Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath

Contact: Jack Latkovic  01225 394452

Media

Items
No. Item

50.

Welcome and introductions

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Minutes:

The Chair (Councillor Kevin Guy) welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

 The Chair invited all Cabinet Members to introduce themselves.

 

 The Chair also informed the meeting that speakers will have their opportunity to address the Cabinet before questions from public and Councillors.

51.

Emergency Evacuation Procedure

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

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Minutes:

The Senior Democratic Services Officer drew attention to the evacuation procedure with health and safety notice.

52.

Apologies for Absence

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Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

53.

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:

There were none.

54.

To Announce any Urgent Business Agreed by the Chair

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Minutes:

There was none.

55.

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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Minutes:

Susan Charles read out a statement on behalf of Helen Dudden [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 1 and on the Council's website] where she questioned availability of accessible housing for a powered wheelchair user.

 

Susan Charles read out a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 2 and on the Council's website]where she highlighted the risks that bicycles, electric scooters, skateboards etc. used on the pavements have on the vulnerable people.

 

Ceris Humphreys read out a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 3 and on the Council's website] where she asked the Cabinet to restrict all HGVs traffic through Bath.

 

Martin Grixoni addressed the Cabinet by saying that he was proud to live and work in Bath, and the Council and its officers did work hard to get the best out of the area. However, he was concerned at some of the directions and priorities that the Council took where, in his words, they made it difficult for disabled people to access an increasing number of places.  Martin Grixoni also said that he received a feedback from some residents about the state of the city streets. Martin Grixoni claimed that, aside from rough sleepers, there were people begging which was a hassle for tourists and businesses.  Martin Grixoni felt that, in his view, these people should be better controlled, and dealt with.

Martin Grixoni also criticised the Council about Cleveland Bridge progress.

 

Councillor Vic Pritchard addressed the Cabinet by suggesting that the disabled residents were affected due to the lack of blue badge parking at the city centre. Councillor Pritchard also said that City Centre Security Measures have had adverse effects on the blue badge holders and invited the Cabinet to abandon the decision made in July this year and instead to allow a degree of access for blue badge holders.

Councillor Pritchard added that, in terms of the Clean Air Zone, there was no evidence to suggest that Nitrogen Dioxide reduction was a direct result of the CAZ, and it could be more to do with the COVID-19 lockdown and people still working from home, the closure of Cleveland bridge, and people being away for summer holidays, resulting in fewer cars on the road than normal.

 

 

Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

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Appendix 2 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

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Appendix 3 pdf icon PDF 118 KB

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56.

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 38 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.]

Appendix 4 pdf icon PDF 307 KB

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57.

Minutes of Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 267 KB

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

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Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 20th July 2021 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

58.

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.

59.

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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Minutes:

There were none.

60.

Single Member Cabinet Decisions Taken since Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 132 KB

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

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Minutes:

The Cabinet agreed to note the report.

 

61.

Cleveland Bridge update and options report pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) travelling through Bath have been a concern for many years, particularly along A4 London Road, over Cleveland Bridge and A36 Bathwick Street.  Local residents are concerned about the contribution made by HGVs to poor air quality, road safety issues, intimidation experienced by vulnerable road users and damage to the Bath World Heritage Site.

Cleveland Bridge is currently being repaired and a temporary Traffic Regulation Order restricting HGVs over 18 tonnes from using the bridge is in place. Once the refurbishment works are completed the temporary weight restriction will no longer apply and the route will continue to form part of Primary Route Network with unrestricted use. This report examines the options available to the Council to improve the traffic situation at Cleveland Bridge as well as improving air quality and safety throughout the city.

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Minutes:

The Chair invited Councillor Manda Rigby to read out her statement.

 

Councillor Rigby read out the following statement:

Firstly, I’d like to thank the officers for their officers’ report, but more specifically, I think we owe them huge thanks for the exceptional way this work on the bridge has been done.

The Cleveland Bridge renovation is a very significant project for this Council. This is a 200-year-old bridge, never intended for this volume and weight of traffic, and the mitigations put in place in 1927 are also struggling to handle the wear and tear.

We are replacing degraded concrete, ensuring that the iron work is sound, and waterproofing to prevent any further damage caused by water ingress.

We aren’t at the end point yet, but despite: COVID cases, materials being delayed, and more work than anticipated once the scaffolding was up; we currently hope to reopen the bridge to cars, as well as pedestrians, cyclists and emergency vehicles, 3 months after it shut as planned, which would be an amazing achievement.

I can’t think of any other project of this scale, and on a Grade 2* listed structure, anywhere in the country that has come in anywhere near on time.

In the interim, we have been working hard on what to do next, and I’d like to share my thoughts on progress so far, and what I’d like to see happening next.

The current situation is that: on completion of the works, the weight limit which was in place prior to them will expire, and there will be no limits on the type of traffic which can use the bridge, unless we manage to get such a limit put on it.

This is because it forms part of the primary route network, therefore decisions about its usage are not in our hands.

Whilst appreciating the officer report in front of us tonight, which outlines several ways forwards, and understanding the rationale behind why it was written in this way, I think it does not go far enough. We need to be bolder in looking at absolutely all options in front of us.

One of the existing proposals is a strategic study with regional partners – where all the region’s authorities examine plans for cross region transport, specifically looking at the best way to get freight to and from the M4 to the Southern ports, and there may well be a plan for a different North South link proposed.

Work on this Western Gateway project is currently ongoing, but the amount of time this will take is counted in decades not years. We can't assume regional agreement will be reached and we can’t just wait for this to be the solution.

The people of Bath can’t wait another 10-15 years for relief from through traffic HGVs.

Because there is the rub. In order to change the status of the road and take it out of the Primary Route network, Wiltshire Council has to agree. Despite our best efforts, such agreement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Bath Clean Air Plan- update pdf icon PDF 230 KB

This report provides an early, indicative view of the first 3 month’s performance of the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in Bath and sets out a required variation to the Charging Order following the scheme’s launch on 15 March 2021.

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Minutes:

Councillor Sarah Warren introduced the report by saying that Bath’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) was an important public health measure, introduced because levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide in Bath were above legal limits.

CAZ went live on 15th March this year and the Cabinet would be updated quarterly on progress, and this was the first quarterly report covering the period from April to June of this year.

The update has covered a very short period, and over that time traffic levels were initially extremely low, and an average of 10% down on the equivalent period of 2019 over the quarter. These were still early days, but air quality was improving with some promising signs following CAZ introduction.

Councillor Warren took the Cabinet through the highlights of the report.

And added that, in the wider context, CAZ was just one of sustainable transport measures, aimed either at enabling alternatives to driving into the city centre, or reducing the emissions of those vehicles that do. The Council would encourage all drivers to be aware of the impacts of air pollution, and to think about each journey. By choosing an alternative means of transport, people have the power to directly help reduce air pollution and protect their own and their neighbours’ health. People could also consider upgrading their vehicle to a more modern and less polluting one – bearing in mind that there were still grants and loans available to support those whose vehicles are chargeable in the CAZ.

 

Councillor Sarah Warren moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Dine Romero seconded the motion by saying she was pleased to see this report with a general trend downwards of nitro dioxide concentration levels although it was disappointing that the concentration levels in 8 locations have remained above the legal limit, with one site showing an increase.

Councillor Romero added that she was glad that her concerns over displaced traffic have been taken seriously but the results have not fully reflected residents’ experiences on roads in Southdown Ward.

Councillor Romero asked for an assurance that mitigating measures would be considered if the findings that more HGVs and other traffic were indeed in Southdown Ward roads.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel said that he was encouraged that there were some improvements in air quality, yet it was far too early to draw firm conclusions. Traffic patterns during March-June period this year were unrepresentative because many businesses were closed, schools were operating erratically and opportunities to travel were limited. Also, it was unclear if the Council was required to achieve full compliance by December 2021, or March 2022, or some other date to be announced, and some clarity about next steps should be given.

Councillor Samuel congratulated officers and Cabinet Members involved in the process so far.

 

Councillor Tom Davies welcomed the report by saying that the Council have been moving in the right direction with CAZ with an optimism that future quarterly reports would show gradual improvements in terms of the air pollution levels in the city.

 

Councillor Tim  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.

63.

Climate Emergency Procurement & Commissioning Strategy pdf icon PDF 133 KB

The Council’s previous Procurement “Think Local” Strategy was very successful in terms of modernising the procurement approach within B&NES and delivery innovation as well as implementing the Public Contract Regulations 2015.

The Council needs to update its strategy to consider legislative changes following the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (The Public Procurement (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019)

The Government has published the Green Paper “Transforming Public Procurement” and will implement new regulations in early 2022. Tackling the climate emergency will form an important part of the new regulations and our proposed Strategy takes account of these requirements and will also align with the Council’s Corporate Strategy.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying that the Council has spent £200m each year in purchasing goods and services, and alongside the changes in procurement being introduced by the government it was appropriate to revise our policies with the strong imperative of carbon reduction. Councillor Samuel suggested that the Council would seek the assurance from its suppliers that they were doing everything to minimise carbon emissions along the supply chain. Some consequential changes to other Council policies would follow in due course.

Councillor Samuel also added that that full reports would be brought back on concrete successes in carbon reduction and sustainability through this policy. The first report would be brought before the Cabinet towards the end of 2022.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Sarah Warren seconded the motion by saying this Council has an excellent track record on sustainable procurement, having worked closely with award winning local company Fresh Range in the past to procure school meal ingredients locally, in a pilot which has been used as a national case study in the Parliamentary Inquiry into improving food procurement, and cited as best practice in the National Food Strategy.  The report has provided the framework for innovative practice across the whole range of Council procurement, stepping outside the bounds of business as usual, and stepping up Council’s response not only to the climate emergency, but also to tackle modern slavery, by using its influence throughout our supply chain.

 

Councillor Tim Ball also welcomed the report and thanked the officers who were involved in procurement process.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1)  Adopt the B&NES Procurement & Commissioning Strategy – “Think Climate, Think Local, Think Innovation”,

2)  Delegate authority to the Director of Finance in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Resources to update the Strategy to reflect future changes to the national statutory framework.

 

64.

Qtr 1 Corporate Performance update 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 178 KB

This report is the first strategic performance report developed using the Council’s new Integrated Reporting Framework (IRF). It updates Cabinet on the progress made against a key set of strategic performance measures which assess our progress on delivering the Corporate Strategy and key aspects of service delivery.

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Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying he has introduced new requirements for regular financial reporting (quarterly) so that residents could see with complete clarity how the Council’s finances were standing up, whether the Council was under or overspending, in the interests of complete transparency and accountability. The corporate performance update was another report of transparency and accountability to the residents which would become a really useful tool and an official record of what the Council does and what the Council was accountable for. Also, the residents would be able to see what was happening in their community.

Councillor Samuel thanked Chief Executive and Senior Leadership Team for bringing this report before the Cabinet.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Tom Davies seconded the motion by saying that the first strategic performance report has marked a very special moment for the Council, and anyone involved in organisational management and reporting in an organisation.  This was Council’s commitment to transparency about the delivery of services against his key strategic and it would allow residents to hold the Council to account based on the information in the report.

 

The Chair also thanked Chief Executive and his team on this report.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1)  Note progress on the delivery of the Corporate Strategy and key aspects of the Council’s service delivery, details of which are highlighted in report.

 

2)  Indicate any other key service areas to be highlighted and included in the strategic indicator report.

 

3)  Receive update reports on a quarterly basis.

 

65.

Proposed Public Space Protection Orders to restrict alcohol consumption in public spaces in Bath and Midsomer Norton pdf icon PDF 134 KB

The Public Spaces Protection Orders which restricts street drinking operating in Bath and Midsomer Norton expired in October 2020. Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) are implemented under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 (“the Act”). This report invites the Council to determine whether to continue restrictions on street drinking in these areas as PSPOs, following a consultation as required by the legislation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Dine Romero introduced the report by saying that proposed Public Space Protection Order would address street drinking and anti-social behaviour associated in all wards of Bath and Midsomer Norton and would introduce wider discretionary powers to deal with nuisances or problems which harm the local community’s quality of life. This was a new order to replace the one which expired in October 2020.  As this was a new order, a full 12-week consultation was required. This has determined that there was still significant public support from those who responded for this measure for both Bath and MSN including Midsomer Norton Town Council, and from local Councillors.  Councillor Romero also thanked the officers for the hard work. replaced previous legislation

 

Councillor Dine Romero moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Tim Ball seconded the motion by welcoming the Public Space Protection Order for Bath and Midsomer Norton.  Councillor Ball also said that this Order was intended to ensure that people can use and enjoy public spaces, living safely from anti-social behaviour. An order would specify an area where activities would be taking place that were detrimental to the quality of life of those in the area and could impose conditions and restrictions on people using the specified area.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1)  Consider the outcomes of the consultation on a Public Space Protection Order to restrict street drinking in Bath and Midsomer Norton, as set out.

2)  Consider the legal criteria for adopting PSPOs, as set out in Paragraph 4 of this report, and particularly the test set out in paragraph 4.1

3)  In the light of 1) and 2) above make the Bath City Order and Midsomer Norton Order as set out in Appendix 1 of the report

4)  Request the Head of Legal Services or an authorised signatory on their behalf to sign and seal the Bath City Order and the Midsomer Norton Order.

5)  Request the Director of People and Policy to undertake publicity relating to any agreed Order and ensure the impact of the PSPOs is kept under review

6)  Request the Bath and North East Somerset Community Safety and Safeguarding Partnership to receive regular monitoring reports on the impact of the PSPOs, including equalities impacts, and updates on support and treatment available for people who misuse alcohol including street drinkers.

7)  Thank those who were involved in the consultation process including Midsomer Norton Town Council and publicise the outcomes of the consultation.

 

66.

2022/23 Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 108 KB

The Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) sets out the strategic direction and priorities for the Council as well outlining the financial context and challenges the Council faces over the next five years and the strategy that will be used to inform its annual budget process.

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Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by reading out the following statement:

 

‘The Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) is not the council budget – that will come later when more detail about government funding appears in the autumn and leads to the budget and council tax setting in February. The MTFS is however an important health check on the pressures and opportunities facing the council in the medium term and describes actions the council may need to take to balance our finances.

I made it clear on taking office that it was my intention that the council live within its means throughout the whole of this administration’s term. That means balancing the books and not spending more than we receive in income, grants and tax. So far, we are on track to achieve that objective for the third year in a row having done so in 19/20 and 20/21. This is an outcome that was never achieved by the previous administration whose waste and inefficiency made me determined to try to do better.

This latest MTFS highlights the severe challenges ahead. These have just been added to by the government in their Health and Social Care taxes. Whilst the detail of how this will affect local government remains opaque what we know already is that the employers NI changes will add 750k to our wage bill at a stroke roughly equivalent to 1% on council tax. At this stage we are also unclear how the changes which, are broadly beneficial for most residents requiring care, will be funded. I have to give this stark message. There is no money to top up any shortfalls in government funding. Our finances are already at their limit following government underfunding of covid pressures – another hollow Tory promise. To use a hackneyed phrase – there is no magic money tree.

Turning back to the MTFS Cabinet will recall that to deal with the extreme conditions caused by the pandemic it was necessary to draw from reserves to in effect cash flow our funding. That draw down must be repaid and is a key component of the MTFS. At the same time, we are currently experiencing a big increase in social care service requests which were fewer during the 2020 lockdowns. Predicting future demand is a fraught process as is what the government’s intentions for local government finance in the medium term. The MTFS identifies that potentially £28m will need to be saved over the next five years. It seems at times that the council like others is in perpetual Kafkaesque cycle of continuous cuts where no exit ever arrives.

Within the plan great uncertainties exist about the government’s funding plans for local government. We do not know at this point what will be said about social care precepts and council tax capping limits. What we do know is that by avoiding progressive tax rises to pay for health and social care the burden has been placed on working age adults with the imposition  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.