Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Municipal Offices

Contact: Saira Malin, Democracy Officer 

No. Item


A moment of reflection


Reverend Robert Pastelli invited members to take a moment of reflection.




Councillors Smith, Lansley, Garnham, Hibbert, Wheeler, Thornton and Prince had given their apologies. 


Councillors Smith and Thornton subsequently arrived late at the meeting.  


Councillor Garnham had asked that the Mayor explain that his apologies had been given on two counts, firstly as the Chairman of Gloucestershire Police Authority he had to be present at their last ever meeting which was also scheduled for this afternoon and secondly as he had declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 10 (Joint Core Strategy) and therefore should not take part in the debate.



Declarations of Interest


No interests were declared at the meeting.


Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 499 KB

25 June 2012


The minutes of the last meeting had been circulated with the agenda.


Councillor Teakle proposed an amendment to the minutes of Agenda Item 9 (Petition Regarding Weavers Field).  She felt that the amendment being proposed would provide clarity to members of the public that whilst she had supported the motion she had commented that the scheme as it stood was unacceptable to her.  Councillor Jordan seconded the amendment being proposed which related to the paragraph starting “A number of members”:

“A number of members, including Councillor Teakle, urged the Cabinet Member Sustainability to recognise the value of Weavers Field as a habitat and a space enjoyed by many for a variety of reasons. The invitation for further discussion with the representatives of the petitioners and ward members was welcomed. Councillor Teakle also stressed that the scheme as it stood was completely unacceptable as 88 allotments would cover the most attractive and scenic open space for walking.  She wondered if it would be possible in the proposed discussions to look at amending the scheme (perhaps with fewer allotments on a less scenic area with reduced car parking space) in a way that might me more acceptable to all parties.”

Councillor McLain’s recollection of the debate was that a number of members from across the chamber had made a variety of comments and they had not been named. Councillor Teakle explained that a number of her constituents had raised queries with her regarding the debate and she felt that the proposed amendment set the record straight.  The Mayor explained that it was not normal practice to name individual Councillors unless specifically requested.

Upon a vote the amendment was CARRIED.


Upon a vote it was


RESOLVED that the amended minutes of the meeting held on the 25 June 2012 be agreed and signed as an accurate record.



Communications by the Mayor


The Mayor raised the issue of member attendance at Civic events.  Recent events such as Battle of Britain and the upcoming Remembrance Sunday were important to people in the town and he hoped members would make an effort to attend. 


He was pleased to report the news that Rosehill Street had been opened again following the gas explosion.


Despite the inclement weather over the summer it had been an exciting and enjoyable period what with the Jubilee and Olympics and he felt this had lifted the mood in Cheltenham and across the country.  He sympathised greatly with those that had put a great deal of effort into organising events only to have to cancel them at the last minute as a result of the inclement weather we had endured this summer. 


Communications by the Leader of the Council


The Leader had no communications.


Public Questions

These must be received no later than 12 noon on the fourth working day before the date of the meeting (18 September 2012)


The following responses were given to the 8 public questions received;



Question from Leckhampton Green Land Action Group (LEGLAG) to the Leader of the Council


Is the Joint Core Strategy team that is working on behalf of the Council aware of the merits of carrying out periodic reviews of the 20-year plan (perhaps every five years)?  That is to say, will they adopt a "plan, monitor and manage" approach that could take into account both the likely effects of the existing economic recession on its short-term housing requirement forecast and the possible effects of a long-continued recession on the longer-term requirement?


Response from the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jordan


Yes. The JCS will need to be periodically reviewed as part of a plan, monitor and manage approach. It will also need to ensure that a flexible approach is taken, which is capable of responding dynamically to changing economic circumstances.


Question from Leckhampton Green Land Action Group (LEGLAG) to the Leader of the Council


Is the JCS team going to adopt a "Brownfield First" policy in line with the "core planning principle" in the new National Planning Policy Framework requiring planning authorities to "encourage the use of brownfield land"?  If not, how will they carry out this encouragement?


Response from the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jordan


The NPPF does require planning policies to encourage the effective use of land by re-using land that has been previously developed and the JCS authorities are supportive of this principle. Precisely what policy wording will be included in the Preferred Option version of the JCS will need to be considered by all three authorities prior to publishing the next stage of the document for consultation.     


The JCS will have phasing policies which consider the timing and release of sites over the 20 year plan period and which encourage the development of brownfield sites, but this approach needs to be sufficiently flexible to respond to changing circumstances.


Supplementary question


Is the Council aware that approximately ¾ of residents who responded to the JCS consultation preferred scenario A and the lowest number of new houses?


Supplementary response


Yes the Council is aware of the feedback from the consultation, welcomes such feedback and will look at it and listen to what residents said but it was important that people remember that this was not a referendum.


Question from Save the Countryside to the Leader of the Council


Can the Leader confirm that in the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) public consultation, 3 out of 4 respondents preferred Scenario A instead of Scenario B,C or D.


Response from the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jordan


The public consultation does indicate that of those respondents who expressed a view relating to the four scenarios, Scenario A was the most popular. However it will be important to ensure that the JCS is found sound at the examination stage.  


Supplementary question


Considering your response in which you acknowledge that Scenario A was the most popular what other  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Member Questions


The following responses were given to the 5 member questions received;



Question from Councillor Regan to Cabinet Member Housing and Safety


Could the Cabinet Member please advise this council of the latest plans for changes to the Council Housing Benefit, particularly the under 25's. Could the Cabinet Member also reassure the council that any changes will not effect the viability of schemes such as the proposed YMCA housing project, especially if the young people cannot pay for the accommodation.


Response from Cabinet Member Housing and Safety, Councillor Jeffries


Other than the Universal credit which is due to be launched next year (2013),  there are no plans that I am aware of that specifically affect the under 25’s, but the Council will be monitoring the position as welfare changes are introduced. The impact of welfare reform on 3rd party organizations projects is not something I can comment on.


Question from Councillor Regan to Cabinet Member Sustainability


Could the Cabinet Member inform this chamber what action is being taken to collect discarded side litter where UBICO refuses to collect due to the new instructions emanating from his department in the Hatherley area?


Response from Cabinet Member Sustainability, Councillor Whyborn


The Council is now undertaking a programme of awareness and enforcement to remind people that their waste should be contained within the bin with the lid closed, and there should be no side waste, or waste placed on top of a bin. The awareness campaign is being rolled out in a planned way across the town so that residents are given every opportunity before any formal enforcement action is taken. This is being piloted in SW Cheltenham.


The scenario you imply of side waste being left on the street will not occur because the agreed action is that Ubico never leave any side waste at the side of bins. Where residents have presented side waste or overfilled bins, initially it is all taken, but once the householder has had a certain number of warnings, at that point all waste is taken except one bag - a warning will be left on the bin, or the bag tagged. The one bag is replaced into the bin and not just left as side waste. Ward councillors are being advised of the process as the awareness campaign is rolled out across the town.


Question from Councillor Hall to Cabinet Member Sustainability


On February 29th 2011 at the final Environment Overview and Scrutiny committee meeting I made my 3rd request to you in 3 years for up to date information to be placed on the CBC website pages on the street cleaning policy.

On each occasion I was assured that it would be done.


Today, Monday 17th September 2012 I note that the information has at last been placed on the website.  Please can the Cabinet Member explain why it has taken so long for the council tax payers of Cheltenham to be able to access this basic information?


Response from Cabinet Member Sustainability,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) regarding Members' Scheme of Allowances pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Report of the Director of Commissioning

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member Corporate Services introduced the report.  In his introduction he explained that the Independent Remuneration Panel had received a report on the new Standards arrangements in July following Council’s decision in June to adopt a new local code of conduct and continue to have a Standards committee but in a new format.  The new Standards committee was made up of a politically balanced group of seven elected members and two Independent Persons who will be in attendance to offer their advice to the committee but will not have a vote.  The chair will be a borough councillor elected by the committee at its first meeting and the committee has not met yet. In May, Council had resolved that the Independent Person should receive an allowance of £300 per annum plus travelling expenses.  This did not form part of the members allowance scheme and an additional allowance for attendance at the Standards Committee was not appropriate. The previous SRA for the chair of the Standards Committee was determined on the basis of 12 meetings per year, a MEDIUM level of experience and knowledge and a HIGH level of responsibility and risk.  Using the current basis of calculations, the SRA came out at £907 per annum. In practice the number of meetings was much less.  Under the new regime, the Monitoring Officer would be responsible for considering the initial complaint in consultation with the Independent Person(s). This should reduce the number of trivial complaints which come before the committee and as it is no longer statutory committee, the IRP took all this into account and reduced the level of risk and responsibility for the chair from HIGH to MEDIUM.  With an estimated 4 meetings per year this produces an allowance for the chair of the new Standards Committee as £302 per annum. There were no budgetary implications as this will be covered by the current budget for members allowances.


Upon a vote it was (unanimously)



  1. That the Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) for the chair of Standards Committee  under the new Standards arrangements should be set to £302 per annum, effective from 1 July 2012.
  2. That all other aspects of the Members Allowance Scheme remain unchanged.
  3. That the director of commissioning be authorised to implement any necessary changes to the scheme of allowances and the Borough Solicitor and Monitoring Officer be authorised to make any necessary changes to Council’s constitution.



Joint Core Strategy Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury - Housing Needs Assessment Report pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Report of the Leader

Additional documents:


The Leader introduced the item by highlighting some key points.  The process to date had been a long and complicated one but without a Local Plan the Council would be indefensible against a development free for all.  As such it was in the best interest of the Council to get a Local Plan in place and working with Tewkesbury and Gloucester would ultimately benefit all three authorities. 


There was still some important work to be done with regard to household sizes and economic growth.  He felt that this was an important point in the process with work towards a preferred option emerging in Spring 2013 after taking into account social and economic figures.


Consultation on a range of options had taken place between December 2011 and February 2012 and he thanked the thousands of residents that had responded. He reminded members that this was not simply a referendum and although they would endeavour to incorporate the views of local people, the end result must be sound and open to inspection.   


The National Planning Policy Framework (NPFF) emerged in March 2012 and there was a need to fully understand its implications.  Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) were appointed after a tender process to assist with reviewing the JCS evidence so far and objectively assessing the need for housing.


The NLP report was circulated only two weeks ago and members had been invited to attend a presentation.  The Joint Member Steering Group had then agreed the seven draft resolves and a covering report produced by Officers which offered their advice.  The Leader was now proposing amendments to the resolutions (copies of which had been circulated throughout the chamber and public gallery).  He explained that these amendments addressed local concerns for Cheltenham and that the other authorities may have their own similar concerns. He explained each resolution in turn;


1.            Historically population projections had been calculated by Gloucestershire County Council but given recent staff reductions there was no longer capacity for them to continue to do this.  NLP advocated the use of Department for Communities and Local Government and the Office of National Statistics data in forming the methodology.


2.            He took issue with some of NLP’s dismissals of consultation responses but stressed that at this stage Council was only being asked to ‘note’ this commentary and advice.  No evidence had yet been presented to back up the conclusions.


3.            He considered the population projection to be the least disputed figure given that the projection spanned a 20 year period but he felt that it was also fair to say that the dwellings figure (28,500) was not without controversy. 


4.            Added by the Leader this recommendation aimed to address concerns about the estimated household size where different methods of calculation produced conflicting results and for which there was evidence to suggest that the trend in household size was broadly static.


5.            Added by the Leader this recommendation would form part of the debate about where the economy was heading and he did not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Notices of Motion


No notices of motion had been received.


To receive petitions


No petitions were submitted, nor had any been received since the last meeting.


Any other item the Mayor determines as urgent and which requires a decision


There were no urgent items for discussion.