Venue: Council Chamber. View directions
To receive apologies for absence.
There were apologies from Councillors Brine, Trina Davis, Stephen Davies, Fryer, Gray, Hoskin, Hurst, Jockel, Mossman, Oxley, Watson.
Declaration of Interests
To receive declarations of interest.
There were none.
To receive announcements from the Chair of Council.
The Chair made the following announcements:
The Leader made the following announcements:
Public Question Time
The Chair of the Committee will answer questions from members of the public submitted in accordance with the Council’s procedures.
Public questions were submitted. They were answered by the Leader, Councillor Cornell. (Refer to the recording of the meeting).
To approve the minutes of the meetings held on 21 October 2021 and 17 February 2022.
RESOLVED That the Minutes of the meeting held on 21 October 2021 and 17 February 2022 were approved as a correct record
Recommendations from other Committees
To present the 21-22 Annual Report on the 2030 Strategy and Master Plan for endorsement.
The Chair of Environment Committee, Councillor Turner, introduced the report and commended the work of her predecessors which included Simon Pickering the previous Chair of Environment Committee. They highlighted the following key points:
Proposed by Councillor Turner and seconded by Councillor Layfield.
Councillor Layfield welcomed the 2030 report and offered thanks to Officers and Councillors involved in producing it. He drew attention to signs of progress which included a commitment to £180m spend over 30 years on retrofit to bring the council owned housing stock up to SAP C rating. He also stated that 2030 was rightly prioritised within the Council Plan and commended the councils ability to engage with partners from all sectors.
Councillor Braun commended the effort that had been put into the 2030 ambitions from all sides of the chamber and through committees. They reminded Members of the recent UN report that identified that there needed to be rapid deep and immediate cuts to carbon dioxide to limit dangerous climate change and that the current promises from government weren’t enough to save the planet.
Councillor Brown echoed Councillor Layfields’ statements regarding working with other partners and the council’s recognition of this has helped them to make progress towards the 2030 ambitions.
In response to Councillor Studdert-Kennedy the Senior Community Services Officer confirmed that Stratford Park had won the Green Flag award every year since it had first won.
Councillor Green raised concerns about meeting the 2030 objectives and asked whether the council was going to achieve the 2030 aims. Councillor Turner advised that the report showed just one year of a 7-year plan and that they were making good progress.
In summing up Councillor Turner drew Members attention to the highlights and progress listed on page 45 of the document pack.
On being put to the vote, the Motion was carried unanimously.
RESOLVED To endorse the Environment Committee decision to approve the 2021-2022 Annual Report for the 2030 Strategy and Master Plan.
The purpose of this report is to receive the recommendations of the Review Panel in the review of street or building names and monuments in the Stroud District.
The Chair of the Review Panel, Councillor Bennett, introduced the report and advised that since the worldwide Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020, the Council had committed to carrying out consultation with its communities and undertaking a review of any street and building names, statues and architectural features in the district that may have been considered offensive. They thanked the Review Panel for all of the work they had put into the review over the last 11 months. A public consultation had been launched in 2021 and over 1600 responses were received which helped the panel to compile the recommendations laid out in the report. The Review Panel had concluded, following the consultation, that the Blackboy Clock and Statue should not be on display in the public realm but should be redisplayed with detailed interpretation in a place that provided learning and education. The recommendation that Council was being asked to consider was to explore if removal of the statue could be achieved. Councillor Bennett also drew Members attention to the additional recommendations of the Review Panel.
Councillor Bennett invited some of the Review Panel Members, who attended the meeting, to give their thoughts.
Mr Guthrie, community representative on the Review Panel, highlighted the following:
· They had written to the council in June 2020 regarding the clock
· Thanked the Review Panel members, family and friends for support
· They had taken the time to read through the 1600 responses and take on board what the consultations responses said.
· Asked Members to think of the report as a series of starting points rather than an ending
· The conversation about how the district could become more inclusive for everybody needed to continue.
Ms Hoskin, community representative on the Review Panel, highlighted the following:
· Impressed by the thoroughness of Stroud District Council in conducting the public consultation and the processing of the results.
· People were beginning to realise that diversity enriched communities.
· Encouraged by the proposal of a task force that could implement some of the ideas.
Mr Butler, historian and member of Radical Stroud on the Review Panel, highlighted the following:
· The conception of education should go beyond the demographic of youth.
· Resources should be developed for community education in a variety of accessible ways, means and media.
· Community education could strengthen community cohesion.
The chair thanked the Review Panel members.
Councillor Pearson raised concerns regarding the validity of the consultation results and whether it was a representative snapshot of views across the district. Councillor Bennett confirmed that based on the electorate for the district, which was around 96000, a representative sample would be 1,058 with a margin of error of 3%. The number of consultation responses received was above the numbers needed for a standard representative sample for the district.
In response to further questions from Councillor Pearson, Councillor Bennett confirmed that until January 2022 they believed that the residents of the building owned the clock and statue and they had consulted with them. However, it became apparent that the ... view the full minutes text for item CL.052
To set out the progress that has been made in meeting the Council’s Equality Objectives during 2021/22 and the proposed action that will be taken during 2022/23.
Councillor Kay thanked Officers for providing constant help and positive input. They stated that equality work needed ongoing effort by everyone for it to work and that the efforts over the past year had laid a solid grounding. The following was highlighted:
Proposed by Councillor Kay and seconded by Councillor Bennett.
Councillor James asked the council to ensure they were using gender neutral languages throughout all documentation. It was confirmed that the Constitution Working Group would be looking at this.
Councillor Bennett encouraged members to vote in favour of the report and the ambitious plan that had been created.
CouncillorKay thanked all members of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.
On being put to the vote, the Motion was carried.
RESOLVED a) Note the progress made on the EDI Action Plan 2021/22;
b) Approve the EDI Action Plan 2022/23.
To approve the adoption of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims Definition of Islamophobia – “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness” – together with the explanatory guidelines put forward by the Coalition Against Islamophobia.
Councillor Layfield introduced the report and stated that Islamophobia created barriers and division where there should be openness and inclusion. He advised that it was incumbent on them as Councillors and as a Council to acknowledge the presence of islamophobia in society and do everything they could to eradicate it.
Proposed by Councillor Layfield and seconded by Councillor Aldam.
Councillor Kay advised that he had spoken to members of the Gloucestershire Bangladeshi community and they were supportive of the proposal and would like to participate in any follow up.
Councillor Studdert-Kennedy asked why the Council was only approving one definition and not looking at all religions. Councillor Layfield advised that they had adopted the IHRA definition of anti-semitism in 2021 and that Islamaphobia was the most reported hate crime and that it was important that it was recognised.
Councillor Hall stated that Islamophobia was rampant in society and so it needed to be challenged.
Councillor James confirmed that they needed to adopt the definition because they were privileged and they needed to ensure that they were looking after those people that they should be mindful about.
Councillor Edmunds stated that he had previously worked in Gloucester where there were over 3000 british muslim families and he had learnt so much in his time working with those communities. They stayed that Councillors should reach out to those communities as they could also learn more and become much richer people.
Councillor Patrick confirmed that she had attended the Members Briefing and that she had learnt that it was to do with the perception of a particular ethnicity or religion and wasn’t what she originally thought.
Councillor Aldam offered her thanks to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.
Councillor Layfield stated that everyone was a human being but some were treated differently and that it should be acknowledged. He also confirmed that 40 other Councils had already adopted the definition.
On being put to the vote, the Motion was carried with 37 votes in favour and one abstention.
To appoint Independent Persons as required by the Localism Act 2011.
Councillor Studdert-Kennedy confirmed that they were required to appoint independent persons due to the Localism Act 2011 and that they were proposing to re-appoint two independent persons and appoint an additional person who had been through the application process.
Proposed by Councillor Studdert-Kennedy and seconded by Councillor Pearcy.
On being put to the vote, the Motion was carried with 37 votes in favour and 1 abstention.
To provide an update on the Ubico Five Year Vision and Business Plan 2022/2023.
Councillor Turner introduced the report and advised that there was an error in the report title as it should have stated 2022/23 instead of 2021/22. They confirmed that the report had been compiled by the Chief Executive as the Councils shareholder representative for Ubico. The Environment Committee had considered a draft of the Business Plan in December 2020. Councillor Turner highlighted paragraph 2.3 which showed the 4 key pillars and 5 themes which had been well received at Environment Committee.
Councillor Studdert-Kennedy asked if they were expecting any increases to the budget for Ubico due to personnel or Covid. The Strategic Director of Resources confirmed that the agreed budget for next year did include an increase for Ubico due to inflationary pressures which would be monitored through budget monitoring.
Councillor Kay stated that the business plan promoted equality of access to all essential services and this should be addressed in future reports to explain what was in place to ensure people had equality of access.
Proposed by Councillor Turner and seconded by Councillor Smith.
Councillor Green stated that Ubico had done a fantastic job throughout the pandemic and asked for her thanks to be passed on to the relevant teams. The Chair offered his thanks on behalf of the whole council and the Leader also reiterated the good job that Ubico had done. Councillor Cornell echoed Councillor Greens statement.
Councillor Davies left the meeting.
On being put to the vote, the Motion was carried unanimously.
See Agenda Item 4 deadlines for submissions.
There were none.
Notice of Motions
Motion calling for Gloucestershire County Council to make 20mph the default speed limit for residential areas in Stroud District and throughout Gloucestershire is proposed by Councillor Brown and seconded by Councillor Layfield
Councillor Brown introduced the Motion and highlighted the following key points:
· The majority of Parish and Town Councils across the County and Forest of Dean and Cotswold District Councils were in support of the Motion.
· It was part of an international campaign - 20mph (30km/h) was becoming the recognised standard for residential areas.
· Safety was the primary reason for implementation.
· Important for quality of life as people should feel safe.
· Evidence on the effect on pollution was mixed however it was explained that studies showed that acceleration caused more emissions.
Councillor Layfield brought Members attention to some of the benefits to road users:
· People would feel safer and more able to cross the road.
· Cyclists would be able to maintain pace with traffic.
· According to a 2018 report produced by Transport for London: "In 20mph zones vehicles moved more smoothly with fewer accelerations and decelerations. This driving style produced fewer particulate emissions."
· Road noise would be considerably reduced.
· Lower speeds reduced the number and severity of road injuries.
Councillor Hynd stated that there had been a real world study carried out in Bristol between 2014 and 2018 and the University of the West of England had published results of the study. The results showed that it had caused a 2.7mph average drop in speed limits, 170 less serious injuries recorded every year, a saving to the local economy of £15m and 45 deaths per year had been prevented.
Councillor Turner stated that approving the Motion would bring the council in line with the direction of travel of many of our neighbouring counties. They also drew on their experiences of spending time in London and stated that where the 20mph zones had been introduced it had been transformative.
Councillor Studdert-Kennedy advised that this needed to apply to cyclists as well as vehicles.
Councillor Edmunds stated that his ward had 20mph limits put in place however it had been a long process and that he therefore supported the motion.
Councillor Cornell confirmed that they would be supporting it and that she had been made aware recently of the issues involved with speed limits following concerns raised by Parish Councillors.
Councillor Housden stated that the motion had been discussed at the County Council in June 2021 and that he would be opposing the motion due to the following reasons:
· There was no evidence that a blanket change was the answer and that a combination of changes were needed to deal with speeding.
· £550k was being invested in a county wide community speed watch safety fund which would be available in the coming weeks.
· Part of the County Councils road safety policy would include the development of 20mph zones but also included education.
Councillor Patrick stated when she had previously walked in areas with 20mph limits, the cars were present for longer and therefore she found that she breathed in fumes for longer.
Councillor Braun stated that everyone has the right to a safer street and that it was a good time to discuss ... view the full minutes text for item CL.058a