Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Michaela Gay  Email:, 01225 394411


No. Item



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The Chair (Councillor Karen Warrington) 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 Senior Democratic Services Officer  drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.




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Councillor Andrew Furse had sent his apologies to the Panel.  Councillor Ruth Malloy was a substitute for Councillor Furse.



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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There were none.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 185 KB

For confirmation as a correct record for both sets of minutes.

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The Panel confirmed the minutes of the previous meetings (1st February and  29th March 2021) as true records and they were duly signed by the Chairman.



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 Chair invited Councillor Richard Samuel (Cabinet Member – Economic Development and Resources) to update the Panel on the latest within his portfolio.


Councillor Richard Samuel highlighted the following points:


·  Councillor Samuel’s Cabinet Member responsibilities have now been extended to cover Economic Development and Resources.

·  The Outturn position for last year was very favourable to Council because there would not be any overspend. The Outturn report would be presented to the Cabinet at July meeting.

·  The pressure on reserves, that the Council had been expecting, has not turned out to be the case due to significant amount of government grants coming in at different times and due to a big drop in pressure on adults and children's services. Nevertheless, the Council would still face quite a lot of pressure over the next three years.  There may be a possibility  for joint work with the Children, Adults, Health and Wellbeing Panel on future spending in adult services

·  The Cabinet has received high level estimates for the unexpected shortfall between income and expenditure next year which at the moment was somewhere between £11m to £12m.  The Council would start to develop a more formalised process, to give, amongst other things, Parish and Town Councils more of a meaningful input as well as to this Panel.

·  Capital Programme last year, as expected, slipped quite a lot.  It was quite a loss as it was not possible to progress schemes due to lockdown restrictions.  There was quite a shortage of suppliers, in particular in the building industry.

·  The way the Council runs its commercial property would be looked at as well as the future for spending on adult services, in particular with new appointments on Directors’ level.  The Cabinet ‘Commercial Estate Review’ report in July would provide more details on property and commercial estate.

·  Councillor Samuel also mentioned about Council’s aspirations to invest in the range of schemes around Bath and North East Somerset to boost area’s economy and employment. 



The Chair thanked Councillor Samuel for an update.


Following questions and suggestions from the Panel to Councillor Samuel, these points were highlighted:


·  The Corporate PDS Panel should have Economic Development within their remit.

·  Ward Councillors should be encouraged to get involved and provide information from their own Wards on development opportunities, which was welcomed by Councillor Samuel.  Councillor Samuel was invited to present a current list of potential development opportunities in North East Somerset.

·  Regarding the £50k saving under Transport (suggested areas were gulley emptying, grit filling and drainage systems) - the Council has been affected with the shortage of HGV drivers. Nationally, there was a deficit of around 100,000 HGV drivers, and the Council would be looking into different measures to address this issue which have led to failures and breakdowns in the recycling and waste collection service.

·  The Chair agreed to write a letter to Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer and Director of People and Policy expressing Panel’s concerns on the shortage of HGV drivers in the Council.

·  In terms of proposed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.



An officer presentation will be given at the meeting.

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The Chair invited Andy Thomas (Head of Strategy Engagement & Marketing) to give a presentation to the Panel (attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes).


Andy Thomas highlighted the following points in his presentation:


·  Our Corporate Strategy 2020-2024

·  Background

·  Next Steps for Delivery

·  Our Organisational Framework

·  Key Issues for Strategy



Following questions and comments from the Panel, these points were highlighted:


·  Members of the Panel were delighted to see that the climate and ecological emergency has been firmly embedded at the centre of Corporate Strategy.  The Panel inquired about the integrated performance framework and the metrics used for measuring the targets. The Panel felt that this was critical because the Council must ensure that the right areas were measured in the right ways in order to move forward. The Panel requested to receive a report in its draft stage so that they can comment on the suggested metrics and the suggested targets or target areas.

·  The Panel felt that the Strategy should have residents’ engagement/communication approach.  Andy Thomas replied that there has been a range of webinars by the Council where residents have been invited to participate.  The Council would continue to engage with residents via webinars, face to face (once lockdown restrictions are lifted) or via hybrid meetings.

·  The Panel recognised that some areas of the Corporate Strategy may have remit within other scrutiny Panels.  Therefore, the Panel acknowledged that some sort of joint working with other Panels may be required.

·  The Panel also suggested that the consultation on the future aims and objectives of the Corporate Strategy should not just invite residents to engage, but also Town and Parish Councils, businesses, partner organisations, and 3rd sector/volunteer organisations.



It was RESOLVED to note the presentation and to receive a further report on ‘Corporate Strategy – operating frameworks, metrics and public engagement’ at one of the future meetings of the Panel.



Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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An officer presentation will be given at the meeting.

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The Chair invited Amanda George (Director of Business Change and Customer Services) and Tracey Long (Head of Digital & Customer Services) to give a presentation to the Panel (attached as Appendix 2 to these minutes).


Officers highlighted the following points in their presentation:


·  Current Agenda

·  How do residents contact the council?

·  Contact via the website

·  B&NES Fix My Street

·  Fix My Street – report volumes and report status

·  Customer Contact Strategy – what we know

·  Customer Contact Strategy – digital first

·  Customer Contact Strategy – discovery

·  Customer Contact Strategy – key principles

·  How can you support us?


Following questions and comments from the Panel, these points were highlighted:


·  Members of the Panel queried effectiveness of Fix My Street and agreed that responses from FMS were not always ‘user friendly’ or detailed enough often due to complications regarding 3rd party land ownership/responsibility.  Members of the Panel suggested that the Council should explain to the residents the difference between national and local versions of Fix My Street.  The Panel suggested using Council’s social media to explain that difference.

·  Some Members of the Panel read out comments from their residents on issues around Fix My Street which were picked up by officers.

·  Officers ensured the Panel that this was work in progress.  Officers were aware that there was a need of cross-service joint working in some areas, for example with environmental services.  Therefore, further training and coaching would be provided to staff members.

·  Members of the Panel welcomed the initiative for further training and staff development with BANES Fix My Street to achieve consistency across the board in every aspect of customer services.

·  Members of the Panel highlighted that customer service should be consistent across all services and departments in the Council.  Some Members of the Panel suggested that customer services and response to residents vary with different departments.  Members of the Panel also added that not all of the residents were digitally equipped, so there was a need for telephone access.  Officers responded that residents could still call the relevant department in the Council, or call Council Connect who would then forward their query to the relevant department.

·  On a question about benchmarking against other unitary authorities Tracey Long said that we were part of the Southwest user networks for customer services with good relationships with our local authorities, especially our neighbouring authorities.



The Chair thanked Amanda George and Tracey Long for the presentation.


It was RESOLVED to note the presentation.

Appendix 2 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

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An officer presentation will be given at the meeting.

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The Chair invited Jeff Wring (Service Director – Commercial & Governance) to give a presentation to the Panel (attached as Appendix 3 to these minutes).


Jeff Wring highlighted the following points in his presentation:


  • Strategy Context
  • Strategy – Vision
  • Strategy – Principles
  • Strategy – Priorities
  • DD&T 21/22 Roadmap for Delivery of Strategy
  • Next steps


Following questions and comments from the Panel, these points were highlighted:



  • A lot of Council’s staff were working from home and a lot of them were working from their own computers and their own telephones. It appears that there was going to be a huge investment in hardware to provide the staff with the equipment they need before starting all the other aspects of this plan.  The Council has started the process of investing in a brand-new kit for its staff, and the first 300 high quality laptops have already been issued. This process for the remainder of staffwould be rolling out through the remainder of this financial year.


  • Members of the Panel queried if the Strategy outcomes could be quantified with KPIs to outline when certain themes were achieved.  Jeff Wring replied that each one of the outcomes from the Strategy created a number of commitments or performance targets. During the next year a dashboard will be developed to be able to report on delivery of these targets which would be included in the Council’s performance management framework.


  • The Panel suggested that Councillors should have 24/7 support from the IT in instances when their iPads crash or if there were any connection/performance issues with Councillors’ devices.


  • The Panel acknowledged that the presentation mentioned agility on a couple of occasion. The Panel commented that the agility was very important but it's extremely difficult to achieve without understanding which of the systems could be agile and which can't.


  • Members of the Panel queried about technology used in the Council building (i.e. microphones in the Council Chamber, hybrid meetings, etc) in order to engage more residents in democratic process.  Jeff Wring responded that there was an ongoing work with other departments on a number of issues in terms of the technology in the Council, in accordance with the list of priorities.  Some of those ideas, such as hybrid meetings of the Council, were restricted due to current government legislations on holding meetings in the public. 


The Chair thanked Jeff Wring for presentation.


It was RESOLVED to note the presentation and to receive an update report on the Digital Data and Technology Strategy at one of the future meetings next year.

Appendix 3 pdf icon PDF 882 KB

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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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It was RESOLVED to note thew current workplan with the following additions:


·  Economic Growth – November 2021

·  Corporate Strategy – performance framework and metrics – September 2021

·  Digital Data and Technology Strategy – June 2022

·  Parking Policy – September 2021 (tbc)

·  People Strategy (skills gap) – future date

·  WECA Transport update – future date

·  Community Contribution Fund – September 2021