Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday 27 March 2019 10.00 am

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

Items
No. Item

13.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 218 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2019 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

14.

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.

15.

Announcements

 

a)    Charity cricket game

A cricket game between councillors and staff will be held on Thursday, 9 May 2019 to raise funds for the Chairman’s Charity, the Oncology Ward at Cheltenham General Hospital, which has helped the Chairman and thousands of other patients. The 20/20 game will start at 6pm at the Wagon Works Ground in Tuffley Avenue, Gloucester.  Councillor Saj Patel has kindly volunteered to lead the councillor team and spectators are welcome to come along.  If members are unable to attend, please consider supporting the event by sending a cheque to the Chairman payable to ‘Focus’, the Hospitals’ Cancer Charity.

 

b)    Dunrossil Centre

Unfortunately the official opening of the Dunrossil Centre at Gloucestershire Archives, scheduled for 3 April 2019, has been postponed until further notice. This is because the building work at Gloucestershire Archives and the Heritage Hub has been delayed following the unexpected departure of our principal contractor, Lakehouse, before completing the job.

 

c)    Gloucestershire County Council Highways

Officers from the Council’s Highways Commissioning Team and representatives from their delivery partners will be on the Council Chamber landing over the lunch period to provide information on the new highways operating arrangements.

 

d)    A417 ‘Missing Link’

Representatives from Highways England will be on the Council Chamber landing over the lunch period to provide information on their proposals.

 

e)    ICT support

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

 

Minutes:

a)    Charity cricket game

The Chairman advised that a cricket game between councillors and staff was being held on Thursday, 9 May 2019 to raise funds for the Chairman’s Charity, the Oncology Ward at Cheltenham General Hospital. The 20/20 game would start at 6pm at the Wagon Works Ground in Tuffley Avenue, Gloucester.  Councillor Saj Patel had kindly volunteered to lead the councillor team and spectators were welcome to come along.  The Chairman asked if members were unable to attend that they consider supporting the event by sending a cheque to the Chairman payable to ‘Focus’, the Hospital Cancer Charity.

 

b)    Dunrossil Centre

Unfortunately the official opening of the Dunrossil Centre at Gloucestershire Archives, scheduled for 3 April 2019, had been postponed until further notice. This was because the building work at Gloucestershire Archives and the Heritage Hub had been delayed following the unexpected departure of the principal contractor, Lakehouse, before completing the job.

 

c)    Gloucestershire County Council Highways

Officers from the Council’s Highways Commissioning Team and representatives from their delivery partners would be on the Council Chamber landing over the lunch period to provide information on the new highways operating arrangements.

 

d)    A417 ‘Missing Link’

Representatives from Highways England would be on the Council Chamber landing over the lunch period to provide information on their proposals.

 

e)    National Star College

The Chairman congratulated the National Star College on winning the British Council International Award and the TES Specialist College of the Year Award.  The awards ceremony took place on 22 March 2019 at Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane.

 

f)     Churchdown Division by-election

Following the sad passing of Cllr Jack Williams, the by-election would be held on 2 May 2019, the same day as the Tewkesbury Borough Council election. 

 

g)    Cllr Keith Rippington

The Chairman welcomed back Cllr Keith Rippington back to the Council following the stroke he had suffered just before Christmas.  Cllr Rippington thanked everyone for their good well messages and the support he had received while he had been away.

16.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 70 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, 20 March 2019. 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:

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

 

Question 1 – Sian Wyn-Jones asked whether the Cabinet Member accepted that carbon emission reduction could have been achieved to the same or even greater amount if lower kelvin LED lights had been selectively used at lower lumen levels which could have been switched off during part of the night. In addition, she cited the code of practice for the design of road lighting in that the daytime appearance of any installation in a conservation area should relate to the surroundings, providing details of the criteria that should be taken into account in the design. She asked for an explanation of how the best fit approach met the requirements under the code.

 

In response, Cllr Vernon Smith stated that these were technical questions and he would ask officers to respond. He emphasised that the Council followed national best practice. If there was a specific issue over a particular light, officers would be keen to look at it and adjust where appropriate.

 

 

Question 2 -  Sian Wyn-Jones asked how the Cabinet Member could justify the statement that light trespass could be contained using shielding.  She asked whether he was happy to work with residents who had complained in October 2018 about light trespass into their homes from LED street lights. She stated that these residents were still waiting to be contacted and the lights in question had not been shielded.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith apologised if residents had not been contacted; it had been his understanding that they had been. He stated that all lights could be controlled electronically. Officers could look at various issues and the different types of shielding. He would ensure officers got in touch.

 

 

Question 3 – Sian Wyn-Jones stated that changing sodium street lights for LED lights was not a like for like change. Horseshoe bat colonies roost and forage in the quarries and fields in Minchinhampton, and were on the list of European Protected Species  She noted that the Council had worked with Bristol University to understand the potential impacts on bats, she asked whether Dr Emma Stone who was a part of the university team had confirmed that a thorough EIA was not necessary?

 

Cllr Vernon Smith replied that LED street lighting was supported by numerous environmental organisations. Regarding the specific conversations with individuals on this issue he would need to speak to officers and get back to the member of the public.

 

Question 4 – Sian Wyn-Jones asked that with respect to the latest phase of the rollout, in failing to give households notice with information as to how to complain if they suffered light trespass, did the Cabinet Member accept that he had let these residents down?

 

Cllr Vernon Smith responded that he disagreed and that the contractor had followed national best practice. Every household had been written to and residents could get in contact if there were any issues.

 

 

Question  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 130 KB

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

Minutes:

Cllr Richard Boyles, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, presented the report.  He paid tribute to the Ambassadors for Vulnerable Children and Young People for all the work in promoting the voice of children in care and care leavers

 

Two members highlighted the role of councillors as corporate parents and urged all members to take the time to show they cared by attending events with children in care.  They noted that a new Corporate Parenting Pledge had been developed by the Corporate Parenting Group and they hoped that all members would sign-up to it.

 

RESOLVED to note the Corporate Parenting report.

18.

Petitions

Cllr Kate Haigh to present a petition to Cllr Vernon Smith, the Cabinet Member for Highways and Flood, relating to traffic calming and road safety in Matson.

 

To receive any other petitions presented by members without discussion.

Minutes:

Cllr Kate Haigh presented a petition to Cllr Vernon Smith, the Cabinet Member for Highways and Flood, relating to traffic calming and road safety in Matson.

19.

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 19 March 2019: 

 

Motion 830 – Statutory Youth Service

Proposed by Cllr Lesley Williams

Seconded by Cllr Steve Robinson

 

This Council notes:

·         Youth work is a distinct educational process offering young people safe spaces to explore their identity, experience decision-making, increase their confidence, develop inter-personal skills and think through the consequences of their actions. This leads to better informed choices, changes in activity and improved outcomes for young people.

 

·         Cuts to youth services have devastated the lives of young people by damaging community cohesion, making it harder to stay in formal education, and having a negative impact on their health and wellbeing. 83% of youth workers say the cuts have had an effect on crime and anti-social behaviour.

 

·         Youth work as a profession has been eroded and undermined through funding cuts and market reforms, and that overall spending on youth services in England has fallen by £737m (62%) since 2010. 

This Council believes:

·         Youth services should be made statutory, recognising the important role universal youth work plays in supporting young people to realise their potential.

 

·         There should be a mandated national body with dedicated ring-fenced funding to oversee youth service provision across England.

 

This Council therefore resolves to:

·         Write to the six Gloucestershire MPs to ask them to support and campaign for statutory youth services.

 

Motion 831 – Highways

Proposed by Cllr Vernon Smith

Seconded by Cllr Matt Babbage

 

Over the past year the Highways Department has delivered for and on behalf of all the members here a  huge milestone of nearly ¾ of a million m2 of resurfacing (103 Gloucester rugby pitches) or 100 km of new road surfacing, over a 100,000 tonnes of tarmac, or 5,000 lorry loads. A tremendous achievement in the £150m Highway investment programme.

 

Top schemes over £400,000 each that have been resurfaced include. There are 165 other schemes to be delivered this financial year.

 

A4173/A46 Stroud to Pitchcombe - Stage 1

£840,000

A429 Toddenham Jct to Aston Magna Jct

£680,000

A436 Severn Springs to Kilkenny

£596,000

A40 London Road Andoversford

£515,000

A417 St Oswalds Road Gloucester - East Bound Only

£498,000

A48 Heartland Hill to Walmore Hill Chaxhill - SCRIM 

£497,000

B4066 Berkeley Heath

£472,000

A4136 Nailbridge to Plump Hill

£462,000

A4173/A46 Stroud to Pitchcombe - Stage 2

£454,000

B4215 Malswick Mill, Newent

£444,000

B4634 Old Gloucester Rd Staverton (C82 Jct  to M5 Bridge)

£426,000

A417 Over Causeway Gloucester (Town Ham)

£407,000

 

The A road network has received a significant  ...  view the full agenda text for item 19.

Minutes:

Motion 830 – Statutory Youth Service

 

Cllr Steve Robinson proposed and Cllr Lesley Williams seconded the following motion:

 

This Council notes:

·         Youth work is a distinct educational process offering young people safe spaces to explore their identity, experience decision-making, increase their confidence, develop inter-personal skills and think through the consequences of their actions. This leads to better informed choices, changes in activity and improved outcomes for young people.

·         Cuts to youth services have devastated the lives of young people by damaging community cohesion, making it harder to stay in formal education, and having a negative impact on their health and wellbeing. 83% of youth workers say the cuts have had an effect on crime and anti-social behaviour.

·         Youth work as a profession has been eroded and undermined through funding cuts and market reforms, and that overall spending on youth services in England has fallen by £737m (62%) since 2010.  

This Council believes:

·         Youth services should be made statutory, recognising the important role universal youth work plays in supporting young people to realise their potential.

·         There should be a mandated national body with dedicated ring-fenced funding to oversee youth service provision across England.

This Council therefore resolves to:

Write to the six Gloucestershire MPs to ask them to support and campaign for statutory youth services.

 

In proposing the motion, Cllr Robinson stated that young people were the country’s future and he believed that they had been badly let down as a result of the County Council downgrading its Youth Service to a targeted offering through Prospects.  He noted that Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, was investing significant sums into youth services in the capital as a preventative measure to address concerns around violent crime, anti-social behaviour and wider mental health issues.  He recognised that there were lots of organisations across the county trying to do their bit but he said that there was no overall coordination which meant that some of the most vulnerable young people did not get the services they needed. 

 

Cllr Richard Boyles, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, highlighted the success of the services currently provided by the Council.  He said that there were 17 youth workers who worked with a range of organisations across the county to deliver targeted support.  The approach was tailored to meet the needs of different areas and individuals and involved project and activity based work, anti-social behaviour groups and one to one sessions.  He noted that 150 hours of detached work had been provided in the last quarter to address particular issues identified by the Police. He referred to a range of activities that were taking place in Stonehouse. 

 

Liberal Democrat Group members believed that young people were being forgotten and they spoke in support of the motion to provide a statutory youth service.  They noted that young people had felt the brunt of cuts to services since austerity measures were introduced.  The County Council had largely withdrawn its services and funding pressures on schools meant that they were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Member Questions pdf icon PDF 76 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, 20 March 2019. 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:

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

 

Question 1 – Cllr David Brown asked what percentage of all firefighters had taken time off due to stress at work.

 

Cllr Dave Norman stated he was happy to do some further investigation of the figures with the new Chief Fire Officer. He explained that firefighters had to deal with sometimes very traumatic incidents which could affect them.

 

 

Question 2 – Cllr David Brown stated he was happy to wait for an answer relating to the number of employees who had logged a formal complaint about bullying or prejudice of any kind in the Fire and Rescue Service.

 

Cllr Dave Norman replied that he was disappointed that this information was not available and that he was putting in place processes to bring that forward. He would update Cllr Brown in due course.

 

 

Question 3 – Cllr Matt Babbage asked if the Cabinet Member would commit to holding the Traffic Regulation Committee considering Boots Corner in Cheltenham to allow the greatest number of people to access the meeting.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor stated that he was happy to accommodate this and would discuss with officers.

 

 

Question 4 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked whether the County was prepared for a No Deal Brexit.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne stated that at the moment there was no idea about what the arrangements would be for leaving the EU and when that would take place. He suggested that there would be time once the detail was known to have discussions about how the County moved forward, but he stated that whatever the challenges and opportunities, Gloucestershire would be ready to meet them.

 

 

Question 5 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked the Leader if he would take the opportunity to inform members and the public of  the discussions and decisions made in the Local Resilience Forum which met in private.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne stated that he was not privy to those discussions.

 

 

Question 6 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked what assurances could be given to families who had been falsely accused of Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII) by the County Council that they would be treated fairly in the future.

 

Cllr Richard Boyles replied that this was something he would raise with the Director of Children Services and would report back to Cllr Hodgkinson.

 

 

Question 7 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked whether the Council was admitting to have made mistakes with regards to FII.

 

Cllr Richard Boyles replied that this was a difficult area to manage and involved many different agencies who could make referrals.  A report had outlined that 10 families had been affected but the Council was only aware of two. The County Council took a multiagency approach and the Council had put forward an offer to the Parent Carer Alliance to involve them in the process to ensure the Council’s social workers were effectively trained on this issue.    

 

 

Question 8 – Cllr Rachel Smith  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Scrutiny

21a

Scrutiny review pdf icon PDF 394 KB

Cllr Patrick Molyneux, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, to present the findings and recommendations of the scrutiny review.  The report attached will also be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee on 22 March 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Patrick Molyneux, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, presented the report including an addendum summarising the debate at the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee (OSMC) on 22 March 2019.  He believed that the review had been thorough with three workshops facilitated by the Centre for Public Scrutiny and discussions at OSMC and lead member meetings. 

 

He recognised that there remained different views across the groups but he believed that the committee structure included in the addendum offered the best compromise.  The heavy workload of the existing Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee and the complexity of the governance arrangements around a joint Environment with Economic Growth meant that it was probably better to retain separate committees.  He said that a Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee would replace OSMC and would have a more forward-looking agenda and would no longer receive reports from the other scrutiny committees.  He suggested that it was likely to meet less frequently.

 

The integration of Health and Adult Social Care remained important but under the current scrutiny arrangements it was evident that Adult Social Care, the Council’s biggest area of spend, was getting little coverage.  The separation of Health and Adult Social Care would provide an opportunity to provide proper scrutiny of both areas.  It was noted that two joint meetings would be held each year specifically to consider issues around the integration agenda. 

 

Members recognised that the most important aspect of scrutiny was culture with parity of esteem between the executive and non-executive sides of the Council.  Members themselves had to put in the effort to ensure that they were adequately prepared for meetings.

                                                                                        

A number of members spoke in support of the proposed structure which included one more committee than the existing arrangements.  Although they recognised the importance of the integration agenda, they were concerned that Health was overshadowing major Social Care issues such as the Adult Single Programme.  They believed that this put the Council in a vulnerable position as the Council’s biggest area of spend was not receiving sufficient scrutiny.  

 

One member, although broadly supportive of the new arrangements, expressed concern that the parameters for the review had been changed at a late stage with a proposal to include an additional committee.  She said that had members been aware of this earlier then a different structure could have been looked at. 

 

Cllr Iain Dobie proposed that a Communities Scrutiny Committee be established to cover a range of community-based services including Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service. He stated that Health and Adult Social Care should remain together under the Health and Care Scrutiny Committee to reflect the national agenda towards greater integration.  He spoke passionately in favour of retaining the committee as Health and Social Care was intrinsically linked and he believed that integrated scrutiny could not take place effectively across two committees.  He said that with determined agenda management the concerns regarding the lack of scrutiny of Adult Social Care could be addressed.   

 

Councillor David Brown seconded Cllr Dobie’s proposal.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21a

21b

Scrutiny update pdf icon PDF 159 KB

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

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED to note the report on recent scrutiny activities.

22.

Cabinet Decision Statement pdf icon PDF 109 KB

To consider the Cabinet Decision Statement for the meeting held on 13 March 2019.

Minutes:

Cllr Rachel Smith asked that more information be provided on the proceeds that the Council received from individual asset disposals.  She said that this information was not routinely available from the Land Registry.

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou undertook to speak to officers about finding a mechanism to publish the information and to inform Cllr Smith of the outcome.

 

RESOLVED to note the Cabinet Decision Statement for the meeting held on 13 March 2019.

23.

Cabinet Member Decision Statements pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To consider the Cabinet Member Decision Statements for the period 1 to 28 February 2019.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED to note the Cabinet Member Decision Statements for the period 1 to 28 February 2019.

24.

Appointments Committee pdf icon PDF 426 KB

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chair of the Appointments Committee, to present the recommendation from the meeting held on 5 February 2019 relating to the Pay Policy Statement.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chair of the Appointments Committee, presented the recommendation from the Appointments Committee held on 5 February 2019 relating to the Pay Policy Statement.  He noted that the Council was required to publish a Pay Policy Statement each year.

 

A member expressed concern that the minimum wage recommended by the Living Wage Foundation was higher than the figure included in the Pay Policy Statement.  Cllr Hawthorne stated that the Council had previously used the National Living Wage as a bridging measure before the National Minimum Wage was increased to its current level.  He said that the member would have to submit a budget bid in future years if she wanted to pursue the issue.

 

Another member noted that the Council position regarding the gender pay gap looked positive and he questioned why it had not been highlighted.  He believed that it was important to demonstrate when the Council was doing well in a particular area.

 

RESOLVED to approve the 2019-20 Pay Policy Statement (as amended).