Agenda item

Leader and Cabinet Members' Question Time (15 minutes)

Any Member of the Council may ask the Leader of the Council or any Cabinet Member any question upon:


·       Any matter relating to the Council’s administration

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

·       A matter coming within their portfolio of responsibilities


Only one supplementary question is allowed per question.


Questions must be submitted to by 12 noon on Friday 6th January 2023. Responses to questions will be published in an addendum to the agenda by 12 noon on the day of the Cabinet Meeting.


In respect of question 1 Councillor A. Chambers asked what the new city brand logo represented and whether it would appear on the Visit Gloucester website.  The Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure stated that the logo was an abstract representation of the diversity and multicultural ethos of the city and that the branding would evolve over time as more people use it and its profile rises.  He confirmed that the Visit Gloucester website would be updated with new branding and that organisations such as Aspire were already using it.


In respect of question 2 Councillor A. Chambers affirmed his belief that a 1 hour charge had been removed before 2012 and queried whether increasing parking tariffs would be a nail in the coffin of the city centre.  The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources confirmed that she was confident this would not be the case and that the single hour charge had been in place since at least 2007.  The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources further reflected on the value for money represented by the proposed 2 hour charge for 2023 being less than it was in 2007.


In respect of question 3 Councillor A. Chambers informed Members that he had only seen a handful of officers in the Eastgate offices and questioned how so much money can had been spent seemingly without data on current usage and carbon emissions.  The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources relayed her own observations of many people working in the Eastgate offices.  She reiterated the benefits of agile facilitated by this venue and that its use would naturally vary from day to day as well as person to person.  The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources noted that feedback had been positive from both the Senior Leadership Team and staff.  She reminded Members that the move to the Eastgate offices represented a saving for the Council.


In respect of question 4 Councillor A. Chambers apprised Members that, contrary to the written response, he had received information that trees had died due to quality grading issues and were to be replaced by the Forestry Commission.  He requested that this information be assessed to prevent mistakes being made in future.  The Cabinet Member for Environment stated that a significant number did die because of drought in the unprecedented weather conditions of the last year. He advised that the County Council, rather than the Forestry Commission, would replace many of those which had died a natural death.   The Cabinet Member for Environment asked that the information referred to be shared with officers and Councillor A. Chambers agreed to do so.


In respect of question 5 Councillor A. Chambers expressed concern at the rise in voluntary turnover rate and that 20% of interviewed leavers were unsatisfied.  He sought clarification on when the Tree Officer position would be filled and what steps were being taken to address staff wellbeing.  The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources advised that the new Tree Officer had been post for 3 months.  She referred to the responses given to written questions at Council (17 November 2022 questions 15, 18) on this subject and commented that year on year the annual staff survey was increasingly positive for both engagement and satisfaction levels.  The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources acknowledged that whereas the Council might only offer limited internal career progression, time and again it proved itself successful in providing a solid foundation to individuals from which they often progressed their careers elsewhere.

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