Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Jack Latkovic  01225 394452

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Items
No. Item

29.

Welcome and introductions

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Minutes:

The Chair (Councillor Kevin Guy) welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

 The Chair invited all Cabinet Members to introduce themselves.

 

The Chair also informed the meeting that speakers will have their opportunity to address the Cabinet before questions from public and Councillors.

30.

Emergency Evacuation Procedure

The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out in the Notes

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Minutes:

The Senior Democratic Services Officer drew attention to the evacuation procedure with health and safety notice.

31.

Apologies for Absence

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Minutes:

Councillor Tim Ball had sent his apologies for this meeting..

32.

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.

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Minutes:

The Interim Monitoring Officer issued a dispensation for the duration of the Cabinet meeting in respect of agenda item 14.  The formal dispensation is attached to the minutes.

Dispensation for Parking Permits and Charges pdf icon PDF 84 KB

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33.

To Announce any Urgent Business Agreed by the Chair

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Minutes:

There was none.

 

The Chair used this opportunity to read out the following statement:

 

‘Good evening.  I would like to make a statement about the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on our community and our Council, and on the Council’s approach to it. 

Cllr Richard Samuel will provide further detail shortly, but at a time when Central Government’s messaging is all about freedom and an end to the dark days, I have to warn you that we are far from through the worst of the effects of this crisis, and, indeed, I expect things to get significantly worse before we can expect to see any real signs of improvement.

As you know, the level of infections within the Bath & North East Somerset area is continuing to rise and is now higher than the general rate in England or within the South West Region.  The impacts of this, and the associated strain from the number of local people receiving messages from the NHS App to self-isolate are adding intense pressure to the essential services provided by the Council and by our partners.  All of our key services are now under unprecedented strain, and some – I must be honest – are close to breaking point. 

And I want to pay tribute here to our wonderful staff, who are facing immense challenges every day, who are going about their jobs with calm professionalism and incredible dedication, and who continue to deliver awesome levels of service in our communities.  Will Godfrey and his team are doing a magnificent job, and we all owe them a huge debt of gratitude.  I couldn’t be prouder to be Leader of this council at this time.  Thank you all for what you do.

I can’t promise that we will be able to maintain all our services at regular levels through the months to come.  Some of our neighbouring councils are already suspending some refuse and other services in the face of the difficulties we are all encountering.  But I can promise you this: the commitment of this council to deliver for its residents – whatever the challenges – remains undimmed.  Our team remains determined to continue to deliver to the very best of its ability.

Yesterday, as you know, the Government dropped the final rules and controls it had imposed to keep people safe in the face of the dangers of the Covid 19 pandemic.  We, as a council, have reviewed the situation carefully – driven by the Public Health advice, by the wishes of our staff and by sound common sense.

We have decided that it is both prudent and proper to keep some measures in place on Council properties, such as the Guildhall, our offices and our visitor attractions.  We ask people coming to these premises to continue to wear masks or other face coverings – unless for medical reasons they are unable to do so – and to continue to wear them when moving around within the buildings.

We want people – whether colleagues  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Statements, Deputations or Petitions from Public or Councillors

Councillors and members of the public may register their intention to make a statement if they notify the subject matter of their statement before the deadline.  Statements are limited to 3 minutes each.  The speaker may then be asked by Cabinet members to answer factual questions arising out of their statement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Lily Hughes in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 1 and on the Council's website] asked the Cabinet to vote on stopping the use of glyphosate for the treatment of street weeds, and focus on manual and mechanical methods of removal. Lily Hughes also presented Council Leader with a petition called ‘Stop spraying Bath & North East Somerset streets with toxic weed killer glyphosate ‘

https://www.change.org/p/kevin-guy-leader-b-nes-council-stop-spraying-bath-north-east-somerset-streets-with-toxic-weed-killer-glyphosate?redirect=false

 

Kari Erickson in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 2 and on the Council's website] invited the Cabinet to reflect on some of their goals as a Liberal Democrat Administration, and how these intersect with their relationship with the private sector.

 

Simon Marshall in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 3 and on the Council's website] expressed his concerns about future of parking spaces in Bath for Blue Badge holders.

 

Ian Perkins in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 4 and on the Council's website] expressed his concerns about future of parking spaces in Bath for Blue Badge holders and called for a consultation with all affected residents.

 

Susan Charles in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 5 and on the Council's website] expressed her concerns about future of parking spaces in Bath for Blue Badge holders and medical personnel.

.

Julie Gregory in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 6 and on the Council's website] described her personal experience as a Blue Badge holder. Julie Gregory felt that the consultation on this matter had not been done correctly.

 

Lindsay Holdoway in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 7 and on the Council's website] expressed his support for the City Centre Security and High Street Renewal with the hope that the existing scheme would become permanent and possibly lead to full pedestrianisation in due course.

 

Lynda Lloyd in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 8 and on the Council's website] expressed her concerns about future of parking spaces for Blue Badge holders.

 

Harry Tedstone in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 9 and on the Council's website] asked the Cabinet to defer the decision on ‘On Street Parking Permits And Charges’ in order that it be properly looked into and with an urgent economic impact assessment undertaken.

 

Sylvia Sinclair in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix 10 and on the Council's website] supported the Cabinet’s proposal to require “Inner Zone” hotel guests to park their cars in Council owned carparks, rather than on residential streets.

 

Councillor Jess David in a statement [a copy of which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 129 KB

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Appendix 2 pdf icon PDF 51 KB

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Appendix 3 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

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Appendix 4 pdf icon PDF 36 KB

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Appendix 5 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

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Appendix 6 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

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Appendix 7 pdf icon PDF 118 KB

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Appendix 8 pdf icon PDF 122 KB

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Appendix 9 pdf icon PDF 154 KB

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Appendix 10 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

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Appendix 11 pdf icon PDF 56 KB

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Appendix 12 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

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35.

Questions from Public and Councillors

Questions submitted before the deadline will receive a reply from an appropriate Cabinet member or a promise to respond within 5 days of the meeting.  Councillors may ask one supplementary question for each question they submitted, up to a maximum of two per Councillor.

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Minutes:

There were 23 questions from Councillors and no questions from members of the public.

[Copies of the questions and responses, including supplementary questions and responses if any, have been placed on the Minute book as Appendix 13 and are available on the Council's website.]

 

Appendix 13 pdf icon PDF 276 KB

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36.

Minutes of Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 180 KB

To be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair

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Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 23rd June 2021 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

37.

Consideration of Single Member Items Requisitioned to Cabinet

This is a standard agenda item, to cover any reports originally placed on the Weekly list for single Member decision making, which have subsequently been the subject of a Cabinet Member requisition to the full Cabinet, under the Council’s procedural rules

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Minutes:

There were none.

38.

Matters Referred by Policy Development and Scrutiny Bodies

This is a standing agenda item (Constitution rule 14, part 4D – Executive Procedure Rules) for matters referred by Policy Development and Scrutiny bodies.  The Chair of the relevant PDS Panel will have the right to attend and to introduce the Panel’s recommendations to Cabinet.

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Minutes:

There were none.

39.

Single Member Cabinet Decisions Taken since Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 14 KB

A list of Cabinet Single Member decisions taken and published since the last Cabinet meeting to note (no debate).

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Minutes:

The Cabinet agreed to note the report.

 

40.

Bath City Centre Security pdf icon PDF 457 KB

The National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) Counter-Terrorism Security Survey on Bath City Centre in September 2016; identified locations in Bath as a ‘Crowded Place’; with particular focus on the areas around Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths. As the 2017 attacks demonstrated, crowded places present attractive targets for terrorists. Subsequently disrupted plots and intelligence assessments suggest this will continue to be the case (Contest Strategy Document 2018).

The report identified where the City is vulnerable and where the overall risk to the City is raised. By taking action to address these identified vulnerabilities, the likelihood and impact and therefore the risk to the area is reduced.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Manda Rigby introduce the report by saying that in 2016 the police contacted the Council and said that although there was no specific evidence of an imminently planned attack, as an area with a high footfall, and specifically the Abbey, the Council would need to look at what would be needed in terms of protection against a terrorist attack, including an hostile vehicle attack. Terrorist acts could come in a variety of ways, and there were measures in place to protect from non-vehicular attack, which were included in our risk assessments. Temporary hostile vehicle mitigations had also been brought in for large events, including remembrance services, the Bath Half and the Tour of Britain.

Some concrete moveable bollards were installed to support the Christmas Market on the advice of Police. These have been retained where appropriate and would be replaced with permanent measures.

A consultation went out at the start of the year, and the report was a result of amendments of proposals in it having listened to consultation input, and commissioning a report about accessibility, more specifically for disabled residents and visitors.

The report contains the details of which streets would be closed

There was also an operating schedule which would allow Blue Badge holders disabled access via a video link to the operating centre, with access for emergencies whether city wide or for a resident needing a trade person in a hurry.

The Council took on board obligations under the Public Sector Equalities Duty Act and there would be further phases of work subject to monitoring the results of these measures to amend and adapt based on evidence and data.

 

Councillor Manda Rigby moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel seconded the motion by saying that he was pleased to second recommendations in this report.  Bath streets referred to in this report were very crowded and densely populated, and the police have commented and have advised on security and protection of citizens, and it would be totally untenable for the Council to ignore their advice. The difficulty the Council had was in the balancing off  the needs of residents, visitors, and the security. Councillor Samuel believed that the report had outlined an appropriate balance, it will undoubtedly not please everybody.

In terms of the financing of this project – there would be a few stages to the project and those stages would involve the firming up of the estimates of the cost of implementing this scheme as set out in the report.  The report has highlighted that there were risks with possibilities that the cost may drift upwards. In agreement with Council Rigby and the director of finance, Councillor Samuel would run one more check on top of the ones that already exist in the Council's control processes, and those processes normally permit officers to exercise delegation in developing schemes for the good governance of the Council which require all schemes to go through a business planning process. Therefore, paragraph 2.13 of the report has been introduced as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Bath City Centre High Street Renewal pdf icon PDF 122 KB

A £1.235m funding package to support Bath High Street Renewal has been secured from the West of England Investment Fund’s ‘Love our High Street’ grant programme. A proposal put forward by B&NES Council via a Full Business Case focused on the northern part of Bath City centre, combining targeted public realm interventions with support for events, animation and culture on the streets and in public spaces focused on the Milsom Quarter and Kingsmead Square, together with other city centre wide interventions relating to outdoor trading. The project will support the Council’s Liveable Neighbourhoods agenda and seek to respond to the Climate and Ecological emergencies and the transition towards greener, less car dominated and accessible, people friendly High Streets.

This report requests agreement to accept the £1.235m funding from WECA in line with the Full Business Case approved by WECA on 25th June 2021. This report summarises the proposed project scope and includes economic and social impact analysis and a summary of pilot activities and engagement which has informed the project scope. The Report summarises key items of proposed spend, funding approval mechanisms and key deliverables and outputs anticipated.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying that our high streets have been struggling over the last 18 months, and help was needed to try and encourage footfall back into the city centre. The Cabinet were asked to agree that the funds that the Council had applied for, from the West of England Combined Authority, both for the ‘love of our high streets’ fund and for the recovery fund, now be drawn down so that the Council could begin the projects that were set out in the report. Councillor Samuel thanked WECA for enabling these funds which would be used wisely. The Council would work with the business community for the benefit of successful intervention.

Councillor Samuel thanked the team who have been working on this project and also partners who brought their own interesting ideas to the table.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Dine Romero seconded the motion by saying that it was clear pre-pandemic that high streets, including Bath city centre, were in need of help. Changes to shopping habits had sped up during the last year, due to lock downs and the fear many now have on spending time in potentially unsafe indoor spaces.  More people than ever were buying their goods and groceries on-line, yet many shops now stood empty.

 

The funding from WECA from the Love our High Streets has been welcomed as well as the £500k from the recovery fund.

 

The use of vacant shops and spaces was part of the regional culture and was a reminder of how important culture and arts were to the Council, to local businesses and individuals, particularly in terms of increasing jobs and opportunities locally.

Councillor Romero concluded by saying that she did recognise that there was not a great deal of detail yet on the equalities impact but that she would look carefully at the proposals coming forward, to make sure that in a drive for improvements to the local economy, and for more vibrancy in the city, the Council would not inadvertently disadvantage groups of residents or visitors.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1  Delegate approval to the Director of Place Management, in consultation with the s151 officer, to accept the £1,235K Love our High Streets grant from WECA to be spent over a five year period in line with the Full Business Case and concept design approved.  This will allow full approval of confirmed capital of £1,102k for Bath City Centre High Street Renewal and provides £240K for revenue budget support as outlined in section 5 of this report. 

 

2  Delegate approval to the Director of Place Management, in consultation with the s151 officer, to accept £255k from the WECA Recovery grant offered to deliver phase 2 capital works to bring vacant shops back into active use for cultural and commercial and arts initiatives as part of the ‘vacant unit action project’.  The split between this programme and Commercial Estate Refurbishment and revenue budget support to be confirmed.

 

42.

On street parking permits and charges pdf icon PDF 184 KB

A range of proposals affecting on street parking permits have been developed aimed to improve air quality through a major shift to mass transport, walking and cycling and incentives to reduce the use of more polluting vehicles in order to secure the safer movement of pedestrian traffic on the highway by reducing the public health risks posed to them by air pollution.  These proposals are also aimed to facilitate the achievement of strategic outcomes of local transport policy by reducing congestion and vehicle intrusion into neighbourhoods, and particularly residential neighbourhoods and align with the Council policy on Liveable Neighbourhoods.

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Minutes:

Councillor Manda Rigby introduced the report by reading out the following statement:

 

‘I am very pleased to be proposing this motion to you today. My first task is to thank the officers for their very diligent work on this, especially Andy Dunn and Chris Major.

This is the first time in 8 years we have addressed on street parking permit charges. I’d like to take a bit of time saying what the drivers, see what I did there, for this change were.

Looking at residents parking permits, the cost has not increased for 8 years. In that time, cars have grown in size, the number of journeys has increased massively, people have become far more aware of the health and wellbeing impacts of a sedentary lifestyle and poor air quality...and we have declared a climate emergency. Owning and running a car is a very expensive endeavour, and we want to ensure when people are coming to the point that they need to replace their car, they are very aware of the other options which exist, so decide if they need the car or not....some absolutely will need a car, others may not. Part of the expense is the purchase of a parking permit, but in the scheme of overall costs, it is in some cases not as high as a full tank of petrol. We want people to look at not owning the most polluting vehicles as part of our overall Clean air programme, and so we are proposing an emission-based parking permit system.

The poorest in our society predominantly don’t own a car, or indeed have access to one, but they suffer the results of poor air quality caused by those who do. Those on lower incomes who do have a car are more likely to have an older one, with higher emissions, and we know how much many are suffering financially, so we have introduced a monthly and quarterly way of paying for our permits to spread the cost. As is common with most payment plans, we will pass on the 62p bank charge per transaction to those using the monthly option.

I’ll also look at hotel permits. We know, and have heard from speakers earlier, that our hospitality industry has really suffered this year. That’s why we as a council are trying to help by extending the Christmas market, and promoting the high street and Bath as a destination for people, whilst being as safe as we can be. However, we have to address the long-standing anomalies in hotel permit allocations.

It makes no sense for visitors to drive round and round our local streets looking for somewhere to park and for residents to do the same because they are in competition for scarce on road parking spaces. We are rebalancing this, so that locals can park closer to their homes, and visitors in the central area will need to park in a council car park. This brings us very much in line with many tourist destinations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

43.

Investment in Neighbourhood Services from 2022 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Neighbourhood Services (highways maintenance, waste, cleansing, fleet, parks & grounds) has delivered significant cashable service efficiencies during the past 10 years. This has resulted in a risk-based approach to delivery of a number of functions and in some cases, decisions have been taken to stop services.  The Council has invested additional funding in street cleansing in 21/22 and would like to invest further in Neighbourhood Services to improve standards and reinstate some services. 

This report provides options for future investment in these high-profile front-line services for 22/23.  The Climate Emergency and Sustainability Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel (CES PDS panel) has been consulted on these proposals and will be further engaged as the proposals are developed to be considered through the budget setting process

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Minutes:

Councillor David Wood introduced the report by saying that for ten years Council Tax bills have been going up and service levels had been going down due to severe cuts from central government. 

One of the first actions from the current Administration was to reverse cuts to city centre cleaning and to leaf clearing in the autumn. Last year more cuts were reversed to keep our streets cleaner and to litter pick A and B roads in North East Somerset. This year the Council would spend an extra £100k on keeping our streets cleaner.

In April next year the Council would trial £950k of investment in frontline services from street cleaning to graffiti, from repairing roads to banning glyphosate for street weeds with immediate effect.

Councillor Wood concluded his statement by saying that the Administration would be looking to reverse even more cuts, balance the books and give residents the services they deserved.

 

Councillor David Wood moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Alison Born seconded the motion by saying that Neighbourhood services were cut significantly during years of austerity budgets, leaving gaps in service that impacted on the day to day experience of all residents and visitors to the area.  This Administration have taken measures to mitigate these cuts over the past two years with positive effects. This targeted investment would build on those improvements and would extend them.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1.  Agree that the Council will no longer use glyphosate to control street weeds and will prioritise funding to mechanical and manual weed removal for street weeds in 22/23 whilst continuing to research viable alternatives.

2.  Agree the areas to be considered within the Neighbourhood Services portfolio for further investment as a 12-month pilot, making a commitment against the council’s £2m Covid contingency budget that has been earmarked to manage council priorities and backlogs on operational services.  This money to be released from 2022/23.  At the completion of the pilot, the outcomes will be reviewed to ensure they deliver the necessary service improvement and considered as part of the council’s financial planning processes for long term service investment in the 23/24 budget.

3.  The Cabinet is asked to take into account issues raised by the Scrutiny Panel when they report back on their findings.

4.  Delegate authority to the Director of Place Management, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, to develop the most operationally effective and value for money delivery arrangements.

 

44.

Waste Infrastructure & Modernisation programme pdf icon PDF 175 KB

The Waste Infrastructure programme includes the development of previously acquired land at Pixash Lane, Keynsham, to relocate and consolidate Council waste & recycling operations and modernise the existing public Recycling Centre there.  Significant progress has been made in recent years, and final approval of capital is now required in order to progress into the final stages of construction and enable relocation in early 2023.

Proposals for re-providing household waste and recycling centres in Bath continue to be developed and appraised so that Bath residents will have uninterrupted access to recycling centres local to them, aligned with the Council’s climate and nature priorities.  The Council is committed to keeping the public recycling centre at Midland Road open until an alternative is in place for residents of Bath.  A supplementary paper outlining more detail on providing at least one recycling centre in the city of Bath is intended to be tabled at the meeting.

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Minutes:

Councillor David Wood introduced the report by saying he was pleased with the report that would bring the Council closer to a brand-new state-of-the-art recycling centre in Keynsham.  The Council was one of the best performing areas of the country with record breaking recycling rates this year.  Councillor Wood thanked the staff and residents for this achievement and added that he was proud that the Council were investing even more to ensure even higher recycling rates in the future. Councillor Wood used this opportunity to reaffirm to residents that there would be no gap in recycling centres in the city of Bath.

 

Councillor Wood informed everyone that Cabinet Members have been sent a supplementary paper about plans for Bath recycling centres (attached to these minutes as E3306 Supplementary Paper) in advance of the meeting.  Councillor Wood also informed the meeting that recommendation 2.2 would read as follows:

 

‘Cabinet notes the progress towards securing a new permanent waste and recycling site for Bath at Odd Down as set out in the supplementary paper and affirms its intention to provide a new interim facility at Bath Western Riverside in advance of the final closure of the Midland Road site.’

 

Councillor David Wood moved the recommendations (as amended above).

 

Councillor Sarah Warren seconded the motion by saying that besides the  modernisation of the Council  waste facilities, she was particularly pleased that the design for the new facility in Pixash Lane would incorporate a solar PV installation rainwater collection and recycling, and high standards of energy efficiency, as well as tree planting. Councillor Warren was also pleased with the commitment to ensure an alternative facility at Bath would be operational before Midland road is shut, to minimise the car mileage driven to the waste facility.

 

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1.  Fully approve the total capital of £29.9m needed to deliver the construction phase, in order to complete and relocate according to programme in early 2023. This requires an uplift of £13.6m on the current provisional programme item of £16.3m, with the additional borrowing costs implied of £522k to be funded from the revenue budget contingency.

2.  Note the progress towards securing a new permanent waste and recycling site for Bath at Odd Down as set out in the supplementary paper and affirms its intention to provide a new interim facility at Bath Western Riverside in advance of the final closure of the Midland Road site.

 

E3306 Supplementary Paper pdf icon PDF 103 KB

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45.

Commercial Estate review update pdf icon PDF 240 KB

The report provides an update to the Cabinet on the outcome of the Commercial Estate review carried out by Montague Evans during the final quarter of the 2020/21 financial year and sets out the next steps in managing the Councils commercial assets.

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Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying that the Council’s commercial estate was one of the jewels of the Council's assets, and in good times it would deliver around £18m of gross income to the Council.  That income would be used to support all sorts of Council services as a key part of Council’s funding.  Councillor Samuel said that the impact of COVID had hit that service badly, and for those reasons he had worked with the senior management team to propose some major change to the service.  In determining to improve the situation, the Council had decided to bring in an external advisor to examine the Council’s estate from a completely impartial perspective, and that was what the Montague Evans report did.  The report had highlighted a whole range of pointers on what could be done better. Ultimately, the Council and its residents would see the benefits with a high functioning, good returning property estate that benefits the area and its citizens.

Councillor Samuel concluded by saying that the Council was the premier landlord in most parts of the city of Bath, and if its properties were neglected or not run properly then the Council would contribute to a downturn in that area.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Manda Rigby seconded the motion by saying that she was pleased with the ongoing work in this area in order to prevent the commercial estate becoming a deteriorating asset, and avoid any financial, social, commercial and economical impact.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1.  Note the findings and the executive summary from the Commercial Estate review.

2.  Approve the Commercial Estate review plan, workstreams and governance arrangements and delegate to the Property Review Board / S151 Officer, responsibility for implementing the governance arrangements and required restructuring, respectively.

3.  Approve the Capital budget of £2.337m for Commercial Estate Refurbishment Programme, utilising funding as described in section 5.2.

4.  Approve the creation of a capital reserve to be funded from dilapidation and insurance income relating to capital refurbishments.

5.  Approve the approach to Commercial Estate repurposing to residential accommodation using the Council’s housing company Aequus, with delegation for transfer arrangements given to the Chief Financial Officer (S151) in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic Development.

 

46.

Revenue & Capital Outturn 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 382 KB

The report presents the revenue and capital outturn for 2020/21, highlighting an on-budget position after allowing for proposed transfers to reserves and carry forwards.  Whilst there has been no movement in the reported position against the Quarter 3 forecast, there has been  improvement from an under budget position in Adult Social Care of £4.29m, together with the proactive Financial Recovery measures and Covid grant funding that has mitigated all other pressures leaving a further net £1.13m underspend. These are one-off benefits which are proposed to be transferred to reserves to support the Council in dealing with the budgetary impact of Covid in 2021/22.

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Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report which detailed what had happened in the last year, with an incredibly good achievement in balancing the books in the most difficult year for the Council’s finances. It was not easy managing last minute funds from the government with around twenty different grant schemes that came to the Council, some for the business community and some for specific purposes.  Councillor Samuel thanked everyone who contributed to that achievement.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Kevin Guy seconded the motion by thanking all Councillors and Council staff who contributed to achieving a positive balance for 2020/21 in probably the most financially difficult time in the nation’s history.

 

 

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1.  Note the revenue budget outturn on budget position for 2020/21, after allowing for carry forwards and transfers to reserves.

2.  Approve the revenue carry forward proposals listed in the tables in paragraph 3.8.

3.  Approve that all over budgets are written-off as an exception to the Budget Management Rules for 2020/21.

4.  Approve the transfer of £5.42m to corporate earmarked reserves, the breakdown of which is detailed in paragraph 3.9;

5.  Note the revenue virements for 2020/21 reported for information in Appendix 2(i)

6.  Note the reserve positions and the use of flexible capital receipts shown in paragraphs 3.18-3.20;

7.  Note the outturn position of the 2020/21 capital programme in paragraph 3.35, and the funding outlined in paragraph 3.37;

8.  Approve the capital rephasing and write-off of net underspends as listed in Appendix 3. This reflects the outturn spend position on projects against final budgets as detailed in Appendix 4(ii).

 

47.

Revenue & Capital Budget Monitoring, Cash Limits and Virements – April to June 2021 pdf icon PDF 325 KB

This report presents the financial monitoring information for the Authority as a whole for the financial year 2021/22, using information available as at the end of June 2021.

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Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying that this was the first quarterly monitoring report of the current financial year. Councillor Samuel expressed his concerns that, following an announcement from central government to ease COVID restrictions from 19th July, there would be further waves of COVID with a possibility that further variants would occur. Therefore, the Council may encounter further lockdowns which may affect businesses in the area which would also affect the Council’s financial position. Tourist attractions in Bath, such as Roman Baths and the Pump Rooms may be also be affected due to higher COVID case numbers, which were currently higher than they have been since the pandemic started.  This would coincide with the total removal of government assistance, and financial assistance to local authorities, which came to an end on 30th of June. Any support for businesses and employees would also disappear.

Councillor Samuel added that this was a warning to all of us, and that the Council may need to take further action to stabilise its finances and may need to call for further government funds in order to get through this.

Nevertheless, Council Samuel hoped that these measures would not be necessary, yet he hoped that residents of Bath and North East Somerset would understand that the months ahead could be very precarious ones for the Council.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Dine Romero seconded the motion by saying that the Council could expect further lockdowns which could have a devastating impact on Council’s finances, particularly if heritage services had to close again. Councillor Romero did believe government would help even in the limited way it did previously with 75% paid on expected income. 

The Council could be £6million short for funding children with higher needs. Councillor Romero said that she had written to the Secretary of State highlighting these concerns and asked the government to urgently find additional funding for provision of the right services for children with special educational needs.

Councillor Romero also said Mental Health services as well as Public Health would be severely impacted with further lockdowns, as well as Library Services and Free School Meals during summer holidays.

Councillor Romero concluded her statement by saying that the government must fund local councils better; they must fund this Council better.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

1.  To note the 2021/22 revenue budget position (as at the end of June 2021).

2.  To note the revenue virements listed for information only in Appendix 3(i).

3.  To note the capital year-end forecast detailed in paragraph 3.21 of this report;

4.  To note the changes in the capital programme including capital schemes that have been agreed for full approval under delegation listed in Appendix 4(i).

 

48.

Treasury Management Outturn Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 442 KB

This report gives details of performance against the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy and Annual Investment Plan for 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced this agenda item by saying that this report, prepared in accordance with the CIPFA Treasury Code of Practice, gave details of performance against the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy and Annual Investment Plan for 2020/21. Councillor Samuel also said that the Council had been doing work on moving its funds to more socially and environmentally acceptable investments.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Tom Davies seconded the motion by praising the Council’s intention to move its funds to more socially and environmentally acceptable investments.  Councillor Davies also said that the report described key aspects of the Council’s balance sheets and thanked Councillor Samuel and Andy Rothery (Section 151 Officer) for highly effective management of the Council’s treasury.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed that:

 

1.  The Treasury Management Report to 31st March 2021, prepared in accordance with the CIPFA Treasury Code of Practice, is noted.

2.  The Treasury Management Indicators to 31st March 2021 are noted.

 

49.

Treasury Management Monitoring Report to 30th June 2021 pdf icon PDF 426 KB

This report gives details of performance against the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy for 2021/22 for the first three months of 2021/22.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying that this was the first quarterly report on revenue and capital spending for this year. The environmental investment has been referenced and it would come forward for an internal discussion with Councillors in the next few weeks.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Tom Davies seconded the motion by welcoming the report.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed that:

 

1.  The Treasury Management Report to 30th June 2021, prepared in accordance with the CIPFA Treasury Code of Practice, is noted.

2.  The Treasury Management Indicators to 30th June 2021 are noted.