Ten public questions had been received. The following supplementary questions were asked:
Question 2 – Steve Gower commented on the record number of deaths and asked which individual in the Council would be informed of any deaths within supported living accommodations and what steps would the Council take to reduce the figures in the future.
Cllr Kathy Williams provided assurances that the Council employed good contractors who were trained to work on a one-to-one basis with those with complex needs including substance abuse. The Director of Adult Social Care would be notified of any deaths.
Question 4 – Rob Brookes appreciated the extra spending by the Council on cycling infrastructure but it was only 5% of what the Dutch spent. While he appreciated the idea of a cycle link between Cheltenham and Gloucester, he felt that he had not seen from the plans much infrastructure work for other places in Gloucestershire to help people get easily and safely to work or shop.
Cllr Vernon Smith thanked Mr Brookes for bringing up the topic of cycling explaining that the £150 million investment in highways would help cyclists and other road users.He provided examples of how councillors could use their Highways Local money to help improve cycling safety.
Question 5 – Roy Messenger asked a question on the return to the archives of a document submitted in 2000 as part of Operation Shogan. In addition he asked what involvement the Cabinet Member had in the operation when he had been a Police Officer.
Cllr Richard Boyles replied that he was aware of the operation but had no connection to it. In response to the document, he would need to understand from officers what documents were being referred to and get back to him.
Question 6 - Roy Messenger suggested that, following a conversation with a member of the investigation team, the County Council might have a case to answer regarding the Badgeworth group of schools.
Cllr Richard Boyles responded that he would have to hear the evidence and if Mr Messenger had any further information then he should let him know.
Question 7 – Roy Messenger stated that his information stated that there had been additional victims from Gloucestershire and asked why the Cabinet Member had not replied to correspondence from his investigator.
Cllr Richard Boyles replied that he had met with him and his advocate along with the Liberal Democrat Group Leader. He asked Mr Messenger to provide any further information he had to him.
Question 8 – Roy Messenger asked the Cabinet Member to explain to the Council why as a former Police Officer he had breached data protection rules by releasing information to ex-Police colleagues.
Cllr Richard Boyles explained that he had met once with Gloucestershire Police and once with Wiltshire Police in February 2017 following the questions asked by Mr Messenger at full Council in December 2017. He said that it was a matter for the Police to investigate and he strongly refuted the suggestion made by Mr Messenger that he or the Council had acted improperly. He stated that an information sharing agreement was in place between the Council and the Police and, if there was a need to take any action outside that agreement, then an application would have to be made through the Courts.
Question 10 – Sarah Lunnon asked whether the budget provided the funding needed to combat climate change. She emphasised the need for rapid and dramatic action, highlighting the ‘unfolding emergency’. She asked whether the Leader would now declare a climate emergency and provide the necessary funding for this.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne outlined that the Council took this agenda seriously including a Cabinet position with a specific focus on the environment. He provided details of the work carried out by the Council including the introduction of photo-voltaic cells on the building to reduce the carbon footprint and make practical, everyday differences.