Agenda and minutes

Special Meeting, Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 6th December 2021 6.30 pm

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

Contact: Democratic and Electoral Services 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Declaration of Party Whipping


There were no declarations of party whipping.




RESOLVED – That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee NOTE that the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 1st November had already been approved and signed as a correct record by the Chair during the meeting on Monday 29th November 2021.


Public Question Time (15 minutes)


There were no public questions.


Petitions and Deputations (15 minutes)


There were no petitions nor deputations.


Grounds Maintenance Report


71.1    The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment introduced the report and explained that the purpose was to outline the options for the delivery of grounds maintenance services from April 2022. He confirmed that Cabinet was being asked to note the options in the report and to resolve that Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucester City Homes were thanked for their cooperation and support, that arrangements were made to progress with option B in the report and that licensing elements were considered under a separate report to Cabinet in due course.


71.2    The Leader of the Council explained that option B involved negotiating a more equitable arrangement with Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucester City Homes for the future delivery of grounds maintenance services. The Leader of the Council noted his view that option B would provide environmental benefits as well as further clarity for residents as to which organisation was responsible for providing the service. He also explained that there would be a positive implication for the Revenues and Benefits budget as the City Council would no longer be subsidising the other organisations. The Leader of the Council further explained that if negotiations failed with either party, option A, to terminate the agreement, would be considered however there would likely be staffing and resource issues with this route. He confirmed that option C, to continue subsidising Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucester City Homes, was not being considered.


71.3    The Chair noted his view that option B was a logical way forward and asked for the Leader of the Council’s comments on whether there was a risk of negotiations failing with either Gloucestershire County Council or Gloucester City Homes. The Leader of the Council confirmed his understanding that Gloucestershire County Council were close to agreeing to the proposed changes. He confirmed that in order to make the agreement more equitable, Gloucester City Homes were facing a cost increase and there was a concern that they may look for an alternative grounds maintenance partner. This said, the Leader of the Council noted that the risk was relatively low in his view.


71.4    Councillor Hilton referred to the narrative at 3.4 in the report which stated that the 2008 Highways Mini-Agency Agreement outlined arrangements for the City Council to deliver highways, grounds maintenance, pavement licensing, gating orders and weed control. He asked the Leader of the Council to clarify whether this also included tree maintenance trees as this was a frequent casework issue for Members and that in his experience, it was difficult to establish which authority was responsible for tree maintenance. The Leader of the Council clarified that the new arrangement would include an agreement for the City Council to provide grass cutting, hedge and tree maintenance services however it would no longer deal with pavement licensing and gating orders. The Leader noted that if a more equitable arrangement was reached under option B, this would help avoid confusion over responsibilities. He reiterated that the County Council was broadly in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.


Date of Next Meeting


Monday 6th December 2021.