Agenda and minutes
Special Council meeting Core Strategy for B&NES, Council
Thursday, 2nd December, 2010 6.30 pm
Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions
Contact: Tom Dunne 01225 394360
EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE
The Chairman will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 7.
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting including members of the public seated in the overflow facility in the Alkmaar Room and drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure which was read out.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
At this point in the meeting declarations of interest are received from Members in any of the agenda items under consideration at the meeting. Members are asked to complete the green interest forms circulated to groups in their pre-meetings (which will be announced at the Council Meeting) to indicate:
(a) The agenda item number in which they have an interest to declare.
(b) The nature of their interest.
(c) Whether their interest is personal and prejudicial or personal.
Any Member who needs to clarify any matters relating to the declaration of interests is recommended to seek advice from the Solicitor to the Council and Monitoring Officer before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.
Declarations of Interest were made as follows:
Councillor Malcolm Hanney declared a personal non-prejudicial interest in the agenda motion Every Disabled Child Matters (agenda item 8) as Chair of NHS Bath and North East Somerset Primary Care Trust.
Councillor Charles Gerrish declared a personal non-prejudicial interest in the agenda motion Every Disabled Child Matters (agenda item 8) as the parent of a child with disabilities.
Councillor Gerry Curran declared a personal non-prejudicial interest in the agenda motion Every Disabled Child Matters (agenda item 8) as a foster parent caring for a young person with disabilities and he and his partner were in receipt of monies for carer responsibilities and also because his employer received such funding.
ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OR FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE
These are matters of information for Members of the Council. No decisions will be required arising from the announcements.
1. Asked everyone present to turn off their mobile phone or switch it to silent to avoid disrupting the meeting and because there was the possibility that if they remained switched on they might interfere with the sound system or the videolink to the Alkmaar Room.
2. Referred to the agenda item timings on the briefing sheet for this meeting which had been agreed with the Group Leaders and asked Councillors to keep contributions to debate brief and relevant and not repeat what had already been said by colleagues.
3. Indicated that she proposed to waive Council Rule 37 so as not to permit Councillors seconding motions or amendments being able to reserve their right to speak until later in the debate, but to require all seconders if they wished to speak to do so when they second the motion or amendment. The Council indicated its agreement.
4. Informed Council that she had agreed to alter the order of business to take agenda item 9, Statements from Councillors, before agenda item 7 because the one statement submitted related to that item.
5. Reminded Councillors that the next Full Council Meeting would be held on Thursday 20th January 2011.
6. Indicated that she did not propose to announce a comfort break unless the meeting continued beyond 9pm.
TO ANNOUNCE ANY URGENT BUSINESS AGREED BY THE CHAIRMAN
If there is any urgent business arising since the formal agenda was published, the Chairman will announce this and give reasons why she has agreed to consider it at this meeting. In making her decision, the Chairman will, where practicable, have consulted with the Leaders of the Political Groups. Any documentation on urgent business will be circulated at the meeting, if not made available previously.
PUBLIC QUESTIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS AND DEPUTATIONS
There were no items of urgent business for this meeting.
QUESTIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS AND DEPUTATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF THE SPECIAL MEETING
The Democratic Services Manager will announce any submissions received under the arrangements set out in note 5 above. The Council will be invited to decide what action it wishes to take, if any, on the matters raised in these submissions. As the questions received and the answers given will be circulated in written form there is no requirement for them to be read out at the meeting. The questions and answers will be published with the draft minutes.
POLICY AND BUDGET FRAMEWORK AND CABINET ITEMS FOR COUNCIL DECISION
There were ten statements from members of the public as indicated below. Copies of the statements provided by the speakers which were circulated at the meeting are held on file in the minute book and published on the Council`s website with the draft minutes of this meeting.
(A) Mrs Jane Giddins made a statement on behalf of Newton St Loe Parish Council thanking Bath and North East Somerset Council for listening to local opinion by not including in the draft Core Strategy the proposal for an Urban Extension to the south and west of Bath, which had been included in the Regional Spatial Strategy prepared by the Government Office for the South West. She also asked that the Council should express support for the bid by Newton St Loe, Englishcombe and Combe Hay parishes to be included in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
(B) Mr Leslie Redwood made a statement on behalf of BIGHA (Bath Independent Guesthouses Association) asking that the results of the Council`s Visitor Accommodation Study be adopted into the Core Spatial Strategy and the Local Development Framework, to remove the policy of car-free developments in relation to hotels and to defer any large hotel planning applications until this had been done. In response to a question from Councillor Eleanor Jackson, Mr Redwood said that the reliable surveys indicated 75% occupancy rates in bed and breakfast accommodation in Bath, with much higher occupancy on Friday and Saturday nights than the rest of the week; BIGHA did not consider that Bath needed more bed and breakfast accommodation.
(C) Mr Ashley Baker made a statement on behalf of BIGHA urging the Council in the Core Strategy to - ensure that new hotel developments will have adequate car parking provision; acknowledge the importance of independent guesthouses and small hotels to the local economy; and in making decisions on the future development of key sites to maximise the potential for innovative buildings to deliver long term economic and cultural benefits. In response to a question from Councillor John Bull, Mr Baker said that the Southgate development demonstrated well how underground car parking could be used to meet the requirements of visitors staying at hotels in the city.
(D) Ms Deborah Porter made a statement urging the Council to develop as part of the Core Strategy document a strategy for the enhancement of biodiversity and the conservation of the wildlife resource throughout Bath and North East Somerset, particularly with reference to post-industrial land on “brown field” sites.
(E) Norton Radstock Town Councillor Gary Dando made a statement about the need for the Core Strategy to include proposals to improve the road infrastructure in the Somer Valley and reduce congestion and pollution in Radstock and suggested that restoring the rail link between Radstock and Frome would achieve this and contribute to greater inward economic and tourism investment. In response to a question from Councillor Eleanor Jackson, Councillor Dando said that a rail link would open up better access ... view the full minutes text for item 59.
The Democratic Services Manager will announce any submissions received. The Council will be invited to decide what action it wishes to take, if any, on the matters raised in these submissions. As the questions received and the answers given will be circulated in written form there is no requirement for them to be read out at the meeting. The questions and answers will be published with the draft minutes.
Councillor Roger Symonds, referring to the section on rail links in the Core Strategy, made a statement about decisions currently under consideration on the electrification of the Great Western Railway and the significant consequences of this for the future of the area. He urged the Cabinet Members to join the local authorities in Bristol, Cardiff and Swindon and seek the support of local Members of Parliament to secure a commitment from the Government to the upgrade of the Swindon to Bristol section of the line running through Bath and Keynsham.
A copy of the statement provided by the speaker which was circulated at the meeting is held on file in the minute book and published on the Council`s website with the draft minutes of this meeting.
This report recommends proposed arrangements for the publication of the draft Core Strategy which is a key spatial strategy document within the Local Development Framework and in the delivery of the Sustainable Community Strategy for Bath and North East Somerset.
Lead Cabinet Member: Councillor Charles Gerrish, Cabinet Member for Service Delivery
The Council considered a report on the proposed arrangements for the publication of the draft Core Strategy which was a key spatial strategy document within the Local Development Framework and in the delivery of the Sustainable Community Strategy for Bath and North East Somerset.
During the debate on the amendment about the Radstock to Frome railway line, Councillor Simon Allen asked for it to be recorded that whilst he supported the reinstatement of the line he would not vote for the amendment because he did not agree that an area needed to be reserved for car parking in the Core Strategy. Councillor Neil Butters said that he supported the concept of preserving rail corridors where practicable but not raising unrealistic expectations given the high capital cost of reinstating the Radstock to Frome link and he considered that discussions should be held with the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) before any change is considered to the wording of the Core Strategy. Councillor Roger Symonds agreed with this view. Councillor Chris Cray said that he had always believed that this rail link would be too expensive to restore and would not help the people of Radstock or Westfield. Councillor Chris Watt said that the widespread support for the principle of preserving the rail corridor should be acknowledged so that at a suitable future time it could be addressed but there was the need to make a viable assessment over a realistic timescale and so he would not support any change to the Core Strategy. In responding to the debate on the amendment, Councillor Charles Gerrish, Cabinet Member for Service Delivery said that, as the Radstock to Frome rail corridor was safeguarded as a sustainable transport route through the adopted Local Plan, this amendment to the Core Strategy was not necessary to achieve that.
During the debate on the Core Strategy, Councillors Alan Hale and Adrian Inker welcomed the clarification on the vehicular accesses to the K2 site in Keynsham which had been circulated with a number of other textual and diagrammatic amendments identified since the draft document was circulated to Councillors. Councillor Inker also referred to the challenges of the regeneration of Keynsham town centre, the future of the Somerdale site and traffic management for the town. Councillor Brian Webber invited all members of the public to contribute to the debate on the future use of the Recreation Ground in Bath and also referred to the need for improvements to the London Road, Walcot shopping area. Councillor Victor Clarke supported the building of social housing in rural areas to meet genuine local need as long as Green Belt or agricultural land was not developed. Councillor Malcolm Hanney said that he was confident that in the villages in his Ward there had been adequate consultation on assessing the local community support for development. Councillor Stephen Willcox supported the need for a steady trickle of development in rural areas to provide affordable housing and stop villages from decline. Councillor Barry ... view the full minutes text for item 61.
The agenda motion set out in the attached paper will be moved by Councillor David Speirs on behalf of the Labour Group. It asks the Cabinet Member for Children`s Services to sign the Every Disabled Child Matters Local Authority Charter and to work with the Primary Care Trust to establish a Joint Charter and to draw up an Action Plan to implement them.
Lead Cabinet Member: Councillor Chris Watt, Cabinet Member for Children`s Services
During the debate on this motion Councillor Chris Watt indicated that, if it was approved, it would be also be subject to ratification by the NHS Bath and North East Somerset PCT Board but that no difficulty in that respect was anticipated. He undertook to ensure that a report was submitted to the Children and Young People`s Overview and Scrutiny Panel before May 2011 on the extent to which the Council and the PCT were able to deliver on the baseline achievements required by the Charter so that future progress could be measured.
On a motion from Councillor David Speirs seconded by Councillor Chris Watt it was RESOLVED that:
This Council Notes:
1) That Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) is a campaign run by four leading organisations that work with disabled children and their families.
2) That the campaign aims are to lobby both Westminster and Local Government to:
· Give disabled children and their families new rights to the services and support they need to lead ordinary lives.
· Invest in new resources to make sure these rights can become a reality. This will be achieved through funding to sustain, embed and build on Aiming High for Disabled Children.
· Give disabled children and their families a new level of priority, and work with them to improve the services they receive.
3) That the campaign is asking Local Authorities and Primary Care Trust’s (PCT’s) to sign campaign charters. These charters include a set of commitments that local authorities and PCT’s can choose to sign up to in order to demonstrate that disabled children are a priority.
4) That ninety six local authorities have signed the EDCM Charter (as of 31st August 2010)
This Council Believes:
1) That supporting Disabled Children and their families is a priority for the Local Authority and should be a priority for the PCT.
This Council Resolves:
1) To ask the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services to sign the EDCM Local Authority Charter and to ensure that the commitments contained therein are fulfilledwithin one year.
2) To work with the PCT in order to setup a Joint Charter, based on the example of Leicester City Council and Primary Care Trust, with the aim of joining up the services that the local authority and PCT supply.
3) That as a result of this joint charter a joint action plan should be drawn up to implement the joint commitments.
(Note: The above resolution was approved by a majority of Councillors voting in favour with no Councillors voting against and no Councillors abstaining from voting.)