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 email@example.com as soon as possible and by 12th June at the latest.
Concerning the proposed City Centre Commission (agenda item 7) Councillor Hilton asked when its terms of reference would be set and if they would first be shared with elected members’ group leaders. The Leader of the Council confirmed that they would as soon as they were available. Councillor Hilton sought further clarification on whether the terms of reference would allow each of the groups to nominate a Commission member. The Leader of the Council stated that he believed all political parties should be involved in the Commission and would make the recommendation to its Chair.
Councillor Stephens suggested that the name `City Centre Commission’ implied its vision would be restricted to the centre rather than the wider city. He enquired if a more inclusive alternative such as `Future City Commission’ could be considered. The Leader of the Council confirmed that it would evolve over time to encompass the whole city but would initially concentrate on the centre. He stated that it might get a different title as it developed to reflect its evolution. Councillor Stephens sought clarification as to whether the Commission would be able to monitor key sites as he felt that maintaining scrutiny over the hit list of regeneration sites had been advantageous for the Regeneration Advisory Board. The Leader of the Council agreed that the Commission should be able to make contributions towards the hit list of key sites but he made it clear that the Commission was to have a strategic viewpoint rather than be concerned with individual sites or day-to-day delivery of schemes.
Councillor Wilson sought reassurance that any revenue shortfalls for local authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic were to be reimbursed by central government as had been implied by their public announcements and whether there was a plan in place should they not be. The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources confirmed that monthly accounts were being submitted and that the latest would be shared with opposition groups to make them aware of the current situation of the Council. She gave reassurance that the Leader of the Council, officers and herself were lobbying to receive a concrete plan for reimbursement beyond the £1.3 million already received and that Cabinet were considering how to manage portfolios in a range of best and worst case scenarios. The Leader of the Council commented that he had written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to seek clarity on the government’s position and reiterated that he continued to lobby hard alongside the Local Government Association, District Councils Network and other bodies.
Councillor Wilson drew Members’ attention to the recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (10 March 2020) concerning the former Marketing Gloucester Limited (MGL) and asked when they would be considered by Cabinet. The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure stated that the report by the MGL Interim Chief Executive discussed at that meeting would be brought to the next meeting (15 July 2020) and to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee before that. He emphasised the need to make the correct decisions in a timely manner.