Agenda and minutes

County Council - Wednesday 22 May 2024 10.00 am

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

Contact: Stephen Bace 

Items
No. Item

2.

Election of Chair

To elect the Chair of the Council for the 2024-25 Civic Year

Minutes:

2.1             Members were invited to submit nominations for the position of Chair of Council for the Civic Year 2024/25.

 

2.2             Cllr Vernon Smith was proposed by Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of the Council, and seconded by Cllr Lynden Stowe, Deputy Leader of the Council.

 

2.3             Cllr Steve Robinson was proposed by Cllr John Bloxsom and seconded by Cllr David Drew.

 

2.4             At least 10 members supported the request for a recorded vote.

 

2.5             On being put to a recorded vote, it was 

 

RESOLVED that Cllr Vernon Smith be elected as Chair of Council for the 2024/25 Civic Year.

 

Voted for Cllr Vernon Smith (27) – Cllrs Carole Allaway Martin, Matt Babbage, Alastair Chambers, Stephen Davies, Stephen Fifield, Andrew Gravells, David Gray, Terry Hale, Tim Harman, Mark Hawthorne, Stephen Hirst, Nicholas Housden, Mark Mackenzie-Charrington, Paul McLain, Andrew Miller, Dominic Morris, Emma Nelson, Dave Norman, Sajid Patel, Alan Preest, Philip Robinson, Vernon Smith, Lynden Stowe, Brian Tipper, Pam Tracey, Robert Vines, Kathy Williams.

 

Voted for Cllr Steve Robinson (21) – Cllrs Paul Baker, John Bloxsom, David Brown, Linda Cohen, David Drew, Ben Evans, Bernard Fisher, Rebecca Halifax, Joe Harris, Colin Hay, Alex Hegenbarth, Jeremy Hilton, Paul Hodgkinson, Graham Morgan, Gill Moseley, Steve Robinson, Lisa Spivey, Wendy Thomas, Roger Whyborn, Suzanne Williams, David Willingham.

 

Abstained (5) – Cllrs Cate Cody, Rebekah Hoyland, Chris McFarling, Chloe Turner, Susan Williams.

 

2.6             Cllr Vernon Smith made the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

 

2.7             Cllr Smith asserted that he was humbled and honoured to have been elected as Chair of Council for a second year, and that he would continue to carry out his duties to the best of his ability.

 

3.

Election of the Vice Chair

To elect the Vice Chair of the Council for the 2024-25 Civic Year

 

Minutes:

3.1             The Chair invited nominations for the position of Vice-Chair of Council for the 2024/25 Civic Year.

 

3.2             Cllr Susan Williams was proposed by Cllr Cate Cody and seconded by Cllr Rebekah Hoyland.

 

3.3             There being no other nominations, it was

 

RESOLVED that Cllr Susan Williams be appointed as Vice-Chair of Council for the 2024/25 Civic Year.

 

3.4             Cllr Susan Williams made the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

 

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 210 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 20 March 2024.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 March 2024 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

5.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

6.

Announcements

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

Minutes:

6.1             Kings Award for Enterprise (Gloucestershire) Recipients 2024

 

On 1 May 2024 the Government announced the recipients of the King’s Award for Enterprise 2024, including 3 well deserved winners from the Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire area.

 

The awards were made in recognition of and to encourage outstanding achievements in the fields of international trade, innovation, sustainable development, and for promoting opportunity through social mobility.

 

On behalf of the Council, the Chair congratulated:

 

·     Aberlink Limited based in Eastcombe in the Stroud District.

·     Prima Dental Manufacturing Ltd from Gloucester.

·     The Pitchmark Group Ltd, an organisation located in South Gloucestershire.

 

6.2             D-Day 80 Commemorations

 

The Nation would come together at 9am on 6th June 2024 to raise the Official D-Day 80 ‘Flag of Peace’ and start a day of commemorations on the 80th anniversary of D-Day Worldwide. Flags would fly across the Nation as Operation Overlord, which brought together the largest naval, air, and land operation in history, was remembered, along with over 209000 casualties.

 

7.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 184 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, 13 May 2024.

However, questions that relate to reports on the agenda may be submitted up to 10am on Wednesday, 15 May 2024.

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

 

Question 4 – David Redgewell asked if a meeting could be held between South Gloucestershire Council, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) to discuss cross-border transport services.

 

Cllr Philip Robinson confirmed that there was a meeting in the diary for June 2024 to discuss transport with South Gloucestershire Council.

 

Question 5 – David Redgewell asked for more information about what GCC were doing to improve bus driver recruitment in Stroud.

 

Cllr Philip Robinson explained that GCC had been exploring using GCC’s Employment Skills Hub to develop bus driver training opportunities and marketing as well as potentially targeting specific groups such as veterans, refugees, over 50’s and under 25 NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) young people. He confirmed that if Stagecoach’s bus driver shortage was not improved, there were multiple back up plans which would be used to keep Stroud’s transport network going.

 

Question 6 – David Redgewell asked about what could be done to reinstate the transport links that existed between Tewkesbury and Worcester.

 

Cllr Philip Robinson stated that whilst GCC would be interested in improving transport links between Tewkesbury and Worcester, Worcestershire County Council was not in support of reinstating the service.

 

Question 7 - Adrian Oldman asked if Parish and Town Councils could be involved in the revision of The Gloucestershire Charter.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne reassured that The Gloucestershire Charter had not been revised by GCC without consulting different partners.

 

Question 8 - Anthony Burton questioned whether the voluntary sector could help in raising awareness of the risk of wildfires?

 

Cllr David Norman answered that GFRS and GCC would look at how they could engage the voluntary sector and community groups to aid communication of national and regional guidance regarding the risk of wildfires.

 

Question 12 - David Redgewell asked what action was being taken against criminal damage to GCC infrastructure such as bus shelters.

 

Cllr Philip Robinson agreed that damage to GCC property should be dealt with. He stated that he would contact Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to arrange a meeting for Mr Redgewell and himself.

 

Question 13 - David Redgewell questioned whether discussions were taking place with Gloucester City Council to improve Gloucester’s Transport Hub.

 

Cllr Philip Robinson agreed that improvements to interchange transport hubs should include making sure that they were accessible for all people. He confirmed that this was being discussed through the Enhanced Bus Partnership Forum.

 

Question 15 - Adrian Oldman questioned whether the Cabinet Member thought that spending over £156,000 on the now halted Stroud Car Parking Review was a good use of funds.

 

Cllr Dom Morris confirmed that he believed it had cost GCC too much money but highlighted that GCC Highways Transformation scheme was now undertaking a review to improve the parking review process.

 

Question 16 - Adrian Oldman asked for clarification on why the Electric Vehicle Charging Points (EVCPs) roll out had been delayed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Council Committees pdf icon PDF 150 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Democratic Services.

TO FOLLOW

Minutes:

8.1             Cllr Mark Hawthorne proposed an amendment to the report at paragraph 2.2 to nominate Cllr Tim Harman as Chair of Adult Social Care and Communities Scrutiny Committee, and Cllr Lisa Spivey as Vice-Chair of Adult Social Care and Communities Scrutiny Committee. This was seconded by Cllr Lynden Stowe.

 

8.2             One member deemed the amendment to be discourteous, having been proposed without the other political groups receiving prior notification. They questioned the signal the amendment sent, as it would result in the Committee losing a fantastic female Chair.

 

8.3             Cllr Hawthorne disputed that the proposal of the amendment was discourteous and reflected on Cllr Tim Harman’s fantastic track record having previously worked within Cabinet in this area.

 

8.4             The amendment was put to the vote and was carried to become the substantive proposal.

 

8.5             The substantive proposal was put to the vote and it was

 

RESOLVED

 

a)  To appoint members to the committees and other bodies as shown from A1 to A12 below:

 

A1      Scrutiny committees

 

ØCorporate Overview and Scrutiny

GCC members

Cons

6

Lib Dem

4

     Lab

1

Green

1

Ind

1

13

Cllr Matt Babbage

Cllr Colin Hay

Cllr Wendy Thomas

Cllr Chloe Turner

Cllr Alastair Chambers

Cllr Andrew Gravells

Cllr Roger Whyborn

 

 

 

Cllr Paul McLain

Cllr Lisa Spivey

 

 

 

Cllr Kathy Williams

Cllr Jeremy Hilton

 

 

 

Cllr Andrew Miller

 

 

 

 

Cllr Alan Preest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ØHealth

GCC members

Cons

4

Lib Dem

3

Lab

          1

Green

1

Ind

 

9

Cllr Andrew Gravells

Cllr David Brown

Cllr David Drew

Cllr Sue Williams

 

Cllr Terry Hale

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

 

 

 

Cllr Alan Preest

Cllr Linda Cohen

 

 

 

Cllr Pam Tracey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ø  Adult Social Care and Communities

GCC members

Cons

5

Lib Dem

2

Lab

1

Green

1

Ind

9

Cllr Terry Hale

Cllr Lisa Spivey

Cllr Steve Robinson

Cllr Cate Cody

 

Cllr Tim Harman

Cllr Suzanne Williams

 

 

 

Cllr Mark Mackenzie-Charrington

 

 

 

 

Cllr Pam Tracey

 

 

 

 

Cllr Vernon Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ø  Children and Families

GCC members

Cons

5

Lib Dem

2

Lab

1

Green

1

Ind

9

Cllr Nick Housden

Cllr Linda Cohen

Cllr David Drew

Cllr Beki Hoyland

 

Cllr Paul McLain

Cllr Ben Evans

 

 

 

Cllr Andrew Miller

 

 

 

 

Cllr Emma Nelson

 

 

 

 

Cllr Pam Tracey

 

 

 

 

 

Ø  Environment

GCC members

Cons

6

Lib Dem

3

Lab
1

Green

1

Ind

11

Cllr Rob Vines

Cllr Roger Whyborn

Cllr Wendy Thomas

Cllr Chloe Turner

 

Cllr Alan Preest

Cllr David Willingham

 

 

 

Cllr Saj Patel

Cllr Gill Moseley

 

 

 

Cllr Vernon Smith

 

 

 

 

Cllr Emma Nelson

 

 

 

 

 

Cllr Brian Tipper

 

 

 

 

 

Ø  Joint Economic Growth

GCC members

Cons

4

Lib Dem

2

Lab

1

Green
1

Ind

0

7

Cllr Rob Vines

Cllr Paul Baker

Cllr John Bloxsom

Cllr Chris McFarling

 

Cllr Matt Babbage

Cllr Bernie Fisher

 

 

 

Cllr Vernon Smith

 

 

 

 

Cllr Tim Harman

 

 

 

 

 

Ø  Fire and Rescue

GCC members

Cons

4

Lib Dem

2

Lab

1

Green

Ind

7

Cllr Kathy Williams

Cllr Jeremy Hilton

Cllr Steve Robinson

 

 

Cllr Mark Mackenzie-Charrington

Cllr Bernie Fisher

 

 

 

Cllr Alan Preest

 

 

 

 

Cllr Brian Tipper

 

 

 

 

 

A2      Audit and Governance Committee

GCC members

Cons

6

Lib Dem

3

Lab

1

Green

1

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

9.

Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 188 KB

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

Minutes:

9.1     Cllr Stephen Davies, Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years presented the Corporate Parenting Report.

 

9.2     The Cabinet Member explained that the Corporate Parenting Board had not met since the last Council meeting. He noted that the Corporate Parenting Strategy was going to be brought back to the Corporate Parenting Board shortly. He explained that the review of the local offer to Care Leavers had been completed by lead officers and the Ambassadors and was aligned with the Graduating Care Southwest project offer.

 

9.3     The Cabinet Member acknowledged that whilst there had been improvements in many of the statistics, there was still further work needed. The Cabinet Member thanked one of the members’ for bringing to his attention a mistake in the report, the missing child section said that ‘11% is an improvement over the target of 10%’. 

 

9.4     A member asked whether a group could be convened to discuss whether all members should be required to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Cllr Stephen Davies confirmed that he would look into this.

 

9.5     A Member questioned whether the Cabinet Member would apologise to the Parkway Residents Group for his comments in February’s council meeting relating to the Southfield House development. The Cabinet Member recognised that his use of the term ‘nimby’ to describe some resident’s opposition to the Southfield development had been unhelpful and that he desired to continue the public consultation so that the Southfield House development could progress.

 

 9.6    Responding to a member’s question about why GCC were not doing more to intervene in the current children’s care provider market, Cllr Stephen Davies explained that the reason for the Southfield House Development was so that GCC could intervene in the care provider market.

 

9.7     Responding to a member’s disappointment that Children and Families Scrutiny Committee had decided to not create a task group focusing on the Child X case, the Cabinet Member confirmed that a report would be brought to September’s Full Council to illustrate what actions had been taken to address the Child X report’s recommendations.

 

9.8     A Member confirmed that he would like more comparison figures included in the Corporate Parenting report and he asked for the inclusion of specific statistics. Cllr Stephen Davies agreed to include information about Children in Care who were placed outside the county in the next report and said he would provide the member with the specific statistics he asked for.

 

9.9     Another Member was particularly concerned about the number of Children in Care receiving suspensions. The Cabinet Member stated that suspension statistics varied significantly between schools. However, he said that all Children in Care who engaged with the GCC virtual school had no suspensions. Therefore, GCC were aware of what good practice looked like, but it was very dependent on the individual schools.

 

9.10   Responding to a Member’s question about the youth services tender, Cllr Stephen Davies answered that whilst he could not disclose information about the active tender process, he was expecting a decision  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Petitions

To receive any petitions from members without discussion

Minutes:

10.1          A petition from Cllr Lisa Spivey and Cllr Joe Harris was presented to Cllr Dom Morris on the closure of the Tesco roundabout in Cirencester.

 

10.2          A petition from Cllr Carole Allaway Martin was presented to Cllr Dom Morris to request consideration of increased safety measures at Broadwell Crossroads in Coleford.

 

10.3          A petition from Cllr Colin Hay was presented to Cllr Dom Morris to request the resurfacing of Priors Road, Cheltenham.

 

11.

Motions pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Motion 937:  Road Safety

 

Proposed: Cllr Roger Whyborn

 

Seconded: Cllr Lisa Spivery

 

Council notes positively that there has been a reduction in fatalities on the county’s roads in 2023 but has concern that the number of people who have been seriously injured in collisions in 2023 remains at a rising trajectory compared to the previous decade.

 

Council acknowledges that a new road safety policy, introduced in late 2022, meant extra resource was allocated to improving road safety, including money for “hotspots” across the road network. We also note the additional personnel who have been brought on board to address the subject.

 

However, the situation in the county is still poor, and more needs to be done, with Gloucestershire having one of the highest rates for Deaths or Seriously injured per capita on our roads in England.

 

Council believes that the situation is both serious and urgent and urges cabinet to refer the road safety subject to Environmental Scrutiny Committee, recommending that a Task and finish group be set up to start around autumn 2024 with a specific remit to:

 

Scrutinise the effectiveness of the planned safety works, and improvements made against the new policy, and review the effectiveness of the policy itself.

Scrutinise the resources available of both money and officer time, as to whether these are sufficient, and well enough directed, to make enough “difference” to achieve the target of 50% reduction in casualties by 2032, which is the stated aim of the 2022 road safety policy.

 

 

Motion 938:  Minimum Service Levels Legislation

 

Proposed: Cllr David Drew

 

Seconded: Cllr John Bloxsom

 

Council congratulates the Public and Commercial Services Union and the Trades Union Congress on holding a national rally in Cheltenham in January 2024 to defend the right to strike - forty years on from workers at GCHQ being told to resign their union membership or be sacked, a ban that was eventually and rightfully reversed.

 

Council regrets that the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 now turns the clock back by placing severe and unacceptable restrictions on the fundamental right of a worker to take industrial action to defend their pay and conditions.

 

Council believes that these are unfair and undemocratic restrictions that risk making disputes, which should be resolved through negotiation, harder to solve. Council notes that there are agreed protocols in place to maintain essential ‘life and limb’ cover during industrial action and believes that the use of this legislation could undermine trust between employers and employees and weaken goodwill and cooperation.

 

Council deplores the introduction of regulatory powers which enable Government Ministers to define minimum service levels that would apply where there are strikes in public services, such as health, education and fire and rescue. This could result in employers issuing a "work notice" stating who should work in the event of a strike, with no automatic protection against unfair dismissal for those who refuse.

 

We believe that Ministers threatening to sack workers for going on strike during a dispute is both wrong and likely  ...  view the full agenda text for item 11.

Minutes:

Motion 937: Road Safety

 

11.1          Cllr Roger Whyborn proposed and Cllr Lisa Spivey seconded the following motion:

 

Council notes positively that there has been a reduction in fatalities on the county’s roads in 2023 but has concern that the number of people who have been seriously injured in collisions in 2023 remains at a rising trajectory compared to the previous decade.

 

Council acknowledges that a new road safety policy, introduced in late 2022, meant extra resource was allocated to improving road safety, including money for “hotspots” across the road network. We also note the additional personnel who have been brought on board to address the subject.

 

However, the situation in the county is still poor, and more needs to be done, with Gloucestershire having one of the highest rates for Deaths or Seriously injured per capita on our roads in England.

 

Council believes that the situation is both serious and urgent and urges cabinet to refer the road safety subject to Environmental Scrutiny Committee, recommending that a Task and finish group be set up to start around autumn 2024 with a specific remit to:

 

Scrutinise the effectiveness of the planned safety works, and improvements made against the new policy, and review the effectiveness of the policy itself.

 

Scrutinise the resources available of both money and officer time, as to whether these are sufficient, and well enough directed, to make enough “difference” to achieve the target of 50% reduction in casualties by 2032, which is the stated aim of the 2022 road safety policy.

 

11.2          Cllr Whyborn stated that the number of serious road incidents remained high in Gloucestershire. 376 individuals were seriously injured on Gloucestershire roads in 2022, which was significantly higher than other areas in the UK. He added that whilst there was a slight drop in the numbers for 2023, it was too early to say whether this represented a continuous change. He recognised that behind each killed or seriously injured person there was a family suffering bereavement or the impact of life changing injuries. Whilst acknowledging that the Council had limited influence to address issues such as drink or drug driving, he emphasised that the Council did have control over road speeds.

 

11.3          Cllr Whyborn welcomed opportunities for cross party working on road safety, as well as the increase to this year’s Council budget for road safety, which had resulted in the recruitment of additional road safety engineers and officers. However, he explained that more needed to be done to address the issues and proposed a task and finish group to scrutinise the effectiveness of measures being introduced as part of the new Road Safety Policy, and to consider how to achieve the target of a 50 percent reduction in road casualties by 2032.

 

11.4          Cllr Lisa Spivey, in seconding the motion, highlighted that road safety was an issue that affected both rural and urban communities. She expressed hope that the resurrected Road Safety Partnership would start to tackle the problems. She called for more education for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 176 KB

Up to 45 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, 13 May 2024.

However, questions that relate to reports on the agenda may be submitted up to 10am on Wednesday, 15 May 2024.

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 Member Decision Statements over the period 12 March 2024 to 13 May 2024 are available on the GCC website:

, 12 March 2024 - 13 May 2024 (gloucestershire.gov.uk)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Question 2 - Cllr Joe Harris asked if the Cabinet Member felt it was acceptable for the Baunton village green application to not have progressed in three years.

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe stated that it had taken a long time but that the application was not simple and that the process was bound by relevant legislation and regulation. 

 

Question 3 - Cllr Joe Harris questioned whether the Cabinet Member would put more resource into tidying up the county’s highways.

 

Cllr Dom Morris suggested that Members and residents should use the ‘Fix My Street’ website to report any highways issues they encounter.

 

Question 4 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked the Cabinet Member to thank the Liberal Democrats who have kept parking permits frozen over the last few years.

 

Cllr Dom Morris thanked everyone including community stakeholders for keeping the parking costs the same.

 

Question 5 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton questioned how long GCC had been trying to reclaim the money from the driver’s insurer for the damage they caused to the tree in Seabroke Road.

 

Cllr Dom Morris stated that they had contacted the driver’s insurer but could not confirm the timeline for reclaiming the money.

 

Question 6 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked for clarification on whether the tree in Seabroke Road was going to be replaced.

 

Cllr Dom Morris confirmed that the tree would be replaced in 2024.

 

Question 7 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton questioned if any further work was going to be undertaken to reduce congestion on Kenilworth Avenue this financial year.

 

Cllr Dom Morris stated that whilst a road safety review would be carried out, the council’s parking review programme was fully committed for 2024/2025 and therefore any new schemes would need to be prioritised with funding identified by the council for the year 2025/2026.

 

Question 8 – Cllr Roger Whyborn questioned whether he could raise any issues with the Cabinet Member regarding accessibility on roads for residents who use mobility scooters.

 

Cllr Dom Morris confirmed that if the Member sent him the specific locations, he would get them assessed on a case-by-case basis.

 

Question 9 – Cllr Paul Baker questioned whether the Cabinet Member felt it was a good use of resources considering the number of potholes that need to be revisited after they failed the pothole audit inspection.

 

Cllr Dom Morris stated that the Highways Transformation programme was tackling this through resurfacing. He also confirmed that any potholes that needed to be revisited were paid for by the contractor.

 

Question 11 – Cllr Paul Baker asked whether the Cabinet Member could write to Pates Grammar School to ask them to reconsider their admissions policy to prioritise local students.

 

Cllr Philip Robinson confirmed that they had approached Pates Grammar School on numerous occasions. He stated that whilst GCC were concerned by the number of students coming from out of county to Gloucestershire schools, it was offset by students who lived in Gloucestershire but attended schools in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Annual Scrutiny report 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 554 KB

To receive the Annual Scrutiny Report 2022-23.

 

To receive an update on current scrutiny activity.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

13.1          Cllr Alan Preest, Chair of Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, introduced the Annual Scrutiny Report 2022/23, and the update on current scrutiny activity. He reminded members of the importance of attending scrutiny meetings.

 

13.2          A member queried whether the Cabinet had published its response to the Rural Estate Scrutiny Task Group. In response, Cllr Preest confirmed that this would be considered by Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 29 May 2024, and that the response had been published with the agenda papers for that meeting.

 

13.3          There was a further question as to whether the recommendation relating to the reinvestment of the value of rural estates had been accepted. This would be followed up outside of the meeting.

 

13.4          A member asked Cllr Matt Babbage, Chair of the disbanded Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee, whether, once it had been reformed following the establishment of the City Region Board, the new Committee could consider the draft spatial planning document which had been referred to during the Members’ Questions item. Cllr Babbage agreed that the Committee could look into this at its first meeting.

 

13.5          A member expressed their view that the Council should be able to debate scrutiny activity during this item, rather than be limited to asking questions of particular scrutiny chairs. They also felt it was a mistake for the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee to have been disbanded without having a continuous overview and scrutiny function in place to keep abreast of changes on that front.

 

13.6          In response, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chair of the Constitution Committee, advised the member that they could raise their concern regarding the discussion of scrutiny at Council meetings at the next Constitution Committee meeting. He also advised that the establishment of the City Region Board had been delayed by the recent district council elections.

 

13.7          Following a further query, assurance was provided that the proposer and seconder of the motion relating to hunting with dogs on Council land would have sight of the briefing note before it was considered by Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee in July 2024.

 

13.8          The Chair of Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee wished to put on record his thanks to the members of that committee and NHS colleagues.

 

14.

GLOUCESTERSHIRE PENSION FUND ANNUAL REPORT 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

14.1          Cllr Lynden Stowe, Chair of the Pension Committee, presented the Gloucestershire Pension Fund Annual Report 2022/2023.

 

14.2          A member of the Pension Committee refuted some of the Pension Committee investment belief statements, included in the appendix at p.176 of the report, claiming that they were not unanimous beliefs of the Committee. They highlighted the statement relating to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations which determined that these would be taken into account where they would not detrimentally impact financial returns or risk. The member countered that ESG considerations were paramount. The member also disputed the statement which determined that the Committee believed in engaging with investee companies rather than exclusion as the best approach.

 

14.3          Cllr Stowe responded that the report reflected the views as of the end of 2022, and going forward the Committee might wish to amend those beliefs.

 

15.

Calendar of Meetings for 2025 pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Minutes:

A member raised a concern regarding the number of committees held on the same week, which made it difficult to find substitutes for meetings. They requested that meetings be more evenly spread out in future years.

 

RESOLVED to approve the calendar of meetings for 2025 as shown at Item 15 of the agenda.