Agenda and minutes

County Council - Wednesday 27 November 2019 10.00 am

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

Items
No. Item

64.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2019 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

 

 

65.

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.

66.

Announcements

 

a)    Care Ambassadors’ Tree of Life

Members are invited to visit the display on the Council Chamber landing.

 

b)    Fostering Excellence Awards

To congratulate Henry Wells, 19, one of Gloucestershire County Council’s ambassadors for vulnerable children and young people, on winning the award for ‘outstanding contribution by sons and daughters’ at The Fostering Network’s ‘Fostering Excellence Awards’.

 

c)    Adverse weather

To thank Council teams who have kept the highway network running, protected properties from flooding and supported vulnerable people during the recent periods of heavy rainfall. 

 

d)    Transformation and Change Awards 2019

To congratulate staff and teams who were nominated for awards.  The Leader of the Council attended the ceremony in the Council Chamber on 7 November 2019.

 

e)    ICT support

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

 

Minutes:

a)    Care Ambassadors’ Tree of Life

Members were invited to visit the display on the Council Chamber landing over the lunch period.

 

b)    Fostering Excellence Awards

The Chairman congratulated Henry Wells, 19, one of Gloucestershire County Council’s ambassadors for vulnerable children and young people, on winning the award for ‘outstanding contribution by sons and daughters’ at The Fostering Network’s ‘Fostering Excellence Awards’.

 

c)    Adverse weather

The Chairman thanked Council teams for keeping the highway network running, protecting properties from flooding and supporting vulnerable people during the recent periods of heavy rainfall. 

 

d)    Council Transformation and Change Awards 2019

The Chairman congratulated staff and teams who had been nominated for awards.  The Leader of the Council had attended the ceremony in the Council Chamber on 7 November 2019. 180 nominations were received covering 60 separate projects.

 

e)    Visit by Dean Academy

The Chairman welcomed students from the Dean Academy in Lydney who had been invited to attend the meeting by Cllr Alan Preest.

 

f)     Appreciation of Foster Carers

Cllr Lesley Williams advised that an event to thank foster carers was held in Cheltenham on 14 November 2019. 180 people had attended. She thanked foster carers across the county who looked after our most vulnerable young people.  She asked that Council record its thanks. 

 

g)    Gloucestershire Archives

On 15 November 2019, over 80 volunteers joined Gloucestershire Archives staff in celebrating the National Archives Volunteering Award 2019 at Llanthony Secunda Priory.  The President and Chair of the Archives and Records Association had been quoted afterwards as saying “we saw something inspiring and transformative in the design, management and implementation of this project by Gloucestershire Archives that sets a new benchmark for the sector.”  

 

Gloucestershire Heritage Hub was a finalist for a GloucestershireLive ‘Believe in Gloucester’ Transformation Award, hosted by Steve Knibbs at Gloucester Rugby Club on 28 November 2019.   

 

67.

Cllr Roger Wilson

Section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 requires a member of a local authority to attend at least one meeting of that authority within a six month consecutive period, in order to avoid being disqualified as a councillor. This requirement can be waived if any failure to attend was due to a reason approved by the authority, in advance of the six month period expiring.

 

Unfortunately, due to a serious illness, Cllr Roger Wilson, who represents the Winchcombe and Woodmancote Division, has not been able to attend any formal Council meetings since Cabinet on 24 July 2019. The Leader of the Council requests that Council suspends the six month rule for Cllr Wilson until further notice.

 

Minutes:

Section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 required a member of a local authority to attend at least one meeting of that authority within a six month consecutive period, in order to avoid being disqualified as a councillor. This requirement could be waived if any failure to attend was due to a reason approved by the authority, in advance of the six month period expiring.

 

Unfortunately, due to a serious illness, Cllr Roger Wilson, who represents the Winchcombe and Woodmancote Division, had not been able to attend any formal Council meetings since Cabinet on 24 July 2019.

 

RESOLVED that Section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1972, that requires a member to attend at least one meeting within six months, be suspended for Cllr Roger Wilson.

68.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 87 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 November 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:

Eight questions had been received. A copy of the answers was circulated

and is attached to the signed copy of the minutes.

 

Question 5 – Referring to a particular incident with an individual passing away from pneumonia in June 2019, Steve Gower asked whether the Cabinet Member felt that the provision for those who were homeless was adequate.

 

Kathy Williams acknowledged that this was a sad situation and outlined that the questions had been directed to Gloucester City as their responsibilities meant that they were in a more appropriate place to respond.

 

 

Question 6 – Sebastian Field welcomed the news about Podsmead Road, Gloucester being resurfaced. He asked whether he could be informed of the cost?

 

Cllr Vernon Smith stated that he would ask officers to provide the figures.

 

 

Question 7 – Sebastian Field asked whether the Cabinet Member was happy with the standard of ‘dressing’ on Romney Road, Gloucester.

 

In response Cllr Vernon Smith explained that the team worked to national best practice and the work had been part of the £150 million investment in highways.             

 

 

Question 8 – Sebastian Field asked if the Cabinet Member could provide a ‘snappy way’ of explaining the concept of a ‘data led’ approach to residents.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith referred to asset management, looking at the lifetime of a road, inspecting the network and deciding on priorities. He used the analogy of painting a bridge, starting at one end and working through before starting again once finished. He said that it was about continuous maintenance of the network.    

 

 

69.

Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 111 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 which focused on why children and young people went missing and the value of return home interviews. He drew members’ attention to the display on the Council Chamber landing of the ‘Tree of Life’ with the stories of children in care. He said that officers would be present during the lunch break to answer questions on members’ role as corporate parents.  

 

A member emphasised the importance of return to home interviews in preventing incidents recurring.

 

Cllr Boyles assured members that the Council recognised the issues and risks facing young people who went missing and was working closely with partners to reduce episodes of missing and provide support.  He said that the complexity of the issues faced by young people meant that it was not a simple one-fix process.

 

Another member referred to the growing movement towards extending mental health and wellbeing care for young people from 18 to 25.  He recognised that supporting young people into early adulthood was critical and enquired whether Gloucestershire was extending the age range for care.

 

Cllr Boyles stated that he would check to see whether this was already the position.  He noted that young people across the county were engaged through the mental health Trail Blazer Programme with a positive response to the initiatives already undertaken.

 

A member said that it was important to focus on what young people needed with the most appropriate professionals engaging at the right time.  They referred to the former ASTRA Project for young people who ran away from home which had been judged by Ofsted as an example of best practice. 

 

Cllr Boyles undertook to speak to the Director of Children’s Services to see if there were any other avenues the Council should be investigating to help young people who ran away from home.

 

RESOLVED to note the report

 

 

70.

Petitions

To receive petitions presented by members without discussion.

Minutes:

No petitions were presented by members.

 

71.

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 November 2019: 

 

Motion 848 - Tree planting

Proposed by Cllr Lesley Williams

Seconded by Cllr Graham Morgan

 

This Council passed a motion on 15th May 2019 recognising that there is a climate emergency.


This Council committed to an 80% reduction in the corporate carbon emissions no later than 2030, striving to 100% with carbon offset by the same date. Research now shows that planting billions of trees is the best and cheapest way to tackle climate change.

This Council resolves to request Cabinet to develop a policy of tree planting; with a target of planting 2 trees for each Gloucestershire resident by 2030, if not sooner, and to work with tenant farmers and encourage at least 2 trees per field for most pasture land.


I ask that a progress report is included in the annual Environmental report.

 

Motion 849 – Responsible investment policy

Proposed by Cllr Colin Hay

Seconded by Cllr Rachel Smith

 

This Council notes that:

·         A ‘Climate Emergency’ was declared by Gloucestershire County Council in May 2019, along with five of the six district councils.

·         Burning fossil fuels poses a serious risk to the stability of the climate upon which our well-being and economy depend.

·         Research demonstrates that up to 80% world’s proven fossil fuel reserves will have to remain unburnt if we are to have a reasonable chance of keeping global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, the globally agreed target for climate change mitigation.

·         Since 80% of fossil fuels must remain in the ground, the reserves of the fossil fuel industry risk becoming ‘stranded assets’ with little or no value – representing a substantial financial risk for those that invest in them.

 

This Council further notes that:

·         Gloucestershire Pension Fund currently has over £140 million invested in the oil, coal and gas industries – nearly 7 per cent of the total pension investments.

·         To date, over 1,100 institutions representing nearly $11.5 trillion in assets have committed to divest from fossil fuel companies.

·         Over a dozen UK councils have committed to divestment, including Stroud District Council and nearby Oxford City Council.

·         Divesting from fossil-fuel industries is both environmentally and financially responsible, with fossil-free portfolios outperforming non-divested equivalents in recent years.

 

This Council commits to:

·         Review its Investment Strategy and develop and implement a Responsible Investment Policy, which rules out new investments in Fossil fuel companies.

·         Call on Gloucestershire Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels by requesting its representative on the Pension  ...  view the full agenda text for item 71.

Minutes:

Motion 848 - Tree planting

Cllr Lesley Williams, as proposer, and Cllr Graham Morgan, as seconder, indicated that they had accepted the friendly amendments from the Liberal Democrat Group highlighted below.

 

This Council passed a motion on 15th May 2019 recognising that there is a climate emergency.

 

This Council committed to an 80% reduction in the corporate carbon emissions no later than 2030, striving to 100% with carbon offset by the same date. Research now shows that planting billions of trees is the best and cheapest way to tackle climate change.

 

This Council resolves to request Cabinet to develop a policy of tree planting; with a target of planting 2 trees 1 treefor each Gloucestershire resident every year up toby 2030, if not sooner, and to work with tenant farmers and encourage at least 2 trees per field for most pasture land.

 

I ask that a progress report is included in the annual Environmental report.

 

Cllr Williams stated that trees curbed climate change by absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide and they reduced soil degradation, diminished flood risk and yielded a renewable energy resource.  It was estimated that a worldwide tree planting programme could remove two thirds of carbon dioxide emissions going into the atmosphere as a result of human activity.  She noted that it was tree planting week with local bodies including parish councils committing to a tree planting programme.

 

Cllr Morgan expressed concern that deforestation was not just happening in other parts of the world but also locally.  He said that the Forestry Commission were clearing large areas of the Forest of Dean at a time they should be looking to increase tree coverage.

 

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, who had put forward the friendly amendment, referred to the Liberal Democrat motion considered at the last meeting.  He said that planting billions of trees across the World was the cheapest and best way to address climate change.  He believed that planting one tree per year for each resident of the county by 2030 was a realistic ambition. 

 

Cllr Nigel Moor proposed and Cllr Mark Hawthorne seconded a motion without notice under procedural rule 11.1.13 of part 4 of the constitution, to refer the subject of the debate to the Cabinet.  He said that he supported the principle of the motion and noted that the Council was already working with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust to identify sites for tree planting.  Opportunities would be taken to promote biodiversity and tree planting on the County Council estate.  He noted that changes would be proposed to the Gloucestershire Streets’ Manual to encourage more tree planting on new housing sites.  The Climate Change Strategy would be presented to the Cabinet on 20 December 2019.

 

There was a short adjournment to allow Group Leaders to agree how the motion without notice should be dealt with.

 

On reconvening, a member expressed concern that referring the motion to the Cabinet would close down debate.  They said that members would not be given the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.

72.

Member Questions pdf icon PDF 119 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 November 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:

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

 

Question 1 – Cllr Bernie Fisher asked when the transition to alternative arrangements of the two young people in unregistered care homes would be carried out?

 

Cllr Richard Boules replied that the aim was not to place young people into unregistered homes but the market was not mature enough so on occasions this had happened. The Cabinet Member referred to Trevone House and the options that it would provide when placing young people into care.

 

 

Question 2 – Cllr Iain Dobie asked whether the County Council should take a more active role in promoting the take up of pension credits.

 

In response Cllr Mark Hawthorne stated that he was open to any suggestions the member had but stated that it was no more the County Council’s responsibility than Cheltenham Borough Council and suggested the member ask his question there as the more promotion the better.

 

 

Question 3 – Cllr Kate Haigh informed members that any activities undertaken by the County Council in relation to Holocaust Memorial Day should be submitted to the Memorial Day website so that it could be added to the map.  She asked if there would be an opportunity for members to not only be involved in events but to lead on them.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne replied that he was happy to ensure that councillors were involved and would discuss with Group Leaders.

 

 

Question 4 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson stated that the benches obstructing the pavement in Bourton-on-the-Water should not be taking 19 months to be dealt with. He asked  whether when meeting with officers shortly on the issue a definite timescale for resolving this could be drawn up.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith explained that as this was a legal dispute he could not provide those assurances but was hopeful that they could discuss a way forward with officers.

 

 

Question 6 – Cllr Lesley Williams asked whether a list of places could be provided where children placed out of county were based. She emphasised the importance of corporate parents being reassured those children were being cared for appropriately.

 

Cllr Richard Boyles replied that the previous week there had been 2 children in unregulated places out of county and this week there were none. The position changed daily. When placed out of county, a risk assessment was carried out and if a child required it then more visits were carried out. He said that he would be happy to meet with the member and the director to discuss further.

 

 

Question 8 – Cllr Lesley Williams asked when a section of road was patched, how long did the Cabinet Member expect it to last? With regards to question 9, she asked whether she should expect a patch to crack and need resurfacing after 4 weeks.

 

In response Cllr Vernon Smith said that the length of time would be determined by the method and material used to patch.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.

73.

Scrutiny report pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Cllr Shaun Parsons, Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, to present the report on recent scrutiny activities. Scrutiny chairs to answer questions relating to their committees.

 

The report incorporates a report on the activities of the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel which Chair, Cllr Colin Hay, can answer questions on.

Minutes:

Cllr Shaun Parsons, Chair of the Corporate Overview and  Scrutiny Management Committee, presented the report on recent scrutiny activities.  He said that the new scrutiny structure continued to bed-in well with non-executive members active on committees and task groups. A cross-party public participation task group had just started meeting. 

 

On 29 November 2019, the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee would be receiving a context-setting presentation on equalities and diversity following the recent motion at Council.  Cllr Parsons drew members’ attention to the budget scrutiny day on 9 January 2020.

 

RESOLVED to note the report

74.

Constitution Committee pdf icon PDF 575 KB

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

Minutes:

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

 

Cllr Iain Dobie requested that consideration be given to making detailed changes to the terms of reference of the Health and Wellbeing Board which he believed would improve democratic accountability.  Cllr Hawthorne stated that this would need to be considered by the Constitution Committee and, if necessary, recommendations would come back to Council.  He asked that Cllr Dobie send an email to him following the meeting.

 

Cllr Nigel Robbins, Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee, recognised that training for members of the committee could not be made mandatory but he encouraged members to attend.  He said that he found the sessions run by officers most informative and he noted the value of longstanding members attending to provide information on their experiences.

 

A member expressed concern at any move to change the procedure for Council motions involving the pre-assessment of financial, environmental and equality implications.  He believed that the current practice had worked well for years with the opportunity for political groups to propose amendments as necessary.  Cllr Hawthorne explained that no decisions had been made and the issue would be looked at in more detail at the next meeting of the Constitution Committee.

 

Another member suggested that it would be useful for the Constitution Committee to consider the process for motions, in particular the operation of motions moved without notice. He believed that it might be useful to draw up a flow chart setting out a clear pathway to ensure that matters were reported back to the Council as appropriate.

 

RESOLVED to ratify the changes to the Constitution included in the report relating to:

a)    The terms of reference of the Audit and Governance Committee (shown at Annex A).

b)    The scheme of delegation (Annex B)

c)    Those made by the Monitoring Officer (Annex C) 

75.

Cabinet

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.

 

75a

Cabinet 9 October 2019 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To consider the Cabinet Decision Statement for the meeting held on 9 October 2019.  Cllr Richard Boyles, Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years, to present the recommendation relating to the Youth Justice Management Plan which forms part of the Council’s policy framework.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Richard Boyles, the Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years, presented the recommendation relating to the Youth Justice Management Plan which formed part of the Council’s policy framework.  He explained that the Youth Offending Service in Gloucestershire rated well in comparison with other local authority areas. 

 

RESOLVED

 

a)    To approve the Youth Justice Management Plan

 

b)      To note the Cabinet Decision Statement for the meeting held on 9 October 2019.

75b

Cabinet 13 November 2019 pdf icon PDF 111 KB

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

Minutes:

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

75c

Cabinet Member Decision Statements pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider the Cabinet Member Decision Statements for the period 29 August to 7 November 2019.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED to note the Cabinet Member Decision Statements for the period 29 August to 7 November 2019.

76.

Cotswold AONB Conservation Board

To appoint a member to sit on the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Conservation Board to replace Cllr Roger Wilson.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Cllr Shaun Parsons be appointed to replace Cllr Roger Wilson on the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Conservation Board.

77.

Gloucestershire LGPS Annual Report 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Chair of the Pension Committee, to present the 2018-19 annual report for the Gloucestershire Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Chair of the Pensions Committee, presented the Gloucestershire Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) 2018-19 Annual Report.