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 firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon on Friday 9th June 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 5 Councillor Hilton queried whether the Cabinet Member was troubled by the 18-month gap between the data breach and its announcement to the public. The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources reiterated that this derived from adherence to the advice of specialist agencies and other councils who had experienced similar incidents.
In respect of question 6 Councillor Hilton noted that the Council had been fined in 2017 for a data breach in 2014. He asked how confident the Cabinet Member was that there would be no fine for the 2021 breach and that the costs for the cyber-incident would not rise over £1 million. The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources confirmed that there had been no increase to the cost of the cyber-incident. She advised that she could not predetermine the decision of Information Commissioner’s Office but that the Council had been transparent and complied with them throughout the whole process.
In respect of question 7 Councillor Hilton queried why the Russian origin of the group responsible for the cyber incident had been denied before the announcement of 7th June 2023. The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources noted that the Russian origin of the group had never been denied and that the Council had followed the advice of law enforcement agencies regarding disclosure from the beginning of the process.
In respect of question 8 Councillor Field sought further detail on progress made with the Gloucester City Homes senior management team. The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy stated that conversations were ongoing with a meeting this week.
In respect of question 9 Councillor Field enquired if the commercial elements of the regeneration plans would be discarded should construction cost inflation jeopardise the schemes. The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy commented that it would be wrong to speculate on hypothetical scenarios.
In respect of question 15 Councillor Wilson asked if his understanding was correct that the H-Drive had been intended only for officer’s personal working documents. The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources responded that this was her understanding too and asked the Managing Director for clarification. The Managing Director advised that although this was the case, at the time of the cyber incident some staff, having received unclear guidance, had documents on the H-Drive that should have been on a shared drive. He reassured Members that clearer guidance was being developed.
In respect of question 16 Councillor Wilson sought clarification on when the investigation report would be shared with Members. The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources commented that a timeline was not ready yet as a key officer at the time had since retired but she reassured Members that a timeline would be available within a month. The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources further advised that there would probably be a report for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, focused on the experience of the public, and one for the Audit and Governance Committee with an emphasis on internal issues.
In respect of question 18 Councillor Hilton informed Members that he perceived the Private Sector Housing Stock Condition Survey report to be important to the residents of Kingsholm, especially regarding small houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). He sought further clarification of the timeline towards evidence from the report being able to inform decisions on the conversion of HMOs. The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy noted that she understood the report to be important to residents of all wards and that the timeline was dictated by legislation.
In respect of question 19 Councillor Hilton requested that the financing of works to improve Hillfield Gardens be reviewed as he believed it was not right to just rely on the Friends group for what he considered to be one of the best parks in Gloucester. The Cabinet Member for Environment stated that he shared the high regard expressed for the Gardens and commented that they might be an appropriate recipient of a ward member’s community grant. He gave assurance that he would discuss raising the priority for funding of the park with officers but cautioned that resources were finite so spending more here would mean not spending elsewhere.