Agenda and minutes

County Council - Wednesday 15 February 2017 10.00 am

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

Contact: Simon Harper 01452 324202 

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 253 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2016.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 2 December 2015 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

2.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

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

3.

Announcements

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

Minutes:

 

a)      John Howe

Members stood in silence as a mark of respect to John Howe, former county councillor for the College Division in Cheltenham, who had sadly passed away. John had been a county councillor from 1991 to 1995.

 

Cllr Chris Coleman said that he had spent a great deal of time with John and had been inspired by his work not only as a county councillor but also as a member of the Liberal Democrat Party.  He noted how active John had been in his local community in Frampton on Severn where he had lived for many years.  He stated that John was a thoroughly decent man and would be greatly missed by his friends and family.

 

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. 

 

c)       Gloucestershire Music

The Chairman congratulated Gloucestershire Music on the following recent achievements:

i)       The Gloucestershire Youth Wind Orchestra on winning a Platinum award at the West of England and Wales Regional Festival of the National Concert Band Festival. 

 

ii)    The Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra on winning a diploma for services to jazz education from the Will Michael Jazz Education Awards.

 

iii)   Over 180 young people from Gloucestershire who had joined with two other county areas for a massed choir and band performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

 

Council officer Steve Legge was present in the Council Chamber.

 

d)     Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) awards

The Chairman advised that the Fastershire Project in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire had won an ADEPT President’s Special Recognition Award under the category ‘Powers to plan and grow successful communities and places’.  Council officers Dawn Thompson and Angela Presdee who had been closely involved in the project were in the Council Chamber. 

 

e)     Suzette Davenport

The Chairman formally advised that Suzette Davenport, the Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary, would be retiring at the end of April 2017.  It was noted that elected members on the Police and Crime Panel had a statutory role in the appointment of the new Chief Constable.

 

f)      Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) history month

PRISM (the Council’s LGBT network) was hosting a celebration of LGBT on the Council Chamber landing throughout February.

 

g)     Holocaust Memorial Day

An event led by the Chairman had been held at Shire Hall on Friday, 27 January 2017.  The Chairman had reflected on his visit to Srebrenica in 2016 and read out the ‘Kaddish’, the Jewish Mourner’s Prayer.  Members and officers then stood in silence to reflect on the millions of people killed in the Holocaust and other genocides including Bosnia, Cambodia and Rwanda.     

4.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 215 KB

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.

 

To answer any written public questions about matters which are within the powers and duties of the County Council.

 

The closing date for receipt of question is 10am on Wednesday, 8 February 2017.  Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Stephen Bace (email stephen.bace@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

 

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

 

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

Minutes:

 

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

 

Question 1 -Anna Mozol asked what the member was doing to protect the Clearwater open space site and asked whether he was ‘giving up’ on the residents of Quedgeley by not protecting the site.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne explained that he felt strongly about Clearwater Drive and that he had been campaigning for a number of years to keep this vital open space open to residents. He had written to residents in the area and many people had signed a petition and questioned what had happened. He had  received written confirmation from the parish council that the bid for a Village Green application was never submitted to the county council and therefore was never considered.

 

 

Question 2 - Anna Mozol – asked what was really happening with the space.  She explained that the planning application for the school had been delayed until after May 2017. She asked whether the delay was due to the County Council elections and asked whether the member would be supporting the application after the election.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne explained that he had written to over 300 residents on a regular basis about the issue. The decision regarding when the application would be put forward was down to the diocese. He had asked them to state their plans for the site and his understanding was that it had been delayed until the completion of their consultation. 

 

 

Question 6 - Gerald Hartley asked whether a one tonne increase in waste collection authority recycling cost Gloucestershire County Council more in credits than it would to have UBB  burn that tonne?   

Cllr Ray Theodoulou stated that it would not cost more and he assured members that there was a commitment from Gloucestershire County Council to recycling.

 

 

Question 7 - Gerald Hartley asked whether the Councillor would commit to fully supporting the waste collection authorities to convert residual waste to recyclate. He also asked whether the member would list the initiatives being taken by the Council to improve the range and quantity of materials collected as recyclate rather than black bag waste.

Cllr Ray Theodoulou stated that the Council was dedicated to reducing waste that could not be composted. He stated there were many opportunities to recycle and that the County Council encouraged collection agencies to do more through discussions within the Joint Waste Committee.

 

Question 8 - Dennis Parsons emphasised that, given the September intake of nearly 800 students, the work on a TRO for Albert Drive, Pitville  was time critical. He asked if the member would give priority to the proposal.

Cllr Vernon Smith thanked Mr Parsons for coming to the meeting. He replied that once the consultation was completed and the responses worked through, this work would be progressed appropriately.

Question 9 – Dennis Parsons asked what the Cabinet Member’s ‘Plan B’ was with regards to the Road Safety Partnership given the withdrawal of funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Cllr Vernon Smith  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Petitions

To receive petitions presented by members without discussion.

Minutes:

The following members presented petitions on behalf of residents in their divisions:

 

Cllr Nigel Moor relating to a highway matter at Upper Rissington (Cllr Vernon Smith, Cabinet Member for Highways and Flood).

 

Cllr Lesley Williams relating to road works to lay cables in the High Street, Stonehouse (Cllr Vernon Smith, Cabinet Member for Highways and Flood).

6.

Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 76 KB

For information and members’ questions.

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and Strategic Commissioning.

Minutes:

Cllr Paul McLain, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and Strategic Commissioning, presented the report.

 

Cllr McLain undertook to provide Cllr Tracy Millard with more detailed information outside the meeting regarding the figures for Section 20 agreements and legal orders.  He also agreed to provide Cllr Paul McMahon with more information on the support provided during the journey from adolescence to adulthood.

 

A member noted that Cllr McLain was standing down as a county councillor at the election in May 2017 and he thanked him for all his efforts in supporting children and young people across the county.

 

Responding to questions, Cllr McLain stated that a briefing on corporate parenting would be available for candidates ahead of the election.  He thanked members of the Corporate Parenting Group and the Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee for their support over the term of the Council.

 

RESOLVED that the report of the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and Strategic Commissioning be noted.

7.

Policy and Budget Framework - Medium Term Financial Strategy and the Council Strategy pdf icon PDF 265 KB

For debate and decision.

 

A      Report and recommendations (pages 33-48)

B      Medium Term Financial Strategy (pages 49-159)

C      Council Strategy (pages 161-183)

D      Budget consultation (pages 185-210)

E      Scrutiny budget report (pages 213-215)

F       Due Regard Statement including member briefing (pages 217-278)

 

Additional documents:

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.

Jo Walker, the Council’s Section 151 Chief Finance Officer, provided advice relating to the current status of the Local Government Finance Settlement. She explained that the Council had not yet received the final financial statement for 2017-18.  The debate in the House of Commons was likely to take place in the week starting 20 February 2017 when Parliament returned from its recess, following which the Department for Communities and Local Government would publish the final settlement. 

The Council had taken legal advice on the implications of a local authority setting its budget in advance of the final settlement being agreed by Parliament and had also reviewed the advice given by the Local Government Association.  In summary, the Local Government Finance Act 1992 placed a duty on local authorities to set a balanced budget with regard to the advice of its Section 151 Chief Finance Officer.  Major precepting authorities, like the Council, were required to issue a precept for 2017-18 before 1 March 2017.

Each local authority needed to make sure that it set a balanced budget and this could be done on the basis of the provisional settlement if it was the best information available at the time.  The Council’s proposed budget was based on the best information available.  The risk associated with reduced funding in the final settlement would be dealt with through the Rates’ Retention Reserve and General Reserve.  Any amendments would be reported in the budget monitoring reports as was normal custom and practice.

Jo Walker’s advice was to proceed in setting the budget and to authorise her to resolve any changes to the final budget publication. 

The Chief Executive explained the procedure that would be followed at the meeting for setting the budget (as set out in the flow chart attached to the briefing paper). 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 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 24.1 the following part of procedure rule 13.5 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  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Motions

No motions have been received.

 

The closing date for the receipt of motions was 10am on Tuesday, 7 February 2017.

 

Minutes:

No motions had been received.

9.

Member Questions pdf icon PDF 170 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, 8 February 2017. Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Stephen Bace (email stephen.bace@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

 

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

 

Minutes:

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

 

Question 5 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson stated that he had been expecting confirmation of the legal costs of the Council’s attempts to block details of the incinerator contract becoming public. He explained that it had been suggested that the figure was £200,000 and he asked the member if this was accurate.

Cllr Ray Theodoulou replied that this was an ongoing enquiry and in legal hands. Until the process was complete, he was unable to confirm the exact cost and it was not appropriate to comment further.

 

 

Question 7 - Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked to receive details of the ‘specific and measurable payback’ from the visit to China by councillors and officers.
 

In response, Cllr Mark Hawthorne explained that the visit had delivered real dividends.  It  was the Council’s role to support Gloucestershire businesses and help them to make new trade connections. A number of companies had taken the conversations further such as ‘Green Fuels’, ‘Royal Agricultural University’ and ‘Prospects training’. In addition companies from China were looking to invest in Gloucestershire.

 

 

Question 8 – Cllr Simon Wheeler noted that in response to his answer it had been stated that the proposal was an increase in the highways budget of £6m this year. He asked for clarification of where that was to be found within the budget papers.

Cllr Vernon Smith replied that following the Conservative amendments during the budget discussion there was now £9m more for highways. He would ask officers to provide the member with the specific details.



Question 9 - Cllr Simon Wheeler explained that some answers to questions provided members with precise figures. He asked why precise figures could not be provided on the total amount of revenue raised from Highways related activities.

Cllr Vernon Smith responded that for some services such as parking it was easy to collate the information but with regards to highways, asset management was used with spend allocated where there was the greatest need.

 

 

Question 11 – Cllr Steve Lydon asked why the Council would not publish the contract information requested in relation to the UBB Incinerator project.

Cllr Ray Theodoulou replied that consideration had to be given to the legal position and the commercial contracts the Council were engaged in.

 

 

Question 12 – Cllr Steve Lydon asked for a written response detailing what the total budget would have been for the Council had Council Tax been increased consistently at 1.99% since 2013.

Cllr Ray Theodoulou stated that there were many other factors that would have had an impact on the budget during that time and that he would not put forward resources in order to carry out this exercise.

 

 

Question 17 – Cllr Lesley Williams asked the cabinet member for the definition of a suitable location for Vehicle Activated Signage.

Cllr Vernon Smith confirmed he would provide the member with a written response. 



Question18 – Cllr Lesley Williams asked whether the Leader believed that the additional £2m across  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Scrutiny report pdf icon PDF 118 KB

For information and members’ questions.

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Brian Oosthuysen, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, presented the report.

 

Cllr Tim Harman, Chairman of the Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee, assured members that a piece of work would be undertaken ahead of the May 2017 elections to scope a scrutiny review on school exclusions. He recognised that there had been a significant increase in exclusions across the county and the reasons for this needed to be explored.  He said that the review would not start ahead of the elections but the terms of reference would be ready for the work to start soon afterwards.

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

11.

Constitution Committee pdf icon PDF 373 KB

For debate and decision.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of the Constitution Committee, presented the recommendation from the meeting held on 16 January 2017.

 

RESOLVED to ratify the changes to the Constitution made by the Monitoring Officer under delegated powers as set out in annex A to the report.

12.

Cabinet Decision Statement pdf icon PDF 116 KB

For information and members’ questions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED to note the Cabinet Decision Statements for the meetings held on 15 December 2016 and 2 February 2017.

13.

Cabinet Member Decision Statement pdf icon PDF 98 KB

For information and members’ questions.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED to note the Cabinet Member Decision Statements for the period 1 September to 31 December 2016.

14.

Highways performance report pdf icon PDF 260 KB

For information and members’ questions.

 

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

 

Minutes:

 

Cllr Vernon Smith, the Cabinet Member for Highways and Flood, presented the report.

 

Answering a question from Cllr Dr John Cordwell, Cllr Smith said that he would check when the parish and town council survey was being undertaken and inform Cllr Cordwell outside the meeting.

 

RESOLVED to note the report.