Report on County Council Matters to North Nibley Parish Council

6th July 2020


Daily Briefings

The County Council is continuing to send out briefings every weekday to county councillors, district councillors and parish clerks.

Testing sites

The fixed site at Hempsted Meadow became operational in May offering around 700 tests per day. The mobile testing unit, previously at Oxstalls, is trialling new locations across the county and has a capacity for about 300 tests per day. So far it has visited Bourton-on-the-Water and Stratford Leisure Centre, Stroud. As well as increasing local testing capacity on the days it operates and making them even easier for more people to access, trialling sites now will help to ensure, if called upon, the unit can be quickly set up at tried and tested location.  The county is said to have more capacity for testing than is needed.

On 30th June, the County Council published the first edition of its Covid-19 local outbreak management plan. Full details can be found at:

https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/covid-19-information-and-advice/gloucestershire-covid-19-local-outbreak-management-plan/


Schools

On 15th June KLB opened to Y10 and Y12 students on a limited basis as no more than 25% of the students can be in the school at the same time. Most students agreed to return on that basis. Further information is available on the KLB website.


Meetings

Most County Council meetings have resumed and are using Webex. They can be watched via the GCC website and YouTube. A full meeting of the County Council was held on 24th June:


Five motions were discussed:


Fast tracked introduction of “school streets” schemes, (Lib Dem). The intention was that where possible driving would be prohibited in the vicinity of a school at times when pupils were arriving and leaving. A number of cities have already introduced these. They are included in statutory guidance issued by the Government Transport Secretary. Clearly there are many schools where that would not be possible, but a requirement not to allow engines to idle outside schools could be introduced.

Conservative members wanted to restrict this to one existing trial scheme and used their majority to have the motion was referred to the July meeting of the Cabinet, where they hold all the seats.


Celebrating Gloucestershire Volunteers (Lib Dem/Labour) As the lead authority in the county, the Council calls for GCC to establish a series of events to recognise and celebrate the exceptional efforts of residents and public servants, and to establish permanent memorials to acknowledge

both the volunteers and the tragic loss of so many members of our community. This was agreed unanimously.


Climate Change (Labour/Green) This Council asks the Cabinet member for Environment and Planning who is responsible for climate change strategy to produce a report to Council after

consideration by the Environment* Scrutiny Committee on what lessons the Council has learnt during Covid-19 that the County Council can apply to its policies and practices to meet our climate change targets and produce a cleaner, greener post-Covid County.

* the original motion referred it to a different, overarching, scrutiny committee. The above wording was a Conservative amendment which they won. The substantive motion was agreed unanimously.


Establishment of a local contact tracing system to stop Covid-19 (Green)

The Council to call for the establishment of a locally based, trusted and reliable contact tracing system in Gloucestershire. This was lost through concern at the number of council staff and financial support that would be needed.


Promoting Cycleways (Labour)

To encourage more cycling the Council proposes that a portion of the Government’s grant is used to positively promote cycling by communicating routes, both functional and recreational, through extensive publicity. And that this Council considers measures that could be put in place for the safe storage of bicycles in various locations, covered lock-ups not just racks.

It was pointed out that the Council did not have the power to do this and it was amended to call for the Cabinet member to provide the resources for this and agreed unanimously,



Remote meetings

A later item on the County Council agenda included notification of a section nine pages long adding Remote Meetings Protocol and Procedure Rules to the County Council’s Constitution. This was done by the Monitoring Officer using his delegated powers.





John Cordwell

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