Agenda, decisions and minutes

Special, Cabinet
Wednesday, 20th May 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Democratic and Electoral Services 

Link: Click to view live meeting from 6.00pm on 20 May 2020

Items
No. Item

131.

Declarations of Interest

To receive from Members, declarations of the existence of any disclosable pecuniary, or non-pecuniary, interests and the nature of those interests in relation to any agenda item. Please see Agenda Notes.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

132.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 178 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 11th March 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 11th March 2020 are confirmed as a correct record and be signed by the Chair in due course.

133.

Public Question Time (15 minutes)

The opportunity is given to members of the public to put questions to Cabinet Members or Committee Chairs provided that a question does not relate to:

 

·         Matters which are the subject of current or pending legal proceedings, or

·         Matters relating to employees or former employees of the Council or comments in respect of individual Council Officers

 

If you would like to ask a question at this meeting, please contact democratic.services@gloucester.gov.uk as soon as possible and by 15th May at the latest.

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

134.

Petitions and Deputations (15 minutes)

To receive any petitions or deputations provided that no such petition or deputation is in relation to:

 

·         Matters relating to individual Council Officers, or

·         Matters relating to current or pending legal proceedings

 

If you would like to present a deputation or petition at this meeting, please contact democratic.services@gloucester.gov.uk as soon as possible and by 15th May at the latest.

 

Minutes:

There were no petitions or deputations.

135.

Leader and Cabinet Members' Question Time (15 minutes)

Any Member of the Council may ask the Leader of the Council or any Cabinet Member any question without prior notice, upon:

       

·       Any matter relating to the Council’s administration

·       Any matter relating to any report of the Cabinet appearing on the summons

·       A matter coming within their portfolio of responsibilities

 

Only one supplementary question is allowed per question.

 

If you would like to ask a question at this meeting, please contact democratic.services@gloucester.gov.uk as soon as possible and by 15th May at the latest.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Stephens referred to the more than 180 households in temporary accommodation across the Gloucestershire authorities, mostly in emergency hotel accommodation, 84 placed by the City Council.  He sought reassurance that people would not be returned to the street after COVID-19 lockdown and that every effort was being made to re-home them not on a bed and breakfast basis or outside the city boundary.  The Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods confirmed that this was the case and that the authority intended to work closely with partners and every household, not just those in priority need, on transition plans and to find a home.  She reminded Members of the commitment towards finding a permanent solution given in the Housing and Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-25 (Cabinet 12 February 2020) developed prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.  The Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods further stated that everything would be done by the City Council and County Council colleagues to assist people who had usually or were likely to sleep rough.

 

Concerning the new Cabinet portfolio for Economic Recovery, Councillor Stephens sought clarification on how it would be progressed and whether there would be a commitment to political consensus and working with all sectors of the economy, including worker representatives, given its importance.  The Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery replied that she had spent a very short time in post so far listening to businesses but did not rule out working with any sector of the economy.  She emphasised that returning Gloucester to economic prosperity was an apolitical task and invited Councillor Stephens to discuss the matter further at a later date.

 

Regarding COVID-19 guidance Councillor Haigh asked what the city was doing to support social distancing for pedestrians and cyclists, in the context of recent proposals by the County Council with that objective, and to identify areas where such measures could be taken.  The Cabinet Member for Environment gave examples of a range of proposals being considered for parts of the city centre including broadening pedestrianized zones, restricting non-essential traffic and removing on-street parking spaces.  He advised that these were only informal proposals at this early stage and that he expected progress to be made shortly.

 

Councillor Haigh enquired how food parcels are to be supplied since the Food Consortium had closed and the County Help Hub continued to make referrals from people in need.  The Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods stated that a document had just been sent to everyone involved in making referrals, including elected members, listing the various options still open to people requiring food assistance.  She commented on the importance of all parties working together to address support for families in the longer term beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Councillor Hilton informed Members of concerns he had received from residents in his own and other wards over the growing number of family homes being converted into houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) mostly but not exclusively for students.  He asked why this was not addressed in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 135.

136.

Council Plan Extension – Priorities and Actions for 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To consider the report of the Leader of the Council seeking a recommendation that Council approve the proposed actions and priorities that are set out for the one year Council Plan extension in 2020-2021.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED to Council that the one year extension to the Council Plan and the priorities and actions outlined in Appendix 1 of the report be approved.

 

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Leader of the Council that sought a recommendation for Council to approve the proposed actions and priorities that were set out for the one year Council Plan extension in 2020-2021.

 

The Leader of the Council introduced the report as an opportunity to complete more actions from the 2017-20 plan and develop others in addition.  He summarised the proposals for each priority and highlighted the most significant activities.  In relation to the priority identified to reduce homelessness (Appendix 1 3.10), the Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods commented on the importance of taking forward what had been learnt from the COVID-19 response.  In particular she highlighted the role of the Council beyond its statutory duties influencing and working with partners and all parties to find solutions to benefit communities.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy reiterated that working with others was essential.  He drew Members’ attention to the Housing Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-25 developed through collaboration with the Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, providers and partners and advised them that he was exploring a range of activities and innovations to achieve its aims.  The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure looked forward to progressing the cultural elements of the proposed extension.  He commented on the vital contribution various organisations across the sector have made and will make to help people recover from the COVID-19 lockdown with mental and physical stimulation.  The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure paid special tribute to the activities of the Gloucester Culture Trust in engaging people and reaching out to communities during the pandemic.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council that the one year extension to the Council Plan and the priorities and actions outlined in Appendix 1 of the report be approved.