Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Zoom - Public Access via YouTube https://www.youtube.com/bathnescouncil. View directions

Contact: Jo Morrison  01225 394358

Items
No. Item

63.

WELCOME AND ROLL CALL

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked for the attendance roll call.

64.

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.

Minutes:

The Acting Monitoring Officer issued a general dispensation for all Councillors who pay Council Tax or were School Governors and therefore had an interest in these items, to enable them to take part in the debate and vote.

 

The following declarations of a pecuniary interest were made, for which the Acting Monitoring Officer issued a dispensation, to enable them to take part in the debate and vote;

 

Councillor Sarah Bevan

In receipt of Council Tax Support

 

Councillor Sarah Warren

Family Member in receipt of EHC assessment

 

Councillor Tim Ball 

Family Member in receipt of a Social Care service

 

Councillor Joanna Wright

Family Member in receipt of a Social Care service

 

Councillor Kevin Guy

Family Business in receipt of a Covid relief grant

 

Councillor Shaun Hughes

Business owner in receipt of a Covid relief grant

 

Councillor Lisa O’Brien

Family Member in receipt of a Social Care service

 

Councillor Colin Blackburn

Family Business in receipt of a Covid relief grant

 

 

The following ‘other’ interest declarations were also made;

 

Councillor Michelle O’Doherty

Secretary of Lansdown Cricket Club (in receipt of a Covid relief grant)

 

Councillor Paul May

Non-Executive Director on Sirona Care & Health

 

Councillor Alan Hale

On Management Board of Keynsham & District Dial-a-Ride

 

Councillor Brian Simmons

Chairman on Keynsham & District Dial-a-Ride

 

Councillor Dine Romero

(on behalf of the Liberal Democrat group)

In receipt of a Covid relief grant

 

Dispensation Council 2021 - Budget (general) pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

65.

MINUTES - 12TH NOVEMBER 2020 & 21ST JANUARY 2021 pdf icon PDF 210 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

On a motion from Councillor Dine Romero, seconded by Councillor Alastair Singleton, it was

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of 12th November 2020 and 21st January 2021 be approved as a correct record, to be signed by the Chairman in due course.

66.

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.

Minutes:

The Chairman reminded Members that all votes on the budget are required to be a named vote.

 

At the Chairman’s discretion, the Leader updated Council on the latest Covid situation in Bath & North East Somerset.  She explained that case numbers are still falling locally and the vaccination programme is going well. Death rates remain relatively low and the Council is about to announce new testing sites in Bath, Midsomer Norton and Keynsham for which people will need to book.  There is a new pressure, though, of the newly categorised clinically extremely vulnerable.  8th March is a return to schools and colleges and, although some people will have concerns about this, the Council has little say in this, or in specific groups for vaccinations.  [For further information on the vaccination programme, Councillor Romero referred to a recent webinar (19.2.21) on the Council’s YouTube channel].  With regard to the Government’s route map out of lockdown, please be aware that this will be subject to change as needed, and urged everyone to remain careful.

67.

TO ANNOUNCE ANY URGENT BUSINESS AGREED BY THE CHAIR

If there is any urgent business arising since the formal agenda was published, the Chair will announce this and give reasons why it has been agreed for consideration at this meeting. In making this decision, the Chair 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.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

68.

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.

Minutes:

Statements were made by the following members of the public;

 

David Redgewell raised a number of aspects of transport policy with regard to the budget, whilst acknowledging that public transport is now split between the Council and WECA.  He asked for adequate budget to ensure clean and covid secure bus shelters across the whole Council area.  With regard to public toilets, he called for them to be maintained as visitors return to Bath.  A copy of David’s statement is attached to the minutes.

 

Martin Grixoni made a statement regarding the proposed local ‘tip tax’, charging for household waste such as plasterboard, and suggested that this measure would disproportionately affect the less well-off, reduce recycling and increase fly tipping.  He referenced examples of this happening elsewhere in the UK.  He urged the Council to reconsider this.  Councillor Karen Warrington asked Martin what he thought the Council could do to encourage people to recycle this type of waste, to which Martin responded that the Council currently managed it well and so should continue to encourage, rather than discourage it by charging.

 

Bob Goodman addressed Council expressing his view that this Administration is mis-managing the climate & ecological emergency and pointing out that the development at Tufa field is still on hold and has not yet been not ceased.  He made reference to the recent call-in and various recent property transactions which he felt highlighted how Council finances are being thrown away.  He hoped that this would be further reviewed.  Councillor Paul Myers asked Bob if he was aware that the Corporate Policy Development & Scrutiny is due to look at the corporate governance of the Council’s companies.  Bob replied that he was aware, and he felt this review was long overdue.  Councillor Colin Blackburn asked Bob if he was aware that ADL & ACL now appear to have taken over the running of the Council’s commercial estate * and if that was the original intention, to which Bob replied that he was not aware and, if that was the case, that was definitely not the rationale for setting up these companies.

 

Jonathan Tecks made a statement on behalf of the Friends of Englishcombe Lane Field, a copy of which is available attached to the minutes.  He made reference to the recent application for development at the Planning Committee, which recommended acceptance, but was now pending a final decision. He described the valuable ecological aspects of the field and outlined the consistent and reasoned objections that had been raised, including a petition of 4,500 signatures. He urged the Council to decide against developing the site at all and to withdraw it from the Local Plan.  He suggested the field could be handed over to the local community who would be happy to offer their support.

 

The Chairman thanked all speakers and referred the statements to the relevant Cabinet Members.

 

* [Councillor Richard Samuel confirmed later in the meeting that that was not the case.]

Public statements pdf icon PDF 10 KB

Additional documents:

69.

BUDGET & COUNCIL TAX 2021/22 AND FINANCIAL OUTLOOK pdf icon PDF 569 KB

This report presents the revenue and capital budgets together with proposals for Council Tax and Adult Social Care Precept for 2021/22.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report presenting the revenue and capital budgets together with proposals for Council Tax and Adult Social Care Precept for 2021/22.

 

On a motion from Councillor Dine Romero, seconded by Councillor Paul Myers, it was RESOLVED that, in accordance with rule 16 (Suspension of Rules), the Council suspends Council rule 42 (Content and Length of Speeches) for the duration of this debate so as to enable variations to be permitted to the length of speeches by the Cabinet Member for Resources, the Conservative, Independent and Labour Group Leaders or their nominated Spokespersons, and the Chair of the Corporate Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel.

 

On a motion from Councillor Richard Samuel, seconded by Councillor Dine Romero, it was

 

RESOLVED that

 

1.  The Council approves-

 

a)  The General Fund net revenue budget for 2021/22 of £130.07m and the individual service cash limits for 2021/22 as outlined in Annex 1 to the report.

 

b)  The savings plans outlined in Annex 2(i), growth and pressures 2(ii), in conjunction with the Equalities Impact Assessment Report in Annex 3 to the report.

 

c)  An increase in Council Tax of 1.99% in 2021/22 (an increase of £28.99 per Band D property or 56p per week).

 

d)  An increase of 3% to Council Tax for the Adult Social Care Precept is approved in recognition of the current demands and financial pressures on this service. This is equivalent to an increase of £43.70 on a Band D property (84p per week).

 

e)  The movement in reserves outlined in section 5.6 of the report and the adequacy of Un-earmarked Reserves at £12.59m within a risk assessed range requirement of £11.6m - £12.8m.

 

f)  The Efficiency Strategy attached at Annex 4 to the report.

 

g)  The Capital Programme for 2021/22 of £69.506m including new and emerging capital bids outlined in Annex 5(i), planned sources of funding in 5.8.2, and notes the programme for 2021/22 to 2024/25 and that any wholly funded projects coming forward during the year will be added to the Capital Programme in line with the Budget Management Scheme.

 

h)  The delegation of implementation, subject to consultation where appropriate, of the capital programmes set out in Annex 5(ii) to Annex 5(iii) to the relevant Director in Consultation with the appropriate Portfolio Holder.

 

i)  The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) allocations and amendments outlined in Annex 5(iv) of the report.

 

j)  The Capital & Investment Strategy attached at Annex 6 to the report.

 

k)  The MRP Policy attached at Annex 7 of the report.

 

l)  The Capital Prudential Indicators outlined in section 5.8.8 of the report.

 

m)  The Annual Pay Policy Statement at Annex 8 of the report.

 

n)  The Community Contribution Fund proposal outlined in Annex 10 of the report.

 

o)  The Council Tax Support Scheme for 2021/22 shown in the following link;

 

https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2021-01/Council%20Tax%20reduction%20scheme%20April%201%202021%20-%20March%2031%202022.pdf  and referred to in section 5.3.4 of the report.

 

2.  The Council approves the technical resolutions that are derived from the budget report, and all the figures in that report,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.

70.

COUNCIL COMPANY ANNUAL ACCOUNTS pdf icon PDF 76 KB

This report asks Council to note the annual accounts of Aequus Developments Limited (ADL), Aequus Construction Limited (ACL).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the annual accounts of Aequus Developments Limited (ADL) and Aequus Construction Limited (ACL).

 

Various comments during the meeting highlighted that further clarity was needed for understanding Council company governance arrangements and the role of the Corporate Audit Committee and Corporate Scrutiny Panel in this.  It was noted that the Corporate PDS Panel would be looking at this.  Councillor Samuel acknowledged that it had been a challenge to increase transparency and accountability and welcomed a constructive approach to achieving this.

 

The Chairman requested that the Chair of Corporate Audit Committee circulate to Members recent correspondence on the need for ADL/ACL scrutiny.

 

On a motion from Councillor Richard Samuel, seconded by Councillor Mark Elliott, it was

 

RESOLVED unanimously

 

1.  To note the ADL 2019/20 year end audited accounts (Appendix 1); and

 

2.  To note the ACL 2019/20 year end audited accounts (Appendix 2).

 

71.

TREASURY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY STATEMENT 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Treasury risk management at the Authority is conducted within the framework of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s Treasury Management in the Public Services: Code of Practice 2017 Edition (the CIPFA Code) which requires the Authority to approve a treasury management strategy before the start of each financial year. This report fulfils the Authority’s legal obligation under the Local Government Act 2003 to have regard to the CIPFA Code.

 

This report was scrutinised by the Corporate Audit Committee at the 4th February 2021 meeting, and reported to Cabinet on 11th February 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report which fulfilled the Authority’s legal obligation under the Local Government Act 2003 to have regard to the CIPFA Code to approve a treasury management strategy before the start of each financial year.

This report was scrutinised by the Corporate Audit Committee at the 4th February 2021 meeting, and reported to Cabinet on 11th February 2021.

 

On a motion from Councillor Richard Samuel, seconded by Councillor Sarah Warren, it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED to approve actions proposed within the Treasury Management Strategy Statement.

72.

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.

Minutes:

There were none.