Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee Reports
The Leader of the Council and the Chairman of the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee to report on recent activities, followed by questions from members. Depending on time the Chairman will rule and only take one question per member relating to reports.
a) Cabinet – Councillor Patrick Molyneux
b) Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Philip Burford
Cllr Molyneux said that he was pleased at the number of councillors attending recent Cabinet meetings and their useful input through asking questions. He encouraged more to attend. He commented that as a result of the scrutiny inquiry the Cabinet had listed and reduced car park charges.
Leisure management would be a key issue over the coming years and the council was looking to secure and improve leisure facilities, investing £80,000. He recognised the importance of the Coleford site and the need to work with partners to get the best outcome for the community for leisure, while also recognising concerns over the future of the theatre.
Cllr Hiett commented that the recent consultation regarding car park charging had been scant yet the few responses recieved had been used to change the consultation evidence. He added that his wife had made a comment and had not received a reply.
Cllr Molyneux said that he would follow up the issue of no reply. He emphasised that the recent consultation was purely a statutory duty regarding a traffic order, not a general consultation on the charging regime. The cabinet had made a decision based on many sources of evidence, including from individual members and the scrutiny inquiry.
Cllr Bill Evans asked how the cabinet intended to respond to petitions that were currently being completed, if they were submitted.
Cllr Molyneux replied that the council's policy would be followed. The cabinet had always stated that it would review the measure with full information after seeing how it panned out, but not make sudden decisions.
Cllr Gardiner commented that if the council were to undertake any consultation it should be full and meaningful. As an example of good practice he praised officers' work in setting up events such as road shows across the district for the statutory forest consultation.
Cllr Molyneux said that Cllr Gardiner had done sterling work and he looked forward to the Forestry Panel's report.
Cllr O'Neill highlighted the fact that the permits became cheaper if bought for longer periods of validity, yet it would be cheaper to pay for two separate hours at a ticket machine than for two hours. He also repeated a question about the council's response to a person who could not afford a season ticket.
Cllr Molyneux replied that it was possible to return to one's car after an hour to but a further one-hour ticket. Regarding the question, he said that he did not know all the details relating to the person. He reminded members that the alternative of raising Council Tax had been proposed and not accepted at Full Council.
Cllr Burford took the opportunity to invite all members to what would be a busy Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Thursday 31 May. He also invited members to support the committee's meeting on 19 July, which would take place in Lydney Town Hall, as part of the initiative to take scrutiny to the community. Additionally the annual scrutiny event would be on 3 July and the keynote speaker would be Cllr Denis Andrewartha, a Stroud and county councillor with a lot of scrutiny experience.
Cllr Winship clarified that the bus links meeting on 13 June would be to review the effect of recommendations.