Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Mark Hayward 01225 396975  Email:

Note No. Item

5 mins


Statement for the outgoing Chair

The outgoing Chair will provide a statement and report back on the key work that has been achieved by the forum over the last year.


Councillor Bob Goodman opened the meeting and explained that due to taking on a Cabinet role he would not be able to continue as the Chair of the Bath City Forum.


Councillor Goodman made a series of points though his speech as outgoing Chair:

·  The Forum will gain more teeth and must never be considered to be a talking shop.

·  The Forum will continue to receive his support as the link in the Cabinet and the new Chair now has a platform to take the agenda of this Forum forward.

·  The support received from Jo Farrah, Rosie Phillips and B&NES Officers had proven valuable as had the cross party support form Joe Rayment, Dine Romero and Colin Blackburn.



15 mins


Nomination of the Chair pdf icon PDF 172 KB


Ashley Ayre explained there had been one advance nomination for the position of Chair received for Councillor Colin Blackburn. This nomination was submitted by Robin Kerr and seconded Councillor Bob Goodman.


No other nominations were put forward from the floor. The forum agreed to carry out the vote by a show of hands.


The majority of the forum voted in favour of Councillor Colin Blackburn taking on the role of Chair.

10 mins


Nomination of Vice Chair

Rosie Phillips has stated an intention to stand for re-election as the Vice Chair.



The Chair explained that there had been one advance expression of interest received for the position of Vice Chair, this was for Rosie Phillips.


No other nominations were put forward from the floor. Rosie Philips self-nominated and was seconded by Chris Roach. 

The forum agreed to carry out the vote by a show of hands.


The majority of the forum voted in favour of Rosie Philips taking on the role of Vice Chair.


15 mins


Fire Service Update pdf icon PDF 58 KB


Adrian Davies from Avon Fire and Rescue presented a report for August 2017 that covered activity and incidents for the Bath area.




Robin Kerr – At the previous meeting the question was raised ‘’how many of the 48 party houses in Bath have been inspected by the Fire Service?’’

Response – The details will need looked into and a response will be circulated. (This was sent by e-mail to forum members on 9 October 2017)


Councillor Bob Goodman – What is the approach to buildings with more than five floors?

Response – The Fire Service has a record of these buildings and treat them in the same way they would high rise buildings.


Caroline Kay – What plans are in place for museum buildings?

Response – There are already many buildings that have salvage plans in place, those that do not are encourage to work with the Fire Service to get these into place.


Councillor Shaun Stephenson-McGall - What work is taking place with the Universities around river safety issues? 

Response – The Fire Service are working on getting pro-active message out. The Student Community Partnership has an agenda item on the river at the October meeting.


George Samios – Are there any high rise buildings in Bath that have cladding on them? And have the Schools in Bath been checked for safety issues?

Response – Berkeley House in Snow Hill is the only building in Bath that is classified as a high rise and does not have cladding issues. The cladding used in Grenville Tower has been used by industry across many types of buildings. There is confidence that all schools are safe, none are high rise and all have escape routes.


Ashley Ayre – Since Glenville the Council and Curo have had contact with the DCLG. The Council no longer hold any social housing stock in B&NES but has had conversations with providers about cladding issues, although some renovation work has taken place; the materials used were non-flammable.

The Councils estate and heritage buildings have been checked and safety checks were already in place.  Work with private landlords where there is cladding are working with Property Services in line with guidance from the DCLG.


Councillor Dine Romero – On low level buildings that have cladding which have been converted into homes, are there regulations that change?

Response – There is more stringent legislation in place.  


Councillor Dine Romero – Where the Fire Service fit smoke alarms into people homes they arrive in fire appliances, is this the best use of resource?

Response – Crews that are carrying out this work arrive in appliances as they need to be always available for emergency call-outs. Additionally the public see the fire crews as the face of the service and whe carrying out home visits there are at times other issues that are picked up and sign posted by trained crew members.


Councillor Shaun Stephenson-McGall – Has the recent issues involving senior officers and governance in the service had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

15 mins


Police Update


Chief Inspector Steve Kendall provided an update to the meeting:


·  Neighbourhood teams are working with partners to meet the challenges in local areas. Cluster zones, Neighbourhood Sergeants and dedicated points of contact have been put in place to create a strong team that can deal when demands change.

·  The Police are facing financial challenges and are working with the PCC to look at the funding issues and staffing level for the longer term. Where there are lower levels of resources this does have an effect on how incidents are dealt with.

·  There has been an 8.4 per cent rise in reported crime across the Avon and Somerset force area - that figure is 8.2 per cent in B&NES. Calls for police assistance are up 8.8 per cent. 38,784 calls were made to police in B&NES last year; the force had seen a “considerable number of requests.”

·  Bath is generally a very safe place to live and work but there is a drugs issue in Bath as there is in every city across the country. Bath remains a safe place but the police service is facing significant challenges.

·  The City Centre Team is working alongside agencies on issues such as mental health, missing persons and homelessness issues.


Questions and responses:


1.  Cllr Dina Romero – Could you let us now about the levels of hate crimes locally?

Response - Hate crime has increased across the force as it has nationally...there’s no specific trend in B&NES. There is a strategy to deal with hate crime. The desire is to reduce it through education and other ways. There has been no reaction to hate crime being linked to the terrorist activity locally as seen in other places in the country.


2.  Cllr Dina Romero – Could you let us now about how the Police are working with people who suffer with mental health issues?

Response – 1 in 4 people suffer an episode of mental health during their life. The Police have been trained to recognise the signs and use care pathways as a method when people arrive in custody. This more compassionate approach has seen a reduction in the numbers of people with issues being processed through custody in the conventional way.


3.  Cllr Shaun Stephenson-McGall – The media has reported that the PCC has said that £1.1 million in savings has to be found, what will this look like and will this mean service cuts?

Response – The PCC has committed to projection of neighbourhood resources, the reductions need to be looked at the detail will need to be worked out. There is a PCC meeting in Bath next week where this question could be asked.


4.  Rosie Phillips – Six months ago action was taken on the open drugs market and organised crime, what has been the impact on the city?

Response – The team continues the fight on drug crime and activity does continue. The figures do show that drug offences are 56% down in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Minutes of the previous meeting 24.07.17 pdf icon PDF 109 KB


The Chair asked that the minutes of the meeting on 24 July be agreed.


Councillor Joe Rayment agreed the minutes were an accurate record and no objections were raised by any other forum members.

30 mins


Unregulated Holiday Lets in Bath pdf icon PDF 410 KB

Additional documents:


It was noted that interests were declared by Cllr Colin Blackburn and Sally Harris who both have connections to properties in Bath.


Robin Kerr provided a statement on behalf of FOBRA. This is attached and available on the Council website.


Harry Tedstone gave a presentation on behalf of BIGHA. This is attached and available on the Council website.


An additional statement from the FSB was submitted but was not read out. This is attached and available on the Council website.


Question and observations:


1.  Cllr Rob Appleyard asked how we had got to the numbers that had been shown in the presentations. There appears to be an amount of cross over in the points made about party houses, the general problems in Bath with housing and high cost properties being taken out of the market.

Response – There are a mix of properties being taken out of the market half are larger properties and the rest are 1-2 bed apartments. The smaller properties make it harder for first time buyers and people in low paid jobs who need to rent.


2.  Cllr Dine Romero felt there are similarities to the problems that HMO’s bring to the city, planning is not covering the issues that are being raised and there needs to be changes in legislation by central government.


3.  Cllr Dine Romero – A report has been written by Ben woods team, is this going to be circulated?

Response – Lisa Bartlett, Divisional Director – Development B&NES explained that the report that was written is an internal document that was being used by officers in-house, this is not a formal Council report that is being held back. Further work is required before a document will be ready to circulate.


4.  Cllr Joe Rayment felt that people were opting to use Air B&B as it is a cheaper option for visitors. If noise is such a big issue why is this not being addressed? It appears the bigger problem is the lack of affordable houses that are being supplied to the city.

Response – Harry Tedstone explained that noise issues are not dealt with by the police and they refer people to the Council.


5.  Chris Mordent, Housing Services B&NES explained that there are schemes in place that deal with the introduction of HMOs to the city.

Response - Harry Tedstone felt that where buy to lets are happening there has to be better management where the use changes to a HMO. 


6.  Chris Roche – It appears that owners of ‘’party houses’’ have lower overheads and greater profits. What potential is there for the Council to raise funds from these properties?

Response – Ashley Ayre explained that B&NES Council have to gather evidence first and must act legally in how it operates, there are constraints on what revenue could be achieved. To change there needs to be a challenge to Parliament; national regulations are giving us the powers to make decisions.


7.  Virginia Williamson – There  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

20 mins


Neighbourhood Portion of CIL


Dave Dixon explained that work had been completed the work that the Forum asked us were carry out.  


It was agreed that the Criteria Guidance Notes, the Application Form and a record of all the projects will be sent to forum members. This information is also available on the Council website; any comments need to be sent to Mark Hayward by 4th October.


The Forum was asked for volunteers to work on CIL working group. The group will need to schedule meetings to take place ahead of Forum meetings.

Caroline Kay and Roger Driver offered to be involved in the working group.


Once the working group is in place it initially needs to take a look the twenty four expressions of interest and decide which of these to recommend to the Forum. There will be a rolling receipt of applications and the role of the working group is to filter out applications that do not meet the criteria for funding.  


At the 27 November forum meeting the working group will put forward project recommendations for the Forum to agree in advance of these going to to Cabinet.  


Councillor Dine Romero asked that if a member of the working group has an interest in a project that has applied for funding; they are not involved in the recommendation.    


5 mins


Any Other Business


Bath City Forum - Transport Sub Group


Cllr Peter Turner explained that a discussion has taken place with Cabinet member Cllr Mark Shelford and he would welcome a group that could assist him with transport matters in Bath. Peter is willing to take on the duty of Chair.

Peter suggested that the group of six people from Bath be set-up, they will be non-political, action focused and passionate about transport issues. Representative volunteers to join this group are being sought. 


Cllr Shaun Stephenson-McGall felt that the having only Bath people was at odds with the wider perspective. Shaun also felt the requirement for the group to be non-political was wrong. 


Ashley Ayre explained that this is the Bath Forum and looks to represent resident’s views from a Bath perspective. This forum needs to make decisions on what it wants to do for the city.


Cllr Colin Blackburn felt that the forum has a structure where sub groups have been set out but some of these have not really gone anywhere. There may be a need to review what is actually wanted going forward.


Chris Roche felt that sub groups need to allow representation of people with other links to the city.


Caroline Kay felt that transport is a topic with many areas that need to be covered and existing groups and linkages need to be looked at.


Cllr Joe Rayment felt that many issues are political and it is wrong to take into account political party membership when working to address issues. If the Chair of the transport group is from a political party then others on the group should be able to be from political parties. Where Bath&NES Ward Councillors are involved in subjects covered by the forum there is a role where working together to work out conflicts needs to happen.


Purpose of Bath City Forum


Cllr Dine Romero asked that the forum looks at what it is here for and what it is able to achieve. The sub groups that we have need to have a purpose and be clear on what they are being used for. The forum needs to avoid replicating work that is going on elsewhere. Additionally there needs to be a route for recommendations to be taken forward to a regular slot at cabinet meetings.


Cllr Rob Appleyard explained that the Bath City Forum was set up to cover the deficit that exists between Bath and the remainder of North east Somerset. Outside of Bath, Parish Councillors are working at a local level with other area forums. Ward Councillors from Bath are attending the forum as an extension of the role they carry out as part of B&NES as a whole, this at time feels conflicting. There does need to be a clearer outline of what we are here to achieve.


Virginia Williamson endorsed Dines comments and added that the forum has potential to be successful; it needs a work plan and a greater level of advanced planning. Where presentations are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.