Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath

Contact: Jo Morrison  01225 394358

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

37.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE

The Chairman will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 7.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

38.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

At this point in the meeting declarations of interest are received from Members in any of the agenda items under consideration at the meeting. Members are asked to complete the green interest forms circulated to groups in their pre-meetings (which will be announced at the Council Meeting) to indicate:

(a) The agenda item number in which they have an interest to declare.

(b) The nature of their interest.

(c) Whether their interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other interest,  (as defined in Part 2, A and B of the Code of Conduct and Rules for Registration of Interests)

Any Member who needs to clarify any matters relating to the declaration of interests is recommended to seek advice from the Council’s Monitoring Officer before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Charles Gerrish declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in item 15 ‘Referral from the Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel’ as a shareholder in Bath & West Community Energy company.

 

Councillor John Bull declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in item 15 ‘Referral from the Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel’ as a shareholder in Bath & West Community Energy company.

 

Councillor Roger Symonds declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in item 15 ‘Referral from the Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel’ as a shareholder in Bath & West Community Energy company.

 

Councillor Rob Appleyard declared an ‘other’ interest in the public speaking item (item 7) as a board member of Curo, when it became clear that one of the statements referred to Curo.

39.

MINUTES - 11TH SEPTEMBER 2014 pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair(man)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

On a motion from Councillor Paul Crossley, seconded by Councillor Tim Warren, it was

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of 11th September 2014 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

40.

ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OR FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE

These are matters of information for Members of the Council. No decisions will be required arising from the announcements.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman made the customary arrangements regarding mobile phones and the meeting being webcast.

 

He congratulated those Members sporting moustaches for Movember.

 

He also thanked all the officers and Members attending the many Remembrance day events that had taken place earlier that week.

41.

TO ANNOUNCE ANY URGENT BUSINESS AGREED BY THE CHAIRMAN

If there is any urgent business arising since the formal agenda was published, the Chairman will announce this and give reasons why he has agreed to consider it at this meeting. In making his decision, the Chairman will, where practicable, have consulted with the Leaders of the Political Groups. Any documentation on urgent business will be circulated at the meeting, if not made available previously.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

42.

QUESTIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS AND DEPUTATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC

The Democratic Services Manager will announce any submissions received under the arrangements set out in note 5 above. The Council will be invited to decide what action it wishes to take, if any, on the matters raised in these submissions. As the questions received and the answers given will be circulated in written form there is no requirement for them to be read out at the meeting. The questions and answers will be published with the draft minutes.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Statements were made by the following people;

 

Vicky Drew made a statement regarding the Curo pilot credit checking scheme and the effect this was having on low income tenants.  In response to a question from Councillor Steve Hedges enquiring whether Ms Drew considered the word ‘social’ should be taken out of the Curo name, Ms Drew responded that it seemed to be the way they were going.  In response to a question from Councillor Robin Moss about whether investing money in debt advice was a good model to adopt, Ms Drew responded that debt advice was beyond the remit of providers. The Chairman thanked Ms Drew for her statement and referred the issues to the Cabinet member for Homes and Planning.

 

Vicky Drew made a statement regarding child poverty figures in B&NES.  She referred to rising rents and properties being used as HMOs meaning a limited supply.  She considered that arrangements favoured landlords, not tenants and yet everyone had a basic right to shelter. The Chairman thanked Ms Drew for her statement and referred the issues to the Cabinet member for Early Years, Children and Youth.

 

Vicky Drew made a statement regarding the junction outside St Saviour’s school and referred to a petition that is gathering signatures calling for a pedestrian crossing to guarantee safe passage for parents and children.  In response to a question from Councillor Rob Appleyard about whether Ms Drew was aware of the work Councillor Bryan Chalker had been doing in addressing this, Ms Drew responded that she was aware, but that it was still subject to a safety audit and earmarked for the 2015/16 budget, which was not soon enough.  In response to a further question from Councillor Bryan Chalker about whether Ms Drew was aware of the work both ward councillors had put into this, Ms Drew responded that she had seen various stories in the press and knew they were supportive; she was keen to see it move forward.  Councillor Liz Hardman asked a question about whether Ms Drew considered it was worth spending the money needed for ensuring a safer environment, she responded that it definitely was and she thought the amount would be  ‘peanuts’. The Chairman thanked Ms Drew for her statement and referred it the issues to the Cabinet member for Transport.

 

Richard Young made a statement also calling for measures to address road safety issues outside St Saviour’s school.  He listed the problems caused and referred to an accident in 2013.  He made reference to a petition of over 1000 signatures which they would shortly be submitting to Council.  Whilst applauding the medium and long terms solutions that had been proposed, he called on the Council to take immediate steps by visiting St Saviours in the morning, installing a pedestrian crossing within 6 months and working with the community in 2015 to identify measures to reduce the rat run.  In response to a question from Councillor Rob Appleyard enquiring if Mr Young was aware that the process for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

Additional documents:

43.

Getting Around Bath - a new Transport Strategy for Bath pdf icon PDF 86 KB

A new Transport Strategy for Bath was approved by Cabinet for consultation in May 2014.  The Strategy has been well received and supported by the majority of those who responded and is now recommended for Adoption by Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the new Transport Strategy for Bath which was approved by Cabinet on 12th November.  Prior to the debate, statements were made by the following people;

 

Patrick Rotheram made a statement on behalf of the Federation of Bath Residents' Associations highlighting the traffic problems and air pollution issues that Bath experienced and urging Councillors to adopt the strategy.  A full copy of the statement is linked to the online minutes and has been placed on the Council’s minute book.  In response to a question from Councillor John Bull enquiring whether Mr Rotheram considered enough had been done in the last four years, particularly in view of the fact that the Park & Ride on the east of Bath had not gone ahead.  Mr Rotheram responded that it had been disappointing, but he welcomed that an alternative was included in the strategy. The Chairman thanked Mr Rotheram for his statement.

 

Professor Donald Thomas made a statement raising the health problems associated with traffic pollution, a copy of which is linked to the online minutes and has been placed on the Council’s minute book.  The Chairman thanked Professor Thomas for his statement.

 

Ian Perkins addressed the Council on behalf of the City Centre Action group, which comprises 3 central residents’ associations.  They supported the principles of the strategy, particularly the reduction in cars and the eastern Park & Ride.  However, they were concerned about air quality in the city centre and stressed the need for proper management of coaches and parking.  The Chairman thanked Mr Perkins for his statement.

 

Sally Rothwell, also from the City Centre Action group addressed the Council about 2 specific issues: too few residents’ parking spaces in the city centre, an issue that they had been trying to address for over a decade.  She also urged the Council to adopt an all year round coach management plan to minimise the damage being done to the city centre.  The Chairman thanked Ms Rothwell for her statement.

 

On a motion from Councillor Caroline Roberts, seconded by Councillor Lisa Brett, it was

 

RESOLVED to adopt the Getting Around Bath Transport Strategy, as approved at Cabinet on 12th November 2014.

 

[Note – The above resolution was passed with all Councillors voting in favour except for Councillor Vic Pritchard who abstained.]

Additional documents:

44.

Licensing Act 2003 - Review of the Council's Statement of Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Section 5 of the Licensing Act 2003 (“the Act”) requires a Licensing Authority to prepare and publish a statement of its licensing policy every five years.  Such a policy must be published before the Authority carries out any function in respect of individual applications made under the terms of the 2003 Act.  During the five year period the policy must be kept under review and the Licensing Authority may make any revisions to it as it considers appropriate.  The Council last reviewed it’s policy in 2010.

 

This report identifies the findings of the consultation exercise carried out on the proposed revision of the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy and the introduction of a Code of Best Practice for Licensed Premises.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report which identified the findings of the consultation exercise carried out on the proposed revision of the Council’s Statement of Licensing policy and the introduction of a Code of Best Practice for Licensed Premises.

 

On a motion from Councillor David Dixon, seconded by Councillor Manda Rigby, it was

 

RESOLVED

 

1.  To adopt the Policy and Code of Best Practice provided in Annex B to the report, having had regard to the responses received following the consultation exercise (set out in Annex A to the report); and

 

2.  To recommend the continuation of the existing Cumulative Impact Area in Bath city centre.

 

[Note: The above resolution was passed with all Councillors voting in favour, except for Councillor Nicholas Coombes who voted against.]

45.

Local Council Tax Support Scheme (CTS) 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To consider a proposal for continuation of the Local Council Tax Support scheme (LCTS) into its third year, with the policy to incorporate uprating of national personal allowances and benefits as necessary.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report proposing continuation of the Local Council Tax Support scheme (LCTS) into its third year, with the policy to incorporate uprating of national personal allowances and benefits as necessary.

 

On a motion from Councillor David Bellotti, seconded by Councillor Rob Appleyard, it was

 

RESOLVED to approve delegated authority for the lead Cabinet member for  Resources and the Section 151 Officer of Bath & North East Somerset Council to agree that there are no changes to the existing Council Tax Support scheme for 2015-16, other than the application of national uprating adjustments and technical changes to ensure legal compliance as soon as practical.

 

[Note: The above resolution was passed with all Councillors voting in favour, except for the following Councillors who voted against; John Bull, Nicholas Coombes, Doug Deacon, Liz Hardman, Nathan Hartley, Eleanor Jackson, Robin Moss, June Player.]

46.

Treasury Management Monitoring Report to 30th September 2014 pdf icon PDF 198 KB

In February 2012, the Council adopted the 2011 edition of the CIPFA Treasury Management in the Public Services: Code of Practice, which requires the Council to approve a Treasury Management Strategy before the start of each financial year, review performance during the year, and approve an annual report after the end of each financial year.

 

This report gives details of performance against the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy and Annual Investment Plan 2014/15 for the first six months of 2014/15.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report giving details of performance against the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy and Annual Investment Plan 2014/15 for the first six months of 2014/15.

 

On a motion from Councillor David Bellotti, seconded by Councillor Andy Furse, it was

 

RESOLVED

 

1.  To note the Treasury Management report to 30th September 2014, prepared in accordance with the CIPFA Treasury Code of Practice;

 

2.  To note the Treasury Management indicators to 30th September 2014; and

 

3.  To approve the proposed amendments to the 2014/15 Treasury Management Strategy set out in paragraphs 5.19-23 and Appendix 8 of the report.

 

[Note: The above resolution was passed unanimously.]

47.

Motion from the Independent group - Houses in Multiple Occupation pdf icon PDF 23 KB

An officer briefing note is attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

On a motion from Councillor June Player, seconded by Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones, it was

 

RESOLVED that

 

Council notes:

 

·  That landlords of rental properties currently pay income tax on the rental income and Capital Gains Tax on profit made at point of sale, but that this goes direct to central Government and is not passed on to Council.

 

·  That it is a genuine concern that the proliferation of student accommodation and student properties in parts of the authority mean that there are a large number of properties where no contribution is made by either the landlord or tenant to the Council services all residents receive.

 

·  That, if Business Rates were to be applied to student properties, the majority of small investors would pay little or nothing in Business Rates due to the fact that Small Business Rate Relief would apply.

 

Council resolves:

 

·  To refer the matter to the relevant PD&S panel for their study and consideration, together with any relevant officer reports, with the subject to be considered by PD&S as a matter of priority.

 

·  That the PD&S Panel, as part of their deliberations, is specifically asked to consider:

 

o  Ask that our two MP’s lobby the Government to fully compensate the Council for the Council Tax lost from student properties, recognising the tax the Government already receives from landlords of rental properties.

 

o  The possibility of asking Government to allow the owners/landlords of student accommodation to be charged Business Rates, including any advantages and disadvantages of such a move.

 

[Note; The above resolution was passed with 27 Councillors voting in favour, 25 against and 4 abstentions from Councillors Matthew Blankley, Marie Brewer, Francine Haeberling and Lorraine Morgan-Brinkhurst MBE.]

48.

Motion from the Labour group - Living Wage pdf icon PDF 15 KB

An officer briefing note on this issue will follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

During the debate on this item, Councillor Paul Crossley moved, seconded by Councillor Tim Warren, that the meeting continue until 10.30pm in accordance with Council rule 48.  This was accepted by the meeting.

 

On a motion from Councillor David Bellotti, seconded by Councillor Simon Allen, it was

 

RESOLVED that

 

1.  Council notes that, when it last considered this matter on 14 November 2013, it was agreed “to keep low pay under annual review during each future budget round”;

 

2.  Council notes that last year we deleted a lower pay band and the administration’s proposals for 2015-16 indicate further pay band deletions.

 

3.  Council notes national pay negotiations are ongoing and that Employers have offered a £1,065 pay increase on SCP5, a £1,000 pay increase on SCP6, an £800 increase on SCP7 and further tapered increases above up to SCP 11, all from 1st January 2015.

 

4.  Council notes that National Employers are also proposing to delete SCP5 from 1st October 2015.

 

5.  Council notes that the Low Pay Commission, which is an independent body, advises Government and that recently the Chancellor has increased the national minimum wage to £6.50 per hour, which equates to £12,540 per annum.

 

6.  Council notes that, since the last general election, the take home pay at the national minimum wage rate has increased by £800 due to the raising of the income tax threshold. Lower tax thresholds will continue to rise under the Coalition Government and political parties are considering their stance towards the CBI call for the minimum threshold for National Insurance to be raised to £10,500.

 

7.  Council notes that very few Councils have signed up for accreditation as a Living Wage employer because it would require the Council, within 2 years, to only award contracts to those businesses paying the Living Wage. Our Council policy of ‘Think Local’ for procurement is designed to encourage those very small businesses in our area, that could then well be excluded from applying for contracts.

 

Council resolves

 

8.  To continue to work towards the Living Wage as and when the Council can afford it.

 

9.  To consider low pay and the removal of lower pay bands at its budget meeting on 17th February 2015.

 

[Notes;

 

1 – Opening the debate, a motion had been moved by Councillor John Bull asking Council to adopt the Living Wage for all Council staff by April 2015, to sign up for accreditation as a Living Wage employer and to influence local employers to pay the Living wage.  This motion was replaced with the successful amendment

 

2 - The successful resolution above was carried as an amendment with 41 Councillors voting in favour, 9 against and 4 abstentions.

 

3 – The successful resolution above was carried as the substantive motion with 48 Councillors voting in favour, 0 against and 6 abstentions.]

49.

Motion from the Labour group - Financial Transaction Tax pdf icon PDF 17 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

On a motion from Councillor Robin Moss, seconded by Councillor Liz Hardman, it was

 

RESOLVED as set out below;

 

Council notes that:

 

1.  local government will see real term cuts in central grant of 43% over the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review period, meaning a cut of £20bn in annual grant by 2016;

 

2.  extending the current Financial Transaction Tax on shares to other asset classes such as bonds and derivatives could raise £20bn of additional revenue in the UK a year; and

 

3.  at least 11 European nations including France, Germany, Italy and Spain are moving ahead with FTTs on shares, bonds and derivatives estimated to raise £30bn a year.

 

Council believes that:

 

4.  revenues from the FTT could help repair the damage caused by cuts in public services since 2010;

 

5.  local government deserves to receive a significant proportion of FTT revenues, making an important contribution to both capital and revenue expenditure such as reversing cuts to council tax benefits; and that

 

6.  whilst an FTT might have a negligible effect on jobs in the City of London, investing FTT revenues in a smart and progressive way would see a significant increase in employment levels in other sectors.

 

Council resolves that:

 

7.  the UK government be urged to argue through international bodies for a global Financial Transaction tax;

 

8.  a letter should be written on behalf of this Council by all four Group Leaders to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Chancellor and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government stating this council’s support for extending FTTs; and

 

9.  a further letter should be written to the local MPs outlining this Council’s position.

 

[Notes;

 

1 – The underlined wording in resolution 7 above was proposed by Councillor Paul Crossley and accepted by the mover and seconder of the motion;

2 – The resolutions above were carried with 29 Councillors voting in favour, 19 against and 1 abstention from Councillor Ian Gilchrist.]

50.

Referral from Resources Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Resources PDS Panel considered a call-in on 29th September 2014 on the policy loan for Wilmington Farm solar array.  The call-in was dismissed.  The Panel asked for a report to go to Council on the Panel’s deliberations, for information only.

 

An officer briefing note and the Panel’s minutes are attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted a referral from the Resources Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel following their consideration of the call-in of the decision to grant a policy loan of £500k to Wilmington Farm solar array.  Councillor Robin Moss referred Members to the information report that had been provided.

51.

QUESTIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS AND DEPUTATIONS FROM COUNCILLORS

The Democratic Services Manager will announce any submissions received. The Council will be invited to decide what action it wishes to take, if any, on the matters raised in these submissions. As the questions received and the answers given will be circulated in written form there is no requirement for them to be read out at the meeting. The questions and answers will be published with the draft minutes.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Steve Hedges presented a petition of 121 signatures with the following wording;

 

Following a number of accidents and due to the speed of traffic along Upper Bloomfield Road, we request Bath & North East Somerset Council to come up with a solution to improve local resident’s safety.  Making Upper Bloomfield road a 20 mph area will help, but not everyone obeys the speed limit.”

 

He called for a solution to be found, bearing in the mind the number of accidents that have taken place.  The Chairman thanked Councillor Hedges for the petition and referred it to the Cabinet member for Transport.