Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Council

Hello, please sign in to your account. New customer? Creating a new account only takes moments.

find our main contact details and opening hours or find our location.

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Municipal Offices. View directions

Contact: Rosalind Reeves, Democratic Services Manager 

No. Item



Councillor Britter


Apologies were received from Councillors Barnes and Britter.


Declarations of Interest


Councillor Hobley and Councillor C Hay declared an interest in agenda item 10 as trustees of the Cheltenham Trust. They would withdraw from the Chamber for that item.


Councillor Ryder declared an interest in agenda item 13 as President of the Cheltenham and District Allotment Holders Association.


Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 176 KB

Minutes of the meetings held on 10 February and 24 February 2017

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meetings held on 10 and 24 February were approved and signed as a correct record.


Communications by the Mayor


The Mayor informed Members that in the light of the Westminster attack condolences had been received from our twinning partners. The Mayor also wished to put on record her thanks to Canon Rev Dr Tudor Griffiths who would be leaving Cheltenham after six and half years. She thanked him for his support during her Mayoral year. A new archdeacon was now in place.

The Mayor made reference to the recent CBH opening of homes for veterans.

She thanked all Members for their support at her fundraising events and informed Members that there would be two more events in April.


Communications by the Leader of the Council


The Leader reiterated the Mayor’s thanks to Canon Rev Dr Tudor Griffiths and wished him well in the future. He also made reference to the opening of the new accommodation for veterans which comprised 10 new homes. He also thanked Councillor Peter Jeffries for his contribution as the Cabinet Member Housing and due to his former service in the military.


The Leader then wished to put on record his thanks to former Councillor Dan Murch for his contributions as his ward colleague and also for his role as joint mental health champion. He expressed concern that his resignation was due to his work commitments and such circumstances made it more difficult for young people to become councillors.


The Leader also paid tribute to the preparations made by staff in collaboration with the County Council, the Police and the racecourse in ensuring that the Festival operated smoothly. He emphasised that this was a year long process.


The Leader reported that CBH had been successful in its bid for £350k regeneration funding for Princess Elizabeth Way.


Finally, the Leader wished to recognise the contributions to the town by Geoffrey Rowe as Chief Executive of the Everyman Theatre who was standing down.




Public Questions pdf icon PDF 127 KB

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Tuesday 21 March.



Question from Michael S Barnes to the Leader, Councillor Steve Jordan (in attendance)



Employment Land Allocation


What was the evidenced employment land allocation level for Cheltenham stated in the 2014 draft plan and what is the level of employment land allocation now?



Response from the Leader


The amount of employment land allocated in the pre-submission version of the JCS in June 2014 was 64.2 hectares. Of this, an area was identified in Cheltenham Borough as part of Strategic Allocation A5 (North-West Cheltenham Urban Extension). This contains approximately 23.4 hectares of employment land to be delivered up to 2031 (10ha of which is to be for ‘B’ class uses’ and, in terms of site area, is divided roughly 70%/30% between Tewkesbury and Cheltenham Boroughs as shown on the relevant indicative site Plan.


Through the JCS examination this topic has been discussed in detail, and provision for 192 hectares of B class land within the plan period (between 2011 and 2031) has been agreed through the Joint Core Strategy. At least 84 hectares of the employment land allocated in the latest version of the JCS (main modifications – February 2017) is provided on strategic allocations. In Cheltenham the same area of land measuring 23.4 hectares is allocated for employment purposes as part of Strategic Allocation A5.


In addition, a new strategic allocation has been made at West Cheltenham (Site Allocation A11 refers). This contains approximately 45 hectares of employment land to be delivered up to 2031 and, in terms of site area, is divided roughly 25%/75% between Tewkesbury and Cheltenham Boroughs respectively as shown on the relevant indicative site Plan. Main Modification Policies SP1 and 2 and their explanation text set out in detail how employment provision will be met across the three JCS authorities.


In a supplementary question Mr Barnes said he needed more time to review the figures in the response and he would like the option to come back with a question once he had done that.


The Leader confirmed that he would be happy to have a discussion on the figures with the questioner outside the meeting.



Question from Michael S Barnes to the Leader, Councillor Steve Jordan



Development inevitable


Since Alex Chalk MP is strongly pushing for the Cyber Centre to be positioned in Cheltenham and now a sum of £22million has been ear marked, is it now inevitable that the development of the last of Cheltenham's greenspace will happen?



Response from the Leader


Development on the site is neither inevitable nor on the last of Cheltenham’s green space.


Policy A11 of the JCS (main modifications version – February 2017) identifies approximately 45 hectares of B-class led employment as part of the emerging West Cheltenham Strategic Allocation. This will be focussed upon a cyber-security hub and other high technology, and high ‘Gross Value Added’ job generating development and ancillary uses.


Modifications to the JCS to allow for development of a strategic allocation at West Cheltenham constitute part of the emerging joint Core Strategy which was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Member Questions pdf icon PDF 115 KB

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Tuesday 21 March



Question from Councillor Bickerton to the Leader, Councillor Steve Jordan


Could the Council please give an estimate on the difference to public infrastructure funding to Cheltenham as a direct result of the Tewkesbury Planning decision to grant planning permission on Farm Lane, Leckhampton ahead of any agreement on the JCS Community Infrastructure Levy?  Would this simply be the difference between the agreed TBC/REDROW S106 payments and the Community Infrastructure Levy proposals for the 200 new homes to be delivered in the CBC local plan, could this please be explained.


Response from the


There are too many variables to give a realistic estimate of this. The application at Farm Lane was made before a CIL regime was in place, but a CIL regime is not a requirement of JCS policy.  S106 payments will vary when a CIL is put in place. Strategic allocations can be progressed through S106 funding on either the Cheltenham or Tewkesbury side of the boundary, and each Borough is a separate collection authority. Similarly, in relation to what monies could have been gained for Cheltenham, since the CIL examination has not yet taken place, and discussions on how CIL monies will be pooled between the authorities are ongoing, it isn’t possible to quantify.


In a supplementary question Councillor Bickerton asked that given the difficulties in providing an estimate, please could the Leader of the Council provide confirmation of the S106 monies agreed on the Tewkesbury Borough Council Farm Lane Site and the agreed or proposed JCS Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) for South Cheltenham or Leckhampton Sites?  


The Leader agreed to provide a written response with as much information as possible.



Question from Councillor Bickerton to the Leader, Counicllor Steve Jordan


On Thursday the 2nd March, Leckhampton with Warden Hill Parish Council voted unanimously in support of LEGLAG in the revised legal challenge to the Court of Appeal on the Farm Lane planning permission and are an interested party in the case.   In taking this decision the Parish Council sends a message to the Court of Appeal, that the Parish has an interest in the Local Green Space on White Cross and secondly seek a plan-led approach and masterplanning as advocated by CBC Planning in their objection letters.   It was serious mistake for LEGLAG to go alone and unfortunately the High Court viewed LEGLAG as some NIMBY group with little consideration of the wider public interest or public support and the sympathy was clearly with TBC Planning Officers.


The case is now re-focused on two grounds, Inspector Ord's Preliminary Report and the lack of Plan-Led Masterplanning.  There would be no need for CBC Officers to attend court or engage separate legal advice and the general Bolton 'one set of costs' rule means that interested parties are not at risk of awarded costs.  Could the Leader of the Council agree in principle to joining with the Parish Council, given the unanimous vote at full council on the NPCU call-in request on the 6th July  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


To receive petitions


A petition was presented by Councillor Payne on behalf of a resident regarding the development of the cemetery and crematorium and in particular the closure of the existing chapels. The petition was entitled “Stop unnecessary spending and closing of a historic building”. The petition was presented to the Cabinet Member Clean and Green Environment.


Councillor Jeffries presented a petition on behalf of the West Cheltenham Group against the proposed West Cheltenham development which had received a total of 850 signatures. The Mayor received the petition on behalf of the Council.


Place Strategy - Cheltenham Placemaking Vision pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Report of the Leader

Additional documents:


The Leader introduced the report which drew together the conversations held between a small officer team supported by stakeholder sector leads and a wide range of industry leaders, groups, businesses and individuals. Today endorsement of the Cheltenham Placemaking Vision by Council was sought.


The Leader went on to explain that this was an evolving strategy which was a strategy for Cheltenham, not just the Borough Council. He hoped that Cheltenham as a whole would buy into this with partners becoming fully involved. A wide group of people including businesses, cultural organisations and the voluntary sector had been engaged to date and  a member seminar and staff sessions had also taken place. The evolving vision was “A place where everybody thrives” focused along the four core values of creativity, a pioneering spirit, a nurturing town which builds connections and forms reconnections in the community.  It was important to assess the impact on the economy, visitors and young people. Losing young people due to affordability was a key concern. Other policies fed into the strategy including the tourism policy.


It was hoped that the consultation on the strategy would be broadened to include the public as a whole and actions needed to be defined to achieve it involving partners in and beyond Cheltenham including the County Council.


Finally the Leader said this had been a positive process and he thanked all those who had been involved.


The following points/questions were raised by Members and responses given by the Leader :


·         There was a lack of emphasis on older people- recognising that the town had an ageing population should be incorporated into the document. The focus had traditionally been on care but this part of the community needed to be engaged with and valued. In response the Leader recognised that the ageing population was vital to the town but there had been an emphasis on younger people in the document as they were leaving the town.


·         Members recognised that young people wanted to leave the town in order to broaden their horizons. It was important to talk to younger people in other places to attract them to the town. Interesting and varied employment opportunities and different kinds of businesses were required to achieve this. Creative culture was important in terms of business innovation and creative thinking. Providing better housing options in the town by fostering the right kind of development was also a factor alongside better public transport and an attractive leisure and cultural offering.


·         Members welcomed the opportunity for the public to be consulted but urged that the language be adjusted prior to consultation


·         Recognition of our diverse communities in the town was required in the document. In response the Leader stated that all communities would be involved via the community champions process.


·          A Member referred to the role of Cheltenham Town Football Club in the town highlighting that many local authorities embraced their football clubs more than CBC, working closer with communities and using football to deliver messages on health and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Draft Corporate Strategy 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Report of the Leader

Additional documents:


The Leader introduced the report and explained that Members would now be aware of the context of the Place Strategy. The Corporate Strategy had been developed in parallel with the budget so was aligned to the Medium Term Financial Strategy and referenced themes from the Place Strategy which would be further developed next year. He explained that at this stage the focus was just one year and next year there would be a longer term view once the Place Strategy was in place to inform the work and equally the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) was fundamental to the future. He acknowledged that there was a fine balance between being ambitious and having a realistic assessment of resources. It was important that the council got smarter and worked with others to do things differently.


The Leader highlighted that it was essential that the JCS was in place and in parallel with the local plan. The Cyberpark could not happen without the JCS. The Cheltenham Plan was important for Cheltenham for the environment and for economic progress going forward. He recognised there were difficulties in terms of those decisions which remained within the remit of the County Council such as highways.


The following points were raised in the debate :


·         A Member doubted that this represented a strategy, in his view it was a corporate plan with a list of items and dates. Disappointment was expressed that there was no 3-5 year plan, it was hoped that it would be a priority for Executive Board for this to be developed next year.

·         Another Member highlighted the great range of different things detailed in the corporate strategy and said that in a year’s time a great deal more knowledge would have been accrued in order to inform a more comprehensive 5 year strategy

·         Some Members noted the lack of reference to health in the document particularly in terms of partnership working. As this evolved it was important to find a way to include shared priorities.

·         COM6-a Member requested that world autism awareness week be recognised in the document. Another Member spoke passionately about recognition of the 16 days of activism against gender based violence international campaign. She expressed her extreme regret that Gloucestershire continued to focus on gender neutrality when there were specific reasons for gender based campaigns. The Cabinet Member Healthy Lifestyles made reference to domestic violence week and explained that funding was available to enable something to take place but the council was waiting to hear from the County Council before incorporating it into the plan. The Cabinet Member Finance recognised the plethora of organisations who held specific action days and it would be impossible for the council to acknowledge them all, it had to be selective. It was suggested that the very long list be published on the website and Members who wished to could be individual champions and lead in marking  the event.

·         A Member noted that there was no mention of joint working between CBC, social services and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Financing arrangements for improvements to Leisure-at-Cheltenham pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Healthy Lifestyles

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member Healthy Lifestyles introduced the report which outlined an improvement scheme requested by the Cheltenham Trust which would deliver much needed investment into Leisure@ Cheltenham to keep it competitive and to enable a growth in income and footfall.


She referred Members to the financial information in the report and the conditions for the loan and governance going forward. It was proposed that the council would support this request via a loan of up to £1.5m which would be repaid by the Trust at an interest rate of 3% per annum.

She believed that these improvements would be great for children and families and the change would provide a foundation for the Trust to grow going forward which would provide economic benefits to both the Trust and the council in terms of a growth in income and footfall. She highlighted the importance of facilitating access to the enhanced leisure offer to the most deprived areas of the town and highlighted that this work formed part of ongoing work of the Trust to enliven their facilities in the town which included the Town Hall.


The following questions were raised and responses given :

·         What metric was the Cabinet Member going to use to determine how successful the new facilities would be? Were there any predictions as to what increase in attendance was needed to cover the funding? In response the Cabinet Member said that an in-depth analysis of potential additional income which included an increase in food and drink purchases and memberships was available.

·         When asked how robust the forecasts were with regard to income and what risks there were around these number and what process had been undertaken to get to these numbers the Cabinet Member invited the Deputy S151 officer to respond. The officer clarified that the external loan covered the administration costs. She was satisfied that the business case was robust as the costs had been challenged in great detail with management and Directors and the consultants. The business case would be further developed and if there were any differences a report would come back to Council accordingly.

·         A comment was made as to whether Leisure@ would be examining the provision of healthy food and drinks to play its part in combatting obesity.  The Cabinet Member pledged to provide a full answer to this question.

·         When asked whether this new facility would require additional staff the Cabinet Member confirmed that there would be qualified staff to supervise; in addition parents would be able to hire the splash pool for birthday parties.

·         In response to a question on whether fees would increase, the Deputy S151 Officer referred to the fact that the business case did not foresee any additional fee increases, just an increase in the volume of activity.

·         One Member believed that Council should be presented with the detailed analysis of the figures before voting on the proposal. In response the Cabinet Member said Council’s agreement in principle was sought at this stage and no overspends  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Section 151 Officer Arrangements pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Finance

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member Finance introduced the report and reminded Members that the remit of the Director of Corporate Resources & Projects included the role of Section 151 Officer. She explained that the Council report in June 2015 explained the business rationale and the need to free up capacity of the post holder, it was proposed that the then Deputy s151 Officer, Paul Jones, be seconded into the role for a period of 18 months, and for him to also continue to fulfil the role of s151 Officer for Forest of Dean District Council. The interim period had now nearly concluded. The Officer had fulfilled his s151 responsibilities thus far with considerable competence including the additional duties of line management of the Revenues & Benefits section following the return of the service from the control of the Joint Committee to the Council.   

The Cabinet Member Finance explained that the permanent designated s151 Officer, Mark Sheldon had confirmed in writing to the HR Manager that he wished to permanently relinquish the s151 duties. This presented the Council with an opportunity to make the interim s151 arrangements, including the line management of Revenues & Benefits, permanent.

The interim s151 Officer was currently employed by Cotswold District Council but seconded to this Council and to the Forest of Dean District Council as their permanent designated s151 Officer. Following discussions with the current interim post holder, the Forest of Dean District Council and the 2020 Partnership MD the recommended option was a direct employment contract with Cheltenham BC. Cheltenham would then enter into a secondment agreement with the post holder and the Forest of Dean Council. All parties were fully agreeable to this.

The proposed new Chief Finance Officer (CFO) role was described at appendix 2.

The salary for the CFO role had been established at Grade 3, (1.9) the Forest of Dean will be paying a contribution of £35k, the salary proposal was within the current budget provisions, this just represented a different employment arrangement.

The Cabinet Member Finance reported that the Appointments and Remuneration Committee had agreed and approved this as laid out in the report.  She sought Council  approval for the permanent appointment of the Chief Finance Officer to include the Section 151 role with effect from 28 March.


RESOLVED (unanimously) THAT


Paul Jones is designated permanently to the role of Chief Finance Officer (to include the role of Section 151 Officer) with effect from 28th March 2017.



2020 Joint Committee - Withdrawal of employment matter delegations pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Corporate Services


The Cabinet Member Corporate Services introduced the report and explained that currently this authority’s HR policies and procedures relating to its own staff were delegated to the 2020 Joint Committee. In light of the fact that this authority had no staff which would transfer to the new companies and the fact that the Joint Committee would cease to be in existence once the main functions were  transferred to Publica, Council approval was sought to withdraw these delegations.


Members sought clarification particularly in light of the fact that Council had been asked to agree the position of the S151 Officer in an earlier agenda item. In response, the Cabinet Member explained that the appointment of the S151 Officer related to the appointment of a statutory officer whereas this decision concerned setting pay and grading generally. The Head of Paid Service explained that when the Joint Committee was created Revenues and Benefits and Customer Services were transferred to 2020. Subsequent to this, in October 2016, Council withdrew these services which meant that there were no longer any staff to be transferred to the new companies.



1.    the following delegations from the 2020 Partnership Joint Committee be withdrawn from 1 April 2017 :

a)    HR policies and procedures

b)    Pay and grading policy

c)    Total reward policy (including financial and non-financial benefits

2.    the Head of Paid Service, in consultation with the Borough Solicitor, be authorised to complete appropriate legal documentation as necessary to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations in this report.

3.    the Democratic Services Manager, in consultation with the Borough Solicitor, be authorised to make such changes to the Constitution as are necessary to reflect and facilitate the implementation of the recommendations in this report.


(Voting- For :29; Abstentions: 5)


Community Governance Review - terms of reference pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Report of the Leader

Additional documents:


The Leader of the Council introduced the report which had been triggered when a campaign group in Pittville submitted a valid petition to Cheltenham Borough Council in January 2017, calling for the creation of a new parish council for Pittville.  This requires the authority under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 to carry out a community governance review to decide whether or not a new parish council should be created.   The review must take place within 12 months of receipt of the petition. 


As part of the review, it will also be possible to address two very small areas:

           An anomaly in Merestones Drive (see parapraph 2.3)

           Part of St Nicholas Drive (8 properties), which is the only part of Prestbury ward not to be in Prestbury parish, and would be between Prestbury and Pittville parishes if the new parish council in Pittville is created.  


It was proposed that a cross party working group was set up to manage the review. The Leader suggested that those who were actively campaigning for or against the formation of a parish for Pittville should not be members of the working group but would be able to give their views.   


The Leader reminded members that a previous working group 5 years ago had concluded that there should be a process to enable all parishes to review their boundaries by 2018. It was sensible to complete this review at the same time although it was not a statutory requirement as was the request relating to the petition.


The following points were made in the debate:


  • There was a suggestion that the working group should be chaired by a totally independent chair
  • Parish councils have statutory rights to be consulted on planning and other matters and consideration should be given to how neighbourhood projects in other more deprived areas of the town and the town centre should be consulted on matters affecting them
  • Charlton Kings Parish Council had been very disappointed in the result of the 2012 review and would like some assurance that the revised suggestions they have made for boundary changes will come speedily to a review.
  • There was a concern that Midwinter allotments would in future only be available to residents of the Pittville Parish, particularly from residents of St Pauls and existing allotment holders should be consulted as stakeholders in the review.
  • Can the costs of the review be recouped from Pittville Parish council if it is set up?
  • The proposed boundaries of the Pittville Parish council seem to disenfranchise some residents of the Pittville ward by not including them.
  • The pros and cons of setting up the parish council should be clearly set out for residents in a neutral information sheet.
  • Different communities have different needs and want to engage in different ways and it is for local residents to decide.


Members were reminded that the resolution before them today was to set up a working group to consider the petition that had been received  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Progress Update regarding the new crematorium project including business case decisions regarding access road and second chapel option pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Clean and Green Environment

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member Clean and Green Environment introduced the report which provided an update on the development of Cheltenham’s new crematorium as it moved through its design stage. He outlined the history of the project since he had taken over the Cabinet portfolio and highlighted the excellent report which had been produced by the scrutiny task group at that time which had raised his awareness of the issues at the crematorium, particularly regarding the need to replace the cremators and the abatement system. He had taken the decision at the time to review the overall service and address the inefficiencies of the current site alongside the cremators. The project had received expert advice and had consulted with key stakeholders. The initial vision had been for the building of a new crematorium with two new chapels. However the estimated cost of £10 million was too high and a revised plan was proposed with one new chapel and continued use of one of the existing chapels at a cost of £7.5 million which the Council had given its consent to in 2015. The use of two sites did have drawbacks and so with the support of officers and Cabinet he had continued to challenge the £10 million figure and had now reached a position where the second chapel was affordable but still needed an additional £1 million of funding. This was to be funded by using the capital receipt from the sale of the cemetery lodge and money from the revenue budget reserve arising from the introduction of new crematorium fees with the balance being supported by prudential borrowing. This was the subject of the recommendation before Council today.


In concluding, the Cabinet Member emphasised that this was a very significant step in the project. The building had been given to the council 150 years ago and this decision today would allow the council to continue to provide the service for the next 150 years.



The Cabinet Member responded to questions:


  • With expert advice the costs of the development had been reduced by reviewing the scale of the building, the nature of the car park and other features of the design. He now had every confidence in the figures he was putting before Council today and assured members that they had been scrutinised to a great extent.
  • He confirmed that he had always maintained that the receipt from the sale of the cemetery lodge should be ring fenced for this development and therefore the receipt had not been allocated to any other capital projects.
  • A member highlighted that the report asked the council to sanction a further £352,000 of prudential borrowing in addition to the other £1.8 M of loans already in place and at a time when there may be other demands on the council. Was the Cabinet Member confident that the extra business at the crematorium would be generated?
    The Cabinet Member reassured members that the business case shows that the council could support the level of loan being  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 43 KB


Councillor Willingham proposed the following motion which was seconded by Councillor Wheeler.

This Council notes that abandoned supermarket trollies can cause a significant nuisance in some parts of the town.  It is possible to take discretionary powers pursuant to section 99 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended) that allow local authorities to remove abandoned trollies and charge the owners of those trollies.  If these powers are adopted, they require that any charges payable to the Council by trolley owners to fully cover the costs.

This Council would much prefer that trolley owners work proactively within local communities and take responsibility for addressing the abandonment of their trollies as part of their corporate social responsibility activity, without the need these powers to be formally adopted by the Council. 

Consequently, this Council resolves to engage with retailers to discuss potential informal or contractual solutions with trolley owners in the town, but if this does not result in a satisfactory outcome, it requests Cabinet to commence the processes necessary to adopt the discretionary powers available to it pursuant to section 99 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended), so that the problem of abandoned trolleys can be tackled.”

In seconding the motion, Councillor Wheeler was of the view that supermarkets needed to be taking more responsibility for their shopping trolleys as they were causing a real nuisance in local neighbourhoods.

The Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor Andrew McKinlay, advised that had he was happy to support the motion. He had asked officers  to raise the problem with supermarkets and he would ask officers for an update. In his view a voluntary agreement was preferable but if this could not be reached by October 2017 he would be asking his Cabinet colleagues approval to adopt the powers referred to in the motion.

Members supported the motion. It was noted that powers relating to the removal of shopping trolleys from watercourses maintained by Severn Trent needed to be reviewed as part of this proposed adoption.

Upon a vote the motion was carried unanimously.




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