Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 2nd September 2019 6.30 pm

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

Contact: Democratic and Electoral Services 

No. Item


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.


1.1 No declarations were made on this occasion.


Declaration of Party Whipping

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



2.1 There were no declarations of party whipping.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on      .


3.1      The minutes of the meeting held on the 1st of July 2019 were confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.


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


4.1 There were no questions from members of the public.


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


5.1 There were no petitions or deputations.


Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme and Council Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 49 KB

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


6.1      The Committee considered the Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme and Council Forward Plan.


6.2      Councillor Stephens suggested that the Local Council Tax Support Scheme Report should be considered before the Committee prior to going to Cabinet. Noting the importance of the report, the Committee agreed that it should be added to the Work Programme.


6.3      Furthermore, it was noted that there had been a slight delay in the Performance Monitoring Quarter 1 report. This would now be considered alongside the Quarter 2 report at the Committee ‘s  6th of January 2020 meeting. This was due to the fact that there was a new post for a Performance and Improvement Officer, and the individual would need time to settle in before producing the report.


6.4       RESOLVED that: - (1) Enquiries would be made to as to when the local Council Tax Support Scheme Report would be going to Cabinet and added to the Overview & Scrutiny Work Programme accordingly; (2) Both the Performance and Monitoring Quarter reports would be added to the agenda for the 6th of January 2020 meeting.


City Plan pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To receive the report of the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy informing Members of the proposals for the Gloucester City Plan.

Additional documents:


7.1       The Cabinet Member for Housing and Strategy, Councillor Gravells, began by thanking the Chair and the Committee for agreeing to look at the City Plan. He then thanked the Officers who were involved in producing the plan, pointing to the hard work required to bring it to fruition. Councillor Gravells then stated that much of the City Plan had been considered at the Planning Policy Member Working Group meetings, and as such, nothing would come as a surprise for those Members who were part of the working group. 


7.2      Councillor Gravells then proceeded to highlight key aspects of the City Plan in turn. First, he considered Policy A2 (Affordable Housing). He felt that the 25% affordable housing requirement (on housing sites of 10 or more/ or sites with a gross site area of 0.5 hectares or more) was a major leap for the City. He explained that had this been in place beforehand, ongoing major developments such as Winnycroft Farm may have been subject to this requirement, meaning that there would have been a good proportion of affordable housing built as part of the development.


7.3      Furthermore, he brought the Committee ‘s attention to Policy B6 (Protection of Public Houses), Policy A5 (Specialist Housing – Housing Choice for older, frail and disabled people), Policy C4 (Hot Food Takeaways), Policy C7 (Fall Prevention from Taller Buildings) and Policy F3 (Community Safety).


7.4      Lastly, he informed the Committee that the version of City Plan which was being presented to them was not yet completed.


7.5      Adam Gooch, Planning Policy Team Leader, added that a number of the introductory sections were missing from this version of the report, however, the key sections were all there. Moreover, the appendix on the policies map would be available by the time the report would go to Cabinet on the 11th of September. He added that everyone had been waiting a long time for the City Plan, and it had been written in a way that complimented the work of the Joint Core Strategy (JCS), the co-ordinated strategic development plan between Gloucester City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council.


7.6      The floor was then opened up to the Committee for questions.


7.7       Councillor Stephens opened up the discussion and stated that City Plan was an excellent piece of work. He said that he welcomed the inclusion of Policies B6 (Protection of Public Houses), C8 (Changing Places Toilets), and, Policy A2 (Affordable Housing). He then made some suggestions on further improving the City Plan. First, he suggested that homelessness and climate change could be added within the vision statement. Secondly, he felt that there should a specific policy on moving towards sustainable transport.  Lastly, he explained that whilst he welcomed the policy A5 on Affordable Housing, he also questioned its viability in practise.



7.8      Responding to Councillor Stephens, Adam Gooch started by thanking him for the positive feedback. On the issue of climate change and sustainable transport, he informed Councillor Stephens that City Plan  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Universal Credit - GAP Meeting Update

To receive an update from the Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny committee regarding the GloucestershireAdvicePartnership (GAP) Universal Credit meeting which he attended in July.


8.1       The Chair informed the Committee that he had attended the Gloucester Advice Partnership meeting on the 30th of July.  He stated that Universal Credit had undergone changes since being launched. In October, the repayment cap would be lowered from 40% maximum, down to 30%. Moreover, the Department for Work and Pensions would be working closely with housing agencies in order to upscale job opportunities.


8.2       Expressing his disappointment that Green Square would no longer be operating as part of the reception move to ‘The Gateway’, Councillor Toleman asked the Officers and Cabinet Members present whether there would be a replacement advice centre in order to provide help to those in need. Councillor Norman, Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources responded to say there were ongoing talks with advice centres to put in place a replacement, and that there should be an update soon.





Financial Monitoring Quarter 1 Report pdf icon PDF 284 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources which details year-end forecasts and progress made against agreed savings targets for the 1st quarter ended 30th of June 2019.

Additional documents:


9.1      The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, Councillor Norman presented the report.  She explained that the figures within the report forecast the best estimate at the current time of the year-end position in the Council ‘s general fund. She then highlighted key aspects in each portfolio.


9.2      Members asked for clarification on why there was an overspend in the budget of £40,000. In particular, Councillor Hilton questioned why it appeared that no savings had been made. In response, Jon Topping, Head of Policy and Resources stated that this discrepancy could largely be attributed to transformation costs. However, there would be the option to drawdown if necessary.


9.3      Furthermore, Councillor Norman explained that in order to understand why there was currently an overspend in the budget and predicted savings had not been made, there were several factors which had to be considered. Firstly, the reception move to ‘The Gateway’ had taken place later than expected. Secondly, the disposal of the Herbert Kimberley and Phillpotts Warehouses was still an ongoing process, and the Council was still paying business rates. However, the warehouses were being marketed until the closing date in September. Thus far, there had been over 50 declarations of interest. Taking the above into account, it was expected that savings would be realised in the long term after the warehouses have been disposed.


9.4      Referring to the Culture and Leisure portfolio, Councillor Ryall queried what the total figure received from voluntary donations at the museum was. The Head of Policy and Resources stated that he would respond to Councillor Ryall and the Committee in writing. 


Date of Next Meeting

30th of September 2019.


10.1 30 September 2019 at 6.30pm in the Civic Suite, North Warehouse.