To receive the latest version of the Committee’s Work Programme and the Council’s Forward Plan.
14.1 The Chair introduced the latest version of the City Council’s Forward Plan. He informed Members that they could intervene at any point during the meeting and were also welcome to contact him outside of Committee sessions with their suggestions of items they would like to see on the Work Programme.
14.2 Councillor Lewis requested that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee examine the Green Travel Plan and Black Friars Priory Update, both of which were included on the Council Forward Plan. Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, Councillor Norman, noted that the Forward Plan was likely to become more heavily populated over the next few months and further clarity on dates would be available in due course. It was agreed that both items would be added to the Committee Work Programme with dates to be confirmed.
14.3 Councillor Lewis referred to the Armed Forces Community Covenant and requested that this also be added to the Work Programme as he had become aware of concerns relating to housing provision for some former members of the armed forces. The Committee agreed to add this item to the agenda for the meeting on Monday 4th October 2021.
14.4 The Chair noted his interest in examining how the Council was progressing in terms of the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Councillor Norman mentioned that various recovery cells had been aligned to different Cabinet Members and asked whether there was a specific area the Committee wanted to scrutinise. The Head of Policy and Resources noted that if the Committee wanted an overarching view of how the Council was progressing more broadly, the Leader of the Council could provide this alongside input from the Head of Place. It was agreed that the Committee would request a general overview of the Covid-19 pandemic recovery progress in the city and that this item would be added to the agenda for the meeting on Monday 1st November 2021.
14.5 In response to a request from Councillor Hilton for the Committee to receive an update on the latest position on the City Council’s commercial income, the Head of Policy and Resources explained that a report was being brought forward on the Council’s Property Investment Strategy in due course and one of the recommendations from recent Internal Audit activity was for such a report to be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. It was agreed that the Property Investment Strategy Update would be added to the Committee Work Programme and a date would be confirmed in due course.
14.6 Councillor Hilton asked whether the Overview and Scrutiny Committee could receive an update on the financial position of Gloucestershire Airport. He noted that the airport was jointly owned between Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council, with each local authority having 50% ownership. Councillor Lewis confirmed his agreement with this suggestion.
14.7 It was suggested that the Committee may wish to consider conducting a joint scrutiny session with Cheltenham Borough Council. It was agreed that contact would be made with Cheltenham Borough Council to ascertain their interest in being involved. It was noted that a separate date for this session may be needed outside of the current Committee Work Programme calendar, in order to accommodate both local authorities.
14.8 The Chair reiterated that the Committee was not bound by the Forward Plan and although it may be difficult, Members were welcome to consider whether they wanted to invite outside organisations such as the NHS or Gloucestershire Police to a scrutiny session.
1) That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme be amended to reflect the above and
2) To NOTE the Work Programme.