Agenda and minutes

County Council - Wednesday 8 November 2023 10.00 am

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

Contact: Stephen Bace 

Items
No. Item

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 240 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 13 September 2023 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

3.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were received:

 

·         Cllr Alan Preest: in relation to Motion 930, Veteran from Royal Air Force

·         Cllr Carole Allaway-Martin: in relation to Motion 930, Medical Specialist Reservist

·         Cllr Dom Morris: in relation to Motion 930, Reservist

·         Cllr Emma Nelson: in relation to Motion 933, a personal interest.

4.

Announcements

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

Minutes:

4.1       White Ribbon

 

The Chair stated that almost 12 months ago to the day, this chamber committed GCC to becoming a white ribbon accredited organisation, which it has since duly achieved. As an accredited organisation GCC had committed to, amongst other things, raising awareness of violence against women and girls to help bring about change. It was added that on the 25th November, the council will be supporting White Ribbon Day and the Chair encouraged all members to help amplify this support in any way they can. The Chair also reminded members that to demonstrate their support and commitment to the cause they could sign up to become a white ribbon champion or ambassador. More details can be found on the White Ribbon UK website.

 

4.2       Retirement of Lydney local Wayne Barnes – International Rugby Referee

 

The Chair invited Cllr Alan Preest, local member for Lydney to say a few words.

 

Cllr Preest shared with members that Lydney resident Wayne Barnes had recently announced his retirement from refereeing after the Rugby World Cup Final earlier this month. He referenced the legacy left behind of 5 World Cups, 111 Test Matches, 26 Six Nation Games, 3 European Finals and 10 Domestic Premiership Finals. It was added however that through all of this, Wayne had never forgotten his Forest connections and alongside his wife, continued to annually arrange a rugby fundraiser at Lydney RFC to raise money for Breast Cancer Now. Cllr Preest asked members to recognise and congratulate this exceptional rugby referee career and asked that the Chair, on behalf of Council, sent a letter to Wayne to this affect.

 

4.3       Earthquake in Nepal

 

The Chair mentioned the recent news of the earthquake that has hit Nepal. He shared with members that Cllr Andrew Gravells had been in touch with those at the Gurkha Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Support Battalion based at Imjin Barracks expressing to them that Gloucestershire County Council were thinking of their colleagues and their families back in Nepal at this sad time. He echoed those thoughts.

 

4.4       Remembrance Service

 

The Chair notified members that a County Council Armistice Day Remembrance Service will be held in main reception at Shire Hall at 11.00am on Friday 10 November 2023. Participants, councillors and staff joining the service are advised to make their way to main reception at Shire Hall by 10.45am. A two-minute silence will be held during the service. The service will be live streamed for those unable to attend in person.

 

4.5       Middle East

 

The Chair invited members to join a one minute’s silence for the thousands of civilians who had lost their lives in the Middle East over recent weeks.


5.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 241 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, 30 October 2023.

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

10am on Wednesday, 1 November 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:

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

Question 2 – Gloucester City Councillor, Lorraine Campbell, asked whether Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) viewed Stroud District Council’s development plan for Whaddon as having a severe traffic impact on St Barnabus Roundabout.

Cllr David Gray stated that any major development would need to understand the impact it would have on things such as traffic, which was why GCC officers had informed Stroud District Council that bringing forward the Whaddon Development scheme would make their Stroud Local Plan unsound because of the affect it would have on the traffic for the residents.

Question 17 – Cheltenham Borough Councillor, Izaac Tailford, expressed concern about a resident he knew in the Zone 15 Parking Permit scheme who was unable to use the digital and telephone visitor parking permit system.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne ask the questioner to share the resident’s contact details with the Council in order for officers to make contact and find a solution.

Question 21 – Cllr Tailford expressed concern about visibility issues with the new Zone 15 parking restrictions.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne asked the resident to email the details of any particular concerns so that they could be looked into by the appropriate officer.

Question 22 – Cllr Tailford questioned the council on how much revenue from the Cheltenham permit parking schemes was reinvested into Cheltenham and how much would be made from the Parking Zone 15 in particular.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne stated that GCC would be unable to state a figure for how much revenue would be made from Parking Zone 15 until twelve months had passed. However, he stated that it was likely that more money was spent on Cheltenham’s roads than was made from the parking permits.

6.

Corporate parenting pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Minutes:

6.1       Cllr Stephen Davies, Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years, gave a summary of the report.

6.2       On being questioned about why the rate of looked after children in education, training, or employment at the end of the academic year was below target, the Cabinet Member recognised that the statistic was low and that they were trying to improve it. He stated that he would take away the question to provide a more detailed answer and he agreed to meet with the Member who asked the question separately.

6.3       A Member asked why GCC were not on the Care Leavers Covenant List. The Cabinet Member stated that he would need to confirm the exact Covenant the member was referring to ensure an accurate answer.

6.4       When asked about the reason for the statistic that 10% of children in care were reported missing in the last 12 months, the Cabinet Member confirmed that he would need to find out more information and report back to the Member.

6.5       A Member asked why the statistic for the number of children in care was at its highest recorded and what could be causing the increase. The Cabinet Member stated that the national average of children in care had risen, and that Gloucestershire’s rate reflects this increase. This figure also included asylum-seeking children.

6.6       Members acknowledged the hard work of those who worked with children in care and thanked the staff at Trevone House for facilitating the Children and Families Scrutiny Committee Visit in October.   

7.

Petitions

Minutes:

No petitions were received.

8.

Motions pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Motion 930: Notice of Motion – Free Bus Travel for Gloucestershire Veterans and Service Personnel

 

Proposed: Cllr Cate Cody

Seconded: Cllr Chris McFarling

 

November is the month of remembrance; This Council seeks to do more than provide tacit support for Veterans and Service Personnel in our County by taking steps to make a positive difference to their lives in recognition of their service.

Accordingly, this council calls on the Cabinet member to bring forward proposals for consideration as part of the 2024/25 draft budget process to provide a free bus pass to all Veterans and Service Personnel living within Gloucestershire, (based on the principles of the existing scheme for pensioners in the County, i.e. free travel on production of a valid identity card)

 

 

Motion 931: Train Ticket pricing structure

 

Proposed: Cllr Alan Preest

Seconded: Cllr David Gray

 

The cost of a rail Adult return day ticket from Lydney to Gloucester currently costs £11.60. (Chepstow-Gloucester £13.20).

One price fits all, there are no off-peak concessions.

Travelling by train is more than a journey, it is and should be the ready-made solution to make our roads quieter and safer and improve the air quality. Rail is an environmentally friendly way to travel and plays a critical role in helping to tackle climate change.

Council resolves to write to the Transport for Wales overarching Authority, the Welsh Government, to ask them to explain their regulatory pricing structure particularly for the Chepstow -Lydney-Gloucester journeys and consider an overall fare reduction, but at the very least the creation of a more realistic off-peak day return fare, in anticipation of the potential economic benefits, tourism benefits and climate change.

 

Motion 932: Sustainable Catering and Procurement Policy

 

Proposed: Cllr Beki Hoyland

Seconded: Cllr Chloe Turner

 

Council notes:

We are experiencing climate breakdown, an obesity epidemic and a cost-of-living crisis. As a council we have declared a climate emergency, have council targets to reduce obesity, and have a multi-agency ongoing response to the cost-of-living crisis.

What we eat, and how that food is produced, affects our health, the environment and our local economy .

The British food system contributes about 30% to global greenhouse gas emissions – more than transport or energy - and industrial farming is the leading cause of the decline of wildlife in the UK, antibiotic resistance and zoonotic diseases. Additionally, a third of the food we produce goes to waste.  About a third of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions is linked to food. https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-021-00225-9/

The quality of our diets follows a social gradient, with those in poorer households consuming less fruit and vegetables and more ultra-processed food and drink produced by multinational industries. Many people struggle to afford diets that align with government minimum recommendations for a healthy and balanced diet. What we eat has become the biggest risk factor for preventable disease, taking a massive toll on our health, causing debilitating illness, and placing an unsustainable strain on the NHS.

 

Ensuring that procurement policies support and encourage local production will help create and  ...  view the full agenda text for item 8.

Minutes:

Motion 930: Notice of Motion – Free Bus Travel for Gloucestershire Veterans and Service Personnel

 

8.1       Cllr Cate Cody proposed, and Cllr Chris McFarling seconded the following motion. This includes a friendly amendment from the Conservative Group which was accepted prior to the meeting:

 

November is the month of remembrance; This Council seeks to do more than provide tacit support for Veterans and Service Personnel in our County by taking steps to make a positive difference to their lives in recognition of their service.

 

Accordingly, this council calls on the Cabinet member to ask officers to draw upbring forward options proposals for consideration by all Group Leadersas part of the 2024/25 draft budget process to provide a free bus pass to all Veterans and Service Personnel living within Gloucestershire, (based on the principles of the existing scheme for pensioners in the County, i.e., free travel on production of a valid identity card).

 

8.2       Cllr Cody stated that, during this time of remembrance in particular, the motion was a chance for this Council to do something more and take action to make a difference for our armed forces community. A free bus pass for veterans and service personnel would help financially, especially for those without a car, and enable better connectivity. It was recognised that if this motion passed, there would be a cost implication as it could see a high take up, but it should equally not be forgotten that there was a cost to the planet for the number of vehicles currently on our roads. The likelihood however is that most who were eligible would not take up the free pass for different reason, including being unable to access a suitable bus route or using other concessionary passes. It was added that in 2018 the Government introduced an armed forces ID card which could be used as proof of identity if this scheme was approved. Cllr Cody hoped that members would support this motion and show their support for Gloucestershire’s current and former service personnel.

 

8.3       In seconding the motion, Cllr McFarling emphasised that supporting this motion today was simply the right thing to do, particularly at this time of year in remembrance. He welcomed the amendment by the Conservative Group which would ensure the programme was properly costed and the Council therefore spent what it was able to.

 

8.4       Cllr Evans, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, spoke in favour of the motion on behalf of the Group and echoed comments around the useful amendment to understand the details. He felt it would send a message from local leaders that even in a time of financial pressure for councils, that they recognised, appreciated and were grateful for all current personnel and veterans.

 

8.5       Cllr Gravells spoke as Armed Forces Champion for the Council and gave examples to members about the type of support local authorities across Gloucestershire provided for veterans which included things like; transition back into civilian life, helping with housing or social services for example. 

 

8.6  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 228 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, 30 October 2023.

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

10am on Wednesday, 1 November 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 5 September 2023 to 31 October 2023 can be found at:

 

https://glostext.gloucestershire.gov.uk/mgDelegatedDecisions.aspx?XXR=0&&DR=05%2f09%2f2023-31%2f10%2f2023&ACT=Find&RP=0&K=0&V=0&DM=3&HD=0&DS=2&Next=true&NOW=30102023105411&META=mgdelegateddecisions

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Fifty-three Member questions had been submitted. The following supplementary questions were asked:

Questions 1, 2 & 7 – Cllr David Drew raised concern about the academy school system and asked if this needed to be addressed with the Secretary of State for Education.

Cllr Philip Robinson stated that he would explore whether more should be done about the academy schools’ admissions policies, but this would need to remain in line with national policy. He requested a meeting with the councillor to discuss the specific questions he felt needed to be raised with the Secretary of State. 

Question 9 – Cllr John Bloxsom asked about clarification on the Minchinhampton Common Task and Finish Group.

Cllr David Gray confirmed that the proposal from Motion 934 would be enacted as committed to by the Leader.

Question 10 – Cllr John Bloxsom asked for clarification on why it would take until Spring 2024 to implement the proposed parking restriction at Ebley.

Cllr Dom Morris confirmed that he would speak with officers to see if it could be implemented sooner.

Question 13 – Cllr Chris McFarling asked if GCC were working with academy schools to stress test their buildings against climate change and whether it would be necessary to make them more climate proof.

Cllr David Gray stated that he would need to confirm with the relevant officers and report back. He confirmed that he did agree that the council should be thinking about plans for more regular and severe weather outcomes as a result of climate change.

Question 14 – Cllr Chris McFarling asked the Cabinet Member to acknowledge that further major infrastructure development projects should require a true biodiversity net gain and not cause further loss to the natural habitats.

Cllr David Gray stated that he agreed with the Member and that he believed it was important that major infrastructure developments at a minimum should do no further damage to biodiversity but should ideally help biodiversity. The Cabinet Member stated the A417 Missing Link Development as an example of a previously failing infrastructure which has now been designed to benefit biodiversity and also improve people’s lives.

Questions 16 & 17- Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked for confirmation that the current Kingsholm parking permit fee of £63.30 per year would not be increased next year.

Cllr Dom Morris responded that he would check with officers and report back.

Question 18 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton stated that due to the income for penalty notices in the Kingsholm area after one month, there should be no reason for an increase in the permit costs.

Cllr Dom Morris referred to his previous answer.

Question 19 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked to ensure local members were informed if the council were cutting down trees in their area so they could keep their residents informed. This was following the felling of fives trees on Lansdown Road.

Cllr David Gray recognised this was needed to ensure residents knew the reasons for trees being felled, and that it was not for aesthetic reasons. It  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Scrutiny report pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Minutes:

The report was noted.

11.

Audit and Governance Committee Annual Report pdf icon PDF 621 KB

Cllr John Bloxsom to present the annual report which was considered at the committee meeting in July 2023.

Minutes:

The report was noted.

12.

Consideration of approval under section 85 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972

 

Section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 requires a member of a local authority to attend at least one meeting of that authority within a six month consecutive period, in order to avoid being disqualified as a councillor. This requirement can be waived if any failure to attend was due to a reason approved by the authority, in advance of the six month period expiring.

 

EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

 

The Council is recommended to pass the following resolution in relation to the following item:

 

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business on the grounds that there would be a likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.

 

Council is asked to approve the continuing absence of a County Councillor.

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business on the grounds that there would be a likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.