Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

82.

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 will operate in line with that protocol.  The meeting has the same status and validity as a meeting held in the Guildhall..

83.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

84.

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 Chair invited Michael Hewitt (Interim Monitoring Officer) to address the meeting at this point.

 

Michael Hewitt informed the meeting that he would issue a general dispensation on agenda item 14 (Budget & Council Tax 2021/22 and Financial Outlook) to all Councillors with regard to payment of Council Tax.  Michael Hewitt has also issued an additional dispensation to all Councillors who were in receipt of Council services and invited Councillors to make any declaration of interest.

 

Councillor Tim Ball declared an other interest in item 14 as his grandson is in receipt of care package.

 

Councillor Sarah Warren declared an other interest in item 14 as a family member was undertaking an educational health care needs assessment.

 

Councillor Kevin Guy declared an other interest in item 14 as his family business was in a receipt of a government COVID business grant.

 

Councillor Joanna Wright declared an other interest in item 14 as a a family member was in receipt of social care services.

 

 

Dispensation Council Tax Cabinet & Council pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Dispensation February 2021 Cabinet pdf icon PDF 85 KB

85.

To Announce any Urgent Business Agreed by the Chair

Minutes:

There was none.

86.

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 13 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 1 and are available on the Council's website.]

Appendix 1 Cabinet Q and A sheet pdf icon PDF 225 KB

87.

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:

David Redgewell in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 2 and on the Council's website] addressed transport issues in the West of England area.

Kari Erickson in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 3 and on the Council's website] addressed the Cabinet about Bath City Centre High Street Renewal.

Councillor Paul Myers, in his capacity as the Chair of the Corporate PDS Panel, in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 4 and on the Council's website] presented the summary of findings from the three PDS Panels of the Council in terms of the Budget 21/22. 

The Chair and Councillor Richard Samuel thanked Councillor Myers for the statement.  Councillor Samuel invited Councillor Myers to discuss develop on improvements in the scrutiny process of the next budget planning.

 

Theresa Franklin in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 5 and on the Council's website] expressed her concerns related to proposals to Approach Golf Course and asked the Cabinet to keep the Approach Golf Course open.

 

Martin Grixoni addressed the Cabinet by expressing his concerns related to the proposed Budget, in particular on some of the recent Cabinet and Single Member Decisions where he felt that may have negative impact on the city of Bath and the Council. 

 

 

Appendix 2 David Redgewell statement pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Appendix 3 Kari Elizabeth Erickson statement Cabinet 11th Feb 2021 pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Appendix 4 Cllr Myers statement pdf icon PDF 275 KB

Appendix 5 Theresa Franklin statement pdf icon PDF 33 KB

88.

Minutes of Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 230 KB

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

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 10th December 2020 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

89.

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.

90.

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:

Councillor Paul Myers (Chair of the Corporate Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel) addressed the Cabinet under agenda item 6 – Statements, Deputations or Petitions from Public and Councillors with summary of the PDS Panels comments on the proposed Budget 21/22.

91.

Single Member Cabinet Decisions Taken since Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 19 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 the report.

 

92.

Decision on award of a contract to a new operator for the Approach Golf Course site following a procurement process pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Following Decision E 3201 on July 22nd to run an open procurement exercise to seek a new operator for the Approach Golf Course site this report sets out the process followed and makes a recommendation to appoint a preferred bidder.

The decision also resolved to delegate to the Director of Environment authority to appoint a contractor in accordance with the Council’s prescribed governance and procurement process in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Finance and Communities

Once a preferred bidder is appointed they will engage with the local community on their proposals before final contracts are signed to consider refinements to their tender.  The tender will however have to remain substantially similar to that submitted and evaluated.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Lucy Hodge addressed the Cabinet by saying that the Cabinet would be making a significant decision on Approach Golf Course.  Councillor Hodge said that the Cabinet made a decision in July 2020 on Approach Golf Course indicating that the site would continue to operate as 18-hole golf course.  However, the residents were very concerned that the decision on the new operator of the site was not consulted with the residents, and the residents had little warning on what was happening.  Councillor Hodge invited the Cabinet not to ignore the petition of 4,000 signatures, asked the Cabinet to listen what the residents have to say at this meeting and put a pause on the decision for the time being.  Councillor Hodge urged the Cabinet not to take the decision today.

 

Councillor Mark Elliottin a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 6 and on the Council's website] invited the Cabinet to listen to the residents and turn down the bid on the Approach Golf Course.

 

Lynne Fernquest in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 7 and on the Council's website] said that Bath Rugby Foundation has been using this site for many years and their disabled students have received the greatest benefit from this affordable space, and it would be a huge blow to lose it.

 

Patricia Ludlam in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 8 and on the Council's website] urged the Cabinet not to award the contract yet but engage with local residents who have so much interest and help to offer.

 

Ben Reed in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 9 and on the Council's website] also urged the Cabinet to note the residents’ concerns for the Approach Course that has been seen over recent weeks (with the petition of 4,000 plus signatures) and honour their commitment to retain golf on the site.

 

Peter Langley addressed the Cabinet by saying that his family has been in Bath for a long time, and that High Common has been one of the favourite sites for them.  Peter Langley said that Council’s planners and conservationists should be involved in the planning around this site, in particular on its use.  Peter Langley also pointed out that the application has been made to Heritage England to have the High Commons listed.  Peter Langley also urged the Cabinet not to make the decision today.

 

Sally Parkes in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 10 and on the Council's website] urged the Cabinet to listen to our local Ward Councillors, to listen the Bath residents’ wishes, and keep status quo of the Approach Golf Site.

 

Justin Draeger in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 11 and on the Council's website] urged  ...  view the full minutes text for item 92.

Appendix 6 Cllr Mark Elliott statement pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Appendix 7 Lynne Fernquest statement pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Appendix 8 Patricia Ludlam statement pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Appendix 9 Ben Reed statement pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Appendix 10 Sally Parkes statement pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Appendix 11 Justin Draeger statement pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Appendix 12 Emilio PR statement pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Appendix 13 Lyn Jacobs Statement pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Appendix 14 Robert Sumner Statement - 11.02.2021 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Appendix 15 Rachael Hushon statement pdf icon PDF 106 KB

93.

Decision on award of a contract to a new operator for the Entry Hill Golf Course site following an OJEU procurement process pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Following Decision E 3201 on July 22nd to run an open procurement exercise to seek a new operator for the Entry Hill site this report sets out the process followed and makes a recommendation to appoint a preferred bidder. 

The decision also resolved to delegate to the Director of Environment authority to appoint a contractor in accordance with the Council’s prescribed governance and procurement process in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Finance and Communities

At this stage of the procurement process Council has the option of appointing the highest scoring bidder or choosing not to proceed with the process.  Procurement rules do not allow a lower scoring bid to be selected or the ability to select parts of different bids to achieve a different solution.

Once a preferred bidder is appointed they will engage with the local community on their proposals before final contracts are signed to consider refinements to their tender.  The tender will however have to remain substantially similar to that submitted and evaluated.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Elizabeth Hallam in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 16 and on the Council's website] asked the Cabinet to retain Entry Hill as a golf course.

 

Katina Beckett (Chair of Entry Hill Community Association) in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 17 and on the Council's website] asked the Cabinet to ensure a proper residents’ egagement with the preferred bidder.

 

The Chair thanked all speakers who addressed the Cabinet on this matter.  The Chair informed the meeting that the Cabinet has agreed to hold the debate in open/public session for this item.  If any of the Cabinet Members were minded to refer to any information from exempt documents, then the Cabinet would move into exempt session.

 

Councillor Paul Crossley introduced the report and thanked the speakers for their statements.  Councillor Crossley said that encouraging and enabling people to be active was one of the most effective and sustainable ways to improve lives and confront inequality.  The Cabinet made the decision in July 2020 to run an open procurement exercise to seek a new operator for the Entry Hill golf course. The bids that the Council received were environmentally friendly, sustainable financial future and to promote improved experience for local people. A community consultation on the future of the site was undertaken between December 2019, and March 2020, and involved carrying out substantial stakeholder engagement to understand the views of residents, Golf Course users, and those who would like to use the site.  The consultation has ignited considerable interest from the residents and organisations with a range of exciting proposals coming forward. Councillor Crossley thanked everyone who took part in the consultation by recognising the passion and commitment that people have for their own preferred choice of sport.

Five bidders have submitted final tenders for Entry Hill, all of which addressed the recommendations of the consultation and priorities of Council, such as to contribute to climate and ecological emergency goals, getting more people more active and ensuring there is a leisure preserve provision for all members of the community in the future through removing the subsidy requirement to the Council.

Due to commercial sensitivities and in line with the tender procedure, details of bidders and proposals were not made public until preferred bidders have been appointed.  However, one bid has exceeded all others in responding to the requirements, and that was company E. Councillor Crossley concluded by saying that the bid would be public after standstill period of 10 days.  

 

Councillor Paul Crossley moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel seconded the motion by saying that this was a scrupulous tender process that was conducted and guided by the law. The tender process sought expressions of interest and six tenders have put themselves forward.  Their bids were received and were evaluated against most economically advantageous criteria. Each tender was scored and praised against known criteria available to each tender, as set out in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 93.

Appendix 16 Elizabeth Hallam statement pdf icon PDF 16 KB

Appendix 17 Katina Beckett statement pdf icon PDF 886 KB

94.

Preparing for the Future Programme pdf icon PDF 288 KB

The Preparing for the Future Programme will deliver changes to how we work which will streamline our use of office buildings and provide a more flexible workforce?that reflects the changes in how we now work and how we will deliver services in the future. The aim is to equip all staff to have a good day’s work by providing them with the right technology, enabling blended working, being flexible in our approach to promote wellbeing and ensuring an effective work/life balance.

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying that the pandemic has had profound impact on the way the Council had to organise its staff to provide services.  During the past year there were over 1,000 staff members working from home which presented a major challenge to IT systems as well as establishing wholly new patterns of work. The Council had to adapt to new ways of working which had forced a major rethink about the use of office space.

The Council's preparing for the future programme sets out the next stages of the programme for which the resources have been allocated within the forthcoming budget.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Dine Romero seconded the motion by saying that it was important for the Council staff to be able to work in an environment that best suits their individual needs.  For many this has been working from home but for some this has proven to be much more of a challenge. Councillor Romero added that Keynsham Civic Centre has not been used as effectively as it could be and the preparing for future programme would allow more flexibility for the staff to consider each individual’s needs.

 

The Chair invited Amanda George (Interim Director of Business Recovery) to take the Cabinet through the details of this report.

 

Amanda George thanked the Chair and read out the following:

‘This paper follows the Cabinet paper presented on 10 December 2020 which provided an update on the property services service review and included a summary of the preparing for the future programme. This paper provides further detail on this programme of work.

The Council has for some time been reviewing the way we work. Prior to the Covid pandemic progress had been made on plans to adapt Keynsham Civic Centre to improve utilisation, provide a more modern working environment and create greater flexibility to enable more effective collaboration.

In common with many organisations the pandemic has now accelerated the progress of these plans. A great deal has been learnt, both from staff surveys and engaging with staff, about how staff have adapted to working flexibly during the last 10 months and this has meant we are able to now consider how a blended working approach, where staff have the choice in how and where they work, is possible for the future. 

The Preparing for the Future Programme?has many benefits for both the Council and staff as follows:

  an opportunity to allow blended working for most office-based staff which will mean that they can organise their time and working location to benefit themselves, their team, and their clients.  For many staff this will include a reduction in commuting stress, time and cost and enable a better work-life balance.

  a break-down of silo working between services and the opportunity for increased collaboration between teams leading to improved staff morale, well-being?and productivity.

  greater flexibility and increased efficiency of staff who will be provided with the right IT?equipment?to complement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 94.

95.

Budget & Council Tax 2021/22 and Financial Outlook pdf icon PDF 569 KB

This report presents the revenue and capital budgets together with proposals for Council Tax and Adult Social Care Precept for 2021/22.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduce the Budget & Council Tax 2021/22 by reading out the following statement:

‘This 2020/2021 has been an extraordinary year for our country. COVID has wreaked destruction and damage to our economy and our very way of life. And as of yesterday, nearly 115,000 people have died in the UK, with 4 million people testing positive for Coronavirus. Job losses due to pandemic, as we know, have amounted to nearly 1 million jobs. And the retail and hospitality sector have been particularly badly hit.  In Bath and North East Somerset where we have traditionally had strong dependence on this the impact was quite serious. This isn't an emergency situation in every sense of the word, and one that has hit our Council was hard as it has hit our residents and local businesses. As 20/21 was a difficult year, I fully expect 21/22 to also be a very difficult year for the Council's finances and the succeeding years until 2025. I do expect some recovery for next year, but we also have to be prepared for setbacks along the long road to normality. It was only six months ago that we were forced to introduce an emergency budget in the form of a financial recovery plan that aim to save £20m during the year and stabilise our finances. And I'm pleased to say this decisive action has meant that the Council is on course to balance the books in the current financial year. This is very important because had the Council being forced to draw on its reserves this year, this would have left us very exposed in future years. I am bound at this point say something about the support we have received from the government. Promises at the start of the pandemic made by Robert Jenrick MP, the local government minister have turned out to be based on foundations and sound. He promised we would have all the resources we needed to tackle the pandemic. Well, so far, we have received unrestricted grants of £12m from the government and expect to be able to claim back £18m for income loss. However, this does not fully compensate our income shortfall, as the government scheme only provides 70% reimbursement and excludes all of the Council's commercial income losses. This means that a £14m shortfall exists that we have we have to make up by service cuts and in the main the slowing down of our capital programme. To sum this up, we have been short-changed.

So, against this background, we have been forced to plan for the next financial year. Much of the impact on the Council has been a substantial loss of income which is experienced from the closure of our world heritage assets such as the Roman Baths and Pump Rooms. Other major losses have occurred from reductions in parking and other related transport income. And finally, our commercial estate operating in the marketplace as it does has seen a huge pressure on rental income. Tenants  ...  view the full minutes text for item 95.

96.

Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring, Cash Limits and Virements – April 2020 to December 2020 pdf icon PDF 390 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 December 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying that this was a regular quarterly report it covers Quarter Three period. The Council was on course to end the year the balanced budget position, which was an outstanding achievement considering the impact that the pandemic had on the Council. This was achieved with swift actions taken by the Cabinet and the Council’s senior management team to control Council’s finances.

The capital budget has been impacted by the pandemic and Councillor Samuel highlighted the deficits on the collection of the Council Tax and Business Rates as a concern for future years.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Dine Romero seconded the motion and thanked Councillor Samuel, other Cabinet Members, and the relevant officers for ensuring that the Council was in the balanced budget position.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1)  Note the 2020/21 revenue budget position (as at the end of December 2020).

2)  Note the revenue virements listed for information only in Appendix 3(i).

3)  Note the capital year-end forecast detailed in paragraph 3.36 of this report;

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

97.

Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 106 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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying that this was a Strategy that guides the Council’s use of its Treasury funds which is annually reviewed and updated to reflect wider changes in financial markets.  Councillor Samuel highlighted the progress in moving the Council away from investing in funds that support unsustainable environmental activities and investing in funds that meet high ethical and environmental standards. 

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations as printed.

 

Councillor Sarah Warren seconded the motion by welcoming the fact that the Council would be moving away from investing in non-ethical and non-environmentally friendly funds.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

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

2)  Note the Treasury Management Indicators detailed in Appendix 1 and delegate authority for updating the indicators prior to approval at Full Council on 23rd February 2021 to the Chief Finance Officer and Cabinet Member for Resources, in light of any changes to the recommended budget as set out in the Budget Report elsewhere on the agenda for this meeting.

3)  Note that any comments made by the Corporate Audit Committee at their meeting on the 4th February 2021 will be reported to Full Council on the 23rd February 2021.

98.

Treasury Management Monitoring Report to 31st December 2020 pdf icon PDF 467 KB

In February 2012 the Council adopted the 2011 edition of the CIPFA Treasury Management in the Public Services: Code of Practice (subsequently updated in 2017), 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 for 2020/21 for the first nine months of 2020/21.

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report and moved the recommendations as printed.

 

Councillor Kevin Guy seconded the motion.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed that:

 

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

2)  The Treasury Management Indicators to 31st December 2020 are noted.