Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday 13 February 2019 10.00 am

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 224 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 28 November 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 28 November 2018 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Please declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or personal interests that you may have relating to any specific matters which may be discussed at the meeting by signing the form that is available at the back of the Council Chamber.  Completing this form will be acceptable as a declaration, but members may also declare the interest orally if they so wish.

Minutes:

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

3.

Chairman's announcements pdf icon PDF 44 KB

a)    Jack Williams

To note with great sadness that Cllr Jack Williams passed away on 7 January 2019. The Chairman will ensure that members have every opportunity to pay tribute to Jack at the meeting.  At the end of the tributes, members will be asked to stand in silence as a mark respect for Jack.

 

b)    Queen’s New Year Honours

To congratulate the people living in Gloucestershire who received awards as part of the Queen’s New Year Honours.  The Chairman of the Council has written to the individuals included in the list attached to the agenda congratulating them on their awards.

 

c)    A417 ‘Missing Link’

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

 

d)    James Moore

The Chairman has written to Emmerdale actor James Moore from Cheltenham who won the Best Newcomer at the National Television Awards.

 

e)    New highway maintenance contract

Representatives from Ringway will be on the Council Chamber landing over the lunch period to provide information on the new contract which will start on 1 April 2019.

 

f)     Churchdown School visit

The Chairman welcomed representatives of Churchdown School’s Youth Parliament to Shire Hall on 18 January 2019.  The young people aged 11 to 17 had the opportunity to ask questions about the role of county councillors.  They also held an informal meeting in the Council Chamber. 

 

g)    ICT support

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

Minutes:

 

a)    Jack Williams

The Chairman stated that it was with a heavy heart that he was inviting members to pay tribute to Cllr Jack Williams who had sadly passed away on 7 January 2019.

 

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said that he had been shocked and saddened at Jack’s passing at just 28 years of age.  Jack had been elected to represent the Churchdown Division at a by-election in 2016 following the death of longstanding county councillor, Bill Whelan.   He noted that Jack was a passionate campaigner for Churchdown and had a particular interest in Children’s Services, serving on the Children and Families Scrutiny Committee.  He recognised the awful impact of Jack’s passing on his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children who were just 4 and 6 years of age.

 

Cllr Joe Harris said that he had become a good friend of Jack and, as they were the two youngest members of the Council, they had a shared interest on a number of issues.  They had both struggled with the criticism they had received, particularly on social media, when they were trying to do the best they could for their local communities.  Cllr Harris was pleased that steps were being taken to ensure that members received the support they needed. 

 

Cllr Lesley Williams, Leader of the Labour Group, and Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of the Conservative Group, both paid tribute to Jack.  They noted his contribution to the Churchdown community and the impact of his tragic loss on his wife and young family. 

 

The Chairman said that he would remember Jack’s smiling and relaxed face in the Council Chamber as he waited politely and patiently to be called to speak during debates. 

 

Members then stood in silence as a mark respect.

 

b)    Queen’s New Year Honours

The Chairman congratulated the people living in Gloucestershire who had received awards as part of the Queen’s New Year Honours.  He said that he had written to the individuals included in the list attached to the agenda congratulating them on their awards.

 

c)    James Moore

The Chairman advised that he had written to Emmerdale actor James Moore from Cheltenham who had won the Best Newcomer at the National Television Awards.

 

d)    Churchdown School visit

The Chairman had welcomed representatives of Churchdown School’s Youth Parliament to Shire Hall on 18 January 2019.  The young people aged 11 to 17 had the opportunity to ask questions about the role of county councillors.  They also held an informal meeting in the Council Chamber. 

 

e)    Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Action on ACEs Gloucestershire was holding screenings of the documentary film Resilience around the county. The next screening would be held in the Council Chamber in Shire Hall on 20 March from 10am to 12pm.

 

f)     Cllr Keith Rippington

The Chairman informed members that Keith had suffered a stroke just before Christmas and was making a good recovery at home.  Keith had asked that his thanks be passed to those members that had been in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Public questions

Minutes:

Ten public questions had been received. The following supplementary questions were asked:

 

Question 2 – Steve Gower commented on the record number of deaths and asked which individual in the Council would be informed of any deaths within supported living accommodations and what steps would the Council take to reduce the figures in the future.

 

Cllr Kathy Williams provided assurances that the Council employed good contractors who were trained to work on a one-to-one basis with those with complex needs including substance abuse. The Director of Adult Social Care would be notified of any deaths.

 

 

Question 4 – Rob Brookes appreciated the extra spending by the Council on cycling infrastructure but it was only 5% of what the Dutch spent. While he appreciated the idea of a cycle link between Cheltenham and Gloucester, he felt that he had not seen from the plans much infrastructure work for other places in Gloucestershire to help people get easily and safely to work or shop.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith thanked Mr Brookes for bringing up the topic of cycling explaining that the £150 million investment in highways would help cyclists and other road users.He provided examples of how councillors could use their Highways Local money to help improve cycling safety.

 

 

Question 5 – Roy Messenger asked a question on the return to the archives of a document submitted in 2000 as part of Operation Shogan. In addition he asked what involvement the Cabinet Member had in the operation when he had been a Police Officer.

 

Cllr Richard Boyles replied that he was aware of the operation but had no connection to it. In response to the document, he would need to understand from officers what documents were being referred to and get back to him. 

 

 

Question 6 -  Roy Messenger suggested that, following a conversation with a member of the investigation team, the County Council might have a case to answer regarding the Badgeworth group of schools.

 

Cllr Richard Boyles responded that he would have to hear the evidence and if Mr Messenger had any further information then he should let him know.

 

Question 7 – Roy Messenger stated that his information stated that there had been additional victims from Gloucestershire and asked why the Cabinet Member had not replied to correspondence from his investigator.

 

Cllr Richard Boyles replied that he had met with him and his advocate along with the Liberal Democrat Group Leader. He asked Mr Messenger to provide any further information he had to him.   

 

 

Question 8 – Roy Messenger asked the Cabinet Member to explain to the Council why as a former Police Officer he had breached data protection rules by releasing information to ex-Police colleagues.

 

Cllr Richard Boyles explained that he had met once with Gloucestershire Police and once with Wiltshire Police in February 2017 following the questions asked by Mr Messenger at full Council in December 2017.  He said that it was a matter for the Police to investigate and he strongly refuted the suggestion made by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 151 KB

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

Minutes:

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

 

A member said that he recognised that a lot of work was being done to turn around Children’s Services but he noted that the recent Ofsted progress letter had identified concerns that a number of children continued to have multiple Social Workers.  He asked what steps were being taken to address this issue.

 

Cllr Boyles stated that Advanced Practitioners were in place in each team to work with colleagues and understand caseloads.  He was pleased that 75% of team managers were now Council employees rather than agency staff.  Work was being undertaken with a specialist recruitment company to find people for the remaining posts.  He said that management information was being strengthened to make sure that there was a robust monitoring process in place to allow concerns to be identified.

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

6.

Petitions

To receive petitions presented by members without discussion.

Minutes:

Cllr Rachel Smith presented a petition to Cllr Nigel Moor, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, relating to the provision on the segregated cycle track on the A419 between Stroud and Chalford.  She noted that local councils had contributed money towards a feasibility study and she thanked the Council for the funds that it had provided towards the scheme.

7.

Policy and Budget Framework - Medium Term Financial Strategy and the Council Strategy

Minutes:

The report before members included the Budget recommendations, Medium Term Financial Strategy, Council Strategy, Budget consultation report, Scrutiny Budget report and Due Regard Statement.

The Chief Executive explained the procedure that would be followed at the meeting for setting the budget. First, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of the Council, and Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, would be asked to present the budget recommendations from the Cabinet.

Second, in order to reach a position where a substantive motion could be debated, the other political groups would be invited to propose amendments to the budget but there would be no debate at that stage.  This would be a departure from the normal procedure where only one amendment could be moved and discussed at any one time.  The Chairman therefore proposed that under procedure rule 23.1 the following part of procedure rule 12.5 be suspended for the duration of the budget debate:

‘Only one amendment may be moved and discussed at any one time.  No further amendment may be moved until the amendment under discussion has been dealt with.’

The Vice-chairman seconded the motion and, on being put to the vote, the motion was supported.

Once the amendments had been presented, the Chairman would call for an adjournment to provide an opportunity for the Group Leaders to reach a common position. 

After the adjournment, the Leader of the Council would advise members of those areas where it had been possible to reach agreement.  Any amendments which had not been accepted or withdrawn would then be presented by the groups, debated and voted upon. 

Thereafter all members would have an opportunity to debate the Budget in line with the normal rules of debate.  At the end of the debate, the Leader of the Council would have the right of reply. 

Finally, a recorded vote would be proposed from the Chairman on the substantive motion, seconded by the Vice-chairman.

Conservative Group

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, the Leader of the Council, and Cllr Ray Theodoulou, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, presented the recommendation from the Cabinet meeting held on 30 January 2019.

 

 

Cllr Hawthorne advised that the Council continued to invest in services to support the most vulnerable people in local communities but at the same time was investing in ‘place leadership’ including Vision 2050.  The Budget would result in more money for both Children’s Services and Adult Social Care.  He thanked the leadership team and staff in Children’s Services for all work as part of the Council’s improvement journey.  He said that a permanent Social Worker Academy was being created to help the Council to ‘grow its own staff’ so there was less resilience on agency social workers.  Referring to people with complex needs, he stated that the Council could no longer rely on external providers and would be setting up its own dedicated ‘step-down’ facility within the next 12 months. 

 

He noted that the Council was now in Year 2 of the £150 million investment programme in Gloucestershire’s roads.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Member questions pdf icon PDF 85 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, 6 February 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 circulated prior to the meeting.

 

Minutes:

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

 

Question 1 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson stated that there were 31 working days until the country was due to leave the European Union. He asked if the Leader was saying that everything would be fine for the people of Gloucestershire if there was a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne replied that he did not know what arrangements would be in place or the leave date so he was unable to comment further.

 

 

Question 2 – Cllr Colin Hay asked if the Leader were to get a box of matches would he want to start the incinerator with it or would he want to burn it down due to the extra costs being incurred? Was he proud of it?

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne stated that he was proud that the Council was on target and on course for a long term solution to Gloucestershire’s waste. He felt that in the future members of the council of all political persuasions would be proud of it.

 

 

Question 3 – Cllr Iain Dobie asked that the revenue generated from parking charges in Cheltenham be committed to be spent in Cheltenham.

 

Cllr Dave Norman replied that the money would be used to improve parking across the County. He would welcome the opportunity to sit down with the member and go through the figures.             

 

 

Question 7 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson highlighted the accident on the A417 last July and explained that the judge had been shocked and surprised by the state of disrepair on the road. He suggested that the inspection process for highways was not working.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith explained that the Council took road safety very seriously and that highways managers continued to make sure inspection processes operated following national best practice.

 

 

Question 8 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked what the member would do to address his concerns about the inspection process not working.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith stated he would be happy to meet with the member and senior highways managers if the member had specific issues that he wished to raise.

 

 

Question 10 – Cllr Rachel Smith provided details of utility companies working at 6:30am in the morning citing an emergency. She asked what processes the Council had to guide utility companies about what was acceptable disruption?

 

Cllr Vernon Smith replied that he understood the frustration but that if there was an emergency involving utility companies then the Council was obliged by law to assist them where they took action. He would be happy to meet with the member to discuss further.

 

 

Question 11 – Cllr Rachel Smith asked which of the five substantive points of the letter referenced in her question did the Leader believe his answer addressed.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne noted that the question referred to the Ernst and Young report and he had answered with respect to that. A number of the points were referenced by the open letter and the Leader had nothing further to add to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Scrutiny report pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Cllr Patrick Molyneux, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, to present the scrutiny reports from the November and January cycle of meetings.

Minutes:

Cllr Patrick Molyneux, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, presented the scrutiny report.  He noted that the scrutiny review was continuing and he reminded members about the workshop being held on 25 February 2019.

 

A member believed that it would be useful to circulate a scrutiny position statement showing progress so far with the review ahead of the workshop.  He highlighted a specific issue relating to Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions and ensuring that relevant staff at the District Councils and in the County Council’s Youth Team were kept informed.  Cllr Brian Robinson, Chair of the Children and Families Scrutiny Committee, undertook to highlight this with senior officers.

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

10.

Constitution Committee report pdf icon PDF 287 KB

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of the Constitution Committee, to present the report from the meeting held on 14 January 2019.

Minutes:

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, the Chairman of the Constitution Committee, presented the report from the meeting held on 14 January 2019.

 

RESOLVED that the changes to the Constitution by the Monitoring Officer relating to ‘friendly amendments’ be ratified. 

 

 

11.

Cabinet Decision Statements pdf icon PDF 118 KB

To consider the decision statements for the Cabinet meetings held on 19 December 2018 and 30 January 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED to note the Cabinet Decision Statements from the Cabinet meetings held on 19 December 2018 and 30 January 2019.

 

12.

Individual Cabinet Member Decision Statements pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To consider the decision statements for the period 1 November 2018 to 31 January 2019.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED to note the Individual Cabinet Decision Statements for the period 1 November 2018 to 31 January 2019