Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday 11 September 2019 10.00 am

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

Items
No. Item

50.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2019 were confirmed and signed as a correct record subject to the following amendment to minute 44 on page 17:

 

Question 7 – Cllr Klara Sudbury asked if the Cabinet Member would come along with her to meet with herself and highways officers during rush hour to examine the displacement of traffic as a result of the work at Boots Corner.

 

 

51.

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.

52.

Announcements

 

a)    Jane Burns

To note that this will be the last Council meeting for Jane Burns,

Director of Strategy and Challenge and Monitoring Officer, who is leaving the Council to join Cheshire East Council as Executive Director, Corporate Services.

 

b)    Steve Mawson

To welcome Steve Mawson as the Council’s new Director of Corporate Resources.

 

c)    Gloucester Heritage Hub

To thank those members who attended the opening of the Gloucester Heritage Hub, incorporating Gloucestershire Archives, on 3 September 2019.  The Hub includes the Dunrossil Centre which was opened by Lady Dunrossil herself.

 

d)    Prism

Staff from the Prism Group, the Council’s LGBTQIA+ community, will be on the Council Chamber landing over the lunch break to provide information on their activities.

 

e)    ICT support

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

 

Minutes:

a)    Jane Burns

The Chairman advised that it was the last Council meeting for Jane Burns, Director of Strategy and Challenge and Monitoring Officer, who was leaving the Council to join Cheshire East Council as Executive Director, Corporate Services. 

 

Jane stated that she had worked for the Council for 16 years and she thanked members and officers for the support that they had provided over that time.

 

Members thanked Jane for all that she had done for the Council including her work on the challenge process, the constitution and member standards.

 

The Chairman informed members that Rob Ayliffe, Head of Stratigic Planning, Performance and Change had been appointed as Monitoring Officer for an interim period of six months with Gillian Parkinson, Head of Legal Services, and Simon Harper, Head of Democratic Services, as Deputy Monitoring Officers.

 

b)    Steve Mawson

The Chairman welcomed Steve Mawson as the Council’s new Director of Corporate Resources.

 

c)    Gloucester Heritage Hub

The Chairman thanked those members who had attended the opening of the Gloucester Heritage Hub, incorporating Gloucestershire Archives, on 3 September 2019.  The Hub included the Dunrossil Centre which was opened by Lady Dunrossil herself. Cllr Lesley Williams informed members about the Local History Festival and said that she had put a booklet in members’ pigeon holes. 

 

d)    Prism

Staff from the Prism Group, the Council’s LGBTQIA+ community, would be on the Council Chamber landing over the lunch break to provide information on their activities. Cllr Kate Haigh noted that it was Pride Day on Saturday, 14 September 2019 starting at 10.30am at  the Cathedral.

 

e)    Colin Chick

The Chairman congratulated Colin Chick on his permanent appointment as Director of Economy, Community and Infrastructure. 

53.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 103 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, 4 September 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.

 

Question 1 – Andrew Harley asked who the contractor was in relation to resurfacing roads. The question related to the use of recycled plastic mixed into asphalt for road resurfacing.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith replied that the contractor was Gloucestershire Highways. He expressed disappointment around the performance of the plastic adhesive. Gloucestershire County Council were keen to reduce the carbon footprint and were exploring other options.

 

 

Question 2 – Henry Jones made a statement related to poverty within Gloucestershire in comparison to the official government definition of poverty as well as linking it to low self esteem. He reiterated that we were in a climate emergency and ask how the Council could support continued economic growth in Gloucestershire rather than reducing it.

 

Cllr Patrick Molyneux replied that everyone had a duty to look at their own consumption and to be careful with resources. The Council had a responsibility to look after and support communities and he suggested that there was a need to create growth and wealth in order to then help those less fortunate.

 

 

Question 4 – Referring to the climate change emergency, Rob Brookes provided statistics relating to the need to reduce CO2 emissions by 15% a year. He also provided details of the CO2 emissions emitted from the UK to other countries. He asked whether the Cabinet Member agreed with those facts and asked what the Council was doing to address the issue. 

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe stated that the County Council would do all it could to move towards being carbon zero as quickly as possible. He provided assurances that the Council was committed to reach the targets it had set in accordance with government policy.

 

 

Question 5 – David Willingham stated that the County Council view was that the Cheltenham west parking review was complete. He emphasised that residents did not feel it was complete until the post implementation review. He asked  what message the Cabinet Member had for residents whose lives were being disrupted by commuter parking.

 

Cllr Dave Norman stated that he did not believe that this was the case. A review of parking had been carried out in Cheltenham West. There was always the scope for a County Councillor for the area to allocate highways local funding.

 

 

Question 7 – David Willingham provided an example of St George’s Road and Honeybourne Way where road closures had not had appropriate signage. He asked that this be looked at for other schemes to ensure signage was in place.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith replied that he understood the public’s frustration when there were road works, but that these were road schemes delivering real improvements for the public. He had asked officers about signage and noted there had been two complaints. He would always listen to residents’ feedback.

 

 

Question 11 – David Willingham stated that he had met with the local highways manager and County Councillor regarding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Report from Cllr Richard Boyles, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years.

Minutes:

Cllr Richard Boyles, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, presented the report.  He said that he was disappointed that some members had still not signed the Corporate Parenting Pledge.  He said that it was important that members understood the lives of children in care and what had brought them to the Council’s door so that they could help shape their young lives.

 

A member noted that a list of events for children in care had now been published and they hoped that members would take the time to attend.

 

Another member thanked Cllr Boyles for organising the event for local residents relating to Trevone House in Gloucester.  They recognised the value of the facilities but questioned whether it was necessary to have a secure bed for Police use.  They asked if there were secure facilities elsewhere in the county?  They were concerned at the potential impact on young people if they were aware that Trevone House included a secure facility. 

 

Cllr Boyles stated that during the recent Ofsted visit, inspectors had welcomed Trevone House which they believed was an outstanding model to meet the needs of young people.  He said that Police cells were not the right place for young people who were suffering and it was important to have a secure facility in another location.  He assured members that the Council would work closely with partners and ensure that the required number of staff were on duty.

 

A member suggested that a mentoring scheme be introduced for young people leaving care.  They believed that people living in local communities would welcome an opportunity to get involved. Cllr Boyles stated that he was looking at this with members of the Corporate Parenting Group.  He noted that Ofsted had put forward some suggestions for care leavers and these would be raised at the next meeting of the group.  The Children and Families Scrutiny Committee would be considering the value of a peer to peer mentoring scheme at its meeting the following day.

 

RESOLVED to note the report

55.

Petitions

To receive petitions presented by members without discussion.

Minutes:

Cllr Andrew Miller presented a petition to Cllr Nigel Moor, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, regarding bus services in Firwood/Campden Road, Tuffley.

 

56.

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 3 September 2019: 

 

Motion 843 – Enabling road safety measures

Proposed by Cllr Klara Sudbury

Seconded by Cllr Eva Ward

 

This Council notes that:

·         road safety and traffic speeds are of significant concern to many residents in Gloucestershire, in both urban and rural areas.

·         elected county councillors have a key role to play, working with local communities, to resolve these concerns, finding effective road safety solutions to help pedestrians, cyclists and all road users.

 

However, this Council further notes that:

·         when County Councillors request measures to reduce traffic speeds, even when offering to put their highways local funds towards it, policy and financial constraints mean they rarely come to fruition.

·         a key obstacle in securing some traffic calming measures is the cost of Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) and the lengthy processes needed to secure changes such as yellow lines.

 

Therefore this Council resolves to:

a)    Ask Cabinet to review County Council policies relating to traffic calming, including the use of physical design and vehicle activated signage, to aid councillors in securing evidence-based road changes.

b)    Write to the relevant Secretary of State to:

i)     Express our serious concern that national road safety guidelines are too restrictive and ask for the guidance to be reviewed to create a more enabling policy framework.

ii)    Clarify what progress has been made to simplify the TRO process.

c)    Consider increasing the road safety budget for 2020-21 through the budget setting process, which could include a ring fenced budget for each council division. 

d)    Build on existing local road safety initiatives to establish “road safety partnerships” for each of the six districts where there are none, and to formalise the relationship between road safety partnerships and the highways authority and county councillors.

 

Motion 844 – Future proofing public buildings and developments in Gloucestershire

Proposed by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

Seconded by Cllr Ben Evans

 

This Council notes:

·         That a ‘climate emergency’ was declared by Gloucestershire County Council (GC) in May 2019, along with five of the six district councils.

  • That the County Council is striving to become carbon neutral by 2030 and is identifying measures to deliver an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the whole county by the same date.

 

This Council further notes:

·         GCC holds significant sway over the design of county-council-backed public buildings, such as the proposed new secondary school in Leckhampton.

·         GCC has significant influence over developers when disposing of land for development. 

·         In 2006  ...  view the full agenda text for item 56.

Minutes:

Motion 843 – Enabling road safety measures

 

Cllr Klara Sudbury proposed and Cllr Eva Ward seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Sudbury noted how important it was for county councillors to be able to secure effective road safety measures for their local communities.  She expressed concern that the traffic regulation order process often blocked the implementation of schemes. This was frustrating for local communities who were best placed to judge on what was needed in their areas. The amount of money spent on road safety in Gloucestershire was just £1.53 per person each year.  She noted that even when she had made funds available through her Highways Local allocation, highway officers had not been cooperative.

 

Cllr Ward advised that road safety was one of the main concerns in local communities.  She said that the public had no idea about the complexity of the traffic regulation order process in implementing the simplest road safety measures.  She noted that it had taken two years in her Stroud Division to go through the approval and implementation process for four vehicle-activated signs.  Communities were often left to set up local campaigns in an effort to manage speeds.  She believed that a county-wide road safety partnership should be established to ensure that there was a consistent approach.

 

A number of members referred to the success of speed awareness campaigns in their own areas.  They acknowledged frustrations with the time that it could take to implement schemes, but believed that there should be more focus on working with local communities to reduce speeds.  They noted that enforcement was an important aspect of traffic regulation orders and there was little point in putting schemes in place if they could not be enforced.

 

A member asked that highways officers be thanked for their efforts in introducing a complex scheme in Moreton-in-Marsh to protect pedestrians, cyclists and children going to school. 

 

Other members expressed frustration at the complexity of the traffic regulation order process and the lack of officer resources available to implement schemes.  Often it was taking years to implement simple schemes such as pedestrian crossings and yellow lines where the dangers were obvious to everyone.  In other local authority areas, it was apparent that road safety schemes were being introduced, including 20mph schemes, without the problems that were being faced in Gloucestershire.

 

They believed that a change of attitude was required and officers should not just rely on official figures for accidents.  It was shocking that schemes were not being progressed because they were not supported by official statistics for people that were killed or seriously injured.  There were near misses every day, accidents were often not reported to the Police and insurance companies were prevented from releasing information due to GDPR regulations.

 

A member expressed disappointment that the Council had stopped providing support for road safety partnerships in each district.  They noted their value in bringing together community groups, road safety organisations, magistrates, the police and GCC staff.  They said that the Stroud Road  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

Member Questions pdf icon PDF 117 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, 4 September 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:

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

 

Question 1 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked, while preparing council for a no deal Brexit what activities would the ‘Brexit’ officer not be carrying out from their day to day duties?

 

Cllr David Norman replied that the officer was one member of a forum made up of partners. In addition, an individual had been seconded from the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service to provide support.  There would be greater understanding over time as to the role but the Cabinet Member had received a briefing from the officer who was confident capacity was in place going forward.

 

 

Question 2  Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked how many businesses in Gloucestershire would be affected by a non deal Brexit?

 

Cllr Dave Norman stated as the process moved on this would be fed back in and he would brief Council as appropriate.

 

 

Question 3 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked why the Civil Protection Team were taking the lead regarding Brexit and enquired whether that was because the Leader of the  Council anticipated civil unrest.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne replied that staff with experience and expertise were utilised who were linked to the Local Resilience Forum.

 

 

Question 4- Cllr Paul Hodkginson asked what the specific challenges were that Gloucestershire would face in the event of a no deal Brexit.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne replied that these matters were reported to Central Government through the Local Resilience Forum and that the Council was not legally able to share that information to the general public. The risks identified were in line with risks identified elsewhere in the Country.

 

 

Question 5 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked what the potential risks were for a no deal Brexit.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne suggested that the tone of the questions aimed to sew a level of fear relating to Brexit. In overall terms, Gloucestershire was not a port authority and so did not share the same risks as other parts of the country. He was satisfied that the Council was providing the information it could to the public, advising businesses and working with Government whatever the outcome.

 

 

Question 6 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked what contingencies were in place regarding a no deal Brexit.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne stated he was satisfied with the arrangements being made and the structures in place. He felt that, whatever the future direction, there would be opportunities for Gloucestershire.

 

 

Question 7 – Cllr Ben Evans asked if there was the possibility of working with the County Council’s legal team to put in an exclusion zone regarding the informal traveller site in the Churchdown area.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor replied he would look into this.

 

 

Question 8 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked if the Cabinet Member had been looking at creative options in the community to house library facilities.

 

In response, Cllr Dave Norman replied that the Council was looking at a number of opportunities in the community. The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

Scrutiny report pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Cllr Shaun Parsons, Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, to present the report on recent scrutiny activities.

Minutes:

Cllr Shaun Parsons , Chair of the Corporate Overview and  Scrutiny Management Committee, presented the report on recent scrutiny activities.  He said that he was delighted to report that the new scrutiny arrangements were embedding well.  Joint meetings had been held between committees to look at issues such as integrated work planning for health and care services and the Local Transport Plan.  Task groups were looking at particular topics including single-use plastics, youth strategy and taxi licensing.  A Member Development Group had been established led by Cllr Kate Haigh to coordinate future events for members.

 

A member referred to a recent personal experience of the arrangements for blood tests at hospital which had raised some concerns.  They asked that the Health Scrutiny Committee consider looking at the way the service operated.  Cllr Carole Allaway Martin, the chair of the committee, undertook to include it on the next work planning session.  She noted that some work had already been undertaken around helping people with learning disabilities to give blood.

 

RESOLVED to note the report

59.

Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Cllr David Norman to present the SHE Annual Report.

 

Minutes:

Cllr David Norman, Chair of the SHE Panel, presented the SHE Annual Report. He thanked officers who had specific responsibilities around health, safety and welfare. He recognised that the Council’s greatest resource was its staff and he stated that he was confident that it had good practices.  He acknowledged, however, that it was easy to become complacent and he said that it was incumbent on all members and officers to be aware of their health and safety responsibilities.  He hoped that members had been briefed on health and safety matters from their group member on the SHE Panel.

 

RESOLVED to note the SHE Annual Report for 2017-18

60.

Cabinet Decision Statement pdf icon PDF 122 KB

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

Minutes:

A member asked if the decision relating to the dynamic purchasing system reflected the Council motion on using low emission and electric vehicles.

 

Councillor Nigel Moor, the Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, advised that it was part of the procurement process for contracts.  He undertook to speak to officers to ask them to provide more information on the process.

 

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

 

61.

Cabinet Member Decision Statements pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To consider the Cabinet Member Decision Statements for the period 1 June to 31 August 2019.

 

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED to note that the Cabinet Member Decision Statements for the period 1 June to 31 August 2019.

62.

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Council of Governors

To appoint a member to sit on this body to replace Cllr Andrew Gravells who has stepped down following his appointment as a Cabinet Member at Gloucester City Council.

Minutes:

Cllr Andrew Gravells had stepped down from the Gloucestershire Hospitals’ NHS Foundation Trust Council of Governors following his appointment as a Cabinet Member at Gloucester City Council.

 

RESOLVED that Cllr Matt Babbage be nominated as the Council’s representative on the Gloucestershire Hospitals’ NHS Foundation Trust Council of Governors.

 

63.

Calendar of meetings pdf icon PDF 41 KB

To approve the calendar of meetings for 2020.

Minutes:

The Chairman drew members’ attention to a minor amendment to the calendar:  in September 2020 the County Council meeting should be the 9th not the 16th September.

 

RESOLVED to approve the calendar of meetings for 2020 (as amended).