Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday 28 November 2018 10.00 am

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

Items
No. Item

67.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 193 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting and Extraordinary Meeting, both held on 12 September 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Ordinary Meeting and Extraordinary Meeting,

both held on 12 September 2018 were signed as a correct record.

 

68.

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.

69.

Announcements

 

a)    First World War - 100 years

The Chairman to advise that he attended the Gloucester Cathedral Service on 11 November 2018 to commemorate the end of the First World War.

 

b)    Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) bed push

To congratulate GFRS on raising in excess of £21,000 for Gloucestershire Hospitals’ Oncology Department.

 

c)    100 years celebration

An event will be held at Shire Hall on 14 December 2018 to celebrate 100 years of suffrage.  Women from across the county will be invited to attend including a number who are more than 100 years old. 

 

d)    Prince of Wales

The Chairman to advise that he wrote to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on the occasion of his 70th birthday.  

 

e)    Council officers

To congratulate Jo on her appointment as the Chief Executive of North Somerset Council and to welcome Wayne Bowcock on his appointment as Chief Fire Officer. 

 

f)     Severe weather in the US

The Chairman to report that he has written to Sheriff Darell Warren of Gloucester County in Virginia following Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.

 

g)    Gloucestershire Music

The County Youth Orchestra, Duality Winds, Youth String Ensemble and Youth Wind Orchestra all performed in the impressive Birmingham Symphony Hall and Town Hall at the UK’s largest youth music festival.

 

h)   ICT support

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

 

Minutes:

a)    Jo Walker, Strategic Director: Finance and Section 151 Officer

The Chairman congratulated Jo Walker on her appointment as the Chief Executive of North Somerset Council.  He stated that Jo had joined the Council 30 years ago as a trainee accountant and quickly rose through the ranks as a result of her enthusiasm, hard work and ‘can do’ attitude.  He said that Jo could always be relied upon to give sound financial advice and he thanked her for everything that she had done for the Council.

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson and Cllr Lesley Williams each paid tribute to Jo and thanked her for the impartial advice that she gave to each political group.  They said that she would be greatly missed but they wished her well in her new role.

 

The Chairman presented Jo with a bouquet of flowers in recognition of her service to the Council.

 

b)    First World War - 100 years

The Chairman had attended the Gloucester Cathedral Service on 11 November 2018 to commemorate the end of the First World War.

 

c)    Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) bed push

The Chairman congratulated GFRS on raising in excess of £21,000 for Gloucestershire Hospitals’ Oncology Department.

 

d)    100 years celebration

An event would be held at Shire Hall on 14 December 2018 to celebrate 100 years of suffrage.  Women from across the county would be invited to attend including a number who were more than 100 years old. 

 

e)    Prince of Wales

The Chairman advised that he had written to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on the occasion of his 70th birthday.  

 

f)     Chief Fire Officer

Wayne Bowcock had been appointed as the new Chief Fire Officer. 

 

g)    Severe weather in the US

The Chairman reported that he had written to Sheriff Darell Warren of Gloucester County in Virginia following Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.

 

h)   Gloucestershire Music

The Chairman congratulated the County Youth Orchestra, Duality Winds, Youth String Ensemble and Youth Wind Orchestra who had performed at Birmingham Symphony Hall and Town Hall in the UK’s largest youth music festival. 

 

i)     ICT support

Staff from ICT would be on hand over the lunch break to provide advice to members.

 

j)      Gloucestershire Archives

The Chairman advised members that the event due to be held on 5 December 2018 to mark the opening of the new Dunrossil Centre had been rearranged for 3 April 2019.  More details would follow in Members’ Matter in the New Year.

70.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 86 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, 21 November 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:

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

 

Question 1 – Roger Whyborn asked whether the County Council would now set up a working group to listen to local councillors and representatives in order to reach a consensus in the light of more recent thinking.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith explained that he shared the frustration and that there was no consensus with the community. He was happy for him to work with the County Council and Local Highways Manager to see if safety measures could be put in place that everyone agreed with.

 

Question 2 – Brian Pearson asked if the County Council would support residents of the South Forest and local councils to press the CCG to provide appropriate health care provision for the area.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne stated that in the absence of Cllr Allaway Martin, Chair of the Health and Care Scrutiny Committee, the question would be noted and a written response provided.

 

71.

Corporate Parenting

Oral report from Cllr Richard Boyles, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People.

Minutes:

Cllr Richard Boyles, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, advised members of a number of highlights from the Fostering Service 2017-18 Annual Report.  He said that meetings of the Fostering Panel were being held to meet demand and reduce delays.  A new evening men’s support group for male foster carers had been established which had proved successful.  The training programme for foster carers had been improved with more online courses and a new annual conference. 

 

As part of the Right First Time Placement Strategy, Cllr Boyles explained that there was now a much greater emphasis on preventing the breakdown of placements.  He provided information on the approval rates for people wishing to foster and core performance data. He said that the long term aim was to achieve 80% of fostered children living with in-house foster carers.  Targets had been set for the next three years and a budget bid had been submitted to support the growth required. A revised payments structure had been introduced in October 2018 which was more equitable for all carers and more competitive in the market place. 

 

Answering a question, Cllr Boyles explained that unaccompanied asylum seekers and children who came into the Council’s care as a result of modern slavery would be looked after for as long as required.  He assured members that they would in no way be discriminated against whilst applications to stay in the UK or proceedings to return to their home country were ongoing.  He said that children’s social workers received specific training in this area to ensure that young people in this situation received the support that they needed.    

 

A member commended Cllr Boyles on the progress that was made to improve Children’s Services but he recognised that there was much more than needed to be done. He expressed concern that press releases issued following Ofsted visits were overly positive and did not reflect the issues faced by the Council.  Cllr Boyles said that it was important for morale that positive changes were recognised and that staff were congratulated.  He noted that the last press release acknowledged that there was much more to be done.

 

Other members thanked Cllr Boyles for everything he was doing to improve Children’s Services.  They reminded members that they were all corporate parents and they should put politics to one side and make every effort to engage with children in care.  They expressed disappointment at the poor attendance by members at a recent event held in the Council Chamber for care leavers.  They noted that foster care groups took place across the county and they hoped that members would make the effort to go along to their local group to gain a better understanding of the issues.

72.

Petitions

To receive petitions presented by members without discussion.

Minutes:

Cllr Nigel Moor presented a petition to Cllr Vernon Smith on behalf of Moreton Park residents relating to street lighting on a footpath.

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe and Cllr Nigel Moor jointly presented a petition to the Chairman relating to radiography services at North Cotswolds Hospital.

 

73.

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.

 

The time limit for member speeches is three minutes and the time limit for proposing a motion is five minutes.

 

The following motions were received by the closing date of 10am on 20 November 2018: 

 

Motion 825 – Protecting Gloucestershire Hospitals’ walk-in-services

Proposed by Cllr Joe Harris

Seconded by Iain Dobie

 

This Council notes:

·         The value communities place upon the Accident and Emergency units in both Gloucester and Cheltenham

·         The enormous and varied contributions made by the seven minor injury units spread across Gloucestershire

·         The great value that communities across Gloucestershire place upon having hospital facilities close by

 

This Council further notes that all Walk in Centres, Urgent Care Centres, and Minor Injury Units will be rebranded as Urgent Treatment Centres by the end of 2019. 

 

This Council resolves to write to Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, to appeal in the strongest possible terms, that none of the services currently on offer to walk-in patients at any of the nine hospitals are removed, including that Cheltenham General Hospital must not be further downgraded to an Urgent Treatment Centre from an Accident and Emergency department.

 

Motion 826 – Crisis in Local Government funding

Proposed by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

Seconded by Cllr Lesley Williams

 

This Council notes:

·         The unprecedented times that the country is facing and the job that local government is doing in providing local stability and leadership in these tumultuous times. 

·         The irreplaceable role that local councils play at the heart of communities, providing key public services that protect the most defenceless in society – children at risk, disabled adults and vulnerable older people – and the services we all rely on, like clean streets, libraries, and children’s centres.

·         That councils up and down the UK are at breaking point, with disproportionate reductions in local council funding in comparison to the rest of the public sector.

·         That councils had to spend an extra £800m last year to meet the demand on vital services to protect children and that, with an ageing population and growing demand, adult social care faces a funding gap of over £2 billion in the next financial year.

 

This Council further notes:

·         The £1.3bn cut to Councils’ Revenue Support Grant that is due in 2019/20.

·         That, according to a cross-party report by the Local Government Association, council services will face a funding gap of £3.9 billion in 2019/20, rising to £7.8 billion by 2024/25.

 

This Council therefore resolves towrite to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, expressing its dismay that the Government failed to sufficiently address the growing funding gaps with local councils in the Autumn Budget, and requesting that he urgently rectify this mistake in judgement.  ...  view the full agenda text for item 73.

Minutes:

Motion 825 – Protecting Gloucestershire Hospitals’ walk-in-services

 

In presenting the motion on the agenda, Cllr Joe Harris recognised that the Gloucestershire Hospitals’ Trust had faced severe financial difficulties and he paid tribute to hard work and commitment of clinicians and all the support staff working in hospitals in Gloucestershire.  He said that they went well beyond what was expected of them.  He stated that the walk-in services at Accident and Emergency, Urgent Care Centres and Minor Injury Units were greatly valued at the nine hospitals where these services were offered. He noted that at a recent meeting of the Health and Care Scrutiny Committee, the Hospitals’ Trust had assured members that proposed changes to General Surgery would not impact in any way on the walk-in services provided across the county. 

 

Cllr Harris stated that he was particularly concerned at the reduction in radiography services in five hospitals.   He said that community hospitals like those in Cirencester and Moreton-in-Marsh were jewels in the crown and he believed that they should be helped to develop their services to meet the needs of local communities.  He appealed to the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Gloucestershire Hospitals’ Trust to protect walk-in services across the county. 

 

In seconding the motion, Cllr Iain Dobie referred to the downgrading of Accident of Emergency at Cheltenham General Hospital to Urgent Care.  He said that the proposal to remove General Surgery facilities at Cheltenham posed a further threat to emergency services.  He noted that this meant that if anyone at Cheltenham General Hospital required emergency surgery they would have to be transferred by ambulance to Gloucester Royal Hospital. 

 

Cllr Tim Harman, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, acknowledged the efforts of hospital staff and he fully supported the motion.  He recognised the great value that the local community placed on Accident and Emergency facilities at Cheltenham General Hospital.  He called for a doctor-led Accident and Emergency Unit to be reinstated in Cheltenham without delay.

 

Other members indicated strong support for the motion.  They recognised the importance of Accident and Emergency facilities in Cheltenham not just for the town but for the eastern side of the county including the Cotswolds.  They also noted the important role of the community hospitals which particularly helped elderly residents in the more rural parts of the county to access a range of health services.  One member referred to the vital service provided to the local community by Tetbury Hospital.  He said that it was often forgotten as it was a charitable trust and not an NHS Trust.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of the Council, said that he was pleased that members had been given an opportunity to express their views.  He proposed a motion without notice that the original motion together with the comments made by members be referred to the Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  He stated that the Scrutiny Committee had statutory powers which allowed it to challenge the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Hospital’s Trust on their proposals.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.

74.

Member Questions pdf icon PDF 178 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, 21 December 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:

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

 

Question 1 – Cllr Iain Dobie asked whether the cabinet member agreed that the net effect of the movement of the building of a new secondary school in Cheltenham would lead to more expensive housing and less community green space.

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe replied that while he agreed that the building would reduce the amount of green space, he did not agree that it would necessarily lead to more expensive housing in the area. Clear guidance had been taken from Counsel and it was felt that the only sensible option was to build on County Council land. He was convinced that it was the right site and would be a very good secondary school for Cheltenham.

 

 

Question 5 – Cllr Kate Haigh asked whether the intention was to collate data so it was clear what unsupervised visits were undertaken by unqualified Children’s Social Workers.

 

Cllr Richard Boyles explained that as part of the training programme, when proper assessments had been carried out, those social workers in training would carry out unsupervised visits. They would also declare their position with the family and these visits would not include statutory visits such as for those children in care. He would discuss further with the Director of Children Services as to how data was collated.

 

 

Question 7 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton referred to the Joint Waste Committee minutes from June, noting that it was important that decisions were taken in unison. He asked if any plans were in place to charge at recycling centres.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor replied that there was no charging going forward. The changes to recycling centres had been a balancing act with investment to make them more efficient and user friendly.

 

        

 

Question 8 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton welcomed the new equipment being provided to Household Recycling Centres but stated that he believed that the centres should be open seven days a week.

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou explained that this was the right use of council resources and that the Council could only spend the money it had.

 

 

Question 9 - Cllr Alan Preest  stated that he had already asked Health Scrutiny to look at concerns around future health care provision for the South Forest. Referring to the answer provided to his question, he asked for further details on the commitment made to Lydney people as part of the planning process and asked that the Chair of Health and Care Scrutiny Committee address this with the Clinical Commissioning Group.

 

In the absence of the Chair of Health and Care Scrutiny Committee, a written response would be provided.

 

 

Question 10 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked what the Council had done to prepare for Brexit since the last meeting.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne explained that the Council had not taken any direct action regarding this but was paying close attention to the advice from the LGA. He referred to a recent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.

75.

Chair of Economic Growth Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Following the appointment of Cllr Dave Norman to the Cabinet, to elect a Chair of the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Cllr Kevin Cromwell be elected as the Chair of the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

76.

Scrutiny report pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Cllr Patrick Molyneux, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, to present the report on recent scrutiny activities.

Minutes:

In presenting the report, Cllr Patrick Molyneux advised that the scrutiny review was progressing well with two workshops, facilitated by the Centre for Public Scrutiny, already held. 

 

A member expressed concern that the scrutiny report related to meetings held in September and did not reflect the content of the meetings held during the last two weeks.  He was also dismayed that there appeared to be ground rules for the scrutiny review set by the Cabinet.  He believed that good scrutiny resulted in better decision making.  The focus should be on getting scrutiny right at the Council uninhibited by constraints set by the Executive. 

 

Cllr Molyneux said that the review would take a pragmatic approach in looking at how scrutiny could be reformed to meet the needs of non-executive members. 

 

Cllr Roger Wilson, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and the Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, informed members that the activities of the board would be subject to scrutiny by the Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

77.

Constitution Committee report pdf icon PDF 325 KB

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chair of the Constitution Committee, to present the report from the meeting held on 15 October 2018.

Minutes:

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chair of the Constitution Committee, presented the report from the meeting held on 15 October 2018.

 

RESOLVED that the changes to the Constitution made by the Monitoring Officer relating to the Employee Code of Conduct and changes to the Cabinet be ratified.

78.

Cabinet Decision Statement pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To consider the Cabinet Decision Statement for the meeting held on 10 October 2018 including the recommendation relating to funding for the outline business case for M5 Junction 10.

Minutes:

Referring to the proposed parking operational services contract, Cllr Joe Harris asked for confirmation that the County Council was severing links with the District Councils to get a better on-street parking enforcement. He was concerned that enforcement was more focused in the car parks in towns like Cirencester.

 

Cllr Jeremy Hilton expressed concern at the fast staff turnover and lack of parking officers in Gloucester.

 

Cllr Dave Norman, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Parking and Libraries, undertook to speak to the relevant officers and respond to each member after the meeting.

 

RESOLVED

a)  That up to £275,000 is allocated from the A417 Missing Link Reserve to fund the outline business case for M5 Junction 10, should the County Council fail to obtain funding from the Homes England bid.

b)To note the Cabinet Decision Statement for the meeting held on 10 October 2018.

79.

Cabinet Member Decision Statements pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To consider the Cabinet Member Decision Statements for the period 1 September to 31 October 2018.

 

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED to note the Cabinet Member Decision Statements for the period 1 September to 31 October 2018.

 

80.

Gloucestershire Local Government Pension Fund Annual Report 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Chair of the Pensions Committee, to present the annual report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Chair of the Pensions Committee, presented the annual report.  He provided detailed information on the fund including membership, value, return on investments, funding level and the new pooling arrangements through the Brunel Pension Partnership. He was pleased that the Pension Fund had been given a clean bill of health by the auditors.

 

RESOLVED to approve the Gloucestershire Local Government Pension Fund Annual Report 2017-18.