Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Mark Hayward 01225 396975  Email:

Note No. Item

5 mins


Welcome, Introductions and Apologies


Councillor Colin Blackburn (Chair) opened the meeting and welcomed the public and forum members.


The apologies received were noted in the minutes.


Police Update


Chief Inspector Steve Kendell presented an update on the latest crime statistics for Bath.


The trends nationally show a 13% rise in reported crime in the last 12 month period, the Avon and Somerset force has seen a rise of 6% and B&NES has seen a 4.5% rise.


The B&NES area has shown improvements in the last 3 months with crime reducing by 2.3%. The City Centre saw a drop by 48 offences (-6.6%), Outer Bath dropped by 63 offences (-14%), South Bath rose by 66 offences (+23%) and West Bath (-4.9%).


The requests received by the Police totalled 44,000 in B&NES in the last 3 month period. The satisfaction rating was at 82.6% for B&NES and 76.7% for the Avon and Somerset force area.


There have been successes in drug cases, arrests have been made and these are to be heard in court soon. The Christmas Market in Bath is being patrolled and the early indications are that the City is coping well with the increase in visitors.



Jeremy Boss – What is driving the crime rate up in the South Bath area?

Response – The last quarter saw an increase in thefts by 34 incidents.


Cllr Lin Patterson – How are the Police coping without a Police Station in the City?

Response – the Police have premises at Midland Road in Bath and a front office at the One Stop Shop and we manage well. If a viable City Centre option were to become available we would welcome a return as this helps with our visibility.


Virginia Williamson – Are you able to give more context on the break-ins that have taken place in the bear flat area?

Response – The local Sergeant would be able to provide these details, I do not have these available this evening.


Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones – What can you tell us about the situation with Domestic Violence in Bath?

Response – This is a priority area for the Police and we work closely with partners in the City. The reported numbers for cases is steady.  




60 mins


Changing Together - The Council's Budget Challenge and Pressures' pdf icon PDF 251 KB

A presentation will be given by Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency, Councillor Charles Gerrish and Ashley Ayre, Chief Executive of Bath & North East Somerset Council who will set out the challenges and pressures faced by the Council over the next two years and beyond.  They will be encouraging a wider discussion to explore ideas about how communities can work more closely together.  Attached is some background information to the discussion.  If you are unable to attend this Forum meeting the presentation will also be given at other Forums across the area on the following dates:


29th November, Somer Valley Forum, Town Hall, Midsomer Norton

4th December, Chew Valley Forum, the Library, Chew Valley Secondary School


Ashley Ayre opened the presentation (attached) by explaining the additional pressures that have risen since this time last year and the savings target is now £58 million. B&NES Council will become a smaller organisation over the next two years.


Councillor Charles Gerrish took over the presentation and opened the questions and comments session.


Questions and comments:


Councillor Rob Appleyard – Is the investment that has been made in leisure facilities part of ‘invest for funding’ strategy?

Response – No, the investment has been made to give people the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing.


Councillor Shaun Stephenson-McGall – Where recycling has been mentioned in this presentation the focus is on saving the Council money, there has been no mention of the importance of saving the planet.

Response – We agree that the environment is important and every effort needs to be made to encourage everybody to do the right thing.


George Samios – The figure quoted of a 14% increase in children going into care sounds high, what are the reasons.

Response – The starting point is very low, with all additional cases there are court fees. Some of the complex cases can require care packages that very expensive.


Councillor Dine Romero – Last year there was a discussion around tourism tax, are there any plans to continue looking at this possibility? How likely is it that likely is it that the government will listen and how quickly can we expect this to happen?

Response – The Council Leader has meetings planned with Central Government in the near future to look at how Local Authorities can be given new income raising powers that can be used to meet the local needs; this includes looking at tourism tax.


Councillor Dine Romero – What can we expect to see as the alternative meals on wheels offering? Will this just be a drop off service?

Response – The final decision has not get been agreed, we have looked at the option of working with Age UK as the care element of the service is seen as important. 


Caroline Kay – The slides in the presentation show overall totals that do not add up from the information shown on the slides.

Response – These are illustrations, there are areas such as Council Tax rises, revenue from Heritage and our Property Company that all need to be included.


Caroline Kay – Local Authorities across the UK are struggling, how can we tell how B&NES fits into the scale of the impacts versus others? Are the efficiencies that we are seeing comparable when you take into account the level of assets that B&NES have available to them?

Response – The presentation shows a table on Council Tax which illustrates what B&NES charges compared to others. A combination of factors make this year’s positions tougher, other authorities went earlier in making the cuts and we are playing catch up. B&NES does benefit from the income from visitor numbers but also has  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

5 mins


Agreement of the minutes of the last forum meeting - 20 September 2017 pdf icon PDF 102 KB


Robin Kerr felt that the note included from the Fire Service regarding the number of inspections carried out on party house was not sufficient.  Robin continued in suggesting that the October report that had been provided needed to be substantially improved with respect to ‘Party Houses’, providing detail of the number of inspections which have taken place and what remedial action has been considered necessary in order to bring the danger in these potential death-traps within the kind of risk considered acceptable in hotels and guest houses.


The minutes were agreed as an accurate record by Cllr Colin Blackburn and seconded by Cllr Colin Appleyard.


A request was made for papers to be made available earlier for meetings.

20 mins


CEF and CIL Group update

An update from the CIL/CEF Working Group will present its first recommendations on the allocation of neighbourhood CIL and CEF Funding.


Forum Members will be asked to agree recommendations and put forward any concerns they may have.



The working group met on 24th November 2017 and has recommendations to make on the Community Empowerment Fund and the local portion of Community Infrastructure Levy. 


The working group plans to meet two weeks before each meeting of Bath City Forum. A different member of the group will report the recommendations back in rotation.


The Working Group members are:

Cllr Colin Blackburn

Roger Driver

Cllr June Player

Robin Kerr

Cllr June Player

Caroline Kay


Cllr Rob Appleyard asked if the information on each project would be presented in detail to the Bath City Forum.


Cllr Colin Blackburn explained that the working group had been given the task by the Bath City Forum to decide on the recommendations from the applications that had been completed and make recommendations for the Forum to agree.


Cllr Rob Appleyard felt that the forum should be given the opportunity to see each application in greater detail and asked for a motion to defer all decision to a later meeting to allow for greater transparency and challenge.


Cllr Dine Romero asked if having two elected members from the same ward on the working group was the right and correct for balance.


Cllr Colin Blackburn explained that all forum members had been given the opportunity to come forward to be part of the working group and the take up was disappointing. The members that are on the working group have made fair assessments of the projects that they have looked at and have been impartial in the work they have carried out.


Cllr Rob Appleyard asked to join the working group for future meetings. It was agree this would be fine and the dates of future meeting will be shared.


Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones asked to the decision on CIL funding for the junction of Marlborough Lane be recommended for cabinet approval as it had been through the process that is laid out. Patrick provided background on the history of this highway scheme and called for it to be recommended.


Caroline Kay felt that the working group had been delegated the task of making the recommendation back to the forum and these should be taken as advised. Caroline added that the reports back and paperwork can be improved for future meetings. The Forum was asked to understand that there will be more projects that will only be made possible in the future if a patchwork of funding is used to meet the needs.


Councillor Shaun Stephenson-McGall explained that the Ward Councillors in Bath all have Highways issues that they would like progressed and the priority grid for these needs to be referred to.


Councillor Anthony Clarke explained that this scheme is categorised as high priority and is of benefit to at least three wards.


Mike Hill felt the working group has been empowered by the forum to make these recommendations and we must allow progress to be made otherwise nothing will get done. 


Rosie Phillips felt the forum has signed up to a process and we must  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

20 mins


Other Updates pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Development of the Bath City Forum - An update will be provided on the discussion that has taken place on how the Bath City Forum.


Working Groups will be discussed and updates from any active groups will be provided.


Future agenda items are invited, forum members can suggest themes or individual items future meetings.


Fire Service

The Fire Service provided a written operational update (attached).


Co-opted Members

Recruitment will take place in January 2018 for the co-opted vacancies for the Bath City Forum. The first group that were appointed to the forum in January 2016 will need to confirm if they will be continuing in their roles for a further two years. Co-opted members are asked to contact Mark Hayward with their intentions.


Community Governance Review

Councillor Shaun Stephenson-McGall asked if his request that an item on Bath holding a Community Governance Review had been discussed.

It was explained that this item has not yet been added to the forward plan to be included in a future meeting. Shaun pointed out that the minutes of the last meeting had expressed the request to hold a discussion and include experts that could provide advice.     



Bath City Forum Development

Councillor Colin Blackburn explained that the he and Rosie had started discussions on ways to improve the usefulness of the items that the Bath City Forum look at bringing to the agenda. The initial thoughts are that items need to avoid duplication of items being discussed elsewhere, be of interest to residents and have genuinely useful outcomes for Bath.


The working groups that have been set up were discussed and it was explained that these groups had not always worked effectively and there needs to be consideration given to which groups wish to continue. There needs to be an appetite from each group with structures to report back into the main forum meetings.


It was suggested that a forward plan for future meetings is brought together and that the working groups be added as a future item for a fuller discussion.


Councillor Colin Blackburn asked that forum members send any thoughts on what they would like to see on the agenda at future meetings and on any recommendations they have for improving the format of the meetings. These are to be e-mailed to Mark Hayward.