Agenda item


To receive announcements from:


a)         The Mayor

b)         Leader of the Council

c)          Members of the Cabinet

d)         Head of Paid Service




6.1       The Mayor thanked Council for electing her to the office of Mayor. She referred to the Councillor’s Handbook and hoped that Members of the Council would accept her rulings. She reminded Members that Question Time was for asking questions not making speeches and advised that the pace of Civic Processions would be somewhat slower as the lady would be wearing heels.


            Leader of the Council


6.2       The Leader of the Council congratulated the Mayor and Sheriff on their appointments and thanked the outgoing Mayor and Sheriff for their work over the Municipal Year.


            The New Inn


6.2.1   The Leader of the Council stated that Members would be aware of the fire which took place at the New Inn over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. Thankfully nobody was injured, which was due to the quick actions of the hotel’s management and the Fire and Rescue Service, for which they deserve much praise together with local hotels that housed the hotel guests and Aspire Trust who had prepared an evacuation centre.


            The fire started in a glass washing area on the ground floor and went through two floors to the roof but thankfully it had been contained within a small area. The fire travelled up the exterior of the building and partly through a void within that acted like a chimney, which is thought to have reduced the spread of the fire.


            There was smoke and water damage throughout the southwest corner of the building affecting rooms on the second floor and attics. On the ground floor the damage was limited to an area which has had much 20th century alteration.


            There had been asbestos found in the area of the fire and the Health and Safety Executive has been notified. Until this risk is removed further work cannot take place and insurers are already involved.


            The hotel had recently been acquired by Dominion Hospitality (which also owned the Station Hotel and The Dick Whittington). Together with Council Officers he had been in touch with the Managing Director and an initial meeting would be taking place this week to discuss the proposals for repairs. Given the important historic nature of the building Historic England had been contacted. It is likely that local conservation engineers and architects will be used. Further information will be provided following the meeting.


            The coffee shop had already reopened and it was hoped that the bar, restaurant and hotel would be open in time for next week’s Bank Holiday.


            The Council was keen to see the full restoration of this important heritage building and to see it once again playing the important role in the life of the City which it has fulfilled for centuries.


            Cabinet Changes


6.2.2 The Leader of the Council advised that he was not proposing any    changes to the membership of the Cabinet for the forthcoming municipal year but there were some fairly small  changes within portfolios.


            Councillor Watkins would take on responsibility for homelessness from Councillor Organ, whose portfolio will be renamed Planning and Housing Strategy. Licensing, Environmental Health and Play Areas would move from Communities and Neighbourhoods to Councillor Cook’s Environment portfolio. An updated Cabinet chart would be circulated.


Honorary Recorder


6.2.3   The Leader of the Council announced that His Honour Judge Tabor, Resident Judge at Gloucester Crown Court, who was appointed Honorary Recorder by the Council in March 2016 had now retired and had asked that the following message be conveyed to the Council:-


            “Over a legal career of forty years which included being appointed Queen’s Counsel and a Circuit Judge, no appointment has given me greater pleasure than my appointment as Recorder. It was a great honour and I hope I performed the role satisfactorily. Please do not underestimate the honour it bestows. The appointment not only recognises the individual but more importantly underlines the importance of Gloucester as a legal entity.”


            His Honour Judge Ian Lawrie has been appointed as the new Resident Judge at Gloucester Crown Court. Officers are currently taking advice on the appointment of a new Honorary Recorder and a report will be presented to Council in due course.


            Members of the Cabinet


6.3       Councillor Watkins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, echoed the Leaders congratulations to the Mayor and Sheriff and thanks to the outgoing Mayor and Sheriff.


6.3.1   She announced that the City had been successful in its bid for Purple Flag status which signified that the City had a vibrant and safe evening economy. She thanked all Members, Officers and Partner organisations who had been involved in the bid.


6.3.2   She advised that the Member Allocation Fund for 2018/19 in the sum of £500 for each Member to allocate was now open.


6.3.3   Councillor Cook, Cabinet Member for Environment, advised Members that the Gloucester Refill initiative would start on 1st July. The Council in partnership with Marketing Gloucester and Refill were introducing a scheme where an app would identify participating businesses where users could obtain free refills of water. A reward scheme would be introduced for those participating in the scheme.