Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Mark Durnford  Email:, 01225 394458

No. Item




The Chairman welcomed Panel members and officers who were attending the meeting via Zoom and members of the public viewing on YouTube.




Councillors Lucy Hodge and Andrew Furse had sent their apologies to the Panel. Councillors Matt McCabe and Yukteshwar Kumar were present as their respective substitutes for the duration of the meeting.



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.



David Redgewell, South West Transport Network made a statement to the Panel. A copy of it can be found on the Panel’s Minute Book and as an online appendix to these minutes, a summary is set out below.


The WECA mayoral transport authority has a duty to provide services under Government guidance on Covid-19 by accessing the bus operators grant but is failing to carry this out with a passenger consultation like Somerset County Council, Wiltshire or Gloucestershire County Council have done.  The Government is not expecting the transport authority to reinstate evening and weekend services it seems.


Bus grants are helping to restore services in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud, Swindon, Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Cornwall and Plymouth in the South West region. It is very disappointing that we still have no public enquiry line at the WECA mayoral transport authority.


We still have 11 bus routes not operational. including route 18 Bath bus and coach station via Keynsham, route 178 Bristol to Radstock via Brislington and Keynsham, route 96 Brislington to Hengrove via Knowle, X2 Bristol bus station to Yatton, Worle and Weston Super Mare. Bath to Weston route 9.


We are also extremely concerned about the consultation of the Western Gateway Transport Board plan and the lack of public consultation on this vital regional plan during the Covid-19 emergency. 


The fact that the region has 2 transport boards is not supported by any environmental or transport group holds us back in the view of the regional Travel Watch South West organisation. 


It appears that not all BANES bus shelters are being cleaned and that the passenger information points at Bath Spa bus and coach station and Wells bus station are still closed even though others at Stroud, Gloucester and Cheltenham have reopened. Regular deep cleaning of buses and trains, bus shelters, bus and railway stations and enforcement on face coverings is required.


The issue that concerns us the most is the lack of a clear regional bus and coach network policy.  There is no clear investment strategy for transport interchanges such as Bristol Temple Meads station as a major station in the South West of England.

David Redgewell 27.7.20 pdf icon PDF 20 KB


MINUTES - 30th June 2020 pdf icon PDF 171 KB


The Panel confirmed the minutes of the previous meeting as a true record.


Cabinet Member Update

The Cabinet Member is unable to attend on this occasion. In his absence the Head of Property will update the Panel on the two Call-in meetings that took place earlier in the year. Panel members may ask questions on the update provided.



The Head of Property addressed the Panel in the absence of the Cabinet Member for Resources. He updated them on the two Call-ins that had taken place earlier in the year.


The documents supplied will be appended to the minutes when published.


Update on the actions requested following the Call-in of decision E3181: 23 Grosvenor Place, Bath: Surrender of existing Guinness Housing Association lease, subject to the payment of a reverse premium.


Item 1.

This recommendation has been absorbed as a priority programme within a wider workstream of the recently created Recovery Board. The Corporate Management Team Project Sponsor for this piece of work is Mandy Bishop, who is currently finalising the strategic objectives for this review. However, the issues raised concerning improving the transparency of property related decisions, within the limits of commercial confidentiality will be reviewed as part of this exercise.

Item 2.

An options paper was drafted prior to the Covid19 outbreak, incorporating the ring-fencing options; however, its presentation to Cabinet has been delayed as a result of the role played by the subject property to provide accommodation for the homeless to self-isolate during the pandemic.

Grosvenor Place played a central role in providing safe accommodation enabling the homeless to self-isolate during the Corona Virus outbreak, under the supervision of Julian House. The report has been delayed whilst a case is built around a further option relating to the rough sleeper exit strategy and the potential longer-term role that this property might play in this as a permanent move-on facility. The business case will be dependent upon a potential MCHLG new funding stream which has been announced but further details are awaited as they have yet to be released. As soon as this further detail is known and the business case can be developed, the options paper will be finalised.

Item 3.

Guinness were approached with a request to use the receipt from the reverse premium to invest in social housing within the B&NES area.

They advised however that after allowing for rehousing costs, major works of repairs, which included undertaking structural remediation to the rear wall of the premises, together with other expenditure associated with exiting the premises there would be no funds available from the specific receipt to recycle within the area.

Guinness did however stress their commitment to Bath & North East Somerset and confirmed that with 470 homes in the Council area, this is one of their highest priority investment localities where they will continue to invest in both their existing homes, as well as seeking opportunities to build new houses and are currently actively exploring a number of opportunities with developers.

Item 4.

The Recovery Board workstream outlined above in paragraph 4.1 will include a review of the structures, processes and core delivery model across all aspects of the Council’s property services, including the Estates, Construction, Maintenance and Facilities Management functions.

This review will form part of the overall workstream and is being led personally by Mandy Bishop.


Update on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

Call-in Update E3181; 23 Grosvenor Place pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Call-in Update E3191; Bath Cricket Club pdf icon PDF 186 KB


Assessment of the Council's Business Income - Where we are now pdf icon PDF 140 KB


The Director of Finance & S151 Officer introduced this item to the Panel. He shared with them some presentation slides which will be appended to the minutes when published, a summary is set out below.


He was assisted during the presentation by the Business Analysis Manager (Economy & Growth), Team Manager (Parking Services) and Director for Partnership & Corporate Services.


Council Gross Expenditure Revenue Budget – 2020/21 £352m


£144m = Adults, Childrens and Public Health

£83m = Corporate Budgets inc. Housing Benefit & Tariff payments

£76m = Services to the public inc. Highways / Refuse Collection / Cleansing & Parks / Housing Services

£49m = Council Administered Dedicated Schools Grant


Less income = less money for services


  We’re £5.6m down in lost parking and heritage income compared to April/May last year


  That’s £91,000 a day - 14% of our daily spend on services


Summary of our financial pressures 2020/21


£18.9m - Loss of heritage income

£7.2m - Loss of parking income

£6.13m - Loss of income from commercial estate

£0.71m - Other losses of income



£10m - Increased Expenditure - in supporting our most vulnerable in social care and responding to Covid-19 demands such as sourcing PPE


£42.13m - Projected deficit


How we’re tackling these in-year pressures


£20.7m - In-year savings including reviewing and reducing costs where demand has fallen, deferring projects, holding vacancies and using corporate mitigations

£10m - Government grant

£11.43m - Drawing down reserves

£0.00 - Projected deficit following these measures


Heritage Services – Covid-19 Impact





·  Initial decline in Mandarin speaking visitors around the Lunar New Year period discussed with other leading UK visitor attractions, particularly those who have a high number of Chinese visitors.


·  In late February we saw a wave of cancellations from Italian and French school groups, who typically visit us in the Spring. This came as those governments introduced bans on overseas school groups.


·  By mid-March recommended the closure of the Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery to the Leader of the Council, through the Chief Executive. This decision was approved and we closed on the 18th of March, ahead of the national lock-down which was introduced the following week.


·  At the point of closure COVID-19 had cost Heritage Services approximately £450k in lost revenue.




Quarter 1 expected performance: 430,000 visitors and £6.7m revenue


The impact of the Roman Baths’ closure has come during a period when it would have been expecting to generate £50,000-£80,000 per day in admission revenue.


ONGOING IMPACT: The reopening capacity restrictions mean that the actual income generated through July and August will be significantly lower than the circa £80,000 per day generated in 2019. 


Reopening Scenario Summary


Planning for reopening started as soon as the doors were closed on the 18th March - Range of scenarios developed looking at different reopening dates, differing demand levels and different combinations of sites opening.


The reopening scenario that was recommended to the Recovery Board, was to reopen the Roman  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

Council Income Slides July 2020 pdf icon PDF 535 KB


Capital Programme Update pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Additional documents:


The Director of Finance & S151 Officer introduced this item to the Panel alongside the Programme Director for Bath Enterprise Area/Zone. He stated that a rephasing of the programme took place early on in the crisis, especially during April and May when projects had to be paused due to restrictions in place.


He said that the Capital Strategy Group sets out the officer governance for managing the Capital review and providing oversight of the Capital programme.


The Programme Director for Bath Enterprise Area/Zone said that with 168 lines of project activity the approach that has been taken was to try to deliver as much as possible with reduced revenue impact on the Council. He added that a number of projects have had to be deferred or delayed.


Councillor Matt McCabe asked two questions on behalf of Councillor Lucy Hodge who had given her apologies for the meeting. He said that Councillor Hodge had noted that in all portfolios there are savings proposed through vacancy management (274 K (Resources), 270K (Children’s services), 16K (Climate Emergency and Neighbourhoods), £155k (Housing) and 99K (Communities)) – totalling £814K. In addition, £2.84 million of salary budget savings are to be found within Resources, specifically.


He added that Councillor Hodge was concerned that there is little further detail other than that all savings on staffing costs will be achieved “without compromising service delivery”.  


For example, within Children services, she was aware from personal experience that 40K of the savings was due to not recruiting to the director of music services post. She could confirm that this has already had a significant impact on the level of service provided.


Yet through the scrutiny process we have no idea of the detail relating to over £3.6 million of lost or deferred posts. The CEO’s response at last Committee informed us that as c. £82 million of a c. £200 million budget was attributable to staffing costs, cuts were inevitable but no further detail was forthcoming.


She asked how we can be assured of this without any information on where the cuts will be made.


The Director of Finance & S151 Officer replied that all current vacancies are being held to contribute towards the recovery plans have been proposed by the relevant Director and their services managers to ensure services can continue to be delivered. New recruitment requests are being corporately co-ordinated considering service need and impact.


Councillor Matt McCabe said that Councillor Hodge had noted that within the savings offered up by Adults Services, line RP20 - Review of Care Package Delivery, states that “a review of existing packages to identify efficiencies” will deliver £1.312 million of savings.


He said that Councillor Hodge had received a narrative response that a 2018/19 review of care packages for 18 – 64 year olds with learning and mental health problems, and those for older patients, had found our costs per package to be high and this forms the basis for proposing savings.


She asked what percentage of the total  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 123 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 officers.


The Chairman introduced this item. He asked whether the People Strategy was on the list of future items for the Panel.


Councillor Karen Warrington said that the Democratic Services Officer had confirmed that it was.


Councillor Alastair Singleton commented that the motion from Councillor Robin Moss regarding a Community Contribution Fund agreed at Council on 23rd July was due to be discussed further by the Panel.


The Chairman acknowledged this and said he would discuss this further with officers at the agenda planning meeting.


Councillor Hal MacFie asked if a Budget Outturn report could be presented in November.


The Chairman suggested that this could possibly come in the form of an update from the Cabinet Member.


The Panel RESOLVED to note the workplan as printed and approve the proposals made.