Agenda item

Motions

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 859 – Fast-tracked introduction of ‘School Streets’ schemes

Proposed by Cllr Iain Dobie

Seconded by Cllr Nigel Robbins

 

This Council notes that:

  • As people are being instructed to return to school and to work, the national Government is encouraging everyone to walk or cycle where possible instead of taking public transport or returning to their cars.
  • The Government has announced a £250 million ‘Emergency Active Travel Fund’ for temporary infrastructure to enable safe cycling and walking – of which, Gloucestershire is receiving £1.442 million (0.57 per cent).
  • The Transport Secretary issued new Statutory Guidance on 9 May to all Highways Authorities, requiring them to deliver ‘transformative change’ within an urgent timeframe.
  • Measures listed under the Statutory Guidance include (but are not limited to) ‘pop-up’ cycle facilities, widening footways, ‘school streets’ schemes, and reducing speed limits.
  • The guidance further states that ‘measures should be taken as swiftly as possible, and in any event within weeks, given the urgent need to change travel habits before the restart takes full effect.’
  • ‘School streets’ schemes, which close the roads outside schools during drop-off and pick-up times, have the multiple aims of: improving road safety for pupils, encouraging active travel to school/ modal shift out of cars, and improving the air quality and environment at the school gates, and are very effective for enabling social distancing outside schools.

 

This Council further notes that:

  • Prior to Covid-19 related changes, ‘School Streets’ schemes were successfully introduced or were being trialled at multiple local authorities across the UK*.
  • Since the announcement, enthusiasm for ‘School Streets’ has sky-rocketed, with many more councils introducing these schemes before schools reopened and multiple NGOs calling for the introduction of ‘School Streets’ to manage social distancing at the school gate.
  • Progressive councils are introducing the measures under their own considerable statutory powers, making experimental traffic orders where necessary.
  • Gloucestershire County Council has already made a number of road alterations to assist with active travel and social distancing associated with shops, but none specifically targeted at schools.
  • It has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to positively impact travel choices, including the associated benefits on health, air quality and road safety. 

 

This Council resolves to:

a)    Work with county councillors, districts, schools and local partners to swiftly identify those schools in the county that could put a ‘School Streets’ scheme in place.

b)    Work with county councillors, districts, schools and local partners to enable all schools that wish to take part in the ‘School Streets’ scheme to do so – taking advantage of experimental traffic orders and new statutory guidance over fast-tracked Traffic Regulation Orders where necessary.

c)    In the long term, work with all schools in the county to develop accredited travel plans, which could include enforceable no-idling zones and ‘School Streets’ schemes.

d)    Measure air quality around a sample of schools in all six districts at child-head height to identify the level of air pollution children are being exposed to at school drop-off and pick-up.

e)    Pilot additional measures to improve air quality near schools in 2020/21, such as ‘living green walls’ and tree planting, working with local businesses to sponsor these initiatives.

 

* Including but not limited to: Birmingham City Council, Bristol City Council, Cardiff Council, The City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow City Council, Greater Manchester, Leeds City Council, Sheffield City Council, Southampton City Council, City of York Council, and many London Boroughs.

 

 

Motion 860 - Celebrating Gloucestershire Volunteers

Proposed by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

Seconded by Cllr Lesley Williams

 

This Council notes that:

·         Despite the tragic loss of life caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, including over 550 in Gloucestershire alone to date, this crisis will also be remembered for the enormous acts of kindness and generosity exhibited by Gloucestershire’s residents.

·         Within hours of setting up Gloucestershire Help Hub, the Council was flooded with offers of help from businesses, organisations and residents, totalling over 3,500 to date.

·         Many communities across Gloucestershire established their own support networks to ensure that no member of society went without.

This Council also notes that:

·         Gloucestershire County Council staff rose to the challenge of the situation, with many staff changing roles to support the Council’s response and most of our social services colleagues dramatically increasing their hours of work to protect our county’s most vulnerable residents.

·         Without the work of volunteers from outside the Council, Gloucestershire County Council could never have hoped to respond to the thousands of calls for support, including delivering food parcels, collecting prescriptions and combatting isolation and loneliness.

As the lead authority in the county, this Council calls for GCC to establish a series of events to recognise and celebrate the exceptional efforts of residents and public servants, and to establish permanent memorials to acknowledge both the volunteers and the tragic loss of so many members of our community.

 

Motion 861 – Climate change

Proposed by Cllr Kate Haigh

Seconded by Cllr Rachel Smith

 

This Council notes that the response to Covid-19 in the County has been exceptional, with changes to how we do things delivered at a rapid pace.

This Council believes by using existing technology, we can and must change how we do things. As we recover from this health crisis we must also use this new thinking to tackle the climate crisis.

This Council pledges to use the new thinking about how we live and work as a basis for building communities resilient to climate change. 

This Council asks the Cabinet member for Environment and Planning who is responsible for climate change strategy to produce a report to Council after consideration by Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee on what lessons the Council has learnt during Covid-19 that the County Council can apply to its policies and practices to meet our climate change targets and produce a cleaner, greener post-Covid County.

a)    The report written to include public consultation on their priorities for building back  better.

b)    Lessons learned on how to deliver change at a rapid pace

c)    Referring to key strategies including Vision 2050, Industrial Strategy, Strategic Transport Plan and Council Plan.

 

Motion 863 - Establishment of a local contact tracing system to stop Covid-19

Proposed by Cllr Rachel Smith

Seconded by Cllr Eva Ward

 

This Council notes the huge toll the lock-down has taken on the health and wellbeing of people in our county, whilst also noting the extreme importance of lockdown and social-distancing measures to preserve life in the face of the lethal corona-virus.

 

This Council further notes that a fully implemented, effective and integrated track, trace and isolate system remains our only safe and socially just route out of lockdown and, with people mixing more freely and the r-rate hovering around 1 indicating continued viral spread, is urgently needed.

 

For the sake of the health of all residents in Gloucestershire, this Council cannot wait for the delayed government track and trace system. 

 

This Council therefore calls for the establishment of a locally based, trusted and reliable contact tracing system in Gloucestershire.

 

Motion 862 - Promoting cycleways

Proposed by Cllr Lesley Williams

Seconded by Cllr Steve Robinson

 

This Council is taking advantage of extra funding provided by the Government as a result of Covid 19 to promote alternative modes of travel and to make busy areas physically safer for people to walk and cycle.

This Council recognises that cycling, in the county, has increased by 190% during the last few months.

This Council recognises that the County already has a large number of cycle routes.

This Council recognises that in order to encourage more people, not just enthusiasts, to carry on cycling they need to feel safe and to know where there are dedicated routes that might allow them to travel to work by bicycle.

This Council recognises that the typical distance that a person will cycle to work is about 5km.

In order to support cycling, and to encourage more cycling this Council proposes that a portion of the ring fenced grant is used to positively promote cycling by communicating routes, both functional and recreational, through extensive publicity.

And that this Council considers measures that could be put in place for the safe storage of bicycles in various locations covered lock-ups not just racks.

Minutes:

Motion 859 – Fast-tracked introduction of ‘School Streets’ schemes

Cllr Iain Dobie proposed and Cllr Nigel Robbins seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Dobie informed the meeting of the challenges outside schools at the beginning and end of the school day relating to traffic; he felt sure that each member of council would have witnessed this themselves. He outlined the benefits that could be generated by the introduction of the school streets scheme in Gloucestershire, including improved safety, and air quality and encouraged walking and cycling. He also stated that this scheme would benefit the wider community health and wellbeing, and support improved community spirit. He acknowledged that the location of the school was key, and that the location of some of Gloucestershire’s schools would not be suitable for this scheme but would benefit from other traffic calming measures.

 

Cllr Dobie felt that there was excessive bureaucracy and delay built into the traffic regulation order process (TRO) which created an unhelpful barrier. He indicated that in his view there was also a lack of will to deliver these types of schemes within Shire Hall. Passing the motion would remove these barriers. Cllr Dobie stated that the council’s travel plan promoted cycling and that the council had declared a climate emergency and had identified targets for reducing air pollution. He informed the meeting that this motion supported these shared aims and asked that members support the motion as it stands.

 

Cllr Nigel Robbins, seconder, asked members what legacy they would want to leave for their children and grandchildren? He stated that this proposal was an important gift to future generations. Vehicle pollution was particularly damaging to young children. Enabling children to cycle would support the drive to reduce obesity, with the associated benefits to the individual and society – he quoted from the council’s Local Transport Plan (LTP) which stated that children preferred to cycle, and that it was anticipated that if changes were not made to support more sustainable travel options for children there would be a significant increase in the levels of obesity. He reiterated that supporting this motion would be an important gift to future generations.

 

A member informed the meeting that there were clear advantages to this motion, where the scheme could be implemented. This proposal also have additional merit to the 20mph as it would provide a more effective way of providing a safe environment for children. An important aspect was the timing – there were limited opportunities before winter set in. They indicated that they were unsure that the Administration was fully supportive of safer zones etc, but hoped that council would take note of this motion.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, informed the meeting that the Conservative Cabinet does support children traveling to school safely and in an environmentally manner including walking and cycling, but wanted it to be an evidence based approach. School Streets were an interesting idea and the Cabinet was happy to back a trial scheme. However the evidence from elsewhere was mixed and he would want to see how it worked in Gloucestershire before committing to implementing this approach across all schools. Because the motion proposes spending outside the budget, and other factors that the council could not make decisions on, he proposed that this be discussed at the meeting of Cabinet on 22 July 2020, and that Cllr Dobie make his presentation at that meeting. Cllr Moor informed the meeting that the Conservative Group had tried to identify a way of amending this motion to take their concerns into account, but this had not been possible. He therefore moved a motion that this proposal be received by Cabinet in July; this should not cause any delay to the work in place currently to run the trial.

 

Cllr Moor therefore proposed a motion without notice under standing order 11.1.13 to refer the motion to Cabinet in July 2020. This motion was seconded by Cllr Mark Hawthorne. Cllr Hawthorne informed members that he supported Cllr Moor’s statements; this was a complex issue. He reiterated that Cllr Dobie would be able to present his case at Cabinet on 22 July 2020.

 

Cllr Dobie stated that he was unhappy, and not surprised, by the proposed motion without notice; he thought that this was yet another delay. He indicated that he would not be supporting this motion but would abstain.

 

On being put to the vote the motion without notice was carried.

 

RESOLVED that

 

Under standing order 11.1.13, motions without notice, Motion 859 ‘School Streets’ be referred to Cabinet.

 

Motion 860 - Celebrating Gloucestershire Volunteers

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson proposed and Cllr Lesley Williams seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson stated that he was delighted to present this motion on the superb volunteer effort in the county in response to the pandemic. He felt that Covid-19 had had a transformative effect on our country, county and world, clearly none more so than on the families and friends of those who have died. In Gloucestershire almost 600 people have died of Covid-19 during this pandemic. Alongside the loss he stated that he felt the many extraordinary acts of kindness locally and nationally would also be remembered. He drew attention to the many offers of help and support received by the Gloucestershire Community Hub, and the many initiatives/projects that had been set up by volunteers and local businesses in response to the pandemic. He felt that as we moved into the recovery phase it would be important to take the learning from these experiences forward with us. He hoped that all members supported this motion to celebrate and thank our everyday heroes and to create a memorial.

 

Members from across the council agreed with the premise of the motion and took the opportunity to highlight initiatives in their own divisions and to thank those involved for their work. Members agreed that there was a debt of gratitude to the volunteers in Gloucestershire. Members hoped that it would be possible to capture this community spirit such that it continued as we moved forward.

 

Members also wanted to record their thanks to council officers for their prompt response to the pandemic and their ability to adapt to the changes required to deliver the work to support people through the pandemic.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne thanked members for their contributions to the debate and to the work of the volunteers in their divisions. He informed the meeting that the response had shown that we could work together and we could deliver services differently. He stated that it would be important that there was a celebration, and that work was underway for a Gloucestershire Day; this would be both an opportunity to remember and to celebrate. More details would be available in due course.

 

Cllr Lesley Williams, seconder, thanked members for highlighting the voluntary work in their areas; she felt that the spontaneous eruption of people wanting to help had been extraordinary. She welcomed the idea of a Gloucestershire Day.

 

On being put to the vote the motion was carried unanimously.

 

RESOLVED that: -

This Council notes that:

·         Despite the tragic loss of life caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, including over 550 in Gloucestershire alone to date, this crisis will also be remembered for the enormous acts of kindness and generosity exhibited by Gloucestershire’s residents.

·         Within hours of setting up Gloucestershire Help Hub, the Council was flooded with offers of help from businesses, organisations and residents, totalling over 3,500 to date.

·         Many communities across Gloucestershire established their own support networks to ensure that no member of society went without.

 

This Council also notes that:

·         Gloucestershire County Council staff rose to the challenge of the situation, with many staff changing roles to support the Council’s response and most of our social services colleagues dramatically increasing their hours of work to protect our county’s most vulnerable residents.

·         Without the work of volunteers from outside the Council, Gloucestershire County Council could never have hoped to respond to the thousands of calls for support, including delivering food parcels, collecting prescriptions and combatting isolation and loneliness.

·         As the lead authority in the county, this Council calls for GCC to establish a series of events to recognise and celebrate the exceptional efforts of residents and public servants, and to establish permanent memorials to acknowledge both the volunteers and the tragic loss of so many members of our community.

 

Motion 861 – Climate change

Cllr Kate Haigh proposed and Cllr Rachel Smith seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Haigh stated that as we rebuild our lives and economy post the pandemic a new world would emerge, but that it would be important not to forget that the fight against climate change remained important, the biggest long term threat to all our futures. How we all work and do business has changed radically, but already the roads are back to being busy. The county council was at the forefront of the response to the pandemic and this work must go hand in hand with the work to reduce the impact of climate change; this approach must run like a thread though all of our actions. The response to Covid-19 has shown that radical action can be taken in the face of an imminent threat. Council strategies were developed in a pre Covid-19 world so it was only right that they should be revisited. This was a pivotal moment, of great risk but also great opportunity to build a resilient and sustainable future. This was a cross cutting issue that would affect everything we do and be considered by all the council’s scrutiny committees, but should be managed by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee as its work cut across all areas. It would be important to consult the public, hear what they have to say and engage them with the process.

 

Cllr Smith, seconder, stated that Covid-19 had demonstrated that health was a huge motivator when we want to change and we needed to hold this in mind as we work to address the climate crisis. The climate breakdown was already having an impact; there were big challenges that we needed to address. A survey in Stroud had shown that 75% of people identified climate change as an issue that needed to be addressed. We must not miss this opportunity. It would be important to discuss this at the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee as it cut across all areas.

 

A member spoke in support of the motion informing the meeting that there had been exceptional behavioural changes during lockdown – more people exercising outdoors, traffic levels dropping to 30% of normal levels, cycle shops stripped bare. Covid-19 had highlighted the fragility of an oil based economy. We would be failing future generations if we did not grab this opportunity.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, informed the meeting that the Conservative Group supported the thrust of the motion but felt that this work should be managed by the Environment Scrutiny Committee. The Environment Scrutiny Committee had been at the fore in the development of the Climate Change Strategy.

 

Cllr Moor therefore proposed an amendment to motion 861: -

This Council notes that the response to Covid-19 in the County has been exceptional, with changes to how we do things delivered at a rapid pace.

 

This Council believes by using existing technology, we can and must change how we do things. As we recover from this health crisis we must also use this new thinking to tackle the climate crisis.

 

This Council pledges to use the new thinking about how we live and work as a basis for building communities resilient to climate change.

 

This Council asks the Cabinet member for Environment and Planning who is responsible for climate change strategy to produce a report to Council after consideration by Corporate Overview Environment Scrutiny Committee on what lessons the Council has learnt during Covid-19 that the County Council can apply to its policies and practices to meet our climate change targets and produce a cleaner, greener post-Covid County.

 

The report written to include public consultation on their priorities for building back better.

Lessons learned on how to deliver change at a rapid pace

 

Referring to key strategies including Vision 2050, Industrial Strategy, Strategic Transport Plan and Council Plan.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne seconded the motion. He informed members that this amendment was a small change to direct the report to the Environment Scrutiny Committee. He stated that it would be important to reflect on the opportunities that Covid-19 has brought forward. A bid has already been submitted to government for cycling routes between Cheltenham and Gloucester, and an approach has been made with regard to broadband rollout.

 

The Chairman questioned whether this could be accepted as a friendly amendment. Cllr Haigh indicated that it was not. She did not support the change relating to public consultation, nor the direction to the Environment Scrutiny Committee. This was a cross cutting matter and would be better overseen by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Cllr Smith informed the meeting she agreed with the points raised by Cllr Haigh and could not accept the amendment.

 

Some members commented that they did not think that it was appropriate to remove the reference to public consultation; it was not appropriate to exclude the very people that the council had been praising earlier in the meeting.

 

Cllr Moor informed the meeting that the point of taking this motion to Environment Scrutiny was that it was well versed in the Climate Change Strategy which would enable this work to move at pace. The public had already been consulted during the development of the Climate Change Strategy; they would be again in due course, but it was important not to delay.

 

Cllr Haigh reiterated her concerns with regard to the amendment.

 

On being put to the vote the amendment was carried.

 

The amended motion therefore became the substantive motion. On being put to the vote the motion was carried

 

RESOLVED  that

This Council notes that the response to Covid-19 in the County has been exceptional, with changes to how we do things delivered at a rapid pace.

 

This Council believes by using existing technology, we can and must change how we do things. As we recover from this health crisis we must also use this new thinking to tackle the climate crisis.

 

This Council pledges to use the new thinking about how we live and work as a basis for building communities resilient to climate change.

 

This Council asks the Cabinet member for Environment and Planning who is responsible for climate change strategy to produce a report to Environment Scrutiny Committee on what lessons the Council has learnt during Covid-19 that the County Council can apply to its policies and practices to meet our climate change targets and produce a cleaner, greener post-Covid County.

 

 

Referring to key strategies including Vision 2050, Industrial Strategy, Strategic Transport Plan and Council Plan.

 

 

Motion 863 - Establishment of a local contact tracing system to stop Covid-19

Cllr Rachel Smith proposed and Cllr Eva Ward seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Smith stated that the Covid-19 pandemic had presented this country with its biggest crisis since World War 2. It has recorded one of the largest death rates, and the government was not protecting the population. Contact tracing was the best method to protect people and keep them safe. SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) has slated the government’s approach to track and trace and has explained what was required. The government was not sharing crucial testing data. Cllr Smith felt that the Public Health Team at the council had the skills to establish a local track and trace system; this could coordinate with the already established help hub. She discussed how Ceredigion, Wales, had used local data with success. She informed members that political leadership and moral courage were needed such that lives would be saved.

 

Cllr Ward, seconder, looked forward to the publication of the Local Outbreak Management Plan on 30 June 2020. She did not think that the current initiatives went far enough. People were frightened to leave their homes due to a lack of data, and felt that a local system informed by local knowledge was the better approach.

 

Cllr Tim Harman, Cabinet Member Public Health and Communities, informed members that the government’s track and trace system had been launched on 1 May 2020; 87000 people were self isolating after being traced. A local system would not work, not least because people moved across boundaries. It was not the job of the council’s Public Heath team to take on this role; and it was important not to take resources away from other important areas, eg. mental health. Track and trace was resource intensive and it was therefore better to use the national team. Cllr Harman thought it unhelpful to compare Ceredigion with Gloucestershire giving the significant differences in their population density. He indicated that Cllr Smith was welcome to join the Covid-19 Member Engagement Board.

 

Members paid tribute to the council’s Public Health Team. Some members expressed their frustration at the lack of data coming through from government and agreed that there needed to be a local system for local people. It was commented that if we should not compare to Ceredigion then perhaps a comparison with Germany, where management of track and trace has been devolved to local authorities, would be more appropriate. There was agreement that this country could learn from the approaches taken by our European neighbours.

 

Other members argued that this was a complex issue and that there was a lot of ignorance about what was actually happening. Covid-19 did not respect local boundaries, and that it was right that there was a national system. The council did not have the necessary resources to run a local system. The geographical location of Gloucestershire meant that the situation here was different to the rest of the South West.

 

Cllr Smith stated that she was disappointed that some members could not see the value of a local system, and was concerned that there seemed to some complacency. She acknowledged that people moved across boundaries, but that those who did not were the most vulnerable and needed a level of confidence that was not currently there.

 

On being put to the vote the motion was lost.

 

 

Motion 862 - Promoting cycleways

Cllr Lesley Williams proposed and Cllr Steve Robinson seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Williams stated that this was a good opportunity to encourage people to cycle but that we needed to provide the information to enable people to do so. Working with Parish Councils would be a positive way forward. It would be important to ensure that we provided clear communication channels.

 

The Chairman indicated that an amendment to the motion had been received and Cllr Williams indicated that this was a friendly amendment. The substantive motion was therefore that: -

 

This Council is taking advantage of extra funding provided by the Government as a result of Covid 19 to promote alternative modes of travel and to make busy areas physically safer for people to walk and cycle.

 

This Council recognises that cycling, in the county, has increased by 190% during the last few months.

 

This Council recognises that the County already has a large number of cycle routes.

 

This Council recognises that in order to encourage more people, not just enthusiasts, to carry on cycling they need to feel safe and to know where there are dedicated routes that might allow them to travel to work by bicycle.

 

This Council recognises that the typical distance that a person will cycle to work is about 5km.

 

In order to support cycling, and to encourage more cycling this Council calls on the cabinet member to provide resources to positively promote cycling by communicating routes, both functional and recreational, through extensive publicity.

 

And that this Council considers measures that could be put in place for the safe storage of bicycles in various locations covered lock-ups not just racks.

 

Members agreed that this was a positive way forward, but commented that the council needed to take action quickly. It would also be important to ensure that that cycle tracks already in place remained fit for purpose and if they were in a poor state of repair that faults were addressed. It was not sufficient to just split a footpath into two parts - this would not meet social distancing requirements. Some members felt that opportunities to make changes during the lockdown had been missed. The need for people to feel assured that their cycles would be safe and there when they returned was emphasised.

 

Cllr Williams thanked members for their support and agreed that safe storage was an important factor.

 

On being put to the vote the motion was carried unanimously.

 

RESOLVED that

 

This Council is taking advantage of extra funding provided by the Government as a result of Covid 19 to promote alternative modes of travel and to make busy areas physically safer for people to walk and cycle.

 

This Council recognises that cycling, in the county, has increased by 190% during the last few months.

 

This Council recognises that the County already has a large number of cycle routes.

 

This Council recognises that in order to encourage more people, not just enthusiasts, to carry on cycling they need to feel safe and to know where there are dedicated routes that might allow them to travel to work by bicycle.

 

This Council recognises that the typical distance that a person will cycle to work is about 5km.

 

In order to support cycling, and to encourage more cycling this Council calls on the cabinet member to provide resources to positively promote cycling by communicating routes, both functional and recreational, through extensive publicity.

 

And that this Council considers measures that could be put in place for the safe storage of bicycles in various locations covered lock-ups not just racks.

Supporting documents: