Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Marie Todd  01225394414

No. Item


Welcome and introductions


The Chair, Cllr Kevin Guy, welcomed everyone watching and participating at the virtual Cabinet meeting and made the following statement:


Due to the ongoing Covid situation and a desire to retain a level of social distancing at Council meetings at this time, we are holding this ‘informal’ virtual Cabinet meeting to enable Cabinet, Councillors and members of the public to take part.  This virtual meeting will be conducted in the normal manner but, as any decisions made will not be legally enforceable, they will be formally made at the physically reduced, quorate decision-making meeting tomorrow on 11 February 2022.  We will review this approach for any future Cabinet meetings, in line with government and health guidance at that time.


Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Declarations of Interest

At this point in the meeting declarations of interest are received from Members in any of the agenda items under consideration at the meeting. Members are asked to indicate:


(a) The agenda item number in which they have an interest to declare.

(b) The nature of their interest.

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


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


The Monitoring Officer explained that he had granted a general dispensation for item 11 (Budget and Council Tax 2022/23) for all those Cabinet members who pay Council Tax.  He had also granted a special dispensation for those members in receipt of Council services.


The following members then made specific declarations:


·  Councillor Kevin Guy declared that he has received a Covid relief grant from the Council in respect of his family business.


·  Cllr Tim Ball declared that one of his grandsons is in receipt of social services support and two other grandchildren have EHCPs (Education, Health Care and Plans).


·  Cllr Sarah Warren declared that a family member has an EHCP.




To Announce any Urgent Business Agreed by the Chair


There was no urgent business.


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 three minutes each.  The speaker may then be asked by Cabinet members to answer factual questions arising out of their statement.


Members of the public and Councillors made statements as follows:


·  David Redgewell (South West Transport Board and Rail Future Severnside) – Budget on Transport (David Redgewell lost connection to the virtual meeting so was unable to make his statement in person, however, a copy is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 1 and on the Council's website)


·  Cllr Dr Yukteshwar Kumar – Collegiality (a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 2 and on the Council's website)


·  Katherine Howells – Proposed parking charges in Midsomer Norton (a copy of which is attached to the minutes as Appendix 3 and on the Council's website)


·  Cllr Grant Johnson – Proposed parking charges in Midsomer Norton and Radstock.  Cllr Johnson also presented an online petition to the Leader of the Council requesting that the proposal to introduce hourly car parking charges in Midsomer Norton and Radstock be dropped.  The petition contained 1,164 signatures.  He also presented a letter to the Leader of the Council signed by 48 local businesses in Midsomer Norton and Radstock stating that they feel that the introduction of hourly parking charges would have a negative impact on local businesses and residents.


·  Cllr Michael Evans – Midsomer Norton car parking charges (a copy of which is attached to the minutes as Appendix 4 and on the Council's website)


·  Cllr Alastair Singleton – Bristol Airport appeal (a copy of which is attached to the minutes as Appendix 5 and on the Council's website).


·  Cllr Vic Pritchard – Council budget (a copy of which is attached to the minutes as Appendix 6 and on the Council's website)


  • Malcolm Baldwin – Potential re-siting of the Fashion Museum

David Redgewell - Public Transport Budget - Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 267 KB

Additional documents:


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 submit, up to a maximum of two per Councillor.


There were 22 questions from Councillors and one question from a member of the public.  Two Councillors asked supplementary questions.


[Copies of the questions and responses, including supplementary questions and responses, have been placed on the minute book as Appendix 7 and are available on the Council's website.]

Question and Answer Sheet pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:


Minutes of Previous Cabinet Meetings pdf icon PDF 882 KB

The Cabinet is asked to note the minutes of the following meetings and to forward these for approval as a correct record to the meeting on Friday 11 February 2022.


Informal virtual Cabinet meeting – 15 December 2021

Cabinet meeting – 16 December 2021

Informal virtual Special Cabinet meeting – 26 January 2022

Special Cabinet meeting – 27 January 2022

Additional documents:


It was RESOLVED to recommend the approval of the following minutes:


15 December 2021 (virtual informal meeting)

16 December 2021

26 January 2022 (virtual informal special meeting)

27 January 2022 (Special meeting)




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.



There were none.


Matters Referred by Policy Development and Scrutiny Bodies

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


Cllr Karen Warrington, Chair of the Corporate Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel, presented a summary of the comments of the PDS Panels on the proposed budget for 2022/23.


Single Member Cabinet Decisions Taken since Previous Cabinet Meeting

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

Additional documents:


It was RESOLVED to recommend the Cabinet on 11 February 2022 to note the report.


Budget and Council Tax 2022/23 and Financial Outlook pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To consider the attached report which presents the revenue and capital budgets together with proposals for increases in Council Tax and the Adult Social Care Precept for 2022/23.

Additional documents:


Cllr Samuel introduced the Budget and Council Tax report for 2022/23 and made the following statement:


“Members will be aware that the covid pandemic has had, and continues to have, a lasting negative impact on the council’s finances. Two of our principal sources of income – heritage attractions and our commercial property are operating below full capacity. The former because of the downturn in tourism and a need to maintain safe circulation space in the Roman Baths and Pump Rooms, and the latter because of a 40% downward market fall in rents together with rent arrears that accumulated during the pandemic.


Less income means more pressure on our budget because we cannot rely on the income we normally use to fund our full range of services. We expect to receive £13m less income in the coming financial year. When this is added to the significant inflationary pressures in the wider economy and the post-lockdown service pressures, we have a perfect storm.


I do not expect the Council to emerge from this financial maelstrom until 2025/6 at the earliest by which time £82.3m gross will have lost forever. I will repeat that. The council expects to lose £82.3m from its income over 5 years. Just think what could have been done with that money. It is going to take several more years before our recovery is complete.


Against this background, the Cabinet set itself the task of maintaining the drive to improve living standards for B&NES residents by holding spending on transport, and substantially enhancing our vital neighbourhood services and beginning the task of building the first council houses in our area for a generation.


We also committed to try and keep any council tax rise to a minimum recognising that pressures on household incomes are severe at present due to the government’s failure to fully protect households from the spike in energy prices.


Of course, the Council provides a very wide range of services to our residents and wherever possible these are being maintained at pre-pandemic levels. In some areas such as Children’s Services there are long term funding pressures which have continued to intensify. We have therefore provided additional funds to support these essential services for young people. However, the central government support for these services is insufficient over the longer term given all the other pressures facing local government.


The same is true of Adult Services where there is little evidence that the government’s recent proposals will lead to a better financial outcome for these crucial services.


Beneath the headlines, I highlight a series of important investment decisions:


·  More funding for IT reflecting the move to remote home-based working

·  Resources for a decent pay settlement for our hard-working staff

·  Provision against the expected spike in energy prices

·  More funds for maintaining and repairing our commercial property estate

·  Hedges against expected contract inflation price rises

·  Allowances for expected demographic growth

·  More money for home to school transport

·  More cash for recycling investment


All these and more show  ...  view the full minutes text for item 146.

Revised Annex 2(i) - 2022-23 - Amended Budget Savings and Income Proposals pdf icon PDF 483 KB


Revenue & Capital Budget Monitoring, Cash Limits and Virements – April to December 2021 pdf icon PDF 343 KB

To consider the attached report which presents the financial monitoring information for the Authority as a whole for the financial year 2021/22, using information available as at the end of December 2021.

Additional documents:


Cllr Richard Samuel introduced the report and made the following statement:


“Although the budget report is the main event on tonight’s agenda, I want to highlight a quiet building success story.


The revenue budget outturn is forecast to be under budget by £60k at the year end. If we reach that milestone then this Liberal Democrat administration will have delivered 12 consecutive quarters of balanced financial management. This is something the last administration got nowhere near. My aim is that by May 2023 that balancing of budgets will add a further four quarters to that total. Sixteen consecutive quarters of tight financial management.


Why does that matter? Well first of all it highlights that the council is managing within its resources. Not overspending. Not wasting money on vanity projects. Not taking from reserves to prop up overspending. Not failing to deliver year on year savings. Not spending scarce capital funds on making staff redundant.


In short it is about being a well-managed, well run efficient council that taxpayers can rely on to manage their money properly. A council that takes strong action when it needs to such as the emergency Covid budget we put through in 2020.


Of course, there are always ups and downs in any organisation that is spending over £300m each year. In this quarter we report increased spending on Children’s Services and the continuing downturn in heritage income, but this is balanced by lower than expected spend on adult services.


The capital programme has experienced a considerable slow-down in the delivery of projects largely due to the pandemic, but this has had the bonus of reducing borrowing costs in the short term.


Chair this report is a positive health check on the state of play of the council’s finances and I thank the senior management team for their continuing vigilance on our behalf. I move the recommendations set out in the report.”


The motion was seconded by Cllr Kevin Guy.


RESOLVED (unanimously) to recommend the Cabinet on 11 February 2022:


(1)  To note the 2021/22 revenue budget position (as at the end of December 2021).


(2)  To note the revenue virements listed for information only in Appendix 3(i) of the report.


(3)  To note the capital year-end forecast detailed in paragraph 3.25 of the report.


(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) of the report.


Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 286 KB

To consider the attached report regarding the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy.  The Authority is required to approve a treasury management strategy before the start of each financial year.

Additional documents:


Cllr Richard Samuel introduced the report and made the following statement:


“The Council is required to have a Treasury Management Strategy that sets out the Council’s policies for managing its investments and how the security and liquidity of those investments will be secured.


The strategy is kept under continuous review and regularly reported to the Cabinet and Council throughout the financial year. Each year the policy is updated to reflect wider market conditions. The content of the strategy is set out in the report. The role of the cabinet today is to consider the proposed strategy before its presentation to the full meeting of the Council next week as the 22/23.


The main changes to the 21/22 strategy are as follows:


The most substantive change last year was the inclusion of an Environmental, Social and Governance section to the document.  As this was new last year, a lot of detail was included in the 2021/22 TMS but this has been reduced this year making the section more proportionate to the overall TMS.


Some of the other updates this year relate to the changes in the revised CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities which was issued on 20 December 2021.  This revised Code has been released as a soft launch for the 2022/23, and as such full compliance with the code is not required until 2023/24.  However wherever practicable, alignments to the revised code have been made in 2022/23.


I would draw the Cabinet’s attention to the looming black clouds over the UK economy. Growth has slowed to below the Eurozone. Inflation is way over the Bank of England target of 2%. There are few levers available to the bank to control the inflation in prices as the majority are driven by commodity prices. The deflationary acts of the April National Insurance rise and the simultaneous rise in energy prices will drive down consumption and interest rate rises will further deflate the economy. The Bank expects 2022/23 to be a very difficult year for UK citizens, with prices exceeding wage growth. This has clear implications for discretionary hospitality spending.”


Cllr Samuel then moved the recommendations set out in the report.  


Cllr Tom Davies seconded the motion stating that he supported Cllr Samuel’s remarks.


RESOVED (unanimously) to recommend the Cabinet on 11 February 2022


(1)  To recommend the actions proposed within the Treasury Management Strategy Statement (Appendix 1 of the report) to February Council.

(2)  To note the Treasury Management Indicators detailed in Appendix 1 of the report and to delegate authority for updating the indicators prior to approval at Full Council on 16 February 2022 to the Chief Finance Officer and Cabinet Member for Economic Development & 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)  To note that any comments made by the Corporate Audit Committee at its meeting on 3 February 2022 will be reported to Full Council on 15  ...  view the full minutes text for item 148.


Treasury Management Performance Report to 31 December 2021 pdf icon PDF 989 KB

To consider the attached report which gives details of performance against the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy for 2021/22 for the first nine months of 2021/22.


Cllr Richard Samuel moved the recommendations set out in the report.  This was seconded by Cllr Alison Born.


RESOLVED (unanimously) to recommend Cabinet at the meeting on 11 February 2022:


(1)  To note the Treasury Management Report to 31December 2021, prepared in accordance with the CIPFA Treasury Code of Practice.

(2)  To note the Treasury Management Indicators to 31 December 2021.


Quarter 3 Strategic Performance Report 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 303 KB

To consider the attached report which updates Cabinet on the progress made against a key set of strategic performance measures which assess the Council’s progress on delivering the Corporate Strategy and key aspects of service delivery.

Additional documents:


Cllr Richard Samuel introduced the report and made the following statement:


·  “Over 70% of environmental issues are now being reported online through Fix my street. This dataset is updated daily giving the service near real time information. It is hoped that this will improve even further as it becomes part of the work for the Council’s new Customer Contact strategy.

·  Children on an Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP) has increased by over 8% since the beginning of the year to over 1,741 plans. In common with other Local Authorities, B&NES continues to see an increase in the number of children on EHCPs.

·  We are above our target for supporting adult service users in employment. Employment is a significant factor in improving people's mental health and this demonstrates how well we are supporting some of our most vulnerable adults.

·  Q3 waste performance in terms of recycling/composting is down, this is impacted by seasonal variation, as garden waste volumes decreased. When this is considered alongside the below-target amount of waste produced per household, the service is progressing towards its zero-waste ambition.

·  We have a statutory responsibility to ensure that people's needs are being met by, as a minimum, an annual review of Adult Social Care (ASC) Our current performance is 70% against our target of 80%. Despite this, performance has steadily improved during the year irrespective of the significant and ongoing pressures on the ASC service because of the COVID pandemic.

·  There has been a steady decrease in the number of fly tips reported to the Council.

·  There has been a steady increase in the number of contacts to the Energy at Home Information Centre, which means more residents are being given vital information on how to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

·  Since its peak in 2019, the number of children looked after by the Council has remained relatively constant.

·  The number of Children with Child Protection plans also remains very consistent and is low compared to similar local authority areas.

·  We have made very good progress reducing Adult Social Care admission rates and are well under our target, although changed funding arrangements during the pandemic has been a factor in the reduced rate, with health funding some of the placements that social care would have previously picked up.

·  Members should also note that from January 2022, the Council has been requested to undertake another round of Business Grants.”


He informed the Cabinet that he has asked the Corporate PDS Panel to consider this issue after one year whether the performance reports are working and whether they wish to suggest any improvements. The Chair of the Panel has agreed to this.


Cllr Samuel then moved the recommendations set out in the report. 


Cllr Kevin Guy seconded the motion and thanked Cllr Samuel and the officers for all the hard work they have put in to producing all the reports for this meeting.


RESOLVED (unanimously) to recommend the Cabinet at its meeting on 11 February 2022:


(1)  To note  ...  view the full minutes text for item 150.