Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath

Contact: Jo Morrison  01225 394358

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

29.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE

The Chairman will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 8.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

30.

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 Officeror a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel declared an ‘other’ interest in item 8 “Save Bath Library petition” as a Trustee of the Citizens Advice Bureau.

 

Councillor Joe Rayment declared an ‘other’ interest in item 8 “Save Bath Library petition” as an employee of DHI who work through the One Stop Shop, and a member of one of the unions in dispute.

 

Councillor Rob Appleyard declared an ‘other’ interest in item 8 “Save Bath Library petition” as a Trustee of the Citizens Advice Bureau.

 

Councillor Charles Gerrish declared an ‘other’ interest in item 9 “Council Company Governance Arrangements and Annual Reports” as a Director of ADL.

 

Councillor Les Kew declared an ‘other’ interest in item 9 “Council Company Governance Arrangements and Annual Reports” as a Director of ADL.

 

Maria Lucas, Monitoring Officer, granted a dispensation to all Councillors on the Communities, Transport & Environment Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel, and the Cabinet, for item 8 “Save Bath Library petition” as the item is to be discussed by these bodies.

 

Maria Lucas, Monitoring Officer, granted a general dispensation to all Councillors with regard to item 9 “Council Company Governance Arrangements and Annual Reports” as the Council is a shareholder of the companies referred to.

 

Maria Lucas, Monitoring Officer, granted a dispensation to Councillor Tim  Ball with regard to item 13 “Care Leavers and Council Tax”.

31.

MINUTES - 13TH JULY 2017 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

On a motion from Councillor Tim Warren, seconded by Councillor Dine Romero, it was

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Council meeting of 13th July 2017 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

32.

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 Chair made the customary announcements concerning mobile phones and webcasting the meeting.

33.

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.

34.

QUESTIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS AND DEPUTATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC

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:

The Chair made reference to the Q&A document which had been circulated.

 

Statements were made by the following people;

 

Bob Hollingdale made a statement updating Councillors on the situation with Uber in London where a cross section of MPs were calling on Uber to lose their licence, as had already happened in a number of cities around the world.  He highlighted various examples of attacks on passengers which Uber were not reporting and stressed that the safety of passengers should be at the forefront of any decision making.  In response to a question from Councillor Paul Crossley about what checks were made on the quality and accessibility of cars, Bob explained that only the Local Authority did checks and that some of the Uber cars were over 10 years old and in a poor condition.

 

Paul Roles made a statement explaining that they were moving forward on working with officers and Cabinet Members. He highlighted an article concerning problems with DBS checks being carried out and the need for measures to be put in place to stop TFL drivers working in Bath, at least until their DBS checks were sorted out. Councillor Paul Crossley asked Paul if it was true that the Mayor of London had banned his teenage daughters from using Uber, to which Paul responded that this question had been put to the Mayor on the radio and he’d responded that he categorically would not allow them to use Uber.

 

Following the above two statements, Councillor Paul Crossley sought the agreement from the Leaders of the Groups with at least 20% of Council seats, in accordance with rule 4A, 34 of the Constitution to allow a 10 minute debate on Uber.  This was agreed – the minute of the debate follows this item.

 

David Redgewell made a statement calling on the Council to work with the West of England Combined Authority to press for Government funds for the 2019 – 2024 period.  He also stressed the need for a bus strategy for the West of England area.  In response to a question from Councillor Neil Butters about David’s view of whether the Tram Forward initiative provided a solution, David responded that there was a place for it and it was worthy of a further look.

 

Robin Kerr, Chairman of the Lansdown Crescent Association, made a statement raising concerns about safety aspects of the hoardings in front of Hope House which were causing traffic problems, and called on the Council to take action to prevent a more serious accident taking place.  Further details can be read in the full statement which is attached to the online minutes.  In a response to a query from Councillor Dine Romero as to whether they had already raised this concern with any other parties, Robin explained they were exasperated with repeatedly doing so.  That morning, he had spoken to the Managing Director of Acorn, the company responsible for the hoardings, who claimed to be surprised at the concerns, although they had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

Public Q&A pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Additional documents:

Public statements front sheet pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Additional documents:

35.

TAXI LICENSING - 10 MINUTE DEBATE

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Following agreement from Leaders of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Groups, a 10 minute debate was held arising from the public statements on Taxi Licensing/Uber issues.

 

On a motion from Councillor Paul Crossley, seconded by Councillor Dine Romero, it was

 

RESOLVED that

 

In view of the:

 

·  recently highlighted revoking of DBS clearance from TfL taxi drivers;

·  the statement by the Mayor of London that he won’t let his children use Uber Taxis;

·  and the inability of our licence authorities to ensure that all taxi operators use cars that meet our minimum criteria for quality and accessibility

 

Will the Leader of the Council write to our 2 MPs calling on them:-

 

1.  To get the law amended so that licence authorities can insist on their standards being adhered to by all taxi and private hire operators in the authority area.

2.  And further, that authorities should be able to insist that DBS is cleared through the authority clearance process and not someone else’s;

3.  And enable the Council to prevent drivers operating in B&NES without a full DBS clearance having been achieved.

4.  To repeal the cross border hiring so that our license authority is paramount in our licensing area.

 

[Notes:

1.  This debate took place within the Public Statements item.

 

2.  The resolution above was carried with 54 Councillors voting in favour, 2 against and 2 abstentions.]

36.

PETITION FOR DEBATE - SAVE BATH LIBRARY pdf icon PDF 90 KB

The Council will hold a debate following receipt of a petition entitled – “Save Bath Library”. The petition will be introduced by the lead petitioner or their representative.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered an item which had been brought forward, following receipt of a petition entitled “Save Bath Library” containing approximately 5000 signatures.

 

Caroline Ambrose made a statement introducing the petition and formally opening the debate.  A copy of Caroline’s statement has been added to the online minutes.

 

On a motion from Councillor Karen Warrington, seconded by Councillor Jasper Becker, it was

 

RESOLVED that

 

Council notes:

 

·  That the Council is currently undertaking a consultation on proposals for an integrated library and customer service (One Stop Shop) in Bath, which runs until the 15th September.

 

·  That this consultation includes two options: to keep the library in its current location in the Podium with combined One Stop Shop services, or to move the library to the current One Stop Shop location in Lewis House.

 

·  That business cases for these two options are available alongside the consultation for the public to access and view, along with a needs assessment, equality impact assessment, site assessments and design principles.

 

·  That following this stage of consultation and once a preferred location has been chosen, further engagement will take place with service users and residents on the design and layout of the new Library/One Stop Shop, including consideration of matters such as accessibility.

 

·  That combining library and customer services in one location is a model that has proven successful elsewhere, both in other authorities and in other locations within B&NES, including the Keynsham Library/One Stop Shop - where library usage has increased, bucking the national trend.

 

·  That combining the library and One Stop Shop in Bath would save up to £400,000 a year towards an overall £800,000 p.a. saving from the Modern Libraries project, whilst at the same time protecting both our library and customer services and making them sustainable for the long-term.

 

·  That, as well as making our library service sustainable for the future, the Council’s Modern Libraries programme is seeking to ensure that our libraries meet the needs of current and future library users through access to books, information, events, face-to-face support, and up-to-date digital technology, together with improved family facilities.

 

·  That, whilst B&NES is seeking innovative ways to protect and enhance our library service, other Councils – including neighbouring authorities - are proposing significant library closures.

 

Council resolves:

 

1.  To note the points above, and for any comments and contributions made as part of the debate to be recorded and included within the formal consultation.

 

[Notes:

1.  During debate, an unsuccessful motion was moved by Councillor Richard Samuel, and seconded by Councillor Dine Romero, to acknowledge public concerns, withdraw the project in its current form and to ask Cabinet to amend the budget so that savings could be identified from elsewhere.  This was lost on a named vote;

Councillors voting in favour (15) – Councillors Rob Appleyard, Tim Ball, Cherry Beath, Neil Butters, Paul Crossley, Andy Furse, Ian Gilchrist, Alison Millar, Michelle O’Doherty, Lin Patterson, Caroline Roberts, Nigel Roberts, Dine Romero, Richard Samuel, Will Sandry.

Councillors voting against (37) –  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

Caroline Ambrose statement pdf icon PDF 292 KB

Additional documents:

37.

COUNCIL COMPANY GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS AND ANNUAL REPORTS pdf icon PDF 83 KB

The Council will be asked to agree the appropriate corporate governance arrangements for Council interests in Local Authority Companies and approve the annual accounts of Aequus Development Limited (ADL) and Bath Tourism Plus (BTP).  The Council will also be asked to consider the request by Bath Tourism Plus for working capital finance in the form of a loan at commercial rates to enable the company to relocate and refurbish a new site for the Visitor Information Centre and a new back office.  This will lead to the reduction of operational overheads.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report regarding the appropriate governance arrangements for its interests in Local Authorities companies and their annual accounts.

 

On a motion from Councillor Charles Gerrish, seconded by Councillor Tim Warren, it was

 

RESOLVED

 

1.  To note the recommendations of the EY corporate structure review report (Appendix A);

 

2.  To agree the principles and structures for governance arrangements of Council companies as set out in the proposed Protocol (Appendix B);

 

3.  To delegate the implementation of the group structure and required streamlining to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance; section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer;

 

4.  To note the ADL 2016/17 year end draft audited accounts (Appendix C) recognising that they have been presented to Resources PDS;

 

5.  To note the BTP 2016/17 year end draft audited accounts (Appendix D) and recommend that they should be presented to the Planning, Housing & Economic Development Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel;

 

6.  To approve the addition of a new scheme of £300k loan into the Capital Programme entitled BTP transitional funding;

 

7.  To delegate authority to authorise the loan to BTP to the Strategic Director of Resources (s151 Officer), in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency, once satisfied that due diligence has been completed and subject to the relevant terms and conditions;

 

8.  To note that as a loan condition, a detailed review of the BTP business plan is required in advance with the future years plan from 2018/19 to be presented to the Council Shareholder for approval, and which also demonstrates concern for the tourism needs and potential of North East Somerset;

 

9.  To request that Cabinet incorporate the following recommendations, made by the Resources PDS panel on 13th September 2017 into the proposed governance structure;

 

a.  That regular performance reports be brought to the relevant Scrutiny Panel or Committee on a 6 monthly basis on all commercial activity;

 

b.  That the principle of a clear distinction between the role of Cabinet and the role of the board/company be established within a reasonable period of time; and

 

c.  That legal advice as to how and when a greater scrutiny mechanism can be achieved for decisions made by, or in consultation with, the Leader in his or her role as shareholder is obtained.

 

[Notes:

1.  The wording in resolution 9 above was proposed by Councillor Andrew Furse and accepted into the substantive motion by the mover and seconder of the motion.

2.  The underlined wording in resolution 8 above was proposed by Councillor John Bull and accepted into the substantive motion by the mover and seconder of the motion.

3.  The successful resolution was carried with 54 Councillors voting in favour and 1 abstention.]

38.

YORK STREET INFRASTRUCTURE WORKS pdf icon PDF 79 KB

This item requests agreement for urgent funding to progress the repair of the underground vault situated under a part of York Street which is required for the Christmas market.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report regarding funding for urgent works on the underground vaults under York Street.

 

On a motion from Councillor Mark Shelford, seconded by Councillor Tim Warren, it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED

 

1.  to accept the addition of a new scheme into the Capital Programme entitled York Street Infrastructure works;

 

2.  to re-direct funding of up to £539k from the provisional capital schemes (identified in section 3.1 of the report) to the proposed York Street Infrastructure works scheme, delegated to the Strategic Director of Place, in consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member;

 

3.  to approve the use of the Capital Contingency allocating £50k to the proposed scheme;

 

4.  to approve the two phase approach to the repairs outlined in the report; and

 

5.  to note the risks associated with repairing the structure before the Christmas market takes place.

39.

ANNUAL REPORT - CORPORATE AUDIT COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 65 KB

The Corporate Audit Committee has specific delegated powers given to it from Full Council and as such is required to report back annually to Council under its Terms of Reference. This is the Annual Report of the Committee which details its work over the last year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the Annual report of the Corporate Audit Committee which details its work over the last year.

 

On a motion from Councillor Brian Simmons, seconded by Councillor Andy Furse, it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED to note the Annual report.

40.

OUTSIDE BODIES REVIEW pdf icon PDF 66 KB

The Council will consider a report reviewing its arrangements for councillor representation on outside bodies.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report concerning its arrangements for councillor representation on outside bodies.

 

On a motion from Councillor Tim Warren, seconded by Councillor Robin Moss, it was

 

RESOLVED unanimously

 

1.  To note the list of current representatives and any necessary amendments raised;

 

2.  To adopt a half-yearly report back process as described in the report; and

 

3.  To approve the Outside Body Policy, attached at Appendix 2.

41.

MOTION FROM THE LABOUR GROUP - CARE LEAVERS AND COUNCIL TAX: A FAIRER START FOR CARE LEAVERS pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered an agenda motion from Councillor Joe Rayment, seconded by Councillor Liz Hardman, which was

 

RESOLVED unanimously that

 

Council notes that:

 

1.  Under the Children and Social Work Act 2017 this Council has a statutory duty to support care leavers under the age of 25.

 

2.  The recent Ofsted report on B&NES Children’s Services identified the experiences and progress of care leavers as requiring improvement and recommended proactive support.

 

3.  A large number of local authorities across the country have introduced measures to exempt care leavers from Council Tax, following publication of The Children’s Society’s ‘Wolf at the Door’ report 2015, which showed care leavers to be a group who are particularly vulnerable to falling into Council Tax debt when moving into independent accommodation for the first time.

 

4.  Research from The Centre for Social Justice found that over half (57%) of young people leaving care have difficulty managing their money and avoiding debt.

 

5.  The 2016 Government Report Keep on Caring: Supporting Young People from Care to Independence encourages local authorities to think creatively about how they can support care leavers in ways that reasonable parents would and to consider how they can support care leavers financially through, for example, Council Tax exemption.

 

This Council believes that:

 

1.  Care leavers need support to make their transition from care to adult life as smooth as possible and to reduce the chance of falling into debt as they begin to manage their own finances.

 

2.  Care leavers are a particularly vulnerable group for Council Tax debt.

 

3.  We should also continue to support fostering within Bath & North East Somerset as a positive choice for local families.

 

4.  It is ideal for looked after children to stay as locally as possible and maintain school, health and family networks as well as being most cost-effective solution for the Council.

 

Council agrees therefore:

 

1.  To ask the Cabinet to:

 

a.  investigate options to exempt care leavers from Council Tax until they are 25;

 

b.  investigate options to provide a discount on Council Tax for B&NES-supported foster carers;

 

c.  report back to Council in time for budget setting for 2018/19.

 

[Notes:

1.  Wording in 3 and 4, and b. indicated in bold above was proposed by Councillor Chris Watt and accepted into the substantive motion by the mover and seconder.]

42.

MOTION FROM THE LABOUR GROUP - TACKLING HATE CRIME pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered an agenda motion from Councillor Robin Moss, seconded by Councillor Charles Gerrish which was then

 

RESOLVED unanimously that

 

This Council:

 

1.  Notes:

 

a.  The Association of Chief Police Officers and the CPS have agreed a common definition of hate crime: "Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender".

 

b.  that figures show a 20% rise in all forms of hate crime reported to the police in the first quarter of this year but that hate crime is also believed to be significantly under-reported; 

 

c.  that under new guidance, the Crown Prosecution Service will treat online hate crimes as seriously as offences committed face to face;

 

d.  the excellent work that SARI undertakes in schools in B&NES to raise awareness of these crimes; and

 

e.  the work done by the B&NES Hate Crime and Community Cohesion Partnership (BHCCCP).

 

2.  Agrees that it has it has a role as a community leader to take a lead in challenging hate crime in whatever form it may take and that division and intolerance have no place in society.

 

3.  Urges everybody, including elected members, to report hate crime to the police if they experience or witness it.

 

4.  Resolves to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism as recommended by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.  This definition states that Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities. 

 

5.  Asks the Leader of Council to:

 

a.  Invite the Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset to provide an update on the measures being taken to tackle hate crime, including overcoming possible barriers to reporting; and

 

b.  Work with local organisations to raise awareness of hate crime and how to report it, noting that Oxford City Council have recently worked in partnership with the police and other organisations to implement a poster campaign encouraging people to report these crimes.

 

[Notes:

1.  During debate, Councillor Tim Warren moved a motion, duly seconded, that in accordance with Council rule 4A, 48, the Council meeting continue until 10:20pm so that it could conclude its business.  This was agreed by a majority.]

43.

MOTION FROM THE LABOUR GROUP - PUBLIC SECTOR PAY CAP pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a motion from the Labour group regarding the public sector pay cap.

 

On a motion from Councillor Charles Gerrish, seconded by Councillor Paul May, it was

 

RESOLVED

 

Council notes that:

 

1.  In 2010 the Coalition Government inherited the largest peace-time budget deficit in this country’s history.

 

2.  In order to reduce this budget deficit and restore our public finances, difficult decisions over public spending and public sector pay have had to be taken by both the current Conservative Government and previous Coalition Government.

 

3.  As part the current and previous Governments’ measures to reduce the budget deficit and restore our public finances, local government employees have had a pay freeze from 2010-2012, with annual pay rises of 1% since this time (excluding pay increments and increases resulting from minimum wage/living wage changes).

 

4.  The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates that 200,000 public sector jobs have been protected as a result of the Government’s pay policy.

 

5.  Despite the significant financial challenge faced by the current and previous Government, 4 million of the lowest paid workers have been taken out of paying Income Tax altogether and 13 million workers have had their Income Tax reduced, benefiting all workers including those in the public sector.

 

6.  The introduction by the Conservative Government of the National Living Wage has resulted in a pay uplift for Council employees on lower pay bands, and that the Government is committed to continue increasing the National Living Wage to 60% of median earnings by 2020.

 

7.  The Local Government Employers organisation has calculated that the NJC pay claim as submitted by GMB, Unison and Unite would cost £559 million nationally, and that a 5% pay increase – as proposed by the NJC - would cost around £3 million to B&NES.

 

8.  The Government is currently considering the recommendations of various independent public sector pay review bodies, with the Government responding to the first of these - relating to police and prison staff – earlier this week.

 

This Council believes that:

 

1.  It has been right for the Government to take the necessary steps to reduce the budget deficit and restore our public finances, and recognises the significant contribution and sacrifices that public sector workers have made to these national efforts.

 

2.  Whilst pay policy will continue to have a role to play in the Government’s efforts to reduce the deficit and protect our economy, some greater flexibility is needed in relation to public sector pay going forward, particularly recognising recent increases in inflation.

 

Council resolves therefore to:

 

1.  Continue to work through the Local Government Employers association to reach agreement on a pay settlement for 2018/19 onwards, a national process which will include consideration of the NJC proposals.

 

2.  Ask that the Government listen carefully to the recommendations of the public sector pay reviews currently being undertaken by independent review bodies nationally, and that through the LGA the Council lobby Government that any uplift in public sector pay nationally is also reflected within  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.

44.

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 Robin Moss had registered to make a statement but this was deferred until the next meeting.

Councillor Q&A pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Additional documents: