice.  He could see no reason to make changes to the chairs of the overview and scrutiny committees who had performed so successfully over the last year.  

 

A member questioned whether the Council’s Constitution allowed the Vice-chair of Council to be nominated as Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee.  The Monitoring Officer advised that there was nothing in the Constitution which prevented a member from taking up both positions.

 

The following members were nominated as chairs for the overview and scrutiny committees:

 

·         Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee – Cllr Jeremy Hilton and Cllr Patrick Molyneux

·         Children and Families – Cllr Chris Coleman and Cllr Brian Robinson

·         Economic Growth – Cllr Kate Haigh and Cllr Dave Norman

·         Environment and Communities – Cllr Rob Bird and Cllr Dr John Cordwell

·         Health and Care – Cllr Carole Allaway Martin and Cllr Iain Dobie

·         Audit and Governance – Cllr Brian Osthuysen

 

RESOLVED

 

a)      To appoint members to the committees, Pensions Board, Fostering Panel and Police and Crime Panel as indicated in Appendix 1 to the minutes. Changes to the membership are highlighted in shaded text.

 

b)      To appoint the following members as chairs of the overview and scrutiny committees:

Overview and Scrutiny Management          Cllr Patrick Molyneux

Children and Families                                   Cllr Brian Robinson

Economic Growth                                           Cllr Dave Norman

Environment and Communities                   Cllr Rob Bird

Health and Care                                             Cllr Carole  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Report from Cllr Richard Boyles, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People.

Minutes:

Cllr Richard Boyles, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, presented the report. 

He thanked interim Director of Children’s Services, Alison Williams, for moving across from Prospects to lead Children’s Services over the last year.  Other members recognised that it had been a particularly difficult period following the Ofsted inspection and they thanked Alison for her efforts.

Cllr Boyles advised that an event on Children in Care had been organised for members on 3 July from 10am to 12pm in the Council Chamber.  He encouraged as many members as possible to attend.

RESOLVED to note the report.

33.

Petitions

To receive petitions presented by members without discussion.

Minutes:

No petitions were received from members.

34.

Motions

The Council’s Constitution provides for a maximum of two hours for debate on motions.  At the end of the two hour period, those members who have already indicated their intention to speak on the motion being debated at that time will be allowed to speak, the mover of the motion will be asked to sum-up and the vote will be taken.

 

As part of the constitution changes approved at the full Council meeting on 14 February 2018, the time limit for member speeches has been reduced from five to three minutes and the time limit for proposing a motion has been reduced from 10 to five minutes.

 

The following motions were received by the closing date of 9 May 2018: 

 

Motion 809 – Gloucestershire roads

Proposed by Cllr Joe Harris

Seconded by Cllr Iain Dobie

 

This Council notes the huge challenge facing our authority in fixing the massive backlog of potholes across Gloucestershire.

 

This Council welcomes all investment into Gloucestershire’s roads after all parties locally pledged to invest more into the County’s roads at the last election.

 

The Council recognises, however, that it won’t be nearly enough to fix Gloucestershire’s broken roads network, the cost of which is estimated to be £80 million.

 

The Council further notes that the treasury makes over £30 billion every year through Vehicle Excise Duty (Road Tax) and Fuel Duty but only about £10bn of this is reinvested back in to roads across the UK.

 

We therefore call on the Government to increase the amount it spends on roads maintained by councils across the UK and to ensure that a greater proportion of road tax is actually spent on roads. We also instruct the Leader of Council to write to the Secretary of State for Transport and the County’s six MPs outlining this Council’s position.

 

 

Motion 810 – Gambling-related harm

Proposed by Cllr Kate Haigh

Seconded by Cllr Jeremy Hilton

 

This Council notes that:

·         Gambling is a legitimate leisure activity enjoyed by many, and that the majority who gamble do so with enjoyment and without exhibiting problematic behaviour.

·         It is estimated there are around 373,000 problem gamblers in England and 1.7 million individuals classified as being at-risk of problem gambling.

·         For problem-gamblers, harm can include higher levels of physical and mental illness, debt problems, relationship and family breakdown, substance misuse and criminality.

·         The cost of problem gamblers to the public purse was between £250 million and £1.2 billion per year.

This Council further notes that:

·         ‘Protecting the most vulnerable people in our county’ is one of the priorities set out in our Council Strategy.

·         The Gambling Commission briefing paper on ‘Gambling-related harm as a public health issue’ published February 2018 states, ‘whilst public health is not listed as a responsible authority under the [Gambling] Act [2005], [the Gambling Commission] consider that they have an important strategic role in informing the way that licensing authorities carry out their gambling responsibilities’

·         Local Authorities with licensing responsibilities are required to publish a Statement of Principles as part of  ...  view the full agenda text for item 34.

Minutes:

Motion 809 – Gloucestershire roads

Cllr Joe Harris proposed and Cllr Iain Dobie seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Harris said that the state of the county’s roads were shameful with Cycling UK identifying Gloucestershire as having some of the worst condition roads in the country.  Many drivers were suffering financial loss through the damage caused by potholes.  The position was even more serious for cyclists and motorcyclists who could be seriously injured or even killed if they hit a pothole or swerved to avoid one.  He believed that the safety of road users should be the number one priority for the Government.  He stated that close to £40 billion was raised through vehicle excise duty and fuel duty but only £10 billion was reinvested in the highway network.  He called upon the Government to allocate more money for the maintenance of the road network.

 

Cllr Dobie advised that the poor condition of the roads had been the number one issue raised by residents during the recent Cheltenham BC election campaign. He said that the state of the roads was a national disgrace and the reason why they were in such poor condition was that not enough money was being spent on maintaining them.  A recent report indicated that the condition of roads in the UK were worse than Chile, Cyprus and Oman.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith proposed and Cllr Mark Hawthorne seconded the following amendment (see the deleted words and the new text highlighted):

 

This Council notes the huge challenge facing our authority in fixing the massive backlog of potholes across Gloucestershire.

This Council notes the huge challenge facing our authority in fixing the £120 million highways backlog across Gloucestershire inherited by the Conservative administration in 2005.

 

This Council welcomes all investment into Gloucestershire’s roads after all parties locally pledged to invest more into the County’s roads at the last election.

This Council’s strategy since inheriting this backlog has significantly reduced the £120 million to an estimated £80 million. It therefore welcomes all investment into Gloucestershire’s roads including the Conservative election pledge of a further £150 million over the next 5 years.

 

The Council recognises, however, that it won’t be nearly enough to fix Gloucestershire’s broken roads network, the cost of which is estimated to be £80 million.

We further note that since 2009 Gloucestershire has benefited from £222 million of Department of Transport capital funding and nearly £50 million of major structures funding.

 

The Council further notes that the treasury makes over £30 billion every year through Vehicle Excise Duty (Road Tax) and Fuel Duty but only about £10bn of this is reinvested back in to roads across the UK.

It notes however that national roads receive 52 times more funding from Government than councils’ local roads. It further notes the Local Government Association’s (LGA) call on the Government to deliver a new strategy to provide a fully-funded plan for the growing number of vehicles on the nation’s road by reinvesting 2% per litre of existing fuel  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Member Questions pdf icon PDF 153 KB

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, 9 May 2018. Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Stephen Bace (email stephen.bace@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

 

Questions received and proposed responses do not accompany this agenda but will be available prior to the meeting.

Minutes:

Question 1 – Cllr Iain Dobie advised that appeared that the Managing Director at Gloucester City Council was subsidised by the County Council. Would the same be available to Cheltenham Borough Council?

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne stated that the joint work with the City Council was going well on a number of fronts and provided an example of the co-location of public sector offices and sharing of other land assets. He said that he would be happy to undertake more shared projects with Cheltenham if they wanted a proper conversation.

 

Question 2 – Referring to the individual collecting litter who was mentioned in his question, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked what the Cabinet Member would do to ensure that the people of Gloucestershire were not hindered from volunteering to help.

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou commended the individual for her public spiritedness and that the advice would be to liaise with Cotswold District Council. It was important to have processes in place and be clear around the margins of responsibility.

 

 

Question 3 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked why the Government had set a new threshold for earnings at £7,400 per annum for free school lunches in Gloucestershire but had set it at £14,000 in Northern Ireland?

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe stated that he suspected that the decision was a devolved one in Northern Ireland. He stated that the Government had reconfirmed the position through to 2022 and that this was good news.

 

 

Question 4 – Cllr Joe Harris asked the Cabinet Member to commit to securing resurfacing schemes for highways in Cirencester over the next 12 months.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith explained that there were a major surface dressing programme in Cirencester and highways local money could also be used. He asked that the member sit down with their local highways manager to understand what was planned. He explained that any further concerns could be picked up by the Senior Highways Manager after the meeting.

 

 

Question 5 – Cllr Joe Harris explained that residents were frustrated that it was unclear which residents had a parking permit. He asked whether the Cabinet Member would come and talk with him and traffic officers and understand the difficulties on the ground.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor replied that he did not recognise the problem and had previously stated that he was more than happy to work with the member. He had consulted with the provider and in their view there was no benefit in the paper permits. By introducing digital permits, the provider had been able to reduce the charge to residents. 

 

 

Question 6 – Cllr Joe Harris  asked why the Cabinet Member felt that there was a perception that parking enforcement was not good enough.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor stated that this was just a perception and that the member had received details of the number of parking tickets being issued.

 

 

Question 7 – Cllr Joe Harris asked whether the Cabinet Member would consider referring the issue around Fabricated Induced Illness to Children and Families Scrutiny?

 

Cllr Richard Boyles stated that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Audit and Governance Committee Annual Report pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Cllr Brian Oosthuysen to present the annual report which was considered at the committee meeting on 6 April 2018.

Minutes:

The Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee, Cllr Brian Oosthuysen, stated that it had been a busy year for the committee with members considering the usual reports relating to the statement of accounts, governance statement, risk management, complaints, freedom of information and member code of conduct.  He recognised the work undertaken by officers to ensure that the Council’s finances and overall governance were in good shape. He thanked Jo Walker, Jane Burns and Theresa Mortimer for the support they provided to the committee.  He also paid tribute to the officers who worked hard behind the scenes, in Council departments such as Finance, Audit, Complaints and Information Management, to keep the Council on track.

 

He stated that besides the committee’s usual reports, members had looked at a number of other areas during the last year including the Council’s new Whistleblowing Policy, new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and an external audit report on the Pension Fund.

 

He thanked members of the committee for their efforts during the year.  He noted that ongoing training was particularly important and he was pleased that committee members had attended sessions to help their understanding of the statement of accounts, annual governance statement and treasury management. 

 

A member suggested that the annual report should include more detailed information on the committee’s activities. This would provide an opportunity to highlight outcomes from the committee’s work including the action taken where particular issues had been identified.

 

Cllr Oosthuysen agreed that the report could be fuller and assured the member that this would be addressed in future years. 

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

37.

Cabinet Decision Statement pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To consider the Cabinet Decision Statement for the meeting held on 18 April 2018.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Cabinet Decision Statement for the meeting held on 18 April 2018.

 

Referring to the Cabinet decision on waste transfer, a member enquired whether the cost of delivering residual waste to Javelin Park had been taken account of in evaluating the scheme.  Cllr Nigel Moor, the Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure, said that it was not an issue of concern as a financial reserve was in place to cover the cost.

 

Answering a question relating to the Community and Adult Skills Programme, Cllr Lynden Stowe, the Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Growth, advised that the Skills and Funding Agency provided funds on an annual basis.  He understood that the funding for the Council would be the same in 2019-20 as in 2018-19.

 

RESOLVED to note the Cabinet Decision Statement for 18 April 2018.

38.

Individual Cabinet Member Decision Statements pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To consider the Cabinet Member Decision Statements for the period 1 March to 30 April 2018.

 

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Individual Cabinet Decision Statements for the period 1 March to 30 April 2018.

 

RESOLVED to note the Statement of Individual Cabinet Member Decisions for the period 1 March to 30 April 2018.

39.

Calendar of meetings pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To approve the calendar of meetings for 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED to approve the calendar of meetings for 2019.