Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: Civic Suite, North Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP

Contact: Democratic and Electoral Services 

Link: Watch meeting

Items
No. Item

86.

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.

87.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 182 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 7th February 2024.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 7th February 2024 are confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

88.

Public Question Time (15 minutes)

The opportunity is given to members of the public to put questions to Cabinet Members provided that questions do not contravene the provisions set out Council Procedure Rule 10.01.

 

To ask a question at this meeting, please submit it to democratic.services@gloucester.gov.uk by 12 noon on Friday 1st March 2024 or telephone 01452 396203 for support.

 

Questions and responses will be published at least 24 hours before the meeting. Supplementary questions may be put and answered during the meeting, subject to the relevant time limit.

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

89.

Petitions and Deputations (15 minutes)

The opportunity is given to members of the public to present a petition or deputation provided that any such petition or deputation does not contravene the provisions set out Council Procedure Rule 11.01.

 

To present a petition or deputation at this meeting, please provide the subject matter to democratic.services@gloucester.gov.uk by 12 noon on Friday 1st March 2024 or telephone 01452 396203 for support.

Minutes:

There were no petitions or deputations.

90.

Leader and Cabinet Members' Question Time (15 minutes) pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Any Member of the Council may ask the Leader of the Council or any Cabinet Member any question 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.

 

Questions must be submitted to democratic.services@gloucester.gov.uk by 12 noon on Friday 1st March 2024. Responses to questions will be published in an addendum to the agenda by 12 noon on the day of the Cabinet Meeting.

Minutes:

In respect of question 5 Councillor Hilton advised Members of his calculation that 38% of the most senior officers did not live in Gloucestershire.  He asked if there was concern that in the event of a crisis in the City there would not be enough senior level resources at hand to cope.  The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources stated that she was not concerned and noted that the Managing Director and Senior Management Team lived in the county.  She commented that it would be remiss of the Council to restrict recruitment to Gloucestershire when there may be candidates with specialist skills within commuting distance in populous areas such as Bristol and Birmingham.

 

91.

Blackfriars Priory 2023-2024 Report and 2024-2025 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure updating Members on activities at Blackfriars Priory in 2023 and providing an overview of activity proposed for the 2024-2025 financial period.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the:

 

(1)       report is accepted, and progress noted;

 

(2)    planned activity for 2024-2025 is supported.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure that updated Members on activities at Blackfriars Priory in 2023 and provided an overview of activity proposed for the 2024-2025 financial period.

 

The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure drew Members’ attention to some of the events hosted, income generated, and awards gained in 2023 (Appendix A).  He attributed this success to the staff and thanked them for it.  The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure looked forward to these achievements being built on in future to expand the venue’s reach and bring it into profit which he emphasised would be good for the local economy and represent great social value.

 

The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources highlighted the forecast of an excess of almost £150,000 over the 2023/24 income target (3.3) and took the opportunity to place on record her own thanks and congratulations to the Blackfriars Team for what she perceived to be fantastic progress.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy commented that it was great to see such a broad range of activities in 2023 bringing the historic building to life for a modern age. 

 

RESOLVED that the:

 

(1)       report is accepted, and progress noted;

 

(2)    planned activity for 2024-2025 is supported.

92.

Guildhall Galvanised pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure providing an overview of the Guildhall Galvanised project, its impact and how investment can transform a cultural venue.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the report is accepted and that the project is celebrated and noted.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure that provided an overview of the Guildhall Galvanised project, its impact, and how investment can transform a cultural venue.

 

The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure highlighted some of the benefits to users resulting from the successful bid to Arts Council England in 2022 (3.6-11).  He informed Members that he considered these to have contributed to the Guildhall becoming Gloucester’s premier live venue, a vibrant place welcoming to everyone no matter their background.  The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure looked forward to the Gloucester Guildhall continuing its journey from strength to strength in future.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment apprised Members of his own experience observing the improvements to the Guildhall which he believed were well worthwhile.

 

RESOLVED that the report is accepted and that the project is celebrated and noted.

93.

Museum Development Plan Update pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure seeking to provide an overview of progress made to date against the Museum Development Plan 2021-2026.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the report is accepted and progress against the objectives and actions noted.

Minutes:

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure that sought to give an overview of progress made to date against the Museum Development Plan 2021-2026.

 

The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure advised Members that the substantial but essential background task of cataloguing and examining the 750,000 objects in the Museum’s collections had to be done to a high standard to retain Arts Council England Accreditation status.  He noted that the public programme of events had resumed and was improving.  The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure thanked the Visitor Experience Service Manager and her team for their good work as custodians of Gloucester’s heritage.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods advised Members that it was right to support the Development Plan as the Museum was a cultural anchor contributing to the local economy as well as fostering pride and a sense of belonging.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy commented that in displaying our history; the more the better.

 

RESOLVED that the report is accepted and progress against the objectives and actions noted.

94.

Tourism & Destination Marketing – Christmas Campaign Report 2023 pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure presenting an evaluation of the Tourism and Destination Marketing Christmas Campaign: ‘Gloucester Believes.’

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the Tourism and Destination Marketing Christmas campaign evaluation is noted.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure that presented an evaluation of the Tourism and Destination Marketing Christmas Campaign: ‘Gloucester Believes’.

 

The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure noted that the evaluation encompassed events from a range of organisations including Gloucester Quays and Gloucester Improvement District (BID) who came together to promote the City at what is a crucial time of the year for businesses.  He highlighted the statistics demonstrating success (4.1-10) and thanked the Tourism and Destination Marketing Manager and his team.

 

The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources informed Members of her own observation of more people than ever before gathering in Kings Square for the Christmas lights.  She stated that the budget had repaid dividends and looked forward to further cost-effective campaigns in future.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy commented that the increase in digital marketing had driven the increase in footfall (Appendix 1) which contributed to bringing people together and making Gloucester more vibrant.  The Cabinet Member for Environment reminded Members that high footfall meant businesses did well which is what the administration was aiming for.

 

RESOLVED that the Tourism and Destination Marketing Christmas campaign evaluation is noted.

95.

Leisure Services Update pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure updating Members on the current position of leisure services and to demonstrate the procurement timeline for the future provision of leisure services.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the provision of Leisure services since October 2023 is noted;

 

(2)       the appointment of Freedom Leisure to deliver leisure services on behalf of the City Council from 11 November 2023 to 1 January 2025 is noted;

 

(3)       authority is delegated to the Managing Director, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure and the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, to procure and award a contract for the longer term provision of management of the facilities at GL1 and Oxstalls from 2 January 2025 following a full and robust tender process.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure that updated Members on the current position of leisure services and demonstrated the procurement timeline for the future provision of leisure services.

 

The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure summarised the report.  He informed Members that the bidder’s day (3.11) had been well received with attendees having been impressed by the standard of the facilities.  The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure took the opportunity to thank Freedom Leisure, the University of Gloucestershire and the Head of Culture for their achievements, not least among them the rapid re-employment of 92 staff.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment advised that his experience of the bidder’s day had been positive and that he was able to thank the Freedom Leisure Senior Management Team in person.  The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources expressed her own gratitude to the Head of Culture and Managing Director for their action to mitigate the unanticipated liquidation of the Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust.  On behalf of the Council the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure thanked all the leisure facilities staff for their dedication in what was an extremely stressful time for them.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the provision of Leisure services since October 2023 is noted;

 

(2)       the appointment of Freedom Leisure to deliver leisure services on behalf of the City Council from 11 November 2023 to 1 January 2025 is noted;

 

(3)       authority is delegated to the Managing Director, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure and the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, to procure and award a contract for the longer term provision of management of the facilities at GL1 and Oxstalls from 2 January 2025 following a full and robust tender process.

96.

2022-2024 Council Plan Six Month Update pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To consider the report of the Leader of the Council seeking to update Members on the delivery of the activities as outlined in the Council Plan 2022-2024 to build a greener, fairer, better Gloucester.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that progress on delivery of the Council Plan 2022-2024 is noted.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Leader of the Council that sought to update Members on the delivery of the activities as outlined in the Council Plan 2022-2024 to build a greener, fairer, better Gloucester.

 

The Leader of the Council highlighted the key features of the report including the 35 actions completed (Appendix 1).  He detailed some of the most significant achievements such as the progress made with the Forum and successful bids to the Arts Council England (3.6).

 

The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources noted that the period for completion of actions had been shorter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  She stated that all officers were to be commended and that she was proud of what had been achieved, including long-term ambitions, such as Podsmead regeneration, to bring real change to people’s lives.  The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure underlined the important contribution of Arts Council England awards (3.6) to making the City a happy and wonderful place to live which demonstrated their trust in Gloucester.

 

RESOLVED that progress on delivery of the Council Plan 2022-2024 is noted.

97.

Electric Vehicle Charging in Gloucester pdf icon PDF 127 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Environment seeking Members to review and update the feasibility of installing electric vehicle (EV) charging points in Gloucester City Council owned assets.

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       Council officers continue to work closely with County Council officers on current and future phases of the County Council‘s on-street electric vehicle charge point programme;

 

(2)       Council officers proceed to identify options for installation for of electric vehicle charge points to be located within Council-owned car parks on the basis set out within the report;

 

(3)       Authority is delegated to the Head of Finance and Resources, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, One Legal, and the Climate Change and Decarbonisation Lead officer to progress with the most suitable option.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Environment that sought Members to review and update the feasibility of installing electric vehicle (EV) charging points in Gloucester City Council owned assets.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment placed the report in the context of the climate crisis.  The Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods urged that charging points be installed throughout the City for the sake of inclusivity.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy remarked that the proposals represented a promising opportunity to both provide a service and generate income.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       Council officers continue to work closely with County Council officers on current and future phases of the County Council‘s on-street electric vehicle charge point programme;

 

(2)       Council officers proceed to identify options for installation of electric vehicle charge points to be located within Council-owned car parks on the basis set out within the report;

 

(3)       Authority is delegated to the Head of Finance and Resources, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, One Legal, and the Climate Change and Decarbonisation Lead officer to progress with the most suitable option.

98.

Air Quality Action Plan pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Environment seeking to update Members on the progress of the draft Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) prior to a consultation exercise.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the progress of the draft Air Quality Action plan is noted;

 

(2)       the Air Quality Action Plan is endorsed to go out for public consultation.

 

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Environment that sought to update Members on the progress of the draft Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) prior to a consultation exercise.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment outlined the key features of the report which he believed would make a positive contribution to addressing air pollution in the City.  He drew Members’ attention to the proposed five-yearly review of the AQAP.  The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure noted that the AQAP would complement the electric vehicle Charging report (Agenda Item 13) in improving air quality.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy emphasised the importance of introducing measures to help people with health conditions.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the progress of the draft Air Quality Action plan is noted;

 

(2)       the Air Quality Action Plan is endorsed to go out for public consultation.

 

 

99.

Future Opportunities for the Fleece pdf icon PDF 151 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Environment seeking approval to enable officers to explore a potential development option for the Fleece Hotel site (including Longsmith Street Carpark) with the Phoenix Village Project.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the Head of Place, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for

Environment, agrees a ‘Statement of Intent’ with the Phoenix Village Project to use as the basis to progress the project to agree Heads of Terms as set out in (2) below;

 

(2)       the Head of Place, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for the

Environment, the Head of Finance and Resources, and the Council Solicitor, develops Heads of Terms with Phoenix Village Project to enable the redevelopment of the Fleece Hotel site (including Longsmith Street Carpark), and report these back to Cabinet in due course;

 

(3)       the Head of Place, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for the

Environment, the Head of Finance and Resources, and the Council Solicitor, should pursue appropriate grant funding opportunities to enable the development of the Fleece Hotel Site. Should such grant funding require capital investment from the Council, appropriate authority will be sought.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Environment that sought approval to enable officers to explore a potential development option for the Fleece Hotel site (including Longsmith Street Carpark) with the Phoenix Village Project.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment summed up the background to the report noting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and changed economy since 2017 (3.1-12).  He advised that the Phoenix Village proposal represented a very good opportunity to benefit young adults while preserving and bringing an important heritage asset back to life.

 

The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure commented that although it was sad the redevelopment had taken so long, the proposal would be great for young people.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy stated that she was proud to support practical solutions for the disadvantaged and to revitalise Gloucester’s heritage.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the Head of Place, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for

Environment, agrees a ‘Statement of Intent’ with the Phoenix Village Project to use as the basis to progress the project to agree Heads of Terms as set out in (2) below;

 

(2)       the Head of Place, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for the

Environment, the Head of Finance and Resources, and the Council Solicitor, develops Heads of Terms with Phoenix Village Project to enable the redevelopment of the Fleece Hotel site (including Longsmith Street Carpark), and report these back to Cabinet in due course;

 

(3)       the Head of Place, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for the

Environment, the Head of Finance and Resources, and the Council Solicitor, should pursue appropriate grant funding opportunities to enable the development of the Fleece Hotel Site. Should such grant funding require capital investment from the Council, appropriate authority will be sought.

100.

Contract Award Whitefriars Phase Two Land Remediation pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Environment seeking Cabinet approval to award a contract for site remediation works at Plot 3c Market Parare, Gloucester (referred to as Whitefriars Phase 2) following a successful grant award from the One Public Estate Brownfield Land Release Fund 2.

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the grant funding of £477,903 from One Public Estate Brownfield Land Release Fund 2 (BLRF2) associated with Whitefriars Apartments Phase 2, Gloucester is accepted;

 

(2)       the contract for works is awarded to Reef Estates through a contract variation to the Forum Development Agreement to enable Brownfield Land remediation to be undertaken at Whitefriars Phase 2.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Environment that sought approval to award a contract for site remediation works at Plot 3c Market Parade Gloucester (referred to as Whitefriars Phase 2) following a successful grant award from the One Public Estate Brownfield Land Release Fund 2 (BLRF2).

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment reminded Members of the necessity to BLRF2 funding for any contract to be entered into by the end of March 2024.  He further advised that the proposed contract would not be a commitment to redevelop the site beyond remediation and that a planning application to increase the number of apartments would be made if it is approved.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy stated that this was exactly the sort of development that is needed: turning a brownfield site into much needed homes.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the grant funding of £477,903 from One Public Estate Brownfield Land Release Fund 2 (BLRF2) associated with Whitefriars Apartments Phase 2, Gloucester is accepted;

 

(2)       the contract for works is awarded to Reef Estates through a contract variation to the Forum Development Agreement to enable Brownfield Land remediation to be undertaken at Whitefriars Phase 2.

101.

City Regions Board pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To consider the report of the Leader of the Council seeking Members to establish the emerging form and function of the Gloucestershire City Region Board (GCRB), the nature of its authority, terms of reference, membership and joint scrutiny arrangements.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the establishment of the Gloucestershire City Region Board (GCRB) is agreed;

 

(2)       Authority is delegated to the Managing Director in consultation with The Leader to finalise and complete the Inter-Authority Agreement and other key documentation and to take all necessary steps to create the GCRB, including finalising the terms of reference for the GCRB;

 

(3)       the above recommendations will not be effective until all Gloucestershire Councils pass equivalent resolutions.

 

Furthermore, upon the establishment of the GCRB:

 

(4)       this Council’s functions are delegated to the GCRB as are necessary for the delivery of the functions identified in the Terms of Reference at Appendix 1 to the report;

 

(5)       the appointment of the Gloucestershire County Council as the Administering Authority;

 

(6)       it is agreed to appoint the Cabinet Member for Environment to the GCRB as the nominated member of the Board, if the Cabinet Member for Environment is unable to attend, the Leader will nominate an alternative member of the Cabinet to attend the Board as a substitute.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Leader of the Council that sought Members to establish the emerging form and function of the Gloucestershire City Region Board (GCRB), the nature of its authority, terms of reference, membership and joint scrutiny arrangements.

 

The Leader of the Council summarised the report.  The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources commented that the proposed board made perfect sense and that she was glad to see the intended scrutiny arrangements.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the establishment of the Gloucestershire City Region Board (GCRB) is agreed;

 

(2)       Authority is delegated to the Managing Director in consultation with The Leader to finalise and complete the Inter-Authority Agreement and other key documentation and to take all necessary steps to create the GCRB, including finalising the terms of reference for the GCRB;

 

(3)       the above recommendations will not be effective until all Gloucestershire Councils pass equivalent resolutions.

 

Furthermore, upon the establishment of the GCRB:

 

(4)       this Council’s functions are delegated to the GCRB as are necessary for the delivery of the functions identified in the Terms of Reference at Appendix 1 to the report;

 

(5)       the appointment of the Gloucestershire County Council as the Administering Authority;

 

(6)       it is agreed to appoint the Cabinet Member for Environment to the GCRB as the nominated member of the Board, if the Cabinet Member for Environment is unable to attend, the Leader will nominate an alternative member of the Cabinet to attend the Board as a substitute.

102.

Private Sector Stock Condition Survey pdf icon PDF 180 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy providing a summary of the Private Sector Stock Condition Survey that was undertaken for the Council in 2023 and presenting the options available to the Council to address the key conclusions set out in the survey report.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the contents of the Private Sector Stock Condition Survey are noted;

 

(2)       the overarching conclusion set out in the Private Sector Stock Condition Survey report that the condition of housing stock across Gloucester is generally good compared with the national picture, is noted;

 

(3)       it is noted that despite the positive feedback on housing conditions, there remain pockets of poor housing across the city that impact on the health and well-being of residents across all tenures;

 

(4)       the improvement of housing standards since the previous Private Sector Stock Condition Survey in 2011 is noted;

 

(5)       the following recommendations to address the key conclusions set out in the survey report are agreed:

 

a)         the Council will continue to target resources to maintain and improve housing standards and environmental issues in Barton and Tredworth;

b)         officers continue to work to bring empty homes back into use with a focus on empty dwellings in Kingsholm and Wotton, and Barton and Tredworth;

c)          the Planning Committee will determine whether there is a business case for an Article 4 Direction to be introduced to manage the conversion of existing dwellings to small HMOs in one or more areas of the city;

d)         the Council continues to support the Warm and Well Partnership to deliver energy efficiency advice and improvements to residents across Gloucester;

e)         officers explore opportunities to partner with an ethical low-cost loan organisation to deliver home repair and improvement loans (including Sharia compliant finance) to residents;

 

(6)       the high level of support and co-operation of households that agreed to participate in the Private Sector Stock Condition Survey is acknowledged.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy that provided a summary of the Private Sector Stock Condition Survey that was undertaken for the Council in 2023 and presented the options available to address the key conclusions set out in the survey report.

 

The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy reminded Members that this very comprehensive survey (Appendix 2) was the first since 2011 (Appendix 3) and would assist in forming housing strategy and policies over the coming years.  She thanked those residents who had allowed their homes to be assessed and made it clear that the survey would not have been possible without their cooperation.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy noted that the condition of the stock was found to be generally good in comparison to the national picture and significant improvements had been made since 2011.  She expressed gratitude to the Private Sector Housing Team for their tireless work and urged anyone aware of properties that might not meet the decent home standard to contact the Council with their concerns. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources drew Members’ attention to the recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Appendix 4) and advised that the proposed briefing to Councillors be timed so as not to overwhelm newly elected Members.  The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure stated that the survey would help residents get the decent, dry, and mould-free home that everyone deserves.  The Cabinet Member for Environment informed Members that he believed it to be a great report that would enable good work to improve homes.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the contents of the Private Sector Stock Condition Survey are noted;

 

(2)       the overarching conclusion set out in the Private Sector Stock Condition Survey report that the condition of housing stock across Gloucester is generally good compared with the national picture, is noted;

 

(3)       it is noted that despite the positive feedback on housing conditions, there remain pockets of poor housing across the city that impact on the health and well-being of residents across all tenures;

 

(4)       the improvement of housing standards since the previous Private Sector Stock Condition Survey in 2011 is noted;

 

(5)       the following recommendations to address the key conclusions set out in the survey report are agreed:

 

a)         the Council will continue to target resources to maintain and improve housing standards and environmental issues in Barton and Tredworth;

b)         officers continue to work to bring empty homes back into use with a focus on empty dwellings in Kingsholm and Wotton, and Barton and Tredworth;

c)          the Planning Committee will determine whether there is a business case for an Article 4 Direction to be introduced to manage the conversion of existing dwellings to small HMOs in one or more areas of the city;

d)         the Council continues to support the Warm and Well Partnership to deliver energy efficiency advice and improvements to residents across Gloucester;

e)         officers explore opportunities to partner with an ethical low-cost loan  ...  view the full minutes text for item 102.

103.

Regulating Housing Standards Policy pdf icon PDF 150 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy proposing a policy that sets out the guiding principles of the regulatory framework for the private sector housing service and the delivery of its statutory functions.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)        the adoption of the Regulating Housing Standards Policy, supporting appendices and statements of principles is agreed;

 

(2)        the revision and minor amendments to the Gloucestershire Civil Penalties Policy 2018 through the adoption of the Gloucester City Council Civil Penalties Policy (Appendix 3 to the Regulating Housing Standards Policy) is agreed;

 

(3)        it is agreed that the removal of discretionary ‘Early Payment’ deductions for Civil and Financial Penalties, recipients of financial penalties are already legally afforded a 2-stage process to review and appeal the amount of the penalty;

 

(4)        delegated authority is given to the Corporate Director to approve decisions to introduce new Statements of Principles to supplement the Regulating Standards Policy;

 

(5)        delegated authority is given to the Corporate Director to approve decisions to review and amend the existing Statements of Principles supplementing the Regulating Standards Policy.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy that proposed a policy to set out the guiding principles of the regulatory framework for the private sector housing service and the delivery of its statutory functions.

 

The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy reassured Members that the proposed policy promotes engagement and education before enforcement action is undertaken as a last resort.  She confirmed that the Council’s objective was to work with landlords to ensure that all housing in the City meets the required standards and not to penalise the good ones.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy apprised Members that the Private Sector Housing Team have improved 695 homes across the City since quarter one of 2022 giving great benefit to the health and wellbeing of their inhabitants.  She stated that the proposed policy would enable them to continue this work to the benefit of residents.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy took the opportunity to urge any tenants concerned about their home, or risk of eviction, to contact the Council and officers would do all they could to assist them.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)        the adoption of the Regulating Housing Standards Policy, supporting appendices and statements of principles is agreed;

 

(2)        the revision and minor amendments to the Gloucestershire Civil Penalties Policy 2018 through the adoption of the Gloucester City Council Civil Penalties Policy (Appendix 3 to the Regulating Housing Standards Policy) is agreed;

 

(3)        it is agreed that the removal of discretionary ‘Early Payment’ deductions for Civil and Financial Penalties, recipients of financial penalties are already legally afforded a 2-stage process to review and appeal the amount of the penalty;

 

(4)        delegated authority is given to the Corporate Director to approve decisions to introduce new Statements of Principles to supplement the Regulating Standards Policy;

 

(5)        delegated authority is given to the Corporate Director to approve decisions to review and amend the existing Statements of Principles supplementing the Regulating Standards Policy.

104.

City Centre Conservation Area (CCCA) Appraisal and Management Plan pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy seeking approval for the adoption of the updated draft of the City Centre Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan as a Supplementary Planning Document.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED to Council that:

 

(1)       the City Centre Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan be approved as a Supplementary Planning Document with immediate effect;

 

(2)       the alteration of the boundary of the city centre conservation area be approved;

 

(3)       authority be delegated to the Head of Place, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, to obtain graphic design input for the layout of the document, add additional photographs and maps to the document, and to make any other necessary minor amendments, corrections and additions to the document prior to publication.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy that sought approval for the adoption of the updated draft of the City Centre Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan as a Supplementary Planning Document.

 

The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy summarised the report.  The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure commented that it brought into focus 2,000 years of history and would assist in its protection while we look to the future.  The Cabinet Member for Environment stated that conservation was paramount and that identifying a larger conservation area would be beneficial to the City.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council that:

 

(1)       the City Centre Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan be approved as a Supplementary Planning Document with immediate effect;

 

(2)       the alteration of the boundary of the city centre conservation area be approved;

 

(3)       authority be delegated to the Head of Place, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, to obtain graphic design input for the layout of the document, add additional photographs and maps to the document, and to make any other necessary minor amendments, corrections and additions to the document prior to publication.

105.

Community Engagement Report 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods updating Members on community engagement work carried out by the Community Wellbeing Team.

Decision:

RESOLVED that the community engagement work undertaken by the Community Wellbeing Team, particularly using Asset Based Community Development and strengths-based working is noted.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods that updated Members on community engagement work carried out by the Community Wellbeing Team.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods noted that the work of the Team had involved broad participation and had a significant impact on people’s lives.  He drew Members’ attention to the sheer number of partner organisations referred to in the report.  The Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods advised that community engagement work should be supported going forward as it addresses community concerns and strengthens relationships.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment asked that the team be praised for working so hard and effectively across so many different areas.  The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure commented that it was quite an achievement that a city as diverse as Gloucester had everyone looking after each other.  He commended the Team for their outstanding work to make the City a great place to live.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy particularly thanked the Youth Engagement Officer, giving the unprecedented 90 inputs from young people to the Strategic Local Plan as an example of their positive contribution.

 

RESOLVED that the community engagement work undertaken by the Community Wellbeing Team, particularly using Asset Based Community Development and strengths-based working is noted.

106.

Social Value Policy Review pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources providing an update on the review of the Social Value Policy which was adopted in October 2020 and proposing recommendations.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the progress made against the aims of the Social Value Policy is noted;

 

(2)       the changes to the Social Value Policy and the Gloucester City Themes Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) are accepted;

 

(3)       authority to review and make minor changes and updates to the Social Value Policy (including any changes to the thresholds) as required is delegated to the Corporate Director, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, with only significant changes requiring Cabinet approval.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources that both provided an update on the review of the Social Value Policy which was adopted in October 2020, and proposed recommendations.

 

The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources highlighted the key features of the report including the five areas of delivery (3.2).  She confirmed that the Social Value Portal demonstrated delivery across 14 projects with a combined value of over £9.06m and listed some of the most significant gains in social value (3.10).

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment stated that the £9.06m was an incredible figure which would not have been achieved without the Policy.  The Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods advised that it creates a positive impact by promoting community wellbeing and addressing inequality.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy noted that when external companies are contracted the Policy enables wider benefits to be looked at and so provides great value for communities.  The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure commented that it was a fantastic way of measuring outcome in terms of making people’s lives better and demonstrates that what the Council does has a benefit to residents.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       the progress made against the aims of the Social Value Policy is noted;

 

(2)       the changes to the Social Value Policy and the Gloucester City Themes Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) are accepted;

 

(3)       authority to review and make minor changes and updates to the Social Value Policy (including any changes to the thresholds) as required is delegated to the Corporate Director, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, with only significant changes requiring Cabinet approval.

107.

Cemetery Rules and Regulations Review pdf icon PDF 121 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources seeking to amend the 2014 rules and regulations for Gloucester Cemeteries as a result of the motion agreed at the Council meeting in November 2023.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)    the changes to the rules and regulations of Coney Hill and Tredworth Cemeteries as set out in appendix 2 of the report is approved with effect from 1st April 2024;

 

(2)    the public consultation on the rules and regulations is noted;

 

(3)    all deed holders who do not comply with the rules and regulations shall receive written notification asking them to comply within 14 days.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources that sought to amend the 2014 rules and regulations for Gloucester Cemeteries as a result of the motion agreed at the Council (16th November 2023 Minute 53.15).

 

The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources drew Members’ attention to the 128 responses to the public consultation (Appendix 8) and recounted some of the results in detail.  She advised that she believed the proposed rule amendments (3.3) to be the most workable solution while acknowledging that they were not what some may have wished.

 

The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure reminded Members of the emotive and very personal nature of the subject and the difficult job that cemetery staff do.  He stated that there must be rules and regulations to ensure that the cemeteries remain neat and tidy for the general population and advised that he believed the proposed changes to be a good halfway house between the diverse wishes among the bereaved and residents.  The Cabinet Member for Environment reiterated that, although the proposed rules might seem strict to some, it was important to keep the cemeteries looking their best.  He further commented that the Bereavement Team do a brilliant job in the way they engage with bereaved families.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)    the changes to the rules and regulations of Coney Hill and Tredworth Cemeteries as set out in appendix 2 of the report is approved with effect from 1st April 2024;

 

(2)    the public consultation on the rules and regulations is noted;

 

(3)    all deed holders who do not comply with the rules and regulations shall receive written notification asking them to comply within 14 days.

108.

Financial Monitoring Quarter 3 Report pdf icon PDF 340 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources presenting the Council’s current financial position against the agreed budgets for the 2023/24 financial year, performance of the Council against certain key financial performance indicators, year-end forecasts, and the financial pressures on the Council during the 3rd quarter ended 31 December 2023.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       it is noted that the forecast year end position is currently for a decrease to the Council’s General Fund balance of £683k against a budgeted decrease of £104k;

 

(2)       the details of specific budgetary issues identified by officers and the actions being taken to address those issues are noted;

 

(3)       the current level of Capital expenditure as shown in Appendix 1 of the report is noted.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources that presented the Council’s current financial position against the agreed budgets for the 2023/24 financial year, performance of the Council against certain key financial performance indicators, year-end forecasts, and the financial pressures on the Council during the 3rd quarter ended 31st December 2023.

 

The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources noted that the General Fund Balance had improved by £394 since the 2nd quarter report (Cabinet 6th December 2023 Agenda Item 11).  She listed some of the major pressures on the budgets (4.4) and drew attention to the £400k business rates refund recorded as a corporate receipt (5.4).  The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources highlighted the improved forecast within her own portfolio (5.4-10).

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment commented that the position in his portfolio (5.18-20) was better than anticipated, the adverse forecast due to inflationary and wages pressures from the current economic climate.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy noted that the significant overspend in her portfolio had improved since the last report (5.15).  She reassured Members that the Housing Teams were working extremely hard to ensure that residents saw no slip in standards for which she thanked them.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy further advised Members that the digitalisation of the planning system will produce efficiencies in future.

 

The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure acknowledged the negative impact the unfortunate issue with the leisure service had had (5.14).  He however anticipated that profits would be made next year, especially with Blackfriars Priory and the Guildhall, and the position would be much better.  The Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods advised that the Communities Team continues to rise over and above challenges to support residents every step of the way amid the cost-of-living crisis.  He hoped that the general situation would get better for the sake of the people relying on the Council.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)       it is noted that the forecast year end position is currently for a decrease to the Council’s General Fund balance of £683k against a budgeted decrease of £104k;

 

(2)       the details of specific budgetary issues identified by officers and the actions being taken to address those issues are noted;

 

(3)       the current level of Capital expenditure as shown in Appendix 1 of the report is noted.

109.

Pay Policy Statement 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources seeking Members to approve the Council’s Pay Policy Statement for 2024/25.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED to Council that the Pay Policy Statement for 2024/25 attached as Appendix 1 of the report be approved.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources that sought Members to approve the Council’s Pay Policy Statement for 2024/25.

 

The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources summarised the report.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council that the Pay Policy Statement for 2024/25 attached as Appendix 1 of the report be approved.

110.

Capital Strategy 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources seeking Members to recommend that Council approves the Capital Strategy 2024/2025.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED to Council that the Capital Strategy be approved.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources that sought Members to recommend that Council approves the Capital Strategy 2024/25.

 

The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources outlined the background to the report and reminded Members of its relationship with other strategies serving the objectives of the Council (3.1-2).  She drew their attention to the planned capital expenditure of this and the coming financial year (Appendix 1 Table 1) and listed some of the projects that this investment has enabled to progress including the Forum, refurbishment of Kings Walk and the redevelopment of Greyfriars Quarter.

 

The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure commented that the investment detailed in the report demonstrated the Council’s foresight for Gloucester with projects such as the Forum making the City a great place to come to.  He thanked the Head of Finance and Resources and his team.  The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy reiterated that it showcased the ambition of the Council for the City, focussing investment on their vision to make everyone feel welcome and create new homes.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council that the Capital Strategy be approved.

111.

Treasury Management Strategy 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources seeking Members to recommend that Council approves the Treasury Management Strategy 2024/25, the prudential indicators and notes the Treasury activities.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED to Council that the Treasury Management Strategy be approved.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources that sought Members to recommend that Council approves the Treasury Management Strategy 2024/25 and the prudential indicators and notes the Treasury activities.

 

The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources drew Members’ attention to the recommendation to continue within an under-borrowed position (3.2).  She advised that this was sensible as lost interest on internal resources would be less than borrowing costs and it would reduce exposure to counterparty risk.  The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources further advised that the proposed strategy would allow the flexibility to enable the Council to benefit from lower interest rates and is compliant with the regulatory requirements (9.1).

 

RECOMMENDED to Council that the Treasury Management Strategy be approved.

112.

Business Rates - Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 118 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources proposing a retail, hospitality, and leisure business rates relief scheme, in line with guidance published by the government setting out the eligibility criteria for the scheme.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief Scheme 2024-25 (Appendix A of the report) be the approved scheme for Gloucester City for 2024-25.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources that proposed a retail, hospitality, and leisure business rates relief scheme in line with guidance published by the government setting out the eligibility criteria for such a scheme.

 

The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources summarised the report proposing a scheme that would award 75% relief from business rates, within the cash cap limit (3.1), intended to support the businesses that make high streets and town centres a success.

 

RESOLVED that the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief Scheme 2024-25 (Appendix A of the report) be the approved scheme for Gloucester City for 2024-25.