Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Zoom - Public Access via YouTube https://www.youtube.com/bathnescouncil. View directions

Contact: Jack Latkovic  01225 394452

Items
No. Item

23.

Welcome and introductions

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting by explaining that this meeting is being held under The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus)(Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020. The Council has agreed a protocol to cover virtual meetings and this meeting would operate in line with that protocol. The meeting has the same status and validity as a meeting held in the Guildhall.

 

24.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

25.

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.

Minutes:

The Senior Democratic Services read out the following declaration of disclosable pecuniary interest on behalf of Councillor Shaun Hughes in respect of his question to Councillor Richard Samuel;

 

‘Further to my question regarding support of our retail tenants I wish to declare that I rent a serviced office within Unit 22 Midsomer Enterprise Park, and this building is owned and run by BANES council.

To be clear, my business at Unit 22 has not applied for or received and grants or benefits from this Council. Other tenants within this building have applied for support; however, I have no interest in this and to further clarify my business is not in any way a retail business and my question is regarding the survival of our retail business sector.’

 

There were no other declarations of interest made.

26.

To Announce any Urgent Business Agreed by the Chair

Minutes:

There was none.

27.

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.

Minutes:

There were 10 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 1 and are available on the Council's website.]

Appendix 1 - Q and A sheet pdf icon PDF 188 KB

Additional documents:

28.

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.

Minutes:

The Chair informed the meeting that there were 14 registered speakers for this meeting.

 

Note: All statements were read out after item 10 of the agenda.

 

David Redgewell read out a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 2 and on the Council's website] where he expressed his concerns around the transport in ex-Avon area and with the Western Gateway Transport Plan.

 

Councillor Mark Elliott addressed the Cabinet by saying that residents of Lansdown Ward would prefer not  to see change of use of Lansdown approach golf course.  Councillor Elliott added that he was aware of financial pressures the Council was under, but the site was an iconic green space in the centre of Bath and the best option would be to find a specialist golf provider to manage the site.  Councillor Elliott concluded his statement by saying that there would be a need for a proper public consultation if there was a proposal for significant change of use for this site.

 

Adam Gretton (the Chair of More Trees BANES) read out a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 3 and on the Council's website] where he spoke in support of Avon Wildlife Trust’s bid for Entry Hill Golf Course.

 

Robin Kerr (Chair of the Federation of Bath Residents’ Associations) read out a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 4 and on the Council's website] where he suggested that the criteria for marking bids should be made public, and that the final decision should be made either by the Cabinet of Full Council. 

 

Emilio Pimentel-Reid (Chairman Friends of the High Common) read out a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 5 and on the Council's website] where he welcomed comments from Councillor Paul Crossley that there would be no physical changes to the park, no additional allotments built and no change from the current golf activities.

 

Elizabeth Hallam addressed the Cabinet about Entry Hill Golf Course, by saying that the course was not yet out for the count.  Nearby golf courses were flourishing and the consultation was against continuing golf provision at this golf course.  The golf proposal has attached more than 1,000 signatures and the bid from local businessman should be supported.

 

Nicolette Boater read out a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 6 and on the Council's website] in regards of Future of Entry Hill and Approach Golf Courses agenda item.

 

Katina Beckett (Chair of the Entry Hill Community Association) read out a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 7 and on the Council's website] where she had a number of suggestions for the Entry Hill Golf Course.

 

Amy Coulthard (speaking as Bath resident and Director of Conservation at Avon Wildlife Trust) read out a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 8 and on the Council's website]  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

David Redgewell statement pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Adam Gretton Statement of Support for Avon Wildlife Trust pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Robin Kerr statement Entry Hill and Approach Golf Courses pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Emilio Pimentel Reid statement pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Nicolette Boater statement to 22.7.20 B&NES Cabinet (Entry Hill site) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Katina Beckett statement pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Amy Coulthard Cabinet statement pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Adam Reynolds Walk Ride Bath Response to the Entry Hill Consultation pdf icon PDF 618 KB

Cllr Winston Duguid address to cabinet on the future of Entry Hill golf club pdf icon PDF 444 KB

Patricia Ludlam statement.docx pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Nicolette Boater statement to 22.7.20 Cabinet (Corporate Strategy update) pdf icon PDF 61 KB

29.

Minutes of Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 195 KB

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

Minutes:

On a motion from Councillor Rob Appleyard, seconded by Councillor Kevin Guy, it was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 2nd July 2020 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

30.

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

Minutes:

There were none.

31.

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.

Minutes:

There were none.

32.

Single Member Cabinet Decisions Taken since Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 9 KB

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

Minutes:

The Cabinet agreed to note that there were no Single Cabinet Member decisions made since the previous Cabinet meeting.

 

33.

Future of Entry Hill and Approach Golf Courses pdf icon PDF 197 KB

Use of Entry Hill golf course has declined over the past several years and the council wants to attract a larger number of people to enjoy open-air activity at this important site that forms part of Bath’s World Heritage Site designation.  The site operates at a financial loss to the Council. 

A consultation has been completed which welcomed opinions on a range of options including but not limited to a family cycle centre, a community growing space, outdoor education or continuing to provide a golf course. A number of parties have expressed an interest or submitted proposals for managing and operating the site during and following this consultation.  A way forward now needs to be agreed for the site.

The Approach golf course also operates at a financial loss to the Council and has had links to the running of Entry Hill since at least the beginning of the Aquaterra contract in 2005.  There are potential economies of scale and benefits to potential contractors to operating both sites so any decision on the future of Entry Hill needs to consider how the Approach will be managed as well.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair invited Councillor Paul Crossley to introduce the report.

 

Before reading out the statement, Councillor Paul Crossley thanked to all speakers who addressed the Cabinet today and responded to speakers’ statements by highlighting the following points

  • The anti-social behaviour was not unique just for golf courses; it was an issue that the Council would be taking up across all parks in Bath and North East Somerset.
  • There were nearly 2,000 responses from postcodes in BANES, out of which 10% was from young people, which was quite unique and welcome.
  • The decision would not be made based on bias. 
  • The fact that people were cycling around, and up and down the course, would not mean that the Council would want to create cycle route.  The Council would go through the consultation responses and then make final decision.
  • Signage would have to improve.

 

Councillor Paul Crossley read out the following statement:

 

First of all I would like to thank the leisure section of the Council who have put so much time and effort into this item, to Lemon Gazelle who ran our consultation, GLL and to the many many residents who engaged in the process at the consultation , on line and also via the many hundreds of emails I have had on these proposals. I recognize and understand the passion with which people hold their favourite pastime in.

The two sites have been closed since the start of the consultation so that our debt does not increase and the sites will remain closed until we have appointed new operators for the sites.

We originally anticipated making a decision on the future of the Entry Hill site based on the results of the consultation that took place a few months ago.

 

However the consultation process ignited a lot of interest in the site and this has led to a number of parties submitting bids or proposals that respond well to the criteria that were set out in the consultation.  These were 1. Addressing climate change  2. Encouraging more people to be more active, more often and 3. Ensuring the site does not require a financial subsidy from the Council in the future.

 

And then came Covid.

 

In addition to a climate emergency and a nature emergency we also now have a financial emergency.

 

This has resulted in us supporting GLL and working with them in partnership on getting our sporting facilities back in use. And that is why The Approach 12 hole and Approach 18 hole have been added to the decision.

 

In recent weeks at least 3 leisure trusts have gone out of business, locked up the facilities and handed the keys back to the local Council.

 

We do not want that to happen here.

 

Sport and leisure is a very important part of what makes living in Bath and NE Somerset such an attractive option for all our residents.

 

The interest that has been sparked by this consultation and is in marked contrast to the previous time the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Bath Clean Air Plan Grant Settlement - July 2020 pdf icon PDF 219 KB

Poor air quality is the largest known environmental risk to public health in the UK. Investing in cleaner air and doing more to tackle air pollution are priorities for the EU and UK governments, as well as for Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES). B&NES has monitored and endeavoured to address air quality in Bath, and the wider B&NES area, since 2002. Despite this, Bath has ongoing exceedances of the legal limits for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and these are predicted to continue until 2025 without intervention.

 

B&NES is under a Ministerial Direction to improve air quality in Bath and bring NO2 within EU and UK legal limits in the shortest possible time and by the end of 2021 at the latest.

 

The government’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) has now considered the Full Business Case submitted by the Council to discharge this Direction and, after negotiation, have proposed a final financial settlement that they consider adequate to achieve the outcomes necessary.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

3.40pm - The Chair adjourned the meeting for a short break

 

3.48pm – The Chair reconvened the meeting.

 

The Chair invited Councillor Sarah Warren to introduce this report.

 

Councillor Sarah Warren read out the following statement:

 

‘It is my pleasure to introduce this paper on the grant settlement in relation to Bath’s Clean Air Zone. As you know, poor air quality is one of the most significant threats to public health in the UK. Bath is under a legal imperative to bring in a Clean Air Zone, introducing a daily charge for the most polluting vans, buses, taxis and HGVs entering the city centre, to reduce illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution.

In the last 4 months, we have seen a significant and welcome reduction in nitrogen dioxide around the city, accompanying the reduction in traffic due to coronavirus lockdown. However, traffic levels are unfortunately now returning to more usual levels, and with them, pollution. We received written confirmation last week from Ministers that we must therefore go ahead and implement the Clean Air Zone, as per the full business case submitted to the Joint Air Quality Unit earlier this year.

We were asked by Government to defer our original start date of November this year, to early 2021, due to coronavirus, and we are on track to deliver in time for this new deadline. No specific date has yet been agreed with Government. As soon as we have an agreed date, we will inform the public, and run an extensive media and communication programme running up to “go live”, to ensure everyone who needs to know, is aware.

Over the past few months we have been in negotiation with Government, challenging the initial funding offer for the Clean Air Zone, which fell significantly short of our original request. Government has now agreed to provide up to £15.5m to implement the scheme and support affected businesses, bringing the total funding package to £23.5m. Having already completed much of the build, and revisited our financial models, we feel confident that this will be sufficient. We are still negotiating with Government around the costs of running the central service to operate the zone.

Since the start of lockdown, we’ve been talking to a wide range of businesses and trade associations to understand the impact the pandemic has had on them, and how they see the road to recovery unfolding, and we have been considering how we might improve our support package for them, whilst still achieving our air quality objective.

We have now amended the terms of our financial assistance scheme to provide further help, in the form of additional flexibility for businesses applying for grants and interest-free finance to upgrade polluting vehicles. Temporary exemptions will also be granted to businesses that have placed orders for fully electric vehicles and are waiting for them to be delivered.

As a Cabinet we remain committed to innovation to improve air quality for the health of all residents and visitors to the city, whilst  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Update on Corporate Strategy Progress and Issues pdf icon PDF 286 KB

This report updates the cabinet on progress made in delivering our corporate strategy and identifies key issues for its further development in the context of recovery and renewal following from our response to Covid-19.

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the report by saying that the Council adopted a four-year Corporate Strategy in February 2020, with an overriding purpose to improve people's lives. Also, there were two key policies that went with this; one was around addressing the climate emergency and the second was giving people a bigger say. Covid19 impact had put a huge amount of pressure on staff, on services, and on finances. This has given the Council an opportunity to rethink on how to deliver some services with better partnership working. The Chair expressed her concern on how reliant the Council has been on tourism and retail The lockdown has enabled the Council to speed up adoption of new technology and new ways of communication, such as live remote meetings. For example, the Chair has hosted a number of webinars with different subjects. However, there were many residents who were not online, and the Council must make sure that they have access to updated information. The Council would continue to prepare for the future, whatever that may look like, and would remain committed to net zero carbon by 2030.  The partnership working has proven to be a real lifeline for many residents, as demonstrated by the success of the Compassionate Communities Hub partnership working and engagement has been invaluable with key stakeholders during the most intense periods of the pandemic. The Engagement Board has had representation from a wide range of bodies, including the police, fire rescue and both universities, as well as health providers. The Economic Recovery and Renewal Board had been set up as a tool to drive and to influence business recovery. The Chair concluded her statement by saying that she would like to ensure all that the work would continue to make sure that Council has solid foundations of good governance and clear lines of cooperation, corporate control and oversight.

 

The Chair moved the recommendations as printed in the report.

 

Councillor Kevin Guy seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel welcomed the report and said that he was pleased with the proposed workplan. The whole Covid19 situation had great impact on the Council in terms of ways of working and use of technology.  Councillor Samuel also said that there would be a huge challenge in finance and the property portfolio.  Nevertheless, the new Medium-Term Financial Strategy and the Budget would be produced in the coming months.

 

Councillor David Wood also welcomed the report by updating the Cabinet on the latest within Waste Services, in particular about opening waste recycling centres across the area, with some being open 7 days in a week, and ‘Don’t Be A Tosser’ litter campaign.

 

Councillor Rob Appleyard welcomed the report by highlighting the importance of partnership working during Covid19, and paid his respect to the wider community, and those organisations that have blended together to make this experience as less painful as it could be.

 

Councillor Sarah Warren welcomed the report by saying that the Council had been running a number of webinars in terms  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Treasury Management Outturn Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 426 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 for 2019/20.

Minutes:

The Chair invited Councillor Richard Samuel to introduce the report.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying that this was a positive report which has shown that the management of the Council's finances was stable and well run.  Councillor Samuel used this opportunity to thank Andy Rothery and his staff for the presentation of this report.  Councillor Samuel said that this report included details of performance against the Council’s Treasury

Management Strategy and Annual Investment Plan for 2019/20.  Councillor Samuel also said that the same report would be presented to the Full Council meeting on 23rd July and highlighted the following sections in the report: summary of returns and borrowings, strategic and tactical decisions, future strategic and tactical issues, PWLB borrowing rate increase, and budget implications.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Kevin Guy seconded the motion by thanking Councillor Samuel and the officers for an excellent financial management during this challenging year. 

 

Councillor Sarah Warren welcomed the report, in particular the progress that has been made towards disinvesting the treasury management fund from fossil fuel funds.

 

Councillor Tim Ball also thanked the officer for the report, and also praised the officers within his portfolio for delivering great services during this difficult year.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

2.1  The Treasury Management Report to 31st March 2020, prepared in accordance with the CIPFA Treasury Code of Practice, is noted.

2.2  The Treasury Management Indicators to 31st March 2020 are noted.

37.

Revenue & Capital Outturn 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 280 KB

The report presents the revenue and capital outturn for 2019/20, highlighting a net revenue under budget position of £0.12m after allowing for proposed carry forwards. This represents an improved position when compared with the last report, based on monitoring for the year to December 2019, which forecast an on-budget position after using £0.61m from the Financial Planning & Smoothing Reserve. The improved position resulted from continued mitigation of pressures through Directors cost reduction and income generation plans.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair invited Councillor Richard Samuel to introduce the report.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying this was very important report because it marked the end of the position for the first financial year of this current administration.  Council Samuel said that one of the things that he set as the target was to balance the books every year, if possible. This year the budget was actually under budget, just around the £250,000.  Councillor Samuel took the Cabinet through the report (as printed) and thanked the officers for the report.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations as printed.

 

Councillor Neil Butters seconded the motion by thanking Councillor Samuel and the officers for this report.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

2.1  Note the revenue budget outturn under budget position of £0.12m for 2019/20, after allowing for carry forwards.

2.2  Approve the revenue carry forward proposals listed in the tables in paragraph 3.5.

2.3  Approve that all over budgets are written-off as an exception to the Budget Management Rules for 2019/20.

2.4  Approve the transfer of the net underspend of £0.12m to the Revenue Budget Contingency Reserve.

2.5  Note the revenue virements for 2019/20 reported for information in Appendix 2(i)

2.6  Note the reserve positions and the use of flexible capital receipts shown in paragraphs 3.16-3.18;

2.7  Note the outturn position of the 2019/20 capital programme in paragraph 3.24, and the funding outlined in paragraph 3.26;

2.8  Approve the capital rephasing and write-off of net underspends as listed in Appendix 3. This reflects the outturn spend position on projects against final budgets as detailed in Appendix 4(ii).

38.

Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring, Cash Limits and Virements – April 2020 to June 2020 pdf icon PDF 388 KB

This report presents the financial monitoring information for the Authority as a whole for the financial year 2020/21, using information available as at the end of June 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair invited Councillor Richard Samuel to introduce the report.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying that it covered the first quarter of the 2020/2021 financial year. It was very different report that it would normally expect the Cabinet to receive at this time of year but this was due to the coronavirus crisis.  The Cabinet had already approved a financial recovery plan a few weeks ago, and although the position set out in this report was very worrying, it was something that the Council expected to deal with. Councillor Samuel said that he had heard that Robert Jenrick was talking about support for losses of Council Tax and Business Rates income, which was encouraging. Nevertheless, the Council should continue with business as usual, in terms of reporting actual facts and figures, and not trying to conceal them.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations as printed in the report.

 

Councillor Rob Appleyard seconded the motion by saying that Councillor Samuel, and his team of officers, should take credit for the work that has actually been done.  Councillor Appleyard also praised Chief Executive, Corporate Director and a number of other Council services and teams who have worked so hard to continue provision of services to the community during the pandemic.

 

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

2.1  To note the 2020/21 revenue budget position (as at the end of June 2020).

2.2  To approve the revenue virements listed for approval in Appendix 3(i) and to note those virements listed for information only.

2.3  To note the capital year-end forecast detailed in paragraph 3.39 of this report;

2.4  To note the changes in the capital programme including capital schemes that have been agreed for full approval under delegation listed in Appendix 4(i).