Cheltenham Borough Council
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Agenda item

Notices of Motion

Minutes:

Motion A.

Proposed by: Councillor Clucas.

Seconded by: Councillor Horwood.

Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC) wishes to place on record its thanks to the Senior Doctors, Members of Parliament, Councillors, Parish Councils, residents and the REACH Board for their commitment to retaining services in their present form at Cheltenham General Hospital. The changes that had been proposed by the Hospitals’ Trust were for a General/GI Surgery Pilot which would have had significant negative impact on Cheltenham General’s service users, removing emergency cover for patients undergoing surgery or oncology treatment.

 The ‘pilot’, which was supported by GHNSFT and Gloucestershire CCG, was recently abandoned in response to a potential Judicial Review.  The threat of a JR should not have been necessary.

 CBC therefore requests Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) instruct the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee to undertake an enquiry covering:

 

1.            The extent to which GCCGs decision making process is independent of the decisions made by its provider (GHNHFST).

 

2.            The extent to which the GCCG has been involved with its other County counterparts when evaluating the Option 2 proposals concerning the transfer of general/GI surgery from Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) to Gloucester Royal Hospital (GRH).

 

3.            Whether a full and proper evaluation of Option 4 was undertaken concerning this transfer.

 

4.            How the Provider (GHNHSFT) and Commissioner (GCCG) debated and agreed Option 2, and whether it was done in contravention of NHS Service Change Guidance.

 

Having declared an interest in the item, Cllrs. Savage, Harman and Cooke left the chamber.

The Cabinet Member Healthy Lifestyles introduced the motion, which referred to an important issue in local healthcare provision, namely an ostensible ‘pilot’ scheme which was perceived to be an irreversible change to the relevant service. She explained that a large number of doctors registered their discontent with this, and the plan was abandoned after a potential Judicial Review was suggested. The motion requested that GCC, through its Overview and Scrutiny procedures, carry out an in depth and detailed analysis of its decision making process and report back.

Cllr. Horwood seconded the motion and praised the doctors involved for bringing the issue to public attention. He stated that it should not have been necessary to threaten a Judicial Review, and that there needed to be a proper review into how an unwanted option was allowed to progress so far, and how it could be ensured that the right decision was made next time. He suggested a change to the wording of the motion from ‘requests’ to ‘instructs’, which the Cabinet Member Healthy Lifestyles accepted.

Members made the following comments:

  • One member emphasised the importance of language, citing the trust’s use of the phrase ‘set aside’ rather than the more accurate ‘abandoned’ when referring to the scheme.
  • One member emphasised the need to keep the pressure on the trust, citing its lack of clarity regarding accountability and decision-making.
  • One member added that their experience of local healthcare provision around the country led them to believe that the Gloucestershire healthcare trust is the worst in the country, in terms of its direct link to residents. They praised the motion and asserted that they hoped it will bring forward a root and branch review of healthcare provision in Gloucestershire. The response was to acknowledge this experience and emphasised that the trust has neglected the needs of the people of Gloucestershire.
  • One member supported the motion, and sought to clarify how exactly the motion will be brought forward. The response was that the motion will be taken immediately to the highest possible authority, so at least the Council can be sure it has done everything it can. The Cabinet Member Healthy Lifestyles also suggested that if necessary, the Council could send a group to Parliament to appeal directly to the relevant minister.

The motion was unanimously passed.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 16:25.

The meeting was restarted at 16:44.

 

Motion B.

Proposed by: Councillor Clucas.

Seconded by: Councillor Fisher.

  1. That the approach taken to Local Green Space in the Cheltenham Plan, as a result of the Examination of that Plan and ongoing Local Plan Member Liaison Group work, be agreed by Council before public consultation on the Cheltenham Plan commences later in 2019.
  2. That should the LGS designations be not approved through the Cheltenham Local Plan Examination, all possible steps be taken to ensure that the LGS designations, formerly agreed for Swindon Village and Leckhampton, in the Local Plan be retained and confirmed.
  3. That should the LGS designations be not approved through the Cheltenham Local Plan Examination, all possible steps be taken to ensure that the LGS designations, formerly agreed for Swindon Village and Leckhampton, in the Local Plan be retained and confirmed.

The Cabinet Member Healthy Lifestyles introduced the motion, which related to the loss of green belt around the town, and asked that members support the motion.

Cllr. Fisher seconded the motion, noting that this issue had been going on for a number of years. He emphasised that the Council must recognise that it had a great responsibility to adhere to its principles, namely ensuring a high quality of green open space, and protecting natural habitats.

Members made the following comments:

  • One member supported the motion and acknowledged the need to balance housing requirements with the protection of green spaces. They spoke about the achievements of the green spaces project, and warned of the disproportionate power of unelected planning inspectors who can rule on whether areas of green space are extensive or not. They spoke about the importance of delivering sustainable development, and praised plans in Leckhampton and Swindon Village. They also stated that the Council owes a debt to individuals in the planning team for their work on this issue.
  • One member supported the motion and updated members on the Council’s current position. Sixteen green space designations have been recently obtained, two of which are the aforementioned sites in Leckhampton and Swindon Village. They stated they saw no point in advancing action against individual inspectors at this point.
  • One member warned against the apparent willingness of Members of Parliament to build on the green belt.
  • One member spoke about the importance of understanding the Council’s responsibility to the next generation, and criticised the reliance on obtaining a single inspector’s approval. He suggested that a vote be taken on this. One member seconded this, and emphasised the broader importance of green space as a major part of the town’s image and identity.
  • One member thanked members of the Executive Leadership Team for their work on this issue.

 

Upon the request for a recorded vote, the motion was unanimously passed.

 

Voting

For (24) : Roger Whyborn, Sandra Holliday, Victoria Atherstone, Matt Babbage, Paul Baker, Garth Barnes, Dilys Barrell, Nigel Britter, Jonny Brownsteen, Flo Clucas, Mike Collins, Stephen Cooke, Bernard Fisher, Wendy Flynn, Tim Harman, Steve Harvey, Rowena Hay, Alex Hegenbarth, Karl Hobley, Martin Horwood, Peter Jeffries, Steve Jordan, Andrew McKinlay, Tony Oliver, Dennis Parsons, John Payne, Louis Savage, Diggory Seacome, Malcolm Stennett, Jo Stafford, Simon Wheeler and Max Wilkinson.

Against (0)

Absentions (0)

 

Supporting documents: