Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

46.

Welcome and introductions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

47.

Emergency Evacuation Procedure

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Democratic Services Officer drew attention to the evacuation procedure as set out in the Agenda.

48.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

49.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Dine Romero declared an other interest in agenda item 18 'Decision to complete a Transfer Agreement with Aequus Companies' as she is the Council’s shareholder representative for Aequus Development Limited.

50.

To Announce any Urgent Business Agreed by the Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was none.

51.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were 11 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 1 and are available on the Council's website.]

Cabinet question and answers pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Additional documents:

52.

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:

Phil Harding in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as Appendix and on the Council's website] said that Saltford Parish Council and Saltford Environment Group were asking the Cabinet to implement an immediate mooring ban to protect the stability of the riverbank from further damage and the key infrastructure it protects.

 

Laura Darling made a statement by saying that the decision would affect her personally as a member of the boating community.  Laura Darling said that she was evicted from Saltford Marina 5 years ago when she was pregnant, and that she has been looking for a safe place ever since.  Laura Darling also said that she has 4-year-old son and that she was concerned that she and her family would be homeless.  People would have to tie their boats to random trees if the moorings were taken away, with no access to hospitals.  Laura Darling concluded her statement by saying that the boating community do take care of the environment by organising litter picking actions and that they would like to work together with the residents on this matter.

 

Alice Young made a statement by saying that the moorings at Mead Lane in Saltford were a vital lifeline for the boating community.  Alice Young also said that she was concerned from a professional stance where these people would go if the Mead Lane Moorings are closed. Alice Young agreed with Laura Darling that people would put themselves at risk tying boats to trees in unsuitable river conditions.  She also called for discussion between the boaters and residents on this matter and added that boaters would be added to the long housing list if the closure goes ahead.

 

Peter Denmead in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as an Appendix and on the Council's website] urged the Cabinet to take immediate action now to avoid environmental risks.

Statement Mr P. Harding pdf icon PDF 82 KB

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Statement Mr P. Denmead pdf icon PDF 31 KB

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53.

Minutes of Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 103 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 Thursday 7th November 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

54.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were none.

55.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were none.

56.

Single Member Cabinet Decisions Taken since Previous Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 73 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet agreed to note the report.

 

57.

Bath's Clean Air Plan- Full Business Case pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Poor air quality is the largest known environmental risk to public health in the UK. Investing in cleaner air and doing more to tackle air pollution are priorities for the EU and UK governments, as well as for Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES). B&NES has monitored and endeavoured to address air quality in Bath, and the wider B&NES area, since 2002. Despite this, Bath has ongoing exceedances of the legal limits for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and these are predicted to continue until 2025 without intervention.

This report provides a further update on the report in September 2019 and sets out the decisions required to progress the project.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Vic Pritchard asked for a point of clarification by saying that not so long ago it was said that vehicles which would meet the following minimum emission standards for Bath would be free of charge:

 

  • Euro 6/VI (or newer) diesel vehicles registered from c. 2015
  • Euro 4/IV (or newer) petrol vehicles registered from c.2006
  • Electric vehicles
  • Hybrid vehicles
  • Alternatively fuelled vehicles

 

However, Councillor Pritchard felt that the report suggested that all car drivers would be exempt from charges.  Councillor Pritchard asked which option was correct.

 

Councillors Sarah Warren and Richard Samuel explained that minimum emission standards would apply to all vehicles that were not private cars and motorbikes.  Private cars and motorbikes would be exempt from charges.

 

Councillor Sarah Warren read out the following statement:

 

Today, we are discussing the Final Business Case to Government for funding for Bath’s Clean Air Plan. Air pollution is one of the environmental challenges of our times. The British Heart Foundation says that living in the most polluted areas of the UK is as deadly as smoking 150 cigarettes a year, so it is absolutely vital that we reduce pollution levels here in Bath. 92% of nitrogen dioxide emissions in this city currently arise from road traffic. This Clean Air Zone proposes to provide support for local businesses to upgrade their vehicles to less polluting models, and will form the springboard for further measures aimed at giving people alternatives to the private car, and encouraging their use.

I want to thank the council officers who have worked so hard on what I believe is one of the most challenging projects they have had to deal with. The modelling of both traffic flows and air pollution is highly technical, and at the cutting edge of current understanding, and this work has been carried out within parameters and a timescale that have been very tightly defined by Government, whilst rightly, under close scrutiny from the media and the public.

I also want to thank the public for their constructive and enthusiastic participation in our two consultation processes. They attended open events, and wrote in with their suggestions, in very large numbers. Their help has been invaluable in ironing out the unintended consequences that might have arisen, had the council gone live with earlier iterations of the proposal, and in ensuring we have the best fit scheme that we can for Bath, within the government’s tight parameters.

The scheme we are proposing is a “Class C” Clean Air Zone, which will see non-compliant, highly polluting HGVs, buses, vans, and taxis charged to enter the zone. You will remember that the council previously consulted on the possibility of charging private cars, and that the majority of the record 8000 respondents expressed concern about the impact on local families of such a measure. But without charging cars, the only way that legal compliance can be achieved is to introduce so-called “traffic management” at Queen Square, so as to reduce the flow of traffic past a key pollution  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

B&NES Local Development Scheme Review pdf icon PDF 85 KB

This report seeks the agreement of Cabinet to delegate authority to officers to revise the Bath & North East Somerset Local Development Scheme (LDS) in order to establish the priorities for the preparation of Planning Policy documents for the period 2020-2023 and enable a review of the Council’s planning policies to respond to the Climate and Nature emergency.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Tim Ball introduced the report by saying that every Local Authority was required by statute to maintain Local Development Scheme (LDS), which is the programme for the preparation of planning policies that ensure that every Unitary Authority (UA) has an up-to-date planning policy framework.  The withdrawal of the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) has prompted the need for the B&NES LDS to be reviewed, and to facilitate the delivery of the Council’s Corporate Strategy priorities.  Whilst the LDS did not require public consultation, the LDS would entail working with local communities as part of its preparation.  It would be crucial that the Council has an up-to-date planning policy framework which would enable delivery of its Corporate Strategy and its key policy objectives, particularly on the Climate and Nature emergency.

 

Councillor Ball also said that the report set out the key issues that the revised LDS would need to address and delegates to officers the task of preparing a Local Development Scheme to be presented to Cabinet at a subsequent meeting for adoption.  The LDS would set out the scope and timetable of the new Local Plan, sub-regional working arrangements, Supplementary Planning Documents and other necessary strategies and guidance notes.

 

Councillor Tim Ball moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Joanna Wright seconded the motion by reminding the Cabinet that the Council had declared a Climate Emergency, and that the revised LDS would be in line with its key objectives.

 

Councillor Paul Crossley supported the motion by adding that it would be really important for the community to understand why the Planning Department was not able to prevent loss of family homes due to the continued rise of HMOs.  Family homes would need to be protected; after all they would pay Council Tax.  Councillor Crossley also expressed his concern at the continued rise of Airbnb in the city and its impact on the decline in family dwellings in the city, and also that purpose-built student accommodations were used as HMOs or Airbnb.  For those reasons Councillor Crossley urged the Cabinet to consider revised LDS as soon as possible.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

2.1 Agree the key priorities for the preparation and review of Planning Policies in B&NES as summarised in para 3.2 of this report, and

2.2 Delegate to the Director of Development and Public Protection (in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning, and Economic Development) the task of preparing a revised Local Development Scheme to reflect those priorities. The revised scheme would then be presented to Cabinet at a subsequent meeting for consideration with a view to bringing it into effect.

59.

Integrated Transport Authority pdf icon PDF 90 KB

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) Order 2017 transferred to the Combined Authority responsibility for certain public transport functions.  This report provides an update on the work to transfer the specified functions from this organisation to WECA

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Paul May made an ad-hoc statement by saying that he understood the logic behind the Integrated Transport Authority (ITA).  However, he was very concerned that this would bring memories of Avon County and that future decisions, and transport powers, would be centralised within WECA (West of England Combined Authority).  Councillor May also said that B&NES should have control over its own issues around transport, highways, and similar.

 

Councillor Neil Butters said that there was no movement in WECA becoming ex Avon County.

 

Councillor Neil Butters introduced this report by saying that the purpose was to integrate the delivery of the transport functions certain transport powers were devolved to WECA and since 2017 these have been carried out by, B&NES, South Gloucestershire and Bristol City Council, i.e. the Unitary Authorities (UAs).  In November 2018 WECA reviewed these arrangements and resolved that the delivery of the relevant transport functions should, where practical, be carried out directly by the Combined Authority (such as concessionary travel, bus service information, community transport, supported bus services).  B&NES has been delivering WECA functions since 2017, in summary these were no longer Council’s duties or responsibilities (with the exception of supported buses, which was a joint function).  The ITA would provide greater resilience, especially as at present there were only 3.5 full time employees in the Council.  No further transfer of functions would take place unless there was a robust business case that would have both management and political sign off in B&NES.

 

Councillor Neil Butters moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Joanna Wright seconded the motion by saying that ITA was a necessity for working with other Ex Avon authorities.  For example, 48% of RUH Bath patients came from outside B&NES.  Councillor Wright also said that she would see this as a positive move for the region.

 

Councillor Paul Crossley said that he would support the motion; however, he had concern that this would lead towards a bigger ‘empire’.  Councillor Crossley also said that ex Avon authorities worked really well together as West of England authorities and it should have stayed that way.

 

Councillor Tim Ball said that he would also support this report even though he shared Councillor Crossley’s concerns in terms of WECA powers.  Councillor Ball also said that public transport would need ITA to resolve its issues. 

 

Councillor Richard Samuel also supported the report adding that all meetings of WECA should be held in public, documents should be available to the public, and WECA should be accountable to its residents.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

2.1 Approve the transfer to WECA of the staff (and associated costs) to enable the direct delivery by WECA of the four core public transport functions contained in the WECA Order 2017, on the basis that there is no additional cost to this authority or loss of income

2.2 Delegate to the Director of Environment authority to progress the transfer arrangements, in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Transport.

60.

Mead Lane Moorings pdf icon PDF 110 KB

As landowners, the Council is responsible for a stretch of riverbank adjacent to Mead Lane, Saltford.  The Council introduced a 12-month mooring trial in November 2016 following discussions with the local community.  The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the trial; consider the feedback received from communities and partners and agree the next steps.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Duncan Hounsell in a statement [a copy of which is attached to the Minutes as an Appendix and on the Council's website] where he urged the Cabinet to: approve a full engineering survey of the river-bank at Mead Lane to be undertaken as soon as possible, begin a consultation on alternative sites for moorings and make use of the information provided by the boating community to Lemon Gazelle as to its needs and end moorings at Mead Lane so that vital infrastructure is kept safe, so that aquatic plants grow again, wild-life thrives, bio-diversity is promoted, and that this short stretch of river-bank becomes once again an open public space for all.

 

Councillor Paul Crossley introduced the report by saying that the Council had responsibility to maintain the riverbank.  Stabilisation works were undertaken in 2004/5 followed by mooring trial, which was set up in 2017 in response to complaints about unregulated residential moorings. An independent consultation and engagement exercise was undertaken in the Autumn of 2019 to understand the issues/concerns of various parties.  During the consultation period an engineering report was highlighted by the local community (produced around 2004/5), which included statements about the suitability of this section of the riverbank for moorings.

Councillor Crossley also said that the Cabinet would consider a range of matters including the views of the local community, live-aboard boaters, its’ duties and responsibilities under various pieces of legislation, the content of the engineering report and availability of suitable moorings along the river. The report recommended that no long-term decision should be taken on the moorings until an up to date structure survey is undertaken.

 

Councillor Paul Crossley moved the revised recommendations, with recommendation 2.3 to read as: ‘Remove moorings at Mead Lane with effect from 21 days after the date of this decision. Any Council enforcement action to be subject to compliance with statutory duties.’

 

Councillor Richard Samuel seconded the motion by agreeing with Councillor Crossley that it was a Council responsibility to maintain the riverbank.  Councillor Samuel also said that the Council has duty of care not just to the boating community but also to residents.  Councillor Samuel concluded his comments by saying that this site was not designed for moorings, and that the Council would need to find capital funds for immediate support on site, pending the outcome of the survey.

 

Councillor Tim Ball said that Mead Lane Moorings were not proper and sustainable moorings and for those reasons there was a need for action.  Nevertheless, Councillor Ball made a plea for adult and children services to work closely with the boating community and families that were on site.

 

Councillor Kevin Guy said that the riverbank has been significantly damaged.  Councillor Guy also said that he would be speaking to the boater families whose children go to school in B&NES about next steps.

 

Councillor Rob Appleyard said that his focus, as Cabinet Member for Adult Services, would be on the people side.  The boating community were part of the overall  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.

Statement Cllr Hounsell pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Additional documents:

61.

Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019/24 pdf icon PDF 178 KB

The Homelessness Act 2002 requires the Council to carry out a review of homelessness to inform the production of a homelessness strategy every 5 years. The Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-24 meets this requirement

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Vic Pritchard made an ad-hoc statement praising the Housing Team in the Council as well as the work of the relevant agencies in the area working with homeless and rough sleepers.  Councillor Pritchard said that there was still a lot of work to be done as numbers of rough sleepers and homeless people were high.  Councillor Pritchard concluded his statement by asking the Cabinet to take this matter seriously and commit to this issue.

 

Councillor Tim Ball agreed with Councillor Vic Pritchard that the Council indeed had very effective homelessness & housing options service, as evidenced by very low use of temporary accommodation.  However, Council’s aspirations were to do better, and this strategy would provide the basis for that improvement.  The Strategy would seek to improve work with private rented landlords, increase the numbers of Housing First tenancies and tackle homelessness on our local waterways.  In relation to rough sleepers - it was good to note that the Annual Rough Sleeper Count in November 2019 found 17 households resorting to sleeping rough, a decrease of 3 on the 2018 figure.  Of the 17, only 2 were found rough sleeping on the previous annual Count.  The gender split was 14 men and 3 women and were over 25.  However, the Council would want to do better and a bid for MHCLG (The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) grant would reflect this.

A proposal for extension funding for rough sleeper services in 2020/21 has therefore been submitted to MHCLG for consideration.  The proposal was drafted with MHCLG advisors’ input, so that officers were hopeful of a positive outcome, and confirmation of the allocation would be available soon.

Cold Weather Funding was discussed with MHCLG but did not go forward as the proposal was based on provision of ‘somewhere to go’ during the day, filling gaps in current provision and including further support and engagement. MHCLG wanted to see priority for the Cold Weather Fund being placed on accommodation options rather than day activities, and officers were advised that it was unlikely to succeed. 

 

Councillor Tim Ball moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Dine Romero seconded the motion by thanking the Housing Team on their hard work.

 

Councillor Kevin Guy also supported the motion by adding that so called ‘sofa surfers’ should also be recognised within the strategy.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet:

 

2.1 Agreed the Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019/24.

62.

Claverton Neighbourhood Development Plan pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Following the successful examination and referendum, this report seeks to make and bring into force the Claverton Neighbourhood Plan (Appendix 1), so that it will be used by the Local Planning Authority to help determine planning applications within the Neighbourhood Area.

Claverton Parish Council is the qualifying body authorised to act in relation to the Neighbourhood Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Vic Pritchard made an ad-hoc statement by welcoming the report, and any future Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDPs) that would come before the Cabinet to approve.  Councillor Pritchard also said that all NDPs should always be taken into consideration by Planning Department during planning application process.

 

Councillor Tim Ball thanked Councillor Vic Pritchard for his support and acknowledged the amount of community work and effort that had gone into preparing the Neighbourhood Plan for Claverton.  Councillor Ball also said that

B&NES Council had also played a supporting role, providing advice and assistance to the community to help ensure the Neighbourhood Plan had appropriately addressed the key planning issues facing the parish and that it aligned with B&NES planning policies.  The Neighbourhood Plan would seek to safeguard the essential character of this rural valley Parish whilst welcoming change which would improve its sustainability and enhance its assets for the benefit of the Parish.  It was excellent news that the plan has passed its referendum showing the community support for the work of the Parish Council/Neighbourhood Plan group and the approach it took to addressing key planning issues

 

Councillor Tim Ball moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Neil Butters seconded the motion by saying that the Council would support local communities planning for their areas and as it has been agreed by residents through the referendum, the Cabinet should agree to make and bring the Plan into force.  

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

2.1 Make and bring into force the Claverton Neighbourhood Development Plan, as set out in Appendix 1, as part of the Development Plan for the Claverton Neighbourhood Area, in accordance with Section 38A(4) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended by the Localism Act 2011 and the Housing and Planning Act 2016).

63.

Decision to complete a Transfer Agreement with Aequus Companies pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To approve the agreement to transfer staff and resources to the Council’s housing development companies and provide a pension guarantee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair informed the meeting that part of this report had been marked as confidential.  However, the Cabinet would debate this matter in public without addressing any points from the confidential paper.  If any of the Cabinet Members felt that they had to raise points from the confidential papers then the Chair would ask the public to vacate the meeting.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel introduced the report by saying that the Cabinet would be asked to agree the transfer of undertakings and staffing to Aequus Development Limited (ADL) including a pension guarantee and to agree the principles and process for transferring properties and land for development.  Councillor Samuel also said that the agreement was exempt from publication as it contained information relating to the financial or business affairs of a particular person.

 

ADL was formed in 2016 and Aequus Construction Limited (ACL) was formed in 2017.  ADL was wholly owned by B&NES (the sole shareholder) and ADL acted as the parent company of ACL.  The companies were set up to manage properties for rent above the commercial estate and ACL for the development of land. The Transfer Agreement regulated the relationship between the Council and ADL/ACL for the next 10 years.  This agreement could then be rolled forward on a 5-yearly basis.    The budget for income from ADL/ACL was around £1m per annum.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Paul Crossley seconded the motion by welcoming this report, and also thanked the previous administration for setting up Aequus companies.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

 

2.1 Authorise the Council entering into the Transfer Agreement with the Council’s housing companies.

 

2.2 Delegate to the Director of Finance in consultation with the Corporate Director, Director of Legal and Democratic Services, and the Cabinet Member for Resources authority to make minor amendments to the Transfer Agreement, if required, and do all acts necessary to effect the transfer of staff and resources and complete the pensions guarantee in accordance with the terms of the Transfer Agreement.