Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Zoom - Public Access via YouTube View directions

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.


He explained that four other councillors had been invited to attend the meeting, namely Councillors Vic Pritchard & Michelle O’Doherty (Chair & Vice-Chair of the Children, Adults, Health & Wellbeing Panel) and Councillors Karen Walker & Tom Davies (Chair & Vice-Chair of the Climate Emergency and Sustainability Panel). He added that these councillors were not eligible to vote as part of the Panel.


He added that also present were David Trethewey – Director of Partnership & Corporate Services, Andy Rothery – Director of Finance & Section 151 Officer, Maria Lucas - Director of Legal & Democratic Services and Mark Durnford – Democratic Services Officer. 


He announced that the meeting was being held under The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020. He stated that the Council had agreed a protocol to cover virtual meetings and that this meeting would operate in line with that protocol.  He explained that the meeting had the same status and validity as a meeting held in the Guildhall.




There were none.



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.


Councillor Lucy Hodge declared an ‘other interest’ in respect of agenda item 7 (COVID-19 - Update Report and Position statement) as she has a standby role for the NHS to attend the Royal United Hospital, Bath if required during the Covid-19 crisis.


Councillor Shaun Hughes declared an ‘other interest’ in respect of agenda item 7 (COVID-19 - Update Report and Position statement) as he has had a business receive a Business Support Grant during the Covid-19 crisis.


Councillor Michelle O’Doherty declared an ‘other interest’ in respect of agenda item 7 (COVID-19 - Update Report and Position statement) as she is the secretary of Lansdown Cricket Club and they have received a Business Support Grant during the Covid-19 crisis.


The Monitoring Officer issued a dispensation in relation to those Councillors that were in receipt of any grants that had been awarded by the government under the COVID-19 Regulations, such as business grants or furloughing, to allow all Members to take part in the debate. She asked members to communicate via the chat function on this matter so that the Democratic Services Officer could have a record of their declarations.




There was none.



(1)  At the time of publication no notifications had been received.

(2)  To note that members of the public who have given the requisite notice to the Democratic Services Officer will be able to submit a written statement to the Panel. There will be a word limit of 500 words for each statement.



The Chairman announced that statements had been received from David Redgewell and Councillor Robin Moss and that these had been circulated to the Panel. The Chairman read them both out, also they are attached as an online appendix to these minutes and a summary is set out below.


Statement from David Redgewell - South West Transport Network and Railfuture Severnside


We are concerned about social distancing regulations within Bath and North East Somerset on the public transport network.


With government guidance to local authorities, Transport operators and passenger groups - we are concerned about the lack of social distancing notices on bus shelter and stops. There is no clear social distancing marking on pavements. 


Realtime information displays need to explain timetables and social distancing guidance and the wearing of face masks and CONTACTLESS payments on buses.


Clear destinations need to be displayed and provide information on the front when the bus is full for passengers - DISABLED ACCESS is protected. 


Hand gels are required at key interchanges and public toilets need to be reopened in the district and the block at Avon Street Coach Station. 


On Railway services social distancing is required on trains with just 45 passengers allowed on a 3-car train and 60 on an intercity train - social distancing on trains and station is important. Notices and signs need to be in place at Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bath Spa and Freshford. 


Enforcement of social distancing is required by transport staff, including marshalling at key interchanges by support from the British Transport Police and the Avon and Somerset Police. 


The Chairman thanked him for the statement on behalf of the Panel and asked that it be passed to the Cabinet Member for Transport and the Leader of the Council.



Statement from Councillor Robin Moss


I am asking that the scrutiny panel considers reviewing the current B&NES corporate outsourcing arrangements, not just in light of the Covid-19 emergency, but also that there have been concerns about the lack of flexibility, the quality of service & value for money even prior to this year.


The use of the private sector to provide home care & associated services has resulted in staff surveys showing high levels of dissatisfaction & internal monitoring reports showing service delivery being ‘red flagged’ as poor.

There have been consistent national & local reports that residential care providers are under severe financial strain. This is likely to get worse as the increased PPE costs as well as social distancing reducing the number who can be accommodated reduces.


Outsourcing our services does not outsource our responsibility as a local authority. Outsourcing does however make it more difficult to respond to crises, it makes it more difficult to introduce improvements when quality is deteriorating & it is increasingly a more expensive option.


I believe there needs to be a debate on how local councils provide their services, what is appropriate in the private sector, what should be in ‘house’ & where the co-operative & ‘3rd sector’ should be used.


The current financial crisis does  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

Statement from David Redgewell pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Statement from Councillor Robin Moss pdf icon PDF 93 KB


MINUTES: 3rd February 2020 & 10th February 2020 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meetings held on 3rd February 2020 & 10th February 2020.

Additional documents:


The Panel approved the minutes for the meetings held on 3rd February 2020 & 10th February 2020 as a correct record.


COVID-19 - Update Report and Position statement pdf icon PDF 74 KB

This report sets out the Council's response to the COVID-19 emergency and the help and support it has provided to residents, partners, local businesses and staff.

Additional documents:


The Director of Partnership & Corporate Services introduced the report to the Panel. He explained that it contained a consolidation of the activity carried out since the crisis began and that although some information had been released through press releases it was good to share this with members of the public and Councillors.


He stated that the priorities have been to protect our most vulnerable, support local businesses and maintain Council services.


He added that there was a need to recognise the excellent work of staff for adapting their current roles, for those that have taken on additional work and those that have been redeployed.


He said that £33m of Business Grants had been distributed locally and that this had been done by a number of staff that had come together from across different departments.


He stated that the Council in partnership with Virgin Care, the CCG and 3SG have worked around the clock to set up the Compassionate Community Hub, combining resources to ensure the system can provide sustainable and appropriate responses to meet community needs.


He explained that it operated via a dedicated public phone number and that the Hub offers advice and support for those who are self-isolating, shielding or simply in need of help.


He said that the Hub is an excellent example of a strong working partnership bringing together the Council, Virgin Care and the 3SG plus other third sector partners across different organisational boundaries and making a real difference on the ground.


He added that our residents and communities also deserve praise for adapting to changes that have been put in place.


He concluded by saying that the report gives the Panel an opportunity to consider what they wish to look at further as we move into different phases of crisis.


The Director of Finance & Section 151 Officer addressed the Panel. He said that early on in this process it became apparent that the Council would be exposed to a big loss to its income due to how the crisis would affect Heritage and Parking Services in particular.


He explained that the report showed that the financial impact of coronavirus due to the extra expense and income loss added together was currently predicted to lead to a circa £43m shortfall in revenue funding for Council services this year.


He stated that a pragmatic approach was required by the Council and that the next cycle of reporting would focus on how we can look to deliver recovery measures.


He highlighted the funding measures from within the report.


He informed the Panel that the B&NES allocation of the £3.2bn of Government grant funding had given the Council £10m to meet new expenditure pressures, however this would not mitigate the projected reductions in income and further support from government would be essential to enable the Council to manage its 2020/21 budget.


He stated that a further grant of just over £2m had recently been released to B&NES to address the pressure to deliver safe practice  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.