Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Marie Todd  01225 394414

No. Item




The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.




Apologies for absence were received from:


Cllr Kevin Guy

Cllr Richard Samuel

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 22 October 2020 as a correct record.


The minutes of the meeting held on 22 October 2020 were confirmed as a correct record.



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


Aurora Loi, Electoral Services Manager, will give an update on the WECA Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections.


(40 minutes)


(a)  Cllr Dine Romero – Council Leader


Covid 19 Update - The Covid-19 infection rate in the B&NES area has now reduced to 20 per 100,000.  The vaccination programme is going very well and most people in the high-risk category groups have now been vaccinated.  This area has not experienced much vaccine-hesitancy.  Testing centres have also been established across the district.


To keep up to date with the latest, local news on Covid; vaccinations and other important information, people can sign up to receive the Council’s e-newsletter and encourage others, with access to the internet, to do the same – the link is here:


The Council will take any action necessary to address any hesitancy in taking the second dose of the vaccine as it is important that people have both doses.


Settled Status for EU Nationals - Parish Councils were asked to remind any EU nationals in their areas to ensure that they apply for settled status before the deadline date of 30 June 2021.  Further details can be found on the Government website using the following link


Virtual Meetings – B&NES Council is disappointed that the Government has not yet taken action to continue the ability to hold virtual meetings, despite widespread lobbying from across the country.  The Council will be considering a motion at its meeting on 25 March to reiterate the cross-party support for this.  The Council would like to retain the option to hold virtual meetings where appropriate, but officers are working on contingency plans to enable face-to-face meetings to take place.


Death of a Senior National Figure - The Council has been advised by the Government and Lord Lieutenant’s office that many aspects of the protocol will be suspended whilst we deal with the national pandemic.  Details of the current protocol are attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes.


Community Contribution Fund – The Community Contribution Fund is a pilot scheme that offers residents the chance to pay into a good causes fund to help local charity, community and voluntary groups.  This fund is not intended to replace the Ward Councillor Empowerment Fund.  Provision was made in the Council’s budget for the continuation of the Ward Councillor empowerment fund which provides £1,000 per Councillor for 2021/22.  As before, ward councillors in parished areas will be encouraged to work closely with parishes on identifying projects that would benefit from this support.


A letter has been sent to residents with their council tax bill, inviting them to make a voluntary contribution to the fund.  There is also a page on the council’s website about the fund, with a link to enable contributions to be made online.


Any contribution will be separate from residents’ Council Tax, and it is possible to contribute more than once.  The minimum is £5 and there is no maximum.


The scheme will be administered by the council, but funds generated will not be used to supplement council services.  Every penny will be used to fund local projects.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

Death of a Senior National Figure Protocol - Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Additional documents:



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


Geoff Davis, Clerk to South Stoke Parish Council, will give an update on street lighting contracts in Parishes.


(15 minutes)


The Chair of ALCA, Dawn Drury, reported on the following matters:


Fix My Street/Routine Queries


At the last B&NES ALCA meeting, members raised several issues of concern.

In respect of Fix My Street, the messaging is not always correct for example the platform reporting that work had been signed off as being complete without being checked.  This seemed to mainly relate to highways works.


The responses are the responsibility of, and dependent on, various teams updating their own systems.  Any street works feedback is linked to Highways.  The Fix My Street technical team can look into issues such as auto-generation of a status update.


Parishes should notify either Council Connect or the Community Engagement Team if they find messaging on individual reports that is incorrect so that the relevant team can be contacted.  Parishes should also contact the B&NES Community Engagement Team or Council Connect with day-to-day issues so that they can be dealt with quickly.


The contact details for these teams are:


Council Connect:


Tel: 01225 394041


Community Engagement Team:


Tel: 01225 396975


Diversion Routes


It is important that road closure notices include details of the specific community name as several roads in the area have the same names and this can be confusing. 


Post Office Closures


Unfortunately, B&NES Council has limited influence over the closure of local post offices as these are private ventures.


Street Lighting


Incorrect information in respect to street light numbering on the Parish Online system was identified and highlighted by Peasedown St. John Parish Council.  Any similar issues in the area can be reported to who will then liaise with the GIS team.  There have also been some problems with new LED streetlights, as one batch has a higher failure rate than usual.  Stephen Burrell in the street lighting team is happy to assist parishes in making the appropriate contacts if required.

Lockdown Issues


Unfortunately, lockdown and the pandemic has created problems for many Parishes with people driving to rural locations and villages to walk, which in turn was resulting in bad parking.  Saltford Parish Council had been particularly affected by this and reported their Clerk reported that their local PCSOs had put up posters in their riverside areas stating, ‘Do you need to be here?’ and had undertaken some regular patrols to remind walkers of the guidance rules, so if a Parish is suffering from this problem it may be worth contacting your local beat officer or PCSOs for assistance. 


Members stressed the importance of following the country code and raised concern at the amount of littering and, in particular, the problems caused by bags of dog waste being left on the ground or hanging from trees.


The Cabinet Members, Cllrs Joanna Wright and Neil Butters, agreed to look into the issues raised.


Miscellaneous Issues


Other issues raised by ALCA were:


·  A request for advice on purdah.

·  The position regarding virtual meetings after 7 May.  The regional Committee and NALC are still advising that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.



To receive an update from Simon de Beer, Head of Planning, regarding the WECA Spatial Development Strategy and B&NES Local Plan.


To receive an update from Gary Peacock, Deputy Group Manager, Highways and Transport regarding the Transport Delivery Plan and traffic calming.


(20 minutes)


Cllr Tim Ball, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Economic Development explained that work is currently being carried out on:


·  A refresh of the Local Plan

·  WECA Spatial Development Strategy

·  B&NES Local Plan


The consultation process has been more difficult this year due to the Covid pandemic.


Simon de Beer, Head of Planning gave a presentation regarding the WECA Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) and B&NES Local Plan.  This covered the following issues:


Spatial Development Strategy


·  The WECA Spatial Development Strategy is a high-level plan.  Sites identified give an indication of where growth should take place.

·  The scope of the Spatial Development Strategy.

·  The timetable for the Strategy – including informal engagement, preparation of the Strategy and publication of a draft plan for public consultation.

·  New strategic evidence.

·  Local Housing Needs Assessment – new standard methodology.

·  SDS Engagement – views on priorities.

·  Call for sites – land that could be available for development from landowners.


B&NES Local Plan Partial Update


·  Rationale for the partial update – including some urgent issues that need to be addressed within B&NES.

·  Options consultation – around 2,390 comments have been received.

·  Key issues for Parishes.

·  Next steps.

·  Overall timetable.


It was noted that there will be further engagement with Town and Parish Councils and there will be an opportunity to comment on the draft plan.


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


Transport Delivery Plan


Gary Peacock, Deputy Group Manager, Highways and Transport, gave a presentation regarding the Transport Delivery Plan and request for highway schemes.  This covered the following issues:


·  Partnership working with WECA-LTA.

·  Bus Strategy and proposed improvements.

·  Improvements to bus services are proposed for the A4, A367 and A37 to provide better links between communities.

·  Request for highways schemes – there is a high demand.  Schemes are assessed and prioritised with the highest priority schemes being added to the capital programme.

·  There are 1,200kms of highway in the district and 16,000 streetlights.


Cllr Neil Butters, Cabinet Member for Transport Services stated that he hoped to work with Parishes regarding contentious issues such as road humps and speed signs.


Cllr Joanna Wright highlighted a number of projects that are currently taking place:


·   Funding has been awarded for the construction of a recreational trail around a significant part of the lake, but funding conditions need to be satisfied before work can commence. It is hoped that this will be soon.

·  The e-scooter trial is currently ongoing, and people can now lease an e-scooter for a longer period of time.

·  20mph zones.

·  Provision of more electric car charging points.

·  Liveable neighbourhoods scheme.  There are two further deadlines to make suggestions for this scheme in May and August.  If Parishes have any ideas they would like to raise they should approach their local ward councillor.


Details of Transport schemes approved by the Council in February 2021 can be found using the following link:


The Government’s “Bus Back Better” strategy sets out the long-term  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

WECA Sustainable Development Strategy and Local Plan Partial Update - Appendix 3 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:



To note that future meetings will be held on:


·  Wednesday 14 July 2021

·  Wednesday 13 October 2021


It was noted that future meetings will be held on:


Wednesday 14 July 2021

Wednesday 13 October 2021