Agenda and minutes

Contact: Michaela Gay  Email:, 01225 394411

No. Item




The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.





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 Singleton declared a non-pecuniary (other) interest in Item 10 (as a Director of Keynsham Community Energy which has dealings with ADL)




There was none.



At the time of publication no notifications had been received.



There were none.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 211 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, updated the Panel on the following:


Budget Update – The Council has been advised of most of it’s grant funding from Government. We are still waiting for the figure regarding a further Covid grant. The Assumptions have not changed much. The third lockdown does have potential implications such as the Roman Baths being closed and income lost. The expectation is that the budget will still balance.


Property Update – The work on reviews is continuing. The external report is due later this month. We will share this work with the Panel when it is available.





People Strategy pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Additional documents:


Cherry Bennet, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development Manager and Amanda George, HR and OD, gave a presentation to the Panel which covered the following:


·  Background

·  Key challenges and risks

·  Attraction, retention and workforce planning

·  Talent and Development

·  Staff engagement and performance

·  Preparing for the Future Programme

·  Health, Safety and Wellbeing


Panel members asked the following questions and raised the following points: (Officer responses are shown in italics)



Councillor Furse asked the following questions:


·  How do we embed the new apprentices into the Corporate Environment when they are working from home. The officer explained that some apprentices are working on the front line so they are in workplaces. There has been less request for apprenticeships for roles that are totally based on home working. If they are based at home, we create planned opportunities for chats and structured time with colleagues from the team. We can manage new starters, our managers are very supportive.

·  Regarding the new blended working and working from home – what is the situation with more outward facing roles such as licensing officers, the public realm and planning teams. During the Covid period, officers have been doing a mix of homeworking, working from Lewis House and the Guildhall. They can still have a base in Bath but are encouraged to mainly work at home. The Licensing team have been needed in the centre for enforcement, so they are using Floor 4 of Lewis House. In the future Keynsham Civic Centre will be used for team meetings and collaboration sessions. There will be desks available to book in the Guildhall and other venues.


Councillor Warrington asked the following questions:


·  Have you looked at succession planning, especially as we have lost some senior staff. We will pick this up when the worst of the Covid situation is over.

·  Surveys – are there summaries? Yes they are available, I will send these out and they are also available on the intranet for members.

·  What are the tactics considered for the recruitment challenge around social care? This is very pertinent, We need help to cope with the situation as there are staff isolating and off sick and our services are under significant pressure at present. We will be undertaking some local campaigns and considering our position in the market. We are working with BANES/Swindon/Wiltshire CCG and local authorities jointly to explore some of the challenges together.

·  There is a perception that there is a lack of staff in the Council, can we do a gap analysis? We will pick this up in the summer when the worst of the Covid situation is hopefully over. There is no significant restructuring or redundancy planned for this or next year. Amanda George added that there is a meeting every Monday to discuss Business Continuity and Capacity Planning. Discussions have been around reallocating staff from services that are closed such as the Roman Baths to other services such as helping with the Business Grants service. We are very much reactive at the present  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.


Outsourcing our services pdf icon PDF 97 KB


Mandy Bishop, Chief Operating Officer introduced the report.


Panel members asked the following questions and raised the following points: (Officer responses shown in italics)


Councillor Hughes how we are supporting company’s that we have outsourced to during this pandemic. The officer explained that it depends on the type of company – some do not need much support such as highways and transport providers. Leisure providers need more support. We have talked to various Leisure providers about accessing support, we have not been able to offer direct Council support to all as they are not direct providers to the council.


Council Company Accounts pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Richard Samuel, Cabinet Member for Resources reminded Panel members that the report looks at the closure of accounts 2019/2020 and that the situation is different now. Andy Rothery, Director of Finance (S151 Officer), introduced the report and stated that it was encouraging to see the improvement in performance.

Tim Richens (ADL Director) reminded the Panel that ADL is a BANES company that looks after rental properties and ACL is a BANES company that looks after housing development.


Panel members asked the following questions and raised the following points:

Officer responses are shown in italics.


Councillor Duguid asked the following questions:


·  What is the role of PDS as opposed to the Audit Committee? The officer explained that the Audit Committee is concerned with the quality of the accounts and PDS looks at the business side of things.

·  If ADL is 100% owned by the council, why don’t we use the council auditors (Grant Thornton) to audit ADL rather than Monahan’s?.

Tim Richens explained that different auditors are needed.

·  Do we need 6 Directors? Tim Richens explained that there are only 2 executive directors.

·  Bonuses have been paid this year – this is not usual practice in the Council. Tim Richens explained that bonuses are paid in line with the scheme approved by the Council.

·  There is little investment compared to 2018/19. Tim Richens agreed that there was more flow in 2018/19 but pointed out that there were 4 properties after the deadline for 2019/20.


Councillor Hodge asked about staffing costs in relation to the accounts. Tim Richens explained that things will look less confusing in the coming year, staff are employed by ADL.


Councillor MacFie asked if there was any collaboration with WECA regarding the flow of new properties. Tim Richens explained that the Government fund has certain conditions and that there must be a degree of separation.


In response to a query fromCouncillor Myers, the officer explained that salaries had been through an independent process.


Councillor Myers asked if the accounts meet the objectives for the period they relate to, are they on track and are bonuses justified? The officer explained that yes, the accounts show a positive achievement of sales and are on target in that year.


Councillor Singleton asked about pension benefits? Tim Richens explained that TUPE staff would be in the Avon Pension Fund and new staff the NEST scheme.


Councillor Hughes asked the following questions:


·  What are the targets of the Company and can we see the business plan. Tim Richens explained that the shareholders set the objectives. There is a 3-year rolling business plan which is approved by the shareholders. The officer explained that another item for the Panel can be arranged when the business plan has been agreed. We can provide the prior year’s business plan.


Councillor Myers asked what the role of the Panel is today. The officer responded that this is a relatively new role to check that things are looking like they are going in the right direction.


Panel discussion  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.


Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 120 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.


Councillor Myers explained that the potential future items below will be discussed at the agenda setting meetings with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Panel.


·  Contacting the Council (also to include IT strategy)

·  Parental Leave

·  Property Services

·  Policy and Corporate Strategy

·  People’s Strategy to come back for review – summer 2021

·  ADL/ACL – Governance arrangements

·  ‘Invest in Bath’

·  Items from Councillor Duguid to be advised at the agenda planning meeting.