Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Marie Todd  01225 394414

Items
No. Item

1.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTION

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

3.

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 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:

There were no declarations of interest.

4.

TO ANNOUNCE ANY URGENT BUSINESS AGREED BY THE CHAIR

The Chair will announce any items of urgent business accepted since the agenda was prepared under the Access to Information provisions.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

5.

ITEMS FROM THE PUBLIC - TO RECEIVE DEPUTATIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS OR QUESTIONS

Minutes:

Mr Derek Swift had submitted some questions to the Board.  Responses had been prepared and were circulated to members.  (Copy attached as an appendix to the minutes).

Questions and Responses - Derek Swift pdf icon PDF 147 KB

6.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2020.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2020 were confirmed as a correct record.

7.

Alice Park Trust Update

To receive a verbal update from the Chair of the Alice Park Trust Sub-Committee, Cllr Rob Appleyard, including:

 

·  10-year plan for the Alice Park Trust to become financially sustainable.

·  Community Engagement Model for the Trust.

Minutes:

Cllr Rob Appleyard, Chair of the Alice Park Trust Sub-Committee, gave an update covering the following issues:

 

·  Some activity has taken place regarding the proposal for a 10-year plan to increase the stability of income for the Trust.  The long-term aim is to reduce the reliance on the Council and to become more financially independent.

 

·  The renewal of the Alice Park Café lease is close to being finalised.

 

·  Over the summer, discussions have taken place with commercial users of the park.  They will be entering into localised agreements to make a small contribution to the upkeep of the park, in line with the adopted charging policy agreed by the Alice Park Trust Sub-Committee.

 

·  Due to the Covid-19 crisis work on the public engagement model for the Trust has not yet progressed.

 

·  The skatepark has now been constructed and the Trust is awaiting sign-off from RoSPA to ensure that safety procedures for both the sandpit area and skatepark are robust.

 

·  The Sub-Committee has agreed the necessary steps to progress with the new tennis court proposals.  The park is part of a three-site project.  The Council is managing the legal aspects of this project and the Trust is looking forward to the provision of improved tennis facilities.

 

Graham Page stated that he welcomed the proposals for the commercial users of the park and queried how this would be enforced.  Cllr Appleyard stated that it was important to ensure that all commercial park users are identified and brought into the charging process.  It was acknowledged that this may take some time, but progress is being made.

 

Cllr Appleyard confirmed that two suitable locations have been agreed for the new noticeboards in the park and that he will liaise with Graham Page regarding their installation.  He thanked Graham for his work on the provision of the notice boards.

 

RESOLVED: To note the update report.

8.

Alice Park - Administrative Issues pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To consider the attached paper which has been submitted by Graham Page, Independent Member of the Board.

Minutes:

The Board considered a paper prepared by Graham Page, Independent Member, regarding administrative issues relating to the Alice Park Trust.

 

Cllr Page highlighted a number of issues in the paper and the following matters were discussed:

 

(a)  Identity

 

·  It was important to remember that the park is managed by the Alice Park Trust and not B&NES Council.  This issue was highlighted in a recent letter from the Charity Commission.  Many of the notices in the park are in the name of the Council and not the Trust.  It was acknowledged that this was largely due to legacy issues.

·  Michael Hewitt, Legal Team Manager, confirmed that the Trust is a separate legal entity from the Council.  Future notices could be put up in the name of the Trust to ensure that this is clear.

·  Graham Page also pointed out that policies which affect the park should be first approved by the Trust Sub-Committee.  For example, a notice has recently appeared regarding food and drink in the children’s play area, which was not agreed in advance by the Trust. 

·  Cllr Crossley agreed to raise these issues in his next meeting with the Parks Team.

·  Cllr Appleyard pointed out that the Trust has a Service Legal Agreement with the Council for some aspects of the management of the park.

 

(b)  Governance

 

·  Cllr Appleyard confirmed that Sub-Committee members are fully aware of their responsibility to act in the best interests of the Trust when discussing matters relating to the park.

·  Graham Page expressed concern about the dual roles of councillors and trustees.  The quorum for the Sub-Committee is three Council members and, if there was a conflict of interest, he queried how matters could progress.

·  Michael Hewitt confirmed that the Council is the sole corporate trustee and that it manages this function through the Alice Park Trust Sub-Committee.  Individual members of the Sub-Committee are not Trustees in their own right.  Under S13 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, only elected members can vote on the Sub-Committee.  If there was a conflict of interest which meant that matters were unable to progress, then the Monitoring Officer could grant a dispensation to enable councillors to vote on that particular issue.

·  Cllr Appleyard confirmed that the views of non-voting independent members would always be taken into account before making any decision.

 

(c)  Responsibility of Trustees

 

·  Concerns had been raised regarding the amount of space allocated for the use of children under 14, which is a requirement in the Trust document.

·  Cllr Appleyard confirmed that the amount of space available for children has not diminished.  The skatepark area is for children and so this space has simply been re-purposed.

·  Graham Page also raised issues relating to safeguarding and the need to ensure that adults do not enter children’s play areas unless they are accompanying children.

·  Michael Hewitt explained that the Council carries out the necessary checks on anyone coming into contact with children as part of a specific role.  However, other than health and safety  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Future Meeting Dates

To consider the following possible dates for future meetings:

 

Weds 27 January – 2.30pm or Weds 3 February – 2.30pm

Weds 7 July or Weds 14 July – 2.30pm

Minutes:

It was agreed that the next meeting will take place on Wednesday 3 February 2021 at 2.30pm via Zoom.

 

The Board also agreed that they would visit Alice Park, either at the skatepark opening event or at a suitable date in the summer.