Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 3rd June 2019 6.30 pm

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

Contact: Democratic and Electoral Services 

No. Item


Appointment of Chair and Vice-Chair

To note the appointments made by Council at the Annual Meeting on 20 May 2019:-


  • Chair – Councillor Coole
  • Vice Chair – Councillor Ryall
  • Spokesperson – Councillor Hawthorne




1.1       RESOLVED  : - That the appointments of Chair, Vice-Chair and Spokesperson at Annual Council be noted.



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.


2.1     Councillor Organ declared an interest in agenda item 8 (Annual Report on the Grant Funding Provided to the Voluntary Community Sector) by virtue of his active role in organising the Gloucester Retro Festival.




Declaration of Party Whipping

To declare if any issues to be covered in the Agenda are under party whip.



3.1 There were no declarations of party whipping.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 25th of March 2019     .


4.1  RESOLVED that:The minutes of the meeting held on 25March 2019    were approved and signed as a correct record by the Chair.



Public Question Time (15 minutes)

To receive any questions from members of the public 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  There were no public questions.


Petitions and Deputations (15 minutes)

To receive any petitions and 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


16.1 There were no petitions or deputations.


Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme and Council Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 47 KB

To receive the latest version of the Committee’s work programme and the Council’s Forward Plan.

Additional documents:


17.1    The Committee considered the Work Programme and the Council                               

            Forward Plan.


17.2    The Chair informed the Committee that it had been difficult to arrange the Universal Credit Review, with only a couple of organisations responding to the invitations to attend meetings. Organisations were either unavailable to attend the scheduled Overview and Scrutiny meetings or did not respond at all. As such, he felt that it would be more prudent to ask for written submissions to be considered at the 2 September 2019 meeting. It was noted that a few had expressed that they would be happy to provide the written submissions.


17.3     Further, it was agreed that the Chair would attend a Gloucester Advice Partnership meeting to discuss Universal Credit with partner organisations, and then report back to the Committee.


RESOLVED that: - (1) Enquiries would be made to the partner organisations asking if they can provide written submissions for the 2 September 2019 meeting; (2) The Chair would attend a Gloucester Advice Partnership meeting and report back to the Committee.


Annual Report on the Grant Funding provided to the Voluntary Community Sector pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, which outlines the Council ‘s financial contribution towards the voluntary and community sector during the year 2018-19.



18.1    The Cabinet Member for Communities introduced the report and highlighted key aspects. She outlined that since its introduction in 2012, the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) model had transformed grant funding to the voluntary sector and was now embedded in the approach taken. She highlighted that this transformation could be seen across the 4 areas of grant funding – Grant Funding to Advice Agencies, Councillor Community Fund, Your Gloucester and Gloucester Lottery. Finally, she stressed to Members the importance of the initiative beyond grant funding, such as, helping organisations to build networks, and encouraging volunteering in the community.


18.2    Councillor Stephens thanked the Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods and the Head of Communities for the report. He stated that he was impressed with the breadth of funding, and the excellent causes being supported. He also noted that since its introduction in 2012, the ABCD approach, and particularly the Councillor Community Fund had allowed Members to play a greater role in grant funding. He felt that these factors justified the funding increases in 2018.


18.3    The Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods responded that the breadth and diversity resulting from the ABCD approach was indeed welcome.


18.4    Councillor Ryall questioned what support was being given to encourage organisations to apply elsewhere for funding. In her view, there were not many other sources of funding available to the voluntary and community sector.


18.5    The Head of Communities advised that they could be agile in terms of    applications connecting the voluntary and community sector with other organisations, and thus build informal networks. She drew Members’ attention to the fact that that this was already being done and offered Together In Matson as an example of this.


18.6    Councillor Hilton asked what the budget was for ‘Your Gloucester’ and the ‘Gloucester Lottery’. The Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods responded that the budget for Your Gloucester was £10,000, and for the Gloucester Lottery, it depended on the figure raised. She provided that last year around £17,000 had been raised.


18.7    Referring to Appendix 1 (list of groups funded), Councillor Pullen queried why Amey had been granted funding for a litter bin in the Grange area, given that it was not a voluntary organisation.  He suggested that there were better uses for the available funds.



18.8    In response to this, both the Head of Communities Head of Communities and Neighborhoods explained that this particular grant came from the Councillor Community Fund. By its nature, this fund was implemented to allow Councillors to support projects which they feel would benefit their ward. As such, although guidance is provided, officers cannot be prescriptive about which projects Councillors choose to support.


18.9   The Chair concluded the discussion by stating that he endorsed the report and welcomed the opportunities it created in the voluntary and community sector. He felt that the Report was a credit to both The Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods and the Head of Communities.


18.10  RESOLVED that: - The Overview and Scrutiny  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Guildhall Development Plan pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To consider the Briefing Paper of the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure. The paper proposes a plan for the Guildhall which, whilst not comprehensive due to the scope of challenges faced, outlines a vision to improve Guildhall through working collaboratively with the Council‘s partners.


19.1    The Corporate Director presented the Briefing Paper. He explained that the contents of the Paper should be viewed as a direction of travel and vision for Guildhall. Guildhall, he explained, is uniquely placed as a site which could potentially play an important role in the city ‘s cultural fabric by becoming Gloucester ‘s focal performance venue. As such, the proposed plans for Guildhall would be threefold, focusing on ‘Building Skills’, ‘Building Purpose’ and ‘Building a Place’. Therefore, the plans would go beyond just renovating the building, but also developing skills and creating an environment to foster and grow creative talent in the City. These developments would help Gloucester to bid for City of Culture.


19.2    Finally, he informed Members that due to stretched public finances, funding the development through the Council ‘s budget would be difficult, and so the plan would be to acquire funding from other organisations. It was noted that there were opportunities for grant funding.


19.3    Councillor Stephens opened the discussion. He reminded the Committee that the proposals should not be considered a development plan, as much a vision statement as set out by the Corporate Director. He proceeded to say that although some of the proposals were welcomed, detailed work was still needed. He stressed the importance of setting realistic targets and budgets. He questioned, for example, whether the proposed cinema would be profitable, and how the food provision would work.


19.4    In response, the Corporate Director commented that he did not disagree with Councillor Stephens’ comments. Indeed, the Government ‘s funding scheme was not guaranteed, and therefore it was about utilising available funding opportunities. Additionally, the plans could be as big as funding allowed, and similarly they could also be scaled down if necessary. He added that as an example, the Future High Streets Fund if acquired, could provide an opportunity for expansion. In answer to the query about food provision, he suggested that for this to be successful, it would be about matching the food offers to the events taking place at the time. Moreover, he confirmed that a decision had not yet been made as to whether this would be stand-alone.


 19.5   Pointing to the fact that Officers had mentioned the possibility of having interns as part of the Guildhall Development Plans, Councillor Ryall asked how this would be regulated. She noted that Apprentices, for example, tend to be more regulated. Interns, on the other hand, could be more open to exploitation, such as underpayment.


19.6    Responding to this, the Corporate Director stated that there were no detailed or concrete plans regarding taking on interns yet. However, it was a conversation to be had. Any decisions made would uphold the rights of interns. The overall aim would be to create a positive experience for them. He suggested for example that the University of Gloucestershire could be approached to partner with students from the Performing Arts. However, he emphasised that this was still in the thinking stages.


19.7   Councillor Pullen submitted that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Statutory Guidance on Overview and Scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities pdf icon PDF 347 KB

To evaluate the new statutory guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on how local authorities can carry out their overview and scrutiny functions effectively.


20.1     The Chair outlined the contents of the new Statutory Guidance on Overview and Scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. He stressed of the importance of the guidance, which Councils ‘must have regard to’ when exercising overview and scrutiny functions.


20.2      The Committee unanimously agreed on the importance of the guidance. Furthermore, it was agreed that a meeting would be arranged between the Chair and Senior Management to discuss how the Council can implement the statutory guidance going forward.


RESOLVED that: - The Chair would meet with Senior Management to discuss how to implement the guidance going forward.


Date of Next Meeting

1st of July 2019 at 6:30pm in the Civic Suite, North Warehouse.


11.1  1 July 2019 at 6.30pm in the Civic Suite North Warehouse.