Issue - decisions

Motions

29/09/2016 - Motions

Motion 776 – Waste recycling rates

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson and Cllr Klara Sudbury, the proposer and seconder of the original motion, accepted the changes highlighted below:

 

This Council notes the increase in overall waste volumes. 

 

This Council also notes that the overall county-wide recycling rate has for the last five years been well below the 53% target.

 

This Council would like to encourage a reduction in Gloucestershire’s waste volumes and an increase in its recycling rates.

 

This Council therefore directs the Cabinet Member to request a report from the Joint Waste Committee to look at ways in which the county’s recycling rates can be improved. Focusing on reducing, reusing and recycling this report is to be scrutinised at November’s Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee before coming back to Council in December 2016.  

 

This Council notes that recycling is the legal responsibility of district councils and agrees to continue working with them, in partnership, through the Joint Waste Committee to promote recycling and reduce waste.

 

In moving the motion, Cllr Hodgkinson stated that the county was falling behind its target for recycling with a current rate of 47% against a target of 60%.  This meant 531kg per household was going to landfill each year against a target of 457kg.  He noted that the performance by district varied dramatically with Gloucester recycling only 37% of waste.  He believed that the County Council should be taking a lead in working with the district councils to encourage more reuse and recycling.

 

In seconding the motion, Cllr Sudbury stated that the County Council had a duty to do all that it could to recycle more waste.  She said that she was concerned that the incinerator would mean that the Council would neglect its duty to reuse materials and fail to meet recycling targets.  She was anxious that the County Council worked proactively with the district councils to improve rates of reuse and recycling.

 

A member referred to an Italian Province that was reusing and recycling 82% of its waste and she said that this was just one of many examples across Europe.  She noted that if the same rate of reuse and recycling was achieved in Gloucestershire there would be a huge reduction in residual waste.  She believed that there was scope to do so much more in the county. 

 

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, the Cabinet Member who’s Finance and Change Portfolio included waste, stated that the County Council was already working closely with the district councils to improve rates of reuse and recycling.  He noted that cash payments had been made to the districts for some time to incentivise them to recycle more waste.  Elected members and professional officers had been brought  together under the Joint Waste Committee to take forward a range of initiatives.  The recycling rate was expected to reach 56% in 2016-17 with the rates in each district ranging from 31% in Stroud to 60% in Cotswold.  All of the districts had increased their recycling rate in 2015-16 with the exception of Cheltenham which had seen a reduction of 1%. 

 

Referring to the position in Stroud, Cllr Steve Lydon, Leader of Stroud District Council, stated that a key driver for the authority was reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and not chasing government cash for recycling.  He said that Stroud District Council was working hard to maintain its record as the first carbon neutral council in the country.

 

A member noted the importance of ensuring that recycling schemes were easy for people to understand.  He said that it was only in this way that participation rates would improve and recycling rates would rise.  He stated that it would be so much better if there was a common approach across the county.  He expressed concern that two of the district councils were still not members of the Gloucestershire Joint Waste Committee.

 

Cllr Chris Coleman, who was the Cabinet Member responsible for Waste at Cheltenham Borough Council and a member of the Joint Waste Committee, stated that he had approached the joint committee with great deal of enthusiasm but he had become disappointed that individual local authorities were adopting different approaches. He noted that the recycling rate in Cheltenham had recently risen to more than 50%.  He questioned whether the County Council had a genuine willingness to promote recycling with the incinerator being built at Javelin Park.

 

Cllr Brian Robinson, who represented the Forest of Dean District Council on the Joint Waste Committee, refuted comments that progress was not being made by the joint committee.  He said that councils were working together on a range of initiatives and he referred to a recent example relating to food waste.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of the Council, stated that the Javelin Park facility was sized to reflect a county-wide recycling rate of 70% and there was therefore a strong incentive to improve current rates of recycling.

 

In summing up, Cllr Hodgkinson stated that the County Council needed to take leadership in meeting targets. He said that he remained concerned about how much recyclable material might end up in the incinerator.  He recognised that the timescale for reporting back to the Council was tight and there might be some slippage.  He was anxious, however, that a report came back to members as  soon as reasonably practicable, and in any event before the end of the term of the Council.

 

On being put to the vote, the revised motion received unanimous support.

 

RESOLVED that

 

This Council notes the increase in overall waste volumes. 

 

This Council also notes that the overall county-wide recycling rate has for the last five years been well below the 53% target.

 

This Council would like to encourage a reduction in Gloucestershire’s waste volumes and an increase in its recycling rates.

 

This Council therefore directs the Cabinet Member to request a report from the Joint Waste Committee to look at ways in which the county’s recycling rates can be improved. Focusing on reducing, reusing and recycling this report is to be scrutinised at November’s Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee before coming back to Council in December 2016.  

 

This Council notes that recycling is the legal responsibility of district councils and agrees to continue working with them, in partnership, through the Joint Waste Committee to promote recycling and reduce waste.

 

Motion 777  – Meals on Wheels

In moving the motion detailed on the agenda, Cllr David Brown stated that the Meals on Wheels Service was critical to some of the vulnerable people in the county.  He recognised that there were often teething issues when a new provider took over a contract but he was concerned that people were not receiving meals, wrong meals had been delivered and some meals were cold when they arrived.  He said that a more robust monitoring process was required to ensure that any problems were addressed quickly. 

 

Cllr Dorcas Binns, the Cabinet Member for Older People, assured members that action had been taken to address the concerns.  She said that no complaints about the service had been received in August and late meals were down to just 1%, with no charge made if a delivery was late. 

 

On being put to the vote, the motion received unanimous support.

 

RESOLVED that

 

This Council recognises the delivery of community meals to the homes of around 650 eligible older and vulnerable people is a vital service in Gloucestershire.

 

This Council notes that the current community meals service contract with apetito has been in place to deliver ‘Meals on Wheels’ from 1 April 2016.

 

This Council also notes that apetito received 35 complaints in the first three weeks nearly all due to missed or late deliveries.

 

This Council is aware that with all new contracts there is a settling-in period, but after six months of delivery, this Council is disappointed that members are still hearing of complaints including food not arriving at all, food being delivered very early or late, wrong choices being delivered and drivers not knowing where clients live.

 

This Council therefore requests the Cabinet Member to work with apetito in adopting a more robust monitoring process, which includes the implementation of performance targets and for this data to be closely monitored by the Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee through the publication of quarterly reports.

 

Motion 778 – Hate Crime

Cllr Klara Sudbury and Cllr Jeremy Hilton, the proposer and seconder of the motion, requested the changes highlighted below:

 

This Council is concerned by the reported rise in hate crime across the country following the EU referendum.

 

The Council therefore re-affirms its commitment to an inclusive, tolerant and diverse county. We welcome the many contributions made to our vibrant multicultural and multiracial community by people regardless of their background. We will continue to work to tackle hate crime and discrimination in all its forms.

 

This Council also calls on the Government to guarantee to all EU nationals livingin Gloucestershire that they have the right to remain in the UK indefinitely regardless of the outcome of the EU referendum and any subsequent Brexit negotiations.

 

This Council also calls on the Government to act quickly to clarify the right to remain for EU Citizens living in Gloucestershire.

 

In moving the motion, Cllr Sudbury stated that by raising awareness of hate crime the Council was sending out a strong message that this type of behaviour would not be tolerated.  She noted that the number of incidents reported had increased markedly following the EU Referendum on 23 June 2016 and the number remained higher than a year ago.  Most of the incidents were race-related.  She said that it was important for people to live in a society where diversity was celebrated.  She hoped that the Government would act quickly to make sure that EU Nationals living in Gloucestershire knew that they would be able to stay in the county.

 

In seconding the motion, Cllr Hilton noted the rise in the number of hate crimes following the EU Referendum.  He said that he was concerned that some people now seemed to think that they had a right to make hurtful comments to non-UK residents.  He believed that the Prime Minister should reassure people by making a statement that people living and working in the UK would be able to stay in the country.

 

A member stated that he was an immigrant who had left South Africa to escape Apartheid.  He said that the UK was seen as a welcoming and friendly country and was better for the presence of others.  He was deeply concerned that following the EU Referendum that there had been abuse and violence against immigrants.   

 

Other members spoke in support of the motion and recognised that the Council had a role as a community leader to reinforce the message that this type of behaviour was unacceptable.  They were appalled at how some people had behaved with incidents of homophobic related incidents rising alongside race related incidents.

 

The Leader of the Council recognised the need to be vigilant against hate crime at all times.  He noted that Gloucestershire Constabulary would shortly be launching its ‘No Excuse, No Tolerance’ campaign to encourage people to report incidents.

 

A member said that any right-minded person would condemn hate crime.  He stated that any EU citizens who were in the UK legally should be allowed to continue living in the country.  He was concerned, however, that that the motion had been put forward for the wrong reasons by people who remained upset about the outcome of the EU Referendum.

 

The Chairman advised that he and the Vice-chairman attended Citizenship Ceremonies for people wanting to become UK Citizens.  One of the key messages at the ceremony was about the importance of a diverse population.  He noted that the UK had welcomed immigrants throughout its history and the diversity had resulted in a country that was seen as creative and innovative.     

 

On being put to the vote, the revised motion received unanimous support.

 

RESOLVED that

 

This Council is concerned by the reported rise in hate crime across the country following the EU referendum.

 

The Council therefore re-affirms its commitment to an inclusive, tolerant and diverse county. We welcome the many contributions made to our vibrant multicultural and multiracial community by people regardless of their background. We will continue to work to tackle hate crime and discrimination in all its forms.

 

This Council also calls on the Government to act quickly to clarify the right to remain for EU Citizens living in Gloucestershire.

 

Motion 780 – Accident and Emergency waiting times

Cllr Tim Harman and Cllr Paul McLain, the proposer and seconder of the original motion, accepted the changes highlighted below requested by Cllr Iain Dobie. 

 

This Council notes the recent decision by NHS Improvement to find Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust in breach of its licence, as a result of a consistent failure to meet Accident and Emergency waiting times.  

 

This Council further notes the decision, taken in 2013, to downgrade Cheltenham Accident and Emergency Department at night, attributed to a shortage of specialist doctors.   

 

This Council calls on the Health and Care Scrutiny Committee to urgently review this situation, and in particularclarifying:

 

a)    What role the night-time downgrading of Cheltenham Accident and Emergency may have played.

b)    Whether its reopening could help solve the situation

c)    Whether the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group are committed to fully reopening Cheltenham A&E through continuing to seek to recruit the necessary specialist doctors.

 

In moving the motion, Cllr Harman recognised the value of having an A&E Department in Cheltenham.  He said that the decision to make changes to overnight provision in August 2013 was not only having a serious impact on Cheltenham but also on the rest of the county with significant extra pressure on the A&E Department at Gloucester Royal Hospital. 

 

Cllr Dobie, Chair of the Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, stated that the principal reason for the overnight changes at Cheltenham was the shortage of trained doctors.  He said that the new Chief Executive of the Gloucestershire Hospitals’ NHS Foundation Trust had reported to the Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 13 September that the Trust had been successful in recruiting new A&E Consultants.  He believed that now was a good time to review the position. 

 

In seconding the motion, Cllr McLain felt that it was right to challenge the assumptions made in 2013 in light of the events since then. It appeared that the changes had resulted in significant extra pressure on A&E in Gloucester. 

 

Some members were concerned about the effects of austerity which they believed were downgrading the NHS.  They referred to the difficulties in making appointments with GPs and the proposed overnight closures of minor injury units.

 

Other members recognised that there was a need to understand the issues in the light of the breach of licence relating to A&E waiting times.  With the changes that had happened since 2013 they believed that it was a good time to review the position.

 

On being put to the vote, the revised motion received unanimous support:

 

RESOLVED that

 

This Council notes the recent decision by NHS Improvement to find Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust in breach of its licence, as a result of a consistent failure to meet Accident and Emergency waiting times.  

 

This Council further notes the decision, taken in 2013, to downgrade Cheltenham Accident and Emergency Department at night, attributed to a shortage of specialist doctors.   

 

This Council calls on the Health and Care Scrutiny Committee to urgently review this situation, and in particular clarifying:

 

a)    What role the night-time downgrading of Cheltenham Accident and Emergency may have played.

b)    Whether its reopening could help solve the situation

c)    Whether the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group are committed to fully reopening Cheltenham A&E through continuing to seek to recruit the necessary specialist doctors.

 

Motion 781 – Grammar schools in Gloucestershire

The following motion proposed by Cllr Richard Leppington and seconded by Cllr David Prince was not considered as there was insufficient time for the consideration of further motions.

 

This Council notes the Prime Minister's recent support for the UKIP policy to reintroduce grammar schools. We call on Gloucestershire MPs to support the creation of new grammar schools throughout Gloucestershire.

 

Motion 782 - Community Support Payments (Fracking) in Gloucestershire

The following motion proposed by Cllr Paul McMahon and seconded by Cllr Graham Morgan was withdrawn.

 

This Council notes that the Government have recently changed their ‘fracking’ policy to include a personal payment to households within the area of proposed ‘fracking’ sites.

 

This Council believes that this is fundamentally wrong, as it could lead to critical environmental decisions being taken away from communities as a whole. This Council reaffirms that the protection of Gloucestershire’s environment is a key priority for this Authority.

 

This Council also notes its disappointment in the Government for abolishing the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

 

This Council asks that the Leader of the Council writes to Gloucestershire’s six MPs and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to urge them to re-evaluate Government policy over the proposed Community Support Payments for fracking.