Agenda and minutes

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No. Item




The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.




Apologies for absence were received from:


Will Godfrey – B&NES Chief Executive

Cllr Duncan Hounsell – B&NES Council

Cllr Lisa O’Brien – B&NES Council

Lottie Smith-Collins – Clerk to Saltford Parish Council

Charlcombe Parish Council

Shoscombe Parish Council



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


There was no urgent business.



To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 16 July 2020 as a correct record.


The minutes of the meeting held on 16 July 2020 were confirmed as a correct record.



Cllr Dine Romero and other Cabinet Members will give an update.


(a)  Cllr Dine Romero – Council Leader


Cllr Romero stated that she receives regular updates on the spread of Coronavirus.  The B&NES area is currently in Tier 3 which is the lowest risk category.  However, there is no room for complacency, and everyone has a part to play in reducing the spread of the virus.


Cllr Romero recently met with Government Ministers to discuss the virus.  She also attends WECA meetings to discuss economic recovery plans. Initiatives to open up the high street such as “Love our High Street” have been discussed at these meetings.  Green industry should be a core driver in the recovery plan.  Cllr Romero also meets with the Police to discuss issues relating to the outbreak.


Cllr Romero has chaired a number of webinars regarding topics such as neighbourhoods and the Black Lives Matter movement which included contributions from local young people.  The webinars are all available to view on the Council YouTube channel.  She has also been involved in the presentation of community awards.


(b)  Cllr Richard Samuel – Cabinet Member for Resources


Cllr Samuel gave an update regarding the medium-term financial strategy.  He informed the meeting that Council income has plummeted due to the Covid-19 outbreak and that this will lead to pressure on next year’s budget.  The business rate retention scheme is due to end shortly. 


Cllr Samuel gave a presentation covering the following issues:


·  Five-year budget profile.

·  Covid-19 grant assumptions.

·  Council Tax – a decision is awaited regarding Council Tax increases and the social care precept.

·  Provisional settlement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

·  Budget planning assumptions.

·  New 2021/22 budget pressures – including commercial estate - £5m, parking - £4m and heritage services - £5.96m

·  Strategic financial planning themes – Short, medium and long term.

·  Financial planning assumptions.

·  Key dates for the budget timetable.


Cllr Samuel explained that the parking budget is now beginning to recover as people are now switching from public transport to private vehicles.  Work is ongoing regarding the property estate and the way that social care is delivered.  Savings have been made due to staff working from home and it is considered that £9m of savings are achievable.  The figures are likely to change when the budget is considered by the Council in February.


A copy of the presentation slides is attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes.


(c)  Cllr Rob Appleyard – Cabinet Member for Adult Services


Cllr Appleyard stated that great work is being carried out by the Council’s public health team both on Covid related matters and other areas of work, such as suicide prevention and food poverty.  A food pantry is being set up in the area which will enable people to pay a small subscription to gain access to greater value food.  The community hub continues to operate and provides a route for people to access other services if required.


It is important to consider whether meeting up with other people is really necessary in the current climate to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

Medium Term Financial Strategy Presentation - Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 504 KB



Cllr Dawn Drury, Chair of B&NES ALCA, will give an update.


Dawn Drury, Chair of ALCA, reported on the following issues:


·  Most Parish and Town Councils are now holding virtual meetings.

·  Parish and Town Councils have responded, both jointly and individually, to the recent consultation on the proposed changes to the planning process.

·  A meeting regarding play areas has recently taken place between B&NES Council and Parish Councils which was very helpful.

·  Some Councils have moved away from SSE and a new contract is being arranged.

·  The ALCA budget was presented at the recent AGM.  A 30% increase in membership fees was proposed with a minimum fee of £50.  The current lack of resources has prompted this proposal as ALCA was reliant on training income to remain viable.  ALCA also needs paid finance and administrative support.  42 Councils voted in favour of the fee increase, 8 voted against and there was 1 abstention.



To receive an update from Jane Wildblood, Corporate and Community Sustainability Manager, regarding progress on the renewal vision and climate emergency community engagement.


Cllr Sarah Warren, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency and Neighbourhood Services, in response to a question, explained that there would be no full-scale park and ride service to the East of Bath.  Instead a “pocket park and ride” is proposed, which will include a faster bus service. This project is currently being scoped.  The clean air zone has now been postponed until 15 March 2021 at the request of central government.  Private cars will not be charged to enter the zone.  Some support will be available to enable people to upgrade their vehicles.  Bath will be the first charging area in the country outside of London.  The green renewal vision for the wider community has been the main focus of Cllr Warren’s portfolio.


Jane Wildblood, Corporate and Community Sustainability Manager, gave an update on the renewal vision and climate emergency community engagement.  This covered the following issues:


·  Corporate Strategy – impact of Covid, ecological emergency declaration and new renewal programme.

·  Climate action update.

·  Community-led climate change actions survey – 80 local organisations responded.

·  Action taken by Parish Councils on climate emergency.

·  B&NES renewable energy investment study.

·  “Green recovery” study.

·  Renewal vision work and engagement.


A great deal of work is underway in the community.  A virtual Parish Council Action Planning workshop will take place on 26 November.  The workshop will be run by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE).  Details of how to get involved are available on the following link:


There are a number of webinars available on the Council YouTube channel regarding the renewal vision and climate emergency and more will be taking place in the future.


The launch of the shared vision will take place in the first quarter of 2021.


Cllr Vic Pritchard expressed some concern about the emphasis on home working as this can lead to isolation and subsequent mental health issues.  It was also noted that home working can have a detrimental effect on local high streets.


Jane Wildblood explained that working from home can be effective and the trend is towards more home working.  However, there is also work underway to develop more co-working hubs with the aim of ensuring that nobody has more than a 20-minute commute.


Cheryl Scott, Clerk to Keynsham Town Council asked if any further action is being taken regarding the proposed Bristol Airport expansion.


Cllr Sarah Warren stated that she is working with the Airport Alliance.  The Rule 6 parties have a leading role in the appeal and are putting together a case against expansion.  B&NES Council has been advised to submit a written statement.


A copy of the presentation slides is attached as Appendix 2 to these minutes.

Climate and Ecological Emergency Renewal Vision - Presentation - Appendix 2 pdf icon PDF 240 KB



To receive a presentation from Simon De Beer, Head of Planning, regarding the Spatial Development Strategy, WECA consultation, Local Plan and the proposed changes to planning legislation.


Cllr Tim Ball, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Economic Development informed the meeting that the Local Plan needed an urgent update. 


Simon de Beer, Head of Planning, and Richard Daone, Deputy Head of Planning Policy, gave a presentation regarding the update to the Local Plan.  The presentation covered the following issues:


·  Local Plan partial update – following the withdrawal of the Joint Strategic Plan it is now necessary to update the Local Plan.  The main drivers are:

o  Need to update key policies.

o  Replenishment of the housing land supply.

o  Provision of a firm policy basis of sites allocations to secure investment in sustainable transport.


·  Scope of the update:

o  Climate Emergency Policies

o  Transport

o  Students related development

o  Housing supply and housing type

o  Nature Emergency

o  General policies

o  Review of allocated sites

o  Key supplementary planning documents


In response to a question from Keynsham Town Council it was confirmed that the work to update its policies could either progress alongside the update to the Local Plan or wait until the new Local Plan has been finalised.


Due to time constraints no discussion took place on planning reforms or the WECA Sustainable Development Strategy.  However, the presentation slides for this item include information on these topics.


A copy of the presentation slides is attached as Appendix 3 to these minutes.

Planning Policy Update Presentation - Appendix 3 pdf icon PDF 416 KB



The proposed meeting dates for 2021 are:


Wednesday 24 March

Wednesday 14 July or Wednesday 21 July

Wednesday 13 October


It was agreed that future meetings will take place on the following dates:


Wednesday 24 March 2021

Wednesday 14 July 2021

Wednesday 13 October 2021