Agenda and minutes

Venue: Community Space, Keynsham - Market Walk, Keynsham. 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 one of the named assembly points. The designated exits are sign-posted. Arrangements are in place for the safe evacuation of disabled people. The assembly points are: the front and rear of Riverside, Temple Street.



The Democratic Services Officer advised the meeting of the procedure.





Apologies were received from Councillor Charles Gerrish, Compton Martin PC, West Harptree PC and Kirsten Matthews, Clerk of Wellow PC.



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


There was none.




These were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Jo Scarrott, Gigaclear, to present.


Richard Olive, Connecting Devon & Somerset Deployment Manager, Gigaclear, gave a presentation. A copy of this PowerPoint slides is attached as appendix 1.


In reply to questions from delegates Richard said:


·  In the areas where they are contracted to build their network, Gigaclear is also contracted to provide a connection for every property.


·  This installation programme is being overseen by Connecting Devon and Somerset ( Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, are contributing 20% of the funds.


·  Gigaclear prefer to lay cables in agricultural land and verges rather than roads, where this is possible, to minimise disruption. Permission is sought from landowners to carry out the work. Gigaclear only connect a property to the network if a request from the householder has been received. Gigaclear do not enter private land without permission.


·  A broadband cabinet can connect about 400 homes and generally serves 3-4 parishes. When plans have been made for an area, Gigaclear will send letters to all landowners in the area.


·  Gigaclear has considered the feasibility of duct sharing with BT, but in rural areas BT’s network is mostly overhead. Where duct sharing does occur it is generally only for a limited period of time, so Gigaclear would eventually have to put its cables in a separate trench. There are a few areas where it is feasible to install cables over buildings.


·  It has not been possible for Gigaclear to co-ordinate work with TrueSpeed. TrueSpeed is a commercial company, which chooses when and where it wishes to extend its coverage, but Gigaclear is working to a Government contract. Neither of the companies is building a traditional network; they are installing small cable tubes without excess capacity and sharing is impracticable. If Gigaclear decided not to proceed in an area already enjoying a high level of broadband connectivity, it would have to renegotiate its contract with BDUK.


·  Gigaclear might eventually establish its own ISP service, but the network would remain open access, as this was a condition of its contract with BDUK. Gigaclear has 2 websites:, which is the marketing site, and


  • If anyone has any concerns or would like to talk directly to Gigaclear contact email: or tel: 01865 591100.

Gigaclear Parish Briefing 0918 pdf icon PDF 1 MB



To include:


·  WECA rural transport issues and bus franchising – requested by Timsbury PC


Councillor Warren updated the meeting.


Our Young Stars Awards


These aim to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of extraordinary young people in the area. They complement the Community Awards, which are hosted by the Chair. The closing date for nominations for Our Young Stars is 21st November 2018, and presentations will be made at a Gala Awards Dinner on 9th March 2019. Nomination forms can be downloaded from


The deadline for nominations for the Community Awards is 21st December 2018. Nominations can be made online at: The awards will be presented at an event on 27th February 2019.


Influencing Central Government


A document is being prepared for November Council, which sets out our key “requests” to central Government. These include proposals for a tourism levy and for rebalancing contributions made by business, so that online retailers pay their share and we can raise money to invest in our High Streets.


The document will be available at the end of the month, and I encourage you to have a look at it and consider adding your voice to support change. I need to stress that this is not just about asking for more money, but about us being self-sufficient.


The document can be viewed and downloaded from:


WECA and Rural Transport


We know there is a great deal of concern about reductions in rural bus services. WECA are in the process of developing a Bus Strategy, which will be announced on 30th November 2018. This will include all issues relating to the bus network, so is worth watching out for.


Some more good news on rural transport is a proposal from Clutton Parish Council to create a new community transport service connecting Clutton and other villages in the Chew Valley and Somer Valley to Bath and the Park and Ride. Other parishes, including Camerton, Dunkerton and Timsbury have also expressed interest. We are working with the parishes on the details of the proposal, which would be funded by Section 106 contributions. The aim is commence operation of the service, which would be licensed to call at public bus stops, from August 2019.


Our aim in working with WECA is to get some common sense proposals “on the ground”. The work to be done at Bence’s Garage complements the Two Headed Man improvements, and will definitely ease access in that part of the world by addressing a “pinch point” on the road network. (See


Improvements on the railway will include a half-hourly service from Severn Beach to Westbury. It is hoped that increased train frequencies at Keynsham and Oldfield Park will be possible.


I also want to flag up the current air quality consultation, on which there is an item later on tonight’s agenda. The proposal covers central Bath, but there are benefits from it for the whole of B&NES.


Councillor Mark Shelford (Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment) said that the work at Bence’s Garage should be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.



Update on changes to school transport – requested by Peasedown PC


Councillor Paul May apologised that there had been problems with arrangements for home-to-school transport this year, particularly in Peasedown St John. Working out the arrangements was a complex exercise, because there were rules about which children were entitled to home-to-school transport. This year there had to be additional conversations with officers, because the bus service was not operating at the times children needed to go to school. Officers then spoke to the bus company to resolve the problems. He acknowledged that the matter had not been handled as well as it should have been.


Kathy Thomas, Peasedown St John PC, said that residents had been concerned because it had appeared that there had been discrimination against some children. She was not sure that had been addressed. Councillor May replied that the rules for home-to-school transport were very clear in the legislation. If distinctions were made between children, they had been in the rules for a long time and were not introduced by the Council. Kathy said that some children had been given bus passes, but these did not take them to school, but to central Radstock. Councillor Shelford said that the bus pass took them to the nearest bus stop to the school on that route, which was at the bottom of the hill. They then had to walk up the hill. The bus times were changed to account for this. Councillor May said that he felt that the Council had not communicated as well as it should have done. The school application process was complicated, many children did not get their first preferences and finalising the details took time. However, the Council should have communicated some simple messages at the start of the summer and not mid-summer when many people were on holiday.




To include:


·  Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)


·  Parish Sweeper Scheme update (attached core offer)


·  Grass cutting and verge maintenance – requested by Westfield and Ubley PCs


·  Council website redesign


·  Tourism – Visit Bath and Visit Somerset


·  Future Bright


·  Update on Community Empowerment Fund


·  Parish Charter update


·  Consultation Engagement


Councillor Myers updated the meeting.


Community Infrastructure Levy


He noted that this was the most-raised item at the Parish Liaison Meeting. Following on from the last meeting he and officers met five parish councils, Freshford, Tunley, Clutton, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton. He believed that all the individual points raised had now been worked through. Feedback from this exercise would inform a workshop for towns and parishes to be held on 6th December 2018 in the Somerdale Pavilion, Fry’s, Keynsham. Invitations to this had been issued.


Parish Sweeper Scheme


He said that while this was in Councillor Goodman’s Cabinet portfolio, he had picked it up as an issue in Parish Charter discussions. A workshop was held and an offer sent to the 18 parishes in the scheme in August. They had until December to respond if they wished to take up the transition offer. 3 parishes had so far confirmed that they would accept the offer. Parishes in the scheme which had not received the offer or did not fully understand it should contact Sara Dixon, locality manager. The definition of the Cleansing – Core Service, available to the whole of B&NES, had been circulated with the agenda.


Hilary Collins, Clerk of Ubley PC, asked whether it would be necessary to retain the same hours for their parish sweeper for the two-year transition period, as the income for B&NES would be reduced in the first year and would be nil in the second year. If they had to keep his hours the same for those two years, it would give the parish no flexibility and it would be forced to increase the precept to cover his salary. Councillor Myers said that he would be happy to have discussions with her outside the meeting.


Grass Cutting and Verge Maintenance


Councillor Myers showed some PowerPoint slides. A copy of these is contained in appendix 2 to these minutes.


He said that a decision had been taken as an efficiency measure to cease to cut grass on land that that the Council did not own. Issues about liability and insurance arose if the Council carried out work on land it did not own. Land in the area had accordingly been allocated to one of four categories:


Category 1:  The Council owns the land and is responsible for its maintenance.


Category 2:  There is no identifiable legal owner (eg due to missing documentation) – the fact that the Council has regularly cut grass in the past, does not mean it has ongoing liability to do so.


Category 3:  Owned by the Crown (eg dissolved ownership where developer has gone out of business) – known as bona vacantia. There needs to be discussion as to what the Council might do in these cases.


Category 4:  Other ownership (eg Curo, Developer) – where Council land has been transferred to other parties, they should assume responsibility for its maintenance.


Mark Cassidy, Team Manager Parks and Bereavements Services, had done an excellent job in clarifying  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

Cllr Myers' Briefing Powerpoint pdf icon PDF 580 KB



Cathryn Brown, Environmental Services, to give presentation.


Cathryn Brown, Team Manager – Licensing and Environment, made a presentation. A copy of her PowerPoint slides is attached as appendix 3 to these minutes.


Further information and details of future consultation events are available on the Council’s website at:


The Chair apologised that because pressure of time it would not be possible to take comments or questions from delegates.


The Chair thanked Cathryn for her presentation.

Clean Air Parish Liaison Meeting- 24.10.18V2 pdf icon PDF 849 KB



Briefing by Maria Lucas, Director of Legal and Democratic Services


Maria Lucas, Director – Legal and Democratic, gave a presentation. A copy of her PowerPoint slides is given in appendix 4.


For the next Local and Parish Elections, purdah starts on 18th March 2019 and ends on 3rd May 2019.


The legal basis for the purdah rules are contained in section 2 of the Local Government Act 1986:


and the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity



Maria discussed with delegates several issues illustrating the working of purdah:


Scenarios I

1. There was no problem before purdah. Ok during purdah if purely factual.

2. The Clerk should issue a factual statement denying the allegation.

3. No - this is outside the rules.


Scenarios II

4. No - this is outside the rules.

5. The Chair cannot sign a contract on behalf of the Council. Only the Clerk can do this.

6. The Parish Council can put an article in its newsletter encouraging residents to vote, but it cannot suggest which way people should vote on the Neighbourhood Plan.


Scenarios III

7. If the parish council has supported Julian House in previous years then it could be considered “business as usual” and there would be no problem. If it is controversial, then it should go ahead.

8. No information can be published about a Councillor who is being investigated under the standards regime.

9. No - there is no limit on the number of candidates who can stand for election and the Clerk should provide the form.


Maria explained that there would be no charge for the main elections in 2019. There would be a charge for any by-elections, and the Electoral Services Manager has compiled a spreadsheet, which calculates the average cost of a by-election.  This is available on request. The polling district review has identified some school premises as polling stations, where the previous ones did not fit the new boundaries. Schools have a legal obligation to make accommodation available. 


Councillor Vic Pritchard asked what the consequences were of non-compliance with the purdah rules. Maria replied that there could be reputational risk for a council. There could also be liability for breach of the Act and there could be an election petition resulting in costs and a rerun of the election.


The Chair thanked Maria for her presentation.



2018 Parish Training - Purdah pdf icon PDF 191 KB



Parish Liaison Meetings are scheduled for:


6 March 2019




It was noted that the next Parish Liaison Meeting was scheduled for 6 March 2019.


The Chair asked whether there were any suggestions for items for the next agenda. Delegates expressed serious disappointment that no discussion had been allowed about the Air Quality Consultation. The Leader of the Council, Councillor Tim Warren, responded that there was a 6-week consultation and a number of public events. He would happy to arrange another meeting for delegates to focus on this one issue. He and Councillor Bob Goodman would also be available for discussion after the meeting.


The Chair thanked everyone for attending the meeting.