Twenty five public questions had been submitted prior to the meeting. The following supplementary questions were asked:
Question 1 – David Willingham asked on behalf of Flo Clucas, whether the cabinet member would meet with the families concerned regarding late application process for school places which was far from ideal and could restrict access to grammar schools.
Cllr Patrick Molyneux replied that he would be happy to set up a virtual meeting with the individual and families concerned. He referred to the answer to the original question noting the policies in place.
Question 3 – Helen Munro referring to the meeting with Bovis homes, asked if the member could confirm that the intention was to leave the meeting with an agreed way forward and timetable. She asked what the plan would be if they did not hold to that timetable?
Cllr Vernon Smith replied that he understood the frustration and urged the individual to contact Tewkesbury Borough Council as they would be able to take action if Bovis Homes exceeded the threshold.
Question 9 – Chloe Turner asked in what sense did the miscommunication happen and when could it be addressed?
Cllr Dave Norman replied that he had a discussion with officers on this and has asked officers to re-engage. He asked that he be copied in to any correspondence that the parish council had on this matter.
Question 10 – Dilys Neill stated that along the edges of highways lots of trees that weren’t ash had been cut down. She asked could the member guarantee that no tree of whatever species had been felled that had been healthy or could have been saved by a tree surgeon.
Cllr Nigel Moor replied that advice had been taken from experts and that he trusted in that advice. Already a great deal of regeneration was taking place in those hedgerows.
Question 11 – Dilys Neill asked for a written response on the detail within her question and asked specifically how many trees would be planted for the period of November 2020 to March 2021. She also asked whether the Council was committed to replace those that did not survive?
Cllr Nigel Moor replied that there were details of the replanting programme on the County Council website. Between 15,000 and 20,000 trees could have been planted over that period. Across the whole of Gloucestershire when also taking into account the work with partners, around 80,000 trees would be planted this year.
Question 12 – Dilys Neill asked whether the County Council was committed to preserving mature trees wherever possible.
Cllr Nigel Moor replied that this was the case. He explained that £1.2million had been put into the ash dieback programme as the safety of public was paramount.
Question 13 – Chris Chiswell asked whether the Council was now adopting a targeted yearly decrease in vehicle emissions contrary to a 15% increase detailed in the January cabinet paper.
Cllr Nigel Moor replied that he would provide a written answer but explained that this was one aspect of transport plan. There was now an overarching strategy to reduce emissions.
Question 14 – Chris Chiswell asked how many more years it would be before the County Council set a measurable ambition to save the lives of children on the roads in Gloucestershire
Cllr Nigel Moor replied that a range of options on these indicators and targets would be considered by Cabinet.
Question 15 – Alan Mossman asked why the Council had chosen to spend £27million pushing ahead with schemes that increased road capacity, so that there were more cars on the road travelling faster. This was less than one tenth as much as was spent on projects that would encourage walking and cycling.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne explained that the County Council had a commitment to do both: to improve road infrastructure and bring forward a comprehensive cycling strategy that respected all users of the road network.
Question 16 – David Willingham asked if the Cabinet Member for Highways could provide a guaranteed timeframe for this issue to be resolved?
Cllr Vernon Smith replied that the Council was keen to move this forward. The trial had been discussed but due to the pandemic traffic volumes had been affected and it would need to be considered once it was clear what ‘normal’ traffic volumes were.
Question 17 – David Willingham stated that this road safety scheme had been funded in 2017-18 and that now members were blaming the pandemic for the slow progress. Something had gone wrong and he asked audit to look at this.
Cllr Nigel Robbins replied that he would ask the cabinet member for a timescale and a more satisfactory response to what the issues were.
Question 19 – David Willingham asked whether the council could review the standard reply to make it clear that they would react to residents’ concerns and requested that the Council provide gully clearing data on the website.
Cllr Vernon Smith replied that this was being considered once the technology was available.