Report on County Council Matters to North Nibley Parish Council

4th December 2017

Local Highways Manager

As I have mentioned in an email, Andrew Middlecote is moving to the Forest of Dean and will be replaced by Paul Helbrow. Paul has previously worked for Stroud District Council.

I have passed on concerns about various issues in Waterley Bottom to Andrew.

County Council 6th December

The full council next meets on Wednesday. There are five motions on the agenda, three of which failed to get debated at the last meeting as the two-hour slot for motions ran out. It will be interesting to see what happens this time!

Highways Contract

The Highways Cabinet Panel is meeting monthly during the process of awarding the new contracts, most recently on 7th November. The process remains on schedule with the term maintenance contract due to be awarded next September.

Children’s Services

As you may have heard, an Ofsted letter sent to Gloucestershire County Council on 18th October has now appeared in the public domain. The letter summarises the findings of the recent monitoring visit to Gloucestershire’s children's services and is the first since these services were found to be inadequate in the Ofsted report published on 13th June 2017.

In the latest visit, Ofsted inspectors saw some recent improvements, but children in need of help and protection in Gloucestershire continue to experience delay at every point of their involvement with children’s services.

Community Transport

The November Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee was advised that changes are being considered by the Government following a court challenge which could significantly impact on the operation of community transport in the county. Sectors particularly impacted will be dial-a-ride and community minibus provision who carry some of the county’s most vulnerable service users.

A Government Transport Select Committee Inquiry into the issue is taking place. We were told that the GCC cabinet member was making a written response to this. I asked for a copy, but have yet to receive it. (Requests made at committee meetings frequently seem to get forgotten and have to be chased!)

A full government consultation is anticipated later this year. Community Transport operators have contacted the county’s MPs.

John Cordwell