Up to 45 minutes is allowed for this
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 was 10am on Monday, 4 September 2023.
However, questions that relate to reports on the agenda may be submitted up to
10am on Wednesday, 6 September 2023.
Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Stephen
Bace (email email@example.com)
Questions received and proposed responses do not accompany this agenda but will
be circulated prior to the meeting.
Cabinet Member Decision statements for the period 20 June 2023 to 4 September 2023 can be found at:
Fifty-five Member questions had been submitted prior to the meeting. The following
supplementary questions were asked:
Question 1 – Cllr David Drew raised a concern around a fatality on the A46 and asked why he was not allowed to show interested parties the evidence around the TRO (Traffic Regulation Order) that had been launched.
Cllr Dom Morris explained that in his discussions with officers he had insisted that transparency was critical around TROs. He offered to look into this incident in more detail.
Question 4 – Cllr David Drew asked how much money was tied up between the County Council and the Shaw Trust and what impact there would be if the Shaw Trust got into difficulties.
Cllr Lynden Stowe explained that that was always a risk with any supplier and that they would continue to monitor with ongoing due diligence.
Question 5 – Cllr David Drew asked if the Cabinet Member could chase delivering him evidence he had been offered from the Stroud Parking Review.
Cllr Dom Morris explained that he had already nudged officers and Atkins and would nudge them again.
Question 6 – Cllr Andrew Miller asked whether the Cabinet Member was aware of the potential dangerous or illegal implications of the planned changes to St Barnabus Roundabout and asked for a meeting with residents to discuss in more detail.
Cllr David Gray said that the intention was not to do any dangerous or illegal work. He committed to meet with the Member and officers to discuss any concerns around this project.
Question 7 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked whether the Cabinet Member thought the permit scheme in his division was working as planned.
Cllr Dom Morris was pleased the Member was happy with progress so far but explained it was important to wait and see how developments progressed.
Question 8 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton estimated that the Kingsholm Parking Review had cost around £176,000 and asked whether the Cabinet Member agreed that that was substantial.
Cllr Dom Morris accepted that the team had set out significant resources for this project.
Question 9 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton raised a concern around resolving snags from the work.
Cllr Dom Morris agreed that it was important to resolve any remaining work quickly.
Question 11 – Cllr Cate Cody asked for an email with estimated dates for remaining Community Speed Watch Vehicle Activate Signs and cameras to be in place and to have electrical connection.
Cllr Dave Norman agree to speak with relevant officers shortly and send that email.
Question 12 – Cllr Cate Cody asked for assurance that the Oldfield footway project would be delivered properly.
Cllr Dom Morris apologised that the work had not been completed and assured the Member that the work would be completed properly.
Question 13 - Cllr Cate Cody asked if it would be possible to explore making the problem area in Tewkesbury referenced in her question a problem traffic area.
Cllr Dom Morris explained that his team were considering that as an option.
Question 15 – Cllr Steve Robinson asked how long they would be waiting for funding for wall and fence repairs that had been planned in his division.
Cllr Dom Morris expressed his frustration around the delays on these works. He said an online tracker tool would begin shortly which would clarify the timeline for works and this should help.
Question 16 – Cllr Steve Robinson asked that the Cabinet Member keep on top of highways inspections to make sure signs are easily visible.
Cllr Dom Morris explained that they were working hard to ensure such things were picked up during inspections and he anticipated new technologies could help with this.
Question 19 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson expressed disappointment around the Robin usage figures in the Cotswolds in comparison to in the Forest of Dean. He asked whether Northleach could be included in the pilot and what plans were in place to increase usage.
Cllr Philip Robinson explained that he had been raising the expansion to Northleach regularly but had originally been told that the transport service already available in Northleach could cause problems with the operator. His understanding was that this should now be resolved. The Cabinet Member offered to revisit whether this expansion could now be implemented. He also explained that not all the money set aside for marketing had been used and an external marketing company was getting prepared to launch a new campaign to raise awareness.
Question 20 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson asked the Cabinet Member for a statement on how he was intending to achieve a rollout of electric vehicle charging points in more rural villages.
Cllr David Gray shared the Councillor’s enthusiasm for charging points in rural areas and suggested this could be possible using town halls and public areas. He also explained that he was encouraging Tewkesbury Borough Council to use money they had for charging points.
Question 22 – Cllr Gill Moseley asked what plans there were to search for sites suitable for installation of rapid charging points.
Cllr David Gray explained that as electric vehicle ownership increased, demand for charging would increase and he was expecting commercial provision of charging points to increase.
Question 23 – Cllr Gill Moseley asked what the additional teams deployed for the ‘Summer of resurfacing’ were doing before being deployed to that project.
Cllr Dom Morris explained that the transformation programme had delivered significant improvements to roads across the County.
Question 24 – Cllr Gill Moseley asked if the offer in the digital household grant would include satellite broadband such as Starlink.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne offered to come back to the Councillor with an answer.
Question 26 – Cllr Linda Cohen asked that the meeting planned for the 25th September would go ahead such that involved parties can discuss the findings of the safety review.
Cllr David Norman MBE said that he was not involved in the discussions around that proposed meeting and the details of the road safety inspection report had been discussed in a Parish Council meeting on the 5th of September 2023. He reminded the Member that there were aspects of this issue that fell under the portfolio of other Cabinet Members but still expressed a willingness to discuss the report further with regards to road safety.
Question 28 – Cllr Roger Whyborn asked how he could reassure residents that the County were managing large mature trees in Hatherley Road, and asked whether the Council would be taking a more proactive approach to managing trees in advance of them causing damage.
Cllr Dom Morris gave assurance that work was being done to plan for the management of those trees and discussions were ongoing with officers to get all necessary safety work done.
Question 30 – Cllr Bernard Fisher asked how many existing speed cameras in the County were working and how long any not working have been out of action for.
Cllr David Norman MBE explained that existing speed cameras had been discussed at length in the Road Safety Partnership and insisted that new cameras that offered more information were necessary to the future safety of Gloucestershire’s road. He offered to come back to the member with the relevant information around existing speed cameras.
Question 31 – Cllr David Willingham asked for assurance that the Audit and Governance Committee would be kept up to date with any slippage for the resolution of high priority recommendations.
Cllr Stephen Davies explained that progress was being made in a timely fashion and suggested that Children’s and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee were the more relevant committee for those updates to go to, but agreed to keep the Audit and Governance Committee up to date.
Question 32 – Cllr David Willingham asked the Cabinet Member to explain what interim measures were in place to keep individuals and carers safe.
Cllr Stephan Fifield explained that he had spoken with case officers and that it would take more time to arrive at the right solution. He also explained that interim measures had been put in place and that he was happy to provide the Audit and Governance Committee with an update once ready.
Question 33 – Cllr David Willingham raised concerns from residents in his division around anti-social behaviour on e-bikes. He asked whether the County Council could put more pressure on the Police and Central Government to tackle these issues.
Cllr David Norman MBE explained that the Police would be involved and that if the Member emailed him the details of the concern, he would bring the concerns as an agenda item to the next Road Safety Partnership meeting.
Question 34 – Cllr Paul Baker asked when the further tranche of community speed watch funding would be decided and how much money would be allocated.
Cllr David Norman MBE explained that he could not give more detail as the budget setting process was only just beginning. He explained that he would be working hard to get sufficient funding.
Question 36 – Cllr Paul Baker asked what further plans were in place to increase school capacity for the 430 children with special educational needs learning in independent provision.
Cllr Philip Robinson explained that Sladewood Academy had opened last week offering 60 places for children with learning difficulties. He added that a few weeks ago £16.5 million in funding had been agreed by Cabinet for a new school in Abingdale that would cater to 200 students. He also explained that recent bids for funding for special schools had been unsuccessful so they were looking for opportunities to provide for the remaining 200 students. He also said that existing schools were opening new classrooms that would increase capacity.
Question 37 – Cllr Paul Baker raised concern on the capital backlog on schools and the number of temporary buildings on school sites. He asked for the definition of temporary buildings and what plans were in place for their replacement. He also asked what plans were in place to resolve the backlog.
Cllr Philip Robinson explained that the temporary buildings were deemed fit for occupation and that repairs to get through the backlog would be prioritised based on safety.
Question 40 - Bernard Fisher raised concerns that people such as planning officers were not aware of delays to the M5J10 scheme. He asked whether the Cabinet Member was certain that this delay would not lead to the project being delayed further down the line.
Cllr David Gray expressed his regret around the delay but conceded that such large projects are often delayed. He was hopeful that the importance of the scheme would prevent it from being delayed further.