Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Welcome and introductions


The Chair was taken by Councillor Paul Crossley, Leader of the Council.

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Emergency Evacuation Procedure

The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 6


The Chair drew attention to the evacuation procedure as set out in the Agenda.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies had been received from Councillor Simon Allen.


Declarations of Interest under the Local Government Act 1972

To receive any declarations from Members/Officers of personal or prejudicial interests in respect of matters for consideration at this meeting.  Members who have an interest to declare are asked to:

a)  State the Item Number in which they have the interest;

b)  The nature of the interest;

c)  Whether the interest is personal, or personal and prejudicial.

Any Member who is unsure about the above should seek advice from the Monitoring Officer prior to the meeting in order to expedite matters at the meeting itself.


Councillor Cherry Beath declared that with respect to Item 14 (Bath Community Energy), her brother-in-law had formerly been a Director of BCE, but that she did not consider this to constitute an interest.


To Announce any Urgent Business Agreed by the Chair


The Chair announced that Cabinet would be asked to consider a report entitled “Civitas Renaissance and its Legacy”, which had originally been scheduled for November Cabinet.  The report would be considered under the Special Urgency provisions in the Council Constitution.  Agreement had been given by the Chair of the Planning, Transport and Environment Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel, as well as the Council’s Section 151 Officer, Monitoring Officer and Chief Executive.  The report had been published as a supplementary agenda item; copies had been placed in the public gallery before the meeting; and Cabinet would consider the issue at Item 16 of the Agenda.


Questions from Public and Councillors

At the time of publication, no items had been submitted


There were 4 questions from the following people: Councillor Malcolm Lees, Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones, Councillor John Bull and Amanda Leon.

[Copies of the questions and response, 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.]

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Statements, Deputations or Petitions from Public or Councillors

At the time of publication, no items had been notified


There was one registered speaker.  Councillor Gerry Curran agreed to speak immediately before the item to which his statement related.


Minutes of Previous Cabinet Meeting 14th September 2011 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

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


On a motion from Councillor Paul Crossley, seconded by Councillor Nathan Hartley, it was

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 14th September 2011 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


There were none.


Consideration of Matters Referred by Policy Development and Scrutiny Bodies

This is a standing agenda item (Constitution rule 21, part 4D – Executive Procedure Rules) for matters referred by Policy Development and Scrutiny bodies.  The Chair(person) of the relevant PDS body will have the right to attend and at the discretion of the Leader to speak to the item, but not vote


There were none.


Single Member Cabinet Decisions Taken since Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 14 KB

This report lists the Cabinet Single Member decisions taken since the previous meeting


The Cabinet agreed to note the report.


Determination of the Statutory Notice to Revoke the Notice to Close Culverhay School pdf icon PDF 71 KB

The Council has published a legal notice proposing to be relieved of its duty to implement the proposal to close Culverhay School and a decision is required to determine the proposal

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Councillor Gerry Curran (Chair of Governors, Culverhay School) made a statement saying that he was pleased that Cabinet would consider revoking the notice of closure.  Now that the consultation period for revocation had ended he asked the Cabinet to confirm the revocation so that the school could continue its plans to work towards sponsored academy status and, in due course, towards coeducational education so that it could effectively serve the local community.

Councillor Dine Romero made an ad hoc statement urging the Cabinet to confirm the revocation.  She felt that the recent school open evening had demonstrated how many parents were interested in sending their children to the school if it were to become a coeducational academy.  She said that this showed that the uncertainty about the school’s future had persuaded many parents from sending their children there in 2011, but that in 2012 this would be more than reversed.  This would require the school to move rapidly to accept girls.

Sarah Moore made an ad hoc statement in which she said that the community would be very pleased if Cabinet were to revoke the notice of closure.  It was what parents had been waiting to hear.

Councillor Tony Clarke made an ad hoc statement, saying that the Conservative Group position was that once closure had been revoked, the Group would be supportive of the school’s application for academy status.  He asked for reassurance about the freehold ownership of the site and an assurance that other schools would not suffer because of the significant cost of keeping Culverhay open.

Councillor Eleanor Jackson made an ad hoc statement endorsing the views of previous speakers.  She observed that she had heard assurances that the freehold of the site would remain with the Council.  She felt that the Council should ask the Secretary of State to announce his decision as soon as possible so that parents could make their decisions about 2012 fully informed of the facts.

Councillor Nathan Hartley, in proposing the item, observed that the proposal being considered by Cabinet was the result of a long campaign to save Culverhay School.  Many people had worked hard to get to this point.  He thanked Ashley Ayre (Strategic Director, People) and Tony Parker (Divisional Director Learning and Inclusion Service) for the hard work they had undertaken in the last few months.  He explained that during the consultation period, negative submissions had been received from one B&NES Councillor (out of 65), 3 Head Teachers (out of 70+ and only 2 Chairs of Governors (out of 70+). He emphasised that the correct legal process had been followed to get to the current point.

In response to Councillor Eleanor Jackson’s reference to the Secretary of State, Councillor Hartley said that the Council had been determined to allow the Secretary of State to make up his own mind on the options available.  He observed that the Liberal Democrat Group had for 20 years said that Culverhay should be allowed to become co-educational, and had this been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.


Draft National Planning Policy Framework pdf icon PDF 62 KB

The Government has published for consultation a draft Draft national Planning Policy Framework.  Once adopted this will supersede all existing national planning policies.  This could have significant implications for B&NES because planning decisions B&NES must reflect national policy.  This report proposes a response to the Government on the NPPF.

Additional documents:


The Chair drew the attention of the Cabinet to the Update Report, which had been put into the public gallery in advance of the meeting [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 2 and is available on the Council's website].  The additional material was a submission from the Development Control Committee which the Committee asked Cabinet to submit to government as part of its response.

Councillor Lew Kew made an ad hoc statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 3 but is not available on the Council's website], on behalf of the Conservative Group, saying that there had been a number of misconceptions in the press.  He said that the government’s intentions had been to encourage economic growth; to provide housing; and to do these things sustainably.  He said that the protection of the green belt was paramount.  He welcomed the Cabinet proposals in the main and felt that government should clarify its definition of “sustainable development”.

Councillor John Bull made an ad hoc statement on behalf of the Labour Group in which he said that the framework was flawed throughout.  The word “sustainable” was not defined, which meant that it would be a charter for developers.  He was pleased that the comments of the Local Development Framework Group had been taken into account, especially the abandoning of the brownfield site provisions.  He welcomed the recommendations and hoped that the Council’s response would lead to the framework being amended.

Councillor Gerry Curran, in an ad hoc statement, agreed with Councillor Bull.  He said that it had always been the policy of the Council to use brownfield sites first, and wanted to see this continued.  He observed that it was no longer acceptable to build houses close to where the jobs were – people now wanted a nice house, wherever it was located and the key was now to provide the right transport infrastructure.

Councillor Tim Ball, introduced the item, saying that the draft framework, as had been pointed out by others, did include a number of massive ambiguities, especially over the use of the word “sustainable”.  He had many concerns.  He referred to Councillor Les Kew’s observations about the green belt, and pointed out to him that the framework said that previously developed land could be used.  He promised that all the comments received would be passed back to government.  He repeated his concern that the framework if not amended would prove to be a field day for developers to build anywhere they wanted.

Councillor Ball moved the amended proposals which he had reworded so as to allow all the Council’s responses to be forwarded to government.

Councillor David Dixon seconded the proposal.  He congratulated Councillor Tim Ball and the Planning officers for their hard work in preparing the response.

Councillor Roger Symonds expressed his disappointment that the framework did not propose the removal of Planning Inspectors.

On a motion from Councillor Tim Ball, seconded by Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.

Additional documents:


Bath Community Energy Cooperation Agreement pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Bath Community Energy (BCE) is a community enterprise which develops renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Their local ownership model and community fund enable energy revenues to stay local and be recycled into future energy projects. The Cooperation Agreement is a framework for us to work with BCE to help deliver our carbon reduction targets

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Councillor Charles Gerrish in an ad hoc statement welcomed the proposals.

Councillor Paul Crossley referred to the Update Report which had been put into the public galley before the meeting [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendices 4(i) and 4(ii) and on the Council's website].  The update report showed proposed changes to paragraph 6.6 of the agreement, which would ensure that revenues could only be used for the benefit of the Council’s district.

Councillor Crossley moved the proposals, amended to reflect the contents of the update report.

Councillor Cherry Beath seconded the proposals, saying that it was very appropriate for the Council to engage in the way proposed by the report.  The BCE was not for profit and its work started with schools.  It would bring direct benefits for the local community.

On a motion from Councillor Paul Crossley, seconded by Councillor Cherry Beath, it was

RESOLVED (unanimously)

(1)  To AGREE that the Council should enter into a Cooperation agreement with Bath Community Energy.

(2) The proposed agreement be amended at paragraph 6.6 to include the words: ‘The intention of the Parties is that Community Fund revenues accrued from Projects within the District will be reinvested only in other projects within the District.’

Additional documents:


Tourist Information Centre Refurbishment pdf icon PDF 55 KB

The Bath Tourist Information Centre is badly in need of refurbishment as little has been done to this council owned building for over 13 years.  The capital cost of improvements is £186k, which includes transferring the Festivals Box Office from its current site in Abbey Green into the TIC premises.


Councillor Cherry Beath, in proposing the item, said that the Bath Tourist Information Centre presently looked a little sad, surrounded as it was by such beautiful buildings.  Yet it was the second most used TIC in the country.  She explained the proposals and said that the refurbishment would enable better promotion of events.

Councillor David Bellotti in seconding the proposal referred to paragraph 3.1 of the report, which clearly stated that all borrowing would be repaid.  He pointed out that by bringing together the tourist Information Centre and the Festivals Box Office, a staffing reduction of 0.4 would be achieved.

Councillor David Dixon supported the project which he said was a real example of joined up thinking.

Councillor Tim Ball supported the proposals, but with reservations.  He felt that in times of austerity, this would be a big investment.  He saw the benefits of the investment but would have preferred to see it paid back in 5 years instead of 10 years.

Councillor Roger Symonds supported the proposals.  He felt that Bath was fortunate to have its TIC in such a good location and reminded Cabinet that the TIC had almost been lost to the city a few years earlier when it had been proposed for closure.  He was delighted it had been saved and would now be refurbished.

Councillor Cherry Beath said that she would be mindful of the comments made by Cabinet members.

On a motion from Councillor Cherry Beath, seconded by Councillor David Bellotti, it was

RESOLVED (unanimously)

(1) To APPROVE the capital project enable Bath Tourism Plus, a controlled company of the Council, to progress the refurbishment of the Tourist Information Centre on behalf of the Council;

(2) To AGREE that the Council’s annual borrowing costs should be met by reducing the annual fee to Bath Tourism Plus by an equivalent amount.

[At this point, Councillor David Dixon left the meeting]


Civitas Renaissance and its Legacy pdf icon PDF 86 KB

The Civitas EC project enabled the introduction of innovative transport demonstrators. Decisions are needed on whether they should be retained, developed or removed. In one case ( Freight) a contractural decision is needed. In other cases they may provide a legacy of good practice or be developed further

Additional documents:


Councillor Roger Symonds explained the need for urgency in the matter and confirmed that the Council’s provision for Special Urgency had been invoked with all the required agreements.  He referred to the report [which had been distributed as a late agenda report on the Council’s website and copies of which had been placed into the public gallery before the meeting].  He moved his proposals, which were displayed on the screen.

Councillor Symonds recommended in particular to Cabinet that the Council should retain the Freight Consolidation Trial, which he said had been very successful in its trial period.  The Council now needed to clarify its position in order to avoid losing out on the progress already made.

Councillor David Bellotti seconded the proposals.  He referred to the explanation on page 7 of the report, and promised that there would in future be clarity about the dates by which next steps must be taken.

On a motion from Councillor Roger Symonds, seconded by Councillor David Bellotti, it was

RESOLVED (unanimously – 7 Cabinet members present))

(1) To AGREE that they wish to retain the legacy provided by the Civitas transport demonstrators, in particular Freight Consolidation Trial;

(2) To TAKE UP and fund the option in the contract for the Freight Consolidation Trial scheme to run for a second year in Bath, funded from revenue budget contingency at a cost of £102,873;

(3) To CONTINUE to engage with Bristol City Council on this joint contract.