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Contact: Democratic Services Tel: 01684 272021  Email:  democraticservices@tewkesbury.gov.uk

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Items
No. Item

21.

Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chair of the Meeting and/or the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

21.1          The Mayor advised that the meeting was being held under the emergency provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and, specifically, The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.  The meeting was being broadcast live via the internet, it was not being recorded by the Council but, under the usual transparency rules, it may be being recorded by others.   

22.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

22.1          Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J H Evetts and A Hollaway.  

23.

Declarations of Interest

Pursuant to the adoption by the Council on 26 June 2012 of the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct, effective from 1 July 2012, as set out in Minute No. CL.34, Members are invited to declare any interest they may have in the business set out on the Agenda to which the approved Code applies.

Minutes:

23.1          The Committee’s attention was drawn to the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council on 26 June 2012 and took effect from 1 July 2012.

23.2          The following declarations were made:

Councillor

Application No./Item

Nature of Interest (where disclosed)

Declared Action in respect of Disclosure

R D East

Item 6 – Member Questions Properly Submitted in Accordance with Council Procedure Rules.

Is a Council representative on the Board of Cleeve Common Conservators.

Would speak and vote.

C Reid

Item 10d – Notice of Motion – Invitation to Gloucestershire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to Present its Latest Proposals for Cheltenham A&E.

Is an employee of the NHS but her position was not affected by the decision on the Motion.

Would speak and vote.

C Softley

Item 7a – Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts 2021/22.

Declaration made in accordance with Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

Would not speak or vote and would leave the meeting for the consideration of this item.  

S A T Stevens

Item 7a - Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts 2021/22.

Declaration made in accordance with Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

Would not speak or vote and would leave the meeting for the consideration of this item.

23.3          There were no further declarations made on this occasion.

24.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 July 2020.

Minutes:

24.1          The Minutes of the meeting held on 28 July 2020, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record subject to an amendment to the attendance to include a number of Members who were missing.

25.

Items from Members of the Public

a)   To receive any questions, deputations or petitions submitted under Council Rule of Procedure.12.

 

(The deadline for public participation submissions for this meeting is 23 September 2020).

 

b)   To receive any petitions submitted under the Council’s Petitions Scheme.

Minutes:

25.1          There were no items from members of the public.

26.

Member Questions properly submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rules

To receive any questions submitted under Rule of Procedure 13. Any items received will be circulated on 29 September 2020.

 

(Any questions must be submitted in writing to Democratic Services by, not later than, 10.00am on the working day immediately preceding the date of the meeting).

Minutes:

26.1          The following questions had been received from Councillor Stanley to the Lead Member for Built Environment.  The answers were given by the Lead Member for Built Environment, Councillor Gore, but were taken as read without discussion.

Update on the primary schools

On 26 January 2020 Council resolved that:

1.    the Council confirms its continued support for the provision of adequate school places across Tewkesbury Borough, noting the County Council’s own policy that any such primary schools should be within walking distance of most of the new developments.

2.    the Council works with the County Council, and any other interested party, to find a solution that works for everyone.

Question 1:

What is the latest update from Gloucestershire County Council on the school for the north of Bishop’s Cleeve?

Answer 1:

The County Council has advised that work is still ongoing in relation to identifying a location and land for the new school.

Section 106 Infrastructure 

Tewkesbury Borough has seen substantial housing growth over recent years with further large development expected in the future. Developer Section 106 commitments are an essential part of ensuring that the local infrastructure needs of our residents are met and where these commitments are overdue, it is the Borough which is responsible for enforcement.

As a ward Councillor, I have been seeking details of all Section 106 Agreements in Bishop’s Cleeve where commitment trigger points have passed, and the agreements are outstanding.

Question 1:

What Section 106 Agreements are outstanding in Bishop’s Cleeve?

Answer 1:

In Bishop’s Cleeve there are both financial and non-financial obligations that are due now and into the future. The table below provides an indication of the outstanding S106 Agreements for the Bishop’s Cleeve area relating to the S106 Agreements that the Borough Council has entered into. Most of the obligations below are not due yet, as the trigger point has not been met.

In addition, there are also Gloucestershire County Council S106 planning obligations as part of Bishop’s Cleeve developments, such as highway mitigation, education and library contributions.  The County Council currently negotiates S106 Agreements independently of the Borough Council for their elements, which they also enter into separate legal agreements. As a result, the Borough Council does not currently monitor the County Council S106 Agreements.   A full list has been requested from the County Council and can be provided to Members once it has been received.  Working in partnership with the County Council, Officers are commencing discussions on how the S106 process can be improved.

Financial Contributions

App No

Address

Obligation

Amount

Status

10/01005/OUT

Homelands Farm, Gotherington Lane, Bishop’s Cleeve, GL52 8EN

Contribution to Bowls

£1,596.90

Not due until Community Building is handed over

10/01005/OUT

Homelands Farm, Gotherington Lane, Bishop’s Cleeve, GL52 8EN

"LEAP" means a 'local equipped area for play' commuted Sum (maintenance fee)

-

Not due or determined yet - if management company then no commuted sum

10/01216/OUT

Cleevelands, Evesham Road, Bishop’s Cleeve

"MUGA Maintenance Commuted Sum" (maintenance fee) means the sum of £16,421 (sixteen thousand  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Recommendations from Executive Committee

The Council is asked to consider and determine recommendations of a policy nature arising from the Executive Committee as follows:- 

27a

Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 161 KB

At its meeting on 26 August 2020 the Executive Committee considered the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts for 2021/22 and RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL:

1.   That the default Council Tax Reduction Scheme be ADOPTED effective from 1 April 2021 with a minor revision to the national working age regulations to allow for a de minimis tolerance for income changes.

2.   That authority be delegated to the Head of Finance and Asset Management, in consultation with the Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management, to agree the uprating of the working age regulations incorporated into the local Council Tax Reduction Scheme in line with those announced by the Department for Work and Pensions.

3.   That the following Council Tax discounts be ADOPTED effective from 1 April 2021:

·          The discount for unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties is 25% for a maximum period of six months.

·          The discount for properties which are vacant and require major repair work to render them habitable is 25% for a maximum period of 12 months.

·          The discount for unoccupied furnished properties (second homes) is zero.

·          An empty homes premium of an additional 100% is levied on properties that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least two years, but less than five years.

·          An empty homes premium of an additional 200% is levied on properties that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least five years, but less than ten years.

·          An empty homes premium of an additional 300% is levied on properties that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least ten years.

Minutes:

27.1          At its meeting on 26 August 2020, the Executive Committee had considered the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts 2021/22 and recommended to Council that the default Council Tax Reduction Scheme be adopted effective from 1 April 2021 with a minor revision to the national working age regulations to allow for a de minimis tolerance for income changes; that authority be delegated to the Head of Finance and Asset Management, in consultation with the Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management, to agree the uprating of the working age regulations incorporated into the local Council Tax Reduction Scheme in line with those announced by the Department for Work and Pensions; that the following Council Tax discounts be adopted effective from 1 April 2021: the discount for unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties is 25% for a maximum period of six months; the discount for properties which are vacant and require major repair work to render them habitable is 25% for a maximum period of 12 months; the discount for unoccupied furnished properties (second homes) is zero; an empty homes premium of an additional 100% is levied on properties that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least two years, but less than five years; an empty homes premium of an additional 200% is levied on properties that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least five years, but less than ten years; and an empty homes premium of an additional 300% is levied on properties that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least ten years.

27.2          The report which was considered by the Executive Committee had been circulated with the Agenda for the current meeting at Pages No. 15-20.

27.3          The Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee, who had chaired the meeting on 26 August 2020, proposed the recommendation and the Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management seconded it.

27.4          A brief discussion ensued, in which a Member questioned how ‘substantially unfurnished’ was defined. In response, the Revenues and Benefits Manager indicated that this was a property that was essentially devoid of furniture which someone would need to live there, e.g. no bed, however, if it had white goods it could still be deemed to be substantially unfurnished.

27.5          Accordingly, it was

RESOLVED    1.    That the default Council Tax Reduction Scheme be       ADOPTED effective from 1 April 2021 with a minor revision to the national working age regulations to allow for a de minimis tolerance for income changes.

2.       That authority be delegated to the Head of Finance and Asset Management, in consultation with the Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management, to agree the uprating of the working age regulations incorporated into the local Council Tax Reduction Scheme in line with those announced by the Department for Work and Pensions.

3.       That the following Council Tax discounts be ADOPTED effective from 1 April 2021:

·      The discount for unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties is 25% for a maximum period of six months.

·      The discount  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27a

28.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Annual Report pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To receive the annual report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

28.1          Attention was drawn to the report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 21-23, which attached the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s report that had been approved by the Committee at its meeting on 1 September 2020. The Council was asked to consider the contents of the report.

28.2          The Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee drew attention to Pages No. 24-53 of the Council papers and indicated that he was particularly pleased with how well the new Committee had bonded and carried on the good work of previous Members. This had been acknowledged by the Local Government Association Peer Challenge Team which had reported positively on the Committee’s contribution to the Council’s governance structure. He felt the report spoke for itself, demonstrating the breadth of work overseen by the Committee, and he was confident this would continue into 2020/21.

28.3          Within the Council’s work programme there were key plans to scrutinise, such as the new Council Plan, the COVID-19 Recovery Plan and the Peer Challenge Action Plan as well as key strategies such as climate change, housing and economic development and tourism.

28.4          The Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee was of the view that scrutiny would need to continue in the current virtual environment for the foreseeable future and he offered his thanks to both the Members and Officers for their efforts to ensure the success of the Council’s new virtual world. 

28.5          Accordingly, it was

                 RESOLVED           That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Annual Report be                           NOTED.  

29.

Audit and Governance Committee Annual Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 810 KB

To receive a report from the Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee. 

 

Any amendments made by the Audit and Governance Committee will be updated at the meeting.

Minutes:

29.1          The Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee drew attention to the Committee’s Annual Report 2019/20 which had been circulated at Pages No. 54-64. The Council was asked to consider the report which had been approved by the Committee at its meeting on 23 September 2020.

29.2          The Chair advised that the report demonstrated the breadth of items that were considered by the Committee. It received reports from a variety of sources that helped to give the Committee assurances that systems and processes were operating as they should be; those mainly came from the internal audit team, the Council’s external auditors, Grant Thornton, and the finance team. Similar to the previous Agenda item on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Annual Report, the Peer Challenge Team had commented positively on an area the Committee depended upon, that being the experienced, and technically strong, finance team which helped ensure the Council’s statement of accounts were signed off with a minimum of fuss.

29.3          The Committee’s biggest source of assurance came from the Council’s internal audit team. The team provided Members with an independent and objective opinion on its findings. Overall, as detailed in Pages No. 59-60 of the report, its findings were positive; however, where issues were identified, those were supported by recommendations for improvement and progress in implementing them was monitored by the Committee.

29.4          For the majority of 2019/20, internal audit work had been unhindered but, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and until recently, the three members of the internal audit team had been deployed to support the administration of business grants. Despite that situation, it had been a pleasure for the Committee to recently approve an audit plan for the next six months, with an audit resource now available to deliver that plan.

29.5          The Audit and Governance Committee Chair thanked the Members of the Committee for their support during the year and Officers, both internal and external, who reported into the Committee or supported its administration. He felt the Committee had adapted well to its virtual surroundings and he looked forward to the continued success despite the challenges faced.  

29.6          Accordingly, it was

                 RESOLVED           That the Audit and Governance Committee Annual Report                                            2019/20 be NOTED.

30.

Notices of Motion

30a

Local Electricity Bill

Councillor Cody will propose and Councillor Carter will second:

Power for People is a campaign for more local, clean energy generation that would benefit local communities.

They are a not-for-profit organisation campaigning for the Local Electricity Bill – that they authored – to become law. The Bill is currently supported by a cross-party group of over 200 MPs including Tewkesbury’s own MP Laurence Robertson.

The Bill aims to solve the current problem whereby local renewable energy generators, such as community energy groups, are unable to sell energy that they generate to local people. This is because of the huge setup and running costs involved in doing so.

The Bill would overcome this problem by establishing a Right to Local Supply that would make the costs of selling locally generated clean energy proportionate to the scale of the operation. This would benefit the existing community energy groups across the country and, even more excitingly, create the opportunity for huge growth in such groups and other local clean energy providers.

If the Bill became law it would be excellent news for public authorities that wished to set up their own energy companies to sell locally generated renewable energy to local people, as the set up and running costs involved would be proportionate and thus a fraction of what they are now. The revenues received by such authorities could be ploughed back into local emissions reduction schemes and other local services and facilities.

A full copy of the Bill and the names of the 200+ MPs supporting it can be viewed via the following link

https://powerforpeople.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Local-Electricity-Bill.pdf

A copy has also been emailed to all Members of the Council

In light of the above, the Council is asked to:

1.    sign up to the campaign www.powerforpeople.org.uk/sign-up and

2.    adopt the resolution set out below:

Tewkesbury Borough Council:

(i)    acknowledges that it has made efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy;

(ii)  recognises that Councils can play a central role in creating sustainable communities, particularly through the provision of locally generated renewable electricity;

(iii)  further recognises that:

a)    very large financial setup and running costs involved in selling locally generated renewable electricity to local customers result in it being impossible for local renewable electricity generators to do so,

b)    making these financial costs proportionate to the scale of a renewable electricity supplier’s operation would create significant opportunities for Councils and Community Groups to be providers of locally generated renewable electricity directly to local people, businesses and organisations, and

c)    revenues received by Councils that became local renewable electricity providers could be used to help fund local greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures and to help improve local services and facilities;

(iv)    in view of the above, the Council supports the Local Electricity Bill, currently supported by a cross-party group of more than 200  MPs, and which, if made law, would make the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate by establishing a Right to Local Supply  ...  view the full agenda text for item 30a

Minutes:

30.1          The Worshipful the Mayor referred to the Notice of Motion set out on the Agenda and indicated that, in accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure, it was necessary for the Council firstly to decide whether it wished to debate and determine the Motion at this evening’s meeting, or whether it wished to refer the Motion, without debate, to a Committee for consideration with authority either to make a decision on the matter or to bring a recommendation back to Council.

30.2          A Member expressed the view that, whilst he supported green energy initiatives in principle, he felt the Motion lacked detail in its current format and that it should be referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to consider and make a recommendation to the Executive Committee for decision.

30.3          A recorded vote was requested and, upon receiving the appropriate level of support, voting was recorded as follows: 

For

Against

Abstain

Absent

R A Bird

C L J Carter

 

J H Evetts

G F Blackwell

C M Cody

 

A Hollaway

G J Bocking

L A Gerrard

 

K J Cromwell

D J Harwood

 

 

M Dean

M L Jordan

 

R D East

H S Munro

 

P A Godwin

P W Ockelton

 

 

M A Gore

P E Smith

 

 

D W Gray

R J G Smith

 

 

E J MacTiernan

C Softley

 

 

J R Mason

R J Stanley

 

 

H C McLain

S A T Stevens

 

 

P D McLain

M G Sztymiak

 

 

J W Murphy

S Thomson

 

 

A S Reece

P N Workman

 

 

C Reid

 

 

 

J K Smith

 

 

 

V D Smith

 

 

 

P D Surman

 

 

 

R J E Vines

 

 

 

M J Williams

 

 

 

30.4          With 21 votes in favour and 15 against, it was agreed that the Motion would be deferred for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and recommendation to the Executive Committee for decision.

30.5          In accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure, the proposer was invited to briefly introduce her Motion. She indicated that one of the Council’s key priorities was ‘sustainable environment’ and she was of the view that this could be supported by the Local Electricity Bill. This was a cross-party Bill and 57 county and local authorities had already supported it, including 11 which were in overall Conservative control. She had not expected the Motion to be controversial and had hoped Members would be able to support it. Her view was that the Bill looked to the future and the Council’s support of it would help enable a better future for its residents. She welcomed the input of Overview and Scrutiny, and was pleased the Motion would be further discussed, but she felt it should not really be necessary. 

30.6          In line with the recorded vote, it was

RESOLVED           That the Motion be referred to the Overview and Scrutiny                                         Committee for consideration and recommendation to the                                         Executive Committee for decision. 

30b

Support for Increased Provision for Cyclists within Tewkesbury Borough

Councillor Munro will propose and Councillor Stanley will second

Cycling is an important component in plans to reduce traffic, improve air quality, keep our residents healthy and reduce our carbon emissions in the fight against climate change. The pandemic has shown that there is an appetite for cycling where this is safe and enjoyable, and it is important to build on this interest and continue to encourage those who do not usually cycle. The importance of cycling has been recognised by central government who are keen to develop cycle networks.

Similarly the Council has already included a commitment in its COVID-19 Corporate Recovery Plan to “build on our communities’ connections with green space, walking and cycling to encourage healthy, sustainable living and an appreciation of biodiversity”, and to include in our garden communities improved transport links and green infrastructure, including cycling routes.

Whilst recognising that cycling is primarily within the remit of Gloucestershire County Council, this Council is asked to do whatever it can to support safe cycling and the County Council in its efforts to develop a cycling network in our County. The County Council is proposing a cycle path to link Bishop’s Cleeve to Cheltenham, and Churchdown to Cheltenham which has the potential link to routes through to Tewkesbury, Ashchurch and the new Garden Town. Also, not to forget that small local journeys to our local shops, businesses and schools will reduce short journeys taken by car and it is short journeys that most people start to enjoy before moving to more ambitious cycle rides.

In view of the above it is a matter of concern that no work on the cycleway between Bishop’s Cleeve and Gotherington, which was agreed under a Section 106 Agreement to be built and paid for by developers, has commenced. The current position is that, while a date was given to start in April 2020, this was cancelled due to the pandemic and the latest information from the County Council is that the work is still with the highways legal team. This Council is asked to show its determination to get this cycle path built and demonstrate its commitment to improving cycle routes in our Borough.

Accordingly, the Council is asked to

·        Make a public statement that it supports initiatives to increase the take up of cycling and will ensure that, in all planning applications for major developments, provision will be made for cycle paths for both local and longer journeys.

·        Issue a statement of support to the County Council supporting its initiatives to develop a cycle network and its work to develop a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan for Tewkesbury, including a requirement that funding for schemes is identified.

·        Ask the County Council to prioritise the works of the highways legal team to ensure that the Bishop’s Cleeve to Gotherington cycleway is not delayed further, with a request for work to start on building the cycleway by the end of the current financial year.

Minutes:

30.7          The Worshipful the Mayor referred to the Notice of Motion set out on the Agenda and indicated that, in accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure, it was necessary for the Council firstly to decide whether it wished to debate and determine the Motion at this evening’s meeting, or whether it wished to refer the Motion, without debate, to a Committee for consideration with authority either to make a decision on the matter or to bring a recommendation back to Council.  

30.8          It was agreed that the Motion would be considered at the current meeting and, in accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure, the proposer of the Motion was invited to present the Motion. She explained that one of the few positives to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic was the increase in cycling that had been seen across the county when the roads had been quiet and her Motion sought to build on that. She felt it was a joy to explore the Borough on a bicycle and, whilst accepting that the Highways Authority was the lead authority in terms of cycleways, the Motion hoped to promote Tewkesbury Borough Council as a leader in supporting such initiatives. She was of the view that the kind of support offered could include press releases, social media, articles on the website and in the Borough News. The Motion also provided the opportunity for Tewkesbury Borough Council to show its support publicly for the County Council and its cycling and walking initiatives. In addition, she hoped Tewkesbury Borough Council could put pressure on the County Council to start the Bishop’s Cleeve to Gotherington cycleway. The seconder of the Motion agreed, and indicated that, essentially, the Motion asked the Borough Council to publicly confirm its support for cycling, as well as the County Council’s initiative on cycling, and asked the County Council to push forward a scheme which was well overdue.

30.9          During the discussion which ensued, a Member noted that sustrans had been an initiative for active travel which the Borough Council had supported several years previously and that had included a cycleway between Bishop’s Cleeve and Gotherington so he questioned why that had not yet been built. Another Member indicated that sustrans was still in existence and was creating a national network of cycling routes across the country working alongside County Councils. He knew the organisation had done a considerable amount of work in the Borough over the years but could not recall the previous discussions about a Bishop’s Cleeve to Gotherington cycleway.

30.10        The view was expressed that the Motion contained quite a lot of misunderstanding. The Member indicated that both the Borough and County Councils had done a lot of promotion of safe cycling and safe cycleways; specifically, Tewkesbury Borough Council had been asked by the County Council to put forward its top three schemes which it had done. He felt the reality was that the Borough Council had been promoting effective cycling for a long time and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30b

30c

Adjournment

Minutes:

30.19        The meeting was adjourned for a ten-minute break at 8:25pm. The meeting reconvened at 8:35pm with the same Membership present. 

30d

Transparency and Openness of Tewkesbury Borough Council Proceedings

Councillor Stanley will propose and Councillor Munro will second:

This Motion is in line with our Council Value to ‘Put Customers First’ to listen, treat our residents fairly and continuously improve our culture.

Members of the public have the opportunity to ask questions at full Council but do not currently have the right to ask any supplementary questions. This is not in line with other Gloucestershire Councils including Cheltenham, Cotswolds, Stroud and Gloucestershire County Council who all allow members of the public the right to ask a supplementary question following on from the replies they receive.

In terms of Minutes of Council meetings, the current practice at Tewkesbury Borough Council is for the Minutes of the previous full Council meeting to be published with the Agenda for the next meeting. Accordingly, the minutes for the last full Council on 28 July are not available on the Council website until seven working days before the next meeting. The same practice is followed for all other Committee meetings with the exception of the Executive Committee where a Decision Notice is published within three working days of the meeting.

Officers are fully supported by Members for their work to deliver accurate minutes of meetings and are thanked for their hard work in supporting Borough Councillors and the functions of the Council. This Motion is a request to change process at Tewkesbury Borough Council to improve openness and transparency of the Council’s proceedings.

Scrutiny is an essential part of the democratic process and therefore as many of the Council’s decisions should be made available to the public as soon as possible after meetings to aid transparency and trust in Council decision-making. As the Council and Executive are the main decision-makers, it is proposed that a Decision Notice is published for full Council along the lines as already exists for the Executive Committee. It is understood that this is achievable without the need for additional resources.

Accordingly, the Council is asked to

1.      Amend the scheme of Public Participation to allow members of the public the right to ask supplementary questions arising from the answers to their original questions, and

2.      Adopt the same practice that is followed for the Executive Committee and publish a Decision Notice for full Council within three working days of the meeting. 

Minutes:

30.20        The Worshipful the Mayor referred to the Notice of Motion set out on the Agenda and indicated that, in accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure, it was necessary for the Council firstly to decide whether it wished to debate and determine the Motion at this evening’s meeting, or whether it wished to refer the Motion, without debate, to a Committee for consideration with authority either to make a decision on the matter or to bring a recommendation back to Council.  

30.21        It was agreed that the Motion would be considered at the current meeting and, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, the proposer of the Motion was invited to present the Motion. He indicated that the Motion was intended to improve the Council’s transparency to residents as well as bringing Tewkesbury Borough Council into step with the other authorities in the county. In terms of members of the public asking supplementary questions, it was felt that offering a right of reply would enhance the experience and engagement of the public in the Council’s business which could only be a good thing in respect of the scheme of public participation. In relation to the publication of a decision notice following meetings of the Council, it was envisaged this would follow the same process as the Executive Committee decision notices which Officers had confirmed would be achievable taking account of current resources. The seconder of the Motion agreed with the proposer and expressed the importance of local government being seen to be open, transparent and accountable as well as encouraging members of the public to come forward and ask questions about things which were of concern to them. She also felt it was important to get decisions of the Council out into the public domain as quickly as possible.

30.22        During the discussion which ensued, a Member expressed the view that the Motion was a perfectly sensible proposal which would bring Tewkesbury Borough Council into line with other authorities. In agreement, another Member felt that community engagement should be encouraged and this meant offering residents the opportunity to respond to answers received; she was of the opinion that the Council could not be too open or too transparent and, as such, she would be supporting the Motion. In offering an alternative view, a Member indicated that the Borough Council had operated its current constitutional procedures for a very long time with no identified problems and therefore he was unsure of the need for the Motion. The recent Peer Challenge Review had commended the authority for the way it carried out its business; he felt the fundamental point was that the Council changed things through its constitutional structures following thorough investigation and considered analysis rather than on an ad-hoc basis through Council Motions and the Council should be proud of its open and transparent history. Another Member felt it was embarrassing to the Council that a member of the public could take the time to engage by asking questions and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30d

30e

Invitation to Gloucestershire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to Present its Latest Proposals for Cheltenham A&E

Councillor Stanley will propose and Councillor Jordan will second:

The Gloucestershire Health Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) meeting on 15 September 2020 of the Gloucestershire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, proposed to extend the three month closure of Cheltenham’s Type 1 A&E Department for a further six months. 

As a Council, the work that the NHS Trust has undertaken is very much appreciated and whilst the original three month closure was understood to help keep Cheltenham General ‘COVID Free’ during the height of the COVID transmission, in order that elective surgery could be resumed, the proposed extension requires further explanation.

In particular, the Council is concerned about the proposed six month extension both in terms of the A&E at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital having the capacity to cope with all A&E patients from the whole County together with the capacity of Emergency Ambulance services and that the additional six month extension could become a long term or permanent change. 

The Council has previously received presentations from the Clinical Commissioning Group in April and October 2019.

In the light of the proposed extension of the closure of Cheltenham A&E the Council is asked to invite the Clinical Commissioning Group to a further all Member event to present their latest proposals; the detailed arrangements for which would be undertaken by Democratic Services.  

Minutes:

30.31        The Worshipful the Mayor referred to the Notice of Motion set out on the Agenda and indicated that, in accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure, it was necessary for the Council firstly to decide whether it wished to debate and determine the Motion at this evening’s meeting, or whether it wished to refer the Motion, without debate, to a Committee for consideration with authority either to make a decision on the matter or to bring a recommendation back to Council.  

30.32        It was agreed that the Motion would be considered at the current meeting and, in accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure, the proposer was invited to present the Motion. He expressed his thanks to the NHS staff and the Gloucestershire NHS Trust for all their hard work, on a day to day basis as well as throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He also offered his thanks to the campaign, Restore Emergency at Cheltenham General Hospital (REACH) for its support with the Motion. It was understood that the three-month closure of Cheltenham General Hospital had been to keep it COVID-19 free and the extension was also for that purpose. However, he felt it was important that District Councillors were as well informed as possible prior to the consultation which was the reason for the request in the Motion; in addition, he understood that other Councils were preparing similar Motions so they were fully aware of the facts prior to the consultation. The seconder of the Motion indicated that the temporary closure of the Accident and Emergency department affected all residents and would have a potentially devastating effect if it became permanent. There had been a great deal of media coverage about the issue and she felt it would be helpful for Councillors to have the opportunity to question the Clinical Commissioning Group and hold it to account.

30.33        A Member indicated that he was not aware of anyone that did not oppose any intention to reduce or close Cheltenham Accident and Emergency department, as had been discussed when a previous Motion on the possible closure of the department had been submitted to Council. He was supportive of the sentiment of the current Motion but felt there was a need to consider COVID-19 and the role the Clinical Commissioning Group played in that and, for that reason, he proposed an amendment to make the point that, whilst the Council wanted to invite the Clinical Commissioning Group to explain its proposals, that needed to be at a time that was appropriate for them. Accordingly, he proposed “that this Council remains opposed to permanent closure or downgrading of Accident & Emergency facilities at Cheltenham General Hospital, in accordance with the Motion by Councillors Gore and Hollaway approved on 1 October 2019, and we fully support the effective work by local MPs Laurence Robertson and Alex Chalk in this regard. We thank the NHS Trust for its hard work and commitment during the COVID-19 emergency, and note that the recent three month  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30e