Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

29.

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:

There were no declarations made.

30.

ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE CHAIR 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 following statement;

 

Due to a desire to retain a level of social distancing after restrictions have lifted, we are holding this ‘informal’ virtual Council meeting to enable all Councillors to take part.  The comments and indicative decisions from this meeting will help to inform the physically reduced, quorate decision-making meeting tomorrow on 16th September 2021.  We will review this approach for any future Council meetings, in line with government and health guidance at that time.

 

The Chair then invited Councillor Kevin Guy to make the following two updates about the latest Covid situation in B&NES and Afghan refugees in B&NES,

Councillor Guy explained the latest situation with schools in B&NES having started the Autumn term under new arrangements.  He outlined the measures now being taken and the testing and safety measures.  He acknowledged that some families may have mixed feelings about returning to school and that the new term may lead to a rise in cases.  He made reference to the recent Government announcement regarding vaccinations for 12–15 year old children and encouraged take up.  He explained that vaccinations have been promoted locally, with drop-in clinics and pop up sites and the green testing van will continue touring the district until the end of the month.  He explained that there are also schemes that enable companies to hold vaccinations clinics on their own premises.  He acknowledged, however, that a challenging period lay ahead moving into Autumn and Winter and encouraged residents to have vaccinations to protect themselves and others.

Councillor Guy explained that the Council’s role was to provide a safe haven for refugees through the coordinated resettlement schemes, along with over 100 other Local Authorities.  B&NES has a good track record in this area, working with excellent local partners such as Julian House, Bath Welcomes Refugees and others.  He thanked them for their efforts.  Councillor Guy acknowledged that many local people were also keen to help and he encouraged landlords and residents with suitable accommodation to come forward.  The response from our warm and welcoming community has been fantastic so far.  The Home Office will match families to properties and there is no specific number as that is dependant upon offers received.  Properties need to be self-contained with their own entrance, bathroom and kitchen.  Councillor Guy expressed pride that B&NES was one of the first Local Authorities to come forward, and hoped that more would do so in future.

31.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

32.

MINUTES - 22ND JULY 2021 pdf icon PDF 171 KB

To be confirmed as a correct record and recommended for approval to the Council meeting on 16th September 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

On a motion from Councillor Vic Pritchard, seconded by Councillor Kevin Guy, it was

 

RESOLVED to recommend the approval of the minutes of 22nd July 2021 to Council on 16th September 2021.

33.

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:

David Redgewell raised various transport issues of concern.  He mentioned the impending loss of certain train services to Keynsham without proper consultation having taken place.  Mr Redgewell also expressed concern about cuts to various local bus services and called for improved funding packages through WECA and the Bus Back Better strategy. He urged the Leader to speak to Dan Norris MP about these concerns. Councillor Pritchard asked specifically about buses in the Chew Valley area, to which Mr Redgewell agreed that Chew Valley bus services were scant and any reduction was unacceptable.  The Chair thanked Mr Redgwell for his statement which was referred to the relevant Cabinet Member.

 

Ben Reed made a statement about the Approach Golf course, which he has raised on 2 earlier occasions with the Council.  It is yet to re-open since the first lockdown in March 2020, despite a petition on Change.org raising around 5,000 signatures.  He expressed regret that such a beautiful central open space was not being enjoyed by the community and outlined a number of ways in which it could be used.  Councillor Kevin Guy asked Mr Reed if he would welcome a diversification of uses of the site, to which Mr Reed responded that he would; it was a large space so there was room for a range of uses including picnic areas, a café, a re-wilded section alongside golfing activities.  Councillor Karen Walker asked if there was data on numbers of users, to which Mr Reed responded that, despite his requests, this information did not seem to be available but from his personal observation, on a good day there would have been over 100 people playing golf, along with walkers and others enjoying the outdoor space.

 

The Chair thanked Mr Reed for his statement which was referred to the relevant Cabinet Member.

Statements & Q&A pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Additional documents:

34.

CHARITABLE TRUST BOARD ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the annual report of the Charitable Trust board.

 

On a motion from Councillor David Wood, seconded by Councillor Liz Hardman, it was

 

RESOLVED to recommend to Council on 16th September 2021 that the report be noted.

35.

POLICY DEVELOPMENT & SCRUTINY ANNUAL REPORT 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the annual report of policy development and scrutiny activity for 2020-21.

 

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

 

RESOLVED that the annual report be recommended to Council on 16th September 2021 for noting.

36.

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:

The Chair made reference to the question from Councillor Joanna Wright and response from the Leader, which had been circulated to the meeting and is available as an attachment to these minutes.

 

Councillor Joanna Wright made a statement calling on Councillors to sign the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons pledge.  A full copy of Councillor Wright’s statement is available as an attachment to these minutes.  Councillor Liz Hardman asked Councillor Wright to confirm if her request was to the Council as a whole or to individual Councillors, to which Councillor Wright responded that she was asking individual Councillors to take this up.

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Wright for her statement.