4 September 2013

Member Question 4 - To provide Cllr Hilton with details of whether the Council has to be notified of any applications made to DECC for a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence.

Response:

Government officials have confirmed that DECC do not normally notify the planning authority (or anyone else) that they have given consent to drill once the relevant permissions are obtained. Details of areas where they have issued licences are on the DECC website.

Guidance from CLG issued in July 2013 confirms the process. Anybody wishing to drill would need a DECC 'Petroleum and Exploratory Development Licence' issued before they could seek planning consent from the Minerals Planning Authority (MPA); and any other consents such as an Environment Agency environmental permit. As far as officers are aware no licence has been issued for any locations within Gloucestershire in the last 5-years.

Once planning permission has been given by the MPA (and EA permits issued) the operator still has to go back to DECC to obtain a 'Well Consent'.

Therefore there are a number of stages, involving statutory public consultation, to be navigated before any wells are sunk for either conventional or unconventional oil & gas extraction.

Nigel Riglar
Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure


Member Question 13 - Cllr L Williams requested to be provided with the number of hours worked in total for 2012/13 on zero hours contracts.

Response:

We paid 87 ,643 hours, equating to 45.5 FTE employees employed on so called zero hours contracts.  That is about 180 people which largely fall into the following groups of staff:

Celebrant / Registration Officers

Library Assistants

Social Care

Cycling Instructors

Various other roles

Just a final point,  the Council does not use any of the zero-hours contract types that place onerous obligations on the worker but no obligations on the employer which have been the source of particular concern in recent months.

Dilys Wynn
Director of People Services


Cllr Harris requested a response to the following emergency question:

'On Tuesday there was a serious collision on the Spine Road Station Road junction in South Cerney.

This is the second serious collision in as many weeks. Will the cabinet member urgently look into what can be done to prevent further accidents on this junction such as installing traffic lights like many residents have requested?'

Resonse:

This is a location that the Council is aware of and has been through the safety assessment prioritisation process. As a result the junction is currently ranked 40th on the road safety priority list. It should be noted that prior to these recent incidents there had been 3 slight collisions in the previous three years. There have been a variety of reasons for the incidents and as such no further investigation is deemed necessary at this stage.

The incident on September 3 was notified to Gloucestershire Highways. It was not being treated as serious or life threatening by the police and GH were called to 'tidy-up'.  

There is no evidence base for taking any further action (e.g. introduction of traffic lights) at this time and the site will continue to be monitored. Action will be considered if there is significant change in circumstances and / or the safety assessment ranking.

Cllr Vernon Smith


Member Question 19 re. the Garbutt Review of the Cotswold Water Park:

While the Garbutt report was published in its entirety Professor Garbutt made reference to evidence that merited further investigation and had been referred to the City of London Police (COLP). COLP were responsible for carrying out a review of the initial Cotswold Water Park police investigation. This review has now been completed and COLP's report to Gloucestershire Constabulary has been published and is available on the police website here.

The COLP report covers the two issues referred by  Professor Garbutt. A short note has been placed alongside the Garbutt Report in the previous Audit Committee records for March 2012 when the report was initially considered. http://glostext.gloucestershire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=260&MId=7368&Ver=4  

 This explains the two issues and includes a council document referred to in the COLP report.

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