Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Michaela Gay  Email:, 01225 394411


No. Item



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The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.




The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 6.


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The Chair drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.




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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.

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There were none.



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There was none.



At the time of publication no notifications had been received.


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Councillor Karen Walker and Councillor Sarah Bevan submitted a joint statement to the Panel on the subject of the 2022 / 23 Budget. A copy of the statement can be found online as an appendix to these minutes, a summary is set out below.


2022 / 23 Budget – Will Peasedown St John be included?


Each year we see millions of pounds being spent on numerous projects across the local authority.


We are grateful that the council uses a budget setting and discussion process that allows all councillors to contribute and make representations on behalf of their constituents. It’s for this very reason that we’re submitting this statement, and these items for consideration in the 2022/23 council budget.


Please do consider these financial requests from Peasedown St John residents for the forthcoming council budget.


• £50,000 for Braysdown Lane resurfacing

• £50,000 for Carlingcott resurfacing

• £50,000 for Wellow Mead resurfacing

• £20,000 for hedge maintenance and path clearance


The Panel noted the statement and thanked both Councillors for its submission.


MINUTES: 27th September 2021 pdf icon PDF 135 KB

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Councillor Andrew Furse commented that he had not received any further feedback regarding the point he raised on the matter of a pedestrian crossing from Western Riverside to Victoria Park which had been promised through a Section 106 agreement.


The Panel confirmed the minutes of the previous meeting as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chair.


Cabinet Member update

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


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The Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Resources, Councillor Richard Samuel was not able to be present at the meeting on this occasion.


Draft Budget Assumptions pdf icon PDF 85 KB

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The Chief Finance Officer addressed the Panel and gave a presentation. A summary is set out below and a copy will be attached as an online appendix to these minutes.


Budget Assumptions 2022/23


The forecast includes the following cost pressures and assumptions:


·  Pay Inflation - Estimated 2.00% per annum


·  Council tax - Assumed at 1.99% & 1% Social Care precept for next 3 years


·  Pension Costs - Have been revised in line with the recent revaluation for the next two years followed by a 1% increase per annum from 2023 24


·  Demographic Growth & Increase in Service Volumes - Additional demand from new placement and market pressures in Adult Children Social Care


·  Inflation - CPI projections held at existing planning levels of 2% this will be refreshed for the detailed budget proposal based on ONS data Financial risk is being recognised with contingencies made in high risk areas


·  Budget Pressures / Rebasing – 2022/23 budget rebasing of income budgets taking account of Covid recovery, with improvement in future years


·  Capital Spending - an allowance has been made to fund a minimal number of new schemes given current financial constraints


·  Reserves - Planned use of £3m corporate £2.22m service reserves to manage the transitional pressures from reduced income, and £5m commitment against un earmarked general reserve for unbudgeted Covid pressures


He explained that the Council was still awaiting the outcome of the Spending Review from the Government.


He informed the Panel that a contingency budget (inflation and pressures) had been constructed with the following elements in mind.


·  Adults and Childrens Corporate Contingency £2m

·  Energy Inflation contingency £1.25m

·  N.I. Uplift £0.75m

·  Business Rates base pressure £0.5m

·  New Homes Bonus grant risk £0.92m

·  Total £5.42m


The Chair asked if enough measures were in place given the continuing pressure on funding within the Council.


The Chief Finance Officer replied that it was difficult to account for all eventualities, but that he felt the Council was as prepared as it could be.


Revised Budget profile


·  Increase in Government funding into base budget for 2022/23


·  2022/23 will reset the budget taking account of new funding requirements


·  Council funding and the budget requirement is more aligned in future years


Budget setting timetable:


·  Nov: Area Forum discussion on Winter Pressures

·  Dec: 14th December Budget Engagement event

·  Jan: 10th & 31st Corporate Scrutiny Panel

·  Feb: 10th Cabinet

·  Feb: 15th Full Council


The Chair requested that as much information as possible be shared with the Panel ahead of its meetings on Jan 10th and 31st respectively.


The Chief Finance Officer replied that it was the intention that all of the detailed budget annexes, in terms of adjustments to the budget, including savings, investment and the capital programme would be discussed on Jan 10th.


Councillor Andrew Furse asked if the 2% assumption on pay inflation was sufficient.


The Chief Finance Officer replied that he felt that it was a reasonable figure over the five year term. He added that a contingency may need to be considered as negotiations regarding pay  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

Budget planning update PDS Nov 2021 pdf icon PDF 308 KB

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Economic Development pdf icon PDF 83 KB

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The Business & Skills Manager addressed the Panel and gave a presentation. A summary is set out below and a copy will be attached as an online appendix to these minutes.


Business and Skills Team Functions


·  Main point of contact for co-ordinating support services to local businesses and residents


·  Share specific information about targeted business support, financial assistance and skill support programmes


·  Inward investment and business retention, offering tailored services to support those businesses wishing to relocate or expand their businesses within our area


·  Deliver sustainable, inclusive growth. Enabling residents and businesses to meet their full economic potential in our district


Inward Investment & Retention


In North East Somerset


·  Appears to be a steady stream of smaller and start up retail – local high streets have been resilient

·  We have a number of enquiries for smaller industrial sites in Midsomer Norton / wider Somer Valley area. 

·  Willmotts moving into the old Dickies building – bringing jobs and training centre

·  A new planning application for 8 industrial units in Clutton, supporting other developers with plans for new workspace


In Bath


·  Vulnerability to US investors in key companies during the pandemic, with 2 great companies closing Wild and Wolf (product design) 90 jobs and Funko Animations (animation and product design) 90 jobs

·  However, office take-up in 2020 was resilient even during the lockdowns.

·  Current office vacancy rate are higher and lease signings are down so far this year, but we have good protection for offices due to the World Heritage Site exemption to Permitted Development Rights


Economic Strategy Approach


·  Address key challenges identified by One Shared Vision, the Local Industrial Strategy and West of England Recovery. Plan in order to align with future funding streams.

·  Draw on the ambitions of the One Shared Vision Plan and Zero carbon approach, committing to strong and sustainable growth across the authority area.

·  Partnership approach to delivery, governance and ownership drawing in community and key anchor institutions. Aim to be aspirational and visionary, rather than purely an action plan.


Key Priorities for Businesses and Skills


·  Digital inclusion and skills

·  Addressing inequalities / disabilities

·  Upskill and Retrain


Skills Projects


·  Employment & Skills Pod

·  3D Academy


Project & Programme Delivery & Successes


·  Targeted Recruitment and Training (TR&T) s106 – Planning & Procurement, 20 WE placements over the year. 80 lined up from Jan.

·  Women's Work Lab – Full cohort each time.


Councillor Alastair Singleton referred to the SWOT Analysis within Appendix 1 and asked if there was evidence of a current unmet demand for A Grade office space.


The Director of Regeneration & Housing replied that there is a disparity between the quality of office space traditionally available across the area compared to the needs now for modern, higher quality, flexible and more sustainable office space. He said that flexible / large floorplates were difficult to provide.


He added that it has been interesting to see what the post pandemic demands will be. He said that within Bath Quays there is 55,000 sq ft of office space that the Council has developed and that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

Business Skills Presentation pdf icon PDF 535 KB

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Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 130 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.

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The Chair introduced this item to the Panel and made the following comments.


10th January 2022


Draft Budget: As much information as possible would be welcome for this meeting.


28th March 2022


Preparing for the Future: Report to contain some elements of transport information, metrics on where people will be working in the future and information about retention and recruitment of staff.


People Strategy Update: Include information about the appraisal system and performance management.


9th May 2022


Referring to the Christmas Market she said she would like the Panel to discuss the Council’s decision making process.


She suggested that the Panel might also look at the Business Plan of ADL.


11th July 2022


Management of the Property Estate: Move this item to this meeting from the Future Items list.


26th September 2022


Parental Leave: Move this item to this meeting from the Future Items list.


Parish Charter: Move this item to this meeting from the Future Items list.


Councillor Alastair Singleton said that he would not want to see the work of the Community Contribution Fund shelved after just one year.


Councillor Lucy Hodge asked for the Panel to receive a report in due course on the income to the Council with regard to films / television programmes recorded within B&NES and events held in our local parks.


The Panel RESOLVED to note the comments made regarding their future workplan.