Briefing from Cabinet Members
The Cabinet Member Cyber and Strategic Transport noted that this was his last Cabinet meeting after 31 years as a councillor, and wished to put on record his thanks to Members and officers for their support, both past and present. The Leader thanked the Cabinet Member Cyber and Strategic Transport for his service, noting that he had been Leader when she was first elected, and that his knowledge and experience had been invaluable. The Cabinet Member Safety and Communities echoed this.
The Cabinet Member Safety and Communities reported that she had been approached by the LGA to take part in a new commission on culture and economy, and was looking forward to first meeting of this. The Large Enterprise Action Group had also met with schools in an event organised by the Cheltenham Education Partnership, with over 150 young people turning up to talk about key issues such as inequality. Finally, she reported that Bristol University was setting up a global centre for political renewal, and would run commissions over the next few years to look at how politics could serve people better, and she was looking forward to engaging with this.
The Cabinet Member Customer and Regulatory Services reported that the proposed revised policy for private hire vehicles (designed to align both their wheelchair accessible vehicles policy and emissions policy) was open for consultation and would also be considered by the Licensing Committee (Miscellaneous) on 6th April. He noted that the Cabinet Member Cyber and Strategic Transport had been an integral part of ensuring that this council pursued an ambitious WAV policy in his previous portfolio, and thanked him for this.
The Cabinet Member Culture, Wellbeing and Business reported that the Information Exchange modular pod in the High Street would be fully installed by the end of the week, offering an opportunity for cultural providers, local businesses and charities to promote their activities and offers. The pod could be either staffed or not staffed, and there would be a three month trial period to see how it went. She added that following on from a question from the Cabinet Member Safety and Communities at a previous meeting, the Parks team would put up advisory signs regarding 14 major allergies in five of the largest parks in the town over the next few months.
The Cabinet Member Waste, Recycling and Street Services reported that a significant step had been taken towards refurbishing the public toilets in Montpellier Gardens. The refurbished facility would include a changing facility for severely disabled people. Following on from Cabinet approval in principle last year, significant national funding for this redevelopment was secured, and subsequently a project board set up by CBC to aid its delivery met for the first time last week. There were similar facilities in three locations in the town already, namely at the Leisure Centre, Pittville Park and the High Street, but not in the southern town centre.
The Leader added that they were in the process of going through ward boundary changes, and had made a submission to the parliamentary boundary review. Hearings had been held in Gloucester recently, which several councillors attended. She hoped it would be an open and transparent process that ensured equal representation and benefitted residents.
Decisions of Cabinet Members
The Cabinet Member Finance and Assets reported that he had taken a decision on the 3rd March relating to the service and maintenance of fire alarm systems, fire safety equipment and an emergency lighting contract.
The Leader reported that she had taken an urgent decision on 16th March to agree to the proposed increases in hackney carriage fares, and emphasised the importance of supporting drivers in light of the substantial increase in the cost of fuel.
In the absence of the Cabinet Member Housing, the Leader reported that he had taken a decision on 22nd March to award grant funding of £9000 for 2022-23 to Gloucestershire Action of Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS). GARAS did hugely important work and needed the support, especially considering the arrival of Ukrainian refugees.
The Cabinet Member Cyber and Strategic Transport reported that he had made two decisions to support the delivery of the Golden Valley development. On 24th March he had extended the appointment of Trouwers, while on 4th April he had extended a contract with Avison Young.