Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Council

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Municipal Offices. View directions

Contact: Rosalind Reeves, Democratic Services Manager 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Councillors Lillywhite, Mason and Payne had given their apologies.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No interests were declared.

 

Councillor Hobley declared an interest in agenda item 12- motion b as he was an employee of the British Legion. He would withdraw from the chamber for this item.

3.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 19 February 2018

Minutes:

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

 

Upon a vote it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on the 19 February 2018 be agreed and signed as a correct record.

4.

Communications by the Mayor pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Members that her engagements had not been included in the previous minutes but would be added as an appendix.

 

The Mayor informed Members that Colin Nye, former Chief Executive had recently passed away. A minutes silence was then held. Councillors Barnes and Harman then led tributes to Mr Nye.


Members were also informed of the recent passing of Cliff Ryde, former Director at the Council.

 

The Mayor then wished to put on record her thanks to the retiring Councillors Helena McCloskey, Chris Ryder, Pat Thornton, Jon Walklett and Colin Hay for their contributions to the council and their local communities.

 

The Mayor then informed Members of her recent and upcoming engagements. These are attached as an appendix to the minutes.

5.

Communications by the Leader of the Council

Minutes:

The Leader also wished to pay tribute to Colin Nye.


The Leader put on record his thanks to Councillor Stennett for his contribution over the years to the Board of Gloucestershire Airport from which he was standing down following its restructure.

 

Thanks were given to the Cabinet Member Healthy Lifestyles and those officers involved in the event to mark International Women’s Day.

 

The Leader then informed Members of the recent domestic homicide review which had highlighted what could be done better in terms of safeguarding.

 

The Local Plan consultation was now live and would run until 9 April. He thanked those officers who were involved in the recent roadshows in the Regent Arcade.


Finally the Leader also wished to thank all retiring Members for their contributions to the Council.  

6.

To receive petitions

Minutes:

None received.  

7.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 61 KB

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Tuesday 20 March 2018.

Minutes:

1.

Question from Mr Michael Ramstedt to the Cabinet Member Clean and Green Environment, Councillor Chris Coleman

 

As one of those affected by the shutdown of the crematorium on February 12th 2018.

Can the council guarantee that when the repairs are carried out that the cremators will be fit for purpose during the interim until the new crematorium is on line and that in the interim there will not be any ongoing maintenance issues going forward. And is the council getting value for money from the expensive service contract?

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

It is well known and a matter of public record that the Council has been experiencing problems with its cremator plant for several years, during which time many families have nevertheless received an acceptable quality service from our bereavement services team.

 

No authority or private crematorium can give a 100% guarantee that it will not have any technical issues with its plant, or that it will not have future maintenance problems. However, our maintenance provider has strongly advised the Council that our cremators are now safe to use and that they can be kept in a serviceable condition up until our new crematorium is ready to operate.

 

The current maintenance contract which the authority has with the company ATI was subject to our normal procurement arrangements which have been designed to secure value for money to the public purse. We will be assessing the performance of our contractor and may seek compensation if there is sufficient evidence to indicate a service failure under the terms of the contract.

 

In a supplementary question Mr Ramstedt queried why the cremators, which he had been advised still posed maintenance issues, were still being used, if this was in fact the case?

 

Whilst it was a matter of public record that there had been issues with for the cremators for some years, the Cabinet Member deeply regretted that these issues had resulted in the recent shutdown.  He assured Mr Ramstedt that lessons had been learned and though the service was not able to run at full capacity (and hadn’t for some time), officers were working tirelessly with the contractors to continue delivering a service.  

 

2.

Question from Mr Michael Ramstedt to the Cabinet Member Clean and Green Environment, Councillor Chris Coleman

 

Despite a complaint being raised, families affected during the disruption were not offered any support and the complaint not properly investigated. Are the Cheltenham and Tewkesbury bereavement services therefore fit for purpose and does the council have a robust and fair complaint customer service and carries out such investigations without bias?

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

Mr Ramstedt made a complaint to the Council via his ward councillor, which has been fully investigated and responded to in accordance with our corporate complaints’ procedure and at each stage, replies have been provided within 10 working days. Unfortunately, statements were made by Mr Ramstedt on social media regarding the processing of his complaint, which was not the appropriate or advised means of escalation.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Member Questions pdf icon PDF 65 KB

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Tuesday 20 March 2018.

Minutes:

1.

Question from Councillor Wilkinson to Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor McKinlay

 

Residents have reported that agency employed staff at Cheltenham Racecourse were being asked to work very long shifts and not offered suitable breaks during the recent Festival. Could the appropriate Cabinet Member confirm whether a 12-hour shift without breaks breaches any employment, licensing or other regulations that the council is responsible for monitoring? If so, what enforcement action can the council take?

 

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

The Working Time Regulations 1998 state provision for rest breaks at work and time off. They are not enforced by local authorities but an aggrieved employee can seek help from ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation, & Arbitration Service) if they are not satisfied with the response from their employer: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4489.

 

The Health & Safety Executive summarises the position with regard work breaks:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/faqs/workingtime.htm

 

There was no supplementary question.

 

2.

Question from Councillor Willingham to the Leader, Councillor Jordan

 

Would the Leader of the Council join me in thanking the hard working Council Officers in our Licensing team, and the Licensing Officers from neighbouring authorities and the Police, who worked very hard to try to keep the people of Cheltenham, and the visitors to our town, safe during race week?

 

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

Race week is very important to Cheltenham and the surrounding area both in terms of the boost to the economy and the chance if gives for local residents to enjoy a world class sporting event on our own doorstep. Running the event and in particular keeping people safe during it is a massive team effort and I would thank all those involved. This is a good example of partnership working between the local authorities and I thank them for them for their support.     

 

There was no supplementary question.

 

3.

Question from Councillor Willingham to the Leader, Councillor Jordan

 

Would the Leader of the Council also join me in thanking the other agencies and volunteer organisations, including the Police, the NHS and ambulance service, the street pastors, the guardians, the student community patrol, the taxi marshals, and cleansing staff from Ubico all of whom have worked antisocial hours to try to keep people safe during race week?

 

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

As mentioned in the answer to qu3 I would join in thanking all those involved and particularly given the antisocial hours required.  

 

There was no supplementary question but the Cabinet Member did highlight that the response to the question should have referred to qu2 rather than qu3.

 

4.

Question from Councillor Baker to Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor McKinlay

 

In the absence of any Government legislation to control or ban the use of single use plastic such as take away packaging, and the unlikelihood of any such legislation appearing in my life time, is there anything we can do as a Borough Council locally such as introducing new By-laws or planning conditions ?

 

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

Whilst Cllr Baker’s sentiment is entirely understood, planning conditions have to meet strict tests  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Place Vision pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Report of the Leader

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader introduced the report which set out progress to date in bringing forward a place vision document for Council approval following the initial vision agreed by to Council 12 months ago. It was also acknowledged that whilst Cheltenham Borough Council would take the lead in its development, the aim was for the strategy to be owned by everyone who had a stake in the success of Cheltenham. A wide range of groups had been involved in shaping the vision to date and it was an evolving process. He wished to put on record his thanks to Richard Gibson, Strategy and Engagement Manager and his team for their contributions in driving this forward.

 

The Leader then highlighted that the vision, ambitions and aspirations were laid down in paragraphs 2.7, 2.9 and 2.11 of the report respectively. For each ambition and for each aspiration clear action would be proposed and local partners would now work together to develop plans for how those actions could be made into a reality. He emphasised that there were two significant actions described in the document, the commitment to building more affordable housing which was the key thrust of the Joint Core Strategy and the Cyber-park which would generate employment and opportunities in the west of Cheltenham. The council could not deliver these in isolation but could play a significant role in making this happen by working in partnership.

 

In terms of next steps the council’s corporate strategy would translate issues from the place vision into actions for CBC. Alongside this a place governance group which will evolve out of the existing Cheltenham Strategic Leadership Group to manage the place agenda so all parties could be involved and sign up to it.

 

The following points were raised and responses given:

 

  • Was the Leader confident that the council had the resources to deliver CBC’s contribution to deliver the place vision? In response the Leader explained that the senior officer restructure was being undertaken with this in mind and he emphasised that this was not solely a CBC vision but a partnership vision. He acknowledged that the council was ambitious and it would do whatever it could within the resources available.
  • What method would be in place to measure the success of the outcomes ? The Leader highlighted that some indicative measures were set out in the document and also clarified that this was not for CBC to define but would be discussed in partnership with those involved.
  • Could the council now progress the tourism strategy now that the place vision was submitted for council approval ? The Leader explained that the tourism strategy had not been put on hold but had been approved and Marketing Cheltenham was now up and running.
  • Various strategies had been approved over the years but there should be continuity. In response the Leader said that although not all objectives had been achieved these had been important documents that had set out strategic objectives at the time . This new vision represented an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Interim corporate strategy action plan 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Report of the Leader

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader introduced the report and explained that the interim corporate strategy action plan set out a range of projects and initiatives where there was a current commitment. It was then proposed that a longer term corporate strategy be brought back to Council in July 2018 that would set out a longer term plan of action and a more robust performance management framework.

 

The Leader went on to explain that the two key strategic documents that had helped shape this year’s corporate strategy were the draft place strategy and the council’s medium term financial strategy. By aligning the corporate planning framework to the place strategy framework the council was making a statement in support of the place strategy and providing more detail about how the place aspirations would get delivered. He highlighted that the corporate strategy constituted the council’s Crime Reduction Strategy to comply with Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty which came into force in April 2011.

 

The Leader then highlighted that the council would drive forward and provide leadership on many issues (but not all) in the plan. He explained that the Cheltenham Transport Plan had been part of the vision for the town for a long time and would come to fruition this year with the reconnection of the High Street as a trial in June. This would provide economic and environmental benefits for the town. There was much work to be done and any consequences arising from this would have to be managed and would take a high profile in the next plan.

 

The corporate plan also incorporated elements of the MTFS and highlighted a number of investment opportunities.

 

The following points were raised by Members and responses given :

 

  • Boots Corner-the Cabinet Member Development and Safety stated that this represented 8 years of work and had been welcomed by businesses in the town and facilitated by a government grant of £6 million. Phases 1-3 of the Cheltenham Transport Plan were complete and had satisfied the predictions of the County Council’s traffic modelling. There was no reason to believe that phase 4, i.e. the closure of Boots Corner would not be successful. If it did then remedial action would be taken and changes introduced accordingly. On a point of personal explanation the Member explained that large pedestrian spaces were not always beneficial to those with visual impairments and the Leader agreed that various groups needed to be involved to ensure the area was accessible for all.
  • It was requested that there be a more joined up approach between the  Mayor’s role as an ambassador for Cheltenham and the BID and Marketing Cheltenham. The Leader explained that Marketing Cheltenham was relatively new and one of its early tasks was to coordinate a list of events as they were currently not easy to access.
  • Town centre CCTV-The Cabinet Member Development and Safety confirmed that CCTV would be undergoing a £260k upgrade and was currently in the procurement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Council diary 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Corporate Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Corporate Services introduced the report which proposed the diary of Council meetings for September 2018 to August 2019. He confirmed there had been no policy changes since last year.

 

A Member raised the issue of holding meetings in school holidays which proved difficult for those with school aged children. In response the Cabinet Member said that whilst  the aim was to avoid scheduling meetings in half terms, Christmas and August it was  very difficult to avoid other school holidays due to the amount of council business.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) THAT

 

The draft Council diary of meetings for September 2018-August 2019 be approved.

 

 

12.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Minutes:

Motion A

Proposed by: Councillor McKinlay and seconded by: Councillor Jordan

This Council welcomes the proposals by Highways England to improve the Highway at the “missing link” on the A417 at the Air Balloon, and believes that this development is vital to improve road access to the south of Cheltenham.

The Council recognises that Highways England are promoting two options, 12 and 30 in their consultation documentation.

Having considered the options this Council formally resolves

  1. To support option 30 as the most effective way to tackle the current traffic problems on the A417.

 

  1. Requests the Cabinet Member Development and Safety to formally respond to the consultation communicating the Council’s support for option 30.

 

As proposer of the motion, Councillor McKinlay offered members a brief explanation as to the background to this issue.  The Government had launched a consultation for the A417 “missing link” which would close on the 29 March.  He would ordinarily have put a response in his own name, but given the importance of the issue and the timeliness of this meeting, he had instead decided to raise the issue at Council.  He did stress however, that this did not prevent members from responding as an individual.  Members would be aware that the “missing link” had been a major bone of contention and the subject of lots of lobbying for some years and Highways England had finally undertaken an options appraisal.  Having narrowed 30 options down to 2, options 12 and 30, Highways England had said that whilst option 12 was cheaper, option 30 offered better value for money and though both options would result in a safe and reliable route, option 12 would have periods of reduced flow, whereas option 30 would be free-flowing.  Cotswold District Council had supported option 30 and Gloucestershire County Council would also be asked to endorse number 30 as the preferred option when they met on the 28 March.  In closing, Councillor McKinlay hoped that members would support this motion which represented the best resolution to a longstanding issue.

 

Councillor Jordan had been happy to act as seconder to the motion as he felt that the A417 should have been addressed at the same time as the Cirencester bypass.  This was not something that could be funded locally and therefore a unified message would be key and assuming members were support of the motion, a joint letter would also be submitted.

 

Members who spoke in support of the motion did so because they acknowledged that unified county-wide response would make for a stronger case and ultimately improve the chances of getting the desired outcome: investment which was long overdue. 

 

 

A member representative of the Cotswolds Conservation Board highlighted that this group had a conflicting view and had voted in favour (FOR: 19 / AGAINST: 9) of the inclusion of a tunnel option, which he hoped would not derail the process.  Another member, whilst fully intending to support the motion, did query why tunnel options had been dismissed by Highways England, for any  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

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

Minutes:

There were no urgent items requiring a decision.