Agenda item


Cllr Dawn Drury, Chair of B&NES ALCA will give an update.


Geoff Davis, Clerk to South Stoke Parish Council, will give an update on street lighting contracts in Parishes.


(15 minutes)


The Chair of ALCA, Dawn Drury, reported on the following matters:


Fix My Street/Routine Queries


At the last B&NES ALCA meeting, members raised several issues of concern.

In respect of Fix My Street, the messaging is not always correct for example the platform reporting that work had been signed off as being complete without being checked.  This seemed to mainly relate to highways works.


The responses are the responsibility of, and dependent on, various teams updating their own systems.  Any street works feedback is linked to Highways.  The Fix My Street technical team can look into issues such as auto-generation of a status update.


Parishes should notify either Council Connect or the Community Engagement Team if they find messaging on individual reports that is incorrect so that the relevant team can be contacted.  Parishes should also contact the B&NES Community Engagement Team or Council Connect with day-to-day issues so that they can be dealt with quickly.


The contact details for these teams are:


Council Connect:


Tel: 01225 394041


Community Engagement Team:


Tel: 01225 396975


Diversion Routes


It is important that road closure notices include details of the specific community name as several roads in the area have the same names and this can be confusing. 


Post Office Closures


Unfortunately, B&NES Council has limited influence over the closure of local post offices as these are private ventures.


Street Lighting


Incorrect information in respect to street light numbering on the Parish Online system was identified and highlighted by Peasedown St. John Parish Council.  Any similar issues in the area can be reported to who will then liaise with the GIS team.  There have also been some problems with new LED streetlights, as one batch has a higher failure rate than usual.  Stephen Burrell in the street lighting team is happy to assist parishes in making the appropriate contacts if required.

Lockdown Issues


Unfortunately, lockdown and the pandemic has created problems for many Parishes with people driving to rural locations and villages to walk, which in turn was resulting in bad parking.  Saltford Parish Council had been particularly affected by this and reported their Clerk reported that their local PCSOs had put up posters in their riverside areas stating, ‘Do you need to be here?’ and had undertaken some regular patrols to remind walkers of the guidance rules, so if a Parish is suffering from this problem it may be worth contacting your local beat officer or PCSOs for assistance. 


Members stressed the importance of following the country code and raised concern at the amount of littering and, in particular, the problems caused by bags of dog waste being left on the ground or hanging from trees.


The Cabinet Members, Cllrs Joanna Wright and Neil Butters, agreed to look into the issues raised.


Miscellaneous Issues


Other issues raised by ALCA were:


·  A request for advice on purdah.

·  The position regarding virtual meetings after 7 May.  The regional Committee and NALC are still advising that both the Annual Assembly and the Annual Meeting of Parish Councils are held before 7 May virtually.

·  Adoption of the LGA Code of Conduct.

·  A desire to share information and establish links regarding climate emergency matters.


Presentation by Geoff Davis, Clerk to South Stoke Parish Council


Geoff Davis presented a report regarding the street lighting contract for Parish Councils:


·  A change in the contracting arrangements for street lighting left Parishes with no street lighting maintenance from April 2020.

·  Volker Highways, the new B&NES contractor have provided labour and material rates for reactive maintenance and Parish Councils have been raising purchase orders to obtain maintenance.

·  Volker Highways have provided a tender officer for planned maintenance on the same terms as those used for B&NES Council.  These have been accepted by the Parishes and are being used to procure planned maintenance for 2021/22.

·  Making an agreement with 20 separate parishes is likely to be problematic for Volker, and a single over-arching agreement would be preferred.

·  The way forward may be for the current arrangements to be added to the B&NES Council contract with Volker Highways so that there is a clear framework for Parishes to raise purchase orders for their maintenance needs.  This would also provide helpful support for parishes that do not have the experience and expertise to plan and arrange such orders.


Gary Peacock, Deputy Group Manager from the Highways Team agreed to look into this proposal and the Cabinet Members Cllrs Joanna Wright and Neil Butters agreed to pick up the relevant details.