Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Sean O'Neill  01225 395090

No. Item




The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.



The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as follows:

If the continuous alarm sounds, you must evacuate the building by one of the designated exits and proceed to the named assembly point. The designated exits are sign-posted. Arrangements are in place for the safe evacuation of disabled people. The assembly point is in front of Kingston Buildings, situated at the east end of Bath Abbey adjacent to the taxi rank on Orange Grove.



The Chair drew attention to the emergency evacuation as set out on the agenda.




Apologies were received from Cllr Martin Veal, Rosemary Naish (Chair, Clutton PC), Martin Robinson (Chair, Dunkerton PC), Tanya West (Clerk, Peasedown St. John PC) and Bathampton PC.



The Chair will announce any items of urgent business accepted since the agenda was prepared


There was none.




These were approved, subject to one amendment: item 41, last sentence delete “included an update on the Parish Sweeper Scheme”. It was agreed that although this was included in Martin Shield’s PowerPoint slides, he had not spoken about it.




Councillor Tim Warren, Leader of the Council, addressed the meeting.


Planning and Transport


He said that consultation on the West of England Joint Spatial Plan and Joint Transport Study would commence shortly. It covers the period up to 2026. He urged parishes to submit responses if there was anything in it they did not like. The next phase of formal consultation commences on 7 November 2016. (Comments can be submitted at Information is available on the Council website at:


Information about the Joint Transport Plan can be seen at The West of England is bidding for £7bn of funding.




The devolution package was agreed by Cabinet and Council on 29th June. There was a public consultation in June and August and the proposal was then submitted to the Secretary of State. It had been expected to come back to Cabinet in September, had been delayed because of the Government had other priorities at present. It will probably now come to Cabinet in late November. There will still a couple of issues to be sorted out, but it was looking like a good deal for B&NES. The Secretary of State will be visiting the West of England shortly to discuss the package. The election for the joint Mayor will take place next May. North Somerset had not agreed to the proposal, so only B&NES, Bristol and South Gloucestershire are included.


The meeting noted the updates.




Martin Shields (Divisional Director Environmental Services) introduced his colleagues Chris Major and Lorinda Trebaczyk.



Consultation on Public Transport


Chris Major gave a presentation on public and community transport. A copy of his PowerPoint slides is attached to these minutes as Appendix 1.


He said that the Council’s strategy was based on the vision that those who could travel independently would do so, and that those who cannot get the support and transport that match their needs. The Council is looking for a greater social return on the money it spends on public and community transport. The Council’s aim is to maintain current levels of public and community transport as far as possible, subject to it being needed and offering value for money. The Council works with all groups providing transport and seeks to reduce the number of vehicles going over the same routes. There is an ongoing Strategic Review of what can be provided in each area, and a report on this will be issued very shortly.


Major transport providers are only interested in key routes. The Council was lucky to be able to work with Keynsham Dial-a-Ride through Councillor Brian Simmons. There are strict legal rules preventing the Council from giving support to community groups for journeys that commercial operators wish to provide.


85% of bus services provided by the commercial operators in Bath and North East Somerset are operated on an entirely commercial basis and the Council does not get involved in them. First Group representatives had given recently given a presentation at a meeting and had made it quite clear that their first duty is to their shareholders. Commercial operators are not permitted to cross-subsidise different routes. The Council subsidises a small number of routes and parts of routes that the commercial operators regard as unprofitable. These are mostly within the network of routes established by the operators. Operators often notify changes of routes and timetables at very short notice. The Council focusses on trying to maintain daytime services important for education, employment and healthcare. The changes to bus services notified to the Council on 4 September were far more extensive than at any previous change date. The Council has agreed to supply short-term support for a number of services until a sustainable solution is found. Each bus costs about £160,000 a year to run.


Chris Gittins (Clerk, Timsbury PC) said that he was concerned about the slow downward spiral of bus services in rural areas. He had contacted First four days before the changes were implemented and was told that no revised timetables had been printed. After about 10 minutes they had found a file they could send him. He had printed this out and attached it to the bus stop. He knew someone who had lost his job because of the change and someone else who probably would as well. One bus had left the stop 5 minutes before it was scheduled to, and the bus service was only hourly.


Chris Major suggested that one solution might to encourage more car sharing and more co-ordination and harmonisation of movements of people to hospitals  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53a

Transport and Parking Overview v2 pdf icon PDF 522 KB


Parish Sweeper Scheme


Martin Shields gave a presentation. A copy of his PowerPoint slides is attached to these minutes as Appendix 2. He apologised that Carol Maclellan had not been able to attend tonight’s meeting.


He said that in the course of the review of the scheme a number of detailed conversations had taken place with parishes. It was clear that the scheme is popular, and that the parish sweepers are recognised as being knowledgeable. Parish sweepers know the area, and have the ability to be flexible and to respond to issues efficiently and practically. They are a good link between residents, the parish council and B&NES Council.


Concerns have been expressed that there is no allowance in the Scheme for growth, like new housing developments and new roads. Some sweepers do additional work voluntarily, and the Council is grateful for their good will. It is apparent that there is some confusion about responsibilities. Council staff still went out to do things that the sweepers could do, so there was scope for better co-ordination. Parishes were sometimes not sure what they could expect from the Council, e.g. in relation to the emptying of bins.


Increasing financial pressure on the Council requires all service areas to be carefully reviewed and savings made. It was important to achieve consistency of approach; at present £73k is spent on 18 parishes, less than half, and there is no funding for any additional parishes wishing to join the scheme. Most parishes received between £2.5k and £3k per year. There are no clear terms of reference for this money. What can the Council expect the parishes to do? What is the scope for parishes to decide how to spend the money? How is it possible to demonstrate value for money? There needs to be a fundamental review of what the scheme is about. Parishes should consider what they want from the scheme and what things they could be doing in their own communities that would mean that B&NES staff did not have to be sent out.


The Council has a responsibility for the health and safety of parish sweepers which it cannot delegate to the parishes, and this needs to be factored in to discussions about the future of the scheme.


There had been suggestions from parishes about the scheme, but now the discussion needs to be taken to a new level. Further suggestions from parishes about a cost effective scheme were welcome.


Andrew Orme of Freshford PC said that discussions about revisions to the scheme had been ongoing for some time and asked when a timetable would be set for meaningful progress. Martin acknowledged that progress had been slow; this was partly because of a worsening of the Council’s finances. He expected that dialogue with parishes would be concluded over the next couple of months and that then a proposal could be formulated. The budget for the revised scheme would have to be approved by Council. If the revised scheme was going to cost more, then  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53b

12.10.16 Parish Review update to Parish Liaison Oct 2016 pdf icon PDF 77 KB


Waste and Recycling

Information on changes to recycling can be found on the Council’s website at:



Lorinda Trebaczyk (Campaigns Manager, Waste Services) updated the meeting on changes to waste and recycling. A copy of her briefing note is attached.


She said the changes were approved by the Council in July and will be introduced in Autumn next year. Households will be supplied with a 140 litre black wheeled rubbish bin as standard. Where this is not appropriate for particular households because of their size or special needs, a larger bin or gull-proof black sacks will be provided. Household rubbish collections will take place on the same day of the week every other week; there may be changes to the current collection days. Recycling will be collected every week. Residents will be able to order an additional one or two recycling boxes.


The reasons for the changes are:


1.  To keep the streets cleaner. At present rubbish sacks are being more than half filled with recyclables like food; they often split and spill their contents.


2.  To increase the amount of material recycled.


3.  To reduce costs. Every lorry load of waste costs the Council £1000, but from every lorry load of recycling the Council earns £100.


Martin Shields explained that when “cost savings” were referred to, it should be understood that the costs of waste and recycling operations were going up all the time, but that these measures would slow the rate of increase.


Lorinda showed the different types of bins, boxes and sacks that the Council would provide. She explained that any type of plastic bag could be used in the bins and boxes. Full instructions would be issued to households on the use of the different types of containers.


Information about the changes is available on the Council website at:


John Twist of Corston PC asked whether the collection of garden waste could be alternated with other recycling because they were small country lanes in the parish and there could be congestion when a lot of rubbish bags were put out. Lorinda replied that this would be looked at.


A parish representative said that in country areas there were more problems with foxes scavenging from rubbish bags than with gulls.


The meeting noted the update.

FINAL Briefing for area forums & parish liaison meetings - Changes to your recycling and rubbish ... pdf icon PDF 59 KB




Councillor Paul Myers, Cabinet Member for Policy, Localism and Partnerships addressed the meeting.


He said that his portfolio was a new one and designed to bring together a lot of the issues relating to liaison with the parishes.


The Parishes Charter Working Group was now ready to begin work and was looking to meet for the first time in November. This would be followed by a workshop in December. His aim was for a new and updated Parish Charter to create a framework for joint working between the Council and parishes. He hoped this would help solve some of the communications gaps, for example about the Parishes Sweeper Scheme, which had come to light at tonight’s meeting. The Parish Charter should set firm ground rules and allow discussions with individual parishes, which could move as fast or slow as they liked on particular issues, but with a level playing field and clarity about what was on offer.


He had attended the AGM of ALCA at the weekend and had been impressed by some of the ideas that are working in other parts of the country.


He congratulated South Stoke on completing the purchase of the Packhorse Pub as a community value asset. He understood that there were now eight of these assets in B&NES; training on them could be arranged for towns and parishes, if there was sufficient interest.


Work was progressing on the proposal for additional powers for Kelston Parish Meeting in connection with their broadband project.


Presentations had been made at Connecting Communities Forums on community libraries, which had sparked requests for presentations from other parishes. He encouraged delegates to attend presentations at the Forums. He suggested that it would be more productive to use the Parishes Liaison Meeting for detailed discussions, rather than for it to continue to be taken up with multiple presentations.


The content of Connect magazine was changing; the last issue contained more about what communities were doing. Connect was delivered to all households in B&NES and was an excellent means of communicating news and sharing ideas from parishes. It could be a means of making residents aware of Christmas events, for example.


In conclusion he said there was still time to make nominations for the Chairman’s Community Awards; the deadline was 25th November.


The Chairman said that every year the Chairman of the Council supported fund raising for charities. This was usually done by means of a large event with rather expensive tickets. He had decided on a different approach, and would sponsor a number of smaller events. He invited parishes to consider organising their own events to raise funds for the Chairman’s charity. He said that this year he was supporting three charities. The first was RICE (Royal Institute for the Care of Older People) a dementia research and treatment centre located at the RUH. The second was Designability, who provide Wizzybugs, small powered wheelchairs, to children under five with cerebral palsy. The third was Butterflies Haven  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.




Judith Chubb-Whittle (Co-Chair Stanton Drew Parish Council and Vice-Chair of B&NES ALCA) updated the meeting.


She said that the members of the Parish Charter Working Group are:


Andrew Pate (B&NES Strategic Director of Resources)

Andy Thomas (B&NES Strategic Manager-Communities)

Alison Wells (B&NES Community Projects Officer)

Martin Robinson (Member, Dunkerton and Tunley PC)

Nick Stevens (Member, Freshford PC)

Tony Crouch (Member, Keynsham TC)

Lesley Welch (Clerk, Westfield PC)

Rosemary Naish (Chair, Clutton PC)

Judith Chubb-Whittle (Co-Chair, Stanton Drew PC)


Councillor Paul Myers is Chair of the Working Group.


She invited delegates to feed issues into the Working Group. The first meeting is to take place on 24th November, 5.30-7.15 pm at The Hollies. A workshop would take place on 6th December in Keynsham commencing at 6pm -9pm.





Andy Thomas updated the meeting.


He said the Atrium system could be used for sharing information with parishes and other external organisations, including other councils. It could also host online discussions. It was now ready for testing by users. Parishes could give feedback and suggest content. Officers could demonstrate the system in parishes or at Council offices. He invited parishes to contact him if they would like a demonstration.


Members noted the update.




Councillor Tim Warren suggested that “identifying affordable housing needs in rural areas” should be “identifying affordable housing solutions in rural areas.”


It was agreed that Environmental Protection should present to a future agenda.


Judith Chubb-Whittle noted that War Memorials had been previously suggested as an agenda item. Andy Thomas responded that this issue was to be dealt with in another forum.


A parish representative suggested that the Meeting should revisit rural broadband. Councillor Anketell-Jones said this could be linked to an item on economic development.



The next meeting is scheduled for 15 February 2017. This is the day after the Council budget meeting. It is therefore proposed to move the meeting to 24 February 2017.


The following dates are proposed for future meetings:


Wednesday 28/6/17

Thursday  26/10/17

Wednesday 28/2/18



It was agreed that because the date of the next scheduled meeting of 15th February 2017 is the day after the Council’s budget meeting on 14th February, the next liaison meeting should be moved to Wednesday 8th March 2017. Future dates would be set at that meeting.


[UPDATE: because no suitable venues are available on 8th March 2017, it has subsequently been agreed that the next meeting will take place on the originally scheduled date of 15th February 2017. The other meetings in 2017 have now been scheduled for 22 June 2017 and 26 October 2017.]