Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Bev Thomas, Democratic Services Team Leader 

No. Item




Apologies were received from Councillors Flynn, Horwood, Stennett and Wheeler.


Declarations of Interest


Councillors Sudbury and Cooke declared a personal interest in agenda item 12 as residents of Leckhampton, in the area of the proposed senior school.

Councillor Babbage declared a prejudicial interest in agenda item 9 as an employee of an energy company. He would not participate in the debate of this item and would leave the chamber.


Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 437 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 22 July were approved and signed as a correct record.


Communications by the Mayor


The Mayor wished to put on record his congratulations to Gloucestershire County Cricket Club in achieving promotion to the First Division of the County Championship.


The Mayor then reported on his latest mayoral highlights.

The Mayor invited the Leader to address Council with regard to the awards that the Council had recently received. He reported that at the 2019 APSE service Cheltenham Borough Council celebrated with its community partners being finalists in three categories: Best collaborative working initiative for ‘Cheltenham Remembers’ project, ‘Best Service Team Cemetery and Crematorium service’ and winning ‘Best Commercial and Entrepreneurship Initiative’. He also reported that Cheltenham Borough Homes had won at the Travis Perkins Managed Services (TPMS) ‘My Community Awards 2019’ for their Thrive project, a six month alternative provision programme where young people at risk of exclusion worked towards receiving their ASDAN Careers and Experiencing Work certificates.


The Mayor then went on to say that in October at the annual regional South West Councils Local Government Challenge, Cheltenham Borough Council entered a joint team with Gloucester City Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council  achieving second place at the industry challenge, which aimed to give aspiring managers a first-hand experience of the challenges being faced by strategic leadership teams on a daily basis.


Communications by the Leader of the Council


The Leader wished to remind Council that a member seminar had been arranged for 23 October on strategic planning and major infrastructure. He reported that Council was due to receive the CIL governance report for consideration at this meeting, however government had recently amended the regulations so officers were currently reassessing the balance with Section 106 funding.

Finally, the Leader wished to  put on record his best wishes to Councillor Flynn who was currently unwell in hospital.


To receive petitions


There were none.


Public Questions pdf icon PDF 245 KB

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Tuesday 8 October 2019.



Question from Amber Astron Christo to Cabinet Member Green Environment, Councillor Chris Coleman


At the Council meeting I attended previously, you had said you would deal with the issue of lack of street cleaning. However, there seems to be little change. The impression I get is that there is no intent to keep the streets of Cheltenham clean. The town centre is one small part of the town. What exactly is the policy on street cleaning for Cheltenham? Are you intending to take proper action over this issue?


Response from Cabinet Member


As Cabinet Member for Clean and Green Environment, keeping the town clean is a priority and residents in Cheltenham will see the two new 15 tonne mechanical road sweepers out and about and we are already seeing improvements in the cleanliness of our roads, not just in the town centre but out in the borough too.  The previous two road sweepers were hire vehicles which kept breaking down and to maintain the high quality standards expected across the town new vehicles have been purchased and will be better able to deal with the impact of the changing weather patterns and leaf fall throughout the year.


Street cleansing is being reviewed this year as part of our commitment to improve standards work has already started in the town centre.  Positive feedback from businesses about the cleanliness in the town centre is welcomed and these improvements will be rolled out across the borough between now and the end of March 2020.


I can confirm there is a programme of mechanical street sweeping which starts in the town centre and along our gateway routes into Cheltenham early every morning and then moves out into the borough.  The mechanical sweeper drivers have a list of roads each day to sweep which, over the period of a year, covers all roads in Cheltenham.  Some areas need more mechanical street sweeping than others, particularly where there is heavier leaf fall.  A programme of manual street sweeping/detritus clearing is also in place which includes a manual clean out of those gutters/gullies as necessary. 


Where drains are blocked, Gloucestershire County Council/highways are asked to assist in clearing out the drains however there are frequent difficulties with their availability and parked cars blocking gullies or drains.  We will continue to work with residents and Gloucestershire County Council/highways to ensure our drains are cleared.


The specific issues raised have been responded to separately but in all cases service visits took place between early August and the end of September.


Supplementary question from Amber Astron Christo


Are you going to reverse the policy for cleaning residential streets, which at the moment only get cleaned when people make repeated complaints?


Response from Cabinet Member


The Cabinet Member Clean and Green Environment clarified that a regular street cleaning regime was in place. He acknowledged that this process needed to be constantly analysed and revisited in order to maximise its effectiveness.


Question from Amber Astron Christo to the Leader  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Member Questions pdf icon PDF 204 KB

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Tuesday 8  October 2019.



Question from Councillor Mason to the Cabinet Member Clean and Green Environment, Councillor Coleman


In the past few months numerous Lansdown residents have complained about missed collections both wheelie bin and recycling.
They demand better, or at the very least that the standard of service meets those of any contract agreed with UBICO.
Is there a penalty clause within the contract that provides a refund if standards are not meet?
If so could the cabinet member confirm whether such discussions have started?


Response from Cabinet Member


Ubico Limited, our service provider, has experienced driver shortages over the summer period, as have other local authorities and service providers across the country, due to the national shortage in appropriately qualified HGV drivers.


Unfortunately, this has resulted in some incomplete rounds and more properties missed by inexperienced agency drivers, who may not stay with Ubico for very long and do not become familiar with the rounds.  Ubico is working with the Council to recruit more drivers and in fact, is looking to train up an internal pool of agency drivers themselves, to overcome this difficulty in the longer term. In the meantime, measures have been put in place to try and reduce the impact on collections for residents in the short term and hopefully this will secure an improvement. 


If any residents are experiencing regularly difficulties with missed collections, these should be reported to


Ubico Limited is a teckal company, wholly owned by local authorities.  Cheltenham Borough Council pays a contract sum, agreed each year with Ubico, to deliver environmental maintenance services across the borough. Therefore, there is a more flexible partnership arrangement in place than a private sector contractor relationship, where penalty clauses might be more appropriate.


Question from Councillor Harman to the Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor McKinlay


The Economic, Infrastructure and Skills Committee of the Welsh Assembly has called upon the Welsh Government to ensure that new housing development should include provision for electric vehicle charging.

Will the Cabinet Member consider how Cheltenham Borough Council can use its powers to promote similar provision for new housing developments?


Response from Cabinet Member


The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) encourages planning applications to be designed to enable charging of electric vehicles and JCS Policy SD4 requires development to “Incorporate, where feasible, facilities for charging plug-in and other ultra-low emission vehicles”.


Local planning policy has to take its lead from national policy and guidance. In this context, the council can encourage, but not compel applicants, to include provision for electric vehicle charging. Officers will monitor national policy and look to strengthen the council’s position when the opportunity arises. In any case we will be lobbying government on issues such as this to allow us to strengthen policy where appropriate.


Question from Councillor Harman to the Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor McKinlay


When will Cheltenham Borough Council require Taxis and Private Hire vehicles that it licences to be carbon neutral?


Response from Cabinet Member


CBC introduced tighter  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


'Carbon Neutral Cheltenham - Leadership through Stewardship' pdf icon PDF 577 KB

Report of the Cabinet Members Clean and Green Environment and Corporate Services.

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Corporate Services introduced the report. He explained that in February 2019, Full Council unanimously called on the Cabinet to declare a Climate Emergency. As part of the motion, Council requested that a report be presented back within six months, with the local actions the Council could take to help address this emergency. The report therefore outlined the actions needed and an indicative timetable. 


He advised that the project was being undertaken by Simon Graham, who was the Head of Innovation at DCA and knew Cheltenham well having worked at a local company where he drove the implementation of a sustainability programme. The work had been split into two work streams, the first was focused on achieving a carbon neutral council and would be led by the Executive Director of People and Change and the Cabinet Member Corporate Services. The second worksteam would focus on the development of a carbon neutral borough and would be overseen by Director of Environment and Cabinet Member Clean and Green Environment.

He explained that, in order to develop the report, meetings and interviews were conducted with a range of officers from across the council, key Members, a number of external organisations including GCHQ, Superdry and the LEP and key partners including Gloucestershire County Council, Ubico, the Cheltenham Trust and the emergency services. A public assembly was also held to hear residents views.


The report outlined a number of initiatives that the council could take to become carbon neutral by 2030, these included introducing a zero carbon sports and leisure experience, upgrading the crematorium to zero carbon operation and rolling out zero emission fleet. The roadmap also outlined a number of major community initiatives such as a Cheltenham Standard, Cheltenham Green Deal and Cheltenham Energy. 

He acknowledged that the roadmap would need to be developed in to more detailed and deliverable action plans and they would need to establish what impacts the initiatives would have on the priorities already set out in the council’s corporate plan.


He noted the steps that the council had already taken to proactively reduce carbon emissions, including the installation of PV systems on CBH housing stock which provide enough electricity to power around 350 homes and also offer savings to the customer. He also confirmed that the council had reviewed its electricity purchasing arrangements and all of the council’s third party electricity now comes from renewable energy sources.


He highlighted that £150,000 of seed funding per year, had been recommended to fund additional staffing resources in order to create the capacity and capability to develop the business cases for the initiatives outlined in the roadmap and that the project would require a comprehensive approach to engagement involving residents, communities, businesses and partner organisations.


In the debate that followed, Members made the following comments:

·           They commended officers and Simon for a fantastic and thorough report. They felt it was an important step in highlighting the council’s intention to achieve its target and become carbon neutral by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Appointment of a new Chief Executive/Head of Paid Service

Report of the Chair of the Appointments and Remuneration Committee 

Additional documents:


This item was taken in open session as announced by the Mayor at the start of the Council meeting.

The Chair of the Appointments and Remuneration Committee introduced the report and explained that an Appointments & Remuneration Sub Committee was established in August 2019 to progress the recruitment of the new Chief Executive. Penna, a recruitment consultancy, was engaged and advised the Sub Committee throughout the process including recommending suitable candidates for short-listing, the interview process and advising on final selection for appointment.  She explained that to further enhance the recruitment process and to ensure that as much information as possible was available to the Sub-Committee, key stakeholders were invited to meet the short-listed candidates as part of the interview process.

Six candidates were short-listed and undertook a technical assessment interview. At the Sub-Committee meeting on the 26th September 2019, a report from Penna was considered, with feedback from the technical assessment interviews. The Sub-Committee agreed unanimously that two candidates be shortlisted to progress to the final interview stage on 1 October which comprised a panel exercise and involvement of local community and business leaders as well as Members and the Executive Leadership Team over lunch.

The Chair of the Appointments and Remuneration Committee reported that the Sub-Committee was unanimous in its decision that, subject to the approval of Full Council, Gareth Edmundson should be offered the post of Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service and outlined the reasons why. It was also agreed that the post would be offered on the agreed salary of £113,403 rising subject to satisfactory performance to £116,254 after 6 months in post.

She explained that the Chief Executive was accountable to the whole Council and the Leaders of each of the council’s political groups would be responsible for monitoring performance through regular 1-2-1 meetings as well as through the annual appraisal process.

She confirmed that, in accordance with the constitution, the Leader and Cabinet were informed of the recommendation and gave their consent to the appointment.

Finally, she wished to put on record to the HR Manager, Julie McCarthy, for her advice and guidance throughout the process. 

The Leader added that he had observer status on the Sub Committee and confirmed he had been consulted on the appointment. He wished to thank all involved in the process. He fully endorsed the recommendation and believed Gareth Edmundson had the right skills and experience for the role.

The Mayor also wished to put on record his thanks to the Appointments and Remuneration Sub Committee for their significant involvement.

RESOLVED (unanimously) THAT


1.    the position of Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service be offered to Gareth Edmudson.


2.    the post be offered on the agreed salary of £113,403 rising (subject to satisfactory performance) to £116,254 after 6 months in post.


3.    the Chair of the Sub-Committee, in conjunction with the HR Manager, be authorised to finalise the arrangements and agree the start date for the Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service.


The meeting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Appointment of the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Report of the Chair of the Appointments and Remuneration Committee


The Chair of the Appointments and Remuneration Committee reported that these positions were both a statutory and constitutional requirement. She proposed that Paul Jones, Executive Director Finance and Assets, take on the role. She clarified that this would be independent and separate from his other roles at CBC, and that he would work closely with the council’s elections team. Consultation had taken place with Paul Jones, and he had agreed to accept.

Members endorsed the proposal.



the Executive Director Finance and Assets, Paul Jones, be appointed as Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer for the Borough Council with immediate effect.



Treasury Strategy Statement & Capital Strategy 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 424 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Finance.

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member Finance reported that the Treasury Strategy had been approved by full Council in March 2019. She emphasised that she was not revisiting the entire strategy, just requesting Members to approve small changes made since then. CBC had been focussing to a greater degree on investing in property within its boundary to generate a commercial yield in order to compensate for central government spending cuts.

She emphasised that Cabinet felt that the longer term approach to finding efficiencies to close the funding gap was fundamentally through economic growth and investment and the efficient utilisation of our assets; linking our Place and Commercial Strategies to ‘Invest in Cheltenham, for Cheltenham’. This has seen a place focused investment approach offering long term investment, income through rents as well as other social and financial benefits.

She welcomed the fact that this authority was proposing to become the first council to lend via the award winning local business to business lender FOLK2FOLK, to help local small to medium size enterprises with straightforward access to finance to support their business growth. FOLK2FOLK matches local businesses looking for finance to grow, with investors looking to receive a return on their investment. By becoming a FOLK2FOLK lender, the council would be able to invest money locally whilst also benefitting local businesses.

She explained that more than £300 million of investor funds have been injected, via the Folk2Folk platform, into local businesses across a variety of sectors. There was often a flow-on of benefits to the wider community resulting from local investment, for example in the form of job creation, retention of local talent and the shoring up of local supply chains, but it could also attract visitors to the area, and result in improvements to local facilities and services; all of which contribute to the sustainability of healthy local economies which are essential for Britain’s future success.

The Cabinet wished to provide investment of up to £75,000 with FOLK2FOLK Interest rate returns of between 4.5% and up to 9% per annum could be achieved, but the aim was to help the businesses to start, grow or diversify, buy an asset or boost working capital. In return for investment, security against the asset would be provided.

She explained that if proposed investments were to be made other than on market terms, there would be state aid considerations, about which advice would be sought from One Legal before making the investment.

In addition, Cheltenham Borough Homes were currently pursuing a wide range of opportunities to deliver additional affordable housing within the Housing Revenue Account, as agreed by Full Council in October last year, Cheltenham Borough Homes were seeking to borrow from the Council up to £100m drawn down over the next 10 years.

The Cabinet Member Finance explained that modelling of the Private Rented Sector Initiative was carried out using a range of assumptions and, following further legal advice on state aid issues, it became clear that loan support from the Council needed to be restricted to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.


Cheltenham Plan Main Modifications Report pdf icon PDF 256 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Development and Safety.

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member Development and Safety introduced the report. He explained that the report sought authority to consult on Main Modifications to the Cheltenham Plan, following an examination into the Pre- Submission Cheltenham Plan by the Planning Inspectorate in February 2019.


He highlighted that work to progress the development of the Cheltenham Plan had been underway since 2012 and following Pre-Submission publication in early 2018 the Cheltenham Plan was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination. Public hearing sessions were held for six days during February 2019. Following the close of the hearing sessions the Inspector provided the Council with a Post Hearing Advice Note. The note raised a number of concerns around the Leckhampton School Site, Landsdown Industrial Estate, Oakhurst Rise and Local Green Space.  He advised that officers had responded to the Inspector’s advice note and outlined proposed actions in consultation with the Planning and Liaison Members Working Group and no objection to those actions had been raised by the Planning Inspector. The work proposed in the Inspector’s Advice Note had therefore been undertaken and were reflected in Appendix 2.


The significant changes were as follows:


·         Leckhampton School Site – a modification was required to ensure that the new secondary school could come forward in a way where it was capable of being delivered. This would in effect move the location of the school building to GCC owned land that had been previously designated as Local Green Space, this would increase the potential for housing on the Leckhampton Green Fields by 150. He noted that at a previous debate it was agreed that there was the potential for 400 houses on that site but because the school was to be located on part of it, that was going to be reduced to 250. He confirmed that GCC’s decision to move the location of the school building now meant that site would return to a capacity of 400. He highlighted that the changes had been made as the inspector had recognised that CBC had no direct input other than as a consultee.

·         Landsdown Industrial Estate – explained that the owners of the industrial estate were very happy for it to be re-designated as housing but were not putting forward any timescale for doing this and it therefore couldn’t be included in the housing supply calculations.

·         Oakhurst Rise – following the dismissal of the planning appeal, the inspector had asked CBC to look again at the capacity for this site. As a result, the policy had been revised to require a Masterplan to be included in any new applications that recognised the constraints of the site. A minimum number of 25 dwellings had also been included in the policy which was largely in line with what the planning committee had agreed as acceptable.

·         Local Green Space –the inspector had requested that the council re-look at the Local Green Space and put forward her own qualifying criteria by which these should be addressed. A re-assessment exercise had taken place based  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Review of Polling Districts, Places and Stations pdf icon PDF 425 KB

Report of the Electoral Registration Officer.

Additional documents:


The Electoral Registration Officer, explained that the council had a statutory duty to review its polling districts, polling places and polling stations, to ensure that all electors had such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable and to ensure that the polling stations were accessible to all electors including those with special needs.

He reported that a consultation exercise had been completed and consideration had been given to the views put forward.


The ward Member for Battledown wished to put on record his thanks for the sensible proposal.



1.    Battledown Ward - polling district BC be created to vote at Holy Apostles Primary School, Battledown Approach.  Polling district BC to consist of the following roads that are currently in polling district BB:

·         Battledown Approach

·         Battledown Drive

·         Birchley Road

·         Harp Hill;

27, 29, 31, 33, Ashwold House, Craigmount, Homewood, Rambling Views, Sherwood, The Heights, The Lodge, Whitefield House, Widecombe & Woodbank

·         Oakley Road

·         Stanley Road



2.    That the full list of polling districts, polling places and polling stations as set out in appendix D and E are published for a further period of six weeks, during which time individuals have the right to make representations to the Electoral Commission.


Review of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 424 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Corporate Services.


The Cabinet Member Corporate Services introduced the report and explained the background to the recommendations from the Constitution Working Group as outlined in the report.

He also requested Council to determine criteria for submitting public questions –with the report suggesting that this should match the criteria for signing petitions as per the council’s petition scheme, i.e. to live, work and study in the borough rather than the current criteria which restricted it to borough electors.

Finally, the Cabinet Member Corporate Services wished to thank the Constitution Working Group for their input and the officers involved in bringing this report forward.

The following points were raised and responses given :

·         The Chair of the Constitution Working Group referred to paragraph 6 of the report and requested that at its next meeting the group should consider the use of secret voting on appointments to outside bodies

·         One Member welcomed the recent increase in the number of young people becoming involved in politics and so wished the criteria to include the under 18 age group. This was accepted by the Cabinet Member.

A discussion ensued on the criteria for submitting public questions and the following points were made :

·         A Member highlighted the importance of scrutiny, accountability and transparency in the way the Council conducted its business. He observed that any politically motivated questions should be regarded as opportunities for the authority to explain why it was doing the things it was doing. He also observed the fact that Members themselves could generate public questions. He believed that a requirement of submitting a question should be to disclose a business address so that the relevance and potential political motivation could be determined. He also suggested that the 30 minute time limit for questions be enforced and if necessary questions prioritised.

·         Lengthy preambles should be discouraged

·         The 30 minute allocation to discuss public questions could be viewed as stifling debate

·         Recognised that the timing required for submitting public questions was tight

·         Where questions were not relevant to this authority, for example those at this meeting relating to the Traffic Regulation Order should be redirected to GCC. In response the Cabinet Member Development and Safety said that in this instance it was appropriate to provide answers to the questions and would reflect badly on the authority if they were disallowed.

·         The Leader explained that in terms of supplementary questions the Cabinet always answered as best it could but there was always the possibility to provide an answer in writing if further information was sought.

The Chair of the Audit Committee wished to thank officers for bringing forward the proposal to change the name of the Audit Committee to the Audit, Compliance and Governance Committee which more accurately reflected the role of the committee. He wished to encourage other Members to gain a better insight into its work which ensured that the correct processes and compliance issues were in place.




1. The criteria for submitting Public Questions be revised to apply to those living,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Annual Report on Overview and Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Report of the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny

Additional documents:


The Chair of Overview and Scrutiny, Councillor Chris Mason, introduced the report. He welcomed the acknowledgement by the authority that the Chair of O&S was an opposition Member. He referred to the valuable role of the chair’s briefing group comprising himself, Councillor Sudbury and Councillor Payne who worked in a non political way. This way of working was very encouraging and he believed Overview and Scrutiny was now more effective as it posed challenging questions to both external guests and officers and requested concise reports in advance of scheduled meetings.

Finally, he wished to put on record his thanks to the Executive Director People and Change (ELT lead for scrutiny), Saira Malin, Democracy Officer and the Democratic Services team.




To note the Annual Report of Overview and Scrutiny 2018-19.   


Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 122 KB


Motion A


Proposed by Councillor Clucas


Seconded by Councillor Fisher


In view of the warnings issued by scientists in relation to Climate Change and its effects, including the IUCN report, that points out the threat to native trees, plants and species, this council recognises the importance of LGS. This has been reflected recently by government, both in the NPPF and Ministerial statements, which have underlined the importance of green space in fighting climate change,.


It therefore asks officers to prepare a draft plan, in conjunction with SVPC, to look at planting indigenous trees in the Swindon Village buffer zone to encourage species protection and population growth.


In so doing, the effect of carbon reduction, through green space and tree planting, be noted and the potential to reduce further be included in the local plan.


In proposing the motion, Councillor Clucas clarified that the IUCN was the International Union for Conservation of Nature which represented 15000 recognised experts in their field. She explained that their recent report indicated that 400 tree species were at risk of extinction, including the horse chestnut. She believed there was an opportunity to enhance what Cheltenham did in terms of tree planting and biodiversity. In the light of a major housing development planned for Swindon Village she wished that every school child in the ward receive an oak tree to plant and take ownership of it by watching it grow, develop and mature. Whilst this was a ward issue, there was potential for tree planting in the whole of the borough and she aspired to receiving a road map illustrating how this could be achieved.

In seconding the motion, Councillor Fisher believed this was a great opportunity for young people to be involved in planting trees as a positive environmental contribution, particularly in Swindon Village which was faced with a major housing development.

Councillor Britter supported the motion but proposed an amendment to remove specific reference to Swindon Village and replace with “across the borough” as he believed this was such an important issue that it should be town wide. He welcomed the proposal to get children in the borough involved.

Councillor Clucas accepted the amendment which was incorporated into the substantive.

The amended motion was supported by Members, recognising its importance for the whole borough.

A Member highlighted the fact that Local Green Space represented a small subset of green space and wished to emphasise that the motion should focus on all green spaces around the town.

In summing up, Councillor Clucas thanked Council for its support of the motion which would be of great value to the town.

RESOLVED (with one abstention) THAT

In view of the warnings issued by scientists in relation to Climate Change and its effects, including the IUCN report, that points out the threat to native trees, plants and species, this council recognises the importance of LGS. This has been reflected recently by government, both in the NPPF and Ministerial statements, which have underlined the importance of green space in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Any other item the Mayor determines as urgent and which requires a decision


There was none.