Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Michaela Gay  01225 394411

No. Item




The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.




The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 6.



The Democratic Services Officer drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.





Councillor Alan Hale had sent their apologies to the Panel.  Councillor Anthony Clarke was a substitute for Councillor Hale.



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 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.


There were none.




There was none.



At the time of publication no notifications had been received.



There were 8 questions from members of the public.

(Copies of the questions and responses have been placed on the Minute book as Appendix and are available on the Council's website)


Caroline Ambrose read out a statement (attached as Appendix to these minutes) where she asked for meaningful facts or evidence to support Bath Central Library project.


David Redgewell made a statement about bus and rail transport issues, in particular: Revenue issues on rural services; Radstock corridor; submissions to the West of England Transport Committee; and, maintenance of the Bath Bus Station (seats, signage, glass damage), as well as the Bath Spa train station.


Paul Stansall read out a statement (attached as Appendix to these minutes) where he felt that early design and layout proposals on Bath Central Library had represented unrealistic operational expectations.




Questions and Answers pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Caroline Ambrose statement pdf icon PDF 25 KB

Paul Stansall statement pdf icon PDF 42 KB


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 115 KB


The Panel confirmed the minutes of the previous meeting as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chairman.


Cabinet Members update

The Cabinet Member will update the Panel on any relevant issues. Panel members may ask questions on the update provided.



The Chairman informed the meeting that he would bring this item forward and invited Cabinet member to give their updates.


Councillor Karen Warrington (Transformation and Customer Services) statement:


‘Community Run Libraries

The transitioning of our branch libraries to community run libraries is proceeding at pace.

Saltford Community Library opened its doors in July and is an exciting joint community initiative. Planning for additional use has been approved and the post office counter will open on the 24th September. The Community Library is putting back something into the community and getting revenue at the same time.

Weston has completed public consultation, planning has been approved to include office space. The Library has established its governance and volunteer network and is now undergoing remodelling by the landlords with the view to opening its doors as a new community library in mid-October.

Moorland Road is currently undergoing consultation with the community and a community group have established themselves with a volunteer network ready to take on the running of the library. A full application is expected in the Autumn.

Paulton has completed public consultation and a full application is expected from the Parish Council in the Autumn subject to costs being resolved due to potential rental increases from the landlord.

2 brand new exiting community libraries have been approved with grant funding issued and will be opening in Bishop Sutton and Timsbury at the end of October and November respectively.  These are rural areas that have reduced services and therefore are likely to have isolated residents.  New Community Libraries are an opportunity for the community to have a focus for the village and the wider area.

3 other expressions of interest have been received from Chew Valley School, Peasedown and Southside. Further conversations are ongoing with Radstock, Chew Stoke, Combe Hay, Larkhall, Foxhill and Whitchurch.


A new system for the delivery of stock to community libraries has been successfully implemented which will be much more efficient and sustainable for any future growth as well as improve the service we can provide to them.

We will monitor and review the Mobile Library route in light of the changes to community libraries and community demand, but no significant route or service changes have been instigated to date. 

We have looked at options for a replacement service and have concluded that a like for like replacement is the best option.  Therefore we are embarking on the procurement process for a new vehicle which will reduce the number of days lost due to breakdowns and service issues and ensuring more resilience is in place for day to day operational delivery.


Midsomer Norton Library and Information Service at The Hollies

The new space and the new service opened to the public on 4th June.  Early feedback has been positive and this is backed up by a 60% increase in the number of new members compared to the same period last year which will translate into a significant increase in the number of items being borrowed over the coming  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.


Bathscape Project - Update on Progress pdf icon PDF 921 KB

A short outline report is attached. There will be a presentation at the meeting.


The Chairman invited Dan Merrett (Bathscape Development Manager) to give a presentation to the Panel.


Dan Merrett highlighted the following points in his presentation:


·  Aims of the Bath Landscape Scheme

·  Bathscape Location Map

·  Key Threats

·  Key Tasks for Development Phase

·  Consultation

·  Bathscape Activities

·  Bathscape Walking festival

·  Themes with projects and activities

·  Delivery Structure


(A full copy of thepresentation is attached as Appendix to these minutes).


The Panel welcomed the presentation and highlighted the following points in their debate:


·  Members of the Panel felt that the partnership scheme should be promoted to the people so they could understand what the scheme does and what benefits they would have, such as exploring natural environments, and improving health and wellbeing.  Dan Merritt commented that the scheme had been communicated to different groups, and that Bathscape had been monitoring first stages of the current projects.

·  Some Members of the Panel expressed their concerns on the current status of the Bath Skyline Walk.  Dan Merritt recognised the importance of the Bath Skyline Walk which had been under the National Trust.

·  Dan Merritt informed the Panel that the schemes were very flexible and not tied to a specific funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

·  The Chairman commented that he recognised that the schemes were focused on Bath and surroundings, though he had hoped that the scheme would extend to North East Somerset.  Dan Merritt responded that Bathscape would support any events in North East Somerset; however, the Heritage Lottery Fund would only support projects within the existing boundaries.


It was RESOLVED to note the presentation     

Getting From A to B Review presentation pdf icon PDF 396 KB


Transport Strategy - Getting from A to B pdf icon PDF 57 KB

A short outline report is attached. There will be a presentation at the meeting.



The Chairman expressed his concerns that the Panel had received quite late in the day a copy of the presentation ‘Getting from A to B – Strategic Transport Review’.  The Chairman felt that the Panel would not be in a position to properly scrutinise this matter considering that Members of the Panel were not having enough time to consider information in the presentation.


The Chairman instructed the officers to send detailed presentation, or a Committee report, well in advance of the next meeting when they are required to present a further update, or a report, on this or other matters.


The Chairman invited Chris Major (Group Manager – Transport and Parking), Richard Morgan (Education Business Manager) and Christopher Wilford (Head of Education Inclusion Services) to give a presentation to the Panel.


The officers highlighted the following points in their presentation:


·  Purpose

·  Update

·  Barriers

·  Review – Home to School Transport

·  SEND – promoting independence

·  Opportunities and challenges

·  Still to do’s…..

·  Next steps


(A full copy of thepresentation is attached as Appendix to these minutes).


The Panel highlighted the following points in their debate:


·  Councillor Richard Samuel felt that the project may go against Council’s commitment to improve the air quality in the area, especially for Bath.  Councillor Samuel commented on the allocation of school places to children in South Bristol, where a certain number of children had to travel across the city to their schools down to parental preference.  Councillor Samuel expressed his concerns that journeys to non-allocated schools would be made by private cars, which would be against Council’s initiative to reduce usage of private vehicles in order to improve air quality.  Councillor Samuel added that he was aware that the Council could not do much on the transport preferences for pupils and asked if the project was joined up with the improvement of air quality.  The officers responded that the project had started before the Air Quality Zone programme.  However, the outcomes of the project would be within the Air Quality Zone requirements.  The Council would, where eligible, get the children on the buses or encourage them to walk or cycle to their schools.  The Council would work with coach operators to ensure that coaches would be available as much as possible.  The officers acknowledged that a query from Councillor Samuel was about children who travel to schools that were not allocated to them.  Less than 10% of secondary school pupils in Bath area had been provided with a transport from the Council; that was because transport had been provided only to pupils who live outside the 3 miles catchment of their allocated school.  Councillor Samuel added that very few of 90% of other children would use busses, or walk/cycle to their schools so their journeys would be in private cars.  Councillor Samuel also said that the Council should take an initiative to provide some sort of transport for the remaining 90% of children which would have less impact on the air quality.

·  The Chairman said that, for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

Bathscape Landscape presentation pdf icon PDF 2 MB


Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 104 KB

This report presents the latest workplan for the Panel. Any suggestions for further items or amendments to the current programme will be logged and scheduled in consultation with the Panel’s Chair and supporting senior officers.


The Panel noted the workplan and agreed to include the following items at future meetings:


·  Rural Transport (the Chairman)

·  Service/Financial Plans (the Chairman)

·  Gulls nest programme (Councillor Gilchrist)

·  Transport Strategy update (in 6 months’ time)