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, 10 February 2016. Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Stephen Bace (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Questions received and proposed responses do not accompany this agenda but will be circulated prior to the meeting.
Forty two member questions had been received. A copy of the answers was circulated and is attached to the signed copy of these minutes.
The following supplementary questions were asked:
Question1 – Cllr Sarah Lunnon asked, given the high level public concern, what provision would be made for future monitoring of air quality at critical receptors at local buildings and could the monitoring be put in place to establish a baseline prior to the operation of the residual waste facility.
Cllr Ray Theodoulou explained emissions would be monitored in accordance with official directives by the Environment Agency and that an update report would be provided to Cllr Lunnon and that he was sure the relevant agencies would take account of the concerns the member had outlined. He didn’t have specific details of the properties mentioned.
Question 2 – Cllr Lesley Williams asked the Cabinet Member to reflect the need for a universal service for children in proposing a new approach.
Cllr Paul McLain explained that the core purpose of children’s centres were to improve outcomes for families and young people. He explained that universality applied to wider children and families services e.g. early years
Question 7 – Cllr Barry Kirby asked whether the member was confident that there would be no applications for fracking in the Forest of Dean and Stroud.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne referred to the session that had been held by scrutiny and that while he did not have reason to believe any applications were forthcoming, any application would need to be handled in an open and transparent way with due process followed.
Question 9 – Cllr Steve McHale asked whether the member had a view on the police precept rise.
Cllr Will Windsor-Clive reiterated his answer in the paper.
Question 14 – Steve Lydon asked what the Cabinet Member’s view was on a Council that continually under budgeted and overspent.
Cllr Ray Theodoulou stated that he would advise the Council to get their budget in order.
Question 15 – Cllr Steve Lydon asked which of the cash rises within the budget as detailed in the answer, was the Cabinet Member most proud of.
Cllr Ray Theodoulou replied that he was proud of all of them.
Question 16 – Cllr Steve Lydon asked whether the Leader of Council was in favour of fracking.
In response Cllr Mark Hawthorne explained that it was important to look at any specific proposal on its merits through the planning process.
Question 17 – Cllr Steve Lydon asked whether detailed savings targets would be discussed as part of a budget scrutiny task group.
Cllr Ray Theodoulou replied that he would discuss with the member outside of the meeting.
Question 18 – Cllr Bernie Fisher asked if the Cheltenham Borough Council task group on street parking recommended free parking on Sundays, would the County Council follow suit?
Cllr Vernon Smith replied that the Council was always open to listen to proposals.
Question 22 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked why Clearwater Drive was designated as a potential school site when there were other locations that would benefit from a school.
Cllr Ray Theodoulou explained that this was not a County Council proposal.
Question 23 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked what the Cabinet Member’s view was on Police and Crime Commissioners being able to take control of Fire and Rescue authorities. He believed that Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service was best placed to deliver services as part of the County Council.
Cllr Will Windsor-Clive stated that there was cross-party support for the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and that it was well run and efficient. He did not foresee a Police and Crime Commissioner wishing to take it on.
Question 26 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked if the Cabinet Member could reiterate his understanding of funding around free school meals.
Cllr Paul McLain explained that the expectation was that the funding received in 2014-15 would be a one off, so the 2015-16 allocation would be viewed by schools as supplementary funding.
Question 28 – Cllr Jasminder Gill asked if the Cabinet Member was still confident that no applications for on-shore oil and gas extraction had been received.
Cllr Will Windsor-Clive stated that no applications had been received.
Question 30 – Cllr Klara Sudbury asked for information on the number of successful claims from people tripping and hurting themselves on pavements in Cheltenham in the past 5 years.
Cllr Vernon Smith stated that there were 30 claims in a 5 year period.
Question 31 – Cllr Klara Sudbury asked what consultations the school had done with Leckhampton parents in order to meet the demand in the area.
Cllr Paul McLain replied that a lot of work had been carried out providing an independent analysis with proposals but these had not been taken up by the school. He was happy to meet with Cheltenham members to discuss any opportunities for expansion in the area and to consider alternative ways to manage demand.
Question 33 – Cllr Chris Coleman expressed concern regarding the consultation being undertaken by Bournside School and asked if the Cabinet Member could notify local councillors about any information they had regarding planned changes to the school’s catchment area.
Cllr Paul McLain explained that the Council had written to the school to express concerns. He would share the end result when he had been informed.
Question 34 – Cllr Chris Coleman asked if Cheltenham members could meet with the Cabinet Member on the issue of Bournside School.
Cllr Paul McLain agreed to meet with the members, but there were regular seminars on the issue and members were kept in formed. He suggested that the meeting be held within a month.
Question 37 – Cllr Chris Coleman expressed disappointment at the lack of a full response to his question asked at the last meeting on the issue of street trees. He asked if the Cabinet Member could provide him with further information regarding to street trees.
Cllr Vernon Smith apologised stating that he had believed that the information had been sent to the Councillor and that it now would be.
Question 41 – Cllr Chris Coleman stated that he had attended a meeting with the county’s parking team and he asked what the decision was with regards to the consultation on the Railway Area parking review.
Cllr Vernon Smith advised the member to talk to Cheltenham Borough Council task force on this issue. The Council would wait until the conclusions of that Task Force were available.