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 two other councillors were present as they had been invited to attend the meeting, namely Councillor Vic Pritchard (Chair of the Children, Adults, Health & Wellbeing Panel) and Councillor Karen Walker (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 Will Godfrey – Chief Executive, 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.


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.


With the tourist industry reopening in Bath, Somerset and the Bristol city region - please will Banes and WECA mayoral transport authority protect bus stops especially around public houses and restaurants, especially with tables and chairs outside and take account of public transport users and those with disabilities.


I am concerned about the control of areas around the public transport interchange in Dorchester Street and Brunel Square. We welcome the social distancing measures in Bath bus and railway station and bus stops and the return of National Express Coach services and priority for disabled passengers where social distancing is very important.


On public transport we are still concerned about the WECA mayoral transport authority, not restarting bus services on routes out of Banes.


We would like to understand why WECA failed to bid for rural bus service grants, especially with the need to improve public transport in rural areas in North East Somerset. and South Gloucestershire.


We are very concerned about the lack of progress in North Somerset Council joining the West of England Combined Authority. For the mayoral election in 2021 if First cannot provide these services then why can’t small bus operators under contract to the WECA mayoral transport authority or sub-contracted by First Group.


On railways we welcome the train service extension to Westbury via Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bath Spa, Freshford, Avoncliffe, Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, and Westbury.


In social distancing measures, for outdoor table service in the street. especially in Bath we also welcome the review of public toilets in Bath and North East Somerset but would like to see public toilets at Avon Street coach station.


We are unhappy WECA did not bid for rural bus grants.

We still need to see the Transport Board meeting in public like all other combined authorities.


We support the closure of Keynsham High street for social distancing, providing that bus facilities are provided toward Bath in Ashton Way with waiting shelters.


The Chairman thanked him for his statement on behalf of the Panel.

David Redgewell Statement pdf icon PDF 64 KB


MINUTES - 27th May 2020 pdf icon PDF 183 KB


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


Cabinet Member Update

The Cabinet Member will update the Panel on any relevant issues. Panel members may ask questions on the update provided.



Councillor Richard Samuel, Cabinet Member for Resources addressed the Panel.


·  He informed the Panel that Mandy Bishop, Director of Environment Services had been assigned with carrying out the review of Property Services following the two Call-ins determined by the Panel earlier in the year. He said that the findings of the review would be brought back to the Panel.


·  He stated that the Cabinet were expecting reports on Treasury Management Outturn Report 2019/20, Revenue & Capital Outturn 2019/20 and Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring, Cash Limits and Virements – April 2020 to June 2020 to their meeting in July. He added that a balanced budget was expected to be delivered for 2019/20.


Councillor Winston Duguid for some further information in relation to the review of Property Services.


Councillor Samuel replied that prior to lockdown an external advisor had nearly been appointed, but then further discussions took place with the Chief Executive that resulted in the appointment that has been made. He said that he expected Mandy to provide an external perspective from outside of the team being reviewed.


The Chief Executive added that Mandy has vast experience from a number of previous roles and that the Council were also mindful of the costs that would have come with an external appointment.


The Chairman asked if an update on the two most recent Call-ins could be given to the next meeting of the Panel.


Councillor Samuel agreed and said initially that in relation to Grosvenor House that the timescale had changed due to it being used to accommodate a number of rough sleepers since the outbreak of Covid-19.


The Chairman thanked him for his update on behalf of the Panel.


Chairs & Vice Chairs Task & Finish Group Feedback - Covid-19 Position Statement pdf icon PDF 180 KB

This report presents the findings of the Task & Finish Group to the Panel.

Additional documents:


The Chairman introduced this item to the Panel. He thanked those that took part in the meeting and the production of the report and said that he felt the process had been very good. He explained that the report had been previously circulated as part the agenda for the Council meeting that took place on June 16th 2020.


The Panel RESOLVED to approve the report prior to the Cabinet debating it at their meeting on the 2nd July.


Covid-19 2020/21 Financial Recovery plan pdf icon PDF 104 KB

The Panel are asked to discuss this report prior to its consideration by the Cabinet on the 2nd July 2020 meeting. It presents the Covid-19 2020/21 Financial Recovery Cabinet report.


Additional documents:


The Chief Executive introduced this report to the Panel. He stated that the Plan was the culmination of two months of focussed work. He explained that the due to the pandemic there had been an increase to the Council’s expenditure and a significant decrease to its income.


He said that alongside dealing with the impact of the pandemic the Council obviously has a responsibility to look after its finances. He added that if a second spike were to occur then it was likely that new advice would need to be submitted to the Cabinet alongside a new plan. He stated it was important to update Councillors and members of the public as much as possible.


The Director of Finance & S151 Officer highlighted the following points from within the report.


·  As a result of Covid-19 the 2020/21 revenue budget has an unprecedented challenge from loss of commercial income resulting in a forecast deficit before mitigations and government grant of £42.13m. The full implementation of the financial recovery plans (£20.7m) and use of unrestricted Covid-19 grant (£10m) will result in a projected deficit of £11.43m which will need to be funded from the use of reserves.


·  The adverse impact on the Council’s revenue budget has arisen from the urgent actions required to comply with the government lockdown which included the closure of the Roman Baths. To give context the income from our Heritage and Parking Services for April and May was £0.259m compared to £5.866m for the same period last year, a reduction of £5.607m; this equates to a loss of £91,918 a day which is required to fund Council Services. This alongside expenditure pressures which include supplier relief such as supporting the social care market and new unplanned expenditure, for example the sourcing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).


·  The plans set out in this paper require use of the Councils Corporate reserves held for financial planning and risk. The forecast £11.43m deficit after revenue mitigations and government Covid-19 revenue grants will require £2.43m use of Revenue Budget Contingency and £4m of the Financial Planning reserve. The remainder will require £5m drawdown of the general un-earmarked reserves leaving the Council’s balance at 7.2%, this is a satisfactory balance that is over 2% higher than the average general unearmarked reserves held in B&NES nearest neighbours Unitary Authority group.


·  The Capital Programme has been reviewed to revise scheme delivery timetable’s considering Covid-19, alongside identifying schemes that can be rephased to create a one-off revenue saving through reduced borrowing costs. The review has been led by the Capital Strategy Group and identified c£3m of in year revenue savings, whilst ensuring high profile and priority schemes are continued.


·  The initial forecast for potential impact on the income from Council Tax due to the impacts of Covid-19 affecting resident’s ability to pay and the increase in the number of Local Council Tax Support Scheme (LCTSS) claimants is £6 million. The forecast is based on reductions of around 10% in Council Tax income per  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 119 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 to the Panel. He explained that earlier in the afternoon he had met with the Vice-Chair and the Director of Finance & S151 Officer to discuss future items.


He said that they planned to theme the next three meetings as follows:


·  July - Assessment of the Councils Business Income (Identifying where we are now)

·  September - Focus on Customer Service feedback and the Procurement Strategy (Where does the Council want to be?)

·  November - Commercial Estate plans / Budget structure including year on year figures (How do we get there?)


He also asked for the Panel to be updated on the two recent Call-ins at their July meeting.


Councillor Andy Furse asked if the Panel could receive a Capital Programme Update in July.


Councillor Karen Warrington asked if the People Strategy could be added to the workplan as an item for the future.


The Panel RESOLVED to note the requests that had been made.