Issue - meetings

Motions

Meeting: 23/03/2022 - County Council (Item 69)

69 Motions pdf icon PDF 246 KB

The Council’s Constitution provides for a maximum of two hours for debate on motions.  The time limit for member speeches is three minutes and the time limit for proposing a motion is five minutes.

 

In accordance with Procedural Rule 10.2 in Part 4 of the Council Constitution, the Chief Executive has prepared a short accompanying note for each motion in respect of any implications for climate change, resources, human rights and any other pertinent factors they may wish to include in accordance with the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

Motion 895 – Ukraine

Proposed by Cllr Mark Hawthorne

Seconded by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, Cllr John Bloxsom and Cllr Cate Cody

 

This Council:

·         Wholeheartedly condemns the barbaric and illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. As a democratic chamber, we are appalled by what we have seen unfold over recent weeks and we support the Ukrainian people in their fight to maintain democracy and self-determination as a nation.

·         We applaud countries across the world who have come out to condemn the Russian regime and President Putin’s leadership.

·         Welcomes the sanctions placed on Russia by the Government of the United Kingdom and other nations to target those Russian individuals responsible for the aggression and the organisations which benefit from, and fund, the corrupt and oppressive Russian regime.

·         Approves of the decision by our Pension Committee to prohibit new investments in Russian assets and to disinvest from all Russian-controlled and Russian-owned assets.

 

We also note that as of 8 March 2022, over 2 million people have fled Ukraine – a figure which will only increase further – and that Gloucestershire has a proud record of welcoming refugees.

 

This Council therefore agrees and affirms:

·         We stand with Ukraine and offer our full support for the people and their government in the face of unprovoked aggression.

·         To provide any reasonable help and support to all Ukrainian nationals living in Gloucestershire.

·         To work with District colleagues and GARAS to provide support for all refugees who arrive in Gloucestershire.

Finally, this council extends its thoughts and prayers to members of the Gloucestershire Ukrainian communityand pays tribute to the incredible generosity the people of Gloucestershire have shown in their personal efforts to support the humanitarian response to this crisis.

 

 

Motion 893 - Policing and anti-social behaviour

Proposed by Cllr Jeremy Hilton

Seconded by Cllr David Brown

 

This Council believes that improved police patrols, especially on foot, by Gloucestershire Constabulary would help reduce the incidence of petty crime and anti-social behaviour.

 

This Council notes that Chris Nelson, the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), committed in his manifesto to cut anti-social behaviour in our communities by 50% and to employ an additional 300 police officers during this term in office.

 

This Council notes however, with some concern, that the PCC’s recently announced budget paper will only see 106 additional officers employed during this term.

 

This Council therefore:

Minutes:

Motion 895 – Ukraine

Cllr Mark Hawthorne proposed and Cllrs Paul Hodgkinson, John Bloxsom and Cate Cody seconded this cross-party motion included on the agenda.

 

For all Group Leaders, this motion represented the Council standing united against the horrific and illegal invasion of Ukraine, against the human suffering and humanitarian crisis unfolding and against this attack on democracy and freedom.

 

The Leader categorised the county’s response into three areas. He emphasised the importance of a political response with Members adding their voice to the chorus of outrage against Putin’s regime. The Council had also followed suit with economic sanctions on Russian related investments. He detailed the Council’s humanitarian response in making sure GCC did everything it could to coordinate, collect and distribute aid. Members were extremely proud of the response from residents in this effort also. Finally, he details the support for refugees. The county had a proud track record for helping resettle refugees, and teams across Gloucestershire would continue to offer a safe haven for those fleeing conflict. Cllr Hawthorne ended with the words, “We are all Ukrainian”.

 

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson spoke on behalf of the Liberal Democrat Group. He thanked the other political groups for supporting this cross-party motion and offering a united voice from the Council. He paid tribute to the inspiring leadership in Ukraine in the face of the atrocities that everyone had all watched unfold over the past 4 weeks. He also praised the community’s response in Gloucestershire on aid and offers of homes for refugees. On behalf of the group, he also welcomed the recent removal of ‘red tape’ from the Government’s resettlement plans, enabling an easier transition for those coming the country and county in months to come. Cllr Hodgkinson ended with the words, “We stand with Ukraine”.

 

Cllr John Bloxsom spoke on behalf of the Labour Group. They too welcomed and thanked other groups for the cross-party voice, condemning the military aggression and standing with the people of Ukraine, for democracy and their right to choose European identity should they wish. He welcomed the economic sanctions against Russia to date but called for these to go further and become broad enough to impact every aspect of their economy. He praised the courage of Russian citizens taking to the streets in protest against the illegal invasion, whilst under threat themselves of oppression. He stressed the need for ‘wrap around services’ to be available for refugees settling in Gloucestershire, and to ensure that GARAS (Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) was enabled to remain resilient and viable, not becoming overwhelmed.

 

Cllr Cate Cody spoke on behalf of the Green Group and echoed all comments that had been made so far, describing the war in Ukraine as ‘catastrophic’ and a complete and utter waste, of human life (both soldiers and civilians), but also environmentally. She went on to cite the carbon waste of weapons, transport, medical supplies etc., the destruction and rebuilding of homes schools, roads and hospitals. She stated that the group recognised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69


Meeting: 08/12/2021 - County Council (Item 45)

45 Motions pdf icon PDF 305 KB

The Council’s Constitution provides for a maximum of two hours for debate on motions.  The time limit for member speeches is three minutes and the time limit for proposing a motion is five minutes.

 

In accordance with Procedural Rule 10.2 in Part 4 of the Council Constitution, the Chief Executive has prepared a short accompanying note for each motion in respect of any implications for climate change, resources, human rights and any other pertinent factors they may wish to include in accordance with the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

Motion 888 - Armed Forces Community Covenant 

Proposed by Cllr Andrew Gravells

Seconded by Cllr Dom Morris

 

Nearly a decade ago, in February 2012, Gloucestershire County Council along with its partners including the six district councils, local NHS representatives, and the Police and Crime Commissioner, signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant 

 

The Covenant is a statement of mutual support between the civilian community and its local Armed Forces Community. It encourages support for the Armed Forces Community residing in Gloucestershire and recognises and remembers their sacrifices. This includes in-service and ex-service personnel, their families and widow(er)s, reservists, and partners in Gloucestershire. It’s important that we continue to work with veterans in the county too, and we place on record our appreciation and gratitude to those organisations which work tirelessly with our local veterans and their families.

 

For the County Council and its partner organisations, the Armed Forces Community Covenant presents an opportunity for us all to continue sharing our knowledge and experience of how Local Government is structured and how it works, with the local bases in order to assist and advise our military neighbours  and their families in practical ways when they might need our help or advice.

 

The County Council continues to keep in touch with the Military bases in the county, doing its best to ensure that all Military personnel  are aware of how to access the Local Government  services which are available , and also how we can  learn from them on   how we can  address any  issues which they encounter .

 

In the last few weeks, we have planned, and now begun, an e-learning course for all Elected Members, and county council staff, in an effort to make our Council even more effective in our work with our military residents.

 

Now, we believe that the time is right to update and reinforce the Covenant.

 

Therefore, this Council proposes that on the 10-year anniversary of the original signing, the county council invites all original signatories (or their replacement bodies) to re-sign, highlighting their continued commitment to honouring the Armed Forces Community, and to contact all of the Gloucestershire Town and Parish Councils, inviting them to sign the updated Covenant too.

 

 

Motion 889 - Severn Edge STEP Fusion Reactor

Proposed by Cllr David Gray

Seconded Cllr Philip Robinson

 

This Council welcomes and celebrates the announcement that the Severn Edge bid for the Berkeley and Oldbury sites has been shortlisted down to one of five as this reactor offers  ...  view the full agenda text for item 45

Minutes:

Motion 888 - Armed Forces Community Covenant 

 

Cllr Andrew Gravells proposed and Cllr Dom Morris seconded the motion, (as published with the agenda for the meeting). Cllr Gravells, as Armed Forces Covenant Champion for the County Council, encouraged members, regardless of political affiliation, to support the motion.

 

Outlining personal reflections of his associations with the armed forces, including family associations and working alongside British and American Forces personnel at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Cllr Gravels spoke with pride about his work as Local Government Association (LGA) representative on the Central Government Cabinet Office Committee and in the development of the Armed Forces Community Covenant.

 

Cllr Gravells informed members that the Covenant represented a commitment from Government (and all those who sign up to it) to ensure all those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces and their families were treated with fairness and respect in the communities they serve or have served in. Representing a statement of mutual support between the civilian community and the local armed forces community of Gloucestershire, the Gloucestershire County Council Armed Forces Covenant was signed in 2012.

 

It was explained that the principal aims of the Covenant included:  

 

1)    To recognise the unique obligations of, and sacrifices made by the armed forces.

 

2)    To remove disadvantages arising for service people from membership, or former membership, of the armed forces.

 

3)    To consider that special provision for service people may be justified by the effects on such people of membership, or former membership, of the armed forces.

 

Cllr Gravells sought agreement to update the Gloucestershire County Council Covenant to include new organisations and to reaffirm the Council’s commitment to the Gloucestershire Armed Forces community.  This currently stood at around 2,400 serving personnel, increasing to a much larger number if immediate families, veterans and reservists were included.

 

Since taking over the role of Armed Forces Covenant Champion, Cllr Gravells, working alongside the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire, had been involved in a number of issues aimed at promoting the Gloucestershire County Council Covenant. Cllr Gravells stated that it was the support of the Honourable Company and the small covenant team based at Shire Hall that had encouraged him to continue in promoting the Covenant to every city, town, village and parish in Gloucestershire. It was for this reason that the updating and re-signing of the covenant was so important.

 

Commending the work of reservists who worked for the Council, the Covenant team at Shire Hall and the universal recognition attributed to the Glosters Regiment, Cllr Gravells reflected on his appreciation of the democratic freedom assigned to the council meeting, a freedom denied to so many around the world. He encouraged everyone to support the motion by placing on record their appreciation and gratitude to the Armed Forces Community of Gloucestershire.

 

Seconding the motion, Cllr Dom Morris, reflected on some of his own personal experiences whilst deployed with the armed forces. Speaking with visible emotion of the losses and sacrifices endured by so many during the deployment  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45


Meeting: 08/09/2021 - County Council (Item 36)

36 Motions pdf icon PDF 83 KB

The Council’s Constitution provides for a maximum of two hours for debate on motions.  The time limit for member speeches is three minutes and the time limit for proposing a motion is five minutes.

 

In accordance with Procedural Rule 10.2 in Part 4 of the Council Constitution, the Chief Executive has prepared a short accompanying note for each motion in respect of any implications for climate change, resources, human rights and any other pertinent factors they may wish to include in accordance with the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

Motion 880 - Call to scrap the Government’s Planning White Paper Proposed by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

Seconded by Cllr Paul Baker

 

The Council notes:

·         The significant concerns expressed by communities, including at the recent by-election in Chesham and Amersham, over the Conservative Government’s Planning Reforms.

·         The concessions already made to Conservative backbench MPs over concerns about the impact of planning deregulation on home counties.

·         Local resident concerns about their reduced ability to object to building works under Permitted Development Rights which have been extended under this Government.

·         Widespread concern and condemnation of the Planning White Paper proposals across Local Government, the Planning and Architecture Sector and organisations concerned with protecting green spaces and heritage.

 

The Council is concerned that:

·         The Government is not using the Planning White Paper to improve environmental outcomes from planning and building standards fast enough. This is at odds with the declaration of a climate emergency by many local authorities, including Gloucestershire County Council.

·         Government proposals to deregulate planning will water down the rights of residents to influence development where they live.

·         The Government's proposals will put at risk the character of Gloucestershire’s city, towns and villages.

 

The Council believes that:

·         Residents have the right to a say over developments that will change the area they live in.

·         Local councils, in consultation with their businesses and residents, are best placed to understand the issues in their area and respond with a housing strategy tailored to that area.

 

The Council calls for the Leader of the Council to write to the Government to scrap its Planning White Paper and instead:

·         Undertake a wholesale review of Permitted Development Rights.

·         Introduce rules which enable local areas to achieve much higher environmental standards in planning.

·         Make the Planning Inspectorate more accountable to local people.

·         Implement stronger controls to ensure Ministers making decisions on planning applications are not connected either financially or personally with the developers or related parties to the application.

 

Motion 881 - Tackling poverty and deprivation in Gloucestershire

Proposed by Cllr David Willingham

Seconded by Cllr Jeremy Hilton

 

This Council notes that despite Gloucestershire being a relatively affluent county, based upon the 2019 Indices of Multiple Deprivation for England, there are 12 areas in the 10 per cent most deprived areas.  These areas account for 19,415 people which is 3.1 per cent of the county’s population. 

 

This Council further notes that some areas have been in the 10 per cent most deprived areas in the 2010, 2015 and 2019 Indices of  ...  view the full agenda text for item 36

Minutes:

Motion 880 - Call to scrap the Government’s Planning White Paper

 

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson proposed and Cllr Paul Baker seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Hodgkinson stated that the failure to build a sufficient number of houses had long been an issue. It was important to build houses in the right places, particularly to benefit young people and their families. He stated that he had hoped that the proposals would make a positive difference but that they actually made things worse. Councils have approved a significant number of housing applications where none of the houses have been built; developers were land banking instead. The proposals also did not sufficiently reference the climate change emergency.

 

He further stated that there was already an affordability crisis in this county. What was needed were good quality sustainable buildings. Whilst it looked like there might be a back bench revolt on this issue, this could not be relied upon and it was therefore important for this council to engage with this issue.

 

Cllr Baker stated that he was a Cheltenham Borough Council planning committee member. The climate change emergency must be central to planning applications. The White Paper was a developer’s charter, supporting land banking; the white paper had been widely derided. He questioned whether the government was brave enough to tackle this issue. It would be important to reduce flood risks, add to biodiversity, and be carbon neutral in future developments.

 

Some members stated that the planning system did need reforming but that this white paper was not the way to do it. It was commented that an environmentalist had not been involved in the development of the white paper.

 

Cllr David Gray proposed the following amendment, Cllr Mark Hawthorne seconded the amendment: -

 

The Council notes:

 

·      The significant concerns expressed by communities,MPs and Councils  including at the recent by-election in Chesham and Amersham, over the Conservative over the Government’s Planning Reforms.

·      The concessions already made to Conservative backbench MPs over concerns about the impact of planning deregulation on home counties.

·      Local resident concerns about their reduced ability to object to building works under Permitted Development Rights which have been extended under this Government.

·      Widespread concern and condemnation of the Planning White Paper proposals across Local Government, the Planning and Architecture Sector and organisations concerned with protecting green spaces and heritage.

·      That districts are the primary planning authorities, and that under current legislation the County Council is only responsible for Minerals and Waste Planning

·      That there is a real need to deliver more homes in our county, so that future generations can enjoy the security of owning their own homes

 

The Council is concerned that:

 

·      The Government is not using the Planning White Paper to improve environmental outcomes from planning and building standards fast enough. This is at odds with the declaration of a climate emergency by many local authorities, including Gloucestershire County Council.

·      Government proposals to deregulate planning will water down the rights of residents to influence development where  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36


Meeting: 30/06/2021 - County Council (Item 20)

20 Motions pdf icon PDF 76 KB

The Council’s Constitution provides for a maximum of two hours for debate on motions.  The time limit for member speeches is three minutes and the time limit for proposing a motion is five minutes.

 

In accordance with Procedural Rule 10.2 in Part 4 of the Council Constitution, the Chief Executive has prepared a short accompanying note for each motion in respect of any implications for climate change, resources, human rights and any other pertinent factors they may wish to include in accordance with the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

Motion 876 - Call to adopt 20mph maximum speeds in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix

Proposer: Cllr Roger Whyborn

Seconder: Cllr Gill Moseley

 

This Council believes that 20 is plenty where people are.   

 

This Council agrees with and supports the UK Government’s recent endorsement of The Stockholm Declaration, which stipulates in Resolution 11 that a council should “mandate a maximum road travel speed of [20mph] in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix…except where strong evidence exists that higher speeds are safe.” 

  

Council resolves to formally adopt Resolution 11. In practice this means that the default speed limit on Gloucestershire’s urban and rural residential streets will be 20mph, except on main roads where speed limits, if higher, must be both safe and appropriate.

 

As the Local Highways Authority, this Council calls on Cabinet to consult the county’s District Councils, Parish Councils and communities to identify all the roads which should adopt a 20mph speed limit no later than 30 April 2025 and to make significant progress towards realising these changes in tandem - establishing 20mph limits in identified places quickly if communities agree.

 

Council commits to providing the necessary funding, to achieve the goal of making our residents safe across Gloucestershire.

 

Motion 877 - Call to scrap proposed Voter ID reforms  

Proposer: Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

Seconder: Cllr Ben Evans

 

This Council notes that:

·         The UK Government revealed in the Queen’s speech, on 11 May, its intention to introduce laws requiring all eligible voters to show voter ID in all future elections.

·         The UK Government claims this is to tackle electoral fraud.

 

This Council further notes, however, that:

·         The Electoral Commission has stated that there is “no evidence of large-scale electoral fraud.”

·         That between 2017 and 2019, there were just 6 convictions and 12 police cautions relating to electoral fraud – the majority of which did not relate to ID fraud.

·         That nearly 10 per cent of eligible voters do not have the necessary identification at present, and that previous trials of voter ID saw many hundreds of voters disenfranchised – including 750 people during the 2019 trials.

 

This Council believes that:

·         The proposed legislation is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist and only serves to make it harder for some sections of Britain’s electorate to vote – most notably minority groups and young voters.

·         The greater priority should be encouraging voter registrations within those groups that are typically under-represented during elections. 

 

This Council therefore resolves to:

·         Write  ...  view the full agenda text for item 20

Minutes:

Motion 876 - Call to adopt 20mph maximum speeds in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix

 

Cllr Roger Whyborn proposed and Cllr Gill Mosely seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Whyborn stated that this motion was about reclaiming the streets for the people who own them. This was about safety, climate change, an improvement in air quality and encouraging a shift from cars to other transport modes. 20mph should become the default speed; should be the speed across wide areas, except through routes; and would discourage ‘rat-running’.

 

Moving away from the idea of small ‘ghetto zones’ to wider area installation would be more cost efficient and would lead to a dramatic drop in excessive speeds with the additional infrastructure, eg. ‘sleeping policemen’. It was inevitable that there would need to be compromises and local communities would need to decide which would be the 20mph roads.

 

Cllr Whyborn emphasised that in contrast to some other areas Gloucestershire County Council has taken little action. Some of the larger cities have adopted wide ranging zones, and the entire city of Portsmouth is 20mph with few traffic regulation orders (TROs) required. Cllr Whyborn stated that Cabinet should commit highway funds to this issue.

 

Cllr Mosley stated that Dymock Parish Council had asked her to bring this motion to council. Each year there were casualties on the county’s roads; the only way to reduce this was to slow vehicles down. It was possible to achieve this without having to use road furniture; people should be encouraged to travel in different ways.

 

Cllr Moseley stated that the Welsh government had recently announced that there would be a 20mph limit across all areas. It was stated that it was important to start this conversation now. The Liberal Democrat Group had secured £100k of funding at the meeting of council on 17 February 2021 to investigate the potential for 20mph zones; the motion today was an opportunity to do something about it. Cllr Mosely asked that this motion not be referred to scrutiny.

 

Cllr Norman, Cabinet Member Public Protection, Parking and Libraries, stated that no one should challenge the view that speed was a contributory factor to accidents; the KSI (Killed and Seriously Injured) data demonstrated that high speed and a loss of control were major factors. It was important to find a way to educate everyone about speeding. Cllr Norman proposed a motion without notice under standing order 11.1.13 to refer the motion to the Environment Scrutiny Committee. The motion without notice was seconded by Cllr Mark Hawthorne.

 

Procedural advice was sought from and given by the council’s Monitoring Officer.

 

It was stated that members were aware from their conversations with Parish Councils that this issue was important to communities, and that 20 was plenty. This would improve road safety and help tackle pollution. The Council should get behind this motion; not kick it into the long grass. It was acknowledged that there would be issues that would need to be considered,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20


Meeting: 17/03/2021 - County Council (Item 7)

7 Motions pdf icon PDF 109 KB

The Council’s Constitution provides for a maximum of two hours for debate on motions.  The time limit for member speeches is three minutes and the time limit for proposing a motion is five minutes.

 

In accordance with Procedural Rule 10.2 in Part 4 of the Council Constitution, the Chief Executive will prepare a short accompanying note for each motion in respect of any implications for climate change, resources, human rights and any other pertinent factors they may wish to include in accordance with the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

Motion 870 - Equalities

Proposed by Cllr Lesley Williams

Seconded by Cllr Kate Haigh

 

This Council has committed to do all it can to understand and address the systematic prejudices, barriers and biases that affect the lives of Black and Asian Minority Ethnic people.

 

This Council commits to undertaking an equalities audit when services are designed and commissioned to remove access barriers for all groups with protected characteristics.

 

This Council investigate adopting the Rooney Rule. This would ensure that Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people are always short listed and interviewed when middle and senior management vacancies occur.

 

 

Motion 871 – Special Schools

Proposed by Cllr Patrick Molyneux

Seconded by Cllr Richard Boyles

 

This Council notes the significant investment into special schools in this year’s capital budget, including Alderman Knight in Tewkesbury, and Belmont and Battledown in Cheltenham. 

 

This Council further notes the extremely valuable role these schools play in supporting some of the most vulnerable children in our communities, apologises for the misguided actions of previous councils in seeking their closure, and commits to protect them in future.

 

 

Motion 872 – Response to Covid-19 pandemic

Proposed by Cllr Andrew Gravells

Seconded by Cllr Carole Allaway Martin

This Council puts on record its thanks to the NHS teams leading on vaccination in this county, and to the firefighters, other council staff and volunteers who support them, for their exceptional work in delivering the vaccine across our county. 

 

This Council also notes the exceptional efforts throughout the last year of GCC staff in public health, social care and across the council, who have risen to the challenge of supporting our county at this most difficult time.

 

 

Motion 873 – Social care funding

Proposed by Cllr Iain Dobie

Seconded by Cllr Jeremy Hilton

 

This Council notes that

  • Adult social care is the single largest item of county council expenditure.  At £157 million next year it represents nearly one third of all spend.
  • The social care funding framework is not fit for purpose and is failing the people who rely on it.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of these problems, including increasing levels of unmet need.
  • The adult social care funding gap is predicted to total £3.6 billion by 2024/25
  • That by 2030, one in five people across the UK are going to be aged over 65 – while in Gloucestershire, we are predicted to exceed one in four.

 

This Council recalls that:

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Motion 870 – Equalities

 

Cllr Lesley Williams proposed and Cllr Kate Haigh seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr L Williams informed the meeting that she was aware that the council was committed to do everything it could to create a diverse workforce. She informed members that a diverse workforce brought new ideas and experiences; would help inform on the needs of all residents of Gloucestershire; and, help the wider workforce better understand other cultures. She stated that a diverse workforce would also help to reduce unconscious bias.

 

She stated that by adopting the Rooney Rule, whereby ethnic minority candidates with suitable qualifications were always listed and interviewed when middle and senior management vacancies occur, the council would be setting an example of good practice.

 

Some members stated that the council maintained an equitable recruitment process, which met the requirements of the Equality Act (2010) with regard to protected characteristics. It was stated that the staff survey would highlight any issues; and that the council already undertook the equality audits that the motion was requesting.

 

Other members stated that as an institution funded by the public it was important that the workforce represented the communities it served. It was stated that the council’s senior leadership was not representative. It was commented that the motion did not address the barriers faced by many people from ethnic minorities when considering applying for posts. It was also stated that it was important to consider how due regard statements were used.

 

It was stated that whilst recognising the spirit in which the motion was proposed there were concerns with regard to the legality of what was proposed. Cllr Lynden Stowe therefore proposed a motion without notice under standing order 11.1.13 to refer the motion to the Equalities Working Group. The motion without notice was seconded by Cllr Mark Hawthorne.

 

Cllr Stowe stated that the council had a legal and moral duty to protect against any discrimination of a protected characteristic; this was a fundamental issue. He stated that it would be important to understand the legal position of the Rooney Rule; from one perspective it could be seen as illegal positive discrimination rather than legal positive action. It would also be important to ensure that this rule did not adversely impact any of the other protected characteristics.

 

Cllr Haigh and Cllr L Williams agreed to accept the motion without notice.

 

Cllr Haigh stated that whilst agreeing to accept the motion without notice this working group had not yet met and stated that it should do so as soon as possible in the new council to progress this important issue. This was a small step which did not make the council do anything other than consider its position on employment issues.

 

Having received unanimous support the motion without notice was carried.

 

RESOLVED thatunder standing order 11.1.13, motions without notice, Motion 870 ‘Equalities’ be referred to the Equalities Working Group.

 

Motion 871 – Special Schools

 

Cllr Patrick Molyneux proposed and Cllr Richard Boyles seconded  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7


Meeting: 25/11/2020 - County Council (Item 19)

19 Motions pdf icon PDF 255 KB

The Council’s Constitution provides for a maximum of two hours for debate on motions.  The time limit for member speeches is three minutes and the time limit for proposing a motion is five minutes.

 

In accordance with Procedural Rule 10.2 in Part 4 of the Council Constitution, the Chief Executive has prepared a short accompanying note for each motion in respect of any implications for climate change, resources, human rights and any other pertinent factors they may wish to include in accordance with the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

Motion 867 - Highways trees maintenance

Proposed by Cllr Jeremy Hilton

Seconded by Cllr Bernie Fisher

 

This Council agrees that highway trees are an important part in tackling the climate emergency, great for increasing biodiversity and they make both urban and rural street scenes more attractive. 

 

However, it is important that the trees along the highway receive proper maintenance to keep them in a healthy and safe condition, and ensure they remain a positive addition to their neighbourhoods. 

 

This Council notes that its resources for maintaining the highway network’s trees are inadequate.

 

This Council therefore, calls on the Cabinet Member for Highways and Flood to prepare a report in time for budget setting to show he can enhance the highway tree maintenance service by at least 100% and how GCC can significantly increase the total number of highway network trees to contribute towards the new 35 million trees commitment.

 

 

Motion 868 - ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper

Proposed by Cllr Nigel Robbins

Seconded by Cllr Ben Evans

 

This Council notes that:

·         The Government consultation on the ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper has recently closed.

·         The proposals would radically alter the existing planning system for all seven of Gloucestershire’s councils.

·         The changes have been opposed by the all-party Local Government Association, currently led by Conservative Councillors, along with many other interest groups.

 

This Council resolves to ask the Chief Executive and County Council leader to write to the county’s six MPs to raise strong opposition to the proposed changes in the White Paper, and to request a delay in the publication of the proposals until further consultation has been held with the public, Local Authorities and planning professionals. 

 

The letter must include, but not be limited to, the following objections:

·         The presumption in favour of outline planning approval within 'growth' and 'renewal' areas removes democratic oversight and public scrutiny.

·         The new method for establishing housing requirement figures would mean some districts will be overwhelmed by the new housing.

·         Changes to the affordable housing quotas would significantly diminish the amount of social rent and affordable housing built in Gloucestershire.

·         The time-scale of thirty months for producing a Local Plan is unrealistic.

 

 

Motion 869 – Child food poverty

Proposed by Cllr Colin Hay

Seconded by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

 

This Council:

·         Believes that it is shameful that children still go hungry in the UK.

·         Commends the initiative of Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford who has successfully campaigned on school holiday hunger and has recently formed  ...  view the full agenda text for item 19

Minutes:

Motion 867 - Highways trees maintenance

Cllr Jeremy Hilton proposed and Cllr Bernie Fisher seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Hilton informed the meeting of the benefits that trees brought to the environment, including a positive impact on climate change. He stated that there were 13,000 high priority trees in the county, but that there were insufficient resources to be able to safely maintain them all; officers were overworked. He also questioned the process by which the agency agreement worked. He stated that it was time to fix an overstretched system. Tree stumps should be ground out and trees replaced in a much shorter period of time than at present.

 

Some members indicated their support for this motion. They agreed that trees were an important part of climate change, and that there were insufficient resources to support this area of work. They also shared their experience of trying to get support from Gloucestershire Highways for tree maintenance in their division(s).

 

Other members stated that this motion was trying to amend next year’s budget without a budget amendment, and did not explain where the money would come from to fund this proposal. It was stated that the council had already agreed to invest in the planting of 35million trees and that the council was working on this project with the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership. The council had also been invited by the Woodland Trust to submit a bid to its emergency tree planting fund; a bid has been submitted. Information on this would be included in a report to be received by Cabinet on 16 December 2020.

 

Cllr Bernie Fisher, seconder of the motion, emphasised that this was about trees, and that if the council kept to its tree planting target it would need the resources to maintain them. This was a skilled job, not one that just anyone could do.

 

In summing up, Cllr Hilton emphasised that this was about maintaining trees on the highway not about planting trees; all that was being asked was that this be looked at in time for the budget proposals.

 

On being put to the vote the motion was lost.

 

Motion 868 - ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper

Cllr Nigel Robbins proposed and Cllr Ben Evans seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Robbins stated that the White Paper was an embarrassment. Opposition to it was widespread across councils and planning associations. He stated that the advisor to the White Paper was not part of any professional planning association. The White Paper needed a rethink. He acknowledged that it did take time to get housing built, but the solution lies in the hands of developers who were holding onto land. In his view getting consent was not the issue, there were various factors involved. In his view the White Paper offered developers a blank cheque and took away the democratic right to challenge planning applications.

 

Cllr Evans stated that, in his view, it was inconceivable that councillors would not support  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19


Meeting: 09/09/2020 - County Council (Item 7)

7 Motions pdf icon PDF 93 KB

The Council’s Constitution provides for a maximum of two hours for debate on motions.  The time limit for member speeches is three minutes and the time limit for proposing a motion is five minutes.

 

In accordance with Procedural Rule 10.2 in Part 4 of the Council Constitution, the Chief Executive has prepared a short accompanying note for each motion in respect of any implications for climate change, resources, human rights and any other pertinent factors they may wish to include in accordance with the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

Motion 864 - Restoring our rivers

Proposed by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

Seconded by Cllr Bernie Fisher

 

This Council notes that:

·         Gloucestershire is fortunate to have 28 rivers running through our county, including the River Severn and River Thames, Britain’s longest and second longest rivers.

  • However, many of these waterways are flooded with harmful pollutants, including raw sewage discharges from water treatment operators Thames Water, Severn Trent and Wessex Water.
  • This pollution is causing extensive damage to the fragile ecosystems around our county.
  • It can also prove a serous public health concern for those residents living near rivers or using them for leisure activities; with pathogens able to cause serious illnesses.
  • Furthermore, traces of Covid-19 have been found in sewage outputs in global hotspots.

 

This Council recognises that dumping raw sewage into rivers is currently legal in extreme circumstances, but also recognises claims that the use of these measures has become routine for some operators.

 

This Council believes that the adverse impacts on the county’s waterways are unacceptable and that water treatment operators need to adjust their behaviour and invest more in the networks to avoid damaging our county’s public resources.

 

This Council also believes that the county’s waterways are a resource that every resident should be confident in using safely, and that we should strive to have the country’s first designated bathing waters in rivers, which could bring great economic and social benefits to Gloucestershire.

 

This Council therefore resolves to

  • Call on the Cabinet to take urgent action with District Councils, the Environment Agency, local partners and communities to lead comprehensive monitoring of the county’s waterways to determine the extent of the damage caused by raw sewage and pollutants.
  • Call on the Cabinet to work with local partners, including The Rivers Trust and water treatment operators to promote better use of sewage facilities – recognising that everyone has a role to play in improving our waterways.
  • Write to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to ban the routine dumping of raw sewage into our rivers, with the ultimate aim of restoring our rivers to a state where we can safely swim in them and to protect their environment and biodiversity.

 

 

Motion 865 – Public Health England

Proposed by Cllr Iain Dobie

Seconded by Cllr Nigel Robbins

 

This Council recognises the hard work of the County Council’s Public Health officials when looking to tackle the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Gloucestershire.

 

This Council also notes that the team  ...  view the full agenda text for item 7

Minutes:

Motion 864 - Restoring our rivers

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson proposed and Cllr Bernie Fisher seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Hodgkinson stated that the UK’s rivers were the lifeblood of our natural world, shaping habitats, supporting wildlife and moulding the very landscape. With the Covid-19 lockdown and quarantine controls limiting the number of people travelling overseas, more people than ever had spent the summer months exploring their local environment, including the local lakes and rivers. 

 

Gloucestershire was fortunate to have 28 rivers flowing inside its borders. People were entitled to swim in or use these rivers for water activities, but tragically, many of the county’s rivers were flooded with harmful pollutants including raw sewage discharge from water companies. This situation also caused extensive damage to the fragile ecosystems supported by the waterway therefore proving a public health concern for anyone accessing the river. 

 

It was legally permissible for water treatment operators to dump untreated sewage in cases of extreme weather. However, it was the belief of many campaigners that this has become routine behaviour for many sewage operators. It was stated that at just one Combined Sewage Overflow (CS)) near Tetbury, raw sewage was dumped by Wessex Water on 108 occasions in 2019; near Stroud, one CSO operated by Severn Trent dumped raw sewage into the River Frome 141 times last year; and the River Coln, where Thames Water discharged a storm overflow near Fairford 132 times for a total of 2,207 hours in 2019.

 

In total last year, the three water companies operating in Gloucestershire discharged raw sewage into English rivers on more than a combined 55,000 occasions, totalling nearly 400,000 hours. These were just the ones we know about; over a third of CSOs were completely unmonitored.

 

In the absence of government regulation or enforcement of existing rules, local community groups were documenting the levels of effluent being dumped into local rivers eg. the River Windrush. Their findings showed that where once clear rivers teamed with wildlife, they were now murky and over-run with sewage fungus; much visible to the naked eye.

 

It was of deep concern that, with just 14 percent of the UK’s rivers being assessed as ‘good’ under the EU’s water framework directive, to learn last month that the head of the Environment Agency was planning to drastically slash the criterion by which rivers were judged – allowing for a huge increase in those deemed “good” despite no improvements. As noted by campaigners “surfers against sewage” this would amount to engineering the testing programme to give the illusion that our rivers were healthier than they are.

 

Cllr Hodgkinson stated that this motion therefore called on this council to clean up our county’s waterways and to target designated Bathing Water status for our rivers. This could start with working with our district councils, the Environment Agency, local partners and our communities to undertake comprehensive monitoring of our county’s rivers.  This could then continue with the Council leading the work with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7


Meeting: 24/06/2020 - County Council (Item 7)

7 Motions pdf icon PDF 242 KB

The Council’s Constitution provides for a maximum of two hours for debate on motions.  The time limit for member speeches is three minutes and the time limit for proposing a motion is five minutes.

 

In accordance with Procedural Rule 10.2 in Part 4 of the Council Constitution, the Chief Executive has prepared a short accompanying note for each motion in respect of any implications for climate change, resources, human rights and any other pertinent factors they may wish to include in accordance with the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

Motion 859 – Fast-tracked introduction of ‘School Streets’ schemes

Proposed by Cllr Iain Dobie

Seconded by Cllr Nigel Robbins

 

This Council notes that:

  • As people are being instructed to return to school and to work, the national Government is encouraging everyone to walk or cycle where possible instead of taking public transport or returning to their cars.
  • The Government has announced a £250 million ‘Emergency Active Travel Fund’ for temporary infrastructure to enable safe cycling and walking – of which, Gloucestershire is receiving £1.442 million (0.57 per cent).
  • The Transport Secretary issued new Statutory Guidance on 9 May to all Highways Authorities, requiring them to deliver ‘transformative change’ within an urgent timeframe.
  • Measures listed under the Statutory Guidance include (but are not limited to) ‘pop-up’ cycle facilities, widening footways, ‘school streets’ schemes, and reducing speed limits.
  • The guidance further states that ‘measures should be taken as swiftly as possible, and in any event within weeks, given the urgent need to change travel habits before the restart takes full effect.’
  • ‘School streets’ schemes, which close the roads outside schools during drop-off and pick-up times, have the multiple aims of: improving road safety for pupils, encouraging active travel to school/ modal shift out of cars, and improving the air quality and environment at the school gates, and are very effective for enabling social distancing outside schools.

 

This Council further notes that:

  • Prior to Covid-19 related changes, ‘School Streets’ schemes were successfully introduced or were being trialled at multiple local authorities across the UK*.
  • Since the announcement, enthusiasm for ‘School Streets’ has sky-rocketed, with many more councils introducing these schemes before schools reopened and multiple NGOs calling for the introduction of ‘School Streets’ to manage social distancing at the school gate.
  • Progressive councils are introducing the measures under their own considerable statutory powers, making experimental traffic orders where necessary.
  • Gloucestershire County Council has already made a number of road alterations to assist with active travel and social distancing associated with shops, but none specifically targeted at schools.
  • It has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to positively impact travel choices, including the associated benefits on health, air quality and road safety. 

 

This Council resolves to:

a)    Work with county councillors, districts, schools and local partners to swiftly identify those schools in the county that could put a ‘School Streets’ scheme in place.

b)    Work with county councillors, districts, schools and local partners to enable all schools that wish to take part in the ‘School Streets’ scheme to do  ...  view the full agenda text for item 7

Minutes:

Motion 859 – Fast-tracked introduction of ‘School Streets’ schemes

Cllr Iain Dobie proposed and Cllr Nigel Robbins seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Dobie informed the meeting of the challenges outside schools at the beginning and end of the school day relating to traffic; he felt sure that each member of council would have witnessed this themselves. He outlined the benefits that could be generated by the introduction of the school streets scheme in Gloucestershire, including improved safety, and air quality and encouraged walking and cycling. He also stated that this scheme would benefit the wider community health and wellbeing, and support improved community spirit. He acknowledged that the location of the school was key, and that the location of some of Gloucestershire’s schools would not be suitable for this scheme but would benefit from other traffic calming measures.

 

Cllr Dobie felt that there was excessive bureaucracy and delay built into the traffic regulation order process (TRO) which created an unhelpful barrier. He indicated that in his view there was also a lack of will to deliver these types of schemes within Shire Hall. Passing the motion would remove these barriers. Cllr Dobie stated that the council’s travel plan promoted cycling and that the council had declared a climate emergency and had identified targets for reducing air pollution. He informed the meeting that this motion supported these shared aims and asked that members support the motion as it stands.

 

Cllr Nigel Robbins, seconder, asked members what legacy they would want to leave for their children and grandchildren? He stated that this proposal was an important gift to future generations. Vehicle pollution was particularly damaging to young children. Enabling children to cycle would support the drive to reduce obesity, with the associated benefits to the individual and society – he quoted from the council’s Local Transport Plan (LTP) which stated that children preferred to cycle, and that it was anticipated that if changes were not made to support more sustainable travel options for children there would be a significant increase in the levels of obesity. He reiterated that supporting this motion would be an important gift to future generations.

 

A member informed the meeting that there were clear advantages to this motion, where the scheme could be implemented. This proposal also have additional merit to the 20mph as it would provide a more effective way of providing a safe environment for children. An important aspect was the timing – there were limited opportunities before winter set in. They indicated that they were unsure that the Administration was fully supportive of safer zones etc, but hoped that council would take note of this motion.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, informed the meeting that the Conservative Cabinet does support children traveling to school safely and in an environmentally manner including walking and cycling, but wanted it to be an evidence based approach. School Streets were an interesting idea and the Cabinet was happy to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7