Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Community Space, Keynsham - Market Walk, Keynsham. View directions

Contact: Jack Latkovic  01225 394452

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

71.

Welcome and introductions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

72.

Emergency Evacuation Procedure

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

73.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Paul May had sent his apologies for this meeting.

74.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Charles Gerrish declared an other interest on item 13 ‘Budget & Council Tax 2019/20 and Financial Outlook’ as the Chair of the ADL Board.

Councillor Paul Myers declared an other interest on item 16 ‘Community Asset Transfer Policy’ as he was a part of the Asset Transfer Programme.

75.

To Announce any Urgent Business Agreed by the Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was none.

 

The Chair used this opportunity to inform the meeting that the Special meeting of the Cabinet will take place on 5th March at 10am in the Guildhall.

76.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were 9 questions from Councillors and 2 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 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Additional documents:

77.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Karen Walker in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix and on the Council's website] presented budget requests for Peasedown St John.

Councillor Lisa O’Brien read out a statement where she gave her full support for the Keynsham High Street Public Realm.  The scheme would benefit the environment, health and economy of Keynsham and it would contribute to local employment.  The pollution in High Street has gone down since one way traffic was introduced.  Councillor O’Brien endorsed the proposals and asked the Cabinet to support the report.

Cllr Karen Walker pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:

78.

Minutes of Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 94 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 18th December 2018 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

79.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were none.

80.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Sarah Bevan, in her capacity as the Chair of Resources PDS Panel, read out the following statement:

 

‘At Resources PDS Panel on Monday 4th February we discussed the proposed budget after receiving an overview from Donna Parham and David Trethewey.

No resolutions were passed, but members did raise some queries, as Cllr Gerrish will recall.

Whilst the Panel listens to views put forward, it’s for political groups to raise those views which are necessarily party political, with their own groups, with Cabinet and at Full Council.

The Resources Panel noted the comments from other PDS Panels on budget proposals within their remits. The PDS Panel comments have been circulated to Cabinet Members.

These notes reflect that the panels considered the risk of delivery of the proposals and questioned cabinet members and officers on the robustness of the proposals. The panels specifically considered the impacts of the proposals on the Councils Public Sector Equality Duty.

The Resources Panel looked at the budget proposals within their remit and were reassured that high and medium risk savings would be closely monitored. They were reassured that our Council Tax is still third lowest in the region despite the increase. The Panel noted that the Core Offer is clear on what the authority can afford to deliver and offered a framework for a an open discussion with partners and residents on what the Council should focus its resources on in the future.’

81.

Single Member Cabinet Decisions Taken since Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 90 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet agreed to note the report.

82.

Budget & Council Tax 2019/20 and Financial Outlook pdf icon PDF 395 KB

This report presents the revenue and capital budgets for 2019/20 together with proposals for Council Tax and Adult Social Care Precept for 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Dine Romero made an ad-hoc statement by saying that there was not much that could be amended to the proposed Budget due to continuous cuts from Central Government.  Councillor Romero also said that the future budget proposal was suggesting more involvement from volunteers and businesses which may not be sustainable in the long term.  Councillor Romero also questioned if the previous budget had helped communities and people with greater need for help.  Councillor Romero concluded her statement by suggesting that local businesses have not been helped by the Council and they have complained to her how margins were small and rents were high.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel made an ad-hoc statement by saying that all Local Authorities would be in difficult situation as the funding for the Budget would shift from Central Government to Local Tax.  Councillor Samuel also said that many frontline services provided by the Council would be affected with future cuts and whoever runs the Council after local elections in May 2019 would be in difficult situation.

 

Councillor Charles Gerrish introduced the report by saying that the Budget would be challenging considering that most of the Budget would be allocated to Adults and Children services and that the Council would have to look into ways of becoming self-sufficient.

 

The Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) has been approved in October 2018 and did outline how the budget would be delivered over the medium to long-term. The MTFS for B&NES spans two years with a further three added to show the likely longer-term picture.

The Council would need to deliver a balanced budget over the term of the plan.  A balanced budget would mean that balances or reserves should not be used to meet on-going expenditure commitments.  The MTFS has shown a projected budget gap for 2020/21 and beyond.  The figures have included all estimates for pay awards, pension costs, Council Tax, business rates, Government grant, and inflation.

The budget would focus on protecting frontline services at a time when the authority was facing cuts in funding whilst facing unprecedented increases in demand in Adults and Children’s Services.  An increase of 1% in the Adult Social Care Precept has been included in this budget to help meet the pressures in Adult Social Care.

The Council has had a good track record in savings delivery with £55.4m delivered between 2013/14 to 2017/18 and, a further £17m expected in this (2018/19) financial year – a total of £72.4m over six years.

The current plan has identified, delivered, and would continue to deliver a high number of efficiency savings and therefore the scope for delivering further large savings from efficiencies was limited. The agreed approach would be:

 

  To review Council priorities to understand scope for further savings;

  To rationalise our corporate estate;

  To review the conditions of service of our workforce and ensure they are fit for the future;

  To review the scope for shared services;

  To review and target capital spend to priority areas and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82.

83.

Revenue & Capital Budget Monitoring, Cash Limits and Virements – April to December 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 December 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel made an ad-hoc statement by expressing his disappointment in the report as he felt that there was even more overspend by the Council, and that it would be for the next administration to deal with this issue.

 

Councillor Charles Gerrish responded by saying that additional overspend was due to continued pressures on Children Services.  There were 168 children in care in March and 191 in December this year.  Councillor Gerrish also said that he would make no apology for spending for those in need.

 

Councillor Gerrish introduced the report by saying the Revenue budget outturn was currently forecast to be £3.2m over budget. This was an improvement of £0.9m compared to the £4.1m reported previously.  The areas over budget have continued to be mainly due to additional demand in Children’s Services £2.2m and a c£1m shortfall in income from Commercial Estate; in addition there has been some slippage in savings delivery which were part mitigated through service underspends and improved income performance.  The position within Children’s Services had in effect worsened as the figures shown include a transfer of £0.86m funding from Adult Social Care.  However, there were a number of mitigations that were currently being reviewed as well as a recruitment freeze and Managers have been requested to minimise spend wherever possible which would further  improve the year-end position.

 

The capital budget was currently showing an expected under budget position of £18.3m mainly due to slippage and re-phasing.

 

The Capital Programme now reflects the review that was completed in October 2018 and agreed as part of the previous budget monitoring report and £19.1m of projects were deferred or removed resulting in revenue saving of £0.6m.

 

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

  Council Tax – Surplus of £0.719m (2017/18 Deficit £0.154m)

  Business Rates – Deficit of £0.275m (2017/18 Deficit £1.473m)

 

Business rates collection has improved over the last quarter but still remains slightly lower than target and would continue to be monitored closely.

 

Council reserves would be required to mitigate the current position if the actions being put in place were not successful.  The current position would require use of £2.0m of the Budget Contingency Reserve (which was set up to mitigate budget risk) but the improved position would not require use of Un-earmarked Reserves.  Provision has been made within the 2019/20 budget to replenish the Budget Contingency Reserve.

 

Councillor Charles Gerrish moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Vic Pritchard seconded the motion by saying that the figures were within the Budget.

 

Councillor Tim Warren said that the main pressures were within Children services due to an increase in number of children in care.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1)  To note the 2018/19 forecast over budget of £3.21m (as at the end of December 2018) and the recovery plan actions outlined in Appendix 1;

2)  To note the mitigations that will be required shown in paragraph 5.6, if the over budget position cannot be reduced by the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.

84.

Treasury Management Monitoring Report to 31st December 2018 pdf icon PDF 214 KB

In February 2012 the Council adopted the 2011 edition of the CIPFA Treasury Management in the Public Services: Code of Practice, which requires the Council to approve a Treasury Management Strategy before the start of each financial year, review performance during the year, and approve an annual report after the end of each financial year.

This report gives details of performance against the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy and Annual Investment Plan 2018/19 for nine months of 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Charles Gerrish introduced the report by saying that this was a routine report which detailed performance against the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy and Annual Investment Plan 2018/19 for nine months of 2018/19.

 

The average rate of investment return for the first six months of 2018/19 was 0.68%, which is 0.15% above the benchmark rate.  The Council’s external borrowing as at 31th December 2018 totalled £206.7 million.

 

New PWLB annuity borrowing for £25 million was arranged during the quarter in response to a reduction in borrowing rates arising from the political and economic uncertainty being experienced in the UK and Europe.

 

The Council’s Capital Financing Requirement (CFR) as at 31st March 2018 was £247.1 million with a projected total of £434 million by the end of 2018/19 from self-investment and re-phasing of the capital programme.

 

The current revenue forecast was for an underspend of £495k, mainly related to external interest savings from re-phasing of capital spend.

 

Councillor Charles Gerrish moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Karen Warrington seconded the motion by saying that this was a routine report and thanked Donna Parham and her staff their work on treasury management. 

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed that:

 

1)  The Treasury Management Report to 31st December 2018, prepared in accordance with the CIPFA Treasury Code of Practice, is noted

2)  The Treasury Management Indicators to 31st December 2018 are noted.

 

85.

Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Investment Strategy 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Treasury risk management at the Authority is conducted within the framework of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s Treasury Management in the Public Services: Code of Practice 2017 Edition (the CIPFA Code) which requires the Authority to approve a treasury management strategy before the start of each financial year. This report fulfils the Authority’s legal obligation under the Local Government Act 2003 to have regard to the CIPFA Code.

Treasury management is the management of the Authority’s cash flows, borrowing and investments, and the associated risks. The Authority has borrowed and invested substantial sums of money and is therefore exposed to financial risks including the loss of invested funds and the revenue effect of changing interest rates.  The successful identification, monitoring and control of financial risk are therefore central to the Authority’s prudent financial management.

Investments held for service purposes or for commercial profit are considered in the Capital and Investment Strategy within the Budget Report which is also included on this meeting’s agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Charles Gerrish introduced the report by saying that the report presented the Council’s Annual Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/20 which under the CIPFA Code of Practice requires Council Approval before the start of each financial year.

 

The report has set out the strategy for borrowing and investments and for giving priority to the security and liquidity of those investments ahead of yield.

The Council’s Audit Committee would also scrutinise the Strategy at its meeting on 7th February and any comments would be verbally reported to the Council meeting on 19th February.

 

The Council’s chief objective when borrowing money was to strike an appropriately low risk balance between securing low interest costs and achieving cost certainty over the period for which funds were required.  . The Council would continue to consider investment in the CCLA Property Fund and other longer term pooled funds with a view to providing further diversification of its commercial property and investment portfolios and the potential for earning a higher investment yield whilst maintaining regards to security through investment in these higher yielding asset classes.

 

Councillor Charles Gerrish moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Paul Myers seconded the motion by saying that the Strategy would fulfil Council’s obligation for the next three years.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1)  Recommend the actions proposed within the Treasury Management Strategy Statement (Appendix 1) to February Council.

2)  Recommend the Investment Strategy as detailed in Appendix 2 to February Council.

3)  Note the Treasury Management Indicators detailed in Appendix 1 and delegate authority for updating the indicators prior to approval at Full Council on 19th February 2019 to the Chief Finance Officer and Cabinet Member for Finance & Efficiency, in light of any changes to the recommended budget as set out in the Budget Report elsewhere on the agenda for this meeting.

4)  Note that any comments made by the Corporate Audit Committee at their meeting on the 7th February 2019 will be reported to Full Council on the 19th February.

86.

Community Asset Transfer Policy pdf icon PDF 95 KB

The Council has incorporated its learning from the Community Asset Transfers it has undertaken over recent years to develop a new Community Asset Transfer Policy and Guidance document. This document aims to provide a more structured approach and e a clear and transparent process.

This report contains a recommendation to adopt the policy, following a consultation on a draft document and incorporation of feedback.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Dine Romero made an ad-hoc statement by highlighting two points.  Firstly, if the land had a planning permission attached would that drive the value to £2m; and secondly, for those assets that were already transferred, such as Bath City Farm, having a 25 year lease would not always be helpful as a longer lease would enable the asset holder to apply for grants.

 

Councillor Paul Myers introduced the report by saying that he was particularly pleased to see this new ‘Community Asset Transfer Policy and Guidance’ come before Cabinet for consideration.

As the Council faces financial pressures and evolves its role, working in partnership with the community and the third sector has become increasingly important. The community would need infrastructure to play its role and so he passionately believed that the Council had a duty to release the key operational assets with a duty under the Local Government Act 1972 to ensure that ‘best consideration’ was obtained.

The Community Asset Transfer Policy would provide a detailed framework and criteria for organisations wishing to apply, which was outlined in the report.  To achieve this, the Policy has set up a four stage process for each project.

A consultation on the draft policy did take place between 17th December and the 25th January and the report was presented to the CTE Panel on the 21st January.

Overall the feedback has been fully considered and was positive and the introduction of the Policy was welcomed.  Some of the feedback received has been noted whilst, as appropriate, amendments and additions have been proposed in the document.

The key point was that the ‘Assets’ which might be considered for transfer cover a huge spectrum and so in order to provide an overarching policy, the policy needs to provide sufficient breadth in its wording; the policy was for everyone and the whole district.

Councillor Myers said that he was satisfied that a necessary balance has been achieved by Officers and that he would like to thank them for their hard work in developing this policy.

 

Councillor Paul Myers moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Karen Warrington seconded the motion by saying that the policy would set what would be required for Community Asset Transfer.  Councillor Warrington also said that this policy would be clear guidance for partnership working and how the community would be involved, and that was a great opportunity for involvement of the community.

 

Councillor Charles Gerrish supported the request from Councillor Romero for longer lease terms.  In terms of any planning permission attached to the land the Council would retain the overage– this was done to protect the Council’s position.

 

Councillor Tim Warren also welcomed the report and praised the work of Bath City Farm.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1)  Note the outcomes of the consultation on the draft document as set out in Appendix 3. 

2)  Confirm that the feedback received through the consultation process has been accurately reflected and is now incorporated into the current draft of the Community  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

87.

Keynsham High Street Public Realm pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Feedback from consultations that informed the Keynsham Town Plan, Keynsham Transport Strategy, the B&NES Placemaking Plan & the one-way trial highlighted the importance of public realm improvements in Keynsham. B&NES has consequently drawn up a draft public realm scheme and undertaken further consultation which will arrive at a preferred option incorporating suggestions made through the consultation process where possible. A Full Business Case will be submitted to the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for a £1.5 million grant in March 2019, which will be supplemented by £193,000 Section 106 funding to pay for the work.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Paul Myers introduced the report by saying that high streets across the UK were struggling and rethinking the High Street offer and public realm improvements could help to stem the national trend towards online retailing with a consequent decline in town centre vitality.

If the project was not implemented then the current issues of poor image, poor public realm, and a Conservation Area ‘at risk’ (as assessed by Historic England) would remain and the Council would not have fulfilled its obligations arising from the Corporate Strategy, Placemaking Plan or Keynsham Transport Strategy.

The Council was legally directed to produce a Clean Air Plan to achieve compliance with European Limit Values.  Keynsham has been declared an Air Quality Management Area for high nitrogen dioxide levels.  Air Quality monitoring was carried out before the one-way trial (baseline) and during the project to evidence the positive change the one way scheme has delivered.

Cabinet & Keynsham Ward Members, stakeholders, interest groups and members of the public have been consulted throughout the project development phase.  Keynsham Town Council in particular welcomed early engagement with the project and input to the design of the scheme.

The public realm project was part of the Keynsham Town Centre Programme and further public realm improvements in the town would be undertaken when funding is available.

If the funding is approved on 31st May 2019 then work would start in spring 2020 and would be complete by March 2021.

 

Councillor Paul Myers moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Tim Warren seconded the motion by saying that there was a mixed reaction initially with the Keynsham High Street one way trial, though it has been proved to be successful as the air quality has improved.  Councillor Warren also said that the roundabout and access to Tesco supermarket would require more work.

 

Councillor Charles Gerrish said that Tesco junction would be one of the priorities for the public in Keynsham.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

2.1  Note the draft concept design, which will be submitted as part of the Full Business Case to the Local Enterprise Partnership for funding of £1.5m to deliver the scheme, alongside £193k S106;

2.2  Approve, subject to LEP funding approval on 31 May:

(1)  the preparation of detailed design (including further consultation) up to tender stage

(2)  the procurement of a project manager & contractor; and

(3)  the construction of the scheme

88.

Heritage Services Business Plan 2019-2024 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

The report introduces the Heritage Services Business Plan update for the five-year period 2019/20 to 2023/24. It sets out the business unit's strategy for delivering savings targets and increasing its return to the Council on an ongoing and sustainable basis. The Plan includes strategies for pricing, marketing and investment in conservation, staff development and the quality of the visitor experience to achieve the ambitious targets set out in it, and an analysis of the risk involved.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Paul Myers introduced the report by saying that this was the Heritage Services Business Plan update for the five-year period 2019/20 to 2023/24.

Key issues addressed in the Business Plan 2019-2024 were:

 

  increased profit returned to the Council to support corporate finances;

  a new tiered pricing structure at the Roman Baths;

  reducing congestion and attrition caused by high visitor numbers;

  a new strategy to manage groups;

  ongoing marketing to continue to promote the shoulder months;

  benchmarking the Roman Baths’ performance with other leading attractions;

  ongoing investment in conservation, the visitor experience, commercial activity and staff development.

 

The Business Plan would aim to grow annual profit by £2.2 Million (28%) by 2024, by increasing income, reducing the revenue cost base after inflation and efficiently managing the staff establishment.  By 2024 profit returned to the Council would be £10 Million p.a.

 

The Roman Baths was the only local authority-run member of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.

To maintain this level of performance and achieve the forecast levels of profit to support the Council’s financial position would require:

  keeping Roman Baths visitor numbers at very high levels;

  implementing a new Roman Baths pricing strategy to maximise revenue whilst ensuring that price does not become a barrier to entry;

  sustaining staffing and investment levels to support large price increases and improve visitor satisfaction.

 

School groups would continue to enjoy preferential rates in off-peak months when most of them visit.  The Service would continue to invest to protect and conserve the Council’s heritage assets, improve the visitor experience, enhance commercial performance and develop its staff, in order to deliver these outcomes.

 

Councillor Paul Myers moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Charles Gerrish seconded the motion by saying that this was an ongoing success for the Heritage Services Team.  Ticket price restructuring would address the visitors’ numbers, especially during peak times. 

 

Councillor Tim Warren said that he was really proud of the work done by Heritage Services.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1)  Approve the Heritage Services Business Plan 2019-2024 (“The Plan”);

2)  Confirm that it wishes Heritage Services to continue to work to the business principles agreed by the Council Executive in 2004, as amended.

89.

Bath Quays North, Appointment of Development Partner pdf icon PDF 139 KB

The Council is in receipt of Final Bids from 3 shortlisted bidders following conclusion of an OJEU competitive dialogue procurement, each of which is capable of being proceeded with.  To progress the development of the Bath Quays North site the Council will appoint a preferred bidder (and reserve bidder) and finalise the terms of a Development Agreement with the preferred bidder or, if negotiations are not successfully concluded with the preferred bidder, the reserve bidder, on the most economically advantageous terms possible.

 

The Full Business Case (FBC) annexed in Appendix 1, provides Cabinet with a management tool for evidence-based and transparent decision making.  The FBC sets out a Treasury Green Book compliant 5 case business plan for the public intervention and role in delivering Bath Quays. Sections of the report relevant to this decision comprise:

a.  The Strategic case (sections 1-5), where we are now and rationale for investment

b.  The Economic case (section 10), summary of benefits

c.  The Financial case (sections 11-12), summary of costs and payment mechanisms

d.  The Commercial case (section 13), procurement approach and legal arrangements

e.  Operation and Viability (section 14), existing and future operational arrangements

f.  The Management case (section 15), programme management and governance structures

g.  Other sections cover options appraised (section 6), State Aid (section 7) Equality & Diversity (section 8), Environmental Sustainability considerations (section 9) and Monitoring and Evaluation.

 

The Council submitted (in November 2018) the Full Business Case to WECA for the application of £30.8m of WECA funding to support the implementation of BQN infrastructure in order to realise growth in the Bath Enterprise Zone. An approval decision from WECA is expected in February 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Tim Warren informed the meeting that the wording for recommendation 2.3 would read as:

 

‘Approve the uplift to the provisional Innovation Quay - Economic Development Funding Enabling Infrastructure budget to £30.8m to bring in line with the additional grant funding WECA have provisionally allocated through the EDF and LGF funding programmes.’

 

Councillor Warren explained that word ‘provisionally’ has been included because WECA meeting where the additional grant funding would be approved has not happened (due to adverse weather), and the meeting has been postponed for 15th February 2019.

 

Councillor Paul Myers introduced the report by saying that over the past three decades, the market has failed to develop sufficient modern office accommodation within the City. This has had a significant effect on the economy and the City now faced a tipping point in terms of maintaining a viable and attractive office sector. The city would need to maintain a broad mixed economic base and a range of jobs in the local economy across key wealth growth and wealth creating sectors such as finance, digital and technology.  Also, as a World Heritage Site, the replacement of the old and ugly Avon St car park would repair a scar on the city and reconnect the city back to it riverside.

The Council would therefore propose to exercise its public function to revitalise the city and overcome the longstanding market failure in the provision of office space by utilising its strategic land asset at Bath Quays North to enable delivery of a new Business District in the heart of the city.

The Council were successful in achieving Outline Planning Consent in August last year for the comprehensive redevelopment of the Avon Street multi-storey carpark & Riverside coach park.

The planning permission could deliver a total combined floor space of up to 38,000sqm gross investment area (GIA) and critical infrastructure (basement carpark & highway improvements) and demolition of the existing multi storey car park.

WECA funding has been applied for to overcome the viability hurdle by the provision of economic development funding required to de-risk & unlock the Bath Quays North site in line with the Council’s planning permission.

Through provision of front-end public investment in development infrastructure the scheme was able to leverage substantial private investment and make an office-led development viable.

As part of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), B&NES shares its combined Authorities’ ambitions for promoting sustainable growth across the sub-region. The LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan has set an ambitious baseline for delivering 65,000 jobs and 2.6% GVA growth in the West of England by 2030.

Bath plays a crucial role in the B&NES economy, providing 70% of the area’s employment and 75% of knowledge based and priority sector employment. The principal constraint to further future growth in the City’s knowledge economy was the lack of appropriate office stock and workspace. Adopted policy defines the need for provision of some 40,000sqm of centrally located office space to facilitate growth and drive inward investment. The Economic Strategy emphasises that delivering  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.