Agenda and minutes

County Council - Wednesday 28 June 2023 10.00 am

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

Items
No. Item

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 254 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting on 24 May 2023.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 24 May 2023 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

3.

Declarations of Interest

Please see Note (b) at the end of the agenda.

Minutes:

Cllr Colin Hay stated he was a member of the National Trust in relation to Motion 924.

Cllr Paul Baker stated he was a Trustee of Cheltenham Welcomes Refugees in relation to Motion 922.

Cllr David Willingham stated he was a Trustee of the Cleeve Common Trust in relation to Motion 924.

Cllr David Drew stated he was a Patron of Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS) in relation to Motion 922.

 

4.

Announcements

a)  Armed Forces Day

 

Gloucestershire County Council staff will come together with partners to mark Armed Forces Day on Saturday 24th June 2022 at Gloucester Docks.

The council’s Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Andrew Gravells, will be attending the local celebration along with councillors and council officers to promote the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

Councillors from Gloucester City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council will also be in attendance, along with the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA).

 

b)  Gloucestershire Lieutenancy Birthday Honours Announcement 2023

 

Please see at the link below the official Birthday Honours list for the UK and Commonwealth on 17 June 2023.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-kings-birthday-honours-list-2023

 

The list includes two Deputy Lieutenants from the Gloucestershire Lieutenancy. Congratulations to all those who received honours.

 

 

Minutes:

Gloucester-Hartpury Womens Rugby Union Team

The Chair congratulated Gloucester-Hartpury Womens Rugby Union Team who became the first non-London club to win the Premier 15s final with a 34-19 victory on Saturday over Exeter in front of a record crowd on home-turf at Kingsholm – rebranded ‘Queensholm’ for the day.

5.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 141 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, 19 June 2023.

However, questions that relate to reports on the agenda may be submitted up to

10am on Wednesday, 21 June 2023.

 

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:

Sixteen public questions had been submitted prior to the meeting. The following supplementary questions were asked:

 

Question 13 – Claire Bloomer explained that Gloucestershire County Council had not been providing adequate support for her son who was suffering from a disability due to Long Covid. She asked if the Cabinet Member would meet with her family to discuss.

 

Cllr Stephan Fifield confirmed he would ask officers to look into Mrs Bloomer’s son’s case and would ask the officers to prioritise arranging a meeting with the relevant case officers. Cllr Fifield said he would be happy to join the meeting.

 

Question 14 – Adrian Oldman asked whether the Cabinet Member would consider relocating the disused Robin Bus in the North Cotswold area to somewhere like Stroud.

 

Cllr Philip Robinson explained that he shared the member of the public’s concern and has been monitoring the bus usage. He explained that both vehicles in the North Cotswold area were being used and would wait to see if further promotion efforts would increase journeys. He also explained that a condition of the funding for ‘The Robin’ pilot was that the services could only be provided to the Forest of Dean and the Cotswolds areas, but he was looking at the possibility of extending the service within those constraints.

 

Question 15 – Adrian Oldman asked whether small improvements to the Merrywalks interchange in Stroud could be sped up in advance of the more substantial improvements planned as part of the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).

 

Cllr Philip Robinson explained that he had been made aware of locals’ concerns about the Merrywalks interchange and would bring those concerns to an Integrated Transport meeting planned for the next day.

 

Question 16 – Adrian Oldman asked whether town and district councils would be included as stakeholders in the Enhanced Partnership.

 

Cllr Philip Robinson confirmed that they would be included in initial consultations and would be involved in the ongoing Enhanced Partnership Forum.

6.

Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 190 KB

Minutes:

6.1       Stephen Davies, Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years, explained that the regular Corporate Parenting Report had shown continued improvements. He explained that there had been some verbal feedback from the recent Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) and that he would bring back the full report once available. The recent visit from Mark Riddell, National Implementation Adviser for Care Leavers at the Department for Education, had also been positive. The Cabinet Member reminded Members about a Corporate Parenting Summit that was being held the next day.

 

6.2       In response to a question, the Cabinet Member confirmed he would provide a written answer on why the number of children placed in care outside of Gloucestershire had gone up and what kind of needs those children had.

 

6.3       A further question asked what was being done to tackle the increase in out of County Care, to which the Cabinet member explained that the strategy was to increase fostering and to develop the Council’s own care provision. It was also explained that there were cases when out of county care was preferable for the child’s care outcomes.

 

6.4       In response to a question about the percentage of children eligible for free school meals that were attending the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme, it was explained that around 62% of children receiving free school meals had attended the HAF programme and that that was much higher than the national average. The Cabinet Member encouraged all Councillors to promote the HAF programme in their areas.

 

6.5       In response to a question about the terminology “positive education and employment opportunities”, the Cabinet Member confirmed he would get back to the member with the definition and explained that they would be exploring what could be done to offer more work placements to care leavers at the upcoming Corporate Parenting Summit.

7.

Petitions

Minutes:

A petition from Cllr David Willingham on behalf of Rowanfield School’s ’20 is plenty campaign’ was presented to Cllr Dave Norman.

A petition from Cllr David Willingham on reinstatement of the ‘F’ bus service to St Marks and Rowanfield was presented to Cllr Philip Robinson.

On behalf of Cllr Sajid Patel, Cllr Andrew Gravells presented a petition to Cllr Dom Morris regarding HGV restrictions on Derby Road in Gloucester.

 

8.

Motions pdf icon PDF 120 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 919: Declaring a Roads Emergency

Proposer: Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

Seconder: Cllr Roger Whyborn

 

Council Notes:

        The capital funding currently allocated by Gloucestershire County Council to our highways for 2023-24 is £41.875M, including a discretionary budget allocation from the Council’s own funds of £16.225M, and a previously approved £500K for drainage.

        The remainder is Government (DfT) funding, and amounts to £25.150M, largely ringfenced.

 

        This DfT capital funding represents a standstill budget since 2021/22, despite an average increase in contract prices, including materials, of 22.4%.

 

        This is all separate from the GCC revenue budget of £30.38M. Though this does include increases to reflect inflation, the overall impact of inflation will mean that the funding is unable to stretch as far as in previous years.

    Research by the Local Government Association has revealed that the Department of Transport spends 31 times more money on maintaining and repairing the Motorways and A roads under its direct control, than it does on funding Local Authorities to repair local roads.

    The report ‘Analysis of the relationship between road pavement maintenance condition, fuel consumption and vehicle emissions’ published in 2020 by the Smart Transport Alliance found that good road surface conditions result in reductions of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of up to 3.5% for light vehicles and 4% for heavy vehicles

    Research by the LGA has calculated that to catch-up with the backlog of existing pothole repairs across England and Wales would need a cash injection of £12 Billion, and take 12 years to complete – by comparison with the £200 Million ‘Pothole Fund’ recently announced by Government.

    The annual local authority road maintenance survey reveals that potholes now account for around 70% of all requests reported to Local Authorities for repairs.

Council Believes:

    That we have roads in a worryingly poor state of repair across our County as is exemplified by the number of council questions from councillors and members of the public.

    That whilst our teams on the ground are doing what they can, this will remain an issue until Central Government funds local councils to properly maintain their road networks.

    Concern about the state of our roads is growing amongst our residents, as expressed in the feedback being received by Councillors

    By leading the way in declaring a roads emergency, we can encourage other Councils to do the same – increasing the pressure on Government to act on our residents’ concerns.

    Investing  ...  view the full agenda text for item 8.

Minutes:

Motion 919: Declaring a Roads Emergency

 

8.1       Cllr Paul Hodgkinson proposed, and Cllr Roger Whyborn seconded the following motion:

 

Council Notes:

·         The capital funding currently allocated by Gloucestershire County Council to our highways for 2023-24 is £41.875M, including a discretionary budget allocation from the Council’s own funds of £16.225M, and a previously approved £500K for drainage.

·         The remainder is Government (DfT) funding, and amounts to £25.150M, largely ringfenced.

·         This DfT capital funding represents a standstill budget since 2021/22, despite an average increase in contract prices, including materials, of 22.4%.

·         This is all separate from the GCC revenue budget of £30.38M. Though this does include increases to reflect inflation, the overall impact of inflation will mean that the funding is unable to stretch as far as in previous years.

·         Research by the Local Government Association has revealed that the Department of Transport spends 31 times more money on maintaining and repairing the Motorways and A roads under its direct control, than it does on funding Local Authorities to repair local roads.

·         The report ‘Analysis of the relationship between road pavement maintenance condition, fuel consumption and vehicle emissions’ published in 2020 by the Smart Transport Alliance found that good road surface conditions result in reductions of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of up to 3.5% for light vehicles and 4% for heavy vehicles

·         Research by the LGA has calculated that to catch-up with the backlog of existing pothole repairs across England and Wales would need a cash injection of £12 Billion, and take 12 years to complete – by comparison with the £200 Million ‘Pothole Fund’ recently announced by Government.

·         The annual local authority road maintenance survey reveals that potholes now account for around 70% of all requests reported to Local Authorities for repairs.

 

Council Believes:

·         That we have roads in a worryingly poor state of repair across our County as is exemplified by the number of council questions from councillors and members of the public.

·         That whilst our teams on the ground are doing what they can, this will remain an issue until Central Government funds local councils to properly maintain their road networks.

·         Concern about the state of our roads is growing amongst our residents, as expressed in the feedback being received by Councillors.

·         By leading the way in declaring a roads emergency, we can encourage other Councils to do the same – increasing the pressure on Government to act on our residents’ concerns.

·         Investing in our road network is not just a benefit to motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians, but a vital component of our local infrastructure, supporting local businesses and our tourism sector.

·         Whilst we have a good system in place for reporting defects, the response times remain frustratingly slow – with teams regularly visiting locations for specific repairs, only for another team to separately return another day for another repair on the same road.

·         Residents regularly report that repairs are executed, followed by more repairs on the same stretch of the road, whilst other nearby  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 220 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, 19 June 2023.

However, questions that relate to reports on the agenda may be submitted up to

10am on Wednesday, 21 June 2023.

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.

 

Cabinet Member Decision statements for the period 6 May 2023 to 19 June 2023 can be found at:

 

https://glostext.gloucestershire.gov.uk/mgDelegatedDecisions.aspx?XXR=0&&DR=06%2f05%2f2023-19%2f06%2f2023&ACT=Find&RP=0&K=0&V=0&DM=3&HD=0&DS=2&Next=true&NOW=13062023132747&META=mgdelegateddecisions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sixty-six Member questions had been submitted prior to the meeting. The following supplementary questions were asked:

 

Question 1 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked whether it would be possible to meet to explore policies around visitor permits and the two-car limit.

 

Cllr Dom Morris explained that few families were using a second permit, but he was very open to having a conversation to explore in more detail how it worked for residents in Kingsholm & Wotton division.

 

Question 2 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton raised that he had been made aware of some technical difficulties residents were having with the permit booking system and hoped there would be some flexibility if the system had caused a delay.

 

Cllr Dom Morris explained he was not aware of those technical issues but agreed there would be flexibility if delays were caused due to technical issues.

 

Question 3 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked what residents should be doing regarding electric car charging in areas where there was only on-street parking available.

 

Cllr David Gray accepted the Member’s point about access to charging points. He explained he and his team were very open to exploring any suggestions for where charging points should be fitted.

 

Question 6 – Cllr Andrew Miller asked the Cabinet Member to pass on his thanks to the teams that had been working to address issues with City Fibre in Tuffley.

 

Cllr Dom Morris thanked the Member for his support in holding utility companies to account.

 

Question 8 – Cllr Chloe Turner asked whether the Cabinet Member would consider widening the scope of the Rights of Way Improvement Plan review to include the additional benefits it can provide.

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe explained he would be happy to ask officers to research this idea.

 

Question 15 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson expressed concern about the rise in sexually transmitted infections in Gloucestershire and asked what the plan was for monitoring that rise.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne explained that as the age brackets of those affected had changed, there was a need to adjust who information campaigns were targeting. He explained that the team were already monitoring the data and evaluating how to respond.

 

Question 18 – Cllr Paul Baker asked whether some of the planned visits to monitor recently planted trees should be brought forward given the recent hot weather. He also asked whether street trees counted as trees planted on GCC land.

 

Cllr David Gray explained that they were monitoring the weather changes and were keen to ensure that planted trees did survive. He encouraged members to encourage their local communities to also help look after the new trees as well.

 

Question 21 – Cllr Paul Baker expressed concern over water usage in the existing GCC estate and asked whether there was any communication between water authorities and large users of water.

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe offered to report back on what could be done to reduce water usage and increase water harvesting on the existing GCC estate and understand whether there is a role for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Minutes:

The report was noted.

11.

Constitution Committee pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Minutes:

Members noted the report and decisions of the Constitution Committee.