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Councillors in South Gloucestershire are set to consider measures proposed by the Labour group to create a culture of challenge at the council following a committee vote today to refer it to all 70 councillors for decision.

Labour Councillor Gareth Manson proposed a series of measures in response to specific criticism in the recent Inadequate Ofsted inspection report, which stated that:

“challenge to officers has not been effective enough to identify and address concerns successfully”.

Gareth_.jpgAt a meeting this morning to consider the Council’s formal response to the inspection report,  Councillor Manson proposed creating a corporate culture where elected members are regarded as key partners, where members challenge officers appropriately and where criticism is accepted. The committee felt that these measures should be addressed by the full Council of 70 members, and voted for them to be considered there.

Councillor Manson comments:

“The Ofsted report findings tell me that councillors need to be more robust in challenging and pushing for information and that officials need to be more receptive to appropriate criticism. Too often our council tries to minimise its failings and we need to create a more open, less defensive culture here.

I am heartened that councillors of all parties agreed to refer this to full Council for consideration and I trust that they will be as supportive there as they were in committee this morning”.

Labour says culture of challenge is needed

Councillors in South Gloucestershire are set to consider measures proposed by the Labour group to create a culture of challenge at the council following a committee vote today to refer...

Labour councillors in South Gloucestershire have welcomed the adoption today of a revised Animal Welfare Charter.

The council originally approved a charter exactly 20 years ago in April 1997 as a result of a motion proposed by Labour councillor Roger Hutchinson. Changes in legislation, specifically the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and other issues to emerge over the intervening two decades mean that it is the right time to revisit and update the charter. Councillor Hutchinson has been the driving force behind the council setting up the cross-party working group that drew up the revised charter that was endorsed today.

Roger_Badger.jpgThe charter commits the council to take appropriate enforcement, to provide education and advice for residents and to influence partners to help protect domestic and wild animals in South Gloucestershire.

Councillor Hutchinson says:

“I am proud to have steered two Animal Welfare Charters through the council in the past 20 years. Issues that have come to the fore such as the danger posed by snares and Chinese lanterns meant that it was time to revise and reinforce the message that our council is committed to the welfare of domestic and wild animals in South Gloucestershire.” 

Labour welcomes animal welfare update

Labour councillors in South Gloucestershire have welcomed the adoption today of a revised Animal Welfare Charter.

Labour councillors, shocked to learn that Hanham Library does not have a rear fire exit that meets disability standards, have reacted with dismay to the ruling Conservatives voting down a proposal for council officials to look at local developer contributions to remedy the situation.

In a report to this afternoon’s Environment & Communities Committee, councillors were told that a fire risk assessment had recently highlighted that Hanham Library’s secondary fire exit has eight steps which would prevent many people with disabilities from using it.

However, Hanham Library should have been the beneficiary of community contributions from a number of past developments, including £34,789 from the Hanham Hall scheme as "a contribution towards the cost of improvement of the local library facilities at Hanham Library including building improvements", and £7,069 from the Whittucks/Memorial Road scheme as "a contribution towards the cost of improvement of the local library at Hanham".

IM_Boulton.jpgLabour’s Lead on communities issues, Councillor Ian Boulton, says:

“My proposal asked council officials to investigate these sums and come back with a plan for using some of it to sort out the fire exit situation at Hanham Library.

These remedial works cannot be left undone now that council members and officials have been told about the problems with the eight step exit, so I am dismayed that Conservative members, including two of Hanham's own councillors, have chosen to block them.”

Tories block library safety proposal

Labour councillors, shocked to learn that Hanham Library does not have a rear fire exit that meets disability standards, have reacted with dismay to the ruling Conservatives voting down a...

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