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)




a)    Leader and Cabinet Members’ Question Time


41.1    Councillor Pullen asked the Leader of the Council if austerity was over in Gloucester.


41.2    Councillor James referred to the motion on the agenda (item 10.4) and advised that the tough decisions of the last eight years would not be reversed and additional funding would be directed to priority areas such as the National Health Service.


41.3    Councillor Pullen noted that Councillor James had said that more money would be available for priorities in Gloucester.


41.4    Councillor James stated that there would be no changes to the assumptions in the Council’s Money Plan.


41.5    Councillor Pullen noted that the litter contract awarded to 3GS had not been finalised and he asked the Cabinet Member for Environment if this had been due to adverse publicity surrounding 3GS’s performance in other areas.


41.6    Councillor Cook replied that the target date for finalising the contract was 21st January 2019. He advised that there had been difficulties with some terms of the contract which had now been resolved.


41.7    Councillor Pullen asked Councillor Cook if he would have been happier

had the service had been provided ‘in-house’.


41.8    Councillor Cook believed that the Council could not deliver the service effectively with the resources at its disposal.


41.9    Councillor Hilton asked if Councillor Cook was aware that 3GS had been taken over by the Red Snapper Group.


41.10  Councillor Cook stated that he had been assured that the Red Snapper Group would deliver the service as agreed.


41.11  Councillor Hilton noted that Brighton and Hove City Council had terminated a similar contract and he asked Councillor Cook if he had contacted Brighton and Hove City Council.


41.12  Councillor Cook advised that he had received assurances that the Red Snapper Group would not be incentivising the collection of fines by its workers.


41.13  Councillor Hilton asked Councillor Cook why it had not been possible to obtain a schedule for leaf clearance in Kingsholm and Wotton from Amey.


41.14  Councillor Cook advised that it was a complex database and he was endeavouring to ensure that the data was presented in a manner that could be easily read by Councillors and members of the public. He noted that when ward Members had been asked for the areas where leaves should be cleared in their wards there had been no reply from Councillor Hilton.


41.15  Councillor Hilton asked for an assurance that all Autumn leaves would be cleared from Kingsholm by the end of the year.


41.16  Councillor Cook stated that he had asked only yesterday for a progress update. He stated that Councillors could assist by informing officers about priority areas in their ward.


41.17  Councillor Coole asked Councillor James, in the absence of the Cabinet Member for Housing Strategy and Planning, whether he considered that the provision of affordable housing was a priority.


41.18  Councillor James agreed absolutely that the provision of affordable housing was a priority and he had met recently with a large housing association in that regard.


41.19  Councillor Coole noted that the Council intended to invest £80 million in property and he asked Councillor James if that money could be used to fund affordable housing as part of the regeneration of Matson and Podsmead.


41.20  Councillor James replied that the money would be used to purchase property as an investment to provide income to support Council services and that other channels were being explored in respect of affordable housing.


41.21  Councillor Haigh noted that the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure had said that she visited Tourist Information Centres in other areas on her travels to see how they compared with the award winning centre in Gloucester. She asked if Councillor Noakes had ever seen a Tourist Information Centre situated on a first floor.


41.22  Councillor Noakes stated that she had but could not recall the location. She would advise Councillor Haigh where it had been.


41.23  Councillor Haigh asked Councillor Noakes if she would explore the possibilities of extending the frontage of the Guildhall to incorporate the Tourist Information Centre and a Café Bar at ground level.


41.24  Councillor Noakes stated that the possibilities were being explored and that a report would be prepared in due course.


41.25  Councillor Ryall stated that the University of Gloucestershire graduation ceremonies had been held in Cheltenham and she believed that this had resulted in the loss of potential trade to the City from students and their families. She asked the Leader of the Council if he would speak to the University to ensure that students studying in Gloucester can graduate in Gloucester.


41.26  Councillor James undertook to raise the issue of University graduation ceremonies with the Vice-Chancellor of the University. He noted that the graduation ceremonies for Gloucester College would be held on 23rd November in the City..


41.27  Councillor David Brown had received complaints from people receiving parking fines when faults with the pay and display machines had been reported. He asked the Leader of the Council if there were any plans to replace the machines.


41.28  Councillor James stated that there were plans to replace the mechanisms of the machines. He undertook to request the Property Commissioning Manager to provide Councillor David Brown with details. He noted that people receiving parking tickets in those circumstances could submit an appeal which would be dealt with appropriately.


b)    Chairs of Committees


41.29  Councillor Haigh noted that the Festivals and Events Programme had been deferred twice and she asked the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee when the report would be presented to the Committee.


41.30  Councillor Coole advised that the report was not on the agenda for the next meeting but he would pursue the issue with Officers.