Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Michaela Gay  01225 394411

Items
No. Item

95.

Welcome and introductions

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor 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 16th December 2021.
We will review this approach for any future Cabinet meetings, in line with government and health guidance at that time.

96.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Councillor Tom Davies, Cabinet Member for Adults and Council House Building, gave apologies for the meeting.

97.

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.

98.

To Announce any Urgent Business Agreed by the Chair

Minutes:

 

 

1.  The Chair made the following statement: “I am giving notice that I intend to call a special meeting of Cabinet (rule 4D, 7) in late January to agree the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement before it is submitted by WECA to the Department for TransportIn so doing, I am also using rule 4D, 20 to suspend the necessary rules so that no public or councillor questions are permitted at this meeting, and only statements on the agenda item.  This is to enable a focussed debate on the issue, and the usual public and councillor opportunities to engage with Cabinet will operate at the next scheduled meeting in February.  Please can I have a seconder for this proposal and then ask Cabinet to indicate their support.” Councillor Sarah Warren seconded the proposal

 

RESOLVED to recommend to Cabinet on 16th December 2021 that rule 4D, 20 be used as outlined above regarding the January 2022 meeting of the Cabinet.

 

 

2.  The Chair announced that Councillor Alison Born, Cabinet Member for Adults and Council House Building would make a statement on ‘The Sale of Virgin Care to Twenty20 Capital’

 

Councillor Alison Born made the following statement.

 

“I would like to make a statement about the sale of Virgin Care to the Private Capital company Twenty20 Capital.

 

The recent decision to extend the Virgin Care contract by three years, until 2027, was taken because it appeared to offer continuity and certainty during a time of great challenge and upheaval in health and social care services. It was a joint decision with colleagues in the CCG and was based on a detailed options appraisal using the information available to us when the decision was made on 11th November.

 

The announcement, three weeks later on 1st December 2021, that Virgin Care had been bought by the private capital company Twenty20 Capital, and is now known as HCRG Care Group, came as a total shock to all who had worked on the contract extension and all those working in local community health and care services, including valued colleagues in our voluntary and community sector.

 

We have been reassured that nothing will change but it appears to us that our community health and care services may have transferred from an organisation that had given a commitment not to make any profit from its health care contracts to one with a very different business model. If that is the case, it is clearly a significant change.

 

This raises a number of concerns, many of which have been raised with me by

service users, elected members, third sector organisations, staff and residents.  As the very basis for the extension decision appears to us to be in question, our confidence in continuity and consolidation has been undermined. As a consequence, we have decided to pause and reflect whilst we work jointly with colleagues in the CCG to seek specialist advice and undertake a comprehensive analysis and due diligence on the implications of these changes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 98.

99.

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:

Malcolm Baldwin (Chair, Circus Area Residents) made a statement regardingthe implementation of the "Liveable Neighbourhoods Strategy" [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes on the Council's website].

 

David Redgewell (South West Transport Board and Rail Future Severnside) made a statement regarding Transport Issues.

 

Rachael Hushon - made a statement regarding the work of the Community Speedwatch Team [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes on the Council's website]

 

Bob Goodman made a statement regarding issues facing the City of Bath [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes on the Council's website]

 

Martin Grixoni made a statement regarding the state of the City. Bath [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes on the Council's website]

 

Hannah Downey made a statement regarding City Centre Traffic Regulation Order.

 

Carole Cameron (Bath Independent Hospitality Association) made a statement regarding the TRO and the proposed changes to the Hotel and Guest House permits [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes on the Council's website]

 

 

Councillor Karen Walker made a statement regarding the budget relating to Peasedown St John [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as on the Council's website]

 

Councillor Vic Pritchard made a statement regarding City Centre Security Issues

 

Councillor Karen Warrington made a statement regarding rural traffic issues.

 

Additional documents:

100.

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 48 questions from Councillors.

[Copies of the questions and responses, including supplementary questions and responses, if any, are attached to these minutes]

Additional documents:

101.

Minutes of Previous Cabinet Meetings pdf icon PDF 259 KB

The Cabinet is asked to note the minutes of the virtual meeting held on Wednesday 10th November 2021 and the physical meeting on Thursday 11th November 2021 and forward for approval as a correct record to the meeting on Thursday 16th December 2021.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED to recommend the approval of the minutes of the meetings held on Wednesday 10th November 2021 and Thursday 11th November 2021.

102.

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.

103.

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.

104.

Single Member Cabinet Decisions Taken since Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 12 KB

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

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED to recommend that the Cabinet on 16th December 2021 note the report.

105.

Bath Clean Air Plan- update December 2021 pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To achieve compliance with Ministerial Directions, on 15 March 2021 a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) was launched in Bath, the first charging CAZ outside of London.

Whilst many of the monitoring measures, including air quality, are ordinarily reported on an annual basis, this report is the second in a series which provides an indicative view of the performance of the Clean Air Zone in Bath from July-September 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Sarah Warren introduced the report and made the following statement:

 

“Air pollution is estimated to cause around 80 deaths a day across the UK, with approximately 80 per year in Bath and North East Somerset. The World Health Organisation recently released new guidelines on safe levels of 6 pollutants where evidence has advanced on the health effects from exposure, and I have written this week to the Minister to urge their rapid adoption into UK law, combined with adequate advice, powers and financial support for councils in tackling them, so as to reduce these adverse health impacts.

Tonight we are considering the second quarterly report on air quality, vehicle compliance, and traffic displacement following the implementation in March 2021 of Bath’s Clean Air Zone, which is designed to tackle high atmospheric levels of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide. The report covers the period from July to September of this year.

Nitrogen dioxide levels are usually measured and compared over 12 month average periods because of the way its concentration in the atmosphere fluctuates depending on seasonal weather conditions. Therefore this report on just 3 months from July to September, covers a very short period by these standards, and presents provisional data, not yet subject to bias corrections or validation.

During the quarter we saw overall traffic levels return to pre-covid levels in the city, with light goods vehicles at 112% and heavy goods vehicles at 110% of their pre-covid numbers, owing to pandemic-related changes in shopping patterns. Throughout the period, there have been dramatic changes to traffic flows around the city centre arising from the complete closure of Cleveland Bridge, which normally carries some 17,000 vehicles per day.

The purpose of the zone is to encourage the upgrade of the most polluting vehicles, and £9.4m has been made available through grants and interest free finance to support this. Some 1495 individuals have been approved for finance, and 591 vehicles upgraded so far through this route, with others delayed due to issues with global supply of new vehicles. Overall, air quality continues to improve both within and outside the zone, with average reductions in nitrogen dioxide levels 14% inside, and 9% outside the zone, compared to the same period in 2019.

Currently:

·  91% of all taxis, 96% of HGVs, and almost 100% of scheduled bus services driving in the zone are compliant.

·  We’ve seen an increase to 77% of compliant light goods vehicles travelling in the zone.

·  Of the 40,000 vehicles entering the zone each day, non-compliant vehicles are down to just 1.7%.

·  The income generated between March and the end of September totalled around £3.5m, all of which will go into reserve funds to pay for the future operation of the scheme in the interests of public health.

I particularly want to thank those people who have gone to the trouble and expense of upgrading their vehicles, whether independently or through the council scheme, as well as those who are still on waiting lists for new vehicles, because we are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 105.

106.

Cleveland Bridge Review pdf icon PDF 153 KB

This report provides a progress update on actions requested of officers at the September 2021 meeting of the Cabinet and some proposed recommendations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Mandy Rigby introduced the report and made the following statement:

 

“I am splitting this speech into 2 bits. I will introduce the paper I am asking you to support shortly, but first, I'd like to take this opportunity to give my Cabinet colleagues and those who are watching a verbal update on the condition of the bridge and the status of the works.

Engineering work on Bath’s historic Cleveland Bridge will continue in the run up to Christmas, pause from 23rd December and resume on January 4. 

The bridge will remain closed to HGVs but will continue to be open for vehicles under two metres in width under traffic signals.

A fuller update on the programme of renovation works is anticipated in mid-January. 

Since temporary supports were installed at the end of October, crucial sections of the bridge trusses have been repaired, however repairs on a fourth truss are more extensive and work is ongoing. 

Another temporary platform has been erected under the bridge deck on upstream side of the river allowing for more detailed inspection of the bridge. It has resulted in the identification of a further 28 repairs in addition to 21 already accounted for. Investigation work is also under way on downstream side of the structure.

Engineers are looking at all options to progress the repairs as safely and quickly as possible but at this stage we are unable to confirm when the bridge will be fully opened. 

Pedestrians, cyclists and cars can use the bridge and an exception has been made for emergency vehicles, which will be able to access the bridge via a gate specifically for their use.

Diversion routes for all other vehicles and through traffic on the A36 via South Gloucestershire are available on the council’s Cleveland Bridge webpage.

Work on the £3.8 million project to repair and safeguard the Grade II* listed structure began in May under temporary traffic signals before the bridge was closed to all vehicle traffic on 28 June.

The extent of the works includes repairs to the bridge deck and concrete supporting structure, along with repainting of the cast iron arches and parapets and waterproofing to prevent future weather damage. 

However, due to the uncertainty this may have an impact on other planned maintenance and events that require road closures that are scheduled in for next year. We are working to understand this risk fully, but we will be discussing with event planners and other stakeholders shortly.

The project is currently funded through the Government’s Highways Challenge Fund. 

 

Moving on to the paper in front of you about future options for the bridge.

I am asking Cabinet to agree with points 1-5 in the recommendations. 

This paper is a direct result of the cabinet meeting held on September 9th when officers were instructed to examine all options for charging and/or restricting HGV movements across Cleveland bridge. This is a 200-year-old bridge, never intended for this volume and weight of traffic, and the mitigations put in place in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 106.

107.

Bristol to Bath Strategic Corridor, Strategic Outline Case pdf icon PDF 215 KB

The BBSC (Bristol to Bath Strategic Corridor) seeks to improve travel between Bath and Bristol through better bus services, improvements to bus infrastructure, and develop facilities to enable more cycling and walking services and along the A4 route, as well as to the A4 route from neighbouring communities.

We want to provide better and more sustainable transport to help people move around more easily, reduce congestion, lower carbon emissions and improve the environment we live in.

The Strategic Outline Case (SOC) establishes the potential scope of the transport proposal. This sets out the rationale for intervention (the case for change) and confirms how the investment will further our priorities and wider government ambitions (the strategic fit) to determine the ‘preferred way forward’.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Sarah Warren introduced the report and made the following statement:

 

“The A4 Bristol Bath corridor serves a population of 117,000 with around 13,000 trips made along the corridor each day. At the moment, the mode share of these made by car is 54%, increasing to a whopping 77% of commuters to Bristol or Bath along the route, with just 7% of all trips by bike, and 9% by bus. Population along the corridor is forecast to increase, and if nothing is done, mode share by car is forecast to rise still further, with the greatest increase arising from trips of less than 5km. Corresponding congestion costs are forecast to increase to £800m per year by 2036.

At present, there is very limited bus priority, and very little safe, segregated cycle provision on the route, which results in a vicious cycle. Buses stuck in traffic travel slowly with unpredictable journey times, cycling amongst the traffic feels too dangerous for many, there are few methods to get to the A4 that don’t involve a car. Whilst there is a fast rail connection, it can only be accessed at Keynsham. So, people are understandably very much in the habit of picking up their car keys.

The impacts of this car-dominated environment are many. The route currently suffers from severe congestion, with associated financial cost of wasted time and fuel, increased car mileage as people divert around it, air pollution, noise, and car-dominated communities that don’t always feel like the pleasantest of environments to walk around. As part of our climate emergency declaration, we know we need to achieve a reduction in mileage of 25% per person per year, and this is a vital transition to make for public health reasons as well. So, we need to make the shift from a vicious to a virtuous cycle.

The overarching objective of this project, funded through the West of England Combined Authority’s City Region Sustainable Transport Fund, is to create a high quality segregated and prioritised mass transport, cycling and walking corridor that will provide for reliable services, to encourage people to use sustainable transport modes for short and mid-distance journeys, and contribute to tackling the climate emergency through modal shift. We also plan to improve sustainable modes of getting to the A4, with interchanges between transport modes along the route. Our underlying purpose is to improve people’s lives through addressing the climate emergency, improving public health, and tackling transport poverty.

Our aspiration is for a fast, segregated zero-emission, turn-up-and-go, 5-minute bus service between Bristol and Bath, as well as a continuous, safe, segregated cycle route.  This will create a vital step-change in the standard of sustainable transport connections between the two major cities of the West of England. A first round of public engagement was carried out this autumn, so we already have information about residents’ views. Further engagement will take place in early 2022.

We welcome government’s commitment to sustainable transport through the provision of the City Region Sustainable Transport Fund, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 107.

108.

2020/21 Quarter 2 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 179 KB

This report is presented using the Council’s 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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

This is the second report covering Q2 and is slightly late due to data gathering problems.

The detailed dashboard appears in the appendix, but highlights are:

 

·  Very high levels of resident satisfaction at 87%

·  Strong performance on recycling

·  High levels of reablement – so important to help our hospitals

·  Top performance on safeguarding for adults

I welcome the trend information but query whether faster traffic is a positive indicator in a city where 20mph is the norm. Perhaps officers could look at this.

We welcome suggestions from opposition members and the public as to how we can improve this data for the future. In this regard I will investigate whether the Corporate PDS panel would be prepared to look at the reports in the near future and let us have their recommendations”.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Kevin Guy seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Tim Ball thanked Councillor Samuel and the officers.

 

Councillor Dave Wood stated that this showed the best recycling on record in BANES and that satisfaction had gone up since 2018.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) to recommend that the Cabinet on 16th December 2021:

 

1.1  Note progress on the delivery of key aspects of the Council’s service delivery, details of which are highlighted in section 3.7 and Annex 1.

 

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

 

1.3  Agree to receive update reports on a quarterly basis