Issue - meetings

Influencing the Central Government Policy agenda

Meeting: 08/11/2018 - Council (Item 53)


This report sets out progress made in developing a single document setting out the Council’s key requests of central government in order to create a more sustainable council.


Additional documents:


The Council considered a report setting out progress made in developing a single document containing the Council’s key requests of central government in order to create a more sustainable Council.


On a motion from Councillor Tim Warren, seconded by Councillor Lisa O’Brien, it was




1.  To support the outlined proposals in the attached document Thriving in uncertain times, but note that the total estimated additional income to the Council if all of these proposals were agreed to by government would only be an estimated £2.3m p.a.


2.  To adopt the document attached as the Appendix as its core position statement in order to influence the central government policy agenda, with the following amendment:


Delete, on page 3, from 'This document is not about...' to '...future funding of local authorities'. Replace with:


'This document sets out our thinking about how local authorities such as B&NES can be granted new powers to raise revenues in order to alleviate some of the pressure that has resulted from demographic changes and significant reductions in our Revenue Support Grant. These proposals reflect the changes that have taken place in recent years such as the growth of Universities and changes to the retail sector, including the growth of e-commerce. We want to be a constructive voice in the debate around the future funding of local authorities, and this document outlines some ways that we could raise revenues through new powers and technical changes, rather than increased grant funding. However, we will also press central Government to restore money directly to us through the Revenue Support Grant, as this is the only way that we will be able to continue to deliver for our residents.'


3.  And with the following further amendment to update the section on page 7 ii) b) Technical Changes that can be achieved in the shorter term so that this paragraph now contains the replacement underlined words, and now reads;


‘Fees for listed building applications:  B&NES receives around 800-900 such applications per year, which rightly require time and resources from the council to deal with. We strongly support the need to maintain and safeguard listed buildings for the future, and indeed are very proud of our approach to listed buildings in our area. However, we believe it is unreasonable to expect a small authority to pick up the disproportionate cost of having such a high concentration of listed buildings and we will be engaging further on how best to compensate Bath & North East Somerset for these costs.’


4.  Ensure that relevant Secretaries of State, local Members of Parliament, key officials and other relevant stakeholders receive a copy of the adopted document;


5.  Use the document in order to continue to seek influence on central government; and


6.  Encourage local stakeholders to use the document to also influence central government to benefit Bath & North East Somerset residents and businesses.



1.  During debate, an unsuccessful amendment was moved by Councillor Richard Samuel, and seconded by Councillor Dine Romero, to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53