Agenda item

Renewal Programme Workstreams

A report is attached. There will also be a presentation at the meeting.


Jane Wildblood, Corporate & Community Sustainability Manager (Renewal Vision Workstream Lead Partnerships & Corporate Services) introduced the report to the Panel and gave a presentation which covered the following:


·  Renewal Vision Update

·  Corporate Strategy and vision

·  Renewal Vision purpose

·  Workstream includes

·  Vision – Phase 1: evidence & context

·  Questions and themes

·  The four emerging ‘stories’ or themes

·  ‘Green recovery’ study

·  Vision – Phase 2: widening engagement and developing the vision


Panel members made the following points and asked the following questions. Officer responses are shown in italics.


Councillor Sarah Warren (Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency) thanked the officers in the team for their work. She commented that there have been dramatic changes due to Covid which reduced carbon footprint and that this has provided the opportunity to rebuild in a way that is kinder to the environment.


Councillor Bromley stated that the 20 minute neighbourhood sounds like a good idea that would certainly be helpful to some small businesses in Weston ward. She asked how we will make the scheme successful. The officer explained that this could mean developing local hubs (for working) in villages that will be like landing stations for employees that may not want to work from home every day. This means there would be more local footfall.


Councillor O’Brien raised the following points. Officer responses are shown in italics:


·  There is the issue of development retail and tourism to be net zero. Coaches are still parking in the city centre – should we insist on them using the Oddown Coach Park (Councillor Walker agrees). We should utilize the space at Oddown. We want tourists to stay longer in the city.

·  Working from home has been of great benefit regarding carbon emissions but it has not benefitted the high street – only online suppliers which means there are a lot more delivery trucks on the road.

·  20 minute neighbourhood – development of an insularity against the outside world. We do have to be realistic about how much local businesses can support this.

·  We have had housing developments forced on us in North East Somerset, there must be a review of how the city of Bath is laid out and used. Maybe more living accommodation rather than retail.


The officer responded that 20-minute neighbourhoods applies to the whole authority not just Bath. The officer stated that these comments were useful for the next stage and would be fed back.


Councillor Warren (Cabinet Member) added that the hubs could be used as shared space for workers but also for part time retail/hairdressers etc. Reducing mileage per year is crucial.


Councillor Davies asked about economic recovery in terms of existing businesses and asked about having appropriate training in place including  secondary schools. The officer explained that representatives from universities sit on the economic recovery and renewal board. There is a recognition of the need to re skill people. We need people with skills in areas such as retro fitting and EV charge point installation. We need immediate short-term support for businesses and a future plan regarding training.


Councillor Craig commented that there should be policy alignment with planning as opportunities to influence planning policies are few and far between. We need to take quick action on this. The officer explained that she works closely with planning colleagues and that the Local Plan Partial Review should help this.


Councillor Born commented that it was great that work started on this straight away although there will be difficulties as this is the biggest challenge the Council has had to face. She also asked if the Council should be putting in more resources to support this work (given the scale of the task).


Councillor Dr Kumar commented that some residents believe that the 20mph limits will increase pollution. He also commented that a lot of his Bath University colleagues are willing to work with the Council to share their expertise.  The officer responded that, as far as he knows, 20mph limits do not increase pollution. Regarding Bath University, conversations are happening.


The Panel RESOLVED to note the purpose and scope of the Renewal Board’s Renewal Vision workstream and the timetable for the work underway to develop a new, shared vision for Bath and North East Somerset.

Supporting documents: