Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday 22 March 2017 10.00 am

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

Contact: Simon Harper 01452 324202 

Items
No. Item

15.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 232 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 15 February2017.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 15 February 2017 were approved as a correct record.

16.

Declarations of Interest

Please see note (a) at the end of the agenda.

Minutes:

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

17.

Announcements

Please see the briefing note, which does not accompany this agenda but will be circulated prior to the meeting.

Minutes:

a) The Chairman  thanked the members for their service to the Council over the last four years. Group Leaders were given an opportunity to thank individual members of their group who would be standing down at the May 2013 election.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne thanked the five members of the Conservative Group who were retiring:

 

Cllr Tony Hicks who had been a Cabinet Member in 2009 was thanked for his services to the community and Tetbury. 

 

Cllr Paul McLain who was Cabinet Member for  Children and Families was thanked for the great passion he had brought to the role.

 

Cllr Stan Waddington, Cllr Tony Blackburn and Cllr Jason Bullingham were thanked for the way they had passionately served their communities and the contributions they had made.

 

Cllr Sarah Lunnon was thanked by members of all parties for her contribution to the county and the tenancity and passion with which she worked for the communities she represented.

 

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson thanked members for the work that had been carried out over the past four years.

 

 

Cllr Lesley Williams  thanked the members of the Labour Group who were not standing again. She thanked Cllr Barry Kirby, Cllr Jasminder Gill and Cllr Paul McMahon. She thanked Cllr Steve McHale for the twenty-four years he had served the community faithfully.

 

Cllr Mike Sztymiak stated that Cllr David Prince was not standing again and so thanked him for his work in serving the community so well.

 

 

b) CM2000

The Chairman reported that CM2000, the Council’s partner in electronic call monitoring, had singled out Gloucestershire as their award recipient for Partnership Working 2017. The award recognised the work of the Council in ensuring that vulnerable adults receive the services commissioned for them and the value for money achieved through commissioning practices.

 

 

c) Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service wins CIPD award

The Chairman congratulated the GFRS Employee Network Group on being awarded the Heather Ross Diversity and Inclusion Award 2017 by the Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Branch of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Submissions were received from a variety of industries and sectors and the GFRS business case detailing the work of the group was acknowledged as making a real difference to the service and the communities.

 

d) Commonwealth Day

The Chairman advised members  that he had raised the Commonwealth flag over Shire Hall on 13 March 2017 to mark Commonwealth Day. A day when 52 countries around the world came together to promote the shared values of

peace, democracy and equality, and to celebrate the association’s rich

diversity. Gloucestershire businesses had a long history of trading with the

Commonwealth and the county had a tradition of welcoming people from

these countries who have made their homes in Gloucestershire.

 

e) Gloucestershire Music

On 8 and 9 April 2017 over 100 young musicians from Gloucestershire would be  competing in the finals of the National Concert Band Festival, the UK’s largest competitive wind and jazz band festival.

 

f) Children and families – The Chairman thanked all the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Public questions pdf icon PDF 118 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 question is 10am on Wednesday, 15 March 2017.  Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Stephen Bace (email stephen.bace@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

 

To answer any oral questions put by members of the public with the consent of the Chairman.  Depending on the nature of the questions asked it may not be possible to provide a comprehensive answer at the meeting, in which case a written answer will be supplied as soon as reasonably possible after the meeting.

 

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

Minutes:

Twenty-one written public questions had been received. The following supplementary questions were asked:

 

Question 1 – Martin Large questioned the factual accuracy of the figures provided in 2015 for the costs of cancelling the Javelin Park contract. He asked if the member could specify the financial and environmental benefits of the incinerator over 25 years compared to cheaper and more flexible methods of waste disposal.

 

In response Cllr Ray Theodoulou stated that the figures had been accurate at the time, but could have been subject to change.  He did not see that there was public interest in a more detailed breakdown.

 

Question 2 – Jojo Mehta stated that there was a moral and legal responsibility to protect the Council given that the Javelin Park contract was the biggest the Council had ever undertaken. She explained that a complaint had been made to the Competition and Markets Authority, she asked how the leader could justify allowing the contract to be signed knowing these consequences.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne replied that despite the concerns raised by the member of the public, no alternative had been brought forward. The Council had undergone a long procurement route and there had been opportunities throughout that process for concerns to be raised. Planning permission had been gained and the decision had been made in a democratic way.

 

Question 3 – Rachel Smith asked whether Cabinet would commit to the release of all major contracts to the public as there was a clear public interest in having full access.

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou explained that a cross party working group would be responding to that issue.               

 

Question 4 – Gerald Hartley suggested that the use of the recycling position was misleading as percentages were distorted by tonnage being added to recyclate. He asked whether it was time to use ‘tonnage per capita to landfill’ as the figure to publicise?

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou suggested that a member of Stroud Council would be welcome to attend the Joint Waste Committee and make a proposal if they wished to do so.         

 

Question 5 -  Gerald Hartley asked that if Stroud’s waste to landfill figures were replicated across the County, would the total amount sent to landfill be enough to serve the incinerator?

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou stated that figures produced showed that Stroud had some way to catch up with regards to waste performance.

 

Question 6 – Gerald Hartley asked how the costs of the appeal against the Information Commissioner’s decision would have been funded if there had not been a budget approved by Council.

 

In response, Cllr Ray Theodoulou stated that this was a hypothetical question with no answer.

 

Question 7 – Gerald Hartley stated that if the Council and UBB did not accept that schedule 23 was an exhaustive list, could they choose which elements they would alter or ignore in response to FOI?

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou replied that enquiries were responded to in good faith and following procedure.             

 

Question 8 – Gerald Hartley  asked what the County Council’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Petitions

To receive petitions presented by members without discussion.

Minutes:

Cllr Sarah Lunnon presented a petition to Cllr Mark Hawthorne on ‘Hands Off Our NHS’ from Stroud residents.

20.

Corporate Parenting

For information and members’ questions.

 

Oral report from the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and Strategic Commissioning.

Minutes:

Cllr Paul McLain, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and Strategic Commissioning, provided an update.

 

He explained that it was important  that the role of Corporate Parenting was a real focus for the next Council. He outlined the Regulation 33 visits which had been undertaken and the work that was being led by ambassadors.

 

He was proud of the work of the virtual school and the awards ceremony that brought home to all how important it was for councillors to be corporate parents and be proud of the children’s achievements.

 

He emphasised the role of scrutiny in considering the performance data in order to allow the Corporate Parents Group to be ‘parents’.         

 

Members thanked Cllr McLain for his work as the Cabinet Member and commended the work undertaken by officers. One member noted that a vast improvement  had been made and that the Council would continue to work to improve the experience for our Children in Care.  

 

Members noted the need for appropriate training for new members with regards to Corporate Parenting, noting that many would be unaware of their responsibilities when first being elected.

 

One member commented that Central Government were making reductions in the funding required by Local Government in order to provide the services to support the most vulnerable. She asked for the Cabinet Member to comment. In response, Cllr Paul McLain explained that Gloucestershire County Council had made a commitment to the most vulnerable and additional funding had been provided in the latest budget. He explained that when resources had been tight, investment had still been made in social workers.

 

 

21.

Motions

For debate and decision.

 

The following motions were received by the closing date of 14 March 2017:

 

Motion 789 – Highways contract

Proposed by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

Seconded by Cllr Chris Coleman

 

This Council notes that last year the Highways Commissioning Team prepared and carried out a review of the Amey highways contract to enable a decision to either extend the contract for a further 3 years or to terminate it in 2019.

 

This Council is aware that it takes between 18 and 24 months to retender the highways contract. This Council is disappointed however that no engagement has yet to take place with local parish, town and district councils regarding the decision to [possibly] extend the highways contract with Amey.

 

This Council has previously expressed concerns over the disappointing satisfaction levels with service amongst both members and parish council. The issues of customer focus and communications have also been identified as needing significant improvement.

 

To head off any decisions being made behind closed doors, this Council requests that the Highways Commissioning Team through existing resources conducts a full consultation with local parish, town and district councils regarding the decision to either extend or to terminate the highways contract with Amey.  The results of this consultation to be reported back for member discussion at the full Council meeting on 28 June 2017.

 

 

Motion 790 – Saving our NHS

Proposed by Cllr Iain Dobie       

Seconded by Cllr David Brown

 

This Council notes that the NHS is going through the biggest crisis in its history.

 

The impact of this can been seen locally affecting ambulance response times, Accident and Emergency waiting times, the length of time it takes to get a GP appointment and changes to the Minor Injury and Illness Units (MIIUs) across the county.

 

This Council is concerned that with a sustained fall in NHS funding our local services in Gloucestershire will continue struggling to cope.

 

The Government has refused to give the NHS the extra funding that it needs with the percentage of our national income spent on the NHS set to fall between now and 2020.  The UK is a relatively low spender on health care and this Council would therefore like to see adequate funding.

 

This Council resolves that the Leader of this Council and the Chief Executive write to the Secretary of State for Health, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, calling the Government to establish a cross-party NHS and Care Convention with the objective of obtaining a long-term settlement for NHS and Care Services.

 

 

Motion 792 - Blue badges

Proposed by Cllr Lesley Williams

Seconded by Cllr Tracy Millard

 

This Council recognises that regulations over who can and cannot get a blue badge are getting much stricter. As a Council we believe everyone who needs a blue badge should be able to get one. 

 

This Council commits to review its Blue Badge Policy criteria and will invite all relevant community groups and interested partners to an open consultation over how we can make  ...  view the full agenda text for item 21.

Minutes:

Motion 789 - Highways Contract

 

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson proposed and Cllr Chris Coleman seconded the following motion:

This Council notes that last year the Highways Commissioning Team prepared and carried out a review of the Amey highways contract to enable a decision to either extend the contract for a further 3 years or to terminate it in 2019.

 

This Council is aware that it takes between 18 and 24 months to retender the highways contract. This Council is disappointed however that no engagement has yet to take place with local parish, town and district councils regarding the decision to [possibly] extend the highways contract with Amey.

 

This Council has previously expressed concerns over the disappointing satisfaction levels with service amongst both members and parish councils. The issues of customer focus and communications have also been identified as needing significant improvement.

 

To head off any decisions being made behind closed doors, this Council requests that the Highways Commissioning Team through existing resources conducts a full consultation with local parish, town and district councils regarding the decision to either extend or to terminate the highways contract with Amey.  The results of this consultation to be reported back for member discussion at the full Council meeting on 28 June 2017.

 

Cllr Hodgkinson stated that the Liberal Democrat Group on the council had consistently requested that Amey be better monitored in response to the many concerns raised by the people of Gloucestershire. He highlighted the number and regularity of motions submitted by his group on this matter. He also noted that the Labour Group has also put forward motions relating to Amey.

 

He informed council that he felt that the condition of highways in the county was an embarrassment, and damaging to the council’s reputation.

 

It had taken Amey over 2.5 years to start hitting their targets on a 5 year contract. Cllr Hodgkinson stated that before a decision was made with regard to the contract going forward it was important to receive feedback from parish, town and district councils. He was disappointed that the survey had not already been undertaken and questioned whether this was because the Administration were concerned about feedback so close to an election.

 

The Labour Group proposed an amendment to paragraph two of the motion (proposed by Cllr Kirby, seconded by Cllr L Williams):

 

This Council is aware that it takes between 18 and 24 months to retender the highways contract. This Council is disappointed however that no engagement has yet to take place with local parish, town and district councils regarding the decision to [possibly] extend the highways contract with Amey.  delivery model ranging from in-house provision, fully contracted, or a hybrid service.

 

Cllr Kirby stated that the Labour Group felt that the renewal of the contract opened up opportunities to influence the design of the delivery model going forward and it was important to reflect people’s experience and understand their view on how the contract should be delivered in the future.

 

Commenting on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Member questions pdf icon PDF 151 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, 15 March 2017. 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 circulated prior to the meeting.

 

Minutes:

Sixty  member questions had been received. The following supplementary questions were asked:

 

Question 1 – Cllr Iain Dobie asked if the independent report on air pollution monitoring in Gloucestershire could be made available to the Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor replied that it could be made available.

 

Question 2 – Cllr Iain Dobie asked why the County Council had declined to set an example by using electric vehicles.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor explained that the possibility was being explored and that a report would go to the next Council.

 

Question 3 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked for more details on the precautionary approach being adopted around school buildings potentially containing asbestos.

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou stated that the assumption was always made that the material could be present and that specialist teams were used.

 

Question 4 -  Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked what the likelihood was for other successful claims relating to asbestos in schools.

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou replied that this was difficult to predict as they were historic claims with asbestos cases having stretched back over 20 years.

 

Question 5 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked if the member could provide a full list of the buildings where the Council had spent £820,000 on asbestos removal.

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou replied that he would try to make the information available.

 

Question 16 – Cllr Iain Dobie asked whether the Leader would speak to the Local Government Minister to ensure Gloucestershire was first in the queue for being able to retain 100% business rates.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne explained that Gloucestershire had been successful in the recently announced additional funding for adult social care. He understood that an announcement around pilot areas for 100% business rates would occur in the summer. Leadership Gloucestershire had made it clear that it would like Gloucestershire to be one of those areas included in the pilot.

 

Question 18 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked that in light of the recent complaint lodged with the Marketing and Competition Agency, would the Council be meeting with UBB to discuss further financial losses pending the outcome of that judgement.

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou replied that no plans had been made.

 

Question 21 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked whether Northamptonshire was aware of the ‘hazardess’ substance that was being sent to them from Javelin Park.

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou explained that all the material would be taken to a government approved location. The substance had a commercial use and so UBB were still looking at the most appropriate way to dispose of the material.

 

Question 24 – Cllr Barry Kirby asked how the County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner were co-ordinating reports to ensure they were not covering the same ground in relation to the proposed business case around the transferring of GFRS governance. He was concerned about ensuring best value.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor stated that the final report should be made available to the new council. The Council had been in contact with the Commissioner’s Office relating  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Scrutiny report pdf icon PDF 119 KB

For debate and decision.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)         Scrutiny review

 

Cllr Brain Oosthuysen, Chairman Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee (OSMC), presented the Scrutiny Review report to council.A meeting of scrutiny chairs and vice-chairs had taken place on 28 February 2017 to undertake an ‘end of term’ review of overview and scrutiny at the Council. He drew member’s attention to the current inquiry by the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on Overview and Scrutiny, and that Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee had used the inquiry questions in this work.

 

Council noted the key messages within the report which outlined that feedback had been overwhelmingly positive and no changes proposed to the current scrutiny practices. There were some areas, particularly around working practices where improvements could be made.

 

 

b)        Scrutiny update

 

i)          Economic Growth  Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Cllr Joe Harris, Chairman of the Committee, took this opportunity to thank Jo Moore, Senior Democratic Services Adviser, for her help and support to him and the committee.

 

ii)         Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee

 

Cllr Lunnon asked a question relating to recycling credits. She noted that this committee had discussed this matter before the release of the additional information in the Urbaser Balfour Beatty contract and suggested that the committee might wish to revisit this matter as recycling credits would now be a charge for this council and she questioned how this would be managed. She also indicated that following the release of the contract information she might have further questions. Noting that Cllr Lunnon was not standing in the upcoming election the Chairman of Council stated that council would no doubt see Cllr Lunnon in the public question lists in the next council. Cllr Theodoulou, Cabinet Member Finance and Change, stated that he would arrange for a response to this question.

 

 

iii)        Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

As agreed at the start of the meeting Cllr Binns, Cabinet Member Older People, gave a short update on the situation with regard to Cleeve Link. She assured members that arrangements with care agencies across the county to pick up the domiciliary care that was previously provided by Cleeve Link have now largely been agreed. In most of the county these were already up and running with the Human Support Group covering Gloucester and Stroud; Radis were covering the Forest of Dean and parts of Tewkesbury Borough; Live Well at Home were supporting Tewkesbury Town and Marina Court; and Careful Care were supporting the Cotswolds.

 

Comfort Care were the fifth care agency involved and they were working with the council to ensure a smooth transition in Cheltenham; with the largest group of service users and staff this area has been the most difficult part of the transfer arrangements but that we were expecting this to be concluded by the weekend. In the meantime, council officers with support from partners, particularly Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, were continuing to ensure people received the support that they needed. Cllr Binns stated that she was appreciative of the forbearance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Appointments Committee report pdf icon PDF 349 KB

For debate and decision.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that

 

the attached revised Pay Policy Statement 2017-18 be adopted.

25.

Cabinet Member Decision Statement pdf icon PDF 92 KB

For information and members’ questions.

 

Minutes:

This item was not considered.

26.

Highways performance report pdf icon PDF 220 KB

For information and members’ questions.

 

To note that senior highways officers from Amey, the Council’s highways contractor, will be available immediately following the meeting to answer questions.

 

Minutes:

This item was not considered.