Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday 15 May 2019 10.00 am

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

Items
No. Item

25.

Election of chair

Cllr Andrew Gravells, the outgoing Chair, will address the Council.

 

To elect the Chair of the Council for the 2019-20 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 Andrew Gravells thanked members and officers for their support over the last year.  He stated that it had been a great privilege to represent the county and meet so many wonderful people, all of whom made Gloucestershire a fantastic, vibrant and successful place.  He was pleased that he had been able to raise some funds for the Oncology Department at Cheltenham General Hospital as part of the Chairman’s charity appeal.  He noted that the Oncology Department had helped thousands of patients who had been treated there, including himself.

 

Cllr Gravells invited nominations for the position of Chair of Council for 2019-20. Cllr Ray Thedoulou was proposed and seconded. 

 

There being no other nominations, it was:

 

RESOLVED that Cllr Ray Theodoulou be elected as Chairman of Council for the 2019-20 civic year.

 

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

 

Cllr Theodoulou stated that he was very proud to have been appointed Chairman and it would be a great honour to represent the Council. 

26.

Election of vice-chair

To elect the Vice-chair of the Council for the 2019-20 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 2019-20 civic year.  Cllr Iain Dobie and Cllr Alan Preest were both proposed and seconded.

 

On being put to the vote, it was:

 

RESOLVED that Cllr Alan Preest be appointed as Vice-chairman of Council for the 2019-20 civic year.

 

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

 

Cllr Preest thanked members for their support and said that he was honoured to take up the position of Vice-chairman.

 

 

27.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 27 March 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 27 March 2019 were signed and confirmed as a correct record.

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)    New County Councillor for Churchdown

To welcome Ben Evans who was elected at the Churchdown by-election on 2 May 2019.

 

b)    Stonewall

There will be a display on the Council Chamber landing over lunchtime relating to the work being undertaken by the County Council to achieve a ranking on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.

 

c)    ICT support

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

members.

 

Minutes:

a)    New County Councillor for Churchdown

The Chairman welcomed Ben Evans who had been elected to the County Council at the Churchdown by-election on 2 May 2019.

 

b)    Stonewall

The Chairman advised that there would be a display on the Council Chamber landing at lunchtime relating to the work being undertaken by the County Council to achieve a ranking on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.

 

c)    Polly Higgins

The Chairman paid tribute to Polly Higgins from Stroud, well known lawyer and environmental campaigner, who had sadly passed away aged just 50. 

 

Cllr Rachel Smith stated that Polly had dedicated the last 10 years of her life to developing the international crime of ecocide to impose a legal duty on governments and companies to protect ecosystems.  As a resident of Stroud, she hoped that Polly would achieve recognition as a Great Gloucestershire Ahiever.

 

d)    Cabinet changes

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of the Council, announced that Cllr Patrick Molyneux would be taking on the portfolio of Economy, Skills and Education from Cllr Lynden Stowe who had taken on the portfolio for Finance and Change.  Cllr Richard Boyles would become Deputy Leader following the departure of Cllr Ray Theodoulou from the Cabinet.

 

e)    Gloucestershire flag

The Chairman reported that the Gloucestershire flag with its distinctive blue, green and yellow colours would in future be flown over Shire Hall on full Council days.

 

f)     Honorary Aldermen

The Chairman welcomed the Honorary Aldermen who had been invited to join members for lunch.

30.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 108 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, 8 May 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:

Sixteen 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 –  Steve Gower said that he was quoted figures in a previous answer regarding the number of deaths of individuals in supported living as well as anecdotal information regarding individuals who had been defined as too ill for the homeless hub following assessment. He asked whether the Cabinet Member had any concerns about these instances and asked how referrals were made and what the criteria was to get into the homeless hub.    

 

Cllr Kathy Williams replied that she could not comment on individual cases. She outlined that the Council had recently received a grant from Government that would be put into contracts to improve facilities in this area. There were many reasons why individuals might die who were in supported housing and the Coroner would make a decision on the causes of those deaths. The member would provide what information was available. 

 

 

Question 3 – Henry Jones stated that it was clear that the Council did hold the reduction of carbon footprint as a high priority to a degree and asked whether the Council in theory supported destigmatising economic inactivity by rolling out means adjusted universal based income. He suggested that those who were nominally unemployed would be praiseworthy, instead of being vilified and would give a boost to the self esteem of the ‘unemployable’.

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe replied that reducing the carbon footprint was a high priority for the council and welcomed the endorsement of that. He gave the example of the work being carried out around streetlighting. On the specific supplementary he suggested that it was not something for him to comment on but that a view should be sought from national government and that the individual should lobby his MP.

 

 

Question 5 – Senan Clifford identified inaccuracies in the percentages provided in the answer. He asked that given that fossil fuels were a major contributor to climate change emissions how wise was it to invest in this for Council workers pensions?

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou explained that the Brunel organisation had been set up by Government to manage the pension fund of a group of county councils (there were 10 in the group). The Council had no responsibility for the investments that were made as those decisions had been devolved to Brunel. He replied that he would pass on the comments made to Brunel.

 

 

Question 6 – Jennie Ireland commented on the manmade decline in biodiversity and asked what measures the Council would put in place to protect, generate and restore biodiversity?

 

Cllr Nigel Moor replied that a report of a task group chaired by Cllr Rachel Smith on biodiversity had been presented to Cabinet and he had undertaken to respond to the recommendations. Once he had done that it would be shared more widely.

 

 

Question 7 – Jennie Ireland asked what plans and budget were in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

Political balance and appointment of members pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To make the following appointments:

 

a)     Chairs and vice-chairs of the Scrutiny Committees and the Audit and Governance Committee.

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

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Two nominations had been received for the position of Chair of the Adult Social Care and Communities Scrutiny Committee: Cllr Jeremy Hilton and Cllr Stephen Hirst.

 

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.

 

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

           

Chair

Vice-chair

Corporate Overview & Scrutiny

Shaun Parsons

Joe Harris

Health

Carole Allaway Martin

Paul Hodgkinson

Adult Social Care & Communities

Stephen Hirst

Iain Dobie

Children & Families

Brian Robinson

Lesley Williams

Environment

Rob Bird

John Cordwell

Economic Growth

Kevin Cromwell

Kate Haigh

 

c)      To appoint Cllr Nigel Robbins as the Chair and Cllr Brian Oosthuysen as the Vice-chair of the Audit and Governance Committee.

 

 

 

32.

Corporate Parenting

Oral 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 an oral report.  He thanked members of the Corporate Parenting Group and children in care for their help in developing the new Corporate Parenting Pledge which had been circulated to all members that morning.  He said that the role that councillors played in looking after children in care was one of their most important roles. 

 

Members of the Corporate Parenting Group encouraged other members to attend events organised by the Council which were not only fun but also provided an important insight into the challenges faced by children in care.  They said that everyone wanted the best for their own children and members as Corporate Parents should treat children in care as if they were their own.  They strongly encouraged all members to sign the new Corporate Parenting Pledge.

33.

Petitions

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson to present a petition to Cllr David Norman, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Parking and Libraries, relating to road safety improvements at Whiteshoots Hill, Bourton-on-the-Water.

 

To receive any other petitions presented by members without discussion.

Minutes:

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson presented a petition to Cllr David Norman, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Parking and Libraries, relating to road safety improvements at Whiteshoots Hill, Bourton-on-the-Water.

 

Cllr Colin Hay presented a petition to Cllr Norman calling for a review of residents’ parking in Cheltenham.  He said that this had been promised six months after the introduction of the scheme six years ago.

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.

 

The following motions were received by the closing date of 7 May 2019. 

 

Motion 836 – Carbon action plan motion

Proposed by Cllr Iain Dobie

Seconded by Cllr Jeremy Hilton

 

This Council notes: 

  • That humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world. 
  • That global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels and atmospheric CO2 far exceeds levels deemed to be safe for humanity. 
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on global warming of 1.5°C, published in January 2019, which tells us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities. 
  • That the world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050. 
  • That the consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority. 

 

This Council further notes that: 

  • Gloucestershire County Council recently appointed a Cabinet Member with specific responsibilities tied to climate change.
  • Gloucestershire County Council is on target to reduce corporate carbon emissions by 60% by 2020/21 against its 2006/07 baseline. 
  • Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits 
  • Councils around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency. 

 

This Council resolves to: 

  • Commit towards an 80 per cent reduction in the Council’s corporate carbon emissions no later than 2030, striving towards 100 per cent with carbon offsetting by the same date. 
  • To call on Central Government to provide additional powers and resources to support local and national action towards this 2030 target. 
  • Lobby national government to commit to 100 per cent carbon neutrality by 2045. 
  • Consider its contracts going forward to oblige all contractors to report their carbon emissions and to place a ‘carbon/environmental cost’ on competing bids. 
  • Do all in its power to adopt, implement and strengthen the Gloucestershire Sustainable Energy Strategy. 
  • Ensure that our major plans, such as the local transport plan, have clearly identified strategies to reduce carbon emissions. 
  • Work with district and borough councils to reduce the districts’ carbon footprint within their corporate strategies. 
  • Provide an annual report to the Environment Committee, with a performance update on a quarterly basis. 

 

 

Motion 837 – Parental leave for councillors

Proposed by Cllr Mark Hawthorne

Seconded by Cllr Carole Allaway-Martin

 

This Council notes:

·         The under-representation of women at all levels of politics

·         Nationally only 4% of councils have a policy on parental leave for councillors.

·         That, whilst proper parental leave is important to all parents, it has been particularly  ...  view the full agenda text for item 34.

Minutes:

Motion 836 – Carbon action plan motion

In proposing and seconding the motion, Cllr Iain Dobie and Cllr Jeremy Hilton accepted a friendly amendment from Cllr Rachel Smith (see highlighted text). 

 

This Council notes that:

·         Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world.

·         Global temperatures have already increased by 1°C Celsius from pre-industrial levels and atmospheric CO2 far exceeds levels deemed to be safe for humanity.

·         The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on global warming of 1.5°C, published in January 2019, which tells us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities.

·         The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050.

·         The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority.

 

This Council further notes that:

·         Gloucestershire County Council recently appointed a Cabinet Member with specific responsibilities tied to Climate change.

·         Gloucestershire County Council is on target to reduce corporate carbon emissions by 60% by 2020/21 against its 2006/07 baseline. 

·         Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits.

·         Councils around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency.

·         The UK Parliament has recognised the climate emergency

·         The County Council has a leadership role, along with other public sector bodies, in reducing Carbon emissions across the whole county.

 

This Council resolves to:

·         Declare a climate emergency

  • Commit towards an 80 per cent reduction in the Council’s corporate emissions no later than 2030, striving towards 100 per cent with carbon offsetting by the same date. 
  • Call on Central Government to provide additional powers and resources to support local and national action towards this 2030 target.
  • Lobby the national government to commit to 100 per cent carbon neutrality by 2045.  
  • Consider its contracts going forward to oblige all contractors to report their carbon emissions and to place a ‘carbon / environmental cost’ on competing bids. 
  • Do all in its power to adopt, implement and strengthen the Gloucestershire Sustainable Energy Strategy. 
  • Ensure that our major plans, such as the local transport plan, have clearly identified strategies to reduce carbon emissions. 
  • Work with district and borough councils to reduce the districts’ carbon footprint within their corporate strategies. 
  • Provide an annual report to the environment committee, with a performance update on a quarterly basis. 

 

Cllr Dobie spoke passionately in support of the motion.  He stated that action needed to be taken now and urged that challenging and achievable targets be set to reduce carbon emissions.  He noted that average global temperatures had increased significantly and sea levels were rising.  The impact of doing nothing was obvious to everyone and an ambitious strategic approach was needed.  All of the Council’s existing aims and goals needed to be aligned with climate change ambitions.  Action could be taken in a range of areas  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Member Questions pdf icon PDF 99 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, 8 May 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:

Nine 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 1 –  Cllr Andrew Miller asked whether the Cabinet Member would be writing to schools to inform them of the opportunities for cycling.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith replied that all schools would be made aware of the opportunities and he provided some detail of the strategy for cycling moving forward over a five year period. He thanked the Highways Advisory Board for their input and urged members to use their Highways Local money to improve cycling areas across the county.

 

 

Question 2 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked why it had taken a year to get to the point of discussing the removal of tables and seats from outside of restaurant.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith suggested that dialogue was the answer and that the member could meet with the Council’s Legal Team and restaurant owner to discuss the matter further.

 

 

Question 4 -  Cllr Colin Hay asked how the Council could stop Thomas Keble School from reducing SEN numbers as this was against the law.

 

Cllr Richard Boules firstly commented that fairer funding was really important. Parents of children with an Education Health and Care Plan could choose their school and the school had a legal duty to meet their needs. A meeting had been held with the Regional Schools Commissioner to ensure that Thomas Keble were complying with their legal requirements. There were further issues regarding a breach of the academies funding handbook.

 

 

Q5 – Cllr Colin Hay asked for confirmation that all new and refurbished schools would have sprinklers.

 

Cllr Dave Norman commented that the member had received a factual answer and that there had been an ongoing debate on the issue for a number of years. It was worth noting that a sprinkler activated incorrectly could cause a lot of damage so they had to be installed appropriately. The professional advice had been given and he suggested members should be comfortable with that.

 

 

Q6 – Cllr Eva Ward asked how the Council could avoid a situation such as the 68 minute discussion on highways at the previous meeting which she suggested was not a good use of time.

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou replied that he did not want to curtail discussion and it was important members felt they could have their say.

 

 

Question 7 – Cllr Rachel Smith referred to a school safety zone had had been promised for March 2019 but it had become apparent in April that design process was not complete. She asked for clarification around the situation.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith replied that the previous contractor Amey had only been paid for work completed. Agreement on the scheme had been reached in 2017 but design work had not been completed by Amey. The scheme had fallen between the two contractors. The work was due now in the Summer once Atkins as the new contractor had completed the design  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Cabinet Decision Statement pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To consider the Cabinet Decision Statement for the meeting held on 24 April 2019.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Cabinet Decision Statement for the meeting held on 24 April 2019.

 

Answering a question relating to Gloucestershire Sufficiency Strategy, Cllr Richard Boyles, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, advised that a specialist provider would be appointed to run Trevone House in Gloucester.  He said that a risk assessment would be undertaken for each young person and staffing levels would fluctuate depending on service demands.

 

RESOLVED to note the Cabinet Decision Statement for the meeting held on 24 April 2019.