Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath

Contact: Jo Morrison  01225 394358

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Items
No. Item

30.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE

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

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Minutes:

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

31.

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:

The Monitoring Officer issued a general dispensation for all Councillors with an interest in item 9 - the Avon Pension Fund Annual report, to enable them to take part in the debate and vote.

 

The Monitoring Officer issued a further general dispensation for all Councillors with a personal interest in item 16 – Autism Awareness, to enable them to take part in the debate and vote.

 

In addition to the Councillors covered by the above dispensations, these further declarations were made;

 

Item 11 – Council Company Annual Accounts

 

Councillor Charles Gerrish declared an ‘other’ interest as Chairman of Aequus Developments Ltd (ADL) and announced he had been given a dispensation to speak on this item.

 

Councillor Les Kew declared an ‘other’ interest as Director of ADL and left the Chamber for the duration of this item.

 

Item 14 – Establishment of Joint Venture Partnerships

 

Councillor Charles Gerrish declared an ‘other’ interest as Chairman of ADL and left the Chamber for the duration of this item.

 

Councillor Les Kew declared an ‘other’ interest as Director of ADL and left the Chamber for the duration of this item.

 

Item 15 – Labour Motion Shale Gas Exploration and Production etc..

 

Councillor Paul Myers declared an ‘other’ interest having attended Frack Free Somer Valley meetings.

 

Councillor Karen Warrington declared an ‘other’ interest having attended Frack Free Chew Valley meetings.

 

Dispensations pdf icon PDF 41 KB

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32.

MINUTES - 12TH JULY 2018 pdf icon PDF 144 KB

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

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Minutes:

On a motion from Councillor Tim Warren, seconded by Councillor Steve Hedges, it was

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of 12th July 2018 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

33.

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.

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Minutes:

The Chair made the customary announcements regarding practical meeting arrangements.

 

She invited Councillors and staff to join her for a Macmillan coffee morning on 28th September between 10:30 and 12:30 in the Chairman’s room.

 

The Chair then informed Members of the recent death of Liz Everitt, wife of the former Chief Executive John Everitt, and asked for Council’s sympathies to be sent to the family.

 

 

34.

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.

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Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

35.

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 at the meeting and is attached to the online minutes.

 

Statements to the meeting were made by the following members of the public;

 

Joe Scofield presented a petition of over 600 names – “Address the Crisis of Student Housing in Bath”.  In his statement, Joe called for measures to address the problems caused by over 24,000 students needing housing in Bath.  The full copy of Joe’s statement has been placed on the Council’s Minute book and is available online.  Councillor Bob Goodman asked Joe if he was aware of the recent positive reduction in HMO concentration to 10%, to which Joe responded that he was aware but that he didn’t feel the 10% cap was adequate and called for further measures such as ring fencing areas for family housing around schools. Councillor Will Sandry asked Joe if he thought there was more the Council and the University could do to help the situation, to which Joe responded that a message needed to be sent to the University that they couldn’t continue to use green belt land allocated for housing for extra teaching blocks to accommodate more students.  Councillor Colin Blackburn asked Joe if he thought the restriction should be placed across the whole B&NES area to which Joe responded that he certainly did think so, and that every community should have the same level of protection. The Chair thanked Joe for his statement and petition which would be referred to the Cabinet Member.

 

Tony Mitchell made a statement on behalf of Transition Keynsham.  Tony referred to the questions he had submitted concerning the impact of budget cuts on the provision of Council services and asked if the Council had been robust enough in putting its case to Government.  A full copy of Tony’s statement is available on the Council’s Minute book and attached to the online minutes.  In response to a question from Councillor Joe Rayment about whether Tony was asking the Council to be firmer in making their case to Government about the impact of austerity, Tony confirmed that he was.  Councillor Sarah Bevan asked about the impact of budget cuts on the work that Transition Keynsham carried out, to which Tony responded that they wouldn’t have access to the same level of equipment.  The Chair thanked Tony for his statement which would be referred to the Cabinet Member.

 

Jackie Albrow made a statement calling on the Council to complete the application for a Fields in Trust ‘Deed of Dedication’ for Moorland Park.  Councillor Shaun Stephenson McGall asked if it would now be useful to have a meeting with all the relevant parties to progress this, as the process was started in September 2017, to which Jackie replied that the Council had been supportive but something further was needed to move this along and a meeting would be an excellent idea. The full text of Jackie’s statement is available on the Council’s Minute book and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

Public Q&A and statements pdf icon PDF 77 KB

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36.

POLICY DEVELOPMENT & SCRUTINY ANNUAL REPORT 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To consider the Policy Development & Scrutiny Annual Report for 2017-2018.

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Minutes:

The Council considered the annual report of the work undertaken by the 4 Policy Development & Scrutiny Panels and the Select Committee.

 

On a motion from Councillor Will Sandry, seconded by Councillor John Bull, it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED to note the work of the Policy Development & Scrutiny Panels and Health Select Committee, as set out in the Annual Report attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

37.

AVON PENSION FUND COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 54 KB

The Committee’s Annual report for the 12 months to 31 March 2018 is attached.  The Committee’s Terms of Reference have been amended to reflect the impact of pooling the investment assets on the governance arrangements. These require approval by the Council.

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Minutes:

The Council considered the annual report of the Avon Pension Fund Committee on the work it has undertaken in the previous twelve months, up to 31 March 2018.

 

On a motion from Councillor David Veale, seconded by Councillor Shaun Stephenson McGall, it was

 

RESOLVED

 

1.  To note the report; and

 

2.  To approve the amended Terms of Reference for the Avon Pension Fund Committee.

 

[Notes;

1.  The above resolution was carried with 56 Councillors voting in favour and 1 abstention.]

38.

CORPORATE AUDIT COMMITTEE - ANNUAL REPORT 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.

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Minutes:

The Council considered the annual report of the Corporate Audit Committee.

 

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

 

RESOLVED to note the annual report of the Corporate Audit Committee.

 

39.

COUNCIL COMPANY ANNUAL ACCOUNTS pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To note the annual accounts of Aequus Developments Limited (ADL), Aequus Construction Limited (ACL) and Bath Tourism Plus (BTP).

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Minutes:

The Council considered a report presenting the annual accounts of ADL, ACL and BTP.

 

In seconding the report, Councillor Paul Myers regretted that the final accounts had not been available from the Auditors and gave a commitment to Councillors that as soon as they were completed and approved, they would be circulated to all Councillors and submitted for a future meeting of the Resources Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel and Council.

 

During debate, Councillor Sarah Bevan, Chair of the Resources Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel, read out the resolutions from the Panel’s consideration of this item at their meeting the previous day.  [Details available in the Panel’s minutes.]

 

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

 

RESOLVED

 

1.  Note the ADL 2017/18 year end audited accounts, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report;

 

2.  Note the ACL 2017/18 year end audited accounts, as set out in Appendix 2 to the report;

 

3.  Note the BTP 2017/18 year end audited accounts, as set out in Appendix 3 to the report.

40.

UPDATED FINANCIAL REGULATIONS AND BUDGET MANAGEMENT SCHEME pdf icon PDF 91 KB

The Financial Regulations and Budget Management Scheme were previously updated in 2015. These have now been reviewed and updated, and aligned with the new management structure that was put in place for April 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report presenting the updated Financial Regulations and Budget Management Scheme.

 

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

 

RESOLVED

 

1.  To approve the updated Financial Regulations and Budget Management Scheme attached as Appendix A to the report;

 

2.  To agree that the Key Decision financial threshold be set at £500k;

 

3.  To give delegated authority be given to the S151 Officer in consultation with the Chief Auditor to make any updates or changes to the regulations of a non-material nature; and

 

4.  That the Corporate Audit Committee overview any further changes to the regulations in line with their terms of reference.

 

[Notes;

1.  During debate, an amendment was moved by Councillor Robin Moss, and seconded by Councillor Joe Rayment, to postpone the change to the Key Decision financial threshold change until proper scrutiny could take place.  This was lost with 7 Councillors voting in favour, 47 Councillors voting against and 1 Councillor abstaining.]

 

2.  The above successful resolution was carried with 48 Councillors voting in favour, 2 Councillors voting against and 2 Councillors abstaining.]

41.

REVIEW OF POLLING DISTRICTS, POLLING PLACES AND POLLING STATIONS 2018 FINAL TIMETABLE pdf icon PDF 78 KB

On 7 August 2018 the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) published its final recommendations on the electoral review of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s ward boundaries. In order to re-align the polling districts and polling places with the new scheme, the Council will conduct a review of polling districts, polling places and polling stations between September and December 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report seeking approval for the final timetable for the implementation of the review of polling districts, places and stations, following the publication on 7th August 2018 of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England’s final recommendations on the electoral review of B&NES ward boundaries.

 

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

 

RESOLVED to approve the final timetable for the implementation of the review.

 

[Notes;

1.  The above successful resolution was carried with 56 Councillors voting in favour and 1 Councillor abstaining.]

42.

ESTABLISHMENT OF JOINT VENTURE PARTNERSHIPS pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To agree the establishment of Joint Venture Partnership(s) with other public bodies for the purpose of delivering local housing developments subject to specific business cases for each Joint Venture.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report seeking agreement for the establishment of Joint Venture Partnership(s) with other public bodies for the purpose of delivering local housing developments, subject to specific business cases being developed for each joint venture.

 

On a motion from Councillor Tim Warren, seconded by Councillor Karen Warrington, it was

 

RESOLVED

 

1.  To agree the principle of the establishment of Joint Venture Partnership(s) with other public bodies for the delivery of local housing developments both inside and outside the Council area;

 

2.  To agree that decisions to enter into Joint Venture Partnerships shall be taken by the Cabinet, subject to business case and establishment of appropriate governance arrangements in line with those agreed for Council companies.  Implementation of the approved Joint Ventures and administrative functions to be delegated to the appropriate officer(s); and

 

3.  To agree the allocation of up to £10k from the Transformation Revenue Reserve to meet Council legal costs for the setup of the Joint Venture.

 

[Notes;

1.  The above successful resolution was carried with 50 Councillors voting in favour, 3 Councillors voting against and 4 Councillors abstaining.]

43.

MOTION FROM THE LABOUR GROUP - PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT FOR SHALE GAS EXPLORATION & INCLUSION OF SHALE GAS PRODUCTION IN THE NATIONALLY SIGNIFICANT INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT REGIME pdf icon PDF 44 KB

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Minutes:

On a motion from Councillor John Bull, seconded by Councillor Robin Moss, it was

 

RESOLVED as set out below;

 

Council notes that:

 

1.  Currently fracking companies are required to apply for planning permission from the local authority to drill or sample a well. They also have to apply for planning permission from the local authority to undertake shale gas production.

 

2.  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is consulting on whether proposals for non-hydraulic shale gas exploration should be granted planning permission through a permitted development right.

 

3.  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is also consulting on whether to include major shale gas production projects in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project regime. This would mean that the Secretary of State would automatically become the decision maker for determining an application for future shale gas production projects meeting certain criteria.

 

4.  The Council previously adopted resolutions on fracking on 11th July 2013 and 10th September 2015.

 

5.  On the 6th August, 2018 the Leader of Council wrote to the Secretary of State, Greg Clark, objecting to these proposals.

 

6.  The Council has responded to the consultation opposing permitted development rights for shale gas exploration and the inclusion of major shale gas production projects in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project regime.

 

7.  The potential impact of fracking and its capacity to divert water flows could be catastrophic for the World Heritage City of Bath.

 

Council believes that:

 

8.  The local planning process is one of the main ways in which communities can express their views about what happens in their area. Permitted development significantly reduces the potential for local people to comment on a development.

 

9.  It is important that local councils have a say in whether shale gas exploration goes ahead as this activity could result in significant local impacts such as increased traffic, noise and lighting as well as damage to the ecology and visual landscape of an area.

 

10.Shale gas production is highly controversial with the potential to significantly impact on local communities. Decisions about these developments should continue to be made by democratically accountable local planning authorities and not as part of the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project regime.

 

Council agrees to ask the Leader of Council to:

 

11.Write to;

a.  our local MPs asking for their support in opposing these proposals;

b.  all authorities which border Bath & North East Somerset, to ask them to support us in our opposition to fracking in our region;

c.  the appropriate Minister requesting that the Avon Act is extended across the whole Avon catchment area in B&NES.

 

12.In the event that permitted development rights for shale gas exploration are introduced, to explore the potential for an Article 4 Direction to remove these permitted development rights from shale gas exploration in this area.

 

13.To work with all planning authorities in the catchment area defined by the carboniferous limestone bowl in which the hot springs sit to introduce Article 4 Directions.

 

14.Request that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.

44.

MOTION FROM THE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT GROUP - AUTISM AWARENESS pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

On a motion from Councillor Tim Ball, seconded by Councillor Steve Hedges, it was

 

RESOLVED unanimously as set out below;

 

Council notes:

 

1.  Around 700,000 people in the UK are on the autism spectrum. That is more than 1 in 100.  If you include families, autism is part of daily life for 2.8 million people. In addition, many are still undiagnosed.

 

2.  Autism is a hidden disability – you cannot always tell if someone is autistic. The right support at the right time can make an enormous difference to people’s lives. 17% of autistic children have been suspended from school. 70% of adults say they are not getting the help they need from social services and that with more support they would feel less isolated. At least one in three experiences severe mental health difficulties due to lack of support. Only 32% are in some kind of paid work.

 

3.  Public awareness of autism is growing but many people are unaware of the challenges faced by people on the autism spectrum and their families.

 

4.  Thousands of children are undiagnosed until later in life, and many adults have suffered from lack of diagnosis and the right understanding and support for much of their life. Many end up in our prison systems or are homeless. Many have never had the right support or opportunity to be employed. Children need to be assessed early and, if autism is suspected, get the right support in a timely way. This currently does not happen, leaving families unable to get the help and support required to enable the young people to understand their condition and reach their potential and for families and teachers to make the necessary adaptations to support them.

 

5.  The efforts made by local organisations and businesses, such as the Roman Baths, which has been recognised by the Autism Society, and the introduction of ‘quiet shopping hours’ in supermarkets are welcomed. But it should go much further.

 

6.  The excellent work the Council already achieves in providing high quality service for autistic people in Bath and North East Somerset but we recognise we may need to do more to meet the needs of the growing numbers being diagnosed.

 

Council resolves to:

 

7.  Request that the Leader of the Council writes to the Minister concerned to ensure that Autism is recognised in our criminal justice system.

 

8.  Recognise its position as a community leader in promoting inclusive practice across all partners including schools to ensure that children with autism or similar special educational needs and disabilities are given the appropriate support to learn and fulfil their potential.

 

9.  Recognise its responsibility as a public service provider, to ensure that as far as possible within available resources, all public-facing Council services are aware of the ways in which they can best enable people with an autistic spectrum disorder to access the facilities they offer.

 

10.Refer this issue to the Health and Wellbeing Board which brings together a range of relevant partners, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.

45.

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 Alison Millar made a statement to Council about litter enforcement and advised caution when considering any private contractor undertaking this role.  She expressed concern that this would target vulnerable groups and highlighted examples of private contractors being sacked across the country.  She described this as a huge concern and reminded Councillors and the public of the call-in Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel which would consider this issue on Thursday 27th September.

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Millar for her statement which was referred to the relevant Cabinet Member.

Councillor Q&A pdf icon PDF 65 KB

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