Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

68.

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.

 

The Chair invited everyone to remember with a minute’s silence four workers killed at the Avonmouth Wessex water treatment plant last week.

69.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Councillor Sarah Warren had sent her apology for this meeting.

70.

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:

There were none.

71.

To Announce any Urgent Business Agreed by the Chair

Minutes:

There was none.

72.

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 20 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 pdf icon PDF 217 KB

Additional documents:

73.

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 the issues around bus travel around West of England Combined Authority during COVID19 pandemic.

 

Councillor Manda Rigby in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 3 and on the Council's website] addressed the Cabinet by welcoming the report on Local Plan Partial Update: Options Consultation and that she was very pleased that our communities would have the opportunity through the consultation period to make their views known

 

Councillor Paul Myers addressed the Cabinet by expressing his concerns on the recommendations within the report on Future Destination Management Arrangements.  Councillor Myers said that he was astounded that this administration is proposing to hand over such an important and vital function to a new, untried and untested body.  Tourism was a vital sector to the Bath and North East Somerset economy, employing in the region of 9,000 people. Councillor Myers felt that, given the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry, now is a critical time to secure those jobs.  Councillor Myers concluded by saying that if this Cabinet approves the proposals before them today, then it would inflict negative impact on the city, and on the local economy.

 

 

 

Appendix 2 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Appendix 3 pdf icon PDF 50 KB

74.

Minutes of Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 158 KB

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 5th November 2020 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

75.

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.

76.

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.

77.

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.

 

78.

Liveable Neighbourhoods pdf icon PDF 155 KB

The B&NES Climate Emergency Action Plan, approved in October 2019, recommends a major shift to mass transport, walking and cycling to reduce transport emissions.  Liveable Neighbourhoods are an important aspect of proposals to tackle the climate emergency and to improve health and wellbeing across the area.  The ambition is for Liveable Neighbourhoods is to breathe new life into residential areas by reducing the dominance of motor vehicles. We strive to reconsider how road space is utilised to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, enhance road safety and promote healthy lifestyles. The idea is to provide fairer access for those travelling on foot and by bicycle, creating healthier outdoor spaces for everyone to enjoy. This includes better walking and cycling routes, and vibrant local high streets where people can relax outside and connect with others.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shaun Stephenson-McGall read out a statement (attached as Appendix 4 to these minutes) where he welcomed the report which reflected the Council's climate emergency action plan, which was approved just over a year ago, which recommended a major shift to mass transport walking and cycling as ways to reduce our transport emissions.

 

Before reading out her statement in support of the report, Councillor Joanna Wright highlighted minor corrections to figures 6.1 and 9.2 of the report (attached as Appendix 5).

 

Councillor Joanna Wright read out the following statement:

 

‘It is my great pleasure to propose to you tonight this paper on Liveable Neighbourhoods.  This paper is without doubt one of the most radical changes to transport infrastructure and the reorganisation of road space ever presented to the Cabinet.  Transport is one of the few sectors where our carbon emissions are still rising. This Council has declared a climate emergency, and it is necessary that we find innovative new ways of enabling residents in BANES Council to share road space. Liveable neighbourhoods will help to reframe how communities use the public highway, so that the greater emphasis is given to those using active travel.  Liveable neighbourhoods will help to create pleasant, healthy and safe places for people to live, work, and be. There is no doubt that transport is one of the most difficult, and most contentious policy areas that we as Councillors have to consider.  Behaviour change is one of the toughest nuts in politics to crack, asking all sections of the community to rethink their travel choices, is a demanding ask. Let us remember that 24% of households have no access to a car; that the youngest, the oldest and the poorest are unfairly affected by the dominance of vehicles, and rarely do we hear the concerns of those that are marginalised.  But we do know is that the number of vehicles on our roads has increased significantly, and is still rising.  Whatever we do or do not do, congestion costs all of us in lost productivity and poor public health. Liveable neighbourhoods are a cost effective way to reduce the dominance of vehicles in residential areas and helps to prioritise active travel. The overall aim of this policy is to reduce vehicle use rather than divert traffic elsewhere. Data shows that 42% of journeys made by private car for the trips that are less than three kilometres in March this year. Many of us can replace short car journeys, with an active travel choice. The positive impact that these changes to travel will be seen in a plethora of ways such as the environment, health, safety, and community. The liveable neighbourhoods’ policy will enable a range of measures to be deployed, including modal filters, expansion of residence car parking, school streets, strategic corridor improvements to build capacity for active travel and investment in on-street electric vehicle charging. All these schemes will maintain vehicle access to homes and businesses and can be designed without disadvantaging disabled people,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.

Appendix 4 pdf icon PDF 13 KB

Appendix 5 pdf icon PDF 748 KB

79.

Local Plan Partial Update: Options Consultation pdf icon PDF 801 KB

This report sets out the scope and arrangements for the Local Plan Partial Update Options consultation scheduled to start in January 2021. It also seeks changes to the Council’s Local Development Scheme (LDS) which is the Council’s programme for the preparation and review of planning polices).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shaun Stephenson-McGall read out a statement (attached as Appendix 6 to these minutes) where he welcomed the report to consult on a range of various updates to the Local Plan.

 

Councillor Tim Ball introduced the report by thanking all officers inthe planning policy department on the work they had put into place to produce the planning consultations in record time.  The Local Plan needed to be partially updated to show that the policies help deliver the Council's current priorities.  The Local Plan needs to take place along with WECA Spatial Development Strategy.  These would include key policies to help address climate and ecological events such as renewable energy generation, sustainable construction, retrofitting buildings and biodiversity net gain.  It would also update the parking standards, including HMO parking. The consultation with the residents would take place and the comments would be considered in the Plan which would be published in the spring of 2021.

Councillor Ball took the meeting through the rest of the report, as printed.  Councillor Ball pointed out to the amendment on wording to pages 112 and 113 of the report - https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/documents/s63846/E3239z%20Amendment%20to%20the%20wording%20on%20page%20112%20and%20113%20of%20Attachment%201%20for%20clarification.pdf

 

Councillor Tim Ball again thanked the officers on the work and effort so far. 

 

Councillor Tim Ball moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Paul Crossley seconded the motion by saying that he welcomed the report.  Councillor Crossley welcomed that the consultation would take place not just with residents but also with community groups and organisations such as universities, especially on issues of Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO).  Councillor Crossley felt that Bath and North East Somerset would need to defend family homes by tightening HMO policies.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel welcomed the report.  Councillor Samuel in particular welcomed the suite of measures proposed in relation to carbon reduction in construction, the complimentary policies on environmental conservation which were important given the pressure on natural habitats due to human activity and on the proposed changes to HMO policy which could limit the increase of HMO units.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed with:

 

 

1)  The policy options and proposals in Attachment 1 as the basis for public engagement,

 

2)  The revised B&NES Local Development Scheme in Attachment 2, and

 

3)  The approach to public engagement in Section 10 of this report, and

 

4)  To delegate authority to the Director for Development and Public Protection, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, to finalise the Local Plan Partial Update Options consultation document and the Local Development Scheme.

Appendix 6 pdf icon PDF 14 KB

80.

Property Services - Service Review pdf icon PDF 198 KB

COVID19 has had a significant impact upon and how the council manages its’ commercial estate.  The pandemic has resulted in immediate and permanent changes to our ways of working and our operational estate requirements.  COVID19 related socio-economic impacts, some of which may become permanent, require the organisation to re-position its estate to respond to this change.

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying that the Council's property holdings have produced income for many years, which was used for a wide range of services and on the improvements in the area. There were 1,200 properties with a value of around £1bn. Councillor Samuel stressed that this area of the Council was ‘a jewel in the crown’ that must be looked after and nurtured.  However, the time has come to consider a change of direction especially in the recent months (since COVID19 pandemic).  The budget 2021/2022 would consider how the decoupling of income from service provision could take place.

 

The elected Councillors were ultimately responsible for the performance of this portfolio, and it is for the Cabinet to uphold.  However, a delicate balance was necessary between property portfolio decisions and the freedom for officers to manage the estate on a day to day basis without undue pressure from members.  More rigorous governance was required drawing on national best practice in public and private sectors.  Councillor Samuel said that he intended to bring these changes forward for agreement soon. The proposals would outline who would benefit from future arrangements and would emphasise the huge beneficial opportunity that exists with a fresh look at the service.

 

Councillor Samuel said that he would like to invite Mandy Bishop (Chief Operating Officer of the Council who had carried out quite a lot of work on this matter) to speak the recommendation as moved and seconded, to take the Cabinet through the details of the report.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Rob Appleyard seconded the motion by echoing comments made by Councillor Samuel in his introduction, in particular on the need to revisit the service provision through recent challenging times during the pandemic.

 

Mandy Bishop (Chief Operating Officer) took the Cabinet through the report. 

 

The Bath and North East Somerset Council were fortunate to be the custodians of an extensive estate and land holdings.  The Council commenced a review prior to the pandemic of its property arrangements.  The report clearly indicated that the Council had to accelerate this work as it was necessary and timely due to COVID and the impacts that has had not just on commercial estate but also on Council's operational estate.

 

There were four key strands that were looked at the newest estate strategy and it was really important to define at that strategic level what the objectives were for this study and look at those conflicting priorities. It was not just about Council's objectives; it was about being clear and transparent about governance arrangements and the decision making processes, and the general approach not just with the property but also with land holdings, including community asset transfers.  There was a lot of interest in local communities, particularly around asset transfer which was really important point in terms of engagement with those communities in that process.

 

The developing strategy would align with the priorities contained in the Council's Corporate Plan for 2020-2024.  The last time the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.

81.

Future of Destination Management arrangements pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Covid 19 has significantly impacted on the long-term viability of Destination Management Organisations across the UK.  In conjunction with neighbouring Councils, B&NES considers it necessary to combine the back-office functions of the existing Destination Management Organisation, Visit Bath, with Destination Bristol, to create Visit West.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Dine Romero introduced the report by saying that the Council would not lose their own unique brand of Visit Bath.  The new destination management organisation would be more attractive to government, and so funding opportunities, which would open opportunities that have not been taken up by Visit Bath, and it would help build the offer for visitors to this region. Working with our neighbours means that some burdens would be shared, without losing the economic value that a vibrant local visitor economy brings.

 

Councillor Dine Romero moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel seconded the motion by welcoming the points Councillor Romero has put forward as the rationale for this report.  Councillor Samuel suggested an addition to recommendations which would read the following:

‘9)  Instruct the Chief Executive to urgently undertake a review of governance arrangements for arms-length service providers and larger contract holders and report the outcome of this review to the Cabinet as soon as practicable.

 

Councillor Dine Romero agreed with this addition to recommendations.

 

Councillor Paul Crossley welcomed the report and agreed with the additional recommendation proposed by Councillor Samuel and accepted by Councillor Romero.  Councillor Crossley added that Visit Bath had been in sorry state for some time, and it was drifting into deficit since 2016.  Councillor Crossley also said that he was happy with the partnership with three neighbouring authority areas and with expected cooperation between the private sector and the public sector.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1)  Authorise the Council to become a member of Visit West a company limited by Guarantee in accordance with the terms of the Membership Agreement.

2)  Authorise the Council to enter into the Asset & Employee Transfer Agreement with Visit West as guarantor for Visit Bath and for the future delivery of the Council’s destination management function through Visit West.

3)  Authorise the Council to enter into the Asset & Employee Transfer Agreement with Bath Forum to provide an indemnity for staff transferring from Visit Bath to Bath Forum.

4)  Authorise the Council to enter into the Asset & Employee Transfer Agreement with Visit Bath to provide for the transfer of Christmas Market staff to the Council and to address all residual matters.

5)  Delegate to the Director of Economy & Growth in consultation with the Cabinet member for Resources the power to make any minor changes to the Transfer Agreements or the Membership Agreement.

6)  Appoint the Director of Finance to the Board of Visit Bath to effect the voluntary strike-off of Visit Bath and to provide an indemnity to that officer to provide protection from personal liability pursuant to the Local Authorities (Indemnity to members and Officers) regulations 2004.

7)  Approve the use of reserve funding to enable the Council to meet the outstanding company liabilities, with delegation given to the Director of Finance (S151 Officer) in consultation with the Chief Executive and Cabinet member for Resources to make final arrangements.

8)  Authorise the Council to take leasehold assignments for Bath Street and Bridgewater House.

9)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.