Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Community Space, Keynsham - Market Walk, Keynsham. View directions

Contact: Marie Todd  01225 394414

Items
No. Item

12.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

13.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE

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 point is the grassed area at the end of Carpenter’s Lane.

 

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Officer advised the meeting of the emergency evacuation procedure.

14.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from:

 

Cllr Tim Ball – B&NES Council

Cllr Kevin Guy – B&NES Council

Cllr Sarah Warren – B&NES Council

Cllr Karen Warrington – B&NES Council

Cllr Dave Wood – B&NES Council

Cllr Joanna Wright – B&NES Council

 

Cllr John Adler – Freshford Parish Council

Jean Fossaceco – Clerk to Shoscombe Parish Council

Trudi Gilbank – Clerk to Farmborough Parish Council

Cllr James Honess – Westfield Parish Council

Whitchurch Village Council

15.

URGENT BUSINESS AS AGREED BY THE CHAIR

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

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

16.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 24 July 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 24 July 2019 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

 

Mandy Bishop, Director of Environment, gave an update on the FixMyStreet system.  Following recent feedback by users, including Town and Parish Councils, there are a range of updates to the system which will soon be going live.  This will improve the feedback made available to users including details of action that is being taken on issues raised.  Mandy will also be attending a meeting of Parish Clerks to provide an update on progress and the system changes undertaken.

17.

INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF BATH & NORTH EAST SOMERSET COUNCIL - WILL GODFREY

Minutes:

Will Godfrey, the new Chief Executive of Bath and North East Somerset Council introduced himself stating that he has now been in post for four weeks and is looking forward to engaging with Town and Parish Councils in the area.  Will has lived in the B&NES area since 2009 and has spent the vast majority of his career in local government.  He began his career working in mainly rural communities and more recently has worked at Bristol City Council and Newport City Council.

 

Will’s main philosophy is to ensure that the organisation listens to its residents and understands their needs.  It is important for the Council to be as human as possible, to avoid the use of jargon and to focus on simplicity.  He hopes to visit many of the local Parishes and to see more of the area over the coming months.

18.

UPDATE FROM THE LEADER AND CABINET MEMBERS OF BATH & NORTH EAST SOMERSET COUNCIL

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

Minutes:

(a)  Cllr Dine Romero – Council Leader

 

Cllr Romero stated that the Council values its relationship with the parishes and that this meeting is one of the ways in which it engages with them.  She thanked all those people who have contributed to the “Consultation Charter” which will set out the Council’s commitment to engagement.

 

The Clean Air Zone consultation has now closed and the business case will be sent to central government on 13 December 2019.  The Climate Emergency is a high priority on the Council’s agenda.  The Council is looking to organise a series of events to identify how people can make changes to improve the situation.

 

The Cabinet will be considering a report regarding a council house building programme at its next meeting.  The report is now available on the Council website and can be found here:

https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=1324

 

(b)  Cllr Richard Samuel – Cabinet Member for Resources and Deputy Leader

 

Cllr Samuel reported on the following issues relating to his portfolio:

 

·  Next year’s budget is currently being prepared.  Since the last Parish Liaison Meeting in July the medium term financial strategy has been approved and this gives a good picture of the current situation.

·  Decisions now need to be made regarding the budget, council tax levels and fees and charges.  There are still a number of financial pressures.

·  One of the main financial pressures is children’s services, in particular, funding for vulnerable children and those with special needs.

·  There has also been a drop in projected income from commercial property largely due to the pressures on the retail sector in Bath City Centre. This has been offset to some extent by the work of the Heritage Team and income from the Roman Baths and Pump Room.

·  There has been a drop in car parking income.

·  The cost of council loans from the Public Works Loan Board has now doubled due to the interest rate being increased to 2.8%.  This may have an impact on capital schemes and the Council will lobby government on this issue.

·  The Government has delayed a decision on local government funding until the next financial year.

·  The Chancellor was due to make a budget statement but with the pending general election it is unclear whether the new government would be formed in time to do this.  Councils need to know the funding position before Christmas.

·  The national pay negotiations are currently underway.

 

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

 

Cllr Appleyard reported that the proportion of the Council budget required to provide adult care was previously 67% but has now increased to 82%.  There is also an increased demand for adult care services.

 

A consultation regarding the charging framework for care and support is currently being carried out.  The consultation is open until the 3 December 2019 and events will take place in the local area.  A “question and answer” document will also be available on the Council website.  Cllr Appleyard thanked the Parishes for their help with publicising and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

UPDATE FROM THE CHAIR OF B&NES ALCA

Cllr Dawn Drury will give an update.

Minutes:

Cllr Dawn Drury gave an update from ALCA as follows:

 

·  Cllr Drury has just attended the NALC annual conference in Bletchley.  She congratulated Donna Ford from Midsomer Norton Town Council who has just been presented with the Clerk of the Year award.

 

·  NALC representatives hope to work more closely with Parish and Town Councils in the future and Councils are advised to make use of the services that they provide.

 

·  Parish Online are about to launch their new digital asset register system which should be very helpful. 

 

·  The “Good Councillors’ Guide to Transport Planning” is now available.  For more information https://www.nalc.gov.uk/news/entry/1328-the-good-councillor-s-guide-to-transport-planning-published-by-nalc

 

·  Around 50% of Parish and Town Councils have now declared a climate emergency.  The Clerk of Buckingham Town Council informed the conference that the Council has a full climate emergency plan and would be happy to share expertise.

 

·  A number of local councils are taking on assets such as community halls, churches and pubs.  The Plunkett Foundation website can offer information about this type of project.

 

·  The cost of affiliation to NALC will be £7.20 per elector for the forthcoming financial year.

 

·  ALCA meeting dates have now been set for the forthcoming year.

 

·  In collaboration with the Council, ALCA are planning a Clerk’s networking event.  The date of this event will be circulated shortly.

 

A copy of the ALCA report is attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes.

ALCA Chair's Report - Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 56 KB

20.

PLANNING

Cllr Tim Ball, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Economic Development will provide an update on the Joint Spatial Plan.  Presentations will be given by Lisa Bartlett, Director of Development and Emma Watts, Senior Planning Officer, B&NES, regarding Green Belt Permitted Development Rights and Planning Protocols.

Minutes:

Lisa Bartlett, Director of Development and Emma Watts, Senior Planning Officer from B&NES Council gave a presentation regarding planning issues as follows:.

 

·  Joint Spatial Plan – The Planning Inspectorate has rejected the West of England Joint Spatial Plan and the Council now has to reconsider its policies and set out the next steps in December.  This includes housing allocations such as how much affordable housing is required.  The Council is keen to move on with the local plan and will take on board any suggestions put forward by Town and Parish Councils.

 

·  Green Belt Permitted Development Rights – permitted development can be carried out without planning permission and frees up people to proceed with certain types of development. 

 

·  Change of use of agricultural buildings – the building must be capable of conversion.

 

·  Permitted development for agriculture and forestry.

 

·  Protocols for Town and Parish Councils including the process for referrals to the Planning Committee.  It is important when commenting on applications to give planning reasons as this will give more weight to a referral to Committee.  It is not standard practice to hold a site visit with Town or Parish Councils as there is not capacity to do this.  However, Planning Case Officers are happy to answer questions from local councils.

 

Officers then responded to questions as follows:

 

·  Cheryl Scott, Clerk to Keynsham Town Council, asked about the likelihood of development in North Keynsham being included in the local plan.  Lisa Bartlett explained that the Council is unable to finish its hearings due to advice from the Inspector and will now have to start again and reassess the plan.  The Green Belt will be reviewed in the light of the Inspector’s comments being mindful to produce a sustainable strategy for the whole of the West of England.

 

·  Lisa Bartlett confirmed that it would be appropriate for Keynsham Town Council to invite officers to a closed meeting regarding the Neighbourhood Plan for Keynsham.

 

·  Lisa also confirmed that some of the work carried out relating to infrastructure has translated into the Joint Transport Plan and that Transport and Highways officers are working on this.  Mandy Bishop confirmed that some consultation has taken place and officers are considering evidence in the light of the Inspector’s report.  This will be considered at the WECA Transport Board.

 

·  A query was raised regarding the protocols for Agricultural Need applications.  Parish Councils are not formally notified about these applications but sometimes become aware of them by other means.  Would the Council be prepared to review its consultation process?  Emma Watts stated that there is a different process for this type of application which the Council is unable to change.  Any Town or Parish Councils which have specific examples they wish to bring to the attention of B&NES Council were asked to email these to Lisa Bartlett.

 

·  Temple Cloud with Cameley Parish Council suggested that one person could be nominated from each Parish to be the contact person.  The perceived lack of communication can be frustrating for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

Planning Presentation - Appendix 2 pdf icon PDF 703 KB

21.

CLEANSING

Carol Maclellan, Group Manager for Neighbourhood Environmental Services, B&NES will give a presentation regarding B&NES routine cleaning and support for community litter picking.

Minutes:

Carol Maclellan, Group Manager for Neighbourhood Environmental Services, B&NES gave a presentation regarding routine cleaning and support for community litter picking.

 

·  3,500 tonnes of litter is dealt with over the course of a year.

·  1,500 reports of litter have been received through the “Fix My Street” system.

·  There are 1,285 litter bins throughout the B&NES area.  The cost of disposal is rising.

·  The cost of emptying one litter bin for a year is £700.  The team tries to consolidate litter bins and remove any that are not used.

·  There are 48 members of staff in the cleansing team and the service is provided at a cost of £35 per household per year.

·  The basic service includes weed spraying, emptying litter bins, cleaning shopping precincts, mechanical seeping once per month, managing the fix my street system, removing graffiti, litter and dead animals and abandoned vehicles, dealing with sharps and needles.

·  A team of 13 people is based at Radstock Road where there are two main sweeper vehicles and two response vans.

·  Litter picking on verges is an expensive and dangerous activity.  This normally takes place around late February/early March.

·  Last year 1,080 bags of rubbish were removed from verges.

·  A large number of complaints about rubbish in verges are received.

·  Community Litter Picks – There are a whole raft of community groups who carry out litter picks with some doing this on a regular basis.  The Council provides them with litter bags and hi vis jackets.

·  B&NES has recently held a “Big Community Clean Up”.

Further details about community litter picks can be found using the following link

https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/streets-and-highway-maintenance/litter-street-care-and-cleaning/organising-litter-pick

 

Carol Maclellan then responded to questions as follows:

 

·  The cost of a blue bag used to store cardboard recycling is £3.50.  Cardboard will still be collected even if it is not place in a recycling bag.

 

·  Any group carrying out a litter pick is given an information pack.  People are advised not to put themselves at risk and not to pick up anything they feel is dangerous.  Cllr Ron Hopkins expressed concern about items such as hidden needles which could cause harm to litter pickers.

22.

COMMUNICATIONS AND WEBSITES

A number of presentations will be given by Jane Williams, Corporate Communications Manager B&NES, Tim White, IT Project Manager B&NES and Dawn Drury, Chair of ALCA regarding:

 

·  Role of the press office to include new roadworks bulletin and working with parishes

·  Refresh of Council website to include consultations

·  Local Government Transparency Code 2015 for parishes and website accessibility legislation

Minutes:

Jane Williams, Corporate Communications Manager B&NES gave a presentation regarding the role of the press office.  This included the following:

 

·  Details of the Corporate Communications team.

·  Responsibilities of the team and their day to day work.

·  Details of Council communications in numbers – such as 18,900 twitter followers, 248 mentions in the press last month and 55 media enquiries received on average each month.

·  Objectives of the Communications team.

·  Getting messages out.

·  Media relations and the law – Council publicity is strictly controlled by a Code of Practice established under the Local Government Act 1986.

·  Giving people a bigger say – “For a community to be a healthy local democracy, local understanding of the operation of the democratic process is important, and effective communication is key to developing that understanding.  Local authority publicity is important to transparency and to localism, as the public need to know what their local authority is doing if they are to hold it to account.”  Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity – Explanatory Memorandum.

·  Parish and Town Councils are invited to get in touch with the Communications Team if necessary.  They are also invited to subscribe to E-connect, the Council weekly newsletter.  People can sign up to E-connect using the following link:  https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/econnect

 

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

 

Tim White, IT Project Manager, B&NES gave a presentation regarding the Council website.  This covered the following issues:

 

·  Changes to the Council website and reasons for the change.

·  What work is being carried out.

·  The benefits of the new website – the project is an enabler for wider digital transformation.

·  Structure of the new website.

·  The transactional nature of the new website – the top tasks will be more prominent and the most visited services will be on the home page.  This will adjust dynamically according to user needs.

·  Information on pages is laid out in a much more user friendly way, which helps meet new accessibility legislation.

·  Word and pdf forms will be replaced with online versions using data the Council holds more effectively and redesigning key online services such as viewing/commenting on planning applications.

·  There will be a new approach for policy and strategy documents.

·  The way B&NES communicates about consultations will also be improved.

·  There will be sites with a commercial/branding focus such as Building Control; there will be a refreshed jobs and careers site and a new Newsroom site.

·  The B&NES Newsroom page can be accessed using the following link  https://newsroom.bathnes.gov.uk/news

·  New web content will be released as it becomes available.

 

A copy of the presentation slides is attached as Appendix 4 to these minutes.

 

Dawn Drury, Chair of ALCA, gave a presentation regarding preparations for the Website Accessibility Regulations.  This covered the following issues:

 

·  Compliance with the regulations will become mandatory for all Town, Parish and Community Councils on 23 September 2020 and for mobile applications by 23 June 2021.

·  This will mean changes in the way  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

Communications and Marketing Presentation - Appendix 3 pdf icon PDF 337 KB

Additional documents:

23.

TERMS OF REFERENCE - PARISH LIAISON MEETING pdf icon PDF 151 KB

To note the proposed amendments to the terms of reference and to request feedback.

Minutes:

The Parish Liaison Meeting was asked to note the proposed amendments to its terms of reference.  Feedback can be given following the meeting to B&NES ALCA or to the Council’s Communities Team by email:

Connecting_communities@bathnes.gov.uk

 

A copy of the previous terms of reference is attached as Appendix 6 to these minutes.

Terms of Reference (ratified at Council in May 2018) - Appendix 6 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

24.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

The proposed meeting dates for 2020 are:

 

Tuesday 31 March 2020

Thursday 16 July 2020

Thursday 22 October 2020

 

Time: 6.30pm

Venue: Community Space, Keynsham

Minutes:

It was agreed that future meetings will be held on the following dates:

 

Tuesday 31 March 2020

Thursday 16 July 2020

Thursday 22 October 2020

 

Time: 6.30pm

Venue: Community Space, Keynsham