Twenty four public questions had been submitted prior to the meeting.
As none of the questioners were in attendance at the meeting, a member suggested that new technology be utilised to allow members of the public to attend the meeting remotely to ask supplementary questions. They noted that it was difficult for some people to get to meetings.
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
Fourteen public questions had been received. The following supplementary questions were asked:
Question 7 – David Willingham explained that concerned residents he represented wanted to know when plans would be brought forward to resolve parking issues in Cheltenham. He was concerned that there was no hint of a timescale for the analysis of survey results or for the rest of the work that needed to be carried out. He asked what date the survey results would be made public?
Cllr Nigel Moor explained that the information would be provided after ‘race-week’ as there were a number of changes the Council wished to consult on.
Question 8 – David Willingham asked why a better attempt hadn’t been made to engage with the public given local residents knowledge of parking problems. He suggested an open and transparent consultation.
Cllr Nigel Moor replied that there had been considerable engagement and that he had heard from many residents in Cheltenham. The Council was aware of the concerns and issues expressed.
Question 9 – David Willingham suggested that with regards to parking in Cheltenham, the Council had no vision, no strategy, plan or timescale for delivery. He asked whether the Council would commit to consultation and implementation of a funded town wide on-street parking strategy for Cheltenham.
Cllr Nigel Moor stated that it was important to look at the intrinsic problems and what worked for individual communities rather than a Cheltenham wide approach.
Question 11 – Max Wilkinson asked whether the Leader of the Council would take the opportunity to ask which members had attended the Conservative political fund raising event?
Cllr Mark Hawthorne responded by stating that he would not and that he did not have a broader list of attendees. He spoke about the success of the fund raiser.
Question 12 – Max Wilkinson expressed concern about a Conservative Government ‘starving the NHS of cash’, and he suggested that the Cheltenham MP was campaigning for a downgrade to Cheltenham General Hospital. His question related to how this would be perceived by onlookers.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne replied that NHS spending in the Country had increased year on year under a Conservative government.
Question 13 - Max Wilkinson referred to a ‘pot hole summit’ in 2015 attended by Cllr Vernon Smith and County Council officers. He asked that Cllr Vernon Smith confirm that he is politically responsible for fixing potholes in Cheltenham.
Cllr Vernon Smith stated that there was additional investment for re-surfacing highways within the budget proposals. He encouraged members to report any defects on Highways.
Fourteen public questions had been received. No supplementary questions were asked.