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.
15.1 Mr Rob Brooks, a resident of Gloucester, noted that climate change was the greatest threat to life in the whole history of mankind and asked why the Council did not take this catastrophe seriously and join in with the Forest of Dean and Stroud District Councils to work together, make a cross-party pact and make the whole of Gloucester, Stroud and the Forest of Dean zero carbon by 2030, not just the activities of Gloucester City Council.
15.2 Councillor Cook, Cabinet Member for Environment, replied that he did not wish to prejudice the motions later on the agenda but he assured Mr Brooks that the City Council did take climate change very seriously and were working with neighbouring authorities although he believed that it was for everybody in every country to take action.
15.3 Mr Michael Byfield, a resident of Gloucester, referred to the 2010 strategy for Climate Change adopted by the City Council and noted serious lapses and, in particular, there had been no communication with the public. He asked what activities did the Council believe would address the lack of understanding of the public.
15.4 Councillor Cook, Cabinet Member for Environment, stated that the 2010 strategy pre-dated his election to the Council in 2016. He would look into that strategy and in the meantime he would urge everyone to do what they could.
15.5 Mr Julian Horsfield, a Forest of Dean resident, asked if it would be possible for the Council to plant more trees in the city and encourage ‘Gloucester in Bloom’.
15.6 Councillor Cook advised that he had been to tree plantings at least twelve occasions. He had also encouraged the sowing of wild flower seeds and letting grass grow longer where appropriate.
15.7 Mr Roger Mills, a Gloucester resident, asked if the Council had an audit trail for the disposal of plastic waste.
15.8 Councillor Cook replied that the Council did have an audit trail for the disposal of plastic waste which the Council’s contractors sent to Nottingham or Valencia. Mr Mills believed that it was not appropriate to send plastic waste to Spain as waste should be disposed of in the country where it originated.
15.9 Mr Sam Lacey asked if the Council would commit to ensuring that there was an annual net increase in the number of trees in the City and he suggested that the Council consider making use of the Government’s Urban Trees Challenge Fund.
15.10 Councillor Cook agreed that trees were one of the best ways of mitigating climate change but noted that the Council had been unsuccessful in a previous round of bidding for funding.