Agenda item

Members' Question Time

a)         Leader and Cabinet Members’ Question Time (30 minutes)


        Any member of the Council may ask the Leader of the Council or any Cabinet Member any question without prior notice, upon:


·       Any matter relating to the Council’s administration

·       Any matter relating to any report of the Cabinet appearing on the Council’s summons

·       A matter coming within their portfolio of responsibilities


        Only one supplementary question is allowed per question.


c)     Questions to Chairs of Meetings (15 Minutes)




57.1    Councillor Haigh asked the Leader of the Council what efforts he had made to lobby the Government and the City’s Member of Parliament regarding the cuts to Council funding.


57.2    Councillor James explained that he had made representations and that he met with the City’s Member of Parliament on a regular basis. He hoped to meet the Local Government Minister in the near future. He believed that the cuts were a consequence of the mess left by the last Government.


57.3    Councillor Haigh noted that the last Government was Conservative and despite Liberal/Democrat amnesia, that party was also involved.


57.4    Councillor James regarded the present Government as a continuation of the previous administration’s efforts to reduce the national deficit and he had referred to the mess left by the Labour government. He noted that the City Council had been successful in drawing in funding such as the new Bus Station and the Social Income Bond and he believed that it was prudent to take measures to make savings.


57.5    Councillor Haigh asked if the Leader of the Council agreed with Richard Graham MP that the city was well served by the National Health Service.


57.6    Councillor James noted that it was not a responsibility of this Council but he agreed that the NHS did a good job.


57.7    Councillor Haigh asked the Leader of the Council if he agreed with the transfer of funds from the New Homes Bonus to the County Council to help fund social care.


57.8    Councillor James responded that he had made representations as it was not fair on councils where development was constrained. He noted that the Conservatives were the only party to propose more money for the NHS in the last election.


57.9    Councillor Hilton asked the Leader of the Council if he had attended any meetings of the Local Government Association District Council Network in the last twelve months.


57.10  Councillor James responded that the Local Government Association lobbied on behalf of all local authorities.


57.11  Councillor Hilton noted that the Secretary of State had been present at a conference last week and he asked the Leader of the Council why he had missed that opportunity to lobby for the City.


57.12  Councillor James replied that he had made representations and he would be arranging a meeting with the Minister for Local Government.


57.13 Councillor Hilton noted that the Cabinet Member for Environment had described the Amey contract as the worst he had ever seen and he asked the Cabinet Member what was wrong with the contract.


57.14 Councillor Cook replied that the main problem was that the contract did not contain an exit clause.


57.15  Councillor Hilton asked Councillor Cook if he could explain an annual payment of £53,000 over ten years for bins as part of that contract.


57.16  Councillor Cook replied that he was unable to answer that question without advice and he would provide the Member with an answer.


57.17  Councillor Pullen asked the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning if he could assure Council that the good work undertaken regarding conditions in the private rented sector would continue following the implementation of Together Gloucester.


57.18  Councillor Organ replied that excellent and important work had been undertaken in that regard but as Together Gloucester had not been finalised he was unable to give any assurances.


57.19  Councillor Pullen noted that the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources had stated that the work would continue for this financial year but could not give any guarantee and Councillor Organ had stated that there would be other policy options to consider.


57.20  Councillor Organ stated that the results of the work and prosecutions that it had brought about would need to be considered and action taken accordingly.


57.21  Councillor D. Brown noted that the Social Income Bond initiative would bring £990,000 to the County and he asked the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning how much of this funding would come to the City.


57.22  Councillor Organ noted that the City had the largest population of the districts in the County and he would let the Member know how the issue proceeded.


57.23 Councillor Coole noted that February was Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) History Month and he asked the Leader of the Council if the Council was planning anything to celebrate the month.


57.24  Councillor James undertook to make enquiries and notify the Member.


57.25  Councillor Coole asked the Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods and the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure to ensure that LGBT History Month is celebrated in future years.  .