Agenda and minutes

County Council - Wednesday 18 May 2022 10.00 am

Items
No. Item

73.

Election of Chair

To elect the Chair of the Council for the 2022-23 Civic Year.

 

Following the election, the Chair will make the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and sign the Roll of Members as Chair.

Minutes:

Chief Executive, Pete Bungard, invited nominations for the position of Chair of the Council for 2022/23

Cllr Alan Preest was proposed and seconded.

There being no other nominations it was:

RESOLVED that Cllr Alan Preest be elected as Chair of Council for the 2022/23 civic year.

Cllr Alan Preest made the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

Cllr Preest thanked members for their support during the past 12 months. He felt it a tremendous honour for the division he represented and thanked Cllr Stephen Hirst for his first-class support as Vice-Chair. He also paid thanks to the Registrations team whom he worked closely with on the Citizenship Ceremonies, Democratic Services, particularly Michelle Pidgeon and friends and family for their continued support. As the now re-elected Chair, he  looked forward to a progressive and positive year for Gloucestershire.

Cllr Hodgkinson thanked Cllr Preest for his support and impartiality as Chair in the previous year.

74.

Election of the Vice-chair

To elect the Vice-Chair of the Council for the 2022-23 Civic Year.

 

Following the election, the Vice-Chair will make the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and sign the Roll of Members as Vice-Chair.

Minutes:

The Chair invited nominations for Vice-Chair of Council for the 2022/23 civic year.

There being no other nominations it was

RESOLVED that Cllr Stephen Hirst be appointed Vice-Chair of Council for the 2022/23 civic year.

Cllr Hirst made the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

Cllr Hirst thanked members for their continued support and hoped to offer his support to members again over the next 12 months.

 

75.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 23 March 2022.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 March 2021 were confirmed and signed as a correct record, subject to Cllr Hilton being marked as present.

76.

Declarations of Interest

Please declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or personal interests that you may have relating to any specific matters which may be discussed at the meeting.

 

Minutes:

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

 

Cllr David Willingham declared a non-prejudicial interest as a member of Cheltenham Borough Council who would also be appointing to the bodies in item 10.

 

77.

Announcements

a)    Cllr Pam Tracey

To congratulate Cllr Tracey who has been a councillor for 30 years.

 

b)    Related Party Transactions

All members are required to make a return as part of the Council accounts.  If you have not returned your form, copies are available from Democratic Services.

 

c)    Members’ Matter

Key information including details of upcoming meetings and training resources are available in Members Matter – www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/membersmatter

 

Minutes:

a)    Cllr Pam Tracey

The Chair congratulated Cllr Tracey who has been a Gloucester City Councillor for 30 years.  Pam is catching up with Cllr Andrew Gravells who has now served on the City Council for 37 years.

 

b)    All members were reminded of the requirement to make a return as part of the Council accounts.

 

c)    Members’ Matter

Key information including details of upcoming meetings and training resources are available in Members Matter

 

d)    Forest Green Rovers

The Chair congratulated Forest Green Rovers on their promotion from Division 2 to Division 1 of the Football League.

 

e)    Mark Preece

Mark was congratulated on his recent appointment as Chief Fire Officer and Executive Director of Community Safety.

 

f)     Levelling-up Conference

Members were reminded that the conference would be held at Quayside House the following day.

 

g)    Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

The Chair congratulated the Queen on the celebration of her Platinum Jubilee.

78.

Public questions pdf icon PDF 133 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 was 10am on Monday, 9 May 2022.However, questions that relate to reports on the agenda may be submitted up to 10am on Wednesday, 12 May 2022.

 

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:

Twenty-one questions had been received. The following supplementary

questions were asked:

 

Question 14 - Chas Townley noted that one application that had been submitted 32 years ago and was still unresolved. He asked whether the Cabinet member was aware of any other processes where member would accept such a delay?

Cllr Vernon Smith replied that the team were concentrating on the first part of the process - bringing orders to the committee.

 

Question 15 – Chas Townley asked, regarding 4.16 of the Rights of Way improvement plan, what could a member of the public do about bringing forward a modification order to an unmapped area?

Cllr Vernon Smith replied regarding the 1983 Act, a County definitive map was published which would include the city areas. He was happy to speak to the individual in more detail.

 

79.

Council committees pdf icon PDF 256 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Democratic Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted that the attached report was in two parts.

The first part outlined an updated list of appointments to each County Council Committee.

RESOLVED to adopt the committee memberships as listed.

The second detailed the Chair and Vice-Chair for each Committee, shown at 2.2 of the report.

On questioning, it was clarified that the constitution had changed to reflect the recognition that the Audit and Governance Committee did not sit within the scrutiny ‘family’ and therefore the appointment of its Chair and Vice-Chair became a matter for the Committee itself, rather than full Council.

RESOLVED to elect the Chairs and Vice-Chairs as listed.

 

80.

Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Cllr Stephen Davies, Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years, to present the corporate parenting report.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Stephen Davies, Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years, presented the corporate parenting report. He restated that the results of the recent Ofsted inspection had moved the County’s service to a rating of ‘requires improvement’ across the board. This was positive progress and he paid thanks to all staff involved for their hard work. The overall objective remained to get to a ‘good’ rating and beyond.

 

He noted that challenges remained on GCC’s journey and in particular, the need to ensure consistently good practice across the board.

 

The one-page Corporate Parenting profiles had now been loaded to a secure website which could be accessed by children in care when working with their social workers. He highlighted it was currently Foster Care Fortnight and there remained a pressing need for more foster carers in the county.

 

Questions

 

Several members echoed their thanks and congratulations to staff for achieving the improvement recognised by the recent Ofsted inspection. They also stressed however that efforts needed to continue until the Council had reached its target rating of ‘good’ and beyond.

It was questioned what the resource implications would be for 2.4 of the report in terms of revenue and capital cost to deliver. It was advised that there was no additional cost as Trevone House 2 had already been budgeted for in this financial year.

A member requested whether it would be possible for all members to examine, debate and discuss the next steps of the Council’s Ofsted journey in a full Council style forum.

ACTION:       Cllr Stephen Davies

ACTION:       Cllr Stephen Davies, to follow up on a question from last council re: work experience at GCC

81.

Petitions

To receive any petitions from members without discussion.

Minutes:

Cllr Nick Housden presented a petition relating to the closure of Elms Care Home in Stonehouse to Cllr Carole Allaway-Martin, Cabinet Member forAdult Social Care Commissioning.

Cllrs Joe Harris and Rebecca Halifax presented a petition relating to the resurfacing of Victoria Road in Cirencester to Cllr Vernon Smith, Cabinet Member for Highways and Flood.

 

82.

Motions pdf icon PDF 258 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 900 - Inquiry into GCC’s handling of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Proposed by Cllr Jeremy Hilton

Seconded by Cllr Lisa Spivey

 

This Council notes

  • That the British Government has announced that residents in England are now expected to ‘Live with Covid’ – with all restrictions and most testing services having been withdrawn.
  • The ‘Living with Covid’ plan published by Gloucestershire County Council.

 

Given that this Government understands the Covid-19 Pandemic has now come to an end in, this Council believes that:

  • The time is right for an independent inquiry into how the County Council and other public health bodies in Gloucestershire responded to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • An inquiry would help us to learn lessons for any future health crises or future waves of Covid-19.

 

This Council therefore resolves to:

  • Ask Corporate Scrutiny to identify the most appropriate format for a public inquiry into Gloucestershire’s response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
  • Calls on Cabinet to find appropriate revenue this financial year in order to fund and resource this inquiry.

 

 

Motion 901 - Road Safety in Gloucestershire

Proposed by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

Seconded by Cllr Roger Whyborn

 

This Council notes:

·         That 2022 has seen a significant number of incidents with motor vehicles in Gloucestershire, resulting in 96 serious injuries and 14 deaths in just the first four months.

·         That Gloucestershire’s road safety record has actually worsened over the last decade, with our county in the bottom 5 per cent of local authorities in Britain for reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured between 2011 and 2019.

 

This Council believes that road safety needs to be proactively managed, with the emphasis on preventing deaths and serious injuries, and should not wait until tragedy strikes for changes to be made.

 

This Council welcomes the road safety policy review being undertaken but is concerned at the loss of County Council-led road safety partnerships across the county and districts – to be replaced by a much less transparent and more centralised Road Safety Forum held behind closed doors. 

 

This Council resolves to:

·         Ask officers to provide Environment Scrutiny with a thorough briefing on recent accidents and their causations.

·         Call on Cabinet to ensure that communities and all levels of governance in Gloucestershire are thoroughly consulted on the refreshed Road Safety Policy.

·         Call on Cabinet to work with Environment Scrutiny to develop a policy of ongoing dialogue with our residents to see road safety measures proactively installed in our communities.

 

 

Motion 902 - Knife crime

Proposed by  ...  view the full agenda text for item 82.

Minutes:

Motion 900 - Inquiry into GCC’s handling of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Cllr Jeremy Hilton proposed, and Cllr Lisa Spivey seconded the motion included on the agenda.

Cllr Hilton began by paying thanks to all the public sector workers who worked so hard to help the community during the height of the pandemic and beyond. He also thanked all the community groups, individual volunteers, and councillors. He noted that 98% of the public now had immunity through natural infection or vaccinations, hospitalisations had reduced dramatically, and statistics showed only 3 per 1 million of the population were now in Intensive Care Units.

Despite these improvements, Covid-19 remained endemic. It had affected every resident in one way or another and 1,535 people lost their lives in Gloucestershire. This motion therefore called for a local inquiry in Gloucestershire for all organisations to examine and understand what went well, what was ok and what could be done differently next time. It was likely that there would be another pandemic, maybe of a different kind, but it was vital that emergency plans evolved in response to lessons learnt on Covid-19. The motion was not attempting a ‘blame game’ but was a positive request to help services learn and better protect residents next time.

Noting that a public inquiry was not within the Council’s gift, the proposer changed the motion as follows:

This Council therefore resolves to:

  • Ask Corporate Scrutiny to identify the most appropriate format for a public independent inquiry into Gloucestershire’s response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

 

Cllr Spivey seconding the motion stressed how important it was to bring ‘lesson learning’ back to a local level, rather than just relying on the national inquiry. Gloucestershire took some very positive actions during the Pandemic, such as setting up the Covid-19 Hub the model that was now being used to respond to the Ukrainian refugee crisis. These were the sorts of actions that should be celebrated and formalised, passing on our knowledge to future generations. The inquiry would also give an opportunity to residents to speak about their experiences. Cllr Spivey concluded that the impact of the Pandemic had been devastating and now was the time to learn lessons, good and bad.

Cllr Harman, Cabinet member for Public Health and Communities, echoed how tragic the Pandemic had been for everyone and noted that the death toll across geographical Europe was estimated to have passed 2 million. He could not however support the motion. He highlighted the financial and organisational cost that an inquiry would have, not only on GCC staff who were already under pressure, but also needing to employ external, independent people. It would turn the council in on itself at a time when it needed to be outward looking, the Public Health team alone had many challenges ahead that needed their focus and resource.

It was added that it was naïve to suggest that Covid was over, and that any form of local inquiry at this stage was short sighted, as efforts should remain on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82.

83.

Member questions pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Up to 45 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 was 10am on Monday, 9 May 2022.However, questions that relate to reports on the agenda may be submitted up to 10am on Wednesday, 11 May 2022.

 

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.

 

As background information, the Cabinet Decision Statement for the meeting held on 30 March 2022 is attached.  Cabinet Member Decision Statements over the period 16 March to 10 May 2022 are available at https://glostext.gloucestershire.gov.uk/mgDelegatedDecisions.aspx?bcr=1&DM=3  

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Forty-four questions had been received. The following supplementary

questions were asked:

 

Question 1 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked for a single point of contact to make this simpler for people and suggested that as the strategic flood authority, the County Council should be that one point of contact.

Cllr Vernon Smith suggested that a spokesperson from the Cotswold District Team communicate outcomes to stakeholders.

 

Question 2 – Cllr Colin Hay asked for some idea of the cost to GCC and benefits that would come from having the Tour of Britain in Gloucestershire. He asked that the information be shared.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne replied there was work underway by the Tour to capture the economic benefits and once the work was completed he would be happy to share.

 

Question 4 - Cllr Roger Whyborn asked whether the cabinet member could assure members that the resurfacing for the Tour of Britain route was not coming from the highways repairs budget?

Cllr Vernon Smith replied that the Tour of Britain in Gloucestershire was welcome news. He noted the previous schemes carried out on the road network and the work that was continuing with highways managers and the programmes already in place.

 

Question 5 - Cllr Roger Whyborn asked what indications had the DFE given to the County Council about any future rounds of funding for public transport?

Cllr Philip Robinson replied that the County Council had received an extensive letter and it made it clear that this was not a final ‘no’. The letter encouraged the council to maintain its ambition around bus services. There were further rounds of funding likely to be committed in the future.

 

Question 6 - Cllr Paul Baker asked about the cost of pedestrian crossings.

Cllr Vernon Smith replied that crossings were only one of the measures that could be put in place to help road safety. Some pedestrian crossings were part of schemes so it was difficult to have a complete picture.

 

Question 8 - Cllr Paul Baker stated that tarmac was often used to fill paving and he asked for a policy on replacing the paving slabs with the same material.

Cllr Vernon Smith replied that in an ideal world you would replace a paving slab with the same material. It was important, though, to make the location safe in an emergency, and that materials were not always readily available. They would then be put back correctly within a 6-month period to replace ‘like for like’.

 

Question 9 - Cllr Paul Baker asked for a more stringent policy around contractors failing to reinstate paving.

 

Question 10 - Cllr Paul Baker asked for the decision to be revisited around Leckhampton school and the lack of a walking and cycling audit.

Cllr Vernon Smith replied that he had looked at the location for a crossing and he advised the member to talk to his local highways manager.

 

Question 12 - Cllr Lisa Spivey noted that for the current year less than 1% has been paid. She stated that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.

84.

Calendar of meetings for 2023 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To approve the calendar of meetings for 2023.

Minutes:

RESOLVED to approve the calendar of meetings for 2023 as shown at Agenda Item 13 of the minutes.

A discussion on the timings of meetings would be taken up at Group Leaders.