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, 6 February 2019. 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.
Eighteen member questions had been received. The following supplementary questions were asked:
Question 1 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson stated that there were 31 working days until the country was due to leave the European Union. He asked if the Leader was saying that everything would be fine for the people of Gloucestershire if there was a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne replied that he did not know what arrangements would be in place or the leave date so he was unable to comment further.
Question 2 – Cllr Colin Hay asked if the Leader were to get a box of matches would he want to start the incinerator with it or would he want to burn it down due to the extra costs being incurred? Was he proud of it?
Cllr Mark Hawthorne stated that he was proud that the Council was on target and on course for a long term solution to Gloucestershire’s waste. He felt that in the future members of the council of all political persuasions would be proud of it.
Question 3 – Cllr Iain Dobie asked that the revenue generated from parking charges in Cheltenham be committed to be spent in Cheltenham.
Cllr Dave Norman replied that the money would be used to improve parking across the County. He would welcome the opportunity to sit down with the member and go through the figures.
Question 7 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson highlighted the accident on the A417 last July and explained that the judge had been shocked and surprised by the state of disrepair on the road. He suggested that the inspection process for highways was not working.
Cllr Vernon Smith explained that the Council took road safety very seriously and that highways managers continued to make sure inspection processes operated following national best practice.
Question 8 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked what the member would do to address his concerns about the inspection process not working.
Cllr Vernon Smith stated he would be happy to meet with the member and senior highways managers if the member had specific issues that he wished to raise.
Question 10 – Cllr Rachel Smith provided details of utility companies working at 6:30am in the morning citing an emergency. She asked what processes the Council had to guide utility companies about what was acceptable disruption?
Cllr Vernon Smith replied that he understood the frustration but that if there was an emergency involving utility companies then the Council was obliged by law to assist them where they took action. He would be happy to meet with the member to discuss further.
Question 11 – Cllr Rachel Smith asked which of the five substantive points of the letter referenced in her question did the Leader believe his answer addressed.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne noted that the question referred to the Ernst and Young report and he had answered with respect to that. A number of the points were referenced by the open letter and the Leader had nothing further to add to that.
Question 12 – Rachel Smith expressed concern that the Leader had not answered her question as to whether the Javelin Park contract had been carried out in line with the Public Contract Regulations 2015. She asked, hypothetically, if it had not been carried out correctly, what would the risk be to the tax payer?
Cllr Mark Hawthorne outlined the legal situation, whether the court actions or claims were valid or not, he was precluded from adding information in the public domain.
Question 13 – Cllr Rachel Smith asked in what way average gate fees represented reality, noting that it did not exist as a comparator anywhere else in the country.
Cllr Nigel Moor stated that gate fees were used to ensure tax payers knew exactly what was coming as part of the bespoke scheme.
Question 14 – Cllr Rachel Smith asked whether the Cabinet Member felt that there should be an independent enquiry with regards to Javelin Park.
Cllr Nigel Moor replied that he did not.
Question 18 – Cllr Eva Ward welcomed the support for the establishment of a task group to look at how the Council could become free of ‘single-use plastics’.
Cllr Nigel Moor stated he was happy to work with the member on this and that members could do a great deal as champions of this.