Report on County Council Matters to North Nibley Parish Council

1st October 2018

County Council meeting 12th September The motions considered and the outcomes were:

Accessibility through the Shire Hall complex (Lab/Lib): To carry out an audit and implement the findings to make it easier for people with disabilities get around the buildings. (Tabled for the previous meeting, but the time allowed for motions had run out.) Unanimous support.

Call for a People’s Vote on Brexit (Lib Dem): Seeking County Council support for this to take place. Conservatives all voted against, so it fell. The rest voted for the motion apart from two Labour abstentions.

Diabetes (Lib Dem): The motion refers specifically to Type 1 diabetes and calls on the County Council to coordinate an awareness campaign on its symptoms and dangers with Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Gloucestershire’s schools, including academies. Unanimous support with a minor amendment that it should also go to the Health and Care Overview Scrutiny Committee.

Ethical Care Charter (Labour): Asking the Council to sign up to this charter to support the “committed but poorly paid and treated” homecare workforce. So far 30 councils and a number of social care companies have signed up to this. In fact, the County Council already achieves much of what is in the charter. Conservatives argued that they had no control over the way care companies worked. The counter-argument was that the council could decide which companies it employed. The motion was lost.

Extraordinary meeting of the County Council on the rise of the previous meeting

The Green Party members of the council with Liberal Democrat and Labour support had called for this meeting. It asked for the appointment of a cabinet member with specific responsibility for mitigation and adaptation in response to climate change.

The day before the meeting the Conservatives sent a press release to the media (not via the council’s press office, so other council members had to pick it up in the media) saying they had appointed an extra cabinet member, making a total of ten, and rejigged two cabinet portfolios. They also amended the wording of the motion, which the Green Party proposers accepted. It was then carried unanimously.

Under repeated subsequent questioning from Liberal Democrats, the newly appointed Conservative Cabinet Member for Climate Change refused to confirm or deny his belief in manmade climate change… 

Term maintenance contract

As you have probably read, Ringway have won this contract, worth £245M. The contract is set to begin on 1st April. It is initially for seven years with an option to extend it year-on-year for a further four years to 2030.

As with the award of any new contract, we are now in a ten-day ‘standstill’ period. Subject to no comments being received, the final award will be made on 5th October.

Household Recycling Centres

As has happened previously, the winter opening hours from 28th October to 30th March will be shorter than those in the summer, being from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Much more controversial was a decision that all the HRCs would close one day mid-week on a permanent basis starting on 28th October. Pyke Quarry will be closed on Wednesdays. It was argued that people could go to the next nearest one which from here would be Hempsted which will close on Thursdays. From Stone to Pyke Quarry is a round trip of 23 miles. To Hempsted it is 35 miles.

John Cordwell

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