Venue: Oxstalls Indoor Tennis Centre, Gloucester GL2 9EB
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 19 May 2021.
The minutes of the meeting held on 19 May 2021 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.
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.
Cllr Chris McFarling declared a personal interest in item 8, Motions, Motion 878 EU Settlement Scheme, and that he would therefore not participate in the debate.
a) Queen’s Birthday Honours
To congratulate the people from Gloucestershire who have received honours (see list appended to the agenda).
b) Fire evacuation procedure and meeting protocols
To invite Simon Harper, Head of Democratic Services, to inform members of the arrangements for the meeting.
a) Queen’s Birthday Honours
The Chairman congratulated the people from Gloucestershire who had received honours (list attached to the agenda).
b) Fire evacuation procedure and meeting protocols
Simon Harper, Head of Democratic Services informed members of the arrangements for the meeting.
c) Kickstart Programme
The Chairman explained that the Council was taking part in the Government’s Kickstart Programme and was taking on a number of young people. In particular, he welcomed Max Young and Troy Irwin, who had joined the Democratic Services team for six months.
Twenty nine public questions had been submitted prior to the meeting. The following supplementary questions were asked:
Question 1 – Richard Stanley asked whether the Cabinet Member and flood risk officers from GCC would be willing to attend the site to ensure residents concerns were addressed.
Cllr Vernon Smith agreed to arrange a visit when possible.
Question 2 – Alan Mossman questioned what action the Cabinet would take in the next two years to make serving on the Council more affordable for younger people and to encourage more diverse representation.
The Leader responded acknowledging the Council had a role to play so all members of the community saw standing for election as an accessible opportunity, but so did political parties in encouraging and selecting their candidates. The Leader was first elected at a young age, so they very much recognised the importance of this.
Question 13 – Alan Mossman was concerned about the decision to build new road space as opposed to using the funds to ensure pedestrians and cyclists felt safe and to provide good public transport.
Cllr Vernon Smith advised in general that there were lots of positive walking and cycling schemes that were linked within major road schemes. They requested that Mr Mossman made contact directly if there were particular schemes causing concern so a more detailed response could be provided.
Question 14 – Alan Mossman recognised that the Council was committed to reducing carbon outputs. They questioned however how this expenditure would help reduce carbon emissions while improving air quality and reducing particulates from things such as cars and breaks.
Cllr David Gray advised that it was better to look at what GCC was doing as a whole towards tackling climate change, rather than this one area of expenditure. Policies such as making roads more efficient, which would reduce the time cars spent queuing with engines on, and a commitment to install 1000 charging points were just two examples that were helping to address the overall issue of climate change and making residents lives more sustainable.
Question 15 – Alan Mossman asked for clarification as to why spending money on new road space for a few was more important than providing better public transport and active travel for all.
Cllr Lynden Stowe reiterated GCC was committed to doing whatever was possible to provide a good transport network around the whole county, but what they could not do was attach this to an unlimited budget. Earlier last week Cabinet approved for a demand active travel pilot scheme in the North Cotswolds and Forest of Dean. If the trial was successful, the Council would be looking to roll this out further. Council funds and resources had to be targeted at where they would be most effective.
Question 16 – Alan Mossman asked what was stopping GCC diverting funds from new highway schemes into active travel and public transport improvements.
Cllr Philip Robinson responded by highlighting the importance of spending on highways to help Gloucestershire’s post-pandemic economic recovery. They ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
Cllr Stephen Davies, Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years, to present the corporate parenting report.
Cllr Stephen Davies, Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years, presented the Corporate Parenting report.
The report explained what it meant to be a corporate parent, particularly what it meant for individual councillors. It was understood that councillors had a personal responsibility to consider the impact their decisions had on children in care and to consider what they could do to help these children.
Members were asked to complete One Page Profiles which could be shared with Children in Care.
One member queried the wording in the care leavers’ offer regarding the management of debt. They suggested that it should be reworded to encourage money management and the avoidance of debt. Cllr Davies responded that whilst debt was something we often had to manage in life, they would look into the wording.
There was a further query as to whether children in care were offered the chance to learn to ride a bike or take driving lessons when they turned 17. Cllr Davies explained that he would make sure information on this was available to children in care.
To receive petitions presented by members without discussion.
No petitions were presented by members.
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 876 - Call to adopt 20mph maximum speeds in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix
Proposer: Cllr Roger Whyborn
Seconder: Cllr Gill Moseley
This Council believes that 20 is plenty where people are.
This Council agrees with and supports the UK Government’s recent endorsement of The Stockholm Declaration, which stipulates in Resolution 11 that a council should “mandate a maximum road travel speed of [20mph] in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix…except where strong evidence exists that higher speeds are safe.”
Council resolves to formally adopt Resolution 11. In practice this means that the default speed limit on Gloucestershire’s urban and rural residential streets will be 20mph, except on main roads where speed limits, if higher, must be both safe and appropriate.
As the Local Highways Authority, this Council calls on Cabinet to consult the county’s District Councils, Parish Councils and communities to identify all the roads which should adopt a 20mph speed limit no later than 30 April 2025 and to make significant progress towards realising these changes in tandem - establishing 20mph limits in identified places quickly if communities agree.
Council commits to providing the necessary funding, to achieve the goal of making our residents safe across Gloucestershire.
Motion 877 - Call to scrap proposed Voter ID reforms
Proposer: Cllr Paul Hodgkinson
Seconder: Cllr Ben Evans
This Council notes that:
· The UK Government revealed in the Queen’s speech, on 11 May, its intention to introduce laws requiring all eligible voters to show voter ID in all future elections.
· The UK Government claims this is to tackle electoral fraud.
This Council further notes, however, that:
· The Electoral Commission has stated that there is “no evidence of large-scale electoral fraud.”
· That between 2017 and 2019, there were just 6 convictions and 12 police cautions relating to electoral fraud – the majority of which did not relate to ID fraud.
· That nearly 10 per cent of eligible voters do not have the necessary identification at present, and that previous trials of voter ID saw many hundreds of voters disenfranchised – including 750 people during the 2019 trials.
This Council believes that:
· The proposed legislation is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist and only serves to make it harder for some sections of Britain’s electorate to vote – most notably minority groups and young voters.
· The greater priority should be encouraging voter registrations within those groups that are typically under-represented during elections.
This Council therefore resolves to:
· Write ... view the full agenda text for item 20.
Motion 876 - Call to adopt 20mph maximum speeds in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix
Cllr Roger Whyborn proposed and Cllr Gill Mosely seconded the motion included on the agenda.
Cllr Whyborn stated that this motion was about reclaiming the streets for the people who own them. This was about safety, climate change, an improvement in air quality and encouraging a shift from cars to other transport modes. 20mph should become the default speed; should be the speed across wide areas, except through routes; and would discourage ‘rat-running’.
Moving away from the idea of small ‘ghetto zones’ to wider area installation would be more cost efficient and would lead to a dramatic drop in excessive speeds with the additional infrastructure, eg. ‘sleeping policemen’. It was inevitable that there would need to be compromises and local communities would need to decide which would be the 20mph roads.
Cllr Whyborn emphasised that in contrast to some other areas Gloucestershire County Council has taken little action. Some of the larger cities have adopted wide ranging zones, and the entire city of Portsmouth is 20mph with few traffic regulation orders (TROs) required. Cllr Whyborn stated that Cabinet should commit highway funds to this issue.
Cllr Mosley stated that Dymock Parish Council had asked her to bring this motion to council. Each year there were casualties on the county’s roads; the only way to reduce this was to slow vehicles down. It was possible to achieve this without having to use road furniture; people should be encouraged to travel in different ways.
Cllr Moseley stated that the Welsh government had recently announced that there would be a 20mph limit across all areas. It was stated that it was important to start this conversation now. The Liberal Democrat Group had secured £100k of funding at the meeting of council on 17 February 2021 to investigate the potential for 20mph zones; the motion today was an opportunity to do something about it. Cllr Mosely asked that this motion not be referred to scrutiny.
Cllr Norman, Cabinet Member Public Protection, Parking and Libraries, stated that no one should challenge the view that speed was a contributory factor to accidents; the KSI (Killed and Seriously Injured) data demonstrated that high speed and a loss of control were major factors. It was important to find a way to educate everyone about speeding. Cllr Norman proposed a motion without notice under standing order 11.1.13 to refer the motion to the Environment Scrutiny Committee. The motion without notice was seconded by Cllr Mark Hawthorne.
Procedural advice was sought from and given by the council’s Monitoring Officer.
It was stated that members were aware from their conversations with Parish Councils that this issue was important to communities, and that 20 was plenty. This would improve road safety and help tackle pollution. The Council should get behind this motion; not kick it into the long grass. It was acknowledged that there would be issues that would need to be considered, ... view the full minutes text for item 20.
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, 23 June 2021. Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Stephen Bace (email email@example.com).
Questions received and proposed responses do not accompany this agenda but will be circulated prior to the meeting.
Fifty four and one urgent member questions had been received. The following supplementary questions were asked:
Question 3 – Cllr Ben Evans asked what the data was saying about the road specified.
Cllr Vernon Smith advised they would speak with officers to share the data with the councillor and reiterated they would be happy to meet outside the meeting.
Question 11 – Cllr Roger Whyborn questioned whether the Council would be engaging with the DfT on the specific issue of county councils having more powers to regulate their own bus services.
Cllr David Gray confirmed the Council fully intended to engage on the issue of buses, and were very keen to have a proactive programme to engage with Govt. in terms of participation in consultations, but also to take advantage of a new spirit of consultation with the bus service providers themselves.
Question 18 – Cllr Suzanne Williams reiterated their surprise the road markings had been laid without a TRO and asked for extra assurance that this would be actioned.
Cllr Dave Norman was very happy to engage with officers after this meeting and would respond to the councillor when a satisfactory conclusion was available.
Question 22 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson highlighted that the answer of 3000 trees being planted since March meant the council would need to plant 10,000 trees per day to reach its original target by 2030. It was questioned why the Council was not on target so far and whether it would meet the numbers overall.
Cllr David Gray advised that the planting season was from October to March so this affected when trees could be planted. The original target was very ambitious and although not moving away from that target, it was important the Council did not just focus solely on tree planting to achieve its environmental improvements.
Question 23 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked for confirmation whether the 35m tree planting target was still in place.
Cllr David Gray confirmed that as a target, it remained in place. What the council was more interested in however was the underlying issue and how effective all actions were in addressing climate change. Of course there was a want to plant lots of trees and everything possible would be done to achieve these numbers.
Question 25 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson reiterated that the examples given were proof the current inspection process was not working and asked why.
Cllr Vernon Smith expressed to hear jobs were not progressing as they should in the maintenance system. If the councillor would provide details, these jobs could be followed up on the system to see what the delay was.
Question 28 – Cllr Chloe Turner advised the spreadsheet by which carbon emissions were calculated had not yet been shared.
Cllr David Gray confirmed they would follow it up.
Question 33 – Cllr Rebecca Halifax asked for clarification whether the new IT solution would allow for GCC emails and documents to be accessible on any device, highlighting that many other councils offer ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
Report of the Head of Democratic Services relating to appointments to outside bodies.
The Head of Democratic Services presented the report. There were two nominations for the appointment to the Cotswolds Canal Trust – Cllr John Bloxsom and Cllr Nick Housden. On being put to the vote Cllr Housden was appointed to the Cotswolds Canal Trust.
The other appointments were taken and agreed en bloc.
Report of the Monitoring Officer and Director of Policy, Performance and Governance relating to changes to the Council Constitution.
The Monitoring Officer presented the report.
Council agreed to adopt the terms of reference for the Fire and Rescue Scrutiny Committee, outlined in Annex A of the report, with the additional agreement to review its progress around a year after creation.
The June 2021 cycle of Scrutiny Committees were induction sessions where officers presented information relevant to each committee’s remit. Scrutiny Committee Chairs to answer questions:
Cllr Philip Awford, Corporate Overview and Scrutiny
Cllr Andrew Gravells, Health Scrutiny
Cllr Stephen Hirst, Adult Social Care and Communities
Cllr Andrew Miller, Children and Families
Cllr Dom Morris, Environment
Cllr Matt Babbage, Economic Growth
Cllr Jeremy Hilton, Fire and Rescue
Council noted the report.
Vice-chair of the Scrutiny Committees and the Audit and Governance Committee
To appoint the Vice-chairs of the Scrutiny Committees and the Audit and Governance Committee:
Corporate Overview and Scrutiny
Adult Social Care and Communities
Children and Families
Fire and Rescue
Audit and Governance
Council agreed to appoint the Vice Chairs of the Scrutiny committees and the Vice Chair of Audit and Governance: -
Corporate Overview and Scrutiny – Cllr John Bloxsom
Health Scrutiny – Cllr David Drew
Adult Social Care and Communities – Cllr Lisa Spivey
Children and Families – Cllr Ben Evans
Environment – Cllr Chris McFarling
Economic Growth – Cllr Paul Baker
Fire and Rescue – no appointment to Vice Chair
Audit and Governance – Cllr Stephan Fifield
To consider the Cabinet Decision Statement for the meeting held on 24 March 2021.
Cllr Hay stated that given that at the Cabinet meeting the previous week the latest budget outturn had been presented it was disappointing that this would not be received at council until its meeting in September 2021. £3m was a significant change and this should be received at council.
Cllr Hawthorne stated that the timings of the meetings was unfortunate and that it would be ensured that the timing of meetings were better aligned in future. Cllr Hawthorne also stated that this interpretation on the budget was not one that he shared, and that advice on budget matters and council had previously been given.
In response to a question it was clarified that the exempt report on disposals received at Cabinet could be shared with members of council on request.
To consider the decision statements for the period 1 March 2021 to 31 May 2021.
Cllr David Willingham asked a question with regard to the progress of the decision taken on 6 April 2021 relating to the B4063. It was agreed that as this decision had been taken in the previous council and there was now a new Cabinet Member in post that a written response would be sent to the councillor.
RESOLVEDto note the Individual Cabinet Member Decision Statements for the period 1 March 2021 to 31 May 2021.
Report of the Head of Democratic Services relating to the appointment of Honorary Aldermen/ Alderwomen
The Head of Democratic Services presented the report.
A member stated the importance of using gender neutral language in this regard. The Monitoring Officer informed the meeting that the Local Government Act did allow the use of the term ‘alderman’ or ‘alderwoman’ but not ‘alderperson’.
Council agreed to confer the title of Honorary Alderman/Alderwomen on the following former councillors at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council to be held immediately following the Ordinary Meeting on 30 June 2021:
· Dr John Cordwell, Wotton-under-Edge - 40 years including holding the position of Chair of Council
· Brian Oosthuysen, Rodborough – 16 years
· Shaun Parsons, South Cerney – 24 years including holding the position of Chair of Council
· Klara Sudbury, Charlton Park and College - 16 years
· Ray Theodoulou, Fairford and Lechlade-on-Thames – 20 years including holding the position of Chair of Council
· Simon Wheeler, Benhall and Up Hatherley - 16 years
· Lesley Williams, Stonehouse - 20 years including holding the position of Leader of the Labour Group
· Will Windsor Clive, Newent - 20 years