Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Community Space, Keynsham - Market Walk, Keynsham. View directions

Contact: Marie Todd  01225 394414

Items
No. Item

1.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.  He explained that Cllr Eleanor Jackson, Chair of B&NES Council, was unable to attend and that he would be chairing the meeting in his capacity as Vice Chair.

2.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE

The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as follows:

If the continuous alarm sounds, you must evacuate the building by one of the designated exits and proceed to one of the named assembly points. The designated exits are sign-posted. Arrangements are in place for the safe evacuation of disabled people. The assembly point is the grassed area at the end of Carpenter’s Lane.

 

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Officer advised the meeting of the emergency evacuation procedure.

3.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from:

 

Ashley Ayre – B&NES Council Chief Executive

Trudi Gilbank – Clerk to Farmborough Parish Council

Cllr James Honess – Westfield Parish Council

Cllr Eleanor Jackson – Chair of B&NES Council

Cllr Lisa O’Brian – B&NES Council

Cheryl Scott - Clerk to Keynsham Town Council

Susan Smith - Clerk to Compton Dando Parish Council

Cllr Dave Wood – B&NES Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency and Neighbourhood Services

West Harptree Parish Council

4.

URGENT BUSINESS AS AGREED BY THE CHAIR

The Chair will announce any items of urgent business accepted since the agenda was prepared.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

5.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2019 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

6.

UPDATE FROM THE COUNCIL LEADER AND CABINET MEMBERS OF BATH AND NORTH EAST SOMERSET COUNCIL

The Cabinet for Bath and North East Somerset Council will provide a short briefing on their new Cabinet roles, responsibilities and priorities.

Minutes:

The new Cabinet members introduced themselves and spoke about their portfolios.

 

(a)  Cllr Dine Romero – Council Leader

 

Cllr Romero stated that she very much valued the relationship between B&NES Council and the Parish Councils and wanted to listen to their concerns and to engage with them in a constructive way.  She had already met with the parish representatives from ALCA to set this agenda and the discussions had been very positive. 

 

Cllr Romero said that the Council is also committed to improving community engagement for all citizens across the district, including exploring ways in which they might use citizens’ panels or similar.  The Area Forums will be convening in the near future and a review of the Bath City Forum is currently underway.

 

(b)  Cllr Richard Samuel – Cabinet Member for Resources and Deputy Leader

 

Cllr Samuel explained that he had overall responsibility for finance, property, IT, customer services, revenues and benefits and various other corporate services.  The current financial climate appeared to be bleak resulting in funding challenges for local authorities.

 

Current issues relating to this portfolio included:

 

·  Fair Funding Review - the Government is currently carrying out a review but no proposals had been put forward as yet. 

·  Business Rate Retention Scheme – this had led to a loss of £3.5m for B&NES.

·  Social Care Funding – this was still a challenge as 80% of Council Tax income is spent on adult and children’s social care.

·  Better Care Fund – there is currently no certainty around this funding after March 2020.  Talks are ongoing and it is hoped that any outstanding issues will be resolved.

 

(c)  Cllr Neil Butters and Joanna Wright – Cabinet Members for Transport Services

 

Cllr Butters explained that he held this role on a job share basis along with Cllr Joanna Wright.  He informed the meeting that he had recently attended a special meeting of the Chew Valley Forum which had been held to discuss issues relating to roadworks and diversions in the area.  This had been a positive meeting and a number of solutions had been identified including establishing some agreed diversion routes with parishes.

 

Cllr Wright stated that she had approached all B&NES Councillors to identify transport related issues in their areas.  She is very committed to increasing walking and cycling in the area and to improving access to schools.  If any parish representatives have any transport issues in their areas then she would be happy to visit them to discuss these.

 

(d)  Cllr Kevin Guy – Cabinet Member for Children’s Services

 

Cllr Guy explained that he has written to the Government to demand better funding for schools.  The Council has already used some of its reserves for SEND (special educational needs and disability) provision.  He is keen to find out any particular issues in the local area and to speak with parish representatives to hear their concerns.

 

(e)  Cllr Tim Ball – Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Economic Development

 

Cllr Ball explained that he is responsible  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

CLIMATE EMERGENCY

To receive a presentation by Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency and Neighbourhood Services, Councillor Sarah Warren and Jane Wildblood, Corporate and Community Sustainability Manager.  The presentation will include a response to the question raised by Ubley Parish Council regarding the Council’s position on the Bristol Airport Expansion in light of the resolution made to declare a climate emergency.

Minutes:

Jane Wildblood, Corporate and Community Sustainability Manager, gave a presentation regarding climate change.  The following issues were covered in the presentation:

 

·  The IPCC Report 2018 – this identified a need for a 45% cut in CO2 emissions by 2030 to get back on track and to avoid a potential temperature increase of 3 degrees or more which would be catastrophic.

·  At its meeting on 14 March 2019 B&NES Council declared a Climate Emergency.  The Council will identify work that can be carried out across all Council functions to reduce emissions and to enable a carbon neutral B&NES by 2030.  The Council also opposed the expansion of Bristol Airport.

·  An action plan will now be prepared for consideration at the October Council meeting.

·  The domestic sector is the largest producer of emissions at 38%.  The challenges include older housing stock; oil fuelled heating and retro fitting listed properties.

·  There are actions that could be taken to improve the situation such as considering what we eat, what we buy and how much we fly.  Also how land is managed and how much tree cover we have in the UK.

·  B&NES will build on the action plan year on year and a new Cabinet member role has been created with responsibility for Climate Emergency and Neighbourhood Services.  New ideas are coming forward and plans are being considered to create a citizens’ engagement programme to take this forward.

·  Two parishes have already declared a Climate Emergency and if others wish to also consider doing this then Jane Wildblood has details of the wording that could be used and can assist with this process.  Parishes have an important role to play and some may wish to consider the use of wind power for example.

 

Ubley Parish Council raised the issue of the Bristol Airport expansion.  There is already a Parish Council’s Airport Association (PCAA).  There are significant issues in North Somerset with the airport expansion.  It was pointed out that only 12% of people flying from Bristol Airport use public transport whereas at Gatwick it is 60%.  Better public transport links are required.

 

Cllr Karen Warrington explained that the Chew Valley area is opposed to the airport expansion both for climate change and transport reasons.  Expansion would cause a knock on effect to daily life in rural villages.

 

Keynsham Town Council explained that the application for expansion included a proposal to include more airport care parking in the Green Belt.  The parishes were asked to support the PCAA in opposing it.

 

Cllr Wait noted that people could pay a surcharge to offset the emissions caused by travel.  However, Jane Wildblood urged caution with regard to carbon offsetting as it does not reduce carbon going in the atmosphere - a systematic change is needed.  She said that the report to Council will set out what can be done at a local level to help and also what individuals can do.

 

A copy of the presentation slides is attached as Appendix 1 to these  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

Climate Emergency Presentation Slides - Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

8.

RURAL TRANSPORT UPDATE

This will be introduced by the Cabinet Member for Transport Services, Cllr Neil Butters and followed by an update from Cllrs David Orme (Dunkerton Parish Council) and Rosemary Naish (Clutton Parish Council) representing the newly formed Rural Transport Group.

Minutes:

Cllr Neil Butters introduced the item and noted that the Rural Transport Group had been set up to identify the needs of local people regarding transport in their areas.  He informed the meeting that options for improved public transport to Bristol Airport are being considered.  It was also important to encourage people to use their cars less frequently; however, he noted that the economics of rural transport is difficult.  It is important to carry out research to consider ways in which rural buses could be better used. 

 

Cllr Rosemary Naish from Clutton Parish Council was a member of the Rural Transport Group and noted that this had been set up due to concerns in rural areas.  The Group is currently carrying out a survey and it is hoped that some useful information could be gained from the results.  The current operating model is unsustainable.

 

Cllr David Orme also gave an update on the work of the group.  There were seven objectives covering the short, medium and long term. 

 

Cllr Dawn Drury noted that it is important to get more areas involved and informed the parishes that membership of the group was open to all.  Westfield Parish Council stated that all parishes in the B&NES area should be invited by letter to attend the group.

 

Cllr Butters confirmed that he would continue to lobby for the continuation of rail electrification onwards from Chippenham.  He informed the meeting that hydrogen trains could be an option for the future and also explained that there were plans to increase the amount of rail services to and from Keynsham.  Cllr Romero confirmed that the Council is still pursuing the idea of opening a station at Saltford.

 

It is important for the West of England Combined Authority to consider an integrated transport system for the entire area.

 

Cllr Romero informed Parishes that the WECA bus strategy would be available for consultation and this will be made available to all Parish Councils.

 

A copy of the presentation slides and documents referred to in the presentation are attached as Appendices 2- 5 to these minutes.

Rural Transport Presentation Slides - Appendix 2 pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Additional documents:

9.

IMPACT ON COMMUNITIES REGARDING UNREGULATED HOLIDAY LETS (AIR BNBs)

Lisa Bartlett, Director of Development and Richard Stott, Team Manager for Planning and Enforcement will provide information about how the Council deals with unregulated holiday lets.

Minutes:

Richard Stott, Team Manager, Planning and Enforcement gave a presentation regarding the impact of unregulated holiday lets (Airbnbs) on communities.

 

The following issues were covered in the presentation:

 

·  Last year a B&NES Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered the impact of Airbnbs – the review had covered primarily the Bath city area.

·  It was important to have some control over these properties but there was no requirement for a change of use as the use class remained the same.  The Council has lobbied Central Government on this issue.

·  The Airbnb scheme had started as a way for people to rent spare rooms in their homes but this had now developed into full house rentals.

·  The Council relies on intelligence from local residents to identify any properties that are causing particular problems.

·  If properties were licensed then the Council would have access to a database to identify holiday lets.

·  To take action the Council needs evidence from residents making complaints of persistent disturbance to prove there is impact on the community.

·  In London there is a 90 day rule meaning that people can only rent out their properties for 90 days within a 12 month period.  However, this would mean a property could still be rented out for 45 weekends over a year which would not solve the problems being encountered in the Bath area.

·  There has been a test case this year in relation to a nuisance property in Bath where there had been a great deal of disturbance for local residents.  The enforcement action taken had been upheld on appeal.  If the Council has the necessary evidence then action will be taken.  The Council is keen to identify whether there are any problems in other areas outside of the Bath urban area.

 

Cllr Dawn Drury stated that there is evidence of similar problems in rural areas.  She is aware of one 10 bedroomed property being used for hen parties in a small village with no facilities.

 

Cllr Matt McCabe stated that are three such houses in Claverton and also a party house for 12 in Hinton Charterhouse.

 

Cllr Rob Appleyard queried how these houses could be identified and noted that it would be helpful if there could be legislation around insurance requirements which would enable a database to be created.  There may be a covenant on social housing properties which prevents these becoming Airbnb properties following right to buy.

 

Richard commented that a register of providers could also be a way forward but this needed to be considered in the light of GDPR legislation as a valid reason is needed to hold this information.

 

It was noted that in rural areas the use of such properties could double the population and cause traffic and parking problems.  Evidence gathering is vital and the Council has a log-sheet which could be used by residents if required.

 

A copy of the log-sheet is attached as Appendix 6 to these minutes.

Enforcement Monitoring Form - Appendix 6 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

10.

FIX MY STREET - BRIEFING NOTE pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To note the update on the notifications on Fix my Street (report to follow).

Minutes:

An update on the Fix my Street system was circulated with the agenda papers.  If anyone is interested in taking part in user research or would like to know more about the project then please contact James Green, Service Designer by emailing james_green@bathnes.gov.uk

 

The feedback part of the system is still not recording issues accurately as matters are often logged as being completed when the work has not actually been carried out.  Mandy Bishop, Director of Environment Services, explained that this issue is being addressed and needs to link to service standards.  Highways Inspectors are being retrained on the system and a User Group is also being created.

 

11.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the next meeting will take place on Wednesday 30 October 2019 at 6.30pm in the Community Space, Keynsham.

 

An invitation has been sent to the WECA Mayor to attend a future meeting.

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting will take place on Wednesday 30 October 2019 at 6.30pm in the Community Space, Keynsham.