Agenda item


The Democratic Services Manager will announce any submissions received. The Council will be invited to decide what action it wishes to take, if any, on the matters raised in these submissions. As the questions received and the answers given will be circulated in written form there is no requirement for them to be read out at the meeting. The questions and answers will be published with the draft minutes.


Statements were made by the following members of the public;


Luke John Emmett made a statement expressing concern about his perception of a lack of arts and cultural representation in the B&NES One Shared Vision consultation.  He outlined the many ways the arts had enriched people’s lives during the pandemic and called for arts and culture to be placed at the heart of any future vision for the city. A full copy of Luke’s statement, which had been circulated to Members, is available linked to the minutes. Councillor Dine Romero invited Luke to meet Councillor Paul Crossley and herself to explore how his suggestions could be progressed.  Luke welcomed this proposal. The Chairman referred the statement to the Cabinet Member.


David Redgewell made a statement about transport issues, a copy of which had been circulated to Members and is linked to the minutes.  He raised various concerns including precepting WECA powers, bus drivers without screens, the light rail project and the status of North Somerset joining WECA.  Councillor Neil Butters asked David to email him about the screen issues so he could follow up.  He also asked David if he was aware that the 3rd tranche of the railway fund is about to open, with a strong bid for Saltford station.  David replied that he would fully support that, and hopefully it would also be supported by the WECA Mayor and MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.  Councillor Paul Myers asked David to clarify the issues regarding bollard design in Bath which David had raised in his written statement.  He responded that the consultation is now closed but they were concerned about partially sighted and disabled people being able to navigate the bollards.  The Chairman referred the statement to the Cabinet Member.


Martin Grixoni made a statement about the rollout of 5G in Bath but raising concern about various recent planning decisions and the reasons behind non-approval.  He expressed concern about Bath’s reputation nationally as this had received negative press coverage.  Councillor Dine Romero clarified that the Planning Committee was not the Authority’s Administration.  Councillor Tim Ball asked Martin if he was aware of the existing permissions for 5G masts in Bath, some of which were already installed.  Martin replied that he was aware, but remained concerned that health reasons were being cited to turn down applications.  Councillor Paul Myers asked if Martin considered the adverse publicity had damaged the reputation of the city as an attractive business location, to which Martin replied that he did.  Councillor Grant Johnson asked Martin if he considered it was appropriate, at a time when anti vaxxers were a particular concern, for technological progress to be halted by misinformation from a vocal minority.  Martin agreed it was a concern.  The Chairman referred the comments to the Cabinet Member.


Bob Goodman made a statement regarding the Climate and Ecological emergency item.  He expressed a number of concerns about how the Cabinet were approaching this, including approval of the gas generators in Midsomer Norton and damage to slowworms in Tufa field and called on the Leader to declare Tufa field as safe from development.  Councillor Tim Ball asked Bob if he did not accept some responsibility for his role in the Placemaking plan with associated planning decisions, as Cabinet Member in 2017.  Bob responded that he did take responsibility but there was not an ecological emergency at that point, and there is now.  Councillor Karen Warrington asked if it was easy to move a Tufa field, and the necessary environmental conditions.  Bob responded that, according to Professor Everard at UWE, it’s a very difficult thing to do. Councillor Karen Walker asked Bob if he knew whether this site was still owned by B&NES or had been passed, sold or given to ADL.  Bob responded that planning permission was not yet granted as the S106 agreement had not been signed and it was therefore concerning that ADL officers appear to have been actively dealing with this site. Councillor Grant Johnson asked if Bob considered the Council had moved backwards in climate and ecological issues under the current administration, to which Bob responded that he did certainly consider this. The Chairman referred the points to the Cabinet Member.