Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Jack Latkovic  01225 394452


No. Item


Welcome and introductions

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The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Emergency Evacuation Procedure

The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out in the Notes

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The Senior Democratic Services drew attention to the evacuation procedure as set out in the Agenda.


Apologies for Absence

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There were no apologies for absence.


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 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 a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other interest,  (as defined in Part 2, A and B of the Code of Conduct and Rules for Registration of Interests)

Any Member who needs to clarify any matters relating to the declaration of interests is recommended to seek advice from the Council’s Monitoring Officeror a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.

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Councillor Paul May declared an other interest as non-executive director on Sirona's Board and said that he would leave the room during the statement from the Unison Officer about Sirona dispute.


To Announce any Urgent Business Agreed by the Chair

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The Chair invited the meeting to pay their respects by standing for a minute’s silence for Sandra Flowers (ex PA to Chief Executive) and Andy Coles (Traffic Regulation Orders Technical Officer) who recently passed away.


Questions from Public and Councillors

Questions submitted before the deadline will receive a reply from an appropriate Cabinet member or a promise to respond within 5 days of the meeting.  Councillors may ask one supplementary question for each question they submitted, up to a maximum of two per Councillor.

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There were 24 questions from Councillors and no questions from members of the public.

[Copies of the questions and responses, including supplementary questions and responses if any, have been placed on the Minute book as Appendix and are available on the Council's website.]

Questions and Answers sheet pdf icon PDF 168 KB

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Statements, Deputations or Petitions from Public or Councillors

Councillors and members of the public may register their intention to make a statement if they notify the subject matter of their statement before the deadline.  Statements are limited to 3 minutes each.  The speaker may then be asked by Cabinet members to answer factual questions arising out of their statement.

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Sarah Moore made a statement where she highlighted concerns about road safety in Twerton and presented a petition for a pedestrian crossing outside/near Twerton Infants School.  Sarah Moore also invited Councillor Mark Shelford, as the relevant Cabinet Member, to attend a meeting with the residents to discuss traffic safety measures.


Councillor Mark Shelford thanked Sarah Moore for the petition and said that in principle he would support this issue though any new projects that were not set in the budget would take time to be achieved.  Councillor Shelford also welcomed a suggestion to meet with the residents on this matter.


Note: Councillor Paul May left the room at this point.


John Drake (UNISON) addressed the Cabinet about the long running dispute between the UNISON and Sirona Health and Care.  John Drake said that workers were asked to work additional hours for exactly same pay, or take a significant pay cut.  John Drake said that the UNISON believed that this has happened because the Council has offered flat rates contracts with Sirona.  John Drake also said that the reputation of Sirona was damaged and long term viability of Sirona was in jeopardy.  John Drake urged the Council to bring these services back in house as the Council could provide much better services than Sirona.


Note: Councillor Paul May returned to the meeting at this point.


Councillor Richard Samuel said that questions he had asked on certain details related to Bath Podium Library project were not fully answered.  The project was now paused as there was no popular support for it.  Councillor Samuel also said that he has made requests for background information which were refused.  Councillor Samuel felt that he had right to see this information as a Member of the Council and that he was being obstructed from getting the information that he was entitled to. 


The Chair said that he would speak to the Monitoring Officer and get back to Councillor Samuel with answers on this matter, outside the meeting.


Minutes of Previous Cabinet Meetings pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair

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RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 31st October and 8th November 2018 be confirmed as correct records and signed by the Chair.


Consideration of Single Member Items Requisitioned to Cabinet

This is a standard agenda item, to cover any reports originally placed on the Weekly list for single Member decision making, which have subsequently been the subject of a Cabinet Member requisition to the full Cabinet, under the Council’s procedural rules

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There were none.


Matters Referred by Policy Development and Scrutiny Bodies

This is a standing agenda item (Constitution rule 14, part 4D – Executive Procedure Rules) for matters referred by Policy Development and Scrutiny bodies.  The Chair of the relevant PDS Panel will have the right to attend and to introduce the Panel’s recommendations to Cabinet.

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There were none.


Single Member Cabinet Decisions Taken since Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 59 KB

A list of Cabinet Single Member decisions taken and published since the last Cabinet meeting to note (no debate).

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The Cabinet agreed to note the report.


Business Plan Update - Clean Air Zone pdf icon PDF 169 KB

The six week public consultation on the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) options was one of the most comprehensive engagement exercises undertaken by the authority with over 8,400 responses.  It has not been possible to fully analyse all of the responses within the original timeline due to the volume and the number of comprehensive responses received in the last three days of the consultation period.

To adhere to the timetable originally set presents a risk that the Council could be legally challenged on the grounds of a flawed consultation and a Business Case that has not recognised the full extent of the very detailed and technical submissions made by local residents and interested parties.

This report therefore sets out the options for a revised timeline for the delivery of the project.

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Councillor Tim Ball made an ad-hoc statement by saying that the Cabinet was legally obliged to make the decision this year, and it should not wait for March or any other month next year.


Councillor Richard Samuel made an ad-hoc statement by saying that the Cabinet Member responsible for the Clean Air Zone suggested that further direction on this matter would be considered by the Cabinet in 6 to 8 weeks from now.  Councillor Samuel expressed his doubt that this Cabinet would make any decision during the purdah period, and suggested that the decision would be made after Local Elections in May 2019.  Councillor Samuel was concerned that Council would be exposed to financial risk by delaying the decision on the Clean Air Zone.  Councillor Samuel recognised that there was excellent response from the public, and that the officers would need some time to get the feedback, though this would not stop the Cabinet making the decision before purdah period.


Councillor Dine Romero commented that she would be interested in mitigation measures for those who would not be able to afford newer and compatible cars, those who were providing essential services to the community and what alternatives in transport could be provided.


Councillor Bob Goodman introduced the report.

Councillor Goodman said that residents and businesses had taken the time to engage with the Council and as such, they have deserved a proper response. This was important given the unique nature of Bath which was one of only two entire cities designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites (the other being Venice). The area surrounding the city was also designated. Bath was a major tourist destination whilst it was also a key transit point between the south coast and the motorway network. Therefore, the Council had to balance addressing air quality, that had the potential to be a highly complex and controversial issue, with measures that may be perceived to unfairly “penalise” residents and businesses, when the causes of the poor air quality also relate to transiting traffic, tourism and the topography of the city and surrounding area.

As a responsible public body, the Council has taken its duties and responsibilities seriously and has demonstrated best endeavours to comply with the Government Directive and legal requirements. It should also be noted that the Council was significantly further ahead in this process than a number of other local authorities provided with an air quality direction.

Whilst the volume and complexity of responses to the consultation was unprecedented, certain themes were emerging, these include:

  Suggestions to either extend or reduce the boundary of the zone

  Other alternative measures to address the air quality levels

  Diversion routes to avoid ‘rat runs’

  Identification of impacts of the proposals on specific groups of people, specific localities and businesses

  Suggestions on mitigation measures such as; charging variations, public transport measures, access restrictions, infrastructure improvements, parking and transport management measures and development of low emission transport modes.

The Joint Air Quality Unit, commonly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.


Review of Taxi Licensing Policy and associated conditions pdf icon PDF 98 KB

This report seeks to update and amend the policy and general conditions for hackney carriage and private hire drivers, hackney carriage vehicles, private hire vehicles and private hire operators’ licences.

As part of the policy review it is proposed to adopt Section 165-167 of the Equality Act 2010 and maintain a list of designated vehicles which are appropriate for wheel chair access within the licensed vehicle fleet.

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Councillor Will Sandry made a comment that he was happy with the report though he was concerned about the language used at some Licensing Committee meetings.


Councillor Dine Romero expressed her concerns that conditions would not apply to vehicles which were licensed in other authorities.


Councillor Bob Goodman introduced the report by saying that the previous policy and conditions adopted by the Council have been updated to align with the proposals on air quality, the need to ensure that all drivers have an awareness of how to respond to concerns about Child Sexual Exploitation and the need to ensure that new applicants are able to effectively communicate with passengers in the interests of public safety.  Following the Equality Act 2010 (Commencement No. 12) Order 2017, it was also recommended that the Council adopts these provisions in the interests of transparency and fairness to both licence holders and wheelchair users.


Councillor Bob Goodman moved the recommendations.


Councillor Tim Warren seconded the motion.


Councillor Mark Shelford supported the report though he felt that taxi drivers should wear some sort of uniform in near future which would, in his view, add value to the service.


RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:


1)  Note the responses to the public consultation and the officer recommendations;

2)  Adopt the revised hackney carriage and private hire policy following endorsement by the Licensing Committee;

3)  Adopt Section 165-167 of the Equality Act 2010 following endorsement by the Licensing Committee;

4)  Note the amended private hire driver conditions and hackney carriage driver byelaws following amendments proposed by the Licensing Committee;

5)  Note the remaining conditions adopted by the Licensing Committee at the meeting on 17 October 2018.



Revenue & Capital Budget Monitoring, Cash Limits and Virements – April to October 2018 pdf icon PDF 309 KB

This report presents the financial monitoring information for the Authority as a whole for the financial year 2018/19 to the end of October 2018.

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Councillor Richard Samuel made an ad-hoc statement saying that there was £50k of underspend in July 2015 and today the figure was £4.1m of overspend.  Councillor Samuel also said that Council’s reserves have been depleted.


The Chair explained that during the last 4 years the Council had to find £50m in savings, whilst also protecting the most vulnerable.


Councillor Charles Gerrish introduced the report by highlighting the following:


a)  Revenue budget


The Revenue budget outturn was currently forecast to be £4.1m over budget. This is £1.5m higher than the £2.6m reported previously and this was mainly due to unmitigated delays in savings delivery of net £1.8m, additional demand in Children’s Services £2.2m, and a £1.2m shortfall in income from Commercial Estate. This has been partially offset by a forecast under budget position of (£0.86m) resulting from Council funded growth allocations now being funded from additional grant in Adult Social Care. Urgent actions have been put in place thorough Recovery Plans to mitigate this position. The report highlighted which savings were delayed and which were considered high risk and may not be delivered. Those that were delayed can be supported through the smoothing reserve but this would utilise all of the reserve allocation for 2018/19.



b)  Capital budget


The capital budget was currently showing an expected under budget position of £11.4m mainly due to slippage and re-phasing.


This report would also seek approval to make adjustments to the current capital programme following the review that has been carried out to support 2019/20 budget planning. 


c)  Council tax and Business rates


The current forecast Council’s share of the year end Collection Fund position was:

  Council Tax – Surplus of £0.760m (2017/18 Deficit £0.154m)

  Business Rates – Deficit of £0.259m (2017/18 Deficit £1.473m)


Business rates collection remained slightly lower than target and would continue to be monitored closely over the next few months


d)  Council Reserves


Council reserves would be required to mitigate the current position if the actions being put in place were not successful. The Budget Contingency Reserve which has been set up to mitigate budget risk would be completely depleted with a further £0.53m requirement from Un-earmarked Reserves. This would reduce General Fund Un-Earmarked Reserves to below the range required to meet the Council’s financial risks and therefore required a review of all reserves and a requirement for further savings to replenish them in 2019/20.


Councillor Charles Gerrish moved the recommendations.


Councillor Paul May seconded the motion by saying that the Cabinet has been open and transparent to the public in terms of the budgetary position.  Councillor May added that the demand in children services was higher due to increased costs from new residential placements as a result of children being at risk of harm, as well as a number of children having to move from foster care into more expensive residential care due to the complexity of their needs.


RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed:


1)  To note the 2018/19 forecast over budget of £4.1m (as at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.