Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Marie Todd  01225 394414


No. Item


Welcome and introductions

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The Chair, Cllr Kevin Guy, welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Emergency Evacuation Procedure

The Democratic Services Officer will read out the emergency evacuation procedure as set out in the notes.

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The Senior Democratic Services Officer read out the emergency evacuation procedure.


Apologies for Absence

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Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Mark Roper and Dave Wood.


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 4.4 Appendix 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.

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The Chair stated that as a Council Tax payer he wished to declare an interest in item 12 (Budget and Council Tax 2023/24 and Financial Outlook), on behalf of himself and all Cabinet Members paying Council Tax, Business Rates or in receipt of Council services and sought a dispensation from the Monitoring Officer to enable Members present to participate in the debate and vote on the item.


Cllr Tim Ball declared that a family member is in receipt of enhanced children’s services.


Cllr Sarah Warren declared that a family member has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).


The Deputy Monitoring Officer confirmed that he would grant the required dispensation.


A copy of the general dispensation is attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes.

Cabinet General Dispensation 09.02.2023 - Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 80 KB


To Announce any Urgent Business Agreed by the Chair

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There were no items of urgent business.


The Leader thanked Cllr Samuel and all the officers who had worked on the budget this year for their hard work to balance the books.  He also thanked the Christmas Market Team for the work they had undertaken to stage the Christmas Market last year.  The market was one of the most successful ever and has generated a great deal of money to the city.  37% of people stayed for an average of 2.4 nights which was advantageous to the local hospitality industry.


The Leader also highlighted the fact that WECA (the West of England Combined Authority) is responsible for bus services in the area.  He informed members that he has called on the West of England Metro Mayor to urgently provide more details about his planned “demand-responsive transport (DRT)” scheme.  He is also asking the Mayor to confirm that he will use some of the £50m he has to spend on buses to provide services in the Midsomer Norton, Radstock, Paulton and Chew Valley areas.


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 working days of the meeting.  Councillors may ask one supplementary question for each question they submit, up to a maximum of two per Councillor.

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There were 27 questions from Councillors and 27 questions from members of the public.


Cllr Eleanor Jackson asked two supplementary questions relating to questions M1 and M2.


[Copies of the questions and responses, including supplementary questions and responses if any, have been placed on the Minute book as Appendix 2 and are available on the Council's website.]



CabinetQA20230209 - Appendix 2 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

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Statements 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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Members of the public and Councillors made statements as follows:


  • Guy Hodgson – Petition calling for the provision of a safe crossing for St Mary’s Primary School, the RUH and the 103 Childcare Centre at the Weston Hub (Penn Hill Road, Weston).  The petition has been signed by 421 people.  (A copy of the statement is attached as Appendix 3 to these minutes).


  • Jackie Head – Public Transport Services in the Chew Valley (a copy of which is attached as Appendix 4 to these minutes).




  • Anna Box – More funding for rural roads in village centres to improve safety (a copy of which is attached as Appendix 7 to these minutes).


  • Bob Goodman – Continued demise of the City and funding of Remembrance Events in Bath (a copy of which is attached as Appendix 8 to these minutes).


  • Cllr Paul May – Council Budget 2023/24 (a copy of which is attached as Appendix 9 to these minutes).


  • Cllr Eleanor Jackson – Provision of RE in Bath and SACRE budget (a copy of which is attached as Appendix 10 to these minutes).


Cabinet members asked some factual questions of the speakers in order to clarify details mentioned in their statements.

Guy Hodgson Statement - Safe Pedestrian Crossings - Appendix 3 pdf icon PDF 6 MB

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Minutes of Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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

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RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 10th November 2022 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


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.

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There were none.


Matters Referred by Policy Development and Scrutiny Bodies pdf icon PDF 144 KB

This is a standing agenda item (Constitution rule 3.3.14) for matters referred by Policy Development and Scrutiny bodies.  The Chair of the relevant Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel will have the right to attend and to introduce the Panel’s recommendations to Cabinet.


A copy of the feedback to Cabinet following consideration of the draft 2023-24 budget and Council Tax proposals by the Corporate PDS Panel is attached for consideration.

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Cabinet considered the feedback on the budget proposals from the Corporate PDS Panel.


RESOLVED: To note the summary of the Corporate PDS Panel meeting held on 23 January 2023.


Single Member Cabinet Decisions Taken since Previous Cabinet Meeting

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

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The Cabinet agreed to note the report.


Revenue & Capital Budget Monitoring, Cash Limits and Virements – April to December 2022 pdf icon PDF 896 KB

The attached report presents the financial monitoring information for the Authority as a whole for the financial year 2022/23, using information available as at the end of December 2022.

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Cllr Richard Samuel introduced the report, moved the officer recommendations and made the following statement:


“I gave a commitment at the start of this administration that the council would spend within its means each year. What that meant was delivering planned savings and efficiencies each year, properly budgeting for major projects, and most importantly bringing the council’s budget in on target each year. In normal times that would have been a challenging aspiration but when a global pandemic from 2020 to 2021, a European war in Ukraine, and the ineptness of the Government in creating runaway inflation are factored in it has become even tougher. From 2019 to 2022 this administration has kept to spending plans and not allowed expenditure to exceed income and thereby ensured that scarce council reserves were not used to balance the books. When I reported on Quarter 2 it looked as if we might miss our target this financial year. High energy costs and profiteering by the energy companies together with interest rate rises alongside other inflation meant that suddenly the council was faced with huge additional costs in year. However, this was compounded by substantial rises in Children’s safeguarding presentations and provider costs to the extent that this threatened to blow the council’s entire budget off course.


However, I am pleased to note that the situation at the end of Quarter 3 has dramatically improved so that an overspend of £1.5m is now projected and I am confident this will further reduce by the year although I do not expect the budget to be in credit at year end.


At this point I must place my thanks to the Chief Executive and the Management team for their efforts in tackling the Quarter 2 position and reversing the serious position that was recorded then. Their efforts have led to the improved forecast and demonstrate the benefit of reporting financial performance in public.


I will not repeat the detail of the individual movements in the report they are there for the cabinet to see. I will however highlight the need for the council to closely examine and review the demands on children’s social services which are in danger of outstripping this authority’s ability to pay. This is a national problem affecting all upper tier councils and I am sorry to say that our so-called government has only partially taken notice of the pleas from the sector to address the huge funding shortfall which was noted by the LGA to fail to address the estimated 1.5bn shortfall nationally simply to keep pace with inflation.


In B&NES have asked the management team to begin work urgently to examine how we can better control costs and begin to return to the provision of early years services as a key preventative measure. This will take up much of the next administration’s time and energy but is crucial as the overruns in children’s services are now an existential threat to the council’s financial stability.”


Cllr Warren seconded the motion and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


Budget and Council Tax 2023/24 and Financial Outlook pdf icon PDF 2 MB

The attached report presents the revenue and capital budgets together with proposals for increases in Council Tax and the Adult Social Care Precept for 2023/24.

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


“I want to start by paying tribute to the council staff who have worked with me to pull this budget together in the most challenging circumstances. From the Chief Executive to Andy Rothery – the chief Financial Officer and his staff, in particular Gary Adams, Giles Oliver and Paul Webb but also to the finance staff in departments who have pulled together the numbers as we progressed.


When we began work last summer none of could have known what was in store. At that point inflation was looking like it would rise, but interest rates were still low although the storm clouds were gathering over the rapidly escalating cost of energy. What we could never have anticipated was that a new prime minister and her trainee chancellor were about to trash the economy by advancing unfunded tax cuts thereby leading to higher taxes, higher interest rates and a collapse in market confidence in government bonds. Just as with Black Wednesday in 1993 the Conservative Party threw away its already tenuous claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility.


These unexpected and unnecessary costs have hit the council hard as they have every household and business in the country adding millions to our running costs.


Fortunately, due to the tight fiscal control we have maintained over the past four years we have found ourselves in a sufficiently resilient position to be able to protect our front line services that are some important to residents, and continue to invest in high priorities for residents such as our clean and green campaign, and our highway and transport programmes as well as continuing the momentum to build council housing for the first time in a generation. A wide range of initiative across Bath and North East Somerset will benefit those areas and continue the drive towards net zero.


In total savings of £14m have been made to balance the books and maintain our drive to improve our area.


At this point it is worth commenting on the support the council receives from the government. As recently as 2013 we were receiving around £30m on support grant and this enabled the council to provide a range of valued services to residents. That has been chipped away by the government to the point that this year we received £800k. It is not unreasonable to say that the Conservative government has removed nearly £300m from B&NES residents in the past 10 years and made the council make up the difference by raising council tax and making local taxpayers pay more to the cost of social care through the social care levy.


We have decided that to avoid any more cuts council tax does unfortunately have to rise but only buy 2.99% not 4.99% as stated by the local media today. In addition, there will be a social care levy of 2% which will go directly towards the funding of services for elderly and vulnerable adults  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.


Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 290 KB

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

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Cllr Richard Samuel introduced the report and moved the officer recommendations.  He informed members that the report refreshed the Treasury Strategy ahead of presentation to full Council for approval.  It revises some indicators and introduces some new requirements that follow revisions to the CIPFA Code of Guidance.  It also brings the Council’s investment approach up to date in the light of market movements over the past 12 months.


Cllr Tom Davies seconded the motion.


RESOLVED: (unanimously):


(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.

(3)  To recommend Council to approve the adoption of the Treasury Management Clauses (Appendix 3 of the report).

(4)  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 21st February 2023 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.

(5)  To note that any comments made by the Corporate Audit Committee at their meeting on 7th February 2023 will be reported to Full Council on the 21st February 2023. 


Treasury Management Performance Report to 31st December 2022 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

The attached report gives details of performance against the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy for 2022/23 for the nine months up to 31st December 2022.

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Cllr Samuel introduced the report and moved the officer recommendations.  The report updated Cabinet on the in-year performance to the end of Quarter 3.


Cllr Tom Davies seconded the motion.


RESOLVED: (unanimously):


(1)  To note the Treasury Management Report to 31st December 2022, prepared in accordance with the CIPFA Treasury Code of Practice.


(2)  To note the Treasury Management Indicators to 31st December 2022.