Agenda item

Questions at Cabinet Meetings

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.

 

Written questions

 

To answer any written questions from a County Councillor, (or any person living or working in the county, or is affected by the work of the County Council), about any matter which relates to any item on the agenda for this meeting.

 

The closing date for the receipt of written questions is 4.00 pm on Thursday 16 December 2021.

 

Please submit any questions to stephen.bace@gloucestershire.gov.uk

 

A written answer will be provided for each written question received (to be presented to the questioner and to Cabinet (in advance of the meeting). The questions and answers will be taken as read and will not be read out at the meeting. At the discretion of the Leader of Council, each questioner ( in attendance at the meeting) will be allowed to ask one supplementary question (in response to the answer given to the original question).

 

A copy of all written questions and written answers circulated at the meeting will be attached to the signed copy of the minutes of the meeting.

 

Urgent questions

 

An urgent written question may be asked by a member of the public about any item on the Cabinet agenda for that meeting which the Chairperson considers could not have been reasonably submitted by the deadline for the receipt of written questions, provided he or she gives notice of the question to the Chief Executive by 12 noon the day before the meeting.

Minutes:

A total of 2 public questions were asked at the meeting.

 

Question 2 - Sarah Sawyer  asked whether there was a clause or incentive to keep the number of houses at ten? She asked who the Council was planning to transfer management of the land to?

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe replied that he would confirm in writing, but in principle the allocation of ten was appropriate for the site and he did not envisage it going higher. With regard to facilities around recreation, he would confirm who that would be transferred to.

 

 

A total of 47 member questions were asked at the meeting.

 

The following supplementary questions were asked:

 

Question 2 - Cllr Colin Hay asked given explore potential to purchase true renewable energy would member commit to bringing back options to Cabinet for sign off rather than delegate to Directors. As it would be a key decision would this be shared with Group Leaders and would the information include the percentage of generation that was green or other.

 

Cllr David Gray replied that the intention was that the procurement of energy was sustainable. Whatever arrangements were made going forward would be consistent with Greener Gloucestershire.

 

Question 3 – Cllr Colin Hay asked whether the member agreed that .025p per kwo amounting to less than .08% of electricity bill was hugely embarrassing?

 

Cllr David Gray replied that this regime needed further scrutiny and that he was surprised that the green tariff was so small. The outcome would be consistent with the wider green agenda.

 

Question 5 – Cllr Colin Hay asked, how the Cabinet Member knew that there was a consensus for a rotating chair for the Leadership Gloucestershire Climate Leadership Group given that he had not been present. He also asked how did he know that this would not be blocked?

 

Cllr David Gray replied that what was needed was a consensus rather than a majority. He hoped that there would be an agreed way forward at the next meeting.

 

Question 7 – Cllr Colin Hay asked if the member was striving for the 80%  target, why did the member say at Environment Scrutiny that ‘ we are not’

 

Cllr David Gray replied that the County Council did not have the power for 80% reduction but was committed to doing its part. He referred to the communication strategy and the impact of those messages as well as the installation of e chargers across the County and the tree planting programme.

 

Question 8 – Cllr Colin Hay asked what the member was doing to keep 80% reduction by 2030 which was the commitment made.

 

Cllr David Gray replied that he had answered the previous question listing a number of things the Council was doing on its own and with partners.

 

Question 16 – Cllr Chloe Turner asked regarding the SALIX grant what was the Council dong proactively to help those who want to access this.

 

Cllr David Gray replied it was a shame more had not been taken up. He would continue to promote the fund to parish and town councils in 2022 and encourage them to use the fund.

 

Question 17 – Cllr Chloe Turner asked about the positive 30% modal shift target and asked where the targets were that would feed into that, expressing concern about what was there. Had a gap analysis been done to identify how to meet that target?

 

Cllr David Gray replied that he recognised that this was an ambitious achievement  and the Council believed that they were doing their bit to meet this target – noting bus improvement and the cycle way structure across the County. He mentioned the impact of Covid on individuals travel patterns.

 

Question 21 – Cllr John Bloxsom asked if disposal had not been progressed due to Council having a long term need for land and what was that need and when did it arise? What would be the open and transparent process on the temporary use of the site.

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe replied that as soon as any decisions were made this would be put in the public domain. This would follow an established pattern which was transparent and involved the local member.

 

Question 22 – Cllr John Bloxsom asked when the Youth Climate Panel would be re-established.

 

Cllr David Gray replied that the panel had suffered due to the impact of Covid with delays , the objective was to re-establish it in 2022. Creative Sustainability had been commissioned to get this active again.

 

Question27 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked if the Cabinet Member was aware that only permit cyclists were allowed from 5pm to 10am in Southgate Street. He asked how did the member intend to resolve the conflict between pedestrians and cyclists in these areas during busy shopping days.

 

Cllr David Gray replied that this was something they would be looking at in detail and would come back with a more detailed response. In some incidences pedestrians and cyclists would mix but in many areas in the county looking at dedicated cycle ways.

 

Question 29 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked how much the 3% rise in residents parking would raise in revenue for the County Council.

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe would provide an answer in writing.

 

Question 30 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked for a meeting to be held in the council chamber before making changes to it. He suggested that members should be better informed and he questioned if the spending on the chamber was a good use of public money.

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe replied that he recognised that it was a substantial sum of money but that the current chamber did not meet a number of statutory requirements and had been built nearly 60 years ago. He suggested that views and comments be fed back through Group Leaders.

 

Question 34 – Cllr Colin Hay referring to spending on schemes from the £1m Action Fund, asked how these actions would help others to incentivise carbon reduction actions?

 

Cllr David Gray replied that the million trees challenge was match funding to encourage others to put forward funding. He also pointed towards the spending on the countywide coordinator and the EV charging points which encouraged residents to make green decisions.

 

Question 35 – Cllr Colin Hay asked if all Cabinet Members were leading by example in reducing their carbon footprint and had used public transport to attend the meeting.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne gave the example that in driving to the meeting he would then be travelling elsewhere. Cllr David Gray replied that his Christmas present from his wife was a tree which had already been planted.

 

Question 38 – Cllr Ben Evans asked whether the chamber would be future proofed and whatever the make up of the council in future, would it be suitable for any increase in members?

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe recognised the point being made and said that this would be fed back through group leaders. He emphasised that any scheme needed to adapt to technology.

 

Question 44 – Cllr Ben Evans asked that revenue generation be considered in the design of the building rather than the end of the process.

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe replied that it was important that the chamber was fit for purpose for members and for democracy and then consider what potential there was for the asset with regards to income generation. 

 

Question 47 – Cllr Ben Evans asked how the process was going so wrong that every year there was an overspend in Children’s budget.  He asked why lessons were not being learnt.

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe replied that lessons were learnt and referred the member to the £11m that was being put into next years budget. He felt that some of the investments being made such as Trevone House were starting to come to fruition and that made him optimistic regarding future years budget.

 

A total of three urgent questions were received in advance of the meeting. Written answers were provided ahead of the meeting and were published alongside the agenda pack and minutes.

Supporting documents: