Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Democratic and Electoral Services 

Items
No. Item

25.

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:

Councillor Hudson declared an interest in Agenda Item 8 (Gloucester Growth Strategy) owing to his position as owner of Butler’s Venue Bar and Chair of Gloucester Licensed Victuallers Association (LVA).

26.

Declaration of Party Whipping

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

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of party whipping.

27.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd July 2023.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd July 2023 were approved and signed as a correct record by the Chair.

28.

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.

 

To ask a question at this meeting, please submit it to democratic.services@gloucester.gov.uk by 12 noon on Wednesday 30th August 2023 or telephone (01452) 396203 for support.

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

29.

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 proceeings.

Minutes:

There were no petitions nor deputations.

30.

Action Point Item pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To note the outcome of any action points arising from previous meetings.

Minutes:

30.1    The Chair referred to the update and noted that he had been advised by the Leader of the Council that identifying suitable locations for pollinators was also proving difficult. He informed Members that it was hoped that the Climate Change Action Plan would include provision for these initiatives.

 

30.2    In response to a quey from Councillor Sawyer, the Democratic and Electoral Services Officer confirmed that the appropriate contact for Members to approach should they have any ideas for suitable wildflower planting locations would be the Open Spaces Strategy Team Leader.

 

RESOLVED – That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee NOTE the update.

31.

Gloucester Growth Strategy pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive a briefing on the background and purpose of the Gloucester Growth Strategy and the planned approach to drafting the strategy.

Minutes:

31.1    The City Growth and Delivery Manager introduced the Strategy Officer for the Gloucester Growth Strategy. He outlined the Project Brief and explained that the purpose of bringing the document before the Overview and Scrutiny Committee was to stimulate conversation and ascertain the Committee’s views on the scope of the strategy.

 

31.2    The City Growth and Delivery Manager further confirmed that discussions around the scope of the strategy were currently taking place with stakeholders, and that it was hoped that the strategy would include ‘golden thread’ themes such as addressing climate change and guiding city centre regeneration in the face of changing high street patterns. He noted that this was the beginning of the process, and that the ambition was to submit the Growth Strategy document for approval by Cabinet in the new year, with a further opportunity for the document to be reviewed by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee beforehand.

 

31.3    The Strategy Officer provided a background to the project and explained that there was a challenge in that the likelihood of obtaining large amounts of funding for the project from Central Government was slim. He noted that he was keen to engage with organisations in both the private and voluntary sectors in the development of the strategy, and that he had already had a positive response from stakeholders following an initial communication.

 

31.4    The Strategy Officer advised that he anticipated several key quarters in the vision, with themes including housing, night time economy (NTE), community safety and regeneration. He also hoped that this would be a visible plan which residents could easily see and access.

 

31.5    Councillor Hyman asked whether the Growth Strategy document would be put out for public consultation and whether the council would work with partner organisations during the development of the strategy. The Strategy Officer confirmed that he had upcoming meetings with key Officers in the Community Engagement team, and that it was hoped that there would be public consultation through events as well as online opportunities. The Strategy Officer confirmed that he was currently working on a community organisation and stakeholder mapping exercise and that he was keen for ward Councillors to also be involved in the process. The City Growth and Delivery Manager further commented that Officers were hoping to go beyond the standard consultation process and that with the help of the council’s Youth Engagement Strategy Lead, it was hoped that consultation would be extended to young people as well as faith groups and the wider community.

 

31.6    In response to an observation from the Chair that the Council already had many high-level strategies and a query as to whether there was a justification for another one, the City Growth and Delivery Manager stated that the Growth Strategy would not contradict these strategies but would complement and tie them together. The Strategy Officer further added that he believed that the strategy would deliver outcomes and that Gloucester had significant opportunities for development. He noted that his key focus would be on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Allocation of the Gloucester UK Shared Prosperity Fund pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To receive an update on progress made in spending the budget allocated to Gloucester within the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and intentions for the amount remaining unallocated within the Fund.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

32.1    The City Growth and Delivery Manager introduced the report and advised that the purpose of the report was to update the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on progress in spending the UK Shared Prosperity (UKSPF) budget and the intention for the amount remaining unallocated in the fund. He noted that the Economic Growth Officer had been recruited and funded through the UKSPF administration levy.

 

32.2    The City Growth and Delivery Manager explained that a consultation process with local community groups had taken place from May – July 2022, the outcome of which had informed the Investment Plan which had been put forward for approval by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). He confirmed that the council had received expressions of interest from 49 organisations, and that 3.2 of the report summarised the services provided through the UKSPF to 8 organisations during its first year. The City Growth and Delivery Manager noted that he was pleased with the progress made by the council in distributing the UKSPF funding to local projects, and the Economic Growth Officer provided the Committee with an overview of these projects.

 

32.3    In relation to a £160k remaining underspend, the City Growth and Delivery Manager advised that Officers intended to hold a second round of allocation during the Autumn of 2023 and would be inviting community-based organisations to submit expressions of interest for their projects. He advised Members that an audit process was currently ongoing, and that it was expected that the review and shortlisting of submissions would take place in November, with the hope of distributing the funds to projects towards the end of the year.

 

32.4    In response to a query from the Chair regarding the statement in the narrative in 4.2 that £93,518k needed to be spent on capital, the Economic Growth Officer explained that this was a stipulation in the DLUHC terms of memorandum.

 

32.5    In response to a follow-up question from the Chair, the Economic Growth Officer confirmed that all of the remaining fund would be put towards the new expressions of interest and that previous applicants were welcome to come forward. The City Growth and Delivery Manager further encouraged Members to put local community groups and projects forward for consideration.

 

32.6    In response to a query from Councillor Toleman, the Economic Growth Officer advised that Officers hoped to open expressions of interest to organisations between October and November 2023, and that a communication would be sent to all Councillors in due course.

 

32.7    Councillor Dee asked for further information regarding the success criteria. The Economic Growth Officer stated that potential projects needed to fall in line with DLUHC priority areas, and this would be made clear in future communications. By way of example, the City Growth and Delivery Manager confirmed that improving places, businesses and employment and skills were considered to be priorities.

 

32.8    Councillor Hyman referred to the evaluation panel and asked how the external advisors from the community sector and small businesses had been selected. The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Task and Finish Group on Engagement with Young People - Progress Update pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To receive an update on the implementation of the recommendations of the Task and Finish Group on Engagement with Young People.

Minutes:

33.1    The Democratic and Electoral Services Officer introduced the update and explained that the purpose of this item was to provide the Overview and Scrutiny Committee with an update on progress in implementing the recommendations of the Task and Finish Group on Engagement with young people, 6 months’ on from when they were accepted by Cabinet. She confirmed that most of the recommendations were in progress, with two ‘on hold’, noting that the Open Spaces Strategy was not due to be updated until 2026 and that the current recommendation following a review of the council’s Communications Strategy was to continue the use of social media platforms the council currently used.

 

33.2    The Democratic and Electoral Services Officer confirmed that the Youth Engagement Lead had met with Members of the Task and Finish Group to provide an update on her work, and that the Youth Engagement Coordinating Group had recently met with a view of considering how the council engages with young people across all services.

 

33.3    The Chair observed that it was good to see the majority of the recommendations being progressed, and that he understood the reasons that the remaining recommendations were ‘on hold.’

 

33.4    Councillor Chambers-Dubus noted that she had chaired the Task and Finish Group on engagement with young people and extended her thanks to the supporting Officers for their work on the project. It was suggested that a further update be provided to the Committee following the local elections in 2024.

 

          RESOLVED – That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee NOTE the update.

34.

Annual Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To agree the Annual Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2023-24.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

34.1    The Chair introduced the draft Annual Work Programme of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the latest version of the Council Forward Plan.

 

34.2    The Democratic and Electoral Services Officer explained that the Annual Work Programme had been compiled following the Annual Work Programming Workshop held by the Committee back in July. She noted that three key themes had been identified as areas of interest for Overview and Scrutiny Committee Members, namely city centre, culture and climate change. The Democratic and Electoral Services Officer confirmed that leading Officers in each of these service areas had been consulted and items had been plotted on the Work Programme over the course of the year accordingly.

 

34.3    Councillor Hilton suggested that the Committee consider the Green Travel Progress Report and it was agreed that this report be added to the agenda for the meeting on Monday 2nd October.

 

34.5    Councillor Dee asked whether some of the discussion at the Annual Work Programme could be formalised and circulated to Committee Members. The Democratic and Electoral Services Officer confirmed that a brief write-up would be drafted and circulated to Members.

 

          RESOLVED – That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee APPROVE the Annual Work Programme 2023-24.

35.

Date of Next Meeting

Monday 25th September 2023 at 6.30pm in Civic Suite, North Warehouse.

Minutes:

Monday 25th September 2023.