Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Zoom - Public Access via YouTube https://www.youtube.com/bathnescouncil. View directions

Contact: Michaela Gay  01225 394411

Items
No. Item

82.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

Minutes:

There were none.

83.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

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.

Minutes:

There were none.

84.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

85.

TO ANNOUNCE ANY URGENT BUSINESS AGREED BY THE CHAIRMAN

Minutes:

There was none.

86.

ITEMS FROM THE PUBLIC OR COUNCILLORS - TO RECEIVE DEPUTATIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS OR QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE BUSINESS OF THIS MEETING

At the time of publication, one member of the public has registered to make a statement.

Minutes:

There were four statements to the Panel:

 

1.  Christine Brittijn made a statement on Climate Emergency issues in Midsomer Norton.

 

Councillor Hirst asked what one thing the Council should focus on that it is not currently looking at. Christine stated that the Council should follow the advice in the Climate Emergency Study – Synthesis of Evidence.

 

A copy of the statement is attached to the minutes for the meeting.

 

Councillor Walker informed Christine that the March meeting of the Panel would be considering issues regarding Climate Emergency. She asked that the statement be passed to the Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency, Councillor Sarah Warren for a response (Panel members to be sent a copy).

 

2.  David Redgewellmade a statement on Transport issues and covered three main points:

 

·  He spoke about the use of buses to transport people to have their vaccinations.

·  He also urged the Council to dig down into the WECA transport plan.

·  He asked that officers set out clear plans for the barrier designs for the city centre – he stressed the need for the designs to take into account the needs of disabled people accessing the city centre.

 

It was agreed that these issues be sent to the relevant Cabinet Member and a written response to the Panel be requested.

 

3.  Cllr Karen Warrington made a statement on Climate and Nature Emergency in rural areas. A copy of the statement is attached to the minutes for the meeting.

 

The Panel agreed that the statement be sent to the relevant Cabinet member for a written response regarding the issue of light pollution.

 

4.  Cllr Jackson made a statement regarding Homelessness. A copy of the statement is attached to the minutes for the meeting.

 

Councillor Walker thanked Councillor Jackson for the statement and stated that officers are present in the meeting and will note these points.

 

 

Additional documents:

87.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Minutes:

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

88.

Draft Rough Sleepers and Homelessness Initiative pdf icon PDF 169 KB

A report is attached.

Minutes:

Graham Sabourn, Head of Housing introduced the report covering issues of statutory homelessness and rough sleepers.

 

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

 

All Panel members thanked the officers for their work.

 

Councillor Hirst asked the following questions: (Officer responses shown in italics)

 

·  Of the 10 rough sleepers who refused accommodation, do we have enough outreach resources to reach them. The officer explained that outreach workers know the names of individuals sleeping rough, some would rather stay out than stay a hostel. Support workers offer them coffee etc.

·  How confident are you that we are aware of all rough sleepers. The officer explained that he is fairly confident and works closely with Julian House.

 

Councillor Craig asked the following questions:

 

·  When will the property upgrades become available. The officer explained that one property has come online which will be used for former homeless people. Two further schemes should be complete by the end of the financial year.

·  Should boaters be included, what have we done for them. The officer explained that boaters are self-accommodated but we do deal with them through the statutory homelessness process if boats are removed. Councillor Craig asked if the Panel could receive an update on Boaters in the future.

 

Councillor Davies asked the following questions:

 

·  Have we ever seen such an upsurge in registers of homelessness before – such as during other historic events. The officer explained that there had not been such an increase in the last 20 years.

·  Are we prepared for a potential hike in evictions over the next few months. The officer explained that there are different views on this. There are constraints in the system such as in the courts so there may not be a big bubble of evictions. We have thought about it and can use some of our learning from the pandemic and replicate some of those systems.

 

Councillor Dr Kumar stated that it was good to know that the number of people in temporary accommodation in BANES is lower than the national average. He asked why some people are refusing temporary accommodation. The officer explained that it is a transient group and people move on. Also some people do not want to stay in a hostel.

 

Councillor Bromley asked the following questions:

 

·  What happens when the winter shelter closes in March? The officer responded that there are a couple of months to get people into specialist accommodation.

 

·  Numbers of rough sleepers might go up due to the housing crises – do we have enough support workers? The officer responded that we are lucky to have specialist mental health workers.

 

Councillor Alison Born asked about placements with Housing First. The officer responded that there have been mixed results with Housing First. A traditional response is not to offer accommodation until there is a reasonable chance of success whereas Housing First turns that around. A range of solutions are needed, there is no single answer.

 

Councillor Johnson asked what the plans are post March  ...  view the full minutes text for item 88.

89.

Corporate and Budget Planning 2021/22

There will be a presentation on this item at the meeting.

Minutes:

David Trethewey, Director of Partnerships and Corporate Services, gave a presentation which covered the following:

 

Lisa Bartlett, Director – Development, was also present.

 

·  The Budget Challenge 2021/22 Headlines

·  The Budget proposal 2021/22 – 25/26

·  New 2021/22 budget pressures/Covid impacts

·  Strategic Financial planning themes

·  Areas of strategic priority and focus over the next two years

·  Service Achievements 2020/2021

·  Portfolio Savings Summary

·  Climate Emergency and Neighbourhood Services Savings Proposals

·  Community Services Savings Proposals

·  Housing, Planning and Economic Development Savings Proposals

·  Transport Savings Proposals

 

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

(Officer responses shown in italics)

 

Councillor Born stated that she was concerned about the impact on fly tipping if charging for building materials is introduced at the tip. The officer explained that benchmarking has been done and she is confident that it can work. It will be kept under review.

 

Councillor Bromley asked how we reduce reliance on commercial income. The Cabinet Member for Resources, Councillor Samuel explained that this would be a gradual process. We do not get the revenue support grant anymore, the system is based on rates which has been hugely affected by the pandemic. We receive income through Heritage (Roman Baths) but the pandemic has also affected this income. We need to reduce reliance on this and get the property estate to perform.

 

Councillor Grant Johnson asked the following questions:

 

·  Where has the increase in income in the waste and fleet operation come from? The officer explained that the team operates on a commercial basis and works with neighbouring authorities. There is a lot of experience within the team. We have put forward the savings – this will be monitored.

·  How is a reduction in plant maintenance possible? The officer explained that there is always a bit of tolerance, there is experience within the team. We will review this on a regular basis.

 

Councillor Craig asked about the waste depot and if finding an alternative solution for the residents of Bath city centre, many of whom do not own a car, has been taken into account. The officer explained that this work is underway. Councillor Walker asked about the early morning and late evening suggestion. The officer responded that this was based on modelling – it will allow for more efficient routes if the day is lengthened. In response to a query from Councillor Walker about the effect on elderly people, the officer responded that impact assessments will be carried out.

 

Councillor Davies commended the Cabinet Members and officers that work on net zero has not been cut despite incredibly difficult circumstances.

 

Community Services (slide)

 

Councillor Crossley updated the panel that the Urban Gulls issues has been deferred to 2022/23. A meeting with Government will look at piloting a license.

 

Councillor Johnson asked if the same level of service, which is higher than neighbouring authorities, will continue regarding Parks and Bereavement. Can the level of service be maintained with a staffing reduction. The officer reassured the panel that the aim is to continue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

90.

Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 128 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 senior officers.

Minutes:

The Panel noted their future workplan, noting the suggested future items below:

 

·  Update on boater dwellers

·  Annual update on Homelessness and Rough Sleepers

·  Tree planting – update on where we are on the strategy

·  Item on Light Pollution

 

These items will be noted and discussed at the next agenda planning meeting with the Chair and Vice Chair.